Monday, September 02, 2013

Women and Islam - Struggle for Democracy and Against Fundamentalism by Meredith Tax
Portside [1]  Date: February 6, 2013

A Blog of One's Own: Seamus Heaney: Our Beloved File

I want to share this tribute to Seamus from one of Derry Playhouse Writers' poets. I had the great privilege in 1981 of spending a with him when I and another person acted as his transport when he came to deliver a talk at the University of Maryland and then on to an after-party that really went on to the wee hours of the morning. He was such a delight to spend time with and was as down-to-earth as they come.

 A Blog of One's Own: Seamus Heaney: Our Beloved File:   'Earth receive an honoured guest...' Ireland is in mourning.  Our beloved national poet, our Nobel Laureate, our cherished...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Eleanor: The Radical Roosevelt by Peter Dreier — YES! Magazine

Eleanor: The Radical Roosevelt by Peter Dreier — YES! Magazine

Although this was an informative article about Eleanor Roosevelt, it neglected to note that she, along with Walter Reuther, was a co-founder of Americans for Democratic Action which is still active today supporting issues she championed. In the 1990's, I was pleased to serve two terms as ADA's national board secretary. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Aaron Swartz Presente

Save the Internet
Margie Bernard

 The Internet is an electronic tool enabling instantaneous communication with others around our globe. Thus, for instance, the Zapistitis in Mexico were able to put their case before the world in their own words. With laptop computers provided them by supporters in Los Angeles, they were able to send frequent messages of the repressive tactics of the Mexican government to suppress their insurgent, indigenous campaign for land reform in South East Mexico. They were able to inform the world of human rights abuses B murder, torture and false imprisonment B  against their community by the Mexican government. Their plight reached the home and office computers of human rights organizations and activists who, in turn, mounted campaigns of support and stayed the hand of the military.

 Now, however, governments are planning to censor this free exchange of information. Using various guises to protect national security= the United States and British governments are in the process of enacting legislative means to shut down websites they regard as subversive. For more information go to Then join with others to prevent these Big Brother= efforts to stifle free speech. 

The above is an article I wrote in August 2000. Since that date the original Electrohippies Website has morphed into

Within my orbit of  economic democracy and human rights activism,  the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in November 1999  marked for me the first inkling of how powerful an organizational tool the Internet could be. During this fourteen-year period since we have witnessed how the Internet can and has provided an unfettered, current time voice for various insurgent human rights and national liberation movements around the globe; i.e., the Arab Spring. 

I never met Aaron Swartz, yet we were Internet comrades in-arms engaged in on-going effort to preserve and protect the right to free and open access on the Web. It was in this light that I became one of the thousand signatories of his instigated on-line petitions to prevent the US Congress from passing two draconian censorship laws -- SOPA and PIPA which, in this segment of  Democracy Now! program of 14 January 2013, we can hear Aaron himself discuss the importance of defeating these Internet censorship measures.

To honor Aaron's memory, we must continue the aim of keeping the Internet free of government censorship whether it be that of China or the USA or X Country.