October 2005 Archives

Plea from Philippines

I received an urgent plea from Maria Theresa-Nera-Lauron, WACC member in Manila, asking for e-mail support that will shed more light on political killings in the Philippines. Human rights leaders and religious leaders are being assasinated with increasing affront.

'til later.

Latina Theology is a lived theology

Yesterday I visited Casa Juan Diego where hurricane survivors are still receiving assistance with food, medicine and transportation. Latinas and Latinos were not present at the Astrodome. Their story is one of no information, no access to US government resources, no access to Red Cross resources. Immigrants who were working in the states hit by Katrina and Rita, running like everyone else, having nowhere to turn and fearing deportation, integrated into the Houston poor Latino households.
I am often told that poor uneducuated latinos need better theology, I disagree. I think the burden is on theologians to accompany the poor and discern, then reflect, and hopefully publish widely. No theological, rational, western treatise has yet interpreted, reflected theologically, about the Gospel conversations in hundreds of poor homes here in Houston where Latino families housed refugees. Homes had to scramble to find extra food. The 2000-year old admonition of Matthew 25:35 is alive and there can be no more powerful theological interepretation, explication than those Spanish-language household conversations around: "For I was hungry and you gave me to drink, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in."

Oh, while I was at Casa Juan Diego I was told that contractors from the Gulf states are taking dozens of the men from Casa Juan Diego and elsewhere to work in reconstruction. Imagine that: undocumented workers. Did Bush have this in mind when he issued his executive order on September 8th suspending the Davis-Bacon law and thus allowing federal contractors building in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage. The prevailing wage for construction in New Orleans is about nine dollars an hour........they will now get less than that.

Open Source in Chile

Rodrigo in Chile , with other University "apasionados" of opensource software, is working on aFirefox for Chile. Their vision is to join a growing community of techies, hackers, business people to continue developing more and more free and open software for Latin America and other countries "en desarrollo"(In Economic Development). The idea is gaining ground, as a recent article in Santiago's newspaper attests. There is also a rumor going around that there's going to be a mega Fiesta at the end of this year for users of Firefox to share stories and that major DJ's will participate. Hmmm, let me check my calendar!

The Power of Nightmares

Last night at our Museum of Fine Arts I saw the gripping 2 1/2 hour version of this documentary, "The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear." It was introduced by the director/writer, Adam Curtis.

Curtis presents: all the cases that Bush's government brought against US citizens in "terrorist cells" were without merit and therefore quietly dropped. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Cheney were in Reagan's administration promoting fear about the Soviet Union and returned to do the same today, aware of the need to promote a consolidating myth of fear to gain power. The US and britain have been fighting a fantasy with the support of the religious right. The muslim fundamentalists are fighitng an almost identical fantasy.

Originally a 3-part broadcast series on the BCC, it was cut down for the Cannes Film Festival where it screened earlier this year. I urge you to write HBO and ask them to air this three-part series, although before getting the rights to do so I'm sure the BBC will want to update it to include the bombing of the London subway.

Curtis: "I think the (US)networks won't show it because they are frightened by possible reactions. I think this is very wrong. The reaction in Britain has been extraordinary with the overwhelming majority praising the BBC for its confidence in putting the series out."

The LA Times gives more of the specifics.

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