Short Takes: News From All Over

Protest Against Recruitment Center in East Harlem
By Ismael Nunez, Tiempo via Voices That Must Be Heard
The impending opening of a military recruitment center in East Harlem sparked protesters to decry what they call the ‘poverty draft.’ Longtime community activist Vicente ‘Panama’ Alba had this to say about the center: ‘This is very similar to a crack house, where one would sell pipe dreams and then there is death. This is definitely not what we need here. We need educational opportunities and jobs that pay us living wages; that’s what we need in communities like this.’ — Nick Rose

The Edible Estate
By Heather Ring, Archinect
This spring, it may be possible to drive through suburban Los Angeles and spot the beginnings of a post-lawn suburbia. Fritz Haeg of Gardenlab is out to subvert the paradigm of outdoor grass carpeting with his Edible Estates project. Haeg is looking for volunteers for the project’s southwest prototype, which will replace their sod-covered front yard with an edible landscape for all to see. — Rose Miller

Hell’s Bells
By Nathan Dinsdale, Santa Fe Reporter
When Nathan Dinsdale heard that the Salvation Army was looking for 1,000 volunteers for the Christmas season he ‘answered the call with the blood of Christ coursing through my veins and the fire of the Holy Spirit welling inside my rib cage.’ The day he spent as a solider in the army of God ringing a bell in front of a Wal-Mart taught him a few valuable lessons: The Holy Spirit is unable to keep away the chill of winter, and the people who give most freely to those in need are often the people who know what it’s like to have very little. — Rose Miller

US Command Declares Global Strike Capability
By David Ruppe, Global Security Newswire
It’s official: the United States can wrap its mighty military arms around the world in a bear hug of ‘deterrence.’ In tests of its nuclear capability against a fictional country (‘a Northeast Asian nation thinly veiled as North Korea,’ says military analyst William Arkin) the military responded to a variety of scenarios. Exercise Global Lightning, as the tests were called, exhibited the US military’s capacity to conduct a ‘pre-emptive nuclear strike against weapons of mass destruction facilities anywhere in the world.’ — Nick Rose

Conveying Correctness
By Brian Awehali, LiP Magazine
In an interview with LiP Magazine, Chip Berlet of the progressive think tank Political Research Associates explains how conservatives seized the political correctness frame to freeze liberal discussion of race and gender equity, particularly in academia. By focusing on politically correct language, conservatives were able to deem PC a liberal agenda to re-educate America and reduce the concept to a mere quibble over phrasing. — Rose Miller

Trademark Office OKs ‘Dykes on Bikes’
By Julian Guthrie, San Francisco Chronicle
A San Francisco lesbian motorcycle club recently came a big step closer to trademarking its name — Dykes on Bikes — when the US Patent and Trademark office gave the OK to the moniker. Originally claiming that the term ‘dyke’ was derogatory, the office reversed itself after Dykes on Bikes presented substantial evidence that the term was not being used in a derogatory way. Brooke Oliver, the group’s attorney, says the decision affirms groups’ right to ‘be out and proud and call themselves what they want to.’ — Nick Rose

Comments? Story tips? Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to Utne magazine

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.