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04.24.14 - 12:12 PM

Evidently taking to heart the notion that White House petitions serve a legitimate purpose by "making it easier for politically underrepresented groups to mobilize themselves (and) help solve collective action problems," Chicago theologian and professor Adam Kotsko has begun a We the People petition to abolish the capitalist mode of production. The petition has garnered hilarity from the right wing - cue talk of fascists, liberals, idiots, North Korea - but some thoughtful dialogue elsewhere. It still needs a lot of signatures. Hope, sometimes improbable but better than the alternative, springs eternal.

"While the capitalist mode of production has done a great deal to accelerate the development of technology and increase the availability of consumer goods in the last few centuries, it has outlived its usefulness and has in fact become destructive. Inequality, unemployment, financial crises, and environmental devastation all point toward one inevitable conclusion: we must get rid of capitalism, once and for all."

-Abby Zimet
04.24.14 - 11:26 AM

A Kansas judge has granted a request by Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Edward Manning to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, a small vital change for which Manning had been "waiting for years....because it’s a far better, richer, and more honest reflection of who I am and always have been." Though she has yet to receive requested transgender health care and remains in an all-male facility, Manning is "optimistic that things can - and certainly will - change for the better."

"Hopefully today's name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we trans* people exist everywhere in America today, and that we must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are."

04.23.14 - 7:21 PM

Police in Detroit have not yet identified a homeless man who died of exposure while trying to stay warm locked inside a portable toilet he had insulated with trash. The homeless man trying to stay warm locked inside a portable toilet insulated with trash died in an America of grotesquely rising inequality, according to “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” a much-touted, Marxist-flavored, exquisitely argued book by French economist Thomas Piketty that has, somewhat surprisingly, just hit #1 on Amazon. Perhaps the book has struck a chord because it makes its arguments for greater equity in America so soundly, or perhaps it's simply that many people, seeing what's become of our nation, believe a man with no home dying of the cold in a toilet is obscene. Which, obviously, it is.

-Abby Zimet
04.23.14 - 11:47 AM

Epic fail by the NYPD, who ingenuously invited Twitter users to post presumably friendly photos of themselves interacting with police officers tagged #myNYPD, and instead got bombarded by over 10,000 tweets an hour showing New York's Finest punching, beating, strangling, bloodying and otherwise brutalizing them. What we've got here is failure to communicate.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community. Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

-Abby Zimet
04.21.14 - 9:44 PM

Fighting the Monsanto-led global transformation of seeds into profit-making, patent-encased intellectual property, scientists and sustainable food advocates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have launched an Open Source Seeds Initiative to return vegetables to all of us. Likening the move to "a genetic easement," they have introduced 29 new varieties of 14 crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa, in packets bearing a haiku-like pledge to use the seeds freely, and enjoy.

"It's kind of a biological meme - free seed! Seed that can be used by anyone!"

-Abby Zimet
04.21.14 - 8:32 PM

Proving the ragged hateful fringes of the country live on, Pennsylvania residents beset by a rash of burglaries woke up to flyers announcing a new neighborhood watch program launched by helpful members of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, who say they are NOT a hate group but a "patriotic white Christian organization...exalting the Caucasian Race and teaching the doctrine of White Supremacy," but this doesn't mean "we are enemies of the colored and mongrel races." In Virginia, meanwhile, residents found "Diversity=White Genocide" messages Sunday in their kids' Easter eggs. Sigh. They were reported as "outraged," so there's that.

-Abby Zimet
04.19.14 - 5:19 PM

You thought Keystone was bad? If approved, Keystone will emit about 24.3 million tons of greenhouse gases, or 1.2 billion over its 50-year life. If approved, two mega coalmines in Australia will emit triple that, or 3.7 billion tons. In honor of that appalling figure and an upcoming National Day of Divestment, action groups have released a great video announcing the coal industry's new Fuck You policy, a "philosophy where we are able straddle the dichotomy between what we know is true and how we can benefit by ignoring that truth."

"Fuck you means we can be passionate about our values, but not act on them. (It takes) our present-day financial burden away from us and transforms it into a chronic, economic, social, cultural and political crisis for future generations. It ensures solid returns to our shareholders, by killing their grandchildren."

-Abby Zimet


Thursday April 24, 2014

John Feffer:
Joe Brewer and B. Laszlo Karafiath:
Robert C. Koehler:

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Chelsea Manning:

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship: