Thursday, August 25, 2016
Match the Fine For Palestine: The Higher You Build Your Barriers, the Taller We Become
In what one admirer dubs "a brilliant generous gesture (telling) Palestinians they have not been forgotten,” activist fans of Scotland's Celtics soccer team - the Irish-born community already facing censure for flying Palestinian flags at a game against Israel to protest the Occupation - have launched a defiant fundraiser to match their expected fine, with proceeds going to Palestinian charities. Their initial goal was $20,000; about $200,000 has poured in.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Fighting Absurdity With Absurdity: Heaven Forbid the Penis
Arguing that carrying firearms on campus will be as effective against random gun violence as carrying dildos, thousands of students at the University of Texas at Austin protested the state's insane new open carry law Wednesday by hoisting "Armed With Reason" and "Guns Do Kill People" signs along with over 4,500 donated dildos. The #CocksNotGlocks campaign, started by one alum as "defiant nonsense," struck a chord among many students weary of America’s lethal "love affair with guns."
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Life and Death In Aleppo
It is all still going on in Aleppo. Omran Daqneesh, the stunned and bloodied five-year-old boy in the ambulance, survived. His 10-year-old brother Ali, buried longer in the rubble, has died; he was one of over 100 children of Aleppo killed just this month, and one of many thousands overall. Says one Syrian activist, "Ali is the suffering itself, that which Omran tried to convey to us." But there are ways to help, and there is, even now, extraordinary new life.
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Monday, August 22, 2016
The Right To Draw Air
Less than two months after he was filmed hysterically waving his gun and screaming expletives at Philando Castile, having just killed him for pulling out his ID as instructed during a traffic stop, officer Jeronimo Yanez has returned to work, praised by his police chief for his "real sound ability when it comes to communicating and relating to people." Community members blasted Yanez' return as "another slap in the face" but Castile's mother vowed, "We're not going to let this one go."
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Friday, August 19, 2016
Scottish Soccer Fans Fly the Flag For Celtic, For Justice, For Palestine
Defying a ban on political demonstrations by European soccer authority UEFA, hometown fans waved a sea of Palestinian flags at a playoff game between their own Glasgow Celtics and an Israeli team to protest Israel's Occupation. Celtic fans, many with Irish working class and social justice backgrounds, have long supported Palestinian rights. The UEFA charged Celtic with displaying an "illicit banner," but fans say they're happy to pay the club's fines in the name of solidarity. And they won, 5-2.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016
We Can't Say We Didn't Know
A word about five-year-old Omran Daqneesh. The image of him sitting still, stunned, bloodied in an ambulance after being scooped out of rubble in Aleppo has quickly spread, reads one account, "shocking and disturbing social media users." Well yes. Shocking and disturbing. But not, let us be clear, exceptional. Children are bombed every day, Syrians plead with us to finally understand, millions of them. What's unusual: Omran survived.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
This Dream That Came True
Wednesday marks the final day of the 47th anniversary of Woodstock, where over 400,000 people came together for an iconic celebration of peace, love, mud, music and community whose promise still resonates for those of a certain age. With its presence still felt - from a dust-up over a look-alike RNC logo to a new photo exhibit to Sanders/Teachout campaigns that have sparked a kindred sense of possibility - Woodstock "showed the world how things could have been."
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Through the Venal Looking Glass, the Donald's Doing Swell
A moment for the vomit-spewing elephant in the room, who thanks to his breathtakingly inept campaign keeps turning up in our in-box seeking money in exchange for swag - Personalized Trump yard signs! Lunch with Eric Trump! Art of the Deal for $184! Campaign Gold Card just $49! Despite the desperate tone, new polls and apps just for Trumpsters show a glorious victory ahead in a mythic, twisted, hate-filled world where pesky facts have no place.
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Monday, August 15, 2016
This Is What You Get
The police shooting in Milwaukee of another young black man has proved "a spark to a powder keg" that is the city's longtime segregation, toxic racial climate, gross economic inequity and police abuses. The death of Sylville Smith has provoked sometimes violent protests by a community that "has nothing...To burn down something, to them, it meant, 'Do you hear us now?’” Smith's furious brother agrees: After all that came before, "This is what you get."
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Friday, August 12, 2016
The Other Olympic Sports: Racism, Sexism, Outing Gay Athletes From Violently Homophobic Countries
Amidst the graft, excess, jingoism, and social and environmental devastation of the Olympics, there've been stunning moments of drama and athletic perfection, most notably by the two triumphant African-American Simones, Biles and Manuel. Alas, their and others' achievements have too often been sullied by face-palm-worthy media coverage that's trivial, stupidly sexist, blatantly racist and - with one smirking piece of trash outing gay athletes hooking up - wildly unethical.
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