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Tuesday, November 15, 2016
We Make America Great: Immigrants, Cities and Colleges Fight Back
Your daily sliver of good news: Despite the Pumpkinführer's vow to deport millions of undocumented people, many of them, with the support of cities, campuses and even police, insist they're #HereToStay. Joining some of the country's largest cities that pledge to continue offering sanctuary, thousands of students at over 80 colleges will walk out Wednesday in the name of a growing Campus Sanctuary movement urging "education not deportation."
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Monday, November 14, 2016
Water Protectors Stand Firm, Army Corps Delays Easement
Hours before Tuesday's Day of Action to support indigenous peoples and protest the Dakota Access Pipeline at Army Corps of Engineer offices around the country, the Corps announced they will delay any decision on an easement for the project until it consults further with Standing Rock's Great Sioux. Their call to “to engage in discussion" with tribal leaders, said one, means, "Not all of our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.”
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Sunday, November 13, 2016
Hallelujah: Not Giving Up
As anti-moronic-bigot protests continue and Clinton's popular vote margin climbs toward two million, Saturday Night Live's cold open at the end of a tough week got it hauntingly right. Hear a tearful Kate McKinnon, as Clinton, sing the newly departed Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah” at the piano. Even though it all went wrong, she ends, "I'm not giving up, and neither should you." Many of us are trying.
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Friday, November 11, 2016
Algeria In Iowa: "Because You Can't Be 'The Other' When You're A Part Of Us"
To ease this week's pain, a glimpse of the America that should be - the one we hoped we lived in, still out there in small, shining pockets. Elkader, Iowa, pop. 1,200-ish, is named for a 19th-century Algerian Muslim scholar/soldier/statesman and his struggle against the colonial French. Its popular Algerian-American restaurant is run by two gay guys - one Muslim - who believe in "the Statue of Liberty narrative." And this week it saw nearby anti-Trump protests arguing, "This is not our America."
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Thursday, November 10, 2016
Like Falling Ashes: Leonard Cohen Dies
Like we weren't feeling bereft enough, poet, singer and Buddhist monk Leonard Cohen has died at 82 after decades of writing, touring and praise as the "songwriter's songwriter." His final album last month was titled, "You Want It Darker." Now it is. One mournful fan quoted his lyric, "'Everybody knows that the good guys lost.' We really did. Trump is president and Leonard is dead." But Cohen never stopped seeking. "There is a crack in everything," he wrote. "That's how the light gets in."
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Keeping the Flame Alight
Dark day. And lots more coming. But amidst the tears and rage and shame we live in a country where hate, for now, has won, there's a resolve to move past the heartsickness, invoke our better angels, and keep fighting for what's right - per Joe Hill 's "Don't mourn - organize." Among the few glimpses of light - Arpaio, Duckworth, our own Pious Ali - the brightest may be the startlingly blue electoral map of America's young. "This," notes one hopeful observer, "is how the future voted."
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Sunday, November 6, 2016
This Is Your World
Thank God, almost done. Some final video nudges, elegant to profane, to remind you what's needed here and now: A gentle Three Pigs and Wolf metaphor from Stanley Tucci and Funny Or Die - "You got to come out, take a stand, stop the wolf" - a passionate, obscene, hilarious "Holy Sh*t You've Got To Vote" plea to stop the "orange talking STD" and "sentient septic tank" in our midst, and a revisit to Woody Guthrie's stubbornly patriotic avowal, "This is your world."
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Friday, November 4, 2016
Sing A New Song Unto the Lord: Arts Students Troll Westboro Heathens
Proclaiming "God Loves Jazz," up to 100 harmonious students of New York's Juilliard School turned out to joyfully confront a rabid handful of Westboro Churchers (sic) there protesting artists' "vanity" and "proud sin," which has inexorably "filled the nation with proud sodomites.” In violation of all that is decent, the jubilant and no doubt promiscuous students sang, marched and played string versions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Amazing Grace” to show, "We have nothing but love."
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Thursday, November 3, 2016
RIP Papa, This One's For You
When the Cubs pulled out their first World Series win in 108 years, Chicago native Wayne Williams kept his side of a decades-old pact with his father: He drove 650 miles from North Carolina to Wayne Sr.'s Indiana grave to watch and quietly celebrate the victory together, just like they said they would. Many other Cubs fans likewise marked the win by honoring, with a chalk-inscribed memorial wall at Wrigley, those who didn't live to see it. "My parents are gone," said one. "But they're here."
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Wednesday, November 2, 2016
We Are (Possibly) Better Than This
Another sliver-of-hope-within-the-abyss kind of day. In the latest attack on the historic heart of the black community, an unknown cretin (or group of same) torched the all-black Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss. and painted "Vote Trump" on its side. After the "direct assault on black folks," an online fund for repairs was set up to show that "we, as a society, are better than this." Its goal was $10,000; in two days, it's raised almost $200,000.
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