Saturday, December 27, 2014
NYPD Throw Entirely Inappropriate Tantrum At Funeral After Mayor Suggests They Can't Kill Black Kids With Impunity
Proving they can be not just racist/brutal but petulant, vengeful, insensitive and "stunningly thin-skinned," hundreds of the same guys who called for no protests until slain cops were laid to rest chose to protest the funeral of one of their own by turning their backs on a mayor who wants them to do their job better, thus upstaging a family's grief and offering "a giant EFF YOU to the citizens of this city." Just two soulless groups protest at funerals: Westboro "Church" and these thugs.
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Thursday, December 25, 2014
The Walls They'd Kept Between Us: The Christmas Truce of 1914
This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War One's Christmas Truce, when English and German soldiers in the first frozen months of the war laid down their guns to declare peace - with songs, gifts, soccer - in "one of the most extraordinary sights...ever." Over 30,000 took part, enraging commanders. Combat then resumed, killing 17 million. Its lessons echo in John McCutcheon's song: "The ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame/And on each end of the rifle we're the same."
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Oh God, Another Body?!
You hear that said at the scene of the death of another black teenager, Antonio Martin, shot by a cop at a gas station two miles from Ferguson; in surveillance video, he appears to point a gun at the cop before he's shot down. The rest plays out, grim and stale: Martin lay there for two hours, his mother was kept away, police said "bad choices were made" and Martin was "known" to them, protesters blocked roads, Twitter raged, questions remained. What's left to say? Oh God, another body.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Pope Francis Down With Gay Rights, Oppressed Workers, Green Energy, Blessed Pets and Cuba. The Guys Who Work For Him, Not So Much
Pope Francis has already irked right-wing Catholics by advocating for gay couples, oppressed workers, action on climate change, pets in Heaven, Palestinians and detente with Cuba. Now, in his state-of-the-Vatican holiday message to the clerics who govern the Vatican, he's blasted a bureaucracy sick with power, greed, rigidity, political maneuvering, lack of empathy and a sort of "spiritual Alzheimer's." He even urged clerics to lighten up for God's sake. Reportedly, they were not amused.
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Monday, December 22, 2014
Simply, Crimes: German Human Rights Group Seeks To Prosecute the Torturers - and Hell, Even the Times Agrees
Slow Sea Change Dept: The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has filed a criminal complaint against Bush torture program architects, calling for a German prosecutor to "ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished.” Astonishingly, the NYT has written a blistering editorial likewise calling for prosecution of "the torturers and their bosses" so the U.S. can come to terms "legally and morally with (their) abhorrent acts."
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Friday, December 19, 2014
Making/Selling Christmas: Where Your Baubles, Tinsel, Santa Hats and LED Reindeer Come From
Just so you know: Those trinkets of Christmas proclaimed to bring joy to the world - wreaths, lights, stockings, shiny stars and snowflakes and other glittering marvels of tree adornment - are likely made in Yiwu, aka China's Christmas Village, where the elves are sweating, under-paid, glue-and-paint-inhaling migrant workers doing 12-hour shifts in steamy factories and pretty fuzzy about what this "Christmas" is, except a hard ticket back to the provinces. Please don't feed the beast.
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Good Times, As Far As We Knew
Stephen Colbert ended his dazzling nine-year run by gleefully killing death and leading a massive sing-along with former guests from Willie Nelson to Gloria Steinem. Colbert's withering smarts, righteous anger and basic humanity helped get us through the Bush years - still, alas, so with us. Colbert highlights include his blistering takedown of Bush at the White House press dinner as a stunned W sat a few feet away. Colbert's truthiness will be missed.
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Thursday, December 18, 2014
The System Is Broken: Legal Aid Attorneys Walk Out and Die In
Citing their role as experts "in the belly of the beast,” hundreds of New York public defenders walked off their jobs and staged a die-in to protest racial inequality in a so-called justice system that has repeatedly failed many of their clients and, most recently, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Police brutality and unfair treatment are "something that we've been battling for decades," attorneys said. "We are experts on the system, and we know the system is broken."
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Darkest of the Dark: Utterly Incoherent Tom Coburn Says It's Too Expensive To Try to Stop 22 Veterans A Day From Killing Themselves
Despite an epidemic of astonishing proportions - 22 veteran suicides a day - grandstanding, retiring, obstructionist Sen. Tom "Dr. No" Coburn, R-Okla., took his final stand against humanity by single-handedly blocking the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which had broad support and would have cost $22 million, or about the cost of three-and-a-half hours of the Iraq War. "Sickening," said the head of a veterans' group. "This is why people hate Washington."
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014
One Corporate Bully Down: Eat More Kale. Really. You Can Now.
A neat little story out of Vermont, where a hippie stencil artist and self-described "defiant dude" who makes maybe $40,000 a year selling Eat More Kale t-shirts just won a years-long trademark battle against fast-food giant Chik-fil-A - annual sales $4.6 billion - which had argued his slogan's “misappropriation" of their "EAT MOR CHIKIN intellectual property (is) likely to cause confusion.” Bo Muller-Moore had argued they don't even spell "More" correctly, and besides, really?!?
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