Friday, February 27, 2015
Chicago's Gitmo
More gruesome stories emerge from black victims of a Chicago police "black site" held incommunicado, punched, interrogated, shackled in stress positions and otherwise subjected to "Gestapo tactics" at a Gitmo-like Homan Square. The ensuing outrage has sparked social media campaigns, planned protests and calls for investigation. Connect the abusive dots: Chicago becomes the ugly microcosm, and grim logical conclusion, of a broken system. Sea to shining sea.
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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Ask CPAC: Does Life Begin At Conception for Corporations, and If I Keep My Child Away From Science and History Classes Will That Vaccinate Him Against the Gayness?
CPAC, the annual cabal of wingnuttery that is the Conservative Political Action Conference, is back! It had Ben Carson and Scott Walker and Ted Cruz promising "patriots" will "reignite the miracle of America" with a new Reagan coalition! The best part: a hashtag inviting regular folks to ask questions that went instantly, horribly, gleefully awry. Samples: "Does life begin at conception for corporations?" and "Should minorities be required to hum a Kenny G song in order to vote?"
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Occupation Tourism: Savor AC, Wi-fi, Heated Pool, Breakfast Buffet and Picturesque Views Where Disenfranchised People Once Lived
Israel's Netanyahu is being justly pilloried for his blind belligerence on Iran, from his lies on their nuclear program to his grim insistence the U.S. make war, not diplomacy. But his crimes go much further: At home, he has overseen a record expansion of illegal settlements and, with them, a thriving surreal settlement tourism industry - cue hot tubs, night clubs, vineyard tours and IDF Shooting Adventures - to ensure his new Palestinian-less "facts on the ground" stay that way.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Finding Freedom: In Struggles We Gain Strength, In Truth We Find Peace
The nightmare U.S. prison system has the world's largest inmate population - over 1.57 million - and an appalling recidivism rate. Among efforts to help inmates betrayed by it is a Chicago halfway house that offers a poetry program, allowing residents new to a fraught world to describe their tales of grief, hope and healing. Thus do they struggle to arrive at a place where "slowly, the darkness is fading away." Now fundraising for a book of their portraits, poems and "dreams of a new beginning."
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Monday, February 23, 2015
Smart Girls: More Than Their Dresses
During Sunday's dazzlingly tedious Oscars, the most notable moments were those brief inspiring ones wherein the real world insisted on disrupting the glitz. In the wake of campaigns that had protested the awards' racism - #OscarsSoWhite - and sexism - #AskHerMore - came the unlikely victory of "Citizenfour," Patricia Arquette's fierce call for wage equity, the moving glory of "Glory," and calls for justice for the black, immigrant, female, gay and weird among us.
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Friday, February 20, 2015
Norway Muslims to Jews: If Someone Wants To Attack You, They'll Have To Step Over Us First
In the wake of last week's attack on a Copenhagen synagogue and growing anti-Semitism across Europe, a group of young Muslims in Norway have organized a Shabbat "Ring of Peace" around an Oslo synagogue to, in the words of its 17-year-old organizer, "extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims." The leader of Oslo's Jewish community agreed to the event if 30 people signed up. To date, over 1,500 have. Explained one, "We all have to live under the same sky."
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Thursday, February 19, 2015
Holy Schnikes, Who Are These Awful People?
In a galaxy far far away, it seems the fetid GOP political machine is grinding away, funded with perks like the $72 Dick Cheney cowboy hat and aimed at "restoring strength in America (with) strong, principled leadership." To remind us what that entails, this week saw the "shock and awe launch of Jeb World," eager talk of the Holy War wingnuts say we need to start, and a GOP straw poll offering up a swampful of 33 mindbogglingly noxious creatures.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015
There Are Names No One Cheers For: Ibrahimović's Tats For World Hunger
When he peeled off his shirt after scoring in a big game for the French club Paris Saint-Germain, renowned Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović got both a penalty for the banned flashy move, and lots of attention for the estimated 805 million hungry people in the world - 50 of whose names he'd tattooed on his body. Part of a U.N. World Food Program campaign, he did it "so whenever you hear my name, you will think of their names."
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Monday, February 16, 2015
'Apartheid' Is the Only Word That Will Do: Artists Boycott Israel
Declaring "the Palestinian catastrophe goes on" in the wake of “one of the cruellest and deadliest (years) in the history of the Occupation,” at least 800 U.K artists have announced a cultural boycott of Israel. Refining the model of the Sun City boycott of South African apartheid, the artists convincingly argue they cannot in good conscience practise what they consider "a celebration of humanity...in the face of horrifying inhumanity."
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Friday, February 13, 2015
Fifty Shades of Running For Your Life
Arguing "Hollywood doesn't need your money - abused women do," the online campaign #50dollarsnot50shades is urging people to donate to a women’s shelter rather than go see the much-hyped, critically-panned, soft-porn film about a sadistic predator sexually targeting and abusing a young woman. Organizers charge the film "tells lies about women's lives...You might think this is a romance story (but) in reality it’s a horror story for most women.”
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