Wednesday, April 13, 2016
That Good Old Song: Suit Argues 'We Shall Overcome' Belongs To Us All
A class-action lawsuit by the non-profit We Shall Overcome Foundation seeks to free from copyright and place in the public domain the classic, searing anthem of the Civil Rights Movement that sustained so many through teargas, on marches, in jail cells - and still does. The suit traces the song's labyrinthian history - Black hymn to tobacco workers' vow to Seeger ode - before asking who owns its power and arguing, "You do, I do, we do."
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The Soul of the Syrian People
Up to 100,000 Syrian refugees languish in Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp, having fled the deaths of their neighbors and the ruins of their homes but still dispiritedly waiting in a desert wasteland for "a day that might never come." For those for whom "home is the barrel of a gun," artists and human rights groups have begun art projects to at least help them grieve, heal, remember, find hope and tell their painful stories.
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I Was Hungry and You Gave Me A Free Round of Golf: Trump's Much-Vaunted Philanthropy Is A Profiteering Crock
Astoundingly, it seems Drumpf is an even more despicable grifter and liar than we knew. A WaPo story found his "charitable giving" of $102 million consists entirely of free giveaways of his own gold-plated crap, mostly rounds of golf, and no money of his own - though he did give Serena Williams a $1,136.56 "donation" of a free plane ride and picture of herself. He also made money from "donating" a New York park and - sweet Jesus - from 9/11. In Donaldese, "What a loser! Sad!"
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Monday, April 11, 2016
Sitting In At Democracy Spring
Police arrested a record number of protesters - about 500, including Lady Liberty - at the US Capitol during a Democracy Spring sit-in against big and dark money in our politics. Despite broad support on social media and the number of arrests - police had to stop when they ran out of buses - most mainstream media were strangely absent from the event.
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Friday, April 8, 2016
Shades of Sun City: Springsteen Cancels Concert in North Carolina
The Boss being the Boss, Bruce Springsteen just cancelled his Sunday show in Greensboro to protest North Carolina's notorious HB2 bill, dubbed "the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation." Echoing the Sun City boycott against apartheid he joined 30 years ago, he called equal rights advocates "freedom fighters" and argued, "Some things are more important than a rock show, and this fight against prejudice and bigotry (is) one of them."
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Thursday, April 7, 2016
Equal Citizens Under Law (Except For, You Know, Soaring Arrests and Demolitions and lllegal Settlements)
Aggrieved Israeli officials are howling censorship after the UN rejected parts of an "Israel Matters" exhibit as "inappropriate," given its dubious claims that Israel is the Jews' "indigenous homeland," Jerusalem is its "center," and Arab-Israelis are “equal citizens," sorta. Israel called the rebuff "scandalous," which coincidentally is how many view Israel's first Stop BDS conference, virulent Palestinian arrests and demolitions, and defiant expansion of what are, alas, illegal settlements.
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The Measure of A Man: Trump Vs. The Construction Worker Who Hung A Mexican Flag on Trump Tower
Grace Under Pressure (Or Not): When Mexican/Canadian steel framer Diego Saul Reyna planted a Mexican flag atop Vancouver's immigrant-built Trump Tower as a message of "love and unity," his gentle tone was striking. His "humble request" after Drumpf's racist insults: "Please don't call everyone I love (a) criminal...Mexican brethren, this flag was for all of us." In contrast, see Drumpf/Borowitz on his ugly tantrum after Wisconsin. “I am a fabulous loser...I am the biggest loser in this country.”
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016
What's Going On There? Asks Bernie in 2011 About Sketchy Panama Free Trade Deal That Hillary and Most Everyone Thought Was A Great Idea
Talk about being on the right, and prescient, side of history: Five, long, obscenely-profitable-for-a-small-kleptocracy years ago, Bernie Sanders delivered a terrific, incisive rant on the Senate floor about an unfettered free trade deal with Panama, along with South Korea and Colombia, that he said would allow "large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in off-shore tax havens." Hillary Clinton supported it.
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Sunday, April 3, 2016
United We Stand, Albeit In Blackface
Hmm. The sorta weird but trying-to-be-good-guys response by an amateur German soccer team after two teammates, both Sudanese refugees, were attacked last week: Seeking to show solidarity in a culture that evidently views blackface in a benign way, they all painted their faces black. "Violence against refugees is pathetic,” reads a team Facebook post. “Emad and Amar, you are one of us.”
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Friday, April 1, 2016
Loving Vincent
This week marks the 163rd birthday of Vincent Van Gogh. In tribute, a look at the astonishing "Loving Vincent," the first feature-length painted animation, featuring 56,000 oil paintings - or 12 paintings a second - created by over 100 artists in the style of Van Gogh. The Polish-British filmmakers seek to tell the story of Van Gogh's troubled life and death through his paintings and their subjects. They cite Vincent's last letter: "The truth is, we cannot speak other than by our paintings."
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