Monday, October 20, 2014
No Pumpkins No Peace: On the Culture of White Violence
We just saw the transformation of little Keene N.H.'s Pumpkin Festival by a horde of drunken, largely white kids into a rowdy melee/mayhem/ruckus, or what in Ferguson would be a riot, and dealt with accordingly. Over-armed riot police did show up, but responded mildly enough to spark many observations on black/white discrepancies, the need for pumpkins to pull up their pants and get a job, and Twitter comments like, "Where are the white fathers? What will end this corrosive culture of violence?"
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Friday, October 17, 2014
My Lai Was Not An 'Incident': Seeking Full Disclosure on Vietnam
Language matters; so do facts. With the upcoming "full panoply of Orwellian forgetfulness" that is a multi-year commemoration of the Vietnam War, it's tough to reconcile Obama's valiant "generation that served with honor fighting heroically (for our) ideals" with years many remember, "with painful acuity, as other than glorious" - years of lies, loss, rage, anguish, protest and the deaths of millions of innocents. Seeking to "speak truth to power," Veterans For Peace hope to tell it like it was.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Stand Your Ground, Unless You're An Abused (Usually Black) Woman
Bad news and bad-mixed-with-good news on the vital question of just who has the right to reasonably fear for their lives, act on that fear, and be worthy of protection under the law based on that fear. In two egregious cases of domestic violence under Stand Your Ground laws in Florida and South Carolina, the appalling answer seems to be: People with penises.
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Stay Woke: From MLK to Ferguson
This week 50 years ago, MLK was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. King called nonviolence the only "moral force" able to transform the "starless midnight of racism and war... to the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood"; its foundation "is love." This week, protesters flooded Ferguson. Many sound different from King's cadenced era - "undignified, unabashed, impolitic" - but they signal Cornel West's enduring "black prophetic fire," and echo King: "Justice is what love looks like in public."
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Soda Creamed: A Cold Wind Is Blowing Toward Israel
In a sign of Israel's "echoing failures," recent weeks have seen a growing momentum against the Occupation and what one critic calls post-Gaza Israel's "new barbarism," from Swedish and U.K. votes to recognize the state of Palestine to plunging revenues for the high-profile Soda Stream. To see why "a cold wind is blowing toward Israel from every corner in the world," watch Israeli workers mindlessly destroy the power grid of a beleaguered Bedouin shepherding community, because they can.
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Monday, October 13, 2014
Republicans Are People Too, Just Awful Ones Who Have No Decent Ideas and Cut Vital Health Funding To Prove It
Earnestly if surreally arguing they're not jerks wholly lacking in empathy, the GOP has launched its 4,624th rebranding effort: A Repubs Are People Too campaign swiftly hijacked with the likes of "#IAmARepublican because I am pro-life except for, you know, guns." But officials desperately working to combat Ebola in the wake of a decade of GOP cuts to public health programs remain unamused, as does a ferocious new ad charging, "Republican Cuts Kill."
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Friday, October 10, 2014
This Is Wrong: On Race and Class and Unassailable Privilege
For everything you need to know about America's justice (sic) system, a brief impromptu video wherein Jody Westby, a take-no-prisoners white attorney, comes to the aid of Dennis Stucky, an older, disabled, black handyman who gets stopped by cops for walking while black in a fancy D.C. neighborhood. Check out Westby's calmly imperious tone as she berates the cops, "Now please leave our neighborhood" - and imagine the bloody result if she was black and, God forbid, male.
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Frack For The Cure, Because We Love A Good Dose of Benzene With Our Pink Ribbons
Happy Breast Cancer Industry Month! Bring On the Sketchy Profit-Driven Alliances! In the most egregious pinkwashing ever, the Susan Komen breast cancer giant has teamed with the Baker Hughes oilfield giant to produce pink drill bits "for the cure," thus facilitating fracking operations emitting a "special toxic mix" of chemicals known to lead to leukemia and - yes! - breast cancer. Activists promptly thanked both companies for "partnering on the most ludicrous piece of pink sh*t (we've) seen."
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014
No Charges For Baby-Burning Butt-Stupid Cops Because Hey Mistakes Happen
A grand jury in Georgia has declined to charge any of the cops in a botched drug raid who threw a stun grenade into the crib of Bounkham “Baby Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, severely burning him, detaching his nose from his face and possibly causing brain damage, arguing that though the raid was "not in accordance with best practices," there was no "criminal negligence." The kicker: The county will not help pay for Bou Bou's medical expenses because to do so "would be in violation of the law."
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Human Nature 1, NRA Talking Points 0
Police in Oregon are looking for a suspect who at gunpoint robbed a guy proudly open-carrying his new gun, because the suspect liked the second guy's gun better than his own, thus proving the sage NRA theory the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, unless the good guy has a gun that's cooler and shinier than the bad guy, in which case, not so much. One gleeful response to the news: "Damn, someone found a loophole in the otherwise-flawless logic of (the) NRA."
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