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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Monday, December 15, 2014
This Is Our Life
Despite its ugly too-long backstory, it's moving to see the outpouring against police racism, still gaining strength. In recent days: Congressional staffers walked out, tens of thousands marched, four mothers of victims proclaimed "a history-making moment," medical students died-in, Jews announced a Chanukah-In, Samuel Jackson posted a 'We Ain't Gonna Stop 'Till People Are Free' challenge, and the NFL's Andrew Hawkins argued simply, radically, "A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology."
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Sunday, December 14, 2014
Some Monsters Are Real
The still-afflicted residents of Newtown just marked two years since 26 of their own were shot down. Since then, many things that should have changed have not - multiple school shootings, little movement toward gun control - but some have. Activist parents with Sandy Hook Promise have tirelessly voiced the grievous mantra: "Every gun-related death is a preventable death." Their gripping new video, "Monsters Under the Bed," lays bare what we do and don't know about protecting our kids.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014
Picture Of An Occupation: Palestinian Minister Killed During Peaceful Protest
Another travesty and tragedy of the Occupation: Ziad Abu Ein, a 55-year-old Palestinian minister and father of four, died after being choked by an Israeli soldier as he and other activists attempted to plant olive trees at an illegal settlement near Ramallah. The head of the Commission Against the Separation Wall and Settlements, Abu Ein had moments before denounced the IDF's violent response to what was a peaceful protest. "This," he said, "is the terrorism of the occupation."
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Making Climate Change Graphic
Along with a host of alternative actions at the U.N. climate talks in Peru - the People's March in Defense of Mother Earth, the Ecocity Builders' presentation for their first Ecocity World Map project, the controversial Greenpeace stunt at the site of a Nazca geoglyph - is a stunning International Exhibition of Graphic Humor dedicated to the theme of climate change. Because, often, a picture's worth...
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