Wednesday, December 10, 2014
One Lying Criminal Scumbag Down, So Many - Cheney Please - To Go
For those hungry for even a shard of hope in a tough week, this: "Former Freedom Industries executive Gary Southern was arrested Monday (and) released after making his initial court appearance." Yup, the sleazebag, bottled-water-guzzling head of a company that dumped massive amounts of toxic chemicals that poisoned the water of 300,000 West Virginians just got bagged. Indicted for lying, not being an arrogant dick and trashing the planet. Still, a small win for accountability.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Death Knell For the American Idea
There's no adequate response to the stomach-churning, "rectal-rehydrating" Senate report on torture. The UN rightly calls for the torturers to be brought to justice. Because that remains tragically unlikely, the moral cost of their crimes becomes incalculable. Charlie Pierce mourns "the concept of American exceptionalism based on anything...but brutish force." The "debate" on whether the U.S. tortures is now over: "We became what they think we are. And worse."
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Kill (Or At Least Arrest/Indict/Assault/Blame/Teargas) The Messengers, All Of 'Em
With outrage growing over the injustices represented by the deaths of Mssrs. Brown, Garner, Rice et al, you'd think police might focus on rethinking and rebuilding trust with communities feeling so disenfranchised. Instead, they've lashed out in a vengeful, furious frenzy of blame against everyone - Garner, his videotaper, Rice's family, protesters, mayors, critics - but themselves. Change is hard. If cops don't want to be viewed as racist sociopaths, they'd better get on with it.
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Monday, December 8, 2014
Imagine All the People
It was 34 years ago today that John Lennon was shot dead in New York for no discernible reason. Today, it's hard not to wonder what might have been. To remember him, 1971's rare so-called Lost Interview, in which he talks about class, race, war, oppression and the police. May he have peace.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014
Nobody's Paying Us To Get Arrested: Low Wage Strikes Spread
In a dismal week, a rare, under-reported fragment of hope: Thursday's strikes by low-wage workers spread to almost 200 cities, jumped industrial divides - fast food to home care to airports - and merged issues of race and class, with many of the largely black and brown crowds, in the wake of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, demanding not just a living wage, but justice. See them spread, a mighty stream of righteousness, across the country.
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As the feds plan to investigate the Eric Garner travesty "to heal the breakdown in trust," let them check out #CrimingWhileWhite - whites tell of sins safely committed under the cloak of white privilege - and #AliveWhileBlack - blacks tell the flip dark side of the story. Black - "Cops pulled me over (for) going 45 in a fast lane - speed limit was 50" to white - "My buddies wanted more oil $, so I pretended there were WMDs in Iraq & oversaw the murder of 150,000 ppl" - we are two nations.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014
We Hear You, Unless We're Saying You're Choking Us To Death and We Can't Breathe, In Which Case STFU
Marking this "holiday of horrors," another black guy dies - this time on video - another white cop walks. The failure of a New York grand jury to indict Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death quickly sparked a righteous wave of protests and furious chants of "This Stops Today." A stunningly tone-deaf NYPD offered the hashtag #Wehearyou and the vow they're "committed to rebuilding public trust." Hey NYPD: The people have had it. Eric Garner's father: "There is no justice system."
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Hands Not In Your Pockets, In Your Waist, or On A Toy: This Is What Happens When You Call the Cops
Ferguson these days is most notably in Cleveland, where a mentally ill woman died in police custody; 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead after a cop mistook his toy for a gun; his family held a vigil with those of two unarmed blacks killed during a 2012 chase when cops fired 137 shots; and, adding WTF insult to grievous injury, nine "non-African American" cops filed a lawsuit over the deaths because they were subsequently given restrictive duty and "unpleasant tasks." Really.
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A Jew Is a Blessed Soul, An Arab Is a Son of a Whore: Israel Veers Right
Like a rat caught in a trap, Israel improbably, harrowingly continues to plummet ever further into a frenzied unholy war against its own Arab population, evidently unaware that more of the same - racism, vitriol, injustice, suffering - will not bring peace. In the last few weeks, a host of legislative and political weapons have been wielded against Palestinians even as increasingly thuggish right-wing Israelis follow ugly suit.
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Sunday, November 30, 2014
Hands Up Walk Out: Until Justice Rolls Down Like Waters
Regardless of the fate of the banal, pudgy, newly resigned Darren Wilson, Ferguson protesters disrupted and closed down malls, roads and events nationwide this weekend, with many bearing signs that read, "Ferguson Is Everywhere." Next up: Monday's "Hands Up Walk Out" call at campuses across the country, to call to account not just the Wilsons of the world but what MLK once called "the philosophy which produced the murderers."
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