Sunday, December 18, 2016
There Shall Just Be People
Stephen Biko - South African writer, anti-apartheid activist and "Father of the Black Consciousness Movement" - would have turned 70 Sunday. Murdered by police at age 30, he continues to be honored for his fight for racial equality by a foundation, archive, cultural center, biographies and, on his birthday, Google. Above all, Biko stood for peaceful reconciliation. In rare video, he says he seeks not majority or minority rights, but a non-racist society where "there shall just be people."
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Thursday, December 15, 2016
We Want To Live
Evacuations are slowly underway from the human catastrophe of Aleppo, with buses and ambulances starting to carry some of up to 100,000 besieged souls, many children, to rural areas. Searing new video shows kids trapped in an orphanage pleading, "Please get us out" and an elderly man wailing to an indifferent world, "Where are you?" We know where America's president-elect is: furiously tweeting about a bad restaurant review. Summon your humanity; there are ways to help.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016
When Extraordinary Circumstances Call For Extraordinary Measures
With anti-Trump hopes increasingly pinned on the electoral college - and the number of anti-Trump GOP electors on the rise - a new bipartisan coalition has upped the ante with a national effort to lobby "conscientious electors" to do what's right. In full-page ads in major newspapers, the group has written a fiery open letter to our "Esteemed Electors," citing the "unprecedented" danger posed by "the kind of president our Founding Fathers warned us about."
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
O Canada: A Cabinet That Looks Like Its Country vs. One That Looks, Acts and Reeks Like A Swamp
The surreal ooze of the Trump "Cabinet," that pay-to-play gang of clueless, racist, oil-soaked, arse-kissing swamp creatures wholly ill-suited to their shiny new jobs, keeps spreading. The newest miscreants: Exxon petrogarch and climate change denier Rex Tillerson, and Rick Perry, last seen on Dancing With the Stars. To remind us this is all freakishly Not Normal, we revisit the normal, diverse, competent Cabinet appointed this time last year by Justin Trudeau. Read, weep, stay woke.
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Monday, December 12, 2016
We Are Not Alone
Ye who enter unto the coming Trumpocalypse, take heart: Resistance is everywhere. It's painted on the bodies of women in the photo project SignedByTrump protesting the grotesque things he says about half the human race. It's written on the subway walls - kudos to Simon and Garfunkel - in New York's Union Station, where thousands vent their rage and fear and yes hope in a massive tableau of post-it notes. "Have a voice," they say, and "Your hijab is beautiful," and "Resist Every Day."
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Sunday, December 11, 2016
Where the People Are Many and Their Hands Are All Empty: Patti Smith Sings For Dylan At Nobel Ceremony
Patti Smith just accepted Bob Dylan's Nobel in Literature in Stockholm, offering to the glittering audience a searing rendition of "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall" that presumably laid to rest those doubting whether the blue-eyed son's decades of ineffable poetry are in fact literature. In a letter to the committee, Dylan conceded that, like Shakespeare, he'd never much considered the question, but thanked the Academy for asking it and "providing such a wonderful answer."
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Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Sort of Company We Wish To Keep: Saying Shame, Shame, Shame
Academics are increasingly, ingeniously fighting back against an Orwellian "Professor Watchlist" aimed at exposing "radical" teachers. The list has inspired online trolls to name their own suspects - Albus Dumbledore, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Spock - and a Watchlist Redux to honor not trash targets from Jesus to teachers daring to "think critically about power." Now 100 Notre Dame professors have asked to join the list in solidarity, proclaiming, "We wish to be counted among those you are watching."
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And the World Will Live As One
Lord, what would John Lennon have made of the Trump monster? Marking Thursday's 36th anniversary of Lennon's murder, Yoko Ono posted a plea for gun control, calling his death "a hollowing experience" and pleading, "Together, let's bring back America, the green land of Peace." With so many seeking solace in these ugly times, mourns one fan, "Oh John, you really should be here." Lennon conceded then, and likely would now, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Sad! Moron/Racist/Liar/Pervert/Sociopath of the Year
Folks on social media are kinda peeved TIME's Person of the Year - he/she who "had the greatest influence for better or worse" in 2016 - is orange clown and black hole of need Donald Trump, presumably because a. he horrified so many of us and b. every president-elect is. Many noted he thus joins the illustrious ranks of Hitler, Stalin, Nixon and Putin; others offered explanations - Nostradamus voted - objections - doesn't it have to be a person? - and alternatives - us, who have to defeat him.
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Monday, December 5, 2016
We Beg For Your Forgiveness
What a sight. The extraordinary coming together of Natives and veterans at Standing Rock culminated with a moving forgiveness ceremony where vets sought atonement for America's wars and betrayals. "We came. We fought you. We took your land," said Wes Clark Jr. on bent knee. "We've come to say we are sorry." From one observer, "This is how healing begins." Many vets say they will move on to Flint, where vital water is likewise threatened and "people are suffering."
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