Monday, July 28, 2014
We Believe You/It's Not Your Fault: Everyone Has A Story
Stuff happens, especially (still) to girls struggling to grow up whole. Acknowledging "how unbelievably painful and confusing it is to navigate the world as a teenage girl" and the unceasing stories of being "victimized, scared, confused, ashamed, alone, defeated, empowered, defiant, triumphant," writer Lindy West has begun “I Believe You | It’s Not Your Fault” - sub-headed "Notes From Your Big Sister" - a sort of Girls' Guide to Rape Culture Tumblr in which women who've "been through some stuff" offer an alternative narrative to girls by telling their own stories in essays and letters. Both devastatingly and inspiringly, West has been flooded with intensely personal stories with telling titles like "Sometimes He Was Good To Me" and "They Just Wanted To Leave A Mark." Talk to us about anything, she urged readers, and they are. "We’re here, and there are so many of us...We’re all throwing ourselves against the same wall, and we have been for generations."
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In Gaza, A Stroke Of Luck, Granted and Denied
The carnage goes on in Gaza. Over 500 now dead. The devastation has sparked fury, with hundreds of thousands protesting around the world, Nobel laureates and other public figures demanding an arms embargo against Israel, and an emergency meeting by the U.N. Security Council just announced. Still, the sheer scope of the horror can also numb us into a sort of moral fatigue. Two individual stories of random life and death to make and keep it real: The little boy on the front, brought into Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital along with his brothers suffering from serious injuries, survived, just. A young man who went out into the rubble of Shujaiya to search for his family during a "ceasefire" was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper as human rights workers with him watched, and filmed, in horror. The searing video of his murder is the closest most of us will likely get to the bloodbath now unfolding. Warning: Graphic. With a grimly poignant video from bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families - tagline "We don't want you here" - calling for an end to it all.
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NYPD Choke Guy to Death For Standing On Sidewalk While Black
The NYPD is again facing widespread outrage following the release of two horrific videos showing the chokehold death of Eric Garner, 43, an asthmatic Staten Island father of six seen struggling on the ground pleading "I can't breathe, I can't breathe" after he was grabbed by a phalanx of NYPD officers for either what bystanders say was breaking up a fight or what cops say was selling loose untaxed cigarettes for extra money - clearly an offense worthy of death - followed by the spectacle of eight cops and four EMT workers called to the scene standing around doing nothing but rifling through his pockets. Two cops and the EMTs have been reassigned to desk jobs, the city is investigating the use of the banned chokehold, and hundreds of people chanting "Go to the tape!" have protested against the constant police harassment and abuse that is their lives. This time, at least, there is video. Warning: Disturbing scene of thugs in action. Update : An NYPD internal report right after the incident failed to mention the chokehold and said Garner's condition "did not seem serious." Except that he was, you know, dead.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014
They Were Children
Israel's murder of four Palestinian children playing on a beach in Gaza City was witnessed by many bystanders, including journalists who have relayed harrowing accounts and photos as they watched the terrified boys run for their lives. Killed were Ahed Atef Bakr, 10, Zakariya Ahed Bakr, 10, Mohammad Ramiz Bakr, 11, and Ismail Mahmoud Bakr, 9. Warning: Graphic. Also heart-shattering, and untenable.
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What God Has Taught: Christian Places of Grace and Truth Are On the Move And Love (Almost) Everyone If They Read the Bible
The Hobby Lobby monster lives, and grows. Even as a Boston-area Christian college joined in a letter to Obama by religious leaders praising our "blessed nation" where "all persons are created in the divine image of the creator" except can they pretty please discriminate against LGBT people? - the Green family has announced their plan to build an $800 million Bible museum hard by the godless halls of Congress in hopes of telling the story of "a reliable historical document.... like none other." Green has warned that "this nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught (and) lessons from the past." And we agree, though he's probably not talking about the lessons stemmimg from that pesky idea of separation of church and state.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Return to Sender: GOP Pol and Protesters Hilariously Mistake Y Campers For Dreaded (Albeit Short) Brown-Skinned Invaders
The humanitarian crisis that is the influx of thousands of unaccompanied kids from Central America stranded at our border has been met with the usual right-wing compassion, aka hysterical protests about an "invasion" of "illegals forced upon us." So when news spread of the expected arrival of 40 (short) invaders in an Arizona town, Tea Party congressional candidate Adam Kwasman turned up to speechify about "the abrogation of the rule of law" and later tell a reporter he'd seen the children on the bus and "the fear in their faces" about this "sad state of affairs" - except, umm, he'd seen local kids going to a YMCA camp. Priceless video. Bonus Jon Stewart suggesting an enemy invasion force isn't really dangerous "until it can reach and open its own cereal.” Kwasman when told the kids were Y campers: "They were sad too."
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Archie Takes A Bullet Against Homophobia and Gun Nuts
RIP Archie Andrews, the 73-year-old, red-headed, all-American comics icon who died today stopping an assasination attempt on his friend Kevin Keller, a married openly gay senator campaigning for gun control. The death of the timeless good guy at the hands of a homophobic gun freak, which concluded a "Life with Archie" series portraying grown-up versions of the Riverdale gang, was praised by his creators as "a tonally perfect tribute to a character who has always put his friends first" but slammed by right-wing critics because obviously that could never happen. "He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale, but the best of all of us."
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This Criminal Act: Navy Nurse First to Refuse to Carry Out Brutal Gitmo Force-Feedings
In the first known instance of U.S. military conscience objection at Guantánamo, a male Navy nurse has refused to continue taking part in the often brutal forced feeding of Gitmo hunger strikers, who consider the practice torture. News of the historic action, reportedly by a Latino captain, came from a Syrian hunger striker who is challenging the policy in court and described the nurse's evolution: "Once he saw with his own eyes that what he was told was contrary to what was actually taking place here, he decided he could not do it anymore.” "I have come to the decision that I refuse to participate in this criminal act." - the nurse reportedly announcing his refusal
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Monday, July 14, 2014
Open Carry: Guitars For Guns
Fed up with Open Carry Texas freaks hauling assault rifles in with them to buy lunch, about 500 Texas musicians held the first Open Carry Guitar Rally, marching while packing a giddy array of instruments and singing a repertoire from Steve Earle to Outkast to Star-Spangled Banner. Part of a broader Guitars For Guns campaign - shades of Woody Guthrie - the event was perfect for Texas, one sage explained, where "a bizarre phallic obsession is just part of your DNA...The guitar obsessives are the safest people to be around.” "This is punk. This is patriotic."
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Sunday, July 13, 2014
Sderot Cinema: Israelis Watch Gaza Bombing For Just Good Fun
Camped out in a sort of "reality war theater," ever-enterprising Israelis have dragged plastic chairs and sofas up to a Sderot hill to eat popcorn, smoke hookahs and cheer at explosions over Gaza in a photo posted by a Danish reporter. The photo has caused outrage online, with commenters slamming "the morality of a people so skewed that murder is a public spectacle." Those present said they were there to "look at Israel creating peace." They inexplicably failed to mention the part about burning children.
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