Wednesday, October 8, 2014
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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Monday, October 6, 2014
Voice of the Voiceless: Mumia Speaks, Students Listen, Conservatives Freak
Urging them to take on "the challenges that abide in the world...and strive to make it better," longtime Death Row inmate and progressive icon Mumia Abu-Jamal gave a commencement speech at Goddard College, outraging police and others who called him a cold-blooded "cop killer" with nothing to say. Citing a nation "in deep trouble," he exhorted students to take on the complex questions of power, politics, race, gender and "where one stands in the world" to "have a voice within that monstrous din."
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Seizing Silwan: Come Steal More Parts of Palestine For $136 A Day! (But Keep Guns Loaded)
Last week, Jewish settlers from Elad came in the middle of the night to seize seven buildings holding 22 apartments in Silwan, a long-coveted Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem. To watch over their plunder until new full-time residents arrive, Elad then placed online ads seeking settlers for hire for $136 a day. One requirement: To “keep gun loaded and ready to fire at any time.” It adds, "Only suitable applicants will be accepted," leading to the inevitable question: Suitable for what?
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Friday, October 3, 2014
Jordan Has Received His Justice. Many Others, Not So Much
Remarkably, jurors have found Michael Dunn (white) guilty of murder in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Jordan Davis (black) for the crime of listening to loud "thug music." While Davis' family praised the verdict for "giving justice (to) Jordan (and) all the nameless faceless children that will never have a voice," recent events - no charges for Zimmerman, little progress in Ferguson, a guy shot for getting out his license while black - suggest their numbers will keep growing.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Bomb Everyone Muslim, Even If They Did Invent Algebra
Our perpetual war grows ever more appalling, with U.S. airstrikes against ISIS costing over $1 billion a month even as a mounting consensus finds those strikes politically and morally indefensible. With Obama now having bombed seven Muslim countries in the name of a "moral imperative," many Muslims feel caught in the middle. Some have declared #Not In My Name. Others are rejecting collective guilt with wry #Muslimapologies: "Sorry for saying may peace be upon you every time we greet someone."
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Monday, September 29, 2014
Soldier's Heart: Jacob George's Sorrowful Ride Till the End
Oh so heartbreaking to hear of the suicide - or death from moral injuries - of Jacob George, 32-year-old farmer, musician, activist and veteran of three tours of Afghanistan who came home shattered by post-traumatic horror he insisted was not a disorder but a basic human response to the inhumanity of war. George fought hard to heal - riding his bike 8,000 miles to sing and speak, seeking peace with comrades and Afghans, and on his best day hurling medals back to the generals who broke him.
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We've Made Children Fear Blue Sky
In the face of a largely silent media on the deadly subject of U.S. drone strikes - for news on the latest, go to Iranian TV - John Oliver eviscerates an Obama administration program that continues killing people even though officials can't or won't tell us who, why, where, how many, or under what rules that in any case boast legal loopholes so vast you can fly a drone through them. Which, tragically, they are.
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Friday, September 26, 2014
Colorado's Little Rebels: Thoreau and Zinn For Everyone
Proving "no one calls bullshit like kids call bullshit" - and using social media to bolster their argument that, "The cornerstone of any democracy is the free expression of dissenting opinion" - Colorado high school students aren't buying a right-wing move to censor their history classes so America comes out all clean and shiny. With over a thousand students staging protests and key new support, kids have expanded their actions to insist that history is the good, the bad, and the tumultuous.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Baby, We Are Going To Fight
Among the U.N. Climate Summit's righteous speeches and vague promises - and Obama's "nothingburger in place of a respectable climate plan" - came a thunderous poem from 26-year-old Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner of the Marshall Islands, whose low-lying islands are already fighting for survival. If Jetnil-Kijiner's "Dear Matafele Peinem," addressed to her seven-month-old daughter, can't move leaders to actually act, nothing can.
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Prepare the Child For the Path: Banning Charlotte's Web and Native Son
Just in time for Banned Books Week, the wise elders of Texas have yanked from schools several terrific, Pulitzer-and-Nobel-winning books - Siddhartha, Song of Solomon, The Glass Castle - because they're icky, aka deal with real-life things like sex, swearing, Buddhism, violence. The books thus join the exalted ranks of offenders like To Kill A Mockingbird (trashy), Charlotte's Web (sacreligious), The Giving Tree (anti-forestry), Grapes of Wrath (commie, duh) and many more you should read.
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