Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Reading, Writing and, Just In Case, Grenade Launchers
So San Diego isn't the only school district to get a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Vehicle ((MRAP) and other military baubles from feds overloaded with lethal gimcrackery. At least 120 schools in 33 states have gotten toys, with Texas' ten districts topping the list of militarized madness. Blowback is growing, which may or may not be why L.A. just returned three grenade launchers. But they're keeping 61 rifles and their MRAP, because you never know when some ten-year-old might get mouthy.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Women Put A Searing New Game Face On the NFL, Corporate Sponsors Actually Start to Notice
As ever, money talks. With profit-driven carnage the name of its game, little wonder the NFL has tried to turn a blind eye to its two latest domestic violence scandals. But much of the public, especially women - a major marketing target as almost half the NFL fan base - aren't having it. By brilliantly hijacking an ad campaign by CoverGirl, the NFL's "official beauty sponsor" - yes, this is a thing - they've triggered a major backlash against the league, and its acceptance of the unacceptable.
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Monday, September 15, 2014
Empty Chairs, Tearful Stories: Gaza Goes Back to School
Lest we forget: Life, however arduous, goes on in Gaza, where this week at least half a million children made a delayed return to often-ravaged schools. Before regular classes begin, many will be offered psychological counselling to help them begin to heal from the traumas of the Israeli assault. Gazan officials say 26 schools were destroyed and up to 250 damaged. The damage to the kids is incalculable; the least we can do is see their faces and hear their stories.
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We (Heart) Capitalism Chap. 4,762: Urban Outfitters Sells Vintage Blood Spattered Kent State Sweatshirt Because Nothing Says Edgy Like the Murder of Innocents
In its unending quest for hipness and profit, Urban Outfitters created a faux-bloodstained, "perfectly broken in" Kent State sweatshirt - for $129 - to celebrate the 1970 massacre of four students there. After some inexplicable outrage at their macabre piece of memorabilia to the state machinery gunning down its own young, they non-apologized they were "extremely saddened this item was perceived....negatively." We are extremely saddened these cretins have yet to grown a brain or heart.
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Thursday, September 11, 2014
Jews To Israel: If Not Now, When
In the wake of ongoing abuses by Israel against the Palestinian people, a growing number of Israelis and other Jews are renouncing, often with a mix of sorrow and anger, the Zionist project. The flood has come from all sides: Israeli peace groups, Holocaust survivors and their families, Maus author Art Spiegelman, and now several dozen veterans of Israeli military intelligence, who are refusing "to continue serving as tools" of an Occupation they have come to disavow.
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Victor Jara's Long Arc
Today is the 41st anniversary of Chile's 9/11, when Socialist President Salvador Allende was overthrown by Pinochet and a CIA-backed junta. Marking "a milestone" in the life and death of their most beloved victim, Chile has arrested three more ex-Army officers in the murder of Victor Jara. Today, Jara remains a hero in Chile, and the stadium where he died bears his name. A plaque quoting from his last work memorializes "the end of my song" but also its power to "give birth to the moment."
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The Falling Man: On James Foley, Dick Cheney and the Morally Charged Act of Looking
The awful drumbeat grows. As Obama arms himself with Orwellian "sovereignty strikes" and a surreal GOP turns for advice to Dick WTF? Cheney, more thoughtful voices ponder a key event that helped spark this "primal scream" for war - the murder of James Foley. The image of his beheading, like an iconic image of 9/11, represents "the last taboo" of our invasive media: The sight of the deaths and atrocities that are the cost of our empire-building. Many believe "we should not turn away."
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014
A True Son: Phil Ochs' Power and Glory
In a poignant tribute, the archival materials of the great Phil Ochs, whose passion for social justice we could use these days, have been donated to the Woody Guthrie Center, the first artist other than Guthrie to join the collection. A "true son" of Guthrie who left us too soon, Ochs' fearless songs - plus a recent film and new CD - bring home what we're missing.
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Monday, September 8, 2014
Kroger's Bans Ice Cream But Allows Assault Rifles, Panera Decides That's Some F#/@ed-Up Stuff
In a sign of the lunatic state of our national landscape, it's considered big news that Panera Bread, without any outside pressure, just announced it's banning guns, presumably on the premise they don't belong in a restaurant that boasts, "We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure." In contrast, the massive Kroger's supermarket chain bans skateboards and outside food but not firepower, an idiocy that Moms Demand Action are calling out in a new campaign.
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Like A Gang: NYPD Strikes Again
Another day, another brutal police assault for the crime of standing on the street while Hispanic. Santiago Hernandez, 23, has accused a half-dozen NYPD cops of punching, beating and kicking him as they investigated a noise complaint in the Bronx. They found nothing. Hernandez dared ask, politely, why they searched him. Then they attacked him. Cellphone video backs up his account. The NYPD is "investigating." You kinda have to wonder: How many "investigations" will it take for change to happen?
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