Wednesday, May 27, 2015
How Chicago Cops Protect and Serve
So, this. A judge has released this photo of two Chicago cops posing with their hunting trophy - a black guy on the floor with antlers on his head - after police spent years trying to hide it, they said, to protect the privacy of the guy. LOL. Both cops, who worked with an elite unit, were fired. One's in prison for egregious thuggery; the other wants his job back despite behavior deemed to "shock the conscience.” Except, not really: Too often, this is "justice" in America.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I, Too, Am America: Bernie Sanders and Many More Ask Why We Have Hungry Children In America
Bernie Sanders, kicking off his presidential campaign today, made mainstream headlines for questioning whether an economy where the top one-tenth of 1% owns more than the other 90% is a "moral" economy, not an "obscene" one. Duh: not. For those dismayed by his truth-telling, see "I, Too, Am America," a photo exhibit by fast-food and low-wage workers fighting for a living wage, scrambling to get by and insisting, “We need to be able to live.” Langston Hughes: "Tomorrow/I'll be at the table."
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
On Imperishable Honor and Glory
The world's leading war maker marks another Memorial Day, ostensibly a day for peace that too often betrays those "not fallen but pushed" in our ceaseless wars. Howard Zinn used the day to urge, "Let us not set out on the same old drunken ride to death." Fiercely echoing him: Mark Twain, Siegfried Sassoon, today's veterans. Perhaps most anguished was World War One's Wilfred Owen, who warned the ardent children of his time against "the old lie... it is sweet and right to die for your country."
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Friday, May 22, 2015
Endangered Elephants to Mandarin: I'd Rather Stay At the Ritz
The luxury Mandarin Oriental hotels offer guests the finest amenities, from wellness spas to French cuisine to Dynasty Suites, costing up to thousands of dollars per night - and untold destruction of rainforest, natural habitat and the endangered Sumatran elephant by its parent company in the name of palm oil profits. A new campaign by Forest Heroes seeks to stop them; drone footage of the bulldozed devastation shows why.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Dear Israel, This Is What Apartheid Looks Like
In what critics dubbed "a shameful and racist measure" - yes, another - Israel's so-called defense minister launched a program preventing thousands of Arab workers from riding the same buses as pristine Israelis in order to achieve “better control of the Palestinians" - an action causing such outrage that within hours Netanyahu reversed it. The message here, one more time: "Democracy and occupation cannot co-exist.”
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Just Not That Kind of Place: Walmart Uses Entire Training Video To Bad-Mouth Unions
L.A. heads into the future with a living wage, Walmart hunkers in the shady past. In what one worker calls "a new low, even for Walmart," the company has closed five stores and laid off thousands for ostensible nationwide "plumbing issues." Given one store was key to sparking strikes and organizing efforts, activists charge "plumbing" is Walmart-speak for "silencing workers" and have filed a labor complaint. A newly leaked training video confirms, yes, the company is obsessed with union-busting.
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Monday, May 18, 2015
Aggrieved Residents Who've Had Enough Drive Off Rogue Cops: You Know You're Doing Wrong - Go Home
The ultimate in community policing - in this case, a fed-up community ordering over-the-top NYPD to bugger off - went down in Harlem when a burly plainclothes cop tried to manhandle, terrorize and arrest a 14-year-old girl for possibly pushing an alarm on a police call box. Copwatch was filming as a crowd of increasingly pissed women called out and pushed off the hapless cop, who finally, remarkably, gave up. Howard Zinn: "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience."
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Sunday, May 17, 2015
Pope Francis Keeps Insisting On Recognizing the Palestinians As Fully Human, Like Jesus Maybe Would Have
In two unprecedented moves, Pope Francis has recognized "the state of Palestine" and bestowed sainthood on two 19th-century Palestinian nuns, thus symbolically but convincingly declaring the Holy Land "a land of peace (not) war...where people (should) build bridges not walls." Canonizing the women, Francis cited "their luminous example" and called President Abbas "an angel of peace," which made Israeli heads explode even as it helped Palestinians "keep hope in (our) hearts and minds."
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Friday, May 15, 2015
Lucille Is Crying, Long Live the King
B.B. King - blues legend, sharecroppers' son, gentle man, chairman of the board "who did more with the silence between notes than most can do with the notes themselves" - has died at 89. Being a blues singer, he once said, "is like being black twice...I am trying to get people to see that we are our brother’s keeper...We all have the blues." For now, his website mourns, the thrill is gone. From one admirer, "Take your rest brother. Job well done."
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Swedish Activists Troll Russia with The (Way Gay) Singing Sailor Underwater Defence System
Arguing that weaponry has a less than stellar track record in conflict resolution, the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society has launched a sonar, neon, hip-swiveling, brief-wearing sailor to ward off Russian submarines reportedly encroaching on Swedish waters. The singing sailor - aka Fred - is cheaper and more peaceable than £1.7 million military patrols Sweden mounted last year after a sub sighting, and he emits a message in Morse code: "This way if you are gay."
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