Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The Homeless Are Still With Us, and They Still Have A Heartbeat
Among the afflictions and indignities borne by the homeless, the surreal news of a Medicaid scheme that preyed on them - perpetrators made millions by recruiting the poor for bogus medical tests in exchange for free shoes - is uncommonly vile. Most days, the homeless are just shunned, scorned, ignored and assailed, as a new campaign by an advocacy group makes grievously clear. Watch homeless people read vicious tweets about themselves. Then weep for the species.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Running For Palestine
In a powerful symbolic act aimed at reclaiming yet one more basic right denied - the right to movement - 3,200 runners from Palestine and over 50 countries joined the third Palestine Marathon in Bethlehem, running for not just time but peace, freedom, recognition. The race - run in two loops because there's no 26-mile stretch without a checkpoint or wall - was won by Nader al-Masri of Gaza, where victories these days are few.
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Monday, March 30, 2015
Indiana's First Church of Cannabis: Because Verily Your Law Is An Abomination Unto Us, and Ye Will Reap Whatsoever You Sow
Almost everyone hates Indiana's egregious "religious freedom" law - cue fierce backlash from businesses, churches, states, cities, legal experts and unhateful Hoosiers - but the most creative response came from an enterprising libertarian who delightedly used his new religious freedom to found the First Church of Cannabis - "One Toke, One Smile, One Love" - aimed at "celebrating all that is good in our hearts." His goal: "A House of Hemp Built with Love," and presumably lots of munchies.
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Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Only Appropriate Public Event For George Bush To Attend Is His Own War Crimes Tribunal
Bravo to activist and scholar Phyllis Bennis, who at a conference on the George Bush Presidency declared - bluntly, calmly, hedging no bets - Bush a war criminal. Bennis said the criminality of Iraq and Afghanistan lay both in the way those wars were conducted, and in their very existence as wars of aggression - deemed by the Nuremberg trials "the supreme international crime." Thus, the legacy of Bush "is going to be that of a war criminal." From a painful past, a breath of fresh truthful air.
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Friday, March 27, 2015
Iceland's Police Are Not Our Police
How do we love Iceland? Let us count the ways: It's the most peaceful country in the world. It has no army. It has few rich or poor, with a vast middle class. It has free health care and education, strict gun control and geothermal energy. It was a key supporter of Wikileaks. It has almost no murder. In 2013 it saw its first police killing, ever, and people trust the Coast Guard and police more than any public body. Reykjavik police's Instagram account shows why: This sure ain't Ferguson.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015
Bullets to the Head: God's Just Wrath For Tolerating Wickedness In Our Midst Increasingly, and May We Say Dubiously, Being Called Upon To Get Rid of Pesky Gay People
Our culture wars lurch on, propped up by ever implausible calls to God by bigots clinging to the wrong side of history. Thus, a new Indiana law allows the pious to discriminate against godless gays, and California's "Sodomite Suppression Act" proposes anyone who touches another same-sex person for sexual gratification - "a monstrous evil (to) Almighty God" - be "put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method," and praise Jesus.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015
On Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables
Eat Your Wonky Vegetables Dept: Those rows of glossy, flawless apples at the store come at a grim cost: The U.S. and other rich fussy countries waste up to 40% of their food, tossing out a staggering 1.3 billion tons of food that emits 3 billion tons of greenhouse gases once dumped in landfills. Cue sensible campaigns to discount produce that's "naturally imperfect" - much like the rest of us - creating a win for farmers, consumers, the planet and the feelings of uncomely vegetables alike.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Imagine This Is All A Dream: Ted Cruz, Meet the Internet - Also Obamacare?!?
FYI, the GOP presidential clown car has left the station in the sanctimonious, scary-fringey person of Ted Cruz, who launched his campaign with a holy roller event at Falwell's Liberty University. His first day, Cruz got trolled even by the uber-straight kids (who had to attend or pay a $10 fine), by wiseacres who commandeered his insecure domain name - Obamacare! Nigerian Princes! - and most everyone else. Cruz' slogan: A Time For Truth. Truth is, except for the trolls, this is dispiriting.
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Monday, March 23, 2015
We Forgive But We Do Not Forget: There Were Many My Lais
Precisely 47 years after the Vietnam War's My Lai massacre, the great Seymour Hersh, whose chilling dispatches stirred public outrage, has for the first time visited "the scene of the crime." Though well-schooled in the war's atrocities, he hears more stories "in bland appalling detail," grasps anew My Lai was "not an aberration," and affirms its still-crucial lesson: Duplicitous U.S. leaders colluded in an immoral war that ended, in part, when the press and the people spoke out against it.
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Friday, March 20, 2015
You Buy, the Sea Pays
Most of our bountiful planet's water is in the ocean, which - humans, take a bow - are a calamity: Up to 26 million tons of plastic packaging and other debris threatens the life of our oceans and its hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. For the 20th anniversary of its Ocean Initiatives, the Surfrider Foundation has launched a new campaign to remind us, "Ocean pollution begins with the purchase of the object which will eventually be discarded as waste" - you buy, the sea pays.
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