Monday, December 15, 2014
This Is Our Life
Despite its ugly too-long backstory, it's moving to see the outpouring against police racism, still gaining strength. In recent days: Congressional staffers walked out, tens of thousands marched, four mothers of victims proclaimed "a history-making moment," medical students died-in, Jews announced a Chanukah-In, Samuel Jackson posted a 'We Ain't Gonna Stop 'Till People Are Free' challenge, and the NFL's Andrew Hawkins argued simply, radically, "A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology."
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Sunday, December 14, 2014
Some Monsters Are Real
The still-afflicted residents of Newtown just marked two years since 26 of their own were shot down. Since then, many things that should have changed have not - multiple school shootings, little movement toward gun control - but some have. Activist parents with Sandy Hook Promise have tirelessly voiced the grievous mantra: "Every gun-related death is a preventable death." Their gripping new video, "Monsters Under the Bed," lays bare what we do and don't know about protecting our kids.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014
Picture Of An Occupation: Palestinian Minister Killed During Peaceful Protest
Another travesty and tragedy of the Occupation: Ziad Abu Ein, a 55-year-old Palestinian minister and father of four, died after being choked by an Israeli soldier as he and other activists attempted to plant olive trees at an illegal settlement near Ramallah. The head of the Commission Against the Separation Wall and Settlements, Abu Ein had moments before denounced the IDF's violent response to what was a peaceful protest. "This," he said, "is the terrorism of the occupation."
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Making Climate Change Graphic
Along with a host of alternative actions at the U.N. climate talks in Peru - the People's March in Defense of Mother Earth, the Ecocity Builders' presentation for their first Ecocity World Map project, the controversial Greenpeace stunt at the site of a Nazca geoglyph - is a stunning International Exhibition of Graphic Humor dedicated to the theme of climate change. Because, often, a picture's worth...
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One Lying Criminal Scumbag Down, So Many - Cheney Please - To Go
For those hungry for even a shard of hope in a tough week, this: "Former Freedom Industries executive Gary Southern was arrested Monday (and) released after making his initial court appearance." Yup, the sleazebag, bottled-water-guzzling head of a company that dumped massive amounts of toxic chemicals that poisoned the water of 300,000 West Virginians just got bagged. Indicted for lying, not being an arrogant dick and trashing the planet. Still, a small win for accountability.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Death Knell For the American Idea
There's no adequate response to the stomach-churning, "rectal-rehydrating" Senate report on torture. The UN rightly calls for the torturers to be brought to justice. Because that remains tragically unlikely, the moral cost of their crimes becomes incalculable. Charlie Pierce mourns "the concept of American exceptionalism based on anything...but brutish force." The "debate" on whether the U.S. tortures is now over: "We became what they think we are. And worse."
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Kill (Or At Least Arrest/Indict/Assault/Blame/Teargas) The Messengers, All Of 'Em
With outrage growing over the injustices represented by the deaths of Mssrs. Brown, Garner, Rice et al, you'd think police might focus on rethinking and rebuilding trust with communities feeling so disenfranchised. Instead, they've lashed out in a vengeful, furious frenzy of blame against everyone - Garner, his videotaper, Rice's family, protesters, mayors, critics - but themselves. Change is hard. If cops don't want to be viewed as racist sociopaths, they'd better get on with it.
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Monday, December 8, 2014
Imagine All the People
It was 34 years ago today that John Lennon was shot dead in New York for no discernible reason. Today, it's hard not to wonder what might have been. To remember him, 1971's rare so-called Lost Interview, in which he talks about class, race, war, oppression and the police. May he have peace.
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Thursday, December 4, 2014
Nobody's Paying Us To Get Arrested: Low Wage Strikes Spread
In a dismal week, a rare, under-reported fragment of hope: Thursday's strikes by low-wage workers spread to almost 200 cities, jumped industrial divides - fast food to home care to airports - and merged issues of race and class, with many of the largely black and brown crowds, in the wake of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, demanding not just a living wage, but justice. See them spread, a mighty stream of righteousness, across the country.
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As the feds plan to investigate the Eric Garner travesty "to heal the breakdown in trust," let them check out #CrimingWhileWhite - whites tell of sins safely committed under the cloak of white privilege - and #AliveWhileBlack - blacks tell the flip dark side of the story. Black - "Cops pulled me over (for) going 45 in a fast lane - speed limit was 50" to white - "My buddies wanted more oil $, so I pretended there were WMDs in Iraq & oversaw the murder of 150,000 ppl" - we are two nations.
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