Monday, November 17, 2014
An American Problem: Ferguson, Anonymous, the Cops and the KKK Await
As it awaits the grand jury decision on Darren Wilson, Ferguson is more than ever a volatile amalgam of forces drawn up against each other - a governor eager to abuse state power, a police force gearing up, the KKK threatening "lethal force" against protesters, Anonymous in turn hacking and disrobing them, and an angry community barely able to hope. Mike Brown's murder, they insist in a new video, represents "an American problem."
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Yes, They Really Are Proposing Trashing the Motherland For 50 Jobs
With Tuesday's expected close Senate vote on Keystone - and protesters descending on Mary Landrieu's lawn with an inflatable pipeline to give her a taste of what's to come - it's remarkable most media missed the stunning admission by TransCanada's CEO that, yes, Keystone will in fact create just 50 permanent jobs (along with more lousy short-term ones and of course much long-term devastation.) Call your senators.
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Friday, November 14, 2014
Burying Their Heads In Brisbane
As world leaders arrive for a G-20 summit in Australia stubbornly slated to pretty much ignore climate change in favor of promoting economic growth, hundreds of protesters took to Bondi Beach to send PM Tony Abbott and G20 leaders a message: "The world is acting, and we’re sticking our heads in the sand.” One of the cooler of many expected protests.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014
Blood On His Hands: Coal Baron Blankenship May Finally Go Down
A federal grand jury has indicted former, much-despised Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on multiple charges of "routine and willful" mine safety violations - followed up by charges of security law violations - that led to the 2010 explosion at West Virginia Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people, the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in 40 years. From the victims' families: "Thank God it finally happened...We got the top dog."
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Value of Their Voices: After Threats, Conflict Kitchen Returns to Serving - Gasp - Palestinian Food
Arguing "food is a way of looking at our common humanity," Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen, which promotes understanding by serving food from countries in conflict with the U.S., has re-opened after death threats with musakhan, namoura and other Palestinian delicacies, all wrapped in paper bearing the narratives of Palestinians. Rabid critics who call that "anti-Israel," says its owner, "reinforce (the) dehumanizing reading of (Palestinian) lives and perpetuate the silencing of their voices."
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014
He Bore All This Upon His Body: Rest In Peace Tomas Young
For Veterans' Day, it should be said to the estimated 22 veterans who each day kill themselves, rendering a total far above those who died in combat, and to Tomas Young, wounded veteran and eloquent activist who has finally died, and to all those surviving troubled veterans - it should be said, not the vapid "Thank you for your service," but, "We are sorry." From Young's searing last letter to Bush and Cheney: "We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned."
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Monday, November 10, 2014
#PointerGate: How Jesus, Biden, Oprah and This Cat Are Gang Members, or The Most Dumbly Racist Story Ever
A demented story out of Minneapolis that would be entertaining if not so deeply racist: Mayor Betsy Hodges, who is trying to clean up police's lousy relations with communities of color, was getting out the vote last week when she was photographed with a young black man once in prison, now on probation, also helping others to vote. Which prompted disgruntled police to orchestrate an idiotic story about the honorable mayor (gasp) making gang signs, and the community to issue a big WTF?
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Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Way of the Warrior: How To Stop A Pipeline
With a newly elected Congress gearing up to pass Keystone, inspiring video of the Unist'ot'en Camp, an indigenous resistance community set up in northwest Canada in the pathway of two (out of a possible 10) proposed pipelines to protect Wet'suwet'en land, which is unceded and thus not subject to the laws of Canada or other "colonial occupation." Unist’ot’en leader Freda Huson: "Our Chiefs have said no to these projects, and no means no. Our lands. Our final say."
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Thursday, November 6, 2014
The $9 Billion Witness: Taibbi's Back To Take Down Chase and Holder
Matt Taibbi is back at Rolling Stone with a piece on Alayne Fleischmann, a former JPMorgan Chase lawyer who tried to expose "massive criminal securities fraud" by Jamie 'I'm Richer Than You' Dimon, only to have the government try to silence her with a $9 billion settlement. Fleischmann breaks her confidentiality agreement to detail Chase's "rotten dog-meat loans," "theft on a scale that blows the mind," and cash-for-secrecy deals Holder used to protect Dimon and his too-big-to-jail colleagues.
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The Perfect (Sic) Body, Or Time To Start Throwing Up Dinner Again
Sheesh. America's women are getting some cranky about our sexist cultural norms, like they're suddenly all, "Kale and orange-juice-soaked cotton balls for dinner again?! WTF?!" First there was Stop the Beauty Madness; now it's a Victoria's Secret ad of skinny white women with the tagline, "The Perfect Body." NOT, say many pissed-off women. Cue petition, hashtags, alternative images, P.R. nightmare - and, today, new tagline. Next up: Amazon's Delicious Women's Phd Darling Sexy Costume.
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