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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 65,341

Journal Archives

All-too-believable satire

from the Daily Currant:

Sarah Palin: Send Immigrants ‘Back Across Ocean’ to Mexico

Sarah Palin said today that illegal immigrants from Mexico should be put on boats and sent back across the ocean to their home country.

In an interview with Fox News tonight, the former Alaskan governor was asked about President Obama’s new plan to partially legalize some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in America. Palin dismissed the president's idea as “amnesty” and offered an unconventional solution of her own.

“If I were Obama I’d put all 11 million of these folks on boats and send them back to Mexico,” she opined. “The liberal media says it’s impossible to deport that many people. But I say we can do it if we have enough ships.

“Let’s commandeer all the cruise ships, all the fishing vessels and all the yachts those fat cat Obama donors own. And then let’s pack ‘em full of illegals and send these people on a one-way cruise to Mexico City. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://dailycurrant.com/2014/11/20/sarah-palin-send-immigrants-back-across-ocean-to-mexico/

Hollywood Left Turns Out to Celebrate Howard Zinn’s Legacy

from The Progressive:

Hollywood Left Turns Out to Celebrate Howard Zinn’s Legacy

Rocker Tom Morello brought the house down––and the crowd of 800 to their feet ––with rollicking renditions of Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie songs at a Los Angeles event celebrating the publication of the 10th anniversary edition of Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Seven Stories Press). Co-edited by the late Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, the hefty volume contains quotes by indigenous people, slaves, abolitionists, suffragettes, labor organizers, agitators, anarchists, communists, feminists, and dissidents of many stripes representing the marginalized.

This updated version of Voices adds passages from whistleblower Chelsea Manning, anti-surveillance Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gleen Greenwald, anti-globalization activist/author Naomi Klein, and other resistance figures. A host of Hollywood heavyweights, including Kerry Washington (Scandal, Django Unchained), Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) and Benjamin Bratt (Traffic), read various quotations from Voices during the Nov. 13 show at Downtown L.A.’s Japanese Cultural & Community Center.

Introducing the talents participating in the sold-out performance, Arnove noted sadly that the occasion was “bittersweet” as this was the first edition since 2004 of Voices––a companion book to Zinn’s classic text A People’s History of the United States––to be released after the historian’s 2010 death at age 87. But Arnove, who co-produced the Oscar-nominated documentary Dirty Wars and compiled the additions for this third edition of Voices, asserted, “I am very confident that Howard is very much with us in spirit… and I also feel that Howard is with the strikers who are striking at the docks at L.A.’s port and with the Walmart workers who are sitting in today––and at Ferguson, Missouri.”

Singer/songwriter Joe Henry then kicked off the event with a moving performance of a 1971 Bob Dylan song about prison guards killing Black Panther and so-called “Soledad Brother” George Jackson. ..............(more)

- See more at: http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/11/187913/hollywood-left-turns-out-celebrate-howard-zinn%E2%80%99s-legacy#sthash.SA8h1120.dpuf

Chris Hedges Inverted Totalitarianism, Government Surveillance & Activism

Published on Nov 21, 2014

Zain Raza interviews Chris Hedges on a newly produced show called "Longing for 1984 " to discuss the interests that really dictate U.S policy both domestically and abroad, government surveillance globally and the role of activism.

Impeachment (cartoon)


Science Fiction Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Movingly Warns Against the Dangers of Capitalism

from truthdig:

“I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope,” said Ursula K. Le Guin as she accepted the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th annual National Book Awards ceremony.

The fantasy and science fiction author “stole the show” Wednesday as she warned the literary crowd against the dangers of capitalism, which has turned writers into producers of market commodities rather than creators of art.

“We will need writers,” Le Guin continued, “who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.”

When her short speech was loudly applauded, the bespectacled writer thanked her audience, calling them “brave,” ostensibly for cheering her on in her scathing criticism of the publishing world despite the fact that the literary business constitutes the livelihood of many of those present at the ceremony. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/science_fiction_writer_ursula_k_le_guin_warns_against_capitalism_20141122

Bill Moyers/Michael Winship: Dividing the Spoils

Dividing the Spoils

Friday, 21 November 2014 12:54
By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company | Op-Ed

We’ve been watching Congress since the mid-term elections and reading Zephyr Teachout’s terrific history book, Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United. That snuff box was a gift from King Louis XVI of France. His Majesty was a good friend of the American Revolution but when he gave Benjamin Franklin the gold box, featuring the monarch’s portrait surrounded with diamonds, some of our Founding Fathers objected. They worried that the gift would corrupt his judgment and unduly bias Franklin in France’s favor.

The framers debated the meaning of corruption at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and Americans have been arguing about it ever since. Today, gifts to politicians that were once called graft or bribes are called contributions. The Supreme Court has granted corporations the rights our founders reserved for people, and told those corporations they can give just about anything they want to elect politicians favorable to their interests. Diamond and gold snuff boxes are as outmoded as the king’s powdered wig. Now we’re talking cash — millions upon millions of dollars. Quadrupled, quintupled and then some – and it’s not considered corruption.

Consider the new report from the watchdog Sunlight Foundation: From 2007 to 2012, the two hundred most politically active corporations in the United States spent almost $6 billion for lobbying and campaign contributions. And they received more than $4 trillion in US government contracts and other forms of assistance. That’s $760 for every dollar spent on influence, a stunning return on investment.


It’s not personal, Sonny, it’s strictly business. Our government has become a clearing house for corporations and plutocrats whose dollars grease the wheels for lucrative contracts and easy regulation. It’s all pay for play, and look the other way. Partisans of the system say, hey, it’s just business as usual, but that, of course, is the problem. We were struck by this headline in The Washington Post after the November elections: “Parties head back to Capitol to begin carving up spoils, remains from midterms.” Right: Not only leadership posts and committee chairmanships, but carving, dividing up the spoils also means divvying up the loot. And those contributions were not made for the sake of charity. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/27599-dividing-the-spoils

School of the Americas Morphs Into US Training Industrial Complex

School of the Americas Morphs Into US Training Industrial Complex

Friday, 21 November 2014 10:54
By JP Sottile, Truthout | News Analysis

In a long, 200-year history of US interventionism, covert action and troubling support for repressive regimes, the story of the US Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Ft. Benning, Georgia, stands out as a grotesque example of militarism run amok.

Since its inception in 1946, the SOA - or as critics often referred to it, "the School of Assassins" - has epitomized America's peculiar brand of "outsourced imperialism." The list of leaders dispatched by the SOA, the catalogue of criminal indictments and the not-insignificant death tolls tallied in SOA-linked civil wars and so-called "counter-insurgencies" is, for lack of a better word, impressive.

For the last 25 years, the school's critics - ranging from religious activists to members of Congress to indigenous rights' leaders - have regarded its programs, and the infamous training manuals made public in 1996, as uniquely responsible for the terrible consequences - unintended or otherwise - of America's long-standing policy of arming, training and dispatching generations of military leaders around Central and South America.

Simply put, the School of the Americas exemplifies everything wrong with US foreign policy after World War II. All too often, that policy favored vested interests in client states, assisted corporations coveting resources in so-called Banana Republics or simply allowed knee-jerk, anticommunism to trump the rights and democratic choices of those who invariably ended up on the receiving end of SOA training in places like Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile and Colombia. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27563-the-new-school-of-the-americas

David Sirota: Journalists Aren’t Covering Local Elections. Our Democracy Is Suffering Because of It

from In These Times:

Journalists Aren’t Covering Local Elections. Our Democracy Is Suffering Because of It.
What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? Americans now know the answer: elections with lots of paid ads but little journalism, context or objective facts.


On a warm October night toward the end of the 2014 campaign, almost every politician running for a major office here in the swing state of Colorado appeared at a candidate forum in southeast Denver. The topics discussed were pressing: a potential war with ISIS, voting rights, a still-struggling economy. But one key element was in conspicuously short supply: the media.

This was increasingly the reality in much of the country, as campaigns played out in communities where the local press corps has been thinned by layoffs and newspaper closures. What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? Americans have now discovered the answer: You get an election with lots of paid ads, but with little journalism, context or objective facts.

Between 2003 and 2012, the newspaper workforce decreased by 30 percent nationally, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. That has included a major reduction in the number of newspaper reporters assigned to cover state and local politics. Newspaper layoffs have ripple effects for the entire local news ecosystem, because, as the Congressional Research Service noted, television, radio and online outlets often “piggyback on reporting done by much larger newspaper staffs.” Meanwhile, recent studies from the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve Bank suggest the closure of newspapers can ultimately depress voter turnout in local elections.

Colorado is a microcosm of the hollowing out of local media. In 2009, the state lost its second-largest newspaper with the shuttering of the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News. The state's only remaining major daily, the Denver Post, has had rolling layoffs. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/17390/journalists_arent_covering_local_elections._our_democracy_is_suffering_beca

It's OK to tell your abortion story. Some women just don't want to be pregnant

from the Guardian UK:

It's OK to tell your abortion story. Some women just don't want to be pregnant

by Jessica Valenti

I know a woman in her 30s: she’s married, she has a toddler, and she desperately wants a second child – but a dangerous medical condition means that having another baby would be life-threatening. Despite being careful, she got pregnant. She had an abortion because she wasn’t willing to risk her life and leave her child motherless, but she still feels a deep sadness.

I know another woman, in her 20s, who had a shitty boyfriend (but no kids) when her birth control failed and she found herself with a pregnancy she knew she didn’t want – a pregnancy she wasn’t ready for. She was upset about the situation, but had no doubts about what she wanted to do and, after the abortion, no regrets. She rarely thinks about the pregnancy or the abortion anymore.

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably have much more sympathy for the first woman than the second. Though the majority of people in America and Northern Ireland and so many other places believe abortion should be legal, too many of us still think about reproductive rights as if there’s a hierarchy of good and bad abortions – the kind that women “deserve”, and the kind women should be ashamed of.

But those two women? They’re both me.

On Thursday, the 1 in 3 Campaign (a hat tip to the fact that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion) launched a live-streamed, national abortion speak-out featuring people like Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, comedian Lizz Winstead and artist Favianna Rodriguez – and me. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/20/abortion-story-women-dont-want-be-pregnant

Mexico’s Breaking Point

from truthdig:

Mexico’s Breaking Point

Posted on Nov 20, 2014
By Roisin Davis

This Friday marks the two-month anniversary of the apparent slaying of the Ayotzinapa students—an event that has triggered Mexico’s most serious political crisis in decades.

Outrage at the 43 students’ fate fills the Mexican streets on a daily basis. Over the last two weeks, demonstrators have occupied and burned down government offices, set fire to the door of the presidential palace in Mexico City, and blocked access to the airport in Acapulco along with many major roads across the country. Last month, over 50,000 people marched by candlelight onto Mexico City’s central plaza chanting, “Alive they were taken. Alive we want them back!”

Thursday’s protests, expected to be the biggest yet, are taking place throughout Mexico and across the globe.

So deeply has this incident shaken the country that, as author Ruben Martinez describes it, “To understand the historical significance—and the moral and political gravity—of what is occurring, think of 9/11, of Sandy Hook, of the day JFK was assassinated.” ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/mexicos_breaking_point_20141120

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