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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
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 Opinion: Political correctness demands diversity in everything but thought

History / Culture
By William Blum – Published August 2016

For 50 years I’ve been painstakingly cataloguing the brutal militarism and human-rights violations of US foreign policy, building up in the process a very loyal audience.

To my great surprise, when I recently wrote about the brutal militarism and human-rights violations of the Islamic State, I received more criticism from my readers than I’ve gotten for anything I’ve ever written. Dozens of them asked to be removed from my mailing list, as many as I’d normally get in a full year. Others were convinced that it couldn’t actually be me who was the author of such words, that I must have been hacked. Some wondered whether my recent illness had affected my mind. Literally! And almost all of the Internet magazines which regularly print me did not do so with this article.

Now why should this be?

My crime was being politically incorrect. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, August 16 @ 09:43:02 EDT (241 reads)
(Read More... | 5144 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 Screwed Again: Government Continues To Deny Manning Access To Health Care

Politics
CHELSEA MANNING FACES NEW CHARGES, INDEFINITE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT RELATED TO SUICIDE ATTEMPT

Press Release: ACLU.org

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning received a document from Army officials today [July 28, 2016] informing her that she is being investigated for serious new charges related to her July 5th attempt to take her own life.

If convicted of these “administrative offenses,” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence.

“It is deeply troubling that Chelsea is now being subjected to an investigation and possible punishment for her attempt to take her life. The government has long been aware of Chelsea's distress associated with the denial of medical care related to her gender transition and yet delayed and denied the treatment recognized as necessary,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio. “Now, while Chelsea is suffering the darkest depression she has experienced since her arrest, the government is taking actions to punish her for that pain. It is unconscionable and we hope that the investigation is immediately ended and that she is given the health care that she needs to recover.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, August 04 @ 19:32:34 EDT (311 reads)
(Read More... | 3400 bytes more | Comments? | Screwed Again | Score: 0)

 Art News: The world is at war because it has lost peace (Pope Francis)

Art
The world is at war because it has lost peace (Pope Francis)

by: Gary Lindorff


But it’s not just the world that has lost peace.
I lost my peace.
I used to have it.
I used to cook meals with it,
I used to season my food with it.
It was with me when I mowed the lawn.

My peace,
my vision.
I even had it after Orlando . . .

I was watering the garden
and I looked up
at the clouds passing over the field,
and that was when I realized that peace was missing.

Have you seen it?
It was right here only yesterday?


Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, August 04 @ 19:21:37 EDT (316 reads)
(Read More... | 3269 bytes more | Comments? | Art News | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: There’s Nothing “Happy” About It

HolidaysBy Ray Lemire

To many, Memorial Day is a great excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s also known as the day that marks the official start of summer and a day devoted to picnics and getting great deals at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales.

There are some who will argue that Memorial Day is happy, given the freedoms we enjoy. They say it’s perfectly alright to say “Happy Memorial Day” as a greeting over the coming three-day weekend.
That’s nonsense.

Radio stations mark the occasion to promote a weekend of “Beaches, Music and Barbecues!” “We’re your Memorial Day station with everything you need to kick off the summer in style!”
That’s nonsense.

If you want to celebrate our nation and our freedoms, there’s a day for that – July 4, Independence Day. On that day, you can light up some illegal fireworks, guzzle your beverage of choice and otherwise show your American pride … and be “happy” about it.

But saying “Happy Memorial Day” is like saying “Congratulations on your Grandma’s Death.”

There is nothing remotely “Happy” about Memorial Day. That’s why it’s called M-e-m-o-r-i-a-l Day! It is a day is to be commemorated, not celebrated. It is supposed to be a day of quiet reflection, remembrance, tribute and rendering honors to those who have given their lives to guarantee you the freedom to be able to take full advantage of the rights their deaths secured for you. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, May 27 @ 23:02:48 EDT (638 reads)
(Read More... | 5229 bytes more | Comments? | History/Culture | Score: 5)

 History/Culture: Mother's Day

Holidays

Julia Ward Howe's
Mother's Day Proclamation

(1870, Boston)


"Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
'We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, May 07 @ 16:30:40 EDT (715 reads)
(Read More... | 1897 bytes more | Comments? | History/Culture | Score: 0)

 Screwed Again: These Billboards Have Eyes

The News
Computerized placards are literally watching you — and they may even follow you home.

By Jim Hightower

OK people, we need to discuss billboards. Yes, we really must.

At best, these giant corporate placards are problematic — they loom garishly over us, clutter our landscapes, and intrude into our communities with no respect for local aesthetics or preferences. Now, however, billboards are getting a high-tech reboot, allowing advertisers to invade not only our places, but also our privacy.

Having to see billboards everywhere is bad enough. Far worse, though, is that the modernized, digitalized, computerized structures can see you — and track you.

Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, having already splattered the country with tens of thousands of billboards, has revealed that it’s partnering with AT&T and other data snoops to erect “smart” billboards that will know and record when you drive or walk past one. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, April 23 @ 18:03:53 EDT (745 reads)
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 Going Green: A Curbside Crisis

Environment
How much of what you recycle ends up at the dump?

By Beth Porter

Do you cross the street to put your soda can in the recycling bin or avidly pluck plastics and paper from your neighbor’s trash cans? The current state of recycling in the United States may surprise you.

It’s in trouble for many reasons, including two straightforward ones. Most programs dump everything together — and consumers are confused about what goes into their recycling bins.

Single-stream recycling, first developed in the 1990s, offers the allure that everything can be recycled without duplicating efforts to handle paper, plastic, glass, and metal refuse. Creating a single blue bin where people can toss all kinds of recyclable items did away with the need to separate your bottles from your cans from your newspapers.

When your commingled recyclables arrive at the facility, they travel along conveyor belts where someone manually pre-sorts them. Then the stuff goes through a series of screens that separate items by weight and shape, and strong magnets mechanically sort the steel and aluminum products. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, April 18 @ 15:28:03 EDT (870 reads)
(Read More... | 5449 bytes more | Comments? | Going Green | Score: 5)

 Easter/Ostara and the Goddesses of Dawn

History / CultureBy Sherlyn Meinz

I think Spring must be one of the most long-awaited and welcome of the seasons, especially in northern climates. March 20 marks the Vernal Equinox and the change of season to Spring, the time when night and day are in balance. Living in Vermont (US) that’s reason for a big hurrah and celebration!

Celebrated since ancient times as Ostara (Oestara, Eostre’s Day, Rite of Eostre, Festival of the Trees, Lady Day) from this holiday comes many of our Easter traditions. Others point to the 25th of March, or the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox as the date of Ostara. Easter is timed according to the Vernal Equinox and falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Equinox, but cannot fall on the day of the full moon itself, in rejection of ancient Moon rituals that had long been celebrated marking this season.

In ancient Germany Ostara was honored, in Greece it was Eostre, both were Goddesses of the Dawn. Spring is associated with dawn and follows the season of darkness (night) or winter. The goddess Ostara was thought to be able to take the form of a rabbit or hare. April is considered Ostara’s month, and her name is related to dawn, morning light, and the direction East. Our words Easter and estrogen both come from the name of the Greek Spring goddess Eostre.

Since the ‘dawn’ of time, Spring has been the time to plant seeds, watch the Earth green, animals appear that have come out of hibernation, life returns to Earth after the ‘little death’ of winter. In areas where it is still too cold to plant, seeds are often blessed, as they hold the promise of new life. It is the time of ‘Spring Fever’, new love and new beginnings, and many clean their homes at this time – ‘Spring Cleaning’.

The tradition of cleaning out the remains of the dark season from the home also has ancient roots…

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, March 18 @ 12:02:43 EDT (880 reads)
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 Politics: The Anti-Empire Report #144 - March 2016

OpinionBy William Blum

American exceptionalism presents an election made in hell

If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump.

My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted. And not much better can be expected on domestic issues from this woman who was paid $675,000 by Goldman Sachs – one of the most reactionary, anti-social corporations in this sad world – for four speeches and even more than that in political donations in recent years. Add to that Hillary’s willingness to serve for six years on the board of Walmart while her husband was governor of Arkansas. Can we expect to change corporate behavior by taking their money?

The Los Angeles Times ran an editorial the day after the multiple primary elections of March 1 which began: “Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States,” and then declared: “The reality is that Trump has no experience whatsoever in government.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, March 16 @ 19:54:41 EDT (877 reads)
(Read More... | 17923 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)

 Opinion: Trump’s America: A Shining Outhouse on a Hill

Politics
I give up.

By Donald Kaul

When Donald Trump announced he was running for president, I mocked him. “Of the United States?” I asked. (I got a C- in Mockery when I was in college, unfortunately.)

When he jumped into the lead almost immediately, I laughed. “The higher the climb, the harder the fall,” I said. (I did better in Pithy Quotations.)

When the early campaigning found him doing well in such disparate states as Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, I fell into denial. “He’ll never, ever be the Republican nominee,” I said. “Republicans are too sensible.”

Then Super Tuesday happened and Trump basically wiped the floor with his opponents, who finally paused their fights with each other to join in a pathetic mass spitball attack on Trump. They were joined by the ghostly reappearance of Mitt Romney, who as usual was a day late and a dollar short.

So I give up. I’m now convinced that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for the presidency. Yes, of the United States. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, March 13 @ 17:42:35 EDT (846 reads)
(Read More... | 5354 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: The History of Valentine’s Day/Feast of Lupercalia

Holidaysby Sherlyn Meinz [a.k.a. Blue1moon]

How do you say “I Love You?” There are so many ways: Ti amo (Italy); Kanbhik (Mohawk); Jeg Elsker Deg (Norway); Ya tebya liubliu (Russia); Ich liebe dich (Germany); Aishiteru (Japan); Doo-set daaram (Persia); Iay ovlay ouyay (Pig Latin) to name just a few!

Happy Valentine’s Day! The history of this day, like most of our beloved holidays, goes back to ancient times. It’s meanings, celebrations, and rituals have changed over time, but for the most part, it has its roots in love, sex, romance, and choosing a mate. For a brief period, a Saint was chosen on this day to emulate during the coming year.

There are several ancient gods and goddesses associated with what we now call "Valentine's Day", originally two holidays, celebrated on February 14th and 15th. Some of these traditions are thought to date to around 400 BC, in Rome. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, February 13 @ 22:55:30 EST (818 reads)
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 Politics: The Anti-Empire Report #143 - February 2016

OpinionBy William Blum

Is Bernie Sanders a socialist?

“Self-described socialist” … How many times have we all read that term in regard to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders? But is he really a socialist? Or is he a “social democrat”, which is what he’d be called in Europe? Or is he a “democratic socialist”, which is the American party he has been a member of (DSA – Democratic Socialists of America)? And does it really matter which one he is? They’re all socialists, are they not?

Why does a person raised in a capitalist society become a socialist? It could be because of a parent or parents who are committed socialists and raise their children that way. But it’s usually because the person has seen capitalism up close for many years, is turned off by it, and is thus receptive to an alternative. All of us know what the ugly side of capitalism looks like. Here are but a few of the countless examples taken from real life:

-Following an earthquake or other natural disaster, businesses raise their prices for basic necessities such as batteries, generators, water pumps, tree-removal services, etc.

-In the face of widespread medical needs, drug and health-care prices soar, while new surgical and medical procedures are patented.

-The cost of rent increases inexorably regardless of tenants’ income.

-Ten thousand types of deception to part the citizens from their hard-earned ages.

What do these examples have in common? It’s their driving force – the profit motive; the desire to maximize profit. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, February 05 @ 15:03:40 EST (791 reads)
(Read More... | 15083 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 0)

 History/Culture: Imbolc

HolidaysBy Rhiannonbrighid

Imbolc is the Pagan festival that celebrates the coming of spring. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas, Oimealg, Imbolg, Brigantia, Lupercus, Disting, and Lupercalia. The festival is celebrated on February 1st or 2nd, or when the sun is at 15 degrees Aquarius.

In Celtic lore, the dark winter months were ruled by a wicked old hag named Cailleach. By the time Imbolc rolls around, she leaves, and the goddess, Brighid, awakens. There is an old myth that the people would pour milk on the ground to put Cailleach to rest and welcome Brighid. February is a very cold month where food ran low, fire wood was harder to obtain, and hunting usually proved to be unsuccessful. Keeping the hearth was very important to families. Brighid, a fire goddess, was a deity that families paid homage to in hopes that she would protect their hearth and fire. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 01 @ 15:02:55 EST (724 reads)
(Read More... | 3141 bytes more | Comments? | History/Culture | Score: 0)

 Politics: Why Isn’t the Media Feeling the Bern?

The News


Polls show that Bernie Sanders would trounce Donald Trump, but you’d never know that from watching TV news.

By Jim Hightower

Let’s go to the scoreboard to see who’s winning the exciting presidential election media coverage game.

The Tyndall Report, a non-partisan media monitoring firm that has been tracking the nightly news broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC, found that Trump is tromp, tromp, tromping over the airtime of everyone else.

From last January through November, these dominant flagship news shows devoted 234 minutes of prime-time coverage to the incessant chirping of the yellow-crested birdbrain, with no other contender getting even a fourth of that. ....

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, January 12 @ 17:23:05 EST (554 reads)
(Read More... | 3271 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 0)

 Politics: The Anti-Empire Report #141

InternationalBy William Blum

Questions to ask President Obama the next time (also the last time) you’re invited to one of his press conferences:

Which is most important to you – destroying ISIS, overthrowing Syrian president Assad, or scoring points against Russia?

Do you think that if you pointed out to the American people that Assad has done much more to aid and rescue Christians in the Middle East conflicts than any other area leader that this would lessen the hostility the United States public and media feel toward him? Or do you share the view of the State Department spokesperson who declared in September that “The Assad regime frankly is the root of all evil”?

Why does the United States maintain crippling financial sanctions and a ban on military aid to Syria, Cuba, Iran and other countries but not to Saudi Arabia?

What does Saudi Arabia have to do to lose its strong American support? Increase its torture, beheadings, amputations, whippings, stonings, punishment for blasphemy and apostasy, or forced marriages and other oppression of women and girls? Increase its financial support for ISIS and other jihadist groups? Confess to its role in 9-11? Attack Israel?

What bothers you more: The Saudi bombing of the people of Yemen or the Syrian bombing of the people of Syria?

Does the fact that ISIS never attacks Israel raise any question in your mind? ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, December 07 @ 18:30:47 EST (616 reads)
(Read More... | 14707 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)


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