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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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AlienLove: History / Culture

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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 (2259 reads)
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 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 (2936 reads)
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 Holidays: Mother's Day

History / Culture

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 Friday, May 08 @ 22:41:09 EDT (2773 reads)
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 Truth To Power: A History of America’s War on Whistleblowers and Journalists Since 9/11

History / CultureBy Joachim Hagopian

With 2014 fresh in our rear view mirror, an honest examination of events and developments of what’s been happening in America to whistleblowers and journalists since 9/11 under the Bush-Obama regime seems a worthwhile review, however disturbing ands foreboding. By definition a whistleblower is an individual who reports an employer’s misconduct. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring within a government organization. Yet despite these supposed legal protections in place, those who have gone public disclosing illicit and immoral behavior by the federal government have been consistently singled out for discrimination and excessive punishment.

In fact, more American citizens have been indicted for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917 under the current president than all other previous presidents combined. Though the law was designed to punish WWI German spies, and rarely used since for indicting those selling secrets to the enemy or efforts to undermine the American way of life, it is completely obsolete. Yet it is being misused by Obama for purely political purposes to shut down the truth. The Obama administration has also turned down more Freedom of Information Act requests than any other prior presidency with each year the denial rate rising. 2013 was 57% more than the year before, with over half the total requests rejected. Of course Obama’s mantra excuse is always using the “national security” card. He has also jailed more whistleblowers and journalists than any other president. By his over the top, punitive methods, Obama has declared war on the first amendment right to a free press in America, threatening, harassing, indicting and imprisoning those brave enough to speak the truth, accusing them of treason when the president through his administration has repeatedly violated the very Constitution that he has sworn to protect and uphold as the so called leader of the free world. His malevolent attack on free speech is even more incriminating and inexcusable as a Harvard educated lawyer who once taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.

With their war policies both domestic and abroad one and the same, Obama has carried the totalitarian torch handed him by the Bush-Cheney administration making the United States the world’s worst human rights violator. But then they’re all cast from the same psychopathic mold as mere public front men simply following orders from their oligarch puppet masters who own and control them along with virtually everything else on this planet.

The man who after the Bush nightmare exploited Americans’ desperate need for hope and change campaigned on false promises that his administration would be far more open and transparent than his war criminal predecessor, pledging to be the most open and honest in US history. Instead Obama has only proven to be the most guarded, vindictive and secretive president in US history. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, January 08 @ 17:16:27 EST (4384 reads)
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 Peace News: The Golden Rule’s Resurgence

History / Culture
A dedicated group of volunteers is making the original peace boat seaworthy again.

By Arnold Oliver

Back in the 1950s, the U.S. military made the Marshall Islands the primary site for its nuclear weapons testing. As you might expect, those tests in the middle of the Pacific Ocean wreaked havoc on the environment and human health. In 1958, a Quaker-inspired voyage of nonviolent protest set out from California for the Marshall Islands in a little sailing ketch called the Golden Rule to do something about it.

The Golden Rule and its crew never made it to their intended destination. The Coast Guard stopped the vessel in Hawaii and arrested everybody on board. But the publicity surrounding the crew’s trial and imprisonment helped ignite worldwide public outrage against atmospheric tests.

By 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The pact banned nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater, and outer space. No nuclear tests took place in the Marshall Islands after 1958.

The Golden Rule was the forebear of all the peace and environmental protest boats that followed, from the Sea Shepherds to Free Gaza. The connection to Greenpeace is direct. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, June 23 @ 18:18:11 EDT (1990 reads)
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 Art News: It’s always darkest before the dawn:

History / Culture
The Irrepressible and Irreplaceable Pete Seeger

by: Dave Lindorff

I never really knew Pete Seeger, but he taught me how to play the banjo.

As a young amateur musician in junior high school in the early 1960s, just learning to play guitar and banjo and to sing folksongs, I certainly felt like I I knew him, going through the instructions in the manual he and his life companion Toshi copied and stapled together themselves. His high tenor renditions of wonderful old folk tunes that I’d never heard before, and his renditions of the powerful political songs of people like Woody Guthrie and Joe Hill--people I'd never heard of--didn’t just broaden my musical sensibilities, but actually shaped me politically more than I could have possibly realized at the time.

A few years later, as I got old enough to have to confront the draft, and to think about the horrors of the US war on the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and as I began to attend major anti-war demonstrations, there was always Pete there, banjo gripped by the neck, lanky in his bluejeans, climbing up on the stage to sing one anti-war anthem after another.

He never got old. I remember going to hear him back in the late 1970s at a SRO concert at UCLA’s Royce Hall, and just being amazed at the range of ages in the audience, from little toddlers sitting on their parents’ shoulders in the standees area at the back of the hall to ancient-looking people sitting in the seats, craning to hear through aging ears. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, February 10 @ 20:37:30 EST (2139 reads)
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 Opinion: Violence: The American Way of Life

History / CultureBy John Kozy

The United States of America was conceived and nurtured by violence.

Americans not only engage in violence, they are entertained by it.

Killing takes place in America at an average of 87 times each day. Going to war in Afghanistan is less dangerous than living in Chicago.

The Romans went to the Coliseum to watch people being killed. In major cities, Americans just look out their windows. Baseball, once America’s national game, a benign, soporific sport, has been replaced by football which is so violent it destroys the brains of those who play it. Violent films, euphemized as action flicks, dominate our motion picture theatres and television sets. Our children play killing video games.

So do you really believe that gun control will miraculously make America into a tranquil nation? Do you really believe that outlawing products and practices will make Americans peace loving? A culture cannot be changed by laws, change requires a sustained effort over several generations. Are Americans up to the task?

Carry Amelia Moore Nation was born on November 25, 1846. She became a radical member of the temperance movement which opposed the consumption of alcohol. She described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like,” and claimed a divine ordination to promote temperance by destroying bars. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, November 20 @ 21:56:28 EST (3218 reads)
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 The News: How I Exposed an Undercover Cop

History / CultureSpying on protesters is the worst violation of our freedom.

By Lacy MacAuley

She was an undercover cop who called herself “Missy.” When I first met her four years ago, I couldn’t have known that the small-framed woman with spiky brown hair and intense eyes was anything but a fellow activist showing up for a protest in Washington, D.C.

I certainly didn’t know she was actually Nicole Rizzi, an undercover cop ordered to secretly spy on peaceful protesters, violate our freedom of speech and assembly, and disregard our right to privacy.

Sure, I thought something was odd about her. She stared just a little too long. Her irreverent sense of humor made the hair stand up on the backs of a lot of necks. Her favorite t-shirt read “OBEY” and it wasn’t clear that she wore it for the irony.

When I looked at her rippling arm muscles, I wondered whether they came from workouts at some spy academy or a downtown yoga studio.

So sure, I did suspect from the start that she could be an FBI agent, a police officer, or something else. But if you start being suspicious of newcomers, every honest newbie will look like an infiltrator. I kept my paranoia mostly to myself. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, August 19 @ 21:05:25 EDT (2166 reads)
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 International: U.S., Russia, China, All Torture Prisoners

History / CultureBy Sherwood Ross

The three most powerful nations all operate prison systems that are places of sadism, sickness, and madness unfit for human habitation, much less human reformation.

They also lead the world with astonishing rates of imprisonment far higher than in other industrialized nations. “The U.S. incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 people is the (world’s) highest, followed by 611 in Russia,” Reuters reports. Compare the above rates with the following nations: Spain, 149; Canada, 114; Australia, 103; The Netherlands, 82; Germany, 80; Norway, 71; Denmark, 68; Sweden, 67; Finland, 60; and Japan, 54.

America has 2.3 million souls behind bars; China ranks second with 1.5 million, and Russia places third with 870,000---a figure Deputy Justice Minister Yury Kalinin says actually is closer to 2 million. Whatever, all three inflict gruesome tortures on their prisoners.

To begin with, one permanent misery that equals torture is overcrowding. California is fighting a U.S. Supreme Court order to slash a prison population 46% over capacity: 119,000 human beings stuffed into 33 prisons. It’s a story repeated over and again nationally---in Alabama, Illinois, ad nauseum.

“We send more people to prison, for more different offenses, for longer periods of time than anybody else,” Ryan King of The Sentencing Project, told Reuters. Among the worst off, are those isolated in California’s Pelican Bay “supermax,” locked into 11 x 7 foot windowless concrete cells for nearly 23 hours a day, without sunlight, fresh air, or human touch, according to a recent letter of appeal to Gov. Jerry Brown to end solitary. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, August 12 @ 20:45:12 EDT (1914 reads)
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 War News: The Bombing of Nagasaki August 9, 1945: The Un-Censored Version

History / CultureBy Dr. Gary G. Kohls

68 years ago, at 11:02 am on August 9th, 1945, an all-Christian bomber crew dropped a plutonium bomb, on Nagasaki, Japan. That bomb was the second and last atomic weapon that had as its target a civilian city. Somewhat ironically, as will be elaborated upon later in this essay, Nagasaki was the most Christian city in Japan and ground zero was the largest cathedral in the Orient.

These baptized and confirmed airmen did their job efficiently, and they accomplished the mission with military pride. There was no way that the crew could not have known that what they were participating in met the definition of an international war crime (according to the Nuremberg Principles that were very soon to be used to justify the execution of many German Nazis).

It had been only 3 days since the August 6th bomb, a uranium bomb, had decimated Hiroshima. The Nagasaki bomb was dropped amidst considerable chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the fascist military government had been searching for months for a way to honorably end the war. The only obstacle to surrender had been the Roosevelt/Truman administration’s insistence on unconditional surrender, which meant that the Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese regarded as a deity, would be removed from his figurehead position in Japan – an intolerable demand for the Japanese that prolonged the war and kept Japan from surrendering months earlier. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, August 09 @ 20:31:54 EDT (3746 reads)
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 Screwed Again: Myths about Slavery & Racism

History / Cultureby John Spritzler

Anybody reading this article hoping to find evidence that slavery in the United States wasn't really that bad, or that nothing in the present day United States deserves to be called "the new Jim Crow," should stop reading, because that's not what this article is about. The myths this article debunks are: 1) the myth that slavery and Jim Crow (overtly racist laws) in the United States arose because "back then, people didn't understand, like we do today, how wrong such things were"; 2) the myth that people of European descent have an innate tendency to view darker-skinned people as inferior and not fully human; 3) the myth that slavery and subsequently Jim Crow and other forms of discrimination against darker-skinned people benefits lighter-skinned working class people; and 4) the myth that the way to end racial discrimination is to have a strong central government (because the only alternative is "states' rights," which amounts to giving power to racists.)

Myth #1: "They didn't know better back then."

A common excuse made for America's slave owning Founding Fathers is that "they didn't know better back then." The excuse conjures up an image of people hundreds of years ago just not understanding that racism was wrong because, through no fault of their own, they didn't enjoy the benefits of our modern enlightened way of thinking. According to this myth, being a racist in the past was like thinking that the sun revolves around the earth--just plain ignorance. The facts belie this view. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 15 @ 19:31:37 EDT (998 reads)
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 The News: An Endangered Species Up in Arms

History / Culture
The number of students taking humanities courses is plummeting, and financing for liberal arts education is being tea-partied to death.

By Donald Kaul

As many of you already have intuited, I don’t know everything. Nobody does, I suppose. More importantly, I don’t know everything about anything.

I’m what used to be called “a generalist,” someone whose knowledge in any direction is a mile wide and a quarter-inch deep.

Sad to say, we generalists are an endangered species.

Everywhere, the pressure is on young people to specialize. They’re also being urged to concentrate on the so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math. Why? These are disciplines that can predictably get you a job upon graduating from college.

A Florida task force last year went so far as to suggest that college courses in the humanities — literature, history, the social sciences, the arts — be made more expensive than STEM courses just to steer students away from them. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 01 @ 20:40:00 EDT (851 reads)
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 The News: New ACLU Report Finds Overwhelming Racial Bias in Marijuana Arrests

History / Culture
Groundbreaking Analysis Finds Marijuana Arrests Comprise Nearly Half of All Drug Arrests

From: aclu.org

NEW YORK – Black people are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people despite comparable usage rates, according to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union. The report also found that marijuana arrests now make up nearly half of all drug arrests, with police making over 7 million marijuana possession arrests between 2001 and 2010. "The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests" is the first-ever report to examine nationwide state and county marijuana arrest data by race.

"The war on marijuana has disproportionately been a war on people of color," said Ezekiel Edwards, director of the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project and one of the primary authors of the report. "State and local governments have aggressively enforced marijuana laws selectively against Black people and communities, needlessly ensnaring hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system at tremendous human and financial cost."

The findings show that while there were pronounced racial disparities in marijuana arrests 10 years ago, they have grown significantly worse. In counties with the worst disparities, Blacks were as much as 30 times more likely to be arrested. The racial disparities exist in all regions of the U.S., as well as in both large and small counties, cities and rural areas, and in both high- and low-income communities. Disparities are also consistently high whether Blacks make up a small or a large percentage of a county's overall population. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, June 06 @ 21:16:23 EDT (792 reads)
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 The News: The American Tragedy That Time Forgot

History / Cultureby Ray Lemire, streamingoldies.com

Death Comes To Mississippi
The Jackson State Murders
May 14-15, 1970

It was one of the most colossal blunders in Mississippi law enforcement history. Two young men killed, twelve more wounded. A farce of an investigation and trial following the tragedy. All in the name of squashing people's rights to be free and equal citizens of this country.

Since its establishment as a teacher's college in the late 1800s, Jackson State had been subject to racism. The school moved from its original location because it was too close to an all-white area, and established a new campus in an entirely black neighborhood. Lynch Street, named for Mississippi's first black congressman, bisected the new campus and linked west Jackson, a white suburb, to the downtown area.

In the early 1960s, a Masonic Temple just down the block from the university on Lynch Street was the headquarters for the Mississippi civil rights movement. Despite the proximity of the headquarters to the school, JSU students participated little in demonstrations and protests. A state school, Jackson could not afford to alienate the all-white board of education.

In the Spring of 1970, campus communities across this country were characterized by a chorus of protests and demonstrations. The issues were the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia; the ecology; racism and repression; and the inclusion of the experiences of women and minorities in the educational system. No institution of higher education was left untouched by confrontations and continuous calls for change. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, May 14 @ 20:25:39 EDT (736 reads)
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 Politics: The Pot Prohibition Runs Its Course

History / Culture
Now that most Americans support the legalization of marijuana, some Republicans back the right of states to stop banning it.

By Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins

Half a year ago, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to make marijuana legal in their states.

But ending the pot prohibition can’t happen overnight, even after electoral wins like that. Just ask Gil Kerlikowske, the nation’s “drug czar.”

“Neither a state nor the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress,” Kerlikowske declared in a mid-April appearance at the National Press Club. That makes it sound pretty improbable that Colorado and Washington voters will see the change they supported at the ballot box anytime soon, doesn’t it?

Well, believe it or not, help could be on the way — thanks to a conservative California Republican. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, April 26 @ 21:20:31 EDT (758 reads)
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· You Have the Right to Remain Silent:
Saturday, December 01
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· Fall 1941: Pearl Harbor and The Wars of Corporate America
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· Remembering George McGovern and Old-School Campaign Tools
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· Twenty Names
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· Why An Ex-Marine Turns Pacifist
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· Tragic Slaying of Trevon Martin Should be a Call To Action
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Monday, February 13
· The Real Social Security Crisis
Wednesday, January 11
· Occupy Wall Street Honors the Spirit Of Dr. King With Year’s Largest Action
Friday, December 30
· 75 Years Ago Today, the First Occupy
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