March 27, 2015

Directly shaped . . . by racial bias by John Young


Redistricting - Our national cancer As the Oscars telecast moved on with impassioned acceptance speeches, one pondered the hypersonic rate at which Republican viewers were finding other fare. Yes, we're talking five times the speed of sound. How many Republicans left when "Imitation Game" screenwriter Dustin Black spoke for gay rights? Or when Patricia Arquette for equal pay for women? Suffice it say that near the end, darned few Republican ears heard John Legend sharing the Oscar for the theme song from "Selma" with this: "'Selma' is now, because the struggle for justice is now." He was referring to how the Voting Rights Act has been carved away by self-deluded jurists and lawmakers catering to voters from the suburbs of Never-Neverland. When the subject is the new racism, we aren't just talking about voter I.D. laws calculated to undercut people of color. We are talking of a national template increasingly harming marginalized Americans. The Justice Department last week pronounced that … [Read more...]

You will not refuse the Tar Sands Mafia

Tar Sands

The economy is on the rebound. Oil prices are down, down, down. So, what's with that Putin face, Punky? It's bad. It's bad. So say analysts who point to all that oil-patch activity now screeching to a halt. It's a calamity. Oh, the humanity. Bad? Tell that to the average motorist. Gasoline prices halved from six years ago save the average household $750 a year. If Saudi Arabia wants to keep up current production, prices will fall further, and won't we all be sad? All right. Whatever gasoline's price, it has always been too cheap -- with environmental costs, government subsidies, and our troops' dying in oil-producing lands. Yes, that cost. Cheaper gasoline means less conservation. That's the most pertinent of the mixed blessings from dropping prices. However, let us consider whom the plummet in oil prices hurts the most. No, not Jed Clampett with a pumper in his backyard. No, not the fracking operation plumbing the Barnett Shale. Those harmed the most by today's oil prices are the Tar Sands … [Read more...]

Is Google to blame for parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids?


You can't vaccinate against this by John Young Master curmudgeon H.L. Mencken wrote, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." Mencken wrote this knowing that, as societies go, ours is a beacon of higher thought and inquiry. At the same time, he bemoaned "the virulence of the national appetite for bogus revelation." Which brings us to measles and Disneyland. Through no fault of its own except for its embrace of huddled masses, Disneyland has taken a horrific hit -- ground zero for a seven-state outbreak of a disease that considered eradicated 10 years ago. The cause? Blame Google. That, and an alleged expert named Andrew Wakefield. British medical journal Lancet gets much blame, too, for publishing a paper by Wakefield in 1998 that pointed to vaccinations as a cause of autism. Lancet since has retracted the study, stating in no uncertain terms that Wakefield's claims are "proven to be false." Since then, Wakefield has lost his license to … [Read more...]

Do not generalize lest you really miss the message and the truth


A nation of generalizations Police did not kill Michael Brown. One policeman did. Black people did not burn down buildings in Ferguson, Mo. A few idiots did. It is our sad nature to assign the acts of one, or of a few, to the many (see: Islam) and that's one reason why we appear to be going nowhere when it comes to racial harmony in this country. The other day while police escorted students from Denver East High School in a peaceful protest over events in Ferguson and Queens, N.Y., a motorist inadvertently slammed into four officers, critically injuring one. Police asserted that a few students cheered the accident. Denver Post reporters on the scene said they heard nothing of the sort. Nonetheless, Fox News reported, "Denver high school students protesting recent civilian deaths involving police chanted "Hit him again!" Whatever the case, by all reports, most of the students – of many colors -- behaved just as peaceful protesters should. They were aghast. What happened in Denver and … [Read more...]

Not voting because they’re all the same? Democrats & Republicans differences stark.

Republican Democratic Democrats Vote Voting

John Young's article below is a must read. Many convince themselves that the Democrats and the Republicans are all the same. Many use that excuse to not exercise their civic duty, voting. Why voting for the right candidates matter Funny but more true than not Many times the same folks that complain about an intransigent and obstructionist government are the same ones that stay home. Texas and Colorado are stark examples of a non-voting plurality that will have an impact on the outcome. Unless they engage they will be partly responsible for many of their fellow citizens going without healthcare, financial security, pay equity between women and men, and much more. Never a more stark difference Posted: 28 Oct 2014 10:23 AM PDT The dictionary has nothing more extreme than "extreme." No "extremer." No "extremest." So "State Sen. Dan Patrick" will have to suffice, if you're talking extreme politics, as opposed to extreme cold, extreme heat or extreme disinterest. Sadly, despite the fact that … [Read more...]

‘Twould be lovely to whitewash history by John Young

Whitewashing History

Whitewashing American History? A controlling school-board clique seeks to sanitize the teaching of American history — scrub away unsightly blemishes like racial oppression and women's liberation. Should be a piece of cake, right? Sure, except that the students find out about it and voice their outrage loudly. Result: The national media pays attention. The clique has cake on its face, wide eyes poking out through white frosting. What? Who knew students wanted to think, and not be spoon-fed empty educational calories? Indeed. Machinations by a slate of conservative schemers on the Jefferson County School Board in Denver's suburbs have caused this. And it's not just a few students. It's hundreds. And the walkouts haven't just involved uppity high-schoolers. Middle-schoolers have walked out, too. They have two demands that are worth the fight: (1) We want history classes based on true history; (2) We want policy makers to treat our teachers with respect. Most school boards are populated by … [Read more...]

Look behind the mask this Halloween by Alison Goodwin

Alison Goodwin

LOOK BEHIND THE MASK THIS HALLOWEEN by Alison Goodwin Halloween season is upon us again and, being the beginning of October, I had the pleasure of attending to my family’s bi-weekly grocery shopping at Walmart.  I walked through the double doors, cart in hand, immediately greeted by all the Halloween-themed candy bins, party-items, and other accoutrements marked for consumption. As I made my way to the dairy aisle, I almost wrecked into another shopper who had apparently forgotten the rules regarding right-of-way.  As we nearly avoided collision, I looked into the eyes of the person who had the nerve to divert me from my eggs and milk.  I saw that she was a young mother, hair hanging in her eyes, frantically trying to keep a young child close to her legs and a toddler firmly seated in the cart, while still navigating the corner. “Excuse me.  Sorry.”  She looked down as if embarrassed.  I said, “No worries,” and kept going, a bit astonished.  A strange thing had occurred.  When I looked into her … [Read more...]

2014: D’Souza’s “America” Widens Partisan Divide

Bryan Henry - Dinesh D'Souza

by Bryan Henry Bryan Henry's Analysis of Dinesh D’Souza's "America: Imagine the World Without Her" Dinesh D’Souza, the influential conservative political commentator, respected Christian apologist and director of the documentary "2016: Obama’s America," was in Houston last weekend for the premiere of his new film, "America: Imagine the World Without Her," which opened nationwide Wednesday. The film is an adaptation of D'Souza's latest book by the same title, and the main argument advanced by both is this: Liberals and progressives are deliberately undermining American greatness by promoting an anti-American interpretation of history and using government to weaken America’s economic prosperity at home and diplomatic influence abroad. D’Souza is quite explicit in making this claim. He writes in the book that “decline…has become a policy objective,” and that “progressivism is the ideology of American suicide.” While it is certainly true that many Americans feel anxious about the future of the U.S. in the … [Read more...]

Obama Meets With President Park Geun-Hye to Honor Ferry Victims

president obama park geun-hye south korea

Presidents Obama and Geun-Hye The South Korean ferry incident that occurred on April 16th has been all but hopeful. The ferry, called the Sewol, flipped over and sunk into the icy waters of the yellow sea, leaving no survivors behind. The ferry was carrying 476 people on board, most of them students that were from a high school near the capital of Seoul. President Barack Obama, while visiting Seoul this Friday to pay homage to American military service, also paid tribute to the individuals who lost their lives aboard the Sewol: “I’m very mindful that my visit comes at a time of mourning for the people of this nation,” Obama told the South Korean and U.S delegates. “As allies but also friends, we join you in mourning the missing, and especially the young people.” Obama, alongside South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, proposed a moment of silence to honor the men and women who lost their lives in the ferry incident. An American flag was offered to Park in a sign of sympathy for the loss of ““so … [Read more...]

Stan Merriman: Ukraine – Geopolitical Chess

Stan Merriman Ukraine

By Stan Merriman Originally published at Pitchforks & Populists Monday, March 3rd, 2014. Some sentimentalists have been characterizing the Ukraine crisis as a popular revNot so fast.  This situation requires some careful analysis, not platitudes.  Hear that CNN and mainstream media? Probably not. I'm reading as much non-mainstream press as I can to wrap my head around this very complex situation and to try to understand our role therein.  I'm sharing some of the thinking of two journalists:  Pepe Escobar of Asian Times and Brendon O'neill of Spiked. Ukraine I think through them I'm better understanding what is really going on here. Escobar explains that some of the chess game going on here is the contract Russia has with Crimea, a semi-autonomous, self governing region tied to Ukraine.  That contract allows the Russian Black Sea fleet port services until 2042.  Guess where one of the destinations of that port is?  Syria. NATO would love to get the Russian fleet outta there for Syria reasons … [Read more...]