28 Dec 2015

Pete Seeger, Folk Legend & FBI Target


 
The late folk artist Pete Seeger was a musical and political icon who helped create the modern American folk music movement. Now there’s some new pages to add to his songbook—the government has released nearly 1,800 pages that reveal the FBI spied on him for nearly 30 years. The surveillance began when Seeger protested the targeting of Japanese Americans during World War II. It continued until the early 1970s as he wrote some of the most famous anti-war songs of the 20th century. We are joined by Pete Seeger’s biographer, David King Dunaway.

27 Dec 2015

US Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000 people in 2016

Nearly a thousand times this year, an American police officer has shot and killed a civilian. When the people hired to protect their communities end up killing someone, they can be called heroes or criminals — a judgment that has never come more quickly or searingly than in this era of viral video, body cameras and dash cams. A single bullet fired at the adrenaline-charged apex of a chase can end a life, wreck a career, spark a riot, spike racial tensions and alter the politics of the nation.
 

In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.
 

Red Star OS - A Look at North Korean Computing

Ever wonder what computing is like in North Korea? Well, I'm here to give you a glimpse of that! Red Star OS is North Korea's own Operating System, and is believed to be the most widely used OS in the country. North Korea used to use Windows XP and 7 based systems (ironic, as Windows is a product of an American-based company) and English was used as the default language (also ironic). However, Red Star OS is made and developed inside North Korea. Version 3.0, which is the newest version, is the OS that I am demoing in this video. This version looks a lot like Mac OS X, while previous versions looked more like Windows.

18 Dec 2015

The fanatic, fraudulent Mother Teresa

In 2003, Pope John Paul II approved the beatification of Mother Teresa. At the time, Christopher Hitchens’ called Mother Teresa “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud,” arguing that “even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed.” On Friday, Pope Francis announced that he will make Mother Teresa a saint in 2016. Hitchens’ original essay is republished below.
 
 
I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.
It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.
 

14 Dec 2015

Homeless Women and Children Booted by 'Christian' from Shelter to Keep Them From 'Tempting' Men

In a fine illustration of American Christianity's priorities, a Kentucky homeless shelter director has banned women and children from the town's only shelter to keep people from having sex.
 
 
 
"It seems like these last days it's getting worse ... the ungodly type," director Billy Woodward told local news station WYMT. Although presumably not dripping with sin like the shelter's female residents, children are no longer welcome either, due to "the woman factor," he told the station. An exception could be made if they're accompanied by male relatives. The women were sent to a shelter in another town 30 minutes away. 
Woodward also opined that shelter residents might be seeking out "mates" to help them with their tough economic circumstances, but they "go overboard with it."
A more pressing problem than consenting sex between adults: homeless women are at an extraordinarily high risk of sexual assault, particularly when they're living outdoors. In one study, 13 percent of homeless women surveyed said they'd been raped in the past year. Although women forced to live on the streets face the highest rates of sexual assault, sheltered women are also vulnerable to assault by residents and staffers. 

12 Dec 2015

The Struggle of Being Gay in Albania


 
Up until the mid-90s if you were openly gay in Albania, you would be sent to prison. Many homosexuals stil face bigotry and violence, even in their own homes.

11 Dec 2015

Stanley Kubrick Confession To Faking The Moon Landings

The Narrative with this story goes as follows: Filmmaker T. Patrick Murray interviewed Kubrick three days before his death in March 1999. He was forced to sign an 88-page NDA to keep the contents of the interview a secret for 15 years.
 

The Art of the Gag



Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him.
 

10 Dec 2015

Scream (Funk My Life Up)

Paolo Nutini

Dead End: The Calais Crisis

A touching look at the human side of the headlines as the historic French town of Calais becomes the reluctant host to thousands of refugees fleeing war and terror in Africa and the Middle East. People had set out for the UK; instead languish here in tents and make-shift huts where their journey reaches a dead end. Unable to cross the British border legally, many take extreme risks for a chance to make the crossing as stowaways. Local police wage a constant battle to prevent the refugees from getting into the tunnel while the local population is becoming increasingly polarized on the issue.

RT

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Finds Corporations, Governments Guilty of Crimes Against Nature

Convened in Paris parallel to COP21, the tribunal challenged the mainstream dialogue, exploring apartheid structures, alternative organizing and indigenous thought.
As the COP21 climate conference comes to its conclusion, many here don’t believe that the agreement to cut emissions will suffice to alter the catastrophic course of the planet. In fact, many will leave believing that what is most important is the continued work to pressure governments not only reduce greenhouse gases, but to also address the inequalities that continue and underly the problem.

Tribunal-Program-cover

"The deal that will be unveiled in less than a week will not be enough to keep us safe,” author and activist Naomi Klein told a crowd gathered for a labor and climate change event. “In fact, it will be extraordinarily dangerous.”

Klein and many others gathered for the COP21 conference believe that the agreement being reached is “going to steamroll over equity red lines, which means that wealthy countries that have been emitting fossil fuels on an industrial scale for a couple hundred years will continue to fail to do our fair share of emission reductions.”

More on Alternet - International Rights of Nature Tribunal

8 Dec 2015

Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror

Has the U.S. drone war "fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS"? That’s the conclusion of four former Air Force servicemembers who are speaking out together for the first time. They’ve issued a letter to President Obama warning the U.S. drone program is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism. They accuse the administration of lying about the effectiveness of the drone program, saying it is good at killing people—just not the right ones. The four drone war veterans risk prosecution by an administration that has been unprecedented in its targeting of government whistleblowers. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, they join us in their first extended broadcast interview.

Democracy Now

6 Dec 2015

Adolescent Sex

Japan (1978)

The Salvation Army's History of Anti-LGBT Discrimination

In recent years, the Salvation Army has come under fire for its lengthy history of anti-LGBT political maneuvering and other incidents. The church has publicly articulated its belief that homosexuality is unacceptable, stating:

Scripture opposes homosexual practices by direct comment and also by clearly implied disapproval. The Bible treats such practices as self-evidently abnormal. ... Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God's will for society.

salvation army

While such statements were recently removed from the Salvation Army's website, the church has yet to repudiate any of its explicitly anti-gay beliefs. And though these positions may seem to be limited to the group's internal doctrines, they've become a persistent element of the church's overtly political activities -- activities which have negatively impacted the Salvation Army's ability to provide charitable services, and have aimed to limit the rights and benefits of LGBT citizens in multiple nations.

More by Zinnia Jones at Huff. Post

4 Dec 2015

3 Dec 2015

America's Double Standard Towards Religious Terrorism

nypnypB

Photo A: The @nypost's cover today (horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino).
Photo B: The @nypost's cover after the Planned Parenthood shooting

Scott Bixby on Twitter

How Climate Inequality Hurts the Most Vulnerable and Least Responsible

A new report by Oxfam has found the richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil fuel emissions. The poorest half – about 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Oxfam’s report is titled “Extreme Carbon Inequality: Why the Paris climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first." We speak with the report’s author Tim Gore, head of policy for Oxfam International on food, land rights and climate change.

Democracy Now!

2 Dec 2015

China's feminists undeterred by detentions

Five women who all worked as activists for various feminist causes and had organised public events to raise awareness of a host of issues, from eradicating domestic violence to the need for more women's toilets in China. Few predicted the women would ever become targets of the authorities, since their causes seemed relatively unobjectionable. That is, until last March, when the women were planning a multi-city protest to call for an end to sexual harassment on public transport. The size of their networks and their determination to speak out in public appeared to unnerve the authorities. One by one, they were detained by police.

Zero tolerance for domestic violence

The protests the women had planned were supposed to be peaceful; the treatment they endured in Chinese detention centres was not. For more than a month, the women were subject to continual interrogations by police. All were forced to sleep on floors, and some were denied vital medication. One woman, Wu Rongrong, was repeatedly told by police that "we'll tie you up, throw you in a cell with men, and let them gang rape you". They also threatened the future of Wu's four-year-old son.

Li Tingting

Another woman, Li Tingting, was interrogated 49 times in 27 days. A global campaign to push for their release ensued, and there was an outpouring of relief on Twitter when the #FreetheFive group were released. Months later, the women remain under police surveillance. The group are pushing for their case to be withdrawn. Li Tingting told the BBC she believes the police want a swift conclusion too. "They probably want to retract the case now, because there's nothing to investigate," she explains. "They are also afraid of us demanding compensation. They need to close this case and return my passport to me."

More at BBC News