Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1967 – Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

Martin Luther King Jr. made this speech exactly one year before he was murdered.

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Ultra-Right Wing Liberty Counsel Accuses Macy’s of Rape Cover-Up

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/liberty-counsel-accuses-macy%E2%80%99s-rape-cover

The right-wing legal foundation Liberty Counsel is representing a former Macy’s employee who was fired when she violated company policy and refused to allow a transgender woman to use the woman’s changing room to try on clothes. In the weeks since the incident, Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver has made the rounds to disparage and attack transgender Americans as well as Macy’s for respecting the rights of LGBT customers.

Staver has previously warned that Macy’s policy could lead to rape by enabling male rapists to claim they are female and then assault women in changing rooms. Today on Faith & Freedom, Staver went even further by repeating accusations made by an unnamed tipster that Macy’s is actively covering up a string of sexual assaults, including rape, at its stores. Staver did not seem to know much about the tipster or his claims, but that did not stop him from repeating them. Staver’s deputy, Matt Barber, went on to say that he wasn’t surprised by the accusations. After all, Barber said, the “homosexual activist lobby and people who are trapped in the homosexual lifestyle” are “in constant rebellion with order, with their natural order, with natural law, with biology.”

Complete article at:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/liberty-counsel-accuses-macy%E2%80%99s-rape-cover

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Big Oil Bullies and a Test of Wills

From Huffington Post:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-brune/keystone-xl-pipeline_b_1208049.html

Posted: 1/16/12

In November, President Obama listened to the nation’s top climate scientist and to bipartisan voices along the route of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and declared that the project required further review. After all, the Keystone XL’s predecessor (another tar sands pipeline just called Keystone) had leaked a dozen times in its first year. Tar sands oil is highly toxic, dangerous to transport, and almost impossible to clean up. In Canada itself, strong public opposition has delayed tar sands pipeline proposals for additional environmental review and public comment.

But that kind of prudence didn’t sit well with Big Oil, which is used to getting its way. (Remember, it was lax regulation that allowed BP to drill a shoddy, dangerous well in the Gulf of Mexico that they didn’t even know how to cap when it exploded.) So Big Oil rolled out its army of lobbyists and PR experts — among the most elaborate and expensive lobbying operations in America. The head of the American Petroleum Institute publicly promised “huge political consequences” if President Obama doesn’t grant immediate permission for the pipeline. More saber rattling followed in TV ads and from the most powerful business lobby in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which is bankrolled largely by… Big Oil).

They didn’t just issue threats. Big Oil also commanded its $12 million posse in Congress to get to work. The minions rallied to the call, promoting Keystone XL as a top cause célèbre for 2012. House Speaker John Boehner kicked things off by holding the paychecks of working Americans hostage to a rider to the Payroll Tax Cut package in an attempt to force Keystone XL through.

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-brune/keystone-xl-pipeline_b_1208049.html

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Right Wing Taliban Christians Show their Perverted Idea of Christianity

Being an atheist I have a hard time in believing in Jesus Christ, man-god messiah much less an Anti-Christ.

But the perversion of Christianity that we have today in the form of Dominionists,  Evangelicals, and “Fundamentalists” is such a perversion of everything I was taught as a child about Jesus and Christianity as to appear to be the polar opposite of real Christianity.

Over the years I have met religious people who actually walked the walk of what I though Christianity was supposed to be about.  I met these real Christians on picket lines and in holding pens where we had been arrested for sitting down in protest.  I met them in coffeehouses they ran in churches around the Haight Ashbury.  I met them at activist meetings.  I met them at LGBT/T Pride Day/Stonewall events.

Not one of these actual Christians was a Televangelist.  Not one of them own a mansion or a Rolls Royce or a private Jet.

Instead they feed the poor, ministered to AIDS patients during the 1980s and comforted those of us who watched our friends die.

Meanness, greed, and viciousness are not real Christian values.

Two From Think Progress

Kansas GOP House Speaker ‘Prays’ That Obama’s ‘Children Be Fatherless And His Wife A Widow’

By Marie Diamond
Jan 13, 2012

ThinkProgress reportedlast week that Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R) was forced to apologize to First Lady Michelle Obama after forwarding an email to fellow lawmakers that called her “Mrs. YoMama” and compared her to the Grinch.

Earlier that same week, the Lawrence Journal-World was sent another email that O’Neal had forwarded to House Republicans that referred to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few” and calls for his children to be without a father and his wife to be widowed.

Nick Sementelli at Faith in Public Life notes that Psalm 109, which is a prayer for the death of a leader, became a popular conservative meme after Obama’s election. The “tongue-in-cheek” prayer for the president was seen on bumper stickers. The relevant part of the psalm reads:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

Complete article at:   http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/01/13/403911/kansas-gop-house-speaker-prays-that-obamas-children-be-fatherless-and-his-wife-a-widow/

Virginia lawmaker: Children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who previously had abortions.

By Amanda Terkel
Feb 22, 2010

On Thursday, Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall (R) spoke at a press conference against state funding for Planned Parenthood. He blasted the organization for supporting a women’s right to choose, saying that God punishes women who have had abortionsby giving them disabled children:

The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Complete article at:  http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/02/22/83337/disabled-abortion/

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If You See Something, Film Something (You Have The Right To Film The Police)

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The Rise of the New Groupthink

For the last thirty to forty years I’ve watched the rise of the rise of the pod people, soulless corporate clones of the rich elite, plugged into the success track from the cradle.  Programmed consumptionbots buying the latest gadget and an artificial hipness.

Oh so sophisticated, cool and sneering at their lessers who never had their privileges.  They think they are oh so smart and brilliantly talented when they are androids regurgitating information that has been processed and fed to them by constant electronic imputing of advertising, propaganda and brainwashing.

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

By SUSAN CAIN
Published: January 13, 2012

SOLITUDE is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.

But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature.

One explanation for these findings is that introverts are comfortable working alone — and solitude is a catalyst to innovation. As the influential psychologist Hans Eysenck observed, introversion fosters creativity by “concentrating the mind on the tasks in hand, and preventing the dissipation of energy on social and sexual matters unrelated to work.” In other words, a person sitting quietly under a tree in the backyard, while everyone else is clinking glasses on the patio, is more likely to have an apple land on his head. (Newton was one of the world’s great introverts: William Wordsworth described him as “A mind for ever/ Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.”)

Solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence. “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” Picasso said. A central narrative of many religions is the seeker — Moses, Jesus, Buddha — who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community.

Culturally, we’re often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook the quiet part of the creative process. Consider Apple. In the wake of Steve Jobs’s death, we’ve seen a profusion of myths about the company’s success. Most focus on Mr. Jobs’s supernatural magnetism and tend to ignore the other crucial figure in Apple’s creation: a kindly, introverted engineering wizard, Steve Wozniak, who toiled alone on a beloved invention, the personal computer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Meat eaters – you are daredevils or dumb. Or both

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/15/barbara-ellen-meat-eaters-stupid

People who’ve been informed of the dangers of meat, particularly the cheap processed variety, but who continue to wolf it down should be held accountable

The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2012

There have been times during my years of vegetarianism when I’ve wondered if I may indeed grow out of it. I’ve wondered if there might come a day when I’ll put aside my childish aversion to the thought of dead stuff travelling through my intestines, like a corpse on a raft ride.

However, it could never happen, and not because I’m so enlightened, sensitive or any of the other euphemisms for “whining hippie” usually dumped on vegetarians. My conversion to flesh-eating couldn’t happen because, frankly, I’m not stupid enough. As in, I can read.

Analysis of more than 6,000 pancreatic cancer cases published in the British Journal of Cancer says that eating just 50g of processed meat a day (one sausage or a couple of slices of bacon) raises the likelihood of pancreatic cancer by a fifth. 100g a day (the equivalent of a medium burger) raises it by 38%, 150g by 57%. Men are worst hit, as they tend to eat the most processed meat. And while pancreatic cancer is not the most common of cancers, it’s frequently diagnosed late, with four-fifths of sufferers dying within a year of diagnosis.

It should be pointed out that this is about processed meat. However, many past studies have stated a probable link between too much meat and all manner of cancers and heart problems, as well as links to other conditions, from diabetes and high blood pressure to obesity and Alzheimer’s.

If, by now, you’re thinking that I’m out to shock you, then you couldn’t be more wrong. I’d be shocked if any of this was considered new enough to shock anyone. This information has popped up regularly for years in all forms of popular media. Indeed, in this era of info overload, if you’ve never come across the “burgers and kebabs are unhealthy” revelation, one would have to presume you’ve been lying in a coma. With this in mind, isn’t it time to ask, exactly how thick, how hard to educate, are meat eaters and why aren’t they held accountable in the same way everyone else is?

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/15/barbara-ellen-meat-eaters-stupid

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10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

From The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story.html

By Jonathan Turley,
Published: January 13

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rightsin other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story.html

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CNN: Anonymous Wants To See An All Out Revolution Here In The United States!

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GOP Candidate Passed Off ‘Home Economics’ Degree As ‘Economics’ Degree

From Talking Points Memo: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/gop_candidate_passed_off_home_economics_degree_as.php

Jillian Rayfield
January 13, 2012

Missouri gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence liked to tout his “economics” degree on his website and at campaign events — but in reality his degree was less about bookkeeping and more about housekeeping.

Until Thursday, Spence (R) had claimed on his campaign website that he “earned a degree in Economics” from the University of Missouri (screenshot here). But on Tuesday, Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pointed out that this was a bit of a stretch — Spence’s degree was in home economics.

From the Dispatch:

The school says that Spence majored in family economics and management — also called consumer economics —which earned him a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Home Economics in 1981.

On Thursday, Spence, who is challenging Dem incumbent Jay Nixon, updated his website to include the more accurate information: “After high school, Dave attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he majored in family economics and management (also known as consumer economics) and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Home Economics.”

Continue reading at:  http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/gop_candidate_passed_off_home_economics_degree_as.php

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Eurozone’s fate hangs on whether French humiliation turns to anger

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/14/eurozone-french-humiliation-anger

The downgrading of France was meant as a warning. But as the Greek crisis enters a critical phase, and Athens looks to its partners for more cash, Europe may find that Sarkozy’s patience has now all but run out


guardian.co.uk
, Saturday 14 January 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy has spent the weekend nursing his hurt pride after Standard & Poor’s stripped France of its AAA rating in a late-night announcement on Friday. But this week, Greece will once again be at the eye of the eurozone storm, as inspectors from the so-called “troika” – the European commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – arrive to decide whether Athens still deserves the €130bn (£107bn) bailout it was first promised last October.

And after Friday’s mass downgrade, which underscored the fact that investors believe governments right across the 17-member single currency area will be on the hook if the crisis deteriorates, Greece’s eurozone partners may no longer be in any mood to compromise.

Since the high political drama of December’s all-night Brussels summit, when David Cameron wielded Britain’s veto and put the kibosh on a new eurozone treaty, there had been a few weeks of eerie calm. Under the leadership of Mario Draghi, the ECB made half a trillion euros’ worth of cheap loans available to cash-strapped banks in a bid to unblock the frozen credit markets and prevent the financial sector collapsing. At the same time, the ECB waded into bond markets to buy billions of euros of Italian and Spanish debt to help bring down their borrowing costs.

Together with a concerted bid by Rome’s new “technocratic” government to convince the markets and its eurozone partners that it means business about reducing Italy’s debt, the ECB’s approach appeared to have paid dividends. The first few events in this year’s packed calendar of debt auctions, at which governments need to raise billions of euros over the coming months, went off quietly, at lower borrowing costs.

But this brief hiatus came to a dramatic end on Friday. First, talks in Athens aimed at persuading Greece’s creditors to voluntarily accept a writedown on what they are owed stalled, amid rumours that hedge funds – which have insured themselves against the risk of collapse with credit default swaps, and therefore will get a payout in any event – are refusing to join in.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/14/eurozone-french-humiliation-anger

 

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ABC Pulls ‘Work It’ From Schedule

From The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/abc-cancels-work-it-281801

by Lesley Goldberg
1/13/2012

ABC’s Work It experiment has come to a quick conclusion.

The network has pulled the critically panned cross-dressing comedy — a project only ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee seemed to love — after two episodes. Repeats of Tim Allen’s freshman comedy Last Man Standing will air in its place beginning Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

<snip>

Work It premiered lower than its canceled predecessor, Man Up, on Jan 3, drawing a 2.0 in the key adults 18-49 demographic and luring 6.1 million viewers. Its second airing tumbled 20 percent, dropping to a 1.6 in the demo and 5.1 million viewers.

Before its premiere, Work It drew the ire of both Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign, which claimed the series reinforced “false and damaging stereotypes about transgender people” and urged ABC not to air it.

Complete article at:  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/abc-cancels-work-it-281801

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