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Soapbox Saturday

Soapbox Saturday: The Yes Men

Wow! Talk about telling the truth where it really matters.  The Yes Men aren’t really pranksters so much as whistleblowers.  Dressing up as VIPs and crashing press conferences and meetings, they actually tell the truth about starving children, toxic waste and the general rape of planet Earth, nature and humanity by the insatiable devouring of everything in sight to maximize profits for shareholders as required by law.  … Read the rest

Occupy Wall Street Activists Mark 2 Year Anniversary Of Movement

Soapbox Saturday: Where is the Outcry?

With a tanking economy, out of control spending and utter disregard for the future one might expect social concerns to drive people to the streets in protest.  So where are they? Robert Reich says three reasons stand out.  First, the working class is terrified of losing what little they have left; second, students are afraid of ruining chances for a job; third, Americans are just cynical and have given up on meaningful change. … Read the rest

Wild Friday: Prancing Elites

Valentine’s Day Fun: Outrage erupted in an Alabama town when the Prancing Elites, all-male dance troupe was mistakenly asked to perform.  Oh well!

Predictably, some spectators were “outraged and appalled.” More interestingly, for enduring the jeers and stares in Semmes, the Elites got a wave of support from social media, gigs for New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras, and a new Kickstarter campaign – “Society hates us, but the world loves us.” The biggest loser here: The Friends of Semmes have been removed as organizers of the Christmas parade.… Read the rest

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Soapbox Saturday: RustyRocket Wants A Utopian Revolution

When asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman, Russel Brand posited

Total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system is what interests me, but that’s not on the ballot. Is utopian revolution possible? The freethinking social architect Buckminster Fuller said humanity now faces a choice: oblivion or utopia.… Read the rest

Soapbox Saturday: NSFW Pope Song

I love Tim Minchin as a clever social commentator.  He reminds me of a modern, foul-mouthed Tom Lehrer with his witty ball-busting ballads.  But clearly this song came out before the latest pope started showing a different sort of compassion.   But does the new pope really represent “no more business as usual?”  Watch this interview on ABC news wherein a victim of church abuse expresses hopes that the new pope’s choice of names and his history of humility will work to repair hundreds of years of damage, the clear inspiration for Mr.… Read the rest

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Flex Your Postcapitalist Imagination

Soapbox Saturday: David Harvey’s new book is The Seventeen Contradictions of Capitalism. Why focus on its contradictions? Harvey says  “The analysis of capitalism suggests that there are significant and foundational contradictions. Periodically those contradictions get out of hand and they generate a crisis.… Read the rest

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12 Mandela Quotes

Soapbox Saturday: A few Nelson Mandela quotes which you might have missed:

“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials.… Read the rest

Fire Brand Pops Culture in The Kisser!

Soapbox Saturday: Now here’s my kind of celebrity/addict turned traitor-to-the-one-percent. An entertainer touring Russel Brand calls for a revolution against greed and pop culture, helps morning pundits self-demonstrate their daft and shallow pablum as in this video,  and brings humor to his sadly well-informed economic critique when asked to edit an issue of the New Statesman.Read the rest

Tim Minchin to Graduates

Geoff introduced me to Tim Minchin, the Australian comedian’s delightful address to graduates and notes “I looked Minchin up on Wikipedia and near the end of the article found this.  Wonderful!”

In his beat poem Storm, which centres on Minchin having an argument with a “hippie” who believes in various New Age alternatives in lieu of actual medicine, he states: “Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed.

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No More Paper?

Trickling down the pipe from our local County Clerk of the Circuit Court of Pinellas County Ken Burk is this lovely petition for the permanence of paper.  Your pad may be nice for some things, but for some things you might still want to fall back on old, faithful dried out tree pulp.  … Read the rest

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Let Them Eat McMuffins

It seems McDonald’s accidentally served up a Minimum Wage “McManifesto” in the form of a  financial advice website for employees. “Every dollar makes a difference,” McDonald’s lectures its struggling and often impoverished workers. The new employee website, co-created with Visa, helpfully suggests that people who work for this Fortune 500 corporation begin the financial planning process by taking a second job.… Read the rest

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Turn Despair Into Action

Do you feel overwhelmed by the troubles in this world?   Read this Call to Apocalypse by Robert Jensen, who says that like “Bidder 70″ Tim DeChristopher, we must turn frustration into creative solutions.  But first we must face the truth.

Some stories we have told ourselves—claims by white people, men, or U.S.

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Cash anomalies in Congress are revealed by new tracker.

Site Spotlight #3: Anomaly Tracker – OpenSecrets Blog

The Center for Responsive Politics keeps an eye out for bad eggs in Congress, and who keeps them rotten with cash.  Now they have a new tool to help citizens and voters keep an eye on that basket.

For years, our researchers have analyzed and crunched numbers looking for outliers — instances where a politician relies to an unusual degree on one group of donors, for instance, or contributors from one geographic area dominate a candidate’s fundraising.

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#FitchTheHomeless

Now here is a guy who is making a statement and helping the homeless at the same time! Together, says Greg Karber, we can remake the snooty A&F brand … by donating their clothing to the needy.   Watch this video wherein he collects  AF apparel and gives it away on Skid Row. … Read the rest

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Screw Your Ding-Dong, Public Opinion!

Big media seems to always whitewash the sins of recent leaders upon their death, as of  Margaret Thatcher on April 8. Even this story about how the BBC refused to play the #1 top selling iTunes song as they did every single week because it demonstrated insensitivity to the “illiberal” politician.  … Read the rest

3D Printed Guns

Grandma called to tell me she killed a spider, because she knows I would have put it outside.  I am that kind of live and let live kind of guy. So I am no fan of guns. But as this video on 3D printing shows, there is really no way to keep people away from weapons.… Read the rest

Geoff Says: Keep Fighting Violence

Reader Geoff write in, on the effort to curb gun violence.

As you may know, the Obama people have continued their effective online website which helped him win re-election. Now its focus is organizing public opinion to counterbalance the power of the big money lobbyists and special interests who dominate Washington politics.

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Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly For Writing Huffington Post Blog

Mind what you write when you have pissed off the federal government, because according to this article in the Huffington Post, you can go to prison for your words!

The federal government on Thursday jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said.

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It’s Gunpowder, Not Guns, Lawmakers Should Worry About

With controversy swirling over gun-sale background checks, limiting the size of weapon magazines and retaining Second Amendment rights, the problem of making homemade guns with 3-D printers has become a matter of public concern.

Laws mean little if a determined criminal or a hobbyist teen wants to make plastic guns or extra-high capacity magazines, says Hod Lipson, Cornell University professor of engineering and a pioneer in 3-D printing.… Read the rest

Yes, Margaret. There is an Alternative.

 

Andrea Brower is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland who says Margaret Thatcher is dead wrong about the locked-in nature of the current neo-capitalist system.  Instead, Bower says

 imagine the innovative possibilities of a world where all people had access to everything they needed to live, to think, and to contribute to the common good. 

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Responsibility of Privilege

Never one to pull punches, linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky remains as vigorous as ever at the age of 84.

His popularity – or notoriety as some would say – endures because he is still criticising politicians, business leaders and other powerful figures for not acting in the public’s best interest.

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