Archive | Op-Ed

Curiosity Roving Through the Claims of NASA

“However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” — Stanley Kubrick

Q: Do you trust the President of the United States?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the CIA?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the FBI?
A: No.

Q:What about the Congress?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the Federal Reserve?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the IRS?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the NSA?
A: No.

Q: How about the TSA?
A: No.

Q: Do you trust the Supreme Court?
A: No.

Q: Ok, then. If you don’t trust any of these other government institutions, why then would you believe anything that comes from the mouth of NASA?

Above is an excerpt from a conversation I had the other day with a close friend about the stunning images of the recent fly-by of Pluto, taken from NASA’s satellite “New Horizons.” The persistent “No” I received from her was the patented response I expected, considering the general distrust people have in our politicians, world leaders, and governmental institutions these days.… Read the rest

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What true voter suppression looks like in America

We’ve seen those news stories where lines for voting weave out of the building and into the street. It’s too bad that the television rarely shows us what is going on inside those buildings. Most likely there are dozens of people lining up in a room with a limited number of computer voting machines. Voter after voter attempts to cross-ticket his/her ballot, while the computer rejects the vote. The confusion causes the voters to take much longer than normal and the line grows longer and longer.

In this episode of a right-wing show called “The Watchdog Report,” Constitution Party regional chairman Clell Drumheller discusses various voting restriction laws in different states. True voter suppression will be discussed in the videos below. Texas has perhaps the most insulting voter restriction laws. All votes are counted on computer, which prevents authorities from being able to look through paper ballots and double-check that the votes were tallied correctly.… Read the rest

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My disabilities do not define me. I am Jim

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

I am an educator of educators. I teach others how to be the best teachers. But, I’m also different.

I have learning challenges.

I found my way and my life’s calling thanks to dedicated educators.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am reminded of my personal journey.

My disabilities could have defined me. But they did not. I do not consider myself dyslexic or learning-disabled.

I am Jim. And here’s the story of how I overcame my challenges and the educators who helped me along the way.

My disability

Born in 1970, I suffered a head injury as a young boy while roughhousing with friends. Perhaps that led to my learning problems. Perhaps it didn’t. Doctors aren’t really sure.

What I do know for sure is that in kindergarten, I could not spell my name – James.… Read the rest

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Sanders and Corbyn: Socialism, Better Late than Never

DonkeyHotey CC By 2.0

DonkeyHotey CC By 2.0

After years of organisation and ground work, socialism has finally reappeared in western politics. It’s hard not to feel swept up by its arrival, to see it as some sort of homecoming. Though if one is honest, there is the awful feeling that it’s probably too little and 30 years too late. It is sad to say it— at least for me, a socialist at heart — but its appearance now threatens to look like an afterthought. In true last-second desperation, it’s not until the ship is almost sunk that we become ready to try and salvage it. Many now recognise, even some in the mainstream, that our societies and governments need more than an ideological readjustment, they need to be completely dismantled and started anew.

The recent joint surge of Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, while providing a heartening and interesting display, is unlikely to generate any serious change unless paralleled by a revolution of the masses.… Read the rest

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Pope Francis Ignites a Revolt That Will Overthrow American Capitalism

Sajithsameera (CC BY 4.0)

Sajithsameera (CC BY 4.0)

Paul B. Farrell writes at MarketWatch:

Yes, Pope Francis is encouraging civil disobedience, leading a rebellion. Listen closely, Francis knows he’s inciting political rebellion, an uprising of the masses against the world’s superrich capitalists. And yet, right-wing conservatives remain in denial, tuning out the pope’s message, hoping he’ll just go away like the “Occupy Wall Street” movement did.

Never. America’s narcissistic addiction to presidential politics is dumbing down our collective brain. Warning: Forget Bernie vs. Hillary. Forget the circus-clown-car distractions created by Trump vs. the GOP’s Fab 15. Pope Francis is the only real political leader that matters this year. Forget the rest. Here’s why:

Pope Francis is not just leading a “Second American Revolution,” he is rallying people across the Earth, middle class as well as poor, inciting billions to rise up in a global economic revolution, one that could suddenly sweep the planet, like the 1789 French storming the Bastille.

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Ideas For Reporters Struggling To Cover the Planned Parenthood Organ Selling Video Scandal

Mark Norman Francis (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Mark Norman Francis (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Mollie Hemingway writes at the Federalist:

Many years ago I interviewed for a reporting job covering government waste, fraud and mismanagement. The interview went well and my future employers mentioned that they’d had trouble keeping the position filled as many reporters had trouble coming up with story ideas. They wondered if that would be a problem. I thought they were joking, so I chuckled. But they were entirely serious.

I thought of that when looking at media coverage of the Planned Parenthood scandal. The media seem to be really struggling to come up with any story ideas for how to cover this story.

A few reporters wrote an initial story on the undercover video that caught the senior director for medical services at Planned Parenthood discussing the harvesting of organs from the unborn children killed by abortion. Another few reporters noted early political repercussions that followed, including the launching of state and federal investigations.

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Why Don’t We Wipe Out Isis?

Why don’t we wipe out Isis? Patrick Quinlain, author of Sexbot, lets us know. This piece originally appeared at Thee Optimist:

ISIS fighters (about to execute some poor schmuck in a jacket and a tie) are bad news in so many ways.  They are so bad, in fact, that they remind me of another group in recent popular culture. Could it be...

Above: ISIS fighters (about to execute some poor schmuck in a jacket and a tie) are bad news in so many ways. They are so bad, in fact, that they remind me of another group in recent popular culture. Could it be…

These guys?

orcs1

Yes.

ISIS (short for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) fighters are a lot like the Orcs in the recent JRR Tolkien movies.

You know ISIS, right? They’ve been fighting to topple the Syrian government for the past few years, but it seemed like they came rampaging out of a nightmare about the Dark Ages sometime in the winter of 2014.

Muslim extremists, they were affiliated with Al-Qaeda, until Al-Qaeda decided they were too extreme and cut off ties with them.

You know you’re an extremist when Al-Qaeda thinks you’re too extreme.… Read the rest

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LGBT v. Fascism

Taken from the National Observer

Taken from the National Observer

While working on a piece, published at Rabble, about the big evil trade deal (TPP), written by corporations to protect profits at the expense of human rights, I saw first hand the reduction of the once fiercely political LGBT community in its appeal to corporate power. In this case, the deal was set to restrict access to HIV drugs, which affects LGBT people disproportionately.

Here, the movement has divorced itself from the rights of HIV positive (poz) people, which continue to be under threat seemingly for political reasons. If you look at the recent ambitions of the western gay rights movement, they have been based primarily on marriage equality. Gay marriage is a business friendly goal. To the point where the faces used to market it are exclusively white and upper class. Granting wealthy, white, gay men the right to marry each other was a very minor concession on the part of the state.… Read the rest

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The Happiest Places to Live in the USA

When thinking about where you will settle down and spend your life, what do you consider? For most of us, happiness is towards the top of our requirements. While being happy in your surroundings is subjective, there are many elements pertaining to living in certain areas that can put a smile on your face.

One of these key factors is the cost of living, but it’s important to note that the cost to rent property in the United States fluctuates dramatically state by state. It’s imperative to be aware of the financial ramifications if you’re planning on renting property in certain areas, as this can have a huge impact on your comfort and stability levels on a daily basis.

In addition to financial comfort, your actual surroundings may be affecting your mood more than you think. The study of ecopsychology refers to the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles.… Read the rest

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Slavoj Žižek: The Courage of Hopelessness

Andrew McCoubrey (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Andrew McCoubrey (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Slavoj Žižek writes at the New Statesman:

The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben said in an interview that “thought is the courage of hopelessness” – an insight which is especially pertinent for our historical moment when even the most pessimist diagnostics as a rule finishes with an uplifting hint at some version of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The true courage is not to imagine an alternative, but to accept the consequences of the fact that there is no clearly discernible alternative: the dream of an alternative is a sign of theoretical cowardice, it functions as a fetish which prevents us thinking to the end the deadlock of our predicament. In short, the true courage is to admit that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlight of another train approaching us from the opposite direction. There is no better example of the need for such courage than Greece today.

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