Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | March 9, 2014
Top Oregon Republicans gathering at this weekend’s Dorchester Conference for the first time endorsed gay marriage.
The annual gathering celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this weekend with passage of a resolution in favor of repealing Oregon’s 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment which limits marriage to heterosexual unions.
Attendees overwhelmingly (233 to 162) approved the resolution on Saturday.
Richard D Wolff | Truthout | March 9, 2014
(Photo: Pete Souza / White House)
President Obama’s proven reliability as outsider president extraordinaire – putting a disarming smiley face on capitalism’s depredations – is his administration’s economic significance.
Enough time has elapsed in Obama’s presidency to assess its economic meanings. His administration’s actions and omissions tell a clear story. On one hand, Obama continued the economic program imposed on all presidents since World War II. On the other, Obama had the hardest time doing so and is likely the last to do it in the manner of those other presidents. History provides our context for assessing Obama’s economic significance.
The US economy’s defining moment across the past century was the 1930s eruption of an organized, self-conscious working class into politics. Massive union organizing drives by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) allied with massive popular mobilizations by socialist and communist parties. That labor-radical coalition forced huge concessions – the New Deal – from business and the wealthy. They were taxed and regulated to enable major gains for middle- and lower-income citizens. Those gains included establishing Social Security, unemployment compensation, minimum wage, and millions of federal jobs.
Cd Kirven | Oblogdeeoblogda | March 09, 2014.
“Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.” –Winston Churchill
On Monday, Feb. 24, President Yoweri Museveni signed Uganda’s notorious anti-gay bill into law. Museveni has once again fond himself in the middle of an international controversy by enacting legislation that imposes harsh prison sentences, including a life sentence for so called “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill was originally introduced back in 2009 but was met with a firestorm of opposition from LGBT activists and human rights groups. Now, with the law on the books and the United States losing influence in Uganda, advocacy on behalf of LGBT rights in that country will be difficult.
President Museveni has strategically positioned Uganda on the world stage, making his country imperative to those seeking a foothold in a region accustomed to violent conflict. In 2011, several U.S. soldiers attached to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) completed military-to-military training of more than 170 Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF) soldiers. The 16-week training program, led by U.S. soldiers, covered first aid, land navigation, search techniques, military operations in urban terrain, identifying improvised explosive devices, vehicle searches, and entry control point procedures. Ugandan soldiers were also provided basic military equipment. The $45 million in military equipment provided by the Pentagon to Uganda included four small drones, body armor, night-vision and communications gear.
Ruth Rosen | Open Democracy | Reader Supported News | March 9, 2014
“Everything that explains the world has in fact explained a world that does not exist, a world in which men are at the center of the human enterprise and women are at the margin “helping” them. Such a world does not exist — never has” (Gerda Lerner )
side from the Republican’s relentless War on Women, let me offer you another reason why even one token month is still necessary to America’s political culture.
I’ve just finished reading a book titled The Season of the Witch, written by David Talbot, who founded Salon.com in 1995, the first web magazine in the United States, known for breaking investigative journalistic stories. The book is an evocative political, social and cultural history of San Francisco from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. Since he dealt with every trend and movement, often in overheated prose, I kept waiting—and waiting–for him to describe the sudden explosion of the women’s liberation movement.
Astonishingly, Talbot didn’t even write one paragraph about the women’s movement, which certainly transformed American political and social culture more profoundly than did the two chapters he devotes to the San Francisco 49ers football team.
Eli Lake | The Daily Beast | Reader Supported News | March 9, 2014
he CIA and the Senators overseeing the agency are nearly at war. And it all revolves around the contents of a secret database documenting the CIA’s clandestine prisons.
At the center of CIA director John Brennan’s first major clash with the Senate is a massive database containing millions of pages of secrets about the agency’s “black site” prison networks and what the CIA euphemistically labeled “enhanced interrogation.” The rest of the world called it torture.
The CIA created the database in 2009 so that staffers from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence could review the documents at an agency facility as it prepared its own report ontorture. According to one Senate staff member familiar with the database, the computer network contains the cables, spot reports, interrogation logs and other details of the CIA’s “black sites,” a network of prisons around the world where captured al Qaeda operatives would usually end up for questioning before being sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Eric Stoner | Waging Nonviolence | AlterNet | March 8, 2014
When President Obama released his budget for 2015 on Tuesday, which included $495.6 billion for the Pentagon, the likely suspects screamed that the sky is going to fall. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon said the funding level is so low that it’s “immoral,” while the notorious climate denier Sen. James Inhofe — who is a ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee — declared that: “Today our enemies don’t fear us and our allies no longer respect us.” Strong words. Also, completely disconnected from reality.
Not only does this budget allocate a mere $420 million less than the Defense Department received from Congress this year, it represents just a fraction of the actual amount that will go towards maintaining the massive U.S. security apparatus. To get a more accurate picture of the true cost of the American empire, various programs and line items that do not fall under the Pentagon’s base budget must be included in this tally.
1) War spending: Despite the fact that Obama still officially plans to end combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of the year, the budget includes $79.4 billion for the war in 2015. Granted, that is only a placeholder. The actual figure will be decided on later, but it does give a sense of what is to be expected, which is essentially a continuation of the tragic status quo.
2) Veterans: To take account of the total price tag of the many wars that the United States has fought — and continues to fight — the long-term cost of providing for veterans should be included. To meet these needs, $68.4 billion has been requested for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
DUNCAN OSBORNE | Gay City News | March 8, 2014 Nine AIDS activists were arrested after they blockaded the entrance to the Consulate General of Nigeria while protesting that country’s recently enacted law with harsh criminal penalties for LGBT people and for advocacy of LGBT causes. “We have gathered today to demonstrate our solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community of Nigeria and with their families and friends,” said Charles King, the president of Housing Works, an AIDS group, at a March 7 rally. “We stand today not only in solidarity with this community, but also with the same communities in Uganda, in Cameroon, in Jamaica, with the young black gay man in East New York, with the young transgender Latina woman in the South Bronx, indeed, with all those around the globe, wherever they may dwell, who live in fear, who are forced from their homes, who suffer violence and indignities upon their person because of who they are or whom they love.” Housing Works’ executive director Charles King addresses the demonstrators. | GAY CITY NEWS King spoke to the roughly 400 people who joined the rally that was held in Midtown Manhattan on Second Avenue across from the consulate. Moments after King’s speech, the nine activists blocked the entrance to the building. They were first addressed by a senior consulate staffer using a police megaphone, though he could not be heard over the activists’ chanting, then police warned them to disperse. Similar protests were held in seven other cities around the globe on March 7.
Operators survey a drone’s flight path, ostensibly in the name of national security. (Master Sergeant Steve Horton/Wikimedia Commons)
Noam Chomsky | In These Times | March 3, 2014
A leading principle of international relations theory is that the state’s highest priority is to ensure security. As Cold War strategist George F. Kennan formulated the standard view, government is created “to assure order and justice internally and to provide for the common defense.”
The proposition seems plausible, almost self-evident, until we look more closely and ask: Security for whom? For the general population? For state power itself? For dominant domestic constituencies?
Depending on what we mean, the credibility of the proposition ranges from negligible to very high.
Irma Hunkeler | Gay Star News | March 8, 2014
To celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow (8 March) we are going to take a moment to appreciate the achievements of seven incredible LGBTI sportswomen.
s sexuality has made headlines and broken careers. Arguably the 21st century has seen some progress, but there is certainly a long way to go.
We look at seven athletes who in one fell swoop are blazing trails both for women in sport and LGBTI athletes.
James Withers | Gay Star News | March 8, 2014
Opponents to same-sex marriage in the US have given up on rationality. Take Michel Medved.
He’s a conservative radio host and today, 7 March, was on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
The CPAC is a yearly confab where conservatives meet and greet. Think of it as the political equivalent to a Star Trek convention.