Ghosts of ’68 in Election 2016

Michael Winship | Moyers & Company | Reader Supported News | May 16, 2016

Longtime observers of American politics have noted striking parallels between the unpredictable wartime election of 1968 and the bizarre presidential contest of 2016, another time of war and distress, as Michael Winship recalls.


atching the mad, mad, mad, mad world that is the 2016 presidential campaign, I was trying to remember a presidential campaign that was as jaw-dropping, at least in my lifetime, and easily settled on 1968.

For those too young to remember, imagine: As fighting in Vietnam rages on and the Tet Offensive makes us all too aware of the futility of our Southeast Asian military fiasco, Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy decides to run as an antiwar candidate against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson.

Supported by an army of “Clean for Gene” college students knocking on doors and making phone calls, McCarthy does surprisingly well, and then New York Sen. Robert Kennedy gets into the race, too. Johnson makes a surprise announcement that he will not seek a second term in the White House and McCarthy and Kennedy duke it out in the primaries.

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Why Do We Keep Learning New Secrets About 9/11?

Charles Pierce } Esquire | Reader Supported News | May 14, 2016

There are allegedly more Saudi officials implicated in the 9/11 Report than we thought.

he pointless alleged cover-up of the role of Saudi nationals in the attacks of September 11, 2001 is starting to come just a little bit unraveled. The Guardian had a provocative piece quoting John Lehman, a Republican member of the 9/11 Commission and a former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, to the effect that the investigation essentially buried the question of Saudi involvement.

“There was an awful lot of participation by Saudi individuals in supporting the hijackers, and some of those people worked in the Saudi government,” Lehman said in an interview, suggesting that the commission may have made a mistake by not stating that explicitly in its final report. “Our report should never have been read as an exoneration of Saudi Arabia.” He was critical of a statement released late last month by the former chairman and vice-chairman of the commission, who urged the Obama administration to be cautious about releasing the full congressional report on the Saudis and 9/11—”the 28 pages”, as they are widely known in Washington—because they contained “raw, unvetted” material that might smear innocent people.

I, for one, didn’t know that a Saudi diplomat had been implicated in the support network on which some of the hijackers depended while living in San Diego. (Why is Fahad al-Thumairy walking around free while shoeless losers who fall for FBI stings get shipped off to the nether regions of the federal penal system?) But Lehman wasn’t finished yet.

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Immigrants: We Were Denied Vital Medical Care While in ICE Detention Center

Immigrants in ICE detention center. (photo: AP)
Immigrants in ICE detention center. (photo: AP)


Esther Yu-Hsi Lee | ThinkProgress |Reader Supported News | May 12, 2016

elson De Jesus Fernandez takes blood thinners to control Behcet’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues, resulting in damage to blood vessels and veins. But when Fernandez — who’s originally from the Dominican Republic — was placed in an immigrant detention center in Hudson County, New Jersey, he wasn’t given the right medication. The facility gave him an unknown drug that caused him to bleed internally for approximately three days before he was taken to a local hospital.

Fernandez wasn’t the only immigrant whose symptoms were neglected at the Hudson County Correctional Facility. Another detainee was denied ongoing care after an initial hospital appointment even though he was a cancer survivor. Yet another was denied physical therapy and additional surgery to repair an internal issue with his leg, which he broke before he was detained by immigration agents, because “the injury occurred prior to ICE custody.”

These are just a few of the five dozen immigrants held in at Hudson who received inadequate medical care, according to a complaint filed by the immigrant rights organizations Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) and First Friends of NJ NY.

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D.C. Judge Rosemary Collyer To Lead Surveillance Court

Zoe Tillman | The National Law Journal | April 28, 2016

May is shaping up to be a month of change for Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

On May 18, Collyer will take senior status, a position that gives her the flexibility to handle a reduced caseload should she choose. The next day, she’ll become presiding judge of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, according to an announcement posted on the court’s website.

The surveillance court—housed in the same downtown Washington courthouse as the U.S. district court—reviews U.S. law enforcement applications for electronic surveillance. It operates largely in secret.

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Editor of Bangladesh’s First LGBT Magazine Stabbed to Death

Bangladeshi policemen try to control the crowd of onlookers at a building where two people were found stabbed to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday. (photo: A.M. Ahad/AP)
Bangladeshi policemen try to control the crowd of onlookers at a building where two people were found stabbed to death in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday. (photo: A.M. Ahad/AP)


Associated Press | Reader Supported News | April 25, 2016

wo men, including the editor of a gay rights magazine, were hacked to death in Bangladesh’s capital Monday, police said, two days after a university professor was slain in a style similar to recent attacks on bloggers and secular activists by Islamic militants.

Authorities said Islamic militants were suspected in Monday’s slayings at an apartment building in the Kalabagan area of Dhaka, though no arrests were reported and no one claimed responsibility. In addition to the two men killed, a guard at the building was injured, officials said.

The men killed Monday were identified as Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an editor for Roopbaan magazine and an employee of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and his friend, Tanay Majumder, an activist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights, police said.

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Stonewall National Museum & Archives Events April 2016

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The Naked Civil Servant
Film Screening and Discussion hosted by Larry Ferber
Stonewall National Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery
2157 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 Free.
Celebrating new acquisitions to our permanent collection of Quentin Crisp memorabilia!

Based on Quentin Crisp’s 1968 autobiography, the once-controversial picture The Naked Civil Servant

(1975) stars Sir John Hurt as Crisp, an outrageous flamboyant gay man who publicly declared his homosexuality during the brutally homophobic and misogynistic England of the 1930s and ’40s — a time when being homosexual was still an offense punishable by imprisonment in Great Britain.
Hosted by Larry Ferber, three time Emmy-Nominated television producer and host of The Living Room movie series at FAU.
Join us for a glass of wine before the film. Seating is Limited. Free.

FRIDAY, MARCH 4 AT 7 PMLike us on Facebook
A Tale of Lesbian Pulp Novels
Visual Presentation by Robin Cohen
Stonewall National Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery
2157 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305. Free.
Celebrating the collection of gay and lesbian pulp fiction novels in the Stonewall National Archives.
Historian and researcher Robin Cohen shares her comprehensive and fascinating research into the area of Lesbian Pulp Fiction. Through a moving personal narration of a visual presentation featuring music and book covers spanning decades, Robin shares a history of lesbians in the 1950s, and fascinating stories of uncovering pulp author identities, including one author surprisingly unveiled in her own family.

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Here & Now
Presented in partnership with the Silver Eye Center for Photography
Stonewall National Museum – Wilton Manors Gallery

2157 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, FL 33305

On exhibit March 10 – May 1
Originally curated by Rafael Soldi for Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, this show features work from three artists “embarking on physical and emotional journeys to define and discover queerness across the American landscape.” Works by Richard Renaldi, Molly Landreth and Elle Perez will offer for visitors a view of gay life across America. Here and Now will challenge commonly held beliefs about what is gay “normal” and how a new generation of LGBT folks are redefining gay life in America.

Democracy Spring and the US Voting Matrix: How Much of the Electoral Process Is Illusory?

Candice Bernd | Truthout | April 24, 2016

(Courtesy: Peter Callahan / Democracy Spring)Protesters with Democracy Spring demonstrate against money in politics. (Courtesy: Peter Callahan / Democracy Spring)


The parallel Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening mobilizations wrapped their week of sit-ins protesting the corrosive influence of money in politics and voter suppression at the US Capitol on Monday, tallying more than 1,400 arrests.

Launching with a 10-day march from Philadelphia to Washington, DC, the movement hosted rallies, speakers and teach-ins last week, along with lobbying members of Congress. The protests broke the record for the most nonviolent arrests at the Capitol in a single week, culminating Monday with arrests of leaders from the civil rights, labor and environmental movements.

NAACP president Cornell Brooks, Communication Workers of America president Chris Shelton and Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard were among those who helped lead the Democracy Awakening mobilization on Monday, which also aimed to pressure Republicans to confirm President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to the Supreme Court.

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Let’s Be Clear About Andrew Jackson (and Lord Jeffery Amherst)

The image of Andrew Jackson on the US $20 bill. (photo: Politico)
The image of Andrew Jackson on the US $20 bill. (photo: Politico)


Harvey Wasserman | Reader Supported News | April 23, 2016

he decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill is long overdue. So is the movement to remove the name of Lord Jeffery Amherst from that college town in western Massachusetts.

Let’s start with Jackson, our most racist major president next to Woodrow Wilson.

Jackson was our first president from west of the Alleghenies, and the first to not wear the powdered wigs favored by Virginia plantation owners.

Andy’s parents were Irish immigrants who died early. He had a brutally impoverished childhood. One of his fourteen duels left a bullet permanently lodged near his heart. (Teddy Roosevelt also had one of those.)

Jackson is most revered as the “Common Man” who fought Alexander Hamilton’s national bank. He later personally profited from kickbacks paid him by cronies who owned smaller banks that benefitted.

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Crash and Burn: Confronting Capitalism’s Toll on the Environment

A trash fire in Manila, Philippines. (photo: Adam Cohn/Flickr)
A trash fire in Manila, Philippines. (photo: Adam Cohn/Flickr)


Kate Aronoff | Jacobin | Reader Supported News | April 23, 2016

f climate wonks have a Holy Grail, it’s decoupling rising greenhouse gas emissions from a rising GDP. Paths to economic growth have historically involved digging up and burning massive stores of carbon held in fossil fuels. For centuries, their fumes have produced the energy needed to build factories, plan modern cities, and increase living standards.

Calls to find new paths to prosperity are met by cries from the Right that pit growth against environmental stewardship. Take dirty energy out of the mix, they say, and the chances for a better life for billions crumble.

“We frankly don’t have an option,” United Nations climate chief Christiana Figures recently told journalist Elizabeth Kolbert about decoupling. Growth and falling emissions, she warned, “are absolutely key to being able to feed, house, and educate the two billion more family members who will be joining us.”

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Michelle Alexander: A Vision for America Beyond the ‘New Jim Crow’

Professor Michelle Alexander. (photo: Hampshire College)
Professor Michelle Alexander. (photo: Hampshire College)


Krista Tippett | On Being | Reader Supported News | April 22, 2016

s. Krista Tippett, host: The civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander is one of the people who is waking us up to history we don’t remember and structures most of us can’t fathom intending to create. “Mass incarceration” and the “school-to-prison pipeline” — these are shorthand ways of talking about human wreckage decades on from policies that began during the Nixon administration in the wake of civil rights advances, in the name of reestablishing order.

Poor people of color were swept into the criminal justice system as war was waged on drug crimes which were largely ignored when committed by middle- or upper-class whites. Michelle Alexander calls the punitive culture that has emerged the “new Jim Crow.” And she is making this visible in the name of a fierce hope and a conviction that, across the differences in this land, we not only can, but already are rising to the transformation to which it calls.

Professor Michelle Alexander: The press of our daily lives can make it difficult to imagine alternatives, and to commit ourselves to even small steps towards building a movement that might have some hope of being truly transformational. But all over the country right now people are actually doing that work. In faith communities, in reentry centers, in schools, on campuses, on street corners and barber shops today, people are asking questions that haven’t been asked in a long time, and saying, we don’t want to live in a prison state. How are we going to go about building a movement that can birth something new?

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