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Mother Jones speaks: The only known voice recording of ‘the most dangerous woman in America’
12.13.2013
06:51 am

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Activism
Class War

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Mother Jones

Mother Jones
 
In times like these, a voice like that of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones grows more and more needed with every passing day.

If you’ve never heard it before, take the time to listen to that voice. It’s the only recording we have of it. The occasion was May 1, 1930, the 100th birthday of Mother Jones.

If only we had a nationally famous person who would ever dare to say the kinds of things Mother Jones used to say. I can’t think of one.
 
Mother Jones
Mother Jones marching to give Theodore Roosevelt what-for about children spending their days in coal mines instead of schools.

Here are some other pithy things the microphone might have recorded if it had been available on other days in Mother Jones’ life:

I’m not a humanitarian, I’m a hell-raiser.

No matter what the fight, don’t be ladylike! God almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies.

I asked a man in prison once how he happened to be there and he said he had stolen a pair of shoes. I told him if he had stolen a railroad he would be a United States Senator.

If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout Freedom for the working class!

By the bye, Mother Jones was capable of stretching the truth every now and then. This recording was supposedly made on Mother Jones’ 100th birthday, but the evidence shows that when she died later on in 1930, she was actually only 93 years old.

Politifact has called this “the lie of the last 100 years.”
 

 
via Lawyers Guns & Money

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Shell Oil gets more than they bargained for when slick pranksters invade their ‘Science Slam’
12.12.2013
07:26 pm

Topics:
Activism
Environment
Heroes

Tags:
Peng Collective


 
The Burson-Marsteller public relations firm held a “Science Slam” event in Berlin yesterday to try to burnish the reputation of their client—I believe the industry term is “greenwash”—the Shell oil company. A “Science Slam” is like a rap battle or poetry slam meets a TED talk. Presenters make—or try to make—entertaining oral presentations of their scientific concepts, inventions or advocacy, and then the audience chooses the winner. Shell can do things like this or sponsor an “Eco Race” with all electric cars or some bullshit like that and then pretend like they give a fuck about the environment.

Several of the presenters directly challenged Shell’s ethics in their presentations and a freestyle rapper offered up a spontaneous rhyming diss of the Dutch oil giant. Environmental disasters and climate change were apparently the main topics, but at the end, two “young scientists” brought out a machine they informed the audience was a CO2 recovery experiment. Once fired up, the machine sprayed black oil sludge all over the stage.

No word what the half trillion dollar oil company made of this debacle, but the audience members voted these oily pranksters—two members of the subversive activist group the Peng! Collective—as the winners. Then the contest was promplty cancelled!
 

 
Via Nerdcore

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Now might be a good time to talk about Gloria Steinem’s time as a CIA asset…
11.25.2013
07:28 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism

Tags:
CIA
Gloria Steinem


By the way, the other woman in this photo is Dorothy Pitman Hughes, an amazing activist who has received neither the press nor the institutional acceptance of Steinem
 
Last week, 79-year-old feminist icon Gloria Steinem was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. During her acceptance speech, she graciously declared,“I’d be crazy if I didn’t understand that this was a medal for the entire women’s movement.”  Should you be under the impression that this award is indicative of a tacit endorsement of feminism by either the the Obama administration or even the U.S. Government, allow me to brush you up on a little feminist history.

In 1959, Gloria Steinem attended the communist-sponsored World Youth Festival in Vienna as the head of the Independent Service for Information, a CIA front. The ISI had been set up at Harvard to send young anti-communist Americans to attend the World Youth Festival, where they could defend the US against communist critics and report back on their Marxist counterparts. Steinem was in charge of recruiting those young anti-communists.

Currently, Steinem is an honorary chair of Democratic Socialists of America (my comrades and former employers). The primary initiator of DSA, Michael Harrington (then of the Young People’s Socialist League), was also offered a free trip, but declined. Though he was a socialist, and critical of communism, Harrington refused to go unless he was also given license to criticize capitalism. Apparently Ms. Steinem felt no such moral conflict.

Before I’m dismissed as the Alex Jones of feminism, Steinem’s time with the CIA is public record. In the video below (yes, I know it’s from a conspiracy theory nut), she discusses her time as an employee. Now, I’m not accusing Gloria Steinem of being some sort of secret government fake feminist spy, but I do think it’s important to remember that we boner-killing, man-hating witches are not a united front, and we certainly aren’t all working towards the same goals. Some of us worked for the CIA for four years, others of us want to smash capitalism, and guess which ones get medals from the President?

Steinem may think she’s accepting an award “for the entire women’s movement,” but she sure as hell isn’t accepting it on my behalf.

Bonus: Gloria Steinem poses with Terry Richardson...
 

 
Special thanks to Phoenix on this one!

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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This could suck: Kathleen Hanna on public speaking
11.13.2013
01:31 pm

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Activism
Feminism

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Kathleen Hanna


 
Feminist performer, punk icon, writer and frontwoman for Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin, Kathleen Hanna’s talents also include being an engaging public speaker. Thanks to her experience talking in front of journalists, unruly crowds at concerts, tamer audiences in university classrooms, libraries and lecture halls, she knows what she’s doing. Here she explains how to get up in front of a group of people, who may or may not be throwing things and yelling sexist insults at you from the mosh pit, and get your point across without undue worry about whether you suck at public oratory.
 

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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Help stop the trade of live animals as keychain / lucky charms in China
10.16.2013
09:50 am

Topics:
Activism
Animals

Tags:
China
Petition

0000bantrade.jpg
 

AVAAZ.org have a petition to stop the sale of living animals as keychain/lucky charm.

The petition calls on the United Nations to:

...demand the Chinese government to ban the manufacture and sale of amulets and jewelry containing live animals.

As the petition explains, this “new fashion” jewelry in China has:

...animals living under plastic containing a liquid nutrient and oxygen that allows them to live up to 2 months.

This is cruel and should be condemned by the international community.

Though it has been claimed that the animals can live up to two months in the “nutrient” environment, this is not true, as the animals die within days through a lack of oxygen.

This story has been featured in the news since 2008, but nothing has been done to stop this horrific trade.

Please sign the petition to help highlight and stop the sale of amulets and jewelry containing live animals. Thank you.
 

 

 
With thanks to Lindsay Reid.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Billy Bragg makes surprise visit to union rally in Minnesota
09.28.2013
04:32 pm

Topics:
Activism
Class War

Tags:
unions
Billy Bragg

billyatuminn
 
Activist and singer-songwriter Billy Bragg showed up at the University of Minnesota’s American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union’s Rally for Affordable & Accessible Healthcare for All this week, spoke about his support for the workers, and played “There is Power in a Union” and “Keep the Faith.” The AFSCME is the union for the university’s clerical, technical and health care workers. The are fighting for a simple sliding-scale health care model, but the university’s administrators – at an institution that is supposedly so very progressive – won’t even discuss it. Bragg happened to be in Minneapolis to play a gig last night at the Cedar, but still took the time to get to the noon rally. 

He was interviewed by Margaret Cho on the Monsters of Talk podcast in May, when he talked about the need for universal health care in the U.S. and Breaking Bad. And some of Cho’s tattoos. Their point is similar to the recent Breaking Bad, Anywhere But America Edition comic strip.
 

 
Bragg tweeted this pointed comment at Senator Ted Cruz on Wednesday:
 

.
 
Animated excerpt from Monsters of Talk podcast with Margaret Cho interviewing Billy Bragg:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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Ai Weiwei skateboard decks: ‘As Graceful as Throwing Stones at a Dictatorship’
09.27.2013
05:01 pm

Topics:
Activism
Art
Sports

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Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei skateboard decks
 
The well-known Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has just released three gorgeous skateboard decks in association with the Dutch skateboard company The Sk8room. Each of the models is a limited edition of 150, is hand-numbered and signed, and costs 300 Euros (about $400). Proceeds from the sale of the decks will go to Skateistan, a nonprofit NGO that promotes skateboarding and educational activities.

The slogans directly reference Weiwei’s ongoing struggles against the Chinese government, which has repeatedly harassed the whimsical and outspoken artist and even arrested him for “economic crimes” in 2001. The three slogans are: “There Are No Outdoor Sports as Graceful as Throwing Stones at a Dictatorship in the World,” “Maybe Being Powerful Means to Be Fragile,” “The World Is Not Changing If You Don’t Shoulder the Burden of Responsibility.”

Weiwei paid homage to his own artworks for the decks. One of them uses an image from his installation Sunflower Seeds, which was shown at London’s Tate Modern in 2010, and another borrows from his work He Xie, which featured a group of ceramic crabs and was displayed at Washington D.C.‘s Hirshhorn Museum.
 
After the jump, some close-up views of the three Ai Weiwei decks….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Parenting pioneer Dr Spock’s radical politics
09.22.2013
03:33 pm

Topics:
Activism
Class War

Tags:
socialism
Vietnam
Dr. Benjamin Spock

Dr Spock
 
Dr. Benjamin Spock is best-known for writing the baby bible, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. A drastic departure from the parenting techniques du jour, Spock opposed the strict schedule and limited affection espoused by prior child experts. He promoted such crazy techniques as “cuddle your baby,” “feed it when it’s hungry,” and “let it sleep when it’s tired,” all with a friendly, nonjudgmental tone. His primary advice for parents was, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

Spock was actually the first pediatrician also trained in psychology, and of course, countless medical doctors and psychologists have confirmed his infant-centered parenting over the years. In fact, that’s why people no longer try and toilet-train 3-month-olds with suppositories. Seriously, it was common practice to attempt to toilet train three-month-old babies, and in the 30’s, it was even recommended that suppositories be used to regulate infant bowels. I can’t imagine a more agonizing Sisyphean futility than dangling an infant over the toilet (I assume you’d have to dangle them), but suppositories for a baby sounds nightmarish.

Despite Spock’s groundbreaking work, his critics often insisted that his methods were too soft, and instilled no discipline in babies, who would never become diligent and upstanding citizens without proper baby-molding. This was certainly exacerbated by Spock’s outspoken radical politics.

Joining SANE (The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy) in 1962, Spock was a dedicated anti-war activist from the start. After both a statement of support and a very public donation to draft-resistors, he was convicted of conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet resistance to the draft in 1968. (He was sentenced to two years in prison, but it was overturned in appeals.)

Spock also marched with Martin Luther King, and many activists encouraged him to run as King’s Vice-Presidential running-mate, though neither had any interest in the presidency at the time. That changed in 1972, however, when Spock ran for POTUS on The People’s Party ticket; his platform positions included a guaranteed living wage, socialized health care, and the repeal of laws restricting abortion, homosexuality, and marijuana use.

Dr. Spock actually completely embraced the politicization of his parenting philosophy, and even published a book, Spock on Vietnam with the referential image of a Vietnamese toddler on the cover.
 
protest poster
Protesting the war with Dr. Spock. This event was co-sponsored with the New York Council for a SANE Nuclear Policy, Women Strike for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Student Peace Union
 
What’s more, while he was adamant that his baby book be regularly revised (acknowledging that he didn’t have all the answers, and he had made mistakes) Dr. Spock never budged from his political principles. From his 1994 book, Rebuilding American Family Values: A Better World for Our Children:

The Permissive Label: A couple weeks after my indictment [for ‘conspiracy to counsel, aid and abet resistance to the military draft’], I was accused by Reverend Norman Vincent Peale, a well-known clergyman and author who supported the Vietnam War, of corrupting an entire generation. In a sermon widely reported in the press, Reverend Peale blamed me for all the lack of patriotism, lack of responsibility, and lack of discipline of the young people who opposed the war. All these failings, he said, were due to my having told their parents to give them “instant gratification” as babies. I was showered with blame in dozens of editorials and columns from primarily conservative newspapers all over the country heartily agreeing with Peale’s assertions.

While the baby-boomers of late seem to be under the impression that millenials are entitled little pansies raised by helicopter parents, it behooves us to get some historical perspective and remember that every generation is under the impression that they’re the last of the rugged cowboys.

Here’s Spock addressing his legal charges, careful to avoid incriminating himself or admitting guilt, ending his statement with a shout-out to the kids.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Bill de Blasio will be the next mayor of NYC because he’s the only candidate endorsed by drag queens

Lady Bunny
 
Okay, that’s not the only reason Bill de Blasio will be the next mayor of American’s greatest city. He advocates for paid sick leave, he’s spoken out against the racist “stop and frisk” NYPD tactic, and he’s been incredibly frank about raising taxes for the rich, all while wishy-washier Democrats faltered (or embarrassed the hell out of themselves). In fact, current NYC Mayor (and resident rich billionaire asshole) Bloomberg has referred to his campaign as “class warfare and racist,” so you know he’s gotta be doing something right!

But let’s talk about what (and who) has to be the first drag queen in a campaign commercial for a major political race! It’s Wigstock founder and and all arounf drag legend, Lady Bunny, who’s never shied away from politics (her Sarah Palin-themed parody of Harper Valley PTA is brilliant). While de Blasio’s biggest competition, Christine Quinn, is the first openly gay Speaker of the New York City Council, her race and class politics are absolute shit, and don’t fool savvy radical queer folk like Lady Bunny! What’s more, Bunny is featured in the ad as a dignified, concerned citizen, and not some socially liberal window-dressing to indicate how socially progressive the candidate is.

Fun fact: While jabbering moron and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has mistakenly portrayed de Blasio’s wife Chirlane McCray as somewhat homophobic, McCray self-identified as lesbian until meeting de Blasio. (She was even a member of the black feminist lesbian organization, the Combahee River Collective. So there, Maureen Dowd!)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Hilarious: Sign petition to name hurricanes after global warming deniers!


 
Every time I check to see how many YouTube views this clever video has gotten, it goes up by tens of thousands of views. The first time I looked, it had 150,000 views, the next day it was double that and just now, it’s at an impressive 876,672.

It’s only been up for two days. Must’ve touched a nerve!

Via AlterNet:

The environmental group petition 350 Action is urging the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to name hurricanes after policy makers who deny climate change.

The campaign entitled, “Climate Name Change”, released an accompanying video, which features prominent politicians who are skeptical of climate change such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Washington Post reported.

The video includes satirical news bulletins that could result from the proposed naming system, such as:  “If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michelle Bachmann” or “thousands of animals have been displaced or killed by Governor Rick Perry.”

Wunderbar! You can sign the petition here. The video is a must-see piece of well-made political messaging. Whoever came up with this concept, bravo!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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