Wattree's picture

    A Message To White America: Black People Can Teach You A Lot If You’d Just Listen

    It’s funny how ideas about articles come about. Sometimes they just seem to walk up to you and knock on your door, and they’re so simple and obvious that it’s almost as if they’ve been suggested by the universe. The idea for this article was one such occurrence. If the subject matter had been a mugger it could have robbed me blind.
    .
    I recently ran into a guy at the supermarket who came up and introduced himself as I was loading my goodies into the car. He said that a friend of his pointed me out and told him that I was Eric Wattree, and he wanted to tell me that while he didn’t always agree with me, he loved reading my articles because he appreciated the "outside of the box" insight that I bring to many issues. Then he went on to say the following:

    Ramona's picture

    The Things We Leave Undone While We Sweat The Small Stuff

     

    In this country millions of children are going hungry.  There are as many reasons as there are hungry children, but not a single one of them is the fault of the child.

    This year's count puts the homeless at nearly 600,000. Many of them are our veterans, come home from wars with wounds that won't heal.  Nearly a third of them live on the streets.  Some cities work diligently to keep them off the streets, not by sheltering them but by making their attempts to sleep outdoors more difficult.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Against Rock Stars

    This summer, I went to a Cleveland Indians game which involved a pregame celebration for Johnny "Johnny Football" Manziel. [Full disclosure: I am a lifelong Boston sports fan living in Cleveland. Although I sometimes go to the Jake just to watch the Indians, I was there that night because my Red Sox were in town.] Everybody in the building seemed to be deliriously excited about Johnny Football. Everybody was making his little money-fingers gesture.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Articles About Race Part 2 Black on Black Crime

    If you Google black on black crime you'll be bombarded by statistics detailing inner city violence, pictures of chalk outlines and countless stories about the lives that have been destroyed. What you won't find are many stories chronicling the history of the black bourgeois attacking poorer and less educated blacks. This form of black on black crime is used by reactionaries to validate the criminalization of blacks. The most tasteless form of these attacks are leveled by "elites" who seek to distance themselves from the negative imagery associated with black life. There's a very lucrative conservative media market for blacks willing to denigrate other blacks.

    trkingmomoe's picture

    One in Five Children Are on Food Stamps

    Yesterday the US Census Bureau released a press report on the amount of children receiving food stamps. This is on their annual Families and Living Arrangements  report. The press release is titled "One in Five Children Receive Food Stamps, Census Bureau Reports."

    That is 16 million kids who's families rely on food stamps.  This report came out on the heels of a report by the Southern Education Foundations, which reported that 51% of children in school is living in poverty. These numbers are sobering. What this is telling us that even though wealth has increased since the great recession that a large part of out society has not recovered.  We have more families now in this group then we had in 2007.  

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Articles About Race Part 1

    A friend sent me a link to an article written by Dennis Prager titled "From The Great-Man Theory to Dead White-Male-Criticism Theory".  As I was reading this article I was convinced that most people fall into one of four categories when it comes to race and racism in America. While this isn't a rigid theory, I think it will start a conversation.

    The first group of people are "racial-realist": they acknowledge the progress made in areas concerning racial equality, but realize discrimination is still a part of life for some. They tend to support solutions to racial issues through the use of political and social power. Often they have a sensitivity to victims of discrimination and are more likely to be activists.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Typhoid Mary and the Anti-Vaxxers

    The measles outbreak in Southern California has been generously made possible by California law's "personal belief exemption," which allows adults to refuse vaccinations for their children or themselves based on their so-called "personal belief" that vaccines cause autism. Here "personal belief" is extended to include not simply religious and moral teachings -- the question here isn't that religion teaches that vaccination is morally wrong -- but factual errors.

    Uproar as Michael Moore Scorns Snipers

    As they clutch at their American Sniper movie tickets, the right is in a tizzy over Michael Moore, the guy who accurately revealed the real motives behind the Iraq War, a job that our mainstream corporate media failed to do, in his 2004 movie Fahrenheit 9/11.  Moore is now showing disdain for the hero of the right's favorite movie. Moore says:

    My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse...“I tried to save more lives than a sniper ever could hope to — by preventing us from going to war in the first place,” he said. “So, Fox News and the other lazy media — quit making s**t up about me! You look ridiculous.”

    Ramona's picture

    Vandals, I Don't Get You. Can We Talk?

    van·dal

     
    noun: vandal; plural noun: vandals
    1. 1.
      a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.
      "the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals"
      synonyms:hoodlum, barbarian, thug, hooligan, delinquent, despoiler, desecrator, saboteur
      "vandals defaced the front steps of the church"
    2. 2.
      a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries and sacked Rome in AD 455.
    Wattree's picture

    America Is Suffering Because We’ve Turned Our Political ‘Employees’ Into Aristocrats

    I often hear people complaining about how our system has broken down. As a solution they generally propose that we put term limits into place, and/or institute government-financed elections. I’m all for the latter, but I’m totally against term limits because it takes away the citizens’ right to return people to office who represent them well. I’m against any measure that takes away a citizen’s ‘right to choose.’

    But the assertion that the system has broken down begs the question. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the system as it is. WE are the problem, not the system. We are negligently apathetic. Those of us who even bother to vote and keep ourselves informed about what’s going on around us assume that we can simply vote for the politicians we like, then go on about our business and allow the politicians to run the country, but that’s not it’s supposed to work.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Religious Fundamentalism and Stepford Christianity

    “No one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society.”

    “For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a sociological one. This is why I want a Church that is poor and for the poor.”

    -- Pope Francis

    The garbage man and the investment banker differ in a variety of socioeconomic ways, but their value to greater society is ultimately determined by their influence on the lives of those around them. There will always be someone to dispose of the waste: whether it's household trash or toxic collateralized debt obligations. The way we (as a society) treat (some) people is a direct manifestation of our collective worship of money. It's not uncommon in our culture to meet someone and ask: what do you do for a living? For too many the answer to that question sets boundaries and limits interpersonal relationships. Our society is conditioned to believe that the person in higher socioeconomic standing is ipso facto a better person. This kind of thinking is derivative of our idolatrous pursuit of wealth as a means of acquiring prestige and power.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's Middle Class Legacy

    The early, very early, take on the Obama legacy is that it will be marred by the declining fortunes of America's middle class under his presidency.  This will be a tough narrative to counter.  But this is really not just Obama's fault.

    Topics: 
    trkingmomoe's picture

    51% of Children in School Live in Poverty-Shame on USA

    The majority of students in K thru 12 are now living in low income according to a new report from the Southern Education Foundation. The data was collected by the NCES (National Center of Education Statistics.) 

     http://www.southerneducation.org/Our-Strategies/Research-and-Publications/New-Majority-Diverse-Majority-Report-Series/A-New-Majority-2015-Update-Low-Income-Students-Now 

     This has been building up for years. In 1989, it was less then 32%. Then in 2000, it reached 38%. Now, 51% of children are at a disadvantage. We can no longer ignore the reality of this for the future of our economy and society as a whole. Evie Blade a staff writer for Education Weekly in her article "New Milestone: Majority of Public School Students Now Considered Low Income" writes:

    Ramona's picture

    The Cowardly Liberal Talks About Strength

    About once a year or so I have a confidence crisis.  When it happens I'm able to convince myself that I can't go on writing about politics and hate and fear and unfairness.  This year it was even worse, brought on by the very real fact that the dreaded Republicans swept the elections last November and are now in almost complete control of our lives.

    Topics: 
    barefooted's picture

    Irony

    Stop me if you've heard this before: "Some of these images may be disturbing to our viewers". What inevitably follows those words, or some variation thereof, is recorded carnage. Now and then we're even treated to it in real time. Things are blown up, people are murdered, mutilated and terrorized. We see their bloody bodies. We listen to the screams as shots ring out. And we watch those "disturbing" scenes over and over and over because it's news. Just ask every television network that airs them, any online site that imbeds the video or the newspapers that publish the gruesome photographs. It rarely seems to concern these bastions of journalistic integrity that viewing violence might incite violence among those with questionable tendencies. It's the news, so they report it.

    But Allah forbid we see satirical cartoons. Some people might be offended.

    Evolving Thoughts Which Conclude with, 'I Am Not Charlie'

    The short quote which most nearly describes my opinion of the “Je suis Charlie.” knee-jerk fad-fest is a tweet I saw somewhere which I paraphrase as, "I am [insert the name of the murdered Muslim cop].  it is a statement in agreement with a saying attributed originally to Voltaire but which has been repeated ad nauseam through the years. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I depart from the sentiment somewhat because I, personally, would not voluntarily die in defense of any abstract belief if I could possibly avoid it. And, I would not march with the  leaders who amassed in Paris to give lip service supposedly, but I believe for most of them hypocritically, defending  that concept. That said, I sincerely appreciate the freedom of speech I have to the extent that it exists.

    Muḥammad's picture

    Muhammad Blogs

    Every now and then I come back to Earth for a little look around, maybe a stroll through Turban Outfitters, looking for ironic t-shirts and throwback burqas for the ladies.  Nothing apocalyptic about it.  I’m chill, man. It’s just that when you change the world like Jesus, Moses, Einstein, Picasso or Elvis, you continue your interest in worldly things long after you shuffle off the mortal coil.  Me and Elvis live on the same block uptown, you know

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    What Does Charlie Hebdo Mean For Us?

    The free press and the right to report, dissent or satirize without fear of criminal prosecution is often confused with the right to do so without facing the consequences of those actions. Terrorists aren't constrained by the law. I look forward to reading comments on political sites and blogs. The passion that some people write with is palpable. With that said, trolling a blog or social media site is different than attaching your name and identity to an article or cartoon that terrorists find offensive. The tragedy that unfolded at Charlie Hebdo in Paris was a brutal wake up call to those who choose to stand on principle.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Common Sense About Making Fun of Islam

    When 12 people die violently and needlessly and a newspaper essayist doesn't have a lot of time to process events, things get said.  In The Financial TimesTony Barber gave us this:

    This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims.

    Topics: 

    An Atheist's Creed

    I quite deliberately used the indefinite article "An" in the title for I in no way intend to speak for all atheists. As I've mentioned before on this site, I was raised a Christian, and that has no doubt influenced my worldview. If I were to create a creed for all atheists, it'd simply be, "I do not believe that gods exist." That is what is sometimes referred to as weak atheism (no insult intended). It is the type of atheism that animals and babies have, and that some adults claim to have (I'm skeptical about that). Strong atheism is the belief that there are no gods. Some people have a hard time distinguishing between those two statements, but the former is a lack of belief in gods, and the latter is a belief in the lack of gods. For those who use this terminology (and it's definitely not universal), there's also weak agnosticism – an uncertainty in one's beliefs, and strong agnosticism – a belief that such knowledge is ultimately unknowable for anyone. Again, the terms weak and strong should not be considered judgments about those positions.

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