Jul 15, 2019

True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality




Source: HBO

 In the last half-century, America has become the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, authorized the execution of hundreds of condemned prisoners and continued to struggle to recover from a long history of racial injustice. For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s FIght for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.


Told primarily in his own words, True Justice shares Bryan Stevenson’s experience with a criminal justice system that, he asserts, “treats you better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent.” The burden of facing this system is explored in candid interviews with associates, close family members and clients.


This feature documentary focuses on Stevenson’s life and career – particularly his indictment of the U.S. criminal justice system for its role in codifying modern systemic racism – and tracks the intertwined histories of slavery, lynching, segregation and mass incarceration. Highlighting watershed moments involving cases and clients, True Justice offers a rare glimpse into the human struggle that is required when the poor and people of color are wrongly condemned or unfairly sentenced, and explores the personal toll it has taken on Stevenson and his colleagues.

The film also documents the monumental opening one year ago, on April 26, 2018, of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and its National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the country’s only lynching memorial, which is dedicated to the more than 4,400 African American victims of lynching. These sites are part of the EJI’s nationwide effort to engage in a truth and reconciliation process around this country’s legacy of Native American genocide, slavery, lynching and racial segregation. As part of the campaign, Stevenson and the EJI are also working with communities to recognize lynching victims by collecting soil from lynching sites and erecting historical markers.


True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s FIght for Equality reveals a history that can’t be forgotten in the pursuit of genuine justice.

Jul 12, 2019

Fear Grips the Powerful

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Mike Papantonio and Trial Magazines Editor Farron Cousins break down the latest indictment of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who is being charged with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14. Much controversy has erupted over the ‘sweetheart deal’ he was given years ago, brokered by recently resigned Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, but this latest arrest is sending shockwaves across the political landscape by proving Epstein’s financial clout does not in fact put him above the law. What does this mean for prominent figures that have proven ties with Epstein, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump?

Jul 11, 2019

Dissecting The Legacy Of Colonization

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This speech was given at an event which marked a starting point for the African Diaspora Nation to launch a one-stop clearing house to expand educational and economic opportunity exchange between Africa and Black America. During the launch, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the Permanent Representative of the African Union Representational Mission to the United States of America offered a masterful history lesson breaking down how Africa was divided into tiny little countries during the Berlin Conference of 1884 and how the nations of Africa are still being adversely impacted. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao also dissected "the pact for the continuation of colonization."

Jul 10, 2019

PLUNDER: THE CRIME OF OUR TIME

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                                PLUNDER: THE CRIME OF OUR TIME


When this documentary came out 10 years ago, I was not surprised by the content as I had read many books & articles describing the pillage, but visually, I was taken aback. This film is still highly relevant today as this pillage has gotten much worse since the election of Donald Trump.


Weep...then ruminate...then resist by any means necessary!

Neoliberalism - An Idea Swallowing The World

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What has forty years of neoliberal economics done to us and our political landscape?

Jul 9, 2019

The IMF and World Bank: Partners In Backwardness

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Michael Hudson discusses his seminal work of 1972, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, a critique of how the US exploits foreign economies through IMF and World bank debt. In it we learn:  difference between the IMF and World Bank; how the World Bank was dysfunctional from the outset; loans made in foreign currency only; policy to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export plantation crops; US food and monetary imperialism; U.S. agricultural protectionism built into the postwar global system; promotion of dependency on the US as food supplier; food blackmail; perpetration of world poverty preferred; no encouragement of land reform; privatization of the public domain; America aided, not foreign economies; exploitation of mineral deposits; bribery; foreign nations politically controlled at the top; veto power for US only.

Musings

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See: Dandelion Salad

Jul 7, 2019

Mad Magazine’s Demise is Part of the Ending of a World by David Von Drehle


Source: WP

The demise of Mad magazine is hardly a surprise. Times are tricky for print publications in general — all the more so for a title targeted with exquisite precision at middle-school boys. They are Nature’s neglected travelers, parked on an apron while the girls they used to know go racing down the evolutionary runway and take flight into the wild blue of adulthood.

Because life has, for the moment, scorned them, they return the favor, and for a couple of generations, Mad was both a tutor and a tool of their anarchy. Its cartooned pages confirmed their suspicions that parents are hypocrites, that heroes have clay feet, that popular culture is a ripoff and that a guy might as well laugh at existence because existence is already laughing at him. “What, me worry?” asked mascot Alfred E. Neuman, eternally hapless, perpetually 13.

Jul 4, 2019

Musings

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What Is Patriotism?

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What is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivete, we would watch the passing clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not float so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls? Is it the place where we would listen to the music of the birds and long to have wings to fly, even as they, to distant lands? Or is it the place where we would sit on Mother's knee, enraptured by tales of great deeds and conquests? In short, is it love for the spot, every inch representing dear and precious recollections of a happy, joyous and playful childhood?


Jul 3, 2019

July 4th Anthem of the Dispossessed

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Defending the Right of Radical Dissent Is the Highest Expression of Patriotism by John Nichols

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Donald Trump imagines July 4 as a time for tanks, flyovers and military parading. For myself, I tend toward the view expressed by George Washington in the farewell address he delivered at the close of his presidency. Americans, he counseled, would do well to “avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

Washington’s warning “to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism” was a good one. A straitjacketed liberty, which imagines patriotism to be expressed only  in the most cautious and predictable forms, is antithetical to the American experiment. The most enlightened initiators of that experiment proudly recalled their revolt against the constraints of monarchy and colonial authority. And the best of their number,  Tom Paine, recognized the necessity of a maintaining the revolutionary “Spirit of ’76” that would expand the notion of liberty far beyond what was understood by the more cautious, compromised and conflicted of the founders.


Jul 2, 2019

Poet's Nook: "Spiri-Chant" by Ursula Rucker

Ursula  



This know also:
That in the last days
Perilous times shall come
For men shall be lovers of their own selves
Covetous
Boasters
Proud
Blasphemers
Disobedient to parents
Unthankful
Unholy
Without natural affection
Truce breakers
False accusers
Incontinent
Fierce
Despisers of those who are good
Traitors
Petty
High-minded
Lovers of Pleasures more than Lovers of God
Having a form of godliness
but denying the Power thereof
From such turn away
For of this sort are they which creep into houses
& lead captive silly women laden with sins
led away with diverse lusts
Ever learning & never able to come to the knowledge


Of the Truth



 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~**~*~*~~*~*~*

 (This hypnotic piece was taken from Ursula Rucker's 2006 album, "Ma At Mama". Accompanying Ursula on this piece is Gary Smalls, a highly & downright funky Native American (Cheyenne) guitarist/vocalist).