Category Archives: Art, Books, Music & Film

Usher ft Ludacris & Lil’ Jon – Yeah !!!

Just love this one… had to hear it again. I love that deep, bass voice of Lil John; his voice is a nice complement to Ludacris’.

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Jew or Genital?

A Story in Three Pieces

By Volaar

 I should have suspected that the future would not be anything like it had been promised to us in 1977.  During a compulsory sex education course one of our football coaches had the indubitable privilege of referring to our nether regions as, “gentiles.”  Continue reading

Books Banned in Arizona – Latinos Fighting Thought Control

By Michael Collins

Bad things are happening in Arizona … again. Good things too!

The extremist Arizona legislature enacted a law that just recently caused the banning of nearly 100 books from Tucson public schools. The list includes prominent Latino authors, plus Shakespeare, Thoreau, and James Baldwin. They even banned Zorro!

The real goal was to totally dismantle the Tucson school district’s Mexican American Studies program. Mission accomplished. The program is gone. Not a class survived. Continue reading

Cancer of the Spirit: On the Bridge review

By Robert C. Koehler

Can we squeeze the glory out of the word “war”?  Can we talk about savage irrationality and lifelong inner hell instead?  Can we talk about the wreckage of two countries?

Can we talk about spiritual cancer?

In the extraordinary documentary On the Bridge — an unstinting look at the reality of war and the terror of PTSD, directed by Olivier Morel — each of the six Iraq vets who opens his or her heart in the course of the film has a moment of deep, almost unbearable silence at the end, staring into the camera and through the camera at the viewer . . . and at the nation they are committed to waking up. In that silence, those are the questions that begin to emerge.

On the Bridge bares the deep psychic wounds of America’s returning vets — “I liken (PTSD) to the comedic scene of opening a closet and stuff keeps falling out,” Jason Moon said at one point — but it does much more than that as well. It puts these wounds into context: We are the aggressor nation, not simply at the geopolitical level, invading and occupying Continue reading

Monkees Singer Davy Jones Dead at 66

Rolling Stone writes:

“Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of an apparent heart attack at age 66. The singer, who had been on a solo tour this month, complained of chest pains last evening and was admitted to a hospital this morning in Stuart, Florida.

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Happy Savages

By Robert C. Koehler

“Thirty seconds to zero . . . six, five, four, three, two, one.”

Suddenly a big orange blossom fills the screen, accompanied by ukuleles and lovely — I mean Strangelovian — Polynesian music. The blossom is actually Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb blast, the largest U.S. test ever, detonated over Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954.

This is a few minutes into Nuclear Savage: The Island Experiments of Secret Project 4.1, one of the most disturbing documentaries I’ve ever seen, and one of seven feature-length films that are part of Chicago’s fourth annual Peace on Earth Film Festival, Feb. 23-26, at the Chicago Cultural Center. The event, once again, is free of charge.

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Works in Progress

By Robert C. Koehler

I’m sitting in my daughter’s Baltimore apartment thinking about works in progress. This city is a work in progress and its pockets of vibrancy delight me, partly because, like my own hometown, Detroit, it is too frequently written off in the national mindset as broken, dying — above all, an undesirable place to live.

My apolitical thought on this rainy January afternoon is this: Shatter in your own mind the prejudgments of popular culture, the grinning media dictates of who or what is in and who or what is out. Shatter also any notion of what you can and can’t do.

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PIPA vote stalled while US censorship still grows

By Rady Ananda

After the world’s most massive online protest on Jan. 18 against two internet censorship bills, which generated over 7 million petition signatures, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed the PIPA vote set for the 24th, so that lawmakers could rework the bill.

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Israel’s Role in Creating Hamas

Review of:
Hamas: The Islamic Resistance Movement
Beverley Milton-Edwards and Stephen Farrell
Polity Press, 2010 (340 pp.)

Beverly Milton-Edwards is Professor in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast. Steven Farrell, who has dual British-Irish citizenship, is Middle East Correspondent for The New York Times.

By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

Hamas is about the militant Palestinian group which was democratically elected to run the Palestinian Authority in 2006. The main value of the book is the rich context it provides regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which is totally absent from the mainstream media. Hamas clearly documents the role Israel played in promoting the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in Palestine. The book also emphasizes the essential role foreign financial assistance plays in perpetuating this war – with the US heavily backing Israel and other Islamic states backing occupied Palestine.

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Don’t want to be part of your war

By David Byrne

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This war is over (Melissa Etheridge)

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The Smothers Brothers and I

By TheOncomingStorm

Our household has spent several nights watching compilations of the “best” of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, courtesy of Netflix and the E channel. Some things struck me as, well, funny. Verrry funny. I was always a fan of their show, and was sorely disappointed when it was cancelled for pissing off the censors. Then again, a whole lot of things struck me as sad, and I am sure that some of these pissed off the censors as well.

These were the kind of compilations in which Tommy and Dick Smothers give you a scripted studio introduction to what you are about to see (with dates and guest list) and then after the show’s “best of”, come back and give us a trip down memory lane for the two of them regarding what one has just watched.

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Leonard Cohen: Democracy Is Coming to the USA

By Leonard Cohen

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Stocking stuffers for foodies (5-book review)

By Rady Ananda

Need a last minute gift for your beloved locavore? Several books would make excellent holiday gifts, so this review covers a few of them on the environment, as it relates to local food sovereignty, food security and palate delight. There’s even one for kids, which starts the set:

Avatars of Gaia: Escape from Hazard Hollow
Professor Heart (self-published: 2009, 210 pp.)
Website: www.avatarsofgaia.org

Charlotte Purin of Los Angeles decided one of the best ways to save Mother Earth is to get kids involved. So she wrote Avatars of Gaia: Escape from Hazard Hollow for preteens. The tale educates as it entertains, integrating the concepts of sustainability, healthy-eating, and environmental consciousness into a fantasy adventure story.

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Used-up Heroes

In association with Suzanne Ross and Adam Erickson of the Raven Foundation, I am part of a blog radio show called “Playing for Keeps.” Here’s a link to our first show.

As you think about giving gifts with meaning this year, please consider my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, which speaks with honesty and humor about the human condition. It’s especially appropriate for anyone who has suffered recent loss and is coping with the grieving process. Be aware also that the sale of the book supports this column and my ability to give a peace journalist’s perspective on current events. The book has been reduced in price through the end of the year. More info below this week’s column:

By Robert C. Koehler

At a sports bar in downtown Minneapolis called Sneaky Pete’s, “Young men fueled with alcohol begged Boogaard to punch them, so they could say they survived a shot from the Boogeyman.”

I’m thinking, wow, we power our society as much on adolescent energy as we do on fossil fuels. And the consequences are probably even more devastating. [Image]

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August To June; Bringing Life to Palm Beach Schools

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copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert. Empathy And Education; BeThink or BeThink.org

As any Mom or Dad might do on Parent Teacher Conference Day, Amy Valens, the Educator featured in the documentary film August To June, traveled from “classroom to classroom.” This journey was not a conventional one. Indeed, Amy did not attend a series of Parent Teacher Conferences. What she did was appear at Palm Beach screenings of her documentary. The film follows twenty-six [26] third and fourth graders who studied with Amy in her last year of teaching. The open classroom, within a public school, “Brings Life” to education.

After the movie was viewed, Ms Valens and the audiences engaged in conversations. They discussed what they saw and how it might relate to a broader dialogue. The subjects of Education Reform, Classroom Standards, Teacher Quality, Merit Pay, Student-Rewards for Success, Parent Involvement, and Testing are but a few topics prominent in our national debate. While the assemblies of viewers varied widely, the results were the same. Every child, every class, all Teachers, and each parent, tells a unique tale. Regardless of the individual or group, we see the world, or in this case the film, through our own lens. Continue reading

Global milk war ramps up as citizens face off with regulators

By Rady Ananda

The battle for food freedom intensifies across the planet as citizens assert their right to raw dairy products unadulterated by drugs and genetically modified ingredients – in the face of authorities seeking to restrict our food choices and to criminalize entrepreneurs who operate outside the monopolized factory food system.

The State of Maine recently sued farmer Dan Brown for selling food and milk without State licenses, despite a local law that permits it. “Blue Hill is one of five Maine towns to have passed the Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance,” explains Family Farm Defenders.

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Sanity in Exile

Holiday season cycles around again, and my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, could be the right gift for someone who looks at life deeply and reflectively, or who seeks the miraculous in the commonplace. More info below.

By Robert C. Koehler

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran …

Or as Mitt Romney put it, playing the irresponsible-lunatic game convincingly enough to become the leading Republican presidential candidate: “If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”

The consensus congeals: Our next war must be with Iran. A report issued by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, which the New York Times called “chillingly comprehensive” (though this is debatable), stoked this long- simmering agenda. It charges that Iran has conducted secret experiments on nuclear triggers and created computer models of nuclear explosions, among other things, which proves that the nation, despite its leaders’ protestations to the contrary, is pursuing . . . oh God, oh God . . . a nuclear weapons program.

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The War on Libya and the Broader US-NATO Military Agenda

Is a World War III Scenario Unfolding?

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research

With the killing of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi this past week, NATO is celebrating what, in their view, is a great victory. However, this so-called “victory” has nothing to do with democracy, freedom or justice; it is part of a broad, insidious geopolitical strategy that has been on NATO’s drawing board for years. And what is even more frightening than the bloodlust being shamelessly splashed across the mainstream media is the fact that this latest manoeuver is merely a small part of a much wider military agenda with potentially catastrophic consequences.

In his latest e-book, “Towards a World War III Scenario“, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky outlines the strategies and real motives behind the war on Libya, what we can expect next from NATO (the world’s deadly “humanitarian” force), and the necessary steps for dispelling disinformation and preventing war on an unprecedented scale.

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To Occupiers: Yell Fire

 

By Michael Franti and Spearhead

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