Monthly Archives: November 2014

More Foul Turkey

Yesterday, the Daesh launched an assault on Kobani. Now, you might not think this is news; especially if you follow us, as we’ve written about Kobani on numerous occasions. However, this attack was different.

The assault began with a suicide attack by a bomber in an armored vehicle on the border crossing between Kobani and Turkey, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. In other words, the attack came from inside Turkey.

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party, stated that the Daesh “used to attack the town from three sides. Today, they are attacking from four sides.”

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Over A Barrel

On Thursday, the members of OPEC met in Vienna, and did something that could have a huge impact on our economy and the environment for years to come. Before the meeting, there was speculation that OPEC might cut their oil production back in order to prop up prices. However, the members couldn’t come to an agreement, and as a result did nothing.

Up until recently, the US, Canada and Russia could increase oil production without it having much impact on the world market price. Iran was under sanctions, there was a civil war in Libya, and China was using all the oil we could ship. However, oil demand in China, Japan, Europe and the US is declining, as industries and transportation becomes more efficient as far as energy use goes and clean energy becomes more affordable and practical. Continue reading

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OWW Black Friday Gift Giving Guide

Quite frankly, we’re tired of the commercialization of the holiday season. While Americans experience more materialism over their lifetimes than any other culture, this time of year means the madness to possess goes on overdrive.

What should you give someone that seems to have everything (other than penicillin…)? We’ve put together a list of suggestions that should interest almost everyone you are pondering over, with the thought that instead of presenting them with the customary trinket that they may or may not like, take that same amount of money you would have spent and make a donation in their name to something bigger than them. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving as a Day of Atonement

Published on Thursday, November 24, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

The founding myth of Thanksgiving is the fateful meal shared by the indigenous peoples of Massachusetts with the starving English Pilgrims. The Pilgrims “gave thanks” at that meal for the generosity of their hosts, and thus was born the tradition of a November Thanksgiving feast.

To my way of thinking, Thanksgiving should actually be a day of atonement marked by fasting, in the spirit of Yom Kippur, Lent or Ramadan.

thanksgiving We Euramericans should be reflecting and repenting on this day for the way our ancestors turned on their Native hosts, once the time of starvation was past.

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Home After The Holidays

Back in March, we wrote about Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville, Florida woman who had been sentenced to twenty years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after firing her gun into the ceiling to stop her abusive estranged husband.

She had used the same “stand your ground” defense that George Zimmerman had used in his trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the same prosecuting attorney was involved; State Attorney Angela Corey. However, unlike Zimmerman, who was found not guilty after killing Martin, Marissa was found guilty and sentenced to three concurrent twenty year sentences (in 13 minutes, none the less) for firing a gun into a ceiling under Florida’s mandatory minimum guidelines. The other differences? Zimmerman is white and a male, while Marissa is black and a woman. Continue reading

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today is a special today. We mark the International Day to End Violence Against Women by considering some aspects that are seldom discussed openly, yet grant understanding of the full impacts of violence against half the world’s population.

What are the odds of a little girl growing up to never know violence against her person? Not very good. The facts include that affluence, economic conditions, education levels, social status, living location or professionalism have little to do with a non-violent life. Violence permeates every level of society in every corner of the world at every moment of every day. Continue reading

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Grassroots Pro-Democracy vs. Corporate Control

Published on Friday, October 24, 2014 by Common Dreams

Bill Moyers: Grassroots Pro-Democracy Movement Must Rise to Challenge Corporate Control

By Jon Queally, Common Dreams staff writer

Ahead of final sign-off, veteran journalist tells viewers that reaching out to their fellow citizens and neighbors is the essential task in creating the transformation so desperately needed

Bill Moyers 2005. Photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bill Moyers 2005. Photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In late September, veteran journalist and public television host Bill Moyers, now eighty-years old, announced he was finally retiring (and yes, this time he means it) after more than forty years as one of the nation’s most trusted voices in news, politics, and culture.

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Michigan Court Refuses Rights to Education–of Worth–For All

By Manuel Barrera
Appellate Court justices in the State of Michigan ruled Nov. 7th that “the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading — but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality” (from MichiganCitizen.com, Nov. 13th 2014).

Bennett Elementary School, Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Notorious4life at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bennett Elementary School, Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Notorious4life at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In a column by the online blog Addicting Info, Wendy Gittleson argues that behind this drive to continue the educational divide among richer and poorer citizens are companies like Walmart and their owners the Walton family: “it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the company most in need of under-educated employees, Walmart, is behind much of the effort to destroy, or as they say, reform, our school systems.

Since 2000, members of the Walton family have spent at least $24 million dollars funding politicians, political action committees, and ballot issues at the state and local level that favor their corporate approach to school reform. At local levels of government, where fundraising totals are smaller than those at the federal level, Walton largesse can go a very long way toward shaping public policy.

Walmart admits that the reason they are so interested in education is that they are having trouble finding qualified entry level employees.” Continue reading

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Through A Child’s Eyes

I remember the day well. It was the summer of 1964, and I was living in La Grange, a suburb on the west side of Chicago. We lived across the street from a park, and La Grange had a very good summer recreational program for the kids, so I spent a lot of time over there participating in the activities. Continue reading

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Tales From Cartel Country

On September 26, 43 students disappeared in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico after being loaded into police vans. This marked the beginning of massive protests that have spread across the country. We wrote about the students’ disappearance and the protests a month ago; since then, the situation’s become even more edgy.

On Tuesday, November 4, Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda were arrested in Mexico City. Described as the “probable mastermind” in the disappearance of the students, Abarca was charged with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide a week later. Continue reading

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