Robbie Conal and Shepard Fairey: Art, Politics and Public Space

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From BraveNewChats
Best known for his unapologetic in-your-face style of political street art, Robbie Conal is ready to take us on a new journey with his new book Not Your Typical Political Animal. But that doesn’t mean his ideas of creating art anywhere and everywhere have changed. In this chat with fellow artist and long time fan Shepard Fairey, he discusses the use of public space for art and challenges us all to take action.

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No One Cares

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Originally posted on TruthDig. Written by Chris Hedges

We are approaching a decade of war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq is in its eighth year. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands more Afghans and Pakistani civilians have been killed. Millions have been driven into squalid displacement and refugee camps. Thousands of our own soldiers and Marines have died or been crippled physically and psychologically. We sustain these wars, which have no real popular support, by borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, even as we close schools, states go into bankruptcy, social services are cut, our infrastructure crumbles, tens of millions of Americans are reduced to poverty, and real unemployment approaches 17 percent. Collective, suicidal inertia rolls us forward toward national insolvency and the collapse of empire. And we do not protest. The peace movement, despite the heroic efforts of a handful of groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Green Party and Code Pink, is dead. No one cares.

The roots of mass apathy are found in the profound divide between liberals, who are mostly white and well educated, and our disenfranchised working class, whose sons and daughters, because they cannot get decent jobs with benefits, have few options besides the military. Liberals, whose children are more often to be found in elite colleges than the Marine Corps, did not fight the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 and the dismantling of our manufacturing base. They did nothing when the Democrats gutted welfare two years later and stood by as our banks were turned over to Wall Street speculators. They signed on, by supporting the Clinton and Obama Democrats, for the corporate rape carried out in the name of globalization and endless war, and they ignored the plight of the poor. And for this reason the poor have little interest in the moral protestations of liberals. We have lost all credibility. We are justly hated for our tacit complicity in the corporate assault on workers and their families.
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Secret Erik Prince Tape Exposed

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Written by Jeremy Scahill | originally published at THE NATION

Erik Prince, the reclusive owner of the Blackwater empire, rarely gives public speeches and when he does he attempts to ban journalists from attending and forbids recording or videotaping of his remarks. On May 5, that is exactly what Prince is trying to do when he speaks at DeVos Fieldhouse as the keynote speaker for the “Tulip Time Festival” in his hometown of Holland, Michigan. He told the event’s organizers no news reporting could be done on his speech and they consented to the ban. Journalists and media associations in Michigan are protesting this attempt to bar reporting on his remarks.

Despite Prince’s attempts to shield his speeches from public scrutiny, The Nation magazine has obtained an audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Prince to a friendly audience. The speech, which Prince attempted to keep from public consumption, provides a stunning glimpse into his views and future plans and reveals details of previously undisclosed activities of Blackwater. The people of the United States have a right to media coverage of events featuring the owner of a company that generates 90% of its revenue from the United States government.
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Kent State Shootings 40th Anniversary

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From FluxRostrum

On May 4, 1970 the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students protesting America´s invasion of Cambodia. Four students were killed and nine were wounded. The incident triggered national outrage in a country already divided over the Vietnam War. In the days that followed more than four million students rose up in dissent across 900 campuses, generating the only nationwide student protest in U.S. history. Fearing civil unrest, President Nixon was taken to Camp David for his protection.

Kent State Shootings 40th Anniversary part 1


Part 2 & 3 below the break
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Teach In on Capitol Hill: What Congress Must Do to End U.S. Wars and Help Secure a Peaceful Middle East

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D – Ohio), moderated an educational briefing on the U. S. agenda in the Middle East, its consequences and development of a strategy/plan to withdraw. Panelists included Chris Hedges, Jeremy Scahill, David Swanson, Ann Wright. Portions of their comments are below. – DF

Chris Hedges:


Chris Hedges
is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute.  He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.  He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Princeton University.  He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq.  He has written nine books, including “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” and “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.”

Jeremy Scahill

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the international best-seller “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.” He is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice.  While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations.  He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS’s The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide.

Ann Wright


Ann Wright spent thirteen years in the U.S. Army and sixteen additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. In 1987, she joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001.  On March 19, 2003, the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wright cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich country would be a disaster. She is a member of Veterans for Peace and is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.”

David Swanson
- video coming shortly-

David Swanson is the author of “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.”  He holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.  Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ProsecuteBushCheney.org, and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, Voters for Peace, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and chair of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee.  AfterDowningStreet was named Most Valuable Progressive by the Nation Magazine in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

What Happened When I Went Undercover at a Christian Gay-to-Straight Conversion Camp

This article originally appeared on Stinque. Written by Ted Cox
Ted Cox is a writer who follows the gay “conversion” movement: Organizations that claim to “cure” gays of their homosexuality. The entire article is available online.

My weekend was filled with crying, singing, and wrestling, as 30 men struggled to overcome their attraction to other men. It was also the first time I felt another man’s erection.

Does this really offend you?


I don’t remember exactly when I felt his erection pressing into my back. It might have been while he whispered in my ear, “Long ago, you were the Golden Child. But, somehow, that Golden Child was hurt, and you put up a wall to protect yourself.” Or it might have been when other men in the room broke out in song:

How could anyone ever tell you
That you’re anything less than beautiful?
How could anyone ever tell you
That you’re less than whole?

I sat on the floor between the outstretched legs of a camp guide, my head leaning back against his shoulder. The guide sat behind me, his arms wrapped around my chest. This hold was called “The Motorcycle.” Five men surrounded the two of us, their hands resting gently on my arms, legs and chest.

There were about ten other groups like this sitting on the floor in the darkened room: one guide giving “healing-touch therapy” while the surrounding men rested their hands on the receiver. Some men were held in the Motorcycle position. Others were turned towards their guide, cradled the way a parent would hold a sobbing child who had just scraped her knee on the sidewalk.
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Apartheid, Arizona Style

This article originally appeared on the site the Cap Times. written Roberto Rodriguez


Those who think that there’s an immigration crisis in Arizona are correct; however, this is but part of the story.
The truth is, a civilizational clash is being played out in the same state in which the state legislature questions the birthplace and legitimacy of President Barack Obama and where Sen. John McCain competes with Senate hopeful J.D. Hayworth to see who is the most anti-immigrant.
It is also the same state that several years ago denied a holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., and that today permits virtually anyone — on the basis of trumped-up fear — to carry concealed weapons anywhere.

Welcome to Apartheid Arizona — the land of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “states’ rights” and a desert that has claimed thousands of migrant lives. By way of the same extremist legislature, the battle here is even much larger and more profound. This civilizational clash is being waged daily here via more bills involving who belongs, what language can be spoken here and who and what can be taught in the state’s schools. This is beyond the notion of who is “legal.”

What If the Tea Party Were Black?

Originally published on Alternet. Written by Time Wise

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protesters — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

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The PUNK PATRIOT INTERVIEWS AYN RAND

Recently, The Punk Patroit sat down for an interview with Ayn Rand. A remarkable occurance considering that Rand is currently, as they say, food for worms.

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