Archive for the 'Politics' Category Page 2 of 4

Fear at Home

Seen at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, this image resonated. Not because of the boldness of the statement but because of what that it says about fear and country. Could it be that African American soldiers who fought in the war felt more comfortable with the Vietnamese than they did on their racially charged home soil? I wouldn’t doubt it.

That brings to mind a more recent point: I remember so many saying they felt fear at home for the first time after 9/11; peril was so close. But I don’t recall any black folk saying exactly that. It’s not that the attack wasn’t terrifying and clearly great pain was (and continues to be) felt equally by all, regardless of background. It’s just that black folk in this country have had to live with fear for so long. And Builder Levy’s photo stands as a particularly pointed reminder.

For more on Levy’s exhibit, see the Henry Street Settlement. We were there to see the Chris Earle’s fabulous post-9/11 exodus play Democrats Abroad.

image grabbed from

The Atlantic Jinx

In October 2001, The Atlantic Monthly ran a cover story called “Peace is Hell,” which wondered aloud about the role of the US military in a stabilizing world. A week after it hit newsstands, 9/11 happened.

The September 2006 Atlantic cover proclaimed “We Win,” referring to so-called war on terror. A week later, the UK plane bomb plot nearly happened. And author James Fallows has been working defense ever since.

Strange how an Atlantic cover makes an assertion and world events instantly move to disprove it. While his story continues to hold some water, it’ll still be interesting to hear Fallows explain himself on WNYC tomorrow


The words “make love, not war” sit below this image on the cover of this week’s Village Voice. It had me standing there with my mouth hanging open. Not so much because they went there but because it’s commentary on so many levels: from Cheney’s obvious daughter discomfort to that Iraq thing that’ll be over any minute now to a simple little constitutional amendment that’s not meant to distract us from anything at all. And of course there’s the super snug relationship between Bush and Darth Dick. This just takes it to the next level.

“Make love, not war” — perfect reminder for a duo that so completely rejects all the 60’s had to teach. The fact that the cover’s gonna offend all the right people don’t hurt, either. An archival Daily Show adds some nice comments.

I’m not the biggest traditional comic fan but Alex may yet get me to switch teams. His last Voice cover was brilliant, too.


What’s the best way to make Bush look like an idiot? Place him next to just about any other world leader, that’s how. Case in point: Indian PM Manmohan Singh. Sitting next him, Bush looks like a towel boy popping in at the wrong moment to ask directions to the men’s. Once the audio kicks in, Dubya’s stutter-stepped “nukular” speech just completes that picture. What a joke.

Take heart, though. Lying among the rubble of his administration’s myriad failures, Bush is buoyant. Hell, in a recent interview, he said he expects history will view him as an “agent for peace.” And why not? What are a few hundred thousand dirt-poor brown people’s lives compared to the battle for world freedom, or whatever? Makes sense that the Dems can’t figure any meaningful response to the Bush positive energy machine, don’t it?

image grabbed from cnn


On every day (but especially today), much respect to all those who risked their lives to change our world for the better — Malcolm, Rosa, Martin, and all the underknown heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.

What better way to celebrate MLK’s birthday than with a bit of subversion? So you gotta love this clever turning of the tables on Fairey’s underground-no-more Obey Giant street art campaign. Subverting the former subversive? Not bad.

See the original shot on flickr and read more about Obey Giant at wikipedia.

The Real Rosa

We often see Rosa Parks presented as an unassuming woman who simply had enough and courageously took matters into her own hands on that fateful day in 1955. While the importance and magnitude of her actions can’t be understated, it’s also clear that Rosa was a much more complex and interesting character than the prevailing mythology would have us believe. On the Media recently unpacked the myth quite nicely. Some highlights…

  • Rosa was best friend of and secretary for E.D. Nixon, the most significant black political figure in Montgomery and head of the NAACP at the time of the boycott.
  • Rosa had been an activist for 13-14 years and routinely defied segregation on buses prior to her arrest.
  • Several other black women had been arrested on busses within the year prior to Rosa’s arrest but they weren’t quite right for having a boycott around. Black leaders were waiting for just the right person.
  • In the late 1960s, Rosa became a black nationalist and was a great admirer of Malcolm X. Among other things, she delivered the eulogy at black power icon Robert F. Williams’ funeral.
  • Rosa said in her autobiography that she never believed in non-violence and she, in fact, kept guns in her home to protect her family.

Continue reading ‘The Real Rosa’

Bedtime for Bush

Incestuous hiring in Washington is nothing new, but Bush sure seems bent on pushing the envelope. From corporate pocket cabinet to his freakish UN ambassador to his clueless FEMA chief, GW has proven he knows how to keep his good ‘ol boy buddies happy regardless of the cost to everyone else. So, it makes sense that he would nominate yet another of his cronies to be a supreme court justice. And one who has no judicial experience, at that. Why not a more qualified woman? Could it be that Bush simply doesn’t know that many folks of the female persuasion? Perish the thought.

Just goes to show that actual job-relevant experience is nothing compared to being in the sack with Bush himself. Somehow, the rotationally enhanced photo at right seems apropos, no?

Point in fairness: Rehnquist never sat on the bench before joining the Supremes, either. And that turned out great!

image grabbed from bbc news

John Bolton Looks Freaky

Ah, Bolton — what a fine and storied name. In general, carrying that name ain’t nothin’ but goodness, but it’s hard not to notice that new UN ambassador John Bolton looks more than a little bizarre in this morning’s photos. In the first shot (above left), he looks like a man desperate to find the nearest men’s room or, worse, one who’s already soiled himself. In the second, he looks as vacant as the Bates Motel. Not exactly qualities you look for in your ambassador to the world governing body, eh?

You’d think Bush could do better than a constipated wax figure but then again maybe he’s looking for someone who will make him look less stupid. And, well, being an ultraconservative idiot can’t exactly hurt your chances, either.

Read more on John Bolton’s Congress-sidestepping appointment and chase it with some first-rate lyrics from another quality Bolton

images grabbed from AP

Acela Excess

Ah, Amtrak how you’ve let us down over the years. From abysmal on-time records to overpriced fares to misuse of funds to unsafe trains. No wonder nobody rides. How dare you beg for a hand-out. Subsidize this level of incompetence we shall not! The rail era is dead, let it die.

Or so the story goes. Reality is none of these statements are particularly well-founded. And the conclusion, though intuitive for many, ignores some critical (and apparently little-known) facts about how transport works in the US. Continue reading ‘Acela Excess’

We Aren’t the World


Good buddies Europe and US, ain’t we? So good that this float was featured in a German carnival parade earlier this week and nobody missed a beat. Seems like we’ve got a bit of a global MO going. Shocker, no?

At least folks on this side of the pond seem to be getting the message finally. Who we blame, though, is a different question. Remember, we’re the folks that boycotted everything French and ate Freedom Fries when Chirac balked at Bush’s Iraq invasion. Mature.

It’s this kind of mess that makes a certain poorly judged bout of marital indiscretion seem pretty minor.

image grabbed from reuters

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