An online juror form from Dekalb County, Georgia lists 'slave' as an occupational option. Read more
It’s Friday November 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1895, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays. X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act like light rays, but at wavelengths almost 1,000 times shorter. Upon their discovery, X-rays allowed doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. We here at Upside Downtrodden feel a special kinship with X-rays. We, too, possess the ability to see through humans. Read more
Lately a memory has been haunting me a little bit. It was a television image that I noticed during the frantic, wall to wall TV coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While firefighters were scrambling through the dust and smoke of New York City, the anchor tossed to a reporter on the Beltway in Washington D.C.. The freeway was packed with federal employees. Some had provisions strapped to the top of their Range Rovers while other were furiously peddling their mountain bikes, as back packs full of canned goods swayed from their perspiration stained torsos, towards Maryland. All were abandoning the city. Lesson: These folks will cut and run.
None of them were even remotely interested in talking with reporters. Think about that for a second. The Washington elite, the people we entrust to fight for our interests, no matter how we define those interests; leaving their posts and fleeing the capitol...and refusing an opportunity to talk with the press! Read more
My AP English teacher once told me that I would get beaten up at least once in college for telling people I was a Republican. She made the comment in the middle of class, laughing as she said it. I don’t think it was necessarily meant as an insult, but the memory has stuck with me ever since.
It’s a bit funny to think about now. Not only have I never gotten into a brawl surrounding politics (that would be a low point in anyone’s life I think), but a majority of my good friends at Duke University are of the opposite political persuasion.
In fact, I haven’t just peacefully coexisted and debated the other side—I’ve actually experienced it. This past summer I worked for two organizations simultaneously. The first organization was the Romney campaign, where I acted as the student overseeing all of the Young Americans for Romney campus groups in North Carolina. The second organization, Friends of the Earth, I interned with for a short period of time in London. It’s as liberal as the name might lead you to believe. It was quite a dichotomous pairing. Read more
Sen. Ted Cruz
Right around 12 pm EST today, Party of One Ted Cruz wrapped up his pointless nonfilibuster so he could appear on the Rush Limbaugh Show.
The right wing talk show host is the poster boy for limp noodles, having been detained for having someone else's name on his Viagra prescription and running loads of ads for pecker pills on his floundering radio program.
But not today.
Limbaugh was audibly aroused as he waited for the Texas senator to join him: Read more
A secret court rebuked the NSA's secret program which collected secrets of countless Americans -- yet this report was, until now, secret.
Bradley Manning revealed secret messages that educated the public, shed light on corruption, contributing to our understanding of our government -- and he was sentenced to 35 years.
Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA, telling Americans about invasive operations that sacrifice our liberty in the name of security -- and now he himself is being deprived of both.
A government with too many secrets lead to abuses, violations, arrests, intimidation, humiliations, divisions and forms of authoritarianism.
These are the secretions of an ill government, not the symbols of a vibrant civil society.
A secret democracy doesn't secrete democracy.
Share frustration and share a libation while you trade news, views & sips of booze at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
In the early 1970's, a group of scientists announced that after conducting some tests, they had concluded that the compound ozone seemed to have depleted in the upper atmosphere.
Time magazine ran with the story by suggesting that scientists had discovered a "hole in the Ozone Layer". All of the science turned out to be wrong but not before the media had blamed spray-on deodorant and the U.S. government had issued a ton of grant money and passed laws that controlled people’s lives.
Science had a new hypothesis: Warnings of man-made disaster equals Big Bucks
Since the research on the ozone didn’t really work; leftists re-packaged the scare tactic and called it Global Warming. For two decades they managed to grab federal cash and gain control over people’s lives by scaring the hell out of everyone.
After twenty years and no data to back up their claims; liberal scientists did some more research. This time they conducted focus groups to find out why people didn’t care about global warming. They found that people didn’t care because the globe had not become warmer. Not to be deterred they decided to “re-brand” Global Warming by calling it “Climate Change”. Read more
Mickey Edwards steals a page from those early Progressives who believed the cure for democracy was more democracy. Joining a long list of Republican "reformers" who are trying mightily to help the GOP avoid a rendevous with hostile demographics, the one-time Oklahoma Congressman wants to scrap the two-party system altogether in favor of a more participatory "nonpartisan" democracy able to govern itself without party labels.
It's an appealing vision of a restored "civic republicanism" that Edwards offers in his latest book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans. Appealing to me, at any rate, because it reflects my own belief that it is far more important how a party or a country thinks than what it thinks - since, as Edwards says, "democracy is not about policy but about process" and "how we select our leaders, how we deliberate, how we decide" are what really determine whether Americans are fit for self-government. Read more
Ok. Snowden is on the run.
“It’s espionage!” “He’s a traitor!!”.
Yeegads. All for telling us that our government is listening to us and wants to listen to the globe.
“We have warrants!” shouts Obama,
And then in a whisper “from that secret FISA Court” that nobody knows anything about because it’s a secret. National security you know.
Google moved today for a declaratory judgement in Federal Court (the REAL court!) to be allowed to disclose the warrants it received from the NSA through the FISA Court (not to be taken as an admission that there are any warrants of course - they are secret), arguing that it’s business has been irreparably damaged.
Now suppose the security state can’t catch Snowden? Suppose he gets asylum? How would you feel if Obama put him on the drone list over a Tuesday afternoon coffee at the White House?
Nah. Of course he wouldn’t. Would he? He can. Maybe after getting a secret warrant from FISA Court so it’s all nice and legal. Read more
Yes. I busted my ass for Obama the first time around.
Opened my checkbook, campaigned, knocked on doors. Did everything I could to see that he carried Florida in the Presidential election.
Not easy in a place where Fred Thompson signs were as common as plastic pink flamingos at the time during the primary and right wing nuts carried Soviet flags outside of local Obama campaign headquarters. Where women thought Palin was the essence of true feminism. I had the lone Obama sign on my lawn in a sea of McCain - Palin cardboard.
But I got the last laugh. At least I thought so at the time.
We had elected a Democratic President and controlled the two Houses of Congress. And we carried Florida.
Maybe something would get done.
Maybe universal healthcare. Maybe peace would come. Maybe a society which would leave behind racism. Maybe repeal of the Bush tax giveaways to billionaires. Maybe we would spend money on people rather than aircraft carriers. Maybe we would stop torturing people. Maybe Gitmo would close.
Maybe. Read more
"Few probably recall the name Dwight Elliott Stone. But even if his name has faded from the national memory, the man remains historically significant. That’s because on June 30, 1973, the 24-year-old plumber’s apprentice became the last American forced into the armed services before the military draft expired.
Though next month’s 40-year anniversary of the end of conscription will likely be as forgotten as Stone, it shouldn’t be. In operations across the globe, the all-volunteer military has been employed by policymakers to birth what Gen. George Casey recently called the “era of persistent conflict.” Four decades later, we therefore have an obligation to ask: How much of the public’s complicity in that epochal shift is a result of the end of the draft? "
Thus wrote David Sirota last week in Salon.com.
"There is, of course, no definitive answer to such a complex question. However, a look back at some lost history shows that today’s public acquiescence to militarism was exactly what the government wanted when it ended the draft. Read more
Its Sunday April 28th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1967, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. military. The self-proclaimed "Greatest Fighter of All Time" cited religious reasons for staging his most important fight; a fight against institutionalized, senseless killing. Take a moment to process these statements - yes, a fighter by profession and religious person (Ali converted to Islam in 1964) refused to go to war! Ali was fined $10,000, sentenced to 5 years in prison, and was stripped of the world title he had won by beating Sonny Liston. He avoided prison while appealing all the way to the highest court, and lost his heavyweight title the first time the same year he won his case in 1971. Muhammad Ali is the only three-time boxing world champion, and is still one of the most intriguing figures in American history. His reason for refusing conscription was because "I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong." Amazing that the government of a "Christian nation" would seek to take everything from a person who was acting exactly in the manner that Jesus would have prescribed. Read more
Labor Day Demonstration against child labor - 1909
So if "class warfare" actually breaks out (we’re not talking about beheading rich folks .... yet!) with what "class" do you identify?
Are you "middle class, upper middle-class, lower class?" These are categories we love to use and always see in the corporate media.
These categories are based on how much you make and how much you consume. They assume you work. You have a job. If if are "lower" or "middle" class you cannot stay home and live on accumulated wealth or on income generated by others working for you. Yet rarely are such folks characterized as "workers".
The broad categories of class are better defined by your relationship to the process of the production of wealth.
You are either a worker, selling your labor because you have no other adequate source of income or you are an owner, a capitalist whose income is generated by others - i.e workers in your factory/corporation or your investments, or your accumulated wealth. Read more
Remember the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report" released in 2002? Sure it seemed liked science fiction at the time.
Washington D. C. is virtually crime free in the year 2054 due to the effectiveness of the "Pre-Crime Unit". This unit arrests and jails individuals before they even commit the crime thus sparing society from the scourge of lawlessness.
How is it determined who will commit a crime in the future? A crime that hasn’t happened yet?
Why the "pre-cogs"- pre-cognitives provide the names of future criminals. The pre-cogs are three gifted humans who can see the future, give the information to the Pre-Crime Unit so that hero Tom can go out and sweep these pre-criminals off the street..
Being a pre-criminal can make jury trials and those pesky constitutional issues a major annoyance. After all, no crime has a yet been committed so the system can’t exactly charge the perp with any wrong-doing. There may be some circumstantial evidence of a pre-crime but maybe not. Read more
Lest we forget, here are the highlights:
Susan Fluke … so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills.
What does that make her? It makes her a slut right? It makes her a prostitute! She wants to be paid to have sex
Ms. Fluke...Who bought your condoms in the 6th grade?
She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk.
Random hook-ups that these babes are encountering here … having sex nearly 3 times a day.
Ms Fluke and the rest of you FemiNazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex...then we want something in return, Ms. Fluke, and that would be the videos of this sex posted online so we can see.
There's more--a lot more. Although you can't find the transcript on Rush Limbaugh's website, which otherwise contains a meticulous archival treasure trove of hate speech. He erased it when he realized what he had done. Read more