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Showing posts from 2019

How Hanukkah Became “Jewish Christmas”

Hanukkah (traditionally a minor Jewish holiday) commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE and the victory of a small band of Jews, the Maccabees, against the Seleucid Empire, which had outlawed Judaism. The “Festival of Lights” celebrates the miraculous eight days a small amount of sacred oil kept the,,,read more.

The Sackler Family is Angry About Their Name Being Removed from the Walls of Tufts

It’s famously been a bad year for the Sackler family, a group of people who became enormously wealthy through the Connecticut-based company Purdue Pharma, which profited hugely via the widespread sale and marketing of fatally addictive painkillers. Due to the connection between the Sackler family and unimaginable pain and suffering, a number of institutions recently elected to stop taking money from them, including but not limited to: London’s National Portrait Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You’d think the Sacklers would be used to being shunned by now, but it turns...read more.

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys Focus on Collecting African-American Art

In May 2018, in a buzzing salesroom at Sotheby’s New York, the hammer fell on Kerry James Marshall’s Past Times (1997), a sprawling masterpiece that surveys a contemporary pastoral scene in which black figures are seen picnicking, boating, golfing, and playing croquet. Not long after, the price—$21.1 million, the highest figure for a work by a living African-American artist at auction—set off a fierce debate. Were black artists suddenly too trendy and recent rises in attention an overcorrection for generations of...read more.

The Met Hires Denise Murrell, Curator of Acclaimed ‘Posing Modernity’ Exhibition

Denise Murrell, the curator behind the highly praised exhibition “Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today” that opened last year, will now hold the post of associate curator for 19th- and 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a newly created position that will involve her working closely with...read more.

'Macron knows how to deal with the unions, not the Yellow Vests'

How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World

With the recent opening of its sleek new quarters, the Museum of Modern Art has solidified its position as one of the world’s leading showcases for high culture. Designed by the “starchitect” firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the renovation cost $450 million; that comes on top of the $425 million the museum spent on an earlier makeover, in 2004. That redesign came under...read more.

The Lies We're Told About Appalachia

Granny Hazel taught me how to feed the chickens. Hold the ear of dried corn in both hands and twist to pry the kernels from the cob, then throw it out into the yard for the waiting chickens to eat. I loved watching them peck away at the ground, eating the corn our family had grown that summer. At 5 years old, I’m sure I thought the chickens were her pets. Maybe I thought she just fed them like that because she...read more.

They Lied to Us All Along, We Knew It, and the Afghanistan Papers Prove It

Barack Obama and the Politics of Not Yet

As Obama inserts himself in the 2020 election - with some news reports suggesting he may engage further to help prevent a Sanders nomination—he is fast becoming a symbol of the divide within the Democratic party, between those who caution against (or fear) real change and those who are long tired of waiting. Even Obama’s policy record has become a split screen. Some of his fans—no doubt also longing for a President who can speak complete English sentences and not start a new scandal every week—reminisce about what they consider his bold progressive achievements, usually starting with the ACA. More skeptical observers point to his expansion of drone warfare, continued bombing of the Middle East, record deportations, record wealth inequality, bankers and...read more.

France’s Pension Reform Met with Massive Protests and Strikes

The Julian Assange Case

Medea Benjamin: A Massacre in Bolivia and a Plea for Help

I am writing from Bolivia just days after witnessing the November 19 military massacre at the Senkata gas plant in the indigenous city of El Alto, and the tear-gassing of a peaceful funeral procession on November 21 to commemorate the dead. These are examples, unfortunately, of the modus operandi of the de facto government that seized control in a coup that forced Evo Morales out of power.  Read more.

Amid Blackout, a California Tribal Village Kept Lights On With Solar Energy

ctober’s 383,000-gallon spill of the Keystone Pipeline in Edinburgh, North Dakota reveals the pipeline for what it is: a deal with the devil. For those of us who live in the land of lakes, just imagine what 383,000 gallons of oil will do to the Hay Creek, Fishhook Lake watershed, and what “clean up” will look like. There’s no way to...read more.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales Forced to Resign in Coup d’État

Facebook’s Right-Wing Hate Speech Problem Isn’t Going Away

It seems everyone has a bone to pick with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg these days. So, when a delegation of prominent civil rights leaders met with Zuckerberg at his house in Palo Alto, California, last week to discuss how racist and anti-Muslim posts on Facebook put people in danger, they brought with them plenty of proof. Farhana Khera, a civil rights lawyer and director of...read more.

Facebook Sues Israeli Cyber Security Co. NSO Over WhatsApp Surveillance

Dissidents of the East: Stephan Krawczyk, a musician sent into exile

30 Years After Berlin Wall Fell, Germany’s Divide Persists

Dear Fossil Fuels: It’s Over

We know that this has been a difficult period for you, and there’s never really a good time to break up. But it’ll be better for you (and us) if we just rip off the bandage quickly and get it over with. We’ve had some fun times together, and we’re grateful for what you’ve given us: food, clothing, shelter, and of course energy. But we’re done—and just to be...read more.

Farewell to John Conyers Jr. – and to His Era

John Conyers passed away at age 90 this week, the sixth longest-serving U.S. Representative in history, having spent more than half a century representing Detroit, and the longest-serving Black congressperson, by far.

I remember Conyers with great affection, both as a friend and as the last vestige of a time when it still could be imagined that some Black Democratic politicians might...read more.

South Carolina Prisoners Appeal to the UN for Relief From Torturous Conditions

Can you imagine living without sunlight? Many of us experience seasonal affective (SAD) disorder in the winter months, causing symptoms ranging from depression and lethargy to thoughts of suicide. SAD can also exacerbate the symptoms of some mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder. But while grey skies may...read more.

Quebec Government Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples for ‘Systemic Discrimination’

Tribute To A Persistent Progressive – Rep. John Conyers

2017 Video Shows California Police Officer Shooting Unarmed 16-Year-Old in Back of Head

Shining new light on a 2017 police shooting that an internal investigation deemed "justified" and "within department policy," horrific video released this week showed that a Fresno, California officer shot unarmed 16-year-old Isiah Murrietta-Golding in the back of the head as he attempted to flee.  Read more.

Lebanese Join Growing Protest Wave Against Austerity and Corruption

Protests in Haiti: An Overlooked Crisis the World Should Not Ignore

The Real News’ Marc Steiner Remembers Rep. Elijah Cummings

The Crisis of the Republican Party

n the summer of 1950, outraged by Joseph McCarthy’s anti-Communist inquisition, Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican senator from Maine, stood to warn her party that its own behavior was threatening the integrity of the American republic. “I don’t want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the...read more.