We Did This

When I was a young boy, whenever I went to a public library, I would always search for books on two subjects: Nazis, and nuclear weapons. I think this was because the biggest myths of my young life were told by Steven Spielberg. Reading about the realities of those two ideas: German fascism – its roots in Enlightenment philosophies, populist politics and art – and the successful construction of a machine so powerful it could incinerate an entire city, and destroy the planet, those seemed like the most important things to […]

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Secularism is Not a Western Ideal

"God Does Not Exist" ... "HE DOES."

As my friends on the Left settle into what I consider a reductive understanding of Charlie Hebdo’s work as racist, Islamaphobic, problematic, whatever – here’s a collection of cartoons by Cabu (one of the assassinated cartoonists) which evidence a more nuanced progressive point of view at that magazine. The cartoonist Cabu (who drew all of the cartoons shown here) was consistently anti-colonial and anti-imperial in his work, just like the rest of Charlie Hebdo. This character, a French soldier on the cover of a fictional magazine called ‘the pacifist union’ says “France […]

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Freedom of Speech Cannot be Killed


By Joe Randazzo Originally published on MSNBC here: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/former-onion-editor-freedom-speech-cannot-be-killed When I was editor there, The Onion was located in the heart of Manhattan and the one person manning our front entrance was our petite, tattooed office manager, Jessie. She was the definition of unthreatening, and we used to joke that she was the only thing standing between us and some heavily armed radicals, should any ever become enraged by something we put in print. Right now, that joke makes me sick to my stomach. Twelve people were murdered at the offices […]

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Iconoclasm in Kiev


Click over to the Guardian to see protesters in Kiev pull down the statue of Lenin, and read about how statues – invisible symbols of entrenched and assumed power in our everyday lives – becoming sitting ducks during an expression of revolutionary disobedience. Since the dawn of man, in our freest moments we have torn the idols down. Some pics from RT: Direct link to video:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2013/dec/09/kiev-ukraine-protesters-statue-lenin-video

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Education and Open Source Art


Before Les Misérables and its story of youthful, futile rebellion fades again into popular irrelevance, I thought I’d share this sweet digital painting.  This scene, with its striking red flag, was composed in response to yesterday’s police incursion into a peaceful demonstration outside a government summit on education, after protesters threw snowballs at them. Through all the chunky and kinetic faux-brushstrokes, it shows an invincible and imposing police on horseback, riding roughshod over students who can do little but wave their banners and retreat. I highly recommend a browse through […]

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No Apologies Ever

Remember how when Bush was President and there was a massive catastrophe orchestrated by Islamic terrorists? I remember most people saying it was because they hated our freedoms, and folks who said it was our foreign policy that led to public anger against the USA were called traitorous America-haters. I have to draw attention to how: a) folks like Romney and Bachmann are not being called traitors by liberals like conservatives did to us from 2001-2008 b) how liberals aren’t making an argument that our policies (which include two wars) caused these uprisings the way we did in 2001 c) none of that matters. These riots are caused by unemployment in the Arab world, and they were drummed up by religious and political leaders who, after the Arab Spring, are faced with actually solving the problems of their constitutencies instead of fomenting anger against the establishment. This will work for a while, but eventually the Arab world will need to look inward and figure out how to create a civil society. And eventually Americans will stop expecting to automatically disagree with people who subscribe to different parties and fiscal persuasions, especially when clear enemies like religious extremists strike out against our principles and those who serve to advance our interests abroad.

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#OccupyLA: Eviction and the Detention of Tyson Heder


  I drove myself down to City Hall on Tuesday night to take part in what would probably be the most important political event in our city for a long time.  I live tweeted as much as I could – right up until my Android phone ran out of batteries.  For those of you who thought I may have been arrested or hurt – do not fret.  Yours truly stayed well out of the way of both protesters and the police, I didn’t even yell and scream.  I just wanted […]

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