November 2nd, 2012
chasewhiteside

newleftmedia:

NEW VIDEO! - OHIO ROMNEY RALLY - Interviews with Supporters

Interviews were conducted with Ohio voters at a recent Romney rally in Defiance, OH. These are the voters who will choose our next President.

Produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) & Erick Stoll.

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RTNT’s Editor, Chase Whiteside, interviews Romney supporters about the election, perfectly demonstrating our mantra You are what you read (or in this case, what you watch.)

Reblogged from New Left Media
October 3rd, 2012
chasewhiteside

Grizzly Bear May Be Indie-Rock Royalty, But That Doesn’t Mean They Make Any Money

Nitsuh Abebe writes for Vulture magazine about Grizzly Bear’s origins and unlikely success, and the surprisingly humble lives of its members as they make their way in a changing music industry:

Musicians often find themselves in the position they occupied before the rise of the LP, working as accessories to other, more profitable industries: nightlife, advertising, film and television, “music discovery” engines, streaming services, press, social networks, branding. (Grizzly Bear once licensed an unreleased track to the Washington State lottery.) But these industries also require musicians to approach what they’re doing as an art—something with authentic, organic connections to style, aesthetics, and youth culture—not a craft to be dutifully plied for a living. And in a trend-driven art, success has a tendency to end.

Droste doesn’t expect a middle-class living, but he wouldn’t mind one. “I’d like to someday own a house, and be able to have children, and be able to put them through school, in an urban environment that one enjoys living in,” says Droste. “A lot of people do it. And doing it through music is harder than doing it as a lawyer.” I ask him if Grizzly Bear, with all its success, offers the beginnings of that. “No,” he says, very quickly. “I’d have to keep doing this forever. But the biggest thing you can’t do is focus on money.”

Read the full article here.

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October 1st, 2012
atomvincent

Living Under Drones

This report from the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University examines the recent history of American drone strikes in Pakistan and the myriad ill effects had upon the people of Pakistan.

In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.

This narrative is false.

Read the full report here.

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August 23rd, 2012
arvindsuguness
The Irony of Obama
In an article of sweeping scope, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes for The Atlantic on race, America, and the irony of the Obama Presidency:

Before President Obama spoke, the death of Trayvon Martin was generally regarded as a national tragedy. After Obama spoke, Martin became material for an Internet vendor flogging paper gun-range targets that mimicked his hoodie and his bag of Skittles. (The vendor sold out within a week.) Before the president spoke, George Zimmerman was arguably the most reviled man in America. After the president spoke, Zimmerman became the patron saint of those who believe that an apt history of racism begins with Tawana Brawley and ends with the Duke lacrosse team.
The irony of Barack Obama is this: he has become the most successful black politician in American history by avoiding the radioactive racial issues of yesteryear, by being “clean” (as Joe Biden once labeled him)—and yet his indelible blackness irradiates everything he touches. This irony is rooted in the greater ironies of the country he leads. For most of American history, our political system was premised on two conflicting facts—one, an oft-stated love of democracy; the other, an undemocratic white supremacy inscribed at every level of government. In warring against that paradox, African Americans have historically been restricted to the realm of protest and agitation. But when President Barack Obama pledged to “get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he was not protesting or agitating. He was not appealing to federal power—he was employing it. The power was black—and, in certain quarters, was received as such.

Read the full article here.

The Irony of Obama

In an article of sweeping scope, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes for The Atlantic on race, America, and the irony of the Obama Presidency:

Before President Obama spoke, the death of Trayvon Martin was generally regarded as a national tragedy. After Obama spoke, Martin became material for an Internet vendor flogging paper gun-range targets that mimicked his hoodie and his bag of Skittles. (The vendor sold out within a week.) Before the president spoke, George Zimmerman was arguably the most reviled man in America. After the president spoke, Zimmerman became the patron saint of those who believe that an apt history of racism begins with Tawana Brawley and ends with the Duke lacrosse team.

The irony of Barack Obama is this: he has become the most successful black politician in American history by avoiding the radioactive racial issues of yesteryear, by being “clean” (as Joe Biden once labeled him)—and yet his indelible blackness irradiates everything he touches. This irony is rooted in the greater ironies of the country he leads. For most of American history, our political system was premised on two conflicting facts—one, an oft-stated love of democracy; the other, an undemocratic white supremacy inscribed at every level of government. In warring against that paradox, African Americans have historically been restricted to the realm of protest and agitation. But when President Barack Obama pledged to “get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he was not protesting or agitating. He was not appealing to federal power—he was employing it. The power was black—and, in certain quarters, was received as such.

Read the full article here.

August 23rd, 2012
erickstoll

Pussy Riot Closing Statements

A few days late, but here are the closing statements delivered by three members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot. The women were sentenced to two years in prison for staging a guerrilla protest against Vladimir Putin in a Russian Orthodox church. 

We put on political punk performances in response to a government that is rife with rigidity, reticence, and caste-like hierarchal structures. It is so clearly invested in serving only narrow corporate interests, it makes us sick just to breathe the Russian air. We categorically oppose the following, which forces us to act and live politically: 

—the use of coercive and forceful methods for regulating social processes; a situation when the most important political institutions are the disciplinary structures of the state: the security agencies (the army, police, and secret services), and their corresponding means of ensuring political “stability” (prisons, pre-emptive detention, all the mechanisms of strict control over the citizenry);

—imposed civic passivity among the majority of the population,

—the complete dominance of the executive branch over the legislative and judicial.

Read the full article here. 

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August 21st, 2012
atomvincent

A Glimpse Inside Syria’s Civil War

Last week, C. J. Chivers spent five days embedded with Syrian rebels in the Aleppo province. For the New York Times, he offers a candid look at operations on the front line of the guerrilla war and the people - farmers, nurses, business men, army defectors - who have taken up arms against President Bashar al-Assad.

Using Skype, Jamal Abu Houran contacted an activist from Tal Rifaat who invited him to desert his post and head to a nearby village, where he would be picked up by a waiting car. Soon he was in a hidden guerrilla office. He told the activists there that he had studied weapons well, and asked to join the rebels’ fight.

An activist phoned Mr. Yasin, who quickly appeared and stood before him. Jamal recalled his new commander’s first words. “You are my brother,” he said. “And your blood is more precious than mine.”

Jamal Abu Houran’s reply set his life on its new course. “I hope God will give me the strength to defend people like you,” he said. This was his oath.

He had switched sides.

Read the full article here.

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August 16th, 2012
atomvincent

Welcome to our blog!

nyrblit:

This will be a blog for news about NYRB Lit. In order to describe the goals and aims of this new e-book series, we’ll begin with an interview that our editor, Sue Halpern, did with Barbara Hoffert at Library Journal’s Prepub Alert blog:

“As a writer and a reader, Halpern understands that with the multiplicity of books out there‚ and with the struggles of libraries and indie bookstores, historically the two institutions that offer big support for book culture, as Halpern observed‚ it’s getting harder for many of us to decide what to read. One of her goals, then, is to reposition literary fiction in the market. I’d like to be involved in making literary fiction a genre. One thing that’s clear in the social media world is that people love genres, and one thing that publishers love about genre readers is that they are highly identifiable because they identify themselves.

Halpern sees the distinction between literary and commercial fiction as questionable; obviously, plenty of literary fiction is juicy good and sells like hotcakes. But literary fiction does stand out for its allegiance to language, in her felicitous phrase, as well as its commitment to ideas, to a larger sense of where we are. To find authors who rivetingly deliver that one-two punch of gorgeous words and gorgeous thought, she’s been actively soliciting agents both here and abroad‚ and shaking off the illusion that if we get a book Monday, we can publish it Tuesday. With ebooks, there’s not the physicality, but the rest of the process is the same.

NYRB Lit will publish monthly ten times a year (skipping February and August), and the books Halpern has found so far are richly promising. September brings us Whitbread Award winner Lindsay Clarke, whose The Water Theater won the 2011 Fiction Uncovered Award in the UK. Its protagonist, reporter Martin Crowther, is fighting a personal battle as he tries to convince the estranged children of his dying mentor to visit him one last time.”

Welcome, welcome! Friends, if you’ve an interest in contemporary literature, you’re going to want to follow NYRB Lit.

Reblogged from NYRB Lit
August 15th, 2012
atomvincent

Two Girls, One Mind

In something of a follow-up to Monday’s post regarding linguistic conceptualization of the self, I turn to a 2011 feature from New York Times Magazine about conjoined twins Krista and Tatiana Hogan. Susan Dominus writes on the unique connection they share and the complicated nature of self as illuminated by two young girls whose minds are joined by a bridge that is effectively unknown to science.

Twins joined at the head — the medical term is craniopagus — are one in 2.5 million, of which only a fraction survive. The way the girls’ brains formed beneath the surface of their fused skulls, however, makes them beyond rare: their neural anatomy is unique, at least in the annals of recorded scientific literature. Their brain images reveal what looks like an attenuated line stretching between the two organs, a piece of anatomy their neurosurgeon, Douglas Cochrane of British Columbia Children’s Hospital, has called a thalamic bridge, because he believes it links the thalamus of one girl to the thalamus of her sister. The thalamus is a kind of switchboard, a two-lobed organ that filters most sensory input and has long been thought to be essential in the neural loops that create consciousness. Because the thalamus functions as a relay station, the girls’ doctors believe it is entirely possible that the sensory input that one girl receives could somehow cross that bridge into the brain of the other. One girl drinks, another girl feels it.

Read the full article here.

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August 15th, 2012
atomvincent

atomvincent:

nytimes:

If you live in Butler or Warren counties in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Cincinnati, you can vote for president beginning in October by going to a polling place in the evening or on weekends. Republican officials in those counties want to make it convenient for their residents to vote early and avoid long lines on Election Day.

But, if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. Republicans on the county election board are planning to end early voting in the city promptly at 5 p.m., and ban it completely on weekends, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The convenience, in other words, will not be extended to the city’s working people.

The sleazy politics behind the disparity is obvious. Hamilton County, which contains Cincinnati, is largely Democratic and voted solidly for Barack Obama in 2008. So did the other urban areas of Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, where Republicans, with the assistance of the Ohio secretary of state, Jon Husted, have already eliminated the extended hours for early voting.

County election boards in Ohio, a closely contested swing state, are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. In counties likely to vote for President Obama, Republicans have voted against the extended hours, and Mr. Husted has broken the tie in their favor. (He said the counties couldn’t afford the long hours.) In counties likely to vote for Mitt Romney, Republicans have not objected to the extended hours.

This is just the latest alarming example of how Republicans across the country are trying to manipulate the electoral system by blocking the voting rights of their opponents. These actions have a disproportionate effect on blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities who struggled for so long to participate in American democracy.

Cincinnati, for example, is 45 percent black, and Cleveland 53 percent. Butler County, however, is 8 percent black, and Warren 3.5 percent. This kind of racial disparity is clearly visible wherever Republicans have trampled on voting rights during Mr. Obama’s term.

In Florida, more than half of black voters went to the polls early in 2008 largely to support Mr. Obama. So, last year, Republican lawmakers there severely curtailed the early voting period. In Pennsylvania and other states that have imposed strict voter ID requirements, the impact will be felt hardest by blacks, Hispanics, older citizens and students, all of whom tend to lack government ID cards at a higher rate than the general population. At the trial in Pennsylvania over the constitutionality of the state’s voter ID law, the plaintiffs introduced clear evidence, compiled by a geographic data analysis firm, that registered voters in Philadelphia who lack government ID cards are concentrated in minority and low-income areas.

In Ohio, as in other states, the Republican Party is establishing a reputation for putting short-term political gain ahead of the most fundamental democratic rights.

Reblogged from A T O M
August 13th, 2012
atomvincent

On Pronouns and the Self

Writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dana Levin considers the complicated intersection of gender and pronouns in the English language and Western society.

"Who cares!" you might exclaim, or, less generously, "What feminist harangue is about to ensue!"; No, my friends — think instead on the words of Loren Cannon, transgender triathlete from Northern California, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 3, 2011: “It makes it hard to participate in society when all you want to do is order a Coke and people are so confused about what pronoun to use.”

Pronoun: an argument for a name. To which Waite says, “the lake/has no saint/after which/to take its name.” Who watches over the trans: the neither/nor, the both/and? If the language cannot name you, how can you be referred to, represented? This is of more than legal and commercial import; it’s of crucial psychospiritual significance. If language, via naming, is meant to “distill (your) real being,” what happens when the language fails you?

Read the full article here.

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