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APRIL 2012


Adrienne Rich
(May 16, 1929-March 27, 2012)

"There is no simple formula for the relationship of art to justice. But I do know that art—in my own case the art of poetry—means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage. The radical disparities of wealth and power in America are widening at a devastating rate. A President cannot meaningfully honor certain token artists while the people at large are so dishonored.

- Adrienne Rich on why she chose to reject the Medal of Freedom award bestowed on her by Bill Clinton.


On March 29, faith leaders and community leaders gathered in New York City to hand-deliver nearly 250,000 petition signatures demanding that Village Voice Media cease shut down the Adult section of its Web site that others have used to sell and buy minors for sex.



In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, we’ve seen a lot of discussion of the larger societal issues that play into how and when people are perceived as criminals. There were hoodies, there were marches, and there were frank talks from parent to child about how to minimize the danger of being a young person of color. On the other side, there were justifications of George Zimmerman’s actions: a smear campaign against Martin’s character, and plenty of writers explaining that statistically, blacks are simply more dangerous to be around. Check the facts …



What happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the "individual mandate" in the health care reform law? Commentators ranging from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich to Forbes Magazine columnist Rick Ungar agree: Such a decision could open the door to single-payer health care -- perhaps even make it inevitable.
This may be the best news about health care in years. Because ever since Republicans convinced the Obama administration to drop the "public option" in the Affordable Care Act, health reform has been in trouble. True, most Americans favor many of the provisions of Affordable Care Act. But the overall plan rests on forcing you and me to buy insurance from the same companies that have been driving up the costs of health care all along -- the same companies that have been finding creative ways to avoid covering needed care, shifting costs on to patients, and endlessly increasing premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for all of us. Read more.



A U.S. appeals court just struck down a ban on political ads on public broadcasting. That means your local PBS or NPR station could start running nasty attack ads right away. Please don’t pollute public broadcasting stations with political attack ads. Americans rely on PBS and NPR for programming that’s free of the negative and misleading commercials that have flooded commercial airwaves. Don’t open up public broadcasting to dirty Super PAC money. Sign the petition now.



Stüssy has started a ‘Strip For Likes’ campaign on its Facebook page, whereby a female model wearing layers of men’s clothing range removes a piece of clothing in return for users “Liking” Stüssy’s Facebook page. Stüssy is banking on the pull of a promised naked woman to bring in attention, customers and ultimately revenue. It’s no different from trying to sell a car by draping a scantily clad-woman over it–and even car manufacturers are smart enough not to insult their female customers in this way any more.
Contact Stüssy’s European Headquarters at 49 0 234 369 6640, or in the U.S. at 949 474 9255. Let them know that not only are they in violation of Facebook’s terms of service but that they’re turning off half their potential consumers with sexist ads. Read the read the full article by Catharine Scott at Ms. Magazine.




Our Spring offensive is building toward a climactic May uprising… time to come out of winter hibernation and play jazz like we’ve never played it before.
May 1 we leap into the new world with a mighty multinational General Strike. Wherever you are, No Work; No School; No Shopping. No illusions. No apologies. No business as usual. Into The Streets!

May 12, we intensify with three days of global action. Jammers in London, Lisbon, Paris, Marseilles, Helsinki, Cuzco, Barcelona, Quebec are already on board with more on the way. We’ll hold our assemblies, hash out our demands and start building a parallel society that can sustain autonomous, horizontal, revolutionary communities outside of corpo-consumerism … we stop begging and we start creating … we begin the change we want to see. We scared the G8 away from Chicago and now some occupiers are planning #OCCUPYCAMPDAVID – a cacophonous carnival of tree-sits, lockdowns and nomadic encampments in the woods and nearby Thurmont. Bon Voyage! Others are upping the ante with #OCCUPYCHICAGO – a mobilization of anarchic swarms to shutdown the NATO summit. Read more here.



Ashley Judd is an articulate and lucid writer on the endless flow of mind-numbing media banality. She writes,"That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women." Read more.
Judd also makes it clear that we should take the Big Picture view and know this isn't about her or her puffy face.



The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States. CISPA would provide a victory for content owners who were shell-shocked by the unprecedented outpouring of activism in opposition to SOPA and Internet censorship. The House of Representatives is planning to take up CISPA later this month. CISPA also encourages companies to share information about you with the government and other corporations. That data could then be used for just about anything -- from prosecuting crimes to ad placements. And perhaps worst of all, CISPA supercedes all other online privacy protections. Read more and take action.


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