SOCIAL HISTORY: “It’s Time We Have a Holiday to Honor Those Who Try to Stop Wars Too” / Vox ☮

Eugene V. Debs

Eugene V. Debs, who went to jail for opposing World War I. (Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day often get equated, but there is an essential distinction between the two. Veteran’s Day honors all who have served the American military in wars. Memorial Day honors those who’ve perished. It’s an annual reminder that wars have grave human costs, which must be both recognized and minimized.

Those costs are not inevitable. We ought to also set aside time to remember those throughout American history who have tried hardest to reduce them, to prevent unnecessary loss of life both American and foreign: war resisters.

Continue reading . . .

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “The DNC Debate Proved the Democratic Party is a Lost Cause / #DNCdebate” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

The Huffington Post’s DNC Chair debate wasn’t too eventful—none of the candidates argued, and there was no vigorous disagreements about anything—but nonetheless, it was still a disheartening event. All of the candidates, including Keith Ellison, demonstrated that they’re completely out of touch with average voters, and none of them are offering comprehensive change. In this segment, Mike provides you with a rundown of the overall debate, and he explains why he came away “overwhelmingly disappointed” with all of the candidates, and ultimately felt as though Keith Ellison was wavering on his core progressive principles.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Cannabis: Jeff Sessions Will Wage War on Marijuana as Attorney General—Let’s Stop Him!” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

During his first confirmation hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions implied he will wage war on state medical and recreational marijuana laws. He’s vocalized the “dangers” of marijuana on numerous occasions, and asserted that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” As Attorney General, he’d have the power to destroy the progress states have made when it comes to the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana. If you disagree with this move, then take action BEFORE he’s even confirmed and let him know you won’t stand for his outdated, arbitrary policies.

CANNABIS: “The Truth About Marijuana” / The Humanist Report / The Weekly Dose / Mike Figueredo ☮

Many talking heads have made strong assertions about the dangers of marijuana. In this short satirical mini-documentary, we pay homage to these people by highlighting their stupidity.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Pro-Hillary Hypocrite Barney Frank Blasts Trump’s Wall Street Corruption” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

The former Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, blasted Donald Trump’s decision to tap former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, and stated, “Trump is Wall Street’s best gift in many, many years.” He’s 100% correct, so what’s the problem? Well, Barney Frank is a hypocrite. Not only is he a Wall Street sellout himself, but the candidate he endorsed for president (Hillary Clinton) would have been an even BIGGER gift to Wall Street.

PROGRESSIVE INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM: “Chat with Secular Talk’s Kyle Kulinski About Clinton, Warren, Sanders, Trump, and More” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk joined Mike to discuss the outcome of the 2016 election; particularly, Hillary Clinton’s awful campaign, Elizabeth Warren’s credibility among progressives, the appeal of Bernie Sanders, and whether or not Donald Trump will be an effective president, and if his overall victory will be good for the left in the end.

PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL COMMENTARY: “The Bell Sisters, Ding and Dong (Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann), Hilariously Explain Why They Think Trump Won” / The Humanist Report / Mike Figueredo ☮

By now many people have put forth reasons as to why they think Hillary Clinton was defeated by Donald Trump. Perhaps the best explanation comes from Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, who utilize a more… um, unorthodox—I guess you can say—type of rationale to explain why Trump won. It’s so stupid it’s hilarious!

PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL COMMENTARY: “Christian Assyrian Woman is Harassed as ‘Terrorist’ for Speaking the Language of Jesus” / Informed Comment / Juan Cole ☮

Aramaic was the language spoken by Jesus. Although the New Testament survives in koine Greek, likely it had an Aramaic substrate. The Gospels make clear that Jesus spoke Aramaic by occasionally quoting his original words in that language. Jesus says to the little girl he heals, “Talitha qumi,” little girl get up (Mk 5:41). On the cross he says, “Eli, Eli lema sabachthani,” my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matt. 27:46).

Between 600 BC and about 1000 CE [AD], the dominant spoken language in the Levant and the Fertile Crescent was Aramaic. Sometimes it is called Syriac or Chaldean. In some of this 1600-year period (sort of the span of time from the sack of Rome in 410 to our own day) sometimes Greek, and later Arabic, served as administrative and literary languages, but probably most people in what is now Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria-Palestine, even parts of Iran, spoke Aramaic for daily uses.

So after Trump’s electoral victory, an Assyrian Christian woman named Ivet Lolham was riding the BART commuter train in the Bay Area and she called her father and spoke to him in Aramaic, requesting him to pick her up from the station.

She alleges that she started being verbally abused by another passenger, who termed her a terrorist and told her: “I think you are an ugly, mean, evil little pig who might get deported and I pray that you do.”

Lolham recorded the scene on her cell phone and warned the woman it would be put on YouTube. The abusive passenger replied undeterred, “This woman is a stalker from the Middle East. She’s a Middle Eastern terrorist, she’s terrorizing citizens like me and she will probably get deported.”

In northwestern Iran around Lake Urumiya in Azerbaijani province, there are about 55,000 Chaldean and Nestorian Christians who speak Aramaic. Iran also has a small Jewish community, some members of which speak Aramaic.

So this is where Trump’s foreigner-hating America has ended up: speaking the language of Jesus in public is now equated to terrorism. Watch the video of the incident below:

h/t: Informed Comment
h/t: truthdig