Sunday, May 29, 2011

Why the Democratic Party Has Abandoned the Middle Class in Favor of the Rich

This is an excellent and lengthy analysis by Kevin Drum from Mother Jones on the degree to which the Democratic Party has been influenced by wealthy and corporate constituents, at the expense of the middle class, over the past several decades. Read it and weep, then talk it up with everyone you know...

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target

This story recalls the days when J. Edgar Hoover had the FBI looking at every left-leaning citizen in the country. Since 9/11, under the expanded surveillance powers of the Patriot Act, domestic surveillance of Americans has increased directly under the flag of fighting 'terrorism.'

Republican Legislators Push to Tighten Voting Rules

Thirteen states with GOP-controlled legislatures are passing Voter ID bills and other measures designed to reduce turnout by making it more difficult for minorities and the young to vote. Of course, this is nothing new as Republicans always seem to be up to such tricks. Meanwhile not one case of voter fraud has been used to justify these laws that the GOP claims are for the purpose of insuring fair elections.

Noam Chomsky Talks at Syracuse Peace Conference

Noam Chomsky tells it like it is at a peace conference event from May 11. Though Chomsky is largely ignored by the mainstream media, as is the subject matter of his talks, he remains perhaps the most eloquent  intellectual critic of the United States and its foreign policy. However, Chomsky doesn't deal in opinion but rather nails down each of his analytical points with solid facts and background from the existing historical record.

This is an interesting post from Dollars & Sense highlighting how European companies now come to the US for cheap labor and lax regulations, as well as some developments in the foreclosure saga. It's also where I found the Chomsky clip.

Gil Scott-Heron, Voice of Black Culture - Poet, Musician, Social Critic - Dies at 62

I first discovered Gil Scott-Heron when I heard "Angel Dust" in the 70's while still in high school. The song, recorded with Brian Jackson, made a strong impact on me as his lyrics conjured the destructive loss of control and violent chaos that the street drug was wreaking on many of its users. I stayed away from Dust and that was likely the result of listening to what became one of my favorite songs over and over again. What I didn't realize until reading his obituary was that Scott-Heron had been a novelist at the age of nineteen, and I now see a strong literary influence and story-telling aspect in all his music. Of course, it's tragic that Gil Scott-Heron succumbed to the nightmare of addiction several times over the years, and that we lost a couple of decades of his work in this way, but I will always regard Gil as a brilliant voice speaking truth to power and I hope he will always be remembered that way. In the mid-80's I saw Gil Scott-Heron perform at a small club in Detroit, we were just a few rows away, and it was thrilling to see the man do his thing up close. I don't remember the show well, we were all pretty toasty and it was 25 years ago, but I do recall that the man had a lot to say that night. The fight goes on, in a timeless sort of continuum filled with the words and music of Gil Scott-Heron, a troubled man in a troubled world, and one of my heroes. The Revolution will not be televised...

WRTC Radio Archive Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron

I just added this link as it's the first thoughtful and detailed piece I've seen on GSH and his influence. This one transcends an obituary.
Gil Scott-Heron's Revolution

Gil Scott-Heron - The Bottle

Gil Scott-Heron, Poet and Musician, Has Died

Spoken Word Musician Gil Scott-Heron Dies in New York

Gil Scott-Heron - Poet, Musician, Social Critic - Dies at 62

A link to several performance clips of Gil Scott-Heron going back to the 70's.

Truthdigger of the week: Gil Scott-Heron