December 10, 2014

Katie Couric Roundtable on Eric Garner

Awesome people here taking Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelley to task for his ignorance and just general douchey-ness.

I knew that Ray Kelley was a douchebag, but I was completely taken aback by how openly and unapologetically douchey he is.

December 5, 2014

Just Stop Talking About Race!

via chescaleigh

5 Tips for Being an Ally

Resources for allies: 

Getting Called Out: How To Apologize

White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

The Angry Eye - Blue Eye Brown Eye experiment

A Powerful Lesson About Privilege

Managing Privilege

10 things allies need to know

Derailing for dummies

Resources for straight or cisgender people:
Queer 101:

White anti-racism: living the legacy

10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism

GLAAD's resources for allies

Transwhat? tips for allyship

10 reasons to give up ableist language


Melissa Harris Perry Black Feminism syllabus

How to be a male feminist ally

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Why do 15% of top scientists believe in God?

Worth watching all the way through to the end.

45 min

December 4, 2014

Hacking BuzzFeed Lifehacks with Lifehacking

So buzzfeed has a few videos and "listicles" (a portmanteau of "list" and "testicle")* of lifehacks. I thought they were neat/interesting, but didn't actually do any of them.

I was recently at a cooperative office space with a real techie/startup culture vibe, and I noticed that those buzzfeed lifehacks were being applied everywhere.
Seeing them actually being applied in reality got me thinking about how those lifehacks could be further improved upon by additional lifehacks.

Here are my four lifehacking lifehacks:

1. Just drink when you're thirsty

Seriously, your survival instinct is so weak that you forget to do the most basic things you need to do to stay alive? Do you need an egg timer to remind you to eat as well? When you get that weird feeling in your pelvic area, do you just wait till you wet yourself?

2. It won't make your desk look like a hovercraft, but a tasteless multibulb room lamp from a box store can adequately light your workspace, and can be found FOR FREE outside any college dorm around May.
Instead of paying money for this:

Try picking up one of these for free outside of any college dorm in May when students move out:

3. You could use this two-cup solution to avoid ever having stale coffee again-- Or you could stop being a snob, and just shut up and fucking drink it. Let's face it, there's nothing worse than stale coffee, aside from everything else in universe, because coffee is awesome. 

 Enough sugar and cream, and even strained charcoal remains found in an electrical fire will be palatable enough to fuel your pointless paperpushing productivity. Meet that deadline!

4. Never go to BuzzFeed, ever
Even buzzfeed encourages you to install a program that prevents you from ever going to their website: it's in their lifehack list.

*I've been informed that it's actually a portmanteau of "Liskeardite" and "Article" since they are all articles originally written down on stone tablets made of a composite of Aluminum, Arsenic, Iron, Hydrogen, and Oxygen.

November 26, 2014

November 21, 2014

Saving The Internet: How the Impossible Shifted to the Inevitable

Originally posted a AcronymTV

When President Barack Obama appointed venture capitalist and former Verizon and ATT lobbyist Tom Wheeler as chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it sent shudders down the spines of anyone concerned with the concept of net neutrality.

Last spring, it may have seemed an impossible task for activists and the Internet itself to defend net neutrality, but to date, they have.

Gloriously so.

As Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance point out:

“(Last) week (was) a turning point in a seven-month campaign to Save the Internet. The campaign began when FCC Chair, Tom Wheeler, told the media in May that he was considering creating a tiered Internet where wealthy corporations could pay for faster service giving them an advantage over start-ups, small businesses, entrepreneurs and citizen activists.”

Flowers and Zeese were among a small group of activist who, embodying the idea that small group of committed people can change the world, staged a blockade of Tom Wheeler’s driveway just hours before President Obama made his announcement in support of the concept of Net Neutrality.

The group Fight For the Future (FFTF) has been at the forefront of a broad coalition that has rallied to generate comments from 4 million people, 40,000 websites, and the President of the United States in support of net neutrality.

Earlier this year, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler announced that he wanted a decision to come down on the concept of net neutrality (the concept that everyone’s data should move at the same speed and that huge corporations or governments should not get to buy into a fast lane and/or interfere with what you do online) by the end of 2014.

Now that that decision is being pushed to early 2015, Evan Greer – a campaign organizer for FFTF, is calling out Wheeler for not listening to the overwhelming consensus of people, telling Acronym TV in the video above: “Now that there is a growing public consensus for title II reclassification, which is the only way to protect the internet, all of the sudden he wants to delay. From our perspective, it is pretty easy to see what is going on here which is that Tom Wheeler is helping out his buddies at Comcast and Verizon by delaying the process even though there is a complete public consensus now; between tech companies and now, finally, the President of the United States coming out to support reclassification.”

Responding to the hedge in the President’s statement of support, where Obama said, “the FCC is an independent agency and ultimately this decision is theirs alone,” Greer insisted that Obama could do more.

“The Obama administration would very much like to distance themselves from the situation,” Greer told me. “The reality is Barack Obama appointed FCC Chair Wheeler and he knew he was appointing a cable company lobbyist.”

“(Obama) has the power to demote Tom Wheeler and promote one of the other FCC commissioners to become the chair. Both of the other Democratic commissioners have mad more positive statements about title II than Wheeler has and certainly neither one of them were cable company lobbyists before coming to the (FCC). If Barack Obama really wanted to do something here, that is a tool that he holds. He could fire Wheeler and put someone in place that would actually protect the Internet and the public interest.”

atv save internet cat

Dear White People: Our State of Emergency

Originally posted at AcronymTV

As you know, a pre-emptive State of Emergency has been called in Ferguson, Missouri as the country waits to hear if officer Darren Wilson will be charged with the murder of Michael Brown.

Let’s focus on another State of Emergency for a moment.

Like me, you are the beneficiary of unearned white privilege. I’m not going to insult your intelligence, nor should you insult other members of this club we were born into, by cataloguing the laundry list of data that point to the clear fact that, taken as a whole, people who are or who present as white, experience privileges that are regularly denied to people who do not present as white.

It is a fact. Deal with it.

It is from that place of privilege that you and I will watch events unfold when the grand jury comes back with, as all indications seem to point, something less than a murder charge for another member of the white privilege club, Officer Darren Wilson.

Perhaps you will protest, standing side by side with the predominantly African- American crowd who will be expressing their justifiable rage in the streets.

Perhaps you will donate money to pay for a billboard in Ferguson that reads Pants Up Don’t Loot.

Perhaps you live in the greater Ferguson area, and will hold your itchy finger on the trigger of your new gun- being one of a wave of first time gun buyers in the area in the run up to the Grand Jury decision.

Perhaps you will don your KKK hood, joining other men who call themselves wizards and dress like Harry Potter extras and let yourself loose the community armed and prepared to use lethal force against protestors in Ferguson who have been, since August 9th when the unarmed Michael Brown was gunned down killed while surrendering, overwhelmingly peaceful in the face of the occupying force armed to the teeth raining tear gas down and pointing guns at them.

Perhaps you will follow the events, like me, from a quiet New England town with white picket fences and a police presence that will not be elevated because it never is.

Perhaps you will be an officer, or a member of the National Guard, given unlimited resources to protect and enforce the status quo.

As we watch or participate in the events that come after the grand jury decision we must face the real state of emergency in this country, which systematically pursues the suppression of people of color.

“What happens to a dream deferred?” Langston Hughes famously asked, and then answered: “Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load. Or does it explode?”

The dream, be it the American Dream, or Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream, are not within reach to a growing number of people in this country. That the middle class is disappearing even as we are told that our economy has recovered from the 2008 crash brought on by a Wall street criminals who have faced little to no consequences for their crimes while kids like Michael Brown get aggressively run down and killed for the crime of jaywalking makes those dreams sag like a heavy load.

When it comes to income inequality, chew on this:

In 1967, with the Civil Rights movement still in full swing and Jim Crow still looming in the rearview mirror, median household income was 43% higher for white, non-Hispanic households than for black households. By 2011, even in the era of Hope and Change, things got worse, or better depending on which side of the proverbial tracks you reside on. Median white household income was 72% higher in 2011 than median black household income.

Does it sag, like a heavy load, or does it explode?

The State of emergency that is playing out in Ferguson right now can take step in the right direction of equanimity and justice when a white officer in the national guard, or the Ferguson police department puts down their gun, disobeys orders to suppress righteous dissent, and joins with the oppressed community seeking justice.

So, my people my people my white people, who among you with a badge and a gun is up to the task?

atv police academy

November 17, 2014

This campaign doesn't end on Election Day

via Socialist Worker

In a mostly dismal election year, Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones gave the left something to cheer about with their Green Party campaign for the governor and lieutenant governor of New York. By getting almost 5 percent and 200,000 votes, Hawkins-Jones had the most successful independent left-wing campaign in New York state in more than 50 years.
The Hawkins-Jones campaign was able to bring attention to struggles to defend public education and ban hydrofracking--and to show that it's possible for the left to begin building organization outside the Democratic Party. Howie and Brian spoke to Danny Katch about their assessment of the campaign and their thoughts about next steps.
Brian Jones (left) and Howie HawkinsBrian Jones (left) and Howie Hawkins
WHAT WERE your hopes for the campaign and were they realized?
Howie: We wrote four goals into our original campaign plan last January. I'll run through them:
1. At least 50,000 votes to retain our line on all New York ballots for the next four years. We easily achieved this goal.
2. 5 percent and 250,000 votes to change New York politics by establishing a viable independent left party. We chose this goal as being within our reach if we ran a very good campaign. The numbers would basically equal the best showings for independent left gubernatorial candidates in New York history--5.7 percent and 5.6 percent for Socialists in 1918 and 1920; 220,000 votes for the independent American Labor Party candidate for governor in 1950.
We got 4.9 percent and nearly 200,000 votes when all the paper ballots are counted. That's close enough for what we hoped to achieve with this vote: Making the Greens the voice of the left--or at least the independent left--in New York politics in the media's and the public's eyes, displacing liberal Democrats and their second ballot line, the Working Families Party.
When we were polling consistently in the 6 percent to 9 percent range statewide from July through late October, we began to hope we could break double digits. I think we came up short of what the polls indicated due to last-minute lesser-evil voting and the record low turnout.
It remains to be seen how the media and public will regard our new status. Some pundits gave us due respect. Politico's Capital New York said the Greens were the "the big third-party winners" and Time Warner Cable's Capital Tonight said "the Green Party has achieved a new level of permanency in state politics." Our ultimate standing will depend on our organizing and media work going forward.
3. Move the debate on key issues. It remains to be seen how much we moved the debate. After our 2010 campaign, our "Ban Fracking" demand was picked up by the whole anti-fracking movement--which before our campaign had mostly been demanding a moratorium while it was studied.
We got a lot of media coverage for several of our platform planks this time: full and equitable school funding, opt out of high-stakes testing, a $15 minimum wage, ban fracking, 100 percent clean energy by 2030, single-payer health care, full public campaign financing. How much we are able to move the debate on these demands depends on our follow-up organizing and media work. Our significant vote gives us the opportunity to do that.
Because Cuomo will use the Republican-majority state Senate as a shield against progressive reforms for the next two-year legislative session, our organizing will be more about movement building around these issues than passing legislation. [Editor's note: After this roundtable took place, the New York Post reported that Cuomo had made a secret deal that left the Republican majority in the state Senate intact.]
But we will be demanding legislative votes on these issues to put the incumbents on the record, which will set up our campaigns for the 2016 state legislative elections.
4. Increase Party Membership and Strengthen Party Organization. The campaign raised new interest in the Green Party. We have many requests for support in organizing new county and local Green organizations across the state. Our original campaign plan included keeping some staff on for a couple months after the campaign to help with following through on organizing. That's what we are doing now after the election.
Brian: For my part, I was hoping especially to give an electoral expression to the movement to defend and improve public education. Teachers, parents and students have been organizing against school closures, charter school co-locations, high-stakes standardized testing and union-busting.
The people most directly involved in this organizing increasingly found themselves up against high-level Democratic Party officials--including the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. In my view, the sooner that parents, teachers and students begin seeing themselves as building a movement that is self-consciously independent of the Democratic Party, the harder it will be for the Dems to co-opt and derail our movement.
In this regard, I think our campaign made important strides forward. The first people I went to for support were education activists statewide, and they all responded enthusiastically. Many were first-time Green voters, but their experience told them that challenging corporate education reform requires being willing to challenge Democrats.
The six unions that endorsed us were all teacher unions. That doesn't meant that every member of those locals is now committed to independent politics, but it represents an important opening for that discussion. Perhaps the best-known public school advocate in the country, Diane Ravitch, endorsed our campaign. For the unions and for Ravitch, this was their first time voting Green.
HOWIE'S VOTE increased dramatically from his last run in 2010--particularly in New York City. What do you think accounts for that?
Brian: The terrain was very favorable for making an advance. Cuomo is widely despised, but is propped up by the astronomical wealth of his core supporters and, of course, the Democratic Party machine. The New York Times spent the summer exposing him as thoroughly corrupt, and in the Democratic Party primary, he faced a progressive challenger who gave liberals confidence that he could and should be challenged.
Then there's the fact that "left" groups like the Working Families Party (WFP), which endorsed Cuomo claiming they would push him to the left, were quickly embarrassed by the fact that Cuomo pledged--immediately after securing the nomination--not to keep his promises to them. He even created another ballot line in order to undermine the WFP.
Lastly, but not least by any means, the issue of education was paramount. The very issue for which Cuomo was widely hated among progressives--his determination to promote privatization through high-stakes standardized testing, charter schools, and union-busting--was the very issue where we've seen some intensive grassroots organizing in this state.
The internal dynamics of the umbrella teachers union for the state--New York State United Teachers--also played a role. Teachers statewide moved toward open revolt against a leadership that has been loyal to the privatizer-in-chief Cuomo. Many union presidents and teacher activists around the state challenged the leadership in the statewide union elections, and then they banded together again to support Cuomo's challenger in the Democratic primary.
When AFT President Randi Weingarten intervened in the primary to support Cuomo, recording a robo-call for him, it was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. A self-conscious group of teacher union activists statewide had already cohered before our campaign, and supporting us was a logical next step. With connections to union members and school communities statewide, these activists added considerable human resources to the campaign.
Howie: Cuomo's conservative policies, particularly his attacks on public schools, teachers and state workers, generated a protest vote from liberal Democrats. Our polling in the 6 percent to 9 percent range enabled us to get more media coverage in New York City media, which ignored us in 2010.
ANDREW CUOMO has seemed to go out of his way to antagonize liberals. How much do you think the Green Party vote was the result of people's dislike of one odious candidate, and how much do you think it represents a growing questioning of the Democratic Party that independents can build on for future elections?
Howie: I think it's about half and half. I take our 2.5 percent vote for Theresa Portelli for comptroller and 2 percent for Ramon Jimenez for attorney general to represent the vote of the independent left. The other half of our 5 percent was protest votes by progressive Democrats.
Voter abstention by working class voters was 80 percent. The Democrats have lost them. They are now disgusted by and alienated from the whole political process. The independent left will grow by organizing with these voters.
Brian: Certainly, some of our voters and supporters this time around were with us for this election only. But their support had the effect of enhancing the legitimacy of independent campaigns. There are a lot of good people out there who are holding out hope that progressives will be able to capture the Democratic Party.
In my experience, the people most directly involved in grassroots organizing are the most open to shifting on this question, because if you really go out and try to change something--anything--you eventually start stepping on Democratic Party toes. There is a group of people who are changing their minds about the Democratic Party through bitter experience.
It's hard to move from something to nothing, though, so independent campaigns--especially if they are perceived to be successful--play a role in helping people cross over.
HOW WAS the campaign able to connect with grassroots activism?
Brian: Everywhere I went, I was set up to speak alongside local activists. This way, the campaign attempted to amplify their voices, not just our own. I spoke alongside parents, teachers, students, former prisoners, people fighting for LGBTQ rights, for immigrant rights and more.
As you might imagine, these events generally reflected the strengths and weaknesses of the state of grassroots organizing in various places. Even if some of the events we held were more modest than we hoped, I'm proud that we stuck to our guns and tried to make these connections, even if we were only planting seeds for future growth.
Howie: We were able to connect with the movements to defend public education and ban fracking, the two movements with the most energy in New York these days. A half dozen teachers union locals and several public education advocacy groups endorsed us. We also strengthened ties with activists working for a fracking ban, clean energy, single-payer health care, a $15 an hour minimum wage and criminal justice reform.
WHAT WAS the most interesting or surprising thing you learned over the course of the campaign?
Howie: The most surprising thing was the endorsement of six liberal Democratic clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They've never endorsed outside the Democrats before. These clubs represent issue activists, not Democratic hacks.
It was a protest vote for them, not a break with the Democrats. But it set a good precedent that I hope we can build on by establish ongoing relationships to work together for progressive reforms between elections. The Greens can be the alternative for them in future elections as the neoliberal policies of financial, real estate and other big corporate funders continue to prevail at the top of the Democratic Party.
Brian: I was surprised by how much time we needed to spend fundraising on the phone. It turns out that the very best way to get money is to ask for it. Without full public financing of campaigns, this kind of intense fundraising is going to be a serious part of electoral campaigns--including independent ones.
People were incredibly generous, especially given the tough economic times we're facing. Our donors are from the 99 Percent--they're suffering under the weight of credit card debt, medical debt, student loan debt and insufficient wages. Still, they dug deep and came through.
Even in the age of Facebook, there's value in getting potential supporters and activists on the phone. Whether or not you're asking for money, actual human interaction is essential to organizing. As much as it isn't fun to make hours and hours of phone calls, I was pleasantly surprised by the actual experience of having those conversations.
HOW DO you think the campaign's success can benefit labor and social movement struggles beyond the ballot box?
Howie: The Greens will have to work with labor and social movements to fight for reforms between elections. The Green Party gives labor and social movements leverage in these struggles because we're the alternative in the next election.
The Democrats won't be able to take labor and the movements for granted. But caught between their elite funders and grassroots voters, the Democrats won't be able to deliver consistently. By remaining consistent allies in these fights, the independent Green option in elections will become a more viable alternative for labor and social movements.
Brian: The more our unions and social movements operate from the position of independence from the Democrats, the stronger they will be. The Democratic Party takes labor for granted--"lesser evilism" is really about lowering our expectations. Lowered expectations are death to social movements, which is part of why the Dems are so lethal to real movements for change.
When we support independent candidates, we can speak with our voices, articulate our own demands and actually raise expectations. That's one of the ways that what we do at the ballot box serves labor and social movements.
HOW CAN the Green Party build on this year's electoral success? What challenges will it face to realize that potential?
Brian: The next steps are exciting, but by no means straightforward.
The Green Party has an opportunity to develop its base of activists statewide. How much that's about other electoral campaigns and how much that's about grassroots activism will have to be sorted out. The electoral process is demanding, and it's rigged against independents. But it gives us a megaphone and platform to access people who normally don't hear from us.
Sinking roots in diverse communities is also a tremendous challenge. I'm proud of the strong stances our campaign took on issues of institutional racism and oppression, but turning broad support into active support and overcoming divisions is no easy feat. The entire left is trying to figure this out, not just the Green Party.
Howie: The Greens will have to systematically build a mass membership party, funded by its members. That's the only way it can end the dependence and co-optation of progressive movements by the "nonprofit-industrial complex" around the Democratic Party funded by the super-rich corporate liberals and their foundations.
These NGOs are movement killers, because they water down demands to what Democratic leaders will accept and mobilize in a top-down fashion that disempowers and de-activates grassroots people. The Greens need to get good at organizing, not merely mobilizing. We need to respect and foster the dynamism of movements where regular people develop their own ideas, demands, actions and leaders.
The Greens will also have to get good at organizing across the lines of race, occupation and location. New York is the most segregated state in the nation by race and by class. Its income distribution is the most unequal of any state.
The working class is separated physically by significant distances, into urban, suburban, and rural locations with different racial and occupational profiles. It is divided by occupation between public-sector and private-sector workers, union workers and nonunion workers, and workers in the welfare and criminal justice systems who are supervised by public-sector workers.
The 1 Percent uses this segmentation to divide and rule. Finding a way to bring these sectors of the working class together around common interests and values is the biggest challenge to building a movement that can unite the working class majority and take power.

November 14, 2014

Deafheaven: Sunbather

Sometimes I just post music without any political agenda.

This has many of the trappings of death metal (blast beats, indecipherable screamed lyrics, heavy distortion) but the harmonic and melodic content is much more sophisticated, and more importantly, doesn't make much use of whole tone, octatonic, or minor scales. In fact as a peice, it feels overwhelmingly positive.

If the Satanic death metal of the 1980s and 1990s was a reaction against conservative christian culture by thumbing it's nose at orthodox by embracing a negation of those values on the terms of that which is negated, (Satanism as an inside joke for Atheists) this music (and Liturgy, I'd include as well) has a post-nihilist positivity that is now firmly standing on it's own grounds, and operating not in negation to what came before, but in a statement of position in the affirmative.

Yes there is still meaninglessness, but we can create our own meaning. There is a sort of euphoric feel to this album on top of, or inside of, the white knuckle terror of staring into the void.

0:00 - "Dreamhouse"
9:15 - "Irresistable"
12:27 - "Sunbather"
22:44 - "Please Remember"
29:11 - "Vertigo"
43:47 - "Windows"
48:30 - "The Pecan Tree"

I do not own any rights. All rights reserved to Deafheaven & Deathwish inc.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use

November 13, 2014

Protestor Arrested During ISIL Hearing in Congress

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Code Pink activist Tighe Barry was arrested and charged with disruption of Congress today during an Armed Service Committee hearing on the subject of The Administration’s Strategy and Military Campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“This is the first hearing since Obama announced that there are going to be 1,500 more troops sent to Iraq,” Medea Benjamin told me as we waited to enter the public hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building, and added: “let’s remember that it is months now since the (U.S.) bombing started in Syria and Iraq and Congress has never taken a position on this. In fact, Congress went off for the election season without fulfilling its duty, which is to declare war or give the President the authorization. They dodged that because they did not want that to come up during the election cycle. That is why this hearing is particularly important.”

Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chair of the Armed Service Committee made it clear at the start of the hearing that he was running a tight ship, telling those assembled: “Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  Before we begin, I would like to state up-front that I will not tolerate disturbances of these proceedings, including verbal disruptions, photography, standing, or holding signs.”

(note: I was ejected, but not arrested, for filming the short iphone video of Berry’s arrest)

After opening statements by McKeon and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Tighe Berry unfurled a banner that read, “There is No Military Solution” and – as D.C. Capitol Police dragged him out of the room, pleaded, “Please. Mr. Secretary, don’t drag us into another endless war. Bring our war dollars home.”

Berry, who- as a member of Code Pink has been a regular visitor to hearings like this knows what is coming next. Without sustained citizen resistance, the conversation will shift, predictably to the well-practiced nationalistic concept of self-delusion in the name of the concept of protecting our troops.

Handcuffed, Tighe told me (D.C. Capitol Police did not interfere with my video operations) “U.S. Intervention is the problem, not the solution. We need to find political and diplomatic solutions to these issues.”

“When the debate about funding the war, they (Congress) will say, “I really don’t like the war but (I have to vote to fund it) because I have to defend the troops. That is the next argument you will hear: We already have troops there, we have to continue what we are doing.”

Pleading to the American public, Berry (still handcuffed, and still without interference from Capitol Police) pled with the American public to tell their representatives – NO MORE WAR.

As the Police van door slammed, prepared to take Tighe to jail, his voice could be heard through the grated windows. “Yes sir,” he said “I’m proud to be an American today.”

atv tighe barry

Lee Camp: Climate March Across America

Lee Camp: Who won the 2014 mid term?

October 28, 2014

Confronting the Dark

This is the first day in about a month that I've woken up at a reasonable hour and felt well rested.

This year I have lost two friends to the permanent dark. Losing friends to the void is terrifying, numbing, infuriating, and sad.

We all carry around darkness within us, but when we lose a friend/loved one to it, it is as though the ground yawns instantly open beneath them, exposing a terrible bottomless pit of existential void, burning with pain and loneliness, that swallows them, shattering our sense of reality. We are forced in that moment to look over the edge, into the endless well of darkness in another that we expend so much energy trying not to acknowledge in ourselves, and confront it.

I am only 31, and while I have lost several friends to the void, and I expect I will lose many more over the coming decades, it doesn't get any easier. I don't expect it will. Closure is healing, for that I am thankful at least, but there always lingers the question of what could have been done.

One cannot change past events. One can only continue to move forwards. Everybody remember to watch out for one another, to ask for help if you need it, and remember, above all else, be kind if you can help it, and forgive those who are not. You don't know what demons they are battling.

October 23, 2014

The Inextricable Link Between Social and Environmental Justice

Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate Justice march in history.

“It is important to acknowledge the Indigenous people who have been fighting this battle on the front lines for centuries,” says Lee. “The big marches and massive actions (like the People’s Climate March) serve as motivation. I take it back to my community (because) ultimately I think it is acts of everyday resistance that will change they way things are done.”

Erica speaks about the violence that goes hand in hand with Canada pushing through Keystone XL Pipeline, “pushing first nations people off their lands to get to resources on the lands. There is a lot of violence – especially towards Indigenous Women who are going missing and getting murdered in record numbers.”

“What we are trying to bring attention to,” says Lee “is that social justice and environmental Justice are inextricable linked.”

atv idle no more

Idle No More, Climate Change, Keystone XL, Pipeline, Peoples Climate March, Keystone XL Pipeline, 350,, Resistance, Erica Violet Lee, Fossil Fuels, Indigenous People, ATV, Acronym TV, Dennis Trainor Jr,

October 16, 2014

Our Culture is a Crime | Acronym TV 019

Originally posted at AcroynmTV

Episode Breakdown |

Spoken word from Immortal Technique and Erica Violet Lee of Idle No More, plus:

3 interviews looking at the climate crisis from 3 angles:
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink talks about the links between the peace movement and the climate justice movement – and how Code Pink started as an Environmental group-

Then Howie Hawkins, as his momentum in the New York gubernatorial race is ramping up, talks about Green justice in the electoral arena.
Also, Occupy Sandy organizer Nastaran Mohit talks about our need to face down white privilege within the movement, and step out of our comfort zones.

Finally, Jill Stein points out that we have critical mass and critical momentum to win the day.

Poverty, Crime, Race, Class, Culture, Immortal Technique, Elections, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Global Warming, System Change, Capitalism, Idle No More, Erica Violet Lee, Jill Stein, Global Climate Convergence, Howie Hawkins, Green Party, Occupy, Acronym TV,

October 8, 2014

Is Ferguson Is Just the First Wave of Escalating Riots and Police Repression?

Originally posted at AcronymTV

atv police state

The murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson set off and wave of protests, the majority of which were non violent. The militarized police response and the violent repression of peaceful protestors will only get worse if the economic conditions of this country do not change radically and quickly, says David DeGraw, author of the new book, The Economics of Revolt. “If you want to change things through non-violent methods, the window of opportunity is closing fast. Very fast,” says DeGraw.

October 7, 2014

We Would Have Revolution Overnight If People Understood This One Thing

Martin Luther King, Jr. was working towards a guaranteed basic income for all when he was killed. Wealth inequality, neoliberalism, the actions of the Federal Reserve, along with the greed and theft of the global elite have made the call for a guaranteed basic income for all even more urgent in 2014 than in the 1960s.

David DeGraw, interviewed here by Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TVclaims the alternative is a violent revolution.

In his new book, The Economics of Revolution, DeGraw writes:

“Having that much wealth consolidated within a mere 1% of the population, while a record number of people toil in poverty and debt, is a crime against humanity.  For example, it would only cost 0.5% of the 1%’s wealth to eliminate poverty nationwide.  Also consider that at least 40% of the 1%’s accounted for wealth is sitting idle. That’s an astonishing $13 trillion in wealth hoarded away, unused.”
In this clip from the full 30-minute interview, DeGraw points out that the Federal Reserve is already printing money and giving it away to the financial elite.

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The Green Shock Doctrine: a Decade of False Climate Solutions

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Anne Petermann, has been banned from future U.N. Climate Conferances for her vocal activism. Here, she outlines the last decade of U.N. Climate Conference failures and false solutions.

About Anne Petermann |

Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. She is also the Coordinator of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees; the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series.


She has been involved in movements for forest protection and Indigenous rights since 1991, and the international and national climate justice movements since 2004. She co-founded the Eastern North American Resource Center of the Native Forest Network in 1993, and the STOP GE Trees Campaign in 2004. She also participated in the founding of the Durban Group for Climate Justice in 2004 and Climate Justice Now! in 2007 at the Bali UN Climate Conference. In 2008, Global Justice Ecology Project spearheaded the founding of the North American Mobilization for Climate Justice.


Anne speaks around the world about climate justice and against socially and environmentally destructive “false solutions” to climate change


In 2000 she received the Wild Nature Award for Activist of the year.


Ferguson Flash Mob! Requiem for Mike Brown Confronts White Privilege at St. Louis Symphony

Originally posted at AcronymTV

About 50 protesters seeking justice for Mike Brown delayed the start of the second act of Brahms requiem on Saturday night at the St. Louis Symphony in a brilliantly executed creative protest captured by Rebecca Rivas of the St. Louis American.
(read more:

white privilege woman

October 3, 2014

A Bold New Chapter in the Climate Justice Movement | Acronym TV 018

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Part 1: (00:59) A dispatch from The People's Climate March featuring interviews with 
Immortal Technique (Hip Hop legend) 
Kshama Sawant (Socialist City Council member
Jill Stein (for Green Party Presidential candidate),
Pat Scanlon (Vets for Peace)
 Art Shegonee (Federation of United Tribes), Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese (Popular Resistance)
and other artists, activist, children, and street revelers!

Part 2: (10:18) A dispatch from the Flood Wall Street day of action, featuring exclusive footage, analysis and interviews with Clayton Thomas-Muller (Idle No More), Tim DeChristopher (Peaceful Uprising), Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Arun Gupta (Counterpunch), and Flood Wall Street organizer Goldi Guerra.

Part 3: (20:04) Jill Stein Interview.

A day before the People’s Climate March drove 400,000 people into the streets of New York City, Jill Stein sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr of Acronym TV and outlined what she sees as the coming green revolution.
“The U.N. has sold us out,” says Stein “The UN has become the apologists for false solutions (like) nuclear power, fracking, and so-called clean coal,” says Stein. “The U.N. has sold us out, and it is really important that we take a new direction, with a very clear goal (…) one which puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

atv climate march

October 1, 2014

Confronting White Privilege in the Climate Justice Movement 

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Speaking at the opening plenary of the New York City Global Climate Convergence in the days before the People’s Climate March, Nastaran Mohit told the assembled crowd that the revolution “and this (Climate Convergence) movement is not going to be spawned from the activist white community. It is going to be led front and center by marginalized and the most directly affected communities.”

Mohit, a New York City based labor organizer who was instrumental in the success of Occupy Sandy, went on:

“For these communities, Climate Change is not a far off thing, it is right at their backyard. For these communities it is an issue of survival. Climate organizing is not a privilege for them, it is a life and death matter.”

While Mohit characterized the People’s Climate March as an “epic event” that she was “proud to participate in” she was quick to balance that excitement with skepticism over the funding behind the march and “the lack of demands, the parade route” (the parade went no where near the U.N.).

“We also need to be very real when we talk about how scary it is for the big green groups (and) the big corporations for this movement to challenge Capitalism.”

Mohit sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV to talk about her role as an Occupy Sandy organizer, and how she sees her work as a Labor organizer converging with her work in the Climate Justice movement.

This interview is part of Acronym TV’s expanded coverage of the NYC Global Climate Convergence.

"The Convergence calls for a solution as big as the crisis barreling down on us – an emergency green economic transformation, including full employment and living wages; 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030; universal free health care and education; food and housing security; an end to deportations and mass incarceration; economic and political democracy; demilitarization; ecosystem restoration and support for the rights of Mother Earth; and more."

atv environmental racism

The environment, jobs, climate justice, Keystone XL Pipeline, Disaster relief, rebuild green, White Privilege, green jobs, green new deal, Occupy Sandy, Nastaran Mohit, Labor movement, Global Climate Convergence, Acronym TV, Dennis Trainor Jr, 2014 elections, Elections,

September 30, 2014

“Unreasonable” Women for The Planet, Peace, and Justice | Medea Benjamin Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of Code Pink, sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate march in history to discuss the climate justice. “”If you care about the planet, you care about people, workers, immigrants, and you care about whether we are destroying the planet whether by polluting or by polluting through war, says Benjamin, who went on to describe the founding of Code Pink as a climate Justice group. “We started as a group of women who came together around the environment.  We were called Unreasonable Women for the planet.”

Benjamin and Code Pink have regularly disrupted Senate hearings on ISIS/ ISIL of late, but being part of the People’s Climate March is not something she would miss: “It is all interconnected,” she told me “and I don’t think we have the ability anymore to divide ourselves into these (separate) silos.”

ATV medea benjamin

Corporations Causing Climate Change Should Be Taken Over By The Public | Howie Hawkins Interview

Originally posted at

Howie Hawkins, Green Party Candidate for N.Y. Governor, sits down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV on the eve of the largest Climate march in history to discuss his campaign.


The richest 1% own the two major parties. It's time working people had one of our own.

That's why I'm running for Governor. My name is Howie Hawkins. I'm a working Teamster and my running mate, Brian Jones, is a teacher and union member.

New York has the greatest income inequality in the country -- and it has gotten worse under Governor Cuomo's tax breaks for the rich and spending cuts for the rest of us. Our schools are the most segregated in the nation. Poverty is on the rise in cities across the state. It doesn't have to be this way. We can create an economy that meets human needs and protects our planet. (read more:


September 29, 2014

The U.N. is an Apologist for False Climate Solutions| Jill Stein Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

A day before the People’s Climate March drove 400,000 people into the streets of New York City, Jill Stein sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr of Acronym TV and outlined what she sees as the coming green revolution.

“The U.N. has sold us out,” says Stein “The UN has become the apologists for false solutions (like) nuclear power, fracking, and so-called clean coal,” says Stein. “The U.N. has sold us out, and it is really important that we take a new direction, with a very clear goal (…) one which puts people, planet and peace over profit.”

atv Jill Stein UN


September 24, 2014

Save the Climate or Save Capitalism? | #FloodWallStreet Dispatch

Originally posted at AcronymTV

An exclusive Acronym TV dispatch from the Flood Wall Street day of action, featuring exclusive footage, analysis, and interviews with Adam Clayton Muller (Idle No More), Tim DeChristopher (Peaceful Uprising), Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Arun Gupta (Counterpunch), and Flood Wall Street organizer Goldi Guerra.

The positive momentum generated by the People’s Climate Parade spilled over into a massive direct action on Monday.

Flood Wall Street exceeded organizers expectations, with over 3000 people shutting down Broadway between Exchange place and the iconic Wall Street Bull for eight hours just one day ahead of the 2014 UN Climate meeting.

What is clear after covering Sunday’s parade and Monday’s action is not that we need an either or approach. One does not have to dismiss the march as unimportant or irrelevant; it generated headlines, it has people talking, but without more and more people putting their bodies on the line like the 102 arrested during the flood wall street actions, you can fill tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow with marches and parades and it will be full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.


Green Party Candidate Crashes Oregon Governor's Debate

Sometimes you just gotta force people to play fair.

PM: "We set this up to be between the Democratic and Republican candidates."
Jason Levin: "Yes, I know, everything has been set up between the Democratic and Republican candidates."
PM: "We don't have time for all three people to answer questions."
Jason: "You don't have time for a candidate that is on the ballot to participate in the forum?"
PM: We'd be happy to meet with you after this.
Jason: I thought we established that separate but equal is not equal. It's very difficult for me to get on tv and meet the other candidates, (how are you doing sir, good to meet you, and good to meet you as well)"

Of course, Jason Levin was lucky that he was able to just storm in and join the debate. When Jill Stein ran in 2012, she was arrested for being on the grounds of the Debate:

And in 2000, Ralph Nader was similarly escorted off the grounds of one of the Presidential Debates, not for trying to participate, but simply for being there:

September 13, 2014

Parenting Without God

Originally posted at AcronymTV

When asked if the world would be better off without God, Dan Arel, the author of Parenting Without God does not pull punches. “The world would be better off without the idea of God,’ Arel clarifies “the world is already without God.”

Even at a time when the popularity of shows like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos, Arel’s aggressive brand of atheism will not win many friends. In fact, a recent Pew Research survey showed that people of all religious faith have one thing in common: their utter disdain for atheists.

“Jews, Catholics and evangelical Christians are viewed warmly by the American public. When asked to rate each group on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100 – where 0 reflects the coldest, most negative possible rating and 100 the warmest, most positive rating – all three groups receive an average rating of 60 or higher (63 for Jews, 62 for Catholics and 61 for evangelical Christians). And 44% of the public rates all three groups in the warmest part of the scale (67 or higher).


Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons receive neutral ratings on average, ranging from 48 for Mormons to 53 for Buddhists. The public views atheists and Muslims more coldly; atheists receive an average rating of 41, and Muslims an average rating of 40. Fully 41% of the public rates Muslims in the coldest part of the thermometer (33 or below), and 40% rate atheists in the coldest part.” (Emphasis added)


The scary part about that data (aside from rampant Islamophobia in America) is that survey shows an improved opinion of atheists from only 3 years ago.

2011 poll found that US citizens trusted atheists on par with rapists.


With this kind of fervent hatred and distrust, Arel asks, what does the future hold for a group (Atheists) so hated in their own country?

Watch the full show here.

About the guest |
Dan Arel is freelance journalist for Alternet and Salon as well as a blogger for The Huffington Post. He writes a column called Danthropology for American Atheists Magazine and is the author of the book Parenting Without God, How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogmapublished byDangerous Little Books

About Acronym TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. |
ABOUT ACRONYM TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr. 
Dennis Trainor, Jr. hosts Acronym TV, a weekly series of dialogue, conversation and debate with the goal of helping viewers sort through these transformative times through the insight of leading activists, artists, journalists, philosophers, scholars, and thinkers.

Acronym TV's growing YouTube subscriber base of 33 thousand has generated over 30 million views, and is part of The Young Turks Network, the largest online news source in the world.
Acronym TV, what do you stand for?

Acronym TV airs on Free Speech TV, currently available in 37 million homes nationwide, airing on DISH Network (9415), DIRECTV (348), and Burlington Telecom (122) and streams all programs live at

Dennis Trainor, Jr. is a writer, host and producer. His documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc, garnered critical praise from The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and more.  He also wrote and directed Legalize Democracy, a documentary short about the Movement To Amend the Constitution.

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Steve Reich 2x5

Performed by Bang On A Can

September 12, 2014

Violence Against Women is a Necessary Outcome of the Athletic Industrial Complex | Dave Zirin Interview

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, talks with Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the one reason Roger Goodell will be forced out as NFL Commissioner, Violence in the NFL, Domestic violence.

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September 11, 2014

Capitalism Must Die: Stephanie McMillan on The Soapbox

Stephanie McMillan -- artist, blogger, and anti-capitalist activist -- discusses the failings of capitalism, her hopes for moving beyond it, and how art intersects with activism.

September 8, 2014

Calling for a Solution as Big as the Crisis We Face

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Timeka Drew of the Global Climate Convergence in conversation with Dennis Trainor, Jr.

The Global Climate Convergence is calling for AN EMERGENCY GLOBAL GREEN NEW DEAL including:

  • Full employment with community-based small businesses, worker co-ops, small farmers & government jobs.
  • 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. International binding treaty for swift, deep cuts to carbon emissions. Wealthy polluting nations pay for technology transfer & climate adaptation.
  • Universal free healthcare & education through college. Affordable housing for all & a moratorium on foreclosures.
  • Secure the global food supply: Support small farmers, our major source of food production. Put carbon back in the soil through restoration grazing and climate-smart sustainable agriculture. Ensure the right to land, food sovereignty and gender equality.
  • Economic democracy: Replace “too big to fail” banks with public banks. Secure workers’ rights, support for co-operative enterprise & fair trade. Tax Wall Street & the rich. End third-world & student debt.
  • Demilitarization: Cut at least 50% of military spending, freeing up resources for social programs & infrastructure. Foreign policy based on international law, human rights and diplomacy – not the military-industrial complex.
  • End mass incarceration & deportations. Treat immigrant rights as human rights & drug abuse as a public health issue.
  • Political democracy: All people, not corporations, have the right to self-government, to vote, & to have our votes count. Public financing, proportional representation & free use of public airways for candidates.
  • Civil liberties: Restore the rights of free speech, protest, privacy, & internet freedom. Close Guantanamo, end torture/renditions, & pardon whistleblowers including Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, & Julian Assange.
  • Support human rights, rights of Mother Earth, the call for peace & an end to colonialism & imperialism, as called for in the Cochabamba People’s Agreement & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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September 4, 2014

Beyond The People’s Climate March

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in conversation with Timeka Drew, a grassroots organizer with the Global Climate Convergence.

In two weeks the Peoples Climate March in New York, organized by, is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people. The march is to take place only days before a special UN meeting called by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris.

Christopher Hedges has called this march a “last gasp of climate change liberals;” and “a climate themed street fair.” Our only hope, according to Hedges, “comes from radical groups descending on New York to carry out direct action, including Global Climate Convergence and Popular Resistance.”

atv qualifier

Climate march,, People’s Climate March, Climate change, Global warming, Extreme weather, Global Climate Convergence, Timeka Drew, Dennis Trainor Jr, Acronym TV, 2014 elections, U.S. Elections, System Change not climate change, Green Party, Cheri Honkala

Das Triadische Ballet - Oskar Schlemmer

September 2, 2014

Slaughter the Planet or Exterminate Capitalism? Time To Choose.

Originally posted at AcronymTV

Humanity is flying headlong over a climate cliff  and reversing course does not project to be very profitable for the global elite.

So, without a growing number of us holding their feet to the ever warming fire, a much need reversal will not happen and the corporately controlled main stream media will continue to portray this topic as one where there are two sides to the story. Consider this typical news copy, filed by the AP, describing the 2012 UN Climate meeting, “the two decade old talks have not fulfilled their main purpose, reducing the greenhouse gas emission that scientists say are warming the earth.” (Emphasis added)

What is that extraneous phrase always included – “that scientists say” included as a qualifier? I mean, it is not as if the AP would, in captioning a satellite picture of Earth, would write, “here is a picture of the planet earth, which scientists say is not flat.”

To make matters worse, the worst offenders will be the last to suffer the consequences. One of the main stated goals of last year’s conference was finding ways to raise climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil. 
Tim Gore of Oxfam said developing countries, including island nations for whom rising sea levels pose a threat to their existence, stand before a "climate fiscal cliff." and said "So what we need for those countries are firm commitments from rich countries to keep giving money to help them to adapt to climate change.”

In summary: The parties to the UN Climate conference represent governments whose policies and philosophies enable crimes against the environment that have and will continue to cause devastation of the ecological, moral and financial variety to the quote developing countries who do not possess the infrastructure or the wherewithal to contribute to Sodom and Gomorrah show that us developed countries are visiting upon the planet, and will present an existential threat to the less developed countries actual existence, so we will pay them reparations. We all agree that we owe them reparations, I mean, our way of life, to channel Dr. Suess for a moment, our biggering and biggering and biggering turning more Truffala trees into thneeds that everyone NEEDS, is now or will in the not too distant future, literally killing people in less developed countries who are not so busy building thneeds that everyone needs.

So, in addition to destroying the ecosystem and straining to hold up the house of cards that is the global Hyper capitalist financial system, we are thinking that things might get down right scary in a mad max kind of way so we might want to prioritize helping the victims in developing countries who suffer or will suffer the homicidal side effects of our lifestyle. But actually change our lifestyle? No, silly. That’s not on the table, is it?

Question, and again, I am no expert on the subject, but is Capitalism compatible with the health and survival of all of the living things on this rock we call Earth?

atv Capitalism trassh