Podcast: In Cleveland, Organizers Gather to Strengthen & Grow Movement for Black Lives

Screen shot from Movement for Black Lives’ gathering website

Following months of numerous actions across the United States, a gathering was held by the Movement for Black Lives from July 24-26 in Cleveland. The goal was to bring black organizers together to create a “collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment.” It was also geared toward reflection on the history of struggle and healing from the many traumas, which black Americans have endured.

Waltrina Middleton, a member of the host committee for the gathering and an organizer/co-founder of Cleveland Action, appeared on this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” to highlight the critical importance of this event.

“It is important for us to communally strategize for ways that would be best for us to respond to racialized violence that we have been subjected to as a people,” Middleton declares.

She speaks about the setting of the gathering and recalled how two unarmed black people, Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams, were shot by Cleveland police 137 times, Tanisha Anderson, who was killed by Cleveland police after her family called to get her help, and John Crawford, who was killed by police while he was in a Walmart.

“There are other issues that bring us to Cleveland,” Middleton adds. “Violence against women, in particular black women, violence against LGBTQ community, particularly black trans women community, socioeconomic disparities and going into East Cleveland and seeing buildings or houses boarded up and the infrastructure that does not allow for paved roads and sidewalks going uncleared so people in the winter time are pushing wheelchairs and baby carriages in the middle of the street.”

Middleton explained there is a lack of concern for the quality of education and healthcare, basic needs which any person would want to be able to access.

During the discussion part of the show, hosts Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola highlight DHS surveillance of Black Lives Matter protests, the firing of a man from a Chicago police review agency for refusing to change his findings against police, and UK’s PREVENT program and anti-Muslim racism. The show’s hosts also talk a little more about the Movement for Black Lives gathering, including the role of white “allies” or white anti-racism activists in movement building.

The podcast is available on iTunes for download. For a link (and also to download the episode), go here. Click on “go here” and a page will load with the audio file of the podcast. The file will automatically start playing so you can listen to the episode.

Also, below is a player for listening to the podcast. You can listen to the podcast this way by clicking on the player. And please follow the show on Twitter at @UnauthorizedDis.

Sunday Food: Real Friends Take a Zucchini

Have a zucchini If you are a friend.
Have a zucchini
If you are a friend.

(Picture courtesy of Jeremy Keith at flickr.com.)

They’re that greatest test of true friendships out here in the land of prolific gardens.   If you’ve ever grown them, you know the feeling.   Those carefully tended mounds of bright pretty golden flowers have produced monsters that now are filling all your steps, your lawn chairs, and your walkways.   You grew them, you have to find them a home.   There are many many many more coming along out there in those plants mounds, but this kind of veggie the bunnies and deer just don’t eat.

Maybe you’re at that point too, the neighbors don’t want to talk to you anymore, they have the same trouble.   Zucchini abundance happens at this time of year, everywhere.

There’s a cookout and the grill does its burgers, but there you go, you can throw some slices of zucchini onto the dying coals now!   Surely folks would be happy to have those fresh, hard to give, zucchinis to finish up the meal?   Keep smiling, and have some more slices.

They’re absolutely beautiful, they’re healthy and they’re as big as all outdoors.   The mailman likes to find one in the magazine box under the mailbox, surely?   Actually, ours does.   There’s a true good buddy.

Zucchini bread is a wonderful treat.   Here’s the recipe, please wouldn’t you like a zucchini to go with that?   Two or three, maybe?

First grate 3 – 4 cups of zucchini, fresh, and drain.    I do that with a big towel for drips, in front of the t.v., or outside.   Now, you’re ready!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 1/3 cup (270 g) sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if using salted butter)

  • 3 to 4 cups grated fresh zucchini (700 to 900 ml)

  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup  (100 g) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

  • 1 cup (120 g) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Place the grated zucchini in a sieve or colander over a bowl to drain any excess moisture.

2 In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

3 In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, to the sugar egg zucchini mixture, stirring after each incorporation. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

5 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes at 350°F (175°C) or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Now try giving that away.    And a few more zukes to go with.

(Picture courtesy of Ting Chen at flickr.com.)

Those zuke babies keep coming
Those zuke babies keep coming

Late Night FDL: It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Billy Joel: I am Dad Rock

Billy Joel is honoured to be a leading figure of the ‘dad rock’ movement.

The 66-year-old Grammy winning-musician hasn’t released an album since his 1993 offering River of Dreams, which went platinum in several countries.

Billy remains popular with younger generations and he has no idea how youth listeners catch wind of his music.

‘I don’t know! I haven’t figured it out. I assume they’re their own generation and they’ve got their own music. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t know about, like electronic dance music,’ he told Entertainment Weekly. ‘Yeah! That’s a whole other thing. But obviously they’ve heard my music somewhere. Whether their parents played it and it’s, like, dad rock, which I love. I love that expression! That’s what I am.’

Billy attended the legendary Woodstock festival in 1969, an event which is considered to be one of the major catalysts for all modern music festivals.

But the rock star didn’t really enjoy his time there.

‘I went to Woodstock. I didn’t play there, but I went up on a motorcycle, which was a good move because the highway was just a parking lot. I wanted to see Hendrix and the Who. But after a day and a half with no real toilet facilities.what am I, a bear? I have to go in the woods? There was a lot of mud and people were smoking a lot of pot and taking a lot of acid,’ Billy recalled, noting he wasn’t engaging in any drug use at the time.

‘I didn’t do anything back then. I drank a beer or something. The first day, I saw Santana. Or was it Joe Cocker? I was dirty and itchy and covered with poison ivy and I thought, ‘Just get me out of here! I’ve got to use a bathroom.’

What’s on your mind tonite…?

The Israel Lobby’s $50M Campaign Against The Iran Nuclear Deal

If the Iran deal passes, Israel loses. The Israel lobby is spending big on whatever it takes to make sure this doesn’t happen.

By Richard Silverstein

WASHINGTON — The next 60 days offer a fateful window through which Congress will review the Iran nuclear deal announced last week to great fanfare by the P5+1 powers and their Iranian counterparts.

At the end of this period, both the House and Senate will vote on the agreement. Though the GOP has a majority in the latter body, it’s by no means a given that the vote will go against the deal. The Los Angeles Times reports there may be a few Republican senators who can be swayed if public opinion is running in favor.

To that end, the various groups within the Israel lobby have announced a massive PR campaign seeking to move both public opinion and the votes of individual senators against the deal.

Last week, The New York Times reported that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobby, has created a stand-alone group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, for this purpose. It plans to spend $20-40 million on the effort.

The group’s website doesn’t list staff and a board of directors. Instead it lists an “advisory board” consisting of the usual hawkish Democratic former senators, including Mark Begich, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Evan Bayh, and former Rep. Shelley Berkley. Clearly, this isn’t an independent organization, but rather one established and controlled by AIPAC. Unlike some of groups below which are casting their nets wide, AIPAC seems to be targeting Democratic senators on the fence.

So far this year, according to U.S. Senate public records, AIPAC has spent nearly $2 million on direct lobbying, more than it’s ever spent in any previous six-month period since 1999. This is a further indication of the group’s dead-seriousness in pursuing the defeat of the Iran measure. (more…)

Oil And Gas Lobbyists Are Supporting Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

Hillary Clinton by Donkey Hotey for Flickr.com (Creative Commons)

Lobbyists connected to fossil fuel firms are acting as bundlers for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign based on documents uploaded by journalist Lee Fang.

In a post for The Intercept, Fang highlighted how private prison lobbyists were helping raise money for Clinton’s campaign. Interestingly, the documents also highlight lobbyists—who also have gone through the revolving door—working on behalf of oil and gas companies.

Bundlers, as noted by Fang, “collect contributions on behalf of a campaign, and are often rewarded with special favors, such as access to the candidate.”

Tony Podesta, who lobbied the White House in 2013 to push for liquefied natural gas exports, is one bundler for the campaign. Moreover, he is the brother of John Podesta, a former White House official who recently worked with President Barack Obama on environmental issues. Currently, Podesta chairs Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Ankit Desai, vice president of government relations at Cheniere Energy, also is a registered bundler. Desai is a former government official who worked for then-Senator Joseph Biden and worked on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Cheniere Energy, as noted by Fang and journalist Steve Horn in a report last year, received the first permit by the Obama administration in 2012 to export liquefied natural gas after lobbying White House officials.

Hillary Clinton is no stranger to natural gas as, while Secretary of State under the Obama administration, she pushed for shale gas development overseas. Journalist Mariah Blake, for Mother Jones, highlighted such efforts by the State Department in foreign countries:

As part of its expanded energy mandate, the State Department hosted conferences on fracking from Thailand to Botswana. It sent US experts to work alongside foreign officials as they developed shale gas programs. And it arranged for dozens of foreign delegations to visit the United States to attend workshops and meet with industry consultants—as well as with environmental groups, in some cases.

Steve Elmendorf is another supporter of Clinton’s campaign. He worked for former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt and Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign as well.

Currently, Elmendorf works for Bryan Cave Strategies, who have lobbied for Shell Oil many times. In 2007, Barack Obama criticized the Clinton campaign for relying on Elmendorf to push for a gas tax holiday. He called their efforts a “shell game, literally.”

Theresa Maria Fariello, vice president of government relations at ExxonMobil, is another bundler and also no stranger to the Democratic Party. From 1999 to 2001, she worked as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Affairs at the Department of Energy under then-President Bill Clinton’s administration.

While working for ExxonMobil, she lobbied Democratic officials to obtain “political intelligence” and is cited as the “chief-in-house Democrat” of the firm. The Hill, in 2011, named her as one of the top lobbyists in Washington D.C. where she is “fully engaged in the battles over regulations, oil subsidies and deepwater drilling.”

In general, some fossil fuel lobbyists are working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which will surely bring into question her stance on environmental issues like climate change as the primaries approach.

Fracked Earth Whirl

Protester “chipmunks” obstruct work at Utah tar sands mine.

By Kate Lanier

Mining and local communities: Scenes of conflict

__Pope Francis is at it again, saying there must be a “radical change” in the way mining industries interact with local communities and the environment. “The companies, the governments that are supposed to regulate them, investors and consumers … [of] mined material ‘are called to adopt behaviour inspired by the fact that we are all part of one human family.’”

__Utah “mining regulators have given the go-ahead for the next phase of the nation’s first commercial tar sands operation” in Uintah and Grand Counties. US Oil Sands of Calgary, Alberta, Canada will do the mining. State regulators will rely on the mine to “monitor for potential impacts to groundwater and comply with federal pollution standards.” Confident that’ll work?

__”Mining will never satisfy its appetite,” says San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler, whose tribe is in an “epic battle to save Oak Flat, its most revered sacred site.” Democracy Now interviews Wendsler Nosie Sr. of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and his granddaughter, Naelyn Pike, about the McCain-Flake giveaway of the sacred Apache site to Rio Tinto for a huge copper mine. The tribe has made a caravan from Arizona to Washington, DC in protest, with a nice assist from Neil Young.

__Uh-oh. Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the popular initiative for restricting the Pebble mine project—which is on state land—“seriously impedes a regulatory process set out in state law and is unenforceable.” The proposed gold and copper Pebble mine is in the same area as “headwaters of a world-class salmon fishery.”

__Seems the US Forest Service got “thousands of public comments” so is now “considering a more stringent analysis of a mining proposal near Yellowstone National Park. British Columbia’s Lucky Minerals wants to “search for gold on federal and private land around Emigrant Peak in south-central Montana.”

__Imagine! A mining policy which gives “greater weight to social and environmental factors during the approval process.” That’s what’s been proposed for New South Wales, Australia, “giving hope” to those fighting such projects as Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley Warkworth Hunter coal mine expansion.

__Meanwhile, Shenhua Watermark, a spectacularly huge open-cut coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, could have an unknown impact on local groundwater and underground aquifers, but there’s no plan showing how Shenhua would manage such a crisis.

__Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, apparently is a coal-head, insisting that coal is “good for humanity.” His government’s approving coal mines all over the place. (more…)

The Roundup for July 25th, 2015

And that ends our week folks.

International Politics

Overall

– Secretary of State John Kerry: This agreement with Iran is the only alternative to use of military force

– Juan Cole: “Did ISIL Arise Partly Because of Climate Change?

Middle East

– The International Red Cross warned there is “unprecedented” civilian suffering in Yemen. Meanwhile, clashes in Yemen left at least 20 dead

– The Syrian government believes it is too early to launch peace talks

– Refaat Alareer, co-editor of Gaza Unsilenced, joins The Real News to talk about new settlements constructed in the West Bank and reaction to it

– Israel uses one vital resource to control the lives of Palestinians: water

– While the Israeli leadership is furious about the deal with Iran, the security establishment of Israel actually favors it (more…)

Saturday Art: Chuck Jones: The Evolution of an Artist [VIDEO]

Last week, Every Frame a Painting uploaded this delightful and informative video essay exploring the genius of Chuck Jones, with the introduction:

If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist. To see the names of the films, press the CC button and select “Movie Titles.”

This video also had a wonderful animation consultant: Taylor Ramos (http://taylorkramos.tumblr.com/)

As a Baby Boomer (1960), I did grow up watching Looney Tunes. In fact, I still love to watch these cartoons every bit as much today as I did when they aired on television. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll share a clip from one of mine, called “Rabbit Fire” (ep 97), aka ‘Rabbit Season, Duck Season.’

What are some of your favorite Chuck Jones creations?

Saturday Art: William Hogarth

 

One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth
One panel of Marriage a la Mode by Hogarth

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at flickr.com.)
The artist known for social commentary was self-taught and used his art works to effect the world around him with humor.    His series that the National Gallery of Art in London has displayed tells a story, the wry rendering of the conventions of marriage of the day in British life.

William Hogarth (/ˈhɡɑrθ/; 10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter,printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art.

His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian”.[1]

(snip)

In 1731 Hogarth completed the earliest of his series of moral works, a body of work that led to significant recognition. The collection of six scenes was entitled A Harlot’s Progress and appeared first as paintings (now lost) before being published as engravings. A Harlot’s Progress depicts the fate of a country girl who begins prostituting—the six scenes are chronological, starting with a meeting with a bawd and ending with a funeral ceremony that follows the character’s death from venereal disease.[12]

The inaugural series was an immediate success and was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake’s Progress. The second instalment consisted of eight pictures that depicted the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who spends all of his money on luxurious living, services from prostitutes, and gambling—the character’s life ultimately ends in Bethlem Royal Hospital. The original paintings of A Harlot’s Progress were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill House in 1755, while A Rake’s Progress is displayed in the gallery room at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, UK.[13]

When the success of A Harlot’s Progress and A Rake’s Progress resulted in numerous pirated reproductions by unscrupulous printsellers, Hogarth lobbied in parliament for greater legal control over the reproduction of his and other artists’ work. The result was the Engravers’ Copyright Act(known as ‘Hogarth’s Act’), which became law on 25 June 1735 and was the first copyright law to deal with visual works as well as the first to recognize the authorial rights of an individual artist.[14]

 In 1743–1745, Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode (National Gallery, London), a pointed skewering of upper-class 18th-century society. This moralistic warning shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money. This is regarded by many as his finest project and may be among his best-planned story serials.

While the life around him struck him as odd and full of empty convention, Hogarth rendered it up to us as full of the humorous and made his viewers see what they were guilty of.

(Picture courtesy of Cesar Ojeda at flickr.com.)

Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth
Wry portrayal of marriage by Wiliam Hogarth

Late Night FDL: Gimme Some Lovin’

The Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’

R.I.P. Eddie Hardin…!

Vocalist and pianist Eddie Hardin, best known for his work with Spencer Davis Group and Axis Point, has died at the age of 66.

He also collaborated with a wide range of rock artists including Ronnie James Dio and several members of Deep Purple.

His partner Liz says he suffered a heart attack yesterday (July 23) while relaxing in a swimming pool.

A post on Hardin’s website reports: “He first came to prominence with Spencer Davis Group, before quitting – and later returning – with drummer Pete York, to work as Hardin & York for years.

“Then there was Axis Point, with former Family members, and a string of brilliant solo albums. The Wizard’s Convention trilogy, with guest singers including David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, stands out.

“Nobody but Eddie could pull out two beautiful animal concepts – The Butterfly Ball And The Grasshopper’s Feast, and Wind In The Willows.

“A master of memorable tunes, without whom there wouldn’t be the fantastic Love Is All that Ronnie James Dio sang, Eddie will be sorely missed.”

Hardin’s last blog entry was written after a concert in Germany last month. He said: “Eric Burdon’s band were great, and he still has the voice – but when do you actually say ‘Enough is enough’? I’m certainly reaching that stage.”

What’s on your mind tonite…?