And here’s something for the weird and wonderful category. There are, indeed, still places on this planet that have little or no contact with the rest of the world. Here’s a brief look at the history of one of those places: North Sentinel Island. It has a reputation for being the “most dangerous” island in the world. After watching this video, you should get a sense of how it has earned that reputation. (h/t to Annie L.) [Read more…]
Can you feel it? The pace of things in Washington DC is picking up. Just as the President was packing up for the G20 conference in Argentina, Special Counsel Robert Mueller let fly with his latest bombshell.
Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s guilty plea for lying to Congress about an unsuccessful plan to build a luxury tower in Moscow is having a ripple effect, as additional details –like the offer of a $50 million penthouse to Vladimir Putin– trickle out.
Perhaps the most telling thing about President Trump’s situation is coming from the man himself. An unending stream of Tweets and remarks to the press proclaiming his innocence and attacking the investigation has a distinctly desperate sound to it. [Read more…]
By Todd Miller / YES! Magazine
Less than a mile south of the U.S.-Mexico border, in Sasabe, Mexico, a Guatemalan man named Giovanni (whose first name is used to protect his undocumented status) propped up his feet while an EMT applied antibiotic ointment to his feet in the shade of a cottonwood. Giovanni left his home country because of a catastrophic drought and was attempting to unite with his brothers who were already in Dallas.
After trying to cross the border into the Arizona desert, his feet were ravaged: discolored, covered in gashes and tender red blisters. One toenail had been ripped off. Across the arroyo, or dry wash, were about 30 more prospective border crossers, primarily Guatemalan, some awaiting a similar medical checkup, others stocking up on water and food.
It was July, and several days before in a 110-degree heat wave, he had crossed the border with a small group of about five other people from Guatemala. After 14 hours, they ran out of water. After 21 hours, Giovanni gave up and turned back alone. He had no water, no food, and quickly lost his orientation, but he made it back to Sasabe. [Read more…]
As a girl by herself wandering wantonly within the woods, I was kept company
By animal voices and ancient whispers from the tree canopy
When my bare feet touched warm soil, planted firmly on earth, I was so aware
I was never alone, I belonged to this mystic beauty, and happily had not a care
Yet by the time I was a young woman, ready to journey from my home
The animal voices, many were going quiet it was well known [Read more…]
Last night’s rainwater
Fills the hoof prints of a deer
With her chestnut eyes [Read more…]
By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos
A couple of weeks ago it was reported that the NRA was hurting so badly that their Fairfax, Virginia headquarters had cut out free coffee and water to their employees. Of course, we all sent out thoughts and prayers their way. According to Politico, their revenue dropped by about $57 million this past year.
The gun-rights group posted an even steeper drop in membership dues, which fell 22 percent, or $35 million, to a five-year low, according to documents the NRA filed with the Internal Revenue Service this month. [Read more…]
I took a week off from writing this column over the Thanksgiving holiday. This time of year is typically slow in political circles, and it was obvious to me that Democratic wins in the midterm election would continue to accumulate. (And they have!)
These aren’t typical times, however. My morning meander through the media looking for topics, seemed like more work than trying to make a choice from one the many excellent New Orleans restaurant menus I viewed last week. [Read more…]
By Abby Zimet / Common Dreams
Despite her “There Will Be Blood” hallway and the lurid excess surrounding it – 20,000 feet of lights, 14,000 ornaments, 12,000 bows, Be Best! balls and wreaths of sharpened Be Best! pencils – there is as yet no baby in a manger. Maybe, some ruminated, her husband’s regime has already tear-gassed them all? [Read more…]
You know that feeling you get when a dear friend all of a sudden says something like “Well, we’re moving to Seattle next month,” and a kind of sadness sets in? Nothing devastatingly grievous or crippling, but you feel a little empty inside, knowing that your pal is no longer just down the street or across town, but gone.
That was me when I got the word that the San Diego Free Press was coming to an end because I see them as a friend, a beloved friend; because who, but a dear friend, would allow you to write about a little of everything, anytime you wanted to, and any way you wanted to, be it poetry or prose.
I can’t adequately express what a lift in my spirit the gift of having a place to vent so freely has meant to me. What can one say about being appreciated so openly and unconditionally? [Read more…]
By Mel Freilicher
Some of Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum’s “little chicks,” as she called her pack of master criminals, cultivated after the Civil War, were themselves declasse bluebloods, like Charlie Bullard, boarding school educated and classically trained, with ancestors reaching back to the Mayflower. With long, nimble fingers, ”Piano Charlie” played the instrument like a professional, was an expert safecracker, and one of the city’s most skilled and daring burglars.
The invaluable Bullard entertained her dinner guests, playing anything from Beethoven’s “Sonata in C sharp minor” to the popular “Little Brown Jug” on the white baby grand that adorned Marm’s extravagant dining room. His skills as a butcher also provided the finest cuts of meat for her dinner parties. [Read more…]
By Mel Freilicher
As the city’s premier fence, Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, a German-Jewish immigrant, accumulated more money and power than any woman in the Gilded Age, inconceivable for any woman engaged in legitimate business. A July 1884 New York Times article called her “the nucleus and center of the whole organization of crime in New York City.”
Her quite infamous career began as purveyor of stolen wares to dry goods merchants, legitimate commercial establishments, and many individuals, some in the underworld: first as a pushcart peddler, then out of a storefront on the lower east side, connected to a warehouse chock full of purloined merchandise of all kinds. It’s believed she herself never stole anything, but worked strictly as a fence. [Read more…]
Ana Tijoux was born in Lille, France in 1977, daughter of Chileans that had fled the 1973 Chilean coup of Pinochet. Her interest in rap, hip-hop and dance began in 1988, but she didn’t return to Chile until after 1973 when civil power was restored. This song is from her 2014 album Vengo and even though it’s in Spanish, I believe the sense of independence and autonomy will come through even for non-Spanish speakers. Equally as impressive is the evident diversity of her world. For me, it echoes the sensibilities of Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man.
Since lyrics can be difficult to discern, especially on a first listening, I’m including the lyrics after the video. [Read more…]