Friday, September 23, 2011

For Your Safety - By Kate Sloan

The song Flyin by Regina Spektor isn’t about air travel, but when it came on as I was headed to Logan airport last Thursday, 9/15, it seemed appropriate in its quirky sadness. If you don’t know it, it’s a really upbeat-sounding song about abuse.

I was flying to Chicago’s O’Hare and continuing on to Detroit Metro, an airport that that had recently made news after it wrongfully detained passengers on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, four days before.

 I remember sitting in my high school psychology class, watching the fall of the second tower. I remember the moment the first plane crashing went from being a possible horrific accident to a very deliberate attack. I remember feeling stunned and frightened and like it was all possibly a dream I’d wake up from to find I was late for school. It’s hard to describe the moment of realization that those planes were full of passengers just trying to get somewhere, possibly home. At that point in my life I had never flown, and was in that moment I was certain I never would.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Podcast Episode 7: Sports, the Lockouts, and Politics

On this episode of the There is No Spoon show, we talk about sports and politics, from connections between owners and the media, the labor politics in the NFL and NBA lockouts, the role of fans, and the connection between American society and the conflicts raging between owners and players in sports. Joining host Fouad Pervez are Dave Zirin and Brian Fredrick. Dave writes for The Nation, The Progressive, SLAM Magazine, and Sports Illustrated. He hosts the Edge of Sports radio show on Sirius XM, has appeared on numerous media outlets (including the Rachel Maddow Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Democracy Now!, All Things Considered, amongst many others) and has written several books, most recently Bad Sports and The John Carlos Story (collaborating with John Carlos). Brian is the Executive Director of the Sports Fans Coalition, a national non-profit organization dedicated to giving sports fans a voice on public policy issues, including public subsidies for stadiums, TV blackouts, the NFL and NBA lockouts, and a college football playoff. Brian has a PhD in Communications and was a senior editor at Media Matters for America. Check out this cool New York Times article about Brian here.

All sports fans (liberal, conservative, or barely interested in politics) should join the Sports Fans Coalition's email list, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. It's an important group, and really the only one advocating on behalf of sports fans. You can email Brian directly if you have ideas or want to get more directly involved: Follow Dave and Brian on Twitter as well.

Download this episode (right click and save)
You can subscribe to the No Spoon Podcast via itunes by clicking here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This template will allow us to show more posts on the main page. Just replace this blurb with whatever parts of your post you want to appear on the main page. Just make sure not to delete the tag (if you're posting in html tab) or line (if you are posting in compose tab)

The 9/11 Decade - A Leadership Gap

We've just recently seen the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. There have been countless articles and pieces of analysis in the media about the topic, but I wanted to touch on an issue that I think many have neglected: the lack of political and civic leadership in framing 9/11 as a tragedy to connect Americans with others across the globe, which I'd argue has resulted in mostly a lost decade. Instead, 9/11 became an event to separate America from others. This helped enable hyper-nationalism and increased American exceptionalism, both very unusual given the nature of the event. Many leaders, particularly political ones, played this up. A consequence has been that Americans are, today, more likely to distance themselves from various out-groups, both outside of, and in, America (the Islamophobia industry is one of the downstream effects of this).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The greatest casualty of 9/11: The America we knew

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.

Reflections on the 9/11 attacks are important and moving. But most overlook the enduring legacy of the attacks, in the form of the vastly greater damage done to American principles over the past decade. Whether in the context of surveillance, torture, or the congressional cowardice that has enabled them, our leaders have sullied the legacy of an America that once inspired the world.

LibertyEarlier this summer, when facing a crucial accountability moment for an agency that continues to abuse the rights of millions of Americans, members of Congress asked no tough questions, avoided controversy, and submitted to a White House proposal to entrench the FBI leadership—at the same time as they fought to the knuckles over issues that Congress created in the first place by spending the country into a fiscal black hole and absurdly cutting taxes in the midst of multiple wars.

Most astounding in all this is Congress's apparent abandonment of its own institutional interests. Even in the face of documented lies by the FBI's leadership to congressional committees and repeated proof that Congress, the press, and the public are hearing only tiny slices of the whole truth, Congress has failed to use its many tools to seek transparency and investigate executive abuses.