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What Is A Sanctuary City & How Can We Defend Immigrant Families?

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, and Journalism

The reports from the first wave of Trump’s ICE Raids are full of disturbing stories of jackbooted thugs oppressing the oppressed — and literally tearing families apart in the name of a fascist, xenophobic and factually inaccurate agenda.

Trump’s long-promised mass deportations have begun, ramping up from the Obama administration’s already disgusting record of nearly 3 million deportations. As more and more people find themselves in the crosshairs of fascism, it is quite clear that those of us lower on that checklist — because we are all on it — have an obligation to stand up — to demand our communities and cities be safe havens for all — sanctuary cities, if you will. And to be ready to put our bodies on the front lines for freedom, justice and human rights.

The concept of a “sanctuary city” actually dates back to the Old Testament, and early Christian rulers who designated certain cities as places of sanctuary for those accused of accidentally committing manslaughter.

Two thousand years later, and we’ve entered the bizarro world of 2017, where people who call themselves the followers of Christ have turned “sanctuary” into a dirty word and back a crackdown on the undocumented, literally among the most vulnerable people around.…

The REALLY Hateful 8: Global Inequality & The World’s 8 Richest Men (Fucked Fact)

Posted in Act Out!, Journalism, and Occupy Wall Street

We are the 99 percent!

These words made famous by Occupy Wall Street helped bring new attention to the problem of systemic inequality. The chant isn’t just some hyperbole made up by hippies however: it’s backed by actual economic truth — you know, facts as opposed to alternative facts.

According to Credit Suisse in their 2015 Global Wealth Report, “the lower half of the global population collectively own less than 1% of global wealth, while the richest 10% of adults own 88% of all wealth and the top 1% account for half of all assets in the world.” HALF OF ALL ASSETS on planet earth. ——- And now, this latest report from Oxfam reveals that an already grim picture is actually even more dire. According to their research, the world’s 8 richest men collectively possess more wealth than the poorest 50 percent of the world. That’s right, 8 multi-billionaires have as much money as about 3 billion, 370 million of the world’s poor.

Welcome to this week’s Fucked Fact.…

Let’s Party Like it’s 1984: The Ministry of Truth in 2017

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is strength. And we’ve always been at war with Russia. So, while you were celebrating the holidays Barack Obama quietly approved a multimillion-dollar anti-propaganda project that feels a lot like the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s “1984” — with a more covert and far more boring name. Included as part of this year’s National Defense Appropriations Act, aka NDAA, and inspired by the new “Red Scare,” it’s called the Global Engagement Center and it’s this week’s Fucked Fact.

As you may recall from Orwell’s novel, the Ministry of Truth controlled all the media — from journalism to entertainment, ensuring it all conformed to the government’s agenda. America’s new Global Engagement Center is ALSO designed to control the media narrative — at a time when alternative media outlets and journalists known to question the US Empire are being slammed for acting as Russian spies.

Signed into law on December 23rd, the creation of the Global Engagement Center is part of the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act,” originally introduced as a separate bill in March by Republican Senator Rob Portman, and Democrat Chris Murphy. Luckily for Portman and Murphy, their pet bill made it into the NDAA and into law just before Santa came to town.…

Despite Pervasive Anti-Semitism, Alex Jones’ Infowars Backs Israel Over Obama

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Infowars, an alternative multimedia outlet notorious for peddling hoaxes and anti-Semitic ideas, is now toeing a far-right, extremist line on U.S.-Israel relations.

The site’s shifting political viewpoint is another sign of the transformation that Alex Jones, the site’s founder, has undergone as he’s transitioned from an offbeat talk show host on public access TV to a Washington insider with intimate access to President-elect Donald Trump.

Despite his modest beginnings, Jones has built an expansive and profitable media empire that includes multiple websites, TV and radio programs, documentaries, and lucrative advertising deals that promote products ranging from Infowars-branded male “vitality” supplements to doomsday preparation supplies.…

Creating An LGBTQIA Safe Space In Rural America

Posted in Journalism, and Yes! Magazine

In the heart of rural New England, two queer women built a space for art and community.

Amid the relatively conservative, rural surroundings of Manchester, New Hampshire, The Gal-lery is a sanctuary from judgment and oppression. Located deep inside the twisty hallways of a converted former mill, the space to showcase art isn’t marked by flashy signs or promoted with widespread advertising. It’s a place where LGBTQIA people, and others who are marginalized, can simply exist without having to justify their identities to others.

Catherine Graffam, an intersex, nonbinary transgender woman, cofounded The Gal-lery more than two years ago with Madeline Jones, a queer woman who also sometimes uses nonbinary pronouns, after the pair graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. The two began hosting events in 2015 and have since built a successful community of regular visitors and friends. About 50 people attended the Nov. 3 opening of “Gals and Pals,” their first gallery show, which also featured nine visiting artists in addition to the works of Graffam and Jones.…

The DEA Isn’t Making CBD Oil Illegal — Yet

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

An administrative change by the Drug Enforcement Administration has left users of CBD oil, a popular tincture derived from agricultural hemp, fearful that they could lose access to this vital health remedy.

CBD oil is currently considered legal in all 50 states, and agricultural hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant from which CBD oil is extracted, is legally grown in many states. While scientific research into its benefits is just beginning, preliminary results show that CBD oil can benefit conditions ranging from epilepsy to chronic pain.

But on Dec. 14, the DEA added a notice to the Federal Register that quietly informed the public that it had established “a new drug code for marihuana extract.” The DEA’s argument is that the agency is entitled to regulate CBD oil because all extracts contain trace amounts of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis which remains illegal at the federal level.

Establishing this new drug code is, effectively, the first step toward classifying CBD oil alongside cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. This act classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, alongside drugs like heroin which are considered to have no practical medical benefit.

However, legal experts and advocates for hemp doubt that the DEA has the mandate to easily ban CBD oil.…

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