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With a long history of service and a committment to social justice, the William & Mary chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity decided that showing up for an awards ceremony at the Virigina Governor’s mansion was not in line with their beliefs.

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Was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) using yesterday's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as an opportunity to announce to the world that he has changed his mind on the issue of reproductive rights? Is the noted and outspoken anti-choice zealot now pro-choice? Check out this quote from yesterday:

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I can't wait to see how my fellow American Jews justify and spin this one.

Late Thursday Amnesty International released the first comprehensive report on the Israeli invasion of Gaza earlier this year. The report, titled Operation "Cast Lead": 22 Days of Death and Destruction, claims that both Israel and Hamas (as well as other armed Palestinian paramilitary groups) engaged in practices that violated international laws governing wars and conflicts, as well as blatant disregard for human rights.

Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war.

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This whole healthcare debate has me confused. I'm clear on the following:

a. approximately 46 million Americans are without health insurance.

b. we all pay for the care these folks receive - both in terms of financial costs and the costs to our collective morality we incur by valuing individuals' lives and health based on income.

c. everyone deserves healthcare and we are the ONLY developed/industrialized (insert any other Western, imperial, colonial moniker that privileges wealth over poverty in a ubiquitous way) nation that does not simply provide healthcare to all.

What I'm confused about is the Republicans' opposition to a public option. The key word here is option.

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Perhaps its time for doctors to replace lawyers as the profession we love to hate. Instead of using lawyers, let’s tell jokes like, "How many doctors does it take to stop a moving bus? Never enough."

Fueling my rage today is the American Medical Association’s (AMA) decision to oppose any health care reform that includes a public insurance plan. This decision is nothing short of disgraceful and unmasks the AMA for what they have become – a self-interest group that first seeks to make medicine a more lucrative profession for doctors and then worries about patient care and issues related to access, costs, and equity.

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Lost in the majority of news stories about the current economic crisis in the United States and around the world is how the current conditions impact the poor. Just as was the case during the 2008 Presidential campaign, most media coverage focuses on the impact of the current economic conditions on the middle class, namely what’s happening in the housing market and on the stock exchanges. And while these things clearly impact a large swath of the American public, including millions who are far from being considered well off financially, they don’t directly impact the poor the way other, less publicized components of the crisis do. Take, for example, the price of oil and other commodities whose prices are determined primarily by wealthy speculators who manipulate the prices for their personal gain.

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Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 12:38 PM PDT

The enduring pains of Reagan

by satchel robinson

We're beginning to see more attention being given to the need to dismantle the mythology of the benevolence of Ronald Reagan. While this piece isn't likely to appear on the pages of more mainstream and consumed media outlets, it is important that more thoughtful, critical analyses like this our made available for consumption.

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Yesterday was a big day in the fight for the equal protection of human and civil rights for all persons in the United States. We’re not there yet; every victory should be cause for celebration, but we should realize we have a long way to go still and not congratulate ourselves too much.

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The anti-choice zealots on the right, supposedly guided by their faith and belief in god, proved again today why their preferred label of pro-life is anything but accurate when Dr. George Tiller, a controversial abortion provider in Kansas, was gunned down as he entered the lobby of the Lutheran Church her regularly attended in Wichita, KS. He was on his way in for Sunday services.

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Somehow the progress we've made on issues related to race/ethnic-based discrimination has brought us to a point where privileged white men (and Ann Coulter & Michelle Malkin) can talk about racism and oppression of whites by persons of color without simply being dismissed as ridiculous and absurd. The airwaves are full of folks talking up the racist record of Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

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I almost always find fault with comparisons and analogies of any sort to Hitler, the Nazi regime, and the Holocaust. Like countless other such inane examples throughout history, attempts by the hawkish right in our previous administration to compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler, and the anti-choice zealots’ labeling of the post-Roe, pro-reproductive rights era of US history as the American Holocaust are intellectually lazy and dishonest. They are overly simplistic rhetorical moves designed to distract from a critical examination of the individual issue at hand by categorizing one person, event, conflict, and/or policy with those universally thought of as repugnant (at least in terms of public discourse in the US).  The purpose is to end a debate before it even begins by framing a perspective as irrefutable, the only logical and moral conclusion possible.

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Wed May 27, 2009 at 08:18 AM PDT

Profits Over People

by satchel robinson

It’s hard to make any sense of the various news reports we get bombarded with regarding the state of the economy. The latest indicators point to things improving at the end of the year, though not as dramatically as initially predicted. Gotta love predictions from the same people and sources that had a large role in creating all this. Why do we still give these assholes a platform?  

Some things we do know - home prices keep giving new meaning to the concept of the bottomless pit, and more and more people are out of work and losing their homes. It’s perfectly clear that shit is bad and people are hurting. Lots of people are hurting in ways they never imagined possible. So why is it that we don’t seem to be questioning the fundamental principles of the system that got us into this mess in the first place? Why do we accept the premise that a few tweaks here and there, and beefed up regulations will make everything better? We act like children unconditionally believing our parents when they tell us not to worry and everything will be ok, because we simply don’t want to face the harsh reality that the vaunted system of capitalism just might not be so wonderful after all.

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