Category Archives: politics

RT @TheGuardian – Copenhagen climate change conference: ‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation’

Earlier today, 56 major newspapers in 45 countries and 20 languages joined together to publish a shared editorial on climate change ahead of the Copenhagen summit, a project largely led by the Guardian.

As the Guardian points out, in a sort of primer to the actual editorial piece, it is immediately obvious that the “the sole representative of the world’s second biggest polluter” – us over here in the U.S. – is the Miami Herald. Then this line is just too good not to quote: “It is hard not to be struck by the parallel with the Kyoto agreement when the US stood to one side as the world began to move against climate change.”



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Jam of the Day – You Can Vote However You Like

As you may know if you live in NYC, since Bloomberg has spent an inordinate amount of money to publicize his campaign for a third term as mayor, today is Election Day. So listen to these kids from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta as they remake T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” with some get-out-the-vote lyrics. The video was sent around all over last year for the Presidential election, so the references are (obviously) a bit dated, but the message is still clear: No matter who you support, get out there are vote!

Ron Clark Academy – You Can Vote However You Like:


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Jam of the Day – Columbus Day Boycotts

In a sign of solidarity with those who, like Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and Brown University students, have enough of a sense of history to question the celebration of a man who “was the spearhead of the biggest invasion and genocide ever seen in the history of humanity” (in the hyperbolic words of Chavez), has decided not to post a Jam of the Day today. Take five minutes to think about it instead!


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Jam of the Day – Afghan Women, Listen to Queen Latifah

Back in April, after a rare mass-protest by Afghan women and particularly forceful international pressure, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai agreed to review the Shiite Personal Status Law that reportedly would have “forbid[den] women to refuse to have sex with their husbands and force[d] them to get their spouses’ permission before leaving the house, looking for a job, going to the doctor or receiving education.” But last week Human Rights Watch revealved that a final version of the law, which was reviewed by HRW as published in the official Gazette on July 27, 2009, retains many of the regressive and oppressive articles that were the source of international outrage to begin with:

“The law gives a husband the right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if she refuses to obey his sexual demands. It grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers. It requires women to get permission from their husbands to work. It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her.”

Earlier today, the Times posted a Lede entry with a pretty inflammatory headline that includes some interesting videos showing interviews by Al Jazeera with some Shiite women who endorsed the original articles.

To all my Afghan women: it’s time to listen to rapper-ternt-family movie star Queen Latifah and tell these guys to cut it out. In her early ’90s hit classic, “U.N.I.T.Y.,” Queen Latifah brings the positive message to females everywhere that it’s simply not OK to let men belittle you, call you a “bitch” or a “ho,” or smack your ass (without permission). I think that starvation as retaliation for lack of sex might fall into that category of “unacceptable” behavior as well, but maybe that’s just me. Two lines really struck me as appropriate for today. The first, “I’m not your personal whore,” could rightly be said to apply to the Afghan women here. The second, “I had my cut-off shorts on, right, ’cause it was crazy hot” goes out to all the people, male or female, who are sweating it out in this humid hotness that has finally descended on the city.

But back to the message: Women of the world, UNITE.

Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.:


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Jam of the Day – Finally Heading Home

According to reports this afternoon, former President Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea to try to secure the release of two journalists imprisoned there has been successful. The reclusive, ailing, and by most accounts criminally deranged North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is said to have granted “a special pardon” for the two American journalists – Laura Ling, 32, and Euna Lee, 36 – after they were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for entering North Korea illegally. The journalists were on assignment for Current TV, a San Francisco-based media company co-founded by Al Gore, researching a report about the human trafficking of North Korean women and the refugees who had fled to China. The two journalists were detained by soldiers on March 17th near the North Korea/China border, were sentenced in June, and have been in prison since.

As White House press secretary Robert Gibbs explained in a statement cited in the Times, “While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment. We do not want to jeopardize the success of former President Clinton’s mission.” The Obama administration has tried to keep its diplomatic campaign regarding nuclear weapons separate from this case, emphasizing that this is a humanitarian issue. As Hillary Clinton explained “What we hope for now is that these two young women would be granted amnesty through the North Korean system and be allowed to return home to their families as soon as possible.” We’re with you, Hillary.

Today’s Jam is all about the urgent desire to get home as quickly as possible that these women must be feeling at this point. Imogen Heap just released the first single “First Train Home” off of her latest album Ellipse that is scheduled to drop at the end of August. Heap is a muti-instrumentalist and innovative singer-songwriter whose music is ethereal and hard to shake. I’m not saying it’s gonna get the party started but it could set the mood for a more intimate rendezvous.

As a buzz generator around the new album, Heap set up a series of “#heaptweetups” in New York and L.A. during July, where her Twitter followers and fans could come to special listening parties and preview the album. Heap’s latest “#heaptweetup” listening party is taking place tonight in her hometown of London. For our London followers, entry is free and it will probably be crowded because Heap is also planning on talking about the songs as she previews them and she’ll even be buying the drinks!

Imogen Heap – First Train Home:


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