Welcome to the New Normal America

obama golden valley

Joseph Palermo: Wall Street banks should be pouring money into Obama’s reelection since he’s been so good to them, and the neocons should be rejoicing in his establishing precedent for more unchecked executive power.

The Cooler Bandits: The New N-Word Is Felon

the cooler bandits

The Cooler Bandits follows four friends struggling to re-enter society after 20 years in prison, only to confront their future in the old neighborhood.

The New Culture of Making Nothing Out of Something

herb wesson jan perry bernard parks

Anthony Samad: The Los Angeles taxpayer would be astonished with the number of unexcused absences council members have, but these two small-minded council persons — Parks and Perry — wanted to send a message and get some press out of it—and they did.

Geneva Conventions Redefined: The New U.S. Department of War

eric shine

Gary Corseri and Eric Shine: Today, the most disturbing sign of this take-over of all of the civilian commons by the military, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of a new, or reinvigorated, Department of War.

More Black Men Are in Prison Today Than Enslaved in 1850

Black Man Exercise

Dick Price: “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday

The New Geography: Today The Middle East, Tomorrow Zamunda

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Jasmyne Cannick: It’s no secret that news out of Africa and about Africans is no daily consequence in most national newscasts and that when we do make the news, depending on the region — countries in Africa end up in this fictional continent known as The Middle East.

Are Government Workers the New Illegal Aliens?

fireman and medic

Tina Dupuy: Over 16.5% of Americans are employed by the government, about 22 million of the 135 million payroll jobs. And they’re not just pencil-pushing, useless cushy benefit collectors – but scientists.

Finding Happiness in the New Year

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Steve Hochstadt: Rather than make futile resolutions, I have been thinking about happiness. If I know what makes me happy, perhaps I can find more happiness this coming year.

The New War Congress: An Obama-Republican War Alliance?

David Swanson

David Swanson: The most silvery of possible silver linings here may lie in the possibility of a reborn peace movement. George W. Bush’s new memoir actually reveals the surprising strength the peace movement had achieved by 2006.

Book Burning and the New Red Scare

religious intolerance

Tom Hall: As the new Tea Bag Republicans virtually guarantee gridlock and a forced double dip depression, the voters will again turn on them, giving a chance, in 2012, to candidates who offer real solutions, real progress, real hope. If we can find any.

The New Know-Nothings

cactus

Berry Craig: Of course, the Republicans – and even the Tea Baggers – would have us belief that their beef is with “illegal” immigrants. But they’re not fooling anybody. Most of these neo-Know Nothings are white people who have a problem with Latinos north of the border, period.

The New Jim Crow

Michelle-Alexander

Michelle Alexander: The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.

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