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This ain’t ‘Portlandia’ but it sure feels like it, according to a survey highlighting the Rose City’s very lefty political leanings
Everyone knows Portland is more liberal than the rest of the region and the state. People joke that a Republican can’t be elected dog catcher in Portland, and that business support is the kiss of death for any politician in the city.
Conventional wisdom holds that the only conservatives live in far east Portland, and they are vastly outnumbered by everybody else in town.
Guess what? It’s not a myth.
A major statewide poll conducted last year, the 2013 Oregon Values & Beliefs Survey, shows that most Portlanders are vastly more liberal than people living in the rest of the tri-county region and Oregon. Differences are dramatic on issues ranging from the economy to the environment and the proper size and role of government.
Turns out IFCs Portlandia TV series is more documentary than comedy.
Results from the 2013 Oregon Values & Beliefs Survey have been presented publicly before, including at a Portland City Council work session. But the Portland Tribune asked the Davis Hibbitts & Midghall Research firm to run the numbers again, this time separating Portland from the rest of the region and the state. Those results show just how large the gap has grown between Portland and its suburbs, as well as the rest of the state.
An obvious example from the poll: far more Portlanders describe themselves as liberals on both social and economic issues.
According to the poll, a statistically astonishing 43 percent of city residents consider themselves to be very liberal on social issues, compared to just 11 percent of the rest of the region and 13 percent of the rest of the state. Another 31 percent of Portlanders consider themselves to be somewhat liberal on social issues, compared with 24 percent of the rest of the region and 23 percent of the rest of the state.
In other words, a substantial majority of Portlanders 74 percent consider themselves to be liberal on social issues, compared with 35 percent of the rest of the region and 36 percent of the rest of the state.
This past Sunday afternoon, I pulled up behind the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring building and viewed its now twice-graffitied mural, then went inside to discuss the past and future of secular, progressive Jewish culture. For the past two years, my cohort of the Secular Yeshiva a bi-monthly study group examining Jewish culture and history from a non-religious, politically progressive perspective has met here, on the other side of the mural.
Many of us are teachers at the Sholem Community, whose Sunday school introduces children to Jewish history from a non-religious perspective and invites them to participate in and create new cultural holiday observances. They learn the history of labor, immigrant rights and civil rights movements, and gather to sing in Yiddish, Hebrew and English about peace and social justice.
Many in the community have pointed out the irony of the original graffiti writers’ choice of canvas: of all the Jewish organizations they could have chosen, they picked the one most likely to have had the words Free Palestine! spoken within its walls. Two years ago I attended an event held in the Workmen’s Circle building organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, a safe space to discuss the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement no matter your political position. The Workmen’s Circle itself has promoted a two-state solution.
Others have expressed anxiety that it was just this sort of rare open dialogue that set the stage for the defacing of the historic mural. Was it a coincidence that this incident came the week after Scarlett Johanssen’s Superbowl ad for Sodastream was targeted by the BDS movement, bringing that campaign some of its highest-profile publicity? Only a few weeks after Swarthmore Hillel declared that it would no longer abide by Hillel International’s policy of not allowing speakers critical of Zionism and Israel’s actions? Was it an inevitable result of the steady growth of movements which include many Jews questioning whether a state can be both Jewish and democratic?
The timing seems to indicate that we’ve reached some kind of tipping point, at least here in Los Angeles. But I see this incident as the legacy of another, deeply entrenched, pattern in the American Jewish community. The graffiti literally erased symbols of the rich history of the pursuit of justice and liberation by Eastern Europe’s Yiddish-speaking civilization. Those of us raised with all the privileges of third-, fourth- and fifth-generation white Americans too easily forget that this pursuit was in their economic and social interests and is in ours, too. The history written over last Thursday with silver and black spray paint is a history that has been figuratively erased by American Jewish educational institutions for at least the past four decades. My own childhood quest to learn what happened to the Jews between the destruction of the second temple and the rise of Theodor Herzl, unsatisfied anywhere else, led me to the Workmen’s Circle, to Sholem, and to other organizations promoting the legacy and continuation of Yiddish culture.
I find it difficult to believe that this blank spot in the standard Jewish historical narrative is an accidental oversight. A community still traumatized by the horrors of WWII, seeking redemption in our nationalist triumph, has let the history of Yiddish Eastern Europe gather dust on the shelves of the library hidden in the back room behind the mural. Those of us who seek touchpoints of contemporary Jewish identity are left to grapple with Israel – as safe democratic refuge or undemocratic colonial oppressor.
Is it any wonder that on a side street off of Robertson Boulevard, a colorful celebration of cultural heritage has been reduced to a terse three-word debate?
I wonder if the authors of those very short political commentaries were more savvy than many have taken them for: is it that they didn’t know how progressive the Workmen’s Circle is? Or did they know that, of all of the buildings housing Jewish community organizations in Los Angeles, this was the one that would respond with an offer of dialogue? Did they know that this organization with its aging, dwindling membership but powerful legacy of the Yiddish Bund and its historic insistence on doikayt, hereness, addressing the Jewish question in Eastern Europe instead of faraway Palestine was the one most likely to open wide the debate? Did they see this as the only way of asking this community to ask some extremely difficult questions – questions that will open old wounds and expose vulnerabilities?
Just as the mural, coated with an anti-graffiti agent, will be restored, so too can we restore a connection to our cultural heritage but not merely by preserving relics of the past.
Reading the Yiddish stories of Mendele and singing the lyrics of the Yiddish sweatshop poets will liberate no one from checkpoints, home demolitions, humiliation and ongoing violence – or from fear, isolation, a sense of embattlement and re-triggering of the traumas of the rising tide of anti-Semitism that swept 1930s Europe.
Friday’s ruling in the NATO 3 trial was a mixed bag for both the defense and the prosecution. After weeks of testimony a jury found Brian Jacob Church, 22, Jared Chase, 29, and Brent Betterly, 25, not guilty of terrorism charges but convicted the three out-of-state men on lesser charges, mob action and arson related charges, that carry prison terms of up to 30 years.
Assistant State’s Attorney John Blakey dubbed the three men Mr. Cop on Fire, Captain Napalm and Professor Molotov respectively, and of hatching a nearly super-villanous terrorism plot that would have included attacks on police stations, President Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters, Chase Tower and burning police officers in the streets.
The trial was the first time the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted a case under a 12 year old terrorism law passed just after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Prosecutors argued the three men came to Chicago ready for war and presented the jury with inflammatory and incendiary statements the trio made recorded by undercover police, as well as four beer bottles filled partially with gasoline and a collection of various weapons including a bow and arrow, a throwing star, a slingshot and a homemade shield emblazoned with the words austerity ain’t gonna happen.
If one were to believe Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Betterly, Chase and Churchwho have spent nearly two years in Cook County Jail awaiting trial with $1.5 million bondswere cold, calculating terrorists. Even Judge Thaddeus Wilson seemed to believe the rhetoric (at least in part) when he declined a move by the defense for a direct acquittal. Wilson repeated a line allegedly said by Church to the undercover officers that was not recorded: Chicago will never be the same, adding the court has that as a backdrop for all this. Chicago will never be the same.
But, were Mr. Cop on Fire, Captain Napalm and Professor Molotov hardened violent anarchists preparing a terrorist plot of chaos and destruction worthy of Cobra Commander, or were they a trio of loud mouthed, outspoken kids who spat a lot of tough violent sounding rhetoric after getting drunk and high when prompted by police? The defense showedand the jury at least partly agreedon the latter.
The prosecution’s case relied heavily on testimony about recordings made by two undercover police officers, Nadia Chikko and Mehmet Uygun, also known as Gloves and Mo. Both Uygun and Chikko, aided by intelligence units within the Chicago Police Department, spent months working undercover in Chicago’s activist community attempting to build relationships and trust with local organizers. Testimony from Chikko and Uygun revealed that police had spent plenty of time prior to the summit searching the city for anarchists. Chikko attended a punk show in Pilsen in March 2012 and spent some time chatting up a local young man, Ian Wise, because of a tattoo he had of Emiliano Zapata. After Wise expressed his distrust of police to Chikko, she took special note, saying it could be something to look into. Police took down license plate information from cars at more than one punk rock show. When asked on the stand about this, Uygun said we are the police, sir. We run plates sometimes.
Chikko and several other police officers spent time at Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park to see if there was any criminal activity being talked about, discussed or planned. According to reporter Kevin Gosztola from Firedoglake, police trolled Division Street looking for anarchists and graffiti related to anarchism. Uygun once even spent several hours handcuffed to an organizer of one of the protests held at the Woodlawn Mental Health clinic, when local activists attempted to fight its closure. Many of these things happened before Church, Chase and Betterly even set foot in Chicago. After the pair of undercover cops set their sights on the three, the recordings revealed Mo and Gloves spent more time talking about Molotovs than the three combined. In one recording, Uygun says Dude, we got Molotovs that’s not whack with Chikko later chiming in you guys got anything? Should we make some? You got bottles?
It seems that no one even brought the idea up before May 16, the day the three were arrested during the raid on their Bridgeport apartment. As to the cache of weapons and other fantastical ideas about plotting to bring Chicago to its knees with a coordinated series of attacks, the prosecution could produce no evidence the NATO 3 planned on bringing the legally owned items to any of the demonstrations or evidence the trio attempted to recruit anyone.
In fact, the three were mostly too drunk or stoned to do anything more than talk big in front of undercover police all too eager to egg them on. The Tribune reported that in one recording, Church apologized for not making coherent plans because he was fucking spaced out. Uygun told him that he and Chase needed to come up with something before you hit the bowl. In another instance, then underage Church was too drunk to drive, so Chikko had to take the wheel. One night, Church and Chase skipped a protest at Woodlawn to drink and wait for a weed dealer to stop by the apartment in Bridgeport. Chases attorney, Thomas Durkin, quipped The revolution had to take a bit of a hiatus that night.
Much of the way the trial played out was something of a tragic comedy. If three young men hadn’t spent the past two years in jail and weren’t looking at spending another thirty years behind bars, it might be. Even after all of the testimony revealing much of the actions the three discussed wouldn’t have become more than words without the help of police, Anita Alvarez not only acted as if the arson charges weren’t enough, but had the three not been arrested prior to the NATO summit, Chicago would’ve been victimized by a brutal terrorist attack. In a press conference with reporters after the verdict was read, Alvarez said: Have we forgotten about Boston here? Have we forgotten about homemade bombs in backpacks? We were able to stop people from being hurt, and I would do it again. She even asked an Associated Press reporter if he would like a molotov thrown at him, when asked if the verdict meant defeat.
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Low IQ Left-Wing Nut Progressive Liberals In Their Own Words – Liberal Logic 101
Low IQ Left-Wing Nut Progressive Liberals In Their Own Words – Liberal Logic 101. ObamaCare: Less Work is Good.
By: Bryan Walker
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A powerful message to Neil Young from Salim Vally. Neil Young is scheduled to play apartheid Israel on July 17th, 2014.
Facebook page asking him not to play is here: Neil Young, Tell Me Why You Would Play for Apartheid Israel
Dr. Salim Vally is director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg. He is renowned in South Africa as an academic, educator and human rights activist, and member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee.
Dear Neil Young,
Your music and songs provided much needed succour during our struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
I distinctly remember how we, school children in the notorious John Vorster Square prison in Johannesburg, after the Soweto uprising in 1976, changed the lyrics of your song four dead in Ohio-recalling the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations-to hundreds dead in Soweto.
We called on the world to isolate the apartheid regime and most of humanity, including musicians, eventually heeded our call. Some though played at Sin City.
Palestinians are confronted with, in the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a system of discrimination worse than apartheid in South Africa.
Palestinians inspired by our global campaign against apartheid South Africa call for similar action against apartheid in Israel. They ask for nothing more than the basic democratic and human rights that we in South Africa largely enjoy today. Rights that exist in no small measure because of global solidarity. The words of Mandela, We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians resonate with millions of South Africans and are deeply understood by those around the world who have faced adversity and oppression and who know the value of solidarity and our common humanity.
Please dont disappoint Neil. Please dont play at apartheid Israels version of Sin City.
The labelsought after during the New Deal dayshas long since become an epithet. But the nationwide drop in violent crime and the collapse of hawkish foreign policy create an opening to reclaim it.
In the middle of his in-your-face pre-Super Bowl interview, Bill OReilly picked up the dreaded L word and began wielding it menacingly in the direction of the president of the United States.
Are you the most liberal president in U.S. history? OReilly asked. Obama quickly initiated evasive maneuvers. In a lot of ways, Richard Nixon was moremore liberal than I was, the president replied, before insisting that I tend not to think about these things in terms of liberal and Democrator liberal and conservative
It wasnt always this way. In the first half of the 20th century, liberal enjoyed a certain prestige. When Franklin Roosevelt began using it to describe the ideology of the New Deal, for instance, small-government types accused him of linguistic theft, claiming that since the expansion of state power threatened liberty, theyand not the New Dealerswere the true liberals.
But by the 1960s, the American right had stopped claiming liberal and begun demonizing it. Over the next two decades, being a liberal came to mean letting criminals terrorize Americas cities, hippies undermine traditional morality, and communists menace the world. It meant, in other words, too much liberty for the wrong kind of people. Fearful of its negative connotations, Democratic politicians began disassociating themselves from the term, and as the Obama interview showed, they still do.
But that political logic may be out of date. Liberal became a dirty word at a time of soaring crime, when Democrats came under attack for allegedly prioritizing the rights of criminals over the safety of everyone else. Today, crime has dropped so dramatically that even prominent Republicans advocate less punitive sentencing. The decline of liberal into epithet status also coincided with a cultural revolt, especially on sexual issues like abortion and gay rights, which frightened many middle-aged Americans. But today, the people demanding greater cultural libertywhether they be gay couples wanting to marry or individuals wanting to legally smoke potdont seem nearly as radical. Finally, liberal grew associated with weakness during a humiliating phase in American foreign policy: when Americas defeat in Vietnam and the Iran hostage crisis dealt painful blows to national pride. In the post-Iraq era, by contrast, Republican efforts to out-hawk Obama on foreign policy have utterly failed.
Liberal, in other words, got its bad name because of a series of racial, sexual, and global bogeymen that dont frighten Americans nearly as much anymore.
That doesnt mean Americans now love the term. Although the percentage of Americans calling themselves liberal has risen in recent years, liberal self-identification still trails conservative self-identification, in the most recent Gallup poll, by 15 points.
But theres reason to believe that today, many Americans eschew the term not because they associate it with any particular unpopular attitudes or issue positions, but merely because theyve only heard it discussed negatively. In a thought-provoking 2013 paper, Christopher Claassen, Patrick Tucker, and Steven S. Smith of Washington University in St. Louis note that although most Americans prefer the term conservative, those same Americans are remarkably consistent in telling researchers that they prefer liberal policies. How come? One reason may be that conservative has positive extra-political associations. To many Americans, it connotes caution, restraint and respect for traditional values, positive attributes irrespective of ones views on specific policies.
But even more important, Claassen, Tucker, and Smith suggest, may be the negative way in which liberal is publicly discussed. When certain labels are emphasized or favored by political and media elites, they write, the public is more likely to identify with them than others. Public framing often promotes the term conservative, while the term liberal is used with much less frequency and has long had a more negative connotation. Part of the reason Americans consider liberal an epithet, in other words, is because they mostly hear it used as an epithet.
Two months after protesters first settled in Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011, something curious happened to the Verizon Building at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge. On November 17, its monolithic faade lit up with what would be known as the Occupy Movement’s “bat signal,” a 99% sign thrown from a projection unit in someone’s apartment across the street. On Monday night, the projection activists, known together as the Illuminator collective, turned their attention to the Verizon Building again
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The price tag for NATOs new building climbed $371 million, and taxpayers may have to foot the bill
Here at Maclean’s, we appreciate the written word. And we appreciate you, the reader. We are always looking for ways to create a better user experience for you and wanted to try out a new functionality that provides you with a reading experience in which the words and fonts take centre stage. We believe you’ll appreciate the clean, white layout as you read our feature articles. But we don’t want to force it on you and it’s completely optional. Click “View in Clean Reading Mode” on any article if you want to try it out. Once there, you can click “Go back to regular view” at the top or bottom of the article to return to the regular layout.
At a time when Canada is backing out of key NATO surveillance programs to focus on internal defence spending, it seems taxpayers may have to pony up much more than expected toward the construction of a new home for the alliance. Much to the chagrin of NATOs 28 member countries, the construction consortium responsible for the new $1.6-billion headquarters in Brussels has requested an additional $371 million, and 10 more months, to complete the project.
Oana Lungescu, a spokesperson for NATO, calls the consortiums request for additional funds part of a hard commercial negotiation that is currently under review. But its already proven to be an embarrassment for the alliance and, especially, for NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who championed the steel and glass structure as a symbol of a new, modern NATO. According to Der Spiegel magazine, Germanys ambassador to NATO, Martin Erdmann, said in a condential cable that the effect on NATOs image would be disastrous if NATO appeared to be incapable of punctually completing a construction project.
NATO members already had doubts about the project when the Royal BAM Group, based in the Netherlands, successfully bid $300 million less than what NATO had estimated for the project. The request for more money comes from unforeseen circumstances (including significantly higher security requirements), says Arno Pronk, a BAM spokesperson, adding there is no backup plan for the project if the funds dont come through. With the building 80 per cent finished, member states, including Canada, may have no choice but to pay up.
Madison’s experimental-music catalog is about to expand. On Feb. 1, a new record label called Signal Dreams will release recordings by far-out local synthesizer act Noxroy and avant-garde violinist Troy Schafer. Noxroy will perform at Good Style Shop the same night.
Signal Dreams is the brainchild of Joel Shanahan, a musician from numerous Madison acts, including Golden Donna, Butt Funnel, the Bilderberg Group, Jivas, Chocolate Christ and Suicide TXT. He can also be found DJing around town and on WORT.
Schafer’s release, Survey of a Broken Tape Recorder, has only three tracks but clocks in at more than 45 minutes. The title isn’t an in-joke: These songs were truly made with a broken tape recorder. Schafer uses this tool to create lush organic soundscapes that seem like something robots would listen to on a relaxing beach vacation. Led by Andrew Fitzpatrick from Volcano Choir and All Tiny Creatures, Noxroy manipulates intriguing, computer-made sounds on Anverloss, his new release.
Shanahan says Signal Dreams will specialize in limited-edition CDs of computer-oriented sound design, tape manipulation and other sonic experiments with digital elements. In other words, if you like watching electronic music evolve, this is a label to watch.