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Nov 5

"Jesus, Come Help Us!" What it's like with no power, no running water, and little food post-Sandy

theradiodispatch:

Molly and John wrote about what’s happening in a 14-story public housing building in Rockaway Beach. Read the residents’ stories and please share them. 

Nov 3

Photo Gallery: Million Puppet March

When Mitt Romney called a hit on Big Bird, puppeteers called a march on Washington.

By Adele M. Stan | AlterNet

Okay, so there weren’t a million of them, but there were definitely more puppets strolling down East Capitol Street than on an average day. Well, at least of the literal kind. 

Chants included:

"Know puppets, know peace!" (which sounds exactly like "No puppets, no peace!")

"Whose street? Sesame Street!"

"What do we want? Cookies! When do we want them? Now!"

all photos (c) A.M. Stan for AlterNet, all rights reserved


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(Source: alternet.org)

Nov 2

motherjones:

bostonreview:

Real Ohioans explain why they’re voting for Romney, and against Obama.

Wow. Wow. Wow. This is eight minutes of your life well-spent. Watch twice for extra GRR.

AlterNet Main Site Temporarily Down Due to Hurricane

You have been redirected to AlterNet’s Tumblr site because our server was injured in the flooding that inundated New York City’s underground infrastructure and electrical grid. Please bear with us as we continue to post our original journalism and analysis — along with the best of the progressive Web — here until the main site is up and running.

Stick with us, loyal readers! Less than a week before the election, we’ll be providing you with critical information, just as we always do.

The Power Outage Didn’t Divide NYC: Income Inequality Did

The line wasn’t between those with electricity and those without, but between those who had recourse and those who didn’t.

By Sarah Seltzer | AlterNet

After an explosion at a power station cut off service to Lower Manhattan, photos showed a stark divide in Manhattan between lit-up uptown and downtown blanketed in darkness. The image was gripping and the frightening experience of many downtown is no joke—nor are the losses of life from the storm.

Still, when the inevitable posts went up declaring that “New York is now divided,” I had to laugh. Because it’s not the divisions we can see after a storm, but rather the city’s giant unseen fissure which makes events like Sandy so threatening.

Witness this piece from Gothamist, in which a citizen sleuth checked out what was happening in parts of Downtown where the poorest residents live and wrote in with his findings:

There is no running water or flushing toilets for people living in the Jacob Riis Houses and surrounding NYCHA buildings on the Lower East Side. In my estimate, this is roughly 20,000 people. One family I spoke with is packing their bags and moving to Brooklyn until services are restored. But it did not appear that all residents were evacuating, even as their toilets did not flush.

6) I did not witness a single Red Cross Truck or FEMA Vehicle or in lower Manhattan. Recall the assistance these agencies provided after 9/11 - this is NOT HAPPENING. There are bound to be hundreds of elderly people, rich and poor, who live on the upper floors of buildings with elevators that are now disabled. IF POWER IS NOT RESTORED, THIS WILL MOVE FROM BEING AN ECONOMIC DISASTER TO A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER.

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Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin Sought to Narrow Child-Abuse Definition

photo credit: akin.house.gov

Many seem to think that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks placed him on the fringe of the Republican Party. In reality, he’s spent most of his career there.

By Josh Glasstetter | Right Wing Watch

It’s now widely known that Akin teamed up with Paul Ryan in 2011 to try to narrow the definition of rape – i.e., “forcible rape.” This is no anomaly. Early in his career as a state legislator, Akin even tried to narrow the definition of child abuse.

Back in May of 1991, the Missouri House debated a bill to “outlaw rape and sexual abuse in marriage.” “Rape is rape,” said Rep. Jo Ann Karll shortly before the bill was overwhelmingly passed. “Missouri is finally moving into the 20th century,” said Colleen Coble, executive director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy photo credit: NOAA

Global warming is real, and it is here. It is causing — yes, causing — death, destruction, and vast economic loss.

By George Lakoff | AlterNet

Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy — and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let’s say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.

Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease. Driving while drunk is a systemic cause of auto accidents. Sex without contraception is a systemic cause of unwanted pregnancies.

There is a difference between systemic and direct causation. Punching someone in the nose is direct causation. Throwing a rock through a window is direct causation. Picking up a glass of water and taking a drink is direct causation. Slicing bread is direct causation. Stealing your wallet is direct causation. Any application of force to something or someone that always produces an immediate change to that thing or person is direct causation. When causation is direct, the word cause is unproblematic.

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Romney Ducks Reporters on Ending FEMA — “You’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?”

Photo credit: Evan Meyer / Shutterstock.com

Romney’s past platforms have indicated that the candidate would push to splinter and then privatize FEMA’s work. Now, after a major disaster, he doesn’t want to talk about it.

By Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney found himself in an awkward line of questioning yesterday when reporters wanted to know if he would really slash funding for FEMA, the federal government agency in charge of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. 

Rather than fall back on his tried-and-true model of flip-flopping his position to fit the latest poll (see Romney on abortion and health care), he opted for a bold new strategy: entirely ignore the question.

“Governor, you’ve been asked 14 times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?” one journalist complained at Romney’s press conference yesterday in Ohio.

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Jill Stein Arrested for Delivering Food and Supplies to Climate Activists Opposing Texas Keystone XL Pipeline

For the second time in a month, the Green Party presidential candidate finds herself in handcuffs.

By AlterNet Staff

Here’s a press release from the Green Party candidate, who has never been arrested until she launched her campaign, but has now been put into handcuffs twice in the last month. 

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was handcuffed and arrested this morning after bringing food and supplies to a coalition of climate justice activists, known as the “Tar Sands Blockade,” who are attempting to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas. She is currently at Wood County Jail awaiting processing.

"Everyone needs to step up resistance to climate-killing emissions," said Stein, who was willing to risk arrest in order to show solidarity for this blockade. "Romney and Obama are only talking about the symptoms of climate change in terms of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy; the blockaders are addressing the cause."

Jill Stein was joined by seven others, including three blockaders and four members of the press. They were delivering fresh fruits and vegetables, canned proteins, trail mix, and Halloween candy. They were not warned of imminent arrests; and the arresting officers did not self-identify as police.

Major Retailer Urges Workers To Take ‘Civics Course’ With Anti-Obama Content


Photo credit: Robert W. on Foursquare

AlterNet uncovers an anti-Obama program linked to the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, spoon-fed to employees of a major home-improvement chain.

by Adele M. Stan | AlterNet 

If you live in the Midwest and you’re working on a home-improvement project, you’re as likely to do your shopping at a Menards store as at a Lowe’s or Home Depot. With 270 stores and 40,000 employees , Menards is the third-largest home-improvement chain in the U.S., and one of the largest privately held corporations in the country. But Menards stores sell more than just lumber and building supplies; their employees are sold a bill of goods in the form of right-wing ideology.

This January, as the Iowa Caucuses were underway, Menards began encouraging employees to take an at-home online “civics” course that characterizes the economic policies of President Barack Obama as a threat to the success of businesses such as Menards, and by extension, to the employees’ own well-being.

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