Indy Blog

The plight of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates has made news for the second time this year.

If you asked me why I would waste a perfectly good Saturday to go see Bob Avakian speak in person, you would get no points for originality: almost everyone else asked me the same question, usually with some derisive adjectives thrown in for good measure. 

"DROP THAT plate right now!"

Those were the words of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police officer as he arrested 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, a homeless advocate who serves hot meals to homeless people twice a week through his Love Thy Neighbor organization.

In a recent CNN interview, religion scholar Reza Aslan was asked by journalist Alisyn Camerota if Islam is violent given the “primitive treatment in Muslim countries of women and other minorities.” Aslan responded by stating that the conditions for women in Muslim majority countries vary. While women cannot drive in Saudi Arabia, elsewhere in various Muslim majority countries, women have been elected heads of states 7 times.

Internal strategy documents prepared by a public relations firm on behalf of Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada reveal details of an enormous and well-organized effort by the oil industry to neutralized the transnational grassroots movement which has grown up around the industry's effort to expand tar sands mining and the building of huge infrastructure projects designed to get "the world's dirtest fuel" to market.

Good Timing

Timing isn’t everything but it sure helps. After the mid-term elections, the mood in climate circles was getting pretty grim. We faced the prospect of a Republican-dominated House and Senate overturning emission controls, ramming through Keystone XL and elevating a climate denier (James Inhofe) to chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Already there was talk that upcoming UN climate negotiations were dead on arrival.

The U.S.

When 14-year-old Emmitt Till was shot in the head and then thrown in the Tallahatchie River in 1955, his mother joined a list of women who lost their sons to American racial violence. That history is on display outside the art collective venue Ideal Glass in the East Village, where artist Sophia Dawson’s mural, Every Mother’s Son, inspired by a documentary of the same name by Tami Gold, is on display until November 30.

Recently in a quiet indie bookstore on the north side of Chicago, I saw the latest issue of Rolling Stone resting on a chrome-colored plastic table a few feet from a barista brewing a vanilla latte.  A cold October rain fell outside. A friend of mine grabbed the issue and began flipping through it. Knowing that I was a veteran, he said, "Hey, did you see this?" pointing to a news story that seemed more like an ad.  It read in part:


After less than two hours of deliberation, a Detroit federal courthouse jury reached a guilty verdict today in the government’s case against Palestinian American community leader Rasmea Odeh.

The case against Odeh centered on her alleged failure to disclose on her US immigration papers her conviction in an Israeli military court in 1969.

Dozens of supporters of Odeh had driven from Chicago through the night to be at the courthouse today for the announcement of the verdict.