Author: Meteor Blades

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Frederick Douglas: Lincoln’s thorn, and his partner. Here’s his fiery speech on July 5, 1852

We do too much “heroification” in America, according to James W. Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong  (one of his several books that ought to be on everybody’s shelves). Loewen thinks the word hero has been cheapened, ending up more often a description for football quarterbacks who throw perfect last-minute passes […]

July 4th

If Trump wanted a real celebration at Rushmore, he’d support Lakota sovereignty over the Black Hills

In a time of belated monument removal—officially or by volunteers—it’s fitting that on Friday Donald Trump will be on hand for Independence Day fireworks in the Black Hills of South Dakota at the nation’s biggest statuary monument to white supremacy. The venue is Mount Rushmore, which carries the name of a man who donated a large sum to help sculpt the […]

July 3rd

Environmental Justice: Chronically underfunded Indian Health Service means death for many Navajos with COVID-19

On Friday, the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation by geography and population, reported 92 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths. That brings the corresponding totals to 6,470 with 303 deaths, with no end in sight. You can see the Navajo Department of Health’s take on it at Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19. By Meteor Blades On a per capita […]

June 17th

Bayonets and live bullets. That’s what DC BLM protesters almost faced (They got flash bangs and pepper rounds)

As my colleague Mark Sumner pointed out earlier, the National Guard troops called up for duty in controlling the protests in Washington, D.C., were ordered to be tough and aggressive. This wasn’t done, as one might expect, to please Donald Trump, who encourages violence against dissidents in the streets the way he incites people to rough up […]

June 13th

2.25 million file new unemployment claims – Powell says more stimulus needed or it’ll be YEARS before they find jobs

We’ve had plenty more news this week indicating just how bad things are economically now and how long they are likely to remain bad. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who has warned that gross domestic product could drop 30% this quarter, on Wednesday reinforced what other analysts have said about the crunch affecting American workers: ”It’s just going to be very […]

June 11th

Witnesses tell House hearing how the Coronavirus pandemic has spotlighted environmental injustice

Two congressional committees held hearings Tuesday that raised the matter of environmental injustice amid the national protests and the conversation about systemic racism sparked by the killing of unarmed, handcuffed African American George Floyd two weeks ago. As long as the Senate remains under Republican control, of course, the chances any legislation will pass Congress are slim […]

June 11th

Nationwide protests against police violence are encouraging, but there’s a tough fight ahead

Braving the still raging coronavirus and the potential for being tear-gassed and bloodied by unprovoked cops showing their skill with billy-clubs, in cities large and small, hundreds of thousands of mostly masked Americans turned out Saturday to express their opposition to police violence and to grieve and show their support for the family of George Floyd, the hand-cuffed […]

June 8th

Black Lives Matter: Eco-advocacy groups step forward with vows to fight for environmental AND racial justice

Eco-organizations, some of which have struggled with their own lack of racial diversity and an inadequate focus on environmental justice, have stepped up with statements in support of justice for murdered African American George Floyd and for a transformation of America’s policing and other racist policies. Journalists at Inside Climate News have highlighted statements issued by several […]

June 7th

Under cover of Coronavirus, Trump admin tries to ram through more mining on Navajo lands

While Navajo tribal leaders were focused on the coronavirus pandemic, Feds held virtual hearings on a proposal to permit new extractive operations near Native ancestral lands: The plan, if enacted, would allow fracking and mineral leasing around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, land that the Pueblo Indians consider their homeland. By Meteor Blades Navajo leaders and some New […]

June 6th

WTF? Surprising every analyst, gov’t reports big job gains, reducing unemployment rate to 13.3%

Before reading further, it’s important to keep in mind that while today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is sobering, the data in it are three weeks out of date. That’s because the bureau uses the Current Employment Survey of 142,000 business establishments at 689,000 individual worksites to tally how many jobs are created or lost each month and derives […]

June 6th

Trump and Barr putting police on the streets of DC with no names or insignia. This is scary.

If you’ve spent time in some parts of the world at certain periods—say Latin America—you’re familiar with the sight of so many armed people in uniform on the streets to keep authoritarian regimes in place. And even though the presence of such forces was often bolstered by U.S. policy, seeing such an array in the U.S. capital is incredibly rare. And discomfiting. […]

June 5th

2.2 million more Americans file for unemployment – and the Coronavirus recession is worse for African Americans

After 11 weeks of coronavirus-related layoffs, the Department of Labor reported Thursday that a non-seasonally adjusted total of 37 million Americans have filed for and are receiving or waiting to receive benefits from their state unemployment insurance systems or the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that provides benefits to gig workers and others not eligible for regular state […]

June 4th

Our veterans need help. The administration keeps putting ridiculous roadblocks in their way

All too many elected officials treat military veterans like decorations on patriotic holidays and then forget about them just as they do the red, white, and blue bunting that’s tucked away until the next event. Veterans’ needs and problems are all too often ignored. “Thanks for your service” is particularly hollow coming from the politicians who engage in this […]

May 30th