Guantánamo art show rattles US military and could prompt confiscation or destruction

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Works by detainees are making waves at a New York exhibition – but now officials have taken away finished artworks and won’t let them leave the site

When Moath al-Alwi wants to get his mind out of the US detention center in Guantánamo Bay, where he has been held without charge for almost 16 years, he builds model ships.

“A ship expresses rescue,” he told his lawyer during a recent visit. “Noah was able to rescue people and animals on Earth with a ship. That is why I love to build ships.”

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: ‘Trump is where he is because of his appeal to racism’

True this

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The basketball legend and social activist who counted Ali and King among his contemporaries discusses Colin Kaepernick, LaVar Ball and Trump’s America

“Like all people my age I find the passage of time so startling,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says with a quiet smile. The 70-year-old remains the highest points-scorer in the history of the NBA and, having won six championships and been picked for a record 19 All-Star Games, he is often compared with Michael Jordan when the greatest basketball players of all time are listed. Yet no one in American sport today can match Kareem’s political and cultural impact over 50 years.

In the 90 minutes since he knocked on my hotel room door in Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar has recounted a dizzying personal history which stretches from conducting his first-ever interview with Martin Luther King in Harlem, when he was just 17, to receiving a hand-written insult from Donald Trump in 2015. We move from Colin Kaepernick calling him last week to the moment when, aged 20, Kareem was the youngest man invited to the Cleveland Summit – as the leading black athletes in 1967 gathered to meet Muhammad Ali to decide whether they would support him after he had been stripped of his world title and banned from boxing for rejecting the draft during the Vietnam War.

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Well done Aussies, the people made marriage equality law….its leaders, not so much

While this entire horrible process of “allowing” our LGBQTI community to legally show their dedication to one another in the eyes of the law – the way the rest of us take for granted – has undoubtedly been painful for them, I’m hoping that it may also have exposed at least some outside this community to some new things.

I’m hopeful that some may have new points of view, have become a little more tolerant, may have had some open conversations with the kids around the dinner table and maybe gained more understanding about the importance of equality.

I also hope this will make an entire generation, their children and their future relationships that much more welcoming to every little difference around them.

If any of this came to pass, then there was a small silver lining to come out of the nastiness. Apart from the overwhelming support of a nation or course.

Love is love and Australia’s leaders have, after a protracted period or throwing up roadblocks and delays and…not showing leadership…finally made it legal for all to get married.

You beauty!

My grandmother and I .. Memories of love and life

“MUSA TODAY, IN OUR WAY TO JERICHO . IT WAS AMAZING HOW , WHILE I WAS TRYING TO RECOLLECT MEMORIES OF MY CHILDHOOD WITH HER , SHE WAS STROLLING BACK TO HER OWN CHILDHOOD … IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL ENCOUNTER “

nadiaharhash

I went with my grandmother to Nabi musa today, in our way to jericho . It was amazing how , while i was trying to recollect memories of my childhood with her , she was strolling back to her own childhood … It was such a beautiful encounter of what is by all means a historical review of a life that moves steadily with its memories from one person to another …

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Republicans Have Abandoned Their Principles

By Arturo Castañares / Publisher and CEO

Throughout American history, several political parties have come and gone, from the Whigs to the Federalists and even the American Party, mockingly called the Know-Nothing Party. For most of our history, the country saw multiple parties operating at the same time.

Our country’s founding fathers, though, did not like parties. When George Washington retired from public life in 1796, he warned against “faction” in politics. James Madison, our fourth President, thought parties were probably necessary, but he didn’t entirely approve of them. Alexander Hamilton, a staunch supporter of a strong federal government, thought that political factions were a vice to be guarded against at all times. And Thomas Jefferson declared in 1789 that, “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Most of the old parties morphed into new parties as their constituencies changed, or merged into stronger parties after major national events, including after the Civil War and the Great Depression.

Since the 1930s, the US has experienced a somewhat stable political system with only two parties; Democrats and Republicans.

Generally, the Democrats have represented a liberal view that included progressive policies toward social programs, free trade, and equal rights. Republicans have embraced a more conservative platform of lower taxes, strong national defense, and a smaller government.

During and since Ronald Reagan’s two terms as President during the 1980s, Republicans have doggedly espoused a philosophy of lowering the national debt, support of a stronger and larger military, and conservative social policies against gay marriage, abortion, and immigration.

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 seems to have marked a dramatic turning-point in the fight between the two parties, setting off what has now become a life-threatening fight for the soul of the once Grand Ol’ Party.

After Obama’s historic win to become the first person of color to be President of the United States, Republicans set out to do whatever it took to deny him any victories at any cost.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell famously said his number one priority was to make Obama a one term president.

In the following election cycle in 2010, Republicans enlisted the help of fringe Tea Party candidates. For the most part, Tea Partyers were anti-establishment and far more partisan than old traditional Republicans.

With the success of the Tea Party movement, the GOP gained 63 seats in Congress, but the Tea Party campaigns had moved the Republicans farther to the right on the political spectrum.

Since then, traditional Republicans have faced more opposition from within their party than from across the aisle. Speaker of the House John Boehner resigned under pressure from the right, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost a primary fight from a conservative Tea Party opponent.

New House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell have had to balance increasingly extreme positions within their own caucas.

Then came Donald Trump. His anti-everyone campaign against the establishment upended everything traditional Republicans stood for. When he won against all odds and without the support of most establishment Republicans, the GOP lost control of its legacy.

So far this year, Trump’s slash and burn style has not resulted in any meaningful legislative victories. His signature promise to end Obamacare fell short of passing. His promise to bring jobs back from overseas has not materialized. And his latest attempt to pass real tax reform has turned into a model of partisan backroom dealing reminiscent of the swamp he promised to drain.

The House passed a reform package last month that included tax cuts mostly for the richest of American, corporations, and businesses. Most non-partisan estimates predict middle-class families could actually see their taxes increase over the next ten years under the plan.

This week, the Senate passed its version of the tax cuts that mostly mirrored the House bill, still making most of the cuts apply only to the highest earners.

Tax cuts for the rich is a staple of Republican plans. Every time they are in power, they rush to cut taxes on the rich with the promise that the benefits will trickle down to the average American.

Study after study has shown that similar tax cuts in the past resulted in higher budget deficits and ballooned the national debt. No tax cut has ever paid for itself.

And this latest proposal could be the worst one yet for Republicans. By their own estimates, their tax reform plan would result in an increase in our national debt of nearly $1.5 trillion dollars.

That’s basically borrowing against our futures to pay for tax cuts for the richest Americans now.

Tax cuts are laudable to spur the economy in times of sluggish growth. But today we are facing a historic stock market value, unprecedented corporate profits, and near record low unemployment.

Our economy has grown for eight straight years without exception, so what is the rush to cut taxes and create enormous debt for our children?

There is no economic argument for lowering the taxes on wealth individuals instead of investing in better educational opportunists, job training, and health care for our children, and to repair our crumbling infrastructure.

Leaving more debt and a broken country to our children is not the American way, and it isn’t consistent with the Republican platform of Ronald Reagan’s party.

Republicans and Trump are desperate for a win, not to make America great again, but to pander to their biggest donors.

They have sold their souls and abandoned their principles, and may have marked the end of the Republican Party as we knew it.

Tax reform to help middle class Americans, and those aspiring to join the middle class, could transform people’s lives.

Giving more money to the rich at the expense, literally, of our children is highway robbery.

Shame on Republicans for disguising the theft of money from kids as a political victory.

The Republican Party is a mere shadow of its former self. Maybe soon, it too will join other has-been parties in the trash bin of history.