Category Archives: American Politics

Thank You, New York Times, For Making Us Free

By Mohammad T.

This article was written originally for KABOBfest, and can be viewed here. Big shout out to the editors there for accepting this contribution.

I’ve never seen an Iraqi break dance before. But apparently Tim Arangon and Yasir Ghazi have.

You see, these New York Times reporters are truly on the cutting edge. They dig deep. They unearth the worms. They uproot the, well, roots. Everybody else is too lazy, or too stupid, to do any serious journalism. Everybody else covers the same old Negative Nancy material. Continue reading

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Filed under American Politics, The Iraqi Crisis

Irvine 11: Victims of Penal Code Section 403

Below is a brief analysis of the recent Irvine 11 jury verdict and thoughts on moving forward by a Southern California based lawyer from the community. It is a unique angle on the case and provides relevant suggestions as how to orient upcoming campaigns. I hope you take further action upon reading this piece. Please check out the website of the Irvine 11 for further details on their case and things you can do.

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I recently finished reading this  piece from Sajid Khan, a public defender in San Jose, who gave his take on the Irvine 11 jury verdict.

I thought the most important sentence of Sajid’s article was this:

However, as much as people are condemning the jury verdict as unjust and a blow to free speech rights, it merely was the jury doing their job: applying the law, as stated, to the facts of the case.

I agree with Sajid.  Despite a great effort by the legal team for the Irvine 11, I had real concerns with the potential outcome of the jury trial.   As I saw it, the jury trial was where the defendants had the weakest shot of winning, specifically because the judge and jury were hamstrung by California Penal Code Section 403 and how it’s been interpreted in California courts. Continue reading

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Filed under American Politics, Law

Taxpayers vs. Citizens: The Battle for the Soul of America

By Yousef K.B.

The last election cycle in the United States was permeated with concerns over the economy.  As the economy entered its third year of crisis, and with continued cuts to public services until only recently the only movement that can be heard of was that of the right-wing Tea Party.  Albeit a very heterogeneous and decentralized movement, its key figures speak of the movement as one that is mainly concerned with economy.  Specifically they decry increase in spending, increased government bureaucracy, tax increases and increasing budget deficits.   What makes the Tea Party worth mentioning is that they are the extreme manifestation of what is mainstream common sense across the US: budget deficit is increasing and that is a threat to all Americans, the national debt is growing and that is a threat to future generations in the US, and the deficit and the debt are the major roadblocks to economic recovery.  Based on this rationale it is argued that the deficit must be reduced immediately and this reduction can only come through a drastic cut in government spending and size, as taxation should be out of the question.   Taxing Americans would result in a slow down in the economy as people have less to spend, businesses would stop investing and hiring people, and even worse the money raised would only help to increase the government’s size adding to its already inefficient structure.  I’m sure you’ve all heard this pitch, whether in the last elections or currently as the budget debates heat up in D.C.   I’m sure you can make a plausible argument against taxation during economically hard times, but the rants and rhetoric against taxes have become a dominant mantra with the emergence of the conservative movement that propelled Reagan to the presidency.    So powerful is this idea that no policy maker dares to speak of new taxes––in good or bad economic times.  The result has been a steady erosion of public programs across the US.  The disproportionate victims of this erosion have been those at the bottom of the labor market as they depend more on these programs, but the so called “middle class” has also been a victim of this tax cutting to an extent that no one wants to admit. Continue reading

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Filed under American Politics