World News

My Fair Lady 2023 – Why Can’t a Man Lead More Like a Woman?

January 19, 2023 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Why can’t a man lead more Like a woman, specifically, like the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern who announced her resignation Thursday.

Remember the classic My Fair Lady stage and film rendition with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn where he tried to turn a flower seller of the streets into a cultured gem (all in an attempt to win a bet)?

Tragically, the NZ Prime Minister since 2017, has left as one of the most admired, energetic, conscientious, and noble of world leaders.

Read the full article → 13 comments

Mike James’ Gringo Guide to Dia de Muertos – The End

November 4, 2022 by Mike James

By Mike James

This was my third year experiencing Dia de Muertos in Mexico. In 2019 I visited Tlaquepaque and Tequila in the state of Jalisco and last year in Mexico City. This year, on the days approaching Dia de Muertos, I was once again exhausted by the enormity of all things Mexico City.

The city has invested in capitalizing on the growing popularity of the Dia de Muertos. Yet it has become a victim of its own success.

Case in point, the once fictional parade has evolved into something where only the few with front row viewing can truly enjoy. The other millions of spectators unfortunately only catch glimpses of the parade as it passes by. I would definitely recommend visiting Mexico City… any other time of the year.

For the actual days of holiday, I was based in the Pueblos Mágicos town of Cholula in the nearby state of Puebla.

Read the full article → 2 comments

A Gringo’s Guide to Dia de Muertos – Part 2

November 1, 2022 by Source

By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

Every year the Dia de Muertos grows in popularity internationally. Yet this growth is fairly recent.

In the late 1930’s, the Càrdenas presidency embraced the holiday to celebrate the indigenous culture and create an inclusive national identity. Yet for decades the holiday was mainly observed in Mexico as a private family ceremony, with the ofrenda being the main component.

Much of the credit of an increase in the popularity of El Dia de los Muertos can be traced back to the Chicano movement in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Antonio in the early 70’s. The activist and the artist of the Chicano movement promoted Dia de Muertos as a way to reconnect with their pre-Hispanic and Mexican Identity as a community. Processions through Mexican American neighborhoods and celebrations of Dia de Muertos became more commonplace.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Mike James: A Gringo’s Guide to Dia de Muertos – Part One

October 31, 2022 by Source

By Mike James / Special to the OB Rag

At midnight, October 31st marks the beginning of the Day of the Dead. The direct Spanish translation is Dia de los Muertos, but in Mexico it is more commonly known as Dia de Muertos. The holiday falls on November 1st and 2nd.

In its present form Dia de Muertos is a fairly recent Mexican tradition and can be traced back to the late 1930’s to the Presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas. Càrdenas in an effort to create a united national identity, sought to promote Dia de Muertos that would encompass the indigenous interpretation of the Roman Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day (All Hallow’s) and All Soul’s Days.

By removing Catholic religious iconisms and replacing it with the elements associated with the indigenous population, the holiday has been embraced by Mexicans and its popularity is spreading internationally.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Why Is Queen Elizabeth II So Popular Among American Women?

September 12, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Seriously, why are people prepared to wait in line for “thirty hours” at Buckingham Palace to view the Queen’s coffin? Such reverence, not heard of since the death of FDR’s coffin moved by train from Warm Springs, Georgia back to the nation’s capital to lie in rest.

So, why the outpouring of respect, grief, and yes, a bit of fear, at the prospect of life without this Queen.  Granted there are the just curious, the selfie-photographers, and the wannabe influencers.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Brava Pelosi! Sometimes It Takes a Woman

August 2, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Evidently, the decision had been made.  According to CNN, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the third in line of succession to the Presidency, is currently visiting Taiwan.

Why is this even a story, let alone a global headline? And a major controversy? Because China declares that Taiwan belongs to them. And because, reportedly, Pelosi’s 12th Congressional District is made up of 32% Chinese-Americans.

Read the full article → 10 comments

Oliver Stone (Now) on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

April 18, 2022 by Source

Early in February, perhaps a couple weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, well-known producer / director, Oliver Stone told journalist Robert Scheer: “The United States and its allies in NATO have been provoking Russia for, since two years now — actually three years – over the Ukraine…”

In the same interview, Stone decried “bloodthirsty” media coverage saying, “they have no proof that Russia intends to invade Ukraine; I doubt that they would. I think Russia is concerned only with the Donbass region.”

After the invasion, Stone — who had also criticized the media for using the term “invasion” to characterize Russia’s plans — came around. And here is the full text of Oliver Stone’s most recent Facebook post:

Read the full article → 2 comments

There Is No Left Position That Justifies Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine

April 12, 2022 by Source

By David Ost / Common Dreams / April 2, 2022

It is tough for leftists to be on the same side as the mainstream.

We can easily feel at those times that we’re missing something, that we’re letting down the struggle, that by ganging up even on an admittedly bad actor we’re helping strengthen the nemesis at home, allowing it to appear as the good guy.

Ever since 1917, that has been the case with regards to the western Left and Russia. Before 1917, the Left saw the tsarist autocracy as the pinnacle of authoritarian reaction, an attitude that eased the path for the socialist parties of Russia’s enemies to embrace World War I. But ever since the Russian Revolution, the Left has been wary of joining with any western bourgeois condemnations of the country,

Read the full article → 1 comment

California’s Political Weather: Heatwave With a Chance of Earthquakes

April 7, 2022 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Did you feel the jolts? Hear the rumblings? And rush to grab your get-away bag?

If not, you must have slept through the last 24-hours.

This afternoon’s scheduled final vote confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson, as the first black woman and public defender ever to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, is its own earthquake.

Deeply felt in California and the rest of the county, the aftershocks will reverberate for eons. The “strike-dip” fault lines cleaving both the Republican and the Democratic parties are already apparent. Just watch the rumblings of the 2022 and 2024 election cycles.

But, California is experiencing yet another earthquake; oddities in any April, in any year.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Russian Attacks and Ukraine’s Nuclear Plants

April 4, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Russian Attacks on Ukraine Nuclear Plants Continue

As Russia’s war against Ukraine enters a second month, so too has its game of chicken against Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. One of the first actions of the February action was the Russian Army’s takeover of the devastated Chernobyl nuclear power station, as detailed in last month’s edition.

Read the full article → 0 comments

March 8 – International Women’s Day

March 8, 2022 by Source

Rag cover Int Womens Day

About International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is marked on the 8th of March every year and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for those social achievements.The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Human Peace Sign at Dog Beach in OB in Solidarity With Ukraine

March 7, 2022 by Staff

More than 60 people showed up at Dog Beach on Sunday to show their support for the people of Ukraine.

And they did this by making a giant peace sign with their bodies on the sand.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Widder Curry: ‘I Have Family in Australia Where They’re Having a Once-in-500 Year Storm’

March 2, 2022 by Judi Curry

A Grandmother’s Concern

By Judi Curry

Too often we hear about something third or fourth hand, and although we feel sorry for the involved people, we let it pass until the next crisis hits. Many of us know individuals that come from Ukraine that are losing their very foundation of life.

But today I am faced with a problem even closer to home.

Many of you may know that I have a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren that are in Australia.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Reality Check: There Are More Russians Standing Up to Putin than Republicans

March 1, 2022 by Source

Read the full article → 3 comments

War in Ukraine Threatens Nuke Plants

March 1, 2022 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

On February 26 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that “Russian forces have taken control of” the Chernobyl nuclear plant site of the 1986 nuclear catastrophe, when the now former Soviet Union owned and operated the facility.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Some Common-Sense About the Ukrainian Crisis

February 17, 2022 by Source

By Volodymyr Ishchenko / Al Jazeera / Feb. 16, 2022

The Ukrainian political leadership must not allow great powers to decide the country’s future.

In late January, as Western countries escalated their rhetoric about an “imminent invasion” by Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned this narrative at a press conference with foreign reporters. “I’m the president of Ukraine and I’m based here and I think I know the details better here,” he said following his phone call with US President Joe Biden.

I felt proud and I think many other Ukrainians did so, too. In the 2019 presidential elections, 73 percent of voters supported Zelenskyy, a comedian with no political experience, in an act of total rejection of the dinosaur of Ukrainian oligarchic politics, Petro Poroshenko, who ran on an aggressive nationalist platform.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Bernie Sanders: ‘We Must Do Everything Possible to Avoid an Enormously Destructive War in Ukraine’

February 9, 2022 by Source

By Bernie Sanders / The Guardian UK / Feb. 8, 2022

I’m concerned when I hear familiar drumbeats in Washington demanding we ‘show strength’, when we’re faced with what could be the worst European war in 75 years

Wars have unintended consequences. They rarely turn out the way the experts tell us they will. Just ask the officials who provided rosy scenarios for the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be proven horribly wrong. Just ask the mothers of the soldiers who were killed or wounded in action during those wars. Just ask the millions of civilians who became “collateral damage”.

That is why we must do everything possible to try and find a diplomatic solution to what could be an enormously destructive war in Ukraine.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Best 2021 Predictions From Our Different Sides of the Border

December 28, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor & G.L. Goggin

Colleen’s #1 Pick.

1. Don’t cry for Liz Cheney.

Prediction: Liz Cheney is going to be the first Republican female minority leader after Kevin McCarthy is ditched. She sees the future and it isn’t Trumpism. And McCarthy’s quote that “Everybody in the U.S. has some responsibility” for the capital riot has greased his skids.

That prediction still holds and is more viable than ever in 2022. McCarthy has dissension in his ranks; a wobbly and unattractive history courting Trump; and a tsunami of bad events coming to light.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

August 20, 2021 by Source

The following women’s letter was organized by Vital Voices and Women for Women International, a group of celebrities, policy experts, NGO leaders and activists.

Urgent Call on Biden Administration: Do Not Abandon Afghan Women and Girls

We join a growing chorus of global leaders and advocates in raising up the voices of Afghan women’s rights activists who are under imminent threat, and urge the Biden administration to honor its commitment to gender equality by acting swiftly to support women who are trapped in a dire crisis.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Joe Biden Stands Up to the War Machine

August 17, 2021 by Source

“I stand squarely behind my decision,”President Joe Biden said Monday. “After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”

Biden said the collapse of the 20-year American military involvement in Afghanistan proved he was correct to end the U.S. mission, arguing that the Taliban’s takeover of the country vindicated his decision to bring home the U.S. troops stationed there. …

In making this statement and defending his decision, Biden stood up to the US war machine, the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about.

Read the full article → 8 comments

After 2 Decades of Lies and Disconnect by American Leaders, US Leaves Afghanistan

August 16, 2021 by Source

Washington’s War in Afghanistan Is Over. What Happens Now?

President Biden was right to withdraw US troops. But we should have no illusion that this will end the war for Afghans.

By Phyllis Bennis / The Nation / August 16, 2021
We don’t know yet what the consequences

US Retreats as Taliban Take Kabul

By Jon Queally / Common Dreams / August 15, 2021

Nearly two full decades of lies and wishful thinking from U.S. generals,

There ‘Will Never Be’ a US Military Solution in Afghanistan: Rep. Barbara Lee

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams / August 16, 2021

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee—who cast the sole vote

Read the full article → 5 comments

Let Cuba Live and Free Us From the Mainstream Media Narrative

July 30, 2021 by Source

The San Diego Union-Tribune of late has been running numerous op-eds about the current plight of the Cuban people and even how the US must intervene. The ferocity of these one-sided rants makes it seem like the old Cold War has reignited. And calls for the Biden administration to militarily intervene are stark reminders that the official policy of this government has been to squelch the efforts by Cubans to have their own country ever since the revolution began 22 years ago.

Well, there is a different reality out there other than the narrative propagated by the mainstream media. Here are views you won’t find in the U-T:

Full-Page Ad in the New York Times, July 23, 2021:

Dear President Joe Biden,

It is time to take a new path forward in U.S.-Cuban relations. We, the undersigned, are making this urgent, public appeal to you to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have created so much suffering among the Cuban people.

Read the full article → 9 comments

Legacy of Fukushima Disaster Haunts Olympics

June 2, 2021 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News for June 2021

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Legacy Of Fukushima Disaster Haunts Olympics

On March 25 CNN reported that the Olympic torch for this summer’s Olympic games in Japan was lit and then circulated by runners in Fukushima Prefecture, site of the March 20ll nuclear disaster.

Some of the runners were survivors of the catastrophe themselves, and some of those had lost family members back then.

The date of this event , almost 10 years to the day after the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami, followed by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors

Read the full article → 1 comment

Are We About to Have a Fourth COVID Surge as Some States and European Countries Have Spikes?

March 30, 2021 by Staff

Yesterday, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pleaded with Americans to not give up on using the measures we’re employed this last year to staunch the spread of COVID-19, and warned of a the possible coming of a Fourth Surge.

In an emotional address to the country, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, issued a dire warning of a sense of “impending doom” as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations tick up. Walensky said there are “continuing concerning trends” in the nation’s response to the pandemic, as the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising.

The trajectory of the pandemic in the United States, she said, is following European countries like Germany, Italy and France, which have experienced a “consistent and worrying spike in cases.”

In her televised address, Walensky became emotional, and said:

Read the full article → 3 comments

Celebrating International Women’s Day in Mexico City

March 9, 2021 by Source

Ginnette Riquelme, of the Associated Press, has a photo that’s news itself. A woman protester was captured just before throwing a Molotov cocktail during a Women’s Rights demonstration in Mexico City. This is how women celebrated International Women’s Day in that city.

From today’s San Diego Union-Tribune:

Volatile protests engulfed Mexico’s capital on Monday as police clashed with thousands of feminist activists calling for an end to what they say is a crisis of violence against women.

Read the full article → 0 comments

2021 Predictions From Both Sides of the Border

February 2, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor, U.S. and G.L. Goggin, Mexico

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller

United States:

1. Don’t cry for Liz Cheney.
the stalwart Republican who stood up to Trump on mask mandates and voted to impeach him, is now beating back calls to “resign” her post as the #3 in House GOP leadership position. Her response “I’m not going anywhere.

Prediction: Liz Cheney is going to be the first Republican female minority leader after Kevin McCarthy is ditched. She sees the future and it isn’t Trumpism. And McCarthy’s quote that “Everybody in the U.S. has some responsibility” for the capital riot has greased his skids. Plus, Mitch McConnell is now calling Cheney “courageous.”

2.The impeachment of Trump is a win-win for Democrats.
Trump’s conviction would be a win for the rule of law. His acquittal at Republican hands guarantees the Democrats will picked up more seats in 2022.

3. Trump-ism is radioactive. Economic boycotts, internal GOP strife, and more damaging court cases and investigations will infect all things Trump.

Read the full article → 17 comments

When Greta Thunberg Met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

December 29, 2020 by Source

When Greta Thunberg met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

This is what happened when teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and veteran author and environmentalist Margaret Atwood were brought together on a radio station.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The ‘Great Conjuncture’ Tonight – Dec. 21, 2020

December 21, 2020 by Staff

This evening, on the first day of astronomical winter, you may be able to see a rare phenomenon witnessed when the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive: Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close to one another in the night sky, the gassy behemoths will look like one star: the Christmas star.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The Swedish Government Didn’t Enforce Social Distancing — and Now It’s Paying the Price

May 27, 2020 by Source

by Blake Fleetwood / Washington Monthly / May 26, 2020

In late March, when every other European country was in a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sweden remained the outlier. Instead of imposing strict shelter-in-place orders, officials decided that Swedes could be relied upon to follow sanitation guidelines themselves. Restaurants, shops, and recreational spots stayed open.

After all, Sweden has an excellent national health care system that ranks third in the world (the U.S. clocks in at a dismal 44). And with the Swedes’ low levels of obesity and diabetes, their generally good health and ample supply of hospital beds offer far better odds against COVID-19. But even with these advantages, many Swedes did not stay at home. Sweden’s experiment in waging a lax battle against COVID-19 cost the country dearly.

Read the full article → 1 comment

How Did We Get From Earth Day To Trump?

April 22, 2020 by Source

Fifty years after the first Earth Day, the connection between the environment and human health has never been more obvious.

By David Helvarg / HuffPost / April 22, 2020

Twenty million people rallied, marched and staged clean-ups across the country on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day. Many carried signs that read “Mother Nature Bats Last.”
But who knew there would be actual bats involved?

Fifty years later, the COVID-19 pandemic is the starkest example of natural disasters foretold but not prepared for.

The destruction of unique habitats, logging of rainforests and consumption of displaced wildlife such as bats, chimps and endangered pangolins has led to most of our recent viral outbreaks, from AIDS and Ebola to the coronavirus. This only confirms the scientific consensus that human health and prosperity depend on a healthy environment.

Read the full article → 2 comments