The Rag Blog :
METRO EVENT | TeXchromosome benefit features live performance by women artists

Event: Fundraiser for TeXchromosome
What: Live music, Funky Fleamarket, Silent Auction
When: Saturday, December 14,1-7 p.m.
Where: Peace House Farm
Address: 709 Emerald Wood Dr., Austin, TX 78745
Music: (In order) Pauline Reese, Emily Grace Clark, Shelley King, Noelle Hampton, Elizabeth Lee, Christina Christian
Admission: Donation at the door supports TeXchromosome

There will be a benefit for TeXchromosome — an organization that empowers women artists by showcasing their talents — at the Peace House Farm, 709 Emerald Wood Dr. in Austin on Saturday, December 14, from 1-7 p.m.
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Alice Embree :
Houston’s historic ‘Space City!’ to get
new life

’60s-’70s underground paper to be digitized, featured in NJP book.

By Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | December 5, 2019

In 1969, Space City News, a newly minted underground newspaper, hit the streets and newsstands of Houston, Texas. The cover featured Pancho Villa who shared the same birthday with the paper, June 5.

On January 17, 1970, the paper’s name changed to Space City!, after a UFO newsletter with the same name threatened to sue. Space City! was published biweekly until April of 1971 when it began as a weekly publication. The final issue was August 3, 1972.
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Jonah Raskin :
Street fighting man

The night New York City cops beat me bloody.

The author after being assaulted by NYPD cops, 1969. Photo: Pacific Street Films / CounterPunch

By Jonah Raskin | The Rag Blog | December 2, 2019

I know your eyes are glued to the circus in D.C. and the slaughter that’s taking place in Afghanistan and half-a-dozen other places in a world that’s on fire. I’m paying close attention, too. I’m also paying attention to my strangely electrifying memories of the night I was arrested and beaten by a dozen or so New York City cops until I was black and black, my skull cracked open and bones broken.

There have been worse beating since then, but at the time the ACLU said it was the worst beating in NYC history. Fifty years later, some of my bones haven’t healed; several fingers are crooked and a near-constant reminder of the occasion when my pal, Robert Reilly, and I were detained for hours in two precincts in Manhattan and worked over, so to speak, at the behest of John Finnegan, known informally as “Captain Jack,” the head of the infamous Red Squad, which was the subject, decades ago, of a documentary by Joel Sucher (of Pacific Street Films).
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James Retherford :
POLITICAL CARTOON | MPeach

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Maxine Phillips :
BOOKS | Love in the twilight of capitalism

The story may be set in Finland, but the
plot is universal.

Cover of Me, Mikko, and Annikki.

By Maxine Phillips | The Rag Blog | September 3, 2019

[Me, Mikko, and Annikki, A Community Love Story in a Finnish City, by Tiitu Takalo, translated by Michael Demson and Helena Halmari, afterword by Paul Buhle, North Atlantic Books, 2019]


A young woman and man lift hammer and paintbrush in (perhaps) unconscious homage to Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” or some propaganda poster of socialist realism as they stand in front of their recently renovated home. Behind those triumphant gestures lies the long, intricate love story of the title.

This nonfiction comic from Finland promises two love stories: one personal, one political, and both entwined. The first is between the “Me” and Mikko of the title. The author, a well-known feminist artist, falls for Mikko, an engineering student (horrors!!) who pursues her with a wry doggedness. The second is between the two of them and Annikki, a housing co-op whose history Takalo traces through the Middle Ages, industrialization, and up to the present day.
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Joshua Brown :
POLITICAL CARTOON | ‘I am the chosen one!’

Previous installments are archived at
http://www.joshbrownnyc.com/ldw.htm
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Ivan Koop Kuper :
A candid portrait of Daniel DeWitt
Thomas, Part 2

The making of the 13th Floor Elevators’ album, ‘Bull of the Woods.’

Danny Thomas.

By Ivan Koop Kuper | The Rag Blog | August 21, 2019

HOUSTON — A third studio album followed the 13th Floor Elevators’ groundbreaking psych classic, Easter Everywhere. However, when the time came to begin recording again, the band was in the process of unraveling. With limited input from Tommy Hall and Roky Erickson, the responsibility to complete the new album and to fulfill the band’s contractual obligation with their record label, now lay squarely on the collective shoulders of Stacy Sutherland and Danny Thomas.

The Elevator’s final album, Bull of the Woods, is largely regarded as a Stacy Sutherland solo album with limited songwriting contributions from Erickson, Hall, and even Ronnie Leatherman. By the time production began on what is considered the Elevators’ swan song, bassist Danny Galindo had already resigned from his duties in the band and returned to San Antonio.
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Bruce Melton :
Tree planting: A diminishing part of the climate solution

This article looks at what is called nature-based carbon dioxide removal.

A mountainside killed by native bark beetles in Jasper National Park. Across North America, 96 million acres of forest have been mostly killed by a native bark beetle driven berserk because of warming. This is an area the size of New England, New York and New Jersey combined. U.S Forest Service Data shows that U.S national forests are now dying at a rate that is twice as fast as they are growing. Photo by Bruce Melton / The Rag Blog.

By Bruce Melton | The Rag Blog | August 20, 2019

While tree planting has long been a substantial nature-based part of the climate pollution challenge, increasingly we are finding that both existing and future warming are creating a reality where these long-held forest truths are no longer valid. Not only has current warming reduced the viability of forests to store carbon, future warming on our way to the widely held best-case warming scenario of 1.5 C will further reduce forests’ ability to store carbon.

A recent academic publication suggests planting (about a trillion) trees “remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation.” A recent media push for an organization called Trillion Trees, relies on similar logic. Oh, if this were true. Rebuttals can be found here, here, and here. The bottom line is that the academic work behind the trillion tree solution is far from valid.
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Michael Simmons :
Paul Krassner: Nun smooching in America

Krassner chronicled his satirical pranks in his self-published magazine, The Realist.

Paul Krassner at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, 2009. Photo by Heidi De Vries / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0.

By Michael Simmons | The Rag Blog | August 14, 2019


REMEMBERING PAUL KRASSNER



When I was 12-years old in 1967, my father Matty Simmons published Cheetah — a slick magazine designed for what the press called “hippies.” It was a fine publication — top-shelf scribes like Tom Nolan, Robert Christgau, and Ellen Willis contributed, editor Jules Siegel ran his legendary “Goodbye Surfing, Hello God” profile that announced to the world that Brian Wilson was a mentally ill genius and Mama Cass Elliot doffed her oversized duds and posed nude for a centerfold. But “slick” and “hippies” were oxymoronic and Cheetah tanked at the newsstand, folding in a year.

Though I was but a lad, I was paying attention and there was one contributor whose writings and exploits inspired in me a special delight that appealed to remnants of my mischievous childhood and a more sophisticated analysis of the ever so fucked-up world. That satirical terrorist was Paul Krassner.
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Steve Russell :
The 800 pound gorilla of 2020

All of my life, I now think I
underestimated racism.

Eight hundred pound gorilla. Fair use image.

By Steve Russell | The Rag Blog | August 5, 2019

Nobody chooses their ethnicity was what I thought as a child from the very first time I was ridiculed for being Indian. I did not yet know about Oklahoma as Indian Territory, about the bogus treaties that were forced upon the Five Tribes and then violated to make half a state from Indian Territory in 1907.

When I got old enough to understand the historical raw deal, the story of Oklahoma Territory — the other half of the state — seemed somehow more pure and honest. The tribes on the reservations in Oklahoma Territory were mostly Plains Indians brought there at gunpoint after hot wars. The reservations were gussied up POW camps. There is just something about the moral bankruptcy of entering treaties you have no plans to honor that stuck in my throat before I ever considered studying law.
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Judy Gumbo Albert :
A ‘Yippie original’ remembers ‘Realist’ editor Paul Krassner

Paul became what he called an ‘underground abortion referral service.’

From left, Stew Albert, Judy Gumbo Albert, and Paul Krassner.

By Judy Gumbo Albert | The Rag Blog | August 5, 2019


REMEMBERING PAUL KRASSNER



[Paul Krassner, legendary social satirist, editor of The Realist, and a founder of the Yippies, died July 21, 2019, in Desert Hot Springs, California, at the age of 87.]

I first met Paul at Anita and Abbie Hoffman’s apartment on St. Mark’s Place in April or May of 1968. I ingested Paul’s honey in Lincoln Park right before Yippies were gassed and beaten protesting the Vietnam War at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and I was there for Paul’s abbreviated testimony at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial in 1969. Paul, my husband Stew, and I remained friends from then on, through Stew’s death in 2006 until today.

Of all the memories I have of Paul, perhaps the most vivid is of a conversation we had about 1962 — before he and I ever met. Paul told me how he helped women obtain abortions. He had written an article in The Realist about a sympathetic physician in Ashland, Pennsylvania, who provided abortion care to women. Abortion was illegal at the time. Paul did not publish the physician’s name.
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Anne Lewis :
STORY & VIDEO PODCAST | Asylum, terror, and the future #6: Nazis among us

Based on case stories by Jennifer Harbury…

Asylum, Terror, and the Future #6 Nazis among us based on case stories of Jennifer Harbury from Anne Lewis on Vimeo.

By Anne Lewis | The Rag Blog | August 4, 2019


I remember the slogan during Vietnam anti-war protests, “Fascism is imperialism turned inwards.” We took that to mean that once we had forced an end to the war (along with the North Vietnamese), the ruling class would turn on U.S. workers for exploitation and profit instead of relatively privileging them.

We now know that it is entirely possible to have both fascism and imperialism at the same time. The slogan was probably based on Lenin’s definition of both imperialism and fascism as embodied in “decaying capitalism.” We also had the illusion that capitalism would collapse in on itself (perhaps as early as 1974) giving us the opportunity to build a better world.
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