Posted by TAG - December 11, 2013 | Comics


War Resisters protesting drone killings.
(Photo: Ed Hedemann / WRL)

NEW YORK — November 24, 2013. The War Resisters League (WRL) have a message for the holiday season: drone manufacturers are making a killing.

On Monday 25 members of the NYC War Resisters League, Granny Peace Brigade, and other groups demonstrated outside the world headquarters of L-3 Communications,Third Avenue and 39 Street. The activists were protesting L-3’s manufacture of electronics for the Predator drones, used by President Obama, the CIA, and the Pentagon to track and kill “insurgents” — men, women, and children — in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

The most infamous of the drone strikes was the Wech Baghtu wedding party airstrike which killed 63 people including 37 Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, and 26 insurgents on November 3, 2008. The group was celebrating a wedding at a housing complex in the village of Wech Baghtu, a Taliban stronghold in the Shah Wali Kot District of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. On November 5, 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that President Barack Obama stop killing civilians.

The War Resisters are calling on Nobel laureate Obama to stop killing, period.

The L-3 project included LED-illuminated signs provided by the Light Brigade and projected messages by The Illuminator art collective. The WRL is well known for its use of creative visuals — one of their posters features the tagline, “More creativity, not war.”


Related: would-be consumers of alcohol must be 21-years-old to buy beer or liquor in New York. Recently the City Council voted to raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes. Yet, 18-year-olds can still enlist in the armed forces — and be deployed to Afghanistan. It would appear that indiscretion can be both youthful — and useful.


Bill de Blasio speaking at a 2013 labor rally
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

NEW YORK — November 6, 2013. The long lead-up to the New York City mayoral election is over and the winner by a landslide is: New York City.

Bill de Blasio, the self-described progressive candidate, didn’t simply win, he crushed his opponent, former deputy mayor and MTA boss Joe Lhota. De Blasio did this despite Lhota’s red-baiting and fear mongering tactics. New Yorkers didn’t seem to care that de Blasio once described himself as a “democratic socialist” or that he honeymooned in Cuba. De Blasio campaigned on two signature issues: taxing the rich to pay for education and ending stop-and-frisk, the NYPD’s controversial program that targets African American youth for random (none dare say arbitrary) searches.


Don’t re-enact scenes from Platoon with Joe Lhota
(Image: YouTube)

In the end, Lhota’s personal attack ads didn’t make a dent — de Blasio got 73 percent of the vote. Now that the election is over dinnertime television can file the personal attacks in the dustbin and we can all return to the nightly news being punctuated by big pharma selling four-hour erections. To be honest, a part of me will miss Joe Lhota’s adverts. His over-the-top ads featured the tag line “Don’t let Bill de Blasio take us back” — to a crime wave — which was reminiscent of the Direct TV ad campaign that featured Charlie Sheen. “Don’t re-enact scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen. Get rid of cable and upgrade to Direct TV,” the deliberately off-the-wall ads advised — after stating that being unhappy with cable logically led to being in a Turkish bath house with Sheen and ultimately to acting out scenes from Platoon with an armed and wild-eyed Charlie. Unfortunately for Lhota, people took his scary advertisements about seriously as the Direct TV commercials.


Waiting to be crushed: Joe Lhota on Staten Island’s boardwalk (last Tuesday)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

This reporter has followed Bill de Blasio’s career for some time, not because of a sixth sense, but because de Blasio is a workhorse who appeared at numerous progressive events and forums over the years. And now he has pledged to work to take New York down a “progressive path.” Doubtless we will miss our diminutive billionaire mayor – who will save us from sugary soda? But this writer has a hunch we will muddle through without Mike telling us what to eat. And just maybe our teachers will get the support they need to do their jobs effectively.


City Council member Debi Rose at an 2010 event honoring Martin Luther King Jr
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

It’s worth noting that De Blasio’s win wasn’t the only good news for progressives on election day. On the other side of New York harbor, in conservative Staten Island, progressive City Council member Debi Rose easily defeated the Republican challenger, Mark Macron. Could it be that progressive politics are in the ascendant in New York City?


From NY Dada, NLN’s smartass sibling:

Chris Christie, The Governor?

NEW YORK — November 6, 2013. Yesterday’s election saw Chris Christie re-elected governor of New Jersey, Bill de Blasio elected NYC mayor, and Staten Island City Council Member Debi Rose re-elected. What tied it all together was the fact that the winners didn’t have to wait long to hear the results of their respective races: Christie, de Blasio, and Rose all won in landslides. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some loose ends.

Following her loss to Chris Christie, Barbara Buono lashed out at fellow Democrats and what she called “good old boy machine politics”:
“The Democratic political bosses, some elected and some not, made a deal with this governor. They didn’t do it for the state. They did it out of a desire to help themselves.” [1]

Shocked to hear about allegations of corruption in The Garden State, NY Dada reached out to former Atlantic City treasurer Enoch Thompson (Republican) who declined to comment.


Mark Macron, Mayor of Pripyat?
(Photo: Justin Stahlman / Flickr [2])

Across the Kill Van Kull from New Jersey, Republican darling and City Council candidate (District 49) Mark Macron was soundly defeated by incumbent Debi Rose. A poorly placed and unnamed / unreliable source tells NY Dada that Macron is considering running for mayor of Pripyat in the Ukraine. Macron’s campaign for the New York City Council appeared to center around his fondness for ferris wheels. Pripyat has a ferris wheel and, in the wake of Chernobyl, a very small electorate. Odds are Macron could run unopposed.

[2] – modified by NY Dada



A lone piper on Staten Island’s boardwalk
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — October 29, 2013. On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a group of relief agencies and storm survivors held a ‘resiliency march’ on the boardwalk that traverses some of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island.


Members of Tunnels To Towers involved in hurricane relief
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

The march, which wound its way from South Beach to Midland Beach, was attended by community members who survived the storm, hurricane relief organizations, and local politicans.

State Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis marching with Sandy survivors
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

Community members carried signs that read “Rebuilding Without Consultation” and “1 Year After – Still Exposed To Storms” — expressing the concerns of Islanders who are struggling to rebuild their shattered homes.

“Rebuilding Without Consultation”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


Lyn Governale, whose home was badly damaged, demands “Sustainability In A New Climate”
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


Islanders from Ocean Breeze ask for a buyout
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


View Photos From The March…


Paul Buhle’s latest book: Radical Jesus
(Image courtesy of Paul Buhle)

MADISON, Wis. — November 5, 2013. Paul Buhle, retired Brown University professor and former editor of Radical America, an SDS publication, is back with a new book whose protagonist is well known to readers of all ages — or is he?

Buhle has been releasing graphic histories for some time. His most famous offerings include Wobblies! A Graphic history of the Industrial Workers of the World (2005) and Students For A Democratic Society: A Graphic History (2008) which was written by Harvey Pekar, illustrated by Gary Dumm, and edited by Buhle.

And now Paul is back with a new offering. Radical Jesus. Contributing to the book are long time Buhle collaborators Sabrina Jones (illustrator), Gary Dumm (illustrator), and Nick Thorkelson (illustrator). Buhle is masterful at assembling a team of writers and illustrators and producing high quality graphic histories in very short order. One look at the Paul Buhle page tells the story – there are graphic histories of the Beats, FDR, Isadora Duncan, Che Guevara, Emma Goldman, Bohemians, etc. Radical Jesus takes up where the other histories leave off, or perhaps serves as a prequel. An anti-imperialist Jesus? Buhle and others say, Absolutely!


Paul Buhle at Brown University (2008)
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

The Wisconsin State Journal ran a piece by Doug Erickson that outlined Buhle’s motivation for writing the book: “A lot of the book comes down to rich and poor and how religion can contribute to the world today and the crises we face,” Buhle told Erickson.

Anyone interested in meeting the author, getting a signed copy, or learning more about the book and the art of comic book histories will have an opportunity to do so on April 28 at the CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan.


Posted by TAG - September 9, 2013 | News

(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


NEW YORK — September 9, 2013. Saturday’s “Hands off Syria” protest in NYC featured signs calling for respect of international law — and opposing yet another unilateral U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.


A protester at Saturday’s “Hands Off Syria” rally marches down Broadway
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

Recently, President Barack Obama has been working the Hill and lobbying world leaders, looking to garner support for a U.S. military intervention in war torn Syria — in response to Syrian President Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. But the response to Obama’s intense lobbying efforts has been overwhelmingly negative. Whatever rationale the President has offered has been met with opposition from the majority of the war weary American people who regard Syria’s troubles as “not our business” — and a fair amount of overt cynicism as well: apparently a ruse by any other name has an all too familiar odor. A “limited strike” has the potential for blossoming into a full blown conflict. And then there is the irony of a Nobel Prize winner — who just last week honored Martin Luther King, Jr. — stumping for a new war. Obama’s rhetoric hasn’t sold well and on Saturday several hundred New Yorkers took to the streets to demand that the United States maintain a “Hands Off Syria” policy.


Saying no to war in Syria in Arabic, Czech, Danish,
Dutch, French, German, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
(Graphic: © Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

A number of protesters at Saturday’s event compared Obama to George W. Bush. It wasn’t intended as flattery.


The push for punitive military intervention has a familiar ring for some
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

Obama’s history of “bipartisan” outreach to militarists in the Congress and his current lobbying for a new war have historical precedents. As far back as 1955 observers were commenting on the two party system’s willingness to overlook ostensible differences when it came to pursuing a hawkish foreign policy.

Bipartisanship in foreign policy overrides competitive group interests under the threat of international communism, and spreads to domestic policy, where the programs of the big parties become ever more undistinguishable, even in the degree of hypocrisy and in the odor of the cliches.
Herbert Marcuse, Eros And Civilization (1955)

And yet Obama appears to have less support for his Syrian intervention than students of history might expect. Republicans, like Tea Party Congressman Michael Grimm — who initially supported the intervention and abruptly withdrew support — appear to place a higher value on opposing any Obama policy than on promoting an aggressive foreign policy (and channeling increased profits to powerful arms vendors). The far Right’s animosity towards Obama may ultimately aid the antiwar protesters’ cause.


Obama: praising Martin Luther King one week, lobbying for war the next?
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


Protesters marching down NYC’s Broadway – from Times Square to Union Square
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


A protester’s sign lists the use of chemical weapons — by the U.S.
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)


View Photos/Video Footage From The Protest


Posted by TAG - September 8, 2013 | Comics

I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

– Pete Townshend


Posted by TAG - September 3, 2013 | News

It’s a long way from Oslo to Syria
– and back to Saigon
(Photo: Thomas Altfather Good / NLN)

I think it is vitally important to organize an alternative campaign to the 13-year-long commemoration of the Viet Nam war now being promoted by the Department of Defense, with a budget of $65,000,000. I am pleased to be working with Veterans for Peace (VFP) — of which I am an associate member — on this project. This link will take you to an Open Letter I hope you will sign in support of the campaign. It explains the background of the DoD initiative, and suggests some ideas for getting started.

The opposition to war and military intervention strikes at the roots: it rebels against those who economic and political dominion depends on the continued (and enlarged) reproduction of the military establishment, its “multipliers,” and the policies which necessitate this reproduction. These interests are not hard to identify, and the war against them does not require missiles, bombs and napalm. But it does require something that is much harder to produce — the spread of uncensored and unmanipulated knowledge.

Herbert Marcuse, Eros And Civilization

At this point, I see our role as informing and suggesting. We hope that people will connect with the campaign in whatever ways make sense in their own local and work contexts. It would be great if communication and coordination could be created between those interested in working on a counter-commemoration, and we (and VFP) are prepared to help move this forward. A Working Group has been created within Veterans for Peace. We are confident that people’s creativity and initiatives will come into play, however and in whatever ways they want to connect directly to our work.

You are welcome, of course, to generate your own ideas, and we hope you will want to work together with us on this campaign! We would like you to circulate the letter for more signatures and help formally launch the alternative commemoration.


In a few weeks we will also be launching a petition campaign on the US government web site. This petition will be shorter and aimed at a broader audience. To get a response from the Obama Administration, we need 100,000 signatures in a month.

Howard Machtinger
Associate Member
Veterans For Peace

[T]he established society seems to be apprehensive of the subversive contents of memory.

Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man