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A Polish court has officially sanctioned two historic symbols linked with fascism and homophobia,  the Phalanx and the Celtic cross –  zakaz pedalowania  [Loose translation: Schwulen verboten/Ban the fags.] From now on, these signs will be legally protected.  They are symbols of an ultra-nationalist party, The National Rebirth of Poland, which started as an anti-minority organization in the 1930s. (More…)

Europe didn’t need Anders Breivik to know that xenophobia has grown to epidemic proportions. Sample graffiti in any metro area, and you’ll find more hate speech than anything else. Despite its leftist politics, Turin, for example plays host to amongst the most racist tagging in Italy. Note the use of a Swastika, in the place of an S, in the word “Islam.” (More…)

For the last decade, I’ve taught courses in critical thinking at a US college. When I first interviewed for the job, I was asked why I thought I was the best candidate. I responded that the answer was in the syllabi I’d used over the years. I’ve always made every effort to tell students to question things, irrespective of the topic in question. (More…)

Hunting for a sassy-looking sweatshirt, I stumbled across Cabela’s online frontier of testosterone. For those unfamiliar with the outfitter, the site doesn’t do justice to the consumer stadiums that CEO, Richard N. Cabela, has erected. However, it’s still a place where you can obtain all the necessary accoutrements for an Elk grinding session, or going ‘deep cover’ in the no-man’s land between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. (More…)

It’s too easy to lose sight of what occupation means for Palestinians. It’s especially easy when we focus on the splashier, violent atrocities, to forget that military occupation is, above all else, a permanent state of being. Even those whose days are “uneventful” for local reporters, are still living under a terrible burden. (More…)

“Racism is no longer a problem,” said the sociologist, as she put down her drink. “Amongst Germans, it’s no longer an issue. They accept difference now. Today, it’s the immigrants that are the problem, like the eastern Europeans, who are intolerant of Islam, and of women wearing burkas. A lot of work needs to be done with them.” (More…)

Contrary to popular belief, the Swiss right is not a single-issue constituency. In addition to its hostility towards immigrants, it is also profoundly misogynistic. Following the first annual international antifeminism meeting, I found myself in Zurich, where I encountered this sticker. I assume the two are related. The second anti-feminism conference was held this year. I wonder what other kind of protest art it generated.

Burnt Cross are a pretty new band in the punk scheme of things. But you wouldn’t know this from hearing them. In fact, the four year-old duo’s songs often evoke the “instant classic” quality you immediately recognize in songs like Crass’s Banned From the Roxy, Conflict’s mid-eighties rants, and the perennial “some-band-you-know-from-the-early-80s-yet-can’t-quite-place.” (More…)

Given the number of intellectual heavyweights who have been featured on Charlie Rose over the years, maybe Slavoj Žižek’s October 26th appearance shouldn’t have been a surprise. Yet the timing of his visit made it feel urgent, somehow, as if we were witnessing the repudiation of business as usual. (More…)

Don’t let reports about his inevitable return fool you. No matter how powerful Silvio Berlusconi remains, a vast number of Italians would prefer he disappear, forever. Whether they can actually get rid of him is another story. (More…)

Occupy Wall Street has demonstrated that the late Gil-Scot Heron’s 1970 assertion, “the revolution will not be televised,” has been rendered a cliché. Indeed, this revolution is highly televised, and not just live 24/7 on Global Revolution. (More…)

Tom Waits’ new album, Bad As Me takes a swig and passes the bottle to the characters he’s hollered at and grumbled about for nearly forty years. We have: black sheep that families pay to never come home, the time-battered woman sitting at the bar after closing time, SRO hermits, and escapists who chase their fantasies on the highway until their rusted wheels fall off. (More…)