United States

BlacKkKlansman
Directed by Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier & Topher Grace.
2018, in cinemas now

Secularia
Eliza Gilkyson
Red House Records
2018

In these whirling times of burning forests, unspeakable human rights violations and stupid White House tweets, it can seem like our minds are being sucked down a numbing vortex, into a voracious black hole — “the centre cannot hold”. 

Could there be light at the end of these darkest of days?  Might we still feel joy and have hope, despite all pessimistic logic?

Prisoners in many states in the US began a coordinated national strike on August 21, the anniversary of the 1971 killing of Black Panther member and prison activist George Jackson by guards in an escape attempt at San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the context a mass radicalisation led by Blacks and youth, the incident became a cause célèbre in its day.

Prisoners across the United States launched a prison strike for August 21-September 9, which has since spread into Canada.

Democracy Now! has looked back at the life and legacy of John McCain, the six-term senator and two-time presidential candidate, who died on August 25 at the age of 81. McCain began his decades-long political career after he was a naval pilot in the Vietnam War, where he spent more than five years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down in Hanoi in 1967. 

BlacKkKlansman
Directed by Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier & Topher Grace.
2018, in cinemas now

BlacKkKlansman is based upon the 2014 memoirs Black Klansman by former Colorado Springs police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) telling the real-life story of his operation to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

With overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the new 2019 budget for the military is 13% larger than in 2017. It is even bigger than what Donald Trump had proposed, writes Barry Sheppard.

The US spends more on its armed forces than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain, France and Japan combined, according to the United Nations. About 17% of the nation’s entire US$4 trillion budget goes to the military.

Not long after the FBI raid on Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen’s office and home, journalist Adam Davidson made a bold prediction in the New Yorker: “We are now in the end stages of the Trump Presidency.”

Legendary soul singer, feminist and civil rights icon Aretha Franklin, who died aged 76 on August 16, was often called the "Queen of Soul" as well as the “Voice of Black America”, noted Common Dreams.

At the first preseason NFL games on August 9, players continued to protest racial inequity and police violence by kneeling or raising a fist during the US national anthem, writes Dave Zirin.

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