Jill Dalton
NOC Featured Blogger
Published: Wednesday 13 February 2013

 As I head west on Chambers Street toward the Court House I hear a huge roar followed by loud chanting ricocheting off the stonewalls of the buildings and I’m elated.   This is amazing, I think.  There must be hundreds of people protesting the NDAA outside 40 Centre Street.  But then I realize the protest is the transit workers school bus strike now in its third week.  I stop to take a few photos and give them a thumbs up before continuing along my route.By the time I reach the 40 Centre Street I’ve already missed Hedges, Ellsberg, Drake, Chomsky and the other notables who’ve already entered the Court House.  What I find are 25 or so activists milling around and a huge group of photographers standing in a line on the opposite side of the sidewalk watching the proceedings along with several police cars and officers.  So much for my dream of a large peoples presence to protest Obama signing the NDAA into law on December 31, 2011 as unsuspecting Americans sipped champagne and sang “Auld Lang Syne.”  Perhaps Obama figured no one would notice and most people didn’t but Chris Hedges did and he filed a lawsuit against Obama and Panetta.Whenever I mention the NDAA most people give me a quizzical look and ask, “What’s that?”  To which I give them the ‘in a nutshell’ answer.  The NDAA stands for the National Defense Authorization Act, which has provisions for the government to use the US military against US citizens and can throw us into prison without due process until the end of hostilities, which in our case of permanent war means forever!   They then look at me and ask, “Are you making this up?”  To which reply, “Google it.”  Let’s be honest who could make this up?  Well, besides some member of the SS.This is why plaintiffs and supporters in the Hedges v. Obama ...

Published: Sunday 3 February 2013

 I live in New York City just one block off Central Park and when this unthinkable crime occurred on April 19, 1989 I remember, like most New Yorkers, being shocked and horrified.  This brutal attack not only rocked the city it reverberated around the world.  Mayor Koch called it the "crime of the century."The victim, a 28-year old white female, investment banker had been so badly beaten, raped and left for dead she was not expected to live.  The suspects, five black and Latino teenagers, were in the park for a night of “wilding” and the jogger was just another victim in their wake or so the story went. It was amazing how quickly the perpetrators were apprehended, confessed to the crimes, tried and sent off to rot in prison.  No muss.  No fuss.  The press dehumanized and vilified them as members of a “wolf pack.”  Notable personalities, including Donald Trump, immediately went to work publically defaming and demonizing these kids.  Mayor Koch chimed in “They got ’em.”  They were tried in the court of public opinion, condemned and convicted in a court of law and that was that. The young woman miraculously recovered although, luckily for her but sadly for the five accused youths, she remembered nothing about her attack or attacker(s).Amazing how quickly all the loose ends were wrapped up in a neat little package and tied with a bow.  Now everyone could go back to business as usual.  The criminals had been apprehended, law and order restored, we breathed a collective sigh of relief, the city went back to normal and everyone forgot about the attackers as justice had been served or so we were led to believe.I recently attended a screening of the film, “Central Park Five” by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband, David McMahon.  As I watched this powerful documentary unfold ...

Published: Wednesday 16 January 2013

Our country’s rocked by yet another mass shooting this time in Newtown, Connecticut.  This time a 20-year-old kid, Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their home then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed six adults including the principal and 20 children before killing himself. This time three weapons were found in the car: a .223 caliber “Bushmaster” rifle and two pistols, a Sig Sauer and a Glock.  Adam’s mother, Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast who’d taken both her children to the rifle range to learn how to shoot, legally owned all these guns. This shooting, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, is second only to the rampage that killed 32 students at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. This in a country where just five months earlier another gunman killed 12 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. I’m always amazed when Americans express their shock at yet another mass shooting when we live in a culture awash in violence.  In fact, we glorify violence.  It’s produced, packaged and promoted by Hollywood, television and video games.   We live in a country where we shoot first and ask questions later or not at all.  The NRA drafted the “stand your ground” law, which caused the senseless murder of Travon Martin, and this Neanderthal law has been enacted in 25 states.  We live in a culture where our government no longer negotiates to solve issues with other nations but instead uses preemptive illegal wars and we now find ourselves residing in a state of permanent war. We have a president who offers his condolences to the families, sheds a few tears over the loss as he reassures us, “Our hearts are broken today.” and promises “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.”  Then turns around and picks from his “kill ...

Published: Tuesday 6 November 2012
“That being said I will still vote. I will march myself to my voting place and I will vote GREEN.”

 I remember sitting in the large impersonal lecture hall in my American History 101 class feeling a bit forlorn and overwhelmed.  I’m a freshman at the University of South Carolina.  It’s 1968, the Vietnam War is raging, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King have been assassinated, riots erupted in several U.S. cities, the antiwar movement, woman’s movement and civil rights movement are in full swing, my father’s currently serving in Military Intelligence, Saigon and my mom’s hospitalized after suffering 3rd degree burns because she’s having a nervous breakdown trying to deal with my father being at war leaving her responsible for raising 4 kids ranging in ages from 5 and 18.  I feel like I’m hanging on by my fingernails.The professor asks, “What is democracy?”  I’m wondering the answer to that question myself.  Student’s hands shoot up as one by one they proclaim, “Freedom of speech.”  “Freedom of religion.”  “Freedom of the press.”  “Freedom to peacefully assemble.”  Freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  “Freedom from illegal search and seizures.”  And the list goes on and each time our professor nods, “Yes, and what else?”After our ideas are exhausted the professor responds, “Democracy means one man one vote.  Period.  This is the only power you have.  If you don’t wield that power at the ballot box then you have no power.”  His statement made a huge impression on me.  Until then I was so apathetic about what was going on in our country I’d decided to ignore the entire rotten system but his words changed my mind. My voting recordI became a registered Democrat.  And every four years I’d march myself to my voting ...

Published: Tuesday 23 October 2012
What will it take for Americans to awaken from their slumber?

  The moment I emerge above ground from the South Ferry Station in lower Manhattan I must appear lost.  I’m not lost just disoriented, which I am from time to time when I arise from the subterranean bowels of the New York City subway system.  The man standing at the corner asks, “Need a cab?   “No.” I reply.  “I need 55 Water Street. “ The cabbie points, “Two blocks down—on the right.”  And off I go.  I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been to the Vietnam War Memorial in New York or Washington, D.C. for that matter.  I’ve never much felt like paying homage to these lost souls as it brings up too much pain from my own life with a Colonel father who served in three wars.  His Swan Song was Vietnam.  Our entire family had to deal with the ramifications of the aftermath of that war and we never fully recovered.  My father returned from his tour of Vietnam a different man and the country he’d given his total love and undying devotion to and his family had changed.  Our living room became the new battleground.  I no longer saw my father as the mighty war hero from WWII or the savior of the Nazi horror but as a cog in the military war machine of death and destruction being perpetrated on innocent people in some land far, far away that we had no business being in.  Back then it was called the communist threat.  The Domino Theory was how they justified it.  “It we don’t stop the communist they will take over the world one country at a time.” My father and I were mostly estranged from the time I was 18 until right before his death, which was 23 years later.  We reconciled and made our peace shortly before he died and all these ...

Published: Tuesday 9 October 2012
“Fracking is currently occurring in 34 states and they plan on selling most of the natural gas overseas where they can get a lot more money for it.”

The woman standing at the podium may seem small and unassuming but don’t be fooled she’s a powerhouse and has a warning to share with the world.  Vera Scroggins is a mother, a grandmother, resident of Susquehanna County, PA and a member of Citizens for Clean Water, a citizen-watch group of volunteers who keep an eye on the gas-drilling process by videotaping and keeping tabs on any problems or concerns.  But today Vera’s in New York City at Saint John the Divine for the Global Frackdown and her message is loud and clear.  “Don’t let them in.” Ms. Scroggina was born in Germany but her family fled in order to escape the Nazi’s and she speaks out against the horrors of hydrofracking so we can’t, like the Germans, make the excuse, we didn’t know.  She’s here to make sure we don’t make the same mistake and allow hydrofracking in New York.Yes, there’s something rotten in Susquehanna County and it’s called hydrofracking.  What the heck is hydrofracking anyway?  In a nutshell–it’s a highly toxic method of extracting natural gas from the shale by drilling down through aquifers, then horizontally through the shale and pumping millions of gallons of clean drinking water full of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals and sand.  They then shoot the toxic water into the shale using extreme pressure, which causes small earthquakes, fracturing the shale and releasing the gas.  Former VP and Halliburton Exec, Dick Cheney’s made sure the gas companies don’t have to divulge any of these toxic chemicals by implementing an energy policy, which conveniently exempted hydrofracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Superfund Act, now referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.  So all this hydrofracking is completely ...

Published: Thursday 20 September 2012
“Believe me the Obama brand is collapsing just as the Bush brand before him became so craven even the most deluded had to recognize the fraud that had been perpetrated upon the American people.”

 I believe Barack Obama was put into office to do what no Republican could ever have gotten away with. Obama has extend the wars, created new wars, extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, given additional bail out money to the banks, allowed the health insurance industry to write the healthcare bill, extended the Patriot Act and signed the NDAA.Under his watch not one member of the Bush Administration has been held accountable for leading us into wars built on false evidence and lies; not one banker has been held accountable for the fraud and corruption that brought down the global economy. And the final nail in the coffin, Mr. Slim Shady signed the NDAA bill on New Year’s Eve while most American’s sipped champagne and sang Auld Lang Syne. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes America the battlefield and allows indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of ‘terrorist” leanings without due process. http://www.aclu.org/national-security/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-bill-lawBut why be so negative you might ask? Here are a few things Obama did manage to do. He extended unemployment benefits because they’re no jobs as his stimulus package was too small. He also managed to cut payroll taxes, which is a back door way to defund Social Security, He helped cover up the BP oil spill in the Gulf by allowing Corexit, a toxic disbursement not allowed in other countries, to break up the oil which then dropped to the bottom instead of just cleaning it up. In other words, allowing them to hide the body.Obama hates truth tellers such as Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and whistleblowers like Bradley Manning who’s been held in detention for almost two years for, according to Obama, exposing state secrets aka a horrendous war crime. That is if Manning is the ...

Published: Monday 17 September 2012
“As bad and deceitful as Clinton may be he pales in comparison to the blood lust of the Republicans.”

I received an email from a friend yesterday morning discussing the two political conventions and touting the brilliance of Bill Clinton’s speech and how amazing he is.  Well, I have a few things to say about Bill Clinton and the two political parties and their Hollywood spectacles err I mean conventions.But first, let’s give credit where credit’s due.  Clinton has massive amounts of charisma otherwise he couldn’t have achieved the political things he did.  Clinton is a masterful politician and for more insights into his character and how he uses his gifts I recommend watching “Primary Colors.”  But let’s be fair, no matter what’s said about him he did balance the budget, no small feat, and left us with a surplus.  I acknowledge and commend him for that. However, he also managed to:Deregulated Wall Street by getting rid of the Glass Steagall Act (Banking Act of 1933), which was put into place after the stock market crash of ’29 to prevent that kind of catastrophe from ever occurring again and once those regulations were removed allowed the recent global meltdown to occur.He also signed NAFTA into law and swore up and down on a stack of Bibles NAFTA would be great for creating jobs and we believed him and yes, it created millions of slave labor jobs overseas.  This so called “free trade” agreement sent millions of our jobs to China, India, Vietnam, etc. never to return home again and left our factories to rot, collapse and decay and now millions of Americans find themselves without a job and with no hopes of ever getting another one unless they want to work some menial service sector job–McDonalds comes to mind.What else?  Oh yeah, he gutted welfare all the while feigning his “I feel your pain” rhetoric.  This guy’s good.  He’s a topnotch politician and brilliant at his craft.  ...

ABOUT Jill Dalton
Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews & Progressive Activists Voice. She is currently writing a screenplay.
Follow Jill Dalton via RSS
Make your voice heard.
Write for NationofChange
After flying from San Diego to Texas, a group of Central American immigrant families were met with...
Across the political spectrum, there is outcry against drones. In Kansas, libertarians, peace...
Why are we shocked by the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levantine (ISIL)? Why have...
Living here in Florida during these, the dog days of summer, invites memories of some 50 years ago…...
Oncology nurses provide support and care for patients and their families when they're facing a...
It is common knowledge that you cannot rely on the government to feed you – after all, you do not...
1. What would Olivia Pope advise me to do in this situation? 2. Francis J. Underwood murdered two...
It is very hard to comment and talk about Robin Williams’ death. It is a tragedy that practically...
Part I - The Liberal Ideal Liberalism, framed as a socio-political ideal, argues that human...
Recently, President Obama declared that “we tortured some folks” admitting that the CIA engaged in...
For that minority of us who reject both this Military Industrial Empire and its Two Party ‘One...
As my heart bleeds for those of you suffering in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine, I want to add my...
The general presumption is that skin cancer is more prevalent in people with lighter skin color....
During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position...
The Economist recently published an essay asking, “What’s gone wrong with democracy?”. Why has...