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Showing posts from October, 2015

Why Slower Money Is the Key to a Real Economic Recovery

There's a financial fault line that runs through the heart of our economy. Wall Street's most recent rumblings - which saw the major indices take a dive in response to weak growth in China - are a stark reminder of the danger. If the stocks go tumbling in, so do our businesses, jobs, paychecks, and pensions. The tremors may have subsided for the moment, but if we're to give the late financial seismologist Charles Kindleberger any credit, the next big one could be right around the corner.  Read more.

Professors in Poverty: A new film by Brave New Films

Women Can’t Have It All – Because the Game Is Rigged

Can women have it all? That this is still a major ethical dilemma of mainstream feminism shows how far we’ve still got to go. Yes, even though they’ve taken the nudes out of Playboy. The answer is less important than the fact that the question is vapid. Here's a better one: when did the message that ‘girls can do anything’ get twisted into the edict: ‘girls must do everything?’  Read more.

Yemen hospital hit by Saudi-led airstrikes

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have hit a Yemeni hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), the international humanitarian aid organization said on Tuesday.
An "MSF facility in Saada, Yemen was hit by several airstrikes last night with patients and staff inside the facility," the group tweeted.  Read more.

Standardized Tests are a Form of Racial Profiling

Several days before writing this blog post, I visited a 12th grade class that I have been following since the beginning of their 11th grade year. I am a researcher and I study how education policy affects teachers and students in their daily lives. The youth I work with are all immigrants, students of color, and learning English as a second language. I sat next to student I didn’t recognize and asked the teacher who he was. The teacher explained the boy was simply in the class to try to pass the NY Regents’ exam—the test all high schoolers in New York state have to take in order to graduate from high school.  Read more.

The wealthy 1% that care about us all

In a political and economic system seemingly tailor-made for the 1 percent, backlash against "wealth therapy" - the trend of moneyed Americans seeking counsel through their Occupy-induced feeling of shame and isolation - is well-placed. While the top 0.1 percent of families in the United States possess as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, money psychologist Jamie Traege-Muney moaned to The Guardian that the movement wrongly "singled out the 1 percent and painted them globally as something negative."  Read more.

The 1965 Immigration Act: Its Legacy and Lessons

October marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law at a public ceremony held at the base of the Statute of Liberty. The act is rightly celebrated for dismantling the infamous "national origins" quota system that gave special preference to immigrants from...read more.

Pope lectures Catholic elders at closing of synod on family

Pope Francis on Sunday appeared to lecture church elders at the closing of a landmark summit on the family here, suggesting they should not be quick to exclude a broad array of people deserving of God’s grace.

In a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the end of the three-week summit — known as a synod — Francis seemed to target narrowness, focusing his homily on the biblical story of a blind man named Bartimaeus whom Jesus engages during a journey.  Read more.

Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?

Humanitarian catastrophe: UNICEF says 537,000 Yemeni children at risk of malnutrition

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is reaching disturbing proportions, with half a million children now facing life-threatening malnutrition and imminent famine, according to a senior UNICEF official.
An announcement made on Friday by the organization represents a three-fold increase in numbers of those not receiving enough food since fighting began in March. Read more.

The Sad Fate of America’s Whistleblowers

What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand?
When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution.  Read more.

Scientists use magnets to change attitudes on immigration, religion

Researchers from the University of York have used magnetic energy to suppress humans’ ‘threat-response’ functions and dramatically change people’s attitudes to immigration.
Psychologists used magnetic force to safely shut down the region of the brain associated with “threat-response functions” and conducted a series of tests where volunteers were asked questions about their beliefs.  Read more.

Obama Won’t Admit the Real Targets of Russian Airstrikes

The US response to Russia’s new Syrian military campaign in support of the Assad regime has struck a pose of moral superiority by arguing that the Russians have not been targeting the Islamic State but rather the non-ISIS Syrian opposition to the Assad regime.   
That US response is superficially accurate but deliberately misleading. Although the Russians are not focusing on targets in ISIS-controlled territory, there is a very good reason...read more.

Artists Hack 'Homeland' to Expose Show's Racist Narrative

The U.S. television series "Homeland"—widely criticized as Islamophobic and racist—was hacked by three street artists who were hired to paint "authentic" Arabic graffiti for a film set depicting a refugee camp on the Syria/Lebanon border.
The artists staged an intervention by tagging the slogan "Homeland is racist" on the set, which is located just outside of Berlin. Because the production company could not or did not read the Arabic graffiti, the subversive message was ... read more.

Human... and Kind

Do you find yourself thrashing against the tide of human indifference and selfishness? Are you oppressed by the sense that while you care, others don’t? That because of humankind’s callousness, civilisation and the rest of life on earth are basically stuffed? If so, you are not alone. But neither are you right.
A study by the Common Cause Foundation, due to be published next month, reveals two transformative findings. The first is that a large majority of the 1000 people they surveyed – 74% – identify more strongly with unselfish values than with selfish values. This means that...read more.

Protester Acquitted for Role In Freddie Gray Uprising

The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

On a recent Saturday afternoon, the mayor of Jennings, a St. Louis suburb of about 15,000, settled in before a computer in the empty city council chambers. Yolonda Fountain Henderson, 50, was elected last spring as the city's first black mayor.
On the screen was a list of every debt collection lawsuit against a resident of her city, at least 4,500 in just five years.  Read more.

Tennessee district closes schools over lack of funding, blames Obamacare

A school district in Tennessee voted to cancel classes and shut down its schools as a result of a budget problem that has left the government unable to fund the facilities. The school director blamed Obamacare for its problems.
Clay County, Tennessee operates three schools total – one high school and two that cover pre-kindergarten through eighth grade – on a $9.5 million budget. However, now more than 1,100 students are sitting at home while officials try to figure out how to reopen the doors. A school board meeting last week saw the board voting 6-4 to close the schools. A separate vote to keep them open failed.  Read more.

'Capitalism is Mother Earth's Cancer': World People's Summit Issues 12 Demands

Decrying capitalism as a "threat to life," an estimated 7,000 environmentalists, farmers, and Indigenous activists from 40 countries convened in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya for this weekend's World People's Conference on Climate Change, aiming to elevate the demands of social movements and developing countries in the lead-up to upcoming United Nations-led climate talks.  Read more.

Howard Zinn | What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the US Empire

With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.
However, the very idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a...read more.

Hundreds of Thousands March in Berlin Against TTIP Trade Deal

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied on Saturday afternoon in the German capital against the massive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) accord being negotiated by the European Union and the United States. Critics say the trade deal will benefit large corporations at the expense of average Europeans.  Read more.

Why the US Owns the Rise of Islamic State and the Syria Disaster

Pundits and politicians are already looking for a convenient explanation for the twin Middle East disasters of the rise of Islamic State and the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. The genuine answer is politically unpalatable, because the primary cause of both calamities is U.S. war and covert operations in the Middle East, followed by the abdication of U.S. power and responsibility for Syria policy to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies.  Read more.

MSF Demands War Crime Probe in Afghanistan

Murder, Incorporated: Guns and the Growing Culture of Violence in the US

Nine people were killed and seven wounded recently in a mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. Such shootings are more than another tragic expression of unchecked violence in the United States; they are symptomatic of a society engulfed in fear, militarism, a survival-of-the-fittest ethos and a growing disdain for human life. Sadly, this shooting is not an isolated incident. Over 270 mass shootings have taken place in the United States this year alone, proving once again that the economic, political and social conditions that underlie such violence are not being addressed.  Read more.

Nearly 50 Percent of Americans Don't Have Any Savings

A recent study by the for-profit website GOBankingRates.com found that just under 50 percent of Americans have no savings socked away. Worse yet, another 13 percent in the US have savings that total under $1000, and 9 percent have just a "minimum [savings] account" balance requirement. Minimum balance requirements vary, but GOBankingRates cites ranges of $500 - $1500.  Read more.

Another Suspicious Death Raises More Concerns About Black Life Behind Bars

"Even War Has Rules" says Doctor's Without Borders

"Even war has rules," declared Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doctor's Without Borders (MSF), who announced Wednesday that the aid organization will take unprecedented action against the U.S. military by formally launching an international fact-finding inquiry into the bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which was established by the Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, is the only...read more.

Texas Executes Juan Garcia, 11th Inmate of Year

Texas on Tuesday executed its 11th inmate of this year — a man who killed a former missionary during an $8 robbery when he was a teenager.
Juan Garcia, 35, received a lethal injection and was was pronounced dead at 6:26 p.m. (7:26 p.m. ET). He was executed for the 1998 murder of Hugh Solano, who had just moved to Houston from Mexico to give his children a better education.  Read more.

Department of Justice to release 6,000 nonviolent offenders

The Justice Department is set to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades.
The inmates from federal prisons nationwide will be set free by the...read more.

How Weather Cycles and Ocean Temperatures Mask Global Warming

With our planet's temperature baseline ever rising, it is only a matter of time before we experience global weather patterns of outrageous proportion. The warmer it gets, the greater the risks become. Warmer temperatures add energy to earth's environmental systems creating extremes that far outpace the temperature increase because of feedbacks.  Read more.

Numerous Civilians Dead After US Bombs Hospital in Afghanistan

A suspected U.S. airstrike on a trauma center run by Doctors Without Border/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Saturday has killed at least nine staff members and wounded up to 37 people.
An additional 30 are missing, according to a statement by MSF. The death toll is expected to rise, although the medical charity said it believed all of its international staff had survived.  Read more.

Self-driving Mercedes robot-truck debuts on German autobahn

Daimler and Mercedes-Benz have taken the first autonomous-driving truck for a spin on a motorway in southern Germany, after a special license was issued that allowed the robot truck to hit the public-access road.
The Mercedes-Benz Actros, a 430-horsepower truck, equipped with the intelligent ‘Highway Pilot’ system, drove for 14 kilometers (9 miles) on the A8 motorway, without the help...read more. 

Alabama Makes Photo IDs Mandatory for Voting, Then Closes DMV Offices in Black Counties

Some observers say that Alabama's move to close dozens of drivers license offices is a discriminatory move that could trigger a civil rights probe.
Here's why: in 2011 lawmakers approved a voter ID law requiring a government-issued ID to vote, and the 31 offices the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency set for closing...read more.

Senior Citizens in the United States Living on the Economic Edge

n a small brick building in sight of the Ballard Locks, which connect bodies of salt and fresh water in this Pacific Northwest city, the aroma of meatballs and tomato sauce wafts up the stairs. In about half an hour, 35 or so regulars at the Ballard NW Senior Center will dig into a meal of spaghetti with meatballs, salad and roasted zucchini, accompanied by lively conversation with their table mates.  Read more.