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Showing posts from November, 2015

Noam Chomsky | The Hubris of the United States

The essential problem that the United States faces in the world was explained by State Department legal advisor Abram Sofaer. The world majority, he observed, "often opposes the United States on important international questions," so that we must "reserve to ourselves the power to determine" which matters fall "essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States, as determined by the United States," in this case, international terrorism that was intended to punish and devastate the country where I was lecturing - or in approved Orwellian translation, to bring it the blessings of freedom and democracy.  Read more.

Global Climate March: Tens of thousands rally around the world against climate change

Protesters are marching across the world to pressure their governments into taking steps to fight climate change. The massive rallies fall on the eve of a UN summit in Paris which will see more than 190 nations gather to try and cut harmful global emissions.
More than 570,000 people across 175 countries have so far taken part in the rallies, making the...read more.

Sea Shepherd Blasts Japan's Plan to Slaughter 4,000 Minke Whales

Environmental activist group Sea Shepherd warned Japan against resuming "research" whaling in the Antarctic in defiance of an international court of justice ruling that it cease the practice and called on the Australian government to intervene.
After a decade of activism by Sea Shepherd and other groups, Japan was forced to abandon its 2014-15 Southern Ocean hunt after the...read more.

When Surgeons Multitask: The Little-Known Practice of Concurrent Surgeries

When you go to the hospital for an operation, did you know your surgeon might also be performing a procedure on another patient, in a different operating room, over the same scheduled time period? This practice - "two patients, two operating rooms, moving back and forth from one to the other" while relying on assistance from general surgeons or trainees - is called concurrent surgery. It's an open secret in hospitals, but patients rarely hear about it.  Read more.

Openly Gay Imam Creates Online School for LGBTQ-Friendly Islamic Philosophy

Thirteen years ago, in 2002, Washington, DC-based Muslim religious leader Daayiee Abdullah was asked to conduct a funeral for a man who had died of AIDS. "Several imams had been approached about this but wouldn't do it," he said. "Since I believe everyone has the right to religious rites, I did not hesitate to officiate."
This seemingly benign act attracted enmity from critics worldwide, but Abdullah did not flinch.  Read more.

Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake

I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud.
“I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman, said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US bombs blasting an Iraqi bridge, seconds after the Iraqi driver managed to cross it.  Read more.

How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples

Like sports mascots and hipster doofus celebrities wearing faux headdresses, Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Native American and Indigenous people in the United States. And try as Native people might, we can't seem to get rid of it or change the way it is perceived or represented. This is because Thanksgiving, like mascots and faux headdresses, serves the capitalism of empire.  Read more.

The War on Terror Is a War on Youth: Paris and the Impoverishment of the Future

There is a revealing similarity between the attacks on September 11, 2001 - when airplanes were flown into the twin towers, killing thousands of people - and the attacks in Paris, in which over 130 people were killed and hundreds wounded. Yet, what they have in common has been largely overlooked in the mainstream and alternative media's coverage of the more recent terrorist attacks. While both assaults have been rightly viewed as desperate acts of alarming terrorism, what has been missed is that both acts of violence were committed by young men.  Read more.

Native American Genocide & Survival with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

5 people shot near Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis

Simmering racial tensions boiled over yet again on Monday when a small group of white men allegedly shot five people who had been protesting the recent police killing of an African American man in Minneapolis.
The shooting occurred at around 10:41 p.m. Monday night just one block from Minneapolis Police Department’s 4th Precinct...read more.

What's Fueling Boko Haram Attacks in Nigeria?

America's Empire of African Bases

In the shadows of what was once called the “dark continent," a scramble has come and gone. If you heard nothing about it, that was by design. But look hard enough and -- north to south, east to west -- you’ll find the fruits of that effort: a network of bases, compounds, and other sites whose sum total exceeds the number of nations on the continent. For a military that has stumbled from Iraq to Afghanistan and suffered setbacks from Libya to Syria, it’s a rare can-do triumph. In remote locales, behind fences and beyond the gaze of prying eyes...read more.

Anonymous 'at war' with Isis, hacktivist group confirms

The online collective Anonymous “is at war” with the Islamic State following the attacks in Paris, in a continuation of its “#OpISIS” campaign.
One major Anonymous twitter account, @GroupAnon, announced the operation on 15 November, writing that “we won’t stop opposing #IslamicState. We’re also better hackers.”  Read more.

Russia confirms Sinai plane crash was the work of terrorists

The mid-air explosion of a Russian jetliner over the Sinai desert last month that killed all 224 people on board was the result of a terrorist attack, Russia’s chief intelligence officer said Tuesday.
At a meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin, Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov said that traces of...read more.

U.S. firefighter gets world's most extensive face transplant

A volunteer firefighter from Mississippi whose face was burned off during a home fire rescue received the world's most extensive face transplant, New York University Langone Medical Center said on Monday.
After a 26-hour surgery performed at the New York hospital in August, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison is living with the face of ...read more.

Paris: You Don’t Want to Read This

You don’t want to read this, and I take no pleasure in writing it, and no one really wants to hear it right now. But I believe it needs to be said.
I join the world in grieving for the dead in Paris. I have grieved for the dead from 9/11 forward — the Australians who died in terror attacks on Bali in 2002, Londoners who died in terror attacks in 2005, the French citizens who died in the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January of this year, the Russians whose plane went down over the Sinai a week or so ago. So many more non-Western deaths barely noticed in the U.S. media. I grieve also for those killed in smaller attacks already smuggled deep into the obscurity of our memory.  Read more.

Invasion of Iraq led to current instability, the worst foreign policy blunder, says Bernie Sanders

At the Democratic presidential debates Bernie Sanders blamed US policy in the Middle East for creating instability in the region. Martin O’Malley joined the criticism, while Hillary Clinton had a hard time defending her vote supporting the Iraq invasion.
The trio of Democrat presidential nomination contenders met for the second debate in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. In the aftermath of the deadly attacks in Paris that claimed...read more.

General Strike In Greece Reignites Anti-Austerity Battle

Fossil Fuel Companies Under Investigation for Role in Climate Change Denial

James K. Galbraith on the Human Cost of Inequality in the Neoliberal Age

We live in an age of growing inequality: The policies of neoliberalism and the financialization of economic life have created a social order in which the rich are continually getting richer at the expense of everyone else. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the middle class is shrinking in many Western societies, while there is a dramatic drop in the standard of living for the majority of the working population, the young and the retirees. It is also hardly surprising that...read more.

Criminalization of Children in the US Police State

Violence has become the problem of the 21st century. This claim is indebted to W. E. B. Dubois' much quoted notion that "The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of color line."[1] For Du Bois, racism was one of the most pressing problems of the time and could not be understood outside of the gross inequities of wealth, power, opportunity and access. What he did not anticipate was the degree to which the violent character of racism would come to define the 21st century on a national and global level. What he described as a ruthless ideology and attitude of racist hostility would later mutate in the new millennium into a raw display of police brutality and state terrorism, camouflaged under the guise of an alleged post-racial society.  Read more.

Monsanto Accused of Knowingly Polluting SF Bay with Toxic PCBs

Targeting the chemical giant which for decades allegedly polluted the San Francisco Bay with a highly toxic environmental contaminant, the city of Oakland on Tuesday filed suit against Monsanto.
In a press statement announcing the suit, Oakland city attorney Barbara Parker accused Monsanto of concealing information on the...read more.

Disposable Children

It may be the greatest hypocrisy of America's conservative leaders, that they demand control over a woman's body, but then show every sign of neglect after a child comes into the world. It reaches beyond neglect to disdain for the poor. In a perversely unequal nation in which the well-off blame impoverished people for their own struggles, the children of the poor become the innocent victims.  Read more.

University of Missouri president steps down amidst protests over racial tensions on campus

Students at the University of Missouri are rallying against multiple reported incidents of racial harassment on campus. They said that the president of the university system mishandled the situation, and he yielded to their calls for him to resign.
Protests began in response to black students saying that they have been victims of racial harassment at the...read more.

Terrace Farming: An Indigenous Model for Food Security

Terrace farming as practiced from time immemorial by native peoples in the Andes mountains contributes to food security as a strategy of adaptation in an environment where the geography and other conditions make the production of nutritional foods a complex undertaking.

This ancient prehispanic technique, still practiced in vast areas of the Andes highlands, including Chile...read more.

Big Oil Can’t Go On Like This

Ensuring that our planet remains hospitable requires leaving about three-quarters of all oil, gas, and coal deposits underground or beneath the sea floor. And forgoing all those fossil fuels to avert a climate catastrophe means that loads of companies need to change the way they do business — or go out of business.  Read more.

When the Rich Took Over Our Neighborhood

The Chinese restaurant across the street from me - one of the last, reasonably priced joints in the neighborhood - closed last weekend. Their lease was up for renewal and the rent increased from $5,000 a month to $25,000.
Such an enormous jump isn't unusual here in the West Village, part of Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan, which has become...read more.

Coddled College Kids Aren't the Problem - the Lies About Them Are

Last week, The Washington Post published yet another piece on coddled college students, but this time the blame was on colleges themselves instead of on overprotective parents. In "Helicopter Parents Are Not the Only Problem. Colleges Coddle Students, too," Jeffrey Selingo, former editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University, argues that colleges share blame in a generation of students that can't handle life challenges.  Read more.

The Bong Next Door: America's Most Stoned Neighborhoods

Should we smoke before we pray?” Cynthia Joye asked, tapping the Bible resting on her lap. Joye had just arrived at her friend’s home in Centennial, Colorado, a suburb south of Denver, for the fifth or sixth meeting — it was hard to keep track — of Stoner Jesus Bible Study. “I think the plant is sacred,” said Joye, a 51-year-old mother who wore her gray hair in a ponytail, as a pair of pipes made their way around the circle. “It puts people in a frame of mind where you think of God.”  Read more.

It’s Always the Same War

Barack Obama originally ran for president as the anti-war candidate. Now, as his second term winds down, the two George W. Bush/Obama wars are winding up, with a third in Syria. U.S. military forces are deployed elsewhere around the globe, as in drone striking in Yemen and Somalia, adding to the global conflagration. The United States is engaged in endless war.  Read more.

Pentagon gives pro sports millions to honor soldiers at games

he Pentagon has paid nearly $7 million over the past four years for patriotic displays at professional sports events. A newly released Senate report about the practice criticizes the Department of Defense for waste and for failing to disclose the deals.
A joint oversight report titled Tackling Paid Patriotism, detailing the more than $6.8 million in spending and characterizing it as “inappropriate and frivolous,” was released on Wednesday by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Arizona Republicans.  Read more.

New MSF Report Details Horrific Carnage as US Bombed Hospital

As the U.S. continues to refuse an independent probe, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Thursday released its own damning report of the American military's bombing of the medical charity's Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital last month—describing patients burning to death in their beds and people shot by a circling fighter jet while attempting to flee.  Read more.

Justin Trudeau sworn in as Canada's new prime minister

Justin Trudeau, who was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister Wednesday, faces immediate challenges on issues including climate change, taxes, refugees and the fight against Islamic State militants.
During the unusually long 11-week election campaign that propelled the Liberal Party he leads to a majority government, Trudeau promised to...read more.

Swiss government seeks to prosecute man who exposed thousands of tax evaders

Ahmed Chalabi, Chief Peddler of False Iraq WMD Intelligence, Dies at 71

Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who played a key role in pushing for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, has died at the age of 71. Chalabi was the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, a CIA-funded Iraqi exile group that helped drum up pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda. Chalabi provided bogus intelligence to the Bush administration, U.S. lawmakers and journalists.  Read more.

Why Tuition-Free College Makes Sense

The issue of making college tuition-free has recently come to the fore in American politics, largely because the two leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have each championed it.  Sanders has called for free undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities, to be financed by a tax on Wall Street speculation, while Clinton has done the same, although with some qualifications and a different funding mechanism.  Read more.

Millennials Can No Longer Be Silent About Our Broken System

It’s election season. One side promises incremental reforms without a plan for how they would get an agenda passed through a gridlocked Congress. The other side uses thinly-veiled racist language about immigrants to talk about plans to bring our country back to a fictionalized, lily-white version of our nation’s history.  Read more.

NASA releases images of enormous 8,000-year-old sculpted terrestrial formations

New satellite images from NASA have revealed unusual, massive patterns on the Earth’s surface. The geometric shapes are located in Kazakhstan, and are estimated to be up to 8,000 years old.
The massive earthwork patterns called the Steppe Geoglyphs were originally discovered by a Kazakh economist when he was browsing Google Earth in 2007.  Read more.