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Showing posts from October, 2016

Donald Trump's companies have destroyed and deleted thousands of court ordered documents

Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics—exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court filings, judicial orders and affidavits from an array of court cases—have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled—sometimes in vain—to obtain records.  Read more.

Big Oil Is in Big Trouble

For years people have been warning that Big Oil's business model was fundamentally flawed and was not only putting the climate at risk, but millions of dollars of shareholders' money.
For years the industry's critics warned the industry was ignoring the risks of climate change and was just caring on drilling regardless.  Read more.

Donald Trump Is Not Uniquely Bigoted. He's "as American as Apple Pie"

Yet again, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been caught saying 'deplorable' things about women. The dust is still settling from the leaked tape of Trump's conversation with former NBC host Billy Bush in 2005, in which he bragged about his objectification of women: "I just start kissing them," Trump said unrepentantly. "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything... Grab them by the p*ssy."
South Dakota senator and chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, John Thune condemned Trump's comments, tweeting "Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately." Thune joined the ranks of other members of the Republican Party who have since rescinded previous support for or altogether denounced Trump.  Read more.

Power Lies Corruption: Podesta Emails Show How America Is Run

The emails currently roiling the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.  Read more.

70+ Groups Call on Facebook to End Censorship

As Facebook comes under fire for its alleged censorship and tracking of activists and protesters, a coalition of more than 70 groups and individuals has demanded the social media behemoth "clarify its policy on removing video and other content, especially human rights documentation, at the request of government actors."
A letter (pdf)—whose signatories include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 350.org, Color of Change, and the Indigenous Environmental Network—sent Monday cites recent incidents including:  Read more.

As DAPL Construction Approaches Missouri River, Water Protectors Stay Strong

As Dakota Access Pipeline construction quickly approaches the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux and allies are vowing to continue their resistance against the pipeline—standing strong despite the violent arrests and inhumane treatment by police, and continued threats from government and industry forces.  Read more.

The New Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II – Profile and Coronation Event

The Oba of Benin, or Omo N’Oba, Emini mini mini is the traditional ruler of the Edo people and head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Great Benin Empire. The ancient Benin homeland(not to be confused with the modern-day and unrelated Republic of Benin, which was then known as Dahomey) has been and continues to be mostly populated by the Edo (also known as the Bini or Benin ethnic group).
The title of Oba was created by Oba Eweka I, Benin Empire’s first ‘Oba’, who is said to have ascended to power at some time between 1180 and 1300.  Read more.

Amy Goodman on Why the North Dakota Pipeline Standoff Is Only Getting Worse

If it’s possible in this oversaturated age for a mass-protest movement to fly under the radar, the battle over the building of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline certainly qualifies. Just this past weekend in Morton County, North Dakota, 127 people were arrested during protests over renewed construction, which follows what protesters believed was relief from the federal government, in the form of a multi-agency letter to the pipeline builders, Energy Transfer Partners, asking them to halt building for tribal consultation and the preparation of environmental-impact statements.  Read more.

Iceland PM resigns as Pirate Party makes election gains

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson has resigned after the opposition Pirate Party beat the ruling Progressive Party and came third in the country’s general election.
Johannsson made the announcement on national television, promising to leave his post after his center-right party received only eight seats against last year’s 19 in the 63-seat parliament following Saturday’s snap election.  Read more.

Police officer’s wife caught attempting to frame Black Lives Matter for fake robbery

A Boston police officer’s wife has been charged with faking a robbery which she attempted to frame the Black Lives Matter Movement for.
Maria Daly reported a burglary at her home in Millbury on October 17 and claimed her jewelry and some money had been stolen. She told police her home had been graffitied with the letters, “BLM.”  Read more.

Most Crime Victims Prefer Rehabilitation to Harsh Punishment

We all know an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. But for Mothers for Justice and Equality, getting justice has never been about revenge. The Boston-based nonprofit was founded by Monalisa Smith, who lost her 18-year-old nephew, Eric Smith, to gun violence in 2010. Determined to end violence in their communities, the mothers who came together to form Mothers for Justice and Equality recognized early on that many of them had family members who were both perpetrators and victims. They recognized that they needed to take action into their own hands if they were to reduce community violence.  Read more.

Bundy Brothers Acquitted in Takeover of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

Armed antigovernment protesters led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy were acquitted Thursday of federal conspiracy and weapons charges stemming from the takeover of a federally owned wildlife sanctuary in Oregon last winter.
The surprise acquittals of all seven defendants in Federal District Court were a blow to government prosecutors...read more.

BMW recalling 154,472 vehicles in U.S., Canada over fuel pumps

BMW (BMWG.DE) is recalling 154,472 vehicles registered in the United States and Canada for a fuel pump problem that could cause stalling, according to a filing with U.S. safety regulators and BMW.
BMW told regulators that no injuries have been reported. Since 2014, the German-based company has conducted safety recall campaigns in China, Japan and South Korea for the same issue, according to a filing posted on Friday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Read more.

"We're Homeless and We Vote": Homeless People Want a Voice in This Election

By the time you read this, Berkeley's intentional mobile homeless community will probably have been forced to migrate again, in yet one more forcible relocation.
A week ago, at five in morning, six city trucks and a U-Haul van pulled up at the tent encampment on a peaceful, leaf-covered median in the middle of south Berkeley's Adeline Street.  Read more.

'All-Out War' in North Dakota as Police Arrest 141 Water Protectors

Police arrested 141 people in North Dakota on Thursday, moving in with pepper spray and armored tanks on Native American water protectors and other activists who for months have waged resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Tara Houska, an Ojibwe attorney and director of the rights group Honor the Earth...read more.

Global Governments Create World's Largest Marine Sanctuary

Global governments agreed on Friday to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in an area described as the planet's most pristine marine ecosystem—Antarctica's Ross Sea.
"This is a victory for the whales, toothfish, and penguins that live in the Ross Sea, as well as for the millions of people who supported this effort," said John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace  Read more..

White Militia Found Not Guilty After Armed Standoff in Oregon

In a verdict that astonished all sides, Ammon Bundy and seven other members of a right-wing militia were acquitted Thursday of all charges related to their 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year, with even one defendant's lawyer characterizing the jury's decision as "off-the-charts unbelievable."  Read more.

Walking the Path of Light: Israeli Activist Renen Raz Dies At 28

Beloved Israeli refusenik, gay rights activist, BDS supporter and advocate for Palestinian rights Renen Raz has died at 28, reportedly from brain cancer. Born and raised on the Dorot kibbutz near the Gazan border, he often said his political awakening came after he asked about the "other people" - ie Palestinians - who had lived in a now-empty stone house at the kibbutz;  when he was told it belonged to people who used to live there but left years ago, he "realized something wasn’t right."  Read more.

The "Hypocritical Oath": Medical Schools' Support for the Status Quo

"Always remember the 'social determinants of health'" is a buzz phrase that I have repeatedly heard throughout my time in medical school. But I've rarely heard physicians really ask difficult questions about what leads our patients to become ill. Throughout the medical education process, we rarely discuss the powerful systemic structures that lead to poverty, inequality, environmental degradation and suffering. The medical school system does not teach us to confront the systems of power and the powerful who make decisions that affect millions. On the contrary, medical school functions as a highly efficient system of indoctrination to ensure that physicians are less likely to question or confront the systems of power.  Read more.

Barry Diller's Billionaire's Fantasy Island on the Hudson: Private Glitter, Public Land

Since 2012 Diller has treasured the notion of building an island dedicated to himself in the Hudson, seven city blocks below the High Line. "Diller Island," as many who know about this giant tribute to one rich man's ego call it, is now under construction. It will consist of a long esplanade connected to a floating island with undulating greenery replete with walkways and three performance spaces, resting on 300 piles that in pictures look like so many golf tees. The whole structure will reach elevations as high as 70 feet. At 2.4 acres it will be larger than two football fields, jutting out from the shoreline like a cluster of enormous mushrooms. It is backed by glitterati who include Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Diana Taylor, chair of the board of directors of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) and companion to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Read more.

The Real Living Wage? $17.28 An Hour or More

In almost every state, a worker needs more than $15 an hour to make ends meet. Add in student debt, and the minimum living wage shoots up to $18.67 an hour nationally. A family with children needs significantly more.
That’s according to new research from People’s Action Institute, which calculates the national living wage at $17.28. A living wage is the pay a person needs to cover basic needs like food, housing, utilities and clothing, along with some savings to handle emergencies.  Read more.

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is officially charged with criminal contempt in racial profiling case

e longtime sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has been charged with criminal contempt of court for ignoring a judge's order in a racial profiling case, leaving the 84-year-old lawman in a tough spot two weeks before election day as he seeks a seventh term.
The U.S. Department of Justice promised two weeks ago that it would prosecute Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but the misdemeanor count wasn't officially filed against him until Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed it.  Read more.

'Water is Life': Al Gore, Jesse Jackson Support Dakota Access Protesters

Former vice president Al Gore and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are the latest prominent voices to join the fight against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
Jackson arrived at the protest camp near Cannonball, North Dakota, on Wednesday. The civil rights activist told the Associated Press that he joined the water protectors in order "to pray together, protest together, and if necessary go to jail together."  Read more.

African-American Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize for racial satire

Paul Beatty was on Tuesday named as the first American to win the prestigious Man Booker fiction prize, for "The Sellout", a biting satire on race relations in the United States.
The narrator of "The Sellout", an African-American called "Bonbon" tries to put his Californian town back on the map, from which it has been officially removed, by re-introducing slavery and segregation in its high school.  Read more.

Dreamworld Closed Indefinitely as River Ride Deaths Probed

Ardent Leisure Group’s Dreamworld, the biggest theme park on Australia’s Gold Coast, will remain closed until further notice as police investigate a water-ride accident that killed four people. Shares in Ardent tumbled as much as 22 percent.
Two men and two women died Tuesday when a raft flipped over at the end of the ... read more.

Gambia announces withdrawal from International Criminal Court

The government of Gambia said on Tuesday it was withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, accusing the world body of seeking only to prosecute Africans.
The decision by the tiny West African nation, whose president, Yahya Jammeh, has called on the court to investigate African migrant deaths on the Mediterranean, comes just days after South Africa said it was quitting The Hague-based tribunal.  Read more.

Is the International Criminal Court Reinforcing Racist Stereotypes?

In an October 25 Los Angeles Times article, this question was asked about the International Criminal Court (ICC): Why have "only Africans have been tried at the court for the worst crimes on Earth"? The International Criminal Court began enforcement for "crimes against humanity" (among other charges) in 2002 in the Hague.
In 1999, Slobodan Milošević was brought to trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (IICTY); his prosecution preceded the ICC. Therefore, he was not an exception to the rule of the International Criminal Court, which thus far has been to only conduct prominent prosecutions against Africans.  Read more.

Google begins using more invasive personal tracking system

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”
And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the...read more.

Tour bus crashes into big rig in Desert Hot Springs; 13 dead, 31 others injured

They had spent the night at a casino near the Salton Sea, so many of the passengers had fallen asleep as the USA Holiday tour bus rumbled west on the 10 Freeway on the way home to Los Angeles.
Before dawn, they were jolted awake by screams and a grinding cacophony of metal on metal.
Thirteen people were killed and 31 others injured Sunday morning when the bus crashed into a big rig truck near Palm Springs, officials said.  Read more.

Trump supporter defends noose on his Seneca-Babcock lawn

Egbert Bickley started flying an upside-down American flag atop the roof of his home a few weeks ago. He said it symbolized both his and the country's distress, but nobody understood his message.
Then about a week ago, in front of the Donald Trump campaign sign affixed to the porch of his Seneca-Babcock home, he put up a noose and gallows.  Read more.

Appeals Court Reinstates Torture Case Against Infamous Military Contractor

An appellate court on Friday reinstated a lawsuit against a private military contractor accused of torturing detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, reversing a lower court decision that dismissed the case and rejecting the defendant's claim that the issue of torture was beyond the court's jurisdiction.  Read more.

'Final Death Blow' to CETA as Delegates Hold Firm Against Pro-Corporate Deal

Dealing what campaigners say is the final "death blow" to the pro-corporate Canada-European Union trade deal, negotiations collapsed on Friday after representatives from the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to agree to a deal that continues ignore democracy in favor of multi-national corporations.  Read more.

The International Criminal Court must change to become a respected instrument of global justice

If the progress of international law were judged in bricks and mortar, then the International Criminal Court must be said to have had an admirable year. The world's first permanent global justice tribunal ends 2015 with a move out of temporary premises into a new, purpose-built headquarters.
But as an old saying goes, "buildings should serve people, not the other way around". A property acquisition may suggest permanence, but the ICC faces 2016 with its future far from assured.  Read more.

Public Support for Recreational Pot Legalization Hits Record High

Public support for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the U.S. is at a historic high—so to speak—of 60 percent, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The results come just as a growing number of states vote to legalize recreational marijuana, with another five states casting ballots on the issue this November.  Read more.

Justice Department Sues Pocomoke For Violating Rights of Fired Black Police Chief

Teenage girls post videos of their torture & killing of domestic animals

Two Russian teenagers from the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk have sent internet users into complete shock by posting brutal online content showing how they tortured and killed cats and dogs they took from animal shelters.
The girls posted images and videos online showing the various instruments of torture they used on the animals, including baseball bats, chemical liquids, tongs, and ropes.  Read more.

Texas Keeps Misleading Voters

This November, for the first time in three years, the estimated 600,000 Texans who do not have an ID accepted under the state's strictest-in-the-nation photo ID law will not be forced to sit on the sidelines of democracy, thanks to a court-ordered alternative option at the polls.  Read more.

Churches around world ring funeral bells for Aleppo

Hundreds of churches across the world are ringing funeral bells to draw attention to the suffering Syrian city of Aleppo.
The campaign started in the parish of Kallio in Finland, the idea of Teemu Laajasalo, a local Lutheran vicar. According to Laajasalo, the project was born out of anger and sadness at the ongoing carnage in Aleppo, where tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee, and tens of thousands more are under siege.  Read more.

Bernie Sanders lends suppor for Colorado's single payer healthcare initiative

"Millions of people are watching what you do," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told voters in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.
The progressive firebrand and former presidential candidate had traveled to the Rocky Mountain foothills to campaign on behalf of a state ballot measure that would establish a state-run, single-payer health care system in Colorado—one that he said could be a model for the nation.  Read more.

Norwegian Youth Taking Government to Court Over 'Unconstitutional' Arctic Drilling

Taking a page from young people in the United States and elsewhere who are standing up for their right to healthy environment, Norwegian youth on Monday filed suit against their country's government for expanding Arctic oil drilling despite increasingly dire warnings about the impact such activity is having on the planet's climate.
The plaintiffs, which include Greenpeace Norway and the nation's largest youth-led organization, Nature and Youth, are arguing that...read more.

The $5 Trillion Wars

This October marks 15 years since American troops entered Afghanistan. It was a precursor to the occupation of Iraq and is the longest military conflict in US history. Yet the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives expended in these wars have rated barely a mention in the presidential campaign.  Read more.

Julian Assange is a Planetary Hero

How telling is it that the whole world leaps to hungry attention whenever an outlaw computer geek offers us a tiny glimpse at the truth?
How outrageous is it that we all line up like a bunch of famished orphans from a Charles Dickens novel just to get some small taste of the facts behind what our own government is really doing to us?  Read more.

FBI director: We really have no idea if there’s ‘an epidemic of police violence against black people’

FBI Director James B. Comey told a gathering of police chiefs that despite a wave of protests prompted by fatal police shootings of black men and boys, “Americans actually have no idea” about how often police use force because nobody has collected enough data.
Comey praised police officers who he said were serving during “a uniquely difficult time,” but said that the steady stream of videos showing police officers using deadly force — a series of widely seen recordings that have stretched from the death of Eric Garner in New York two years ago to the killing, last month, of Keith Scott in Charlotte — has helped fuel a bleak perception of law enforcement.  Read more.

'A bloody scene': 3 killed, 12 wounded in mass shooting at West Adams restaurant

A gun battle at a restaurant in the West Adams district left three people dead and 12 others wounded early Saturday, prompting a massive police dragnet for suspects.
“It’s a bloody scene with shell casings everywhere,”  LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said.
There were about 50 people inside the restaurant in the 2900 block of Rimpau Boulevard when an argument broke out...read more.

The US Needs Repentance and Atonement

Watching US politics these past months, culminating in the revelation of Donald Trump's disgusting comments about women who he groped, I was overwhelmed by the sense of how much US politics needs a fundamental reorientation. We need a New Bottom Line of love and generosity that could reshape every dimension of our economic, political, cultural and spiritual assumptions about reality. To get there, we need a fundamental transformation of consciousness.  Read more.

Accidental gunshots kill a child every other day in the US

Hours earlier, he was a happy 4-year-old who loved Ironman and the Hulk and all the Avengers. Now, as Bryson Mees-Hernandez approached death in a Houston hospital room, his brain swelling through the bullet hole in his face, his mother assured the boy it was OK to die.
"When you are on the other side," his mother, Crystal Mees, recalls telling him, "you are going to see Mommy cry a lot. It's not because she's mad. It's because she misses you."
And this: "It's not your fault."
But whose fault was it?  Read more.

The Warnings of a New World War

In an interview with the Bild newspaper on Oct. 8, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is known for his cautious rhetoric, described the present international situation in the following woeful terms: “unfortunately it is an illusion to believe this is the old Cold War. The new times are different; they are more dangerous. Previously, the world was divided, but Moscow and Washington knew each other’s red lines and respected them. In a world with many regional conflicts and dwindling influence of the great powers, the world becomes more unpredictable.”  Read more.

Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, People’s King of Thailand, Dies After 7-Decade Reign

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for more than 70 years, establishing himself as a revered personification of Thai nationhood, died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.  Read more.

U.S. Support for the War in Yemen Is Indefensible

Last Saturday, as hundreds of Yemeni mourners waited to pay their respects to a beloved elder, warplanes obliterated the funeral hall they were gathered in killing more than 140 people and wounding more than 525. This is not an isolated incident but rather the latest tragedy in Saudi Arabia’s military intervention—facilitated by U.S. intelligence sharing and aerial refueling.  Read more.

'We're Dying Like Flies': Sick, Retired Coal Miners Betrayed by GOP Senators

"The country must not turn its back on coal miners," right-wing Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told constituents in eastern Kentucky last week.
Yet coal miners—many "facing a slow death" from black lung and other deadly illnesses from a lifetime of mining coal—say that McConnell and other Senate Republicans are doing exactly that...read more.

Stop All Intervention in Syria and Let the People Decide Their Future

It's hard to listen to parliamentary debates on foreign policy without a growing sense of disbelief.
We saw one again this week, this time over the horrific situation in Aleppo. Most politicians suffer a kind of selective amnesia over past interventions. They bemoan the fact that David Cameron lost the vote to bomb Syria back in 2013, and claim that things would be better there now had MPs voted to intervene.  Read more.

The New Slave Revolt

A nationwide prison work stoppage and hunger strike, begun on Sept. 9, the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising, have seen over 20,000 prisoners in about 30 prisons do what we on the outside should do—refuse to cooperate. “We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves,” prisoners of the Free Alabama Movement, the Free Ohio Movement and the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee wrote in a communique.  Read more.  Read more.

Donald Trump Sexual Abuse Accusers Come Forward

Four women went public Wednesday with allegations that Donald Trump groped and kissed them without their consent. In a New York Times report, Jessica Leeds recounted how Trump touched her during a plane flight 30 years ago, and Rachel Crooks stated that the businessman kissed her outside of a Trump Tower elevator in 2005. Former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff wrote a first-person account of Trump making sexual advances on her in 2005, and Mandy McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida 13 years ago.  Read more.

Keith Scott autopsy shows Charlotte police shot him 4 times, family says first in the back

A black man shot dead by police in Charlotte, North Carolina last month sustained four wounds, two of which killed him immediately, a private autopsy reportedly shows. Police have neither released their own autopsy, nor charged the white officer involved.
“The cause of death is two, penetrating, indeterminate range gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen,” Keith Lamont Scott’s family’s autopsy report read, according to the Washington Post.  Read more.

The Republicans’ Civil War – And Everyone Else’s

Whom among us, upon hearing of the grave and perhaps existential threats now facing the Republican Party, is entirely immune to the siren song of schadenfreude? Who from the liberal classes can entirely resist the temptation, when reading about the bitter divisions now rending the GOP, to mutter, “Now that’s a god damn shame,” and then issue forth with a soft and mordant chuckle?  Read more.

The Empire Files: Inside Palestine’s Refugee Camps

José Bové, Noted Anti-Globalization Activist, Denied Entry to Canada

José Bové, member of European Parliament, farmer, and noted anti-globalization activist, was held for several hours Montreal's airport on Tuesday and later forced to leave the country, proving, according to one observer, that a pending Canada-European Union trade deal is "direct attack on our democracy."
Bové was scheduled to speak at a public forum to discuss the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)—a deal he called "a Trojan horse for multinational corporations that seek to use it to bend rules as they wish."  Read more.

Truck Plows Through Native American Crowd During Protest

Detectives are reviewing witness accounts and "horrifying" cellphone video while they consider filing a criminal complaint after a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of people during a Native American rights demonstration in downtown Reno, the police chief said Tuesday.
The 18-year-old male driver and a 17-year-old passenger have been questioned but no arrests have been made in Monday evening's incident on the street ... read more.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says Some Dumb Shit About Colin Kaepernick

It is, let me say here, quite weird to project your own beliefs and aspirations onto an octogenarian Supreme Court justice and expect it to never backfire. But woke Twitter folk hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg, center of a highly marketable personality cult, has some gross things to say about Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the institutional oppression of minorities in this country.  Read more.

In the Spirit of the GI Bill, Cancel All Student Debt

Once upon a time this country thought big. We survived the Great Depression, fought the Second World War, rebuilt Europe on the Marshall Plan … and provided tuition-free education for college students.
Ask anybody from that era about the G.I. Bill and chances are you’ll hear how someone’s life was changed for the better. That bill educated a generation and provided affordable opportunities to form households and start small businesses. At the same time, and for years afterward, many public colleges and universities charged little or no tuition.  Read more.

Gerrymandering helped Republicans take control of Congress, but now it's tearing them apart over Trump

Across the country, Republicans in contested races face a terrible bind: They have to run from Donald Trump to hold onto swing votes, even if that angers some core supporters.
But in secure, heavily conservative GOP districts, Republicans face the opposite pressure: to cleave fast to Trump, who remains popular despite statements that have alienated many voters.  Read more.

Structure of agency conceived by Warren ruled unconstitutional

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the brainchild of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and among the most controversial programs to come out of the financial crisis — is too powerful, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
In the first notable legal challenge to the financial regulator, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit faulted the agency’s structure and found that its director was ...read more.

Ethiopia blames foreigners for unrest, U.N. experts seek probe

Ethiopia accused "elements" in Eritrea, Egypt and elsewhere on Monday of being behind a wave of violent protests over land grabs and human rights that have prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in the Horn of Africa nation.
The unrest has cast a shadow over Ethiopia, whose state-led industrial drive has created one of Africa's fastest growing economies but whose government also faces criticism at home and abroad over its authoritarian approach to development.  Read more.

Hurricane Matthew death toll nears 900 in Haiti, cholera takes lives

Hurricane Matthew's trail of destruction in Haiti stunned those emerging from the aftermath on Friday, with the number of dead soaring to 877, tens of thousands left homeless and outbreaks of cholera already claiming more lives.
Information trickled in from remote areas that were cut off by the storm and it became clear that at least 175 people died in villages clustered among the hills and on the coast of Haiti's fertile western tip.
Rural clinics overflowed with patients whose wounds including broken bones had not been treated since the storm hit on Tuesday.  Read more.

Donald Trump Just Summed Up His Totalitarian Vision for America in 4 Words

Barely an hour before the opening of the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and presidential biographer David Maraniss put Trump’s pre-debate shenanigans in perspective. After the Republican nominee for president held a “debate-preparation” press availability with women who had accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual impropriety, Maraniss described the stunt as “the slimiest most depressing scene in modern American electoral history.”  Read more.

Stephen Colbert Releases Reaction Video To Leaked Trump Audio

Where Are the Gay Judges?

It's no secret that justice in the United States is not as blind to power and identity as we'd like it to be. Our justice system is also very straight.
Out of the 340 judges who sit on state supreme courts, only 10 identify as gay or lesbian. Only two judges in the entire legal system identify as transgender...read more.

GOP consumed by crisis as more Republicans call on Trump to quit race

The Republican Party plunged into an epic and historic political crisis Saturday with just a month to go until Election Day, as a rapidly growing number of GOP lawmakers called on defiant presidential nominee Donald Trump to drop out of the race in the wake of a video showing him make crude sexual remarks.
The fallout from the tape published by The Washington Post — in which Trump bragged in obscene language about forcing himself on women sexually ... read more.

In Haiti, at least 470 dead and hundreds of thousands left with no relief in sight

A woman who gave birth two days before Hurricane Matthew, only to learn her husband was swept away in the flood, has spent the past week raising her newborn son on a wooden bench facing the chalkboard inside of an elementary school classroom.
Down the hallway is a fourth-grader who attended this school but is now sleeping on its concrete floors...read more.

What Killed Ugandan Refugee Alfred Olango

To flee from a war zone, only to be met with a fatal police bullet on the other side of the world: It's an uncomfortable, truncated narrative of an abbreviated life. This was how Alfred Olango's life concluded late last month, at the intersection of many forces of violence that converged at a San Diego suburb, in a scene that braided strands of war, policing, race and migration. A diasporic history caught up to him in the moment the police extinguished his life, but he had spent years in various states of escape. He was finally ensnared by a system of state violence, becoming yet another Black man killed by the police in the US, after having braved and survived a harrowing global journey as a refugee.  Read more.

NYT Declares Snowden a Thief–and Journalism a Crime

On the home page today of the New York Times, the lead story (10/5/16) bears the headline: “Contractor for NSA Charged in Possible New Theft of Secrets.” Describing the arrest of Harold T. Martin III, a contractor for the National Security Agency accused of taking classified documents, the home page teaser reports, “The arrest raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, a contractor managed to steal secrets.”  Read more.

Offering Meaningless Condolences On Our Race War Against You

To Pence and other conservatives whose willful moral blind spots include the especially repugnant denial of systemic racism in a country where so many are reeling, bleeding and dying from it, take note: It is everywhere. Police continue to shoot and/or kill unarmed black men (mostly) with grisly regularity, wildly out of proportion to their population and at a rate about five times that of whites. Many thousands more are routinely targeted, harassed, abused.  Read more.

U.S. Admits Israel is Building Permanent Apartheid Regime: Weeks After Giving it $38 Billion

Israel’s then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak explicitly warned in 2010 that Israel would become a permanent “apartheid” state if it failed to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians that creates their own sovereign nation and vests them with full political rights. “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions of ­Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”  Read more.

'Ancient aliens' built world’s first airport 7,000 years ago – Iraqi Minister

Iraq’s Transport Minister, Kazem Finjan, claims “ancient aliens” built earth’s first airport 7,000 years ago in the Middle East - and used it for interplanetary missions.
Getting ever so slightly sidetracked during a press conference to announce the construction of a real-life, modern day airport in Dhi Qar, southern Iraq...read more.

In South Africa, Students Protesting For Free Universities Met With Police Violence