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Showing posts from August, 2017

Google Is Coming After Critics in Academia and Journalism. It’s Time To Stop Them

About 10 years ago, Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term network neutrality, made this prescient comment: “To love Google, you have to be a little bit of a monarchist, you have to have faith in the way people traditionally felt about the king.”
Wu was right. And now, Google has established a pattern of lobbying and threatening to acquire power. It has reached a dangerous point common to many monarchs: The moment where it no longer wants to allow dissent.  Read more.

New York Times Slammed for Running 'Advertorial' by Notorious War Profiteer

The New York Times came under fire on Wednesday for running what critics characterized as "uncontested propaganda" in the form of an op-ed by notorious war profiteer and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
As in his other prominent op-eds that ran recently in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, Prince—the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—pitched his plan to largely privatize the 16-year war in Afghanistan. Many have denounced this for-profit scheme—which would place the war in the hands of an American "viceroy" and private mercenaries—as tantamount to "colonialism."  Read more.

Corporate Tax Cuts Don't Mean More Jobs

A just-released report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) -- a DC think tank providing analysis on peace and economic, racial, and climate justice -- provides evidence that tax cuts for corporations do not necessarily correlate with an increase in jobs. Additionally, increased CEO compensation does not routinely result in increased employment. These are important findings, because the number one rationale that politicians use to justify corporate tax cuts is that the increased business revenue will lead to decreased unemployment.  Read more.

Rightwing alliance plots assault to 'defund and defang' America's unions

Rightwing activists across the US have launched a nationwide campaign to undermine progressive politicians by depriving them of a major source of support and funding – public sector unions.
A network of conservative thinktanks with outposts in all 50 states has embarked on a “breakthrough” campaign designed to strike a “mortal blow” against the American left.  Read more.

LA changes Columbus Day to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ as statues continue to be destroyed

Los Angeles City has voted to rename the holiday named after Christopher Columbus to commemorate Native Americans. The measure was passed as statues of the 15th-century explorer have been destroyed in recent weeks.
Members of the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day Wednesday. The day will remain a paid holiday for all city employees, but will not be officially renamed until 2019.  Read more.

Texas Racist Voter ID Law Smacked Down

In what is being called a "huge win for voting rights" and a resounding defeat of "Jim Crow-era tactics," a federal judge on Wednesday struck down a major voter ID law passed by the Republican-dominated Texas state legislature on the grounds that it would place a "disproportionate burden" on black and Latino voters. Read more.

Former Trump Adviser Warns of Armed 'Insurrection' If Trump Impeached

As questions swirl about President Donald Trump's mental stability and fitness for office—and with calls for his impeachment again spiking after his repeated embrace of white supremacists—one of the president's former top advisors warned Thursday that the result of Trump's removal would be an "armed" and violent "insurrection."  Read more.

Our swastika anchor doesn’t endorse Nazism – Canadian mayor

The existence of a swastika emblazoned anchor in a public park is being defended by a Canadian mayor, after an activist tried to erase the symbols.
The local government of Pointe-des-Cascades, Quebec, has denied the artefact in Parc des Ancres promotes hate and explained how the anchor dates back to before World War II.  Read more

Charlottesville shrouds divisive Confederate statues in black cloth

To applause from spectators, workers in Charlottesville, Virginia, covered two statues of Confederate generals with black tarpaulins on Wednesday in honor of the woman who was killed during a rally by white nationalists in the liberal-leaning college town.
City councilors voted unanimously to cover the monuments during a raucous council meeting earlier this week where...read more.

Oregon Passed the Country's Most Progressive Reproductive Health Care Policy

The same day Texas took another swing at reproductive rights, Oregon showed the rest of the country what reproductive health legislation can and should look like.
On August 15, Governor Kate Brown (D) signed into law what many are calling the country's most progressive reproductive health care policy, expanding access to...read more.

Secret Safe Injection Site Responds to US Drug Crisis

Blue Is Not A Race (Duh) and You're Not The Damn Victims Here

In a stupefyingly tone-deaf turn of the racial tables, the NYPD's ever-offensive Sergeants Benevolent Association has released a new video claiming that its noble cops are the hapless victims of a "strange form of racism” engulfing the country - a "blue racism" that is “even more racist” than, you know, real racism based on the color of your skin - which FYI you can't take off like a uniform - and the brutal, historic, systemic oppression many have endured because of it. "Our city, state and nation are under severe breaking points," notes a union leader in a Facebook post introducing the video. "Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such division of all people...(and) we too have become the targets of racism." Along with appropriating and misquoting Martin Luther King - for white people, always a bad sign - the video condemns "broad brush attacks, generalizations, and assumptions by college professors" and other heartless elites tha…

Trump's a Racist — Don't Tell Me Otherwise

I have to admit I began loathing Donald Trump the day he accused Barack Obama of being born in Kenya, insinuating he wasn't an American citizen and really was a Muslim.
Here was one of the country's supposedly richest men, who commanded unlimited TV appearances, was the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and was "admired" for his...read more.

Detroit's Urban Farming Revolution

In the early 20th century the American city of Detroit was a booming industrial powerhouse and world leader in car manufacturing, with a population that reached nearly two million people.
But since the major car companies closed their factories, more than a million taxpayers have moved out of Detroit, leaving behind more than...read more.

Native Americans seek to reclaim ancestral land from Brown University

More than 50 members of the Pokanoket Nation and their supporters have set up an encampment in Rhode Island, arguing that the land bequeathed to Brown University was illegally taken from them hundreds of years ago.
Over a dozen tents have been pitched at Po Metacom Camp on Mount Hope, or Potumtuk, a hill overlooking the...read more.

Trump’s betrayal is complete as military-industrial complex continues expansion of power

If one moment stands out as the clearest signal yet of US President Trump turning his back on supporters, it was his announcement this week to re-escalate American military intervention in Afghanistan.

His signature campaign promise of putting “America First” and ending the folly of overseas wars launched by previous administrations was shredded on prime time television when he gave orders for...read more.

BANNON’S BREITBART SLAMS TRUMP FOR AFGHANISTAN “FLIP-FLOP”

Breitbart promised #war, and Monday night, after Donald Trump accepted the advice of the Joint Chiefs and committed the United States to an indefinite engagement in Afghanistan, it delivered. Within minutes of Trump leaving the lectern at Fort Myer, surrounded by men and women in uniform, the site’s infamous all-caps, orange headlines came fast and furious: Read more.

Trump Joins Bush and Obama on Afghanistan War Plan

President Trump formally announced that he would boost American troop levels in Afghanistan, becoming the third consecutive president to do so and reversing a campaign pledge to pull U.S. troops from the country. Trump's opening effort to use an appeal to patriotism to clean up his unforced errors in response to Charlottesville proved to be a poignant—and politically savvy—moment. But Trump's efforts to clearly define victory in Afghanistan fell into the same traps as his predecessors, laying the groundwork for a...read more.

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.
Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.  Read more.

Jerry Lewis, entertainment icon, dead at 91

Love or hate Jerry Lewis, you knew he was in the room.

Lewis, who died Sunday at 91, turned himself into an American entertainment institution, first as a maniacal slapstick comedian and then as the 45-year host of tearjerking annual TV telethons that raised a staggering $2.6 billion for muscular dystrophy research.  Read more.

New York City police show support of Colin Kaepernick

Dozens of current and former New York City police officers, including famed corruption whistleblower Frank Serpico, turned out Saturday at a rally in support of getting free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick a job in the National Football League.
The former San Francisco 49ers player became a controversial figure last year after he refused to stand for the national anthem in what he called a protest against oppression of people of color.  Read more.

Lawrence Wilkerson: Under Trump, Al Qaeda is Flourishing

Marijuana Becomes a Player in California Politics and It's Putting Its Money on Gavin Newsom

Marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar-a-year business in California, and with recreational sales to adults coming online next year, it's about to get even bigger. Now, the legal pot industry is beginning to throw its weight around in state office-level politics, and it's doing it the old-fashioned way: with a checkbook.  Read more.

Trump Attacks Boston Anti-Racism Demonstrators as 'Anti-Police Agitators'

After declaring during a press conference on Tuesday that there were many "very fine people" in attendance at the white supremacist rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to launch an attack on the thousands of anti-racist demonstrators in Boston, labeling them "anti-police agitators."  Read more.

Campuses, cities reject far right after Charlottesville

Public outrage in the wake of a white supremacist rally turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, has left far-right groups facing a wave of cancellations across the United States as they plan their next moves.

Backlash grows against Trump's comments on Charlottesville violence.  Security concerns have prompted at several universities to...read more.

Trump fires controversial chief strategist Bannon

President Donald Trump on Friday fired Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist in the latest high-level White House shake-up, removing a powerful and controversial figure known for far-right political views.
Bannon was a force behind some of Trump's most contentious policies, including a travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority nations, and has fought with more moderate factions inside a White House riven with rivalries and back-stabbing.  Read more.

Elizabeth Warren Says Days of 'Lukewarm' Policies Are Over

In a wide-ranging and fiery keynote speech last weekend at the 12th annual Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) relentlessly derided moderate Democratic pundits calling for the party to move "back to the center" and declared that Democrats must unequivocally "fight for progressive solutions to our nation's challenges."  Read more.

An Open Letter From Great, Great Grandsons of Stonewall Jackson

Dear Mayor Stoney and Members of the Monument Avenue Commission,
We are native Richmonders and also the great, great grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.  Read more.

Iran Will Change When the US Changes

Donald Trump wants to kill the Iran nuclear deal. Exactly why he aims to destroy a perfectly functioning arms control deal that has prevented both an Iranian nuclear option and war with Iran remains unclear. Despite Iran's confirmed adherence to the deal, Trump claims Iran is in violation of its "spirit."  Read more.

Titans' DaQuan Jones: Don't want to be labeled as 'a Colin Kaepernick'

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, who joined teammates in protesting after the playing of the national anthem in 2016 in an effort to effect change in matters of racial injustice and police brutality, is contemplating if he should continue this season because of what happened to Colin Kaepernick.  Read more.

BPA Breakthrough: New Treatment Takes Controversial Chemical Out of Water

As water treatment plants struggle to keep up with the chemical cocktail heading into our pipes, researchers say they've come up with a solution to remove one of the most ubiquitous contaminants -- BPA.
Chemists were able to remove about 99 percent of bisphenol A (BPA) from water using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide...read more.

20-Year-Old Deandre Harris Speaks Out About Being Assaulted by White Supremacists in Charlottesville, Va.

Twenty-year-old aspiring hip-hop artist Deandre Harris moved to Charlottesville, Va., from Suffolk, Va., two years ago for a job opportunity as an instructional assistant in the special education program at a local high school. But nothing could prepare him for what he experienced Saturday afternoon, when he took part in a counterprotest against the Unite the Right white supremacy marches that took place in the city.  Read more.

‘Not a true Italian’: Black teen barred from singing in Verona music festival

A black Italian teenager says she was prohibited from participating in a music festival because the color of her skin meant she wasn't a "true Italian," despite being born in the country.
The 15-year-old, identified only as Dora B., enjoys singing and wanted to take part in the Canta Verona festival in Verona, the town where she was born.  Read more.

Baltimore removes 4 Confederate statues overnight amid fears of violence

Baltimore authorities tore down and hauled away four Confederate monuments hours after the city’s council voted for the move. The Baltimore mayor said she wanted to avoid violence.
Within hours of Tuesday night’s decision, crews had removed statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, who led the...read more.

Far-right lauds Trump amid Charlottesville backlash

White supremacists have welcomed US President Donald Trump's insistence on blaming "both sides" for the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.

The praise for the Republican leader, however, drew concern and condemnation from across the political spectrum, including from senior figures from within his party. Read more.

The Roots of the Philippines Trafficking Epidemic

Police Stood by as Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville

There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia's heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.  Read more.

Africa-Israel summit 'justifies colonialism, apartheid'

A group of Palestinian activists, academics, and civil society organisations have launched a campaign to deter African nations from partaking in the upcoming Africa-Israel summit, slated to take place in Togo in October.
Several African countries, including South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania, have already decided to boycott the summit, where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to...read more.

Trump Cut Funds for Group Fighting White Supremacy

A few weeks before Heather Heyer was murdered and many others were injured after a coalition of hate groups gathered violently in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Trump administration—under guidance from trusted aides such as Katharine Gorka—revoked a $400,000 federal grant from a U.S. nonprofit dedicated to rehabilitating former white supremacists and other extremists.  Read more

California to sue Trump administration over sanctuary policy

California plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice over federal restrictions on some law enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities, a spokesperson for California's attorney general office said on Monday.
The city of San Francisco filed its own lawsuit against the department late last week, saying the...read more.

Let Me Remind You Who Jeff Sessions Is

For the past several weeks, media coverage of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a sympathetic turn. In article after article, the “beleaguered” Sessions is described as a victim of bullying, under Twitter assault by the president who appointed him. Meanwhile, Trump—angry that the law-and-order man he chose did not live up to his idea of loyalty—seems to be taking some joy in Sessions’s discomfort.  Read more.

Media Downplays Wells Fargo's Latest Scandals

Charlottesville is America everywhere

On Friday evening in Charlottesville, a coordinated group of white supremacists marched through the University of Virginia campus holding torches, shouting "white lives matter", and setting the stage for the Unite the Right rally on Saturday. The rally, which protested against the removal of Confederate monuments and sculptures within the city, galvanised white supremacists from various groups, most notably Ku Klux Klan sympathisers, Neo-Nazis, and leaders of the so-called "alt-right" movement. 
With their faces unmasked and identities uncloaked, the protesters raised their arms and chanted "blood and soil", in the Nazi tradition, not fearing their association with the...read more

Rethinking Schools: How to Talk About Nuclear War and Donald Trump with 2nd-Graders

Recently, a Rethinking Schools editor was a chaperone on a field trip when he overheard a 2nd-grade student talking about how he wanted to “nuke the world.”
Taken aback, he asked the child what he meant.
“Everything is just so bad. We should just nuke the world and start over.”
When pressed further, the student mentioned Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. The editor was left wondering how...read more.

David Duke Blasts Trump’s Call for Unity: ‘It Was White Americans Who Put You in the Presidency’

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke blasted Donald Trump on Saturday for the president’s tweeted call for unity following the violent protests by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead and more than 30 injured.

Two Virginia State Police troopers were also killed when a police helicopter assisting with the melee crashed outside of Charlottesville.  Read more.

Trump’s Remarks on Charlottesville Violence Are Criticized as Insufficient

President Trump is rarely reluctant to express his opinion, but he is often seized by caution when addressing the violence and vitriol of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and alt-right activists, some of whom are his supporters.
After days of genially bombastic interactions with the news media on North Korea and the shortcomings of congressional Republicans, Mr. Trump on Saturday condemned the bloody protests in Charlottesville, Va., in what critics in both parties saw as...read more.

Terror in Charlottesville: Car Rams into Anti-Racist Protesters at White Supremacist Rally

In what appears to be a deliberate move, a car plowed into a large group of people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Multiple injuries were reported Saturday afternoon. The injuries range from minor to life-threatening, authorities said. According to Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, one person has been killed.  Read more.

Charlottesville: man charged with murder after car rams counter-protesters at far-right event

A man has been arrested and charged with murder after a car rammed into a group of people peacefully protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 19.
In a separate incident, two police officers were killed when their helicopter crashed.  Read more.

Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition

On 3 June 1947, only six weeks before British India was carved up, a group of eight men sat around a table in New Delhi and agreed to partition the south Asian subcontinent.
Photographs taken at that moment reveal the haunted and nervous faces of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress leader soon to become independent India’s first prime minister, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, head of the Muslim League and Pakistan’s first governor-general and Louis Mountbatten,the last British viceroy.  Read more.

Clashes Break Out as Virginia Declares State of Emergency

As community members, faith leaders, and defenders of the common good operated valiantly on Saturday to drown out and confront white supremacist factions who descended on the city of Charlottesville this weekend, Virginia suspended a permitted rally and declared a State of Emergency as anti-fascists clashed violently with neo-Nazi elements.  Read more.

Venezuela: Trump Threat of US Military Intervention "Madness" of US Imperialism

In response to comments from President Donald Trump that he wouldn't "rule out" a "military option" against Venezuela—currently embroiled in domestic political conflict as neoliberal forces challenge the socialist-led government of President Nicholas Maduro—the nation's top officials characterized Trump's remarks as "madness" coming from the "imperial" and "extremist elite that rules the United States."  Read more.

Charlottesville prepares for a white nationalist rally on Saturday

For the second time in six weeks, Charlottesville is bracing for a protest of its decision earlier this year to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. White nationalists, white supremacists and members of alt-right groups will gather in the city at noon Saturday for the Unite the Right rally to voice opposition to the decision and assert itself as a movement.  Read more.

Over 150 refugees 'thrown' into Yemen sea

More refugees and migrants have been "deliberately drowned" by human smugglers for the second time in 24 hours off the coast of Yemen, according to the United Nations migration agency.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement late on Thursday that its staff found six bodies on the beach...read more.

China in Africa: Old powers sidelined as Beijing follows economic ties with first military base

The opening of China’s first military base in Africa gives an additional foothold in a region where it already has much sway, thanks to economic ties. Some commentators see Africa as Beijing’s chance to preserve its manufacturing dominance for future generations.
In a joint ceremony with a local honor guard, Chinese troops last week opened their new naval base in Djibouti, a tiny nation in East Africa which already leases land to several facilities of foreign militaries. The Chinese troops are stationed right next to the Pentagon’s only permanent base in Africa, as well as Japanese, French and Italian forces.  Read more.

French jobs market springs to life under Emmanuel Macron

For years Seeb, a small French company that installs electric wiring in commercial property, has been laying off workers. Franck Dattée, its chief executive, is at last able to do the opposite.
“Since June we have had extraordinary demand . . . I am recruiting many people on many levels: managers, workers, team leaders,” says Mr Dattée, who is adding 10 people to his team of 40. Compared with last year, his company is bidding on twice as many tenders for jobs and the number of new projects has grown rapidly.  Read more.

Fearing Trump Censorship, Govt. Scientists Leak Alarming Climate Report

A leaked draft of an extensive federal climate change report is causing alarm on Tuesday—both because of its findings, which make clear that the U.S. is currently experiencing the effects of climate change, and because of statements by the report's authors, who say they're concerned President Donald Trump will try to suppress the paper.  Read more.

U.S. to relax rules protecting sage grouse in favor of oil drillers

The U.S. Interior Department on Monday launched an overhaul to an Obama-era plan to protect sage grouse that it says aims to both preserve the species of bird while expanding opportunities for oil development in western states where they live.

The move is a win for the drilling industry which had long argued that the plan developed by...read more.

Blackballing Kaepernick: Fear of the black athlete

Sport is romanticised as a safe haven from the troubles and turbulence of society. But, in fact, it is a mirror of what is unfolding beyond the pitch, and in the case of American sport, beyond the lines of play. 
This is particularly true for the National Football League (NFL), as illustrated by the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback effectively blackballed from the league for protesting the national anthem during the 2016 regular season. In August of last year...read more.

Hope On This Hiroshima Day

Seventy-two years after the U.S dropped the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and three days later on Nagasaki, there is hope that we will finally see the abolition of these most deadly weapons of mass destruction, for this year on July 7 an historic treaty banning nuclear weapons, like every other weapon of mass destruction, was adopted at the United Nations. Recognizing and responding to the medical and humanitarian consequences of nuclear war, the world has come together and spoken.  Read more.