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Showing posts from December, 2017

Happy New Year! Cities across the world welcome 2018

Festivities have begun around the world as revellers cheered the advent of the New Year, with Australia, New Zealand and Japan being some of the first countries to bid farewell to 2017.
In the Australian city of Sydney, more than an estimated one million people gathered to watch a spectacular fireworks display in the harbour.  Read more.

Who Knows What Other Surprises the Fool Has in Store for Us?

It was only a coincidence. Two days before Christmas there was a story in the New York Times with the ominous headline: “Out of Chaos, Trump Reshapes Immigration.” It described a meeting that took place in the Oval Office in June in which the Resident Fool arrived late, furious about the number of foreigners who had entered the country since his inauguration. Their entry, he said, made a mockery of his pledge to reduce that number. Indeed, he reported to the assembled group, friends were calling him to say that he looked like a fool.  Read more.

A Return to Debtors' Prisons: Jeff Sessions' War on the Poor

One day after President Donald Trump invited Republican lawmakers to the White House to celebrate the historic tax cuts they passed for corporations and wealthy business leaders, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, quietly reinstated a draconian policy that effectively serves as a regressive tax on America's poorest people.  Read more.

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments

IN SEPTEMBER OF last year, we noted that Facebook representatives were meeting with the Israeli government to determine which Facebook accounts of Palestinians should be deleted on the ground that they constituted “incitement.” The meetings — called for and presided over by one of the most extremist and authoritarian Israeli officials, pro-settlement Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked — came after Israel threatened Facebook that its..read more.

The USDA Wants to Kill Key Organic Egg Standards

It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that the Trump administration isn't a major defender of animal rights -- after all, the president doesn't even have any pets. In the latest anti-animal move, the United States Department of Agriculture has announced plans to withdraw a rule related to organic standards for laying hens.  Read more.

Why Is the State of Israel So Afraid of 16-Year-Old Ahed Tamimi?

Sixteen-year-old Ahed Tamimi was back in court Thursday, with the judge ruling for the third time that her detention is extended, this time for another five days. Over the past week and a half, Ahed has been shuffled between numerous Israeli prisons and police stations. She has been held in cold isolation cells with cameras pointed at her 24 hours a day. Repeatedly, without a parent or lawyer present, they have attempted to interrogate her. The reasoning for the judge’s rulings to extend...read more.

Rattling the Bars: The Strange Case of Merle Unger

Puerto Rico Relief Package Demands More Than Half Measures

The damage to homes, lives and communities from Hurricane Maria continues to mount in Puerto Rico months later. About one-third of approximately 425,000 Puerto Rican homeowners are behind on mortgage payments, tens of thousands of whom haven't made payments in months. Some economists predict that if the current indicators hold, the entire island is destined for a fate similar to Detroit's.  Read more.

Clinton, Blair and Obama Destroyed the Idealism of Politics - Gabriel Byrne on RAI

Why We Can't Ignore Libya, Enslavement and the Damages of US Intervention

In November, CNN released footage of Africans being sold into slavery at an auction in Libya, shocking and angering many around the world. The outlet reported witnessing "a dozen men being sold like commodities -- some auctioned off for as little as $400." However, though the auction has been portrayed as part of a recent phenomenon, the disaster that is enslavement is not new at all, even in the modern world. Though the conditions that enable such markets have grown increasingly bad in Libya amid instability after a US-backed NATO intervention, the enslavement of Africans -- particularly in the Middle East and North Africa -- has gone on for much longer than some care to remember.  Read more.

Civil Rights Activist Erica Garner in Critical Condition After Suffering Heart Attack

Erica Garner, the 27-year-old civil rights activist and daughter of Eric Garner, was hospitalized over the weekend and placed in a medically-induced coma after suffering a heart attack on Saturday night. According to Erica's mother, Esaw Snipes-Garner, the cardiac arrest was triggered by an asthma attack.  Read more.

Pope Francis Appeals for Peace Amid Conflicts Supported and Inflamed by Trump

With a focus on the impact of war, conflict, and inequality on the world's children, Pope Francis delivered a Christmas Day sermon in Rome's St. Peter's Square on Monday that catalogued a multitude of concerns with policies pushed by President Donald Trump as well as previous U.S. presidents.
The Pope restated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was inflamed earlier this month by...read more.

Let Yemenis Live

On May 2, 2017, before becoming Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as Minister of Defense, spoke about the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, a war he orchestrated since March of 2015. “A long war is in our interest,” he said, explaining that the Houthi rebels would eventually run out of cash, lack external supplies and break apart. Conversely, the Saudis could count on a steady flow of cash and weapons. “Time is on our side,” he concluded.  Read more.

The Truth About Power and Capitalism: A Socialist Response to the Tax Bill

In response to the passage of the GOP tax bill, many voices are now offering variations on the theme of "speak truth to power." It's true enough that tax overhaul, coming after 30 years of widening inequality, widens it further. It is likewise yet another exercise in trickle-down economics, the policy promise that direct economic help to corporations and the rich will eventually lift up the rest of us. The GOP and Trump conveniently disregard the countless economists who have shown that trickle-down is a false promise.  Read more.

Catalan Separatists Defy Obstacles to Win Parliament Majority

Police Shoot More People Than Previously Known

In major metropolitan areas around the country over the last half-decade, police have shot -- and shot at -- people in numbers dramatically higher than previous tallies suggest. A new Vice News investigation finds that between 2010-2016, cops in the 50 largest police departments in the country shot more than 3,630 people, nearly double some previous estimates.  Read more.

Veteran Journalist Bill Moyers Announces Site Closure - Retirement

In a quiet post published to BillMoyers.com on Friday titled simply, "Farewell," the veteran muckraker and site's namesake—whose work in public life goes back to the Johnson administration in the early 1960s and whose journalistic career spans from his teens as a local newspaper reporter in East Texas to his most well-known role as the host of several PBS shows and documentaries—announced that the online project would soon enter "archive mode" and cease its daily output of progressive news and commentary.  Read more.

Meet the Woman Who's Boosting Arizona's Mom-and-Pop Business Culture

Kimber Lanning stands at just 5 feet 1 inch. But in the Arizona economic landscape where she acts as a fierce advocate for local economies, she is a giant.
In 2003, Lanning started Local First Arizona. She was the only employee, and didn't take any salary. Now, with 3,200 members, it is the largest coalition of local businesses in the country.  Read more.

From Net Neutrality to Tax Cuts, Trump's Billionaires are Having a Field Day

Net Neutrality Killed as FCC 'Hands Keys to Internet to Handful of Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations'

The nonpartisan First Amendment advocacy group Free Press vowed to take the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to court Thursday after the Republican-controlled panel moved to gut net neutrality protections that prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from charging for and discriminating against content, in a 3-2 vote along party lines.  Read more.

Virtually No Economist Believes the GOP Tax Bill Will Generate Growth

USA Today's Editorial Bashes "Uniquely Awful" Trump

USA Today, the most widely-circulated newspaper in the U.S, has penned a scathing takedown of President Donald Trump, calling him "uniquely awful," unfit to clean the toilets in his predecessor's presidential library, and a person "who can always find room for a new low."
The blistering editorial, published Tuesday evening, is especially striking as its comes...read more.

Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in Alabama senate race

Doug Jones, a Democratic former prosecutor who mounted a seemingly quixotic Senate campaign in the face of Republican dominance here, defeated his scandal-scarred opponent, Roy S. Moore, after a brutal campaign marked by accusations of sexual abuse and child molestation against the Republican.
The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat.  Read more.

Nearly 60 Female Lawmakers Demand Congressional Investigation into Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Trump

While women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct gathered in New York City on Monday to publicly share their stories, nearly 60 female Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the House oversight committee demanding an investigation into the allegations.  Read more.

Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor, Dies at 65

Edwin M. Lee, an affordable housing advocate and technocrat who became the first Asian-American to be elected as mayor of San Francisco, died early on Tuesday of undisclosed causes, his office said. He was 65.
“It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away on Tuesday, December 12 at 1:11 a.m. at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Family, friends and colleagues were at his side,” his office said in a statement.  Read more.

Web Pioneers Demand FCC Cancel Net Neutrality Vote

Joining the revolt taking place in the streets and online against FCC chair Ajit Pai's plan to kill net neutrality, more than 20 pioneers of the internet—including world wide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Vint Cert, one of the "fathers of the internet"—published an open letter on Monday slamming Pai's proposals as "flawed and factually inaccurate" and demanding that his agency cancel its planned Thursday vote.  Read more.

Privatize the Wars, Franchise in China: Erik Prince Is On the Move

Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater (now known as Academi) private army that wreaked havoc during the Bush-era military adventures in Iraq, the chairman of Frontier Services Group, an aviation, logistics, and security firm, brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and close friend to Steve Bannon, is not letting any grass grow under his mercenary and entrepreneurial feet.  Read more.

Protesters Greet Trump At Mississippi Museum As Leaders Honor Civil Rights Figures

As civil rights activists and African-American leaders including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) boycotted President Donald Trump's visit to Mississippi's brand-new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson on Saturday, hundreds of protesters greeted the president to condemn his record on race relations and civil rights.  Read more.

Hariri's Unresignation is Saudi's Latest Failure

Far Higher Than Official Count, Puerto Rico Death Toll Likely In Thousands

Trump critics drew attention to a New York Times report on Saturday regarding the estimated death toll in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, which left the island devastated after making landfall in September. While the official count of fatalities stands at 64, the Times' analysis found that a more realistic estimate would be in the thousands.  Read more.

Pipelines Leak—Or They Explode

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where dogs run free, so why not we?

We begin in Illinois, where, once again, we learned that pipelines don’t always leak, sometimes they go boom, too.  Read more.

120 Jewish Studies Scholars Condemn Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

As protests and violence intensified in the Middle East on Friday in response to President Donald Trump's decision to flout international law and recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel earlier this week, more than 120 Jewish studies scholars from universities across the United States condemned the move and urged the Trump administration to take responsibility for the fallout.  Read more.

Wildfires are Leveling LA Neighborhoods, Is There More to Come?

Trump's 'Criminal' Jerusalem Move Could Backfire

'Good to go': Top Trump aide gave inaugural day ok to nuclear plan

As President Donald Trump delivered his inaugural address on Capitol Hill in January, his incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn, sitting a few yards away, texted a former business partner that a nuclear power project that would require lifting sanctions on Russia was “good to go,” a senior House Democrat said in a letter released on Wednesday.  Read more.

School Privatization Is Educational Apartheid by Another Name

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos doesn't believe in public education. She is an avid proponent of the school privatization movement, which operates through vouchers, charter schools and other means. Author Noliwe Rooks argues that school privatization enables the continuation of historic educational apartheid, oppressing people of color. Rooks wrote the book Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and Public Education, featured as the Truthout Progressive Pick last week. Rooks, the director of American Studies at Cornell University, argues that the so-called "education reform" privatization movement manifests as segregated education, rebranded.  Read more.

Why Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then Economics

There is no shortage of media commentary discrediting "identity politics," particularly the focus on Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, and immigrant communities calling for justice and equity. Economics is our real problem, a counter argument goes, not race, sex, gender, citizenship. But as author Nancy Isenberg points out in White Trash, "identity has always been a part of politics."
Laws have been written to oppress and exploit particular identities -- Native Americans, Black Americans, Asians, homosexuals, transgender, and women -- in a successful effort to maintain a system of...read more.

Homelessness: One of Capitalism's Many Inevitable Products

Housing is the necessary precondition for security, identity, emotional well-being, work, leisure and community. There is no greater condemnation of capitalism than its inability to provide adequate housing for those who produce its wealth -- the working class. The high percentage of people of color who are homeless points to the wealth divide between the white and non-white working class, based on the historical legacy of racism and the building of capitalism out of slavery. The ruling class explanation relies on blaming the victims, arguing that people experiencing homelessness are in some way individually incompetent.  Read more.

Argentine Government Bars Major NGO Representatives from WTO Meeting