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Showing posts from May, 2018

Racism with Roseanne, in real time

The rise of Donald Trump, and his appeal among the white working class in the United States, brought newfound relevance to Roseanne, a television programme that initially aired in 1988. ABC revived the programme in 2018, in an America radically different from what it was 30 years earlier. The TV network sought to capitalise on the turbulent social and racial moment by showcasing the archetypal modern, working-class white family as a societal mirror.  Read more.

Deutsche Bank is Failing, Bail Out Inevitable

Israeli Military Prevents Palestinian Attempt to Break Gaza’s Naval Blockade

Speech Is Never Free in a World of Racist Surveillance and Repression

Words always matter, but they often matter more when the odds are already against you. The freedom to express oneself is supposed to be protectively enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, for some people this ideal has always been slippery. The freedom to speak our minds can easily transform into the freedom to be pursued by the authorities, surveilled and detained. Depending on who the speaker is, our society dictates what speech is and isn't acceptable. No matter where you look on the political spectrum, you'll find people claiming to cherish freedom of speech and also claiming to be...read more.

Brazil’s Trucker Strike Paralyzes Country, Could Lead to Dangerous Outcome

Italian Women March Across Country. Demand: 'My Body, My Choice'

Thousands of women marched across Italy on Saturday afternoon to mark the anniversary of Italy’s 194 Law, which passed in 1978 and legalized abortion in the country.
Marchers fear that the far-right, anti-European Union, anti-immigrant League, which contains many anti-choice militants, will soon threaten the 194 Law.  Read more.

Google and Facebook Hit With $8.8 Billion in Lawsuits

Accusing Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, and Instagram of "intentionally" violating Europe's strict new privacy rules that officially went into effect on Friday, Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed four lawsuits against the tech companies arguing they are still "coercing users into sharing personal data" despite rolling out new policies ostensibly aimed at complying with the new regulations.  Read more.

DNC Chief Tom Perez Endorses Cuomo Ahead of NY Primary

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez, who said just two months ago that the national party shouldn't be "anointing candidates" in primary races, was widely rebuked by progressives for his decision this week to endorse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose reelection bid is being challenged by longtime activist and actress Cynthia Nixon.  Read more.

The Unbearable Whiteness of NFL Ownership

ON WEDNESDAY, 31 out of 32 NFL team owners voted to appease President Donald Trump by banning any form of on-field protest or demonstration during the pregame singing of the national anthem. One team owner abstained: Jed York of the San Francisco 49ers, the former home of Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two players who’ve effectively accused the league of banning them in part because of their involvement in on-field protests.  Read more.

US Lets Public Housing Developments Crumble as a Prelude to Privatization

When the US government's first public housing development was created in 1935, the Roosevelt administration saw it as "an initial step in the program for slum clearance and low-cost housing." At least that's what the plaque in front of New York City's aptly named First Houses -- declared a landmark in 1974 -- proclaims.
But ask 81-year-old Ivy about what it's like to live in the development, and she has a long list of gripes.  Read more.

Goons in Gucci: The Corporate Royalists of the 21st Century

In the fierce labor wars of the last century, industrial barons employed Pinkertons and other goons to bloody the heads of laborers or simply gun down those struggling for a share of economic and political power. It was brutal, but organized workers persevered and eventually gained a share of economic and political power. From their sweat and blood, America's middle class flowered.  Read more.

Stacey Abrams Is the Future for a Democratic Party in Crisis

If you had to describe the state of the Democratic Party in 2018, you could pretty well capture it in two wildly contrasting vignettes from the past two days. Cut to Tuesday evening in Atlanta, Georgia: In a jam-packed and jubilant ballroom, 44-year-old Stacey Abrams – who's running to become the first black female governor in American history – celebrated a landslide victory in the state's Democratic primary. Abrams is the sort of candidate the Democratic Party would never have recruited to run for governor of any state, much less a Southern one. If her race and gender didn't mark her as a sure "liability" in the eyes of the consultants, her unabashed liberalism would have. But despite vigorous (white) opposition, 76 percent of Georgia Democrats decided otherwise.  Read more.

Weapons Manufacturers Use Israel's Massacres of Palestinians as Testing Grounds

NFL Owners Rebuked for Announcing Fines for Teams If Players #TakeAKnee

National Football League (NFL) team owners were widely rebuked Wednesday for a new policy to penalize professional football teams whose players exercise their right to protest after athletes across the league locked arms, raised fists, or knelt during the national anthem the past two seasons to support a movement against racial injustice started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  Read more.

Trump to Rescue Chinese Telecom as Beijing Funds Major Trump Project

"This affair is a screaming violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause."

That was how Robert Weissman of Public Citizen described President Donald Trump's efforts this week to negotiate a "sweetheart deal" for the failing Chinese telecom giant ZTE just after news broke that a Chinese government-run entity dumped a $500 million loan into a major development project in Indonesia, which will reportedly include a Trump-branded hotel and golf course.  Read more.

In Jerusalem, Christian Zionists Seal the Deal With Netanyahu

For right-wing Pastor John Hagee, it was a glorious day. In his view, Bible prophecy was being fulfilled and his personal comeback was complete. Here he was delivering the closing prayer at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Less than 60 miles away, the Israeli military was slaughtering unarmed Palestinian demonstrators. How could Hagee not be thinking that this event -- engineered and staged by the Trump administration, in coordination with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu -- might be the...read more.

Putin, Merkel discuss defense against Trump’s sanctions drive

Sanctions imposed by the Trump administration that could hurt companies in Germany and Russia were among the issues discussed by President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel during their latest meeting.
Merkel arrived in the Russian Black Sea city of Sochi to meet Putin on Friday, around a year after her previous visit in 2017. Both leaders have...read more.

As UN Approves War Crimes Probe, Human Rights Chief Rips Israel's "Horrifying" Massacre of Palestinians

In a scathing speech on Friday just before the United Nations Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly to dispatch war crimes investigators to probe Israel's massacre of dozens of unarmed Palestinians earlier this week, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein condemned Israel's "horrific" attacks on peaceful demonstrators and declared "the occupation must end."  Read more.

‘There Is No Opposition in Israel’ as Netanyahu Massacres Gazans

Google Employees Resign Over Artificial Intelligence Contract With Department of Defense

Google is famous as a fun-loving, freewheeling workplace, and outsiders might struggle to see why anyone would want to give up all the perks of having a job there. One group of employees has a very good reason, though: After calling on the company to drop a Department of Defense contract and getting no response, they're choosing to resign in protest.  Read more.

‘Any of Us are Open to Police Terror’

EU moves to block US sanctions on Iran

The European Commission will launch the process of activating a law that bans European companies and courts from complying with US sanctions against Iran after Washington pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said on Thursday the commission has...read more.

Towns across northwest Indiana are finding alarming amounts of lead in their soil

In northwest Indiana, it seems as if no city is safe from lead pollution. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the Environmental Protection Agency has found alarmingly high levels of lead in the soil in dozens of yards in Hammond and Whiting, Indiana, neighboring cities in the industrial sector of the state. The EPA is just beginning to release the results from the first round of testing, but some residents weren’t surprised.  Read more.

WHITE HOUSE DOUBLES DOWN AFTER TRUMP SAYS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS “AREN’T PEOPLE”

At a White House roundtable on Wednesday, the man who launched his presidential gambit by labeling Mexicans “rapists” and calling for a massive wall along the southern border expressed his frustration with California’s so-called sanctuary laws in equally venomous terms. “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in—we’re stopping a lot of them,” he said at one point during the hour-long meeting, which was...read more.

"All Those Babies Are Dead. All Those People Are Dead': Eddie Glaude Jr. on Gaza Massacre

In what seemed to at least one observer as a rare moment in which a guest commentator "overloaded the circuits of the corporate media robots," Princeton University professor of religion and African studies Eddie Glaude Jr. on Monday evening struck a notably impassioned tone as he interrupted another guest during an MSNBC roundtable discussion of the Israeli massacre of unarmed protesters that had taken place earlier in the day to remind viewers that while some may want to talk horse-race politics, it's also important to stop and recognize that actual people—in this case Palestinians of all ages and backgrounds—were gunned down in cold blood by IDF snipers.  Read more.

Four White Louisiana Officers Choked Keevan Robinson Black Man to Death

New Orleans resident Keeven Robinson, 22, died after being arrested by Jefferson Parish narcotics officers last week. Police originally tried to blame his death on asthma, but now the Jefferson Parish coroner is telling a very different tale.
At a press conference Monday, Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich laid out what initial autopsy results revealed:  Read more.

Tom Wolfe, Pyrotechnic ‘New Journalist’ and Novelist, Dies at 88

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist and novelist whose technicolor, wildly punctuated prose brought to life the worlds of California surfers, car customizers, astronauts and Manhattan’s moneyed status-seekers in works like “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby,” “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities,” died on Monday in a Manhattan hospital. He was 88.  Read more.

Death of black Louisiana man during arrest ruled homicide by ‘asphyxia,’ coroner says

In the initial hours after Keeven Robinson died following a chase and “brief struggle” with narcotics deputies in a New Orleans suburb Thursday, authorities said his death might have been related to his long medical history of asthma.

An air-quality alert had also warned residents in the area of particularly unhealthy ozone levels that day. But Robinson’s family wasn’t convinced.  Read more.

58 Peaceful Protesters Murdered, 2,700 Injured in Gaza as US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem

Growing Underground: The World's First Subterranean Farm

BP's Toxic Gulf Coast Legacy

On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Over the next 87 days, it gushed at least 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the worst human-made environmental disaster in US history and afflicting the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Less than one year after the disaster began, I spoke with Fritzi Presley, a Gulf Coast resident in Long Beach, Mississippi, who was already...read more.

New Campaign Seeks Ban on Factory Farms

Farmers, environmental advocates, and community leaders came together in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday to launch a national campaign to outlaw factory farming, in conjunction with a new report that outlines the long list of negative consequences tied to housing hundreds or thousands of animals in crowded spaces.  Read more.

Israel Massacres Palestinians in Gaza

With Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) provoking specific ire, Democratic members of Congress are in the hot seat on Monday as human rights organizations demand they raise their voices to denounce Israel's attacks on peaceful Palestinian protesters.
During the day's protests along the barrier between Israel and Gaza—the latest in a six-week series of demonstration...read more.

New York Taxi Drivers Launch Campaign to Save Their Industry Following Suicides

Over the past four months, four New York City taxi drivers have been pushed to suicide in an industry that is becoming increasingly dangerous. In response to the recent deaths, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has launched a campaign for regulation and released its own proposal to re-establish driving as a viable occupation.  Read more.

Pastor who prayed at embassy opening is 'a religious bigot', says Mitt Romney

An evangelical pastor who former presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounced as a “religious bigot” delivered a prayer at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
Praising Donald Trump’s “determination, resolve, courage” in moving the embassy from Tel Aviv despite warnings that the ploy would provoke violent protest, Robert Jeffress said God had “has given us a president” who “stands on … the right side of you, oh God, when it comes to Israel”.  Read more.

Staunch net neutrality advocate Mignon Clyburn steps down from FCC

Mignon Clyburn, one of five commissioners for the Federal Communications Commission and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, announced her decision to step down from her role today after more than eight years at the agency. Clyburn, a Democrat, may be replaced by FCC official Geoffrey Starks, who Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has reportedly been eyeing to take up the second of two Democratic seats on the Republican-controlled FCC. It is typically customary for the FCC commissioners to represent the...read more.

How Costa Rica Gets It Right

How has a country of under five million people become a world leader in developing holistic policies that promote democratic, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth? The answer lies in its people's belief that focusing on the welfare of all citizens not only enhances well-being, but also increases productivity.  Read more.

Death Toll for Gaza’s March of Return Keeps Rising

Ralph Nader to 'Decrepit' Democrats: Stop Scapegoating and Embrace a Bold Agenda

If Democrats are wondering why they lost to reality television star Donald Trump and the deeply unpopular GOP in the 2016 elections—and why their advantage in 2018 polling continues to slip—longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader argues the party must stop searching for scapegoats and start fighting for a bold and progressive agenda.  Read more.

Israel Threatens Lebanon After Hezbollah Makes Gains in Election

California heads toward requiring solar panels on all new houses

California is set to become the first state to require solar panels on all newly built single-family houses. The mandate is expected to save buyers money in the long run but also raise their upfront costs at a time many are already struggling to afford a mortgage.

The state's Energy Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the rules, which are...read more.

The 3 Biggest Consequences of Trump Pulling Out of the Iran Deal

President Trump has been criticized for lacking even a shred of cohesion in his decision making, but there has been one unifying theme over his first 15 months in office: torching the legacy of Barack Obama. The latest of his predecessor's accomplishments set for incineration is the Iran deal, which Trump announced plans to abandon today. The withdrawal comes after months of campaigning from experts, administration officials and the international community to preserve the deal, which Trump has been decrying as "one of the worst" ever since the 2016 campaign.  Read more.

Trump's Iran decision wins plaudits from Israel and Saudi Arabia, blistering criticism from Europe

European leaders reacted with dismay but determination Tuesday after President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the nuclear agreement with Iran and impose tough new sanctions.
The move marked a profound rupture with the United Nations and with the deal's other signatories, including...read more.

Hezbollah Coalition Declares ‘Victory’ in Lebanon’s First Parliamentary Election in 9 Years

The Monopolization of America

US and Canadian Regulators Colluded with Manufacturers of Highly Toxic Substances

Brazil's Unions and Left Unite, Demanding Lula's Freedom

Koch Brothers' Money went to George Mason University to Influence US Government

There's a Gaping Hole in Giuliani and Trump's Legal Argument

Rudy Giuliani hurt President Trump and his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen Wednesday night if he told America something about those Stormy Daniels hush-money payments that federal prosecutors didn’t already know. But of course they knew. Even before Giuliani’s disastrous Hannity interview, I believe Mueller and his larger team could have proven that the president and Cohen were lying about...read more.

Demonstrators Disrupt Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting

It's becoming something of a tradition. Wells Fargo holds its annual shareholder meeting at a location kept close to the chest until the last moment -- a futile attempt to keep angry protesters away. But despite the secrecy, those protesters show up year after year after year to demand accountability from the scandal-plagued bank.  Read more.

Cambridge Analytica shuts down amid scandal over use of Facebook data

Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that worked for the Trump campaign and had come under attack for its use of personal Facebook data in other elections, announced on Wednesday it would cease operations and declare bankruptcy in the United States and United Kingdom.

The firm said it had lost clients because of revelations in March that it had...read more.

Two black men arrested at Starbucks settle with Philadelphia for $1 each

Two African American men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month have reached a settlement with the city and secured its commitment to a pilot program for young entrepreneurs.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson chose not to pursue a lawsuit against the city, Mike Dunn, a spokesman for the city of Philadelphia, told The Washington Post. Instead, they agreed to a symbolic payment of...read more.

"I Was Afraid US-Saudi Coalition Would Bomb My Wedding"