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Showing posts from August, 2012

No Justice When Women Fight Back

Victoria Law @ Truthout - What do a nineteen-year-old lesbian from New Jersey, a 23-year-old trans woman in Minneapolis and a 31-year-old mother in Florida have in common? All three were attacked, all three fought back and all three were arrested. All three are currently in prison while their attackers remain free. Oh, yes, and all three are black women.  Read more .

Facing Grand Jury Intimidation: Fear, Silence and Solidarity

Truthout - We've seen some pretty bold anti-authoritarian actions across the country in the last month. Police vehicles were vandalized in San Francisco, Oakland, Illinois and Milwaukee. Anarchist redecorators visited courthouses, police substations, sports car dealerships and more. Banners dropped in New York, Atlanta, Vancouver, Seattle and elsewhere echoed their graffitied sentiments: "Fuck Grand Juries"; "Solidarity with Northwest Anarchists." Boldest of all, however (and the inspiration underpinning this spate), has been the action from a small group of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest: silence.  Read more .

Assange row: Hague says 'no solution in sight'

BBC - There is 'no solution in sight' to resolving the Julian Assange extradition row, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said. His comment comes after meeting the vice-president of Ecuador - that country granted asylum to Mr Assange. The Wikileaks founder is in Ecuador's London embassy fighting extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims. The South American country says Britain threatened to storm its embassy but the UK denies making any such threat.  Read more .

Massacre: Up to 80 Yanomami in Venezuela killed by Brazilian gold miners

Common Dreams - As many as 80 Yanomami Indians have been killed in a "massacre" carried out by unauthorized gold miners from Brazil, leaving charred remains of a community and polluted rivers in its wake. Survival International, a London-based groups that works for tribal peoples’ rights worldwide, says that the massacre took place in July but news of the event is only coming to light now due to the community's remote location in Venezuela's Momoi region close to the border with Brazil.  Read more .

They Love the Lies Paul Ryan Tells

John Nichols @ The Nation - It fell to Mitch McConnell, arguably the lousiest public speaker ever to practice the political craft, to sum up everything that can or should be said about the Republican National convention. Opening the “We Can Change It” themed second night of the convention with a call to remove President Obama, the Senate minority leader declared that it was time to put “Mitt Ryan” in charge of the republic.  Read more .

Challenging Big Labor to Fight for a Living Wage

Ralph Nader @ Common Dreams - “Why should I listen to anything Harry Kelber says?” exclaimed a visibly indignant Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. Maybe because Kelber, 98 years young, has been honestly fighting for labor rights as a worker, union organizer, pamphleteer, author, professor and overall hairshirt of the moribund organized labor movement for 78 years–or 15 years before Trumka, the former coal miner and United Mine Workers’ president, was born.  Read more .

Chicago Teachers Give Notice of Strike

In These Times - “What this is about, brothers and sisters, is about a moment in time where either the pendulum is going to swing one way or swing the other.” So said Jitu Brown, education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, in a deep solemn voice appropriate for the serene stained glass windows and vaulted ceilings of the historic Chicago Temple, where Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members, parents and supporters held an impassioned and lively town hall meeting Wednesday night.  Read more .

Canada Orders US Soldier Who Fled War Deported

ABC News - The first female soldier to flee the U.S. military for Canada to avoid the war in Iraq has been ordered deported, a spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign said Thursday. Michelle Robidoux said that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has ordered Kimberly Rivera to leave the country by Sept. 20.  Read more .

Iran's Khamenei Calls for 'Nuclear Free Middle East'

Tehran Times - Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei insisted on Thursday that Iran has never been seeking to produce nuclear weapons. However, the Leader said Iran “will never give up” its right to a peaceful use of nuclear energy. “I stress that the Islamic Republic has never been after nuclear weapons and that it will never give up the right of its people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” the Leader said in an inaugural speech to the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran.  Read more .

Our Hunger Games

Vandana Shiva - Hunger and malnutrition are man-made. They are hardwired in the design of the industrial, chemical model of agriculture. But just as hunger is created by design, healthy and nutritious food for all can also be designed, through food democracy.   We are repeatedly told that we will starve without chemical fertilisers. However, chemical fertilisers, which are essentially poison, undermine food security by destroying the fertility of soil by killing the biodiversity of soil organisms, friendly insects that control pests and pollinators like bees and butterflies necessary for plant reproduction and food production.  Read more .

She's Just an Easy-Bake Oven: How the GOP and the Anti-Choice Movement See Women

RH Reality Check - The good news about the Rep. Todd Akin situation is that it genuinely seems to have raised the public’s awareness of how much the anti-choice movement is rooted not in some love of fetal life, but in a profound misogyny that focuses heavily on fear of female sexuality. Akin’s ready assumption that women frequently lie about rape to cover up their sexual adventures was a perfect example of the demonized view of female sexual liberty driving the anti-choice movement, one that has very little relation to how women actually act in the world. But the exposure of the ugly, misogynist heart of the anti-choice movement might come at a price: Other dehumanizing, ugly attitudes towards women expressed by anti-choicers might seem more moderate by comparison.  Read more .

Iran opens nonaligned summit with calls for nuclear arms ban

Washington Post - Iran opened a world gathering of self-described nonaligned nations Sunday with a slap at the U.N. Security Council and an appeal to rid the world of nuclear weapons, even as Tehran faces Western suspicions that it is seeking its own atomic bombs. Iran seeks to use the weeklong gathering — capped by a two-day summit of Non-Aligned Movement leaders — as a showcase of its global ties and efforts to challenge the influence of the West and its allies. Among those expected to attend include U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, whose nation remains an important Iranian oil customer as Tehran battles Western sanctions over its nuclear program.  Read more .

How the US and Israeli Justice Systems Whitewash State Crimes

Glenn Greenwald @ Guardian UK - The US military announced on Monday that no criminal charges would be brought against the US marines in Afghanistan who videotaped themselves urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters. Nor, the military announced, would any criminal charges be filed against the US troops who "tried to burn about 500 copies of the Qur'an as part of a badly bungled security sweep at an Afghan prison in February, despite repeated warnings from Afghan soldiers that they were making a colossal mistake".  Read more .

Court: Israel at No Fault for Death of Rachel Corrie

Common Dreams - A district court in Haifa has rejected a civil lawsuit that claimed the state of Israel and its armed forces were at fault in the death of American human rights activist Rachel Corrie. Corrie was crushed by an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer in 2003 while trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip.  Read more .

'Rachel Corrie ruling a black day for human rights'

Jerasalem Post - There was no middle ground in reactions to the Haifa District Court ruling rejecting the Corrie family's case on Tuesday, with Rachel Corrie's parents and attorney calling the ruling a "black day for human rights" and the state attorney's office expressing complete satisfaction that the court fully accepted its arguments.  Read more .

Rachel Corrie lawsuit result 'dangerous precedent' say human rights groups

Guardian UK - Human rights organisations have warned of a "dangerous precedent" following an Israeli court's dismissal of a civil lawsuit over the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, which stated that Israel could not be held responsible because its army was engaged in a combat operation. Corrie "was accidentally killed in the framework of a 'war-related activity' ... [and] the state bears no responsibility for the damages inflicted on the plaintiffs resulting from a war-related action," said Judge Oded Gershon at Haifa district court. The 23-year-old activist was crushed by a military bulldozer which she believed was intent on demolishing a Palestinian home in Rafah, southern Gaza, in March 2003.  Read more .

Medical Journal Raises Questions About Medical Abuse at Guantanamo

Jeffrey Kaye @ Truthout - A new medical journal article seriously questions the US government's rationale for use of the controversial antimalaria drug mefloquine on all detainees sent to the detention center at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base. The article cites a series of investigative reports published by Truthout, which first broke the news about the mass administration of mefloquine at Guantanamo in December 2010.  Read more .

Days of Rage: The Quebec Student Protest Movement and the New Social Awakening

Henry Giroux @ Truthout - In many countries throughout the world, young people are speaking out. They are using their voices and bodies to redefine the boundaries of the possible and to protest the crushing currents of neoliberal regimes that ruthlessly assert their power and policies through appeals to destiny, political theology, and the unabashed certainty bred of fundamentalist faith. From Paris, Athens, and London to Montreal and New York City, young people are challenging the current repressive historical conjuncture by rejecting its dominant premises and practices. They are fighting to create a future inclusive of their dreams as the principles of justice and equality become key elements of a radicalized democratic and social project.  Read more .

Hard Travelin' With Henry Rollins: An Exclusive Interview

Jason Leopold @ Truthout - Henry Rollins says he likes to think of himself as his "own little punk rock journalist." But the former leader of the legendary Los Angeles hardcore punk band, Black Flag, is just being modest. He's already proven himself to be a true master of the trade. Rollins is talking about the reporting he did for his most recent book, "Occupants," which features dozens of photographs he shot over the course of seven years in war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan that are as intense as Rollins' stare, and prose as raw and ferocious as the anti-establishment lyrics he belted out during the Reagan era.  Read more .

NYPD: Empire State victims hit by police gunfire

LA Times - All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence. The veteran patrolmen who opened fire on the suit-wearing gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, had only an instant to react when he whirled and pointed a .45-caliber pistol as they approached him from behind on a busy sidewalk.  Read more .

Refinery blast kills 39 in Venezuela, dozens hurt

USA Today - A huge explosion rocked Venezuela's biggest oil refinery and unleashed a ferocious fire on Saturday, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 80 others in one of the deadliest disasters ever to hit the country's key oil industry. Balls of fire rose over the Amuay refinery, among the largest in the world, in video posted on the Internet by people who were nearby at the time. Government officials pledged to restart the refinery within two days and said the country has plenty of fuel supplies on hand to meet domestic needs as well as its export commitments.  Read more .

The Harsh Politics of Rape Pregnancy

Sue Stugis @ The Institute for Southern Studies - Date on which Congressman Todd Akin, an anti-abortion rights Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, wrongly claimed that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because the "female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down": 8/19/2012 Year in which Akin, who holds degrees in management engineering and divinity, first joined the House Committee on Science and Technology, where he continues to serve: 2001 Read more .

First man on moon Neil Armstrong dead at 82

Reuters - The family said in a statement online that Armstrong died following complications from heart-bypass surgery he underwent earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on August 5. As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he stepped on the dusty surface, Armstrong said: "“That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."  Read more .

Truthout Interviews Chris Hedges About Why Revolt Is All We Have Left

Mark Karlin @ Truthout - Chris Hedges, a former New York Times reporter, has become perhaps the foremost media scribe and most prolific advocate of a need for revolutionary change in our current institutional oppression and control of the government by the oligarchical and political elite. Hedges writes with a reporter's detail, a prophet's eloquence and a compelling sense of urgency.  Read more .

Toyota’s gender-bending win

Mary Elizabeth Williams @ Salon - It’s not the first time a beautiful, bikini-clad model has been used to sell a car. But this one’s a little different. In a new Japanese Toyota ad, the long-haired 19-year-old Ukrainian Stav Strashko struts toward a car as the camera lovingly follows the model’s perfect, red bikini-bottomed butt. A jacket is seductively shed. And then Strashko turns around to reveal – she’s a man, baby! Yup, that bare chest is flat, but the bulge in the bikini bottom is not.  Read more .

The Bizarre, Unhealthy, Blinding Media Contempt for Julian Assange

Glenn Greenwald @ Guardian UK - Earlier this week, British lawyer and legal correspondent for the New Statesman David Allen Green generated a fair amount of attention by announcing that he would use his objective legal expertise to bust what he called "legal myths about the Assange extradition." These myths, he said, are being irresponsibly spread by Assange defenders and "are like 'zombie facts' which stagger on even when shot down." In addition to his other credentials, Green – like virtually the entire British press – is a long-time and deeply devoted Assange-basher, and his purported myth-busting was predictably regurgitated by those who reflexively grasp onto anything that reflects poorly on western establishmentarians' public enemy No1. It's really worth examining what Green argued to understand the behavior in which Assange detractors engage to advance this collective vendetta, and also to see how frequently blatant ideological agendas masqu

Elisabeth Murdoch takes aim at brother on media morality

Reuters - Elisabeth Murdoch urged the media industry on Thursday to embrace morality and reject her brother James's mantra of profit at all costs, in a speech seen as an attempt to distance herself from the scandal that has tarnished the family name. Addressing television executives, she said profit without purpose was a recipe for disaster and the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid - which has badly hurt her father Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire - showed the need for a rigorous set of values.  Read more .

Lance Armstrong says won't fight doping charges; will lose titles

Reuters - Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said on Thursday he would no longer fight doping accusations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which said it would strip him of his titles and ban him from competitive cycling. "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough,'" Armstrong said in a statement posted on his website  Read more .

Montreal Students Protest Continue

Montreal Gazette - Student protests made a reappearance in the Quebec election Wednesday after having dropped off the radar in the campaign's first weeks. Thousands of students marched in Montreal — just as they have on the 22nd of every month, for the last six months.  Read more .

California Supreme Court Throws Out Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ban

Ameicans For Safe Access @ Common Dreams - The California Supreme Court dismissed review yesterday of an important appellate court ruling affecting medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Specifically, the High Court threw out the controversial decision in Pack v. City of Long Beach, which previously held that federal law preempted some forms of dispensary regulations. The Pack decision has been used by several municipalities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, to suspend or ban outright the distribution of medical marijuana. However, yesterday's dismissal of the Pack decision throws into question the viability of such bans.  Read more .

Wall Street Tightens Grip on Public Water as Local Residents Suffer

Common Dreams - Investment bankers and other major financial players are increasingly swooping in on public water utilities and other municipal services in cash strapped towns to the detriment of local residents, according to a new report released today by advocacy group Food & Water Watch. Vulture capitalists are increasingly facilitating the privatization of public infrastructure, taking control of public utilities while skimping on services and causing steep price hikes -- all the while making massive profits.  Read more .

US 'should hand over footage of drone strikes or face UN inquiry'

The Indepenent (UK) - The US must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in, Ben Emmerson QC said yesterday. His comments came as Pakistani officials said that a US drone strike had killed at least four militants after targeting their vehicles in North Waziristan on Sunday. Attacks by American unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are deeply unpopular in the country, which claims they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment.  Read more .

Election 2012: Dreams of a Vote Deferred?

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - People remember 1929 as the year of the stock-market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the global economic disaster which remains the only one in history that dwarfs the one in which we now find ourselves. It was also the year Martin Luther King Jr. was born, who wouldn’t live to see 40 years. And it was the year that Langston Hughes graduated from Lincoln University, outside Philadelphia. Hughes, the grandson of abolitionists and voting-rights activists, was an African-American writer. His poem “A Dream Deferred” begins:  Read more .

Robert Reich: The Fanatical GOP

Robert Reich - We’re witnessing the capture by fanatics of what was once a great and important American political party. The Republican Party platform committee now includes a provision calling for a constitutional amendment banning all abortions, without an exception for rape or incest. This is basically Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s position. (At least the GOP platform doesn’t assert that women’s bodies automatically reject “legitimate” rapists’ sperm.)  Read more .

With Romney-Ryan, GOP Becomes Grand Old Private-Equity Party

John Nichols @ The Nation - The ticket Republicans will nominate in Tampa next week is uniquely connected to the "vulture capitalist" constituency, and uniquely committed to protecting the interests of today's robber-baron class. Paul Ryan grew up in a wealthy family with a Republican bent and all the right political and corporate connections. He could easily have made his way into the private sector -- doing business with family and friends, as have generations of wealthy Ryans.  Read more .

Death penalty on trial: should Reggie Clemons live or die?

Guardian UK - Reggie Clemons has one last chance to save his life. After 19 years on death row in Missouri for the murder of two young women, he has been granted a final opportunity to persuade a judge that he should be spared execution by lethal injection. Next month, Clemons will be brought before a court presided over by a "special master", who will review the case one last time. The hearing will be unprecedented in its remit, but at its core will be a simple issue: should Reggie Clemons live or die?  Read more .

Forcible Murder is a Heinous Crime (in Support of Todd Akin)

Caroline Hamilton @ Common Dreams - I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. But when I say “forcible murder,” I am talking about “legitimate murder”—the kind of murder in which the victim did not agree to die. And “legitimate murder” should be regarded as the first-degree homicide of an unwilling human being. I am not talking about the kind of murder where the victim “asks for it.” That kind of murder is not as serious. Victims of this kind of murder are out late, in the wrong part of town, or doing something they shouldn’t, or they live in a black bad neighborhood with lots of gang-bangers running around. So when this kind of victim get murdered, it is no surprise, and probably serves them right for being so immoral, or careless.  Read more .

The Five Most Under-Reported Stories of the Summer

Peter Rothberg @ The Nation - I find back-to-school signs in mid-August jarring and unwanted, but it’s undeniable that summer is quickly fading into another electoral autumn. Before yielding to the insatiable demands of fall though, I solicited thoughts on the summer’s most neglected stories. The competition is tough, as the London Olympics, the presidential campaign and the tragic Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson break-up have sucked up most of the media oxygen in recent months. But these five issues especially demand far more attention than they’ve received this summer.  Read more .

The Hollowing Out of America, Up Close and Personal

Chris Hedges @ Tom Dispatch - During the two years Joe Sacco and I reported from the poorest pockets of the United States, areas that have been sacrificed before the altar of unfettered and unregulated capitalism, we found not only decayed and impoverished communities but shattered lives.  There comes a moment when the pain and despair of constantly running into a huge wall, of realizing that there is no way out of poverty, crush human beings.  Those who best managed to resist and bring some order to their lives almost always turned to religion and in that faith many found the power to resist and even rebel.  Read more .

AT&T: Pay Me, Screw Net Neutrality

Craig Aaron @ Save The Internet - AT&T just announced that unless its iPhone customers subscribe to a more expensive "mobile share" unlimited text-and-voice plan, the company will cripple the device's built-in FaceTime app so users can't make mobile video calls. So if you want to use an app rather than make a call -- something you'll be able to do on a "3G" network when Apple updates its operating system -- then you first have to pay for more old-fashioned phone calls and text messages. Say what?  Read more .

New Report: America Trashes Forty Percent of Food Supply

Natural Resources Defense Council - Americans are throwing away 40 percent of food in the U.S., the equivalent of $165 billion in uneaten food each year, according to a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In a time of drought and skyrocketing food prices, NRDC outlines opportunities to reduce wasted food and money on the farm, in the grocery store and at home.  Read more .

Glencore declares drought good for business profits

Reuters - "In terms of the outlook for the balance of the year, the environment is a good one. High prices, lots of volatility, a lot of dislocation, tightness, a lot of arbitrage opportunities," Chris Mahoney, director of agricultural products, told a conference call on Tuesday. "I think we will both be able to provide the world with solutions, getting stuff to where it's needed quickly and timely, and that should also be good for Glencore."  Read more .

US Court Throws Out EPA Coal Pollution Rule

Common Dreams - Up to 240 million Americans will now lose protections against dangerous smog and soot pollution, following a decision by a US appeals court on Tuesday. In a 2-1 decision the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which would have reduced harmful emissions from coal-burning power plants and saved the lives of up to 34,000 people per year.  Read more .

Cultural Miseducation: Knowledge, Power and Ethnic Studies

Michelle Chen @ Culture Strike - This summer, Tucson students, educators, and activist did something rebellious: they celebrated books. These weren’t just any books, of course. They were the books that had been deemed contraband by school authorities, vilified as tools of a curriculum that promotes ethnic hatred. In other words, they were works like Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, Mexican White Boy, the play Zoot Suit, and Like Water for Chocolate. Texts that aim to foster critical thinking, political curiosity, and other dangerous behaviors.  Read more .

No Person Shall Be Deprived of Life, Liberty or Property… Unless the Oil and Gas Industry Says So

Food and Water Watch - Eminent domain, the government’s right to condemn (or take) private land for “public use,” has at times been a highly contentious topic because it can displace people from their homes to make way for construction of different projects, like highways or roads, civic buildings and other types of public infrastructure. However, what some may not realize is that several states have granted eminent domain authority to certain private entities, including oil and gas companies. These companies are using it as a tool to seize private land, which increases profits and benefits their wallets.  Read more .

Human Rights Critics of Russia and Ecuador Parade Their Own Hypocrisy

Glenn Greenwald @ Guardian UK - Readers of the American and British press over the past month have been inundated with righteous condemnations of Ecuador's poor record on press freedoms. Is this because western media outlets have suddenly developed a new-found devotion to defending civil liberties in Latin America? Please. To pose the question is to mock it. It's because feigning concern for these oppressive measures is a convenient instrument for demeaning and punishing Ecuador for the supreme crime of defying the US and its western allies. The government of President Rafael Correa granted asylum to western establishmentarians' most despised figure, Julian Assange, and Correa's government then loudly condemned Britain's implied threats to invade its embassy. Ecuador must therefore be publicly flogged for its impertinence, and its press freedom record is a readily available whip. As a fun bonus, denunciations of Correa's media oppression is a cheap and easy way

Japan's Katrina Moment

Derek Monroe @ Foreign Policy in Focus - Japan has always had a reputation for organizational prowess and efficiency, which in the past earned it the nickname “Prussia of the East.” That image, along with its post-World War II prosperity, has been seriously shaken by its stinted recovery from last year’s natural and nuclear disasters.  Read more .

Youth Activists Come Together to Build a Movement for Student Power

Sarah Jaffe @ AlterNet - I'm on a bus with about 50 student organizers as it pulls out of Union Square in New York and heads for the highway, for Columbus, Ohio and the National Student Power Convergence. I have a tiny zine of "pocket chants for your daily taking-of-the-street needs" in my hand, and someone's stuck a red square—the symbol of the Quebec student movement, adopted by US students for their own organizing—on the window above my head. My fellow passengers, one by one, introduce themselves to the crowd by name, preferred gender pronoun, where they go to school, and four words to explain why they're on the bus. The answers range from "To build student power" through "Direct action gets goods" to "State smashing queer glitter."  Read more .

WikiLeaks and Free Speech

Michael Moore and Oliver Stone @ NY Times - WE have spent our careers as filmmakers making the case that the news media in the United States often fail to inform Americans about the uglier actions of our own government. We therefore have been deeply grateful for the accomplishments of WikiLeaks, and applaud Ecuador’s decision to grant diplomatic asylum to its founder, Julian Assange, who is now living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  Read more .

Exclusive Truthout Interview: Sioux Spiritual Leader Speaks Out on Land Sale at Sacred Site

Truthout - The sacred lands of the Lakota are up for sale - again. A grassroots effort led by the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, is underway to get them back. On August 25 at 10 AM, nearly 2,000 acres of land, known as Pe' Sla to the Lakota people and situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota, will be put up for public auction and sold to the highest bidder. The state of South Dakota has expressed interest in using eminent domain to pave one of the roads that runs through it. The land is currently known as the Reynolds Prairie Ranches. Other than the potential road-paving project, it is unclear for what type of development the land would be most sought after, although the manager of one local business expressed his hope that all five tracts up for sale would go to a rancher.  Read more .

Many New York City Teachers Denied Tenure in Policy Shift

Al Baker @ NY Times - Nearly half of New York City teachers reaching the end of their probations were denied tenure this year, the Education Department said on Friday, marking the culmination of years of efforts toward Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s goal to end “tenure as we know it.” Only 55 percent of eligible teachers, having worked for at least three years, earned tenure in 2012, compared with 97 percent in 2007.  Read more .

Peace Laureates Call on NBC to Cancel New Show: 'War Isn't Entertainment'

Common Dreams - Nine Nobel Peace Laureates on Monday joined a growing chorus of critics calling on NBC entertainment to cancel the new “reality” show—“Stars Earn Stripes”—saying that “war isn’t entertainment” and challenged NBC’s promotional line that that such a television program would be “pay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-line responder services.” The show, co-hosted by retired US General Wesley Clark and promoted heavily by NBC during its Summer Olympics telecast is scheduled to begin Monday night and stars actor Dean Cain, “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince, former WWE champion Eva Torres, former boxer Laila Ali, singer Nick Lachey, former Olympic gold medallist Picabo Street, actor Terri Crews, and Sarah Palin’s husband Todd.  Read more .

Israel Kicks Out Migrants – By Changing Their Nationality and Sending Them to Another Country

Maeve McClenaghan @ the Bureau of Investigative Journalism - Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel are being issued with documents changing their nationality, allowing them to be removed from the country or imprisoned. The Bureau has identified migrants who have recently been issued with documents labelling them as South Sudanese – despite holding passports showing they were born in areas that remain in Sudan. Four migrants from the Republic of Sudan have already been flown from Israel to South Sudan, an entirely different country that was formed last year. The South Sudanese authorities refused to accept them at the border and they were sent back to Tel Aviv.  Read more .

US War On Whistleblowers Must End: Official Statement by Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy

Julian Assange @ Wikileaks - I am here because I cannot be closer to you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your resolve and your generosity of spirit. On Wednesday night after a threat was sent to this embassy and the police descended on the building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it and you brought the world’s eyes with you.  Read more .

Striking South Africa miners given ultimatum

Al Jazeera - Workers at an embattled South Africa mine have vowed to prolong their wildcat strike, saying that returning to work would be "an insult" to 34 colleagues killed by police, even as the mine operator threatened to fire them over the walkout. "Expecting us to go back is like an insult. Many of our friends and colleagues are dead, then they expect us to resume work. Never," said worker Zachariah Mbewu on Sunday, adding that no one would return to work as long as they were still in mourning.  Read more .

U.S. Court Upholds Status Quo on Gene Patents

Inter Press Service - Is a gene more like a tree trunk or more like a baseball bat? A federal court Thursday took a stand on the question, ruling that isolated DNA molecules are “not found in nature”, and are therefore more like inventions, such as baseball bats, than natural phenomenon, such as tree trunks.  Read more .

Dozens killed in South Africa mine shooting

Al Jazeera - South African police killed 34 people in a shooting at a mine in North West province, the country's police chief says. Officers shot at the workers who were protesting on Thursday afternoon over pay at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, some 100km northwest of Johannesburg. The incident, which police said was an act of self defence, appears to be one of the bloodiest police operations since the end of white-minority rule in 1994 in Africa's biggest economy. National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, speaking at a news conference on Friday, also said 78 people had been injured and 259 arrested in Thursday's violence.  Read more .

African lives cheap as ever

Soweto Live (South Africa) - WERE South Africa the normal country that our Constitution envisages - where the right to life is paramount - a calamity of the proportions of Marikana would have led to drastic measures being taken by the government.  Read more .

The New Totalitarianism of Surveillance Technology

Naomi Wolf @ Guardian UK - A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.  Read more .

The Life of An African Is Expendable

Abby Zimet @ Common Dreams - The massacre of 34 striking platinum mine workers - with 78 more injured - by heavily armed South African police, and the ensuing images of the bloodied bodies of black men in blankets and t-shirts crumpled on the ground, have conjured apartheid-era memories for many who wonder just how much has changed there.  Read more .

Organisation of American States to hold meeting next week following Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to Assange

Guardian UK - The diplomatic row between Britain and Ecuador over the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is to be discussed by foreign ministers from across the Americas next week. The Organisation of American States (OAS) has voted to hold a meeting next Friday following Ecuador's decision to grant political asylum to Assange, who is currently taking refuge in the country's embassy in London.  Read more .

Two American soldiers killed by Afghan ally hours after Taliban leader boasts of "green on blue" threat

The Telegraph - A fighter in an Afghan local defence militia opened fire on his American allies and killed two in the latest example of the growing insider threat to Nato forces. The killing came just hours after a message purporting to be from Mullah Mohammad Omar, fugitive leader of the Taliban, boasted the insurgents had widely infiltrated the Afghan forces to launch such attacks.  Read more .

Two American soldiers killed by Afghan ally hours after Taliban leader boasts of "green on blue" threat

Common Dreams - In the sixth "green on blue" incident in two weeks, two U.S. soldiers were killed southwestern Afghanistan by a supposed Afghan ally on Friday. As The Telegraph describes the incident, "A newly recruited member of the Afghan Local Police, a village defence force trained by international forces, opened fire in Farah province when he was given a weapon for a training session. American and Afghan forces shot back and killed him."  Read more .

Pussy Riot verdict sparks worldwide protests

Moscow Times - A verdict is expected to be announced Friday in the trial of three members of punk group Pussy Riot, charged with hooliganism for their alleged participation in an unsanctioned performance denouncing President Vladimir Putin in Christ the Savior Cathedral in February. The trio faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Protests have been announced in over 50 cities worldwide in support of the women.  Read more .

Pussy Riot Verdict: Guilty

Common Dreams - Three members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot have been found guilty of "hooliganism" and have been sentenced to two years prison in a court on Friday over the performance of an anti-Putin song in Christ the Savior Cathedral in February. ` Read more .

Occupy Movement Inspires Conversations About Criminalizing Homelessness

Sarah Page @ Truthout - Xander is always reaching out to people, so it wasn't surprising to see him talking to police officers outside the Bank of America building on one of the first nights those sidewalks were occupied. In planning for the start of Occupy San Francisco (then known as Occupy Financial District San Francisco), organizers wondered whether the city's new "sit/lie" ordinance would be used against them and if people would be arrested. The sit/lie ordinance in San Francisco makes it illegal to sit or lie on the sidewalks between 7 AM and 11 PM.  Read more .

Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence

Gareth Porter @ Truthout - Detailed information from the families of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan and from local sources on strikes that have targeted mourners and rescue workers provides credible new evidence that the majority of the deaths in the drone war in Pakistan have been civilian noncombatants - not "militants," as the Obama administration has claimed.  Read more .

Fund the Arts to Create Beauty and Meaning in America

Max Eternity @ Truthout - Once upon a time, the United States was known for its radical pioneering spirit and its thirst for intelligent exploration. Investing stateside was the top priority and, in not-so-distant days of yore, when one said "America," there was a ring of nobility to it. These days, however, the United States is known for pink slime in public school lunchrooms, and it also appears that we have developed a phobia for originality, thoughtfulness, and compassion, along with a tendency to abandon, ignore and/or defund our best and brightest.  Read more .

Boston's Logan Airport 'Rife' with Racial Profiling: Report

Common Dreams - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has opened an investigation into claims that racial profiling by security staff is a widespread and often encouraged practice at Boston's Logan airport, according to a new report by the New York Times. The agency came under fire this month after 32 officers filed written complaints at a Logan TSA meeting -- some of them anonymous.  Read more .

Ecuador Grants Julian Assange Asylum

Guardian UK - Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has agreed to give Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador's government have said. The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador's London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum. "Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange," said an official in the Ecuadorean capital Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.  Read more.

Behind Oak Creek, Divided Families Endure

Michelle Chen - In the aftermath of the Oak Creek shooting, the Sikh community is wrestling with despair and terror. But as the paralysis of grief dissipates, other injustices surface–the underlying struggles that immigrants bundle under the stiff armor of day-to-day survival.  Read more .

Racial Profiling Rife at Airport, U.S. Officers Say

NY Times - More than 30 federal officers in an airport program intended to spot telltale mannerisms of potential terrorists say the operation has become a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities. In interviews and internal complaints, officers from the Transportation Security Administration’s “behavior detection” program at Logan International Airport in Boston asserted that passengers who fit certain profiles — Hispanics traveling to Miami, for instance, or blacks wearing baseball caps backward — are much more likely to be stopped, searched and questioned for “suspicious” behavior.  Read more .

Bradley Manning treatment in 'flagrant violation' of military code – lawyer

Guardian UK - The harsh conditions forced upon Bradley Manning in military detention have been laid out in detail as part of a court filing in which the US army is accused of a "flagrant violation" of his right not to be punished prior to trial. The Article 13 motion, published Friday by Manning's civilian lawyer David Coombs on his website, claims that Manning, who is accused of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks, was held in a 6x8 ft cell for 23 to 24 hours a day. In addition, when not sleeping, Manning was banned from lying down, or even using a wall to support him.  Read more .

Manning Defense Calls for Dismissal of Charges over Cruel and Unusual Punishment in Detention

Common Dreams - US army whistleblower Private Bradley Manning, known for allegedly leaking embarrassing US cables to website WikiLeaks, is now claiming his treatment in a pre-trial military prison for nine months was extreme and harsh and warrants a complete dismissal of his case. Manning's defense also claims that his abusive treatment was directed from high up a chain of command.  Read more .

Caravan for Peace: Mexican Victims of Violence Take Aim Against US Firearms

Inter Press Service - “The United States should stop producing so many weapons, which cause us so much harm. That country also suffers from so much violence, as billions of dollars go into manufacturing guns.” That is the message that anti-crime activist Fernando Ocegueda will take to the public in the United States, during a one-month visit to that country by the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity, made up of 70 family members of victims of violence in Mexico.  Read more .

Schools Without Playgrounds, Children Without Childhood, a Future Without Hope

Danny Weil @ Truthout - The Milwaukee Common Council is expected to take up the issue within a week as to a proposed ordinance on whether any new elementary school approved in Milwaukee should include outdoor play space. Yes, while our children are savagely beaten down in the Dickensian landscape of high-stakes testing, zero-tolerance policies, school-to-prison pipelines, austerity measures that make the seedy and dangerous streets of American cities the sole source of recreation for many experiencing massive poverty and a sense of their own disposability, the city of Milwaukee is considering whether these children of Fagin should even have "yard time." Schools are more and more beginning to resemble maximum-security prisons, but at least at most of those institutions, there is one hour of outdoor time.  Read more .

US Post Office Considers Bringing Back Banking Services

Ellen Brown @ Truthout - On July 27, 2012, the National Association of Letter Carriers adopted a resolution at their national convention in Minneapolis to investigate the establishment of a postal banking system. The resolution noted that expanding postal services and developing new sources of revenue are important components of any effort to save the public post office and preserve living-wage jobs; that many countries have a long and successful history of postal banking, including Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States itself; and that postal banks could serve the nine million people who don't have a bank account and the 21 million who use usurious check cashers, giving low-income people access to a safe banking system. "A USPS [United States Postal Service] bank would offer a 'public option' for banking," concluded the resolution, "providing basic checking and savings - and no complex financial wheeling and dealing."  Read more .

Undue Influence: The Power of Police and Prison Guards' Unions

Andrew Stelzer @ National Radio Project - Police officers and prison guards hold tremendous political sway. Their unions support or opposition can make or break a campaign for office. And their advocacy for better pay, more power, and more jobs has been a major factor in the expansion of the prison industrial complex. For decades, they’ve helped build America’s build America’s criminal justice system. Now that system is changing. Can law enforcement unions change as well?  Read more .

General Petraeus and the Drone War

Richard Sale @ Truthout - With no hobbies, no fishing, no hunting, no golf, the five-foot-nine, 155-pound Petraeus, who wears his brown hair neatly parted, is known as a colossal worker. Since he assumed the central command of Centcom, he is known as a man who answers his emails at all hours of the day and night, a man whose days are full of secure computer screens, secure phones, with top-secret documents arranged around a compulsively immaculate desk. Once Petraeus was given command in Afghanistan, his star rose even more precipitously, and he became the director of the CIA and the czar of President Obama's drone warfare strategy in Afghanistan.  Read more .

Earthquake in Iran puts deathtoll at 250

ABC News - Residents of the zone in northwestern Iran hit by powerful twin earthquakes described moments of terror and panic with birds crowing loudly in warning seconds before the ground shook. As the death toll rose Sunday to more than 250 with entire villages leveled, rescuers called off searches for survivors and turned their attention to caring for the 16,000 people left homeless.  Read more .

Classified Life: Sibel Edmonds' Story

Truthout - Sibel Edmonds is a former language specialist for the FBI, where she reported serious acts of security breaches and cover-ups - for which she was retaliated against and ultimately fired. Her memoir, "Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story," takes readers on a journey inside the FBI after 9/11, and through the halls of Congress and a stonewalling judiciary. In late September 2001, Edmonds took a job as a translator at the FBI. The bureau was desperate for Middle Eastern language speakers and Edmonds, who spent her childhood in Iran and Turkey and is fluent in Farsi, Turkish and Azerbaijani, was eager to help. She had no idea that she would find herself targeted for uncovering espionage within the FBI and witness a stunning cover-up.  Read more .

Three Thousand San Francisco Janitors Prepare for a Strike

David Bacon @ Truthout - The national confrontation between janitors and some of the world's richest property owners has arrived in San Francisco where, on Wednesday, over two thousand building cleaners shut down the city's main artery, Market Street, in a huge march. Later, twenty-seven workers and supporters were arrested in a financial district intersection as they blocked it in an act of civil disobedience.  Read more .

Major Banks Help Clients Hide Trillions in Offshore Tax Havens

Gehry, Gang and other leading architects urge Emanuel to save old Prentice Women's Hospital

Chicago Tribune - Los Angeles architect Frank Gehry and Chicago architect Jeanne Gang are among more than 60 prominent architects, educators and historic preservationists who on Wednesday urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to save architect Bertrand Goldberg's old Prentice Women's Hospital and grant city landmark status to the threatened structure. The message, sent in a letter to the mayor and made available to the Tribune on Thursday, said: "As members of the architecture community, we believe Goldberg's Prentice should be given a permanent place in Chicago's cityscape. A building this significant--this unique in the world--should be preserved and reused."  Read more .

UN Should Get Rid of Cholera Epidemic That It Brought to Haiti

Mark Weisbrot @ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services - Haitians have had a long and arduous struggle just to achieve the rights that most people in the rest of the hemisphere have enjoyed. From the revolution of Haitian slaves that won independence from the French in 1804, through the U.S. occupation (1915-1934), the Duvalier family dictatorship (1957-1986), and the last 20 years of devastating foreign intervention, the “international community” just hasn’t seen Haitians as having the same basic human rights as people in other countries.  Read more .

Group Exposes Practice of Adding Synthetic Preservatives to 'Organic' Baby Formula

Common Dreams - A non-profit consumer advocacy and research organization has filed a formal legal complaint with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) against several infant formula manufacturers it says are adding synthetic preservatives to certified organic infant formula. The Organic Foods Production Act, passed by Congress in 1990, explicitly bans synthetic preservatives in organic food., but the Wisonsin-based Cornucopia Institute claims that a variety of producers have added more than a dozen unapproved synthetic ingredients to organic infant formula over the past five years.  Read more .

The Koch Brothers Go After Actor Zach Galifianakis and the Film "The Campaign"

Alyssa Rosenberg @ Think Progress - In The Campaign, out this weekend, Will Ferrell plays an incumbent Congressman who’s running what’s supposed to be an uncontested race, when a pair of wealthy brothers by the name of Motch put up a genial dummy, played by Zach Galifianakis, to run against him. Unsurprisingly, Galifianakis confirmed that the brothers, played in the movie by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow, are meant to be a stand-in for the real-life industrialists and right-wing political funders Charles and David Koch, and mentioned in a recent interview that he found the pair “creepy.”  Read more .

Return Your Eagle Scout Badge

Mark Engler @ Dissent Magazine - Are you disgusted and outraged by the recent decision of the Boy Scouts of America to reaffirm its exclusion of gay members from the organization? You're not alone. Some of scouting's highest-ranking participants feel the same way. And they're sending back their Eagle Scout badges as an act of protest. In late July, as the New York Times explained, the BSA upheld "its longtime policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders....The exclusion policy 'reflects the beliefs and perspectives' of the organization, the Boy Scouts said in a news release from its headquarters in Irving, Tex." Invoking your "beliefs and perspectives" to justify discrimination makes for a sorry display. But it has also prompted some dignified defiance.  Read more .

News Corporation posts $1.6bn loss as phone-hacking legal fees stack up

Guardian UK - News Corporation made a loss of $1.6bn (£1.2bn) in the last quarter as it absorbed $2.8bn in charges related to a plan to spin off its ailing publishing businesses. The loss compared with a profit of $683m in the same period a year ago and came as revenues dipped 6.7% to $8.4bn, hit by a slide in audiences for TV shows including American Idol and disappointment at the box office for its Hollywood studio. The results were below analysts' expectations and the company's shares fell in after-hours trading.  Read more .

Mr. President, the Elephant in the Room Is Not a Republican

Salvatore Babones @ Truthout - The recession has been hard on everyone. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those who didn't lose their jobs suffered salary cuts. Retirement savings and home values have plummeted. Even people who have kept their jobs and homes have had to worry about the possibility of losing them. But the recession is officially over. In fact, it has officially been over since June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Last month, we entered the fourth year of recovery.  Read more .

Tom Waits: Hell Broke Luce

Abby Zimet @ Common Dreams - Tom Waits has released a powerful and surreal video for Hell Broke Luce, based on the story of Jeff Lucey, a 23-year-old Marine veteran of Iraq who killed himself.  Read more.

Interpol issues notice for arrest of Sea Shepherd founder

Yahoo! News - Interpol has issued an international notice for the arrest of fugitive eco-warrior Paul Watson, famed for his high-seas clashes with Japanese whalers, after he skipped bail in Germany. Watson's Sea Shepherd organisation denounced the move as part of a "politically motivated" campaign led by Japan to put an end to his efforts against whaling.  Read more .

NOAA: July Was Hottest Month Ever in US

Common Dreams - July was the hottest month on record in the continental United States, continuing the warmest January-to-July period since modern record-keeping began in 1895, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported Wednesday. The average temperature for July across the continental US was 77.6 degrees F -- 3.3 degrees F above the 20th century average.  Read more .

Appeals Court OKs Warrantless Wiretapping

David Dravets @ Wired - The federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in a decision reversing the first and only case that successfully challenged President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program. “This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization,” a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S.  Read more .

Companies are set to pay $8 billion to settle charges of ripping off the government, though no CEOs have been charged

Salon - This year, military contractors, banks, pharmaceutical companies and other corporations might end up spending more than $8 billion in settlements with the government, the New York Times reports. Though the lawsuits include accusations of overbilling, drug marketing, selling “dangerous and defective” equipment to the military, and price and security fraud, thus far no individual within the corporations involved has been held accountable.  Read more.

Bill Moyers: Suppressing Votes by Law

Bill Moyers @ Moyers & Company - This week, Bill talks to Keesha Gaskins and Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center for Justice about new voter ID and other election laws that keep the young, elderly, minorities and the poor from exercising one of the most fundamental American rights. “When these votes come under attack by this level of partisan gamesmanship, it’s completely inappropriate and antithetical to our history,” Gaskins tells Bill. “This is a very real political issue, but beyond that, this is a real issue of real Americans being able to access and be self-determinative in how we’re governed.”  Read more .

Journalist ends up in handcuffs after photographing arrest in New York

Knight Center (University of Texas) - A freelance photographer for The New York Times found himself under arrest on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 4, after shooting the arrest of a teenager in the Bronx. According to New York magazine, photojournalist Robert Stolarik was taking pictures of a street fight when he started photographing a teenage girl being arrested.   Read more .

Interview With the Green Party's Jill Stein, Candidate for Organizer in Chief

Yana Kunichoff @ Truthout - Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spent Wednesday night in a Philadelphia jail after being arrested at an Occupy protest against Fannie Mae, something not entirely surprising for a politician that throws around words like "imperialism" and "economic violence" while celebrating "the battle that has already come to our streets."  Read more .

New House Bill Tries to Save Medical Marijuana Dispensaries From Justice Department Crackdown

Aviva Shen @ ThinkProgress - In 2009, the Justice Department formally announced that it would not direct its limited resources towards medical marijuana dispensaries acting in full compliance with state law. According to a memo from then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, federal prosecutors “should not focus federal resources . . . on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Recently, however, U.S. Attorneys in states such as California and Colorado, where medical marijuana use is legal, have began threatening to seize the buildings that house medical marijuana dispensaries unless the dispensaries’ landlords evict their cannabis-providing tenants.  Read more .

Harry Truman's grandson attends ceremony marking 67th anniversary of attack on Hiroshima

Associated Press @ Newser - Japan marked the 67th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack with a ceremony Monday that was attended by a grandson of Harry Truman, the U.S. president who ordered the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In a news conference after the memorial, Daniel declined to comment on whether his grandfather's decision was the right one. "I'm two generations down the line. It's now my responsibility to do all I can to make sure we never use nuclear weapons again," he said, according to Japan's Kyodo news service.  Read more .

Turning College Students Into Commodities

Jim Hightower - Let's take a trip deep into the magic kingdom of "Laissez Fairyland" and prostrate ourselves before the infallible and inscrutable force known as the free market. While this awesome deity cannot be seen, the high priests of free-market fundamentalism insist that we mere mortals must simply have faith that its mysterious workings are always in our best interest. Yeah, sure, your holiness. We saw how well that worked out for us wandering pilgrims after you true believers deregulated Wall Street, which then crashed on our streets.  Read more .

Drone Attacks Only Create More Enemies for the US

Eric Margolis @ Eric - I was visiting Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States when the phone on his desk rang. “The hot line,” he said. “Sorry I have to take this call.” As he listened, his face grew darker and darker. Finally, he banged down the phone and exploded: “Another US drone attack that killed a score of our people. We were never warned the attack was coming. We are supposed to be US allies!”  Read more .

The LIBOR Scandal: Why is it Scandalous?

Immanuel Wallerstein @ Common Dreams - Since July 4, we have been reading in major world newspapers and in statements by legislators, central banks, and judicial authorities, that there is a “scandal” about something called LIBOR. Before that time, few persons outside the group concerned with banking had even heard of LIBOR. Suddenly, we were being told that major banks in Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, France, and probably a number of other countries had engaged in actions that were allegedly “fraudulent.”  Read more .

Shootings at a Temple Test the Founding Faith of America

Yahoo News - A bell tolled to mark a moment of silence while people joined hands in prayer as tens of thousands marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Monday. Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates attended an annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorating the US bombing of the city nearly seven decades ago, as a rising tide of anti-nuclear sentiment swells in post-Fukushima Japan. "On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack -- never," said Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament affairs, reading a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Read more .

Sikh Temple Shooter Identified: US Veteran Wade Michael Page

Common Dreams - An anonymous federal official released the identity of Sunday's Sikh Temple massacre gunman on Monday as US military veteran Wade Michael Page, 40. Page began a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday, leaving six people dead and three others critically wounded in what police are calling an act of domestic terrorism. Wade was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers. According to the source, Page was a US Army "psychological operations specialist," who served between April 1992 and October 1998, ending his career at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  Read more .

Gunman's tattoos lead officials to deem Sikh shooting terrorism

LA Times - Tattoos on the body of the slain Sikh temple gunman and certain biographical details led the FBI to treat the attack at a Milwaukee-area temple as an act of domestic terrorism, officials said Sunday. The shootings in Oak Creek, Wis., left seven dead, including the gunman, and three critically wounded. One of the injured was a police officer who was expected to survive.  Read more .

The Top Five Most Hypocritical Corporate Sponsors

Alyssa Figueroa @ AlterNet - A couple of years ago, Susan G. Komen for the Cure raised some ire when the breast cancer organization teamed up with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was an unlikely partnership between a health advocacy organization and a fast food corporation, and considering the research on the health effects of fatty foods, many thought it was highly inappropriate.  Sadly, these kinds of fiscal arrangements are not an anomaly. Many non-profits and other charities rely on corporate sponsorships to keep them afloat – and some of those partnerships seem as counterproductive as KFC's and Komen’s “pink bucket” campaign.  Read more .

The Dangers of ‘Football Brain’

Truthdig - More than 3,000 former players and their families have filed a class-action lawsuit against the National Football League, alleging that the organization downplayed the risks associated with head injuries and “fostered a culture of violent play.”  Read more .

Handmaidens to Barbarity

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death.  Read more .

Goldman Sachs will invest nearly $10 million in a New York City jails program

Reuters - Goldman will create one of the nation's first "social service bonds" to help fund a New York City program that aims to lower the 50 percent recidivism rate among youthful offenders jailed at the Rikers Island correctional facility. Unlike similar proposals being developed elsewhere, most of Goldman's ‘Rikers bond' will be guaranteed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the mayor's philanthropic group, which will back $7.2 million of the $9.6 million investment the bank plans. Bloomberg called juvenile offender recidivism in New York City an "entrenched" problem. Read more .

The Bomb and the Drone: The Grim Reaper Keeps Taking Its Toll

Ed Kinane @ Truthout - The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki belong always before us. The agony of those two cities must remain our dark beacon. Hiroshima/Nagasaki wasn't so much about targets as about audiences. We - or rather, the very highest reaches of the US government - annihilated a couple hundred thousand nameless, unarmed, undefended human beings to warn the world: "Don't mess with us; we run things now." Thanks to its atomic prowess –-showcased at Hiroshima and Nagasaki - for over 65 years the United States has been able to hold the planet hostage. It deploys nuclear blackmail to further its corporations' grip on the world's resources and markets. But such gunboat diplomacy has only partially succeeded.  Read more .

Chick-Fil-A: ‘Not the Freedom The American Dream Promises’

Talking Points Memo (TMP) - TPM Reader BC on why the ‘Chick-Fil-A’ Appreciation Day crazy yesterday was no joke … I just saw your picture of the day and felt it was a good opportunity to express some of my thoughts and feelings about what happened yesterday in regards to Chick-Fil-A appreciation day. I do not think that any of the stories that have been written (at TPM or otherwise) capture, in the slightest bit, how this has effected people within the LGBT community. This photo was taken at the Chick-Fil-A directly across the street from my office in Arlington, Virginia.  Read more .

Flight of the teddy bears lands Belarussian generals in hot water

Guardian UK - It's probably the first time in history that teddy bears have defeated generals. Belarus's authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has sacked the country's air defence chief and the head of the border guards service after a Swedish light plane intruded on the country's airspace and dropped hundreds of teddy bears decked out with parachutes and slogans supporting human rights.  Read more .

Despite Promises, Colombia FTA Does Little to End Abuse of Labor Activists

Common Dreams - Despite repeated assurances from both the US and Colombian governments, labor leaders say that two months after the implementation of a bi-lateral trade deal between the two countries few meaningful protections for unionists have been implemented. "We ask President (Barack) Obama to push for more guarantees for Colombian workers," Miguel Conde, with Sintrainagro, a union representing workers on palm-oil plantations, said at at press event held at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington. "In Colombia, it is easier to form an armed group than a trade union… because we still have no guarantees from the government."  Read more .