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Showing posts from September, 2013

ObamaCare’s Shameful and Lethal Three-Year History — and Future

Joe Firestone @ Naked Capitalism - Many people, and especially Obama supporters, characterize the ACA (ObamaCare) as “just starting” or a “work in progress” and then go on to urge that the program will have “glitches,” needs to be “tweaked,” isn’t yet “fully implemented,” and so forth. We think it’s a mistake to see the ACA as just starting. We also think it’s a mistake not to weigh the costs of ObamaCare’s stately three-year progress toward partial coverage for the the American people, and just as important to weigh the opportunity costs. The ACA was passed in March 2010, incorporating many features designed to meet Republican objections to the Bill. Yet, in the end, Democrats never put Medicare for All on the table, abandoned the public option and many other features, and did not get a single Republican vote in either chamber.   Read more .

Greenwald and Scahill Investigating NSA Role in US 'Assassination Program'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Though they refused to offer many details on the project, journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald on Saturday night announced that they are now working together on joint investigation on how the U.S. National Security Agency has been involved in the wider overseas "assassination program" run by the Obama administration.   Read more .

Atlanta initiative finds hundreds of homes for homeless

USA Today - After Larry Mainor left the armed forces, he spent years getting high on crack and sleeping in cars, under bridges, behind restaurants and even in the woods. Now, he finally has a roof over his head and his own bed to sleep in. Mainor is one of hundreds of homeless veterans and other chronically homeless people being helped by an Atlanta initiative aimed at getting people off the streets and in permanent housing in a city that for years has struggled to keep people off the streets. The city is well on its way to meeting its goal of finding homes for 800 people this year, with already more than 700 in homes.   Read more .

Oh, No, Not Peace!

Matthew Rothchild @ The Progressive - All of a sudden, peace has broken out, and the neocons couldn’t be more upset. Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post is practically apoplectic.   Read more .

Pastor shot, killed in front of congregation during Louisiana church service

FOX News - A gunman walked into a Louisiana nighttime revival service Friday night and opened fire on a pastor while he was preaching in front of about 60 people and then, after the pastor fell, stood over him and fired at least one more round in front of the terrified congregation, authorities told   Read more .

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA 'Repeatedly Deceived the American People'

Glenn Greenwald @ Guardian UK - The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday held a hearing, ostensibly to investigate various issues raised about the NSA's activities. What the hearing primarily achieved instead was to underscore what a farce the notion of Congressional oversight over the NSA is. In particular, the current chair of the Senate Committee created in the mid-1970s to oversee the intelligence community just so happens to be one of the nation's most steadfast and blind loyalists of and apologists for the National Security State: Dianne Feinstein.   Read more .

Flesh-rotting ‘krokodil’ drug makes it to US, ‘frightens’ Arizona medics - Arizona doctors and law enforcement officials are warning the public about a dangerous homemade narcotic that can cause human flesh to quickly decay and drastically reduce users’ life expectancy after the drug surfaced in the US state. Desomorphine, known in Russia as “krokodil,” or crocodile, is an extremely toxic drug made from codeine-based pills that are then mixed with iodine, paint thinner, gasoline, alcohol or oil. The concoction is injected, leading to a shorter but more powerful high that’s often found with heroin or morphine use.   Read more .

Judge legalizes same-sex marriage in New Jersey; Christie vows to appeal - A state judge today ruled to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, saying gay couples would be denied federal benefits if the state kept allowing only civil unions. Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson granted an emergency request by six gay couples, ordering state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on Oct. 21.   Read more .

'Unequivocal' says IPCC: Planet Is Burning, Humans Are Causing It

Common Dreams - If the public and policymakers want a single adjective to describe the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's new assessment report that's the word. Released Friday, the IPCC report states, that "warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia."   Read more .

Judge orders new trial for Marissa Alexander (Florida) - A Jacksonville woman whose unsuccessful Stand Your Ground case gained national attention is getting a new trial after an appeals court ruled the judge improperly instructed the jury on how it should consider her claims of self-defense. Thursday the 1st District Court of Appeal threw out Marissa Alexander’s conviction and 20-year prison sentence.   Read more .

NSA Chief: 'Yes' - Our Desire Is To Collect All US Communications

Jacob Chamberlain @ Common Dreams - Asked whether the National Security Agency should collect all communications of U.S. residents at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, NSA Director General Keith Alexander replied, "I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox – yes."   Read more .

Extent of BP oil spill's damage to sea-floor life "astounding"

CBS News - The vast 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill damaged the tiny animals that live on the sea floor for about 57 square miles around the blown-out BP oil well, with severe damage in about nine square miles of that area, says a researcher from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Pollution and damage to animal life was severe nearly two miles from the wellhead and identifiable more than 10 miles away, Paul Montagna wrote in a report published Tuesday in the online journal PLOS One.   Read more .

North Carolina county board of education bans ‘Invisible Man’ from school libraries - A central North Carolina school district voted to remove Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” from county school libraries this week. The Randolph County Board of Education voted 5-2 Monday to suppress the seminal 1952 work on the oppressive social climate that African Americans faced in the early 20th century.   Read more .

Poachers poison 90 elephants with cyanide in Zimbabwe wildlife park

NBC News - Almost 90 elephants have been slaughtered by poachers who poisoned them with industrial cyanide, authorities in Zimbabwe said Wednesday.   Rangers in the Hwange National Park discovered the carcasses of more than 40 of the gentle giants earlier this month and they continue to find bodies in recent weeks.   Read more .

Anti-GMO Campaigners Claim Victory as 'Monsanto Protection Act' Stripped From Senate Bill

Jacob Chamberlain @ Common Dreams - An amendment dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act," which currently allows large agriculture and biotech corporations to ignore court orders involving the safety of genetically modified seeds, has been stripped from Senate's spending bill that could be voted on as early as Wednesday afternoon. Following an organized campaign against the provision in recent months, its removal was being cheered by food safety and environmental activists as a victory.   Read more .

Beyond Savage Politics and Dystopian Nightmares

Henry A Giroux @ Truthout - What kind of society emerges when it is governed by the market-driven assumption that the only value that matters is exchange value, when the common good is denigrated to the status of a mall, and social order is composed only of individuals free to pursue their own interests?   Read more.

Obama’s Justice Department Trumpets New Victory in War on Freedom of the Press

Normon Solomon @ Common Dreams - There’s something profoundly despicable about a Justice Department that would brazenly violate the First and Fourth Amendments while spying on journalists, then claim to be reassessing such policies after an avalanche of criticism—and then proceed, as it did this week, to gloat that those policies made possible a long prison sentence for a journalistic source.   Read more .

Germany's first two black MPs enter parliament

Guardian UK - Germany's first MP of African descent said he was looking forward to the challenge of working in the Bundestag and that he would campaign for more equal opportunities in education. In an interview at the German parliament Karamba Diaby, 51, of the Social Democratic party of Germany, said:   Read more .

Kenyan president says siege of Nairobi mall is over, declares mourning period for the dead

Washington Post - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday night declared that the four-day-long siege of an upscale mall in the capital by Islamist militants has ended with the deaths of five militants and 11 in custody. He announced three days of mourning for the more than 60 people killed in the attack, a death toll that is expected to rise with the recovery of more bodies from the mall, he said.   Read more .

Bank of America fined $2 million for race discrimination

CNN Money - Bank of America has been fined $2.2 million for discriminating against black job candidates over two decades. The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) to pay up after finding that over 1,100 African-American job seekers faced discrimination at the company's offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, at various times between 1993 and 2005.   Read more .

Conversations on Palestine: The Role and Failure of Journalism

Frank Barat with John Pilger @ Truthout - Mainstream media propagates the Western point of view of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict, when, in fact, there is an occupation, and until there is justice in Palestine, there will be no peace in the region or in the world beyond, says reporter John Pilger, in a radio interview.   Read more .

Dozens injured as 200,000 Bangladesh garment workers demand wages of $100 per month - Dozens of people were injured in clashes in Bangladesh as thousands of garment workers rallied to demand a minimum wage of US$100 per month. Over 100 factories were forced to shut down as protesters attempted to attack plants that remained open. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas against rock-throwing demonstrators as the violent protests entered their third day.   Read more .

It's Time to Stand Up With Family Farmers

Willie Nelson @ Common Dreams - Every year, come harvest season, we gather for the annual Farm Aid concert. Artists, farmers, activists and eaters, we come together to recognize the crucial importance of family farmers. We take account of how far we've come and we renew our spirits for the fights ahead. We stand with family farmers.   Read more .

Student Artists, Activists Aim for Fossil-Free Investment at Washington University

James Anderson @ Truthout - Student groups at Washington University in St. Louis (Wash U) recently collaborated to use art to draw attention to human rights violations wrought by climate change and demand environmentally conscious school endowment investments. Green Action, a student organization committed to environmental activism, joined with Material Monster, a student group dedicated to exploring environmental issues through art, to erect a Climate Change: Stories for Social Justice exhibit on the lawn outside the Women's Building on Wash U's Danforth Campus on Sept. 15.   Read more .

Blast rocks Kenya mall in second day of standoff

USA Today - A large explosion Sunday rocked an upscale Kenyan mall where Islamic extremists killed at least 59 people and held others hostage after an attack with grenades and assault rifles, reporters on the scene said. Kenya's Daily Nation reported that a combination of Kenyan defense and internal security security forces appeared to make an assault on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall a day after the extremists stormed the mall.   Read more .

Weaponized Profits: The US Health Care System

Donna Smith @ Common Dreams - Many people who advocate for an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life health system in the US tend to vilify the for-profit, private insurance industry and big Pharma but ignore the atrocities committed by almost every other segment of the system. If we are to fix what ails the US health care system, we will have to get a whole lot more honest about all of the factions that lift profit-making above all else when engaging in the delivery of health care services.   Read more .

Israel gets involved in Kenya mall massacre

Jerusalem Post - Israeli forces have joined Kenyan troops in the effort to save hostages from al-Qaida-linked Somali terrorists at a Nairobi mall where gunmen killed at least 59 people on Saturday, AFP reported on Sunday. "The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," AFP quoted a security source as saying.   Read more .

Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Watchdog Forces JPMorgan to Pay $329 Million

Mother Jones - During last year's Massachusetts Senate race, the banking giant JPMorgan Chase heaped more than $80,000 on Sen. Elizabeth Warren's opponent Scott Brown. And for good reason. The consumer watch dog agency that she conceived of and helped get running announced Thursday that it has ordered JPMorgan Chase to pay $309 million to more than 2.1 million Americans it scammed, plus a penalty of $20 million.   Read more .

Debating Capitalism - Redefining Outdated Terms

Richard D. Wolff @ Truthout - Reasonable conversation about capitalism is possible again. Debates about its strengths and weaknesses resume. The United States’ post-1950 taboo against honestly evaluating capitalism finally is fading. The public increasingly ignores over-the-top celebrations of capitalism as humanity's peak achievement, God's choice, perpetual prosperity generator or guarantor of individual freedom. Politicians, journalists and academics could stop their uncritical cheerleading for capitalism, although most still pay their bills that way.   Read more.

39 people confirmed dead in hostage standoff at mall in Nairobi, Kenya

CNN - Armed gunmen were holed up with hostages inside an upscale shopping mall in Kenya's capital overnight Saturday, hours after brazenly gunning down shoppers, diners and others. Bodies still littered the lobby and ground floor of the Westgate Mall around 10:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. ET), more than 10 hours after the attack began, according to the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre.   Read more .

Counting the Afghan Dead: America's 'Unconscionable Oversight'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Citing the broad aversion among U.S. media outlets, politicians, and the American public at large to grapple with the untold amount of death and human destruction suffered by the civilian population of Afghanistan after almost 12 years of U.S.-waged war, The Nation magazine this week has released an in-depth report on the issue in hopes of correcting "this unconscionable oversight."   Read more .

Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

TomDispatch - A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.  A trillion dollars could do a lot of good.  It could transform or save a lot of lives.  Now, imagine doubling the money; no, tripling it.  How about quadrupling it, maybe quintupling it, or even sextupling it?  Unfortunately, you really will have to imagine that, because the money to do it isn’t there.  It was (or will be) spent on Washington’s disastrous post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Read more .

US Needs to Take the Hint from Presidnet Dilma Rousseff's Snub

Mark Weisbrot @ Guardian UK - Tuesday's cancellation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's state visit to the White House, scheduled for next month, came as little surprise. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden, and reported by Glenn Greenwald and TV Globo, had caused an uproar in Brazil. According to the documents and reports, the US government had spied on Dilma's personal communications, and had targeted the computer systems of Brazil's Petrobras, the big oil company that is majority-owned by the state.   Read more .

Iran's President Rouhani: People Should Be 'Completely Free'

ABC News - Iranian President Hasan Rouhani says his people should be free to think, speak and seek information on the Internet, subject to "the protection of our national identity." In an interview with NBC News in Tehran, Rouhani said that a "commission for citizens' rights" will be established "in the near future." He said the viewpoint of the government on censorship issues should be based "on our morals."  Read more .

'Unleashed and Unaccountable': FBI's Post-9/11 Abuse of Power

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - The FBI has abused its ever-widening post-9/11 powers to target immigrants, minorities, and political dissidents through secret surveillance and infiltration programs that trample constitutional rights and run roughshod over principles of fairness and justice, the ACLU finds in a breaking report released Tuesday.   Read more .

Native American Tribes Seek Help from UN, World Court

Truthout - After setting out from their homes in Manitoba and upstate New York, respectively, teams from the Dakota and Onondaga nations in full traditional dress marched through Lower Manhattan on their way to the United Nations building on August 9, 2013. The Dakota had traversed thousands of miles and an international border on a horseback "Unity Ride" to plead with the international governing body for help.   Read more .

Russian Coast Guard Turns Guns on Greenpeace Anti-Drilling Activists

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Russian Coast Guard officers fired repeated warning shots at peaceful environmental activists in the frigid waters off the coast of northern Russia on Wednesday, threatening to shoot on Greenpeace's flagship Arctic vessel as well if it did not evacuate the area surrounding an offshore drilling operation run by oil giant Gazprom.   Read more .

Verizon's Plan to Break the Internet

Timothy Karr @ Save The Internet - Verizon has big plans for the Internet. And if that doesn't worry you, it should. The company is trying to overturn the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet Order, which prevents Internet service providers from blocking, throttling or otherwise discriminating against online content.   Read more .

Turkey downs Syrian helicopter, claims it violated airspace - A Turkish F-16 jet has shot down a Syrian MI-17 attack helicopter, saying it made a 2 km incursion into its airspace and ignored warnings. The Turkish military has released a statement saying that it first identified the Russian-built helicopter 26 nautical miles (48 km) away from its airspace, and radioed the pilots until it was within 5 nautical miles (9 km) of it. Read more .

Art Dealer Admits to Role in Fraud

NY Times - The Long Island dealer at the center of an $80 million art forgery scheme that duped dozens of experts and buyers pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. The dealer, Glafira Rosales, is the only person who has been indicted in connection with the fraud, which passed off fake paintings as the work of Modernist masters. But she is cooperating with federal prosecutors, who have said that they expect further arrests.   Read more .

Yesterday's Internment Camp - Today's Labor Camp

David Bacon @ Truthout - In Modoc County, farm workers do a job few people have ever seen. For eight hours, they lie on padded platforms on each side of an elaborate metal apparatus, suspended just inches above rows of strawberry plants. As a tractor slowly pulls them through the field, the workers pick off the flowers and budding fruit - not to harvest them - but to keep the plants from producing more.   Read more .

Police search for active shooter on grounds of Washington Navy Yard in Southeast D.C.

Washington Post - A D.C. police officer is among the people shot at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning. A police spokesman confirmed at 9:20 a.m. that the officer was shot near the room where a lone gunman has barricaded himself after allegedly shooting at least three people on the Navy Yard grounds in Southeast Washington.   Read more .

'Chemical Brain Drain' Endangers Generations of Children

Environmental Health News - According to some scholars, toxic exposures contributed to the collapse of the Roman Empire. Roman rulers were poisoned by water cisterns and food containers fashioned from lead. These extreme exposures could have gradually made the Patrician families deranged and infertile – leaving no competent leaders to run the Empire. A similar fate seems to have befallen the Samurai regime in Japan. When bones from a castle burial were analyzed, lead concentrations in the children suggested severe lead poisoning. With damaged mental abilities, the Samurai descendants would likely have been incapable of dealing with political crisis, possibly contributing to the downfall of the Shogunate.   Today, our brains are being put to another extreme test, this time from a combination of toxic chemicals that includes mercury, arsenic, pesticides and persistent industrial compounds. The hidden threat that we now face is what I call chemical brain drain.   Read more .

Internet S.O.S.

Tim Karr @ Media Citizen - Is the Internet on life support? Last week we learned that U.S. and British intelligence agencies have broken the back of digital encryption — the coded technology hundreds of millions of Internet users rely on to keep their communications private.  Read more .

Young, black and speaking out after the Trayvon Martin case

Washington Post - Black teens personalize Trayvon Martin's death in their poetry: "What it means to be a young black man in society...people don't value your life," says Ayinde Grimes, 17. Ayinde Grimes splits the crowd on the sidewalk as he and a friend window-shop in Georgetown one afternoon. People break a wide arc around the tall teen from Anacostia, strolling on Wisconsin Avenue with his afro bouncing and his black-power medallion swinging.   Read more .

Florida Police Chief believes George Zimmerman is a "ticking time bomb"

Daily Mail (UK) - In an email exchange, Lake Mary, FL Police Chief Steve Bracknell agreed that George Zimmerman is a ‘ticking time bomb.’ Mr Bracknell, head of police where Mr Zimmerman lives, was responding to an angry email from a resident complaining cops aren’t protecting citizens from the increasingly erratic, gun-toting, Stand Your Ground expert. The police chief agreed with the angry citizen’s assessment of Mr Zimmerman.   Read more .

Trayvon Martin's Medical Examiner: Prosecution Threw the Case

AlterNet - Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin's body in February 2012, has come out and claimed that the prosecution team was biased against the African-American teenager, and intentionally lost the case. According to Bao's attorney, Willie Gary, the medical examiner's office, the state attorney's office and the Sanford Police's "general attitude was that [Martin] got what he deserved.   Read more .

Flood-weary Colorado awaits more rain; 172 people missing

CNN - The mission for emergency responders in northern Colorado Saturday: "To bring order to a chaotic situation," as an incident commander put it. Waters receded some in the flood-devastated areas, but the rains were expected to fall heavy once again over the weekend. At least four people have been killed and 172 are unaccounted for, officials say. The number of missing peaked at 218 and is expected to continue to shrink.   Read more .

Turning to Community, Indian Women Are Organizing to Fight Sexual Violence - Monique serves milk tea to her guests as they arrive. Small talk goes from cricket to family, with each of the eight other women telling of their sons' and daughters' recent accomplishments. But there is a weary feeling in the air as they discuss their daughters’ future. Will they get married? Will they find a good job? Or will they become the latest statistic in the country’s ongoing pandemic of sexual violence against women?  Read more .

Art as Resistance: New York Festival Crosses the Line

Candice Bernd @ Truthout - French playwright and director Pascal Rambert wants to teach you a world history of economics - through dance.  His large-scale dance performance piece called "A (Micro) History of World Economics, Danced," is one of 17 works from international artists heading to New York City in 2013 for the seventh edition of the French Institute Alliance Française's Crossing the Line interdisciplinary art festival Crossing the Line interdisciplinary art festival.   Read more .

'Epic Deluge' Ravages Colorado

Andrea Germanos @ Common Dreams - An "epic deluge" continues to wreak havoc on Colorado for a third day. Record rainfall caused massive flooding, which the United States Geological Survey called a "100-year event," forced the evacuation of thousands from the Boulder area, and killed at least three people.   Read more .

Ethical Fashion: An Interview With HELPSY Founder Rachel Kibbe

Martha Sorren @ Truthout - When most people think of fashion, they usually don't imagine it as ethical. Between using fur, sweatshop labor, and non-sustainable materials, high fashion comes at a high price for the planet. Rachel Kibbe is trying to change all that. She's founded HELPSY, a website featuring top designers in the world of ethical fashion.   Read more .

Mexico City Erupts Over Neoliberal Education Policies

Michele Chen @ In These Times - In Mexico City, school teachers are meting out some serious discipline to a government gone awry. For the past several weeks, the metropolis has pulsed with a labor insurrection. There have been fierce union-led rallies, clashes with police, and mass demonstrations that have paralyzed the city, climaxing with an estimated 12,000 teachers storming the streets on Wednesday. The catalyst is Mexico’s new education reform legislation, championed by President Enrique Peña Nieto and his PRI party, which teachers union activists blast as a thinly veiled attack on organized labor.   Read more .

Fire rages on N.J. boardwalk

USA Today - A fire that started at a New Jersey frozen custard shop in Seaside Park, N.J., and spread to other boardwalk businesses, including FunTown Pier, destroyed much of an iconic boardwalk just rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy. Emergency personnel arrived at the boardwalk in Seaside Park for a report of smoke about 2:30 p.m. A plume of gray smoke stretches as far north as Ortley Beach, N.J., as fire crews fight to douse the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unclear.   Read more .

Obama’s Humiliating Defeat

Glen Ford @ Common Dreams - It was a strange speech, in which the real news was left for last, popping out like a Jack-in-the-Box after 11 minutes of growls and snarls and Obama’s bizarre whining about how unfair it is to be restrained from making war on people who have done you no harm. The president abruptly switched from absurd, lie-based justifications for war to his surprise announcement that, no, Syria’s turn to endure Shock and Awe had been postponed. The reader suddenly realizes that the diplomatic developments had been hastily cut and pasted into the speech, probably only hours before. Obama had intended to build the case for smashing Assad to an imperial peroration – a laying down of the law from on high. But his handlers threw in the towel, for reasons both foreign and domestic. Temporarily defeated, Obama will be back on the Syria warpath as soon as the proper false flag operations can be arranged.   Read more .

Florida cops under investigation for violent DUI arrest

NY Daily News - A Florida woman escaped a car crash unscathed — it was the DUI arrest that turned her face into a bloody, swollen mess. A shocking dashcam video shows cops in Tallahassee slam their pint-sized prisoner onto a patrol car and then the pavement. One cops mashes her face into the street as the woman howls in pain.   Read more .

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria

Washington Post - The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.   Read more .

Why doesn’t NSA spy on Wall Street?

Salon - Since early June when the first stories were released, we have seen a wave of leaked information drastically change our understanding of the United States government. Its activities in intelligence gathering have been shown to be much wider than previously thought; its relationships with major tech corporations have been shown to be much murkier and of a darker nature than was publicly known.   Read more .

Vladimir Putin: A Plea for Caution From Russia

Vladimir Putin @ NY Times - Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.   Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.   Read more .

From Hiroshima to Syria, the Enemy Whose Name We Dare Not Speak

John Pliger @ Truthout - On my wall is the front page of Daily Express of September 5, 1945, and the words: "I write this as a warning to the world." So began Wilfred Burchett's report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century. For his lone, perilous journey that defied the US occupation authorities, Burchett was pilloried, not least by his embedded colleagues. He warned that an act of premeditated mass murder on an epic scale had launched a new era of terror.   Read more .

Despite Big Bank Threats, City Approves 'Eminent Domain for the People'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Bucking the threat of lawsuits from large banks and other financial interests, approval of the measure is a victory for the city's progressive-minded Green Party Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, not to mention the city residents struggling with homes that lost a majority of their value in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008.   Read more.

Russia provides diplomatic way out for an embarrassed US and EU

Juan Cole @ Informed Comment - Secretary of State John Kerry was asked at a press conference in London Monday morning if there was anything that could forestall a US missile attack on Damascus, and he replied off the cuff that Syria could surrender its chemical weapons stockpile to the international community within a week.   Read more .

The New Goliath

William Greider @ The Nation - Whatever Congress decides to do about bombing Syria, the United States is still trapped by a historic contradiction of its own invention. Our open-ended commitment to deter or punish bad guys anywhere around the world has not led to the peaceful vision of military planners and humanitarian hawks. It leads instead to more war—longer and more ambiguous conflicts in which there will be no victory, only abstract claims about teaching lessons to wayward nations.   Read more .

How I Called the Cops and Almost Got Shot

Arun Gupta @ Truthout - It was night. I was winding down, watching "Star Trek" in the living room when Irene yelled in panic from the back of our railroad flat in Brooklyn. A few seconds later, she emerged half-dressed and red-faced. "Some guy tried to climb into my bedroom from the fire escape. But I screamed, and he ran off," she panted in her Irish brogue.   Read more .

Harvard study reveals that climbing the professional ladder may result in less sleep for blacks

USA Today - Black adults are more likely than whites to skimp on sleep, and the sleep gap is especially wide for black professionals, a new study shows. The study from Harvard School of Public Health focused on so-called "short sleepers" — adults who routinely get less than seven hours of sleep each night.   Read more .

As Syria Bows Before UN, US says 'Not Enough'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem declared on Tuesday that in addition to publicly acknowledging its chemical weapons stockpiles, Syria will also formally sign the international convention against such weapons, fully comply with a Russian proposal that would place its arsenal under international control, and vow to foreswear any future development of similar arms.   Read more .