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Showing posts from April, 2015

Bernie Sanders: Why a socialist running for president isn’t as ridiculous as you think

Slate Magazine - Why is a 73-year-old socialist from Vermont running for president when he surely knows he can’t win? Sen. Bernie Sanders has decided to take the plunge into forbidding waters for the same reason earlier socialists campaigned for the office: to protest the current order and promote major reforms his rivals either oppose or support only when doing so juices their standings in the polls.   Read more.

Why Saudis Derailed Imminent Yemen Deal with Airstrikes

Fraud, Waste, and Lies: Charter Schools Cheating Communities Out of Millions of Dollars

Sarah Lazare  @ Common Dreams - Accepting and soliciting bribes. Diverting public funds for personal profit. Lying about the number of students. These are just a few examples of the fraud and malfeasance committed by charter school officials—cheating communities out of millions dollars that were supposed to go to education, a new report finds.   Read more.

Freddie Gray and the Legacy of Slavery in Baltimore Policing

Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Run

VPR (Vermont) - VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday. Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.   Read more.

National Security Whistleblowers Call for Repeal of Patriot Act

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Prominent national security whistleblowers are calling for the full repeal of the USA Patriot Act, charging that under that legislation the federal government has decimated the U.S. Constitution and warning that unless action is taken, there is no end in sight to government secrecy and manipulation.   Read more.

Corinthian Colleges To Shut Down All Campuses

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit education system that has come under fire for its predatory student loan schemes, said Sunday it would shut down all of its 28 remaining campuses, roughly two weeks after the U.S. Department of Education announced it would fine the institution $30 million for misrepresentation regarding job placement rates.  Read more.

Racial Inequality and the Economics of Social Justice

Max Eternity @ Truthout - Institutional oppression and persecution have long been seen as normalized for the vast majority of African-Americans, whether through deliberately and systemically arrested socioeconomic advancement - as formerly experienced during the not-so-distant Jim Crow era, for the duration of Cointelpro and very recently seen in "ghetto loans" sold by Wells Fargo - the two-tiered justice system or legalized state-sponsored violence.   Read more.

Rise of the New Black Radicals

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - The almost daily murders of young black men and women by police in the United States—a crisis undiminished by the protests of groups such as Black Lives Matter and by the empty rhetoric of black political elites—have given birth to a new young black militant. This militant, rising off the bloody streets of cities such as Ferguson, Mo., understands that the beast is not simply white supremacy, chronic poverty and the many faces of racism but the destructive energy of corporate capitalism. This militant has given up on electoral politics, the courts and legislative reform, loathes the corporate press and rejects established black leaders such as Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Michael Eric Dyson.   Read more .

Free the Buses: Riders Say Transit Is a Human Right

Amy Roe @ Equality Voice - Mariluz Rangel takes the bus everywhere in Tucson, Arizona: to work, dentist’s appointments, grocery shopping. She’s been a bus rider for 25 years. Rangel works at Wendy’s, where she makes $8.05 an hour, the state minimum wage. Her income qualifies her to buy a discounted bus pass that gives her unlimited rides for $15 a month.   Read more.

Tensions Boil Over After Baltimore Police Call Protesters 'Lynch Mob'

Lauren McCauley @ Truthout - Demonstrators still seeking answers over the mysterious and troubling death of Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department, circled City Hall on Thursday after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that he had called in state troopers to help quell the protests.   Read more .

Australia Wages War on Its Own People

John Pilger @ Truthout - Australia has again declared war on its Indigenous people, reminiscent of the brutality that brought universal condemnation on apartheid South Africa. Aboriginal people are to be driven from homelands where their communities have lived for thousands of years. In Western Australia, where mining companies make billion-dollar profits exploiting Aboriginal land, the state government says it can no longer afford to "support" the homelands.   Read more.

In Historic Ruling, Pair of Chimpanzees Recognized as 'Legal Persons'

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - For the first time in U.S. history, a judge has effectively recognized two chimpanzees as legal persons, in an order Monday which will allow a pair of research primates—Hercules and Leo—to seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe on Monday granted the chimps a writ of habeas corpus that will require Stony Brook University, where they are being kept for biomedical experiments, to appear in court and explain... read more.

Corporations to Workers: "We Own You"

Thom Hartmann @ Truthout - When he was governor of Louisiana in 1930s, Huey Long had a slogan. It was "Every man a king." The idea was that with Long in the governor's mansion, every person, no matter their job, would enjoy the kind of wealth and happiness normally enjoyed only by monarchs. Read more.

The Radical Dissent of Helen Keller

YES! Magazine - The bronze statue of Helen Keller that sits in the U.S. Capitol shows the blind girl standing at a water pump. It depicts the moment in 1887 when her teacher, Anne Sullivan, spelled “W-A-T-E-R” into one of her 7-year-old pupil's hands while water streamed into the other. This was Keller’s awakening, when she made the connection between the word Sullivan spelled and the tangible substance splashing from the pump, whispering “wah-wah,”—her way of saying “water.” This scene, made famous in the play and film “The Miracle Worker,” has long defined Keller in the public mind as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds.   Read more .

Florida Senator Bill Nelson requests information about a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

Associated Press - A U.S. senator from Florida is pressing federal officials to disclose technical data and other information about a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, after an investigation by The Associated Press revealed evidence that the spill is far worse than a company or government regulators have publicly reported.   Read more .

A Foreclosure Conveyor Belt: The Continuing Depopulation of Detroit

Tom Distpatch - Unlike so many industrial innovations, the revolving door was not developed in Detroit. It took its first spin in Philadelphia in 1888, the brainchild of Theophilus Van Kannel, the soon-to-be founder of the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company. Its purpose was twofold: to better insulate buildings from the cold and to allow greater numbers of people easier entry at any given time. On March 31st at the Wayne Country Treasurer’s Office, that Victorian-era invention was accomplishing neither objective. Then again, no door in the history of architecture -- rotating or otherwise -- could have accommodated the latest perversity Detroit officials were inflicting on city residents:   Read more.

After 700 sink on boat, EU agrees to expand migrant rescue effort in the Mediterranean

USA Today - The European Union agreed Monday to expand its Mediterranean rescue effort to staunch the flood of migrants fleeing to European shores that has resulted in hundreds of deaths in the past week. The EU also will provide more funds for migrant interdiction, seek to catch and destroy smugglers' ships and devote more resources to... read more.

The For-Profit Video Visitation Industry Quietly Sweeps the Nation's Prisons and Jails

In Baltimore, police kill another unarmed black man

Capital Gazette (Maryland) - Freddie Gray, a Baltimore man injured during an arrest by Baltimore police last week, died Sunday morning at Shock Trauma, according to family members and a hospital spokesperson. Gray's death comes a week after his arrest and just hours after a protest was held at Baltimore police headquarters.   Read more.

Proxy Morons: The Demolition of Yemen

Killing Africa

William C. Anderson @ Truthout - In many different ways, much of the world is invested in killing Africa. At the foundation of this push is the theft of Africa's resources, which threatens Africa's subsistence - and is linked to the global oppression of members of the African diaspora, known to many in the West and around the world as Black people.   Read more.

Mass student protest in Chile escalates into clashes with riot police (VIDEO) - Riot police in Chile have deployed water cannons and tear gas against demonstrators who were lobbing rocks and street signs, after a mostly-peaceful march against a contentious university reform and corruption allegations ended in violent clashes. Organizers say that 150,000 students filled the streets of Santiago on Thursday... read more.

Now Congress Is Fast-Tracking the TPP Fast Track

George Zornick @ The Nation - After months of backroom negotiations, key Congressional negotiators are finally ready to unveil legislation that would fast-track approval for the Trans-Pacfic Partnership. The bill would prohibit Congress from amending the trade deal, and would require a simple-majority vote for passage, but would in exchange set a variety of negotiating parameters.  Read more .

Landmark Reparations Package Announced for Victims of Chicago Police Torture Regime

Andrea Germanos @ Common Dreams - Chicago's Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday a landmark reparations package for the scores of victims of former Chicago police commander Jon Burge who oversaw a nearly two-decade regime of torturing suspects into confessions. The proposal, reached between city officials and groups representing the victims and other stakeholders, will be submitted for approval to the Chicago City Council on Wednesday.   Read more.

Should the Police Be Armed?

Robert C. Kohler @ Common Dreams - The cellphone video “reality footage” just doesn’t stop. Black men are shot, killed, handcuffed. The shortcomings of their prematurely terminated lives soon become public knowledge, vaguely justifying the shocking wrongness of the officer’s action — always poisoning the grief. The family, the loved ones, the sympathetic sector of the American (and global) public demand “justice.” Even when they get it, or sort of get it, in the form of an arrest or some official expression of regret, the victim — the human being they valued — is still dead.   Read more.

Warren Blasts Government for Ignoring 'Blatantly Criminal Activity' on Wall Street

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - In remarks on Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized the failure of both federal regulators and Justice Department officials to prosecute or otherwise hold to account Wall Street banks and financial institutions despite their long and steady pattern of "blatantly criminal activity."   Read more.

Largest Ever Low-Wage Worker Protest Sweeps United States

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - In what is being called the largest low-wage worker protest the United States has ever seen, tens of thousands of fast food, laundry, home care, child care, retail, and education employees walked off the job or staged rallies on Wednesday in more than 200 cities across the country. They were joined by workers in 35 countries on six continents, from New Zealand to Brazil to Japan.  Read more.

Workers in California Awarded Stolen Wages, but Will They Receive Them?

Mark Karlin @ Buzzflash - The Union City Patch (in the East Bay Area north of San Jose) recently reported that a case of wage theft has been decided on behalf of workers. Among evidence of employer exploitation of nursing home and residential care employees was proof that some of them had been paid as little as $5 per hour.   Read more.

Report Shows US Invasion, Occupation of Iraq Left 1 Million Dead

Dahr Jamail @ Truthout - A recently published report has revealed that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of approximately 1 million Iraqis, which is 5 percent of the total population of the country. The report also tallies hundreds of thousands of casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Read more.

Reserve deputy charged in Tulsa killing is wealthy department donor

Atlanta Journal Constitution - The Tulsa County reserve deputy charged with second-degree manslaughter after allegedly confusing a Taser with a real gun and killing a man has made hefty donations of equipment to the sheriff’s department in the past, according to KRMG.  Deputy Robert Bates, 73, also served as Chairman for the re-election campaign of Sheriff Stanley Glanz in 2012 and contributed money to the campaign.   Read more.

From 'I Can't Breathe' to 'Fuck Your Breath': Tulsa Deputies Show Stunning Lack of Empathy in New Video of Eric Harris Shooting - As several high-profile police shootings last summer stretched into a barrage of police brutality throughout the fall, the last words of NYPD-victim Eric Garner—I can't breathe—soon became something of an unofficial rallying cry for the burgeoning movement against police bias, militarization, and abuse. With that in mind, the words a Tulsa, Oklahoma, deputy spoke to an unarmed black suspect who had just been shot become all the more chilling: "Fuck your breath."  Read more.

Anonymous declares cyber war on ISIS Twitter users - Hacktivists from the Anonymous group have attacked hundreds of pro-Islamic State websites and thousands of social networks’ accounts used by the terrorist group. ISIS has hit back though, threatening another 9/11 terror act against the US. A faction of the Anonymous group, called GhostSec, is carrying out a cyber campaign called #OpISIS against the Islamic State (IS).   Read more.

Civil Rights Attorney Says Cops Have Been Shooting Unarmed People in the Back for Years

How About Some Chemical Waste With Your Fish?

Thom Hartman @ Truthout - You might want to think twice about the food that you're eating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 48 million Americans get sick from food-borne viruses and diseases each year. Of those 48 million Americans, 128,000 have to be hospitalized and an astonishing 3,000 die because of food-borne illnesses.   Read more .

The Price of Domestic Abuse

Michele Chen @ The Nation - We won't ever know the unpaid debt that most domestic abusers owe, but no one needs to remind a battered partner how much domestic violence costs her, whether it be her job, her family, her physical and mental health. But what about the social consequences? A new study uses the dismal science to calculate the cost to the victim in terms of her future economic security, and finds that while state intervention may prove invaluable, the personal damage may be irrevocable.   Read more .

Bystander Who Filmed Horrifying Footage: 'Officer Just Shot Him in the Back'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - As the footage itself sends shockwaves across a nation already engaged in an elevated debate about race and the scourge of endemic police violence, the man who shot the horrifying cell phone video of an unarmed man being gunned down by a police officer in South Carolina has come forward to explain what else he saw as the events unfolded before him last Saturday.   Read more.

Why North Carolina's "Religious Freedom" Bill Is Even Worse Than Indiana's

Facing South - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) ignited a national firestorm last week after signing into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics argue provides a "license to discriminate" against gay people and others. Angie's List, Apple, Yelp and other companies condemned the move and even threatened to nix expansion projects in the state, prompting the governor to say he wants lawmakers to "clarify the intent" of the law.   Read more.

EU reinstates sanctions on major Iranian bank & 32 shipping companies - The European Union has restored sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 shipping companies on Wednesday, days after an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program was reached, according to the EU’s Official Journal. The move comes despite Europe’s second-highest court order to end the asset freeze on Iranian institutions in January when it found fault with the... read more.

Police shoot teenager in the back, witnesses contradict report he was armed - Illinois police have fatally shot a 17-year-old by firing twice at his back after chasing him for two blocks. A gun was recovered from the scene, but two witnesses said the teenager wasn’t armed at the time of the shooting. Family members identified the victim as Justus Howell, a 17-year-old from Waukegan, Illinois.  Read more.

Artists Place Bust of Edward Snowden Atop War Memorial Statue in Brooklyn

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Paying tribute to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, activist artists in Brooklyn early Monday surreptitiously installed a bust of his likeness to a war memorial. According to the publication Animal, which was given exclusive access to document the act, three unnamed New York City-based artists... read more.

Pope Francis washes feet of prisoners, baby during Holy Week ceremony

NY Daily News - Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates and a baby at Rome’s main prison Thursday in a pre-Easter ritual meant to show his willingness to serve. He asked them to pray that he, too, might be cleansed of his “filth.” As the inmates wept, Francis knelt down, poured water from a pitcher onto one foot apiece, dried it and then kissed it, re-enacting the ritual that Jesus performed on his apostles before he was crucified.   Read more.

Why North Carolina's "Religious Freedom" Bill Is Even Worse Than Indiana's

Chris Kromm @ Facing South - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) ignited a national firestorm last week after signing into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which critics argue provides a "license to discriminate" against gay people and others. Angie's List, Apple, Yelp and other companies condemned the move and even threatened to nix expansion projects in the state, prompting the governor to say he wants lawmakers to "clarify the intent" of the law. But just as Indiana's law was gaining national infamy, North Carolina lawmakers introduced matching Religious Freedom Restoration Act bills in the state House and Senate -- and according to legal scholars, the legislation introduced last week could pose an even greater threat than Indiana's to civil rights.   Read more .

Chelsea Manning: The Conscience of America

Naomi Hayase - April 5th marks the five year anniversary of WikiLeaks publication of the Collateral Murder Video. The footage of a secret US military video depicted an Apache helicopter killing Iraqi civilians, including two Reuters journalists. It provided an uncensored view of modern war for the world to see. The light that shone in the darkness was the conscience of a young woman. Chelsea Manning (formally Bradley Manning) is now serving 35 years behind bars for her great public service.   Read more .

Racist Ferguson police emails revealed - Seven racist emails exchanged between Ferguson court and police officials, which were cited in the Department of Justice (DOJ) inquiry in March, were finally released to the press. Some 50,000 messages remain unavailable. The emails came from former Ferguson court clerk Mary Ann Twitty, former police captain Rick Henke and former police sergeant William Mudd. All were sent and received between 2008 and 2011. Twitty was fired over the emails, while Henke and Mudd resigned shortly after they were revealed.   Read more.

Johns Hopkins faces $1bn class lawsuit over US government funded human experiments - Over 750 plaintiffs are suing Johns Hopkins University over its role in medical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and 1950s. Hundreds were deliberately infected with sexually-transmitted diseases as part of a US government program. The lawsuit in Baltimore seeks $1 billion in damages for individuals, spouses and children of the victims, who were infected with diseases including syphilis and gonorrhea. It seeks at least $75,000 in damages for each of nine counts.   Read more.

Iran Deal: A Game-Changer for the Middle East

Foreign Policy In Focus - Negotiators in Lausanne, Switzerland just won a huge victory for diplomacy over war. The hard-fought first-stage negotiations resulted in the outlines of an agreement that will significantly limit Iran’s nuclear program in return for significant relief from crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations. Both sides made major concessions, though it appears Iran’s are far greater.   Read more .