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Showing posts from July, 2015

Israeli soldiers shoot dead Palestinian near Gaza border: medics

Reuters - Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, Palestinian medical officials said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said several suspects approached the fence at two different points and did not heed calls by soldiers to stop. She said one group threw stones at the security fence and that soldiers fired warning shots in the air before firing at the "suspects' lower extremities."   Read more.

Jewish extremists torch Palestinian homes, killing toddler, authorities say

Washington Post - Arsonists set fire to two Palestinian homes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Friday, burning a toddler alive and injuring three others in an attack that authorities say was most likely carried out by Jewish extremists. The assailants signed their work with a spray-painted message that read “Revenge!” in Hebrew, next to scrawled image of a Star of David.   Read more.

After 2-Day Standoff, Arctic Oil Drilling Ship Escapes Blockade with Police Collaboration

Common Dreams - Ending a nearly two-day standoff, Greenpeace activists who had successfully blocked passage of a Shell Oil drilling vessel were dramatically removed from their positions on the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon on Thursday evening as a special team of law enforcement officers cut them away to allow passage of the ship.   Read more .

The Swedish LGBT Pride Parade Through A Muslim Majority Area That Raised Eyebrows

Youth Kiawaaz - An unofficial gay pride parade was carried out by a right wing nationalist Jan Sjunnesson on 29th July, running through a neighbourhood in the capital city of Sweden, largely inhabited by immigrants, a majority of them being Muslim. Sweden, one of the first countries to legalise same sex relations way back in 1944 and only the seventh country in the world to legalise same sex marriage, has had a rich history of LGBT movement marked by pride parades. However, this incident has... read more .

Refusing to Comply With Structural Racism: From Emmett Till to Sandra Bland

Zachery Norris @ - Like Emmett Till before her, Sandra Bland wound up dead not so much for what she did as for what she didn't do: comply to the structurally racist order of things. On August 28, 1955, two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, killed 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi, after Till reportedly made a flirtatious remark to a white woman. An all-white jury summarily acquitted Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam. Just months later, the two men talked with a reporter and admitted to torturing, killing and mutilating Till. Till's mother Mamie Till Mobley heroically insisted on a public funeral with an open casket to expose to the world the brutality of what happened to her son. The funeral and images focused national and international attention on... read more .

Yes, Racism Is Rooted in Economic Inequality

Seth Ackman @ Jacobin - Hillary Clinton is an astute campaigner. In a Facebook Q&A the other day, she was asked about the Black Lives Matter protesters who interrupted Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley at the Netroots Nation conference earlier this month. The inquirer, a Washington Post reporter, asked her the same question those protesters had posed to her rivals: how would she “begin to dismantle structural racism in the United States”?   Read more.

Africa to Obama: Mind Your Own Business

Andrew Mwenda @ Al Jazeera - United States President Barack Obama is the most admired foreign leader in Africa because he has ancestral roots in our continent. This is partly the reason his ill-informed and stereotypical admonitions of our leaders attracted cheers from a large section of our elite class. But it is also because we African elites have internalised the ideology of our conquerors that presents us as inferior, inadequate, and incapable of self-government.   Read more.

Ohio university cop indicted for murder in the shooting of Samuel Dubose

CNN - University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge for shooting motorist Samuel Dubose during a traffic stop this month. If convicted, Tensing could go to prison for life, said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters in a press conference in which he played body camera footage of the shooting.   Read more .

Cornel West and Rick Wolff on White Supremacy and Capitalism

Bernie Sanders: Strong Words on Structural Racism and Inequality

Campaign for America's Future - The stakes were high for the speech by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the national gathering of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday night. Sanders’ speech to the civil rights organization, whose first president was Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., came just one week after Black Lives Matter activists disrupted a Netroots Nation event in Phoenix, Arizona, featuring Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, to demand that candidates address police brutality against African American communities, and put racial justice at the center of their campaigns.   Read more.

Two Major Victories for Fair Housing

Campaign for America's Future - It’s a rare moment when two branches of our federal government take major steps to expand opportunity for all Americans. But, with relatively little fanfare, that’s what’s happened over the last few weeks in the critical area of housing. First, on June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if a housing policy seriously disadvantages one gender, racial, religious or ethnic group, families with children, or people with disabilities, that policy is illegal unless there is an important justification for the policy.   Read more.

Complaint filed demanding probe into high cancer rates among GITMO lawyers - A complaint has been filed with the US Navy Inspector General’s Office demanding that court facilities at Gitmo be tested for carcinogens and lawyers be evacuated from the base following reports of several cases of cancer among personnel there. At least seven civilian and military staff members who took part in detainee trials at Guantanamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer. Three of them, aged 35 to 52, have died in the last 13 months. One of them, US Navy Lieutenant Commander Bill Kuebler, a former Guantanamo war court lawyer, died just a week ago on July 17 at the age of 44.   Read more.

How Big Corporations Cheat Public Education

Paul Buchheit @ Common Dreams - Corporations have reaped trillion-dollar benefits from 60 years of public education in the U.S., but they're skipping out on the taxes meant to sustain the educational system. Children suffer from repeated school cutbacks. And parents subsidize the deadbeat corporations through increases in property taxes and sales taxes.   Read more .

German Beekeepers Demand a Ban on GMOs

True Activist - Bees' importance cannot be overstated. As TrueActivist has shared before, the tiny, bumbling insects are responsible for a lot - making them essential in the future of our planet. Therefore, with massive bee die-offs (otherwise known as 'colony collapse disorder'), it has been the plight of many scientists, beekeepers, and educated activists to do whatever it takes to ensure bees survive.  Read more

Mexico Investigation Unearths More Mass Graves, but Still No Answers

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - The search for 43 college students who vanished in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero 10 months ago has turned up at least 60 clandestine graves and 129 bodies, the Associated Press revealed Monday. However, none of the remains found in those graves has been linked to the missing youths... read more.

Whistleblower Exposes Torture and Child Abuse at For-Profit Prison

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - A social worker formerly employed at a for-profit family immigrant detention center in Texas blew the whistle this week on the prison's inhumane conditions—from solitary confinement to medical neglect—that she said amount to child abuse and torture. The Karnes County Residential Center is operated by GEO Group—the second largest private prison company in the country that has faced numerous accusations of atrocities and civil rights violations.  Read more.

Anthem to buy Cigna, creating biggest U.S. health insurer

Reuters - Anthem Inc said on Friday it would buy Cigna Corp for about $54.2 billion, creating the largest U.S. health insurer by membership and accelerating the industry's consolidation from five national players to three. The proposed acquisition, the health insurance industry's largest, comes three weeks after Aetna Inc agreed to buy Humana Inc for $37 billion.   Read more.

Gunshots fired at 3 black churches in 3 days outside Charleston - Three historically black churches in the same town outside Charleston, South Carolina have been struck with bullets within a three day period. Mount Sinai Evangelistic Church of Jesus Christ on James Island was the latest hit with gun-related vandalism. Investigators were called to the church Friday morning, where they found five bullet holes in a stained-glass window.   Read more .

Three dead, several injured in Lafayette, La. theater shooting

KWCH (Louisiana) - A 58-year-old man opened fire inside a Lafayette, La. movie theater Thursday night, killing two people and injuring several others before turning the gun on himself, Lafayette CBS affiliate KLFY reports. Nine other people were transported to a hospital with injuries. The shooting was reported about 7:30 p.m at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette. Lafayette Police confirm three people are dead, including the gunman.   Read more .

US interests in Africa: Four things you need to know - As US President Barack Obama heads to Kenya for a global business summit, Africans point out he has done less for the continent than George W. Bush. How involved is the US in Africa, and do its interests go beyond military bases and the “war on terror”? As president, Obama visited Ghana in 2009, and toured Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania in 2013, returning to South Africa later that year for the funeral of Nelson Mandela. This is his first visit to Kenya as president, and will likely be the last.   Read more.

Noam Chomsky: 'The Real Question is...What Exactly Is The Threat of Iran?'

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - As U.S. Congress considers signing the unprecedented nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers announced earlier this month, renowned scholar and activist Noam Chomsky on Wednesday asked a less-considered question: "Why is the deal being pursued?" The deal constrains what is referred to as "the Iranian threat," Chomsky said, "but what exactly is the threat?"   Read more.

Hillary Clinton Is No Progressive

Evan Popp @ Common Dreams - As a strong challenge from the left emerges in the form of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, who was once thought to be headed for a coronation in the Democratic presidential primary, has tried to recast herself as a progressive champion. However, in her mad dash to the left, Clinton cannot escape her history of supporting, as the First Lady and then as a senator, the decidedly centrist and corporate-friendly policies of her husband, President Bill Clinton.   Read more .

The Problem With the Fight for 15

Boots Riley @ Creative Times Report - Is the best way to achieve higher wages really legislation? Many think so. Across the country, working people are eagerly waiting to feel the effects of new laws that raise the minimum wage. Seattle will see an increase to $15 by 2021, and Los Angeles will see the same increase by 2020. But this strategy detracts from the only power dynamic that can actually overturn economic inequality: class struggle.   Read more.

Lapavitsas Calls for Exit as the Only Strategy for Greek People

Documents Published by WikiLeaks Reveal the NSA's Corporate Priorities

Bill Blunden @ Truthout - For years public figures have condemned cyber espionage committed against the United States by intruders launching their attacks out of China. These same officials then turn around and justify the United States' far-reaching surveillance apparatus in terms of preventing terrorist attacks. Yet classified documents published by WikiLeaks reveal just how empty these talking points are. Specifically, top-secret intercepts prove that economic spying by the United States is pervasive, that not even allies are safe and that it's wielded to benefit powerful corporate interests. Read more .

Europe's To Greece: Bow Down or Die

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Less than 48 hours after tense negotiations led to the passage of a new harsh austerity package, Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday reportedly "reshuffled" his administration, booting members of Syriza's leftist flank who opposed the controversial bailout.   Read more .

Montana Oil Train Derailment Renews Call for Ban on Crude-By-Rail

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Communities in northern Montana on Friday continued to grapple with the aftermath of an oil train derailment, which saw 21 of 106 train cars split off the track Thursday night, down a power line, force a highway closure, and leak enough oil to require a nearby community to evacuate. Emergency workers from the Texas-based Burlington Northern Santa Fe hazardous materials team had contained the leak by Friday afternoon... read more.

Colorado theater shooter found guilty of murder, may face death penalty - James Holmes, the gunman who opened fire in a Colorado theater three years ago, killing 12 people, has been found guilty on all first-degree murder charges against him. The verdict means he could receive the death penalty. The 27-year-old Holmes never denied he was behind the shooting, and pleaded not guilty by way of insanity.   Read more .

Four Marines and gunman killed in Tennessee shootings

Reuters - Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism. The Federal Bureau of Investigation named the suspect as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, but said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the rampage... read more.

Soulless Economics

Robert C. Koehler @ Common Dreams - Austerity, the tool of neoliberal capitalism, stands up to Greek democracy and stares it down. Oh well. We’re remarkably comfortable with soulless economics.   Read more.

Black woman found hanged to death in Texas jail after minor traffic violation

The Root - On July 9, 28-year-old Sandra Bland of Naperville, Ill., drove to Texas to start a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M. On July 10, police stopped Bland just outside the campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes. Police claim that during the stop she became combative, was thrown to the ground, arrested and charged with "assault on a public servant."  On July 13, around 9 a.m., before her family could bail her out, Bland was found dead inside a Waller County, Texas, jail cell.   Read more .

What Happened to Sandra Bland, a Black Woman Who Died in Jail Monday?

Gawker - On Friday, Sandra Bland was arrested in Prairie View, Tx., following a routine traffic stop for failure to signal a lane change. Three days later, she was dead in her cell at Waller County Jail. Suicide by hanging is the official cause of death, but Bland’s family believes it was something much more sinister.   Read more.

Boy Scouts Executive Committee Says Yes to Gay Leaders

The Good Men Project - The boys are finally taking a hint from the girls and letting more people up into their clubhouse. The Boys Scouts of America’s 17-member executive committee voted unanimously last week to end the ban on gay adults acting as troop leaders. Now the motion will go before a meeting of the full 80-member executive board on July 27th, effective immediately if passed.   Read more . 

The False Greek Dilemma

Faye Cox @ Truthout - What might have happened had Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gone to Brussels with a serious and innovative proposal based on a solution outlined by Bernard Lietaer? What if he had gone with a plan that could address the threat of Grexit with its danger of global financial fallout and also propose a viable way to repay the debt based on a monetary approach proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) research department? Now Tsipras faces the Greek Parliament's vote on July 15 on whether or not to accept the deal that many are calling a coup. In the event that the Parliament accepts the deal, it will be too late for... read more.

'Money Isn't Justice': Eric Garner Family Calls for Real Accountability

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - The family of Eric Garner held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the $5.9 million settlement it reached with New York City days before the one-year anniversary of his death—and to renew calls to criminally charge the police officer who put Garner in a fatal chokehold last July. Garner, an unarmed 43-year-old black man, died on July 17, 2014 after white New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold to subdue him on a Staten Island sidewalk. In cell phone videos from the scene, Garner can be heard yelling "I can't breathe!" 11 times before he loses consciousness.   Read more.

Australian government extends renewable energy investment ban to solar power

Guardian UK - A directive banning the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) from investing in existing wind technology will also apply to small-scale solar projects, a move that will effectively throttle the industry, the Australian Solar Council said. The federal government on Sunday confirmed that the $10bn CEFC will no longer invest in wind power, instead focussing on “emerging technologies”.   Read more .

We Are All Greeks Now

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - The poor and the working class in the United States know what it is to be Greek. They know underemployment and unemployment. They know life without a pension. They know existence on a few dollars a day. They know gas and electricity being turned off because of unpaid bills. They know the crippling weight of debt. They know being sick and unable to afford medical care. They know the state seizing their meager assets, a process known in the United States as “civil asset forfeiture,” which has permitted American police agencies to confiscate more than $3 billion in cash and property. They know the profound despair and abandonment that come when schools, libraries, neighborhood health clinics, day care services, roads, bridges, public buildings and assistance programs are neglected or closed. They know the financial elites’ hijacking of democratic institutions to impose widespread misery in the name of austerity. They, like the Greeks, know what it is to be aban

D'Army Bailey, Civil Rights Leader and Renaissance Man, Dies at 73

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - D'Army Bailey, a civil rights activist, judge, author, and actor who founded the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, died on Sunday. He was 73. His wife, Adrienne Bailey, said her husband passed away after a long illness, surrounded by family at Methodist hospital in Memphis.   Read more .

Slavery victims abandoned by UK govt face further abuse - Traumatized human trafficking survivors, abandoned by the government, are at high risk of being lured back into the clutches of criminals, a new report reveals. The report, published by The Human Trafficking Foundation (HTF) on Monday, shows victims freed from “modern day slavery” are discarded and left to their own devices after leaving government-funded safe houses.   Read more.

Israel's Elitist "Birthright" Is Wrong

Sarah Rosenblatt @ Truthout - Taglit-Birthright, the premier program in Jewish-American Zionism for young adults, has sent 340,000, 18- to 25-year-old Jews to Israel on all-expenses paid, 10-day vacations since its inception in 1999. On their journey, participants consume all the riches of Jewish Israeli culture - the gorgeous landscape, spiritual holy places, chiseled soldiers - a perfectly painted blindfold that sits comfortably on their eager eyes, shielding them from the violent truths of their supposed "homeland." The Zionist indoctrination I experienced on the trip was far more insidious and violent than I had expected.   Read more .

Germany Showing 'Lack of Solidarity' Over Greece: Stiglitz

Common Dreams - Prominent economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz accused Germany on Sunday of displaying a "lack of solidarity" with debt-laden Greece that has badly undermined the vision of Europe. "What has been demonstrated is a lack of solidarity by Germany. You cannot run a eurozone without a basic modicum of solidarity. It is really undermining the common sense of vision, the sense of common solidarity in Europe," the Columbia University professor and former World Bank chief economist told Agence France Presse.   Read more.

600 U.S. Churches Call for an End to the 'War on Drugs'

NBC News - A group of more than 600 churches has joined a small but growing movement within the religious community to call for an end to the war on drugs through legalization. The New England Conference of The United Methodist Church, representing more than 600 congregations, voted last month to support efforts to address the nation's drug abuse problem through "means other than prohibition."   Read more .

Philadelphia cops caught beating, kicking black man as he screams for help (VIDEO) - A video has emerged which shows a swarm of Philadelphia police officers repeatedly beating a man while he screams for his grandmother's help. The city's police department says that it has launched an internal investigation into the matter. The nine-minute video shows Tyree Carroll, a 22-year-old African-American, being repeatedly punched, kicked, and possibly tased while lying on the ground during an arrest.   Read more.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Fired Amid Surge in Violence and Mistrust

Senate Bill Would Reinstate Glass-Steagall Act to Keep Banks From Gambling With Our Money

Mark Karlin @ Buzzflash - The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in Bill Clinton's second term has become symbolic of the sharp neoliberal economic turn that made DC Republicans and Democrats fairly indistinguishable on the financial front, with both parties trumpeting laissez faire policies in relation to Wall Street. By the beginning of the new century, both parties supported the practice of unleashing Wall Street to engage in rash risk-taking, with very little accountability. Even though the near implosion of the US economy in 2008 has come and gone, the negative impact of the jettisoning of the Glass-Steagall Act can be seen in the ongoing revelations about Wall Street misbehavior. This includes everything from manipulating the financial currency market, to laundering drug money, to helping wealthy individuals avoid paying taxes and more.   Read more.

Dick Cheney should face prosecution

Newsweek - As a young boy, Thomas Buergenthal recalls, his mother taught him to kneel every night and thank God for his love and his protection. It's a habit, I suggest, that must have been difficult to maintain after August 1944 when, at the age of 10, he was transported to Auschwitz. "It was," says Buergenthal. "Very difficult. I've always known that I was a Jew. But after the war I found I had no religious faith. I began to wonder how God could permit some of the things that happened to us. I admire people who emerged with their belief intact."   Read more.

The Business Is Death, and Business Is Good

William Rivers Pitt @ Truthout - An Iraqi fighter plane was returning to base on Monday after a sortie against ISIS militants when a large bomb it carried was deployed - cause yet undetermined - and obliterated several houses in an east Baghdad neighborhood. The latest butcher's bill tallies at least 12 killed in the explosion, including women and children, along with at least 25 more wounded. Also on Monday, Iraqi forces endeavored to fight their way to the gates of Fallujah, a major city under the control of ISIS. Vast swaths of Anbar Province, which includes Fallujah, have been under the control of the militants for months in this ongoing multi-civil war our wars created, and this action represents the Iraqi Army's first attempt to retake the city and the territory at large since last year.   Read more.

New history books in Texas downplay slavery's role in Civil War, omit KKK and Jim Crow laws - When school resumes this fall, 5 million students in Texas will learn from history books based on state academic guidelines that sidestep the major issues of racial segregation and oppression in America's history. Slavery was "a side issue to the Civil War," conservative state education board member Pat Hardy said in 2010 when the board was considering new standards. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights."   Read more.

The blood-soaked trail of India’s massive Vyapam scam

Quartz (India) - A massive scam worth some $1 billion (Rs6,300 crore) is unfolding in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. While shady deals aren’t exactly unusual in Asia’s third largest economy, the Vyapam scam—or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board scam—is getting murkier and scarier by the day.   Read more .

US and Saudi Arabia continue killing spree in Yemen

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Just as a fear-soaked yet uneventful Fourth of July weekend came to an end in the United States, it was reported out of the impoverished and war-torn country of Yemen on Monday that a series of airstrikes by Saudi Arabia—which is receiving ongoing military intelligence and logistical support from the U.S.—had killed one hundred or more innocent people, including men, women, and children.   Read more.

Eric Holder: Return to Sender

Eric Holder Exemplifies Legal Criminality of the American Aristocracy

Lee Fang @ The Intercept - After failing to criminally prosecute any of the financial firms responsible for the market collapse in 2008, former Attorney General Eric Holder is returning to Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm known for serving Wall Street clients. The move completes one of the more troubling trips through the revolving door for a cabinet secretary. Holder worked at Covington from 2001 right up to being sworn in as attorney general in Feburary 2009. And Covington literally kept an office empty for him, awaiting his return.   Read more.

1 year after Gaza War, Palestinians still live amid ruins, thousands homeless - It has been a year since Israel launched its offensive against Gaza, killing thousands of people, damaging and destroying their homes. RT’s Lizzie Phelan has visited the besieged enclave, witnessing how people still live amid the rubble of war. Somaya, a resident of an eastern town in the Gaza strip located near the Israeli border, is forced to find any bits and pieces for cooking fuel, including cardboard and wood from the temporary container home.   Read more.

Silence Around Who Is Burning Black Churches Speaks Volumes

The Root - There is something both sinister and cowardly about trying to destroy Black Jesus. Black churches in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Tennessee have burned in the weeks following the terrorist attack on Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. that killed 9 people. In response, agents of the state and mainstream media have attempted to gaslight black America into believing that the smoke choking our collective souls is imagined.   Read more .

Greece says no to austerity in national vote

Reuters - Greeks overwhelmingly rejected conditions of a rescue package from creditors on Sunday, throwing the future of the country's euro zone membership into further doubt and deepening a standoff with lenders. As the euro slid more than 1 percent against the dollar and European stock and bond markets were poised to take a sharp hit... read more .

Why BP's $18.7 Billion Gulf Spill Settlement Falls Short

The Fight Over Obamacare Was a Giant Political Charade

Sonali Kolhatkar @ Truthdig  - When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 25 that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) subsidies for health insurance for the poor were indeed constitutional, liberals cheered. The last-ditch attempt by the right to gut President Obama’s signature act failed. In his weekly address, Obama triumphantly announced that “after more than fifty votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a Presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, we can now say this for certain: the Affordable Care Act still stands, it is working, and it is here to stay.”   Read more.

Largest crowd of any 2016 campaign shows up for Bernie Sanders - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may be an underdog, but a massive crowd of 10,000 people gathered in Madison, Wisconsin to hear him speak – the largest crowd drawn by any 2016 presidential candidate. Sanders, an independent US senator from Vermont who has described himself as a democratic socialist, has been dismissed as a low-tier candidate ever since first announcing his campaign for the presidency. However, while he may lack the high profile of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he is showing himself to be quite capable of energizing liberals.   Read more.

Fredrick Douglass: What, to the American Slave, Is Your 4th of July?

Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan @ Democracy Now - “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham.”   Read more .

Proponents of American Exceptionalism Are Exceptionally Delusional

Mark Karlin @ Buzzflash - It is imperative to remember that the only people the "founding fathers" believed were "free by nature and possess[ed] inherent rights" were property-owning white males. It is only the flexibility allowed by the Constitution that has allowed the expansion of those rights to other groups. The Constitution itself certainly did not grant them.  Read more.

Google photo app tags Black people as "Gorillas"

Ars Technica - Last month, Google rolled out an updated version of its Photos app that had been divorced from Google+ and bolstered with a few slight tweaks—in particular, its ability to automatically tag photos and generate albums based on objects it identifies, including "food" and "landscapes."   Read more.

Wikileaks exposes plan for global corporate takeover of governments

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Days ahead of another round of secret international negotiations, WikiLeaks on Wednesday released what it described as "a modern journalistic holy grail: the secret Core Text for the largest 'trade deal' in history." That deal is the Trade in Services Agreement, or TISA, currently being negotiated by 52 nations that together account for two-thirds of global GDP. Those nations are the United States, the 28 members of the European Union, and 23 other countries, including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Israel.  Read more.

Black Church Near Charleston is Sixth to Burn in 10 Days

Sara Lazare @ Common Dreams - A historic black church just north of Charleston, South Carolina was on fire Tuesday night, making it the sixth predominantly black church in the United States to burn in the less than two weeks since a white supremacist massacred nine people, all of them African-American, at their parish. This is not the first time the Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal church in Greeleyville, a town of 400 people, has caught ablaze. In 1995 the Klu Klux Klan burned it down, almost 20 years to the date before Tuesday's inferno.  Read more.