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Last Updated: May 26th, 2018 - 11:37:16 

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Blogosphere
China’s Green Shift is Positioning it to Overtake US in Energy Technology, Security
Juan Cole: Chinese adoption of solar panels is the major cause for the rapid decline in their price since 2012, and that this price drop will continue ... By generating its own electricity through renewables and by switching in a big way to electric cars, China is preparing for a vast reduction in its imports of hydrocarbons. In turn, that move makes China less vulnerable to hydrocarbon blackmail or blockade and increases its energy security. ... the US still imports nearly half of the oil it needs to run its economy, and some of those imports come from unstable places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. On transportation (the major use of petroleum), the US is highly vulnerable. ... The turn to wind and solar is thus not only about the environment (though the Chinese government was increasingly facing urban protests if it did not clean up the air and switch from coal). It is also about energy security and the forging of new industries in which China can show its technological innovation chops... Visit Website ]
May 26, 2018, 11:38am

Commentary
How the Pentagon Paid for NFL Displays of Patriotism
Emma Niles: In the recent days of argument over whether NFL players have the right to protest racial inequality and systemic injustice in the United States, few have brought up the fact that less than a decade ago, professional football players didn’t even appear on the field during the national anthem. ... That changed in 2009, as the Department of Defense poured millions of dollars into the NFL in exchange for displays of patriotism during games ... Urging players to appear onfield during the national anthem is just one example of “paid patriotism,” a practice tackled by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake in 2015. ... The report found that “[s]eventy-two of the 122 (59 percent) major league contracts analyzed contained items deemed ‘paid patriotism’ — on-field color guard, enlistment and re-enlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches and puck drops, and hometown hero and wounded warrior tributes.”... Visit Website ]
May 26, 2018, 11:26am

Books
Why the extraordinary story of the last slave in America has finally come to light
Afua Hirsch: Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave by Zora Neale Hurston (written in the 1930s, but has only just been published) presents the remarkable fact that there were people alive in America who had experienced abduction from Africa – being examined, displayed, traded and enslaved – well into the 20th century. ... The book is the story of Cudjo Lewis; a man born Oluale Kossola in the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi. Kossola was the last survivor of the last known slave ship to sail from the African continent to America with a human cargo. ... The word “barracoon” refers to the enclosures in which captives were held on the coast before being loaded on to ships. ... In Kossola’s case it was the Alabama vessel the Clotilda, which played its own gruesome part in the slave trade in 1860, half a century after its official abolition, transporting 130 men and women from the west African kingdom of Dahomey – modern day Benin... Visit Website ]
May 26, 2018, 10:50am

Environment
Desert Bees Have a Secret: How to Survive a Decade of Drought
Sara Van Note: A cluster of leafcutter bees are foraging for nectar and pollen on an unseasonably hot May morning in Bandelier National Monument, in northern New Mexico. Tiny, with few bright markings, they don’t look like bees at first — more like dark-colored buzzy insects. ... But Olivia Carril is excited to spot them on penstemon plants, whose pale purple flowers have bright magenta stripes that guide the leafcutters down their long tubes to the nectar, past the anthers for a dusting of pollen. She scoops a handful of bees into her net, then quickly transfers them to glass vials. ... Until Carril, an independent scientist and co-author of a field guide to North American bees, began her survey a year ago, it was unknown how many bees were in Bandelier: Just two species had been documented ... But in just a year, she has added at least 46 species to the list... Visit Website ]
May 25, 2018, 4:43pm

Commentary
Trump has Plenty of Accomplices in his Reckless Energy Policies
Harvey Wasserman: Some 360,000 Americans now work in the solar industry, more than in nukes and coal combined. In fact, more Americans are now working in California’s solar industry than are digging coal nationwide. And the U.S. wind business now employs more than 100,000 people. ... But President Donald Trump wants to change that. He has already slammed the solar industry’s growth by slapping a 30 percent tariff on imported Chinese panels, slowing installations nationwide. ... As all of this plays out, tens of thousands of jobs hang in the balance. The nation’s entrenched fossil-nuclear corporate elites are more focused on propping up the industries of the past than embracing the technologies of the future... Visit Website ]
May 25, 2018, 4:32pm

Environment
Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades
Carey Gillam: In June, a California groundskeeper will make history by taking company to trial on claims it suppressed harm of Roundup ... Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products ... Some 4,000 plaintiffs have sued Monsanto alleging exposure to Roundup caused them, or their loved ones, to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). ... The litigants cite an assortment of research studies indicating that the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicides, a chemical called glyphosate, can lead to NHL and other ailments... Visit Website ]
May 25, 2018, 4:24pm

Consider This....
All Colin Kaepernick Ever Did Was Ask
Elizabeth Bruenig: Kneeling during the anthem was always a kind of plea — for an America that works the way the civics textbooks say it does. But making the plea raises the fact that America doesn’t, in fact, function according to its founding story; we’re not all individuals whose rights are equally protected, whose wills are collectively represented in the organs of government, whose interests are advanced according to our common say in how we’re governed. Some are protected more than others, and some better than others, and some at the expense of others, and it isn’t clear that our representative bodies are interested in doing anything about it. All Colin Kaepernick and others ever did was ask... Visit Website ]
May 24, 2018, 2:47pm

Environment
Life, the Sea and Big Oil
Kenn Orphan: When I learned about the oil giant BP’s plan to drill off the coast of my home, my heart felt like it dropped out of my chest. As I write this the West Aquarius rig is well on its way to the Nova Scotian Shelf. By the time this is published, it might have already arrived. My thoughts went immediately to those oil sullied shorelines in the Gulf of Mexico, and to the fishermen there whose families and livelihoods were shattered to pieces, and the countless species of fish, mammals and marine birds suffocated in the earth’s primordial blood. BP forever damaged that region and not only in an environmental way. ... The fossil fuel industry is the most profitable business the world has ever known and today it is accountable to virtually no one... Visit Website ]
May 24, 2018, 2:40pm

Commentary
War and Moral Injury
Saurav Sarkar: “As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death,” recalled Garrett Rapenhagen of Iraq Veterans Against the War in an essay for Salon. ... “My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good,” he reflected. “Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.” ... These words illustrate the concept of moral injury — where a soldier’s conscience has been shaken by what he or she has done, resulting in lasting trauma... Visit Website ]
May 24, 2018, 2:29pm

Meditations
Creation, Love, Death and God Are One
Martin LeFevre: This quote comes closer to what one feels when the mind falls completely silent and the heart is completely vulnerable: "I want to teach people how to see God everywhere, to see Him in all that is most hidden, most solid, and most ultimate in the world." ... To grow as human beings we must let go of our attachments and accumulations. Allowing the senses to fully open and be in harmony in nature, attention grows into a fire that consumes every thought and emotion as they arise. Love flows into the stillness and space, because love, beyond the word and the personal dimension, is the essence in the universe...
May 23, 2018, 2:30pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: CIA and FBI Election Interference
Margaret Kimberley: All talk of democracy in the United States is a lie meant to ensure devotion to and acceptance of a system that is inherently undemocratic. The word that is used with such reverence should mean more than holding elections. People living in a democracy ought to have some say in how they are governed; instead, Americans have none. But the electoral process itself is rife with vote theft, suppression schemes against black voters in particular and a variety of tactics meant to undo the little bit of popular will that is permitted to take place. ... The same forces which went after Trump will come after anyone else who is seen as a danger to the system... Visit Website ]
May 23, 2018, 2:23pm

Articles
Homes and Gardens: The Best Thing to Ever Happen to a Prison Site
Lewis Wallace: Zeke and Derek are part of a group working on a multi-year vision to “flip” this prison. Their youth organization, Growing Change, officially acquired the Scotland Correctional Center site from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety in 2017. The plan is to turn it into a permaculture aquaponics farm where they teach community members these methods of growing food while conserving water and energy. They’re also planning a climbing wall to raise revenue, a paintball field, a recording studio, and housing for homeless veterans... Visit Website ]
May 22, 2018, 5:34pm

Free Speech
Amazon Is Selling Facial Recognition to Law Enforcement - for a Fistful of Dollars
Elizabeth Dwoskin: The details about Amazon’s program illustrate the proliferation of cutting-edge technologies deep into American society — often without public vetting or debate. Axon, the maker of Taser electroshock weapons and the wearable body cameras for police, has voiced interest in pursuing face recognition for its body-worn cameras, prompting a similar backlash from civil rights groups. Hundreds of Google employees protested last month to demand that the company stop providing artificial intelligence to the Pentagon to help analyze drone footage. ... Facial recognition can allow strangers to identify people who don’t wish to be identified, such as shoppers in stores, individuals in a crowd, or people who appear in photos that get posted on social media... Visit Website ]
May 22, 2018, 4:56pm

Consider This....
Why wrongful convictions are so common—and why prosecutors and police rarely apologize
Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza: About 4 percent of people sentenced to death would eventually be exonerated if all were left on death row according to a 2014 study. That’s nearly 1 in 25. It’s harder to predict rates of wrongful conviction, or exoneration, for crime more broadly. One study using post-conviction DNA testing for sexual assault convictions in Virginia suggested about 12 percent of convictions could be wrongful on that basis alone. ... It’s even easier to wrongfully convict folks for lesser crimes, even without intent. In 2014, 45 defendants who’d pleaded guilty to drug crimes in Harris County, Texas, were belatedly exonerated after lab tests proved their belongings didn’t actually include illegal substances... Visit Website ]
May 21, 2018, 4:08pm

Did You Know
How Trial by Skype Became the Norm in Immigration Court
Lauren Markham: Teleconference hearings save time—but they also put pressure on vulnerable asylum-seekers. ... Twice a month, Tess Feldman, a senior immigration attorney for a Bay Area legal nonprofit, serves as the counsel of the day for detainees at Mesa Verde and other facilities. She has two hours to interview approximately 18 inmates—six minutes each. Because Mesa Verde is a five-hour drive from San Francisco, home to one of the nearest major immigration courts, almost all these detainees will never actually go in person, but will instead appear before judges—and meet their pro bono lawyers—via video teleconference. ... A study published in the Northwestern University Law Review found that “detained televideo litigants were more likely than detained in-person litigants to be deported.”... Visit Website ]
May 21, 2018, 3:58pm


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News
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Blogosphere
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Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
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