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Did You Know

Did You Know
Reagan’s Forgotten Iran-Contra Escape May Reveal More About Trump’s Fate Than Watergate
Will Bunch: What’s so interesting is that despite all the similarities between the Iran-Contra mess and President Trump’s Ukraine affair, in which an American president used the immense clout of his office in a scheme to extort an election-interfering political favor from a foreign leader, it’s a comparison that almost never gets made in today’s 24/7 hotbox of cable TV news. America decided to forget Iran-Contra back in 1987. It’s a pledge we’re still keeping in 2019. ... But let’s be honest: The principles first laid bare in Iran-Contra — a deference to the raw exercise of power, including a willingness to overlook the rule of law—have become America’s cruel guiding spirit in the 21st century... Visit Website ]
Dec 5, 2019, 12:08pm

Did You Know
Cement has a carbon problem. Here are some concrete solutions.
Maddie Stone : In fact, one of the industries with the worst climate impact is all but ignored, even though its product literally supports our existence. I’m talking about the cement industry, which dumps more than 2 billion tons of carbon into the air each year to make its ubiquitous building material, roughly three times as much as the aviation industry. ... To make cement, you have to heat limestone to nearly 1,500 degrees C. Unfortunately, the most efficient way to get a cement kiln that hot is to burn lots of coal, which, along with other fossil fuel energy sources, accounts for 40 percent of the industry’s emissions. ... The good news is that there’s no shortage of ideas for how to slim down cement’s weighty carbon footprint. The bad news is that most of them are either in their infancy or face significant barriers to adoption... Visit Website ]
Nov 25, 2019, 3:57pm

Did You Know
How to *NOT* Safeguard Fair Elections
Gabriella Novello: If you point out that Georgia’s elections are neither democratic nor secure, high-ranking state officials might go after you. ... Three prominent election integrity experts ... observed this month’s state election at various polling places to identify flaws and vulnerabilities in Georgia’s voting process. And, because they did their job, the state filed a complaint against them. ... Without a full-time IT staff to ensure the tens of thousands of new machines are working properly before the March elections, DeMillo said, state officials are putting Georgia’s election system at risk. ... “There are over 70,000 pieces of equipment to debug between now and March — it can’t be done.” ... (The alternative - Use hand-marked paper ballots in the polling places, count them on optical scanners)... Visit Website ]
Nov 19, 2019, 12:39pm

Did You Know
Prison-State USA
Vladimir Odintsov: There are currently more than 2.3 million people behind bars in the United States, which means the US holds more people in prison than any other country in the world. This is a quarter of all the world’s prisoners! ... If we also add the number of Americans who have been released on probation and on parole to the overall sum of prisoners, it turns out that there is actually a total of 7.3 million people in the US prison system! ... The American media have highlighted that there are now more prisons in the US than schools (there are over 5,000 prisons). More than 2.7 million children in the United States have a parent in prison, and the prison population has quadrupled nationwide since 1980... Visit Website ]
Oct 25, 2019, 4:55pm

Did You Know
Legacy of British Empire Lurks Behind Today’s Headlines
From Brexit’s threat to resurrect hard borders in Ireland to the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong, John Wight reviews an array of global crises rooted in British exceptionalism.... “Your deeds they would shame all the devils in hell,” is a line from the Ballad of James Connolly, written in 1972 by the Irish folk music band The Wolfe Tones in tribute to the Irish rebel leader, union organiser, thinker and theorist, who was executed by a British firing squad for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. ... This lyric offers a cogent summation of the blood-soaked legacy of British colonialism and imperialism, which continues to play a role in an array of world crises... Visit Website ]
Oct 17, 2019, 4:46pm

Did You Know
Just 100 Companies Will Sign Humanity’s Death Warrant
Lee Camp: The corporations that are screwing up your life, tainting your water, polluting your air, buying up your favorite coffee shop and turning it into a gas station, sucking your tax dollars up through subsidies, and all the while paying their employees a warm can of farts per hour—those corporations are the same ones creating the climate catastrophe. ... The Guardian reported that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global greenhouse gas emissions. These include Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Chinese and Russian coal, Chevron, BP, CNPC, ConocoPhillips, Gazprom, Lukoil, Total, Petrobas ... They have made a two trillion-dollar gamble that we will all keep using fossil fuels even as society collapses... Visit Website ]
Oct 15, 2019, 5:20pm

Did You Know
Judge Orders Release of Records That Might Tie Saudi Royals to 9/11
Russ Baker: A federal judge’s ruling has raised hopes that we may better understand any possible ties between Saudi Arabia’s ruling family and the 9/11 hijackers — the vast majority of whom were Saudi citizens. ... US District Judge William J. Zloch ruled that the FBI unlawfully withheld from journalists important parts of its own highly sensitive investigative report on the subject. ... key sections from records of the bureau’s probe of a South Florida-based Saudi family that apparently had ties to many of the 9/11 hijackers. ... Mohamed Atta, the 9/11 plot leader, had visited the family of Abdulaziz al-Hijji several times ... there is a direct link between Ghazzawi and the ruling Saudi royal family... Visit Website ]
Sep 12, 2019, 3:26pm

Did You Know
There is But One Race: Human
Richard C. Gross: Want to blame something for differences in skin color, blame the sun. It’s all in the melanin. ... The concept of different races is a farce, largely concocted as “scientific racism” by an American physician before the Civil War, as noted in a fascinating special April 2018 issue of the National Geographic, “Black and White.” It is devoted solely to the variety of shades of the human skin, which are caused by gene mutation and evolution, all dependent on where one lived. ... “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.” ... “in a very real sense, all people alive today are Africans.” ... Migration out of Africa between 80,000 and 50,000 years ago led to interbreeding with other human species, now nonexistent, as people moved into Europe and Asia... Visit Website ]
Sep 9, 2019, 1:36pm

Did You Know
New Campaign Begins To Stop Facial Recognition
Opposition to facial recognition is reaching a boiling point. Today, nearly 30 organizations from across the political spectrum announced they had endorsed the BanFacialRecognition.com campaign calling for a federal ban on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. ... But it’s essential that legislation puts an immediate stop to both current and future law enforcement use of this dangerous, invasive, and biased technology, rather than imposing weak regulations that could actually work to speed up its adoption. ... The use of facial recognition technology is another new tech invasion of people’s human rights and provides police who have a history of abuse with a tool they should not have and do not need. ... “Countless studies indicate that facial recognition is unreliable technology, that it doesn’t accurately identify people with darker skin complexions – especially women – and so we know that this technology will impact Black and brown communities in particularly dangerous ways. ... Visit Website ]
Sep 5, 2019, 10:57am

Did You Know
The Key to a Sustainable Economy Is 5,000 Years Old
Ellen Brown: Sumer was the first civilization for which we have written records. Its notable achievements included the wheel, the lunar calendar, our numerical system, law codes, an organized hierarchy of priest-kings, copper tools and weapons, irrigation, accounting and money. ... Usury, or the charging of interest on loans, was an accepted part of the Mesopotamian credit system. Interest rates were high and remained unchanged for two millennia. ... Sumerian kings solved the problem of “peak debt” by periodically declaring “clean slates,” in which agrarian debts were forgiven and debtors were released from servitude to work as tenants on their own plots of land. ... If this policy in many cases was more successful than today’s, it is because they recognized that insisting that all debts must be paid meant foreclosures, economic polarization and impoverishment of the economy at large... Visit Website ]
Aug 29, 2019, 12:26pm

Did You Know
100 Years After Suffrage, Full Equality Eludes Women
Celia Wexler: Happy Women’s Equality Day. One hundred years ago today, the US officially got around to giving half the American adult population the right to vote. ... After 50 years of struggle to get the vote, suffragettes wanted to ensure that women used their power at the polls. A year later, many of the women who had been active in the movement to ratify the 19th amendment founded the League of Women Voters ... This anniversary also reminds us that women have yet to achieve parity of representation in Congress with the male half of the population. ... In recent years, the League has partnered with democracy and civil rights groups, such as Common Cause and the Brennan Center for Justice, to pursue scores of lawsuits, most of them on voting and elections. ... The League’s progressive views on everything from voting rights to addressing climate change and gun control have so angered some Republicans that they no longer respond to candidate questionnaires or participate in League debates... Visit Website ]
Aug 26, 2019, 3:16pm

Did You Know
The War Party Is in Control
Daniel Lazare: Republicans and Democrats alike are blaming U.S. crises on foreign adversaries instead of themselves ... America is now dominated by a war party that includes everyone on Capitol Hill other than a few isolationists on the right and the Bernie Sanders-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction on the left. ... To be sure, there’s disagreement as to whether the enemy is Russia or Iran. But such minor details aside, the logic is otherwise the same. Foreigners are out to get us. They are responsible for all our troubles. ... an energy crisis due to over-reliance on fossil fuels; a climate crisis due to global warming; an economic crisis due to slowing growth rates and skyrocketing wealth polarization; a constitutional crisis due to an unrepresentative Electoral College and a grossly malapportioned U.S. Senate, and a foreign-policy crisis ... Why take responsibility for one’s own actions when it’s so much easier to blame someone else?... Visit Website ]
Jul 30, 2019, 11:34am

Did You Know
Blood on Our Hands: How We Help Drive Immigration North
Frances Moore Lappé : Certainly, I’d long been aware of numerous US policies that have long hindered positive development in the region to our south. ... I’d also known that immigrants’ hopes of escaping desperate poverty weren’t the whole story. I knew that many arriving at our southern border were fleeing threats of violence against them and their children. For some, it’s guns in the hands of gangs that make staying put impossible. ... But what I had not, and certainly should have, grasped is our nation’s central role in generating fear by allowing a flood of US weapons to continue across our southern border. The flood into Mexico alone includes “[m]ore than 212,000 illegal firearms” from the U.S. each year ... We hear endless calls for more resources to stop illegal entry at our border. But where are the calls to stop the massive illegal transfer of weapons fueling the very violence that drives innocent people to leave their homes?... Visit Website ]
Jul 24, 2019, 1:10pm

Did You Know
Why the Future Is Bright for 100% CLEAN ENERGY
Glenn Daigon: “100 percent clean energy is a mainstream policy, the new normal. Americans support the transition to 100 percent clean energy” ... While the generation of electricity is not the only source of global warming — others include the transportation sector (gasoline engines), poorly insulated business and homes, and deforestation — the IPCC estimates that electricity production accounts for 25 percent of global warming gases. ... renewables provided 23 percent of US power this April, edging out coal, at 20 percent, for the first time ever. ... “Just this past month, California powered itself for thirty minutes straight with 96 percent renewable electricity. Twenty-six years before the deadline for 100 percent, which was adopted last fall”... Visit Website ]
Jul 10, 2019, 4:21pm

Did You Know
Human rights in the US are worse than you think
Lauren Wolfe: A new report examining human rights in the United States and around the world has just been released, and its findings are disturbing: The US is doing abysmally in several key categories, including the right to freedom from extrajudicial killing, the right to participate in government, and the right to be safe from the state. ... Of the 12 human rights categories, from press freedom to quality of life, measured by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative — a global nonprofit data analysis organization based in Wellington, New Zealand — there are several in which the US has “strikingly poor results” ... The report, released Thursday, looked at three broad categories of human rights globally: empowerment, safety from the state, and quality of life. ... The US empowerment score was just 4.9 out of 10. This “tells us that many people in the U.S. are not enjoying their civil rights and political freedoms,” the report says... Visit Website ]
Jun 7, 2019, 5:41pm


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1969-70 FOL
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