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How Immunity for Cops and Facebook Kills Americans
Thom Hartmann: When you tell people they won’t be held accountable for their actions, it almost always ends badly. That’s what’s happened with our police and our social media, two institutional pillars of personal and political society in America today. Removing those dual immunities could dramatically change—for the better—the lives of millions of Americans. ... in 1982, the Supreme Court in Harlow v. Fitzgerald redefined and expanded the immunity granted to any government employee, in a case involving former members of the Nixon administration. ... as government employees the police gained the same immunity .... Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, essentially says that the owners of services like Facebook and Twitter have very, very little responsibility for what people say... Visit Website ]
Jun 2, 2020, 12:20pm

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Indigenous Leadership Points the Way Out of the COVID Crisis
Indigenous people have been here before. White supremacy, capitalism, patriarchy and settler colonialism have systematically erased Indigenous communities, culture and voices, while confiscating their lands. ... Throughout their history of colonization, they have faced a variety of structural oppressions with clear lessons for the current crises. ... Leaders in the U.S. are oppressors, including Democrats. When I think of leaders, I think of people who run in Indigenous-led movements. Truth-tellers are leaders. They inspire change. Those at Standing Rock were truth-tellers and they inspired me into action... Visit Website ]
May 7, 2020, 3:20pm

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Rotating on Boredom’s Spit
Edward Curtin: Without the ability to forget, we become imprisoned within a collective mental habit that induces us to repeat things that are as hard to escape as is trying to unlearn how to ride a bicycle. ... As a motivating force in human affairs, boredom is hard to beat. Hatred, envy, lust, love, anger, jealousy: these are some of the alluring emotions that are often emphasized. But boredom – it is so boring! Why go there? It seems too simple an explanation for human behavior, yet nothing is more complex and powerful. ... creative boredom demands a silent patience and a state of mental relaxation that is almost extinct. It can only be experienced if one dwells and does not flee into action. It means forgetting what an oppressive society wants us to always remember... Visit Website ]
Apr 21, 2020, 3:40pm

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Lawsuit Fights Disenfranchisement of Native Americans
Gabriella Novello: For many Native Americans living in rural areas and on reservations, having their neighbor take their completed absentee ballot and return it to their designated drop-off location is not uncommon. The practice has been useful, since polling places are difficult to access, and mail delivery is not dependable. ... But a Montana law is effectively prohibiting this practice. The result is that “many Native Americans living on rural reservations will be effectively unable to vote,” ... The Montana Ballot Interference Prevention Act (BIPA), went into effect after the 2018 election, imposing a $500 fine per ballot on individuals who bring other voters’ mail-in or absentee ballots to the post office, polling place, or election administrator’s office... The law makes an exception for family members, but allows individuals to carry just six ballots (as opposed to the 100 ballots allowed prior to BIPA)... Visit Website ]
Mar 13, 2020, 3:58pm

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By the Best Definition, the Poverty Rate Should Be Tripled
Paul Buchheit: Poverty should not be defined simply by the number of dollars that an American can scrape together each year ... The World Bank defines poverty as "pronounced deprivation in well-being," not only of material needs but also of health and education and security and public voice and the "opportunity to better one's life" and the "capability of the individual to function in society." ... Census data in 2011 showed that half of Americans were in or near poverty. ... Poverty guidelines are dramatically out of touch with reality. Developed in the 1960s, they were based on the cost of food, which used to be a much greater part of the typical household budget. ... Debt causes depression, migraines, ulcers, high blood pressure, disrupted sleep, even heart attacks. That is deprivation of well-being. That is poverty of both body and mind... Visit Website ]
Jan 8, 2019, 11:51am

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What if Osama bin Laden Had Legitimate Grievances?
Maj. Danny Sjursen: You’re not supposed to utter these words, but what the heck: Osama bin Laden had a point. ... 1. Bin Laden objected to the presence of U.S. bases in Saudi Arabia specifically and across the region more generally, due to their proximity to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Furthermore, bin Laden criticized the U.S. backing of Saudi Arabia’s despotic royal regime. ... 2. The al-Qaida chief lamented the starvation blockade that the West—led by Washington—imposed on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. ... the well-reported deaths of some 500,000 Iraqi children, victims of the sanctions during that period, are what motivated bin Laden’s concern. ... 3. Bin Laden, like many global Muslims, felt sympathy for the generations-long plight of the occupied Palestinians and abhorred America’s one-sided support for Israel’s military and governing apparatus... Visit Website ]
Dec 4, 2018, 4:36pm

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Capitalism Is Beyond Saving, and America Is Living Proof
Jacob Bacharach: Policies that fail in the same way over and over are not failing. Someone is lying about their intent. ... The war in Iraq didn’t fail to bring democracy to the Middle East; it smashed an intransigent sometimes-ally in the region, and deliberately weakened and destabilized a group of countries whose control of, and access to, immense oil reserves was of strategic American interest. ... Real wage growth has been nonexistent in the United States for more than 30 years. ... Capitalism isn’t broken; it’s working precisely as it’s supposed to: generating surpluses and giving all of them to a small ownership class. ... The barbarians aren’t at the gates. They’re already here in the boardrooms; they’ve been here all along... Visit Website ]
Sep 1, 2018, 11:34am

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Nagasaki Journey
On August 10, 1945 , the day after the bombing of Nagasaki, Yosuke Yamahata began to photograph the devastation. His companions on the journey were a painter, Eiji Yamada, and a writer, Jun Higashi. (Reprinted from previous years.) Visit Website ]
Aug 9, 2018, 4:17pm

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Scars of Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad: At the outskirts of Tokyo, beyond light manufacturing plants and small farms, sits an incongruous set of buildings. There is a traditional Japanese veranda near an attractive house, besides which sits a large blue building. In that building, on two floors, hang the soul of Japan – the paintings by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki that are collectively called the Hiroshima Panels. ... ‘We carried the injured, cremated the dead, searched for food and water, made roofs of scorched tin sheets,’ ... Committed to pacifism and socialism, the Marukis spent the rest of their life documenting the horrors of war and the great human struggle to end suffering. ... ‘One Atomic Bomb’, they wrote, ‘in one instant caused the deaths of more people than we could ever portray’... Visit Website ]
Aug 9, 2018, 4:00pm

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Hiroshima: the Crime That Keeps on Paying, But Beware the Reckoning
Diana Johnstone: The decision to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a political not a military decision. The targets were not military, the effects were not military. The attacks were carried out against the wishes of all major military leaders ... All top U.S. leaders knew that Japan was defeated and was seeking to surrender ... The bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged the United States leadership into a moral sleep from which it has yet to awaken... Visit Website ]
Aug 5, 2018, 11:09am

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My Advice for High School Graduates: Learn a Trade
Chuck Collins: Not only is our economy suffering for lack of skilled workers, but also a huge number of workers are unhappy and earning below their financial potential. ... There are legions of depressed Dilberts out there in cubicle land, sitting in front of computer screens, wondering who will be laid off next. And there are millions of young people sitting in college classrooms dreaming of being somewhere else. ... Princeton economist Alan Blinder says the job market of the future won’t be divided between people with college degrees and those without, but between work that can be outsourced and work that can’t. “You can’t hammer a nail over the internet,” he observed. “Nor can you fix a car transmission, rewire a house, install solar panels, or give a patient an injection.”... Visit Website ]
May 5, 2018, 10:00am

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10 American Myths “Refutiated”*
Terry Simons: The Myth: That the “liberal media” includes every media outlet other than FOX. ... Moderate news organizations such as The New York Times, MSNBC and the Sunday morning news talk shows are all centrist. These media are controlled by large U.S. corporations. Multi-national corporations are not liberal, but rather thrive on conservative economic and social orders to control and maintain the status quo. ... The Myth: That America’s two-party system is a highly developed representative form of government and a shining beacon of “democracy at work.” ... The truth is that the U.S. Congress and the Presidency are controlled by the narrow interests of the elites, especially the big-business status quo... Visit Website ]
Mar 18, 2018, 3:08pm

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The Illusion of War Without Casualties
Nicolas J.S. Davies: America’s wars in the post-9/11 era have been characterized by relatively low U.S. casualties, but that does not mean that they are any less violent than previous wars ... In the past 16 years, the U.S. has invaded, occupied and dropped 200,000 bombs and missiles on seven countries, but it has lost only 6,939 American troops killed and 50,000 wounded in these wars. ... Our post-2001 wars have probably killed between 2 and 5 million people. ... America’s deluded leaders know nothing of diplomacy beyond bullying and brinksmanship. As they brainwash themselves and the public with the illusion of war without casualties, they will keep killing, destroying and risking our future until we stop them – or until they stop us and everything else... Visit Website ]
Mar 10, 2018, 10:48am

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Women Could Be the Undoing of Donald Trump
The Economist: Many of the cultural clashes the president has engineered work to his advantage. Not this one ... Amid the rancour of American politics, the large number of first-time women candidates the Democrats will field is unequivocally positive. Around 400 women, mostly Democrats, are planning to run for the House, at least 50 for the Senate and 79 for governor. That is far more than have previously stood for any of those offices. At state and local levels, the picture is the same. In 2015 and 2016 around 900 women consulted Emily’s List about standing for office; since Mr Trump’s election, over 26,000 have... Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2018, 3:04pm

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The Net’s Good Old Boys: Hacking the Arpanet
Geoff Dutton: It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time before the Internet, a time when computers took up more space than the acolytes who tended to their needs. ... DoD’s Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) had funded the network to develop a prototype military communications system. They let scientists play with it and observed what they were up to ... Soon it became evident that strangers were snooping around the Net ... Today as perhaps then the underlying task of the Internet is surveillance, but nobody who does it admits to it or that maximizing ad revenues is the main concern of corporate news media is. ... The Internet wasn’t designed to be secure; quite the opposite, it is rife with holes in its backdoor code and protocols deliberately put there for reasons that might or might not have to do with government surveillance.... Visit Website ]
Jan 4, 2018, 11:21am


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