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U.N. Report Condemns Torture of Assange
Robert Scheer: The mass media has played into this character assassination while both Manning and Assange are in jail, and instead of refusing to treat this as one of the most egregious assaults on press freedom, it has largely turned their back on the victims. ... Now, the media’s reporting has been revealed to have done something even more damaging than destroy Assange’s reputation—it has served to torture him. ... “To my mind, it was like Emile Zola in J’Accuse...!, in the Alfred Dreyfus case 120 years ago” ... “What I saw is that he has been exposed to a concerted and kind of sustained campaign of mobbing [which is] where you shame and insult someone, you intimidate people. But it’s always the collective turning against an isolated individual. … It can cause people to commit suicide, even in this isolated environment. Now, in Assange’s case, basically the whole world ganged up against him.”... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:17pm

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Creative + Strategic = Effective Movements for Change
Rivera Sun: If you want to make change, think outside the protest box. It’s easy to get hung up on demonstrations. ... Creativity is key to making your actions meaningful and memorable. Paired with a sound strategy, creative actions can be unstoppable. ... we have to remove tangible support from the problem (think: boycott the business, go on strike, walk-out of schools and workplaces) while putting resources into the solution (think: worker-owned cooperatives, restorative justice, solar panels, local food). ... Oil and gas companies wanted to build a pipeline through 800-acres of land owned by Alberta artist, Peter von Tiesenhausen. So, in 2003, he covered the earth with art ... This move protected his land under copyright law... Visit Website ]
Jun 10, 2019, 3:28pm

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Against Advertising
Nicole M. Aschoff: Advertisers thrive on perpetuating a system that is ravaging the planet. We can do without them — and a lot of the junk they’re trying to sell us. ... The job of advertisers is straightforward. They convince us to buy things we need, and more often, things we probably don’t need ... Through psychological manipulation, persistence, and a deep knowledge of consumers, advertisers generate and shape demand, and by extension, markets. ... We allocate precious freshwater and arable land to produce endless piles of low-quality crop tops and ill-fitting jeggings that look faded and misshapen after one wash. ... In addition to a global network of dangerous, low-paying jobs, the fashion industry generates mass quantities of toxic chemicals and dyes... Visit Website ]
Jun 4, 2019, 5:23pm

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Bilderberg Ahoy! Pompeo and Kushner join the billionaire boat club
Charlie Skelton, The Guardian, UK: Bathed in late afternoon sun, secretary of state Mike Pompeo boarded a steamboat on Lake Geneva. He was there for drinks and nibbles with the King of Holland and the head of Nato, a glamorous end to a busy day at the Bilderberg summit. ... Representing the White House, Jared Kushner wore a beatific smile as he strode towards the boat, thinking, perhaps, of how best to sell a war with Iran over a glass of frascati. ... Security at the wharf was drum tight. Amid a sea of secret service personnel, Pompeo was accompanied by the US ambassador to Switzerland, Ed McMullen. The pair looked keen to continue the geopolitical strategizing over canapés. ... As the sun set on Lake Geneva, the boat set off for Chillon Castle, where Pompeo gave a Q&A and participants were treated to a banquet. It’s always fun to thrash out “a new strategic order” over a fondue... Visit Website ]
Jun 2, 2019, 2:30pm

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Stop Ignoring Mothering as Work
Kimberly Seals Allers: No one should be forced to mother, but women who choose that journey deserve political, social, and structural support. ... The continued devaluation of mothering as important work is built on an outdated system based on the idea that families can afford women not to work. Yet mothers are underpaid and undermined for their secular work and their maternal work. ... In our society, items are priced. Accomplishments can be noted. But value remains an abstract and often misunderstood notion. Our idea of value is based on what somebody is willing to pay for something, and that leaves the modern valuation and celebration of mothering as valued work steeped in confusion. It is universally accepted that no one should work for free except a mother, yet no one has enough money to hire a good mom, which actually makes mothers priceless. ... Being priceless and worthless at the same time is a terrible state of affairs... Visit Website ]
May 10, 2019, 2:52pm

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The Best School Innovation Would Be More People
Steven Singer : Public schools thrive on innovation. ... In nearly every classroom around the country you’ll find teachers discovering new ways to reach students and foster skills, understanding and creativity. ... But if you pan out to the macro level, the overwhelming majority of innovations aren’t organic. They’re imposed on us by bureaucrats and functionaries from outside the classroom ... And each and every one of them is pure bullshit. ... They are corporate schemes written by the wealthy to cash in on education dollars for themselves. ... Big business hands them out to their paid political lapdogs to push through our state and federal legislatures to become laws and policies the rest of us have to obey. ... They have nothing to do with helping students learn. Their purpose is to boost profits. ... It is time to put a stop to all of it. ... And the solution is really pretty simple – people not apps. Human beings willing and able to get the job done... Visit Website ]
May 4, 2019, 11:04am

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The US Moves on Iran’s Oil Market as an Expression of an Irrational Foreign Policy
Patrick Lawrence gauges the backfiring potential of Pompeo’s withdrawal on Thursday of U.S. sanction waivers from eight major importers. ... this administration’s foreign policy has steadily assumed an irrational character that may be unprecedented in U.S. history. This is perilous. The administration’s near-paranoiac hostility toward Pyongyang and Moscow are cases in point. So is its evident indifference to alienating longstanding allies across the Atlantic and in Asia. As of this week, however, Pompeo’s “down to zero” policy makes Iran the most immediate danger. ... There may be skirmishes to come, but the battle is over. We must now watch as extremist ideologues accelerate America’s already evident decline as a global power — along with its increasing isolation... Visit Website ]
Apr 29, 2019, 3:24pm

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How To Build the Zero-Carbon Economy
Winona LaDuke: The Anishinaabe people have a prophecy that a time will come when we have to choose between two paths: one scorched, one green. For those who choose the green path, a more peaceful era will follow—known as the Eighth Fire—in which the Anishinaabeg will return to our teaching of Mino Bimaatisiiwin, the Good Life. Mino Bimaatisiiwin is based on reciprocity, affirmation and reverence for the laws of Nature—quite a different value system from that of the Gross National Product. ... How to ensure we make the right choice is the art of now. As Dakota philosopher and poet John Trudell often says, first you have to “keep the beast out of the garden.” I refer to the beast that’s destroying our collective garden as Wiindigo (cannibal) economics—the practice of extracting every last bit of oil just because you’ve got the technology to do it, ecosystems be damned... Visit Website ]
Apr 23, 2019, 3:30pm

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Ten Solutions to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide
1. Baby Bonds ... 2. Guarantee Employment and Significantly Raise the Minimum Wage ... 3. Invest in Affordable Housing ...4 Medicare for All ... 5. Postal Banking ... 6. Significantly Raise Taxes on the Ultra-Wealthy ... 7. Turn Upside-Down Tax Expenditures Right-Side Up ... 8. Congressional Committee on Reparations ... 9. Improve Data Collection on Race and Wealth ... 10. Racial Wealth Audit... Visit Website ]
Apr 19, 2019, 4:11pm

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8 Ways to Fix America’s Messed-Up Presidential Elections
Ted Rall: Presidential campaigns could be improved — streamlined, made more relevant to more voters and their worries, and likelier to result in better outcomes—and it wouldn’t require revolutionary change, just common-sense reforms. ... Amend Article II of the Constitution. The requirement that only “natural born” citizens over age 35 may run for president ought to be abolished. ... Give presidential debates back to the League of Women Voters. ... Level the campaign financing playing field. ... Make voting simultaneous and easier. ... Abolish the Electoral College ... Make it easier for third parties to run by loosening ballot-access rules. ... Visit Website ]
Mar 12, 2019, 3:17pm

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It’s International Women’s Day. Women Around the World Are Striking.
Liza Featherstone: This year’s International Women’s Day (or at least, the website international women’s day dot com) is sponsored by MetLife, Amazon, McDonald’s and other companies that have apparently decided that its official slogan is #BalanceforBetter. I’m not sure that’s even proper English — for better what? — but in any case, the buzzword “balance” always makes me reach for the snooze button. The socialist feminist doesn’t want “balance.” She wants to upset this whole rotten applecart of a capitalist system. ... That’s always been the animating passion behind International Women’s Day. Capitalists can hashtag all they like, but International Women’s Day has radical roots. ... In 1909, the Socialist Party in the United States called for a National Women’s Day in honor of the 1908 garment workers’ strike, and the following year, German socialist feminist Clara Zetkin proposed the idea for International Working Women’s Day.... Visit Website ]
Mar 8, 2019, 3:02pm

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Prisons don’t work; let’s stop pretending otherwise
J Layne Proctor: Data and analysis compiled across disciplines have long argued prisons are inherently inhumane and contribute to, rather than mitigate, the concerns they are charged with addressing. ... The rate at which incarceration has increased over the past 50 years is one this country’s greatest shames, a testament to institutionalized racism and xenophobia, to our failures to confront socioeconomic inequality, and to our endemic willingness to warehouse people considered threats to public safety and personal property rather than fostering accountability or solving the underlying problems that reproduce criminality. ... Angela Y. Davis diagnosed this disconnect between knowing what prisons are and a relative lack of intervention to improve or replace this system as, in part, negligence on the part of our collective imagination. ... Why our imaginations fail is perhaps not as important as whether we are able to revitalize them — and then start acting together and with greater focus to end a multigenerational crisis... Visit Website ]
Feb 27, 2019, 3:01pm

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Bill McKibben: Climate Change Is Scary—Not the Green New Deal
It’s very clear that conservatives have one plan for dealing with the popularity of the Green New Deal: scaring the hell out of people. ... Myron Ebell of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, the man who led the drive to pull America out of the Paris climate accords, said the other day that the Green New Deal was a “back-to-the-dark-ages manifesto.” ... “It calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, ‘upgrading all existing buildings’, and replacing our vehicle fleet with electric cars and more mass transit. And turning our energy economy upside down must be accomplished while ending historic income inequities and oppression of disadvantaged groups.” ... All of which sounds good not just to me, but to most people: Polling for the Green New Deal is through the roof, especially among young people... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2019, 3:31pm

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Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War
Chris Hedges: When director-producer Peter Jackson’s World War I film, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” which miraculously transforms grainy, choppy black-and-white archival footage from the war into a modern 3D color extravaganza, begins, he bombards us with the clichés used to ennoble war ... Military life is a form of servitude, prolonged exposure to combat leaves you broken, scarred for life by trauma and often so numb you have difficulty connecting with others, and the last thing war does is make you a man. ... Our own generals and politicians, who nearly two decades ago launched the greatest strategic blunder in American history and have wasted nearly $6 trillion on conflicts in the Middle East that we cannot win, are no less egotistical and incompetent. The images of our wars are as carefully controlled and censored as the images from World War I... Visit Website ]
Feb 11, 2019, 1:56pm

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Disarmament, Not Low-Yield Nukes
Robert C. KoehlerL: When the issue is nukes, and what to do with them, I think the first mistake we make is to put them into too narrow of a context, within which they seem “necessary” (because others have them) and “usable” (just in case, you know, a really evil country or terrorist organization starts threatening us) and there’s no larger sense of how to be alive and what survival actually means. ... And once nuclear disarmament is deemed out of the question, or “unrealistic,” the nuclear playing field remains wide open. ... that cruel paradox of national defense: that possession of humanity’s most powerful weapon doesn’t mean you can use it. Nukes have no purpose other than to prevent their use by others who possess them... Visit Website ]
Feb 2, 2019, 11:26am


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