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Out of Thin Air — Breakthrough Tech Uses Water Vapor to Generate Electricity
Lana Cohen: The air-powered generator — which its creators, a team of University of Massachusetts Amherst scientists, affectionately call Air-gen — uses tiny conductive proteins called nanowires to create a seven-micrometre film that generates electricity from water vapor. ... The inner workings of the generator can be compared to the phenomenon that causes lightning: ... Air-gen is like a tiny cloud with opposite charges built up between the top and bottom of the film. Because the top of the film is exposed to the moisture of the air and the bottom is not, a moisture gradient is created, causing water molecules to crash into each other, building up the charges. Subsequently, a voltage gradient is created that produces electricity from “thin air.”... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2020, 12:17pm

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“And Then Nothing. Silence” - The Deadly Facade Of "Democracy"
Media Lens: Humanity has reached the edge of the climate abyss because what passes for ‘democracy’ is a propaganda myth, sold endlessly to the public by politicians, Big Business and the state-corporate media. That myth acts as a thin veneer covering rampant global capitalism. We are now in the terminal stages of this destructive system. ... Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. ... The glaring phenomenon of tightly managed ‘mainstream’ news and permissible commentary – on climate breakdown, capitalism and foreign policy – indicates one inescapable truth: there will not, and cannot, be major changes in society without genuinely public media... Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2020, 11:16am

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Maneuvering Hell for Our Advantage
Robert Koehler: In point of fact, war begets nothing but war, a reality that’s getting harder and harder not to acknowledge here in the 21st century. ... But the language of war — “releasing munitions,” let us say, rather than blowing the arms and legs off children — lets the game proceed, at least beyond the national borders and national consciousness. ... War is not a chess game. Whatever strategy it employs involves killing people, mostly civilians, and we should at least begin acknowledging that the ramifications of doing so are never strategically contained. ... And 18 years on, we’re bombing Afghanistan more savagely than ever. We’ve already destroyed the country, but we can’t stop trying to save it... Visit Website ]
Feb 3, 2020, 3:18pm

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Lev Parnas Is Afraid of Bill Barr. He Should Be.
Thom Hartmann : Lev Parnas recently told Rachel Maddow that he’s more afraid of Attorney General Bill Barr than he is of the mobbed-up foreign oligarchs he has betrayed. Barr, after all, can weaponize our prisons to punish Parnas. ... How Barr Earned the Moniker ‘Coverup-General’ --- Americans knew that both Reagan and Bush were up to their necks in the Iran-Contra crimes, and both could be facing prison time as a result. ... The independent counsel had already obtained one conviction and three guilty pleas, and two other individuals were lined up for prosecution. ... Barr ... as AG in the Bush White House ... “I went over and told the President I thought he should not only pardon Caspar Weinberger, but while he was at it, he should pardon about five others.” ... Bush shut the investigation down by pardoning not only Weinberger, but also the five others known to be involved in the crime, destroying (Independent Counsel) Walsh’s ability to prosecute anybody... Visit Website ]
Jan 25, 2020, 10:54am

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The “Are You Serious?” Awards: Looking Back on 2019
Conn Hallinan :.... The Dr. Strangelove Award goes to the U.S. Defense Department for its unique solution to the problem of supplying troops in war zones. Between 2001 and 2010, U.S. soldiers escorting fuel convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq accounted for more than half the casualties suffered by American forces. ... The solution? Portable nuclear power plants that would generate between 1 and 10 megawatts and service up to 1,000 troops. ... The “micro-nukes” would be “semiautonomous” — that is, they wouldn’t need on-site operators. ... Even small reactors contain significant amounts of highly radioactive and long-lived isotopes, like cesium-137. ... I mean, what could go wrong?... Visit Website ]
Jan 22, 2020, 3:05pm

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The Propaganda Multiplier
It is one of the most important aspects of our media system, and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris. (Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters)... The key role played by these agencies means Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world. ... “Therefore, you always have to ask yourself: Why do I get this specific information, in this specific form, at this specific moment? Ultimately, these are always questions about power.” Visit Website ]
Jan 15, 2020, 3:58pm

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Should Judges Have to Weigh the Price Tag of Sending Someone to Prison?
Samantha Michaels: As part of a wave of progressive candidates that swept district attorney elections in Virginia in November, Biberaj is calling for changes that reformers elsewhere have championed, like ending cash bail and letting marijuana crimes go. But she’s also touting a proposal that goes a step beyond what most liberal district attorneys have floated: She wants courts to grapple with the financial toll of incarcerating people. .... Americans pay tens of billions of dollars a year for state prisons, despite declining crime rates. ... For state cases, prosecutors usually work at the county level, but when they imprison someone for a felony, the county doesn’t foot the bill for it—the state does. ... “When people return from prison, they tend to be sicker, they have a harder time finding a job. All these things are the real costs.” Visit Website ]
Jan 8, 2020, 4:40pm

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A Strong Welfare State Could Be a Blow Against Imperialism
Matt Currie: The US military is a human-maiming, planet-destroying machine. ... These two sectors (fossil fuels and the military) not only imitate each other, they are mutually dependent: as the world’s largest institutional consumer of petroleum, the US military is a crucial customer for fossil-fuel companies. ... What if every person in the United States had the right to free college, high-quality medical care, and a well-paying job, outside of the military-industrial complex? ... Giving people options other than the military is also key to avoiding climate disaster. ... The economic struggles of workers in the United States, the fight for climate justice, and the resistance to the United States’ imperial footprint all come together here... Visit Website ]
Dec 28, 2019, 2:09pm

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“It’s Important to Talk About the Role That Capital Plays in the Justice System”
Interview with Mik Pappas is a Pittsburgh district judge. He’s also a socialist. ... "a judge in the position of presiding over a criminal case has a responsibility to protect the public. However, in the vast majority of criminal cases, a serious risk to public safety is not present. Most criminal defendants are there because of poverty, because of addiction, homelessness, mental health disorders. That is the vast majority, well above 70 percent of cases that come through the courts. ... it’s really important to talk about the role that capital plays in the justice system, oftentimes a corrosive and really corrupting influence — the cash bail industry, for-profit prisons, tech industries’ surveillance and policing ... More of an understanding and empathetic view toward the folks who are accused of committing crimes...
Visit Website ]
Dec 20, 2019, 2:56pm

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The Centuries-Long History of Extractive Greed
Josue De Luna Navarro: As the climate crisis worsens, the fossil fuel industry has clearly messaged its apathy by continuing to pollute the planet. But these horrific leaks aren’t simply one-off “incidents.” They reveal a long history of oppression on communities of color and the planet. ... Colonial economies have depended on the extraction of natural resources and the oppression of people of color as early as the 16th century. ... Nothing has changed today. The legacy of genocide and ecological destruction continues to live and thrive in the present-day global economy, thanks to the greed of extractive industries and the state power that protects them from community resistance. ... virtually all Indigenous communities have always had a concept of Mother Earth as a living organism we must respect – a harmonious relationship disrupted by capitalism and the greed for profit... Visit Website ]
Dec 16, 2019, 1:43pm

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Moral Injury & America’s Endless Conflicts
Arnold R. Isaacs: reports on a symposium hosted by the U.S. Special Operations Command on a subject that remains controversial within the military, but is gaining recognition. .. "Moral injury is the lasting mental and emotional result of an assault on the conscience — a memory, as one early formulation put it, of “perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.” ... Many in that military have had to recognize the invisible wounds of moral conflict that soldiers have brought home with them from those battlefields... What war is - Maybe that’s what moral injury is: realizing the true nature of war. ... (Including) the deaths and wounds, physical and spiritual, inflicted on the ‘others,’ our enemies, especially our ‘civilian enemies... Visit Website ]
Dec 6, 2019, 5:07pm

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Healing From Colonization on Thanksgiving and Beyond
Edgar Villanueva & Hilary Giovale: We cannot change the past—but by changing how we tell the story of the past, we can avoid repeating a history that erases the trauma Indigenous peoples have experienced. ... The first step to healing is acknowledging our nation’s violent history and taking time to grieve what happened. ... Then, we must apologize. This means a genuine acknowledgement of past wrongs, with an outward focus on the impact these actions had on others. ... Once we have grieved and apologized, it is time to listen. ... If we listen openly and empathetically, it naturally leads to the next step of healing: relating... Visit Website ]
Nov 27, 2019, 4:53pm

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How Reparations to Descendants of Slavery Can Heal a Nation
Zenobia Jeffries Warfield: To truly understand the debt this country owes to Black people is to be liberated from the bondage of miseducation that we’ve remained shackled to in the so-called land of the free. .... The first efforts to atone for the damages of slavery and seek reparations for formerly enslaved Africans came in 1865 during a meeting between 20 Black pastors and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. ... The newly freed families were each given 40 acres of land, and some received surplus mules from the army, but Sherman’s order was rescinded by President Andrew Johnson just months later. ... The consensus of the many people I’ve talked to about reparations is that no dollar amount can make up for the harm of slavery and the exploitation and oppression of Black people that followed. However, the trillions owed are a start, and can be disbursed in a number of ways... Visit Website ]
Nov 14, 2019, 12:41pm

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Death By Oligarchy
Chris Hedges: Oligarchs are blinded by hubris, wealth and power. Their cloying sense of entitlement sees them outraged by even the most tepid reforms or mildest of criticisms. They lack empathy and compassion, along with remorse or guilt, for what is done to those outside of their tiny, elitist circles. Privilege does strange and unpleasant things to human beings. ... The repugnant characteristics of the rich are skillfully masked by armies of lawyers and publicists, a servile and intimidated press, good manners and the fig leaf of philanthropy. ... Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them. They run up huge government deficits by slashing taxes on the rich... Visit Website ]
Nov 11, 2019, 2:57pm

Consider This....
Is America a democracy? If so, why does it deny millions the vote?
The Guardian, UK: Voter suppression as a tactic – from strict ID laws to closing polling places to purging voter rolls – is deliberately making it hard for minority communities in America to exercise their democratic right ... Until recently, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 ensured that the federal government had oversight of changes to voting systems in those US states that had a history of voting discrimination. But that changed six years ago with a supreme court ruling that gutted the law. ... the states with the worst history of voting discrimination were free to revert to something like their previous behavior .... “In 2016, pummeled by voter suppression in more than 30 states, the black voter turnout plummeted by seven percentage points. For the GOP, that was an effective kill rate... Visit Website ]
Nov 7, 2019, 11:05am


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