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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

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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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California Must Take Back Its Power—Literally
Sonali Kolhatkar: While the climate crisis fueling our wildfires is the direct result of the fossil fuel industry’s profit-driven corporate greed, another culprit, one that has for years valued moneyed interests over human needs, is also to blame: the nation’s largest utilities company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). ... Now PG&E is resorting to mass power outages to protect itself from liabilities during fire season ... it obscures PG&E’s decades-long negligence of the state’s power infrastructure—negligence in the service of maximizing shareholder profit over long-term grid resilience ... There is an analogy to be made with our current health care system that relies on a profit model to deliver quality medical care to all Americans. Just as people need health care, they need electricity to power their homes.... Visit Website ]
Oct 31, 2019, 3:18pm

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Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground
Edward Snowden: the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe. ... The true explanation for why the US, UK and Australian governments want to do away with end-to-end encryption is less about public safety than it is about power: E2EE gives control to individuals and the devices they use to send, receive and encrypt communications, not to the companies and carriers that route them. ... This, then, would require government surveillance to become more targeted and methodical, rather than indiscriminate and universal.... Visit Website ]
Oct 16, 2019, 4:23pm

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Exploring Limits on Wealth
Sam Pizzigati: Letting small slivers of a population amass as much wealth as they can grab might not be such a hot idea after all. ... On the Internet, “every billionaire represents a policy failure” has become a popular meme ... This sense — the conviction that grand concentrations of private wealth endanger our common well-being — is deepening all around the world, so much so that the every-billionaire-a-policy-failure perspective now has a philosophic label: limitarianism. ... Limitarians see climate change and questions of distributive justice as “deeply intertwined” and believe that limitarian thought can help us envision a “less unjust” and “ecologically more sustainable” world... Visit Website ]
Oct 3, 2019, 3:02pm

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Ten Ways The Climate Crisis And Militarism Are Intertwined
Medea Benjamin: 1. The US military protects Big Oil and other extractive industries. ... 2. The Pentagon is the single largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels in the world. ... 3. The Pentagon monopolizes the funding we need to seriously address the climate crisis. ... 4. Military operations leave a toxic legacy in their wake. ... 5. Wars ravage fragile ecosystems that are crucial to sustaining human health and climate resiliency. ... 6. Climate change is a “threat multiplier” that makes already dangerous social and political situations even worse... Visit Website ]
Sep 26, 2019, 3:59pm

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MOTHER EARTH IS THE “GREAT SPIRIT”
Mohawk Nation News: The original people are the key to the consciousness of turtle island from pole to pole, ocean to ocean. The serpents from far away accumulated their fame and fortune on genocide of the natural people and natural world of turtle island. The natural people are placed here by creation to protect the land because we are one with the land. sewahontsakwenio. ... kaneronkwatsera is the medicine inside us that comes from plants, earth, wind and water, to embrace the best of ourself. watewiionnison is the natural way of life. The universe is life which we are part of. We do songs, ceremonies and commemorations to our mother earth to celebrate and remember our natural place. We acknowledge all that sustains life. Each root that comes out of the earth is a vein that nurtures others. In the end the land shall claim us... Visit Website ]
Sep 18, 2019, 2:51pm


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