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How We Can Really Make America Great
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: America’s most dangerous enemy is not terrorism, war or immigration. The greatest threat to our country is ignorance. ... Critical thinking isn’t just for political purposes — it also has practical career and life applications. ... Educating our children on how to deal with political and intellectual dishonesty — and on how to make decisions based on corroborated evidence — is a necessary form of self-defense. It protects children from social or political brainwashing and provides them with the intellectual means to form their own beliefs. ... It is the responsibility of every American to form opinions based on gathering as much information as possible, evaluating that information for veracity and then using logic to form conclusions devoid of personal prejudices... Visit Website ]
Jun 8, 2018, 2:03pm

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New Mexico Could Elect First Native-American Woman to Congress
Brian Naylor: Tuesday's primary election in New Mexico moved the country one step closer to putting the first Native-American woman in Congress. ... Deb Haaland won the Democratic nomination in New Mexico's heavily Democratic 1st district. The former state party chair beat two other candidates. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe. ... Haaland, from Albuquerque, is an attorney and a former tribal administrator. She was Native-American vote director for Organizing for America in 2012. ... She supports Medicare for all and has called for elimination of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement... Visit Website ]
Jun 7, 2018, 5:19pm

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Distorting the Life of Bobby Kennedy - Chris Matthews’ book, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit
James DiEugenio: In 1951, after he graduated, Bobby traveled with his brother, then Congressman Jack Kennedy, to the Middle and Far East to learn about U.S. foreign policy and raise his credentials in that area. Matthews mentions the trip, but omits the name of Edmund Gullion, a respected State Department diplomat whom the brothers contacted in Saigon to assess whether France could win its war to re-colonize Indochina. ... Matthews’ excision of Gullion is inexplicable, given his importance: he told the Kennedy brothers that France could not win, since Ho Chi Minh had inspired the Viet Minh to fight until death, rather than return under colonialism’s yoke. ... he visited Brazil’s president, who had been installed by a CIA-sponsored coup after JFK was killed. While driving back to his hotel room he saw soldiers striking some of the crowd and trying to keep them away from his car. As Bohrer writes, he jumped out and shouted, “Down with the government! On to the palace!” I have to share these key incidents with the reader because they are not in Matthews’ book. ... Visit Website ]
Jun 5, 2018, 4:47pm

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The Case for Delegitimizing the Police
William C. Anderson: The institution of policing doesn’t deserve the unquestioned authority and purpose people give it in the United States. Fraud, corruption, and violence are too common for the institution and the systems connected to it to be trusted by default. ... The history of policing in the United States makes clear the police are in fact trained to discriminately execute, brutalize, and detain people, many of whom haven’t done anything against the law. ... Throughout history, the state has used the police force as a tool to uphold white supremacy. ... If we can work together to tear our communities away from the grips of policing, it will become clearer how the institution is not needed. Organizing around our own ability to solve problems is imperative. When the police are absent and conflict arises, we’re faced with the choice of taking each other’s struggles into our own hands... Visit Website ]
Jun 1, 2018, 12:34pm

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Four New Judges: A Breath of Fresh Air
Peter Santina: In 2018 San Francisco, there has been a sea change. The decision of four public defenders — Niki Solis, Phoenix Streets, Kwixuan Maloof and Maria Evangelista — to run for judge has sent the judicial and political establishment scrambling. ... Lifting up the rocks of the legal system and looking underneath is a healthy process, subjecting the system to well-deserved scrutiny. ... Federal judges appointed by Republicans vote very differently from federal judges appointed by Democrats. Politicians from both parties tend to appoint judges that subscribe to their political views, and their judicial rulings often follow in line. ... Recent studies have demonstrated that when tested, judges show implicit biases just like everyone else and that a judge’s ethnic background impacts his or her perception of employment harassment cases... Visit Website ]
May 29, 2018, 10:02am

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All Colin Kaepernick Ever Did Was Ask
Elizabeth Bruenig: Kneeling during the anthem was always a kind of plea — for an America that works the way the civics textbooks say it does. But making the plea raises the fact that America doesn’t, in fact, function according to its founding story; we’re not all individuals whose rights are equally protected, whose wills are collectively represented in the organs of government, whose interests are advanced according to our common say in how we’re governed. Some are protected more than others, and some better than others, and some at the expense of others, and it isn’t clear that our representative bodies are interested in doing anything about it. All Colin Kaepernick and others ever did was ask... Visit Website ]
May 24, 2018, 2:47pm

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Why wrongful convictions are so common—and why prosecutors and police rarely apologize
Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza: About 4 percent of people sentenced to death would eventually be exonerated if all were left on death row according to a 2014 study. That’s nearly 1 in 25. It’s harder to predict rates of wrongful conviction, or exoneration, for crime more broadly. One study using post-conviction DNA testing for sexual assault convictions in Virginia suggested about 12 percent of convictions could be wrongful on that basis alone. ... It’s even easier to wrongfully convict folks for lesser crimes, even without intent. In 2014, 45 defendants who’d pleaded guilty to drug crimes in Harris County, Texas, were belatedly exonerated after lab tests proved their belongings didn’t actually include illegal substances... Visit Website ]
May 21, 2018, 4:08pm

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Think prison abolition in America is impossible? It once felt inevitable
Joshua Dubler and Vincent Lloyd: In the 1960s and 1970s, attorneys general and Republican congressmen were among the many arguing that prison was immoral. Can those days return? ... Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow has done much of late to introduce the massive scale of the injustices involved in the prison system to a mainstream audience, but from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, there were any number of such publication events ... some of the very same politicians who once advocated for segregation switched to advocating for crime policy that would imprison massive numbers of poor people and people of color when it became clear that segregation was a losing cause ... The problem isn’t merely that we lock too many of our fellow citizens and, increasingly, non-citizens in cages. It’s that locking any human being in a cage is a moral abomination... Visit Website ]
May 19, 2018, 10:02am

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Grifters Gonna Grift - What We Can Learn From Michael Cohen’s Pay-to-Play Scandal
Klaus Marre and DonkeyHotey: To anyone even vaguely familiar with Donald Trump, the notion that he and his gang of grifters would drain the swamp instead of wallowing in it always seemed ridiculous. ... So it came as no surprise that several major corporations shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Michael Cohen in the hope that Trump’s fixer could grease the wheels a bit as they were trying to curry favor with his boss. ... It also raises the question of how many other companies — or governments — found smarter ways to funnel money to Trump and his inner circle, e.g., through real estate deals or through people who aren’t caught up (yet) in Mueller’s web... Visit Website ]
May 14, 2018, 11:13am

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Tax cuts arguments are economic blackmail
From Australia: One of the main arguments put forward in favour of massive tax cuts for big business – including billions for the banks whose nefarious practices are being exposed by the royal commission – is that if they aren’t given a tax cut, they will refuse to invest or will take their money offshore. ... This is presented as completely unremarkable. Even those who oppose the tax cuts argue the case by pointing out that in other countries, such as the US, tax cuts have not resulted in increased investment; instead companies have taken the windfall as extra profit. ... When companies say they will not invest unless their demands for lower taxes are met, they are using their vast economic clout to blackmail society. They are saying that if their every wish is not acceded to, they will use their economic power to impose unemployment and misery on the population... (ED: Sound familiar Amazon?) Visit Website ]
May 10, 2018, 4:54pm

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The Danger of Leadership Cults
Chris Hedges: If we are to successfully pit power against power we must reject the cult of the self, the deadly I-consciousness that seduces many, including those on the left, to construct little monuments to themselves. We must understand that it is not about us. It is about our neighbor. We must not be crippled by despair. Our job is to name and confront evil. All great crusades for justice outlast us. We are measured not by what we achieve but by how passionately and honestly we fight. Only then do we have a chance to thwart corporate power and protect a rapidly degrading ecosystem. ... One cannot fight what one does not understand. Effective political change ... is not primarily politically motivated. It is grounded in human solidarity, mutual trust and consciousness... Visit Website ]
May 7, 2018, 4:32pm

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If Bobby Kennedy Had Lived
David Swanson: Fifty years ago, Bobby Kennedy was about to win the Democratic presidential primary in Indiana. He would soon lose in Oregon and in a few weeks win in California, practically clinching the White House, and be murdered the same night. The film RFK Must Die and book Who Killed Bobby? leave little doubt that the CIA killed him. And of course there is no doubt that many have always suspected as much, which has had a damaging effect on U.S. politics whether or not true. But the major impact of RFK’s killing is separate from the question of who killed him. ... The United States and world were no paradise before the killings of the two Kennedys, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. Not everything has worsened since then. ... But some very significant trends reversed for the worse in that moment. Wealth began to concentrate in a way never seen before. Militarism began to be normalized in a way never seen before... Visit Website ]
May 5, 2018, 10:09am

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Crisis in Consciousness: Change and the Individual
Graham Peebles: The world and the individual are one; for substantive change to occur this basic fact must be acknowledged; responsibility for the world rests firmly with each and every one of us. If we are to heal the planet and create harmony in the world change is imperative, but it must first of all take place within the individual. ... ‘Society’, large or small, is a reflection of the consciousness of those who constitute that society; it is formed by the values, relationships and behaviour consistently and predominantly expressed by the people within it. Such expressions are to a large degree the result of socio-psychological conditioning, poured into the minds of everyone from birth by parents and peers, friends and educators, the media and political propaganda. This conditioning pollutes the mind, distorts behaviour and creates a false sense of self... Visit Website ]
Apr 30, 2018, 10:28am

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Smeared for speaking the truth
Dana Cloud, a professor at Syracuse University who became the target of a right-wing campaign of abuse last year, challenges the criticisms, from across the political spectrum, of Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar and her tweets about Barbara Bush. ... Jarrar's declaration of her tenured status should be celebrated as the defense of a right that all faculty should have. It's a right that goes beyond a minimal commitment to free speech--tenure affords us the ability to have our own ideas and commitments, and speak about them, no matter how controversial they may be ... Barbara Bush shouldn't get special treatment because the media has settled on an image of her as a gentle, grandmotherly woman. She did indeed express racist ideas and supported racist policies, and her husband and son truly are guilty of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.... Visit Website ]
Apr 26, 2018, 11:50am

Consider This....
A Year Later, Fewer Deportations in Cities That Adopted “Welcoming” Policies
Michael J. Dax: New Mexico shows a different way.
A year after the Santa Fe City Council adopted in February 2017 a resolution strengthening its welcoming and non-discrimination policies toward immigrants, the federal government launched a series of audits demanding verification from local small businesses that their employees were eligible to work in the country. ... In response to this blitz, advocates and city officials held a press conference in early March calling out an attempt to disrupt business, wreak havoc, and create a culture of fear and panic. ... According to a new study from Pew Research Center, nationwide deportations made by ICE in 2017 increased 30 percent from the previous year. ... . In regions where sanctuary policies are more prevalent, increases have remained relatively low...
Visit Website ]
Apr 12, 2018, 2:41pm


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