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1969-70 FOL



Commentary

Commentary
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Binoy Kampmark: “We’ve been doing this kind of thing [electoral meddling] since the CIA was created in 1947.” ... “We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners – you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash.” ... Such interventions are impossible to be deemed good, as Woolsey would have it, despite the erroneous view that US involvement has been to assist political opponents against authoritarianism. In some instances, they are impressively disastrous, installing such murderous regimes of the quality of Pinochet in Chile... Visit Website ]
Feb 21, 2018, 1:34pm

Commentary
We Live in a Country That Has a Totally Corrupted Political System
Thom Hartmann: As the school shooting in Parkland, Florida has shown, what was considered insanely corrupt political behavior 40 years ago is now normal. And you can thank right-wingers on the Supreme Court. ... The billionaires doing the seizing of our nation just didn’t come out about it until the presidency of Barack Obama, when the Koch Network, Adelson, the Mercers and the Waltons all became openly, and in some cases braggadociosly political in their “giving.” ... With the installation of Reagan, big business and billionaires were finally to get the tax breaks and other goodies that they wanted from Congress and the Executive Branch, while waging war on unions and working people... Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2018, 2:42pm

Commentary
End the Middle School Concept to Stop School Shootings.
johndamos: These killer kids target schools and the people in them; other kids, teachers, school administrators ... The Middle School Concept came about as a hard right reaction in public education that called for stopping the pampering of children and getting strict and tough on them to train them to be docile and compliant future citizens ... The Middle School Concept tackles the problem of misfit, non-cookie cutter students from several angles. The first is to separate the misfits from the rest of the student body and isolate them into a group of kids made up of other misfits. ... Middle schools choose tougher, stricter, harsher, hardcore teachers for these kids. Included in the bottom tier track are the depressed kids, the borderline hyperactive kids, mischievous kids, tough bully kids, abused kids... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2018, 12:12pm

Commentary
The Scourging of Julian Assange
John Wight: Julian Assange’s latest attempt to have his outstanding UK arrest warrant dropped has failed in what stands as one of the most blatant and cruel examples of the British legal system being wielded as an instrument of persecution against a man whose only crime is speaking truth to power. ... The judge presiding over his case, and who summarily dismissed it, was ‘Lady Arbuthnot of Edrom’. ... In the second decade of the 21st century the UK legal system is still dominated by the kind of people whose morning workout consists of flogging the butler ... In 2018 not only does the threat of extradition to the US continue to hang over him with this outstanding UK arrest warrant, if anything the threat is even greater... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2018, 12:00pm

Commentary
A Stock Market Primer, in Six Easy Steps
William Kaufman: 1) It’s not real economic activity—it’s a form of mass hysteria or mass psychosis. ... 3) The stock market is a swindle. - Michael Lewis: "Stock market’s rigged. The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged." ... By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders. ... All being done by computers. It’s too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace. “Fast” is the operative word. Machines with secret programs are now trading stocks in tiny fractions of a second, way too fast to be seen or recorded on a stock ticker or computer screen. Faster than the market itself. High-frequency traders, big Wall Street firms and stock exchanges have spent billions to gain an advantage of a millisecond... Visit Website ]
Feb 13, 2018, 12:11pm

Commentary
The Anti-Empire Report #155 - February 8, 2018
William Blum: The main problem with the media today, as earlier, is what is left out of articles dealing with controversial issues. For example, the very common practice during the first Cold War of condemning the Soviet Union for taking over much of Eastern Europe after the Second World War. This takeover is certainly based on fact. But the condemnation is very much misapplied if no mention is made of the fact that Eastern Europe became communist because Hitler, with the approval of the West, used it as a highway to reach the Soviet Union ... (the Russians in World Wars I and II lost about 40 million people because the West had twice used this highway to invade Russia.) ... It should not be surprising that after World War II the Soviets were determined to close down the highway. It was not simply “communist expansion”... Visit Website ]
Feb 9, 2018, 3:20pm

Commentary
Oscar López Rivera and the Long Struggle for Puerto Rico’s Freedom
Sonali Kolhatkar: “The only thing that is impossible in this world is that which doesn’t get done, and every problem created by man has a solution. If we want a better world, we will have to fight for it; it’s not going to be given to us.” -- Oscar López Rivera, Pasadena City College, Feb. 7, 2018. ... (He) has been called the Nelson Mandela of Puerto Rico. ... Like the South African icon, López Rivera was imprisoned for his anti-colonial activism and spent more than 35 years in prison—even longer than Mandela did. In May 2017, López Rivera was freed from the Terre Haute federal penitentiary in Indiana... Visit Website ]
Feb 8, 2018, 3:26pm

Commentary
These 5 Charts Show Why Mass Incarceration Harms Everyone’s Health
Emily Nagisa Keehn & J. Wesley Boyd: It’s not just the prisoner who suffers. There’s little doubt among researchers that mass incarceration is wreaking havoc on our society, in particular on people of color, LGBTQ, and the poor. What’s often overlooked in this discussion is the damage that prisons and jails do to our health—from those who are incarcerated to their family members waiting at home to those who work in detention settings. ... Each year, an estimated 1,000 people die while incarcerated in local jails. ... A majority of those who died were not convicted of any crimes and were being held pretrial, often because they were too poor to afford bail. ... Research indicates that the repeal of mandatory minimum sentencing laws would help; that overzealous and unaccountable prosecutors must be reined in; and that our system of cash bail, which punishes the poor, must be overhauled... Visit Website ]
Feb 5, 2018, 11:10am

Commentary
Why the NFL player protests still matter
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Football is the perfect public platform for discussing racial disparity, no matter how convincingly sappy patriotic songs and inaccurate textbooks proclaim equality has been achieved... Protesting when the government doesn’t live up to or directly undermines the principles of the US Constitution is the best way to honor the flag and veterans because those principles are what they fought for. Trying to discourage freedom of expression actually insults veterans by diminishing their sacrifice ... Owners’ panic was both unfounded and unflattering. A willingness to sacrifice patriotism for profit... Visit Website ]
Feb 4, 2018, 3:23pm

Commentary
Huge Military Budgets Make Us Broke, Not Safe
Miriam Pemberton: Backing down from nuclear war would make us a lot safer than piling more money into the Pentagon. ... Now, some politicians say they’ll protect us by adding massive amounts to the Pentagon budget. This seems like a no-brainer: feel threatened, give more money to the military. But it isn’t. ... Leaders are meanwhile working on designs for new “lower yield” nukes, envisioning them as tools for “limited” nuclear war. That makes nuclear war seem more feasible, and therefore more likely. Feeling safer yet?... Visit Website ]
Feb 3, 2018, 1:54pm

Commentary
How the global 1 Percent rips off the world
Nicole Colson: An Oxfam report documents how global inequality has worsened... BEHIND EVERY statistic is a vast well of suffering, exploitation and oppression inflicted on ordinary workers and the poor. ... The oppression of women is bound up with how they are exploited. "Dangerous, poorly paid work for the many is supporting extreme wealth for the few," Oxfam notes. "Women are in the worst work, and almost all the super-rich are men." ... Depending on the conscience and morality of billionaires to pay their fair share hasn't ever worked. They will have to be forced, through the struggles of ordinary workers and the poor in every country around the globe, to give back even a fraction of the wealth that we create... Visit Website ]
Feb 2, 2018, 10:49am

Commentary
The State of Our Union: A House Divided, Enslaved and Mired in the Mistakes of the Past
John W. Whitehead: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." - Abraham Lincoln, June 16, 1858, at Springfield, Illinois. ... The State of the Union: The state of our union is politically polarized, controlled by forces beyond the purview of the average American, and rapidly moving the nation away from its freedom foundation. Over the past year, Americans have found themselves repeatedly subjected to egregious civil liberties’ violations, invasive surveillance, political correctness, erosions of free speech, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc... Visit Website ]
Feb 1, 2018, 10:50am

Commentary
Denying the Obvious: Leftists and Crimestop
Edward Curtin: I do not know the motivations or intentions of many prominent leftist intellectuals and publications, but I do know that many choose to avoid placing certain key historical events at the center of their analyses. ... Orwell called it “Crimestop: [it] means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. ... There is no way to understand today’s world without confronting four key historical events out of which spring today’s conditions of oligarchic rule, constant war, and the growth of an intelligence apparatus that makes Orwell’s 1984 look so anachronistic ... the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK by elements within the U.S. intelligence services, and the insider attacks of September 11, 2011... Visit Website ]
Jan 30, 2018, 12:41pm

Commentary
The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump
Chris Hedges: The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage... Visit Website ]
Jan 29, 2018, 11:37am

Commentary
The War That Never Ends (for the U.S. Military High Command) — And It’s Not the War on Terror
Danny Sjursen: A 50-year-old war, once labeled the longest in our history, is still alive and well and still being refought by one group of Americans: the military high command. And almost half a century later, they’re still losing it and blaming others for doing so. ... Of course, the U.S. military and Washington policymakers lost the war in Vietnam in the previous century and perhaps it’s well that they did. The United States really had no business intervening in that anti-colonial civil war in the first place ... Though a majority of historians (known in academia as the “orthodox” school) subscribe to the basic contours of the above narrative, the vast majority of senior American military officers do not. Instead, they’re still refighting the Vietnam War... (in) the policies they continue to pursue in the Greater Middle East... Visit Website ]
Jan 29, 2018, 11:10am


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