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1969-70 FOL



Commentary

Commentary
It’s Official: Minority Voters Face Constant Discrimination
Nina Sparling: The facts are both grim and well established: since the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Eric Holder, many states have passed legislation that makes it harder to vote — especially for the most vulnerable citizens. ... Thanks to less involvement in voting rights issues from the DOJ, coupled with a marked uptick in discriminatory practices at the ballot box, voters currently face a barrage of obstacles. Certain trends stand out: the increase in so-called voter ID laws, voter registration restrictions (enabled by faulty systems like Crosscheck), cuts to early voting, and accessibility issues at polling sites.... Visit Website ]
Sep 20, 2018, 3:27pm

Commentary
The Best Way to Eradicate Poverty: Welfare Not Jobs
Matt Bruenig: The Census released its income, poverty, and health insurance data last week (ASEC, SPM). Among other things, the data allows us to see who was in poverty and therefore gives us good insights about how to eradicate poverty. ... There are three basic insights that flow from this data: 1) poverty overwhelmingly afflicts nonworkers, 2) half of the population does not work, and 3) nearly everyone who is not currently working in our society cannot or should not work. Once you accept all of these insights, the solution to poverty becomes very clear: a welfare state that provides income to nonworking people... Visit Website ]
Sep 19, 2018, 4:29pm

Commentary
Crisis After Crisis: 10 Years After the Crash, There’s No ‘Reforming’ Global Capitalism
Walden Bello: It is now clear that financial crises are not discrete events but are linked phenomena that have been unleashed on the globe ever since the financial markets were liberalized during the Reagan-Thatcher era in the early 1980s. ... To take just the three most prominent crashes, surplus capital that could not find profitable domestic outlets after the Japanese bubble burst in the late 1980s found its way as speculative capital into Southeast Asia, where it contributed to the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98. The Asian crisis, in turn, helped generate Wall Street’s implosion in 2008 ... So, not surprisingly, current indicators show that the world again is skating on thin ice. ... First, the “too big to fail” problem has become worse. ... Second, the products that triggered the 2008 crisis are still being traded... Visit Website ]
Sep 18, 2018, 2:14pm

Commentary
US War Strategists: Military Defeats and Political Success
James Petras: The same US military strategists whose policies lead to failed US wars in the Middle East facilitated and augmented the power of Israel. ... Our hypothesis is that dual loyalist strategists have fabricated threats, identified adversaries and committed hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to losing wars based on calculations that effectively increase Israeli power and influence in the Middle East. ... Let’s join together to liberate America from military entanglements that privilege multi-billion-dollar giveaways to Israel while thirty million US workers lack health coverage, forty percent of upstate New York children live in poverty... Visit Website ]
Sep 17, 2018, 11:46am

Commentary
Ten Years After the Crash, We've Learned Nothing
Matt Taibbi: The great financial catastrophe of our times is still badly misunderstood, and led to grotesque consequences, including the election of Donald Trump ... Myth#1: The crash was an accident ... Treasury and the other regulators received ample warning. ... Myth #2: The crash was caused by greedy homeowners ... the game had nothing to do with whether or not the homeowner could pay. The homeowner was not the real mark. The real suckers were institutional customers like pensions, hedge funds and insurance companies, who invested in these mortgages. ... Myth #3: The bailouts were about saving capitalism ... The deal those bankers cooked up was to save the banks from capitalism. ... Losers must be allowed to lose. It’s the first and most important regulatory mechanism in a market economy... Visit Website ]
Sep 14, 2018, 1:40pm

Commentary
The NFL's Ongoing Kaepernick Controversy Shows Much of White America Is Still in 'Slave Patrol' Mode
Thom Hartmann: At the core of modern American policing (particularly in the South), and at the creation of the Second Amendment, we find the slave patrols that were the first militia of the southern states. They’re also essential to the modern neo-confederate and white supremacist efforts to demonize black people whenever they stand up for their rights. ... If you’re going to protest police killings of black people during the national anthem, the most respectful way to do it, according to many veterans, is to take a knee. Kaepernick got the idea from special forces veteran Nate Boyer, who suggested to him that he should consider going to his knee to respectfully protest the police killings, rather than just sitting on the bench. ... “Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect"... Visit Website ]
Sep 11, 2018, 1:39pm

Commentary
Yes, let's wipe out Trump. But take neoliberal Democrats with him, too
David Sirota: A new wave of left-leaning Democrats are waging a war on the party’s corporate wing ... liberal America’s pattern of electing corporate Democrats – rather than progressives – has been a big part of the problem that led to Trump and that continues to make America’s economic and political system a neo-feudal dystopia. ... liberal America has often produced something much different and less appealing: Democratic politicians who constantly echo courageous populist themes in speeches, news releases and election ads, and then often uses the party’s governmental power to protect the status quo and serve corporate donors in their interminable class war... Visit Website ]
Sep 10, 2018, 9:58am

Commentary
She’s Not There
Jason Holland: The rabid power hungry masculine mind controlling our society wants the feminine voice permanently snuffed out of historical record, but we remember her still, and like a Phoenix she may rise again if we conjure her forth. This isn’t really about our society not having enough women with the proper anatomy in positions of power, though that is an issue, but rather what’s really absent is the feminine voice in our reasoning capacity, the empathetic, the subtle, and the peaceful are gone on the world stage. We are deeply out of balance where the analytical mind rules the empathetic. Competition is favored over cooperation. ... We have to learn forgive everyone and no longer seek to punish or lash out in vengeance, rather simply correct what is wrong, as to bring an end to the stream of harm being done so we can heal.... Visit Website ]
Sep 3, 2018, 11:02am

Commentary
Psychological Factors for War
César Chelala: In 1895, Gustave Le Bon, a French social psychologist, published a seminal book on the psychology of crowds, “La psychologie des foules.” He probably never imagined that it would become a classic in its genre, and a basic source for Sigmund Freud when dealing with the same subject. Le Bon´s ideas, which are pertinent even today, were later further elaborated by other authors and put to use in other tragic historical events, as happened in Germany with the Nazis. ... In his analysis of Le Bon´s work, Sigmund Freud wrote, “A crowd is trusting and easily influenced; it is non-critical. The concept of improbability doesn´t exist ... Whoever wants to influence it doesn´t need to present logical arguments. It is only necessary to paint the most alluring images, to exaggerate and to repeat the same concept several times". ... According to Le Bon, crowds are subject to the magical power of words, which can provoke the most serious storms in the soul of its members, or can also contribute to calming them down... Visit Website ]
Sep 1, 2018, 12:04am

Commentary
When Workers Say ‘No!’: A Whirlwind Tour of Wildcat Strikes
Brandon Weber: Legal restrictions on when and how workers can strike can bar them from influencing any real change in the workplace. That’s where “wildcat strikes” come in. ... After the National Labor Relations Act became law in 1935, working people lost control over one very powerful and effective tool to protect their rights—striking. The act was put in place to encourage collective bargaining, avoid “industrial strife” and “promote the flow of commerce.” Striking became illegal as long as an employer contract was in place. ... Union members throw the rules right out the window during a wildcat strike, walking off the job and and protesting without the permission of their respective union. They are highly illegal, yet can be highly effective... Visit Website ]
Aug 31, 2018, 2:59pm

Commentary
How One Deportee Is Helping Other Exiled Immigrants in Mexico
Sonali Kolhatkar: At the time of his arrest, Concha was offered an order he could have signed that would have allowed him to be immediately deported. But he was a business owner and had just been married—his wife was expecting their first child. So he decided to legally fight the deportation and spent two years in various detention centers in the U.S. ... When Concha inevitably lost his case, he was immediately sent back to Mexico—a country he did not consider home ... Two years later, he founded a nonprofit organization called New Comienzos, which translates into New Beginnings. It is designed to help newly deported people find their footing in an unfamiliar land ... Among the services Concha’s organization offers deportees is psychological assistance, legal help, food vouchers, and classes in Spanish grammar and Mexico’s culture and history. ... Visit Website ]
Aug 30, 2018, 5:18pm

Commentary
US Police Militarization Leads to More Violence, Targets Black People: Study
A new study shows that militarizing police units has a reverse effect on communities, triggering higher levels of violence, distrust towards law enforcement, and discrimination. ... unlike local police officers, SWAT teams receive advanced combat training and therefore have a higher commitment to both military equipment and training ... However, the majority of SWAT deployments occur to issue warrants or in non-emergency situations and primarily directed towards African-American communities where “ trust in law enforcement is already depressed.” ... “Taken together, these findings suggest that curtailing militarized policing may be in the interest of both police and citizens”... Visit Website ]
Aug 28, 2018, 2:08pm

Commentary
Mueller Investigation Shows the Rich Deserve Much More Scrutiny
What the Manafort trial and the Cohen plea have shown, and what may become even more apparent if Mueller keeps rolling up the entire Trump cabal, is that it’s worth scrutinizing the finances of the super-rich as never before. ... In the end, let’s hope that one of the lasting legacies of the Mueller investigation will be more people catching on that some of the wealthiest Americans employ shady financial practices at the expense of everybody else, and that they should be watched much more closely in the future. ("Behind every great fortune is a great crime" - The Godfather.)... Visit Website ]
Aug 27, 2018, 2:50pm

Commentary
Julian Assange and the Fate of Journalism
Lawrence Davidson: Essentially, Wikileaks functions as a wholesale supplier of evidence. Having identified alleged official misconduct, Wikileaks seeks to acquire and make public overwhelming amounts of evidence—sometimes hundreds of thousands of documents at a time—which journalists and other interested parties can draw upon. And since the individuals and organizations being investigated are ones ultimately responsible to the public, such a role as wholesale supplier of evidence can be seen as a public service. ... Unfortunately, that is not how most government officials see the situation. They assert that government cannot be successful unless aspects of its behavior are conducted in secret. The fact that those aspects in question thereby lose any accountable connection to the public is discounted... Visit Website ]
Aug 23, 2018, 11:22am

Commentary
Will the End of the US Empire Be a Soft Landing or a Total Collapse?
Alex Henderson: History shows that empires, ultimately, are unsustainable. From the Soviet Union to the U.K. to the Roman Empire, imperialism carried much too heavy a heavy price tag for a long list of major global powers. But some empires suffered more painful endings than others—and for the United States, the question is: will its empire experience a “soft landing” like France, the U.K. and Spain or a devastating collapse like the Roman Empire or the Soviet Union? ... The U.K., France, Portugal and Spain are all examples of empires that experienced a “soft landing” rather than a total collapse... Visit Website ]
Aug 21, 2018, 4:33pm


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