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1969-70 FOL



Commentary

Commentary
Israel's Genocidal Arms Customers
Richard Silverstein: Israel isn’t just maintaining a brutal military occupation. It’s also supplying weapons to genocidal regimes around the world. ... For the past few years, a group of nine Israelis led by human rights lawyer Eitay Mack has sought to peel back the layer of secrecy shrouding Israel’s collusion with some of the worst genocide regimes in the world. They have done so by filing freedom of information requests with their country’s defense ministry, seeking documents concerning Israeli arms deals, consulting contracts, and training of the armed forces in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Serbia, South Sudan, and Rwanda during decades of ethnic conflict in those nations... Visit Website ]
Nov 19, 2018, 4:39pm

Commentary
Thanksgiving? No, thanks.
Robert Jensen: Instead, we should atone for the genocide that was incited -- and condoned -- by the very men we idolize as our 'heroic' founding fathers. ... That the world's great powers achieved "greatness" through criminal brutality on a grand scale is not news, of course. That those same societies are reluctant to highlight this history of barbarism also is predictable. ... But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people -- is of special importance today. ... As Americans sit down on Thanksgiving Day to gorge themselves on the bounty of empire, many will worry about the expansive effects of overeating on their waistlines. We would be better to think about the constricting effects of the day's mythology on our minds....
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Nov 16, 2018, 5:34pm

Commentary
For What?
Dennis Morgan: Europe is now commemorating the 100 year anniversary of World War I, with all of the pageantry that accompanies it. I just can’t help but wonder, “Do they get it yet? Do they really understand what it was all about?” Do they realize yet that 20 million soldiers, people, killed and died for nothing? ... It was a stupid colonialist war that accomplished absolutely nothing of importance, just power changing hands. ... On the other hand, the Americans were particularly stupid since this war was strictly a European affair, in actuality, a European family feud. But Americans didn’t understand that. They thought that since it was a war between the Big Powers, they should be included and recognized... Visit Website ]
Nov 14, 2018, 1:29pm

Commentary
7 Dubious Financial Buzzwords That Indicate Someone Is Conning You
Valerie Vande Panne: There are so many plans these days to “transform” an area via a “public-private partnership” that will “restore” and “fix” the local economy and lead to an economic “recovery” for the “brave” group of “stakeholders” who’ve come together to make it happen. The business leader drumming up support is often a “good friend” of the politicians in charge. To entertain another plan, the people in power warn, will “hurt” the economy. ... 1. Public-Private Partnership ... Meaning: A massive tax dollar giveaway to a private company at taxpayer expense. ... As George Carlin used to say, “America’s leading industry is still the manufacture, distribution, packaging and marketing of bullshit. High-quality bullshit; world-class, designer bullshit, to be sure.”... Visit Website ]
Nov 13, 2018, 2:01pm

Commentary
Military “Service” Serves the Ruling Class
Will Griffin: One cannot serve both the one percent and the 99 percent as their interests are at odds with each other. Although many join for righteous reasons, actions speak louder than intentions. Actions of the U.S. military has always been death, destruction, anguish of the working class, and entitlements for the elites. When the ruling class benefits it’s always at the expense of the poor. ... I’m a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Not only that, I’m a veteran of both surges. ... Eight years after separating from the military I see that I did not provide a service for my country. ... Clearly the wars have sucked our hard-working dollars and placed them on a silver platter for the economic ruling class–war contractors (oops I mean ‘defense’ contractors), politicians, and corporations... Visit Website ]
Nov 12, 2018, 3:22pm

Commentary
New Border Wall Will Destroy Butterfly Center, Historic Chapel, and Texas State Park
Melissa del Bosque: The first new segment of border wall to be constructed under President Trump will bisect a butterfly conservation center, a historic church, and a state park along the Texas border. The construction is set to begin in February. ... Steve Lightfoot, a spokesperson for Texas Parks and Wildlife, confirmed today that Trump’s new segment of border wall would be built through Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and surrounding areas in Mission, Texas. The park will more than likely close after the wall is constructed, since the land was deeded in a family trust to be expressly used as public parkland. The border wall will also run through national wildlife refuge land and through the nonprofit National Butterfly Center, also in Mission... Visit Website ]
Nov 10, 2018, 11:26am

Commentary
Behind Pentagon Efforts to Rewrite the Vietnam War
Arnold Isaacs: The Vietnam War was obviously one of the most disastrous of this country’s past mistakes — and the Pentagon’s “50th Vietnam War commemoration” is a near-perfect example of how both national and military leaders and a willing public have avoided facing important truths about Vietnam and American wars ever since. ... That’s not just a matter of inaccurate storytelling. ... The commemoration website’s historical material — principally a set of fact sheets and an extensive “interactive timeline” — is laced with factual mistakes, errors of both omission and commission. ... Its history drastically minimizes or more often completely ignores facts that reveal America’s policy and moral failures, its missteps on the ground, and its complicity (along with the enemy’s) in massive civilian suffering... Visit Website ]
Nov 8, 2018, 5:36pm

Commentary
The Debt We Owe Central America
Miles Culpepper: The migrant caravan is full of people fleeing a world of inequality and violence that US elites helped create. We can't turn our backs on them. ... Central America has long been at the heart of US empire. ... Throughout the Cold War, American policymakers’ fears of communism in Central America helped unleash violence across the region. Dismissing even center-left reformers as dangerous radicals, both Democratic and Republican administrations threw their support behind right-wing militaries in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras. ... Once empowered, these militaries repressed labor unions and social movements, and routinely resorted to electoral fraud, coups, and dirty bargains with corrupt civilian governments to maintain their grip on power... Visit Website ]
Nov 2, 2018, 4:00pm

Commentary
Fascism Denial Ignores Some Inconvenient Truths
Zoltan Grossman: The massacre of 11 Jews at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the arrest of a far-right serial bomber in Florida, and probably the killings of two African Americans in Kentucky, should be signs that fascism is no longer an abstract threat, but is right on our doorstep. In the same way, the recent intensified hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico should confirm that the climate crisis is no longer a future possibility, but has already arrived. ... Violence is the symptom, not the disease ... In the U.S., we don’t just have one generic racist history, but three distinct racist histories rooted in slavery (for African American labor), genocide (for Native American land), and xenophobia (to justify foreign conquest and depict immigrants as a cultural threat)... Visit Website ]
Oct 30, 2018, 4:46pm

Commentary
Have Republicans Rallied the Native Vote?
Jacqueline Keeler: With midterms just weeks away, tribes are mobilizing voters in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld a 2017 North Dakota Voter ID law requiring residents to provide identification with a current street address to vote. ... “Whatever happens in the Dakotas can be a prediction of what the country could look like,” Allison Renville, a citizen of the Sisseton Sioux Tribe, said. “The bigger question is, how can we see each other as human beings who are vulnerable to poverty and suffering instead of in partisan ways?” ... Tribes in North and South Dakota have been put on high alert by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a voter identification law in North Dakota. ... many reservations do not use street addresses, and Native residents often use P.O. boxes and have tribal identification that does not include an address... Visit Website ]
Oct 29, 2018, 11:16am

Commentary
The Occult Injustice of Laws Supporting Capitalism
Ryan LaMothe: Augustine stated that an unjust law is no law at all (Lex iniusta non est lex), which Martin Luther King Jr. repeated in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The obvious implication is that a law must be just for it to stand qua law. Another implication is that one is not bound to enforce or obey an unjust law, for to do so would mean participating in an injustice. Naturally, unjust laws are accompanied by institutions charged with enforcing them, making disobedience precarious. ... Despite some awareness among people of the injustices rising from capitalism, I would argue that some of the foundational laws of capitalism are unjust. While the effects of these laws can be seen to result in various forms of injustice, the laws themselves are rarely questioned. ... Visit Website ]
Oct 24, 2018, 11:20am

Commentary
The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Either Tyranny or Revolution
Chris Hedges: It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power. These pathologies inform Donald Trump, his children, the Brett Kavanaughs, and the billionaires who run his administration. The uber-rich cannot see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own. ... People around them, including the women whom entitled men prey upon, are objects designed to gratify momentary lusts or be manipulated. The uber-rich are almost always amoral. Right. Wrong. Truth. Lies. Justice. Injustice. These concepts are beyond them. Whatever benefits or pleases them is good. What does not must be destroyed. ... They know no limits. They have never abided by the norms of society and never will. We pay taxes—they don’t... Visit Website ]
Oct 22, 2018, 2:53pm

Commentary
Democratic Autopsy: One Year Later
In October 2017, a team of progressive researchers published “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis,” which probed the causes of the disastrous 2016 election defeat. The report came in the wake of the party leadership’s failure to do its own autopsy. ... "One Year Later” evaluates how well the Democratic Party has done in charting a new course since the autumn of 2017. This report rates developments in each of the seven categories that the original Autopsy assessed — corporate power, race, young people, voter participation, social movements, war and party democracy. ... The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party. ... Overall, the party has not done enough to advance positions that would appeal to voters who want to end ICE repression, promote sanctuary cities, and credibly affirm that black lives do indeed matter. ... Few Democrats in Congress are willing to strongly challenge the unaccountable military budget... Visit Website ]
Oct 21, 2018, 12:34pm

Commentary
Facebook is Not Your Friend
Glen Ford,BAR: Facebook has become The Great Censor, ready to pull the pages of dissenters that seek to “stir up political debate” in ways that threaten the legitimacy of corporate rule. ... Facebook has declared war on political dissent. In a rash of purges last week, the behemoth corporation banned 30 pages, with a total of 22 million fans, on the grounds that the accounts were “created to stir up political debate in the US, the Middle East, Russia and the UK.” ... Polls have long showed that the US public -- no longer believes the corporate media version of reality ... What Facebook is attempting to enforce is the absolute authority of the corporate media as the arbiter of Truth -- a dictatorship of the white moneyed classes... Visit Website ]
Oct 19, 2018, 4:38pm

Commentary
Assassins Without Borders
John Feffer: Assassins Without Borders has roots that go back, in the modern era at least, to the policies of the Soviet Union, Chile, Israel, Bulgaria, and the United States. All of these countries share a single trait. They were willing to defy international law in order to assassinate their critics and opponents in other countries. ... No fair assessment of evidence. No due process. ... Just rub them out at a distance. Like Saudi Arabia had done — reportedly — to one of its domestic critics. ... State-sponsored assassination is a ruthless gamble. But other countries have gotten away with it... Visit Website ]
Oct 18, 2018, 11:33am


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1969-70 FOL
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