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1969-70 FOL



Commentary

Commentary
Believe Absolutely Nothing the US Government and Media Say About...Anything
Glen Ford: There was a time, not so long ago, when most Black Americans of all classes were highly skeptical of every word that emanated from the mouths of white folks in power in the United States. A substantial body of Black opinion believed nothing at all that appeared in the corporate media – which, back then, we simply called the “white press.” ... It was a wise and healthy skepticism, learned over generations of enduring a constant stream of lies and slander against Black people from politicians and mass media of the two governing parties. ... These organs and mouthpieces of rich white people’s power were no more to be trusted, as Malcolm X counseled, than “foxes” (Democrats) and “wolves” (Republicans)... Visit Website ]
Sep 19, 2019, 3:02pm

Commentary
The Big American Bribery Scandal Isn't Felicity Huffman's $15,000
Thom Hartmann: But a much bigger bribery scandal is played out every day in America with nary a peep from the media. It’s the way billionaires and big corporations buy not just college admissions but tax cuts, deregulation, and hundreds of billions in government subsidies paid for with our taxes. ... Political bribery has always been a problem, but it exploded during the Reagan administration because the U.S. Supreme Court said, for the first time in American history in 1976, that billionaires and corporations bribing legislators was a matter of First Amendment-protected “free speech,” and later amplified that with their corrupt 2010 Citizens United decision. ... Because of this, today the odds of legislation that puts the interests of working people first is ... equivalent to random chance... Visit Website ]
Sep 18, 2019, 3:25pm

Commentary
Our Invisible Government
Chris Hedges: There are two forms of government in the United States. There is the visible government—the White House, Congress, the courts, state legislatures and governorships—and the invisible government, or deep state, where anonymous technocrats, intelligence operatives, generals, bankers, corporations and lobbyists manage foreign and domestic policy regardless of which political party holds a majority. ... The most powerful and important organs in the invisible government are the nation’s bloated and unaccountable intelligence agencies. They are the vanguard of the invisible government. ... They oversee a vast “black world,” tasked with maintaining the invisible government’s lock on power. They spy on and smear domestic and foreign critics, fix elections, bribe, extort, torture, assassinate and flood the airwaves with “black propaganda.” Visit Website ]
Sep 16, 2019, 4:10pm

Commentary
Big Business Lies Taught a Watchful Donald Trump
Ralph Nader: For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them. ... Serious corporate deception is a common sales technique. At times it cost consumers more than dollars. It has led to major illness and loss of life. ... Take the tobacco industry which used to sell its products in the context of health and facilitating mental concentration. ... Despite studies showing that sugary soft drinks can damage health, increase obesity, and reduce life expectancy, the industry’s ads still feature healthy, fit families in joyous situations guzzling pop. ... Corporate fibbing pays monetary rewards... Visit Website ]
Sep 13, 2019, 2:03pm

Commentary
US – China “Trade” War? No Way! Only the Defeat of Turbo-Capitalism!
Andre Vltchek: It is very popular these days to talk and write about the “trade war” between the United States and China. But is there really one raging? Or is it, what we are witnessing, simply a clash of political and ideological systems: one being extremely successful and optimistic, the other depressing, full of dark cynicism and nihilism? ... In the past, West used to produce almost everything. While colonizing the entire planet (one should just look at the map of the globe, between the two world wars), Europe and later the United States, Canada and Australia, kept plundering all the continents of natural resources, holding hundreds of millions of human beings in what could be easily described as ‘forced labor’, often bordering on slavery. .... There are now many new systems, in numerous corners of the world. These systems, some Communist, others socialist or even populist, are ready to defend their citizens, and to use the natural resources to feed the people, and to educate, house and cure them... Visit Website ]
Sep 10, 2019, 2:10pm

Commentary
The Capitalists Are Afraid
Chris Hedges: Capitalists seek to maximize profits and reduce the cost of labor. This sums up capitalism at its core. ... It is defined by these immutable objectives. It is not about democracy. It is not, as has been claimed, about wealth creation for the working class. It has nothing to do with freedom. ... Those capitalists, especially in corporations, who are not able to increase profits and decrease the cost of labor, through layoffs, cutting wages, destroying unions, offshoring, outsourcing or automating jobs, are replaced. Personal ethics are irrelevant. Capitalists are about acquisition and exploitation. ... Capitalists go to absurd lengths to lie about capitalism’s true nature. It is why Business Roundtable’s most recent version of its Principles of Corporate Governance ... — rivals the doublespeak of the worst totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. ... It is about the capitalists running scared. ... Its lies have been exposed... Visit Website ]
Sep 9, 2019, 1:50pm

Commentary
We Heard Three Visions for Saving the Planet Last Night. Only One Will Work.
Meagan Day: On CNN's climate town hall last night, Joe Biden promised a return to the old status quo, Elizabeth Warren promised carrots and sticks, and Bernie Sanders promised to wrest control of the future from corporations. ... Biden, Sanders, and Warren are the three frontrunners in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. ... (Voters) can choose a fumbling out-of-touch party insider who pines for a return to the status quo, a regulator par-excellence who wants primarily to whip corporations into shape, or a democratic socialist who wants to take control of the ship from the private interests who are steering us toward planetary destruction... Visit Website ]
Sep 6, 2019, 12:19pm

Commentary
Re-Reflections on the Start of World War II
Robert Freeman: Sunday, Sept 1., marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II. On that day in 1939, German troops crossed the border into Poland, setting off the greatest war the world has ever known. ... But, like so many of the iconic events in America's past, the rendering that endures in the culture is a stew of fact, fiction, and fairy tale. ... it was the West, and especially Britain, that nurtured and encouraged Hitler, in the hope that he would use Germany's military might to destroy the Soviet Union, much as Germany had destroyed Russia in the first World War. Time and again, the British assisted Hitler in his acquisition of military power while deterring France, its putative ally, from challenging him. ... Faced with two great evils, fascism and communism, the British chose fascism. For all of its odious features, fascism was still based on capitalism. It still respected private property. Communism did away with private property in favor of collective ownership... Visit Website ]
Sep 2, 2019, 2:10pm

Commentary
We Are All Indigenous
Robert C. Koehler: The “indigenous rights” being violated by the exploitation of the Amazon belong to all of us. We are all indigenous. We are all native to this planet — connected to its depth and life and mystery, even as we choose the path of ignorance and avoidance and, in the process, violate our own right to survive. ... “The violation of indigenous rights,” writes Naomi Klein, “. . . is central to the violation of our collective right to a livable planet. The flip side of this is that a revolution in respect for indigenous rights and knowledge could be the key to ushering in a new age of ecological equilibrium. ... Ed Note: The indigenous people at the border in the US are being attacked and their way of life destroyed, as well. Visit Website ]
Aug 30, 2019, 1:16pm

Commentary
The Real Big Brother
Eric Zuesse: Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post, which leads America’s news-media in their almost 100 percent support and promotion of neoconservatism, American imperialism and wars. This includes sanctions, coups, and military invasions against countries that America’s billionaires want to control but don’t yet control — such as Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia, Libya, and China. ... Bezos wants to privatize everything around the world that can become privatized, such as education, highways, health care, and pensions. ... The more that billionaires control those things, the less that everyone else does; and preventing control by the public helps to protect billionaires against democracy that would increase their taxes and government regulations that would reduce their profits by increasing their corporations’ expenses. So, billionaires control the government in order to increase their takings from the public... Visit Website ]
Aug 29, 2019, 11:43am

Commentary
The Not so Subtle Moral Decay of the US Military
Martin Berger: There’s more than enough facts that can be found both in the alternative and mainstream media to illustrate this notion, as there’s no shortage of war crimes that US servicemen committed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and a number of other states. ... Moreover, not a single day goes by without revelations about American soldiers being engaged in drunk fights, drug smuggling, human trafficking and sexual violence. ... A recent study ordered by the Pentagon revealed that the number of sex crimes committed in the US armed forces has been going through the roof year-over-year. ... There’s no shortage of examples of the not so subtle moral decay of the US military, as there’s signs of protest and outrage in all of the 180 locations where the US overseas bases are located... Visit Website ]
Aug 28, 2019, 1:18pm

Commentary
Lies of the Victors - The media’s relentless mythmaking keep us in the dark
Jason Hirthler: After researching evolutionary selection pressures for lying, the biologist Trivers discovered that one of the advantages of self-deceit is that it makes one’s lies more convincing. It’s hard to be a persuasive liar if you are intensely conscious of your own fakery; but if you believe what you’re saying, watch out. ... Ronald Reagan doubtless feared the communist hordes as he sent a river of arms into Central America. Yet he didn’t recognize his own fearsome paranoia. ... Independent reports on YouTube reveal that the Google-owned video platform is suppressing millions of viewers from seeing independent news and analysis. ... Yet we wonder why Americans are so out of step with world opinion, so comprehensively ignorant of world affairs, not least the notorious actions of their own government abroad. ... Given the human proclivity to dodge cognitive dissonance, our acceptance of this afternoon’s fake news is predicated on the fake news of fifty years ago... Visit Website ]
Aug 25, 2019, 11:41am

Commentary
Britain’s National Breakdown Over Brexit
Patrick Cockburn: Brexit can be compared to an earthquake in which pent up forces are suddenly released, tearing open new fault lines and energising old ones such as inequality, de-industrialisation, globalisation, imperial retreat, immigration and austerity. ... In the northeast of England, the devastating shock of de-industrialisation, exacerbated by austerity, largely explains the region’s negative vote in the referendum. ... why should any of the “left behinds” and the “left outs” vote for the status quo at the behest of powers that be who had ignored their troubles for decades? ... Mistaken assumptions of national superiority have been at the root of some of the greatest miscalculations in recent European history ... Immigration has a curious position in the Brexit crisis. Everybody agrees that it was one of the two overriding issues that gave the Leave campaign its narrow victory three years ago. ... Brexit has already produced irreversible political reformation and disintegration which will not go away... Visit Website ]
Jul 30, 2019, 12:34pm

Commentary
Shaping the News: The World’s Not the Way it Seems
Ted Snider: White House perception shapers and the U.S. media shape the way the public perceives the world by severing events from the causal context that explains and makes sense of them. The event can then be manipulatively woven into the public perception in whatever way suits U.S. purposes, amputated from any context that makes sense of it and allows the public to see the world as it is. ... In recent weeks, perception shapers have manipulated the public to see events in Brazil and Iran, not as they are, but as they suit U.S. foreign policy. ... Brazil: the removal of President Dilma Rouseff ... removed because of her refusal to implement a right wing economic plan that was inconsistent with the economic platform on which Brazilians elected her.... Iran: Economic warfare, cyber warfare and assassinations too. Since 2010, there have been at least three assassinations and one attempted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists... Visit Website ]
Jul 28, 2019, 12:22pm

Commentary
“How Could They?” Why Some Americans Were Drawn to the Communist Party in the 1940s
Victor Grossman: Even at 17 I knew that Communists were a major force in building the labor union movement, especially the CIO, in the steel, auto, electrical appliance industries, among seamen, West Coast dockers, New York subway workers, southern sharecroppers and tobacco workers, white and black together – and not without bloodshed. This new strength was a key factor in achieving social security and the 40 hour week. I knew of the Communists’ major role in fighting evictions and personally knew a black Communist woman who rallied neighbors to carry furniture back into the home of an evicted white family. ... I knew that the Communist Party, almost alone at first, had fought to save the lives of the nine framed-up black “Scottsboro boys”, mobilizing international solidarity in doing so. ... we did not become Communists because of any adoration of Stalin. We wanted a better world, one in peace, and we admired the giant achievements of the Soviet people in overcoming illiteracy and building a giant industrial base which proved so vital in defeating the Nazis... Visit Website ]
Jul 24, 2019, 12:56pm


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1969-70 FOL
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