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Did You Know

Did You Know
Police Budgets Are Ballooning as Social Programs Crumble
Indigo Olivier: Faced with mass teacher layoffs, deep cuts to education and social services, and a looming eviction crisis, police budgets across the nation remain absurdly high ... despite the fact that racial justice protesters across the country are clearly calling for the defunding of police ... The expansion of the security state, as the welfare state shrivels, is the product of decades of policy. ... On average, roughly a third of city and town general funds, which are discretionary and largely made up of property taxes, are devoted to police departments ... even in a number of cities that have announced cuts to police departments, budgets will remain the same or even increase ... Visit Website ]
Jul 22, 2020, 3:58pm

Did You Know
Oklahoma Is – Always Has Been – Native Land
Dwanna L. McKay: North America was not a vast, unpopulated wilderness when white colonizers arrived in 1620. Up to 100 million people of more than 1,000 sovereign indigenous nations occupied the area that would become the United States. ... Historically, indigenous nations emphasized equity, consensus and community ... U.S. policymakers argued that the federal government had a divine duty to fully develop the region. Racist in language and logic, they contended that “Indians” did not know how to work or to care for the land because they were inferior to whites. ... Oklahoma was born of this institutionalized racism...
Jul 17, 2020, 3:48pm

Did You Know
The Microsoft Police State: Mass Surveillance, Facial Recognition, and the Azure Cloud
Michael Kwet: Nationwide protests against racist policing have brought new scrutiny onto big tech companies like Facebook, which is under boycott by advertisers over hate speech directed at people of color, and Amazon, called out for aiding police surveillance. ... But Microsoft, which has largely escaped criticism, is knee-deep in services for law enforcement, fostering an ecosystem of companies that provide police with software using Microsoft’s cloud and other platforms. ... Microsoft has partnered with scores of police surveillance vendors who run their products on a “Government Cloud” supplied by the company’s Azure division... Visit Website ]
Jul 14, 2020, 2:25pm

Did You Know
Seattle: Get Police Out Of Handling Homeless
Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today: Removals ‘often re-trigger trauma, deepen mistrust between Native community members and government institutions.’ ... The National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness wrote to the mayor of Seattle this week demanding the removal of the Seattle police department from a team handling homelessness. ... It recommended that the $2.6 million that goes to police to address the issue instead go to organizations that specialize in serving Indigenous people experiencing homelessness... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2020, 2:20pm

Did You Know
What Do the Racial Wealth Gap, Police Brutality, and the Climate Crisis Have in Common? Wall Street
Alec Connon: For generations, the slave trade and the financial system operated in a twisted symbiosis. ... When plantation owners defaulted on their debts, banks would take direct ownership of slaves. ... Wall Street was New York's first slave market ... The end of slavery certainly didn't bring an end to Wall Street's white supremacy. Redlining systematically cut black communities out of the housing market ... Wall Street made $891 million in profit from what they call police brutality bonds―high-interest rate loans to cities and counties that cover the costs of police brutality legal settlements. ... The fossil fuel corporations funded by Wall Street cause vast harm to black communities; yet, black communities reap almost no benefit from the industry... Visit Website ]
Jul 9, 2020, 2:13pm

Did You Know
Shield of the Union: How the Russian Navy Protected America in the Civil War
Martin Sieff: The incredible story is well told in “Friends in Peace and War: The Russian Navy’s Landmark Visit to Civil War San Francisco” by C. Douglas Kroll published in 2007. ... the U.S. Navy’s tiny Pacific Squadron was weak at the time and Confederate commerce raiders indulgently encouraged by Britain roamed the Atlantic ... The message the Russian forces sent was unmistakable: Any British or French naval attack on New York or San Francisco, the two great centers of U.S. commerce and financial power on the East and the new West Coast, would be an attack on Russia too. ... The British Empire’s efforts to dismantle the United States during the Civil War have been documented... Visit Website ]
Jul 6, 2020, 3:39pm

Did You Know
The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
Walden Bello: The deadly interplay of racism, genocide, and denial at the heart of American white society has been reproduced in the country’s wars. ... The political economy of the U.S. is built on two “original sins.” One was the genocide of Native Americans, the main function of which was to clear the ground for the implantation and spread of capitalist relations of production. The second was the central role played by the slave labor of African Americans in the genesis and consolidation of U.S. capitalism. ... These original sins have had such a foundational role that the reproduction and expansion of U.S. capitalism over time have consistently reproduced its racial structures... Visit Website ]
Jul 3, 2020, 2:16pm

Did You Know
The Two-Headed Hydra of Racism and Imperialism
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi: Race relations in the U.S. and the violence with which the country operates has always been accompanied by the civilizing logic of colonial expansion and imperialist wars that the United States has raged around the world. ... Despite legal gains, the ideology that incentivized the U.S. to commit mass murder around the globe, disincentivized it to put in place meaningful structural changes that would recognize racial hierarchies that informed the existing political order. ... Racism was and is not about an attitude. Rather, it is the problem of a political order that sustains and perpetuate that attitude through a complex system of legal and economic institutions at home and around the world... Visit Website ]
Jun 25, 2020, 11:45am

Did You Know
CIA acknowledges its trove of cyber warfare tools was exposed by WikiLeaks in 2017
Kevin Reed: A newly-released 2017 internal review of security practices at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) confirms that the top secret agency had developed an arsenal of cyber espionage tools and would not have known about the massive “Vault 7” data hack of them had WikiLeaks not made it public. ... The Vault 7 release by WikiLeaks exposed the CIA’s use of special software to take control of cars, smart TVs, web browsers, smartphones and personal computers for the purpose of spying on individuals and organizations.... An example is a malware tool called Athena which was developed in conjunction with the release of Microsoft Windows operating system 10 in 2015 ..... enabling an unauthorized user to gain access to the PC and steal and delete private data or install additional malicious software... Visit Website ]
Jun 19, 2020, 1:56pm

Did You Know
Police Departments Are Parasites on the Public Purse
An interview with Stuart Schrader: By aggressively pushing for higher budgets and salaries, police officers have insulated themselves from accountability while draining resources from essential public programs. ... the contradiction at the heart of policing: that police power is premised on the discretionary use of violence, and therefore cannot be effectively restrained by procedural reforms or technical changes ... Police should no longer be “first responders.” ... the only way to meaningfully change police behavior is to reduce police capacity... Visit Website ]
Jun 16, 2020, 2:51pm

Did You Know
Humanity is Escaping From the Abusive Relationship With the Police State
Caitlin Johnstone: For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful–issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics. ... Instead they’ve been encouraged to only care about issues which establishment power structures don’t care about–issues like abortion, misogyny, LGBT rights, gun control, and racism. ... the actual issues they don’t want us pushing for like dismantling the war machine, ending plutocracy and making sure everyone has what they need... Visit Website ]
Jun 11, 2020, 2:18pm

Did You Know
Here Are Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Department Accountable.
Andrew Ford: Police culture can be insular and tough to penetrate. But I’ve been surprised by how often it’s possible, though time consuming, to expose important issues by requesting and examining records and data from police departments and other government agencies and engaging citizens and key leaders. ... 1. Understand the policies and laws that govern police conduct. ... the first step is to find out if the agency in question has a written policy on the use of force ... Does the policy dictate when officers should or shouldn’t use force? What tactics are they allowed to use? Is there any rule against choking a suspect? ... 2. You are entitled to public records that can show whether rules are being followed. Get them... Visit Website ]
Jun 6, 2020, 3:14pm

Did You Know
UPRISING: The Story of America Crashes Headlong Into the Reality of America
Caity Johnstone: We are witnessing the head-on collision between the story America’s political, media and educational institutions tell Americans about what their country is, and the reality of what their country actually is .... understand that racial disparities never left the nation in question ... understand that the role of the police is not to protect and serve the people but to protect and serve the empire, in the exact same way that this is the role of the military ... understand that the empire is no more likely to voluntarily dispense with the violent tactics of its increasingly militarized police force than it is to dispense with its air force or nuclear warheads... Visit Website ]
Jun 4, 2020, 2:58pm

Did You Know
Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests
Caitlin Johnstone: Disruptive police infiltration of protest movements is a historical constant in America, after all. It is the norm, not the exception. ... In New York, protesters have conclusively worked out that cops posing as demonstrators are currently wearing white armbands to identify each other. ... One of the most notorious “police riots” was at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. ... 1 out of 6 protesters was a federal undercover agent. ... Any time we are told a protester threw this or “rioters” set fire to that, we must take this information with a very large grain of salt, because we usually won’t be able to know it wasn’t an undercover cop acting as an agent provocateur to shape a narrative and justify more use of force to disperse the crowd... Visit Website ]
May 31, 2020, 2:28pm

Did You Know
Michael Flynn & the FBI Setup
JOHN KIRIAKOU: The case of the fallen Trump official shows exactly what is wrong with our criminal justice system ... we know now that the FBI agents set him up ... A 2012 study by ProPublica found that the Justice Department wins 98.2 percent of its cases, almost all as a result of a plea deal. ... So, what strategies do prosecutors use to ensure a conviction? ... Charge Stacking - say mortgage fraud --- add a couple of conspiracy charges and maybe a charge each of wire fraud and mail fraud --- 50 years in prison, rather than five --- plea deal? Venue Shopping --- Prosecutors will seek to charge a defendant in the federal district where he or she is most likely to be convicted... Visit Website ]
May 27, 2020, 4:18pm


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