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Did You Know

Did You Know
Judge Orders Release of Records That Might Tie Saudi Royals to 9/11
Russ Baker: A federal judge’s ruling has raised hopes that we may better understand any possible ties between Saudi Arabia’s ruling family and the 9/11 hijackers — the vast majority of whom were Saudi citizens. ... US District Judge William J. Zloch ruled that the FBI unlawfully withheld from journalists important parts of its own highly sensitive investigative report on the subject. ... key sections from records of the bureau’s probe of a South Florida-based Saudi family that apparently had ties to many of the 9/11 hijackers. ... Mohamed Atta, the 9/11 plot leader, had visited the family of Abdulaziz al-Hijji several times ... there is a direct link between Ghazzawi and the ruling Saudi royal family... Visit Website ]
Sep 12, 2019, 3:26pm

Did You Know
There is But One Race: Human
Richard C. Gross: Want to blame something for differences in skin color, blame the sun. It’s all in the melanin. ... The concept of different races is a farce, largely concocted as “scientific racism” by an American physician before the Civil War, as noted in a fascinating special April 2018 issue of the National Geographic, “Black and White.” It is devoted solely to the variety of shades of the human skin, which are caused by gene mutation and evolution, all dependent on where one lived. ... “The concept of race has no genetic or scientific basis.” ... “in a very real sense, all people alive today are Africans.” ... Migration out of Africa between 80,000 and 50,000 years ago led to interbreeding with other human species, now nonexistent, as people moved into Europe and Asia... Visit Website ]
Sep 9, 2019, 1:36pm

Did You Know
New Campaign Begins To Stop Facial Recognition
Opposition to facial recognition is reaching a boiling point. Today, nearly 30 organizations from across the political spectrum announced they had endorsed the BanFacialRecognition.com campaign calling for a federal ban on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. ... But it’s essential that legislation puts an immediate stop to both current and future law enforcement use of this dangerous, invasive, and biased technology, rather than imposing weak regulations that could actually work to speed up its adoption. ... The use of facial recognition technology is another new tech invasion of people’s human rights and provides police who have a history of abuse with a tool they should not have and do not need. ... “Countless studies indicate that facial recognition is unreliable technology, that it doesn’t accurately identify people with darker skin complexions – especially women – and so we know that this technology will impact Black and brown communities in particularly dangerous ways. ... Visit Website ]
Sep 5, 2019, 10:57am

Did You Know
The Key to a Sustainable Economy Is 5,000 Years Old
Ellen Brown: Sumer was the first civilization for which we have written records. Its notable achievements included the wheel, the lunar calendar, our numerical system, law codes, an organized hierarchy of priest-kings, copper tools and weapons, irrigation, accounting and money. ... Usury, or the charging of interest on loans, was an accepted part of the Mesopotamian credit system. Interest rates were high and remained unchanged for two millennia. ... Sumerian kings solved the problem of “peak debt” by periodically declaring “clean slates,” in which agrarian debts were forgiven and debtors were released from servitude to work as tenants on their own plots of land. ... If this policy in many cases was more successful than today’s, it is because they recognized that insisting that all debts must be paid meant foreclosures, economic polarization and impoverishment of the economy at large... Visit Website ]
Aug 29, 2019, 12:26pm

Did You Know
100 Years After Suffrage, Full Equality Eludes Women
Celia Wexler: Happy Women’s Equality Day. One hundred years ago today, the US officially got around to giving half the American adult population the right to vote. ... After 50 years of struggle to get the vote, suffragettes wanted to ensure that women used their power at the polls. A year later, many of the women who had been active in the movement to ratify the 19th amendment founded the League of Women Voters ... This anniversary also reminds us that women have yet to achieve parity of representation in Congress with the male half of the population. ... In recent years, the League has partnered with democracy and civil rights groups, such as Common Cause and the Brennan Center for Justice, to pursue scores of lawsuits, most of them on voting and elections. ... The League’s progressive views on everything from voting rights to addressing climate change and gun control have so angered some Republicans that they no longer respond to candidate questionnaires or participate in League debates... Visit Website ]
Aug 26, 2019, 3:16pm

Did You Know
The War Party Is in Control
Daniel Lazare: Republicans and Democrats alike are blaming U.S. crises on foreign adversaries instead of themselves ... America is now dominated by a war party that includes everyone on Capitol Hill other than a few isolationists on the right and the Bernie Sanders-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction on the left. ... To be sure, there’s disagreement as to whether the enemy is Russia or Iran. But such minor details aside, the logic is otherwise the same. Foreigners are out to get us. They are responsible for all our troubles. ... an energy crisis due to over-reliance on fossil fuels; a climate crisis due to global warming; an economic crisis due to slowing growth rates and skyrocketing wealth polarization; a constitutional crisis due to an unrepresentative Electoral College and a grossly malapportioned U.S. Senate, and a foreign-policy crisis ... Why take responsibility for one’s own actions when it’s so much easier to blame someone else?... Visit Website ]
Jul 30, 2019, 11:34am

Did You Know
Blood on Our Hands: How We Help Drive Immigration North
Frances Moore Lappé : Certainly, I’d long been aware of numerous US policies that have long hindered positive development in the region to our south. ... I’d also known that immigrants’ hopes of escaping desperate poverty weren’t the whole story. I knew that many arriving at our southern border were fleeing threats of violence against them and their children. For some, it’s guns in the hands of gangs that make staying put impossible. ... But what I had not, and certainly should have, grasped is our nation’s central role in generating fear by allowing a flood of US weapons to continue across our southern border. The flood into Mexico alone includes “[m]ore than 212,000 illegal firearms” from the U.S. each year ... We hear endless calls for more resources to stop illegal entry at our border. But where are the calls to stop the massive illegal transfer of weapons fueling the very violence that drives innocent people to leave their homes?... Visit Website ]
Jul 24, 2019, 1:10pm

Did You Know
Why the Future Is Bright for 100% CLEAN ENERGY
Glenn Daigon: “100 percent clean energy is a mainstream policy, the new normal. Americans support the transition to 100 percent clean energy” ... While the generation of electricity is not the only source of global warming — others include the transportation sector (gasoline engines), poorly insulated business and homes, and deforestation — the IPCC estimates that electricity production accounts for 25 percent of global warming gases. ... renewables provided 23 percent of US power this April, edging out coal, at 20 percent, for the first time ever. ... “Just this past month, California powered itself for thirty minutes straight with 96 percent renewable electricity. Twenty-six years before the deadline for 100 percent, which was adopted last fall”... Visit Website ]
Jul 10, 2019, 4:21pm

Did You Know
Human rights in the US are worse than you think
Lauren Wolfe: A new report examining human rights in the United States and around the world has just been released, and its findings are disturbing: The US is doing abysmally in several key categories, including the right to freedom from extrajudicial killing, the right to participate in government, and the right to be safe from the state. ... Of the 12 human rights categories, from press freedom to quality of life, measured by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative — a global nonprofit data analysis organization based in Wellington, New Zealand — there are several in which the US has “strikingly poor results” ... The report, released Thursday, looked at three broad categories of human rights globally: empowerment, safety from the state, and quality of life. ... The US empowerment score was just 4.9 out of 10. This “tells us that many people in the U.S. are not enjoying their civil rights and political freedoms,” the report says... Visit Website ]
Jun 7, 2019, 5:41pm

Did You Know
Populist alliances of ‘cowboys and Indians’ are protecting rural lands
Zoltan Grossman: By teaming up to defend the place they all call home, they are protecting their lands and waters for all. ... The alliances joined tribes and rural, mostly white, Americans to confront common enemies. They helped whites in these areas learn more about indigenous cultural traditions, legal powers and ecological values. Tribal members also learned that their neighbors valued the local environment, and wanted to protect it from outside corporations. ... “We come from two cultures that clashed over land,” Alliance spokeswoman Faith Spotted Eagle observed. “This is a healing for the generations.” ... In Washington and Oregon, Native nations are using their treaty rights to stop plans to build coal and oil export terminals. The same largely white fishing groups in that region that used to aggressively protest treaty rights now back the tribes in protecting fisheries from oil and coal shipping, and in restoring fish habitat damaged by development... Visit Website ]
May 23, 2019, 2:36pm

Did You Know
Nuclear Disarmament: A Solution Not Being Offered
Jimmy Falls: Most governments recognize that certain kinds of weapons are so dangerous that simply possessing them creates an imminent danger to the safety and security of the planet. ... Almost every country, including the United States, has signed onto the Biological Weapons Convention, banning the development, production, and stockpiling of such weapons. The same is true with the Chemical Weapons Convention. ... Why then does the United States, as well as other nuclear-armed states like Russia and China, not also take a similar posture towards nuclear weapons? ... Certainly those in power do not fail to recognize these weapons’ awesome power and potential for destruction. They’ve only grown more deadly over the decades. When the US dropped the first atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing 220,000 people, they delivered approximately 15 and 21 kilotons of energy respectively. Today’s modern weapons are an order of magnitude more powerful... Visit Website ]
May 13, 2019, 4:15pm

Did You Know
People in Prison Are Way More Likely to Have Dyslexia. The Justice System Sets Them Up to Fail.
Samantha Michaels: A new initiative will require federal prisons to screen for the disorder—if it ever gets off the ground. ... No national studies have been done to show the prevalence of dyslexia among prisoners, but the little research that exists at the state level suggests the rates are quite high: A 2000 study of Texas prisoners found that about half were likely dyslexic, and about two-thirds struggled with reading comprehension. ... A 2014 study by the Education Department found that about a third of incarcerated people surveyed at 98 prisons struggled to pick out basic information while reading simple texts. Still, most prisons historically haven’t conducted widespread screenings for dyslexia—making it hard for prisoners with the reading disorder to make up lost ground while they’re behind bars. ... A major criminal justice reform bill that passed Congress in December, the First Step Act, will require federal prisons to screen for dyslexia at intake, and to provide services that will help people learn to read if they are diagnosed... Visit Website ]
May 1, 2019, 2:23pm

Did You Know
The Surprising Science of Fighting Crime With...Trees
Jackie Mogensen: City managers have long known about the benefits of greenery. According to the US Forest Service, urban trees help save energy, lead to better air and water quality, reduce stormwater runoff, store carbon, and increase property values. ... And a major 2019 study of nearly 1 million Danish people showed that kids who grew up near green spaces had a lower risk of psychiatric disorders later in life. ... In Philadelphia, researchers in 2018 produced a randomized trial that included more than 500 vacant lots. One-third were “cleaned and greened” with trees and grass. ... One-third were only cleaned, with no greenery added, and one-third were left alone. ... Of the lots that received either treatment, researchers observed statistically significant reductions in overall crime and burglaries over a 38-month period, including a 29 percent drop in gun violence in neighborhoods below the poverty line... Visit Website ]
Apr 26, 2019, 3:35pm

Did You Know
Lifting Barriers: New Orleans Organizers Help People Regain Driver’s Licenses
Keith Griffith: When a New Orleans man shared with community organizers that he needed his driver’s license back, brainstorming and collaboration followed. Community members found a solution so residents could regain this government document used in applying for jobs. ... A 2016 study in California from the East Bay Community Law Center found that license suspensions for failing to pay fines or appear in court are “directly correlated with poverty indicators and with race,” with driver’s license suspension rates ranging as high as five times the state average in communities that are primarily Black or Latino. ... The idea for the New Orleans Warrant Clinic was born at a membership meeting of Stand With Dignity, a grassroots group dedicated to fighting for workers’ rights and expanding employment opportunities in the city... Visit Website ]
Apr 9, 2019, 3:33pm

Did You Know
Report: Donald Trump Campaign Visit Preceded Rise in Hate Crimes
Ibn Safir: According to the Washington Post, counties that hosted Donald Trump rallies saw a 226 percent increase in hate crimes in the months following Trump’s stop in town. ... Using the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Extremism Anti-Semitism and Terrorism map, the Post checked for a correlation between the counties that hosted one of Trump’s presidential rallies in 2016 and upticks in hate crime activity. ... Controlling for crime rates, active hate groups, minority population, college education, and location in the country, the HEAT map showed the jump in hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host Trump ... While the Post took its time to spell out that correlation is not causation, it is worth noting that the 2017 FBI Universal Crime Report reported a 17 percent increase in over the year prior... Visit Website ]
Mar 25, 2019, 12:27pm


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