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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

Did You Know
The face of American socialism before Bernie Sanders? Eugene Debs
Paul Buhle and Mari Jo Buhle: With the hype around a resurgent American left, it might feel like socialism is a newcomer to political discourse in the United States. But only if you don’t know your US history. Long before Bernie Sanders came along, there was Eugene Debs ... Like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, his platform focused on social inequalities, including income inequality. He also fought for better transportation systems; health and safety regulations; unemployment compensation; the minimum wage; the limiting of so-called military budgets and women’s reproductive rights, including access to birth control. ... The Socialist party, founded in 1901, came together around Debs. Among his most dogged followers were “Abe’s Boys,” surviving Union army veterans of the civil war, invoking Debs as successor to martyred President Lincoln. ... As Debs was fond of saying, “I am for socialism because I am for humanity."... Visit Website ]
Mar 23, 2019, 4:48pm

Did You Know
Picky Brits Won’t Eat US Chicken — Should You?
Kirsty Vitarelli: A political storm is brewing between the United Kingdom (UK) and the US with regard to food safety. As a result, some unsavory, ineffective US agricultural practices are being uncovered. ... At the heart of the disagreement is the way chicken meat is disinfected with chlorinated water once it has been slaughtered, and the practise of injecting cattle with hormones. The sale of hormonally-treated beef is banned in the UK, and chlorine is not used to clean chicken. ... But if the meat was treated better in the first place it wouldn’t need to be treated with chemicals at the end of the process, according to a British scientist. ... if animals weren’t kept in such crowded conditions in the first place, the opportunity for infection to pass between animals would be reduced, and with it the need for hormone injections ... “Over the last 10 years the use of antibiotics in livestock in the US has approximately doubled, where in the European Union it has approximately halved,”... Visit Website ]
Mar 9, 2019, 11:14am

Did You Know
What States Can Do to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through Tax Policy
Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins: States have an opportunity to act to close the loopholes that hide and protect the wealth of the top 1%, remedy the impact of the new federal tax law that lowers taxes on the wealthy, and make critical investments in infrastructure, energy systems, and programs that create broader opportunity and shared prosperity. ... TAXES ON HIGH-INCOME EARNERS - The strong majority of Americans support progressive taxes on the rich. ... STATE ESTATE TAXATION - The estate tax is a levy on large fortunes when they are transferred from one generation to the next, with exemption thresholds that shield middle and working-class families. ... TAX ON CORPORATIONS WITH EXTREME GAPS BETWEEN CEO AND WORKER PAY - In 2016, the city of Portland, Oregon, adopted the world’s first tax penalty on corporations with extreme gaps between their CEO and worker pay.... Visit Website ]
Mar 4, 2019, 2:36pm

Did You Know
One Observed Effect of Unconditional Basic Income: Better More Reliable Transportation
Scott Santens: Unconditional basic income means many things to many people, being that cash offers total freedom of choice on what good or service to exchange it for, but one particularly common thing it allows people to newly obtain, who feel they need the most help in obtaining it, is transportation. ... Thomas Klemm in an interview with the Basic Income Podcast: So the biggest thing that everyone said that I talked to is they have better more reliable transportation. It's hard to overstate how important reliable transportation is in rural areas. It's the difference between having a job, getting to doctor's appointments. It's everything. There's no public transportation out where I'm from so that was the biggest one that everyone mentioned up front when I asked them what has been the positive effect. Almost, everyone, the first thing they said was ‘I had better transportation.’ ... Visit Website ]
Feb 27, 2019, 2:17pm

Did You Know
Philly DA Larry Krasner Stopped Seeking Bail for Low-Level Crimes. Here's What Happened Next.
Samantha Melamed: “What we had a year ago was not fair. We do not, we should not, imprison people for poverty,” Krasner said. By the district attorney’s count, 1,750 additional defendants were released without bail during 2018, with no increase in recidivism. ... “The big thing that it did was that it changed the conditions of release for defendants in Philadelphia. Concretely, more defendants were out of jail not owing any money,” ... Krasner announced one year ago that his office would no longer request money bail for defendants charged with certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies — a list of 25 charges that included prostitution, intoxicated driving, and some burglaries. Instead, the office is encouraging trial commissioners to release such defendants on nonmonetary conditions or on their own recognizance... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2019, 3:05pm

Did You Know
How a 70 Percent Marginal Tax Rate on Top Earners Can Reduce Inequality
Eileen Appelbaum: In recent weeks and in quick succession Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promoted a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent on the part of incomes of the super-rich over $10 million, Elizabeth Warren proposed a wealth tax on ultra-millionaires and billionaires ... they provide the basis for meaningful tax reform whose twin goals are reducing extreme income and wealth inequality and protecting American democracy from the predations of wealthy plutocrats. ... If Congress does not close the loopholes in the tax code to rule out opportunities for those with extraordinarily high incomes to engage in tax avoidance, there is little point in enacting a 70 percent marginal tax rate... Visit Website ]
Feb 12, 2019, 12:05pm

Did You Know
Leaked Wikileaks Doc Reveals US Military Use of IMF, World Bank as “Unconventional” Weapons
Whitney Webb: WASHINGTON – In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.” ... As a consequence of the lopsided influence of the U.S. on these institutions’ behavior, these organizations have used their loans and grants to “trap” nations in debt and have imposed “structural adjustment” programs on these debt-saddled governments that result in the mass privatization of state assets, deregulation, and austerity that routinely benefit foreign corporations over local economies... Visit Website ]
Feb 8, 2019, 2:51pm


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