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Did You Know
Obstructing Justice
Chip Gibbons: Recently released FBI documents detailing the bureau's actions against George Crockett Jr show how the bureau acts as the nation’s political police, relentlessly hounding radicals. ... The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s record of surveillance of domestic dissidents has long been known to be detrimental to democracy. But to actively obstruct an elected official’s governance shows a contempt for democratic decision-making that is incredibly brazen even for America’s bulwark of domestic authoritarianism. ... When FBI foe George Crockett Jr was elected in 1968 as a criminal court judge in Detroit, Michigan, the FBI didn’t see fit to respect his election as the will of the people... Visit Website ]
Sep 20, 2018, 3:46pm

Did You Know
What History Books Left Out About Depression Era Co-ops
Jonathan Rowe: It would seem that a movement that provided livelihood for more than 300,000 people in California alone would merit discussion in the history books. ... In the spring of 1932, in Compton, California, an unemployed World War I veteran walked out to the farms that still ringed Los Angeles. He offered his labor in return for a sack of vegetables, and that evening he returned with more than his family needed. The next day a neighbor went out with him to the fields. Within two months 500 families were members of the Unemployed Cooperative Relief Organization. ... It operated a large warehouse, a distribution center, a gas and service station, a refrigeration facility, a sewing shop, a shoe shop, even medical services, all on cooperative principles... Visit Website ]
Sep 14, 2018, 1:54pm

Did You Know
Wall Street Is the Definition of a Ponzi Scheme (Literally)
Lee Camp: In modern times, you almost never receive the profits of the business. Dividends are rarely paid out, and they don’t usually amount to much. Plus, the company is not obligated to pay you anything for your stock ever. ... “What the hell do you own?” The gut-wrenching answer is nothing. You own nothing. ... The investors are just cannibalizing each other for profits, and there are fees attached to every transaction. ... the only way you make money is by convincing someone else to buy it. If no one does, then you lose everything. Why does that sound familiar? Oh, I know. It’s the dictionary definition of a Ponzi scheme... Visit Website ]
Sep 12, 2018, 3:52pm

Did You Know
What Healing Looks Like When Justice Restores
Robert C. Koehler: “This isn’t rocket science,” Jackie Ingram said, humorously downplaying her involvement in the Restorative Justice Community Court, a pilot project of the Cook County Circuit Court, which has brought a new, healing-focused system of justice to her community this past year. ... The North Lawndale court, presided over by Judge Colleen Sheehan, opened last September after several years of planning. The court exists in partnership with the community it serves. At its core is the concept of Restorative Justice, which is based on the healing process of the peace circle. Such circles can be used for almost any purpose, but one of their primary functions is to facilitate conflict resolution. People in conflict sit in safety together and, with the guidance of a circle keeper, talk — and listen — to one another, ultimately agreeing on a resolution. The process is voluntary... Visit Website ]
Sep 7, 2018, 2:15pm

Did You Know
The Truths That Won’t be Told: How Israel Spies on US Citizens
Alain Gresh: Kleinfeld’s contacts told him they were spying on US citizens with the help of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, founded in 2006, which reports directly to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. One official said: ‘We are a different government working on foreign soil, [so] we have to be very, very cautious.’ And indeed some of the things they do could be subject to prosecution under US law. ... He filmed conversations using a hidden camera and later, as part of an Al Jazeera investigations team ... The documentary was expected to be a media sensation, bringing outraged denials and intense controversy. But then the broadcast was postponed, with no official explanation. Eventually, articles in the US Jewish media ... revealed that it would never be shown. ... What was striking to see was the feverish mood of the pro-Israel lobby over the last few years due to a blind fear of losing its influence... Visit Website ]
Sep 3, 2018, 11:33am

Did You Know
A “Social Wealth Fund” Could be the Next Big Idea
Rachel M. Cohen: As governor (of Alaska), in 1976, he pushed for a constitutional amendment that would direct 25 percent of all lease sale payments and oil royalties to a fund that could only be used for income-generating investments. Hammond originally kept quiet about his desire to direct those returns back to citizens, and it was understood primarily as a proposal to prevent the waste of oil revenue. But after the amendment passed by a 2-to-1 margin, Hammond made it his central mission to push for the citizens’ dividend idea. His persistence paid off and in 1982, Alaskans received their first check from the so-called Permanent Fund, a dividend that has flowed annually ever since. ... The Alaska Permanent Fund is what’s known as a “social wealth fund” — also sometimes called a “sovereign wealth fund” or a “citizens’ wealth fund.” ... it would be great if the federal government could figure out a way to establish a social wealth fund nationwide. ... Visit Website ]
Aug 28, 2018, 2:02pm

Did You Know
Banks Are Becoming Obsolete in China—Could the U.S. Be Next?
Ellen Brown: The U.S. credit card system siphons off excessive amounts of money from merchants. In a typical $100 credit card purchase, only $97.25 goes to the seller. The rest goes to banks and processors. But who can compete with Visa and MasterCard? ... It seems China’s new mobile payment ecosystems can. ... The future of consumer payments may not be designed in New York or London but in China. There, money flows mainly through a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking—all run by two of the world’s most valuable companies. That contrasts with the U.S., where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments ... Today even China’s street merchants don’t want cash. Payment for everything is handled with a phone and a QR code (a type of barcode). More than 90 percent of Chinese mobile payments are run through Alipay and WeChat Pay... Visit Website ]
Aug 22, 2018, 4:18pm

Did You Know
We Don’t Know What Our Computers Are Doing - Why Trust Them for Elections?
Jimmy Falls: Within just the past year, several major vulnerabilities became public that cast doubt on whether we’re really in control of our computers. The first was the revelation that an operating system has been secretly running in the background of millions of computers. ... For decades two software brands have long dominated the market share for desktop/laptop operating systems — Windows and Mac. But it turns out that if your computer has an Intel processor — and there’s a good chance it does — you’re actually more than likely running MINIX at the most fundamental level. ... This is an operating system installed on a chipset — known as the Intel ME-11 management engine — on the motherboard of the computer that manages the central processor — the brains of the computer. And you probably have no way of knowing what it’s doing. Or getting to it, turning it off, or removing it... Visit Website ]
Aug 16, 2018, 3:13pm

Did You Know
A Judge Just Ruled the Government Can’t Lock You Up for Being Broke
Kari Sonde: Last week, a federal judge in New Orleans made progress toward eradicating debtors’ prison practices. US District Judge Sarah S. Vance ruled that the 14th Amendment prohibits jailing criminal defendants who are unable to pay court-ordered fees and fines without giving them a chance to plead poverty. ... Vance also ruled that judges who directly benefit from those fees cannot order payment or determine who is unable to pay. The OPCDC (Orleans Parish Criminal District Court) puts fees collected by the court—estimated at around $1 million a year—in a general expenditure fund that goes toward judges’ benefits and staff salaries... Visit Website ]
Aug 9, 2018, 4:07pm

Did You Know
San Francisco Ballot Initiative Would Tax Richest Businesses to Help Homeless
Danielle McLean: A coalition of housing advocates is attempting to help put San Francisco’s under-served people back on their feet. This November, a ballot measure will ask voters to support a plan that will increase taxes on the city’s largest businesses so they can raise the funds needed to cut down the lengthy wait list for temporary shelter and provide essential services that get people off the street and into permanent housing. ... Article 28 will ask San Franciscans to raise (by half a percentage point) gross receipt taxes on companies that earn over $50 million revenue each year, according to Lew. That would generate a dedicated stream of funding for a range of services that would help the city’s homeless population — an estimated $300 million per year, she said. ... Under San Francisco’s proposal, the anticipated $300 million would go into the “Our City, Our Home Fund” and fully implement the city’s Housing First model, a city initiative that provides permanent housing and services to people struggling with homelessness... Visit Website ]
Aug 6, 2018, 10:50am

Did You Know
The Angel of Matamoros
Noah Lanard: On a muggy June night, Luis Miguel Montimo turns away from the Gateway Inter­national Bridge over the Rio Grande and walks toward Matamoros, Mexico, carrying his almost two-year-old son, José Luis. ... when he reached the midpoint of the bridge earlier that day, an American border official turned him back. ... Now, after a three-month journey, he’s ready to call it quits when a tiny woman wearing a red T-shirt and a concerned expression intercepts him. “Don’t give up hope,” Glady Cañas Aguilar tells Montimo as she puts her arm around his shoulder. “If you’ve made it this far, it’s worth staying until you can ask for asylum.” ... Along with her daughters and a small group of volunteers, she comes to two of the main bridges that connect Matamoros and Brownsville, Texas, with everything stranded migrants need to survive: umbrellas to block the sun, medicine, tacos, water, and ice... Visit Website ]
Aug 2, 2018, 3:26pm

Did You Know
The Return of the Super-Elite
Meagan Day: New research reveals inequality levels not seen in a century — and it shows where these new super-elites live, too. ... In the 1970s a series of crises presented an opportunity for pro-capitalist conservatives to reassert themselves in the political sphere. Over the next two decades, with the assent of both major political parties, capitalists won favorable neoliberal reforms dedicated to deregulating business, lowering top-marginal taxes, weakening unions, imposing economic austerity on state budgets, and then — when social services inevitably faltered as a result — privatizing public functions to create new market opportunities for corporations. ... Today we’re seeing the fruits of this extreme reversal of policy orientation... Visit Website ]
Jul 23, 2018, 3:12pm

Did You Know
How Deep Is Your Knowledge of the Deep State?
Go Deeper With the Help of Our Sampler of Articles ... Including: Russ Baker on the Media’s Deep State Conversion Moment, A Unified Theory of Corruption — the Deep State, Peter Dale Scott Explains the Secret Cheney Operation on 9/11, How a Deep State Plot Sank Jimmy Carter, A Deep State: The Gun the US Doesn’t Have, Trump vs. ‘Deep State?’ That’s How the Light Gets In, Donald J. Trump and the Deep State, Part 1, Donald J. Trump and the Deep State, Part 2, Is Anybody Running the Deep State?, Carl Bernstein on the Deep State and Surveillance... Visit Website ]
Jul 16, 2018, 1:05pm

Did You Know
The Two Conflicting Histories of the King Assassination
Bill Willers: Attorney William Pepper, confidant of Martin Luther King, Jr., became convinced in 1978 that James Earl Ray, the officially declared lone gunman, was innocent. ... In 2010, writer Hampton Sides published Hellhound On His Trail, like Gerald Posner’s 1998 book an elaboration of the official governmental report portraying James Earl Ray as lone assassin. ... 2016: Pepper’s Magnum Opus: William Pepper published The Plot To Kill King, a 770-page detailed summation of the Government’s role in the killing with new material ... One detail - Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s deputy at the FBI, and shown by Pepper to be a central figure in the conspiracy, paid a prison official to engineer Ray’s escape from a prison, so that this designated patsy could thereafter be managed by another conspirator, Raul Coelho, who would then guide Ray to Memphis.... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2018, 3:13pm

Did You Know
'Predatory Police': The High Price of Driving While Black in Missouri
Jamiles Lartey, Guardian UK: A 2014 federal report found that St Louis area police’s use of traffic stops to raise revenue through fines was an underlying cause of racial unrest. For African Americans pulled over up to 10 times as often as white neighbours it feels little has changed ... A study published last month by the state attorney general’s office confirmed what many fear about “driving while black” in Missouri. It concluded black motorists were 85% more likely to be pulled over in traffic stops last year. It is the highest disparity since stops data began being collected 18 years ago ... ‘They raise their families off of our tickets’... Visit Website ]
Jul 6, 2018, 5:15pm


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