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Common Dreams Highlights December 23, 2014

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

News & Views | 12.23.14


Leave No Civilian Behind
by Alyssa Peterson
Members of the military and veterans shouldn’t experience poverty because no one should live in poverty.


In ‘Deadliest Time Ever’ For Journalists, Local Reporters Face Greatest Danger: Report
by Sarah Lazare
From Iraq to Syria to Gaza, domestic reporters, whose names may never be known to the world, face highest death rate, Committee to Protect Journalists report reveals.
With Parliament Vote, Ukraine Moves Towards NATO Alliance
by Lauren McCauley, staff writer
Russian Foreign Minister says vote “will only escalate the confrontation.”
Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Seven Elves Arrested Blocking Gas Storage Facility
by Deirdre Fulton
Over two-month civil disobedience campaign, 170 arrests have been made.
Citizenfour Producers Sued for ‘Aiding’ Edward Snowden
by Nadia Prupis
Suit charges Laura Poitras, Weinstein Company “on behalf of American public.”
Skirting ‘Halliburton Loophole,’ EPA Slams Exxon with Fracking Fine
by Lauren McCauley
Gas subsidiary hit with $2.3 million fine for construction-related damage to West Virginia waterways.
After Just 18 Months, Gitmo Envoy Resigns
by Deirdre Fulton
NY Times says Cliff Sloan’s departure is ‘another blow to President Obama’s efforts to close a facility that top administration officials say is a blight on the country’s international standing.’
more news…


When ‘Civility’ Is Code for Suppression
by Radhika Sainath
The battle over the diminished value of Black and Brown lives is again being fought on college campuses, in relation to police brutality here at home and in relation to Palestinian lives abroad.
Everything’s Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart: The Climate for 2015
by Rebecca Solnit
If everyone who’s passionate about climate change, who gets that we’re living in a moment in which the fate of the Earth and of humanity is actually being decided, found their place in the movement, amazing things could happen.
Food Sovereignty: 5 Steps to Cool the Planet and Feed Its People
by La Via Campesina, GRAIN
We need a shift from a globalised, industrial food system governed by corporations to local food systems in the hands of small farmers.
Congress Goes Out With Net Neutrality Bang.
by Candace Clement
Capitol Hill may resemble a ghost-town this time of year, but things are far from quiet on the Net Neutrality front.
Conservative Media And Cop Killers Of A Different Color
by Terrance Heath
A majority of cop killers have been white, but conservatives blame police killings of, and violence against blacks, on black lawlessness run amok.
Ethics Training for Congress? Dream On
by Jim Hightower
In Washington, anyone can be blatantly unethical, as long as they don’t technically break laws.
more views…


more newswire…

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Truthout Daily Digest Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The New Face of US Health Care: $1,000 per Pill

Peter S. Arno and Michael H. Davis, Truthout: Federal law says that drugs like Sovaldi, the hepatitis C drug priced at $1,000 per pill, are subject to price regulation – but that regulation isn’t taking place. It is time for the government to defend our right to affordable health care.

Read the Article

Marjorie Cohn on Drone Warfare: Illegal, Immoral and Ineffective

Leslie Thatcher, Truthout: Law professor, writer and social critic Marjorie Cohn discusses the just-published book she edited, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

Read the Interview

The Price of Private Prison

Sarah Rosenblatt, Truthout: Private prison corporations use their massive profits to lobby for legislation that expands incarceration. Because they’re profit driven, companies outsource prison services, like health care and food, to for-profit contractors, so every basic need is an opportunity to cut corners and make a buck.

Read the Comic

Jimmy John’s Foreshadows a Union-Free Future – and Unions May Be to Blame

William C. Anderson, Truthout: Jimmy John’s is facing a one-of-a-kind lawsuit over its noncompete agreements for employees. The attacks faced by Jimmy John’s workers illustrate a much larger problem: a weakened labor movement.

Read the Article

Spanish Government Strips Away Protesting Rights

Kevin Mathews, Care2: Spain is showing signs of fascism with its new anti-protest legislation, nicknamed the “gag law.” Last week, the country’s lower parliament approved the law. If it is implemented, peaceful protests could be shut down if police fear they will “turn disorderly.”

Read the Article

NYPD Police Union Accuses Mayor, Protesters of Being Responsible for Cops’ Murder

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: New York City is grappling with the aftermath of the first targeted killings of police officers in years. The head of the city’s biggest police union has faulted the recent anti-police brutality protests and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has expressed sympathy for the movement’s concerns.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The United States Is Committing Brutal Acts of Torture Right Now

Nafeez Ahmed, AlterNet: The grisly details of CIA torture have finally been at least partly aired. But much of the media coverage of this issue is missing the crucial bigger picture: the rehabilitation of torture under the Obama administration, and its systematic use to manufacture false intelligence to justify endless war.

Read the Article

Fracking Permit Issued in Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish

Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog: The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources issued a drilling permit for Helis Oil and Gas, bringing the company one step closer to realizing its ambition to frack in St. Tammany Parish. Public outcry against fracking there was not enough to sway the state agency.

Read the Article

This Moment Must Be About Black-Ness

Lisa Gray-Garcia, POOR Magazine: If you do not walk in a Black-identified body, this is a moment to practice humility: a value never taught in this stolen, colonizer-run world. We are all pawns in the game of non-humility – the cult of independence and the nation of separation.

Read the Article

A Lump of Coal for Fossil Fuels

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: The fossil-fuel divestment movement got the perfect holiday gift in 2014: tumbling stocks. Founded only two years ago by experts and students fed up with the glacial pace of climate action, the global divestment effort is already liquidating more than $50 billion of oil, gas and coal assets.

Read the Article

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Most Americans Don’t Realize How Climate Change Impacts Health, and More

In today‘s On the News segment: Most Americans don’t realize the ways that climate change impacts their personal health; scientists recently figured out why animals’ appearances change along with their temperament; the world’s oceans are virtually overflowing with plastic; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript


Irony of Christmas: Obama Is Santa Claus to the Rich, and They Call Him Marxist

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The plutocrats should be hailing Obama as Santa for the oligarchy, instead of portraying him as some sort of cross between Lenin and the Antichrist.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Charles P. Pierce: The CIA and NYPD’s Perilous Insubordination in Our Democracy

Read the Article at Esquire

Joe Conason: Ending a Cuba Policy That’s Failed for 50 Years

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Report: New Congress Dumping Budget Office Chief to Clear Way for Special GOP Math

Read the Article at Talking Points Memo

Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama … Bush? Here We Go Again

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Warming Oceans Are Bleaching Coral Reefs, Putting Ecosystems at Risk

Read the Article at Common Dreams

The GOP Felon Who Wouldn’t Leave Congress

Read the Article at The Daily Beast

After Major Stroke, Gordie Howe’s Stem Cell Treatment Brings “Miraculous” Results

Read the Article at The Canadian Press

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22 reasons to be of good cheer

Thank you Pam! I have noticed more and more people “paying it forward” every year. It’s easy to see the big problems and think we are just individuals-what difference can our actions make? But society is made of nothing but individuals-even when we gather into groups. A tsunami often looks like very little-a few inches high ripple crossing the vast surface of the sea. But when it reaches land it’s depth and power become much more noticeable. 🙂

Pam Grout

“What worn-out shticks are blinding you to the blessings that life is conspiring to give you?”–Rob Brezsny

Twice now, People magazine has sent me out to interview a Kansas City Secret Santa who passes out $100 bills. It was a hoot and a half to join him, to see the expression on people’s faces when he’d peal a couple hundys off his stack and hand them over.

So in the interest of continuing my long-standing journalism career, here are 21 additional reasons to be of good cheer this holiday season:

1. A mystery woman walked into a Toys R Us in Bellingham, Massachussetts and paid off the entire store’s layaway balance, allowing strapped parents to pick up Christmas gifts for their kids.

2. Gas prices have dropped below $2 just in time for holiday visits to family.

3. The gorgeous beaches of Cuba are about to reopen to vacationing Americans.

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