News & Views | 1.7.15
Staff, Truthout: As we make our way into 2015, the Truthout team is recommitting to a year of questioning, struggle, intentionality, hard work and, most of all, hope. A few of us would like to share our personal hopes for the coming year with you, our readers.
Toshio Meronek, Truthout: Radical queer organizing was alive and well in the US in 2014; you just may not have heard about it in mainstream media. Here are nine stories that will no doubt reverberate in 2015.
C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout: Instead of fighting for a new social order, Syriza transforms itself into yet another reformist left party. Allured by the aura of power, the party advocates a sugar-coated version of capitalism inside a neoliberal Europe. Meanwhile, Greece needs some imaginative economic management.
David Moberg, In These Times: The National Labor Relations Board issued 13 complaints involving 78 charges that McDonald’s and many of its franchisees interfered with employees’ collective efforts to improve working conditions. A trial may find McDonald’s guilty of violating workers’ right to organize.
Michelle Chen, The Nation: A federal judge ruled that the Obama administration had overstepped its authority when the Department of Labor extended minimum wage and overtime standards to home care workers hired by private agencies.
Diana Anahi Torres, OtherWords: H-4 visas give holders (most of whom are women) the right to live legally in the US, but they come with serious caveats. Most significantly, they deny their holders the right to a Social Security number and legal employment.
Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet: The US Senate took the side of the Constitution when an obscure (but extremely detrimental) amendment to a House-passed bill “miraculously” disappeared from the final version of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
Annie Pentilla, Tikkun Daily: Since its first performance, the group “Sins Invalid” has blossomed into a robust political and arts organization, providing annual performances, movement-building, creative workshops, educational work on disability justice and an artist-in-residence program.
Lindsey Weedston, YES! Magazine: Slacktivism? Not so much. From #BlackLivesMatter to #BringBackOurGirls, this year’s best hashtags around issues of social justice brought fresh voices into some of our most important conversations.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Palestinians Move to Join International Criminal Court, Defying Israeli and US Warnings
80 Percent of Whistleblower Retaliation Claims Ignored in Biased, “Trojan Horse” System
Former Cop: Police Officers Who Violate Citizens’ Rights Must Be Punished; Accountability Is the Only Way Forward
Homeless People in the US Pin Hopes on “Bill of Rights” to End Criminalization in 2015
A Koch Hack Tells the Pope to “Back Off” on Climate Change
Despite Climate Warnings, New Export Rules Open Crude Oil Floodgates
Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: As public schools are privatized, succumbing to corporate interests, critical thought and agency are erased, and education emphasizes market values rather than democratic ideals. The emergence of larger radical social movements depends on public education maintaining its role as a democratic sphere.
Josmar Trujillo, Truthout: Instead of having a conversation about how we’ve codified racism through law enforcement, we’re given a thick layer of public relations in the name of community policing. At its core, “community policing” serves as a Trojan horse for more policing and more funding of it.
Robert W. McChesney, Monthly Review Press: In Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century, McChesney makes an urgent and compelling argument for ending communication monopolies and building a post-capitalist democracy that serves people over corporations.
John Logan, Truthout: These stories demonstrate that despite extremely serious challenges, there’s life in the US labor movement – the last, best hope for reversing skyrocketing levels of economic inequality and restoring some measure of justice and decency to the US workplace.
Victoria Law, The Nation: Christmas is traditionally the time when state governors grant clemency to people in prison whose cases they find compelling – and many of the battered women behind bars have compelling cases.
The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: It’s unconscionable and morally reprehensible that an employee working for the largest retailer in the United States, or for a fast food giant, isn’t making enough money to survive and provide for their family. We need to stop rewarding businesses for screwing over their employees.
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: The US-led NATO occupation has formally ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan. The move leaves Afghan forces in charge of security, though more than 17,000 foreign troops will remain, including more than 10,000 US troops.
Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism: Saudi Arabia made it even more clear that it is not pulling out of its game of chicken with other energy-producing nations. The Saudis will keep pumping and, by implication, will force production cuts on others.
Jo-Marie Burt, North American Congress on Latin America: Under pressure from entrenched economic and military interests, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court undid its historic genocide ruling in 2013. The trial is set to resume on January 5, but faces last-ditch efforts to derail it.
Christine Ahn, Foreign Policy in Focus: In November, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Takeshi Onaga, who ran on a gubernatorial platform opposing the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in northern Okinawa. Onaga pledged “to stop construction using every means at my disposal.”
Colin Jenkins, The Hampton Institute: If we are truly inclined to cooperate with one another, why is there so much division and turmoil in the world? The answer to this question may be found by assessing the creation of artificial scarcity as a means to maintain hierarchies.
Valerie Tarico, Valerie Tarico’s Blog: Fear has the power to paralyze and silence even strong, determined people, which is why threats of violence are such a potent, common and toxic presence in political discourse. Consequently, it is a wonder, and a gift to us all, when engaged citizens refuse to be silenced.
PELCIANS HOLDING THE LINE FROM WISE OWL LAWRENCE
The Oracle Report – Monday, December 29, 2014
“The Mass Turn” – Capricorn 2014 Lunar Cycle: December 21, 2014 – January 19, 2015
“The Black Moon Transit of Virgo: November 27, 2014 – August 25, 2015”
Monday, December 29, 2014
First Quarter Moon Phase: take action; step out of comfort zone
Moon in Aries
Ruling Wisdom Goddess: Kali (The Reckoner)
Skill: mind your mind
Negative Imprint: distraction, shooting the messenger, refusing help or comfort, bargaining things away, trying to make the irrelevant relevant, lost in fantasy or illusion, feeling defeated, hopelessness, spiritual arrogance
Positive Imprint: tuning in, abstractions, innocence, fascination, reaching out to others, kindness, ideals, culture, peace, gentleness, blessings, cooperation, finding the best
Sabian Symbol for Lunar Month: an Indian chief claims power from the assembled tribe
Harmony and harmonics are the stories today. We are wise to be mindful of what kind of emotional/mental states we are emitting. We will quickly meet in the world whatever we are feeling inside. The principle of “like attracts like” is in full force, so what we put out is what we get back.
Talk of “harmonics” inevitably brings in the concept of “frequencies,” which often results in people “blanking out.” So let’s keep notions of frequencies grounded with the basics: frequency means how often.
When you get down to it, having the often-touted “high frequency” really means how much of the time one emits love. It indicates how often we are in the harmonic heart-mind space of connection with All That Is.
Today, the power of all of this is amplified exponentially.
This means we have an opportunity.
On the individual level in our lives, this energy will bring us outstanding opportunities for messages about what is truly fulfilling and what makes us happier. This information helps us to take on the mantle of our personal power – our sovereignty as free thinkers and creators. It helps us stand up straighter. It’s energy to realign, re-imprint and rectify. It unites worlds.
Realigning, re-imprinting, and rectifying energy is a daily practice for frequent readers of The Oracle Report. Every day brings celestial mechanics from the planets and opportunities to strongly imprint the positive or negative currents. Using awareness and wisdom, we are shifting the experience of life that has been heavily pressed toward the negative polarity over recent history. We understand that wherever each of us leans on the spectrum determines how we collectively lean.
On the collective level of humanity today, the energy is ripe for reclaiming or making up ground.
The energy has us reassessing all sorts of things. We want to make things more whole – to integrate or combine them to flow more easily. We want it to all come together. With this, people, places, and things that are refined are highly attractive today.
As part of this, group or team efforts are heavily favored because this usually makes things better. More eyes or minds or hearts on things gives an advantage. This means we need to be ready to make our contribution or be ready when opportunity strikes! Be bold.
Pay attention to what’s catching your fancy today. We are getting glimpses and trying to grasp things that we don’t quite understand, but it all starts with what allures us. Follow any impulses to read, investigate, or experience things.
It’s a great day for radiating harmony, so let’s get to work.
Copyright Oracle Report 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Permission to repost is granted provided credit is given towww.oraclereport.com.
Santiago Navarro F., Renata Bessi and Translated by Miriam Taylor, Truthout: The Afro-Brazilian Quilombola people were forced from their land in Brazil in order to make way for eucalyptus plantations, which produce toilet paper destined for Western markets. But they are resisting by replanting native trees and food crops, and working for a post-eucalyptus reality.
Marjorie Cohn, Olive Branch Press: “Like his predecessor, Obama defines virtually the entire world as a battlefield, ostensibly obviating the necessity to provide due process before execution,” the author writes in this introduction toDrones and Targeted Killing.
Brendan Fischer, PR Watch: Minnesotans protesting police violence and institutional racism could face “staggering” fees and criminal charges for a protest at Mall of America, with the city of Bloomington announcing plans to force organizers to pay for the mall’s lost revenue during the exercise of their free speech rights.
Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: What does it take to make sure that Truthout remains independent from corporate sponsorship and advertisements? Truthout publisher Joe Macaré talks about how Truthout is able to maintain its journalistic independence.
Liz Pleasant, YES! Magazine: How do you fit a full-sized family into a tiny house? The Morrisons and Kasls found that the benefits of life in 200 square feet outweigh the difficulties – teenagers, sleepovers, alone time and all.
Victoria Law, Waging Nonviolence: After enduring a lifetime of violence and abuse and then facing the rest of her life behind prison walls, it would be easy for a person to become bitter, disillusioned and self-destructive. But rather than sinking into despair, Kelly Savage has instead become an in-prison activist.
Paul Kiel, ProPublica: In the latest move against companies targeting military customers, federal regulators prohibit two Virginia-based lenders from suing out-of-state debtors in Virginia courts.
Alexandra Bradbury, Labor Notes: There’s no bargaining in Volkswagen’s new policy. On closer inspection, it looks more like something anti-union forces have been angling to try. In fact, it’s suspiciously similar to what Tennessee legislators imposed on teachers.
Zaid Jilani, AlterNet: Selma has won nearly unanimous praise from film critics – partly for its unflinching look at King as a true radical who upset not just a fringe of racists in the South, but the entire political establishment. The film is particularly relevant right now, in light of recent protests against police brutality.
Robin Marty, Care2: The new year would be an amazing time to pass some real legislation that could decrease the gap between the rich and poor and the haves and the have-nots. Sadly, with a new, even more conservative Congress to be sworn in this January, the odds of that happening are pretty slim.
The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five is overjoyed that the Cuban Five are home, forever free from the unjust imprisonment and cruel punishment that denied them their freedom for 16 long years, while Jack A. Smith applauds the overdue policy changes that led there; El Grito de Sunset Park and Bronxites for NYPD Accountability reflect on how the fight against police brutality is just and must continue; George Ygarza reports how hundreds of delegates from all corners of the globe descended upon Lima to be heard in regard to their struggles in confronting climate change in their respective regions; Ken Peeples reveals how the United States government actually really hates press freedom;Mike Miller describes the six pillars of effective anti-poverty policy; Jason Flores-Williamsargues that a culture of torture is the very soundtrack of our lives; Walter Shapiro explains the crash course Americans got on the mischief that can transpire when Congress actually fulfills its duties; the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation notes that more than 5 million signatures have been garnered for a Nuclear Zero Campaign; Arnold Oliver says the break in hostilities in the trenches of Belgium and France on Christmas a century ago was actually a mutiny, not a truce; and more.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
After 13 Years, US-Led Afghanistan War Is Officially Over, but Nightmare Goes On
AirAsia Indonesia Flight to Singapore Goes Missing With 162 on Board; Search for Jet Suspended
At Least 24 Killed in Malaysia, Thailand Floods as 200,000 Evacuated
Malaria Is Killing Thousands More Than Ebola in West Africa
The Mysterious Case of Prisoner 212
“I Can’t Breathe” T-Shirts See High School Basketball Team Disinvited From Event
How Canadian Oilmen Pinkwash the Keystone Pipeline
Simon Davis-Cohen, Truthout: Detroit and other city governments have been effectively dissolved. In the Motor City, all governing power resides in one man – Kevyn Orr – the state-appointed “emergency manager.” He performs all functions of local government, unilaterally.
Patrick Glennon, Truthout: In his recently translated book, The Disunited States, Vladimir Pozner reveals the alienation, class antagonism, racism and sexism endemic to this country in the 1930s – and how little has changed.
James Marc Leas, Truthout: Protests should continue to demand justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The officers who killed them can still be indicted and tried for murder under state law in Missouri and New York.
Christopher Zumski Finke, YES! Magazine: The hero and her alter ego, Diana Prince, were the products of the tumultuous women’s rights movements of the early 20th century, and her enigmatic creator believed women were destined to rule the world.
Making Contact, National Radio Project: The year 2014 saw social movements ranging from pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Making Contact brings an update on some of these movements that made major news this year.
Jesse Franzblau, NACLA: Declassified files on migrant massacres reveal impunity and Mexican state complicity in human rights atrocities that predate the recent Ayotzinapa disappearances.
Miriam Pemberton, OtherWords: It’s time for communities that are dependent on Pentagon contracts to work on strategies to reduce their economic vulnerability as defense spending dwindles. The time to start planning an economic transition is now.
Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye: The Obama administration has no obvious incentives to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program because the United States is getting most of what it wants already under the status quo.
Robin Marty, Care2: It’s still 2014 for at least another few days, but that hasn’t stopped the 2016 presidential speculation from jumping to an accelerated start, with news that another Bush may be tossing his hat in the ring.
The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
NSA Fesses Up to Improper Surveillance of US Citizens
Evil Torturers Catch a Break: How Americans Got Distracted From a National Travesty
US Prepares to Accelerate Detainee Transfers From Guantánamo Bay Prison
After Scrutiny, CIA Mandate Is Untouched
Doubts Persist on US Claims of North Korean Role in Sony Hack
ACLU Accuses NSA of Using Holiday Lull to “Minimize Impact” of Documents
On Racial Issues, Americans Are Divided Both Black and White and Red and Blue
Bruce Melton, Truthout: As we move into 2015, the latest climate science means policy must provide funds not only for just reducing future emissions but also for removing pollution that has already been released in the atmosphere.
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: Resolving not to call the police is not just a protest against a racist and corrupt criminal justice system; it’s the beginning of a dream that challenges us to build a free and just world.
Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt Blog: The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses, and depositors and taxpayers could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act signed into law on December 16.
Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: As Tom Diaz reports in The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, the NRA, in concert with gun manufacturers and conservative advocates of law and order, has successfully stoked fear of crime and terrorism to ramp up domestic weapons sales.
Ray Ventura, Japan Focus: Along the coast of Manila Bay in the Philippines, there is a slum district called Baseco. Describing it as “a place where the people of damned souls sell their kidneys to survive,” Baseco brought to public attention the scandal of what is essentially a human organ farm.
Christina Ionela Neokleous, The Conversation: The president of the Republic of Cyprus tells a story that says that lending schemes like the one imposed on the people of Cyprus are simply the mechanisms to achieve neocolonialism and that the IMF would do better to be more open about its new set of objectives. It is certainly a story that makes sense.
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: In 1972 Beacon Press lost a Supreme Court case brought against it by the US government for publishing the first full edition of the Pentagon Papers. We hear the story from three men at the center of the storm.
David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: The Nuclear Zero lawsuits, initiated by the Marshall Islands, are about the law, but they are about much more than the law. They are also about saving humanity from its most destructive capabilities. They are about saving humanity from itself and about preserving civilization for future generations.
Sujatha Fernandes and Alexandra Halkin, North American Congress on Latin America: Although Obama has pledged offers of internet technology, Cubans are likely to be suspicious. Given the revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the United States using the internet to spy on its citizens, it is unlikely that Cubans will feel comfortable with this arrangement.
Julia Rainer, Inter Press Service: “Never was there a greater need than now for all the religions to combine, to pull their wisdom and to give the benefit of that combined, huge repository of wisdom to international law,” said Christopher Weeramantry, addressing a session on faiths united against nuclear weapons at the civil society forum.
Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This week’s episode provides updates on the successful Oregon teaching assistants’ strike, evicting the homeless, a law that limits unpaid internships to four weeks and universities becoming businesses. We respond to listeners’ questions on the economics of war and the military, and on political corruption in the new budget.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Refusing to Wage War Is Possible
Female Vets Fight “The Second Battle”: Sexual Trauma
Charles P. Pierce | Seasons Greetings From Your Friends at the NSA
Social Movements Didn’t Kill the NYPD Officers. A Man With Untreated Mental Illness and a Gun Did
Sen. Bernie Sanders: I’ll Decide on Presidential Run by March
Let’s All Screw the 1%: The Simple Move Obama Could Make to Strengthen the Rest of Us
Regulations for Pissing on Cheney’s Grave Announced (Satire)
Camillo Mac Bica, Truthout: On the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce, the author remembers the Hootch program, which brought together Soviet and US Cold Warriors, and concludes it is not the truce or the occurrence at the Hootch, but war that is the aberration – a violation of human nature.
Christine Ahn and Suzy Kim, Truthout: The fact that the Korean War ended with a temporary cease-fire rather than a permanent peace treaty has given the North Korean government justification to invest heavily in the country’s militarization. Another 50 years failed policy that needs to change?
Robert Naiman, Truthout: “If you object to the proposition that Hillary Clinton should become the Democratic nominee for president in 2016 without having to substantially engage with Democratic primary voters and caucus-goers about what she would do as President, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
Roberto M. Yepe Papastamatin, Truthout: The historic US-Cuba diplomatic rapprochement signals a long-overdue rectification and the recognition of the Cuban Revolution’s legitimacy by the most powerful nation that has ever existed, with profound implications for both countries and for the inter-American relations system as a whole.
Charles Sevilla, Los Angeles Daily Journal: Approved at the highest levels of government, the use of US drone strikes has steadily escalated for more than a decade. These targeted killings are justified as legal and effective measures to defend the homeland. The book Drones and Targeted Killingquestions both premises.
Ray McGovern, Consortium News: The United States’ reputation for cognitive dissonance is being tested by the Senate report documenting the US government’s torture of detainees and the fact that nothing is happening to those responsible.
Michael Winship, Moyers & Company: When It’s a Wonderful Life first came out, it fell under suspicion from the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee as Communist propaganda, part of the Red Scare that soon would lead to the blacklist and witch hunt that destroyed the careers of many in Hollywood.
Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future: “Fast-track essentially pre-approves trade agreements before people get a chance to read them, analyze them and rally opposition. It prevents Congress from fixing problems in the agreements. This is the wrong way for our country to do this.”
Anna Leyland, The Conversation: From the time you wake up on this Christmas morning, take time to fully notice the little things. Consider that many other people you do not know have made effort to grow, make or transport parts of your present too. Be kind and compassionate to everyone you have contact with – including yourself.
Sam Pizzigati, OtherWords: Among the youngest of the 2014 top ten greediest Americans: 38-year-old Travis Kalanick, the CEO and cofounder of Uber. Uber is worth $40 billion – profits made, critics charge, by taking short cuts like not running adequate background checks on drivers.
The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.
Stopping Imperialistic Wars Could Radically Reduce Terrorism
Federal Officials May Use Little-Known Civil Rights Statute in Police Shooting Cases
US to Send More Private Contractors to Iraq
Grand Jury Clears Houston Officer in Shooting of Unarmed Black Man, Jordan Baker
Heralded by Human Rights Groups, Global Arms Trade Treaty Goes Into Force
LAPD Body Camera Footage Won’t Be Released to the Public
Off Duty, Black Cops in New York Feel Threatened by Fellow Police Officers
News & Views | 12.23.14
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Charles P. Pierce: The CIA and NYPD’s Perilous Insubordination in Our Democracy
Joe Conason: Ending a Cuba Policy That’s Failed for 50 Years
Report: New Congress Dumping Budget Office Chief to Clear Way for Special GOP Math
Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama … Bush? Here We Go Again
Warming Oceans Are Bleaching Coral Reefs, Putting Ecosystems at Risk
The GOP Felon Who Wouldn’t Leave Congress
After Major Stroke, Gordie Howe’s Stem Cell Treatment Brings “Miraculous” Results