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Truthout Daily Digest | Saturday, 31 January 2015

So many articles in this issue of Truthout that I wish I could share the full article! I am disappointed though, that so few journalists are questioning the propaganda push for vaccination. I would like to see carefully researched articles on the problems and the benefits of vaccination programs, including ideas on how we can improve them.

Instead of mocking and deriding the anti-vaccine movement, why not consider that real problems exist and how to address them?

I’ve always noticed propaganda but only recently has it seemed so obscenely pervasive-and so completely accepted. It bothers me more when liberals do the knee-jerk unquestioning mindless attitude thing. Maybe because I see liberals as intellectual and feel they should know better? Perhaps it’s just embarrassing because most of my views do fall in the liberal spectrum (though not all).

On the opposite side-where is the Republican party outrage at the egregious violations of private property rights being perpetrated by the Keystone XL pipeline project?!?

My Republican father would be disgusted by the “The Corporations Are Always Right Party” they seem to have become. I’m pretty sure that is NOT the view of most real conservatives though the propaganda has pushed a lot of otherwise intelligent conservatives to justify the absurd.
Blessings,
ohnwentsya

Crises at Pacifica Radio

Michael Corcoran, Truthout: Pacifica Radio, the iconic progressive radio network, is currently dealing with several major crises, including an audit from the California Attorney General’s Office, layoffs, divisive infighting and dwindling fundraising and listenership.

Read the Article

The United States’ Hidden Hand in the Creation of Israel

L. Michael Hager, Truthout: Alison Weir’s new book, Against Our Better Judgment, exposes little-known facts about Zionist manipulation of US policy makers in the creation of Israel in 1948. It helps explain how the United States became entangled in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the side of Israel.

Read the Review

Dispatch From Sundance: “How to Change the World”

Tom Roston, Moyers & Company: A ragged band of Canadians took a fishing boat into the frigid waters of the North Pacific Ocean in 1971 to try to stop a nuclear weapons test on the island of Amchitka. With that action, they started the environmental group Greenpeace and, in addition to saving many a whale, revolutionized political activism and advocacy journalism.

Read the Interview

The Death Penalty: Chaotic Tedium

Susanne Dumbleton, Truthout: Georgia is set to execute a man with an IQ of 70. Oklahoma is scheduled to execute a man whose guilt is questionable. California continues to fill up its death row and now has 749 residents. Who is served by this gruesome chaos?

Read the Article

Texas Town at Center of Latest Earthquake Swarm Questions Fracking Impact

Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog: The town of Irving, Texas, experienced 12 earthquakes during a 48-hour period in January. Residents are concerned nearby fracking operations are the cause.

Read the Article

Young Navajos Stage 200-Mile Journey for Existence

Lyla Johnston, Idle No More: At dawn on January 6, 2015, a group of young Diné (Navajo) women and their supporters gathered at sunrise near the fire department at the base of Dzil Na’oodilii (Huerfano Mountain). From there the group embarked on a 200-mile trek through eastern New Mexico, as a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the tragic “Long Walk.”

Read the Article

You’ve Heard of Hip-Hop, but What About Krip-Hop?

Making Contact, National Radio Project: “Krip-hop” is the name for the international movement of disabled artists, poets, musicians and MCs.

Listen to the Radio Program

Mourners for Black Queer and Trans Lives Attacked by Castro Bar

QTPOC Liberation, The Feminist Wire: Bar patrons in San Francisco’s Castro District assaulted queer and trans people of color who had taken to the streets to challenge mainstream gay communities to combat anti-Black racism.

Read the Article

Pentagon Finally Identifies the Remains of a POW Lost Since 1942

Megan McCloskey, ProPublica: Long buried alongside hundreds of unknown US soldiers in the Philippines, the remains of Pvt. Arthur “Bud” Kelder are being returned home after a lawsuit by his family.

Read the Article

Progressive Policies Are Popular – So Why Should Democrats Be Afraid of Them?

Keane Bhatt, FAIR: Polls found large percentages of the public support policies like increasing the minimum wage, requiring paid sick leave and offering free community college. So why are Democrats so hesitant to support them?

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Measles Outbreak Grows to 107 Cases, Latest in Marin County

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

A Strained Alliance: Obama-Netanyahu Rift Grew Over Years

Read the Article at The New York Times

Ukraine, Rebels Gather for Peace Talks as Fighting Rages in East

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

Going to a Public College Isn’t as Affordable as It Used to Be

Read the Article at The Washington Post

The Worst Trade Deal You’ve Never Heard of

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Evangelicals’ Racist “Purity” Culture: What’s Really Behind Huckabee’s Beyoncé Slur

Read the Article at Salon

Native Communities Feel the Heat of Climate Change in the Southwest

Read the Article at MintPress News


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Truthout Daily Digest | Friday, 30 January 2015

An Explosive Crisis: Government Bickering Clouds Cleanup Effort at Camp Minden

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: An explosion two years ago led investigators to 15 million pounds of hazardous and potentially explosive munitions waste, illegally stashed in northwest Louisiana, but cleanup is once again unclear as federal regulators haggle with an angry public and the Jindal administration.

Read the Article

Rep. Keith Ellison: Postpone Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

Robert Naiman, Truthout: Reps. Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen and Maxine Waters are circulating a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to postpone the invitation until after the Israeli election and after Congress has considered the issue of Iran sanctions.

Read the Article

Shedding Light on Three Big Lies About Systemic Pesticides and Bees

Maryam Henein, Truthout: Ridiculous misinformation is being planted in the media about honeybees and the systemic pesticides killing them. This begs the question: To what extent does Big Agriculture influence the way science is researched and reported to line its pockets and benefit its corporate agendas?

Read the Article

Progressives Have Hope; Just Don’t Ask Jonathan Chait About It

Lisa Factora-Borchers, Truthout: To overlook writer Jonathan Chait’s self-appointed superiority complex as the work of one anachronistic guy would be to ignore the growing litany of complaints emerging from straight White men – claiming their own marginality.

Read the Article

Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back?

Victoria Law, The Nation: On Tuesday, January 27, Marissa Alexander walked out of jail, but not as a free woman. As Alexander leaves prison for house arrest, it’s time to question the system that turns women into criminals for trying to stay alive.

Read the Article

Laura Flanders | Moving Your Money: An Interview With Finance Expert Michael Shuman

Laura Flanders, GRITtv: Why is it so hard to invest your money locally? Grassroots activists trying to build economic alternatives in the United States encourage investing in the businesses in your neighborhood, instead of in far-off corporations. It turns out that it’s not so easy to move your money; there are even laws against it in the United States.

Watch the Video and Read the Article

The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower

Norman Solomon, Expose Facts: The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling – after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower. Sterling’s indictment four years ago received fleeting news coverage that recited the government’s charges. From the outset, the Justice Department portrayed him as bitter and vengeful.

Read the Article

Community-Owned Energy: How Nebraska Became the Only State to Bring Everyone Power From a Public Grid

Thomas Hanna, YES! Magazine: In this red state, publicly owned utilities provide electricity to all 1.8 million people. Here’s how Nebraska took its energy out of corporate hands and made it affordable for everyday residents.

Read the Article

Trouble Already Brewing for Saudi Arabia’s New King

Lizabeth Paulat, Care2: The death of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz last Friday marked a passing of the torch in Saudi Arabia’s kingdom. His replacement – and brother – Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud has come at a tenuous time, with people now questioning his involvement in terrorist organizations and the country’s shaky human rights record.

Read the Article

Fudging the Future

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: How precise is energy forecasting? To put it politely, the experts who get paid to predict these things aren’t the most accurate arrows in the quiver. Take the still-unfolding crude crash. Its cause boils down to one simple fact: The industry is producing way more oil than consumers want.

Read the Article

Richard D. Wolff | Economic Update: Economics and Revolutions

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode provides updates on political corruption, the Greek election results, Social Security taxes, debt jubilee, union membership and the lessons of revolutions.

Listen to the Audio Segment

BuzzFlash

Romney Is as Credible a Poverty Fighter as Kochs Are as Advocates of No Campaign Spending

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The statistical economic facts have shown that the trickle-down paradigm is a hoax: It has led to the greatest redistribution of wealth – from the poor and middle class to the rich – in US history.​

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

“Viper” Alert: Citizens United’s David Bossie Is on the Prowl

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Mitt Romney Will Not Run for President Again

Read the Article at The Washington Post

CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia, Senior Bush Administration Official Says

Read the Article at Vice

Manufacturing Terror: How the FBI Invents Some Plots and Ignores Others in the “war on freedom”

Read the Article at Occupy.com

Texas Legislature Introduces Bill Allowing Teachers to Shoot Students

Read the Article at Crooks & Liars

Air Pollution Actually Messes With Your Genes

Read the Article at Grist

One of the World’s Biggest Lakes Is Dying, and We’re to Blame

Read the Article at Mother Jones


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Truthout Daily Digest | Thursday, 29 January 2015

From the Concorde to Sci-Fi Climate Solutions

Almuth Ernsting, Truthout: Touting “sci-fi climate solutions” – untested technologies not really scalable to the dimensions of our climate change crisis – dangerously delays the day when we actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the Article

Remembering the Paris Commune: When Workers and Women Rose Up Against the Oligarchy

John Merriman, Basic Books: Many historians regard the Paris Commune as the precedent for subsequent uprisings against the plutocracy and ruling elite. Who were the Parisians who revolted against the ruling class ensconced in Versailles and suffered deadly retribution as a result?

Read the Excerpt

First Anti-Islam March by Pegida Movement Fizzles in Denmark

Linda Pershing, Truthout: On January 19, 2015, supporters of the Pegida movement participated in their first Copenhagen rally, following earlier anti-Islam events in Dresden. In response, four times as many people showed up for an anti-Pegida rally to oppose their efforts.

Read the Article and View the Photos

Seeking Accountability: Palestine’s Recourse to the ICC

L. Michael Hager, Truthout: Impunity for Israeli war crimes encourages more gross violations of international law. Palestine’s application to the International Criminal Court is a welcome step toward accountability.

Read the Article

The Attack on Human Rights in Haiti: An Interview With Jackson Doliscar, Part II

Beverly Bell, Other Worlds: Community organizer and rights defender Jackson Doliscar speaks of the efforts of the Haitian government to silence advocates of human rights, land rights and housing rights. The Haitian government is becoming increasingly autocratic, ruling by decree.

Read the Interview

Billionaires Won’t Be Happy Until the US Becomes Austerity-Ravaged Greece

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: Billionaires don’t need a social safety net, and they don’t care if working-class people are thrown onto the streets to starve. If anything, doing that provides them with cheaper and more desperate labor. The rich don’t want their not-so-hard earned money going to help others.

Read the Article

The Hunting Ground: Film Exposes How Colleges Cover Up Sexual Assault and Fail to Protect Students

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: Two recent court cases mark a rare example where students accused of sexual assault have actually faced punishment. The Hunting Groundshows how colleges and universities across the nation are covering up sexual assaults and failing to protect students from repeat offenders.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

After Four Decades With Roe, US Women Still Need Abortion Access and So Much More

Andrea Flynn and Shulie Eisen, Next New Deal: As economic inequality takes center stage in politics, it’s important to remember that reproductive justice and bodily autonomy are just as essential for secure lives.

Read the Article

Cuba and US Skirt Obstacles to Normalization of Ties

Patricia Grogg and Ivet González, Inter Press Service: The biggest discrepancies in the first meeting to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States, after more than half a century, were over the issue of human rights. What stood out in the talks, however, was a keen interest in forging ahead, in a process led by two women.

Read the Article

Jim Hightower | Not Lovin’ It

Jim Hightower, OtherWords: McDonald’s is in the hot seat and now faces upward of 100 federal charges of labor law violations for retaliating against workers seeking higher wages and the freedom to unionize without corporate retaliation.

Read the Article

Learning From American Sniper

Rory Fanning, Jacobin: As Vietnam taught us, if we want to build a successful antiwar movement, we have to engage the soldiers fighting the wars. American Sniper, if we take it seriously, might help us do just that.

Read the Review

Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries: In (Modest) Praise of a Comforting Mediocrity

Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch: As Obama and his team muddle toward their finish line, their achievements negligible, we might even express a modicum of gratitude. At least they managed to steer clear of truly epic disasters on the foreign policy front.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

Disproportionate Emphasis on European and US Victimhood Is Racist

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: It is an injustice to confine the outpouring of public mourning for victims of violence to those of white European identity.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

US Incarceration System Facilitates Breakdown of Society

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Will the Obama Administration Finally Bring the CIA Torturers to Justice?

Read the Article at The Guardian

French Government Creates Bizarre Checklist That Is Islamophobic

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Something Really Really Terrible Is About to Happen to Our Coral

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Enbridge Gets Another Federal Tar Sands Crude Pipeline Permit as Senate Debates Keystone XL

Read the Article at DeSmogBlog

The Strange Case of Darren Wilson’s Mysterious Disappearing Duty Belt

Read the Article at Vice

Why This Baby’s Mom Is So Angry at the Anti-Vaxxers

Read the Article at The Washington Post

(I haven’t read this last article yet but I am disappointed in Truthout for joining the mainstream media in this latest crusade against the anti-vaccine movement. The problem with vaccines in my opinion is not the germs but the poisonous additives and preservatives like mercury-a well known cumulative neurotoxin. I like the idea of vaccinations but I do not appreciate the corporations making public health a cash cow at the expense of innocent children. This should not be a partisan issue with liberals joining the corporations side in mocking the anti-vaccine movement. That shows a disgusting lack of awareness and Orwellian mind programming.

ohnwentsya)


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Truthout Daily Digest | Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Special Report: Money and Lies in Anti-Human Trafficking NGOs

Anne Elizabeth Moore, Truthout: Anti-trafficking organizations are said to do work both progressives and conservatives agree needs doing. Yet despite enormous budgets, and the month of January being dedicated to human trafficking awareness, it’s not clear these organizations can possibly be accomplishing what they claim.

Read the Article

Paint the Town Red: Syriza’s Historic Victory and the Steep Road to Greek Recovery

C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout: The decisive victory of Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, is a historic event for the Greek left. Still, it would be a mistake to interpret Syriza’s win as reflecting an ideological shift among Greek voters, rather than an act of desperation against austerity.

Read the Article

Noam Chomsky Blasts American Sniper and the Media That Glorify It

Janet Allon, AlterNet: Noam Chomsky had some choice words about the popularity of American Sniper, its glowing New York Times review and what the worship of a movie about a cold-blooded killer says about the US public. It’s not good.

Read the Article and Watch the Video

Not So Fast, Net Neutrality

Michael Winship, Moyers & Company: Over the last few months, things have been looking good for keeping the internet open to everyone. A little too good, as far as Congress is concerned, which is why members and the corporate lobbyists who write them hefty checks have launched a last-ditch legislative effort to scuttle net neutrality.

Read the Article

Pardon Granted for One of 17 Women Who Miscarried in El Salvador

Danica Jorden, Truthout: A Salvadoran woman sentenced to 30 years for the alleged murder of her “unborn child” in 2007, when she was just 18, has been granted a pardon. She is one of 17 women currently imprisoned in El Salvador after having unintentionally miscarried during their pregnancies.

Read the Article

The Deficits Republicans Don’t Want to Talk About

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: When Republicans whine about the US having a deficit problem, they’re right. It’s not our federal deficit that’s the problem, though. It’s the deficit in our spending on infrastructure, on education and on job creation that’s really keeping our country down.

Read the Article

In 10 Years, No One in Helsinki Will Even Want to Own a Car: Three Simple Ideas That Are Making Cities Sustainable

Shannan Stoll, YES! Magazine: An app that combines the affordability of ride sharing with the reliability of taxis. Playgrounds built as sponges for reusable gray water. From Finland to California, the cities of the future are here.

Read the Article

Despite Obama’s Call for Cheap, Fast Internet, Many Cities Aren’t Allowed to Provide It

Leticia Miranda, ProPublica: Obama is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to challenge a wave of state laws blocking the construction of municipal broadband networks, which are high-speed internet services run by local communities. Here’s what you need to know about the president’s proposal.

Read the Article

Introducing Mrs. Merlin: To Prosecute Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Exposed an Asset

Marcy Wheeler, Expose Facts: The government engaged in a great deal of security theater during the Jeffrey Sterling trial, most notably by having some CIA witnesses – including ones whose identities weren’t, technically, secret – testify behind a big office divider so the general public couldn’t see the witness.

Read the Article

State of the Union Shows Obama Still Needs Movement Pressure on Climate

Kate Aronoff, Waging Nonviolence: As with most significant progressive reforms in US history, confronting both climate change and extraction will take the pressure of a popular movement that sees climate issues as part and parcel with economic ones.

Read the Article

The Collapse of Europe? The European Union May Be on the Verge of Regime Collapse

John Feffer, TomDispatch: If the European Union doesn’t come up with a better recipe for dealing with economic inequality, political extremism and social intolerance, its opponents will soon have the power to hit the rewind button on European integration.

Read the Article

Paul Krugman | A Regime Change in Switzerland

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: The Swiss National Bank managed a credible regime change. Unfortunately, it was a change in the wrong direction. By throwing in the towel on the peg to the euro, the bank immediately convinced markets that its previous apparent commitment to do whatever it took to avoid deflation was null and void.

Read the Article

On the News With Thom Hartmann: We May Have Reached a Climate Tipping Point, and More

In today‘s On the News segment: Human activity has compromised about half of the natural processes that maintain the stability of our planet; BP is being pressured by their investors; the Senate voted 98-1 that “climate change is real and is not a hoax”; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

BuzzFlash

Black NYPD Officers Experience Racial Profiling When Off-Duty

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: It is pitifully ironic that off-duty Black officers of the New York Police Department have experienced the racial profiling policies of their own police force – but it is not surprising.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

White House Backs Plan to Allow Atlantic Oil Drilling

Read the Article at The New York Times

Natural Gas Line Explodes in West Virginia

Read the Article at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How “The Left’s Best Chance in a Generation” Won Greece Over: A Guide

Read the Article at Gawker

Gay Legislator Threatens to Spill the Dirt on “Family Values” Colleagues

Read the Article at Crooks and Liars

Netanyahu to US Jews: Get Lost

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Obama Challenges India on Women’s Rights and Religious Tolerance

Read the Article at The Guardian

The DEA Is Spying on Millions of Cars All Over the US

Read the Article at The Atlantic


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Truthout Daily Digest | Saturday, 24 January 2015

In Ferguson

Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books: Ferguson feels like a turning point. For so many, Michael Brown’s death was the last straw. Black youth are fed up with being branded criminals at birth. Ferguson was the country stepping back in time or exposing the fact that change hasn’t happened where it’s most needed.

Read the Article

Syriza and the Greek Elections: The Tough Questions That Must Be Asked

Michael Nevradakis, Truthout: After years of economic crisis and stifling economic austerity, all eyes are upon Greece once more, where the main opposition party, Syriza, is favored to emerge victorious in upcoming elections. Syriza’s economic platform, however, indicates positions that are far from radical.

Read the Article

The Spectacle of Illiteracy and the Crisis of Democracy

Henry A. Giroux, Moyers & Company: One important measure of the demise of vibrant democracy and the corresponding impoverishment of political life can be found in the increasing inability of a society to translate private troubles to broader public issues.

Read the Excerpt

Ahead of Obama Visit, a Report Card on India

Papri Sri Raman, Truthout: The Modi government came to power standing on an anti-corruption plank. However, little has been achieved in this area.

Read the Article

New Study Shows More Than Half of Abortion Clinics Face Threats

Stephanie Hallett, Ms. Magazine Blog: Research from the Feminist Majority Foundation reveals that clinics and doctors are faced with daily threats and intimidation. Nearly one in five clinics experienced severe anti-abortion violence.

Read the Article

EPA Sued Over Disclosure Rules for Toxic Pollution From Drilling and Fracking

Sharon Kelly, DeSmogBlog: The Environmental Protection Agency has been sued over toxic chemicals released into the air, water and land by the oil and gas industry.

Read the Article

Global Blackness

Hakima Abbas, The Feminist Wire: There has been an outpouring of global solidarity for the Black movement in the United States by Black people in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Brazil, the UK and France, and from non-Black people who are also fighting against imperialism around the world.

Read the Excerpt

Fighting Extremism With Schools, Not Guns

Zofeen Ebrahim, Inter Press Service: While many millions of people are lashing out at the Taliban for going on a bloody rampage in a school in Peshawar, the Citizens Foundation has busied itself with a pledge to build 141 schools for peace, one in the name of each person who lost their life on that terrible day.

Read the Article

Obama Tips His Hat to FDR

Emily Schwartz Greco, OtherWords: Obama is channeling his inner Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What would FDR say about today‘s growing inequality and stagnant wages?

Read the Article

US Army Special Forces Officially Recruit for “Mission for God”

Mikey Weinstein, AlterNet: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation finds an Army recruiting poster that openly proselytizes. There exists a brutal, sectarian, Christian fundamentalist current within the US Armed Forces.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More

Read the Article at The New York Times

California Judges Barred From Boy Scouts Over Anti-Gay Discrimination

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

Japan Investigating Reports of Hostage Killed by ISIL

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

American Sniper: Anti-Muslim Threats Skyrocket in Wake of Film’s Release

Read the Article at The Guardian

The True Cost ofCitizens United: The Roberts Court’s Darkest Hour Revisited

Read the Article at Salon

France Sees as Many Anti-Muslim Acts in January as All of 2014

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Students Who Survived Mexico’s Night of Bloody Horror Accuse Army and Police

Read the Article at The Guardian


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Truthout Daily Digest | Friday, January 23 2015

The Chilling First Amendment Implications of Journalist Barrett Brown’s Five-Year Sentence

Candice Bernd, Truthout: Concluding a case which has lasted more than two years, and which has frightening implications for journalists and researchers of all stripes, a federal judge in Dallas sentenced journalist and transparency activist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison on Thursday.

Read the Article

The New “Oppressed Peoples’ Movement”: Can the Tide of Resistance Continue?

James Kilgore, Truthout: What are some of the possibilities and tensions in the mass uprisings and new social movements that have appeared in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown?

Read the Article

Sundarbans Oil Spill: An Urgent Wake-Up Call for the Bangladeshi Government

Iara Lee, Truthout: The catastrophic oil spill in Sundarbans tidal mangrove forest has mobilized activists to work even harder to prevent construction of a planned coal plant nearby.

Read the Article

Is Reinvestment a Good Strategy for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement?

Carlos Davidson and Cynthia Kaufman, Truthout: Fossil fuel divestment is emerging as a powerful strategy in the fight against climate change. It is crucial that activists focus on the political impact of divestment, and not get distracted by the economics.

Read the Article

Sen. Bernie Sanders | Roads and Bridges Need $1 Trillion. It Is Time to Rebuild the US

Bernie Sanders, Campaign for America’s Future: “For many years we have underfunded the maintenance of our nation’s physical infrastructure. That has to change. It is time to rebuild America. I will soon be introducing legislation for a $1 trillion investment, over five years, to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure.”

Read the Article

Dissing DuVernay and the Lessons of Selma

Sikivu Hutchinson, The Feminist Wire: The lessons of Selma itself are relevant to DuVernay’s “omission” from the Academy Awards nomination for Best Director. True to Frederick Douglass’ assertion that “power concedes nothing without demand,” the snub of DuVernay is criminal, but of course, not unprecedented.

Read the Article

The 2015 State of the Union Address: A Major Omission

David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation: In President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address, the only mention of nuclear weapons was in relation to the agreement the Obama administration is seeking to negotiate with Iran.

Read the Article

Do the United States’ Hungry Children Matter?

Mariana Chilton, Moyers & Company: This is supposed to be the year when the US ends its child hunger crisis. That was the promise then-president-elect Obama made during his first campaign. At that time some 12.4 million children lived in homes that self-reported as food insecure. Today there are 15.8 million such children.

Read the Article

The 1% Are Bad for Your Health – It’s Time to Tax Them More

Kate Pickett, The Conversation: The evidence that large income differences have damaging health and social consequences is very strong, and in many countries inequality is increasing. Narrowing the gap is vital to improve our health and well-being.

Read the Article

“American Propagander”: Six Ways Paul Reickhoff’s American Sniper Column Deeply Bothers This US Veteran

Emily Yates, Emily Yates Does Everything: “When I first laid eyes on the guest column Paul Rieckhoff wrote about American Sniper, I thought I’d read the byline wrong. This has to have been written by the Department of Defense, I thought.”

Read the Article

Richard D. Wolff | Economic Update: Spinning Out of Control

Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: This episode provides updates on Obama’s State of the Union speech, the European Central Bank pumping up the money supply to stimulate Europe, forgiving Greece’s debts and housing extremes in the US. We also respond to questions on global wealth inequality and Switzerland’s currency maneuvers. Finally, we interview Dr. Harriet Fraad on the US economy’s disastrous impact on children.

Listen to the Audio Segment

BuzzFlash

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

US House Passes Stringent Abortion Restrictions

Read the Article at Salon

Joni Ernst’s Family Received Nearly $500,000 in Farm Subsidies

Read the Article at Raw Story

Obama Says Treating Drug Use as a Criminal Problem Is “Counterproductive”

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Advocates Call for State Investigation Into Shooting of Black Man in Traffic Stop

Read the Article at The Guardian

US Militarization and the “War on Terror” Create a Tinderbox of Violence

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Anti-Muslim Incidents Soar in France

Read the Article at The Local France

King Dies, New Tyrannical Leader for Saudi Arabia

Read the Article at USA TODAY


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Common Dreams Highlights | Friday 23 January 2015

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Featured…

On Verge of Victory, Europe’s Ascendant Left Declares ‘Subservience is Over’
by Jon Queally
In relatively short time, both Syriza and Podemos went from being non-existent political entities to standing on the doorstep of taking power.

News…

‘Nauseating’ Praise for Dead Saudi King Exposes Hypocrisy of West, Say Critics
by Deirdre Fulton
Under the dictator’s reign, Saudi authorities sought to halt political dissent through intimidation, arrests, prosecutions, and lengthy prison sentences.
And the Lifetime Award for Shameful Corporate Behavior Goes to… Chevron
by Sarah Lazare
The race was close, with Glencore and Walmart coming in a close second, but voters ultimately determined that Chevron deserves the top distinction.
US May Soon Stand Alone Opposing Children’s Treaty
by Thalif Deen
Ironically, the United States was a leading contributor to the drafting of the treaty and in fact shaped a significant number of provisions.
Pennsylvania Court Hands Down Big Win for Teachers’ Union
by Deirdre Fulton
Today‘s decision is a victory for collective bargaining and the notion that contracts between parties should be negotiated, not imposed.”
NRC: We’re Keeping Fukushima-Style Nuclear Reactors Going
by Andrea Germanos
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected an appeal to halt operations at the nearly two dozen reactors in the nation that have the same containment system as those at the ill-fated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors.
Fossil Fuel Industry Gives California Communities a Breath of Toxic Air: Report
by Nadia Prupis
There is a “disturbing lack of data on health effects of oil and gas production in California,” author Jhon Arbelaez said on Thursday.
more news…

Views…

Message to the UK: The Fracking Bridge is Already Burning
by Naomi Klein
In rushing to exploit the UK’s shale gas reserves, the industry has spent millions on public relations and brazenly overridden the democratic will of British citizens by overturning laws that had prevented drilling under homes.
Saudi Arabia’s Tyrant King Misremembered as Man of Peace
by Murtaza Hussain
It’s not often that the unelected leader of a country which publicly flogs dissidents and beheads people for sorcery wins such glowing praise from American officials.
My Future in Prison
by Kathy Kelly
‘I will be free in three months, but our collective future is most assuredly shackled to a wrongheaded criminal justice system.’
Hearings Highlight Congressional Efforts to Undermine Net Neutrality
by Sandra Fulton
The right choice was as clear after the hearings as it was before: Congress should back off and let the FCC do its job.
Drones and the New Ethics of War
by Neve Gordon
Drone wars are wars without losses or defeats, but they are also wars without victory.
How We Banned Fracking in New York
by Sandra Steingraber
Every rally. Every march. Every jug of Dimock water. Every public comment. Every local ban. Every letter to the editor. Every letter to the Governor. Every concert. Every expert testimony at every hearing. Thank you.
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Truthout Daily Digest | Thursday, 22 January 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation

Marjorie Cohn, Truthout: The latest in 15 years of continuous Supreme Court decisions effectively enlarging police powers and restricting Forth Amendment protections against illegal searches and seizures, Heien v. North Carolina upheld a traffic stop where there was no traffic violation.

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Economist Leonidas Vatikiotis: Syriza’s Proposals Don’t Go Far Enough for Greece

Michael Nevradakis, Truthout: Economist Leonidas Vatikiotis, previously a European Parliament candidate with Greece’s Antarsya political party, shares his take on the upcoming elections in Greece, the economic proposals put forth by main opposition party Syriza, and the need, in his view, for Greece to depart from the eurozone.

Read the Interview

Interim Settlement Reached in Lac Mégantic Oil Train Disaster, but Culprits Say “It Wasn’t Us”

Roger Annis, Truthout: Amid continuing official support for oil trains in Canada, an initial financial compensation agreement for some victims of the 2013 Lac Mégantic, Quebec oil train disaster has been reached with some of the oil and transportation companies responsible for the tragedy.

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New Year, Same as the Old Year? 2015 Reproductive Rights Preview

Katie Klabusich, Truthout: The GOP-led 114th Congress declared its legislative priority by opening with assaults on reproductive healthcare access from all angles, choosing the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade as the day to vote on new abortion restrictions.

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State of the Black Union: The Shadow of Crisis Has Not Passed

Staff, Black Lives Matter: We the people, committed to the declaration that Black lives matter, will fight to end the structural oppression that prevents so many from realizing their dreams. We cannot, and will not stop until the United States recognizes the value of Black life.

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Supreme Court’s Latest Race Case: Housing Discrimination

Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica: This week, the Supreme Court will take up one of the most important civil rights cases of the last decade – Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project. Many fear the case could gut the landmark Fair Housing Act.

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Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition

Staff, Brave New Films: This documentary delves even deeper into where the Koch brothers’ money is going, who their money is hurting and how much they made during the whole process leading up to the 2014 elections.

Watch the Video

Is John Boehner a Traitor?

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: By inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner may have broken any number of laws, and the Department of Justice needs to investigate.

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In SOTU, President Punts on Income Inequality

Michael Winship, Truthout: Much of the buildup to President Obama’s State of the Union address made it sound as if he was going to have a “Piketty moment.” Yet, with a president too often bold in words but timid in action, facing a Congress more Republican and obstructionist than ever, little will get done to fix inequality.

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The 1% Dine in Davos as Latin America Pulls People Out of Poverty

Cyril Mychalejko, teleSUR: Billionaires and political elites have swooped into Davos this week for the annual World Economic Forum. The biggest risk the world faces may be the Forum’s continued neoliberal economic policies its members advocate that have created the crises it supposedly seeks to redress.

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Inequality Is Costing Us Big-Time

Sam Pizzigati, OtherWords: If the United States had been as equal in 2007 as it was in 1979, that average income would have been $94,310. In other words, inequality is costing the average American family about $18,000 a year.

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More and War: The Tao of Washington

Tom Engelhardt, TomDispatch: The visibly Orwellian nature of US intelligence is now widely accepted, at least in Washington, as a necessity of our age, of our need for (you guessed it) safety and security. As a result, its bureaucratic expansion, secret wars, global kill lists and other activities are largely beyond challenge.

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Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling

Norman Solomon, Expose Facts: The CIA is on a quest for more respect from anyone willing to defer to its authority, no matter how legally hypocritical or morally absent. Demolishing the life of Jeffrey Sterling is just another means to that end.

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BuzzFlash

The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

New Jersey Officers Shoot and Kill Unarmed Black Man With Hands Up

Read the Article at The Chicago Tribune

Inequality in the Air We Breathe?

Read the Article at The New York Times

Maureen Dowd’s Clueless White Gaze: The “Selma” Backlash

Read the Article at Salon

US Senate Again Fails to Admit Human Role in Global Warming

Read the Article at The Guardian

The Narcissistic Fantasy of Mitt Romney

Read the Article at The Week

Pelosi Slams Netanyahu Invite

Read the Article at The Hill

Toxic Tanneries Poisoning Workers in Bangladesh

Read the Article at Vice News


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Truthout Daily Digest | Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I’m glad Truthout chose to address the community college thing. It didn’t feel right or make sense that President Obama who is very educated and intelligent would propose a plan so poorly designed and thought out. I’m frankly tired of the moneyed monsters behind the scenes using Barack Obama as their tool. At least for me it’s fairly obvious when he is speaking from his own heart and mind and when he’s a mouthpiece. I’m in no doubt at all that HE knows-and that he uses his intelligence by purposefully making their plans and ideas as ridiculous as possible (“We tortured some folks”? You can’t seriously think a man that intelligent would say that -that way-if HE really believed in what he was supposedly defending or sweeping under the rug!)

I believe he is using their racism and superiority complex to drive the “hidden powers” agenda, actions and plans right into the public spotlight.

Of course plenty of die-hard Democrats will support whatever he proposed simply because ANYTHING has got to be better than what Boehner and friends are serving.

I realized something was odd about the community college thing when first my gut instincts rejected it without reason and second, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with a column about it by David Brooks, a conservative commentator in my local newspaper. I appreciate his writing but have never read a column I agreed with so fully.

I think issues like this highlight the fact that America has functioned as well as it has because the tug of war between left and right has often resulted in solutions that incorporated the best ideas from both sides in a compromise that all could accept.

Since the Republican party was taken over by extremists for whom compromise is a four letter word, we have lost that blessing. However, the right wing going insane didn’t suddenly make every supposedly left wing idea perfect. Like a bird, our country does need BOTH wings to fly.

One idea I, like many other liberals, can relate to from conservative views is the concern for invasive control tactics from government or corporations (more usually from corporations, enacted by government).

I see things being manipulated where there is no need. Much like the sovereignty conceding trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP etc) and the obscene levels of surveillance, excessive control of community colleges seems to be another step on the stairway down to fascist totalitarian capitalism.

Perhaps I think too much, but it seems ever more apparent to me that the time has come for all aware Americans from all political philosophies to stow our differences and work together to stop the fascist oligarchy from destroying our country.

Surely we can all agree that freedom, real democracy, an environment and food that is safe and clean are required by us all?
ohnwentsya

Twenty Pounds of BS in a Ten-Pound Bag

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said we’ve “turned the page” on the economic wasteland created by our neocon/neoliberal brain trust in Washington. In reality, however, countless Americans are economically scared to death, and most of them are living paycheck to paycheck.

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Trading Away Our Environmental Future: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Martha Baskin, Truthout: Although making sure trade deals don’t harm communities and the planet may not be a government priority yet, activists are convinced that if we can stop fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it could mean an improvement for future trade negotiations.

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Simon Johnson: GOP and Wall Street Say, “To Hell With Protecting the Public!”

Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company: In the last election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions. Their spending strategy appears to be working. Just last week, the House passed further legislation that would delay by two years some key provisions of Dodd-Frank.

Read the Interview

Dysfunctional Drones Underscore Mission Mess at Homeland Security

Tom Barry, Truthout: A new report confirms that the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection program is not clear about its mission, lacks any clear and pragmatic definition of what constitutes a secure border and cannot set realistic performance goals to measure its effectiveness.

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The Trojan Horse of “Free” Community College

Adam Bessie, Truthout: Will the strings likely to be attached to President Obama’s plan for “free community college” fundamentally alter the nature of the institution? If open access is sacrificed, and high-stakes testing is instituted, the community college model may be changed for the worse.

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Ralph Nader on What Was Missing in President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: Much of President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the economy and efforts to bolster the middle class with a push for education, child care and tax breaks. But did he go far enough? Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate, discusses the speech.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

The Myth of Obama Moving to the Left

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: The so-called “middle-class economics” espoused by President Obama in the State of the Union was, many decades ago, the conservative position here in the United States. So to say that Obama is moving to the left, as many Republicans claim, ignores our own history.

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Inside the Uniform, Under the Hood, Longing for Change

Kathy Kelly, teleSUR: People in the United States must see every detainee in Guantánamo as human, someone to be called by name and not by a prison number. The cartoon versions of foreign policy handed to Americans, designating heroes and villains, create a dangerously under-educated public unable to engage in democratic decision-making.

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The Astronomical Scale of Money in Politics

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Brennan Center for Justice: Since the Supreme Court issued theCitizens United ruling, it’s clear average Americans are not funding our elections. The major individuals driving political spending are the 1% of the 1%.

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Seven Reproductive Rights Issues to Watch in 2015

Nina Martin, ProPublica: Changes for abortion, contraception and more top the agenda with Republicans in the majority in Congress and many state legislatures.

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Boehner’s Constitution Read Should Only Be a Beginning

Robert Weiner and Autumn Kelly, The Hill: An informed electorate would create a more productive, representative government. Not reading the US Constitution is like asking coach to put you into the game when you haven’t studied the playbook.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

Why I Didn’t Watch the State of the Union

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: It is a mistake to expect deliverance from the outcome of an election or the fleeting promises contained in a speech.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

High Levels of Cancer-Causing Benzene Found in Public Water Supplies After Montana Pipeline Spill

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

Government Health-Care Website Quietly Sharing Personal Data

Read the Article at the Associated Press

Swing State Ohio Is Plunging Ever Deeper Into the Fossil Fuel and Nuke Abyss

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

France Unveils Raft of “Anti-Terrorism” Measures After Paris Attacks

Read the Article at AFP

Faced With Land Seizures, Defiant Nebraskans Vow to Halt Keystone XL

Read the Article at Common Dreams

The Secret History of the GOP’s New Abortion Ban

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Mike Huckabee’s Hashtag Should Be #Hypocrisy

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


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Truthout Daily Digest | Monday, 19 January 2015

Martin Luther King, Jr.: All Labor Has Dignity

Martin Luther King, Jr., Beacon Press: In his introduction to the newly published anthology of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and writings, Cornel West notes the book unearths a radical King whose legacy can no longer be sanitized. He was “anti-imperial, anti-colonial, anti-racist” and embodied “democratic socialist sentiments.”

Read the Excerpt

Your Home Is Your Prison

Maya Schenwar, TomDispatch: The “American Gulag,” is a vast carceral archipelago into which millions of human beings are simply deep-sixed. The urge to reform such a system should be applauded, but as with so many “reforms” in our era, the latest “alternative” forms of confinement may only be extending and expanding the prison system into other parts of American life.

Read the Article

Democrats Take on Wall Street With Financial Transactions Tax

Dean Baker, Truthout: The House Democratic Party leadership remarkably proposed a financial transactions tax. The proposal is part of a larger package which includes a substantial tax credit for workers, and also a limit on the tax deductibility of high CEO pay.

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Five Corporations You’ve Never Heard of Are Making Millions From Mass Incarceration

James Kilgore, Truthout: From construction to monitoring devices, some corporations are making off like bandits with profits from mass incarceration. Here are five of the worst offenders.

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Uncovering a World War II Prisoner Exchange Program Through Interned Immigrants’ Stories

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: From 1942 to 1948, thousands of Japanese, German and Italian immigrants living in the United States were held in a Texas internment camp. All were suspected of disloyalty to Allied forces, and although none were tried or convicted of any crimes, some were repatriated to their countries of origin.

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The Van Hollen Plan Takes on Soaring CEO Pay: A Debate We Need to Have

Susan Holmberg, The Next New Deal: The economic proposals in Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s action plan “to grow the paychecks of all, not just the wealth of a few” will reinforce the progressive economic messaging championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and conceivably embolden more Democrats to finally take command of our economic debate in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

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EPA Report Finds Pesticide Poses Risk to Workers, Spurs Calls for Ban

Brian Bienkowski, Environmental Health News: The insecticide chlorpyrifos, used on corn and other US crops, poses health risks to workers who mix and apply it and also can contaminate drinking water, according to a new EPA report.

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We Need Less Work, Not More

Alexandra Bradbury, Labor Notes: The notion held by many labor unions that the Senate is “killing” jobs by voting against the Keystone XL pipeline is misguided. We need to increase wages and lower the cost of living, so workers do not have to work themselves to death.

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One Thing Schools Should Do to Boost Students’ Intellectual Growth

Marion Brady, The Washington Post: Much that affects student performance, like poverty, disability and education of parents, can’t be fixed by education policy. A fundamental performance-limiting problem that can be fixed in school but has never been adequately addressed is this: information overload.

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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Democrats May Tax Wall Street and Give Main Street a Break, and More

Thom Hartmann, The Thom Hartmann Program: In today‘s On the News segment: Democratic lawmakers have put forth a progressive tax plan that would tax Wall Street to give Main Street a little relief; the 2014 election saw massive increases in outside spending and so-called dark money; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

BuzzFlash

The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Black Conservatives Mangle and Defame the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Read the Article at Buzzflash

The Hope and Burden of the Civil Rights Movement

Read the Article at Colorlines

Richest 1% Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016, Study Finds

Read the Article at The New York Times

Obama Will Focus on Wealth Inequality – Not Just Income

Read the Article at The Atlantic

“Black Lives Matter” Aspires to Reclaim the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Read the Article at Mother Jones

White Oklahoma ‘Survivalist’ Walks Free After Shooting Black Police Chief Four Times

Read the Article at Crooks and Liars

On Gay Marriage, Supreme Court to Weigh Equal Rights and States’ Rights

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

The State of Felony Disenfranchisement in America

Read the Article at MSNBC