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Common Dreams News and Views 29 May 2014

News & Views | 05.29.14

Featured…

Norman Solomon: An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29

Headlines…

John ‘Man Up’ Kerry Faces Firestorm for Snowden Remarks
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/29-1

‘Permanent Protest Vigil’ Launched to Confront First Tar Sands Mine in US
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/29-3

New Orleans Nearly Finished Killing Off Its Public Schools
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/29-2

Downed Helicopter Kills 14 as Ukraine ‘Fratricidal War’ Deepens
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/29-0

Snowden: Exposing NSA Overreach an Act of ‘Civil Disobedience’
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/05/29

and more…

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Video…

Things You Didn’t Know About Maya Angelou
http://www.commondreams.org/video/2014/05/29

Extended Presence of US Military Will Not Bring An End To Violence In Afghanistan
http://www.commondreams.org/video/2014/05/29-0

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Views…

Amy Goodman: Maya Angelou, Still She Rises
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-10

Sonali Kolhatkar: From Elections to Mass Movements: How Wealthy Elites Are Hijacking Democracy All Over the World
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-9

Glen Ford: Boko Haram a Blessing for Imperialism in Africa: US Training Death Squads
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-4

Tom Engelhardt: The Big Brotherness of It All
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-2

Cinzia Arruzza: The Left’s European Conundrum
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-7

Robert Parry: Obama’s Neoconservative Foreign Policy Vision
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/29-1

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Newswire…

Institute for Public Accuracy: Egyptian Election: ‘Farce’ or ‘Quest for Security’?
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/05/29-1

Friends of the Earth: White House Doubles Down on ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Strategy
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/05/29-0

ROC United: 160,000 Tipped Workers Left Behind in Michigan’s New Minimum Wage Law
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2014/05/29

and more…


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Truthout Daily Digest Friday 23 May 2014

William Rivers Pitt | Sick of Secrets

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: The state fathers of the North Carolina General Assembly, it seems, do not want you or anyone else to know the precise composition of the poisons being injected into the ground to lap up whatever mouthfuls of gas and oil there are to be had.

Read the Article

Hearing the *Ping* of Poverty – or Not

Joseph Natoli, Truthout: Steeped now as we are in a plutarchic imaginary, poverty is a ping that if you hear, you do not want to pursue. It is a ping coming from a black box you do not want to open because it not only contains what we have lost, but what we have destroyed.

Read the Article

Sen. Elizabeth Warren | The New Populism Is a Fight for America’s Values

Elizabeth Warren, Campaign for America’s Future: “The game is rigged. The rich and the powerful have lobbyists and lawyers and plenty of friends in Congress. Everyone else, not so much. Now we can whine about it. We can whimper. Or we can fight back. Me? I’m fighting back.”

Read the Article

The Florida Everglades: A New Frontline for Fracking?

Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog: Pamela and Jamie Duran of Naples, Fla., had not spent much time worrying about fracking. Like most Floridians, they’d been repeatedly told it couldn’t happen there. Until it did.

Read the Article and View the Photos

Meet Six Nutrition Blogger Moms Who Crashed the McDonald’s Shareholder Meeting

Staff, Yes! Magazine: Current trends suggest one in three kids will develop Type 2 diabetes as adults. These moms told McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson what they think about the fast food industry targeting their kids.

Read the Article

Poverty Is a “Foreign Country” on the American Screen

Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet: TV and film both influence and shape public perception, and the go-to explanation for economic hardship is still the idea of a “culture of poverty,” which says that people are poor because their families are messed up, and they don’t want to work.

Read the Article

Oil Giant Citgo Gets Off Easy in Criminal Case

Priscila Mosqueda, The Center for Public Integrity: A foreign oil company convicted of polluting a Texas community’s air with dangerous chemicals has gotten off easy in a criminal case that could undercut the prosecution of environmental crimes in the United States.

Read the Article

The Cloud Is Not the Territory

Ingrid Burrington, Waging Nonviolence: The opacity of internet infrastructure and policy – and the insistence that ideally users shouldn’t need to see or understand either – conceals data, the institutions that hold it, and the power they exercise with it.

Read the Article and View the Photos

Chilean Robin Hood? Artist Known as “Papas Fritas” on Burning $500 Million Worth of Student Debt

Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now!: Francisco Tapia, known as Francisco “Papas Fritas,” or French fries, says he burned $500 million worth of debt papers from the private Universidad del Mar. Chilean authorities are in the process of shutting down the university over financial irregularities.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Single Payer Advocates: How Do We Defeat Health Care for Profit?

Anne Meador, DC Media Group: At a panel hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders on Capitol Hill, advocates for single-payer health care criticized the current system in the United States as inefficient, expensive and delivering poor results in comparison to wealthy nations who offer universal health coverage to their citizens.

Read the Article

Bulgaria, No Country for Syrian Refugees

Claudia Ciobanu, Inter Press Service: Since November of last year, Bulgaria has virtually closed its borders to an inflow of Syrian asylum seekers and other migrants trying to enter the country from Turkey, while the EU institutions involved appear to have acquiesced to this.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

Protesting McDonald’s Workers Give Shareholders a Big Mac Attack

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The fantasy world of Ronald McDonald being a playful friend of children and families is under siege. After all, the balloons that he hands out to children can’t feed them.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Occupy Protester Cecily McMillan’s Pre-Sentencing Statement to the Judge

Read the Statement at Justice for Cecily

Eugene Robinson | The GOP Establishment Didn’t Win, They Just Swallowed the Tea

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

This Ice Sheet Will Unleash a Global Superstorm Sandy That Never Ends

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Tobacco, the Fossil Fuel Industry and Capitalist “Morality”

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

FCC Incest: Meet the Cable Cronies Who Control Net Neutrality’s Future

Read the Article at Gizmodo

UN Decries Water as Weapon of War in Military Conflicts

Read the Article at Inter Press Service

Koch Brothers’ Detroit Abomination: Stunning Avarice and Cruelty Reaches New Low

Read the Article at Salon


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Truthout Daily Digest Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and David Krieger | We Must End the Madness of Nuclear Weapons

Desmond Tutu and David Krieger, Truthout: The Republic of the Marshall Islands has courageously taken the nine nuclear weapons-wielding countries to the International Court of Justice. The country aims to enforce compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law – and to rally support for life on earth.

Read the Article

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: All eyes were on the Federal Communications Commission last week as the agency proposed rules marking its third attempt at establishing net neutrality regulations. This is our chance to tell the government how to guarantee a free and open internet. Here’s a rundown of key issues so you can make your voice heard.

Read the Article

The Corporate Security State Is Shredding Our Constitution

Beatrice Edwards, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: No foreign terrorist shredded the Constitution, nor did we, as citizens, bankrupt the nation. However, powerful forces inside this country are doing that shredding – and intend to keep doing it. The real reason to be afraid is the unchecked rise of the Corporate Security State.

Read the Excerpt

The Greatest Modern Presidential Speech Turns 50

John de Graaf, Truthout: Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson chose not to believe Americans were condemned to “soulless wealth.” He elucidated a new ideal, “The Great Society,” valuing quality of life above quantity of stuff.

Read the Article

How The War on Workers Is Changing

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: While the war on workers has been eating away at the income of working-class Americans, its ultimate goal is to turn the nation’s activist, working middle class into a disempowered, working poor class. To do that, the forces behind the War on Workers have to shift their focus to the state level.

Read the Article

Under the Surface: Fracking Wastewater Proves Devastating to Mayflies

Roger Drouin, Truthout: Even highly diluted levels of fracking wastewater could have a deadly effect on mayflies, the fragile and beautiful insects long-considered a key indicator of stream health, according to a study by Pennsylvania-based Stroud Water Research Center.

Read the Article

Oligarchy: As American as Poisoned Apple Pie

Rivera Sun, Truthout: The current struggle between democracy and oligarchy in the United States traces its roots back to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention where the wealthy elite pulled off a counter-revolutionary coup to stifle democracy.

Read the Article

How a “New Secessionist” Movement Is Threatening to Worsen School Segregation and Widen Inequalities

Susan Eaton, The Nation: Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, new breakaway districts of whiter, wealthier students threaten to exacerbate resource disparities between wealthy and poor communities and sweep away any remnants of desegregation.

Read the Article

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Net Neutrality Is Hanging by the Thinnest of Threads, and More

In today‘s On the News segment: Net neutrality may be hanging on by the thinnest of threads; the Fight for 15 wave hits another major city; the US ranks number one in how badly we treat our nation’s new mothers; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Trancript

Don’t Set Back the Clock on Juvenile Parole

Jean Trounstine, Jean Trounstine’s Blog: Massachusetts is in for some difficult years of litigation if it follows the path of Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, who filed a bill setting a minimum sentence of 35 years before any juvenile convicted of first-degree murder would be eligible for parole.

Read the Article

Paul Krugman | When Government Intervention Works

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: Government intervention has been a big success. Many fisheries have rebounded, to the benefit of both fishers and consumers. Fighting climate change isn’t really all that different from saving fisheries; if we ever get around to doing the obvious, it will be easier and more successful than anyone now expects.

Read the Article

Rebecca Solnit | Feminism Has Just Started (and It’s Not Stopping Now)

Rebecca Solnit, TomDispatch: Feminism is an endeavor to change something very old, widespread and deeply rooted in many, perhaps most, cultures around the world. It aims to change innumerable institutions and most households on earth. And it aims to change our minds, where it all begins and ends.

Read the Excerpt

BuzzFlash

The Pyramid Scheme of the 1% Should Be Illegal

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is the takeaway from a 1911 International Workers of the World poster illustrating the pyramid-wedding cake structure of workers generating wealth, but not partaking in it.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Eugene Robinson | Disgrace: Heads Need to Roll at the VA

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

A Rare Loss for the NRA

Read the Article at The Huffington Post

Police Abuse Black Political Activist as He Moves Into His Own House

Read the Article at Raw Story

Glenn Beck Supporters Turn on Him After “Operation American Spring” Failure

Read the Article at BradBlog

Did Scientists Just Solve the Bee Collapse Mystery?

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Arizona Candidate Apologizes for “Most Mass Shooters Are Democrats” Remarks

Read the Article at Salon

The Politics of Climate Change This Summer Will Be Worse Than Obamacare’s

Read the Article at New York Magazine


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Truthout Daily Digest Monday 19 May 2014

Sarah Jaffe | Post-Occupied

Sarah Jaffe, Truthout: Is “Occupy” over? Or are its many offshoots – including Strike Debt, Occupy Homes and Occupy Sandy – further learning the arts of community rootedness and power building?

Read the Article

Ellen Brown | Are Private Banks Unconstitutional?

Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt Blog: When enough people understand that private banks, not governments, create our money supply, we might wake up to a new day in banking and finance: the return of local economic sovereignty.

Read the Article

The Master’s House Is Burning: bell hooks, Cornel West and the Tyranny of Neoliberalism

Reverend Osagyefo Sekou, Truthout: Cornel West critiques Barack Obama, bell hooks calls Beyoncé a terrorist and contemporary black intellectuals take to the interwebs to express disgust; the dominant intellectual disposition of contemporary black intellectuals is neoliberal.

Read the Article

The Birth of a Eurasian Century: Russia and China Do Pipelineistan

Pepe Escobar, TomDispatch: As much as the United States may fight the emergence of a multipolar world, economic facts on the ground regularly point to such developments. Will the decline of the hegemon be reasonably dignified, or will the whole world be dragged down with it?

Read the Article

Living as Slaves: How the Poorest Nepali Workers Get Exploited in the Richest Arab Nation

Sadichchha Pokharel, Truthout: Each year 100,000 Nepali youth flock to Qatar in search of a better life, but they are subjected to a life of slavery miles away from home, and some 200 this past year returned home in coffins.

Read the Article

The End of Choice

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: We should pass a law – a new version of the Sherman Act – that says, explicitly, that whenever a company reaches a point where it has more than a certain percentage of a marketplace, it can’t grow any larger in that domain.

Read the Article

The War on Drugs Destroys Lives: Here Are Six Things You Can Do About It

Wendy Call, Yes! Magazine: The movement for decriminalization has never had so much momentum. The poet and activist Javier Sicilia tells us that the real work to end the drug war is done “at the level of you-and-me, face-to-face.” But where do you start? Here are six actions you can take right now.

Read the Article

Should Health Care Be Rationed? It Already Is

Philip Caper, Bangor Daily News: “Opponents of universal health care often claim that in order to afford it we will have to ration health care. My response to that old shibboleth is that we already pay more than enough to cover everybody, and that we already ration health care, as we must in a world of finite financial and real resources.”

Read the Article

On the News With Thom Hartmann: To Switch to Green Energy, We’ll Have to Embrace New Ideas, and More

In today‘s On the News segment: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that at least two health care workers were exposed to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Florida and Indiana; to make the switch to green energy, our nation will have to embrace new ideas and technology; the oil and gas industry was responsible for more than 7,600 spills, blowouts and leaks in 2013; and more.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

In Georgia, Lawmakers Taking Pride in Policies That Hurt the Poor

Andrea Flynn, Next New Deal: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law two bills that ensure the state won’t be expanding Medicaid, making it decidedly more difficult for people to gain health coverage. These laws compound the social and economic injustices already experienced by many low-income Georgians.

Read the Article

BuzzFlash

Marco Rubio Is Trying to Kill Me by Denying Climate Change

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: Science deniers such as Marco Rubio put the very existence of countless human lives on earth at risk. His boastful ignorance on global warming is a death warrant for the rest of us.

Read the BuzzFlash Commentary

Occupy Activist Cecily McMillan Sentenced to Three Months in Prison

Read the Article at The Guardian

Evidence That the Meritocracy Is Made Up of Poor People

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cellphone Call in the Bahamas

Read the Article at The Intercept

North Carolina GOP Pushes Unprecedented Bill to Jail Anyone Who Discloses Fracking Chemicals

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Greenland Glacial Melt Is Growing Factor in Rising Sea Levels

Read the Article at Al Jazeera America

US Files Criminal Charges Against Chinese Officials Over Cyberspying

Read the Article at NPR

The GOP Benghazi Obsession Is Likely to Come Up Emptier Than Al Capone’s Vault

Read the Article at BuzzFlash


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Truthout Daily Digest Sunday 18 May 2014

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Radical Art Is an Act of Uncompromising Passionate Resistance

Mark Karlin, Truthout: To be a radical and revolutionary artist is to be defiant of any imposition of form or content by any economic system, artistic academy or political status quo.

Read the Article

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Another Trade Liberalization Scam

John Weeks, Truthout: The TPP represents not “freer” trade, but re-regulation of trade to entrench corporate profit making. Economist John Weeks skewers the free trade dogma that is the ideological justification and corporate sales pitch for neoliberal globalization.

Read the Article

Louisiana’s New Abortion Law Is the First Step in Turning Private Physicians Back Into Illegal Abortion Providers

Robin Marty, Truthout: While clinics are being shut down throughout the country by restrictive and medically unnecessary state laws, patients may soon learn that their last hope – their own private physician – has lost the opportunity to provide abortion care as well.

Read the Article

Truthout Interviews Ayanna Banks Harris on Stand Your Ground Laws and Reproductive Justice

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: Ayanna Banks Harris talks about Marissa Alexander, a jailed mother who faces a possible 60 years in prison – in a state that has Stand Your Ground laws on the books – for firing a warning shot to keep her estranged husband from attacking her.

Watch the Interview

Returning Equality to the Campaign Finance Debate

Victoria Bassetti, Brennan Center for Justice: If money is speech, then rich people have more speech and more say in our political system, and that is anathema to our conception of how a democracy works.

Read the Article

Saudi-Iran Thaw Troubles the Neocons

Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News: Neocons and other hardliners are still fanning the flames of confrontation with Iran, but the recent thawing of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia is making the hawks’ work more difficult.

Read the Article

Portland Is First US City to Divest Funds From Walmart

Laura Garcia and Molly Rusk, Yes! Magazine: On May 15, the city of Portland, Oregon got rid of $9 million, or 25 percent, of its investments in Walmart. The initiative also prohibits the city from purchasing Walmart bonds in the future.

Read the Article

Why Don’t We Know How Many People Are Shot Each Year in the US?

Lois Beckett, ProPublica: How many Americans have been shot over the past 10 years? No one really knows. We don’t even know if the number of people shot annually has gone up or down over that time.

Read the Article

Lessons From James Boggs: Capitalist Automation in the 21st Century

Danny Haiphong, Black Agenda Report: Black American revolutionary worker James Boggs firmly believed that the destructive impact of automation was not a problem of technology itself, but rather of the capitalist system that employed the technology.

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Wonderfully Deceptive Superfood Marketing

Jill Richardson, OtherWords: Pom Wonderful made such outlandish claims that the Federal Trade Commission stepped in and told them to cut it out.

Read the Article

The Other Side of Paradise

Serena Nanda, The Indypendent: From Miami to West Palm Beach, Florida’s Gold Coast is not just paradise for the 1%, but also for middle- and working-class people. A closer look at the region highlights its massive inequalities.

Read the Article

This week in Speakout:

Barbara Ellis writes an open letter to Warren Buffett about an alternative to investing in railcars that carry explosive fracked fuel; James and Jean Anton say that the bosses lost in Vermont with the passage of a GMO food labeling proposition; Dr. James Zogby expresses disappointment over John Kerry’s walk-back of his “apartheid state” comment; Richard Waddell argues that “surfer dude” Jason Greenslate does deserve food stamps; Bill Henderson wonders why the Obama administration continues to miseducate Americans about the global scope of climate change; Zachary Norris and Eveline Shen decry the treatment of struggling mother Shanesha Taylor who faces criminal charges for leaving her kids in a car during a job interview; James Mitchell wonders what John Lennon, a target for government scrutiny, would say now about mass surveillance; the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions characterizes the deadly mining disaster in Soma, Turkey as murder; Manash Bhattacharjee exposes what’s at stake in India’s general elections; Dr. Michael I. Niman excoriates the Obama response to looming environmental destruction; and more.

Read the Articles

BuzzFlash

The Buzzflash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Everyone Should Know Just How Much the Government Lied to Defend the NSA

Read the Article at The Guardian

Switzerland Rejects World’s Highest Minimum Wage

Read the Article at the BBC

For the First Time, a Judge Halts the Force-Feeding of a Guantánamo Detainee

Read the Article at NPR

The United States’ Homeless: The Rise of Tent City, USA

Read the Article at CNNMoney

Growing Evidence Points to Systemic Troubles in VA Health Care System

Read the Article at The Los Angeles Times

Why Are Kids Being Tried in Kangaroo Courts?

Read the Article at Rolling Stone

How Thomas Piketty and Elizabeth Warren Demolished the Conventional Wisdom on Debt

Read the Article at Salon