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Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2018 - 16:20:42 

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Fountain of Light

Meditations
Hobbesians On the Left and Right:
Martin LeFevre: Pause and reflect on the following passage. It's a disturbingly clear statement of a Hobbesian view of human nature, and it comes from a leading progressive commentator. It feeds into the very traits in human nature that it loathes. ... Keep in mind that our worldviews have two prime elements---how we see nature, and how we see humans in nature. ... "People are weak. They are susceptible. They are easily manipulated through their fears. They long to prostrate themselves. They can be led by the nose into the gutter. The angels of their better natures, if they've ever given a moment's thought to them, are a lot less powerful than the devils of their diabolical urges....
Feb 22, 2018, 4:15pm

Commentary
Debt Collection Companies Have Hijacked the Justice System
Jennifer Turner, ACLU: Debtors’ prisons were abolished by Congress in 1833. They are often thought to be a relic of the Dickensian past. In reality, private debt collectors are using the courts to get debtors arrested and to terrorize them into paying, even when a debt is in dispute or when the debtor has no ability to pay. ... Tens of thousands of arrest warrants are issued annually for people who fail to appear in court to deal with unpaid civil debt judgments. In investigating this issue for the new ACLU report, “A Pound of Flesh,” we examined more than 1,000 cases in 26 states, in which civil court judges issued arrest warrants for debtors. The debtors were often unaware that they had been sued. In many cases, they had not received notice to show up in court... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2018, 12:24pm

Blogosphere
Top Ten Signs the US is the most Corrupt nation in the World (2018 Edn.)
Juan Cole: Those ratings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly “corrupt” always imply that the United States is not corrupt. This year’s report from Transparency International puts the US on a par with Austria, which is ridiculous. All kinds of people from politicians to businessmen would go to jail in Austria today if they engaged in practices that are quite common in the US. ... 1. A sure sign of corruption is an electoral outcome like 2016. ... 2. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2018, 12:16pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: Russiagate and Democracy
Margaret Kimberley: Hillary Clinton is the author of Russiagate. She created the scandal to cover up Clinton Foundation dealings with the Russian government. As Secretary of State she approved a deal shepherded by Bill Clinton that gave Russia control of 20% of America’s uranium supply . The foundation received $145 million in pledged donations from persons associated with the Uranium One consortium and Bill Clinton personally received $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow after the deal was done. Because the revelation would have been problematic during her presidential campaign Clinton chose to project her own corruption onto her opponent Donald Trump... Visit Website ]
Feb 21, 2018, 2:18pm

Commentary
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Binoy Kampmark: “We’ve been doing this kind of thing [electoral meddling] since the CIA was created in 1947.” ... “We’ve used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners – you name it. We’ve planted false information in foreign newspapers. We’ve used what the British call ‘King George’s cavalry’: suitcases of cash.” ... Such interventions are impossible to be deemed good, as Woolsey would have it, despite the erroneous view that US involvement has been to assist political opponents against authoritarianism. In some instances, they are impressively disastrous, installing such murderous regimes of the quality of Pinochet in Chile... Visit Website ]
Feb 21, 2018, 1:34pm

Did You Know
The Peace Symbol at Sixty
Bill Berkowitz: The peace symbol, now ubiquitous throughout the world, was created on February 21, 1958, and was first seen in public on Good Friday of that year – which fell on April 4 -- when thousands of British anti-nuclear campaigners – organized by the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) -- marched 52 miles from London's Trafalgar Square to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire. ... Gerald Holtom, a British artists and designer, and World War II conscientious objector, created the peace symbol out of feelings of deep despair. In an interview with Peace News, Holtom said: "I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya’s peasant before the firing squad. I formalized the drawing into a line and put a circle round it." ... Visit Website ]
Feb 21, 2018, 12:30pm

Consider This....
How ‘Strange Fruit’ Killed Billie Holiday
Brandon Weber: "Strange Fruit” may have been written by the Jewish Communist Abel Meeropol (a.k.a. Lewis Allen) as a poem, but ever since Billie Holiday sang the three brief stanzas to music in 1937, she’s owned it. ... Jazz writer Leonard Feather referred to the song as “the first significant protest in words and music, the first significant cry against racism.”
Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2018, 3:22pm

Links
Women Could Be the Undoing of Donald Trump
The Economist: Many of the cultural clashes the president has engineered work to his advantage. Not this one ... Amid the rancour of American politics, the large number of first-time women candidates the Democrats will field is unequivocally positive. Around 400 women, mostly Democrats, are planning to run for the House, at least 50 for the Senate and 79 for governor. That is far more than have previously stood for any of those offices. At state and local levels, the picture is the same. In 2015 and 2016 around 900 women consulted Emily’s List about standing for office; since Mr Trump’s election, over 26,000 have... Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2018, 3:04pm

Commentary
We Live in a Country That Has a Totally Corrupted Political System
Thom Hartmann: As the school shooting in Parkland, Florida has shown, what was considered insanely corrupt political behavior 40 years ago is now normal. And you can thank right-wingers on the Supreme Court. ... The billionaires doing the seizing of our nation just didn’t come out about it until the presidency of Barack Obama, when the Koch Network, Adelson, the Mercers and the Waltons all became openly, and in some cases braggadociosly political in their “giving.” ... With the installation of Reagan, big business and billionaires were finally to get the tax breaks and other goodies that they wanted from Congress and the Executive Branch, while waging war on unions and working people... Visit Website ]
Feb 20, 2018, 2:42pm

Meditations
“If Americans Want To See the Devil, Let Them See”
Martin LeFevre: After the FBI deflected from their own negligence in the Parkview Florida school slaughter by indicting 13 Russians on Friday for interfering in the presidential election, and after President Trump used the FBI admission that it “dropped the ball” to deflect from his own ongoing malfeasance, a high level Russian said it best: “If Americans want to see the devil, let them see.” ... One of the best studies of good and evil by an American writer is Herman Melville's novella, "Billy Budd." ... Rife with Christian symbolism of the fall of Adam and the crucifixion of Christ, Billy Budd is nonetheless a subtle philosophical treatise on the nature and operation of good and evil in man....
Feb 19, 2018, 4:26pm

Blogosphere
Let’s remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too
Juan Cole: The US-backed Saudi-led war on Yemen is keeping two million children out of school (Yemen is a country of 27 million). Worse, schools and schoolchildren have repeatedly been struck from the air by Saudi, UAE, Moroccan and Jordanian pilots using American-supplied planes and bombs, in a campaign backed by Washington and the Pentagon and the United Kingdom. The US military supplies logistics, refueling and targeting advice to the aggressors. ... And while there are legitimate reasons for gun ownership, for congressmen and senators to run interference for 10 gun manufacturers to make sure their sales are in no way hindered is also a sort of war crime... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2018, 12:17pm

Commentary
End the Middle School Concept to Stop School Shootings.
johndamos: These killer kids target schools and the people in them; other kids, teachers, school administrators ... The Middle School Concept came about as a hard right reaction in public education that called for stopping the pampering of children and getting strict and tough on them to train them to be docile and compliant future citizens ... The Middle School Concept tackles the problem of misfit, non-cookie cutter students from several angles. The first is to separate the misfits from the rest of the student body and isolate them into a group of kids made up of other misfits. ... Middle schools choose tougher, stricter, harsher, hardcore teachers for these kids. Included in the bottom tier track are the depressed kids, the borderline hyperactive kids, mischievous kids, tough bully kids, abused kids... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2018, 12:12pm

Environment
We Are Drowning In Plastic, and Fracking Companies Are Profiting
Wenonah Hauter: Plastic production wreaks havoc on people and the planet—from fracking wells and pipelines in Pennsylvania, to air pollution from plastic plants in Scotland. ... We are choking the planet in plastic. ... But what’s less well-known is what is fueling this plastics binge: fracking. ... The company (Ineos in the UK) uses the liquid gas found in the shale formations there (in Pennsylvania and Ohio) to feed its chemical plants. To meet this demand, the company recently built a fleet of so-called “dragon ships” to carry volatile gas liquids across the Atlantic ... Expanding this business will require new pipelines like the Mariner East 2, now under construction across Pennsylvania.... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2018, 10:58am

Meditations
America Has Become a Landscaped War Zone
Martin LeFevre: Images of immense pain and sorrow on the faces of high school students in Florida in the wake of another maelstrom of violence and bloodshed in America keep coming to mind and heart. ... America is also rotten to the core, and until that fact is faced, this shit is going to continue. If you need any further evidence that this is a benighted land, consider the words of some of the students who knew the killer: "A lot of kids joked around, saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out everyone predicted it." ... Contrast these comments from students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with those of parents and teachers, who insisted they were living the "very residential, very safe and wonderful community" of Parkland, Florida. ... This complete contradiction and disconnect describes the condition of the culture, the Grand Chasm between what young people know and view as normal, even joke about, and the truth that adults refuse to admit and face and act upon...
Feb 15, 2018, 4:00pm

Environment
Environmental Groups Sue Trump Over Allowing Oil Giants to Dump Fracking Chemicals Into Gulf of Mexico
teleSUR: The environmental group says 10 fracking chemicals were being routinely being dumped into ocean waters. ... The Center for Biological Diversity, Gulf Restoration Network, and Louisiana Bucket Brigade are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA's Clean Water Act, which allows the oil companies to dump hazardous waste in the waters, through the lawsuit filed on Tuesday. ... the U.S. administration's decision puts inhabitants of Gulf of Mexico like the endangered loggerhead sea turtles, as well as whales, sea turtles, and fish which are in grave danger... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2018, 12:25pm


Latest Headlines
Meditations
Hobbesians On the Left and Right:
“If Americans Want To See the Devil, Let Them See”
America Has Become a Landscaped War Zone
Features
Classic Who: Martin Luther King Also Had a Nightmare
Denver 2014 Cinco de Mayo Photos
Solstice of Winter Twenty Thirteen
Articles
Are Citizens Finally Waking Up to Fight Gerrymandering?
Pennsylvania Keeps All Death-Row Inmates in Solitary Confinement. The ACLU Calls That Unconstitutional.
Finding Your Voice - Forget About Siri and Alexa — When It Comes to Voice Identification, the “NSA Reigns Supreme”
Editorials
No On Gorsuch
Advice For Troubling Times
Who Killed Martin Luther King?
Peace-Love
Besa: Creating a Culture of Peace
Me and Muhammid Ali
Peace One Day 2011
OCCUPY
GOP Tax Agenda Is a Grave Threat to People in Poverty
Journalists Who Want Online Privacy Need To Read This Guide
July 4, 2012 - March to End Illegal Surveillance - Photos
Did You Know
The Peace Symbol at Sixty
Yes, Deniers, Millions of Americans are Among the Poorest People in the World
How Cannabis Cleans Up Nuclear Radiation And Toxic Soil
Free Speech
The Struggle Against Honduras’ Stolen Election
How the Interrogation of Reality Winner Reveals the Deceptive Tactics of “Exceedingly Friendly” FBI Agents
Dystopian Sketches from Inside the Inauguration Protesters' Trial
Environment
We Are Drowning In Plastic, and Fracking Companies Are Profiting
Environmental Groups Sue Trump Over Allowing Oil Giants to Dump Fracking Chemicals Into Gulf of Mexico
How Establishment Propaganda Gaslights Us Into Submission
Commentary
Debt Collection Companies Have Hijacked the Justice System
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
We Live in a Country That Has a Totally Corrupted Political System
Letters
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Six Principles and Steps to Nonviolent Social Change
Refute the Doctrine of Christian Discovery: an Open Letter to Pope Francis
Abraham Lincoln & Mass Execution of American Indians
Links
Women Could Be the Undoing of Donald Trump
The Net’s Good Old Boys: Hacking the Arpanet
Military, CIA Leaders May Be Investigated for War Crimes
Health
Under Obamacare, Mothers Have Better Prenatal Care and Fewer Preterm Births
Tackling Opioid Addiction in Indian Country
The Exsanguination of Medical Ethics
Books
Vietnam Will Win: Leadership and Democracy
Vietnam Will Win: the Politics of Strategy
Former Border Control Agent Francisco Cantú’s “The Line Becomes a River”
Consider This....
How ‘Strange Fruit’ Killed Billie Holiday
How the GOP Used a “Two Santa Clauses” Tactic to Con America for Nearly 40 Years
Why Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch is utterly depressing
News
Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years
Uncovering Philly law enforcement's secret bank accounts
In Japan, Abe seeks repeal of the Peace Constitution
Blogosphere
Top Ten Signs the US is the most Corrupt nation in the World (2018 Edn.)
Freedom Rider: Russiagate and Democracy
Let’s remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too
Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
Talk to me! (Chapter 2-Sad Susie)
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