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Last Updated: Apr 20th, 2018 - 12:46:24 

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Fountain of Light

Books
The End of Policing
Alex Vitale thinks we should radically rethink the role of police in our society. In his 2017 book, The End of Policing, the Brooklyn College sociologist argues that armed police perpetuate “the management of inequalities of race and class.” The crux of the problem, he insists, isn’t a lack of police training or diversity but an “unprecedented expansion and intensity of policing in the last forty years. The problem is policing itself.” (Interview) ... "The ultimate goal should be to address community problems in non-punitive, noncoercive ways. If we got police out of the drug business, and out of the sex-work business, and out of the school security business, that would be a lot fewer people with guns around"... Visit Website ]
Apr 20, 2018, 12:47pm

Commentary
The Anti-Empire Report #157 - April 2018
William Blum: In the Cold War struggles against the Soviets/Russians the United States has long had the upper hand when it comes to political propaganda. What do the Russkis know about sales campaigns, advertising, psychological manipulation of the public, bait-and-switch, and a host of other Madison Avenue innovations. Just look at what the American media and their Western partners have done with the poisoning of the two Russians, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, in the UK. How many in the West doubt Russia’s guilt? ... Then consider the case of Hugo Chávez. When he died in 2013 I wrote the following: “[W]hen someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances ... It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace... Visit Website ]
Apr 20, 2018, 12:23pm

Articles
“They Eat Money”: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption
Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan: In the generation since apartheid ended in 1994, tens of billions of dollars in public funds — intended to develop the economy and improve the lives of black South Africans — have been siphoned off by leaders of the A.N.C., the very organization that had promised them a new, equal and just nation ... Many trace the deep corruption in the nation to a fundamental flaw in South Africa’s transition from white rule to democracy a generation ago. ... The black majority was allowed to control politics, but much of the country’s economic resources, including land, has remained in the hands of white South Africans and a small group of other elites. ... In the early years of A.N.C. rule, Mr. Mandela and other top leaders, who had helped defeat apartheid but had no personal savings, received houses, vehicles and money from white business leaders — essentially bribes, critics say... Visit Website ]
Apr 19, 2018, 3:23pm

Commentary
Fisk Puts to Test the Free-Press Myth in Douma
Jonathan Cook: Let’s take the matter of veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk arriving in Douma this week, the first western correspondent to get there. Fisk is like some relic from a bygone era, when journalists really sought to arrive at the truth ... Until his arrival, all the information we were receiving about Douma in the west originated not with on-the-ground reporters, but with jihadist groups or those living under their Islamist reign of terror. ... Just a few days after the US, UK and France had bombed Syria, in violation of all principles of international law, on the grounds that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in Douma, Fisk interviewed a doctor at the clinic where the victims were treated. The doctor said no chemical attack occurred... Visit Website ]
Apr 19, 2018, 12:32pm

Meditations
What Is 'Intelligent Life?'
Martin LeFevre: The search for life on other planets is intensifying. A field that was dismissed as fringe science two decades ago is now closing in from different angles on the question of extraterrestrial life. ... If past or present microbial life is discovered in our solar system, it will mean life is the rule, not the exception in the universe. And if it is the rule, then extra-terrestrial 'intelligent life' undoubtedly exists in our galaxy. But what is intelligent life? ... I define intelligent life as a self-knowing, scientific/technological species in basic harmony with its planet. Obviously, Homo sapiens doesn't qualify. ... Given these premises, probably no communication could occur until humans stop causing the mass extinction of fellow creatures on earth...
Apr 18, 2018, 5:10pm

Did You Know
This App Can Tell You the Indigenous History of the Land You Live On
Chelsey Luger: Enter your ZIP code into the Native Lands App and an interactive map will tell you the area’s original language and tribal ties. ... You cannot find a corner of this continent that does not hold ancient history, Indigenous value, and pre-colonial place names and stories. And every place we occupy was once the homeland for other people, most of whom didn’t leave willingly. ... Whose land are you on? Start with a visit to native-land.ca. Native Land is both a website and an app that seeks to map Indigenous languages, treaties, and territories across Turtle Island... Visit Website ]
Apr 18, 2018, 4:58pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: Syria and Press Propaganda
Margaret Kimberley: It is difficult for Americans to find out what is happening in their country and around the world. That is because corporate media outlets have nearly complete control over what they see and hear and because those interests are closely allied with the state. The promise of the internet, the hoped for level playing field for communication and information gathering, is also under corporate control. It is now part of a well coordinated censorship effort ... The lies which allowed the United States, France and Britain to attack Syria are presented without contradiction. ... The close relationship between the deep state, the corporate media, and the establishment elite at home and abroad continues without hindrance... Visit Website ]
Apr 18, 2018, 4:32pm

Environment
Parents Didn’t Want Fracking Near Their School. So the Oil Company Chose a Poorer School, Instead.
Megan Jula: The first school was 77-percent white. The second is 87-percent students of color. ... In one of the most fracked counties in the country, a fight is underway between environmental justice advocates and the Colorado commission that oversees oil and gas development. Four environmental and civil rights groups are suing the commission for allowing a company to build 24 oil and gas wells by a public school in a low-income area—after the same company tossed its original plans to build near a charter school serving mostly white, middle-class families. ... Extraction aims to complete the project in 2019 and has already begun surface-level construction on the site. Earlier this month, the plaintiffs asked for a temporary restraining order on construction. But the judge quickly denied the order and indicated he would soon be ruling for the COGCC... Visit Website ]
Apr 17, 2018, 4:57pm

Articles
Supreme Court case tests weight of old Native American treaties in 21st century
On April 18, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Washington v. United States, which pits the state of Washington against the United States and 21 Indian tribes. The main question in the case is narrow – whether the state must quickly replace hundreds of culverts that allow the flow of water under roads but also block salmon migration. Yet the underlying issue is far broader. ... In the mid-1800s, the United States’ zeal for expansion and growth resulted in the removal of Indian people and the acquisition of their territory, often through the use of treaties. ... Isaac Stevens, the first governor of the territory of Washington, negotiated treaties on behalf of the United States with tribes ... emphasized language in the treaties that would preserve the tribal “right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations... Visit Website ]
Apr 17, 2018, 4:48pm

Environment
Global Shipping in 'Historic' Climate Deal
David Shukman, BBC News: The global shipping industry has for the first time agreed to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases. ... Shippings has previously been excluded from climate agreements, but under the deal, emissions will be reduced by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. ... The move will send a signal through the industry that rapid innovation is now needed. ... Ships may have to operate more slowly to burn less fuel. New designs for vessels will be more streamlined and engines will have to be cleaner, maybe powered by hydrogen or batteries, or even by the wind... Visit Website ]
Apr 16, 2018, 12:53pm

Blogosphere
Comey did it to himself & Us, by gutting Privacy, Encryption, & 4th Amendment
Juan Cole: Comey has been a central figure in the gutting of the fourth amendment of the Constitution and in attempts to make sure the FBI and the rest of the US government can break your encryption and spy on you illegally. It is true that Comey did not want to go as far in that direction as former vice president Dick Cheney, but he wanted to go so far as nevertheless to make the constitution meaningless and to make Americans vulnerable to hacking. ... Comey condemned Edward Snowden for his revelations about illegal government collection of Americans’ data from telephone calls. Even that was misdirection because Snowden’s more important revelation was that the NSA has individual-level tools to monitor emails... Visit Website ]
Apr 16, 2018, 12:10pm

Meditations
A Philosophical Breakthrough
Martin LeFevre: In the early 1980’s, after 15 years of intensive philosophical inquiry into the question of how human disorder could evolve out of the natural order, I had a shattering experience that answered the question for me at literally a gut level. ... It was during such a state of greatly heightened sensitivity by the Merced River ... I heard it first as a distant roar. In the next instant I knew exactly what it was—a B-52 from the nearby Castle Air Force Base, now closed. I also knew at that moment that the thing was going to fly directly overhead. ... Beyond words, in my shaking gut, I saw: This thing is man; I am man, the maker of this thing...
Apr 15, 2018, 4:52pm

Health
Pesticides Are Making Children Aggressive
Evaggelos Vallianatos: Pesticides cause a multitude of adverse effects on humans. However, they are especially harmful to children. They may have something to do with the mass-shootings in schools all over America because some of them are neurotoxins. This means they affect and damage the central nervous system and the brain – of all animals, including humans. ... Professor Guillette studied Yaqui children, four to five years old. These children live in the Yaqui Valley of the Sonora state in northwestern Mexico. Agriculture in the Yaqui Valley is industrialized so the use of pesticides, including the DDT-like organochlorines banned in the United States, is heavy. In such an environment, the exposure of children to dozens of different toxins is a documented fact. ... Guillette found that those children had weaken stamina; could not catch a ball at a distance of three meters; failed to be fully creative in their play, failed to remember meaningful statements after thirty minutes; roaming aimlessly or swimming in irrigation ditches with very little interaction. ... In addition, these children were aggressive... Visit Website ]
Apr 15, 2018, 2:40pm

Did You Know
Revealed: Secret Rightwing Strategy to Discredit Teacher Strikes
Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK: Manual provides ‘dos and don’ts’ for how to smear the strikes A nationwide network of rightwing thinktanks is launching a PR counteroffensive against the teachers’ strikes that are sweeping the country, circulating a “messaging guide” for anti-union activists that portrays the walkouts as harmful to low-income parents and their children. ... The new rightwing strategy to discredit the strikes that have erupted in protest against cuts in education funding and poor teacher pay is contained in a three-page document obtained by the Guardian. Titled “How to talk about teacher strikes”, it provides a “dos and don’ts” manual for how to smear the strikers.... Visit Website ]
Apr 14, 2018, 10:50am

Commentary
Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy
Robert Fisk: But it’s a different war that I’m remembering today. It’s the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. When the Iranians re-crossed their own border and stormed into Iraq years later, Saddam used gas on thousands of Iranian soldiers – and civilians, for there were nurses and doctors at the war front. ... For the precursors for the Iraqi gas came largely from the United States – one from New Jersey – and US military personnel later visited the battlefront without making any comments about the chemicals which were sold to the Iraqi regime, of course, for “agricultural” purposes. ... Don’t we remember the Kurds of Halabja who were gassed by Saddam, with gas which the CIA told its officers to claim was used by the Iranians?... Visit Website ]
Apr 14, 2018, 10:37am


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Articles
“They Eat Money”: How Mandela’s Political Heirs Grow Rich Off Corruption
Supreme Court case tests weight of old Native American treaties in 21st century
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OCCUPY
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Did You Know
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Free Speech
Thousands of Hearts and Minds
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Environment
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Commentary
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Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy
Letters
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Links
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The Illusion of War Without Casualties
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Health
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Books
The End of Policing
The Korean Conflict, Reevaluated
Fifty Years Ago the United States Government Killed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Consider This....
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News
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Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: Syria and Press Propaganda
Comey did it to himself & Us, by gutting Privacy, Encryption, & 4th Amendment
Freedom Rider: Yaser Murtaja and Marie Colvin
Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
Talk to me! (Chapter 2-Sad Susie)
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