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Commentary
The Missing Three-Letter Word in the Iran Crisis
Michael T. Klare: ... It’s always the oil. ... Now, it’s true that the United States no longer relies on imported petroleum for a large share of its energy needs. Thanks to the fracking revolution, the country now gets the bulk of its oil — approximately 75 percent — from domestic sources. ... Key allies in NATO and rivals like China, however, continue to depend on Middle Eastern oil for a significant proportion of their energy needs. ... By continuing to serve as the principal overseer of that flow, Washington enjoys striking geopolitical advantages that its foreign policy elites would no more abandon than they would their country’s nuclear supremacy. ... by providing this service, the United States cements its status as the world’s sole superpower and places every other oil-importing nation — and the world at large — in a condition of dependence on its continued performance of this vital function... Visit Website ]
Jul 18, 2019, 12:00pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: The Trump and Pelosi Lovefest
Margaret Kimberley: Trump and Pelosi are birds of a feather when it comes to beating up on dissident women of color. ... Pelosi trashed her members in an interview with the New York Times. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.” Like a true gangster Pelosi conducted the beatdown in public. ... Trump knows that Pelosi is his friend. She is in no way part of an opposition to his administration. She is the rainmaker for the Democratic Party and the wielder of discipline against progressives. The two tasks are linked, of course. The very wealthy speaker brings in the cash from her equally wealthy friends. They give with the expectation that nothing even vaguely resembling progressive policy will ever see the light of day... Visit Website ]
Jul 17, 2019, 5:29pm

Meditations
Good and Evil Aren't Opposites
Martin LeFevre: Seven bands of corrugated clouds, stretching to the horizon, shimmer with salmon-colored light at sunset. ... Then what looks like an aurora borealis appears: draperies of the richest color hanging just above the horizon. As I look over the open field, the sky is set ablaze in the most brilliant magentas and pinks filling clouds of fantastic shape and size. ... We live at a critical time. Things are coming to a head, ecologically, spiritually and politically, and yet things are rolling along as if they will go on like this forever. ... The antithesis of truth and goodness is the reality of darkness and evil. Good and evil are not opposing forces however, but distinct and unrelated streams. Goodness is not man-made, but the basic actuality of life, whereas evil is man-made, and has become the dominant reality in the United States. ... Understanding of the nature and purposes of evil is important, but only self-knowing inoculates one against it...
Jul 16, 2019, 1:51pm

Environment
Get ready for the 1.5 degree lifestyle
Lloyd Alter: One new study, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and Aalto University, argues that in fact, our individual actions could add up to make a big difference. ... Focusing efforts to change lifestyles in relation to these areas would yield the most benefits: meat and dairy consumption, fossil-fuel based energy, car use and air travel. The three domains these footprints occur in – nutrition, housing, and mobility – tend to have the largest impact (approximately 75%) on total lifestyle carbon footprints. ... In nutrition, the single biggest reduction in CO2 impact can be achieved by going vegan, with vegetarian not far behind. ... In housing, going all renewable is best ... In Mobility, getting rid of the car is off the scale, the most important thing you can do... Visit Website ]
Jul 15, 2019, 4:03pm

Commentary
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner: Imperialism is getting something for nothing. It is a strategy to obtain other countries’ surplus without playing a productive role, but by creating an extractive rentier system. ... An imperialist power obliges other countries to pay tribute. Of course, America doesn’t come right out and tell other countries, “You have to pay us tribute,” like Roman emperors told the provinces they governed. U.S. diplomats simply insist that other countries invest their balance-of-payments inflows and official central-bank savings in US dollars, especially U.S. Treasury IOUs. ... This Treasury-bill standard turns the global monetary and financial system into a tributary system. That is what pays the costs of U.S. military spending, including its 800 military bases throughout the world.,, Visit Website ]
Jul 15, 2019, 3:23pm

Commentary
Why are Anti-Migrant Arguments Pure Hypocrisy?
Andre Vltchek: Europe and North America do not belong to their people. ... They belong to the people from all corners of the globe ... Virtually everything, from theatres, schools, hospitals, parks, railroads, factories and museums, have been built, literally, on the bones and blood of the conquered peoples. ... they looted, killed, enslaved and tortured. They robbed the world of everything, and gave back nothing, except religion and a servile and toxic bunch of ‘elites’, who are continuously plundering their countries ... Europe and North America were built on credit, and now this credit is due ... The Western doctrine is simple and at the same time, absolutely irrational. It is not defined, but if it were, it would read like this: “We can attack, rob, migrate wherever we choose to. Because we are white, Christian people with a superior culture and much better weapons than everyone else. ... Visit Website ]
Jul 14, 2019, 2:54pm

Environment
Is plastic a 'necessary evil' in our food system?
Katherine Martinko: Perhaps yes, if our food system stays the way it is, but maybe that's what we should be challenging. ... If plastic is needed to preserve food that is being harvested far away and help it to last awhile on our shelves, then perhaps that model is outdated and needs to be reanalyzed, instead of us throwing up our hands and saying plastic is necessary to maintain it. ... Shortening the food supply chain is an obvious first step ... Shopping more frequently ... Better packaging options exist, too, such as beeswax wraps that allow food to breathe naturally and do not smother it in the way that plastic does... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:40pm

Books
The Bold New Plan to Stop Wars: A Peace Advocate Makes Her Case
Scilla Elworthy: What drives this enormously expensive engine of destruction? Partly, profits. There is a vast global industry with a vested interest in promoting armed violence. ... As I discuss in my 2017 book The Business Plan for Peace, you start by scaling up 25 tried-and-trusted initiatives that can prevent local conflict from escalating into war. ... At national levels, when women are included in peace processes, there is a 20 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least two years, and a 35 percent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years. Why? Because male negotiators (often previous combatants) are primarily concerned with territory, resources and positions of power, while women bring to the table the concerns of orphans, the injured, the bereaved and the traumatized. The result is that the cycle of violence can be interrupted and turned around... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:24pm

Consider This....
U.N. Report Condemns Torture of Assange
Robert Scheer: The mass media has played into this character assassination while both Manning and Assange are in jail, and instead of refusing to treat this as one of the most egregious assaults on press freedom, it has largely turned their back on the victims. ... Now, the media’s reporting has been revealed to have done something even more damaging than destroy Assange’s reputation—it has served to torture him. ... “To my mind, it was like Emile Zola in J’Accuse...!, in the Alfred Dreyfus case 120 years ago” ... “What I saw is that he has been exposed to a concerted and kind of sustained campaign of mobbing [which is] where you shame and insult someone, you intimidate people. But it’s always the collective turning against an isolated individual. … It can cause people to commit suicide, even in this isolated environment. Now, in Assange’s case, basically the whole world ganged up against him.”... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:17pm

Commentary
Most Veterans Say America’s Wars Are a Waste. No One’s Listening to Them.
Adam Weinstein: There's a widening gap between Washington's bipartisan militarism and veterans' bipartisan war-skepticism. ... Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting. ... Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience... Visit Website ]
Jul 13, 2019, 3:11pm

Books
The Flawed Food Dependency - A Book Review: Food or War by Julian Cribb
Robert Hunziker: Dr. Jane Goodall - "Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads. How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?" ... 2,000 and 4,000 different chemicals and pesticides are used in farming, and more than 2,500 chemicals are intentionally added to foods to modify flavor, color, stability, texture, and costs. ...(Many, if not most, of these chemicals over the decades have not been properly analyzed for toxicity to humans.) ... chemicals are implicated in a global pandemic of (1) cancers, (2) brain damage, (3) sexual dysfunction, (4) allergies, (5) hormonal and developmental disorders on a level of which humanity has never experienced... Visit Website ]
Jul 12, 2019, 4:14pm

Meditations
Science Cannot Replace the Religious Mind
Martin LeFevre: An implicit and unexamined premise has crept into the minds of thinking people. It is that science is the highest act which human beings are capable. It is not. That isn't to say the opposite is - religious faith and belief. ... There is a huge distinction between religion and the religious mind. The religious mind is shorn of beliefs and quieted of conditioning. It is far greater than the scientific mind. ... Both are necessary, even essential to humanity, but venerating science precludes the religious mind, whereas the genuinely religious mind respects science. ... Science is not going to lead us out of our morass. ... Consider how far we have advanced scientifically and technologically since the moon landings on one hand, and how we far have regressed into nationalism and narcissism on the other...
Jul 11, 2019, 5:44pm

Health
We Have a Dental Care Crisis. Medicare for All Could Solve It.
Natalie Shure: Guaranteed dental coverage would finally put an end to the deep inequities in U.S. oral health. ... the incorporation of oral health into a broader vision for universal healthcare is emerging as a distinct social justice issue. ... dental inequality is even more extreme in America than inequality in other areas of healthcare. Twice as many children lack dental coverage as conventional health coverage. Some 800,000 ER visits a year stem from dental issues, many of which could be avoided with routine management. More Americans report financial barriers for dentistry than any other type of healthcare. ... Indeed, poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other serious ailments... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:54pm

Health
Congress Loves Socialized Health Care — For Itself
Jim Hightower: For $3.5 trillion a year, shouldn’t we Americans have a world-class health care system? ... No surprise, then, that Medicare for All is now backed by 85 percent of Democrats, 66 percent of independents, and (get this) 52 percent of Republicans! ... So — why isn’t Congress responding to this overwhelming public demand for universal coverage? ... I suspect that one big reason for Washington’s big yawn over the people’s plea for sweeping reform is that our lawmakers don’t personally feel the financial pain and emotional distress that are inflicted on millions of regular Americans by a system built on private greed. ... Called the Office of the Attending Physician (or OAP), it provides a complete range of free medical service for lawmakers. No appointment needed and no waiting — they walk in and doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, and other professionals tend to them right away... Visit Website ]
Jul 11, 2019, 2:10pm

Free Speech
MOVE: Injustice Ignites Excessive Costs
Linn Washington: The recent release of three inmates from prisons in Pennsylvania – persons considered political prisoners by many worldwide – is a poignant reminder of how the costs of injustice ravage not just those directly targeted for persecution but also the taxpayers who unwittingly pay for that persecution. ... The 40-years of unjust, revenge-driven imprisonment endured by this trio imposed incalculable emotional/physical costs on their lives and it cost Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars. ... while each member of this trio was eligible for parole in 2008, the Pennsylvania Parole Board employed specious excuses (persecution) to continue their expensive imprisonment until their release on parole in late Spring 2019. ... That trio’s cost of incarceration for just that 11-year span between their parole eligibility and their actual parole release totaled more than $1.7-million... Visit Website ]
Jul 10, 2019, 4:39pm


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Meditations
Good and Evil Aren't Opposites
Science Cannot Replace the Religious Mind
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OCCUPY
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Did You Know
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Human rights in the US are worse than you think
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Free Speech
MOVE: Injustice Ignites Excessive Costs
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Environment
Get ready for the 1.5 degree lifestyle
Is plastic a 'necessary evil' in our food system?
Why we need certified 'Quiet Parks'
Commentary
The Missing Three-Letter Word in the Iran Crisis
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Why are Anti-Migrant Arguments Pure Hypocrisy?
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
By the Best Definition, the Poverty Rate Should Be Tripled
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Capitalism Is Beyond Saving, and America Is Living Proof
Health
We Have a Dental Care Crisis. Medicare for All Could Solve It.
Congress Loves Socialized Health Care — For Itself
High Cost of Nukes Even Higher If Medical Expenses Included
Books
The Bold New Plan to Stop Wars: A Peace Advocate Makes Her Case
The Flawed Food Dependency - A Book Review: Food or War by Julian Cribb
US Imperialism from Manifest Destiny to the New American Century
Consider This....
U.N. Report Condemns Torture of Assange
Creative + Strategic = Effective Movements for Change
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Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: The Trump and Pelosi Lovefest
Freedom Rider: Time for Russiagate to End
Freedom Rider: U.S. Prisons are Concentration Camps
Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
Talk to me! (Chapter 2-Sad Susie)
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