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Last Updated: Sep 23rd, 2017 - 16:04:51 

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Blogosphere
US to Plunder Afghanistan’s Mineral Riches
Stephen Lendman: Endless US aggression in Afghanistan has nothing to do with combating terrorism (America supports it), everything to do with controlling the country, using it for oil and gas pipelines, part of encircling Russia and China with US military bases, and plundering vast Afghan mineral riches – likely worth trillions of dollars, a prize corporate predators covet. ... They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products ... The nation is a resource treasure trove, a key reason why US occupation is permanent, unjustifiably justified by war, the idea not winning it, just waging it endlessly, a forever war... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 4:05pm

Environment
Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist
Damian Carrington, The Guardian: The assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false, according to a chief scientific adviser to the UK government. ... “The effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored by regulatory systems,” ... The UN report in March was severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 3:41pm

Environment
Red Fawn Fallis Gets Trial Date and Conditional Release in Standing Rock Case
Chris Walker: Red Fawn Fallis, a member of Denver's indigenous community, has been in jail in North Dakota ever since she was arrested at Standing Rock on October 27, 2016; she is the most seriously charged water protector, having been accused of possessing and discharging a firearm as she was being restrained by police near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. ... Bruce Ellison, Fallis's lawyer - "There's no question that Red Fawn was set up that day, and we have received many things in discovery that will be supportive of the overall defense... Beyond making additional requests for discovery, Ellison says that he's motioning to change the location of the trial away from Bismarck, where he says the population is predispositioned to think negatively of water protectors... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 11:36am

Did You Know
Working for peanuts: Detained immigrants paid $1 a day
Aimee Picchi: If there's one aspect in a new battle over the treatment of immigrant detainees that both sides agree on, it's this: They're paid just $1 a day. ... But whether that meager pay is legal is now a contested issue, with the Washington state attorney general's office suing private prison operator GEO Group (GEO) over the detainees' work pay. The lawsuit alleges the $1 a day payment violates the state's minimum wage laws; it also claims the detainees sometimes don't even earn cash, but rather are paid in chips and candy. ... The legal dispute, which appears to be the first of its kind, poses a host of questions about the treatment of detainees in the U.S. at a time when arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants is on the rise... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 11:25am

Articles
Ken Burns’s War Stories
Bob Buzzanco: It’s a series of stories, but not really a history of the war. That’s the Burns-Novick trademark and it’s worked for a long time, making them famous and I suspect wealthy. But it substitutes vignettes for ideas, personal anecdotes for larger structural factors, bathos for analysis. And it ends up providing a misguided view of the war, one that has politically conservative consequences (ironic because Burns himself is openly liberal) by shifting attention away from the historical, material reasons for American intervention and focusing on 79 people interviewed who were directly involved in Vietnam. Instead of an exposé of aggressive militarism, they give us sentimental stories of survival and perseverance... Visit Website ]
Sep 22, 2017, 3:41pm

Environment
Nuclear Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen
Harvey Wasserman: Although the mainstream media said next to nothing about it, independent experts have made it clear that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma threatened six U.S. nuclear plants with major destruction, and therefore all of us with apocalyptic disaster. ... Throughout the world, some 430 reactors are in various stages of vulnerability to natural disaster, including ninety-nine in the United States. Numerous nuclear plants have already been damaged by earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, and floods. The complete blackout of any serious discussion of what Harvey and Irma threatened to do to these six Texas and Florida reactors is cause for deep concern... Visit Website ]
Sep 22, 2017, 2:58pm

Commentary
Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time
Don Fitz: And the cop will not go to jail. This is what has sparked protests by thousands in St. Louis from September 15 through today. ... In 2011, St. Louis cop Jason Stockley fired 5-7 shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him. Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs and chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself. ... When Stockley first approached Smith’s car, he carried his own AK-47, an unauthorized weapon, as well as his police gun. ... Additionally, a video showed that after Stockley killed Smith, he went back to the police car, grabbed an object and placed it by the victim. ... The prosecuting attorney charged that Stockley had planted a .38-caliber revolver so he could falsely claim “self-defense.” Tests showed that the gun had DNA from Stockley but not from Smith... Visit Website ]
Sep 22, 2017, 2:51pm

Environment
Capitalism: The Nightmare
Paul Street: Can environmental catastrophe be averted under capitalism? Not likely. Shifting from fossil fuel reliance and other unsound environmental societal habits and practices—built-in obsolescence, mass consumerism and the endless pursuit of quantitative economic growth, accumulation and “cheap nature” resource appropriation—requires a level of coordinated social and public intervention so extreme that it is incompatible with continued capitalist control of the means of production, investment and distribution. It requires an empowerment of ordinary people and a radical rehabilitation of the concept of the natural and social commons... Visit Website ]
Sep 21, 2017, 4:57pm

Commentary
The Killing of History
John Pilger: PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America inflicted on Vietnam, fitting with a corporate-dependent documentary project ... its biggest backer, Bank of America ... was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land ... The narrator says the war “was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings.” ... The dishonesty of this statement is not surprising. The cynical fabrication of “false flags” that led to the invasion of Vietnam is a matter of record – the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1964, which Burns promotes as true, was just one... Visit Website ]
Sep 21, 2017, 4:41pm

News
Uncovering Philly law enforcement's secret bank accounts
Max Marin & Ryan Briggs: In the name of ongoing narcotics investigations, civil asset forfeiture allows Philadelphia police to seize millions in cash, cars and homes each year from ordinary citizens, even when charges aren’t brought. But what happens to these assets after they’re seized – and eventually funneled into secretive municipal bank accounts ... The records depict a slush fund for DA and police spending ... $30,000 worth of submachine guns (equipped with military-grade laser sights valued at $15,000) for police tactical units; a $16,000 website development contract; custom uniform embroidery; a $76 parking ticket; $1,000 in raccoon-removal services; a push lawn mower; a pair of outboard motors; and tens of thousands in mysterious cash withdrawals... Visit Website ]
Sep 21, 2017, 4:19pm

Books
The CIA: 70 Years of Organized Crime
Lars Schall: Everything the CIA does is illegal, which is why the government provides it with an impenetrable cloak of secrecy. While mythographers in the information industry portray America as a bastion of peace and democracy, CIA officers manage criminal organizations around the world. For example, the CIA hired one of America’s premier drug trafficker in the 1950s and 1960s, Santo Trafficante, to murder Fidel Castro. In exchange, the CIA allowed Trafficante to import tons of narcotics into America. The CIA sets up proprietary arms, shipping, and banking companies to facilitate the criminal drug trafficking organizations that do its dirty work. Mafia money gets mixed up in offshore banks with CIA money, until the two are indistinguishable... Visit Website ]
Sep 20, 2017, 3:43pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: Trump and America are White Supremacist
Margaret Kimberley: In recent days a foolish controversy has swirled regarding president Donald Trump. At issue is whether or not he can be labeled a white supremacist. There is no need for conjecture on this point. He most certainly is a white supremacist. But asking the question is utterly useless in a country whose very founding was a white supremacist project. Racist structures impact every facet of life in this country. Race determines where we go to school, live, work, or even if one is employed at all. ... Black people are at the bottom economically because we face more discrimination than anyone else... Visit Website ]
Sep 20, 2017, 3:39pm

Meditations
If We Wait, It Will Be Too Late
Martin LeFevre: In an incoherent and terrifying speech before the UN, President Trump all but declared war on North Korea, all but pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and all but destroyed the universal aspirations of the United Nations by doubling down on national sovereignty in a global society. ... In order for the UN to be genuinely reformed into an institution of limited global governance however, a new, non-power-holding body of great moral suasion has to emerge. ... You cannot stand on the sidelines as an observer and have things both ways. It's either move toward the light of insight through self-knowing, or go with the excremental flow of darkness.
Sep 20, 2017, 9:23am

Blogosphere
What is Hate Speech?
George Lakoff: Hate speech defames, belittles, or dehumanizes a class of people on the basis of certain inherent properties — typically race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. ... Hate speech these days is not just speech by an individual. It has become an industry for the racist right — organized, purposely provocative, a recruiting tool, and a show of power aiming at greater power. ... Freedom in a free society is freedom for all. We are not free to prevent others from being free... Visit Website ]
Sep 19, 2017, 5:25pm

Commentary
The Silencing of Dissent
Chris Hedges: The ruling elites, who grasp that the reigning ideology of global corporate capitalism and imperial expansion no longer has moral or intellectual credibility, have mounted a campaign to shut down the platforms given to their critics. The attacks within this campaign include blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of “fake news.” ... No dominant class can long retain control when the credibility of the ideas that justify its existence evaporates. It is forced, at that point, to resort to crude forms of coercion, intimidation and censorship. This ideological collapse in the United States has transformed those of us who attack the corporate state into a potent threat ... because the elites no longer have a plausible counterargument... Visit Website ]
Sep 18, 2017, 1:56pm


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