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Last Updated: Dec 16th, 2017 - 13:32:01 

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Fountain of Light

Blogosphere
Having had Green Electricity for 300 days, Costa Rica Moves to EVs
Juan Cole: Costa Rica, which has among the cleanest electrical grids in the world, has just passed a law promoting electric vehicles. ... The country’s congress overwhelmingly passed the law on its second reading, which aims at a goal of 37,000 EVs within 5 years. It has 1.4 million automobiles, So that would be about 2.6% of its fleet. ... Wind and geothermal energy each provide 10% of the country’s electricity, with a whopping 78% coming from hydro. So far solar represents less than 1% of the mix, which is a missed opportunity. But it isn’t just that they are blessed with wind and lava. The country has invested in its electricity grid so as to be able to handle and transport this electricity... Visit Website ]
Dec 16, 2017, 1:31pm

Meditations
Is All News Fake News?
Martin LeFevre: All news contains an implicit interpretation of the world---a worldview. And worldviews, however accurate, are essentially constructed, made up. In this sense, all news is "fake news." ... As established narratives and accepted truths have broken down, professional journalists have been trying to return to "the facts." However facts are embedded in shared narratives and accepted truths. ... The "fake news" problem is a philosophical conundrum, the locus of which is not within the same old journalistic humdrum. Journalists and editors, who necessarily operate on a day-to-day basis with news and commentary, are not equipped to deal with underlying questions of shared narratives, much less accepted truths...
Dec 15, 2017, 10:37am

Books
The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights
Patrick Blanchfield: A new history argues that the Second Amendment was intended to perpetuate white settlers' violence toward Native Americans. ... Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz argues in her brilliant new book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, America’s obsession with guns has roots in a long, bloody legacy of racist vigilantism, militarism, and white nationalism. This past, Dunbar-Ortiz persuasively argues, undergirds both the landscape of gun violence to this day and our partisan debates about guns ... What the Second Amendment guarantees is ... “the violent appropriation of Native land by white settlers ... as an individual right.”... Visit Website ]
Dec 14, 2017, 4:19pm

Articles
Memo to CBS on George W. Bush: Dan Rather Got It (Mostly) Right
Russ Baker: The real problem with Rather was not — as CBS would have us believe — that he failed to properly vet a fake document during an investigation into whether George W. Bush pulled strings to avoid combat duty in Vietnam. ... (In fact, the documentation for Bush’s self-serving actions is clear and compelling.) ... The core issue is what CBS left unsaid. Rather’s producers were poking into an authentic story that powerful political forces had long been trying to suppress: how the then-President of the United States, who had taken the country into war in Iraq under false pretenses, resulting in untold unnecessary deaths, himself had gone AWOL from military service years earlier — and covered it up... Visit Website ]
Dec 14, 2017, 4:02pm

Blogosphere
Freedom Rider: When Police Kill White People
Margaret Kimberley: ...a black person is killed by police, security and vigilantes once every 28 hours. On average there is a yearly tally of more than 1,000 deaths at the hands of American police. It turns out that at least one white person is also killed by the police on an average day, with a grim total of 574 in 2016 alone. ... If police killing became a punishable offense, even for a white victim, they would have to examine the basis of allowing all police to carry guns. The United States is unique among the nations that considers it civilized to have cops armed to the teeth. ... The imperative to control black bodies began during the period of enslavement, continued through the days of Jim Crow and even intensified when American legal apartheid ended. The vortex can catch white people too, but by and large their group is committed to maintaining their racist system... Visit Website ]
Dec 14, 2017, 3:14pm

Meditations
Radical Means "Going to the Root"
Martin LeFevre: Human history can be defined as the past perennially eclipsing the present. Why does every generation persist in living in the shadow of the past when the light of insight is open to us in the present? There is no such thing as perfection, but living that way would make for an immeasurably more harmonious world. ... Is it largely the fault of intellectuals and teachers who place the highest value on experience and knowledge? ... The experience of the past cannot light the way to a true future for humanity. ... Most intellectuals persist in the belief that humankind is on an upward arc of progress toward a technological heaven, but it isn't true. And just as individual lifespans are finite, there are a limited number of chances for a potentially intelligent species such as Homo sapiens to change course...
Dec 13, 2017, 2:40pm

Environment
Tr$$p, Zinke to Auction Away 700,000 Acres of Western Public Lands for Fracking
WildEarth Guardians: "While oil and gas companies get rich, Americans are shouldering the cost of climate change, air pollution, water contamination, lost wildlife habitat and degraded sacred lands,"... "This administration has made abundantly clear that the American public and their lands are nothing more than a 'burden' to industry." ... fracking can mean thousands of semis tearing up rural roads and kicking up dust, massive increases in air pollution and greenhouse gases, and large-scale water consumption. There are also concerns about water contamination from frack fluids, earthquakes from wastewater disposal, and the social impacts on communities that result from an influx of new people... Visit Website ]
Dec 12, 2017, 2:38pm

Commentary
Disturbing Trend of Police Wanting Drones for Routine Infractions
Nicholas West: After lulling the public into believing that using drones in the U.S. would be confined to border patrol or for counter-terrorism in the event of an imminent threat, we are beginning to see police calling for far wider implementation of drone surveillance. ... I’ve reported several times about the years-long battle in Los Angeles over the use of police drones. The plan resulted in severe pushback from civil liberties groups such as the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition and eventually resulted in an agreement to in fact limit their use to extreme threats and never for surveillance. ... More recently, Connecticut went much further with a new plan for integrating drones into their fusion center matrix of camera surveillance ... of “quality-of-life-issues” that included “illegal dumping, ATVs and dirt bikes, motor vehicle violations, narcotics markets, car break-ins and larcenies.”... Visit Website ]
Dec 12, 2017, 2:28pm

Consider This....
The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America - Surveillance That Never Ends
John W. Whitehead: A government that doesn’t heed its constituents, doesn’t abide by the law, and kowtows to its police and military forces? That’s a dictatorship anywhere else. ... Here in America, you can call it “technotyranny,” a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties. ... Whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency is listening in and tracking you... Visit Website ]
Dec 12, 2017, 1:59pm

Environment
Dying Ecosystems
Robert Hunziker: Earth’s ecosystems support all life, though collapsed ecosystems would be like stepping outside of the international space station not wearing a space suit. Pop! Bam! Gone! ... The Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger… The twin perils brought by climate change – an increase in the temperature of the ocean and in its acidity – threaten its very existence. ... When the coral dies, the entire ecosystem gets hit. Fish that feed on the coral, use it as shelter, or nibble on the algae die or move away. The bigger fish that feed on those fish disappear. But the cascading effects don’t stop there. Birds that eat fish lose their energy source, and island plants that thrive on bird droppings are depleted. And, of course, people who rely on reefs for food, income or shelter from waves lose their vital resource... Visit Website ]
Dec 11, 2017, 3:58pm

Did You Know
A Century Later, a Little-Known Mass Hanging of Black Soldiers Still Haunts Us
James Jeffrey: After Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in September, recovery and clean-up workers discovered that vandals had smeared red paint over a historical marker at the one-time location of Camp Logan, recently rededicated to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Houston “riot” of 1917. ... Beneath the paint, the words read: “The Black Soldiers’ August 23, 1917, armed revolt in response to Houston’s Jim Crow Laws and police harassment resulted in the camps most publicized incident, the ‘Houston Mutiny and Riot of 1917.’ ” The Houston riot grew out of a confrontation between the soldiers and Houston city police, at the end of which sixteen white people were dead, including five policemen, with four soldiers also killed... Visit Website ]
Dec 11, 2017, 3:53pm

Articles
How Monsanto's GM Cotton Sowed Trouble in Africa
Joe Bavier: When America’s biotech giant tried to export its know-how to small cotton farmers in Burkina Faso, there was a problem: The quality sank. ... In 2000, farmers in Burkina Faso, Africa’s top cotton grower, were desperate. Their cotton fetched top prices because its high-quality fibre lent a luxurious sheen to clothing and bedsheets. But pests – bollworms – were threatening the crop. ... U.S. seeds and pesticide company Monsanto proposed an answer: a genetically modified strain of cotton called Bollgard II, which it had already introduced in America and was marketing worldwide. ... The Burkina farmers agreed to a trial and the country introduced seeds with the gene in 2008. ... But there was a problem. While the bug-resistant genes produced more volume, the quality fell. Last season, the cotton farmers of Burkina Faso abandoned the GM varieties.... Visit Website ]
Dec 11, 2017, 3:47pm

Meditations
Human Progress Is a Chimera
Martin LeFevre: The progressive media in the United States is still stuck in 'we're making progress' mode, even though the Trump train keeps rolling over them. Will they ever realize they've helped lay the tracks? ... When you start from the premise that "human nature doesn't change," you can be sure that the false optimist in question is but a sheep in wolves clothing. Let's be done with obtuse academics, and start thinking for ourselves. ... The American body politic as whole gave rise to Trump's authoritarianism. Seeing and sticking with the truth is the real antidote. ... Human progress is a chimera; the more we advance technologically the more we regress inwardly. So-called human nature can and must change, beginning and ending within...
Dec 9, 2017, 4:12pm

Consider This....
The Urgent Need for Cooperation and Unity
Graham Peebles: The natural instinct of human beings is towards cooperation and sharing, but, distorted by competition, personal ambition and nationalism, self-interest and greed have become pre-eminent motivating forces, distorting action and corrupting the policies of governments. ... Competition, and the broader economic doctrine of which it is an essential part, promotes conflict and maintains division; it feeds intolerance and sets individuals and groups (regions and nations, for example) against each other ... Cooperation is a fundamental quality of the time; it sits within a Trinity of the Age alongside Unity and Sharing. The expression of each of these galvanizing principles strengthens and expands the manifestation of the other two; cooperation naturally evokes acts of sharing, which builds unity; likewise, when we unite, cooperation and sharing occur... Visit Website ]
Dec 9, 2017, 11:17am

Free Speech
Dystopian Sketches from Inside the Inauguration Protesters' Trial
Molly Crabapple: On December 5, I went down to DC to sketch the absurdist nightmare known as the #J20 trials. ... The #J20 trials are thus called because the defendants were arrested on January 20 during protests against Trump’s inauguration in Washington, DC, after police kettled 240 people on 12th and L streets. An astounding 194 people now face a litany of charges related to property damage and rioting that could result in 60-year sentences being handed down to the defendants (others have pleaded guilty to lesser offenses). ... The government is trying to set the precedent that if you’re at a protest and someone else smashes a window, it’s your fault... Visit Website ]
Dec 9, 2017, 10:40am


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Meditations
Is All News Fake News?
Radical Means "Going to the Root"
Human Progress Is a Chimera
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Articles
Memo to CBS on George W. Bush: Dan Rather Got It (Mostly) Right
How Monsanto's GM Cotton Sowed Trouble in Africa
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Editorials
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Peace-Love
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OCCUPY
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Did You Know
A Century Later, a Little-Known Mass Hanging of Black Soldiers Still Haunts Us
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Free Speech
Dystopian Sketches from Inside the Inauguration Protesters' Trial
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Taking a knee to stand with the struggle
Environment
Tr$$p, Zinke to Auction Away 700,000 Acres of Western Public Lands for Fracking
Dying Ecosystems
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Commentary
Disturbing Trend of Police Wanting Drones for Routine Infractions
76 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
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Letters
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Links
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Racial Wedge Politics Invented In Colonial America
The Public Bank Option: Safer, Local, and Half the Cost
Health
Landmark study links (UK) Tory austerity to 120,000 deaths
Socialized Medicine Delivers Comforts and Convenience That Americans Can Only Dream About
How Big Medicine can ruin Medicare for all
Books
The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights
Be Aware of the Dark Side of Sports Media
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Consider This....
The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America - Surveillance That Never Ends
The Urgent Need for Cooperation and Unity
Both Parties Pushed Trump Toward Reckless Action on Jerusalem
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
Having had Green Electricity for 300 days, Costa Rica Moves to EVs
Freedom Rider: When Police Kill White People
Freedom Rider: Barbuda and Disaster Capitalism
Archives
Talk to me! (Chapter 1-Roger Doe)
Talk to me! (Chapter 2-Sad Susie)
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