PND Commentary

Abolish the police

August 22, 2014
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Cory Massimino  

"The tragic chaos in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of an unarmed teenager and massive protests has prompted a discussion police power and how far it should extend. For the anarchist, the answer is simple: police power shouldn’t exist." (08/21/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/30727  

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Why Washington’s war on terror failed

August 21, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Patrick Cockburn  

"The reality of U.S. policy is to support the government of Iraq, but not Syria, against ISIS. But one reason that group has been able to grow so strong in Iraq is that it can draw on its resources and fighters in Syria. Not everything that went wrong in Iraq was the fault of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as has now become the political and media consensus in the West. Iraqi politicians have been telling me for the last two years that foreign backing for the Sunni revolt in Syria would inevitably destabilize their country as well. This has now happened." (08/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2y87pa  

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Time to retire unemployment

August 21, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Edward Hadas  

"Give Janet Yellen credit. The chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve is keen to use monetary policy to help get more people into good jobs. Her priority (work is more important than finance) is reflected in the subject of this week’s get-together for the world’s central bankers: 'Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics.' One item should be on the agenda of the distinguished guests at Jackson Hole, Wyoming: how to replace the concept of unemployment. The suggestion may sound frivolous, but the idea of a simple measure of unemployment is tied to a wrong view of how modern economies work." [editor's note: Heresy? Or a sane perspective on an outdated concept? You make the call - SAT] (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kx72lf9  

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Why Ferguson protestors can’t stay home at night

August 21, 2014
posted by

The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter  

"For the first time since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer, his family has a scrap of solid information about his death: the number six. That’s how many times Brown was shot, at a minimum. According to Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner of New York City who conducted a private autopsy at the request of Brown’s family, one of the bullets, probably the last, entered the teenager’s skull at an angle that suggests he was leaning forward. The stark detail of the preliminary autopsy, complete with a diagram of a man that Baden marked in black ink to show the bullet holes, stands in sharp contrast to the selective way that the Ferguson Police and the St Louis County Police have released information." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/meo88vv  

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Tear gas for the huddled masses

August 21, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Mark Morford  

"Fun fact: Violence fetishizes itself. Worships, adores itself with psychotic levels of megalomania and self-aggrandizement -- sociopathic and chilling and face-slappingly obvious throughout all of human history. You know? Of course you know. Like attracts like. Antagonism and hate, fear and panic feed off each other like combustible parasites; as soon as one ignites it’s often only a quick leap until everything explodes and people are dead and no one knows what the hell just happened. Peace and calm, on the other hand, are a little more, umm ... challenging." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kvnt5wu  

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Minority unionism: The new Volkswagen model

August 21, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Moshe Z. Marvit  

"When the workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted in February on whether to unionize, the stakes were high. A victory would create a foothold for labor in the elusive South, while a defeat could be interpreted as a sign of the labor movement’s inexorable decline. The vote went against the union (712 to 626) and labor was left to figure out its next move. Under U.S. labor law, another vote cannot be held for a year. On July 10, the United Auto Workers (UAW) announced they were establishing a new local at Volkswagen Chattanooga. Local 42 is a members-only (or 'minority') union -- a model used rarely in the United States. Unlike a traditional American union, ... a members-only union is voluntary and represents only workers who choose to join." [editor's note: I hope this "new model" catches on; as long as membership is voluntary, what's the problem here for us libertarians? - SAT] (08/20/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17044/the_new_volkswagen_model  

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No jobs but crappy jobs: The next big political issue?

August 20, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"For decades, the increasing precariousness of work has been a source of mass frustration for tens of millions of Americans. But the issue has been largely below the political radar. Politicians ritually invoke good jobs at good wages, yet presidents have been unwilling to name, much less remedy, the deep economic forces that are turning payroll jobs into what I've termed 'The Task Rabbit Economy' -- a collection of ad hoc gigs with no benefits, no job security, no career paths, and no employer reciprocity for worker diligence. But there are signs that maybe this issue is starting to break through." [editor's note: As long as people (like Messrs. Kuttner & Krugman) keep bemoaning the loss of the "job world" (and not embracing the futurist "gig paradigm" many of us adopted years ago?), the delusion will continue that those days are ever coming back - SAT] (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlwws5t  

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Are American corps really less competitive because of taxes?

August 20, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Corporate tax rates used to top out at 52.8 percent. Later rates were lowered to 48 percent and then 46 percent. Then in 1986 corporations complained that this (lowered) rate made them 'uncompetitive' and demanded 'corporate tax reform.' Because job creators. So the rate was lowered to 35 percent. Now in 2014 corporations are complaining that this (lowered) rate makes them 'uncompetitive' and are demanding 'corporate tax reform.' Because job creators ... or something. This time they threaten to (or do) renounce their U.S. citizenship, saying it is because of too-high tax rates. So, here we are again. They want rates lowered even more. But are corporate tax rates really 'uncompetitive?' And what does that even mean?" [editor's note: By ignoring the fact that corps do NOT pay taxes (consumers who buy their products do, in increased prices for their products), Mr. Johnson misses the point entirely - SAT] (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l9gpd2k  

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How the Pentagon militarized the US police force

August 20, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ben Dangl  

"From a weaponization bonanza enabled by a little-known Pentagon program, to an escalation in SWAT team deployments, the militarization of the US police force poses an increasing threat to the American public, as recently exhibited in Ferguson, Missouri. Behind this militarization is the Pentagon’s '1033 program,' created in the National Defense Authorization Act for 1997, which enables the Defense Department to provide surplus military equipment at a highly reduced cost to local police departments." (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mk8yon8  

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Police officer: “If you don’t want to get shot … just do what I tell you”

August 20, 2014
posted by

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille  

"'If you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground,' warns Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department, 'just do what I tell you.' The thing is, Officer Dutta (pictured) is also an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice at Colorado Technical University. And he uttered those words not in the heat of the moment, but in an opinion piece in the Washington Post responding to widespread criticism of police attitudes and tactics currently on display in Ferguson, Missouri, but increasingly common nationwide." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m2tloy7  

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The coming race war won’t be about race

August 20, 2014
posted by

Time
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  

"You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment. You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings." [editor's note: This is a flat-out excellent analysis of the bigger picture - SAT] (08/17/14)

http://time.com/3132635/ferguson-coming-race-war-class-warfare  

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What does the Fed have to do with Social Security?

August 20, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dean Baker  

"Most of the people who closely follow the Federal Reserve Board’s decisions on monetary policy are investors trying to get a jump on any moves that will affect financial markets. Very few of the people involved in the debate over the future of Social Security pay much attention to the Fed. That’s unfortunate because the connections are much more direct than is generally recognized. The basic story of Social Security’s finances is that, while the program is entirely sound for the near future, the program is projected to face a shortfall in the decade of the thirties." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgnaj4d  

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Love the police

August 20, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Daryl Cagle  

Cartoon. (08/18/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/08/love-the-police-2/  

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Admirable moderation or cowardly cop-out?

August 20, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"As everyone knows, opinions on same-sex marriage have been changing rapidly, which also means that the positions of politicians have to change to keep up. Now that pretty much every Democrat running for anything is in favor of marriage equality, they're done changing. Republicans, on the other hand, are going to have to keep tweaking their stance, confronted by the almost impossible challenging of signaling their open-mindedness to general election voters while not alienating a conservative base that, for a while anyway, is still opposed to gay people getting married. So what's the answer to that problem? 'Leave it to the states.' Is that an admirable bit of live-and-let-live, let-a-hundred-flowers-bloom approach to governing, or is it a cowardly cop-out? It's kind of both." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ncsma65  

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Why are you dressed like Darth Vader?

August 20, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow  

Cartoon. [editor's note: Brilliant, as usual - SAT] (08/19/14)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/181317/why-are-you-dressed-darth-vader  

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Julian Assange and extradition

August 20, 2014
posted by

Wikileaks CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"So far, the latest chapter in the Julian Assange chronicle within the Ecuadorian embassy in London is one of mixed, and ultimately doomed promise. He is ailing, though it was clear that a deficiency in Vitamin D for a period of two years was bound to have some effect. Added to this lung and heart problems, and we have a serious patient with serious needs. Not even conventional prisoners should be denied a certain mandatory level of sunlight a day." (08/19/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/19/julian-assange-and-extradition/  

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All they are saying is give bees a chance

August 19, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Alex Kogan  

"On Saturday, activists in cities from Dallas to Melbourne, Australia, 'swarmed the globe' in an international rally to save the world’s bees. In an action timed to coincide with National Honey Bee Day in the United States, Bee Against Monsanto (a Tampa-based collective that campaigns to protect honey bees and other pollinators) called on organizers worldwide to hold 'Swarm the Globe' rallies. Their goal: to raise awareness of the dangers of neonicotinoids, a family of insecticides that kill bees. Neonicotinoids are the leading suspect in Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon in which entire populations of worker bees disappear, leaving queens and larvae to die in their hives. On average, 30 percent of bee colonies in the United States have died each year since 2006, with similarly high death rates in many parts of Europe." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lfvjvlx  

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The height of hypocrisy: Gore’s suit against Al Jazeera

August 19, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"When Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million in January 2013, former Vice President and Current co-founder Al Gore praised the deal. Both Al Jazeera, a network owned by Qatar's oil-rich royal family, and his far-left Current TV, Gore said, were founded 'to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.' Last week, Gore and Current TV shareholders sued Al Jazeera for fraud because, Gore attorney David Boies told reporters, 'Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago.' The dispute raises the question: Can oil and sanctimony mix?" (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kctg4z7  

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Ferguson: Nixon would make a solitude and call it peace

August 19, 2014
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp Center for a Stateless Society
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"The Ferguson uprising should not be ascribed entirely to race -- if you bother to look, there are plenty of white faces on the barricades there -- but it’s an indisputable fact that race plays a huge role in how police interact with the citizenry in the area. But just letting it be about race would be a grave mistake. It’s about power, control and the evolution of 'police' over the last two centuries from local night watchmen and constables serving and protecting a consenting populace ('peace officers') into large, militarized, authoritarian organizations serving and protecting the state ('law enforcement'). To let the uprising die in Ferguson as the National Guard moves in to suppress it, or to regard that suppression as 'peace,' would likewise be a grave mistake." (08/18/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/30624  

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Peace may be true threat to Hamas, Israel’s leaders

August 19, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Amy Wilentz  

"It’s time to wonder whether Israel and Palestine will ever be able to move out of the moral abyss into which they’ve plunged themselves, and address the threat of peace. 'Threat' is the right term. Because peace is dangerous for leaders in the Middle East. It always has been. But back in the early 1990s, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who hated everything the other stood for, knew that each had his reasons for working for peace. Just possibly, they imagined, peace would be better than war for future generations. Certainly it would not be as wasteful. Not that those days were bliss -- but at least peace was plausible." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kl5tpjj  

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Why the Rand Paul phenomenon isn’t exactly a libertarian triumph

August 19, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect    

"Libertarianism is suddenly getting more attention from the mainstream media than it has in a long time, perhaps ever. And wherever you see it, there's a good chance that U.S. Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, is at least part of the focus. When the New York Times Magazine publishes a story about libertarians, it puts a picture of Paul on the cover. When veteran Washington Post reporter Dan Balz writes a story about the libertarian response to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, most of it is about Paul. Such attention isn't completely misguided (I'm doing it right now!), because Paul is a national figure who wants to be president of the United States, and that makes him important. But Paul's inescapable association with libertarianism shows the limits the philosophy faces if its adherents want to win political victories and not just intellectual satisfaction." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k2bp3jq  

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Ferguson & the “war on whites”

August 19, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Terrance Heath  

"Rep. Mo Brooks [R-AL] recently accused Democrats of waging a 'war on whites.' In Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown (an unarmed, 18-year-old, young black man) was shot and killed by a police officer, there is no question against whom war is being waged. If there is a 'war' on, whites are winning. ... What white Americans have lost is primacy: a sense of being primary, preeminent, or more important than any other group. " (08/18/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20140818/war-against-whites-not-in-ferguson  

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The crisis in investigative journalism

August 19, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by John Kendall Hawkins  

"[T]here is a third layer, the most important one, compared to which all other reportage is mere puff piecework, and this reified sphere is known as investigative journalism, often occupied by paunchy supermen and lithe linguists, such as Benjamin Franklin, H. L. Mencken, Martha Gellhorn, Jack Anderson, George Washington Williams, Seymour Hersh, Woodward and Bernstein, Hunter S. Thompson (if you quick-toke a doobie, this example will seem more obvious), Mike Tabibi, and even Ernest Hemingway -- the list is long and legendary. What sets their work apart is its adversarial engagement, the refusal to take things at face value or as laid out by the spokespeople for the rich and powerful, the relentless willingness to dig deeper and deeper until the truth is exposed." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mydgkdl  

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A co-op state of mind

August 19, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo  

"In 2006, Daniela Salazar, then a 22-year-old mother of two, was making about $7.25 an hour doing restaurant work and housecleaning. For three hours every month, she also stood on the street in Brooklyn with 12 other women passing out flyers, rain or shine (and sometimes snow). They were promoting a cleaning company of a new kind: one that would not only provide them with jobs and more money to support their families, but would also make them business owners. That company was a worker cooperative called Sí Se Puede ('Yes, We Can')."

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17061/a_co_op_state_of_mind  

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True costs of Cash for Clunkers revealed

August 19, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Kathleen Pender  

"The 2009 federal Cash for Clunkers program is often hailed as a success because it jump-started new-vehicle sales, but a new study says it actually cost car dealers $3 billion in lost revenue because its fuel-efficiency requirement caused people to buy cheaper cars than they would have otherwise. Instead of buying expensive hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, most people fulfilled the fuel requirement by purchasing economy cars. The Toyota Corolla was the top-selling vehicle under the program. The goal of the program was to stimulate the auto sector by accelerating car sales from the future, when the economy presumably would be stronger, into mid-2009, when auto sales had veered off a cliff. A secondary goal was to increase fuel economy. Pursuing both goals caused the program to fail, said Mark Hoekstra, one of three Texas A&M University economists who authored the study, entitled Cash for Corollas." (08/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mtg6ef4  

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