PND Commentary

Anarchism for a mainstream audience

July 15, 2016
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Logan Glitterbomb  

"If anarchism is to get anywhere as a movement, it requires us to build the world we wish to see. To paraphrase the classic wobbly mantra, our goal is and should be to 'build a new world within the shell of the old.' In order to do this we must actually create the structures which will meet the needs of our communities once the state and capitalism are out of the picture. This is the reasoning behind many anarchist projects. ... Anarchists have started farms, collectively run businesses, community defense groups, domestic abuse shelters, libraries, alternative energy systems, and a myriad of other useful elements of the 'new world.' One of the most famous of such institutions -- and certainly one of the longest lasting -- is surprisingly Alcoholics Anonymous." (07/14/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45683  

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In Putin’s Russia, no difference between doping and duping

July 15, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The chance that Russia’s track and field team will participate at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games next month looks increasingly slim after the International Olympic Committee backed a ban of Russian athletes because of the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs. Even as Moscow makes a last-minute appeal, evidence is mounting of a state-run doping program that extends into other Olympic disciplines as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reaction is telling. Doping is a global phenomenon, he said on the day of the IOC ruling, echoing his standard retort to questions about corruption in Russia. 'If someone tries to politicize something in this area, I think it’s a big mistake,' Putin said, suggesting that his nation was the victim of 'anti-Russian politics.' In fact, the doping scandal is a symptom of a much larger problem: the casual disregard for the truth that has become a hallmark of Putin’s rule." (07/14/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-corruption-sports-commentary-idUSKCN0ZS2NY  

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Can we ever trust the Democrats?

July 14, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"Congressman Steny Hoyer, D-Md., wants to make some changes to promote trust in government. It’s a good idea, but his changes (which mostly have to do with campaign finance and a laundry list of things Democrats have been trying to do for a while anyway) aren’t likely to accomplish much. The truth is, if you want trust, you need to be trustworthy, and you need to show it. On the trustworthiness front, Hoyer’s already lost the battle. He, like the rest of his party, will be supporting Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, and she’s one of the least-trusted figures in politics. In the wake of her email scandals, 66% of voters say she’s not honest and trustworthy, and even a third of Democrats feel that way. Add to this the Clinton Foundation’s shady goings-on, the Clintons’ famous parsing of the meaning of 'is,' and Hillary's tendency to accuse anyone disagreeing with her of being part of a 'vast right-wing conspiracy,' and you don’t exactly have the poster-candidate for restoring trust." (07/14/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/14/hillary-democrats-trust-hoyer-corruption-emails-doj-column/87030304  

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Donald Trump is wrong; crime is down, way down

July 14, 2016
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Directly lifting from Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign, Donald Trump has declared himself the 'law and order' candidate. At a Virginia rally Monday he said, 'American police and law enforcement are all that separate civilization from total chaos and the destruction of our country as we know it.' On Tuesday he tweeted, 'Crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse.' Painting a picture of an America drowning in crime-fueled anarchy serves to rationalize incidents of racial bias in policing. While Trump has not defended the actions of the police offers in the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, he has spent more time in their aftermath talking about the need to support police officers in an age of rampant crime, and no time on proposals for police reform. But Trump’s picture is a false one. Crime is down. Way down." (07/14/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160713/donald-trump-is-wrong-crime-is-down-way-down  

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Obama’s big flip-flop to save Obamacare

July 14, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"The real sign of how Bernie Sanders changed the Democratic Party can be seen not just in shifts in the Democratic Party platform, but in how the party’s current leader, Barack Obama, has altered his own posture. Last month he endorsed the expansion of Social Security, a huge victory for activists pushing the party to improve retirement benefits. And this week, in a special communication to the Journal of the American Medical Association, Obama endorsed a public health insurance option to enhance the Affordable Care Act, his signature legislative achievement." (07/13/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135040/obamas-big-flip-flop-save-obamacare  

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Why you should believe in the digital afterlife

July 14, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Michael Graziano  

"Imagine scanning your Grandma's brain in sufficient detail to build a mental duplicate. When she passes away, the duplicate is turned on and lives in a simulated video-game universe .... herself as the same person that she always was, with the same memories and personality -- the same consciousness -- transferred to a well regulated nursing home and able to offer her wisdom to her offspring forever after. And why stop with Granny? You could have the same afterlife for yourself in any simulated environment you like. But even if that kind of technology is possible, and even if that digital entity thought of itself as existing in continuity with your previous self, would you really be the same person?" (07/14/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/what-a-digital-afterlife-would-be-like/491105/  

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Hillary Clinton’s email absolution: Two parties, one criminal regime

July 14, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Eric Draitser  

"What was your reaction when you heard FBI Director James Comey announce to the world that the Bureau would not be recommending that charges be filed against Hillary Clinton over her handling of emails while she was Secretary of State? ... Chances are you weren't the least bit surprised that no charges were recommended. But what does that tell you about our political system? That millions of Americans weren't remotely caught off guard by the exculpation of Hillary Clinton is less a commentary about American attitudes than it is a clear indication of the all-pervasive criminality that is at the heart of America's political ruling class. And the fact that such criminality is seen as par for the course demonstrates once again that the rule of law is more a rhetorical veneer than a juridical reality." (07/14/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/14/hillary-clintons-email-absolution-two-parties-one-criminal-regime/  

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What if ISIS were to win?

July 14, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

'We have no choice,' U.S. officials effectively say. 'It's regrettable that our intervention gave rise to ISIS but now we have to continue intervening in the Middle East to stop ISIS. If we don't, ISIS could win and take over Iraq, Syria, and Libya.' But no asks the critical question: What if ISIS were to win? What would happen if ISIS were to take over Iraq, Syria, and Libya? That would certainly be bad for people in those regions. There is no doubt that they would be suffering under brutal tyranny. But let's face it: People live in tyranny in all parts of the world, and U.S. forces are not helping them." (07/14/16)

http://fff.org/2016/07/14/what-if-isis-were-to-win/  

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Law school is the new boot camp

July 14, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are about to choose running mates. I don't know whom they'll pick, but I hope that one or both picks a military veteran. The next president will inherit war zones in the Middle East and Afghanistan, yet neither major party's front-runner can boast military chops. In the last century, military service was considered an important part of a portfolio for a would-be commander in chief. After all, how can a president send others into battle when he has not seen combat himself? Military service hasn't been mandatory in a president, nor should it be, but certainly it is preferable. In 1992, Bill Clinton won the White House despite his legal evasion of the draft. Smartly, Clinton balanced his ticket by choosing as his running mate Sen. Al Gore [D-TN]. While Gore's Harvard classmates found ways to avoid serving in Vietnam, this senator's son had enlisted in the Army and served five months in Vietnam." (07/12/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/12/law-school-is-the-new-boot-camp-n2191449  

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Pick a vice president to fix government

July 14, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David M. Walker & Dan Tangherlini  

"Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are each about to make a decision that could determine the success of their presidencies, not just their campaigns:who they pick as vice president. We are not saying this for the time-worn and predictable reasons such as demographic, regional or political balance on the ticket. Instead, based on our collective experience working inside and outside of government to make organizations more efficient and effective, we are proposing that the presidential candidates put a high priority on a running mate’s ability to govern and manage. The person in the No. 2 slot needs to be able to do more than just help the candidate win. That’s a bet that hardly ever pays off, anyway." (07/13/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/13/trump-clinton-vice-president-manager-column/87007508  

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FBI joins SCOTUS as a rogue org designating next president, further trashing American democracy

July 14, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Rob Kall  

"Now that Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary, it's clear that the FBI, through its director, James Comey, has, like the 2000 Supreme Court that coronated George Bush, gone rogue, making an unprecedented decision that grossly influence the political, democratic process. The decision the FBI made had the effect of insuring Hillary would become the 2016 Democratic candidate. For any ordinary citizen, or government employee, Hillary's actions would have led to indictment. The decision to give her a pass was a decision to influence the 2016 presidential election. The 2000 Supreme Court decision to coronate George W. Bush as president was an historic atrocity of democracy. This FBI decision will similarly go down in history as another nail in the coffin of American democracy, in favor of the elite and the plutocracy." (07/13/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/FBI-Joins-SCOTUS-as-Rogue-by-Rob-Kall-Fbi-Director-James-Comey_Federal-Agency-FBI_Supreme-Court-SCOTUS-160713-307.html  

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Dismantling Dodd-Frank is a Trump distraction

July 14, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"For professed lovers of free markets, there’s something philosophically attractive about a grand plan to remake American banking. That may explain why Donald Trump has taken a shine to the Texas Republican who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and whose views on the matter are heavily shaping the Grand Ole Party’s policy platform, which will come to full light at next week’s convention in Cleveland. A month ago Jeb Hensarling unveiled a blueprint for trashing the financial-reform act passed into law six years ago this month bearing the names of its two Democratic legislator-sponsors, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, whose chair Hensarling now occupies. Hokey title aside (he calls it the Financial CHOICE Act, an acronym derived from Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) there is an appealing simplicity to the proposal." (07/12/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/07/12/cox-dismantling-dodd-frank-is-a-trump-distraction  

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Eric Holder’s justice

July 13, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Eric Holder certainly has changed since his days at Columbia University. According to the New York Times, 'as a boyish-looking freshman' he 'was recruited by upperclassmen to help take over the R.O.T.C. office,' which they claimed as 'a student center named for Malcolm X.' Actions like that, and heroes like Malcolm X, reflected the idealism that many of us shared in those days. As attorney general, Holder chose not to prosecute banking giant HSBC for laundering Mexican drug cartel money. Holder, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and other Obama Justice Department officials showed similar favoritism to other big banks. In fact, not a single big-bank executive was prosecuted during their tenure, despite the most massive and well-documented epidemic of financial fraud in American history." (07/13/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160713/eric-holders-justice  

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“Follow the directions of law enforcement”

July 13, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Robert Fantina  

"As political leaders of all stripes call for calm, which is standard procedure after any white officers assassinate a usually-unarmed black man, occasionally one of them states what is really at the core of the issue. This week, it was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who uttered one sentence that seems to sum up government policy: 'It is critically important that you follow the directions of law enforcement.' One wonders if this was a statement, or a thinly-veiled threat. It appears that, in the view of Mr. Edwards, the 'directions of law enforcement' must be followed to the letter, with the violation of that being capital punishment, administered instantly by the white police." (07/13/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/13/follow-the-directions-of-law-enforcement/  

1 Comment »

Do party platforms still matter?

July 13, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Daniel DiSalvo and James W Ceaser  

"The status of the platform reached such a low point that in 2012, at the GOP convention in Tampa, then-House Speaker John Boehner said in an interview: 'Have you ever met anybody who read the party platform?' And yet, just as the 2016 campaign has flouted so much conventional wisdom and bucked so many trends, the process of crafting the party platforms this year has turned out to be more revealing of today's political climate than usual. While the platforms are unlikely to influence the election’s outcome, they're telling about what's changed -- and what's changing -- within the two major political parties." (07/13/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/party-platform-national-convention/491147/  

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Why are we still waiting for the male pill?

July 13, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Andy Extance  

"Had there been a male contraceptive pill in 1976, I probably wouldn’t be here to write this. That was the year when, after my mum (may she rest in peace) had been on the pill for 12 years, health worries made her doctor tell her to come off it. 'She said to the doctor, 'I’ll get pregnant'' my dad recalls. 'And within a very short while, she was.' He explains, much to my discomfort, that although my parents switched to condoms, I was conceived because 'sometimes you feel reckless.' But if a male pill had existed, my dad says, he'd definitely have used it." [editor's note: This has been my query for decades - SAT] (07/12/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135014/still-waiting-male-pill  

1 Comment »

Criticism does not kill cops

July 13, 2016
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"After Jared Loughner killed six people and wounded 14 at a Tucson shopping center in 2011, talk radio titan Rush Limbaugh ridiculed attempts to blame the mass shooting on inflammatory right-wing rhetoric. But after Micah Johnson killed five police officers and wounded nine in downtown Dallas last week, Limbaugh did not hesitate to blame the violence on the Black Lives Matter movement. Limbaugh was right then, and he's wrong now. Tarring one's political adversaries as accomplices to murder while calling for greater civility in public debate is a neat trick if you can pull it off, but it's still a trick." (07/13/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/07/13/criticism-does-not-kill-cops  

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Growth for all, bailouts for none

July 13, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Economic growth for all and bailouts for none. That’s the foundation of the Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican alternative to Dodd-Frank. Most Americans have not heard of Dodd-Frank, but it’s essentially Obamacare for America’s economy and their household finances. Like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank has made Americans less prosperous and left them with fewer choices, higher costs and less freedom. Since Dodd-Frank became law, the number of banks offering free checking has been cut in half. The law’s regulations fueled a surge in customer fees and cost increases for credit cards and auto loans." (07/12/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/12/growth-bailouts-none-opposing-view/86997244  

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The myth of the “war on terrorism”

July 13, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Remember 'We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here?' That was the justification for the worldwide war on terrorism the Bush administration trumpeted in the early days of the post-9/11 era. Keeping in mind that the American people don't really care about what goes on thousands of miles away, and that the purpose of our foreign policy is -- ostensibly -- to keep us safe here at home, the Bushies and their neocon Praetorian Guard always kept their focus on the threat that was supposedly hanging over our heads: another 9/11. ... now we hear that the latest iteration of the Terrorist Threat -- ISIS -- is losing ground in Syria, its home base: some 12 percent of its territory has been lost to a combination of opponents, and the Caliphate, we're told, is shrinking. So does that mean the Terrorist Threat is abating, and we can get back to living our lives? Heck no!" (07/13/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/07/12/myth-war-terrorism/  

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Brexit animosity aimed at the wrong targets

July 13, 2016
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by David Blowers  

"Britain is polarised following a referendum where the people were asked to choose between two unpleasant options. The vanilla-flavoured turd is the status quo where the nation state continues its affiliation to the European Union, a big cog in the machine of globalised neoliberalism -- a situation that would likely continue to centralise power in Brussels (as it has since the 1975 referendum) with the British public having no way of knowing if there would be another chance to vote on the matter. Alternatively, there was the strawberry-flavoured turd -- leap into an unknown and bewildering array of changes (described in apocalyptic terms by a Prime Minister who can now provide no reassurance without backtracking) -- and a possible lurch of government even further to the right." (07/13/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45674  

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A year after nuclear deal, sanctions still hurt Iran

July 13, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Amir Handjani  

"It has been one year since Iran, the United States and five other world powers reached a landmark deal designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear program. In exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, the United Nations lifted all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, and the EU lifted many bilateral sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors. But Iran’s economy continues to suffer. For Iran, the deal was the first step toward economic recovery after years of crippling sanctions. Instead, because of unilateral U.S. sanctions on the Iranian economy, Tehran finds itself in the awkward position of having to rely on the United States to lobby other countries and non-American financial institutions to conduct business with it." (07/12/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-deal-commentary-idUSKCN0ZS2MJ  

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The invisible danger Donald Trump poses to our democracy [sic]

July 13, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"A number of developments over the course of the past year have helped contextualize this unusual, at times surreal, American election season. Events like the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, the rise of the police protest movement here in the United States, and the white backlash to it, have been powerful reminders that racial tribalism is the great political fault line in the Western world dividing whites from minorities, the old from the young, the urban from the rural. If making sense of Donald Trump requires regular reminders that he is an outgrowth of powerful, ingrained political forces, rather than an unfortunate aberration, the world is certainly obliging. He is the patron saint of resentful whites, who are in turn the dominant faction of the Republican Party." (07/12/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135010/invisible-danger-donald-trump-poses-democracy  

1 Comment »

The war we forgot to end: Why are we still in Afghanistan?

July 13, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Eli Massey  

"Last Wednesday, President Obama once again delayed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Approximately 8,400 troops will remain in the country through the end of his presidency, he announced, rather than the 5,500 he committed to back in October 2015. Meanwhile, casualties continue to mount: Thousands of Afghan civilians were killed in 2015 alone. It’s time to end the longest war in U.S. history. Begun less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, the war aimed to destroy the al-Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden and take out the Taliban government that had provided them with safe haven. President Bush’s focus, however, was anything but narrow: 'Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there,' he said shortly before the invasion. 'It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.'” (07/11/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19285/its-time-to-put-an-end-to-us-occupation-of-afghanistan  

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Clinton’s free [sic] tuition scheme will backfire

July 12, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Brian Dickerson  

"'Free is a very special price,' observes Dan Ariely, the Duke University economist noted for his experiments exposing the irrationality of consumer behavior. In one of those experiments, Ariely invited test subjects to choose between two pieces of chocolate candy in a number of different price scenerios. When offered a Hershey's Kiss that costs a penny or a larger, richer chocolate truffle priced at 25 cents, Ariely found, most subjects chose the pricier truffle. But when Ariely reduced the price of both options by by one cent, the results were flipped; a majority of consumers were unable to resist the free, albeit less satisfying, Hershey's Kiss." (07/11/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2016/07/11/free-tuition-hillary-clinton-brian-dickerson-column/86938150  

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Response to Sanders’s endorsement of Clinton

July 12, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Dr. Jill Stein  

"Sadly, [Bernie] Sanders is one of a long line of true reformers that have been undermined by the Democratic Party. The eventual suppression of the Sanders campaign was virtually guaranteed from the beginning with super-delegates and super Tuesdays, that were created after George McGovern's nomination to prevent grassroots campaigns from winning the nomination again. Sanders, a life-long independent who has advocated for building an independent democratic socialist party similar to Canada's New Democratic Party, has said that his decision to run as a Democrat was based on pragmatism, but there is nothing pragmatic about supporting a party that for decades has consistently sold out the progressive majority to the billionaire class. This false pragmatism is not the path to revolutionary change but rather an incrementalism that keeps us trapped, voting for lesser evil again and again." (07/12/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Jill-Stein-Response-to-San-by-Jill-Stein-Jill-Stein-160712-385.html  

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