PND Commentary

Nuclear attack? Duck & cover!

August 20, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds  

"If you see an indescribably bright flash of light, drop immediately to the ground and get under whatever cover you can find. Once the blast has passed, find somewhere to shelter from the fallout for a few days. The more stuff between you and the outside, the safer you’ll be. Remember the Rule Of Seven: Seven hours after the nuclear explosion, the radiation will be 1/10 of its peak; seven times seven (49 hours, or two days) it will be 1/100, and seven times that (basically, two weeks) it will be 1/1000." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnk4aan  

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The new Republican machismo

August 20, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Vijay Prashad  

"In the olden days, campaigning for the United States presidential election would begin in the small States of New Hampshire and Iowa. These are the States that still have early primary elections for the two major parties (Democratic and Republican) to select their nominee for the general election. Iowa conducts its election through the caucus system, where registered voters of the parties gather in small meetings to vote for their nominee. New Hampshire allows it residents to vote. But the scale of the State is so small that they might as well gather in school cafeterias and cavernous barns to discuss their way to a decision. This is called retail politics. One would not have been able to understand a U.S. election cycle without a visit to these States, it was the only way to get a whiff of what was to come. Things have changed dramatically in U.S. politics. Now the presidential campaign is non-stop, with potential nominees calibrating handshakes and comments with an eye to focus groups and the eventual election." (08/20/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/20/the-new-republican-machismo/  

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Clinton’s college plan: Reinventing a very old wheel

August 20, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"In the farcical, technocratic future society of Vonnegut's Player Piano, you have to have at least a bachelor's degree to do even the most menial service jobs -- of which there aren't a lot left. The great majority of jobs have been automated out of existence, and the ranks of the still employed are dominated by high-IQ, doctorate-wielding managers and engineers who run the society. The unemployable, degreeless majority either go into the armed forces, tens of millions strong, which police America's post-WWIII global empire, or join a massive public works project called the Reconstruction and Reclamation Corps ('Reeks and Wrecks'). ... Hillary Clinton's higher education policy proposals are the perfect next step on the century-long road to building such a society in real life." (08/20/15)

https://c4ss.org/content/39897  

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The dread of loneliness

August 20, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Vivian Gornick  

"When in June the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage the law of the land in Obergefell v. Hodges, on the one hand I, along with millions of others, cheered; on the other, I was reminded of that long ago time when I, and everyone I knew then, thought long and hard and almost daily about how good it would be if loneliness and marriage were no longer linked together; if it were free and independent persons who got married for any reason other than the fear of living alone." [editor's note: As a most-of-the-time-single (currently so, FWIW) man, over six-plus decades of life, I find this very interesting - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://www.thenation.com/article/the-dread-of-loneliness  

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The Clinton candidacy: What GOP war on Planned Parenthood is really about

August 20, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan  

"In the Republican war on Planned Parenthood, there are many casualties, most notably, poor women and the truth. But the real target is the Democratic Party and its frontrunner for the 2016 presidential nomination. It should not surprise us that in a campaign in which the Democrats are expected to select Hillary Clinton as their nominee, government funding of Planned Parenthood's health-care services is again a big issue. In the right-wing mind, there is no woman more uppity than a liberal woman who would deign to run for president. The second-most uppity woman is the one in somebody else's family (or your own) who claims control of her own fertility. When the first is emblematic of the second, a season of hate against both is a no-brainer." [editor's note: So much for leftist opposition to corporate welfare - TLK] (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/obueaae  

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Why Republicans vote for Bernie

August 20, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Thom Hartmann  

"Ann Coulter knows who she wants to be the Democratic nominee for president, and who that person is, well, it may surprise you. She wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, and thinks that if Bernie gets the nod, he’ll beat whoever the Republicans come up with to run against him. You won’t hear this often on this show, but Ann Coulter is right. If Bernie Sanders ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, and it looks more and more every day like he will be, his Republican opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him. And that’s because of all the Democratic candidates running, Bernie Sanders has the best chance of capturing Republican votes." (08/19/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150819/why-republicans-vote-for-bernie  

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One party system: What total Republican control of a state really means

August 19, 2015
posted by

Reuters
by Herman Schwartz  

"The U.S. Constitution gives the states almost total control over how Americans live and vote. Republicans appear to have grasped the importance of this, but most Democrats have not. Since losing the White House and Congress in 2008, the GOP has focused time, money and talent on gaining control of state governments. Their efforts have paid off. In the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, older, white and upper-income voters, including many Tea Party supporters, turned out in force, while Democratic constituencies, including many young and minority voters, stayed home. The result is that Republicans control both the governor’s mansion and legislature in 24 states, 70 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, both chambers in 30 states, plus Nebraska’s single chamber, and 31 governor’s mansions." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nhkv5hx  

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Future of imperialist America: Just look at “Great” Britain

August 19, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by Sam Amer  

"History tells us that colonialism cannot, and will not, last. Just look at the colonial powers of the recent past: Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain; they all lost their colonies and are now struggling just to survive. The United States will soon follow; it is already on its way. Fully one fifth of its citizens cannot afford to buy food. Yet the US government is spending more and more on armaments and foreign wars, real or imagined. Perhaps the United States should learn from history and focus more attention on controlling its imperial ambitions." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nqo4p56  

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How Hamilton recasts Thomas Jefferson as a villain

August 19, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Alana Semuels  

"The smash Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda joins the growing movement encouraging Americans to take a closer look at the Founding Father’s life and legacy." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfkf35t  

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Trumping the federal debt without playing the default card

August 19, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ellen Brown  

"The vast majority of the money supply today is created by banks when they make loans, as the Bank of England recently acknowledged. Banks create money by 'monetizing' debt, turning loans into the digital deposits that make up most of the circulating money supply. The government could push the reset button by monetizing its own debt, turning it into what it should have been all along -- debt-free, interest-free dollars." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/py6gz96  

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Carly Fiorina is a Trojan horse in the GOP’s war on women

August 19, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Andrea Flynn  

"Fiorina may be able to unite conservative women by hewing to the party line on social and economic issues, but she's unlikely to make inroads with low-income women, women of color, young women, and immigrant women. She is in favor of shutting down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood. She is opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to the law's provision that guarantees no-cost coverage of contraception. She opposes raising the minimum wage, mandating paid family leave, and enacting legislation that would close the gender pay gap. Democratic politicians didn't fabricate these issues to advance their own case. Voters know these issues are the bedrock of their health and economic wellbeing, and the GOP is hoping to convince them otherwise." [editor's note: You know the old saying -- it's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you think you know that turns out not to be true - TLK] (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvo4qt6  

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Even the GOP’s “serious” candidates are way out of step with mainstream Americans

August 19, 2015
posted by

Katrina vanden Heuvel The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel  

"In the most recent edition of his 2016 candidate rankings, conservative Charles Krauthammer, while not dismissing Trump, suggests that Walker, Rubio, and Bush stand in the first tier of the Republican run-off. But these 'plausible' Republican candidates hold views that are dramatically at odds with interests and values of the vast majority of Americans." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nlahohy  

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Adventures of a pot pioneer

August 19, 2015
posted by

Mother Jones
by Josh Harkinson  

Interview with Steve DeAngelo. DeAngelo: "[T]he racial disparity in cannabis enforcement that we hear so much about is not an unintended consequence of prohibition. It was the primary purpose of the cannabis laws in the first place. The first state laws prohibiting cannabis were passed in 1911, 1912, 1913, in border states, and it was a response to the influx of Mexican refugees who were bringing cannabis with them because it was part of the native curandero healing tradition in Mexico -- they used it as a folk medicine. If you go back and read the comments of the legislators who passed those laws, you will see there was a very clear, and by today's standards completely unacceptable, racism that was motivating that. And that simply got transferred as cannabis use became popular in the African-American community and moved across the country through the jazz scene." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfv3m9a  

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Donald Trump’s immigration principles would’ve barred his own grandfather

August 18, 2015
posted by

Conor Friedersdorf The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf  

"Today, there are nearly 50 million Americans of German ancestry. Many have hazy, romanticized notions of the time when their ancestors came to America. And some, like Trump, champion restrictionist views on immigration that would've barred their own grandfathers from coming here had bygone Americans applied them. This despite the fact that, compared to Hispanic immigration today, the waves of 19th-century immigration imposed far higher costs on those already here: Contagious diseases killed more people; those at the bottom of the economic ladder vying with newcomers for work had less of a safety net to fall back on if outcompeted; radical political ideas from abroad led to violent clashes; immigrant riots rocked numerous cities; and every cost was born by a much, much poorer America." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwkxnqj  

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TPP’s copyright term extension isn’t made for artists — it’s made by and for big content companies

August 18, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Andrew Hunter  

"Extending copyright does not help artists, creatives and those people who rely on *creating*, rather than exploiting, copyrightable work for a living. Like fashion, much of the work that puts food on my table in fact encourages sharing and copying, as it is work meant to be disseminated as far and wide as possible. Those who do stand to gain from an copyright extension are those who profit from the importation of foreign works for distribution in Canada or those who posses the rights to already profitable properties. Do not for a moment believe that it will help emerging filmmakers like myself, or my colleagues, become successful. There are much greater hurdles to just creating a work for someone like myself to be concerned than whether an extra 20 years after my death my descendants will help them." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ndhtsy2  

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Jimmy Carter’s blood-drenched legacy

August 18, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Matt Peppe  

"While he didn't initiate any aggressive invasions of foreign nations the way his predecessors and successors did in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries, Carter proved remarkably generous at providing financial, military, diplomatic and ideological support for fascist dictatorships that tortured and killed millions of members of their domestic populations in an effort to crush popular movements for social justice. Some of the regimes he backed carried out mass slaughter that amounted to genocide." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orqm626  

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Trump is what you make of it

August 18, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elspeth Reeve  

"Why am I here? That was the unescapable question facing me at 8 a.m. on Monday as I joined the dozens of reporters gathered at the New York State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan to wait for Donald Trump, Republican presidential frontrunner, to report for jury duty. There was, of course, good money to be made on the presidential campaign that is the living breathing reductio ad absurdum of the idea that the American government should be run by a businessman and like a business. Paparazzi could sell photos. The coffee cart guy could sell more coffee. A man named Joe Lepore was there to support Trump and promote his own New York sightseeing bike tour. But there were costs." (08/17/15)

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122556/trump-what-you-make-it  

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How to add politics to our protest

August 18, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Kate Aronoff & Max Berger  

"While the electorate is rarely excited for elections, the 2016 race takes place against the backdrop of a country on the brink of a crisis of democratic legitimacy. Congress, nominally the most important democratic institution in the country, has suffered from an approval rating averaging in the teens for more than four years. Facing a government held hostage by the 1 percent, many Americans are throwing up their hands: Turnout for the 2014 midterm elections dipped to a 72-year low. The sense that solutions won’t trickle down from Capitol Hill or the campaign trail has particular resonance with a younger generation." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3g7fe2  

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The future of Europe

August 18, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by James Galbraith  

"On June 8th, I had the honor of accompanying then-Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to a private meeting in Berlin with the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble. The meeting began with good-humored gesture, as Herr Schäuble presented to his colleague a handful of chocolate Euros, 'for your nerves.' Yanis shared these around, and two weeks later I had a second honor, which was to give my coin to a third (ex-)finance minister, Professor Giuseppe Guarino, dean of constitutional scholars and the author of a striking small book on the European treaties and the Euro." (08/14/15)

http://prospect.org/article/future-europe  

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Should everyone get to see body camera video?

August 18, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Robinson Meyer  

"Since the technology debuted on the national stage last August, one of the most critical questions asked of police departments adopting body cameras has been: Who gets to see?" [editor's note: I favor requiring cops to wear body cameras from the minute they clock in to the time they clock out, with the output being streamed live, with officer and GPS location identification, on the Internet for public viewing at will, and archived in a publicly accessible way for some very long minimum time. If you expect the taxpayers to pick up your paycheck, they should be able to check in on you any time they like - TLK] (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/okkz3uu  

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How to win gay rights with grace

August 18, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Tom Krattenmaker  

"The gay rights movement and those of us who support it have a decision to make now that the Supreme Court has ruled and same-sex marriage is the law of the land.​ One possible course of action: a mop-up operation whereby the victorious forces seek out and eliminate the holdouts, such as conservative Christian bakers who refuse to bake for wedding-bound gay people. Another course of action -- call it 'live and let live' -- suggests a more finessed approach, one by which same-sex couples take their business elsewhere when that is a practical option, as it so often is. Here’s a vote for the latter." [editor's note: Good for him for saying it out loud and on paper - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3xa8jh  

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Researchers wrong about private guns, police deaths

August 18, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Forum
by John R Lott  

"Between 1996 and 2013, 991 police officers have been killed in the line of duty. These public servants put their lives on the line to protect Americans. Their deaths should concern everyone, including public health researchers. But researchers’ dislike of guns may be clouding their judgment, and a new study, which claims that more police were feloniously killed in states with more guns, mistakenly concludes that private gun ownership causes police deaths. The study, which was announced last week and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health, received extensive national and international news coverage. But if the researchers hadn’t left out controls used by everyone else for this type of empirical work, they would have gotten the opposite results from what they claimed. Previous research has done just that. And it has found that concealed handgun permits lead to fewer police deaths. The authors offered no explanation for the new study’s unorthodox approach." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q5ouejr  

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The fraud of the new “family-friendly” work

August 18, 2015
posted by

Robert Reich Our Future
by Robert Reich  

"Netflix just announced it’s offering paid leave to new mothers and fathers for the first year after the birth of adoption of a child. Other high-tech firms are close behind. Some big law firms are also getting into the act. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is offering 22 paid weeks off for both male and female attorneys. Even Wall Street is taking baby steps in the direction of family-friendly work. Goldman Sachs just doubled paid parental leave to four weeks. All this should be welcome news. Millennials now constitute the largest segment of the American work force. Many are just forming families, so the new family-friendly policies seem ideally timed. But before we celebrate the dawn of a new era, keep two basic truths in mind." [editor's note: Read on to see what those "two basic truths" are, but not with a liquid in your mouth - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6zmlsq  

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Julian Assange and the value of WikiLeaks: Subverting illusions

August 17, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by Norman Solomon  

"Three years after Ecuador's government granted political asylum to Julian Assange in its small ground-floor London embassy, the founder of WikiLeaks is still there -- beyond the reach of the government whose vice president, Joe Biden, has labeled him 'a digital terrorist.' The Obama administration wants Assange in a U.S. prison, so that the only mouse he might ever see would be scurrying across the floor of a solitary-confinement cell. Above and beyond Assange's personal freedom, what's at stake includes the impunity of the United States and its allies to relegate transparency to a mythical concept, with democracy more rhetoric than reality. From the Vietnam War era to today -- from aerial bombing and torture to ecological disasters and financial scams moving billions of dollars into private pockets -- the high-up secrecy hiding key realities from the public has done vast damage. No wonder economic and political elites despise WikiLeaks for its disclosures." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7cuctt  

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Why Republicans won’t play politics, and why we won’t get angry

August 17, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Richard Jermain  

"Politics has different connotations depending on its context. It can mean a set of beliefs or practices ('What are your politics?') which is better expressed with ideology or philosophy. It can mean manipulation or malpractice ('That's just politics') where supporting words like just are frequently employed since this use of politics is nebulous and more of an inflection than anything. Or it can mean negotiating a set of laws and practices. There are other specialized uses for Marxists and philosophers. Some use the political with the definite article, which points to a larger system than just parliamentary practices and involves all of the above uses. None of these strikes me as particularly apt descriptions of what happens in the GOP debates." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oepoq8o  

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