PND Commentary

The neoconservative pivot

June 24, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"The War Party and its Israeli backers are in the midst of a rather delicate pivot: their goal is to redirect US animosity, shifting it from the suicide-bombers of the Sunni 'dead-enders' to Iran and its regional proxies. In order to do this they need to invert the history of the Iraq war and reposition the Sunnis as our valiant allies. Again, this revisionism is counting on the ignorance of the American public as to the arcane details of the religious differences that fuel the region's sectarian conflicts. And in a sane world there is no good reason why the average American should know -- or care -- about those differences. However, in the world we are living in -- the Bizarro World of the post-9/11 era -- this lack of knowledge has the potential to start World War III." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p86l3m9  

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After same-sex marriage, then what?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Robert P Jones  

"Whether or not the Supreme Court deals the final blow to the culture war over same-sex marriage next week, public opinion trends indicate -- and the public overall perceives -- that the days of the decades-long debate over this issue are numbered. In light of that reality, both supporters and opponents of gay rights are already asking, 'Then what?' The most immediate outcome will be a fight over reconciling the new legal status for LGBT couples with the nation's patchwork of nondiscrimination laws." (06/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3dz4xw  

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Charleston and the American soul

June 24, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Mumia Abu-Jamal  

"White supremacy is the mother's milk of Charleston, of South Carolina, of the South, of America. For surely as slavery funded and built America, the underlying principle was the devaluation, exploitation, and oppression of Black life. It's the only thing that makes the church massacre in Charleston even remotely intelligible. Nine Black people were sacrificed to the blind idol of white supremacy for the same reason that thousands of Black men and women were lynched on American elms and pines: as sacrifices to an idea, to perpetuate a system of economic injustice." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p34j8jg  

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Are the Dems being sucker-punched on trade?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Thanks to a last-minute deal last Thursday between President Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress, the fast-track bill is still alive. Its passage depends on whether a handful of Senate Democrats can be persuaded to go along. Quick recap: The trade negotiating authority that Obama needs to complete his cherished Trans-Pacific Partnership has been linked to passage of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The House at first voted down assistance in order to kill the whole deal, but then Republicans promised a separate vote on adjustment assistance; and so the House on Thursday narrowly approved fast track, 218-208, with 28 Democrats in support. Now the Senate has to concur." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o2cq5fa  

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Does Hillary really believe in the Hillary Doctrine?

June 24, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jordan Michael Smith  

"In the run-up to her official 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton spoke at the Women in the World Summit in New York City in April. Some interpreted Clinton’s remarks as evidence of her commitment to feminism. 'The choice of the location in itself sends a strong signal,' wrote Slate’s Amanda Marcotte; 'If there was any doubt that Clinton intends to run a woman-centric campaign, her speech erased it.' Others viewed the speech as just another calculated exercise. 'Hillary Unveils Her Plan to Advance Women’s Rights (and Her Own Campaign)' read the headline of an article on New York magazine’s website. Such is the ambiguous nature of Clinton’s image: Even more than most politicians, she inspires contrasting views about her authenticity. Does she really mean what she says?" (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ncwcua7  

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Time to take down a symbol of white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peniel E. Joseph  

"The removal of the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, as Republican Governor Nikki Haley called for on Monday, would be a major victory for racial justice -- though it required the blood of nine black innocents martyrs whose senseless murder at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has galvanized the nation. Surrounded by an interracial group of SC's elected legislators (most notably Representative James Clyburn [D] and Senators Tim Scott [R] and Lindsey Graham [R]) Haley announced the bipartisan decision on Monday afternoon. ... [Her] words were culled from the mass carnage allegedly committed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist whose online posting of blood-soaked fantasies of race war have spurred a week of national mourning, political outrage and community organizing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ppn4ct8  

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Christians forgive the unspeakable

June 24, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Kirsten Powers  

"When Christians are in the news, it's usually because they have done something wrong: they've gotten on the wrong side of a culture war or cheated on their wife, or worse. What the world rarely gets to see is the powerful grace that flows from a deep faith predicated on the belief that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness. The family members of those slain at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church bore witness to this central tenet of Christianity last week as the nation gasped in awe. 'I forgive you,' one after another told the stone-faced and unrepentant alleged killer, Dylann Roof, at his bond hearing." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p235dsz  

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Elites still don’t understand white supremacy

June 24, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"The thwarted talk of race in America is testimony to the myth of progress. When those in the white citadels of cultural power aren’t declaring racism dead, they are, with a stunning lack of self-awareness, perpetuating the crudest kinds of racial reaction. In the immediate wake of the anti-police brutality protests in Baltimore in April, when Michelle Obama delivered a relatively anodyne commencement speech at Tuskegee University (pointing out the countless ways she and her husband had been perceived throughout their lives as reflexively angry, dangerously uppity ... or just plain dangerous) she was greeted by a deafening chorus of chidings from the pundit caste, declaring how sadly counterproductive her dour observations were. Not since Dan Quayle tried to tie the depiction of single motherhood in a Candice Bergen sitcom to the root causes of the 1992 Rodney King riots, had the American political establishment so concertedly and grandiosely missed the fucking point." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfzbc93  

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Blackness as being, whiteness as nothingness

June 24, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Greg Grandin  

"Last week, in the aftermath of the Rachel Dolezal revelations and the Charleston massacre (the trivial and tragic, a very American dialectic) the historian Nell Irvin Painter, professor emerita at Princeton University and author of a great many great books, wrote an essay in The New York Times, “What is Whiteness?” In it, Painter defined 'whiteness' as an existential choice: 'Whiteness,' Painter writes, 'is on a toggle switch between "bland nothingness" and "racist hatred"'To back up that point, Painter runs through the social history of the emergence of whiteness, by now a familiar story (among academics if not the broader public)." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orsstpt  

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Confederate flag

June 23, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Nate Beeler  

Cartoon. (06/22/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/06/confederate-flag-5/  

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The right to record Walter Scott’s death

June 23, 2015
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"Although the First Amendment right to record the police as they perform their duties in public is well established, cops often violate that right by ordering people to turn off their cameras, confiscating their cellphones, or arresting them on trumped-up charges. The shooting of Walter Scott, which led to Slager's arrest thanks to the details revealed by Santana's video, illustrates both the prevalence of this contempt for constitutional rights and the importance of counteracting it." (for publication 07/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2015/06/23/the-right-to-record-walter-sco  

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Turmoil in the Middle East seems constant, and US military intervention only makes it worse

June 23, 2015
posted by

Ivan Eland Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland  

"The American media report on all of this turmoil with great hype, as if most of these faraway conflicts impinge greatly on U.S. security. Most of them don't. Of course, this nationalist media coverage always makes it seem natural that the U.S military should be intervening in all of these countries to 'do something' about their problems to prevent jihadist groups from arising or expanding. ... Yet radical Islamists existed for decades before 9/11, posing little or no threat to the distant United States. In fact, during the Cold War, the United States fueled Islamist jihadism to battle communism -- for example, aiding the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, which would morph into the original al Qaeda group." (06/22/15)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=7422  

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A motel-sized victory for privacy at the US Supreme Court

June 23, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf  

"[In Los Angeles, hotel] registration information must be stored for 90 days. Front desk employees must be trained to record it per municipal regulations. And they must turn it over to authorities when given a lawful subpoena or search warrant. But what if an LAPD officer comes to the lobby, sans warrant, and demands to inspect these records? The city has sought to force innkeepers to comply with any such request from any police officer. A law declared any failure to make guest records available for police inspection a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. ...The innkeeper could not refuse. The nosy cop could arrest the innkeeper immediately if he dared try. On Monday, the Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p64yc3b  

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Returning home to the US is to enter a police state

June 23, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dave Lindorff  

"We are both US citizens traveling back from home from a visit to a country that is about as close an ally to the US as a country can be. There is no reason why an immigration official, having looked at our passports, should be asking us about our activities while in Canada. Hell, I could have said I was attending a conference on promoting world socialist revolution, or a global meeting of some white supremacist organization. It wouldn't matter. He'd still have to grant us entry. I have every right to attend such political meetings in the US with impunity if I want to, and I have the same right as a US citizen to attend them abroad too." (06/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/opo8twg  

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“Heritage not hate”: A lie with any flag

June 23, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"The American state, like every other state in history, serves the interests of the class coalition that controls it. The ideological myths of patriotism, of a 'national interest' uniting exploiters and exploited, serve a powerful legitimizing function for class exploitation. And they are insidious, because we absorb them unconsciously from our earliest years. But if this is true of all states and flags, it's even more true of the Confederacy than of most." (06/22/15)

https://c4ss.org/content/38349  

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Shona Band faces decades in prison because her son questioned anti-pot propaganda

June 23, 2015
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"During a 'drug education' program at his school in Garden City, Kansas, on March 24, Banda's son heard some things about marijuana that did not jibe with what he had learned about the plant from his mother. So he spoke up, suggesting that cannabis was less dangerous and more beneficial than the counselors running the program were claiming. That outburst of skepticism precipitated a visit to the principal's office, where the fifth-grader was interrogated about his mother's cannabis consumption. School officials called Child Protective Services (CPS), which contacted police, who obtained a warrant to search Banda's house based on what her son had said." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/olcl592  

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The political center is moving left

June 23, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Eight years ago, when Campaign for America's Future and Media Matters for America issued the report 'Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth,' George W. Bush was still president, Barack Obama was trailing by 15 points in the Democratic primary and gays could only legally marry in Massachusetts. Back then, the report had to explain if the nation was more liberal than perceived by pundits and politicians, then why didn't more Americans choose to label themselves 'liberal.' The word was a 'victim of a relentless conservative marketing campaign' and yet 'many people who hold liberal issue positions call themselves moderates.' This may have seemed like a stretch to some at the time. But now the ideological landscape is even clearer, as overt liberal pride is on the rise." [editor's note: Which is good news, as long as the pro-peace & -civil liberties "left" is at the forefront - SAT] (06/22/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150622/the-political-center-is-moving-left  

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You can’t fix “broken windows” so end it now

June 23, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by staff  

"Nearly a year ago, Eric Garner's death on Staten Island while being arrested for selling loose cigarettes illustrated just how easily things get out of control with 'broken windows' policing. It prompted a nationwide reexamination of the illogical premise that cops can best combat violent crime by racking up busts on petty offenses like littering, jaywalking, or playing music too loudly. Garner's death was the first in a disturbingly long string of police killings of unarmed black men and children over the past 12 months. These outrages have radicalized what ought to be a self-evident statement that black lives matter." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nctax9b  

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Confederate flag symbol of racist terror

June 23, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times    

"The day after the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting, carried out by an avowed white supremacist who murdered nine African-American participants in a bible study group, the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol, unlike so many American flags elsewhere, did not fly at half-mast. While many people across the political spectrum reacted with disgust to the refusal of the state’s elected leaders to lower the flag, keeping the Confederate flag proudly flying proudly makes perfect sense. Flags are lowered as a symbol of collective grief. But Dylann Roof’s racist massacre was a carrying out of the ideals that flag represents." [editor's note: I'm finding this perspective just as warped as the right-wing one about Roof being "anti-church, not a racist" - SAT] (06/22/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18098/confederate-flag-dylann-roof  

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Even Republicans coming around on Confederate flag

June 23, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Sixty-three years after South Carolina raised the Confederate flag over its statehouse, a massacre in a black church may finally bring it down from the place it now occupies on the grounds of the state capitol (it was moved from atop the dome in 2000). Not that there won't be plenty of people still holding on to their stars 'n' bars -- that flag will still fly in many official places throughout the South. And it isn't as though a new age of racial harmony is dawning. But as a political issue, the flag is on its way out. It's going to find fewer and fewer defenders, brought down by a surprising wave of empathy." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/omd5r9q  

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Demilitarizing the military

June 23, 2015
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Gregory D Foster  

"We assume at our peril that the divinely ordained, supernal purpose of the military is to prepare for and wage war. Rather should we embrace the notion that the purpose of the military is -- or ought to be -- to secure and preserve peace, a purpose that calls for a military distinctly different than one designed for war. Preparing for and waging war, in fact, can no longer -- if ever it could -- produce true peace." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q6qzhwy  

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Supreme Court routs raisin racket

June 23, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by David B. Rivkin, Jr. & Andrew M. Grossman  

"Constitutional law isn't all conflict. It may seem that way as the Supreme Court barrels along to the conclusion of another term, with contentious cases concerning same-sex marriage, Obamacare, and seemingly every other issue plucked from the headlines. But the high-profile controversies obscure that, as much as the Supreme Court may be divided, the justices are able to come together on a great many important issues. For example, raisins. Yes, those tiny wrinkled morsels. The tiny snacks are also the subject of a major challenge to government power -- one that has revealed surprising agreement on the Court." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfe69gb  

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How will the war against Islamic State end?

June 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Apps  

"'Tell me how this ends,' U.S. Army General David Petraeus said in 2003, not long after the invasion of Iraq. What started as a private comment to a journalist later became his mantra. It was a bold question, designed to cut through messy thinking from other officials as Washington tried to find its way out of the conflict. The result, of course, was much more complex than the U.S. military had hoped. The most important answer to Petraeus’ question is that 'it' wasn’t going to end. ... Iraq was always going to be messy after the United States’ departure. ... The attempted multiethnic Iraqi state began unraveling even before the United States left." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ohuoc3g  

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Why the Saudis are going solar

June 22, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Jeffrey Ball  

"Saudi Arabia produces much of its electricity by burning oil, a practice that most countries abandoned long ago, reasoning that they could use coal and natural gas instead and save oil for transportation, an application for which there is no mainstream alternative. Most of Saudi Arabia's power plants are colossally inefficient, as are its air conditioners, which consumed 70 percent of the kingdom's electricity in 2013. Although the kingdom has just 30 million people, it is the world's sixth-largest consumer of oil. Now, Saudi rulers say, things must change. Their motivation isn't concern about global warming; the last thing they want is an end to the fossil-fuel era. Quite the contrary: they see investing in solar energy as a way to remain a global oil power." (for publication 07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qcapm3s  

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Popular security software came under relentless NSA and GCHQ attacks

June 22, 2015
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Andrew Fishman and Morgan Marquis-Boire  

"The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software." (06/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nlaxllu  

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