PND Commentary

ISIS: Yes, Mr. Blair, you did build this

July 23, 2014
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Last month, in a tone which might best be called unlikely insistence, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reassured the public that 'we' -- the UK and United States -- 'have to liberate ourselves from the notion that we caused' the destabilization of Iraq by the ISIS insurgency. Well, actually you did." (07/21/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29482  

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Blood, treasure and soul: The exorbitant price of the American empire

July 23, 2014
posted by

Come Home America Come Home America
by Mike Marion  

"It is probably safe to assume that most Americans do not think of their country as an empire. As a conservative in my younger years, I might have even labeled the suggestion as anti-American, rationalizing to myself: Sure, we may have strategic military bases around the world and we may use force at times, but it is only for benevolent purposes. We get the bad guys, give the country back to the good guys, and we leave. The US does not try to rule the world. I was wrong." (07/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pugafwa  

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Rand Paul: Less government, more sharing economy

July 23, 2014
posted by

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

"Who will be the GOP nominee in 2016? I don't know, but I have a pretty good idea who the running mate will be: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Unless Paul is the nominee. A new NBC/Marist poll found Paul would be the top GOP vote-getter against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the critical early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Political reporter Chuck Todd duly has proclaimed Paul the Republican front-runner. So I had to see the libertarian-leaning darling Saturday." [editor's note: Been kinda waiting for Ms. Saunders (who's more libertarian than GOPservative, despite her claims to the contrary?) to assess this one ... - SAT] (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m8rctzm  

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How Silicon Valley millionaires stole progressivism

July 23, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Zelda Bronstein  

"On a Saturday afternoon in early February, more than 600 residents of San Francisco gathered at the Tenderloin Elementary School for a citywide tenants’ convention. The attendees (an eclectic mix of old and young, veteran activists and political newcomers) came from neighborhoods all over town. They joined together to fight the soaring rents and mounting evictions that have accompanied the tech incursion into San Francisco, and that are threatening to turn a city famed for its inclusive, liberal character into an enclave of wealth and privilege." [editor's note: What? Somebody has co-opted a movement -- just as the socialists co-opted the peace effort some 40-50 years ago? I am truly shocked - SAT] (07/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj8dz9e  

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Note to TW stockholders: Listen to Murdoch’s muzzled minorities

July 23, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"Time Warner shareholders pondering whether to surrender to Rupert Murdoch would be well advised to listen to the media mogul’s muzzled minorities. Most Twenty-First Century Fox believers are relegated to owning non-voting stock in the entertainment conglomerate, the same second-tier paper on offer as part of the $80 billion takeover bid for the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. studios. Despite broad investor overlap in the two companies, the record shows a clear distaste for Murdoch’s imperialism." (07/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m27t257  

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A brief history of progressivism

July 22, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Andrew Syrios  

"Assuming progress is one way and reaction the other is a kind of two-dimensional thinking that breaks down very quickly. For example, the progressives of the early twentieth century generally believed things that would abhor progressives of today. Those progressives were the ones who rammed through Prohibition against those 'economic conservatives who ... pushed so hard for repeal' as historian Daniel Okrent put it. The famous progressive William Jennings Bryan was a staunch supporter of Prohibition." (07/22/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6819/A-Brief-History-of-Progressivism  

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Eric Margolis on The Scott Horton Show

July 22, 2014
posted by

Eric Margolis The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Eric Margolis, author of American Raj, discusses Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians in another 'mowing the lawn' operation, and Israel’s role in creating Hamas in the first place." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/22/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/07/21/072114-eric-margolis/  

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Let’s get our politics above the snake line

July 22, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"We’ve got to make our way to higher ground. We’ve got to get our politics above the snake line. People came to Netroots Nation to see Senator Elizabeth Warren speak, and discovered Rev. William Barber when they got here. If you are not yet tuned in to Rev. Barber you absolutely have to watch this speech (or a speech the prior week, at the American Federation of Teachers convention; I actually recommend watching both. After you watch this you will want to watch the other.)" (07/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/krl3rmz  

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Are the media reporting the Gaza war fairly?

July 22, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Are the media finally getting the Israeli-Palestinian story right? It's a difficult question to answer, particularly when it would be hard to agree on what 'right' means. But it does look like we're seeing and hearing more about what's happening to Palestinian civilians than we have in previous flare-ups of this endless conflict. That's what Benjamin Wallace-Wells argues in a piece saying that Israel is losing the PR war in the American media." (07/21/14)

http://prospect.org/article/are-media-reporting-gaza-war-fairly  

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The comforts of blame

July 22, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"What MH17 reveals is that the Cold War allusions, the secrecy dogmas, and the desire to make abundant hay from the information battles, has emptied the deaths of the victims of poignancy and reflective grief. A cruel atmosphere prevails, and it is proving toxic."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/22/the-comforts-of-blame/  

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All aboard for net neutrality

July 22, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Cole Stangler  

"The future of net neutrality (the idea that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all content equally) has never been so uncertain. In the absence of new federal action, telecom behemoths like Verizon and Comcast could soon ask deep-pocketed websites to pony up for speedier delivery of their content, leaving everyone else in the dust. Smaller sites could suffer from frustratingly slow loading speeds. Technically, there’s nothing on the books to stop this." (07/22/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/16935/all_aboard_for_net_neutrality  

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Measured responses in Israel-Gaza conflict

July 22, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Dave Granlund  

Cartoon. (07/21/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/israel-vs-gaza/  

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Keeping a city by the sea from becoming a city in it

July 22, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by James Sanders & Jesse M. Keenan  

"Virtually every big rainstorm in New York now seems to be accompanied by a flash-flood alert sent to cellphones. And scientists recently reported that a vast section of Antarctica’s ice sheet, now melting, might bring on as much as a 10-foot rise in the world’s sea levels in the coming decades. While the nation debates the appropriate response, the coastal cities threatened most by climate change (particularly New York) must somehow address the problem themselves. New York, at least, has begun. After Hurricane Sandy’s catastrophic impact in late 2012, it became obvious that the city must be able to minimize the serious damage caused by future climate “events” and bounce back." (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4ljdce  

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Why Democrats need to take sides

July 22, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson  

"This spring, a prominent Democratic pollster sent a memo to party leaders and Democratic elected officials advising them to speak and think differently. The nation’s economy had deteriorated so drastically, he cautioned, that they needed to abandon their references to the 'middle class,' substituting for those hallowed words the phrase 'working people.' ... 'In today’s harsh economic reality,' he wrote, “many voters no longer identify as middle class.' How many voters? In 2008, a Pew poll asked Americans to identify themselves by class. Fifty-three percent said they were middle-class; 25 percent said lower-class. When Pew asked the same question this January, it found that the number who’d called themselves middle-class had shrunk to 44 percent, while those who said they were of the lower class had grown from 25 percent to 40 percent." (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvfvbxr  

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America’s border crisis of conscience

July 22, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Terrance Heath  

"Sixty bodies lie in a heap on the floor of a morgue that receives the corpses of children under 10 and as young as 2. It’s the body count for just one day, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. How can we in good conscience send children back there? We just did. The first planeload of mothers and children has returned to San Pedro Sula -- the most violent city in the world, in the most violent country in the world. The murder rate in Honduras is the highest of any country in the world, at 90.4 per 100,000 people. In San Pedro Sula, the murder rate is 169 per 100,000 people -- nine times the murder rate of Chicago. Every day, more children are among the dead." (07/21/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20140721/americas-border-crisis-of-conscience  

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How should Obama deal with a world engulfed in war?

July 22, 2014
posted by

The Nationg
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"It’s hard to remember a time (we’re talking even way back in the bad old days of the Cold War) when things were such a mess. It’s hard even to count the number of wars underway right at the moment, but let’s list at least some of them: there’s the Israeli invasion of Gaza, the civil strife in eastern Ukraine, the twin civil wars in Syria and Iraq, the ongoing Afghanistan war, Pakistan’s assault on Taliban strongholds, virtual civil war in Libya, general conflicts across Africa (Nigeria, Mali, the Sudans, Somalia and of course in the eastern Congo/Uganda region), drone strikes and civil war in Yemen. To that list we might add tensions pitting China against Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines and, of course, the high-stakes negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program between Iran and the P5+1 world powers. And then there’s the immigration crisis at the border." (07/21/14)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/180736/world-engulfed-wars-what-do  

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Middle East

July 21, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Milt Priggee  

Cartoon. (07/19/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/middleeast/  

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The bad boss tax

July 21, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Sarah Jaffe  

"Can you name the worst job you’ve ever had? For Cliff Martin, that’s not an easy question. All three of his current jobs -- delivering newspapers, delivering magazines and working as a janitor -- are strong contenders. Taken together, they pay so poorly that the 20-year-old Northfield, Minnesota, native relies on MNsure, the state Medicaid plan, for healthcare and lives at home with his father to save money. But what if Martin’s bosses had to fork over a fee to the state for paying him so badly? That money, in turn, could be used to help support Martin and his fellow low-wage workers in a variety of ways, from direct subsidies for food and housing to social programs such as Medicaid or public transportation." [editor's note: If this proposal were linked solely to min-wage payments despite proven reliability and long service in the job, it MIGHT make some sense; as we all know, it would mostly be applied to first-time, entry-level, unskilled and unproven workers! - SAT] (07/21/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/16949/the_bad_boss_tax  

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Beware the peddlers of despair

July 21, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dady Chery  

"All around us -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, the Congo, Ivory Coast, Palestine, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere -- empires are tearing a trail of destruction. This is not a sign of strength but of weakness, because the aim of empire is not to destroy but to conquer. Since conquest cannot be achieved without the collaboration of the conquered, a campaign of demoralization is an essential component of empire." (07/21/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/21/beware-the-peddlers-of-despair/  

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Empire reaches breaking point — time to end it

July 21, 2014
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers  

"The US is involved in military disputes around the globe, conflicts which could lead to a much broader war. The US role seems to encourage violence, rather than minimize it; to intervene, rather than allow people in the country or region resolve disputes. The breadth of Empire is costly in financial and human terms as well as to the respect of the United States and its people. Is the US Empire spread so thin at a time of a struggling economy that this is a moment where people can come together and build a movement to end Empire?" (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kw86ebf  

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Amid student loan defaults, aid threatened

July 21, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Kathleen Pender  

"The threat of losing all federal financial aid -- including Pell grants and work-study jobs -- if too many former students default on their student loans has caused more community colleges to stop offering federal student loans altogether, according to a report issued last week by the Institute for College Access & Success. In California, seven more community colleges have stopped offering federal student loans since 2010-11, bringing the total to 22. Most are in the Central Valley and Inland Empire. Together these schools represent 12.6 percent of the state's community college enrollment." (07/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmaxlry  

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Where’s Eric Garner’s Amargosa?

July 21, 2014
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Ryan Calhoun  

"In the city of Amargosa in Brazil, citizens took to the streets after a stray bullet fire by a local police officer struck and killed a one-year-old girl. But they didn’t stay in the streets. They quickly took the police station, freeing prisoners, jacking state-owned weaponry and burning the station and police vehicles to the ground. In the end, no one was seriously harmed and the message was sent: We won’t accept your institution’s 'collateral damage' any longer." (07/20/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29484  

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Obama says he ended the “war on drugs.” Don’t believe him

July 21, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Jonathan Blanks  

"The Obama administration says it wants to de-stigmatize drug addiction. But no matter how hard it tries, it’s virtually impossible to de-stigmatize behavior that is still a crime. And the administration is doing little to actually de-stigmatize drug use. Despite their supposed adherence to 'evidence-based practices,' officials steadfastly refuse to consider legalization or decriminalization, even though the evidence unambiguously shows drug prohibition has been a disaster." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2uf8ka  

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The triumph of dubious death penalty appeals

July 21, 2014
posted by

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

"A (all bow) federal judge has ruled that California's death penalty is unconstitutional because the state's 'dysfunctional administration' has meted out the punishment to more than 900 murderers, but imposed it on 'only 13' since 1972. That's too arbitrary, wrote U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney of Santa Ana. ... It doesn't bother Carney that Death Row inmates' lawyers have created that preposterous sentence -- remote possibility of death -- by slowing the wheels of justice with dubious time-sucking appeals. If appellate attorneys think delays are too painful for their clients, maybe they should curb their appeals." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qhavr4n  

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Warren 2014 more important than Warren 2016

July 21, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"Over at Politico Magazine today, I analyzed the meaning of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s busy 2014 schedule, stumping and raising money for a wide range of Democratic candidates on the ballot this November. Many speculate this has something to do with 2016, but she has repeatedly and emphatically denied any presidential bid. Instead, people should pay attention to what she is saying on policy matters, how she is saying it, which candidates are following her lead, and gauging how well her message works on the trail. She is pioneering an 'us-versus-them' argument that fingers 'Wall Street' as the obstacle to progressive reform, an approach that’s subtly different from what President Obama is delivering on the stump." (07/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmou66p  

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