Progressive News Digest

News


| Commentary | Events |

US economy heats up in Q2 after harsh winter

USA Today

"The U.S. economy posted better-than-expected growth in the second quarter, bouncing back from its worst performance in five years. U.S. gross domestic product, which measures the output of goods and services in the economy, expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4% in the three months ended June 30, the Commerce Department said Wednesday." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/njvqnks

No Comments »

PA: State police defend fitness test

Washington Post

"The head of the Pennsylvania State Police says he hopes the U.S. Justice Department will withdraw a lawsuit that claims the agency’s physical fitness standards for recruits discriminates against women. Commissioner Frank Noonan spoke Wednesday, a day after the federal government filed the lawsuit describing what it calls a pattern of discrimination. ... Noonan says the state police won't 'be bullied into changing and lowering our standards' and that it makes sense to have the same standards for women and men." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo84944

No Comments »

Groups argue Florida must hold statewide election

San Francisco Chronicle

"If a judge does not approve an interim map of Florida's congressional seats to replace one that has been deemed unconstitutional, officials could be forced to allow voters from across the state to choose candidates for two congressional seats, the coalition challenging the current districts said Tuesday. The League of Women Voters and other groups filed court papers arguing that if new districts are not approved this year, then federal law requires at-large elections for the seats added in 2012. Florida went from 25 to 27 seats after the 2010 census." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pwwgejw

No Comments »

CO: Court re-imposes marriage apartheid in Boulder County

Christian Science Monitor

"Boulder County must stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while the Colorado Supreme Court considers an appeal from the state's attorney general, justices said in a ruling Tuesday. The court ruling was in response to an appeal from Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who has been trying for several weeks to get Boulder's clerk to stop giving marriage licenses to gay couples until there's a definitive ruling on same-sex unions from the U.S. Supreme Court." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mvgh5ql

No Comments »

CA: Sex website seizure spurs San Francisco bid to decriminalize prostitution

Reuters

"The head of San Francisco’s Erotic Service Providers Union has been a sex worker for 24 years -- and 'I hope to be doing it for another 24,' says Maxine Doogan. But she dreams of a future when she won’t be treated like a criminal and could earn a little respect in the city that launched the fight for sex worker rights 41 years ago. Calls by Bay Area sex workers for decriminalizing consensual prostitution have been spurred anew following the FBI seizure of a West Coast sex services website that prosecutors say hooked up clients with prostitutes and which sex workers saw as a vital forum to screen dangerous clients." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2wvoyr

No Comments »

WA: State pols weigh “In God We Trust” plaque

Fox News

"Should 'In God We Trust' adorn the chambers of Washington state’s Pierce County Council? That’s the apparently controversial question facing councilmembers on Tuesday, a day after a council committee decided to bring the proposal to a vote of the full seven-member council, the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Councilman Jim McCune, the Republican sponsor of the measure, said the national motto is inspiring and patriotic -- and he’s unclear why the proposal has created such controversy." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mwcbhxc

No Comments »

Brazil: Yanomami tribe’s Davi Kopenawa gets death threats

BBC News [UK state media]

"One of Brazil's most prominent indigenous leaders has called for police protection following a series of death threats. Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon rainforest said armed men had raided the offices of lawyers working with him. He said they were hired gunmen who had asked for him and wanted to kill him. In February a major operation began to evict hundreds of gold miners from Yanomami land." (07/29/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-28554806

No Comments »

Jury awards Ventura $1.8 million in defamation case

San Francisco Chronicle

"Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs. A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against 'American Sniper' author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m8t4z7z

No Comments »

Court dismisses ObamaCare lawsuit

Christian Science Monitor

"A federal appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that sought to invalidate the president’s health-care reform law on grounds that the massive piece of legislation did not originate in the House of Representatives as required by the Constitution. A three-judge panel of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the lawsuit filed on behalf of an Iowa artist and part-time National Guardsman." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lxu7457

No Comments »

Mother of murdered Mexican teen sues Border Patrol agents

Raw Story

"Lawyers for the mother of a Mexican teenager fatally shot by U.S. border police filed a U.S. federal civil rights lawsuit on Tuesday, calling the killing 'brazen and lawless' and the latest example of agents using excessive force. The lawsuit says unnamed U.S. Border Patrol agents violated the constitutional rights of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was 16 years old when he died in the cross-border shooting from Arizona into Nogales, Mexico, in October 2012. An autopsy by Mexican authorities found the teen was shot seven times from behind." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mh6d8fp

No Comments »

Toyota prices new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car at $69,000

Newsday

"Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to name its $69,000 fuel-cell car Mirai, the Japanese word for future, a person familiar with the decision said. ... The maker of the Prius hybrid is betting that consumers will embrace fuel-cell cars over pure-electric vehicles, pushed by Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. Toyota plans a sticker price of about $69,000 for its first model based on the technology, which go on sale in Japan before April." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ltry8os

No Comments »

Prosecutor: “Compelling” signs Kosovo leaders trafficked in organs

Los Angeles Times

"A special prosecutor appointed by the European Union to investigate allegations of war crimes by Kosovo Albanian leaders said Tuesday he had found 'compelling indications' of crimes against humanity, including the killing of minorities to harvest and sell their organs. The organ trafficking incidents during the Kosovars' 1998-99 war for independence from Serbia appear to have been fewer than 10, said Clint Williamson, the U.S. prosecutor named in 2011 to investigate reports of atrocities condoned by leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kkme9mv

No Comments »

MS: State’s lone abortion clinic survives court appeal

Business Week

"Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic will remain open after an appeals court criticized as probably illegal a state law requiring doctors who perform the procedure obtain hospital admitting privileges. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans said enforcement of the law will continue to be suspended while litigation by the clinic proceeds. In a 2-to-1 decision, the court upheld a lower court judge who rejected Mississippi’s argument that women may still obtain abortions in neighboring states." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj7bct3

No Comments »

US vets deal: $17 billion to ease medical wait times

Reuters

"Leaders of the Veterans Affairs committees in the U.S. Congress said on Monday they had struck a rare compromise deal on legislation that provides about $17 billion in funding to ease long waiting times for VA medical centers. Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Representative Jeff Miller, a Republican, said the figure marks about the halfway point between the competing proposals they announced last week. The compromise measure aims to clear months-long waiting lists at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. The agency has been rocked by scandal over cover-ups of these waiting times, prompting the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki in late May." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oex3kwd

No Comments »

Pentagon official admits US no safer after 13 years of war

Christian Science Monitor

"The nation is no safer after 13 years of war, warns a top US military official who leads one of the nation’s largest intelligence organizations. 'We have a whole gang of new actors out there that are far more extreme than Al Qaeda,' says Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, which employs some 17,000 American intelligence collectors in 140 countries around the world. That the United States is no safer (and in some respects may be less safe) even after two wars and trillions of dollars could prove to be disappointing news for Americans, noted the journalist questioning General Flynn at the Aspen Security Forum last week." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p5xefgv

No Comments »

Qatar World Cup: Officials “dismayed” by unpaid workers

BBC News [UK state media]

"Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar say they are 'dismayed' by claims that migrant workers who fitted their offices are still waiting to be paid. Workers from Nepal, Sri Lanka and India say they are still owed 13 months' wages after the contractor collapsed. Some workers had been left stranded in the country, working for as little as $0.85 a day (50p), The Guardian said. In May, Qatar vowed to improve the rights of migrants in the Gulf state amid growing alarm at their treatment." (07/28/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28528178

No Comments »

Pentagon auditor spotlights US billions blown in Afghanistan

Fox News

"John Sopko, the inspector general charged with monitoring aid sent by the U.S. to Afghanistan, has identified potentially billions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan, including donation of planes the local government doesn't need or can't use, weapons that disappear as soon as they're handed over and and construction of brand new buildings that are basically firetraps. In a steady stream of audit reports, Sopko's office of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, has spotlighted seemingly endless waste in the war-torn nation." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k59bsp8

No Comments »

OkCupid admits to “experimenting” on users

San Francisco Chronicle

"Dating website OkCupid runs tests on its users. That’s right, the tool we trust to find companionship, random hookups and maybe even love 'doesn’t really know what it’s doing,' according to a blog post from co-founder Christian Rudder. It performs experiments to find out. Before explaining the experiments, Rudder acknowledges the outrage following last month’s revelation that Facebook had manipulated user news feeds in a 2012 study." [editor's note: I wonder when folks will stop expecting any different behavior from FREE websites? - SAT] (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nz32cpn

No Comments »

Report: Virus drugmaker fights pediatricians’ new advice

Fox News

"A costly drug given mostly to premature babies is at the center of a clash between the manufacturer and the nation's leading pediatrician's group, which recommends scaling back use of the medicine. The dispute involves new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which say medical evidence shows the drug benefits few children other than very young preemies. The medicine guards against a common but usually mild virus that can cause serious lung problems." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oyhvpua

No Comments »

Russia: Pussy Riot takes Kremlin to European court

Raw Story

"Two members of the feminist group Pussy Riot are suing the Russian government in the European court of human rights (ECHR) over their imprisonment for a 2012 'punk prayer' protest at a Moscow cathedral. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were given an amnesty in December after serving 21 months in prison and pre-trial confinement, are demanding €120,000 each in compensation, plus €10,000 in court fees. They argue that the investigation and prosecution violated their rights and amounted to torture." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oyhvpua

No Comments »

VA: Federal appeals panel strikes down marriage apartheid law

USA Today

"A federal appeals court panel in Virginia became the second one this summer to strike down a state ban against same-sex marriage Monday, making it more likely that the Supreme Court will settle the issue as early as next year. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond ruled 2-1 that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry that is paramount to state marriage laws. The ruling affirmed a district judge's decision rendered in February." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/numko2h

No Comments »

Report: 76% of overweight kids think their weight is fine

Raw Story

"Almost one-third of American children and teenagers are either obese or overweight, but a new study carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, found 30 percent of them -- about 9.1 million -- believe they are at the correct weight. ... This misperception was more common among heavier kids. CDC reported 41.9 percent of those obese believed they were of normal weight and a staggering 76.0 percent of those overweight considered themselves to be of normal weight." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kjferrg

No Comments »

NY: “Spider-Man” busted for slugging cop in Times Square

Fox News

"A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square. Junior Bishop, 25, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. The New York Police Department said the officer assaulted Saturday -- an 18-month veteran and one of about 50 officers patrolling the bustling tourist area -- stepped in after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 tip she offered." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwb5stc

No Comments »

Study: Six seconds of exercise “can transform health”

BBC News [UK state media]

"Short six-second bursts of vigorous exercise have the potential to transform the health of elderly people, say researchers in Scotland. A pilot study involving 12 pensioners showed going all-out in very short bursts, reduced blood pressure and improved general fitness over time. The team at Abertay University believe it could help avert the 'astronomical' costs of ill health in elderly people. Experts said the study emphasized the benefits of exercise at any age." (07/27/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28400968

No Comments »

CA drought: As land sinks, farmers brainstorm on water

San Francisco Chronicle

"Case Vlot pulls up groundwater through deep wells to keep his corn and alfalfa crops alive. Chase Hurley runs a water company nearby that sells river water to farmers who can't depend on wells. Normally the two would rarely talk to each other. But that was before the drought, and before the land began to sink beneath their feet. Now they and every farmer for miles around are talking to each other all the time, brainstorming in ways they've never had to before." (07/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kak7f2w

No Comments »


Commentary


| News | Events |

Old news

Cagle Post
by Mark Streeter

Cartoon. (07/29/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/old-news/

No Comments »

Glacial melt and its politics

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Robert Hunziker

"Congress may dawdle while climate change surges ahead, but the price to pay is already registering in glacial melt, which challenges the world’s food supply, electric power supply, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, seawater rise, and navigable commercial waterways. And, if that’s not enough, it’ll kill Alpine skiing." (07/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/30/glacial-melt-and-its-politics/

No Comments »

Jaron Lanier, “intellectual property” and parasitism on the system of violence

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by William Gillis

"Over-35s seem to love nothing more than being told that the Internet — and the rapid cultural developments that have paralleled it — have been a terrible mistake with huge downsides that will surely doom us. And there’s no end to the opportunistic hacks lining up to dress this generational reactionary spasm as the contrarian voice of reason. We’re told that we need elites, that people talking about injustice in their own online communities has gone on long enough, that decentralized systems are surely too complicated to figure out, that Chelsea Manning and activists who care about a free Internet are a false front for the Koch brothers, et cetera. The arguments are inevitably as preposterous as they are haughtily presented. But Jaron Lanier’s recent declaration in the pages of Quartz really takes the cake." (07/29/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29842

No Comments »

Marijuana prohibition doesn’t work

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

"The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, the Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana. The Times did not celebrate marijuana use; it simply addressed the downside of prohibition: 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, with a disproportionate representation of young black men. The editorial also laid out a rational view of marijuana. ... Apparently, it took marijuana to get Democrats to find a policy area that states should decide." [editor's note: Oh, snap! Get 'em, Debra J.! Any time you can show how hypocritical the Ds are on civil liberties, brava! - SAT] (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kzvkdzz

No Comments »

Making money shouldn’t be the purpose of a college education

The New Republic
by David A. Bell

"As a Princeton professor, I really ought to love college rankings. The most famous of them, by U.S. News and World Report, currently places my employer first among national universities, nudging out Harvard and Yale. Forbes’s list of 'America’s Top Colleges' has us at a respectable third. While Money’s brand-new 'Best Colleges' ranking takes us down a notch to fourth, it still puts us ahead of the other Ivies. Go, Tigers! In fact, as with most of my colleagues, what was once mild amusement at this Game of Lists is fast turning into serious annoyance." [editor's note: I fully agree, it should not be the ONLY purpose of one! In my case, it sure wasn't ... - SAT] [additional editor's note: What's this thing about choosing other people's purposes for them? - TLK] (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kx4ubx9

No Comments »

In turbulent Iraq, children bear the brunt of war

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Chau Ngo

"Iraq has now become one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child. UNAMI said it has also documented 'systematic and egregious violations' by the Islamic State against children, including sexual violence and rape, killing and physical violence, forced recruitment. The newly reported violence and casualties are the continuation of children’s suffering in Iraq in the past decade. More than 7,800 civilians were killed last year, the highest since the U.N. started a systematic count of civilian casualties in the country in 2008, according to a UN report." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qdnpyhy

No Comments »

The problem with both “pro-Israel” & “anti-Israel”

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"In a typically thoughtful piece today, Jonathan Chait explains why he has 'grown less pro-Israel over the last decade.' I want to push back on this a bit, not because I disagree with any of the particular points Chait makes, but because of the broad framing. The idea of 'pro-Israel,' like its mirror 'anti-Israel,' is the enemy of rational thought and debate on this topic. Unless you're talking about whom you're rooting for in the Olympics, talking about who's pro-Israel and who isn't, and to what degree, almost never helps illuminate anything." [editor's note: Not until you at least separate "antisemitic" from "anti-imperialist" ... - SAT] (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kn3mxu8

No Comments »

Astoundingly legal corporate tax thievery

Our Future
by Jim Hightower

"Did you scramble to get your taxes done this year at the last minute? Yeah, me too. I really didn’t mind paying what I owe -- but I hate having to pay the taxes owed by the likes of JPMorgan Chase, ExxonMobil, and Amazon. They’re just a few of the astonishingly profitable corporations adept at minimizing their tax tabs. That shifts more of the cost of everything from the military to national parks onto our shoulders." [editor's note: Aside from ignoring the simple fact that corporations don't pay taxes, their customers do ... this is a pretty good analysis - SAT] (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/moh9a8g

No Comments »

How partisanship could save Iran diplomacy

The Nation
by Ali Gharib

"Over the past two weeks, on the heels of an announced extension to nuclear talks with Iran, Republicans in the Senate introduced two measures that could erect obstacles in reaching and implementing a final agreement with the Islamic Republic. One of the efforts, led by Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, would mandate congressional approval before a nuclear deal could be struck. Another, spearheaded by the Senate’s most ferocious Iran hawk, Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, would strip President Barack Obama of his ability to waive Iran sanctions -- something the president might need to do in order to hold up the American end of the bargain and give Iran relief. What’s most notable about these efforts, however, is their distinctly Republican nature. Both are co-sponsored by a bevy of GOP hawks, with no Democrats having yet signed on." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k2s7asb

No Comments »

Oliver, Chappelle & Rock: Hard truths

Reuters
by Chloe Angyal

"Until a few weeks ago, I’d met very few Americans who could name the prime minister of my homeland, Australia. But that was before John Oliver’s show Last Week Tonight, on HBO, ran a short segment about him. Suddenly, Americans I met were joking about Tony Abbott, the social conservative best known for being photographed in Speedos and telling people to vote for him because his daughters are so good-looking. Oliver’s recurring segment, 'Other Countries’ Presidents of the United States,' profiles various world leaders (France’s Francois Hollande has also received the Oliver treatment) and handles them with the same comic contempt with which the show treats American politicians." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kakkww4

No Comments »

Botched executions

Cagle Post
by David Fitzsimmons

Cartoon. (07/28/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/botched-executions-2/

No Comments »

In Gaza, children are pawns of war

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Cesar Chelala

"In one of its latest attacks, the Israel Defense Forces killed ten people in a Gaza park, nine of them children. As the number of Palestinian dead soars over one thousand, most of them civilians -of which at least a quarter are children- one wonders how this kind of behavior can continue withoout a serious response from the US. That huge numbers of children should die in these attacks is a serious indictment of the Israeli military’s behavior, which has been condemned around the world." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7unges

No Comments »

Markets: Exuberance not always “irrational”

Reuters
by Anatole Kaletsky

"With the stock market continuing to hit new highs almost daily despite the appalling geopolitical disasters and human tragedies unfolding in Ukraine, Gaza, Syria and Iraq, there has been much head-scratching about the baffling indifference among investors. Many economists and analysts see this apparent complacency as a symptom of a deeper malaise: an 'irrational exuberance' that has pushed stock prices to absurdly overvalued levels. The most celebrated proponent of this view is Robert Shiller, the Nobel Prize-winning, Yale University economist who is often credited with predicting both the 2000 stock market crash and the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nonfobz

No Comments »

Note to private equity: Your image is not the problem

Our Future
by Eileen Appelbaum

"The theme of this year’s European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA) symposium held in Vienna in June was 'Private Equity as a Transformational Force.' Speakers emphasized the industry’s need to develop partnerships with the companies it acquires and deliver value for all stakeholders. EVCA is concerned that the private equity industry has an image problem: Tt is seen as focusing on investor returns with a callous disregard for the jobs of workers and the interests of the company and its other stakeholders. EVCA wants to tell the public that PE delivers economic growth and jobs. It wants to 'encourag[e] the private equity industry to look beyond returns and recognize its role as a global influencer and agent for progress....' The audience for this industry image do-over is regulators and policy makers." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m22xm6k

No Comments »

The drug war is finished

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

"The drug war is finished. Kaput. It’s now just a matter of time when the federal government calls an end to this evil, immoral, destructive, and racist government program. Yesterday, the New York Times became the latest addition to those calling for an end to the drug war, with an editorial entitled 'Repeal Prohibition, Again.'" (07/28/14)

http://fff.org/2014/07/28/the-drug-war-is-finished-2/

No Comments »

A new phase in the marijuana legalization debate

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"On Sunday, the New York Times editorialized for the first time in favor of a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, and did so in dramatic fashion, with a statement on the front page of the Sunday Review section and two more pieces going into greater detail. It wasn't particularly surprising, given the generally liberal bent of the Times editorial page and the fact that support for legalization has moved firmly into the mainstream. But it's still important, because the Times remains the most influential news outlet in the country, and they have an unrivaled ability to set the agenda for the rest of the media. There is a shift going on in this debate, and it isn't just that mainstream politicians and newspapers can now support legalization." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m22xm6k

No Comments »

Boeing has an Israel problem … and Chicago has a Boeing problem

Come Home America Come Home America
by Joe Scarry

"Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the top military contractors in the world; and it's one that hides behind the veneer of providing civilian airliners, for 'nice' travel. The antiwar community in Chicago has long sought to shine a light on Boeing's grisly war business and has called for it to cease those activities. ... Getting the public to pay attention isn’t easy in our see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, above-it-all society. Now that the Israeli government’s killings in Gaza are front-page news -- particularly the way military aircraft is being used to mow down innocent men, women, and children -- Boeing’s involvement is in everyone’s face." (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n8jqtyx

No Comments »

Israel’s war in Gaza: Don’t look behind the curtain

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"Much like the later Soviet-backed coup which installed Karmal in Afghanistan, the installation of a cooperative head of state opened the way for the large-scale introduction of US military forces into South Vietnam. Like the United States fifty years ago, Israel has every reason to fear peace breaking out between two former adversaries. And from that standpoint, Israel’s all-out assault on Gaza in recent days couldn’t have come at a better time." (07/28/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29755

No Comments »

Golden Gate Park turf battle: Democracy gone awry

San Francisco Chronicle
by CW Nevius

"We all understand the principle of democracy. We elect our leaders and order them to make informed decisions. If we disapprove of their choices we vote them out of office. That's not how it works in San Francisco. 'What you are seeing now is a push -- mostly from the left -- to bypass the government,' says political consultant David Latterman. 'If they don't like the way the city is going, simply bypass it and put it on the ballot.' The upcoming November election already has John Arntz, director of elections, worried. It's not the issues that concern him. He's worried about the simple logistics." [editor's note: Democracy in its natural state, you mean? And since when is a plebiscite a less valid form of such? - SAT] (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/plf8xkh

No Comments »

Did Hillary Clinton just join the neocons?

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss

"Did Hillary Clinton just throw in with the neoconservatives and the Israel lobby on the key sticking point in the Iran-P5+1 talks -- namely, whether and how much Iran may enrich uranium on its own soil? In her appearance yesterday on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program on CNN, it sure looks like it. Unless she misspoke, she said explicitly that she favors the idea of 'so little enrichment or no enrichment,' a view that outright contradicts the position of the White House and the State Department, who’ve long ago agreed that Iran can maintain a civilian enrichment program to produce fuel for its current nuclear reactors and for a planned expansion of its nuclear program in the future." [editor's note: Can anyone think of ANY situation in which Hillary's foreign policy prescriptions haven't been identical to those of the neoconservatives? - TLK] (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ojvd694

No Comments »

Instead of, “Did she say no?” we should ask, “Did she want to have sex?”

Raw Story
by Amanda Marcotte

"This item is a little old, but I wanted to flag it because it really gets to the heart of the debate about what sexual consent is. Feminists are increasingly clamoring for an affirmative consent standard, where someone has to indicate, through language or body language, an actual desire to have sex. I call it the 'only kiss people who are kissing you back' standard. Anti-feminists disagree, arguing that feminists are trying to label all men rapists or police sex or some other horseshit." [editor's note: It still amazes me that this is even at question; "consent" means actively expressed consent ... period! - SAT] (07/28/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lk8yqeg

No Comments »

Escaping a failed state

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Cosme Caal

"Gate 31 of the Tom Bradley International Terminal in Los Angeles is packed with white American tourists, volunteers and missionaries, waiting in little huddles. And there too are Guatemalans and American/Guatemalan children waiting to depart for Central America. Everyone chit chats. In English. In Spanish. In Spanglish. The tourists and volunteers pay us Guatemalans no mind. They exercise their civil inattention, a practice we Guatemalans consider rude and contemptuous. But no one really seems to care. We all want to go to Guatemala. I hear whispers and conversations about 'dangerous Guatemala,' the incessant killings, and the deportations. Yet, here we are. Here I am, going home one more time as a transnational American." (07/28/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/28/escaping-a-failed-state/

No Comments »

How did the GOP turn into such a bunch of clowns?

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman

"For a lot of reasons, the current era will probably be seen as unusually consequential in the history of the two parties, particularly the GOP. For Republicans, it has been a time of ideological hardening and bitter infighting. But one aspect of the Republican dilemma hasn't gotten as much attention as those: This is a time of unusual, even stunning, Republican political incompetence." (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qyl5fdp

No Comments »

Paul Ryan’s promising new plan to end poverty

Reuters
by Reihan Salam

"Paul Ryan has long been known as the GOP’s budget guru. With the release of his new report on expanding opportunity in America -- the most ambitious conservative anti-poverty agenda since the mid-1990s -- he is on the cusp of becoming something much more than that. Loved by the right and loathed by the left, Ryan has been the architect of the most consequential Republican domestic policy initiatives of the Obama era. In spirit if not in name, Ryan spent much of President Obama’s first term as the leader of the opposition, rallying Republicans against Obamacare and in favor of long-term spending reductions. His controversial calls for entitlement and tax reform as chairman of the House Budget Committee were singled out by the president for over-the-top denunciation." (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ml9pcqn

No Comments »

Corporations leaving U. and “economic patriotism”

Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"There is more and more interest in the stories about corporations 'renouncing' their U.S. citizenship in order to evade paying taxes for the courts, roads, military, schools, and other public services that have made them prosperous. They are using something called “inversions” to do this, meaning they merge with or just buy a foreign company and pretend they are a subsidiary of that company. Their headquarters, executives, operations, employees, customers and everything else stay where they are. They still use our public services. Their employees still go to our schools. The only thing that changes is the lower taxes they pay." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7mucnl

No Comments »

FBI: Gone fishin’ — for Shrimp Boy and whatever

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

"The FBI's motto is 'fidelity, bravery and integrity.' But given the FBI sting against Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow (a convicted felon who was freed from prison in 2003 because the feds got him to testify against a confederate) I suspect that a more apt motto might be: FuggetaBoutIt. On Thursday, Chronicle columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross identified Mayor Ed Lee as another public figure who was drawn dangerously close to the FBI's 'Shrimp Boy' trap." (07/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k7xoj6u

No Comments »

The NSA’s new partner in spying: Saudi Arabia’s brutal police state

The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain

"The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans 'to provide direct analytic and technical support' to the Saudis on 'internal security' matters. The Saudi Ministry of Interior -- referred to in the document as MOI -- has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kqb9gtr

No Comments »

Will Putin go all-in on Ukraine if rebels near defeat?

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss

"Russia’s Vladimir Putin is at a fateful crossroads. He can go all-in on Ukraine, upping the ante by increasing military supplies to the retreating rebel separatists in Ukraine’s southeast, providing open military backing to their cause, and as a last resort ordering an invasion by Russian troops. Or, on the other hand, he can relinquish his would-be stranglehold over Ukraine and accept Ukraine as a unitary state, probably oriented toward Western Europe and the European Union, while establishing normal relations with Ukraine on the lines of, well, Poland." (07/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oxylrmb

No Comments »

A Staples diet for postal workers

In These Times
by Amien Essif

"More than 1,000 postal workers and allies gathered in downtown Chicago on Tuesday to promote a boycott against Staples as part of the American Postal Workers Union’s 'Stop Staples' campaign. Late last year, the office supply giant set up 'mini post offices' inside 82 outlets around the country, provoking anger among workers concerned for their salaries, their jobs, and the integrity of the postal service. Tuesday’s protest, the largest of its kind since the National Day of Action on April 24, was held in conjunction with this week’s APWU convention." [editor's note: Okay, let's review -- Here we have a government monopoly, with it's own employees' union, demanding that the monopoly continue, despite the fact that somehow it is losing money every day. What could possibly go wrong? - SAT] (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mho5mqm

No Comments »

Where we are

Cagle Post
by Martyn Turner

Cartoon. (07/25/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/where-we-are/

No Comments »

You can’t taper a Ponzi scheme

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ellen Brown

"At one time, manipulating interest rates was the Fed’s stock in trade for managing the money supply; but that tool too has lost its cutting edge. Rates are now at zero, as low as they can go -- unless they go negative, meaning the bank charges the depositor interest rather than the reverse. That desperate idea is actually being discussed. Meanwhile, rates are unlikely to be raised any time soon. On July 23rd, Bloomberg reported that the Fed could keep rates at zero through 2015. One reason rates are unlikely to be raised is that they would make the interest tab on the burgeoning federal debt something taxpayers could not support. Higher rates could also implode the monster derivatives scheme." (07/25/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/25/you-cant-taper-a-ponzi-scheme/

No Comments »

Drug war nonsense from a US commander

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

"Kelly says that the problem is exorbitant demand for the drugs in the United States. In other words, the fault for all the death and destruction in Latin America (and the United States) lies with Americans who choose to consume drugs. If they would just give up their desire for drugs, Kelly implies, Latin America would turn into a nice, peaceful, harmonious part of the world. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. People have been taking drugs as long as drugs have been around. And they are going to continue to do so, no matter how harsh and severe the drug-war crackdowns become." (07/25/14)

http://fff.org/2014/07/25/drug-war-nonsense-from-a-u-s-commander/

No Comments »

Fracking: Poster child for the corporate welfare state

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

"At every step of the way, the state steps in to subsidize the operating costs of the fossil fuel industry, steal land for it to build pipelines on, and indemnify it against liability through regulatory preemption of tort law or even flat out statutory caps on liability for damage. And yet self-proclaimed libertarians like the Koch Brothers and much of the right-wing libertarian think tank and periodicals establishment loudly proclaim their support for fracking and Keystone in the name of the 'free market.'" (07/24/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29567

No Comments »

Yes, we should care more about “our” wars

Lucy Steigerwald Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"Is it any wonder that after 115 years of empire, the people trying desperately to go cold turkey off that drug sometimes sound like they're going easy on everyone except the bad guys at home? The bad guys at home are acting in our name. The patriotic scolds ask why anti-interventionists obsess over America (or Israel) and not boogeymen like Assad or Putin. Because our standards -- or noble little Israel the democracy's -- were supposed to be higher than theocracies', or oligarchies', or dictatorships'." (07/25/14)

No Comments »

How one piece of paper destroyed your right to a trial

The Nation
by Peter Van Buren

"In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted -- about one-third of the text is missing -- Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury and executioner." (07/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m27ptg5

No Comments »


Events


| News | Commentary |

Standard Model goes pear-shaped in CERN experiment

The Register [UK]

"It's only a small thing, but it could be big news: researchers at CERN have turned up the first evidence of exotic (and short-lived) atoms with pear-shaped nuclei. The reasons the boffins are excited is they believe the eccentric nuclei can help them probe one of physics' official Big Questions: how come there's something instead of nothing?" (05/09/13)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/09/pear_shaped_exotic_nuclei/

No Comments »

FDA issues warning for over-the-counter diarrhea drug

Fox News

"The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use an over-the-counter drug called Intestinomicina because the anti-diarrhea treatment contains a drug linked to life-threatening injuries. The El Salvador-manufactured drug comes in pills and liquid forms and is sold as a treatment for infectious diarrhea at international grocery stores and specialty stores in the U.S. Regulators say Intestinomicina contains the drug chloramphenicol, which can interfere with the production of red and white blood cells. People with anemia and other low blood cell counts are at greater risk of injury or death from using the drug." (09/19/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8t3oo49

No Comments »

Egypt: Push strengthens for blasphemy clause in constitution

Christian Science Monitor

"Last week's protests in reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube clip have led to Egyptian demands that the US prosecute the filmmakers and may give a decisive push to an effort to enshrine in the Egyptian constitution the criminalization of blasphemy, or insulting religious figures. While the US-based filmmakers are protected under the First Amendment in the US, in some parts of the Middle East they could be prosecuted under laws that criminalize disparaging religion. In Egypt, the backlash could bolster a preexisting effort to insert a clause banning religious insults into Egypt’s new constitution." [editor's note: Yes, that's surely why constitutions were created ... NOT! - SAT] (09/16/12)

http://tinyurl.com/9zodrvb

No Comments »

In unusual “snub,” Obama wont be meeting Netanyahu

Reuters

"In a highly unusual rebuff to a close ally as tensions escalated over how to deal with Iran's nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday President Barack Obama would not meet Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli prime minister's U.S. visit later this month. The apparent snub, coupled with Netanyahu's sharpened demands for a tougher U.S. line against Iran, threatened to plunge U.S.-Israeli relations into crisis and add pressure on Obama in the final stretch of a tight presidential election campaign." [editor's note: I changed their headline to indicate the reality; two world leaders both happen to be speaking at the U.N. ... on different days - SAT] (09/12/12)

http://tinyurl.com/96g2uqw

No Comments »

Report: In Nigeria, a concrete get-rich scheme

Reuters

"Aliko Dangote has always liked making things to sell. As a child he boiled up sugar to make sweets he sold around town; these days he cooks up limestone in factories that produce millions of tonnes of cement. Dangote's entrepreneurial skills have helped make him Africa's richest person, with cement plants opened or under construction everywhere from Senegal to Ethiopia to South Africa. He dreams of owning the largest cement firm on the planet. By 2015, he hopes, his industrial conglomerate will be worth four times its current estimated $15 billion." (09/11/12)

http://tinyurl.com/8scc49g

No Comments »


Our Sponsors




Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?