Progressive News Digest

News


| Commentary | Events |

US regime to open new vetting agency for “secret” security clearances

Reuters Reuters

"The U.S. government will open the doors next week to a new agency, with stronger data protections, meant to shorten by many weeks the time it takes to vet government workers seeking 'secret' and 'top secret' security clearances. The National Background Investigations Bureau will be headed by Charles Phalen, who has worked as a security executive at the CIA, the FBI and defense contractor Northrop Grumman, officials said on Thursday on a conference call with reporters. The bureau will replace an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) clearance system that was hit by hackers who stole potentially sensitive personal data on as many as 22 million people, including government employees and job applicants. Phalen and OPM Director Beth Cobert said a top priority for the bureau will be shortening delays in the clearance process, which can hold up the hiring of government employees for months." (09/29/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-security-clearance-idUSKCN11Z2TM

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IL: Chicago doctor caught making “vaccines” from cat saliva and vodka

Raw Story Raw Story

"A doctor in the suburbs of Chicago had his license suspended after he was found to be concocting his own 'vaccines' -- from cat drool and vodka. According to the Chicago Tribune, investigators who were alerted to Dr. Ming Te Lin's unorthodox methods came to check on his practice; in his cluttered office they found 'a box filled with vials and tubes that [Lin] was using to make his own vaccinations.' Lin said not to worry, he'd only been giving patients his unique vaccination blend for ... over a decade. He told investigators that he added vodka, and, if patients had allergies, cat saliva gathered straight from a cat's mouth. It's unclear whether or not the saliva was from Dr. Lin’s own cat, or random cats he found for the purpose of collecting their spit. Lin allegedly administered his vaccines orally or in a nasal form." [editor's note: An interesting experiment in the "placebo effect" or just fraud? Your call - SAT] (09/29/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/chicago-doctor-caught-making-vaccines-from-cat-saliva-and-vodka

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Demonizing the Green Party vote

CounterPunch CounterPunch

"Third parties, especially during presidential election years, are subjected to a variety of criticisms from supporters of the candidates of the duopoly and their corporate media enablers. The level of virulent denunciation in 2016 of the Green Party's presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, by Democrats and partisans of Hillary Clinton may be a reflection of how paranoid they have become over the thought that a misogynistic and xenophobic white nationalist like Donald Trump might actually win the election. Although that is highly doubtful, especially given the demographics, the Greens have become, nonetheless, a target to be browbeaten and censured. At the core of much of these criticisms is a profound misunderstanding of what a vote for a third party like the Green Party means." (09/29/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/29/demonizing-the-green-party-vote/

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US band The Slants sues to trademark “offensive” name

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"An Oregon band's bid for the right to trademark their "offensive" name has reached the US Supreme Court. The case was brought to the Supreme Court by The Slants after their trademark was refused because the name is disparaging to Asian-Americans. The Asian-American band acknowledges the name may offend, but say they chose it to 'reappropriate' its meaning. The ruling could impact the high-profile case of the American football team, the Washington Redskins. In 2014 the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the team's six trademarks, including the lucrative team logo, after years of complaints from Native American groups. The Slants had first attempted to register their band name in 2011, and sued after they were refused." (09/29/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37502792

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LA: Graphic video released in police murder of six-year-old

KLFY 10 News

"The public is getting its first look at a police body camera video that shows two deputy city marshals opening fire on a car, killing a 6-year-old boy and critically wounding his father in Louisiana. Prosecutors showed the tape in court Wednesday to support their claim that one of the deputies, Derrick Stafford, had a pattern of using excessive force -- including last November's fatal shooting of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis in Marksville." (09/29/16)

http://klfy.com/ap/court-releases-video-of-police-shooting-that-killed-la-boy/

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Amnesty says Sudan regime used deadly chemical weapons in Darfur conflict

CNN CNN

"The Sudanese government has been accused of using chemical weapons against the people of Darfur, according to a report released by Amnesty International on Thursday. The attacks targeted civilians and may constitute a war crime, the report said. The Sudanese government has denied the allegations, calling them 'rumors.' Amnesty says it has new evidence abuses persist in a war that has been described as one of the world's worst humanitarian conflicts by the United Nations." (09/29/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/29/africa/sudan-chemical-weapon-darfur/

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Congress overrides Obama’s veto of 9/11 bill

Washington Post

"Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override President Obama's veto of legislation that would allow 9/11 victims' families to sue the Saudi Arabian government over its alleged support for the terrorists who carried out the attacks. It is the first override of Obama's presidency. The votes in the House and Senate amounted to a sweeping, bipartisan rejection of pleas from the White House to back the president, with administration officials arguing the legislation poses a national security threat by exposing U.S. officials to similar lawsuits abroad." (09/28/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/27/senate-poised-to-vote-to-override-obamas-veto-of-911-bill/

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US Senate passes stopgap spending bill, $1.1 billion for Zika research

Fox News Fox News

"Averting an election-year crisis, Congress late Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 9 and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to battle [sic] the Zika virus. The House cleared the measure by a 342-85 vote just hours after a bipartisan Senate tally. The votes came after top congressional leaders broke through a stalemate over aid to help Flint, Michigan, address its water crisis. ... emocrats claimed a partial victory on Flint while the GOP-dominated Louisiana delegation won a down payment on Obama's $2.6 billion request for their state." [editor's note: Let's see, a billion for research to cover up Monsanto's role in this and blame the mosquitoes again, a sweet bailout for the pols in Michigan, and another half-billion to look busy in New Orleans ... Yep, they covered it all - SAT] (09/28/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/29/congress-passes-stopgap-government-funding-bill-1-1b-for-zika-fight.html

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OPEC reaches preliminary accord to curb oil production

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"OPEC nations reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday to curb oil production for the first time since the global financial crisis eight years ago, pushing up prices that had sunk over the past two years and weakened the economies of oil-producing nations. The deal was reached after several hours of talks in the Algerian capital, though output levels must still be finalized at an OPEC meeting in Vienna in November. The preliminary deal will limit output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day, said Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar's energy minister and current president of OPEC. Current output is estimated at 33.2 million barrels per day." (09/28/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Old-rivalries-seen-blocking-OPEC-deal-to-support-9346795.php

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Comey continues fashioning narrative of “Them Russians stole the election” in case establishment loses

CNN CNN

"The FBI has discovered attempted hacks of voter registration sites in more than a dozen states according to two law enforcement officials. US investigators believe that Russia is behind those attempted hacks the officials said. Earlier Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey spoke of additional attempted hacks at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, but did not specify a number. ... Voting registration databases have always been appealing targets for hackers, who can use personal information for financial crime. This cycle, there is a concern that Russian government-linked hackers are also looking to sow distrust in the US election system as a way to undermine Western power." [editor's note: Well, SOMEONE is trying to sow distrust - TLK](09/28/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/28/politics/fbi-james-comey-election-cyberattacks/

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Playboy features first woman wearing hijab

USA Today USA Today

"For the first time, Playboy is featuring a woman wearing a hijab in its October issue. Playboy interviewed and photographed Noor Tagouri, a 22-year-old journalist for an article about her career, background and modesty as part of its Renegades series. The article calls Tagouri an activist 'with a passion for demanding change' who 'forces us to ask ourselves why we have such a hard time wrapping our minds around a young woman who consciously covers her head and won’t take no for an answer.' It touches on her role as a journalist with Newsy, a video news source, and pros and cons to being a Muslim woman in the industry." (09/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/09/28/playboy-features-first-woman-wearing-hijab/91228326

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US deports Rwanda genocide suspect Leopold Munyakazi

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"The US has deported a Rwandan academic, accused of being a key figure in the 1994 genocide, to his home country. Leopold Munyakazi's deportation came after he lost a long-running legal battle to gain asylum in the US. He is accused of wearing banana leaves during the genocide to identify himself as a Hutu, and of organising night raids on the homes of families from the rival Tutsi ethnic group. Mr Munyakazi, a former university professor, has denied the allegations. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered by Hutu militias in just 100 days in 1994" (09/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37493505

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Obama says 9/11 legislation sets “dangerous precedent”

Reuters Reuters

"President Barack Obama on Wednesday called the Senate's vote to override his veto of legislation allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Saudi Arabia's government a mistake. 'If we eliminate this notion of sovereign immunity, then our men and women in uniform around the world could potentially start seeing ourselves subject to reciprocal loss,' Obama said during a town hall meeting-style interview on CNN, referring to potential lawsuits. 'It's a dangerous precedent,' he said." [editor's note: What precedent? Overriding an autocrat's decree? Demanding responsibility from criminals? That used to happen a lot! - SAT] (09/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sept11-saudi-obama-idUSKCN11Y318

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CA: Berkeley’s Amoeba Records now licensed to sell medical cannabis

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth

"The East Bay’s best known record store is about to become a one-stop shop for buds and beats. The Berkeley location of the legendary record store Amoeba Music is now permitted to sell medical marijuana, reports the East Bay Express. The store plans to convert its jazz and classical section into a working dispensary licensed by the state to sell medicinal pot products to patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation. 'We are planning the most epic dispensary ever at the Amoeba location on Telegraph,' Amoeba employee Debby Goldsberry wrote on Facebook. 'The dispensary will go where the jazz room is now. My mind is kind of blown right now!' The pot shop will operate under the name Berkeley Compassionate Care Collective, or BC3 for short, and will join Amoeba’s San Francisco location as the only Amoeba stores that also provide legal cannabis. The conversion, however, may take several months before BC3 is operational." (09/28/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/09/28/berkeleys-amoeba-records-is-now-licensed-to-sell-medical-marijuana

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Republicans criticize immunity to Clinton aide

The Washington Post Washington Post

"House Republicans are criticizing FBI Director James Comey for immunity deals granted to Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff and others involved in a now-closed FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and other Republicans said Wednesday that an immunity deal for Cheryl Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff, was improper and short-circuited a possible criminal prosecution. Comey said the immunity deal with Mills was granted by the Department of Justice -- not the FBI -- and was limited to information contained on her laptop. He said the FBI believed that information on the laptop was needed quickly." (09/28/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/the-latest-top-dem-says-russia-behind-dnc-hacking/2016/09/28/288efa6a-8585-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_story.html

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Dean under fire for alleging Trump cocaine use at debate

CNN CNN

"Howard Dean claimed, with no evidence, that Donald Trump's sniffling at the debate could be due to cocaine use -- a comment that's being ripped as way out of bounds, even by those in his own party. The former Vermont governor and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee tweeted during Monday night's first presidential debate, 'Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?'" [editor's note: Seems like a pretty obvious hypothesis; I'm not sure what's "out of bounds" about it - TLK] (09/28/16)

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/28/politics/howard-dean-donald-trump-cocaine/

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Shimon Peres, 1923-2016

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor

"Shimon Peres, who died early Wednesday morning, served as one of Israel's most prominent politicians and played major roles in the founding of Israel, the development of its military might, and, later, its peace process with its neighbors. As a young Israeli defense official, Mr. Peres secured arms and technology deals that laid the foundation blocks for his fledgling country's military might. Decades later, he championed territorial concessions in peace deals with Israel's Arab neighbors -- becoming the vastly more powerful nation's best-known dove abroad. Though it won the former Israeli president and prime minister a Nobel Peace Prize and the status of an international diplomatic celebrity, at home he was never able to translate his vision for peace into an electoral mandate for the left-wing Labor Party." (09/28/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2016/0928/Shimon-Peres-pragmatist-and-visionary-who-embodied-Israel-s-saga

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Thailand: Amnesty calls off launch of torture report after regime threatens arrest

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]

"Amnesty International has cancelled the public launch of a report on torture in Thailand after police in Bangkok warned the rights group that its representatives might be arrested and prosecuted for visa violations. The report accuses Thai soldiers and police of torture, including of suspected insurgents, government opponents, alleged drug users and members of ethnic minorities. The London-based advocacy group had flown in members of its UK team for the event, which was to be held at a hotel in central Bangkok and attended by diplomats, journalists and local human rights activists. ... Amnesty said it had been in close contact with the government in the weeks before the launch but it was informed on Wednesday that its foreign staff -- the authors of the report -- had the wrong visas." (09/28/16)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/28/amnesty-thailand-torture-report-launch-cancelled-police-warning

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India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan pull out of SAARC Summit

India Today [India]

"Apart from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan have also pulled out of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet, resulting in its collapse. Amidst heightened tension with Pakistan over Uri terror attack in which 18 jawans were killed, India had announced its decision of pulling out of the Summit late last night citing increased 'cross-border' attacks." (09/28/16)

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/afghanistan-bangladesh-and-bhutan-pull-out-of-saarc-summit/1/775290.html

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Stop-gap bill to avoid government “shutdown” fails US Senate procedural vote

Reuters Reuters

"A stop-gap funding bill to avoid a federal government shutdown later this week failed to garner enough votes to move forward in the Senate on Tuesday, with Democrats and Republicans both opposing the measure. The must-pass continuing resolution, or CR, which would keep federal agencies operating from Saturday through Dec. 9, received only 45 of the 60 votes needed to limit debate and be considered for passage by the 100-seat Republican-controlled Senate. Forty Democrats and two independents opposed the CR because it lacked a $220 million aid package to address the drinking-water crisis in Flint, Michigan. It also drew opposition from 13 Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz, the former presidential candidate. Senate leaders said they would explore alternatives to avoid a shutdown." (09/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-funding-idUSKCN11X26S

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Obama nominates career diplomat as US ambassador to Cuba

Raw Story Raw Story

"President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated career diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis to be the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than 50 years. Obama’s appointment of DeLaurentis, who has been the top American official at the U.S. embassy in Havana since relations with the communist-ruled island were restored last year, sets up what is expected to be a fierce confirmation battle in Congress during a presidential election year. " (09/27/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/obama-nominates-career-diplomat-as-us-ambassador-to-cuba

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OH: Federal judge rejects school district plea to let pervy educrats feel up student

WCBE 90.5 [US state media]

"A federal district judge has rejected the Highland Local School District's challenge to the Obama Administration's rule on transgender restrooms. Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the Morrow County district to treat an 11-year-old student who is biologically male [sic] but identifies as female 'as the girl she is.'" (09/27/16)

http://wcbe.org/post/judge-rejects-school-district-challenge-transgender-restroom-rule

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TN: No UT penalty for prof who tweeted “run ’em down”

USA Today USA Today

"The University of Tennessee will take no disciplinary action against one of its law professors who urged motorists to run over demonstrators blocking traffic in Charlotte, N.C., a dean said Tuesday. Glenn Reynolds is also a USA TODAY and Knoxville News Sentinel columnist. 'The tweet was an exercise of his First Amendment rights,' Dean Melanie D. Wilson of the University of Tennessee's College of Law wrote Tuesday in a post on the law school's website. 'Nevertheless, the tweet offended many members of our community and beyond, and I understand the hurt and frustration they feel.'" [editor's note: Regular readers here may have noticed he's one of my "go to guys" for USA Today commentaries; even whe he's off-base he's still persuasive and intelligent - SAT] (09/27/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/09/27/glenn-reynolds-columnist-twitter/91174840

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NY: Utilities can’t charge termination fees after death

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

"Phone, cable and utility companies in New York may no longer charge early termination fees when service has been discontinued due to the death of a customer. The rule was signed into law Tuesday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the practice of charging fees to deceased customers was 'heartless and inappropriate' and created burdens for those settling their loved ones' affairs. Few statistics are available about how often companies took such action, but Democratic Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, who sponsored the legislation, says a utility tried to charge her mother an early termination fee after she died." (09/27/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/NY-Utilities-can-t-charge-termination-fees-after-9293029.php

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Elon Musk outlines Mars colony vision

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]

"Entrepreneur Elon Musk has outlined his vision for establishing a human colony on Mars for people that can afford a $200,000 ticket price. Mr Musk, who founded private spaceflight company SpaceX, was speaking at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Tuesday. His colonisation plan uses a fully reusable transportation system that would take 100 people and 80-days to get to Mars and eventually as little as 30-days. This transportation system consists of a spaceship that is refuelled with methane and oxygen in Earth orbit and also on Mars after landing there. Mr Musk explained that to achieve the $200,000 price, the entire transportation system has to be reusable." (09/27/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37486372

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Commentary


| News | Events |

The missed opportunity on trade, and what we must do next

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson

"The candidates discussed 'trade' for a few minutes during the first presidential debate on Monday. Once again the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue on an important issue slipped away. Where do we go from here? That was the subject of a teleconference Wednesday night between activists from around the country and Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]. The call was titled 'Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership: bad for workers, bad for democracy, bad for People and the Planet.' On the call, Sen. Merkley said that we have to 'stop this gigantic trade deal, we have to stop it dead in its tracks.' Merkley said to the activists on the call that they 'have to be incredibly attentive during this period,' because even though the TPP is now opposed by top congressional leadership as well as both major presidential candidates, the tremendous pressure from multinational corporations on Congress could change that and tilt key members toward passage." (09/29/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160929/trade-in-the-debate

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War College Podcast, 09/29/16

Reuters Reuters
by

"The War on Drugs, declared during the Nixon administration, has become a shooting war. Every year brings new atrocities. More than 40 teachers massacred in Mexico under circumstances that are still unclear in 2014, entire towns held hostage. And drug cartel weaponry has gotten deadlier. In 2015, a Mexican army helicopter was shot down in the state of Jalisco. The local cartel used a rocket-propelled grenade to do it. And for years, drug gangs have worked on their navies, moving from cigarette boats to homemade submarines. They have air forces, as well, and fight pitched battles against the army in Mexico and other places." [Flash audio or MP3] (09/29/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-drug-war-podcast-idUSKCN11Y2SQ

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US military aid: Thai-ed to torture

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

"Amnesty International's mission is 'to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.' Unsurprisingly, the organization's latest report collects 'first-hand testimony of survivors, court documents, medical records and various other forms of evidence relating to 74 cases of torture' in Thailand and urges that country's legislature and military government to follow through on their claimed commitments to bring an end to the practice. After Amnesty staff flew into Bangkok for the report's official release, the regime threatened them with arrest for 'visa violations' if the ceremony took place. Apparently the junta, which has ruled the country since a 2014 coup, is unfamiliar with the 'Streisand Effect.'" (09/28/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7806

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What would de Tocqueville have made of [this] election?

The Nation The Nation
by Arthur Goldhammer

"In 1831, the young French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville and his friend Gustave de Beaumont, both lawyers in their early 20s bored by their desk jobs at a courthouse in Versailles, traveled to the United States. They ostensibly came to study American prisons, but more importantly to see for themselves the great American experiment with democracy, which both intrigued and terrified them. After nine months in Jacksonian America, which saw the pair ranging from the drawing rooms of New York and Boston to the frontier outpost of Saginaw in the Michigan Territory, and from the pestilential swamps of Frenchified New Orleans to the still largely barren national capital on the banks of the Potomac, they returned home: Tocqueville to write a book that would become a classic, Democracy in America; Beaumont to publish his novel Marie, or Slavery in the United States." [editor's note: There is unintended humor here (comparing Trump to ... Davy Crockett?) but it's overall a very good analysis and review of an ancient work we all should read - SAT] (09/28/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/what-would-have-alexis-de-tocqueville-have-made-of-the-2016-us-presidential-election

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On national security, Trump & Clinton found plenty to agree on, and it’s all terrifying

In These Times In These Times
by Branko Marcetic

"Much has been made about the differencees between the two candidates during last night’s debate: Donald Trump’s wild-eyed raving vs. Hillary Clinton’s calm poise; his waffling vs. her firm command of facts and figures. When it came to the issue of national security, however, the candidates often seemed to be reading from the same playbook. Their convergence signals a bipartisan consensus on certain national security measures that is likely to carry on well past the election and into the president’s first term. Both Trump and Clinton voiced the belief that the United States needs to be best in the world at cyber warfare. Clinton vowed to 'make it very clear ... the United States has much greater capacity' to wage such attacks itself. Trump agreed. 'As far as the cyber,' he said, 'we should be better than anybody else.' Such rhetoric suggests both candidates are happy to commit the United States to escalating a global cyber arms race that would likely have dangerous consequences." [editor's note: Solid critique of the mess this is from both war party wings, reminding us that some "progressives" really do get this (likely to amuse John McAfee) - SAT] (09/27/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19505/on-national-security-trump-and-clinton-found-plenty-to-agree-on

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Young voters love Gary Johnson, for all the wrong reasons

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson

"Hillary Clinton’s in trouble with the young. It’s not that they’re flocking to Donald Trump, who trails her in every poll of millennial voters. Instead, she’s losing their allegiance to Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. The oddity (and potentially, the tragedy) of all this is that many young Americans’ defining beliefs are dismissed or opposed by libertarians generally and Johnson in particular. But then, Johnson’s appeal is less a testament to the popularity or credibility of his program than to the fact that he’s become the none-of-the-above option for disgruntled citizens. It may be that Clinton’s and Trump’s performances in their first debate moved some young voters into Clinton’s column." [editor's note: Read this for angry letters, fact correction, oppo research or just amusement; meanwhile, the writer's analysis works, unless his assumptions about who the Millennials actually are is completely wrong! - SAT] (09/28/16)

http://prospect.org/article/young-voters-love-gary-johnson-all-wrong-reasons

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Stop Trump! Stop Clinton! Stop the madness (and let me get off)!

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Eric Draitser

"Were it only the fact that a corporate imperialist sociopath and a raving pseudo-fascist gasbag are competing to become the Murderer-in-Chief, one could simply retreat to the friendly confines of the Hobson's Choice Inn. There, among the carpets and curtains carrying the stains of elections past, one would watch the political circus in peace while doing the work of organizing against both Tweedle Bum and Tweedle Bummer. But this time, there's something even more sinister afoot, something far worse than mere cardboard cutouts in formal dress. No, this time it's the pompous arrogance and vacuous prattling of 'leftists,' 'anti-imperialists,' and other assorted mental contortionists doing their damnedest to browbeat everyone within earshot (eyeshot?) that THIS TIME it's important! 'How can you sit aside so smug and allow the fascist Trump to win? You're being irresponsible,' they chirp. 'How can you attack Trump and let the Warmongering Witch of the West become President? You know what she'll do,' they drone." (09/28/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/28/stop-trump-stop-clinton-stop-the-madness-and-let-me-get-off/

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Let the people roar: I think Trump won the night

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J. Saunders

"We all have theories as to how Donald Trump got this far. Mine is that Trump has done well among white high school graduates because he acts the way people think they would act if they were billionaires. If Trump ever doubts himself, he never shows it. He calls people names because he knows he can get away with it. He acts as if having money takes away anguish -- that is, he acts quite differently than most rich people I know. If he didn't pay federal taxes, Trump told Hillary Clinton after she suggested he has not released his tax returns because he has something to hide, it's not a problem. Why? Because if he had paid whatever she thinks he owed, Trump riposted, Washington would have 'squandered' it." (09/28/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/09/28/let-the-people-roar-i-think-trump-won-the-night-n2224169

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It’s time for Europe to stop holding referendums

Reuters Reuters
by Paul Wallace

"The European Union lexicon, already stuffed with ugly words and phrases, needs to coin a new one: 'plebiphobia.' Unlike some anxieties, the fear of referendums is well-grounded. Following Britain’s vote in June to leave the union, plebiscites this fall in Hungary on migration and in Italy on constitutional reform may further destabilize the EU. More fundamentally, plebiphobia rules out the very reforms needed to prevent more Brexit-like uprisings. The EU’s checkered relationship with referendums goes back a long time, restraining its otherwise seemingly relentless expansion." (09/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-referendum-commentary-idUSKCN11Y22I

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Bankruptcies shaped Trump political style

USA Today USA Today
by Jonathan Lipson

"Donald Trump’s campaign for president often seems baffling. That’s because he is playing a very different game from what we expect in general elections. He learned it in bankruptcy proceedings. Having taken his Atlantic City casinos through bankruptcy multiple times, this is a game Trump knows how to play and win -- at least for himself, if not necessarily for his companies or others who may depend on him. The process of restructuring troubled businesses such as Trump’s casinos is replete with posturing, table pounding, empty threats, puffery, head fakes and the occasional desperate gamble. If all that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you heard it from Trump in this week's presidential debate. Bankruptcy could be the real model behind his unconventional political behavior. Corporate bankruptcies are complex and contentious affairs. Scores of creditors and shareholders grapple for slices of a pie that is too small to feed all of them. Ordinarily, the expectation is that shareholders will be wiped out, because the company is insolvent, and managers will be fired, if they created the problem." (09/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/28/trump-bankruptcies-politics-preparation-column/91083044

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Make libertarianism working class again!

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Logan Glitterbomb

"Ever since the famous communist Joseph Dejacque coined the political use of the term libertarian in a letter to Pierre-Joseph Proudhon back in 1857 as a way to differentiate his views from those of the authoritarian communists within the anti-capitalist movement, the philosophy of libertarianism has always implied working class rebellion. At least until a few dissenting Republicans tried to make common ground with the anti-authoritarian left, adopted much of their language, but largely left out the class analysis espoused by the likes of Dejacque, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Spooner, Tucker, and so many others before and since." (09/28/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/46434

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What the candidates didn’t say about nukes

Reuters Reuters
by John Mecklin

"This year's presidential campaign has featured relatively little detailed discussion of nuclear policy. That changed (a little) in Monday night's debate. The final segment of the Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate, vaguely titled 'Securing America,' focused in significant part on the nuclear threat. The discussion -- directed largely by the candidates themselves -- was substantive. And because both candidates have political reasons to continue to address the existential threat of nuclear weapons, the debate could serve as a much-needed starting point for elaborating on the topic during the remaining two presidential debates. Monday’s nuclear discussion grew out of a question about cyber security that gradually morphed into arguments about the best ways to combat Islamic State. Clinton suggested that to protect the American people from terrorism, the United States needed an 'intelligence surge' that required cooperation with U.S. allies." (09/27/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-debate-nuclear-commentary-idUSKCN11X1ZX

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“Favors” to blacks

Town Hall
by Thomas Sowell

"Back in the 1960s, as large numbers of black students were entering a certain Ivy League university for the first time, someone asked a chemistry professor -- off the record -- what his response to them was. He said, 'I give them all A's and B's. To hell with them.' Since many of those students were admitted with lower academic qualifications than other students, he knew that honest grades in a tough subject like chemistry could lead to lots of failing grades, and that in turn would lead to lots of time-wasting hassles -- not just from the students, but also from the administration. He was not about to waste time that he wanted to invest in his professional work in chemistry and the advancement of his own career. He also knew that his 'favor' to black students in grading was going to do them more harm than good in the long run, because they wouldn't know what they were supposed to know. Such cynical calculations were seldom expressed in so many words. Nor are similar cynical calculations openly expressed today in politics. But many successful political careers have been built on giving blacks 'favors' that look good on the surface but do lasting damage in the long run." (09/27/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2016/09/27/favors-to-blacks-n2223691

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Trump’s abdication of personal responsibility

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

"When Clinton quoted Trump as cheering for a housing crisis, Trump responded, 'That's called business.' When Clinton accused Trump of not paying taxes, Trump answered, 'That makes me smart.' When Clinton attacked Trump for declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying the people he owed, Trump replied, 'I take advantage of the laws of the nation because I'm running a company.' Clinton set out to paint Trump as selfish and unethical. Trump basically conceded the charge. Commentators are declaring Trump's answers a tactical mistake. But they’re more than that. They show how unmoored he is from conservatism's conception of America. Since the birth of 'fusionism' in the 1950s, America's most prominent conservative thinkers and politicians have called for both reducing government’s power over the individual and strengthening traditional morality. They've squared that circle by emphasizing personal responsibility." (09/27/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/trumps-abdication-of-personal-responsibility/501893/

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Evil of the two lessers

OpEdNews
by Chris Robinson

"I can see now that I was a young fool in 1964, when I believed that Johnson was a peace candidate who would negotiate a settlement of the Vietnam War. He was running for president against Senator Barry Morris Goldwater (R-AZ), who claimed he would bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age. There was no doubt in my mind which was the 'lesser evil.' Upon winning the election, of course, Johnson proceeded to bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age. I have never forgotten this lesson about 'strategic voting,' also called the 'Evil of the Two Lessers.'" (09/27/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Evil-of-the-Two-Lessers-by-Chris-Robinson-Democratic_Democrats_Goldwater_Green-160927-925.html

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In first debate, the people’s issues came second

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"This was undoubtedly the first presidential debate in history to include a mention of Rosie O’Donnell. Even grading on a curve (something the press tends to do with Donald Trump) the Republican fared poorly. Democrat Hillary Clinton took him down on one character issue after another, from his tax returns to his business practices. Unfortunately, that was not her most important mission on Monday night. Clinton’s fate largely rests on her ability to turn out key Democratic voters in large numbers, especially young people and minorities, by persuading them that she understands their concerns and has an inspiring vision for the future. There was probably little Clinton could have done to change the nature of the debate, given the media feeding frenzy and the personality-driven nature of our political process. But it was unfortunate. She bested Donald Trump, but she will still need to excite and motivate the Democratic base." (09/27/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160927/their-own-reality-it-was-contest-over-content-in-trumpclinton-debate

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What’s driving corporate activism?

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jerry Davis

"Target recently staked out a position in the culture wars by announcing that it will build private bathrooms in all its locations, after earlier allowing transgender customers to use whichever room corresponds with their gender identity -- both actions sparking anger from many conservatives. While big business hasn’t always been on the vanguard of social justice, in recent years companies like Target, Apple and even Wal-Mart have increasingly taken positions that put them squarely on the side of socially progressive activists. So how did Che Guevera (the face of the Cuban Revolution) become CEO of corporate America?" [editor's note: Interesting choice of image -- a cutthroat, racist, homophobic murderer being equated with crony corporatism - SAT] (09/27/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/137252/whats-driving-corporate-activism

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Robots, automation & Universal Basic Income

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Justin Miller

"The specter of robots replacing workers is not a new one. Much has been written about how technological advances will make human labor, which requires cumbersome things like wages and health care, obsolete. But now we’re beginning to see just how robots and automation are laying the groundwork for future domination in some sectors. Now, robots are becoming more sophisticated, more autonomous, and more readily able to complete more complicated tasks once reserved for humans. Warehouses are ground zero. For years, retailers have integrated robot technology into their supply chains, but the latitude of tasks robots could complete in a complex shipping process has been limited—many warehouse robots operate on fixed tracks or in stationary positions. Now, robots are becoming more sophisticated, more autonomous, and more readily able to complete more complicated tasks once reserved for humans." (09/27/16)

http://prospect.org/article/robots-automation-and-universal-basic-income

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The question that will decide the 2016 election

In These Times In These Times
by Theo Anderson

"One critique of Hillary Clinton is that she doesn’t give people a reason to vote for her: She lacks an affirmative vision. But it’s closer to the truth to say that she gives people too many reasons. ... And Donald Trump? Trump’s answers always focused around one big theme -- for example, jobs are fleeing our country -- followed by a stream of over-the-top claims. ... What emerged last night, in several rounds of such back-and-forth between Clinton and Trump, was the key question that will decide this election. It’s the same question that decided the Democratic primary over the past year. That question is this: Do you believe we need a course correction (tweaks to the system) or are we on the wrong track entirely?" [editor's note: Too bad neither of these two will address the reality of that question, slow the train and turn it around - SAT] (09/27/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19500/this-is-the-question-that-will-decide-the-2016-election

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Where is that wasteful government spending?

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Lawrence Wittner

"In early September 2016, Donald Trump announced his plan for a vast expansion of the U.S. military, including 90,000 new soldiers for the Army, nearly 75 new ships for the Navy, and dozens of new fighter aircraft for the Air Force. Although the cost of this increase would be substantial -- about $90 billion per year -- it would be covered, the GOP presidential candidate said, by cutting wasteful government spending. But where, exactly, is the waste?" (09/27/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/27/where-is-that-wasteful-government-spending/

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Crony capitalism and political privilege: Earthshaking. Literally.

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp

"Question: What's the difference between a drunk driver who totals your car with his reckless, intoxicated driving, and an oil company that damages your house's foundation with its reckless, earthquake-inducing fracking? Answer: The oil company can afford to buy off politicians and regulators to let it injure you without legal consequence or liability, and to run slick public relations campaigns aimed at convincing you to not believe your own lying eyes. The drunk driver counts himself lucky if he has enough cash on hand to buy the next six-pack." (09/26/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7748

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Police killings won’t stop

Chris Hedges (photo by Chris Hedges) OpEdNews
by Chris Hedges

"The corporate state, no matter how many protests take place in American cities over the murder of unarmed citizens, will put no restraints on the police or the organs of security and surveillance. It will not protect the victims of state violence. It will continue to grant broader powers and greater resources to militarized police departments and internal security forces such as Homeland Security. Force, along with the systems of indoctrination and propaganda, is the last prop that keeps the corporate elites in power. These elites will do nothing to diminish the mechanisms necessary for their control." (09/26/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Police-Killings-Won-t-Stop-by-Chris-Hedges-Corporate_Democracy_Police-Abuse-Of-Power_Police-State-160926-309.html

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Three questions Trump & Clinton should answer at tonight’s debate

USA Today USA Today
by Gary Johnson

"Created by the Democratic and Republican parties in 1987 to take control of presidential and vice presidential debates, it’s no surprise the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has tried to keep third party candidates like me and my Libertarian Party running-mate Bill Weld from participating. So I’ll try a little 'virtual debating' here, with questions for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I’ll represent the tens of millions of true independent voters who will have no representation in the initial face-off. ... Even though I won't be on that stage at Hofstra, I'd like for the moderator to pose several questions to my opponents, which will give independents some voice. There are three issue frames in public policy: economic, social and foreign. Here are my questions, one for Secretary Clinton on foreign affairs. One for Mr. Trump on social policy. And a question I would pose to both about the most important fiscal issue facing the government." (09/26/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/26/gary-johnson-virtual-debate-polls-clinton-trump-questions/91089770

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We need a real people’s debate, not the “fight of the century”

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow

"We're told that Monday night's confrontation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could draw 100 million viewers and 'rank among television benchmarks like the finales of MASH and Cheers.' We're not being told that it will be a debate on the issues of greatest concern to the American people. But then, it may not even really be a debate at all. A debate, according to Merriam-Webster, is 'a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides.' Given Trump’s cheap theatrics, and the media’s sensationalist bent, we're more likely to see a 'pageant' (defined as is defined as 'a mere show' and 'an ostentatious display') instead. That would be tragic -- for the democratic process, and for the country." (09/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160926/we-need-a-real-debate-not-the-fight-of-the-century

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Trump’s agenda: A recipe for civil unrest

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley

"Donald Trump finally got around to demonizing African Americans. The only surprise is how long he took to get there. Early in the campaign season, he raged about Muslims and demanded they be barred from entering the country. He labeled Mexican immigrants 'rapists.' He has insisted that a wall, built by the United States, paid for by Mexico, must rise along the southern border. But he held off on making broad, baseless generalizations about black people. African Americans listened carefully to Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans: His horrendous poll numbers among blacks reflect a widespread understanding that nothing good can come of a Trump presidency." (09/23/16)

http://prospect.org/article/trump%E2%80%99s-agenda-recipe-civil-unrest

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Donald Trump leads the war on truth — but he didn’t start it

The Intercept The Intercept
by Mattathias Schwartz

"The backlash against Trump isn't really about his lying. It's that he is lying too clumsily, too openly, and in the service of the wrong causes. ... Today, if you want to use your official position to slander Edward Snowden, or to claim that only three men were waterboarded at Guantanamo, or to argue against the release of 28 pages of a publicly funded report on the 9/11 attacks, the worst that most newspapers will do is quote someone who disagrees with you. Senior official says X, some critics say Y. This is stenography, and for those interested in figuring out how we came to inhabit a post-fact world, this might be one place to begin." (09/26/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/26/donald-trump-leads-the-war-on-truth-but-he-didnt-start-it/

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The left deserves better than Jill Stein

In These Times In These Times
by Kate Aronoff

"If politics were a battle for the moral high ground, both Bernie Sanders and the Green Party might be in full control of the three branches of government. Sadly, it’s not and they’re not. Like Sanders, the Green Party’s Jill Stein has become a symbol. Progressives and radicals are rightfully tired of having to hold their noses and choose between two bad options. Stein’s campaign seems to offer an alternative. Outside the twin evils of hawkish neoliberalism and thinly veiled white nationalism sits a party that can sincerely claim to be united behind solidly progressive demands: transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and implementing a $15 minimum wage, among others. These are changes that could make a real difference in the lives of America’s worst-off, and potentially save the planet we all live on from ecological collapse. Unfortunately, those changes won’t come from Stein or the Green Party." [editor's note: Yep, the Left "eat their own" as well - SAT] (09/26/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/lesser_evil_jill_stein_hillary_clinton.html

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The man behind the curtain

The New Republic The New Republic
by Laura Reston

"In February 1988, Fred Barnes ... marveled at the refurbished George H. W. Bush who had appeared on stage in the first five Republican debates that winter and spring. 'Who’d have guessed that Bush would perform so memorably in the debates?' he wrote. 'Who’d have suspected that Bush would be funny, assertive, confrontational, succinct, and very, very quotable?' Barnes wasn’t the only one surprised. In October 1987, Newsweek had run a cover story called 'Bush Battles the Wimp Factor,' and the epithet stuck. Bush was indeed awkward in person (wooden and deferential) and his campaign was struggling out of the gate. ... In almost every debate, though, he was a different candidate entirely: deft and aggressive, even charming at times. Bush owed his transformation to one man: Roger Ailes, the political wunderkind Time once called the 'Ernest Hemingway of consultants.'" (09/26/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/137125/man-behind-curtain

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The censor-moron

The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill

"In a way, the name 'Banned Books Week' is far too narrow to encompass everything we should be talking about, and a week is far too limited a time to be talking about it. As I wrote above, 'banned' implies a top-down regime, while in reality the majority of censorship now is the result of morons trying to self-lobotomize our entire culture; the word also implies a governmental action, when in reality the rise of social media and mega-media corporations has resulted in a de facto delegation of the censorship authority to them. And if you're tempted to suggest that this isn't as bad, I suggest you ask yourself how much distribution your book will get if Amazon & Wal-mart refuse to stock it and Google monkeys with your search results to make it difficult to find." (09/26/16)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/the-censor-moron/

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Actually, moderators probably shouldn’t let candidates tell bald-faced lies

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols

"The Commission on Presidential Debates gets just about everything regarding presidential debates wrong -- letting the major parties define the process, excluding credible third-party candidates, opting for too few debates and too many gimmicks -- so it should come as no surprise that the CPD is now sending exactly the wrong signal regarding the role of the moderator of Monday night’s first debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. 'I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica,' Janet Brown, the executive director of the CPD, griped in an interview with CNN’s 'Reliable Sources' Sunday. 'I think it’s better for that person to facilitate and to depend on the candidates to basically correct each other as they see fit.'" (09/26/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/actually-moderators-probably-shouldnt-let-candidates-tell-bald-faced-lies

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The political rhetoric of perpetual war

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Robert Crawford

"I want to start with a quick overview of our present situation. Most of you are familiar with this recent history; yet, it bears repeating. For 15 years now, since 2001, the US has been at war. The longest single battlefield has been the war in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan Tribal Areas. It has spanned two administrations. The Taliban remains undefeated and is gaining ground and war lords pursue their own political and military agendas. The 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, now almost universally acknowledged to be one of the greatest military mistakes in recent times, has virtually destroyed a country that had been created by the imperial powers during WWI." (09/26/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/26/the-political-rhetoric-of-perpetual-war/

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The Playpen story: Rule 41 and global hacking warrants

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mark Rumold

"The warrant the FBI used in the Playpen investigation -- which resulted in the delivery of malware to over a thousand computers, located around the world -- violated Rule 41, an important rule of federal criminal procedure. Although Rule 41 may seem obscure, it plays a vital role in limiting when federal law enforcement agencies can conduct lawful searches and seizures. And the warrant used in the Playpen investigation is an omen of warrants to come. That's because DOJ is advocating for a change to Rule 41 that, if it takes effect, was designed to authorize exactly this kind of warrant." (09/26/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/illegal-playpen-story-rule-41-and-global-hacking-warrants

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Why Millennials don’t like Clinton, and what she can do about it

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by David Atkins

"Hillary Clinton has long struggled with younger voters, but the problem now threatens to cost her the election. Clinton’s address to millennials this week underscored her awareness of how crucial they are to her chances in November. But her support from voters ages 18 to 35 has declined by double digits since August, raising an urgent question for Democrats: Why are millennial voters so reluctant to embrace Clinton? On the surface, Clinton should do well with younger voters. Millennials are the most progressive generation in America, and Hillary Clinton’s voting record in the Senate was reliably liberal on most issues. Millennials strongly support gender equality even more strongly than they do racial equality, so backing the first female candidate for president from a major party should be a no-brainer. But millennials also grew up in the shadow of the Great Recession, and this has radicalized them in a way that is often difficult for older generations to comprehend." (09/23/16)

http://prospect.org/article/why-millennials-don%E2%80%99t-clinton%E2%80%94and-what-she-can-do-about-it

3 Comments »

Book review: How ADHD was sold

The New Republic The New Republic
by Adam Gaffney

"Rita was the wife of a chemist at the Swiss drug company CIBA who concocted a new stimulant by modifying amphetamine, and Rita enjoyed tennis. The chemist shared his invention with his wife, and—to their delight—the substance had a wonderful effect on her tennis game. He named the new drug in honor of his darling. He named the new drug Ritaline. In 1956, CIBA began marketing this drug as Ritalin in the United States, for a wide range of adult psychiatric maladies. But soon, evidence emerged that it might benefit what were then called “disturbed children.” In a landmark randomized clinical trial conducted in Baltimore by the child psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg and the child psychologist Keith Conners (then at Johns Hopkins) that was published in 1963, the drug improved behavioral symptoms, from 'demanding' and 'disobedient' to 'leads into trouble' and 'lying.' The diagnostic label 'attention deficit hyperactivity disorder' (ADHD) did not yet exist, but the pair had put the drug on the child psychiatry map." (09/23/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/137066/adhd-sold

1 Comment »

Trust me, you’d hate a Lincoln-Douglas debate

USA Today USA Today
by Dan Payne

"In presidential debate season, inevitably one of the candidates will ask for a Lincoln-Douglas style debate. This is commonly misunderstood as two candidates slugging it out without time limits or interruptions or moderators -- perhaps what Donald Trump had in mind when he envisioned a debate consisting of Hillary Clinton and himself just 'sitting there, talking.' But of course, the Lincoln-Douglas debates were nothing like that. The format for what were called the Great Debates of 1858 was one that very few voters and zero TV networks could tolerate today. One candidate spoke for 60 minutes uninterrupted, then the other took charge of the podium for 90 minutes; finally, the first candidate was allowed back for a 30-minute rejoinder. Imagine standing and listening to these endless monologues as the two men battled to put their respective parties in control of the Illinois legislature, which would choose the next senator. There were seven of these panegyric face-offs." (09/24/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/24/trump-clinton-debate-lincoln-douglas-column/91017246

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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/

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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

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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

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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

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