Volume XXVI – Number 15

Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030
The Guardian – April 7, 2018 – Michael Savage

Analysts suggest wealth has become concentrated at the top because of recent income inequality, higher rates of saving among the wealthy, and the accumulation of assets. The wealthy also invested a large amount of equity in businesses, stocks and other financial assets, which have handed them disproportionate benefits… The last peak of income inequality was in 1913. We are near that again, but even if we reduce inequality now it will continue to grow for one to two more decades.

The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Ricans and Ultrarich “Puertopians” Are Locked in a Pitched Struggle Over How to Remake the Island
The Intercept – March 20, 2018 – Naomi Klein and Lauren Feeney

[Excellent long form article] When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, Puerto Ricans almost immediately began worrying about disaster capitalists swooping in to buy up beleaguered public utilities and damaged beachfront property on the cheap… For now, these diametrically opposed versions of utopia are advancing in their own parallel worlds, at their own speeds — one on the back of shocks, the other in spite of them. But both are gaining power fast, and in the high-stakes months and years to come, collision is inevitable.

Multiple Trump Scandals Don’t Deter Conservative Christian Evangelical Support
Buzzflash – Truthout – April 9, 2018 – Bill Berkowitz

Christians who voted for Donald Trump knew exactly what we were getting… a morally flawed candidate who made promises that largely aligned with our values,

Bankruptcy Won’t Keep Remington From Producing Guns
Truth Out – April 9, 2018 – s.e. smith

If you’re troubled by the gun industry’s unique legal protections and by the larger trade in arms, you may wish to consider hitting gun manufacturers where it hurts: In addition to not buying guns, you can put pressure on banks to stop investing in the industry, cutting off the supply of money these companies need to thrive.

Iowa Is Ground Zero for the Republicans’ Disastrous Approach to Healthcare
Esquire Magazine – April 9, 2018 – Charles Pierce

The legislature went out of its way to make sure every Iowan has a chance to buy completely worthless insurance that very likely will not help them at all if and when they get sick.

How Medicaid Work Requirements Will Hurt Workers
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – April 11, 2018 – Aviva Aron-Dine, Raheem Chaudhry and Matt Broaddus

If all states adopted work requirements along the lines of Kentucky’s, millions of working people could lose coverage or face interruptions in coverage due to unstable employment or hours. In addition, some enrollees who are actually meeting Medicaid work requirements will likely lose coverage because they get tripped up by the paperwork required to prove it.

Mental Health Crisis Isn’t About Guns. It’s About Trump and GOP Gutting Medicaid
USA Today – April 9, 2018 – Joe Kennedy III

Donald Trump and Republicans are trying to gut Medicaid and its role covering treatment for mental illness. That’s the real mental health crisis… For the sick and suffering among us, Medicaid is survival. The next time we see GOP leaders excuse their inaction on gun violence by scapegoating those with mental illness, let’s take a cue from the brave student survivors in Parkland and call BS.

Statements of Support for Revolution Books, Berkeley, against Fascist Threat to Burn Down the Bookstore
Revolution Newspaper – April 9, 2018

Revolution Books in Berkeley has been the target of fascist assaults 10 times in the last six months. On March 3, 2018, two fascists threatened to burn down the bookstore. The outrageous attack was video-taped and posted on a number of online media sites, and was viewed 2.7 million times on Now This Facebook alone. Support has poured in from around the country.

Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds
The New York Times – April 12, 2018 – Maggie Astor

For seven decades, “never forget” has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement. But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34…. Despite the gaps in the respondents’ knowledge, the study found an overwhelming consensus — 93 percent — that all students should learn about the Holocaust at school. And Holocaust denial remains very rare in the United States, with 96 percent of respondents saying they believe the genocide happened.

The Emerging Plan to Save the American Labor Movement
Portside – April 10, 2018 – Dylan Matthews, Vox

The future for traditional unions looks so bleak that a growing number of labor scholars and activists are coming to the conclusion that the US model, which relies on individual workers in individual workplaces getting together and organizing on their own, is dead and can’t be revived. What’s needed, they argue, is a more national or industry-wide approach to supplement or replace the old model of individual workplace-level organizing… Still, it’s remarkable how many different people have all converged on something like a European approach to unionism. As Madland put it, “This feels like an idea whose time has come.”

To Honor King, Let’s Work To End Racial Capitalism
Portside – April 11, 2018 – Barbara Ransby and Aislinn Pulley, Truthout

What is needed is a broad-based coalitional effort to combat not only street violence, school violence and sexual violence but also state violence… Exactly a year before he died, King declared, “I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.” King was indicting the very logic of racial capitalism that continues to devalue some lives over others.

Hypocrites and chemical warfare in the Middle East
Z Magazine – April 14, 2018 – Robert Fisk

In our desire to concentrate minds on Syria, we’re not mentioning the Iran gassings – Iran being another one of our present-day enemies, of course – and this may be because of our lack of official memory. More likely it’s because of what happened: the institutionalisation of chemical warfare, the use of chemicals by Saddam who was then an ally of the West and of all the Gulf Sunni states, our frontline Sunni hero. The thousands of Iranian soldiers who were to die were referred to on Iraqi radio after they crossed the frontier. The “Persian insects” had crossed the border, it announced. And that’s how they were treated.

Senator Bernie Sanders: Trump’s Strikes on Syria ‘Illegal and Unauthorized’
Reader Supported News – April 14, 2018 – Jess Aloe, Burlington Free Press

“It is Congress, not the president, which has the constitutional responsibility for making war,” Sanders said in a statement shortly before midnight on Friday. After 17 years of war in Afghanistan and 15 years of war in Iraq, the Middle East needs a political strategy to bring peace, not more American military intervention, Sanders said.

Trump’s ICE Chief Loves His Deportation Force — And Thinks You Should Too
Huff Post – April 13, 2018 – Roque Planas

“If you’re in this country illegally and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable,” Homan said. “You should look over your shoulder, and you need to be worried.” Those words transformed Homan from a career law enforcement official into the face of Trump’s deportation agenda.

Alaskan Glaciers Have Not Melted This Fast in at Least Four Centuries
Ecowatch – April 12, 2018 – Lorraine Chow

The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union in March. The Earth science organization released details about the research Tuesday. “We have not seen snow melt like this in at least four centuries,” lead author Dominic Winski, a glaciologist at Dartmouth College, told USA Today.

Trump’s new executive order spells disaster for our air quality
The Grist – April 13, 2018 – Justine Calma

There a lot of reasons why scientists, lawmakers, and advocates are crying foul. But it all boils down to this: We’re going to be breathing worse air because of it. And fence-line communities of color are going to be hardest hit. Not only because they already breathe the worst air in the United States, but because Trump’s executive order lets states trade pollution permits — which tends to allow polluters to stack their chips in the places that are already suffering the most.


Volume XXVI – Number 14

‘Among Stupidest Policies Yet Proposed,’ Trump EPA to Lower Car Emissions Standards
Common Dreams – March 30, 2018 – Jake Johnson, staff writer

Weakening clean car standards is bad for the planet, public health, and the auto industry itself. Ford Motor Company and other automakers…have been actively fighting the clean car standards and have been instrumental in pushing for this development.

Re-opening Vehicle Standards Defies Science, Hurts Drivers and Climate
Common Dreams – April 2, 2018 – Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Clearly, this administration is not interested in what the evidence shows. In their eagerness to undo the previous administration’s policies and fulfill the wish lists of industry lobbies, they’re willing to throw the facts aside to roll back these rules.

As Trump Targets Immigrants, Elderly Brace to Lose Caregivers
Truth Out – April 1, 2018 – Melissa Bailey, Kaiser Health News

What people don’t seem to understand is that people from other countries really are the backbone of long-term care,” said Sister Jacquelyn McCarthy, CEO of Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham, Mass.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., Fifty Years After His Death
The New Yorker – April 9, 2018 issue – Jelani Cobb

King and the authors of the Kerner Report would have recognized the ongoing concerns of poverty, the travails of American cities, and the plague of gun violence… It is either damning irony or inspiring continuity—or, possibly, both—that the fiftieth anniversary of King’s death falls amid the largest antigun-violence mobilization that we have seen since he departed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Was a Radical. We Must Not Sterilize His Legacy
The Guardian – April 4, 2018 – Cornel West

If King were alive today, his words would threaten most of those who now sing his praises… Today, 50 years later the US imperial meltdown deepens. And King’s radical legacy remains primarily among the awakening youth and militant citizens who choose to be extremists of love, justice, courage and freedom, even if our chances to win are that of a snowball in hell! This kind of unstoppable King-like extremism is a threat to every status quo!

The Border as a ‘Weaponized’ Landscape
Utne Reader – Spring, 2018 issue – Katherine E. Standefer

Border Patrol agent turned- author Francisco Cantú examines his experiences in new book “The Line Becomes A River”… The conversation needs to start by acknowledging the aspects of our border policy that are causing humanitarian crisis… We shouldn’t be weaponizing a vast, inhospitable landscape through our policy. Whether or not that’s intentional, it’s happening right now.

Native American Tribes Come Together to Protect Bears Ears from Trump
Grist – March 23, 2018 – Chris D’Angelo

Shrinking the monument is an attack on the United States’ public lands and is “stripping parts of, I would say, people’s souls, because the Native American population here is so connected with that,” [Arizona’s Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego] said… “People are excited about protecting Bears Ears,” he told tribal members. “It’s something we have to continue to work on. But what I see for the first time in a long time is that the movement to protect Bears Ears is on the offense.”

Faith groups condemn citizenship question on US census
Religion News Service – March 28, 2018 – Jack Jenkins

Several religious organizations — many of them progressive-leaning or representing minority faiths — see the decision as potentially doing more harm than good to the census, which is used to determine the allocation of federal funds and the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives… Congress’ embarrassing 30-year streak of futility on the issue of immigration reform has led us to the point where a question regarding citizenship strikes instant fear in immigrant communities and visions of mass deportations. Congress must fix our broken immigration system, which in turn will bring people out of the shadows, allow a proper census and more importantly allow families to live the American dream without fear.

For Israel, There’s Little Political Cost to Killing Palestinians
Common Dreams – April 2, 2018 – Ishaan Tharoor

The aftermath of the protests underscored both the desperate futility of the Palestinian struggle and the relative impunity with which Israel can snuff out Palestinian lives.

Israeli occupation denying Palestinians ‘right to development’ says new UN study
Informed Comment – April 7, 2018

The international community bears obligations to support the economic development of the Palestinian people and ensure that Israel complies with international law.

Inside the Decade-Long Russian Campaign to Infiltrate the NRA and Help Elect Trump
Rolling Stone – April 3, 2018 – Tim Dickinson

“The tentacles of Russian enterprise in this country are deep and ubiquitous,” says Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “The Russians are as close to being warlike as you can imagine, without bullets being fired.” Putin, says Sen. Cardin, “uses an asymmetric arsenal in order to undermine our democracy and our institutions of democracy” – noting that “part of his game plan is to finance entities that he believes disrupt the unity of our country.” Pointing to the gun lobby’s polarizing role in our political culture, Cardin adds, “The NRA would be perfect.”

The Missing Link in the Gun Debate
Common Dreams – April 5, 2018 – Greta Zarro

The culture of war is pervasive in our society, through military-funded Hollywood films and video games, the militarization of the police, and JROTC and ROTC programs in our schools… If we want to prevent the next mass shooting, we need to stop fueling the culture of violence and militarism, and that starts with ending JROTC marksmanship programs in our schools.

Guns in the Family
Boston Review – March 23, 2018 – Walter Johnson

Until we deal with the admixture of toxic masculinity and white supremacy that produces such pornographic inequality; until we stop using armed police to guard the border between the haves and have-nots; until we recognize that imperial violence and police violence and school violence are related aspects of the same problem, we are going to keep producing killers.

350.org on Latest Investigative Reports that #ShellKnew Too
Common Dreams – April 5, 2018

Just like Exxon, Shell knew about the dangers of climate change and instead chose to embark on a decades-long campaign of deception. These reports reaffirm that fossil fuel companies have been — and always will be — bad actors.

Trump is Right About Syria: It’s Time to Leave
Common Dreams – April 6, 2018 – Jeffrey D. Sachs

It’s time for the US public to understand the Syrian war. The mainstream media have antiseptically described it as a civil war. It has been nothing of the sort. Since its start in 2011, it has been a war pushed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and others, to topple Assad and force Iran and Russia out of Syria. In fact, the war has failed to accomplish anything other than to destroy Syria, destabilize Europe, and bleed the United States.

B’Tselem Calls on Israeli Soldiers to Defy Shooting Orders, Lest They Commit War Crimes
Common Dreams – April 6, 2018 – Yossi Gurvitz, Mondoweiss

This is the first time an Israeli NGO has explicitly warned Israeli soldiers that they are about to commit war crimes in advance of the act itself… In the debate raging in the human rights community about whether to continue and try to work with the military system or break totally with it, B’Tselem has taken an irrevocable, and breathtakingly brave, step today.

Republican Tax Cuts are Failing Small Businesses, New Report Finds
Common Dreams – April 6, 2018 – Angela Simaan, The Main Street Alliance

After working with thousands of small business owners across the country, Main Street Alliance found: The total impacts of the tax law on small businesses’ bottom lines far outweigh the nominal tax cuts most anticipate receiving… The majority of small business owners surveyed say they need more customers, not tax cuts, in order to hire and expand, and call for stability and strong public investment as the way to sustainably grow a business… To ensure an equitable economy that works for small businesses, large corporations and wealthy individuals must also pay their fair share of taxes.

Amid Massive Teacher Revolt Over Starving Schools, Kentucky GOP Passes ‘Huge Tax Cut for the 1%’
Common Dreams – April 6, 2018 – Jessica Corbett, staff writer

After Kentucky’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill last week to slash teachers’ retirement benefits—a proposal that has provoked a series of massive protests—lawmakers approved legislation that would cut taxes for the state’s wealthiest residents while hiking taxes for the remaining 95 percent, moves that critics say clearly demonstrate the misplaced priorities of the Republican Party.

The Larger Concerns Behind the Teachers’ Strikes
Portside – April 3, 2018 – Alia Wong

For educators in Oklahoma and other states, the strike demands go far beyond better pay. The strike gets at the heart of some of the biggest issues facing America’s children: access to  effective teachers, high-quality learning materials, and modern facilities.

The Solution Is Social Housing
Portside – April 7, 2018 – Ryan Cooper and Peter Gowan, Jacobin

How can we solve the housing crisis? Simple: have the government build more housing.

Honoring the Radical Evolution of Martin Luther King Jr.
Yes! Magazine – April 4, 2018 – Paul Harvey

King’s philosophy stood not just for “opportunity,” but for positive measures toward economic equality and political power. Ignoring this understanding betrays the “dream” that is ritually invoked each year.

Taking MLK’s Message Global
Yes! Magazine – April 6, 2018 – David Korten

Just as in 1968, there is now an urgent imperative for people to come together both locally and globally to make King’s dream a reality.

Today’s Young Adults Want to Redesign Capitalism. But Into What?
Yes! Magazine – April 5, 2018 – Joseph Blasi and Douglas L. Kruse

Young people don’t want less capitalism, they want more of it. They just want to make sure it’s shared more broadly, such as by making it easier for more of us to become capitalists and share in the wealth we collectively create… more companies in the U.S. embrace employee ownership in one form or another, some drawn by its ability to reduce turnover and improve economic performance. And just last year, a company started up in Silicon Valley offering certification of employee-owned businesses “to build an employee-owned economy.”

Volume XXVI – Number 13

Parkland Students Interview Bernie Sanders: ‘Your Generation Has the Power to Change America’
The Guardian – March 23, 2018 – Rebecca Schneid and Dara Rosen

Two student journalists from the Eagle Eye, Stoneman Douglas high school’s newspaper, interviewed the Vermont senator about the search for a breakthrough in the gun debate – and his own voting record… I think what Parkland was about is the straw that broke the camel’s back. That people want action right now. That people are prepared to stand up to the NRA. I want to say that you, you guys, in the high school deserve an enormous amount of credit for helping bring about that change of attitude.

Population Collapse
Slate – March 23, 2018 – Henry Grabar

Forget extinctions. Population decline is a much greater crisis.

We Can Reduce Unnecessary Incarceration and Crime
Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration

Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration unites more than 175 current and former police chiefs, federal and state chief prosecutors, and attorneys general from all 50 states to urge for a reduction in both crime and incarceration. With this group, law enforcement joins the emerging movement calling for an end to unnecessary, widespread incarceration.

Ridesharing Versus Public Transit
The American Prospect – March 27, 2018 – Steven Hill

In the ultimate irony, the more passengers use Uber, the more money it loses. Why would it do that? Because Uber is using its deep pockets to mount a predatory pricing war and drive off the competition. And that competition happens to be not only taxis and other ridesharing companies, but public transportation.

Apocalyptic Numbers: The Saudi-Trump War on Yemen
Informed Comment – March 26, 2018 – Juan Cole

The propaganda about Iran being behind Yemen unrest rather than Saleh’s corruption that the Saudis enabled has roped in gullible generals in Washington, DC, who have actively been aiding the Saudi war effort.

Trump Endangers Democracy by Adding Citizenship Question to 2020 Census
Common Dreams – March 27, 2018 – Jake Johnson, staff writer

“This is an attempt to racially rig the census,” argued Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn in a statement after the move was made public in a late-night press release by the Commerce Department. “An accurate census is essential in the redrawing of our congressional and legislative districts and budgeting decisions that impact our schools, hospitals, roads, and veterans.”… “A question about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census will massively depress responses from immigrants and sabotage the entire census. This is huge crisis for democracy.” —Ari Berman, Mother Jones.

The Vote Matters
The American Prospect – March 29, 2018 – Todd Gitlin

The right has had a big decade trashing democracy by blocking the registration of poor and minority voters… The right is on message, and the message is that voting is too important to proceed without interference. Voter deregistration through ID and other laws is one tactic; rigged redistricting is another; a third is the administration’s recent decision to pose a citizenship question on the 2020 census… .. The left is back to basics. People power versus money power—it’s an old story. Organizing is not done by algorithm; it is done by intelligent, focused human effort.

Teens Are Marching for Justice Around the World. Next Up: Climate Change.
Grist – March 26, 2018 – Zoya Teirstein

Thousands of people marched for gun control this past weekend — a movement energized, organized, and realized by America’s youth. Now, teenagers are taking on the ticking time bomb that disproportionately affects the world’s youngest generations. You know the one… In 2017, high school sophomore Jamie Margolin founded Zero Hour, a youth-led collective that aims to mobilize young voices in the fight against climate change. Since then, Zero Hour has grown into a full-fledged organization raising awareness about the urgency of climate action. The group is planning a march on July 21 in Washington, D.C., building on the Women’s March last January and the People’s Climate March in 2014. The march is using the hashtag #thisiszerohour.

How Trump Is Preparing for War
Robert Reich’s Blog – March 27, 2018

When the occupant of the White House and the sycophants surrounding him are prepared to do and use anything – including trade wars with China and possibly hot wars with North Korea and Iran – to win a political war at home, nothing and no one is safe.

Jimmy Carter: Trump’s Decision to Hire John Bolton Is ‘a Disaster for Our Country’
USA Today – March 26, 2018 – Susan Page

Former president Jimmy Carter, one of the few U.S. officials who has traveled to North Korea and met with its leaders, expresses hope for the planned White House summit with Pyongyang but warns that President Trump may have made “one of the worst mistakes” of his tenure by naming John Bolton to the sensitive post of national security adviser… “I am concerned as a matter of fact about his deliberate moves to get into the key positions of government just people who agree with him,” Carter said. “Access to different opinions before you make a final decision is very valuable, and in the last few days I think President Trump’s choice of close advisers, powerful advisers, have gone to unanimity rather than diversity.”

North Carolina ends shackling of inmates during childbirth
The Guardian – March 28, 2018 – Mona Chalabi

The continued use of shackles has repeatedly been criticized by human rights organizations and health professionals. The American Medical Association has described it as “a barbaric practice that needlessly inflicts excruciating pain and humiliation”. The practice contravenes the United Nations convention against torture.

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Calls for Repeal of the Second Amendment.
The Daily Kos – March 27, 2018 – durrati

Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society… But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Are You Ready? This Is All the Data Facebook and Google Have on You
The Guardian – March 28, 2018 – Dylan Curran

This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.

Chelsea Manning’s Platform for US Senate: Abolish ICE, Dismantle Prisons, Healthcare for All
Democracy Now – March 28, 2018 – Amy Goodman interviews Chelsea Manning

We continue our exclusive conversation with Army whistleblower and transgender activist Chelsea Manning… Manning is now running for U.S. Senate in Maryland… I’ve been out there. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been to prison. I’ve been to war. These are what I consider experience. So, we need to start pushing back. And the way we do that is by focusing on the systemic problems, like the criminal justice system, immigration and healthcare.

Book Review: Daniel Ellsberg’s New Nuclear Wakeup Call
Portside – March 30, 2018 – Chuck Idelson

The secrets Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) unfolds are a thousand times more frightful than Stephen King at his best. Except this is no novel. Not “Dr. Strangelove” but “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall.” … A nuclear conflagration can literally begin almost anywhere with the armaments on hair trigger alert.

Judge Drops Charges Against 13 Who Argued Pipeline Civil Disobedience Action Was “Necessary” to Save Planet
Common Dreams – March 28, 2018 – Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Speaking on the steps outside the courthouse following the verdict, defendant and noted climate activist Tim DeChristopher said they “asked the judge to recognize that that evidence was out there—that’s it clear across our society the severity of climate change, the degree to which the government response has been a failure, and the degree to which regular folks like us have a necessity to act to prevent this harm.”… We are part of the movement that’s standing up and saying, ‘We won’t let this go by on our watch. We won’t act like nothing’s wrong.

Tax Overhaul and the Immorality of Inequality
Yes! Magazine – March 28, 2018 – Sarah van Gelder

An unequal society loses its sense of solidarity and social contract. A society that fails to invest in its children, to protect its land and water, or to build a future is courting collapse. Whether you are a member of a religious denomination or not, there is no way this can be moral..

The World Is a Miraculous Mess, and It’s Going to Be All Right
Yes! Magazine – March 27, 2018 – Zenobia Jeffries

When you talk to author and activist adrienne maree brown, you feel everything is going to be all right. You’re inspired by her hope, belief, and commitment just enough to muster your own. This must have to do with the way she sees possibility for change absolutely everywhere… Do I embody being “decentralized,” am I actually sharing leadership with people in an authentic way all around me? Do I embody “creating more possibility,” or am I regularly trying to narrow everyone down to my way only? Or, can I actually allow biodiversity of ideas and ways and being?… “Move at the speed of trust.” That’s one of the principles that has been articulated many times. If you don’t move at the speed of trust when you can, when you’re at the size in which you can, then it all falls apart when it gets bigger.

Volume XXVI – Number 12

What ‘Law and Order’ Means to Trump
The New York Times – March 17, 2018 – Chris Hayes

The president’s moral framework springs from an American tradition of cultivating fear and contempt among its white citizens against immigrants, indigenous people and people of color, who are placed on the other side of “the law.” It’s a practice that has taken on new strength at a time when many white people fear they may be outnumbered, outvoted and out of time… The history of the United States is the story of a struggle between the desire to establish certain universal rights and the countervailing desire to preserve a particular social order.

Despite Possible Blowback, Snowden Decries Anti-Democratic Forces in Russia
Common Dreams – March 19, 2018 – Jon Queally, staff writer

Despite the possible threat it could pose to his own long-term safety and security, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Sunday publicly criticized the appearance of ballot fraud and democratic corruption during national elections in Russia, the country where he has enjoyed political asylum since 2013… My friends tell me it is dangerous to criticize the Russian government the same as I criticize my own. But each of us are given a limited number of days to make a difference. Life is a choice to live for something, or to die for nothing.

Economic Security Programs Are Effective Against Poverty
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – March 21, 2018

Today’s economic security programs lift tens of millions of Americans above the poverty line, provide health care to tens of millions of Americans, and have positive longer-term effects on children, many studies find, helping them do better (and go farther) in school and lift their earning power as adults. Still, poverty remains high and many families face serious hardship.

The Legacy of the Iraq War
Rolling Stone – March 21, 2018 – Matt Taibbi

The concept of bloodless war – like some twisted Rand Corporation interpretation of Erica Jong’s “zipless fuck” – has as a result become firmly submerged in the American unconscious. Fifteen years after those historic marches preceding the invasion, we still drone-bomb with mind-numbing regularity, killing about 6,000 people in Iraq and Syria last year alone. But protests are basically nonexistent. We’ve defanged popular opposition by making such bombings open-ended, mechanical and invisible. The invisibility is not just in the eyes of the media, but more and more, in the eyes of the law as well. Our wars have begun to vanish from our democratic process, the same way our “enemy combatants” just magically disappear from the earth once captured, to a secret arbitrary world we show or don’t show as we please… We flatter ourselves that Trump is an aberration. He isn’t. He’s a depraved, cowardly, above-the-law bully, just like the country we’ve allowed ourselves to become in the last fifteen years.

15 Years After Invasion, Demands for Iraq War Reparations, New Global Peace Movement
Common Dreams – March 19, 2018 – Andrea Germanos, staff writer

In its statement released Monday, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) calls attention to the ongoing human costs of the war as well as the lack of punishment government officials and corporate entities have faced for atrocities they committed in Iraq. The “illegal war” that began in 2003, the group says, “provided the platform for mass civilian casualties, war crimes, and a vast boon to corporations seeking to profit from war-making—with almost complete impunity to this day.”

On Seeing America’s Wars Whole: Six Questions for the New York Times
Informed Comment – March 21, 2018 – Andrew J. Bacevich

Crudely put, the central question that goes not only unanswered but unasked is this: What the hell is going on? Allow me to deconstruct that in ways that might resonate with Times correspondents: What exactly should we call the enterprise in which U.S. forces have been engaged all these years?

A judge asks basic questions about climate change. We answer them
The Guardian – March 21, 2018 – Oliver Milman

California is a hotbed of climate change activism, so it perhaps wasn’t a surprise to see the cities of San Francisco and Oakland sue the world’s largest oil companies last year for allegedly knowing about the dire consequences of global warming while seeking to downplay or deny it. More striking is the approach of the judge in the case, the unorthodox William Alsup. The judge, who previously learned coding techniques for a Silicon Valley lawsuit, has set out a list of questions for a climate change “tutorial” on the floor of the courtroom on Wednesday. We’ve sought to help out the judge by answering his queries.

Undocumented workers find new ally as unions act to halt deportations
The Guardian – March 22, 2018 – Mike Elk

As the Trump administration takes its fight against undocumented workers to the workplace, some US unions are stepping in to protect their members and creating a new battlefront between the Republican party and organized labor… Not only have the unions become more engaged in assisting their immigrant members facing deportation within their union, but externally their politics have also begun to shift… One factor that has helped promote the leftward shift of the building trades has been the emergence of Latino labor leaders within their unions.

How treating gun violence as public-health issue could help children
Christian Science Monitor – March 19, 2018 – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

Despite two decades in which it’s been difficult to get federal funding for gun research, a number of projects are taking stock of the effects of firearms on children – and also the factors that may boost their resiliency. They are part of a growing movement to treat gun violence as a public-health problem.

143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants
National Geographic – March 22, 2018 – Laura Parker

Climate change will transform more than 143 million people into “climate migrants” escaping crop failure, water scarcity, and sea-level rise, a new World Bank report concludes… The study’s authors say there is still reason for optimism: if the world acts in time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engages in “robust development planning,” the flood of “climate migrants” could be reduced by 80 percent to a mere 40 million people… Without cuts to greenhouse gases and other preparations, climate migration will most likely rise through 2050, the authors find, and then accelerate.

Our Manifesto to Fix America’s Gun Laws
The Guardian – March 23, 2018 – Parkland Students

As a student publication, the Eagle Eye works to tell the stories of those who do not have a voice. Today, we are the ones who feel our voice must be elevated… We are firsthand witnesses to the kind of devastation that gross incompetence and political inaction can produce. We cannot stand idly by as the country continues to be infected by a plague of gun violence that seeps into community after community, and does irreparable damage to the hearts and minds of the American people. That’s why the Eagle Eye has come together and proposed these following changes to gun policy…

Hundreds of Thousands March for Gun Control Across the US
Reader Supported News – March 24, 2018 – Samantha Raphelson, NPR

At the end of the day, what our generation is fighting for is not only for us, the kids that are alive right now, but the future of America, we can and we will outlive our opponents because they are old and they are stuck in their old ways… We will change the face of America with or without our opponents.

America Takes the Next Step Toward Tyranny
Portside – March 24, 2018 – Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine

I read Plato’s Republic again, the prism through which I first raised the alarm about Donald Trump’s emergence. The prism is essentially how a late-stage democracy, dripping with decadence and corruption, with elites dedicated primarily to enriching themselves, and a people well past any kind of civic virtue, morphs so easily into tyranny.

The Problem Isn’t Just Facebook; It’s “Surveillance Capitalism”
Portside – March 24, 2018 – Jennifer Cobbe, openDemocracy

‘Surveillance capitalism’ was the term coined in 2015 by Harvard academic Shoshanna Zuboff to describe this large-scale surveillance and modification of human behavior for profit. It involves predictive analysis of big datasets describing the lives and behaviors of tens or hundreds of millions of people, allowing correlations and patterns to be identified, information about individuals inferred, and future behavior to be predicted… It’s time for a wider debate about the role of surveillance in our increasingly digital society.

How Facebook’s Data Has Been Turned Against Its Users—and Democracy
Yes! Magazine – March 22, 2018 – Timothy Summers, The Conversation

The problem isn’t that this psychographic data were exploited at a massive scale. It’s that platforms like Facebook enable people’s data to be used in ways that take power away from voters and give it to data-analyzing campaigners. In my view, this kills democracy. Even Facebook can see that, saying in January that at its worst, social media “ allows people to spread misinformation and corrode democracy.” My advice: Use Facebook with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Volume XXVI – Number 11

Homelessness is like lots of issues: Racism makes it worse
The Boston Globe – March 10, 2018 – Renée Graham

You look around with your own eyes in any community across the country and see massive numbers of people of color in the homelessness population, whether it’s in a shelter or the street… Yet you go to a national conference or read a report and there’s never any mention of racial disparity, disproportionality, injustice, or inequity… To deny that racism as a factor in the disproportionate number of black and brown people who are homeless is itself a defense of racism.

The West Virginia teachers’ strike is what real resistance looks like
The Guardian – March 10, 2018 – Jeff Biggers

With the exuberance of a nine-day teach-in, the teachers and their supporters have taught the nation a compelling lesson on the historical role of a true resistance… I believe the West Virginia teachers have renewed a strategic call for other movements engaged in what we have called a “resistance” against the onslaught of policies decisions and regulatory rollbacks by the Trump administration. The time has come to employ strikes in other areas.

West Virginia Teachers and the Working-Class Revolt
The American Prospect – March 9, 2018 – Amy Traub

School funding cuts are a key example of how corporate lobbyists and other wealthy interests have manipulated the rules of our economy to consolidate their own power and wealth at the expense of not just our schools, but our broader communities, and the quality of jobs for public and private-sector workers alike.

The fatal expense of American imperialism
The Boston Globe – October 30, 2016 – Jeffrey D. Sachs

It’s time to abandon the reveries, burdens, and self-deceptions of empire and to invest in sustainable development at home and in partnership with the rest of the world.

Victimizing Children: The Stunning New Cruelty of Trump’s Immigration Enforcement
Informed Comment – March 11, 2018 – Jill Richardson

There are many ways to resolve the problems with immigration system. Whatever we choose, surely we can find one that doesn’t fall on the backs of innocent children. Ideally, we can find a solution that keeps families together.

The $29 Billion Nuclear Boondoggle That’s Poisoning Black Communities
Scalawag Magazine – March 6, 2018 – Gloria Tatum

Situated in Burke County on the Savannah River, which forms the Georgia-South Carolina border, Shell Bluff is home to the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, commonly known as Plant Vogtle… In 2009, Georgia’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved plans to construct two additional reactors at the plant.. In so doing, the PSC ignored devastating health and environmental effects the nuclear plant had wrought.

Some 20,000 Scientists Have Now Signed Climate Change “Warning to Humanity”
Ecowatch – March 9, 2018 – Lorraine Chow

The authors concluded that urgent measures are necessary to avoid disaster. They called upon everyday citizens to urge their leaders to “take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life.”

Eight reasons for America’s shameful number of wrongful convictions
The Los Angeles Times – March 11, 2018 – John Grisham

Can there really be 46,000 to 230,000 innocent people locked away? Those of us who are involved in exoneration work firmly believe so.

In Ruling Called “Victory for Everyone Who Breathes,” Federal Judge Says Scott Pruitt Violating Clean Air Act
Truthout – March 13, 2018 – Jon Queally

While Pruitt submitted designations for areas in the country that were complying with smog guidelines, he has refused to list those areas which were failing to meet minimum standards — a refusal which resulted in legal action by sixteen state attorneys general and a coalition of environmental groups.

Gina Haspel, Trump’s Pick for CIA Director, Ran a Black Site for Torture
The Intercept – March 13, 2018 – Glenn Greenwald

She played a vital role in the destruction of interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees both at the black site she ran and other secret agency locations.

How Trump Has Normalized the Unspeakable
The Nation – September 20, 2017 – Sasha Abramsky

Time and again, Trump urged his crowds of supporters on by dangling before them the prospect of violence for violence’s sake. Time and again, he flaunted his contempt for international norms by embracing torture—the word, for so long taboo, as much as the deed—as an official policy of state.

Here’s Why Debunking Viral Climate Myths Is Almost Impossible, In One Animated Chart
Buzzfeed – Truthout – October 30, 2017 – Zahra Hirji and Lam Thuy Vo

“Because of our cognitive biases, once your opinions are formed it’s hard to change that,” said Filippo Menczer, a professor at the Indiana University Network Science Institute who has been studying the spread of false news articles and co-authored the Nature study. “It’s more likely we’ll look at things that confirm our biases.”

Big Data and Big Money Have Subverted Our Democracy
Common Dreams – November 3, 2017 – Jeffrey D. Sachs

Why does Congress refuse to act on climate change despite the strong majority of Americans who favor increased investments in renewable energy and cutbacks in fossil fuels? The oil lobby.

School Militarization: The Tide It Is a-Changin’
Buzzfeed – Truthout – March 14, 2018 – Pat Elder

There have been three remarkable breakthroughs in the last month regarding the media’s willingness to report and comment on the alarming process of the militarization of America’s high schools… The Associated Press, after years of nudging, finally reported on the list of high school JROTC programs the NRA Foundation funds across the country… the Economist Magazine reported on high school firing ranges associated with JROTC military programs that operate in thousands of high schools… USA Today reported on SkoolLive, a military-funded scheme that conspired to place interactive 6′ kiosks in America’s public high schools.

SNAP Supports Workers in the Low-Wage Labor Market
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – March 15, 2018 – Brynne Keith-Jennings and Raheem Chaudhry

Some policymakers suggest that further limiting SNAP participation among non-disabled adults to those who are working while participating would increase employment rates. Such proposals, however, hold little potential to increase work among this population and carry a high risk of increasing hardship among workers.

The Corporate Media Ignores the Rise of Oligarchy. The Rest of Us Shouldn’t
The Guardian – March 16, 2018 – Bernie Sanders

The corporate media has failed to let the American people fully understand the economic forces shaping their lives and causing many of them to work two or three jobs, while CEOs make hundreds of times more than they do. Instead, day after day, 24/7, we’re inundated with the relentless dramas of the Trump White House, Stormy Daniels, and the latest piece of political gossip. We urgently need to discuss the reality of today’s economy and political system, and fight to create an economy that works for everyone and not just the one percent… We need to raise political consciousness in America.

Study: 93 Percent of Bottled Water Contains Microplastics
Buzzflash – Truthout – March 16, 2018 – Lorraine Chow

Other studies on microplastics have found the pervasive particles in ice cores, in the deepest parts of the ocean and on every beach worldwide. An unsettling UN News article once put the problem this way: “As many as 51 trillion microplastic particles—500 times more than stars in our galaxy.” A WHO spokesman told the Guardian that while there is not yet any evidence on the impacts of microplastics on human health, the organization noted it’s an emerging area of concern.

The White House Is Appointing Anti-Woman Judges
The Nation – February 28, 2018 – Nan Aron

This White House, including the top lawyer in charge of judicial nominations, hardly bats an eye when it comes to archaic or even hostile attitudes toward the well-being of women… The federal judges who decide how the law will treat women if they are battered, abused, harassed, or discriminated against will be with us for decades.

Israel’s new Jewish state bill ‘institutionalising the apartheid regime’
Informed Comment – March 17, 2018 – Middle East Monitor

The Israeli Knesset is fast tracking a “nation-state bill” which opposition groups have denounced as “institutionalising the apartheid regime”. Knesset members approved the final draft of the bill defining Israel exclusively as a nation for Jews.

Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality
Portside – March 16, 2018 – Colin Gordon

A living interactive publication grapples with the dimensions, roots and consequences of inequality in the United States… The digital project “Growing Apart: A Political History of American Inequality,” is an effort to grapple with that challenge — its dimensions, its roots, its causes, and its consequences.

Democracy Requires Teaching Students How to Dissent
Portside – March 14, 2018 – Sarah Stitzlein, The Conversation

Our schools should teach dissent. Indeed, a flourishing democracy depends on an informed and active citizenry who will speak out when they find laws to be unjust… In America, our democracy requires the consent of the governed. Our Declaration of Independence even says that when we are not in agreement or when our well-being is in jeopardy, we have a duty to speak up. It’s the American way and has been from the time the nation began. It is only with the opportunity and capacity to dissent that we can determine if our laws and systems guiding us are good or just. Further, in order to invoke our right to dissent, citizens have to know how to dissent, which calls into play the role of schooling.