Volume XXV – Number 39

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump
Moyers and Company – September 14, 2017 – Bill Moyers

Renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton on the Goldwater Rule: We have a duty to warn if someone may be dangerous to others… “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” will be published Oct. 3 by St. Martin’s Press… The foreword is by one of America’s leading psychohistorians, Robert Jay Lifton. He is renowned for his studies of people under stress… We interview Dr. Lifton… “Solipsistic reality means that the only reality he’s capable of embracing has to do with his own self and the perception by and protection of his own self. And for a president to be so bound in this isolated solipsistic reality could not be more dangerous for the country and for the world.”

The American Military Uncontained
Tom Dispatch – September 12, 2017 – William J. Astore

Soon after the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 to much triumphalist self-congratulation in Washington, the scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson had an epiphany. What he would come to call “the American Raj,” a global imperial structure ostensibly built to corral the menace of communism, wasn’t going away just because that menace had evaporated, leaving not a superpower nor even a major power as an opponent anywhere on the horizon. Quite the opposite, Washington — and its globe-spanning “empire” of military bases — was only digging in deeper and for the long haul. At that moment, with a certain shock, Johnson realized that the U.S. was itself an empire and, with its mirror-image-enemy gone, risked turning on itself and becoming its own nemesis.

What is Hate Speech?
George Lakoff’s Website – September 14, 2017

I have been asked what hate speech is. It is not exactly hard to detect. Hate speech defames, belittles, or dehumanizes a class of people on the basis of certain inherent properties — typically race, ethnicity, gender, or religion… Hate speech these days is not just speech by an individual. It has become an industry for the racist right — organized, purposely provocative, a recruiting tool, and a show of power aiming at greater power.

We Are Seeing the Shock Doctrine in Effect After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
Democracy Now! – September 18, 2017 – Naomi Klein

This is the extreme world—we’re catching a glimpse of it—that we’ve been warned about. And we hear this phrase, “the new normal.” And it’s a little bit misleading, because I don’t think there is a normal. You know, it’s precisely the unpredictability that we have to understand. And I think what a warmer world means is that there are, you know, fewer and fewer breaks between the extreme events… These are disasters that have become unnatural, that have become unnaturally catastrophic, because of the impacts of climate change, but also because of the impacts of deregulation, because of inequality, of racial injustice. And the oil industry is at the dead center of this.

We Cannot Go on Like This. It Is Time to Talk to North Korea
Common Dreams – September 20, 2017 – Tom Fowdy

The ignorance and hubris of the President of the United States knows no boundaries. At his debut speech on Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly—an organization built for the purposes of peace, humanitarianism and internationalism—Donald Trump openly and apologetically threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in response to its continued nuclear and missile testing. Prior, at no point in history had any world leader stood before the representatives of every nation and boasted in such vain egocentrism of their intent to destroy another member state, seemingly incapable of grasping the inevitable consequences of such actions.

Like Other ACA Repeal Bills, Cassidy-Graham Would Cap and Deeply Cut Medicaid
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – September 21, 2017 – Hannah Katch

Senators Cassidy and Graham have tried to focus attention on their block grant and away from the cap, but the Medicaid cap in their bill is very similar to the cap in the Senate Republican leadership bill (the Better Care Reconciliation Act) that failed to pass the Senate in July, and even more damaging than the cap in the House-passed American Health Care Act. It would cut federal funding for non-expansion Medicaid populations (seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and pregnant women) by an estimated $175 billion over ten years and more than $1 trillion over 20 years, while also making federal Medicaid funding far less responsive to need.

Bernie Sanders’ Historic Anti-War Speech at Westminster College
Reader Supported News – September 22, 2017

Bernie Sanders’ address at Westminster College in Missouri was a historic renunciation of U.S. foreign policy and military might on which it is based since World War II. It was nothing less than a gauntlet thrown down. From Vietnam to Iraq, Sanders lays bare the failure and deception of American global domination… Foreign policy is about whether we continue to champion the values of freedom, democracy and justice, values which have been a beacon of hope for people throughout the world, or whether we support undemocratic, repressive regimes, which torture, jail and deny basic rights to their citizens… Here is the bottom line: In my view, the United States must seek partnerships not just between governments, but between peoples.

US Provides Military Assistance to 73 Percent of World’s Dictatorships
Truth Out – September 23, 2017 – Rich Whitney

Does the US government actually oppose dictatorships and champion democracy around the world, as we are repeatedly told? The truth is not easy to find, but federal sources do provide an answer: No.

How did the Persecution of Burma’s Rohingya Arise?
Informed Comment – September 21, 2017 – Engy Abdelkader, JD, LL.M.

The persecution of the Rohingya is not new. My research on the Rohingya Muslim experience in Myanmar shows that this pattern of persecution goes back to 1948 – the year when the country achieved independence from their British colonizers. Here is their brief history…. Today, the Rohingya are the single largest “stateless” community in the world. Their “statelessness” or lack of citizenship increases their vulnerability because they are not entitled to any legal protection from the government.

Why We Need a Universal Basic Income
Moyers and Company – September 15, 2017 – Keri Leigh Merritt

To put it into perspective, Widerquist [a Georgetown professor of political philosophy] writes, a UBI would cost “less than 25 percent of the cost of current US entitlement spending, less than 15 percent of overall federal spending, and about 2.95 percent of Gross Domestic Product.” It would immediately lift more than 43 million people out of poverty, including 14.5 million children… UBI would work best if paired with a federal jobs guarantee. The vast majority of Americans want to work; they derive a sense of pride and fulfilment and identity from their jobs… Unless and until all non-elite American workers band together across racial and social and educational lines, our money-hungry politicians will continue to serve the interests of people just like themselves: the rich and already powerful.

What Cuba Can Teach Us About Health Care
Yes! Magazine – September 19, 2017 – Sarah van Gelder

Cuba’s system doesn’t end with universal access for its citizens. Cuban doctors offer health care around the world… Cuba’s spending on medical services and training, then, is an investment in its national security. By winning the friendship of countries like Pakistan and Guatemala, they increase their security without ships, airplanes, or bombs. They invest in training people to heal, not to kill, all over the world… A fully socialized system like Cuba’s may not be in the cards for the United States… Still,… we have the resources to make sure everyone in our country has health care if we invest our vast wealth wisely.

World Citizenship Is More Popular Than You Might Think
Portside, History News Network – September 17, 2017 – Lawrence Wittner

Overall, then, most people around the world?including most people in the United States?are not zealous nationalists. In fact, they display a remarkable level of support for moving beyond the nation-state to world citizenship.

Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Is Open for Signatures
Global Research , International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – September 21, 2017

Today, we put nuclear weapons in the same category as other unacceptable weapons.


Volume XXV – Number 38

The Risk of Nuclear War With North Korea
The New Yorker – September 18, issue – Evan Osnos

Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation?… Iraq taught us the cost of going to war against an adversary that we do not fully understand. Before we take a radical step into Asia, we should be sure that we’re not making that mistake again. [This is an excellent report about North Korea.]

Ikea’s solution to peak stuff? Invest in plastics recycling plant
The Guardian – May 15, 2017 – Hannah Gould

Ikea has bought forest in Romania and the Baltics, wind farms in Poland and now it is investing in a plastic recycling plant in the Netherlands. For the Swedish furniture giant, extending control across its supply chain in this way could help it become more sustainable by avoiding environmentally damaging activities like illegal deforestation and plastic waste. Ikea is not alone in this strategy.

The Constitution Was a Victim of September 11th Too
Reader Supported News – September 11, 2017 – John Kiriakou

I was a counterterrorism officer at the CIA in 2001. The attacks set off a series of events that changed the course of my life. They also irreversibly changed our country.

6 Reasons The US Justice System Is Anything But Just
Care 2 – September 10, 2017 – Kevin Mathews

The truth, however, is that the court system is flawed in just about every way imaginable. The courts are in the practice of handing out punishments — not justice — which generally work to oppress our country’s racial minority and impoverished people. Here are six ways the U.S. justice system fails to promote actual justice…

Why Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech
George Lakoff’s Website – September 8, 2017

The long–term, often crippling physical effects of hate speech on the neural systems of those hated does not have status in law, since our neural systems do not have status in our legal system — at least not yet. This is a gap between the law and the truth.

Stop Talking Right Now About the Threat of Climate Change. It’s Here; It’s Happening
The Guardian – September 11, 2017 – Bill McKibben

Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – we need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast.

Puerto Rico’s Double Whammy: Irma and Hedge Funds
The American Prospect – September 8, 2017 – David Dayen

This tragedy shows the short-sightedness of getting a fiscal house in order when the rest of the house is falling apart. Puerto Rico needs an economic revival, one that forced austerity will simply not provide. The persistent focus on the budget made the island more vulnerable to pain from natural disaster, and the intransigence of the creditors will make recovery agonizingly slow. The Puerto Rican people have long deserved better than this.

Voter Registration Is the Real Resistance
The American Prospect – September 13, 2017 – Page Gardner and Celinda Lake

The 2018 midterms will hinge on whether Democrats can register and turn out single women, millennials, and minorities.

New Trumpcare Deserves a Quick Death
The New York Times – September 13, 2017 – David Leonhardt

The bill, known as Cassidy-Graham, would take away health insurance from millions, and it’s blocking bipartisan efforts to fix Obamacare.

How Tax Reform Can Raise Working-Class Incomes
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – September 13, 2017 – Chuck Marr, Brandon DeBot and Emily Horton

Federal policies — including tax reform — should help those who need it most, including low- and modest-income working-class families that have been hard hit by the economic trends of recent decades. President Trump embraced this narrative as a candidate, saying: “These are the forgotten men and women of America… President Trump’s tax plan released in April, however, betrays those promises.

Why We Need Medicare for All
The New York Times – September 13, 2017 – Bernie Sanders

This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right?… The reason that our health care system is so outrageously expensive is that it is not designed to provide quality care to all in a cost-effective way, but to provide huge profits to the medical-industrial complex. Layers of bureaucracy associated with the administration of hundreds of individual and complicated insurance plans is stunningly wasteful, costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

New SPLC series on religious extremism and violent conflict
Southern Poverty Law Center – September 12, 2017 – Daryl Johnson

Much like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, right-wing terrorists — who often refer to themselves as “Soldiers of Odin,” “Phineas Priests,” or “Army of God” — are inspired by their interpretations of religious concepts and scripture to lash out and kill in God’s name… Extremist “true believers,” like the Spokane Bank Robbers and Rudolph, will eventually cloak themselves in a mantle of religious righteousness and may initiate their violent act as part of a divine plan, heavenly edict or perceived mission from God.

Where Are All the Monuments to the Progressive Americans?
Moyers and Company – September 15, 2017 – Peter Dreier

The organizers, activists, artists, writers, athletes, judges and occasional elected officials who fought to make the United States a more humane and inclusive country often go unacknowledged.

The Dystopia We Signed Up For
The New York Times – September 13, 2017 – Chelsea Manning

The world has become like an eerily banal dystopian novel. Things look the same on the surface, but they are not. With no apparent boundaries on how algorithms can use and abuse the data that’s being collected about us, the potential for it to control our lives is ever-growing.

“Carpe Diem Politics”: How to Do More Than Just Resist
Yes! Magazine – September 15, 2017 – Roman Krznaric

Carpe diem politics involves grassroots movements taking the seize-the-day ideal from the individual up to the collective level to achieve radical change… There are three aspects to the idea of carpe diem politics. First, it involves seizing opportunities on a mass scale that otherwise might be lost and disappear forever. Second, spontaneous mobilization cracks open the social order from below. A crucial third element is hedonistic revelry—a carnival spirit with dancing, music, costumes, and other forms of play… less the singular carpe diem and more the plural carpamus diem—let’s seize the day together.

Hillary Clinton’s Book Has a Clear Message: Don’t Blame Me
The Guardian – September 12, 2017 – Thomas Frank

Hillary Clinton simply cannot escape her satisfied white-collar worldview. This prevents her from understanding the events of 2016.

Changing the Culture of Police Brutality Needs to Happen on the State and Local Level
The New York Daily News – September 7, 2017 – Shaun King

Today is Part 25 in a 25 part series exploring solutions for police brutality in America. The problem of police brutality is actually deeply entrenched and amazingly complicated. Most of the factors that ultimately lead to fatal encounters happen long before the actual incidents ever take place. Police brutality has no quick fixes. No one single solution will solve the problem. Instead, it must be tackled from dozens of different angles, but as a part of one comprehensive plan. This series will lay out that plan with reasonable, achievable solutions that will drastically reduce police brutality in this generation.

The Growing Danger of Dynastic Wealth
Robert B. Reich’s Blog – September 16, 2017

The estate and capital gains taxes were originally designed to prevent the growth of large dynasties in the U.S. and to reduce inequality. They’ve been failing to do that. The richest 1 tenth of 1 percent of Americans now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

Volume XXV – Number 37

Denying Hurricane Harvey’s climate links only worsens future suffering
The Guardian – September 5, 2017 – Dana Nuccitelli

The variables in the climate change formula are mitigation, adaptation, and suffering. Denying the problem loads up on the suffering… In short, to minimize the suffering caused by climate change, we need to be smarter about addressing the problem and adapting its consequences. Right now we’re instead becoming stupider, and that will only lead to increased suffering. If we want to minimize the suffering caused by future Harveys, we need to talk about how climate change is making them worse, and we need to do something about it.

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals
The Guardian – September 5, 2017 – Damian Carrington

The new analyses indicate the ubiquitous extent of microplastic contamination in the global environment. Previous work has been largely focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, which suggests people are eating microplastics via contaminated seafood. “We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it’s having on wildlife, to be concerned,” said Dr Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who supervised the analyses for Orb.

DACA Phase-Out Yet Another Gimme to Trump’s Racist Base
The American Prospect – September 6, 2017 – Adele M. Stan

Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly known by its initials—DACA—is but the latest in a series of moves designed to signal to the racists and nativists who spread the Trumpian gospel during the presidential campaign that he’s still their guy. And is he ever.

From Fighting for $15 to Blocking Right-to-Work Laws, Striking Missouri Workers Are Challenging the GOP
Truth Out – September 7, 2017 – Carlos Ballestero, In These Times

“I’ve been with the movement for three years now, and I’m going to keep fighting until we get what we deserve,” she says. “I’m not going to stop fighting because I am scared. It is this — my fellow workers, marching together, that reminds me that I am not alone, and that we can win.”

Iowans Put “Labor” Back in Labor Day
Reader Supported News – September 7, 2017 – Scott Galindez

Hundreds of fast food and healthcare workers and their supporters marched, rallied and even went on strike in Des Moines on Labor Day. The demands were for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to form a union.

Good news: America’s crime and murder rates are down this year
Vox – September 6, 2017 – German Lopez

It now looks possible — though we’ll need more years of data to confirm — that 2015 and 2016 were replays of 2005 and 2006. If that holds, then perhaps the US isn’t in the middle of the “American carnage” that Trump warned about.

Dreamers condemn ‘extremely wrong’ Jeff Sessions: ‘We’re not taking jobs from anybody’
The Guardian – September 8, 2017 – Griselda Nevarez

Roberto Gonzales, an assistant professor at Harvard University, said he has been studying undocumented young people over the last decade and hasn’t come across any facts to back Session’s argument that Daca recipients are taking jobs away from Americans enmasse. He referred to Sessions’ argument as “completely unfounded”. “I think statements like that are very divisive and are not grounded on any empirical realities,” Gonzales said.

How Bad Could Things Get?
Moyers and Company – September 8, 2017 – Todd Gitlin

The late ‘60s and early ‘70s were crazy, but we’re looking wilder.

Bill McKibben on Hurricanes and Wildfires: “We Have Never Had Anything Like Them”
Democracy Now – September 7, 2017 – interview by Amy Goodman

Harvey was the largest rainstorm event in U.S. history—51 inches of rain in some places. That’s the kind of storm that’s only possible now that we’ve remarkably affected the climate… I think we’re basically in an endgame now. And the two points that we’re trying to make, and will make over and over and over again all over the world, with increasing success in most places except the United States, are, one, we got to have it all, in terms of renewable energy. We have to go to 100 percent renewable energy, and we have to do it fast. That’s why Senator Sanders has introduced that bill at a national level, along with Senator Merkley. That’s why dozens of cities, from Atlanta to Salt Lake to San Diego, have adopted 100 percent renewable policies.

Deforestation Has Double the Effect on Global Warming Than Previously Thought
International Business Times – September 6, 2017 – Aristos Georgiou

In addition to reducing reliance on fossil fuels, scientists and policymakers must pay more attention to deforestation and the subsequent changes in land use for agricultural and other human industry. The negative consequences of this process are manifold… “Normally people only think about what’s happening right now when they think about the carbon budget,” Mahowald [Natalie M. Mahowald, author of research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters] said. “But if you think about what’s going to happen over the lifetime of that land, long into the future, you should multiply that land conversion by two to understand the net effect of it.”

Irma, Jose, Katia: We’ve never seen this kind of hurricane power in the Atlantic
The Grist – September 9, 2017 – Kate Yoder

The three storms collectively represent the most hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, in terms of strength and size, in recorded history. That’s just one of many milestones.

Slavery in the US prison system
Al Jazeera English – September 9, 2017 – David A Love and Vijay Das

If You Want to Find an Example of Modern Day Slavery, Look No Further Than US Prisons… Today marks one year since the largest prison labour strike in US history… These protests draw attention to an ugly truth: Prisoner abuse runs rampant and it has extended into modern-day versions of slavery. Last year’s strike organisers described slavery-like conditions in prisons in the nationwide call to action… And Corporate America is cracking the whip.

Building a Prison-to-School Pipeline
The New Yorker – December 16, 2016 issue – Larissa MacFarquhar

Formerly incarcerated undergrads started a group on campus to offer mentoring, support, and advocacy to other onetime inmates.

The Conflict in Afghanistan Is Trump’s War Now
Common Dreams – August 22, 2017 – Andrew Bacevich

From this point forward, blaming President Obama for whatever happens in Kabul or Kandahar or the Hindu Kush won’t work. Afghanistan is Trump’s war now… Furthermore, given the president’s pronounced aversion to admitting error, his embrace of the Afghanistan conflict is almost certainly irreversible… The principal effect of the ongoing war on terrorism has been to exacerbate the problem that it purports to solve. The entire enterprise has been what Trump once understood it to be: a terrible mistake, a total disaster and a complete waste. Now, in effect, he has recanted.

Equifax Lobbied To Kill Rule Protecting Victims Of Data Breaches
International Business Times – September 9, 2017 – Alex Kotch and David Sirota

If you want to know if you were one of the 143 million people whose data was breached in a hack of Equifax’s data, the company has a website you can use to find out — but there appears to be a catch: To check, you have to agree to give up your legal right to sue the company for damages. The outrage that clause has now generated could complicate the company’s efforts — backed by Republican lawmakers — to block an imminent rule that would ban companies from forcing customers to agree to such provisions.

The Internet Was Always A Common Carrier
Portside – September 9, 2017 – Fenwick McKelvey, Popular Resistance

The researchers behind this experimental communication network developed by the US government campaigned for it to become a national common carrier, making its benefits available to the broader public… Common carriage is an old idea with a long and tested regulatory tradition. Simply put, it makes a judgement about the importance of certain infrastructure for the public and sets regulatory conditions to ensure these special services work on behalf of the public good. Railways, telephone lines, and Internets have been vital to society and the economy and are thus common carriers. Given their importance, common carriers enjoy special protection under the law in exchange for facilitating open and neutral communication channels in addition to separating content and carriage.

Hollywood Unions Offer the Perfect Model for the Beaten-down Workers of Today’s Gig Economy
Portside, Quartz – September 1, 2017 – W. Harry Fortuna

The gig economy has existed in Hollywood for a very long time—and today’s Uber and TaskRabbit workers could learn a lot from Tinseltown. The only way to make freelance and contract work sustainable is for those at the bottom to stand together to prevent exploitation from those at the top… Independent, entrepreneurial, short-term workers have bargained collectively for eighty years to the significant benefit of themselves and the industry in which they work, and neither labor law nor antitrust law should be seen as precluding collective bargaining in the gig economy.

A Clear Choice: My Fossil Fuels—Or 5.6 Million People Fleeing a Hurricane
Yes! Magazine – September 8, 2017 – Peter Kalmus

If we want cultural shift, we need individuals to lead the way. We need many individuals showing what’s possible, shifting the normal, telling a new story with their actions. Those of us situated to do this with relative ease have a moral responsibility to do so. Sooner or later, our social norms will reflect this. Such a shift in norms would surely accelerate the transition to a carbon-free society. I suspect this shift will continue to build, gradually, powered by many individual realizations and many individual voices speaking out. Meanwhile, climate disasters will increase in both frequency and severity in the coming years.

Volume XXV – Number 36

Jimmy Carter Talks Solar Energy
Sierra Club – August 22, 2017 – Jimmy Carter, Paul Rauber

We now have in the neighborhood of 3,500 solar panels on 13 and a half acres of my farm in Plains, maybe 150 yards from my house, in what was formerly a peanut and soybean field. On a good day we can produce about 1.3 megawatts… I’ve been very proud of the project in Plains. I hope that my example as a former president will encourage others to pursue the same route. And I hope that the major power companies will adopt this as a commitment.

Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations?
Truthout – August 27, 2017 – Gareth Porter

For months, the Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have each made a series of moves that have appeared to take them ever closer to the brink of war. But a closer review of the escalation of the conflict reveals that both sides are consciously maneuvering for what they know will be extended serious negotiations on a new framework for peace on the Korean peninsula… What is needed, however, is a return to the successful diplomacy of the Clinton era, which produced an agreement — the “Agreed Framework” of 1994 — that could have avoided the present situation of high tension over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs… the main obstacle to such an accommodation is the US political elite’s deeply imbedded habit of refusing to accept the legitimate interests of other states.

On Protests, Violence and Voting Rights
Ron Young Views – August 23, 2017

Locally and nationally, we’ve got to denounce and protest each new demonstration promoting racist, proto-Fascist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ hatred. In most cases, I’m sure we can turn out much larger numbers than these hate groups and, if we’re consistent and creative, we can win over a lot more people to side with us against hate and stand-up for justice and peace. Strategically, looking toward the 2018 elections, our goals need to be to strengthen voting rights and increase the numbers of eligible voters who come out to vote. “Si, se puede, yes we can.”

The Peace Monument the United States Needs
Truthout – August 28, 2017 – David Swanson

While we’re paying attention to the problem of Confederate monuments, we might expand our concern to include the monuments to every other side of every other war, and every participant glorified in D.C. statuary. As powerful, or moreso, than ripping them all down, would be to add a peace monument to the mix.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A Government Agency for Promoting Growth
Truthout – August 28, 2017 – Dean Baker

Fewer resources will be wasted by businesses trying to rip people off and less time will be needed by customers to avoid being ripped off. For this reason, contrary to the claims of critics, the CFPB should boost, rather than reduce, economic growth.

Amnesty International USA: Military Weapons to Local Law Enforcement a Grave Mistake
Common Dreams – August 28, 2017 – Amnesty International – USA

Justin Mazzola, Amnesty International USA researcher, issued the following statement: “Today’s executive order is a grave mistake and could easily lead to a repeat of human rights violations that we’ve seen in the past. Police officers should be equipped to protect public safety and defuse conflict, but this policy would instead outfit them for a battlefield and escalate tensions.”

How Donald Trump and Elaine Chao Sold Off Flood-Control Policy to the Highest Bidders
The Nation – August 28, 2017 – John Nichols

On August 15, Trump and his team overturned an Obama-administration rule requiring that infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, be designed to withstand the consequences of climate change—such as rising sea levels. Experts in climate change, coastal management, and environmental policy begged the administration to maintain the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard for “climate resilience.” The concern crossed traditional lines of ideology and partisanship, as free-market economic groups and Republican members of the House praised the standard.

What Do Democrats Stand For?
Robert Reich’s Blog – August 28, 2017

To be successful Democrats must address the forces that created Trump: The toxic combination of widening inequality and racism… If Democrats stand for one thing, it must be overcoming this unprecedented economic imbalance and creating a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition of the bottom 90 percent, to take back our economy and politics.

Michael Milligan on the Side Effects of Practicing in the Medical Industrial Complex
Single Payer Action – August 28, 2017

“Side Effects is about a physician struggling to balance the art and business of medicine,” Milligan told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “It’s a doctor struggling with burnout, which is a real crisis in America — up there with the opioid crisis. Was it last year or the year before that the Surgeon General came out with a statement on opioid addiction and physician burnout? The play explores why physicians are burning out. It also raises questions about the quality of care. Does physician burnout affect doctors’ ability to give a high standard of care?”

Corporate Tax Cuts Don’t Create Jobs, They Enrich CEOs
The Nation – August 30, 2017 – David Dayen

Though congressional Republicans and the White House rarely see eye-to-eye these days, they are united on the idea that cutting corporate taxes will spur an hiring boom that will reach down to the ordinary worker. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies shows this isn’t true. US companies are already paying minimal amounts in corporate taxes, and the ones most likely under Republican theory to pour tax savings into job creation have instead been more likely to cut their workforce over the past nine years. The data shows that low corporate tax rates more often lead to increases in CEO pay and boosts for shareholders… Republicans and their corporate friends are simply trying to play the country for suckers again, when the facts are clear.

Trump wants to slash America’s corporate tax rate, but that rate is a myth
Politico – August 31, 2017 – Sarah Frostenson and Jeremy C.F. Lin

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy examined 258 Fortune 500 companies that were profitable from 2008 to 2015 and found 100 companies paid zero — or less — in federal income taxes for at least one year. Some companies like PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) didn’t pay taxes at all. Plus, many received some form of a tax rebate from the U.S. Treasury, often totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Freedom to Hate
The Shipler Report – August 30, 2017 – David K. Shipler

The ACLU is correct in arguing that if the white supremacists were barred from speaking or demonstrating peacefully, the shield of the First Amendment would be pierced for all. Government would gain the power to choose which content could be suppressed. Imagine giving that authority to the Trump administration.

Nobel Prize Winners Name Trump and His ‘Ignorance’ as Top Threats to World Population
Common Dreams – August 31. 2017 – Julia Conley, staff writer

“Today, facts seem to be questioned by many people who prefer to believe rumors rather than well-established scientific facts,” said Jean-Pierre Sauvage, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year. Another laureate added, “it is a disaster when people start believing things that are false and, even worse, when governments induce them to believe facts that are evidently wrong and ignore all evidence-based, scientifically proven data.”

SNAP Supports Hard-Working Americans in Every State
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – May 10, 2017 – Brynne Keith-Jennings and Vincent Palacios

Crucial financial support assists workers in jobs with low wages, volatile income, and few benefits.

Confederate monuments are more than reminders of our racist past. They are symbols of our racist present
The Washington Post – August 24, 2017 – B. Brian Foster

Black Americans are well-practiced at confronting the sobering, traumatic and often violent consequences of American racism. They do it daily. And black Southerners know the histories that gave rise to songs like “Dixie” and signs like the Confederate battle emblem better than the white Americans who sing the lyrics and wave the flag. For this reason, the question of whether to support or oppose the removal of Confederate statues and monuments is an easy one. Let them fall… What is just as important, however, is the deeper story they often tell — that the ugly and violent gravity of race in the United States is not new. They just showing it on the news now.

Texas Wind turbines went right on Turning under Harvey’s impact, as Refineries Shut Down
Informed Comment – September 2, 2017 – Juan Cole

So it turns out that not only would a rapid turn to 100% green energy, as California plans, forestall further global heating, it can help keep us safe during the extreme weather caused by . . . burning fossil fuels in the first place.

How Some African Farmers Are Responding to Climate Change — and What We Can Learn From Them
Truthout – September 2, 2017 – Geoffrey Kamadi

Innovations that make farms less vulnerable to wide swings in conditions will become increasingly important as climate changes and population grows. Productive, affordable and accessible practices like these could make all the difference between barely surviving and thriving in an increasingly uncertain future.

How Educating Inmates Benefits All
The New York Times – September 3, 2017 –

A teacher of prison courses, a former inmate and a criminology professor offer their views… The benefit of education in prisons is more far-reaching than lowering recidivism rates. Education in prison has a resonance that reaches all those connected to a prisoner. Providing quality education for people inside prison, coupled with greater support upon release, carries the very real possibility of transforming the inmates into community champions of change.

Get ready for the next round in the battle over the Vietnam War
Los Angeles Times – September 3, 2017 – James Reston Jr.

The second is the war over how that war, the first lost war in America’s national history, is remembered. This month, as Ken Burns’ 10-part Vietnam documentary is aired on PBS, the second conflict is sure to heat up again with renewed intensity.

This Labor Day the Struggle Continues
Reader Supported News – September 4, 2017 – Bernie Sanders

Today, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality and an outrageous level of corporate greed, we must never forget the struggles and ideals of those who came before us. We must continue the fight for a government and an economy that works for all, and not just the wealthy and powerful.

Volume XXV – Number 35

How to Promote Civic Engagement in Public Issues
Utne Reader – November, 2013 – Beth Buczynski

With collaborative consumption, access is valued above ownership and “mine” becomes “ours,” allowing everyone’s needs to be met with minimal waste. Sharing is Good (New Society Publishers, 2013) by Beth Buczynski is your roadmap to this new and exciting economic paradigm. In this excerpt from chapter six, “What to Share,” learn how to create civic engagement in your community and find solutions to public issues.

Full Interview: Jane Mayer on the Mercers & the Dark Money Behind the Rise of Trump & Bannon
Democracy Now – March 20, 2017 – interview

Full interview with The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer about her new article, “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency: How Robert Mercer Exploited America’s Populist Insurgency.” The piece looks at Robert Mercer, the man who is said to have out-Koched the Koch brothers in the 2016 election.

They Got Hurt at Work. Then They Got Deported
Pro Publica – August 16, 2017 – Michael Grabell, ProPublica, and Howard Berkes, NPR

How insurance companies use a Florida law to get undocumented immigrants arrested and deported when they get injured on the job — and what it means in Trump’s America.

Some Thoughts on Public Memory
Talking Points Memo – August 14, 2017 – Josh Marshall

What is Robert E. Lee known for? This is what I mean by the margins of the debate. Lee is known for one thing: being the key military leader in a violent rebellion against the United States and leading that rebellion to protect slavery. That’s it. Absent his decision to participate in the rebellion he’d be all but unknown to history. He outlived the war by only five years. There’s simply no positive side of the ledger to make it a tough call. The only logic to honoring Lee is to honor treason and treason in the worst possible cause.

It’s economic slavery
The Guardian – August 21, 2017 – Dominic Rushe

David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economics Policy Institute: “We have decades of research on this and it all concludes that increases in the minimum wage have had negligible impact on jobs growth,” he says. The academic debate is currently about whether that impact is a small gain in growth or a small drop. Either way, he says, a small rise in the minimum wage has an outsized impact on low wage workers. A $1 an hour rise from the current minimum of $7.25 would give the average low wage worker $2,000 more a year, says Cooper. “That is a huge injection of income,” he says. The intense lobbying against an increase is “simply a device to keep wages as low as possible so that employers can capture as much profit as they can”, he says.

‘Sanctuary schools’ across America defy Trump’s immigration crackdown
The Guardian – August 21, 2017 – Mark Keierleber

As Trump tightens immigration enforcement, education officials across the country are launching a national resistance movement, declaring their schools “sanctuaries” from Trump’s immigration policies. Superintendents and school board members from districts as diverse as Miami, Milwaukee, Chicago, New York City, Des Moines and Portland, Oregon have created or revised “sanctuary school” resolutions, vowing to shield students’ personal data from immigration authorities and block federal agents’ access to school property unless they present a warrant.

Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate crime database
Tech Crunch – August 18, 2017 – Taylor Hatmaker

The initiative is a data-rich new arm of the Documenting Hate project which collects and verifies hate incidents reported by both individual contributors and by news organizations… The project’s hope is that journalists can harness its combination of visualized data and news indexing to report more effectively on the aggregate data and incidents that might otherwise fall through the cracks.

How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation
The New York Times – August 14, 2017 – Cecilia Kang, Eric Lipton,and Sydney Ember

Sinclair’s increasingly tight relationship with the F.C.C., and the likelihood that the commission will allow it to grow and spread its conservative agenda further, has made critics, including some longtime television journalists, uneasy.

Religious advocates fast monthly in protest of budget cuts
Religion News Service – August 18, 2017 – Emma Kinery

Religious leaders and others will fast for a day in opposition to budget cuts President Trump proposed for federal nutritional assistance programs — cuts they fear will swamp private charities that feed the poor. The group, organized by Bread for the World, which advocates for government food aid, has fasted each month since May — first for three consecutive days, but now once a month — and intends to continue until the budget is finalized… “The Bible makes clear that nations, kings and rulers are really judged by one thing — and that’s on how they treat the poorest and most vulnerable,” said the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a Christian advocacy group. “That’s the test. That’s the moral test of leaders. This budget is an assault on the very people that Jesus told us to help. It’s clear as clear can be.”

Analysis: Deadly threat from far-right extremists is overshadowed by fear of Islamic terrorism
PBS – February 17, 2017 – William Parkin, Brent Klein, Jeff Gruenewald, Joshua D. Freilich and Steven Chermak

Focusing on national counterterrorism efforts against both Islamist and far-right extremism acknowledges that there are differences between these two violent movements. Focusing solely on one, while ignoring the other, will increase the risk of domestic terrorism and future acts of violence.

Shadows and Light
Reader Supported News – August 22, 2017 – John Cory

In the midst of darkness, there is always light. Heather Heyer died in a loving act of defiance against the darkness of hatred. And the man in the White House could only voice sympathy for the devil… We can look for the light in the darkness or we can be the light.

Trump Flip-Flops on Afghanistan, Opts for Years-Long Quagmire
Informed Comment – August 22, 2017 – Juan Cole

As for why the Taliban in particular have made a comeback and may control a third of the country, there are some basic reasons for this, some of them explained by Sarah Chayes, who knows more about the real Afghanistan than the entire US government… The country, in short, is in a stalemate, and the best the US can likely do is to be like the little boy who stuck his finger in the dike to stop a flood. You kind of have to keep your finger in the dike forever… If Afghanistan’s curses are corruption, fanatical identity politics and a hatred of globalization, its more problematic organizations resemble most of all . . . Trump’s base.

Medicare-for-All Is Good for Business
Fortune Magazine – August 21, 2017 – Bernie Sanders

The ongoing failure of our health care system is directly attributable to the fact that it is largely designed not to provide quality care in a cost-effective way, but to make maximum profits for health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical equipment suppliers. That has got to change. We need to guarantee health care for all. We need to do it in a cost-effective way. We need a Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S… In my view, health care for all is a moral issue. No American should die or suffer because they lack the funds to get adequate health care. But it is more than that. A Medicare-for-all single-payer system will be good for the economy and the business community.

A new study shows how Exxon Mobil downplayed climate change when it knew the problem was real
Los Angeles Time – August 22, 2017 – Michael Hiltzik

It’s pretty clear that their strategy was the same as tobacco’s. Delay looked to them as a smart business choice, and it may well have been… Supran and Oreskes say their work, which was published late Tuesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, is the first empirical comparison of Exxon Mobil’s internal and peer-reviewed research with its public statements on climate change. Their goal was to address the company position that earlier investigations were based on “cherry-picked” documents. “We looked at the whole cherry tree,” Supran says, “and the evidence speaks for itself.”

Oregon Passed the Country’s Most Progressive Reproductive Health Care Policy
Truth Out – August 23, 2017 – Lauren Longo

“In the face of relentless rollbacks and attacks at the federal level, Oregonians are showing the rest of the country what it means to be resilient and visionary,” Amy Casso, director of the Gender Justice Program for Western States, said in a statement.

An Easier Way to Get to Universal Health Care
Yes! Magazine – August 22, 2017 – Fran Korten

Americans in both parties are angry about high drug prices… Insurance companies have reason to like [drug price] controls. Some doctors and hospitals may like it. And millions of consumers will like it a lot… We now have insurance exchange markets where insurance companies are reluctant to do business. That provides the context to offer the option of the government offering the insurance—essentially allowing people to buy into Medicare… Getting the 55-64 age group out of the insurance pool has advantages to insurance companies, especially with ACA rules that say they can’t charge older people more than three times the amount charged to younger people… Now is the moment to push hard on advances likely to have broad public support.

Afghanistan? Follow the money!
Justice Initiative International – August 23, 2017 – Heather Gray

As Trump talks about Afghanistan, I think we will need to look a bit closer about what all this means. In 2016, I wrote an article about the late Major General Smedley Butler and noted that, thanks to Butler’s profound analysis, for any war the U.S. is engaged in we should “follow the money” to understand the “real” motivations for the aggression. As Butler states in 1933, invariably the people are deliberately misled about the reasons for war: War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses…

The Rise of the Killer Robot
Global Research – August 24, 2017 – Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought on a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.

‘It’s a Slow Death’: The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis
The New York Times – August 23, 2017 – Shuaib Almosawa, Ben Hubbard and Troy Griggs

After two and a half years of war, little is functioning in Yemen. Repeated bombings have crippled bridges, hospitals and factories. Many doctors and civil servants have gone unpaid for more than a year. Malnutrition and poor sanitation have made the Middle Eastern country vulnerable to diseases that most of the world has confined to the history books. In just three months, cholera has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected more than a half million, one of the world’s largest outbreaks in the past 50 years.

Felons in California prisons would be able to vote under proposed ballot initiative
The Los Angeles Times – August 23, 2017 – Patrick McGreevy

The proposal comes less than a year after the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown approved a law that allows felons serving sentences in county jails to vote in California elections, as part of an effort to speed their transition back into society.

The Unimaginable Is Now Possible: 100% Renewable Energy. We Can’t Settle for Less.
Reader Supported News, In These Times – August 23, 2017 – Bill McKibben

In the last few years, engineers have brought the price of renewables so low that, according to many experts, it would make economic sense to switch over even if fossil fuels weren’t wrecking the Earth. That’s why the appeal of 100% Renewable goes beyond the Left. If you pay a power bill, it’s the common-sense path forward… Sometimes, Brune [Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club] says, all environmentalists have to rally together to work on the same thing, such as Keystone XL or the Paris accord. “But in this case the politics is as distributed as the solution. It’s people working on thousands of examples of the one idea.” An idea whose time has come.

Millennials Are Driving Global Sustainable Investment
Clean Technica – August 17, 2017 – Joshua S Hill

Millennial investors are twice as likely as the overall pool of investors surveyed to invest in companies or funds that specifically target social or environmental outcomes. No doubt, the increase in Millennial investor interest in sustainability is at least partly responsible for the spike detected in US sustainable, responsible, and impact investing between 2014, which grew at a rate of more than 33%, increasing from $6.57 trillion up to $8.72 trillion.

Is ‘Mass Nonviolent Action’ Needed to Fight White Supremacists? Civil Rights Hero John Lewis Speaks Out
Newsweek – August 24, 2017 – Abigail Jones

“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to do something,” says Congressman John Lewis, who was born in Alabama to sharecropper parents and grew up to become one of the most important civil rights icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. “You have to speak up, speak out, make a little noise. Whatever you do, do it in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion.”… The best thing to do is organize in your own communities,” Brooks [Lecia Brooks, Southern Poverty Law Center] says. “If Charlottesville taught us anything, [it’s that] now is the time to take a stand together against white supremacy and white nationalism. Folks coming together across different groups—interfaith, Black Lives Matter—must take a stand together and bring pressure locally, and that will reverberate nationally. We need to speak out loudly and together.”

Patagonia joins forces with activists to protect public lands from Trump
The Guardian – August 26, 2017 – Tom McCarthy

Millions of petitioners have joined an urgently assembled advocacy effort to dissuade the Trump administration from moving against the monuments. On Friday, the outdoor retailer Patagonia, which spearheaded the industry initiative, said the group would continue its efforts… A Patagonia spokeswoman, Corley Kenna, said: “Once these places are developed, you can’t go back. It truly is about protecting for future generations, as much as anything else. You’ll never get it exactly as it was. And these places are pristine.”

A Win for Privacy Is a Win for the Web
Reader Supported News – August 26, 2017 – Dreamhost

Given the extraordinary privacy and First Amendment issues raised by this case, the court has chosen to effectively shackle the Department of Justice in several key ways, all of which act to limit exposure of sensitive and private user information… It has been an emotional couple of weeks here at DreamHost HQ. We have been humbled by the very public outpouring of support over this case, and the countless heartfelt emails and messages we’ve received on social media have shown us just how important this issue is to so many internet users.

For the Love of Earth
Yes! Magazine – August 23, 2017 – David Korten

What of our Earth mother? Might our love for her hold the key both to her salvation and to ours? Might we, by willful choice, transition from Earth exploiters to Earth healers? If we recognize Earth’s uniqueness, her need for our help, and our responsibility to respond, might we unite in common cause? Might we muster sufficient commitment to serve as loving healers to two of creation’s most extraordinary miracles—a living planet of spectacular beauty and a species with a unique capacity for conscious choice?

Volume XXV – Number 34

Trump’s Cruel Deportations
The New York Review of Books – August 11, 2017 – Kenneth Roth

For political, economic, and practical reasons, the US government has never tried to deport all undocumented immigrants. Indeed, the economy in important respects is built on their labor. Some build businesses that employ US citizens. Many contribute skills that the economy needs. Whole sectors of the US economy—agriculture, construction, meatpacking, hospitality—rely on undocumented immigrants… undocumented immigrants who have built American lives virtually indistinguishable from their US-citizen spouses, children, and neighbors deserve an approach to immigration that weighs those ties in the balance. It may be politically convenient to dump on undocumented immigrants, but it is time we began to treat them with decency.

A National Calamity in the Making
Robert Reich’s Website – Auust 12, 2017

The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia today is a national calamity. It is a product of white supremacists and home grown terrorists… all of us – you and I and every decent person in America – must also stand up against it: Not with violence, but with a firm and visible commitment to decency, tolerance, and the rule of law. Don’t wait for Donald Trump to condemn it. He unleashed it. It is now up to us. We must not allow this in America.

Charlottesville: A Gun in His Face, but He Got the Photo
Greg Palast’s Website – August 14, 2017

Welcome to Charlottesville, USA. Trump’s America, month eight… According to the President, the violence was perpetrated on “many sides.” The only sides I see are the beaters and the beaten… Between snapping photos of America gone mad, Zach has been working these past four years with me on a story of how Trump’s henchman, one Kris Kobach, now head of Trump’s so-called, “Election Integrity Commission,” conceived of a secretive program to remove hundreds of thousands of Black Americans from the voter rolls.

CBO: Severe Harm If Trump Halts Health Cost-Sharing Payments
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – August 15, 2017 – Edwin Park

Stopping cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as President Trump has repeatedly threatened, would drive up federal marketplace subsidy costs, raise premiums, cause more insurers to withdraw from the marketplaces, and increase the number of uninsured next year, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found today. Key findings include…

W.W.E. the People
Harper magazine – September 2017 issue – Naomi Klein

Trump didn’t create the problem — he exploited it. And because he understood the conventions of fake reality better than anyone, he took the game to a new level. He didn’t just bring the conventions of reality TV to electoral politics — he mashed them up with another blockbuster entertainment genre also based on cartoonishly fake performances of reality: professional wrestling.

This is Sinclair, ‘the most dangerous US company you’ve never heard of’
The Guardian – August 17, 2017 – Lucia Graves

Sinclair’s size, rightwing politics and close connections to Donald Trump’s White House are starting to attract attention. Democrats are wading in to the fray and demanding answers over Sinclair’s close ties to the Trump administration, which, they say, could mean the group is getting preferential treatment… What if Breitbart and Fox News had a couple of babies? What if they grew up to be a cool, slicker version of their parents and started becoming more powerful? Meet Sinclair and Circa –Donald Trump’s new besties.

The Party of Lincoln Has Become the Party of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee
Reader Supported News, Dan Rather’s Facebook Page – August 17, 2017

Even before this recent descent into Nazi and Klan rallies of heavily armed bigots, we had a long way to go on racial justice. Now it seems we are in danger of more bloodshed and open conflict. I have no doubt that the forces of good will win out, but at what cost?… Many have died for the cause for justice. And so I end here with a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. These were words that Republicans used to stand by and I hope they do again. Mr. Lincoln’s sentiments do not seem dated, but tragically of our moment…

At The Top-Secret NAFTA Re-Negotiation Table – 85% Corporate Voices, 5% Labor
Workers Independent News (WIN) – August 16, 2017 – Doug Cunningham

NAFTA’s real problem for working people is that it elevates principles of mobility of capital and protection of corporate profit above all other values… for NAFTA to really work for working people that core corporate privilege must be taken out… The US Trade Representative wants to move very fast and have NAFTA re-negotiation wrapped up by December… That’s too fast to really re-negotiate a working family friendly NAFTA, given all the complexities. The AFL-CIO is urging a slower, more deliberate and careful process.

Why Climate Change Isn’t Our Biggest Environmental Problem, and Why Technology Won’t Save Us
Post Carbon Institute – August 17, 2017 – Richard Heinberg

Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue… Ecology—the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments—is an inherently systemic discipline, as opposed to studies like chemistry that focus on reducing complex phenomena to their components… Society is addicted to growth, and that’s having terrible consequences for the planet and, increasingly, for us as well. We have to change our collective and individual behavior and give up something we depend on—power over our environment. We must restrain ourselves, like an alcoholic foreswearing booze. That requires honesty and soul-searching… Systemic change driven by moral awakening: it’s not just our last hope; it’s the only real hope we’ve ever had.

Anti-Fracking Activists Celebrate Ruling Against Major Pipeline
Common Dreams – August 18, 2017 – Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Environmentalists are celebrating a federal appeals court ruling on Friday that reaffirmed New York State’s decision to block a 124-mile natural gas pipeline project…. “Today’s ruling confirms the independent authority and responsibility of states to protect their waterbodies from natural gas pipelines that carve through and degrade critical watersheds,” said Earthjustice attorney Moneen Nasmith.

Charlottesville and the Confederate Legacy
Common Dreams – August 18, 2017 – Keri Leigh Merritt

The white supremacist violence in Virginia echoed the tactics of antebellum vigilante groups and showed how deep the roots of racism in America are… Always working in tandem with local criminal courts and sheriff’s departments, the antebellum South’s vigilante groups served to buttress the other systems and ensure that the masses were rendered either powerless or terrified. Slaveholding Confederates so nearly perfected this system that even after emancipation they continued using this matrix of violence to re-establish control over the region, with the practice of racial terror dominating the Jim Crow era — and reappearing with a vengeance in 2017.

Class & Inequality: The Book that Explains Charlottesville
Portside – August 14, 2017 – Marshall Steinbaum, Boston Review

The University of Virginia has long been a bastion of white supremacy and its validating scholarship. The book’s author identifies how such antidemocratic sentiment has long gestated in academia generally, encapsulated in neoclassical economics and its validation of alleged rational economic behaviors — theories that originated in opposition to the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement and predominate in today’s conservative and far-right movements today.

The Magazine Covers Trump Earned This Week By Defending White Supremacy
Common Dreams – April 18, 2017 – staff

The New Yorker cover, illustrated by artist David Plunkert and titled “Blowhard,” shows Trump providing the wind for a sail shaped like a Klu Klux Klan hood.

Why FBI Can’t Tell All on Trump, Russia
Who.WhatWhy – March 27, 2017 – Russ Baker, C. Collins and Jonathan Z. Larsen

The Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot tell us what we need to know about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia. Why? Because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.

DOJ Warrant of Trump Resistance Site Triggers Alarm
Portside – August 16, 2017 – Morgan Chalfant, The Hill

DreamHost, a Los Angeles-based web hosting provider, is challenging a federal request for records, files and other information on a website that was used to organize protests against President Trump on Inauguration Day. While prosecutors are seeking the information in connection with inauguration riots, privacy advocates describe the request as overly broad and one that, if honored, could have a chilling effect on free speech.

A Working-Class Strategy for Defeating White Supremacy
Portside – August 10, 2017 – Gabriel Kristal, In These Times

As an organizer, I learned that people often only make the effort to challenge their prejudices when they are engaged in struggle with others. This is not to excuse the horrific racism and sexism that has been exacerbated by the right-wing populism of the Trump campaign. Instead, we need to reach working people with authentic left-wing populism, which will win against the phony rightwing variety every time.

Stop Using Mental Illness to Explain White Supremacy
Yes! Magazine – August 17, 2017 – Christopher Petrella and Justin Gomer

The presumption that one can eliminate racism by snuffing out a few “bad apples” misses the mark. In fact, such a paradigm misdiagnoses the systemic and ideological production of race itself, which is squarely centered in white supremacy… If we are truly to craft an antiracist politics capable of threatening the endurance of white supremacy, we must reject analyses and interventions that individualize social injustice by relying on notions of disease, mental illness, or deviance.

Climate Justice Is Racial Justice Is Gender Justice
Yes! Magazine – August 18, 2017 – Bill McKibben

McKibben: What’s key to that? Patterson: Well, I think a willingness to work together. It’s funny, I was just talking to some friends about their condo complex where people were always fighting. They said their best memory of being in that condo was when “Snowmageddon” hit, and people had to suspend all these different battles and focus on the fact that it was an emergency. They had to eat together and shovel together, while trusting that they were all working toward these common aims. They had to work through any roadblocks, literally and figuratively. We need some kind of acknowledgement that that’s where we are, in an emergency.

Volume XXV – Number 33

Muslim, Christian, Jewish leaders join Quaker farmers’ market campaign for Palestinian human rights
Common Dreams – August 4, 2017 – Jewish Voice for Peace

“Interfaith dialogue that is predicated on excluding Palestine from the conversation reinforces the idea that violence is the result of an intractable religious conflict, as opposed to Israel’s brutality toward Palestinians as a means of maintaining total control over the land,” said Rev. Donald Wager of Friends of Sabeel – North America.

PEACE ACTION: 72 Years After the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, Nuclear Weapons Still a Top Threat to Humanity
Common Dreams – August 4, 2017 – Peace Action

Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, is in Hiroshima for the World Conference Against the Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. Sharing his thoughts on the significance of the anniversaries, Martin commented, “every year, we mark the anniversaries of the atomic bombings to honor the victims, but also to advance the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Last year, President Obama made a historic visit to Hiroshima and met with survivors. Will the Trump administration do more than spout bellicose threats of using nuclear weapons?”… Unfortunately, the nuclear-armed nations of the world have chosen to ignore the words of wisdom endorsed by a majority of the world’s nations.

Scientists Leak Study on Global Heating Impact b4 Trump can Suppress it
Informed Comment- August 8, 2017 – Juan Cole

The report is concrete, careful and scarier than any horror movie you’ve ever seen. It gives upper and lower estimates, depending on whether humankind gets its act together. Given the oil-drenched buffoons now in charge, you’d want to bet on the higher and more dangerous numbers in each case.

Climate change will hit New England hard, report says
The Boston Globe – August 9, 2017 – David Abel

“New observations and new research have increased scientists’ understanding of past, current, and future climate change,” the report’s authors wrote. “Thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea level; and an increase in atmospheric water vapor.” Human activity is the primary reason for many of those changes, which include more powerful storms and the warmest temperatures on the planet in at least 1,500 years, scientists wrote.

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S.
The New York Times – August 8, 2017 – Peter Baker and Choe Sang-Hun

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, also took exception. “All it’s going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation,” he told KTAR News radio.

Nuke Threats Prove Trump’s Unfitness to Govern
The American Prospect – August 9, 2017 – Adele M. Stan

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland, described the president’s remarks as “not helpful,” which is like describing the pouring of gasoline on a fire as not helpful to efforts to extinguish it.

“Fire & Fury” or “Shock and Awe”: it is always the start of a Quagmire
Informed Comment – August 9, 2017 – Juan Cole

If we weren’t talking about two nuclear-armed states with unhinged leaders, the war of words between the US and North Korea would be hilarious… The shock and awe that was supposed to make Saddam surrender without a shot, and to cow the Iraqis into submission, Instead the US was drawn into an Iraqi quagmire that continues to this day. When they start talking shock and awe in Washington, friends, it is time to hunker down for the long haul.

Terrorism for Profit
Common Dreams – August 10, 2017 – Robert C. Koehler

What this makes clear to me is that no one should have the authority — the power — to declare any war whatsoever. The fact that this is still possible, so many decades into human awareness of war’s utter insanity, reveals the paradox that civilization remains economically tied to its own destruction… Trump leads a political system that’s still grounded in the colonial era. His reckless arrogance is its global face. He stares at the audacity of nuclear-armed North Korea and threatens to blow it to kingdom come, imagining that there will be profit to reap in the aftermath.

Misinforming the Majority: A Deliberate Strategy of Right-Wing Libertarians
Thuth Out – August 9, 2017 – Mark Karlin

Many individuals who follow politics and journalists think that the right-wing playbook began with the Koch brothers. However, in her groundbreaking book, Nancy MacLean traces their political strategy to a Southern economist (James McGill Buchanan) who created the foundation for today’s libertarian oligarchy in the 1950s… Charles Koch supplied the money, but it was James Buchanan who supplied the ideas that made the money effective.

Take the Nukes Away From the Madman in the White House
Reader Supported News – August 11, 2017 – Scott Galindez

I think they are both phony cowards who are all show. I believe that they both just want their people to believe that they are tough. The problem is they have access to nuclear weapons, weapons that could end life on this planet… Sanctions and isolation are the right responses to North Korea. Threats and bluster only increase the chance that a catastrophic event will take place… It is time once again to work toward ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction. We have become lazy; there has not been much of an antiwar movement since the Iraq War. It is time to focus not only on nuclear nonproliferation but also on disarmament. We can no longer count on the current nuclear powers being sane enough not to use nuclear weapons.

Why Medicaid Matters to You
Truth Out – August 11, 2017 – Sharona Hoffman

While many people may think of Medicaid as a government program that helps only the nation’s poor, that is not accurate. Medicaid helps pay for — and is indeed part of estate planning strategies for — nursing home care and other forms of long-term care. Since all Americans live in communities with elderly people, will grow old themselves or have aging parents, long-term care and how to pay for it is a matter that affects us all, even if we do not realize it.

How Movements Can Succeed in the Face of Government Repression
Waging Nonviolence – July 14, 2017 – Molly Wallace

Over the last several decades, there has been a substantial rise in the adoption of nonviolent resistance and a corresponding drop in violent resistance in cases of anti-regime or self-determination struggles. This shift, she argues, is likely due to three factors: knowledge of the increasing effectiveness of nonviolent resistance, the development of global norms regarding human rights and a related willingness to challenge tyrants, and technological advances that facilitate communication… communities and movements [must] build their organizational capacity — and strengthen civil society institutions more broadly — as those that have greater capacity are more likely to be resilient… rather than seeing and treating soldiers and police as the “enemy,” nonviolent movements should find creative ways to engage them and to draw many of them to the side of the movement — an approach facilitated by the movement’s maintenance of nonviolent discipline.

‘Locked & Loaded’ Trump’s 1960s Cowboyism re: N. Korea & Venezuela
Informed Comment – August 12, 2017 – Juan Cole

I wish I could reassure you that Trump is all talk and there isn’t any likelihood of his bluster actually leading to real-world action. But he is the president and things can spin out of control unexpectedly because of some hothead’s speech. [examples here]… Let’s face it, this cowboy rhetoric is intended to cut through constitutional issues and deliberative government the way a hot knife cuts through whipped cream… America needs a new self-image, and probably more to the point, a new conception of masculinity… as for the Korean War, the US public has never come to terms with the atrocities our side perpetrated during it, or the scale of the loss of life. This amnesia is why Americans cannot imagine what North Korea has against us.

Nuking North Korea Is Going to Be Tricky
Reader Supported News – August 12, 2017 – Marc Ash

Trump’s threats to North Korea have already irrevocably damaged the security of every nation on earth. Motive is at issue.

Charlottesville Was Not a “Protest Turned Violent,” It Was a Planned Race Riot
Yes! Magazine – August 12, 2017 – Zenobia Jeffries

In the case of Charlottesville, media outlets are being careless with words, whitewashing the intentions and the actions of White nationalist protestors. The “Unite the Right rally” stopped being a rally sometime Friday night when a stream of torch carrying White supremacists arrived at night to the University of Virginia campus chanting “blood and soil.” They used those torches as weapons in fights with counter-protesters… What took place was not a rally. Who wears paramilitary gear and carries automatic weapons to a rally? Who takes shields and helmets and pepper spray and bats and sticks to a rally? The car didn’t “crash”— it was driven at full speed into a crowd of counter-protesters. What happened in Charlottesville was White nationalist extremists inciting a riot.

Who Has the Skills to Build Community? We All Do
Yes! Magazine – August 9, 2017 – Sarah van Gelder

As I traveled, I met people who were doing amazing things in their communities. Some were starting cooperatives and other institutions of the new economy, while others were working to heal their city’s legacy of racism, resisting fossil fuel development, or transforming their local food system. These innovations are, I believe, the seeds of a more just and sustainable world… What if we created an online space where people coached each other about how to have meetings that energize, to navigate conflict, or to take the first steps toward building a new economy? Perhaps this is how we can spread the genius of grassroots change… People are stepping up to provide and receive training and to help launch this project, which now has a name: PeoplesHub. [https://revolutionwhereyoulive.org/local-power-trainings/]