RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever
Rolling Stone – November 14, 2017 – Matt Taibbi
Edward Herman, the co-author (with Noam Chomsky) of Manufacturing Consent, has died. He was 92. His work has never been more relevant. Manufacturing Consent was a kind of bible of media criticism for a generation of dissident thinkers. The book described with great clarity how the system of private commercial media in America cooperates with state power to generate propaganda. Herman’s work was difficult for many to understand because the nature of the American media, then and now, seemed at best to be at an arm’s length from, say, the CIA or the State Department. Here is how the book put it: “It is much more difficult to see a propaganda system at work where the media are private and formal censorship is absent.”
Thank You, Ed Herman
Counterpunch – November 15, 2017 – Diana Johnstone
Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare challenge them, such as the arrogant presumption by the U.S. War Party of the “right to protect” and the “need to prevent genocide”, to justify the oxymoronic “humanitarian war”.
Trump Is Rapidly Reshaping the Judiciary. Here’s How.
The New York Times – November 11, 2017 – Charlie Savage
While the two parties have been engaged in a tit-for-tat escalation of hardball politics over judicial nominations since the Reagan years, the Trump administration is completing a fundamental transformation of the enterprise. And the consequences may go beyond his chance to leave an outsize stamp on the judiciary.
On ‘No Choice’
Moyers and Company – November 13, 2017 – Bill Moyers
With Donald Trump’s election a year ago, his appointment of right-wing judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and his embrace of the conservative strategy to fill lower courts with young, deeply conservative judges who pass the litmus test of vehemently opposing abortion, we are closer than ever to the reversal of Roe v. Wade, despite the fact that a majority of American adults say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
We Must End Global Oligarchy
CNN – November 13, 2017 – Bernie Sanders
Here in the United States, the top one-tenth of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. Incredibly, according to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies, three of the richest people in America — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett — now own more wealth than bottom 160 million people in our country. But this is clearly not just an American issue. It is a global issue. While millions of people throughout the world live in dire poverty, without clean drinking water, adequate health care, decent housing, or education for their kids, the six wealthiest people in the world as ranked by Forbes Magazine own more wealth, according to Oxfam, than the bottom half of the world’s population, 3.6 billion people.
Massive Overkill: Brought to You by the Nuclear-Industrial Complex
Tom Dispatch – November 14, 2017 – William Hartung
Whether in the 1980s or today, a tough-guy attitude on nuclear weapons, when combined with an apparent ignorance about their world-ending potential, adds up to a toxic brew… In other words, in every sense of the term, the U.S. nuclear arsenal already represents overkill on an almost unimaginable scale. Independent experts from U.S. war colleges suggest that about 300 warheads would be more than enough to deter any country from launching a nuclear attack on the United States.
Despite Trump Pledge: Keystone Pipeline Spills 210,000 Gallons of Oil in Dakota
Informed Comment – November 18, 2017 – Juan Cole and others
Environmental activist group Greenpeace said the leak demonstrated that approval should not be given for another section of the 2,600-mile pipeline planned for Nebraska.
Who wins and loses in Trump’s tax plan?
The Guardian – November 18, 2017 – Dominic Rushe
The clear winners? Rich people and corporations. The clear losers? Poor people, the vulnerable. And America.
The Pig That Burst the Keystone Pipeline
Greg Palast’s Website – November 17, 2017
Here’s the reason the pipeline burst: the PIG didn’t squeal. The PIG, the Pipeline Inspection Gauge, is sent through the Keystone to check for evidence of any leak, failure, or corrosion that will cause it to burst. But the PIG didn’t squeal a warning. Why not? Because, as disclosed in my investigation for Britain’s investigative TV series Dispatches in 2010, the PIG has been silenced, its software jacked and hacked by a company that provides PIGS. The software is deliberately set to reduce the warning signals and thereby cut costs of replacement and repair by billions of dollars on the Keystone and other pipes.
Renewable Energy Is Now Unstoppable
The Motley Fool – November 19, 2017 – Travis Hoium
Wind and solar energy are the lowest cost options in most of the U.S., and that’ll make it very hard to stop the renewable energy freight train from running over fossil fuels… I’ll also point out that there’s no fuel cost risk for renewable energy. The wind and sun are zero-cost fuel sources, unlike extracted fuels, which could conceivably spike from current levels.
A Plan to Win
Portside – November 9, 2017 – Peter Gowan
If our aim is to weaken the power of business before breaking with capitalism entirely, we have to be deliberate about our strategy, learn from the opposition, and avoid historical missteps. Capital may have inordinate power. But labor can still win the day… We have to restore confidence in the public sector — as an owner, an investor, and a provider of services… The only long-term alternative is to take control of our economy — and the moral imperative is to do so as soon as possible. The future can be ours.
When Unions Lead Education Reform
Portside – November 9, 2017 – Rachel M. Cohen
Like Bargaining for the Common Good, TURN [Teacher Union Reform Network] members also believe teachers need to approach bargaining more creatively and boldly. Specifically, TURN wants to see unions negotiate over policies that “advance student learning,” such as reducing the number of standardized tests students must take while also pushing for new kinds of assessments that measure skills like creativity.
Capitalism Is Not the Only Choice
Yes! Magazine – November 14, 2017 – Penn Loh
When everything that we label “economic” is assumed to be capitalist—transactional and market-driven—then it is no wonder that we run short on imagination… What if, instead, economy is all the ways that we meet our material needs and care for each other? And what if it’s not a singular thing? Then we would see that beneath the official capitalist economy are all sorts of thriving non-capitalist economies, where there may not be a profit motive or market exchange. They include tasks that we do every day… If we want to transform and go beyond capitalism, then we must confront it in all three of these dimensions: consciousness, power, and economy.