Why Mercenaries Aren’t Answer for Afghanistan
The Atlantic Magazine – July 17, 2017 – Sean McFate
Their interests are more likely profit than concern for Afghans. The fact that the idea has champions in the West Wing sends a message to the whole galaxy of private military contractors: Business may be booming once again!… The privatization of war is already underway. Denial is not a strategy to manage this growing problem.
America steals votes from felons. Until it stops, our democracy will be weakened
The Guardian – July 18, 2017 – Russ Feingold
Felony disenfranchisement bars roughly 6.1 million citizens from voting – one in 13 black Americans. Trump’s ‘electoral integrity’ commission is silent… The right to vote is the most fundamental right of any democracy, granting it legitimacy as a means of government by instilling power in the people and not in politicians. It ensures “consent of the governed” and holds government accountable to the people: not law-abiding people, or moral people, or any other qualifier, but the people.
Home care workers have our lives in their hands. They’re paid only $10 an hour
The Guardian – July 13, 2017 – Sarah Jaffe
Home care is expected to add more jobs than any other field in the coming years. Carers will look after us in old age – but do we care enough about them?
Defendants Can’t Be Jailed Solely Because of Inability to Post Bail
The New York Times – July 17, 2017 – Richard A. Oppel Jr.
The chief judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., issued an order on Monday that bail-reform advocates hope will be a turning point in the national controversy over requiring defendants to pay more money than they can afford in order to be set free on bail before their trials.
As Pruitt Guts Water Rules, EPA Will Allow Fracking Waste Dumping in the Gulf of Mexico
Truthout – July 18, 2017 – Mike Ludwig
Under the leadership of Scott Pruitt, a Trump-appointee with close ties to polluting industries, the EPA is working to gut environmental regulations with the explicit intent of maximizing fossil fuel production… “The Trump administration can’t just let the oil industry self-regulate, or we’re all in huge trouble,” Monsell said. “And the toxicity testing doesn’t prevent the chemicals from being dumped in the first place, and the testing requirement doesn’t even coincide with the dumping of fracking chemicals.”… “The Trump administration’s proposal to allow more pollution into America’s drinking water sources is senseless,” said John Rumpler, a senior attorney and clean water director at Environment America, in a statement. “For Congress to exempt such a move from the law is simply beyond the pale.”
Repeal-Without-Replace Even More Harmful than Failed Senate Bill
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – July 18, 2017 – Jacob Leibenluft
By reviving a version of a vetoed 2015 bill to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement, Senator Majority Leader McConnell is pursuing legislation that would cause even more people to lose health coverage, raise premiums, and inflict even worse damage to insurance markets than the latest Senate ACA repeal bill that just died in the Senate.
Strong Support for Single-Payer, Medicare-for-All Shaping Health Care Debate
The Democratic Strategist – July 12, 2017 – J.P. Green
A majority of Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a “single payer” approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center… Just 5% of Americans say the government should not be involved at all in providing health insurance.
Economic Security Programs Help Low-Income Children Succeed
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – July 17, 2017 – Arloc Sherman and Tazra Mitchell
Government economic security programs such as food assistance, housing subsidies, and working-family tax credits – which bolster income, help families afford basic needs, and keep millions of children above the poverty line – also have longer-term benefits, studies find: they help children to do better in school and increase their earning power in their adult years.
Empire of Destruction, Precision Warfare? Don’t Make Me Laugh
Tom Dispatch – July 20, 2017 – Tom Engelhardt
If you want a single word to summarize American war-making in this last decade and a half, I would suggest rubble. It’s been a painfully apt term since September 11, 2001. In addition, to catch the essence of such war in this century, two new words might be useful: rubblize and rubblization. Let me explain what I mean… While no one would deny the destructive potential of great imperial powers historically, the American empire of destruction may be unique. At the height of its military strength in these years, it has been utterly incapable of translating that power advantage into anything but rubblization.
‘There’s an Effort Around the Country to Curtail People’s Fundamental 1st Amendment Rights
FAIR – July 19, 2017 – Jim Naureckas
If anyone commits a criminal act, an act of property damage, whether that be a protestor or, frankly, a police agent provocateur, the police can now use this as license, or they wish to, to sweep up everyone else around them… It’s clear that there is an effort around the country to try, through legal means—although we would consider illegal means—to curtail people’s fundamental First Amendment rights to gather together in the streets, to be able to speak out in unified action… So while we’re faced with what is I think overt repression, both in terms of these felony prosecutions, these state laws, these court rulings, we also are faced with the fact that there are millions of people who are engaging in political protest and political organizing who have never done so before, and that’s a force that really can’t be stopped.
How Trump signed a global death warrant for women
The Guaerdian – July 21, 2017 – Sarah Boseley
With one devastating flourish of the presidential pen, worldwide progress on family planning, population growth and reproductive rights was swept away. Now some of the world’s poorest women must count the cost… Western officials who don’t want to fall out with the Trump White House are silent. Those who work at the Department for International Development do not want to criticise their colleagues at USAid, who themselves are privately wringing their hands over a policy that will undo much of their good work on behalf of women and girls.
Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannon’s Nationalist Fantasia
Vanity Fair – July 17, 2017 – Joshua Green
The chief strategist of Trump’s triumph reveals his strange brew of intellectual influences, including a French-Egyptian Muslim occultist guru, and his apocalyptic view of history… Adapted from “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” by Joshua Green.
To the Millions Who Have Stood Up to the Trump Administration: Thank You
Yes! Magazine – July 19, 2017 – Sarah van Gelder
After the election, millions of Americans launched a resistance that has slowed or stopped many of Trump’s awful policies. They showed up at town halls and airports. They contacted politicians and advertisers on right-wing media sites, educated themselves and their neighbors, filed to run in local elections, brought food, blessed the water, and sat down in bank lobbies and in congressional offices… We might break out of the celebrity culture, which values power grabs, wealth, and superficiality. We could humbly accept the wide range of gifts people have to offer, and acknowledge everyone who steps forward for all they do to make the world a better place.
Nearly Half of Trump Supporters Want Republicans to Work with Democrats to Improve ACA
Yes! Magazine – July 19, 2017 – Mark Trahant
More than 70 percent of the public wants bipartisan cooperation, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll says. Even 46 percent of Trump supporters say “they want to see Republicans work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act—statistically tied with the 47 percent who would rather see Republicans continue working on their own plan to repeal and replace it.”
What the Insanity of Mass Incarceration Has Done To Us
Yes! Magazine – July 18, 2017 – Patrice Gaines
We have lived with mass incarceration for so long that we do not see that it is making even those who are supposed to be free less human—and less humane.
Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War
Global Research – July 19, 2017 – Antony C. Black
Overview of Gerry Docherty & Jim Macgregor’s Book… Of the many myths that befog the modern political mind, none is so corrupting of the understanding or so incongruent with historical fact as the notion that the wealthy and the powerful do not conspire. They do. They conspire continually, habitually, effectively, diabolically and on a scale that beggars the imagination. To deny this conspiracy fact is to deny both overwhelming empirical evidence and elementary reason… if there is any lesson – or rather counter lesson – we can take from it, it is that we are doomed to repeat history only so long as we listen to those dedicated to obscuring and inverting it. In short, to those who lie to us.
“Computational Propaganda”: Armies of Cyber-Troops Manipulating Public Opinion
Global Research – July 20, 2017 – True Publica
The Computational Propaganda Research Project (COMPROP) investigates the interaction of algorithms, automation and politics. This work includes analysis of how tools like social media bots are used to manipulate public opinion by amplifying or repressing political content, disinformation, hate speech, junk or fake news.
Resurrecting the Radical Pedagogy of the Black Panther Party
Portside – July 3, 2017 – Christopher F. Petrella
the founding members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPP) believed that a learner-driven, politically relevant, and transgressive education that empowers youth to expose the existential contradictions of their own lives creates the conditions necessary for a world in which both Black and non-Black liberation is possible… From mixed-age horizontal classroom relationships between student-teachers and teacher-students, to experiential and embodied learning opportunities in the local community and the prioritization of art, resistance, and service, the BPP’s pedagogy was truly at a vanguard of a burgeoning Black freedom-centered educational movement.