Even if John Stewart is Gone, We all Need to Keep taking on FOX and all the Media

I am going to put a lot of John Stewart videos in the comment section, like this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO_om3iK9kE

You probably heard the great news – after a few years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show–but the Boycott Must Go On!!

Ten years ago, Media Matters launched with a revolutionary mission: to systematically monitor the U.S. media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. We’ve been calling out right-wing lies for a decade — and we’re not done yet. Will you contribute now to help us raise $10,000 for our 10th anniversary?

Media Matters Timeline

For ten years, we’ve successfully fought back against the bad actors that poison our media with right-wing lies and smears. It’s been an amazing beginning, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

We’re in this for the long haul. Make an anniversary gift today to kickstart the next ten years of media accountability.

Dear Kevin,
You probably heard the great news – after two years of progressive activism, FOX finally cancelled Glenn Beck’s show.
Beck was targeted after he slandered President Obama by saying, “This president has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture, I don’t know what it is… This guy, I believe, is a racist.”
Activists at ColorOfChange, Media Matters, StopBeck, FoxNewsBoycott, and of course Democrats.com responded with a boycott of advertisers on Glenn Beck’s show. Ultimately over 300 advertisers pulled their ads from Beck, costing FOX over $40 million.
Advertiser boycotts work! And it’s time to boycott all FOX News advertisers:
We’re starting our boycott of all FOX News with Proactiv, which sells acne medicine to teenagers and young adults. Why?
First, there are lots of other acne treatments. Second, young adults above all are hurt by FOX News, which promotes right-wing policies on race, education, healthcare, the environment, and war. Let’s get our future leaders to lead the fight against FOX News!
Sign the petition to Proactiv and enter the email address of every young adult over 18 you know:
Beyond President Obama, FOX regularly slanders nearly everyone: Democrats, unionized workers, the unemployed (including veterans and 99ers), environmentalists, feminists, blacks, Hiics, Jews, Muslims, progressives, scientists, and any other group it disagrees with.
FOX News broadcasts rightwing extremist slander, incitement to violence, political propaganda, and outright lies to promote its rightwing political agenda. This is not “news,” but rather a never-ending “war on news” – and it’s all documented in our petition.
Why would any decent company want to fund it? Tell Proactiv to stop advertising on FOX News:
Thanks for all you do!
Bob Fertik

GLEN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” THIS MAKES Boycotting FOX NEWS needed NOW

By Kevin Stoda

Dear, American supporters of the Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) news networks.

AMERICANS are getting less tolerant of your racism and stronghold on our major media.

For example, we have noted that in his 2007 TV program from FOX (See on You-Tube), Glen Beck admitted he himself was racist. Further, Beck then, in contrast to 2009, called Barrack Obama much more white than black. (Apparently, Beck now he has other nonsense to mush men’s minds.)


Using a major news platform to promote racism and to tell people to disrespect a whole presidential administration through mixed truths, outright lies, and xenophobia, is not to be tolerated any more.

On Democracy Now today, Amy Goodman asked Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP what he thought of Wal-Mart’s pull-out from advertising on the Glen Beck program on FOX.

NOTE: Goodman had simply asked , “The whole attack by Glenn Beck that drove this (resignation)? In your response from the NAACP to Van Jones, it says, ´The only thing more outrageous than Mr. Beck’s attack on Van Jones is the fact that there are sponsors that continue to pay him to provide this type of offensive commentary.` Do you support the continued boycott of companies like Wal-Mart of Beck’s show on Fox?”


This is a particularly important point because Glen Beck´s HATE CAMPAIGN ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION led recently to a great American policy maker, Van Jones, quitting the government this week.


Mr. Jealous said, “We certainly support them (Walmart) choosing with their dollars who they’re going to support. I mean, it’s—Glenn Beck is somebody who’s told a seven-year-old girl, a seven-year-old black girl, that he would buy her a ticket back to Africa, that she needed to go back to Africa. And then he comes out, and he says that healthcare is the beginning of reparations. I mean, this guy plays the race card on a weekly basis. He does it very aggressive—you know, in a very hateful way.”

Recall, first, that Van Jones is one of the most important and thoughtful men in America—however, the FOX (Fascist Oddball Xenophobic) news network chose to support a man, like Glen Beck, rather than seeing that tens of millions of Americans need to get health care from promoters like Jones and that our America economy needs to move starting today to the kind of economy that its competitors worldwide are already doing.


Let’s quote the wisdom and influential words of Van Jones on the absolute necessity to green the American economy NOW!

“I think it’s really important to point out that we’re sort of at the end of an era of American capitalism, where we thought we could run the economy based on consumption rather than production, credit rather than creativity, borrowing rather than building, and also, most importantly, environmental destruction rather than environmental restoration.”

Jones continued, “We’re trying to make the case in this book that that era is over. We now have to move in a very different direction. And key to that will be basing the US economy not on credit cards, but based on clean energy and the clean energy revolution that would put literally millions of people to work, putting up solar panels all across the United States, weatherizing buildings so they don’t leak so much energy and put up so much carbon, building wind farms and wave farms, manufacturing wind turbines. We argue you could put Detroit back to work not making SUVs to destroy the world, but making wind turbines, 8,000 finely machine parts in each one, twenty tons of steel in each wind tower, making wind turbines to help save the world.”

Finally, Van Jones wisely noted, “So we think that you can fight pollution and poverty at the same time. We think that you can actually power our way through this recession by putting people to work, but we’re going to have to start building things here and re-powering, retrofitting, retooling America, and that that’s the way forward both for the economy, for the earth and for everyday people.”

Note: These statements came from a program on DN from October of last year:


Van Beck has written a book of the same title, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems.


America needs such voices as Van Jones in government leadership in America—not Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) types.

Clean up the American airwaves of all its fascism and racism, today.


NOTE: One way to change the noise of Fascist Oddball Xenophobic (FOX) media moguls is to support alternative media organizations


and alternative monitoring websites.


Another way, is to demand that local radio and TV channels put better programming on, such as Democracy Now or news sources promoted by serious progressive journalists:


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What is the Spamhaus?

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GOP candidates took millions from Russia in 2016 Elections

Profile image for Ruth May

Ruth May, Contributor

Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.

Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.

During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org.


Marco Rubio’s Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik’s two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000.

In January, Quartz reported that Blavatnik donated another $1 million to Trump’s Inaugural Committee. Ironically, the shared address of Blavatnik’s companies is directly across the street from Trump Tower on 5thAvenue in New York.

Len Blavatnik, considered to be one of the richest men in Great Britain, holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K. He is known for his business savvy and generous philanthropy, but not without controversy.

In 2010, Oxford University drew intense criticism for accepting a donation of 75 million pounds from Blavatnik for a new school of government bearing his name. Faculty, alumni and international human rights activists claimed the university was selling its reputation and prestige to Putin’s associates.

Blavatnik’s relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, particularly Oleg Deripaska, should be worrisome for Trump and the six GOP leaders who took Blavatnik’s money during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lucky for them no one has noticed. Yet.


Oleg Deripaska is the founder and majority owner of RUSAL, the world’s second largest aluminum company, based in Russia. Len Blavatnik owns a significant stake in RUSAL and served on its Board until November 10, 2016, two days after Donald Trump was elected.

Deripaska controls RUSAL with a 48 percent majority stake through his holding company, EN+ Group, and the Russian government owns 4.35 percent stake of EN+ Group through its second-largest state owned bank, VTB. VTB was exposed in the Panama papers in 2016for facilitating the flow of billions of dollars to offshore companies linked to Vladimir Putin and is under sanctions by the U.S. government.

Deripaska has been closely connected to the Kremlin since he married into Boris Yeltsin’s family in 2001, which literally includes him in the Russian clan known as “The Family.”According to the Associated Press, starting in 2006, Deripaska made annual payments of $10 million to Paul Manafort through the Bank of Cyprus to advance Putin’s global agenda.

Len Blavatnik’s co-owner in RUSAL is his long-time business partner, Viktor Vekselberg, another Russian oligarch with close ties to  Putin. Blavatnik and Vekselberg hold their 15.8 percent joint stake in RUSAL in the name of Sual Partners, their offshore company in the Bahamas. Vekselberg also happens to be the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus.

Another oligarch with close ties to Putin, Dmitry Rybolovlev, owns a 3.3 percent stake in the Bank of Cyprus. Rybolovlev is known as “Russia’s Fertilizer King” and has been in the spotlight for several months as the purchaser of Trump’s 60,000 square-foot mansion in Palm Beach. Rybolovlev bought the estate for $54 million more than Trump paid for the property at the bottom of the crash in the U.S. real estate market.

The convoluted web that links Putin’s oligarchs to Trump’s political associates and top Republicans is difficult to take in.

Trump: ‘The Russia story is a total fabrication’
President Donald Trump says he hopes for a “truly honest” outcome from the Russia investigation that has consumed the opening months of…


Trump and Putin have a common approach to governance. They rely heavily on long-term relationships and family ties. While there have been tensions between Putin and Deripaska over the years, the Kremlin came to Deripaska’s rescue in 2009 when he was on the verge of bankruptcy by providing a $4.5 billion emergency loan through state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), where Putin is chair of the advisory board.

VEB, known as President Putin’s “pet bank,” is now in crisis after sanctions applied by Europe and U.S. in 2014 have isolated it from the international banks that were the sources of its nearly $4 billion in hard currency loans that, according to Bloomberg, mature this year and in 2018.

Russia’s international currency reserves are near a 10-year low, which has put further pressure on the president of VEB, Sergey Gorkov, to find sources of international rescue capital. Notably, it was Gorkov who met secretly with Jared Kushner in December at Trump Tower. Kushner’s failure to report the meeting with Gorkov has drawn the attention of the Senate intelligence committee that now wants to question Kushner about the meeting.

Ruth May is a global business professor at the University of Dallas. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. Email: rmay@udallas.edu

CORRECTION, 12:11 p.m., August 7: The headline on an earlier version of this column incorrectly said Blavatnik is Russian. He was born in Urkraine during the Soviet era.

An earlier version of this column used the name Leonid “Len” Blavatnik. He changed his first name to Leonard.

The column has also been updated to remove language describing the online presentation of a press release about Blavatnik resigning from the RUSAL board because it lacked context.

What’s your view?

Got an opinion about this issue? Send a letter to the editor, and you just might get published.

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

West Coast Wonder and Blundering Kansas


by Jim Hass at http://greatsociety2point0.blogspot.com/

West Coast Wonder

California, America’s most populous state with 39.5 million residents (Kansas has 2.9 million), is the world’s sixth largest economy—larger than France. It’s like a nation within a nation and has been so economically successful that it can serve as a model for struggling states like Kansas. It’s a model in other ways, as well.

This summer, My Wife the English Teacher and I traveled by Amtrak from Portland, Oregon, to the Bay Area to visit a friend working at the University of California, Berkeley. A campus tour, courtesy of a senior student, took us to the top of the landmark Campanile tower with its stunning view of the Golden Gate, past a parking space with a sign reading “Reserved for Nobel Laureates” (five are currently on the faculty), and to the world famous Haas School of Business (no relation, but our nearby hotel’s staff seemed unduly pleased to have us there).

Berkeley, Stanford, USC, UCLA, and other highly rated schools are part of the reason California is doing so well. From the digital devices of Silicon Valley to the agricultural research of the state university at Davis to the state’s commitment to energy technology and environmental protection, a booming “knowledge economy” thrives on the information, insights, and innovations that flow from the state’s teachers and students.

Since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, California’s economy has grown faster than any other in the developed world. Bloomberg analysts credit the state’s long-term planning for sustainable energy, transportation, and other public services; careful business regulation; sound credit ratings for global investors; diverse workforce including a large proportion of able immigrants; and transparent government free from corruption (second best in the nation according to the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity).

Per capita income has grown 9.5 percent, more than any other state, and unemployment has declined faster than the national average. Public confidence is a key to prosperity, and a recent academic study found 57 percent of registered voters confident of their legislature’s work while 61 percent approve of Governor Jerry Brown. Voters recently approved raising gas taxes and vehicle fees to fund infrastructure improvements and seem satisfied with their progressive income tax that rises from 1 percent on incomes below $7850 to 13.3 percent above $1,000,000 (highest in the nation).

Once reliably Republican, the state is now solidly Democratic with a growing list of progressive policies including simple online voter registration using a driver license or ID card. In 2016, more than 75 percent of those registered voted, 56 percent of them by mail. California was, in 2010, the first state to establish an Obamacare marketplace, legislation welcomed by the Republican governor at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Not all is sunshine and goodwill. So many people want to live there that costs, especially housing, are high, water chronically short, and roads crowded. Extensive public rail systems are expanding, but so is the demand.

California’s vast geography is prone to wildfires, mammoth snows in the Sierras, draughts, and earthquakes that are a constant worry (A major fault runs through the Berkeley campus, and local streets have major jogs proving it.). On the other hand, the climate is mostly mild and the scenery terrific: Death Valley, volcanoes, 840 miles of Pacific coast, ancient redwood forests, Yosemite, and other natural marvels help make tourism a major industry. Disneyland helps, too.

Kansas can’t copy the scenery or the seaports, but we can adopt progressive tax policies, expand healthcare, improve public services and infrastructure, and better fund the schools and universities that drive prosperity. That road begins with our votes.

Posted by Jim Haas at 8:31 PM No comments: Links to this post

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Republicans Have a Job to Do

Dear Republican politicians,

My education about hard-core white supremacy happened fifty years ago when an Air Force assignment took me from my Ohio home to a beautiful city in the South. On weekends, I formed a band with other servicemen and played jazz and bluegrass at airbase clubs.

One night, we had a gig off base at a large dance hall, but as we were setting up, the owner, who was also the county High Sheriff, told me, in no uncertain terms, we couldn’t use our drummer because he was black. In my youthful innocence, I thought what mattered was that he was a good musician, but that’s not what mattered there. We left, but the episode awakened me to the evil I could see off base any day in separate “colored” drinking fountains, separate restrooms, and separate schools.

The physical beauty of the city couldn’t hide the moral ugliness. I remember telling my father that some people there were still fighting the Civil War and that it wouldn’t end until the ruling generation died off. I was too optimistic: Some of that generation passed on their resentment and their racism to their children and grandchildren who are with us now.

You know our history. The Civil War wasn’t a noble cause on behalf of Southern culture. It was treason in the cause of some people owning other people. Rather than distort our past, better to honor it not with statues of traitors but by remembering their victims and those who sacrificed to free them.

There are no Nazi monuments in Germany. Instead, there are memorials to the war’s victims and museums that tell that nation’s dark story, including the belief in a Master Race that grew from a bigoted distortion of German history.

It’s long past time we get serious about America’s promise of equal justice under law, and you, my Republican friends, have an obligation—and an opportunity—to lead the way. In the wake of Trump’s racist rants after Charlottesville, many of you have properly spoken out against bigotry in its many forms. Good for you, but yours are just empty words until you act to undo injustices your Party—the Party of Lincoln—has sponsored.

Your first job is to delete Voter ID laws in Kansas and elsewhere. Those laws are based on the lie that voting fraud was widespread and a threat to America. It wasn’t and it isn’t. The real threat is in purposely making it harder for some people to vote than for others. You passed these laws to suppress the votes of groups who tend not to vote for you, and, if you mean what you say about equality, you are obligated to undo them. If you don’t mean what you say, step aside and let an honest person replace you.

Your next job is to respect voters by making voting convenient. Make registration automatic, as it is in ten states, and make national elections holidays out of respect for workers.

You need to strengthen the Voting Rights Act to stop state officials who rig their voting systems against minorities. Texas, North Carolina, and other states have repeatedly schemed to deny equal justice and have lost a series of court cases proving so. In every case, Republicans are to blame, so it’s your responsibility to fix.

There’s opportunity for you, too. Instead of scheming to discourage people who might vote against you, how about favoring policies that would encourage those people to vote for you? Be positive, not negative.
There’s nothing citizens can do just now about the racist President—his fate is in other hands. We can, however, vote against Congressional and state candidates who talk about equal justice but work against it. I’m looking at you, Republicans.

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And, what was manna?

Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what Yahweh has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’”

Exodus 16:31-32

To keep the memory alive for the next generation, the Israelites needed a physical reminder of the food that nourished them during their wilderness wanderings, and this was important for cultivating their communal memory of Yahweh’s provision.

Rebekah Devine is Executive Assistant to Shane Claiborne at Red Letter Christians. She holds an M.A. in Biblical Exegesis, an M.Litt in Theology and the Arts, and a B.S. in Biblical Studies. Rebekah blogs sporadically at rebekahdevine.com, and is writing a memoir about growing up messianic Jewish(ish) called A Wandering God Was My Father. Find her on Facebook and Twitter (@rebekahmdevine).

What was manna? – Got Questions

To alleviate this problem, God miraculously provided the Israelites with “bread from heaven,” called “manna.” The manna appeared each morning, and the …

What Was the “Manna” in the Wilderness of Sinai? : Christian Courier

“The Interpreter’s Bible (a popular commentary set), in commenting on the ‘manna‘ that fell when the children of Israel were in the wilderness of Sinai, suggests …

Manna – Wikipedia

Numbers describes it as having the appearance of bdellium, adding that the Israelites ground it and pounded it into cakes, which were then baked, resulting in something that tasted like cakes baked with oil. Exodus states that raw manna tasted like wafers that had been made with honey.

What the Heck Was Manna, Anyway? | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian

Apr 8, 2009 – Was this food that sustained the Israelites in the desert for four decades some kind of miracle substance that rained down like—oh yeah, like manna from Heaven. Obviously, that is the literal explanation from the Bible, but scientists have other theories.

Manna Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary – Bible Study Tools

What is Manna? Definition and meaning:MANNA man’-a (man; manna): The Hebrew man is probably derived, as Ebers suggests, from the Egyptian mennu, …

The beetle cocoon that was manna for Moses | The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk › News › Science

Apr 21, 1996 – Manna was almost certainly trehalose, a white crystalline carbohydrate made of two glucose molecules joined together. It is one of very few …

MANNA – JewishEncyclopedia.com

According to George Ebers (“Durch Gosen zum Sinai,” p. 236), the name comes from the Egyptian “mennu” (= “food”). The manna is also designated “bread” (Ex.

Daily Bible Study – What Was Manna?

The word manna is derived from the The Hebrew words meaning, What is it? Although some have speculated that manna was some sort of naturally-occurring …

What was Manna? | Baptist Christian Forums – Baptist Board

https://www.baptistboard.com › … › Free-For-All Archives › 2000-02 Archive

Aug 22, 2002 – 5 posts – ‎5 authors

My husband and I got interested in manna last night and spent several hours tracking everything we could. There are all kinds of ideas about …

What Was Manna In The Bible? – What Christians Want To Know

May 23, 2015 – What is “manna” that is mentioned in the Bible? Why was it mentioned in Scripture in the Old Testament and even in the New Testament by …  

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What do you know about DACA?

DACA info

Dear Kevin,


First, an important correction: For those whose DACA permits are set to expire on or by March 5, 2018, the final date to apply for DACA permit renewal is OCTOBER 5, 2017. We misidentified the year in our previous email. We apologize for the error and any inconvenience or confusion that it may have caused you.

Over the past several days following the announcement from Attorney General Sessions that the Trump administration will be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program over the next six months, we’ve seen an overwhelming amount of public outrage, organizing, and action. People are ready to fight to protect the lives placed at risk by this cruel-hearted, racist policy decision, and the wind of momentum is at our backs! 

As the six-month deadline Trump arbitrarily placed on Congress to act approaches, it will take the combined force of all of our effort to ensure that DACA is codified into law in a humane and responsible manner.

We owe this to the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers who are currently enrolled in school, contributing to the economy, and serving in the armed forces. They don’t deserve to be targeted by the white supremacists that have hijacked our democracy, but their plight offers us an opportunity to push for the kind of thorough, lasting immigration reform—including an official DREAM Act—that has proven impossible up to this point.

In the meantime, it is important that everyone—DREAMers, our friends and family, and those of us who are their allies—have all of the correct information regarding their status at hand. Familiarize yourself with these facts, along with your rights, so that you can be better equipped in the fight for DACA to come.

Thank you for all you do and ¡adelante!

– Matt, Favianna, Erick, Reetu, Oscar, Erica and the Presente.org team.


Original email below:

Dear Kevin,


The fears of many in our Latinx (and beyond) communities were realized today, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, acting on behalf of Donald Trump, announced that the administration will be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — won through your organizing during the Obama Administration — which gave temporary legal status protection to nearly 800,000 immigrants who came to the country as children.1

This legislation was a light in the darkness for many of our most vulnerable family and friends, and now that light is in danger of being extinguished.

Take action: Trump and Sessions’ decision today is unacceptable and represents a deep failure of values and moral judgment.

AG Sessions, a white supremacist who has a racist legislative record a mile long, and who lied under oath to Congress about his collusion with Putin’s regime during the election has the audacity to call into question the Constitutionality of DACA, announced that the phase out will take place over the course of the next 6 months, in an attempt to force Congress to enact some form of official legislation.

Can we count on you to keep the DREAM of DACA alive?



Thank you for all you do and ¡adelante!

– Matt, Favianna, Erick, Reetu, Oscar, Erica and the Presente.org team.

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.


1. “Trump administration announces plan to end DACA.” ABC News. September 5, 2017.
2. “Ending DACA would be mean-spirited and short-sighted–even for Trump.” Los Angeles Times. September 4, 2017.
3. “U.S. CEO’s Urge Trump to Keep DACA ‘Dreamers’ Program.” Bloomberg Politics. August 31, 2017.

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ICE TODAY: “Widespread Slave Labor at ICE Detention Centers???”

There are nearly 200 federal detention centers across the country. The labor practices at several immigrant detention centers, mostly run by private prison companies, violate the Constitution’s ban on slavery.
Janitor cleans floor

Widespread Slave Labor Allegations at ICE Detention Centers

The labor practices at several immigrant detention centers, mostly run by private prison companies, violate the Constitution’s ban on slavery and minimum wage laws, according to a growing number of federal lawsuits and some experts.

Read more

Generals shake handsThe Military’s Leadership Problem

Reporting on the F-35 leaves out the real fundamental issue: a leadership problem closely tied to the infamous “revolving door” between the military’s senior ranks and defense contractor boardrooms.

Read more

A Coast Guardsman looks out of a helicopter during search and rescue missions following Hurricane Harvey around Beaumont, Texas, Aug. 30, 2017Disaster Relief Needs Oversight to Stop Waste and Fraud

Despite an outpouring of community support and neighborly charity, large natural disasters require billions of dollars in aid from the federal government for short-term and long-term needs such as housing, cleanup, and infrastructure rebuilding.

Read more

National Museum of Health and MedicineOf Shattered Brains and Minds

Tucked deep in the Maryland woods just north of Washington are pieces of military history far removed from combat. But war is rendered real here in ways unlike anywhere else.


Read the op-ed

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POGO 2015 internsOpen Internships: Communications and Investigations

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Erik Prince thinks he’s the Elon Musk of privatized warfare

“I’m sure that Erik Prince is seeking to end U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, but he’s also promoting a business opportunity that he hopes to cash in on,” Scott Amey, general counsel for the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, told VICE News.“The end goal is on point, but let’s avoid a foreign policy disaster of allowing hired guns to run around Afghanistan and the damaging consequences and costs of asking U.S. taxpayers to fund such an operation,” he later added.

Border wall contractor once paid $3 million to settle federal fraud investigation

It paid the rest of the money in what appears to be a related case, according to those documents and information contained in the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database of the Project on Government Oversight, an independent and nonpartisan group.
E&E News

Obama appointees negotiated for jobs while still in office

Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, offered a more critical assessment, saying in an email that “the revolving door has become such an accepted activity in recent years that it is frequently difficult to determine where the government stops and the private sector begins.”
The Drive – The War Zone

Let’s Talk About The USAF’s Claim Of ‘Fully Combat Capable’ F-35s

“This may very well be an effort to undermine the operational testing process,” Dan Grazier, the Jack Shanahan Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight, a non-partisan watchdog that has been highly critical of the F-35 program, told The War Zone by Email. “All the services have been hostile to the idea of having an outside testing official evaluating their work. I see this as an attempt to marginalize DOT&E’s role in the acquisition process.”
Government Executive

Trump Administration’s Transparency Questioned as It Awards First Border Wall Contracts

The agency has not made the contracts public, which the Project on Government Oversight said it found troubling. POGO previously submitted a public records request for the proposals companies submitted, but the request was denied on the grounds the bids were proprietary.

White House Fills Key Buying, Budget Positions

Many IG positions remain vacant. Housing and Urban Development Department has been without an IG for more than two months; the Interior Department has remained unfilled since 2009, according to the Project on Government Oversight, which tracks these vacancies.
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“In a recent conversation with a friend of mine who is also an essayist, he said that he thinks of essay-writing as a chasm we fall into and have to find our way out of. His image made me realize that I don’t find myself trying to get out of chasms when I write; I think I’m trying to invent a new way of being inside of the chasm, I said.”

Essayist Mary Cappello on writing, living, and escape.

Read more

hurricane katrina child


Researchers found that younger children, ages 9 to 11, were more likely to be depressed or experience post-traumatic stress disorder than older ones.

nogales border


There’s both an ethical and an economic case for open borders.

derek bentley


Derek Bentley was said to have called out “Let him have it, Chris!” Did these words mean, literally, “give him the gun” or, indirectly, “shoot him?”

prince purple


Pantone released a new shade of purple in honor of the late singer-songwriter Prince. It’s a “Purple Rain”-inspired plum. The color has a long history with royalty.

What we're reading around the web


JSTOR Daily editors select stories that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. This week’s picks cover DACA’s kids, outlawing war, and the real pro-lifers.

NEW: Suggested Readings, JSTOR Daily’s weekly roundup of well-researched stories from around the web, now has its own newsletter.
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Twitter Equals Diplomacy—NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Win Without War


Bombastic threats are not foreign policy. Twitter is not the same thing as diplomacy. Yet as the situation in North Korea grows more perilous by the day, war hawks like Donald Trump repeat the same lines we’ve heard before — that invasion, regime change, or a massive military show of force are the only solutions to this crisis.

Let’s be clear. War is not a solution to the problem of North Korea. A war with North Korea could kill millions of people in Korea and the region, including tens of thousands of US troops stationed in South Korea. Even a small conflict would wreak havoc on the world economy, and a major war would create a humanitarian catastrophe not seen since World War II. It’s beyond horrifying.

But instead of a renewed commitment to a diplomatic solution, each new North Korea provocation so far only brings military threats and Trump Twitter outbursts. We’re fighting to change that, to choose a different path – the path of de-escalation and diplomacy. And right now, we need to work harder than ever.

Will you help our efforts to fight for peace by making a $3 contribution today?

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Our country can no longer look to armed conflict as the answer to every unstable international situation. We can no longer write blank checks toward vague notions of “stability.” When it comes to North Korea, we know there simply is no military solution. And if we have learned anything in the past decade, it’s that trying to bomb your way to peace is a terrible idea.

Diplomacy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not bright or flashy and it’ll rarely make headline news. But diplomacy is our strongest tool in the fight for peace. That’s why Win Without War fought for years to secure the Iran deal. It’s why we’re defending it once again. And it’s why we’re working so hard to prevent a war with North Korea.

Help us spread this message by making a $3 contribution today.

Thank you for working for peace,

Stephen, Erica, Amy and the Win Without War team


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Millions had put their faith and trust in America’s Promises…

Our Revolution

Aloha Kevin,

For so long, young people who came to this country as kids through no choice of their own, have been forced to live in the shadows, too afraid to come forward because they don’t trust that our government won’t come after them. Even after DACA was put in place, so many were too afraid to apply because if the program got taken away, the government would know where they live and could go after them and their families.

But 800,000 young people in this country took that leap of faith, applied for DACA, and have relied on it to obtain an education, earn a living, and establish themselves in our communities.

The current administration’s decision on Tuesday to end DACA leaves them feeling betrayed and afraid after they put their trust in our government.

Last week on Maui, I sat down with some of Hawaii’s DREAMers and heard their stories about living every day in fear of deportation until DACA was put into effect. They shared their stories of the opportunity and freedom they have experienced because of DACA, and the fear of uncertainty that now lies before them, with the prospects of their government targeting them and forcing them to leave the only home they’ve ever known.

This is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue that affects communities all across this country. DACA’s termination is a call for Congress to act now. We should take this opportunity to actually fix the problem once and for all and provide a permanent solution for these DREAMers, so they are not forced back into the shadows.

I have had many conversations with people about this issue. I have spoken with those that support DACA, and those that do not support it. However, the most important part of any conversation about immigration and DACA is to be informed with the facts.

What is DACA?
DACA is a temporary program instituted by President Barack Obama that defers immigration action and provides relief from deportation for people who were brought into the United States as children and gives them a work permit.

Who is eligible for DACA?
The people who apply for and receive DACA must meet a number of requirements, including: they were under the age of 16 when they were brought into the U.S., they have lived most of their lives here, they are in school or have graduated or are an honorably discharged member of the military, they have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.

How many people have DACA?
There are around 800,000 recipients of DACA right now in the U.S.

What can I do?
At the Sanders Institute, we believe that being informed, engaged, and involved in the discussion about an issue and a policy like DACA are the first crucial steps.

Visit the Sanders Institute to learn more about DACA, sanctuary cities, and other immigration issues.

Thank you for staying engaged,

Tulsi Gabbard
Sanders Institute Fellow



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It sounds like good old planned obsolescence –the same old losing strategy, America!!!!

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, How the Pentagon Snatched Innovation From the Jaws of Defeat  

[Note for TomDispatch Readers: Finally, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, Alfred McCoy’s new Dispatch Book, long announced at this site, is outYou’ve already had a taste of it in previous posts of his and you’ll get another today. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower, the book immediately “joins the essential short list of scrupulous historical and comparative studies of the United States as an awesome, conflicted, technologically innovative, routinely atrocious, and ultimately hubristic imperial power,” and it’s now yours for the asking.

If you’re in the mood to contribute $100 or more ($125 if you live outside the USA) to keep TomDispatch rolling along in the age of Trump, McCoy will send you a signed, personalized copy of the book, a little classic for your bookshelf. For the details, go to our donation page (and we’ll be eternally grateful). If you just want to get your hands on In the Shadows of the American Century — and you should, since American decline is the hidden theme of the Trump era and so of our lives — then I have an offer for you. Haymarket Books, which produces and distributes our expanding line of volumes, will give any TD reader an exclusive 40% discount on the purchase of McCoy’s book. Simply click here to take advantage of this special offer. Whatever you do, do something and so support us in our efforts. My thanks! Tom]

In the early 1950s, my father ran a gas station on Governors Island, a military base in New York harbor. In those years, it would be my only encounter with the suburbs. And there, for maybe a dime on any Saturday afternoon, I could join the kids from military families at the local movie house for the usual Westerns or war movies preceded by either a Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon space adventure serial. Those films were old even then, but the future still looked remarkably new to me. They were my introduction to space and the wonders of the weaponry to someday be wielded there, including disintegrator pistols, flash rays, and other techno-advances in death and destruction.

Though such serials, if you see them today, couldn’t look campier, they seemed to me then like promises of a future almost beyond imagining. And we, the children of the 1950s, were being promised much, including, for instance, that we would all someday have our own individual jetpacks to travel the skyways of the great spired cities of the future. (Imagine traffic jams in the clouds, as I did then!) And in the 1960s, of course, many of us were prepared to join Captain James T. Kirk on the deck of the starship USSEnterprise and imagine “boldly going where no man has gone before” among the many alien races of the United Federation of Planets and beyond. The crew of that spacecraft, too, wielded or faced a remarkable range of weaponry in the 23rd century, including phasers, lasers, plasma cannons, and even Ferengi energy whips.

Aside from Star Trek-like “communicators” (think smartphones), the actual future, the one most of us are living in at the moment, has been something of a letdown by comparison. Its grim wonders include: thousand-year rain storms instead of jet-pack traffic jams, and one not particularly spired city that recently went almost completely underwater without any of the charm of Atlantis. But don’t think that somewhere out there people who, in their own youth, were influenced by Buck Rogers, Captain Kirk, and undoubtedly the Star Wars movies haven’t been trying to do something about this. Take historian Alfred McCoy’s word for it, they have — and they’ve had techno-weapons, including space-based ones, endlessly on their minds. At least since the 1960s, the Pentagon has, in fact, been pouring taxpayer dollars into the planning and testing of Buck Rogers-style techno-weapons and the possibility of bringing space war and all its “wonders” to planet Earth.

We’re talking about the same outfit that successfully developed robotic killers, the global assassins that now patrol the skies of the Greater Middle East daily, killing terrorists, insurgents, and plenty of civilians in the bargain (and so acting as a brilliant recruiting tool for just those insurgencies and terror groups). In his new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, just published this week, McCoy takes us on a grim and gripping tour of the present state of the Pentagon’s wonder weaponry and its plans for a future that will take us far beyond today’s one-way drone wars into a world in which the United States may look ever less like Buck Rogers or Captain Kirk and ever more like some of those malign aliens they confronted. Tom

The Pentagon’s New Wonder Weapons for World Dominion 
Or Buck Rogers in the 21st Century 
By Alfred W. McCoy

[This piece has been adapted and expanded from Alfred W. McCoy’s new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.] 

Not quite a century ago, on January 7, 1929, newspaper readers across America were captivated by a brand-new comic strip, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  It offered the country its first images of space-age death rays, atomic explosions, and inter-planetary travel.

“I was twenty years old,” World War I veteran Anthony “Buck” Rogers told readers in the very first strip, “surveying the lower levels of an abandoned mine near Pittsburgh… when suddenly… gas knocked me out. But I didn’t die. The peculiar gas… preserved me in suspended animation. Finally, another shifting of strata admitted fresh air and I revived.”

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

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