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:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
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:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
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:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-proactiv
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.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0tgvWxC_6A

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?”

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/8/white_house_environmental_adviser_van_jones

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.

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/09/06/van-jones-resigns/

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.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/95963/what_will_the_green_economy_look_like/

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:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/28/van_jones_on_the_green_collar

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

http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061650758/The_Green_Collar_Economy/index.aspx

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.

http://www.pittsburghurbanmedia.com/a-petition-against-fox-conservative-host-glenn-beck.aspx

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

http://aan.org/alternative/Aan/index

and alternative monitoring websites.

http://americas.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/64380

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:

http://www.tacomapjh.org/progressive_news.htm

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Superpower Conundrum & The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything


The Superpower Conundrum
The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything
By Tom Engelhardt

The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries. It’s been a sensible, repeatedly validated framework for thinking about the fate of the planet. So it’s hardly surprising, when faced with a country once regularly labeled the “sole superpower,” “the last superpower,” or even the global “hyperpower” and now, curiously, called nothing whatsoever, that the “decline” question should come up. Is the U.S. or isn’t it? Might it or might it not now be on the downhill side of imperial greatness?

Take a slow train — that is, any train — anywhere in America, as I did recently in the northeast, and then take a high-speed train anywhere else on Earth, as I also did recently, and it’s not hard to imagine the U.S. in decline. The greatest power in history, the “unipolar power,” can’t build a single mile of high-speed rail? Really? And its Congress is now mired in anargument about whether funds can even be raised to keep America’s highways more or less pothole-free.

Sometimes, I imagine myself talking to my long-dead parents because I know how such things would have astonished two people who lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and a can-do post-war era in which the staggering wealth and power of this country were indisputable. What if I could tell them how the crucial infrastructure of such a still-wealthy nation — bridges, pipelines, roads, and the like — is now grossly underfunded, in an increasing state of disrepair, and beginning to crumble? That would definitely shock them.

And what would they think upon learning that, with the Soviet Union a quarter-century in the trash bin of history, the U.S., alone in triumph, has been incapable of applying its overwhelming military and economic power effectively? I’m sure they would be dumbstruck to discover that, since the moment the Soviet Union imploded, the U.S. has been at war continuously with another country (three conflicts and endless strife); that I was talking about, of all places, Iraq; and that the mission there was never faintly accomplished. How improbable is that? And what would they think if I mentioned that the other great conflicts of the post-Cold-War era were with Afghanistan (two wars with a decade off in-between) and the relatively small groups of non-state actors we now call terrorists? And how would they react on discovering that the results were: failure in Iraq, failure in Afghanistan, and the proliferation of terror groups across much of the Greater Middle East (including the establishment of an actual terror caliphate) and increasing parts of Africa?

They would, I think, conclude that the U.S. was over the hill and set on the sort of decline that, sooner or later, has been the fate of every great power. And what if I told them that, in this new century, not a single action of the military that U.S. presidents now call “the finest fighting force the world has ever known” has, in the end, been anything but a dismal failure? Or that presidents, presidential candidates, and politicians in Washington are required to insist on something no one would have had to say in their day: that the United States is both an “exceptional” and an “indispensible” nation? Or that they would also have to endlessly thank our troops (as would the citizenry) for… well… never success, but just being there and getting maimed, physically or mentally, or dying while we went about our lives? Or that those soldiers must always be referred to as “heroes.”

In their day, when the obligation to serve in a citizens’ army was a given, none of this would have made much sense, while the endless defensive insistence on American greatness would have stood out like a sore thumb. Today, its repetitive presence marks the moment of doubt. Are we really so “exceptional”? Is this country truly “indispensible” to the rest of the planet and if so, in what way exactly? Are those troops genuinely our heroes and if so, just what was it they did that we’re so darn proud of?

Return my amazed parents to their graves, put all of this together, and you have the beginnings of a description of a uniquely great power in decline. It’s a classic vision, but one with a problem.

Click here to read more of this dispatch.

Tomgram: Engelhardt, What Happened to War?

[Note to TomDispatch Readers: The next piece at this site will be posted on Tuesday, July 7th. Have a fine July 4th! And a small reminder: for TD readers who already use Amazon and are getting ready to pick up their summer reading, if you go to Amazon via anyTomDispatch book link and buy anything, recommended by this site or not, we get a small cut of your purchase. (Here, for instance, is a small suggestion: check out a remarkable novel about the Iraq War on the “home front,” Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain.) That’s one modest, no-cost way of contributing to TD. Another, of course, is to go to our donation page and give $100 for, say, a signed, personalized copy of Nick Turse’s new Dispatch book,Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa, my own Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World, or any of the other offerings there. It’s a great way to help keep TomDispatchrolling along. Tom]

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No room for trade union rights at upscale Myanmar hotel


No room for trade union rights at upscale Myanmar hotel

Tourism is booming in Myanmar, but workers are still denied their basic rights after decades of dictatorship. In 2013 workers at the upscale Bagan Hotel River View formed a union n response to longstanding grievances and legally registered the union in June that year. Workers had gone years without a pay raise and distribution of the important service charges was not enforced. On March 7 this year, management summoned the union executive to a closed meeting in a private hotel room guarded by hotel security and instructed them to disband the union and to sign resignation letters. Five union leaders who refused were immediately terminated.

With the support of the IUF, the union is fighting for their immediate reinstatement. You can support this important struggle for trade union rights – CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE to the owners and management of the Bagan Hotel River View, telling them to immediately reinstate the 5 dismissed trade union leaders to their jobs, respect union rights and negotiate with the union in good faith.

E-mail: iuf@iuf.org
Rampe du Pont-Rouge, 8, CH-1213, Petit-Lancy (Switzerland)
www.iuf.org

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Women have been members of armed groups all over the world, sometimes constituting more than 30 percent of a force. When the war ends, they are overlooked and underserved


Institute for Inclusive Security Logo

Credit: Jonathan Alpeyrie

Not An Exotic Novelty

Women have been members of armed groups all over the world, sometimes constituting more than 30 percent of a force. When the war ends, they are overlooked and underserved by programs set up to reintegrate fighters into civilian life. The consequences of this can be dire. Here are eight ways to ensure that the women of war become partners in peace.

Read more »


INFOGRAPHIC: Building A Better Peace Process In Afghanistan

The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP)—the country’s roadmap for reconciliation—expires at the end of this year. As President Ashraf Ghani embarks on potential negotiations with the Taliban’s political leadership, an effective peace process is more important than ever. We created an infographic to help explain the complex workings of this important program.

Read more »


ADVOCATES IN ACTION

Angelic Young participated in the Truman National Security Conference, where she helped launch a new framework for how to view 21st century American leadership. Therecommendations address a wide range of topics—including countering violent extremism, empowering women as political leaders, promoting community dialogue, and supporting human rights.

Along with her fellow Truman colleagues Rebecca Zimmerman and Katherine Brown, Angelic also received the Harry S. Truman Award for Policy Innovation for starting the Frontline Civilians Initiative, which seeks to better prepare, support, care for, and recognize civilians working on the frontlines.


WHAT WE’RE READING

Credit: Marius Arnesen

Afghan President Appoints Second Female Governor

A move welcomed by reform-minded activists, despite the fact that the President’s previous female appointee was blocked from taking office due to fierce opposition and protests.

Read more »

Nigerian Women Call For More Representation in Government

A group of activists called on Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, to increase the number of women serving in his administration and reach the 35 percent benchmark set in the country’s national gender policy.

Read more »

A Rising Power In Cuba

As the US prepares to re-open its embassy in Havana, a look at 50 years of progress for Cuban women. Fun fact: the lead negotiators in talks to normalize US-Cuban relations are both female.

Read more »

African Women Equipped To Become Stronger Mediators for Peace

At a UN workshop for African women set to become the next generation of mediators, one participant noted a key difference from her past trainings: “With military and police officers, the most common solution to a conflict was always to send troops, [whereas] in this training, I have not heard that solution even once!”

Read more »

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Turmoil at Canadian School Hong Kong


Turmoil at Canadian School Hong Kong

Canadian School Hong Kong has been suspended by Search Associates and has become the focus of organized protests by both parents and students. This, following the firing of 9 teachers and 2 support staff at the close of the school day leading to summer vacation. Apparently these educators had expressed discontent with the the way the governors operate the school. Read more / Blog
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HOW TO BE THE PERSON THEY’LL NEVER FORGET –Our Trails of Tears and Memory & Walking with Others


HOW TO BE THE PERSON THEY’LL NEVER FORGET – #7429

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Missy lost her mother yesterday and Andy’s wife filed for divorce today. A friend texted recently, heartbroken over his sister-in-law’s cancer verdict. Some reservation friends of ours are grieving over one young suicide after another.

It just seems that we always know someone who’s walking their own personal “trail of tears.” Some weeks I think we could be sending a sympathy card like every day. And we’ve taken our turn. No family is immune. Bad news from the doctor. Burying someone we dearly love. A broken heart over a life that’s broken. And you know what? We never forgot the person who was there when it was dark.

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “How to be the Person They’ll Never Forget.”

My wife and I are honored to call many wonderful Cherokee friends our brothers and sisters. Some are really like family. And you can’t be with Cherokees for very long without recollections of their people’s darkest hour; one of the most infamous chapters in our nation’s history. You’ve probably heard of it – The Trail of Tears.

The forced removal from their ancestral homelands. The brutal stockade imprisonments, and then the 800-mile Trail of Tears under military guard in a horrific six-month walk through one of the fiercest winters in American history. An estimated one-fourth of the Cherokee Nation died on or because of the Trail of Tears. I’ve stood with Cherokee friends at unmarked graves where some of those people are buried. I’ll tell you what, I’ve wiped my eyes as they sang in Cherokee, the hymn that sustained their people amid all the dying – “Amazing Grace.”

There were people on that trail who didn’t have to be there; missionaries who loved the Cherokee people, who represented Jesus among the Cherokees. And now, who chose to be by their side, sharing their suffering.

There’s a nearly 200-year old mission church on Cherokee land in Oklahoma today. But it wasn’t built in Oklahoma. It was built in Georgia. And I’m told that the missionaries had so won the respect of the people that the chief actually ordered that the mission be dismantled and moved with the people. See, you never forget the person who walked with you on your trail of tears. Because everyone’s so busy, so stressed, just too preoccupied to enter into someone else’s grief. But if you’ve walked your own trail of tears, you are uniquely qualified to walk with someone else on theirs. And in so doing, you can find meaning in your pain.

In his recent book, Rob Moll says it well: “When suffering turns to compassion, the questions provoked by suffering can find resolution.” A reviewer of that book commented, “Pain breaks us open, allowing us to become kinder and more generous toward others who suffer.”

Or, as the Bible says in our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “God…the source of all comfort…comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.”

No one had more to do – no one had more important things to do – than Jesus did in His world-changing three-year ministry. But He stopped for the blind man by the side of the road. He stopped for the mother who had just lost her son, for the leper no one else would touch. And He’s stopped for me. Again and again, He has “carried me.” In the words of the Bible, “as a father carries his son” (Deuteronomy 1:31) when I couldn’t walk another step. When all I could do was reach up and cry, “Daddy, carry me!”

So I am to be, as Oswald Chambers says, “not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.”

Showing up when they’re falling down as Jesus has shown up for me. He didn’t stay in the comfort of His heaven. He came to us as “a man of sorrows, acquainted with the deepest grief” (Isaiah 53:3) carrying my burden all the way to the cross.

Now I am called. I am privileged to be His face, His voice, His arms, and His hands so someone doesn’t have to walk their trail of tears alone.

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“While the Flotilla Didn’t Make it to Gaza, Israel Didn’t Win”


“While the Flotilla Didn’t Make it to Gaza, Israel Didn’t Win”

By Medea Benjamin

“While the flotilla didn’t make it here, Israel didn’t win. Every action in our support gives the Palestinian people more hope, trust and love, and the courage to continue insisting on our basic rights.” –20-year-old Khaled Ostath

::::::::

Israel Defense Forces violently intercepted the Swedish boat named Marianne in the early hours of June 29 to prevent it from landing in Gaza,using tasers against unarmed passengers. The 18 passengers, whose mission was to break the siege of Gaza, were taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod and the non-Israelis will be deported from Ben Gurion Airport.

The Marianne was originally part of a flotilla comprised of four boats with 48 passengers, including human rights activists, journalists, artists, and political figures representing 17 countries. Three of the boats returned to ports in Greece.

The passengers are an impressive group. Among them is Dr. Moncef Marzouki, former President of Tunisia who came to power after the 2011 popular uprising, and Dr. Basel Ghattas, a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Joint List, a party representing Israel’s Arab citizens and the third-largest in Israel’s parliament. On one of the boats that returned to Greece are two US citizens: retired US Army Col. Ann Wright and USS Liberty veteran Joe Meadors.

The participation of Parliamentarian Basel Ghattas caused an uproar in the Knesset, with several parliamentarians calling for his citizenship to be revoked. In an interview before leaving, Ghattas said he was participating in the flotilla because the Gaza blockade contravenes international humanitarian law, in that it imposes collective punishment on Gaza residents. “We must remember that it is these conditions that will lead us to another circle of war within a month, a year or two years from now. So why not do whatever we can, make every effort possible, to change the reality, save lives and avoid another war?” he asked.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006. Since then, there have been three major Israeli military offenses that have left the Strip devastated. The most recent massacre was in July-August of 2014, when Israel launched a 50-day military offensive against the coastal territory, killing about 2,200 mainly civilian Palestinians and leaving some 100,000 Gazans homeless.

A year since the bloodshed and destruction, Gaza has barely begun to rebuild. Israel maintains a complete air and sea blockade of Gaza and a partial blockade of goods and people through two land crossings. Israel forbids Gaza from having an airport or a seaport, except a small fishing harbor. Gaza fishermen are only allowed to fish a few nautical miles from shore. These are the conditions that the flotilla hoped to focus attention on.

The interception of the Marianne comes five years after the fatal interception of another Gaza-bound flotilla. Nine Turks and one Turkish-American were killed and several other activists were wounded on May 31, 2010 when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara, the lead vessel in that flotilla. Israel’s actions garnered denunciations from around the world and triggered a breakdown in its relations with Turkey. In 2013, Israel apologized for “operational mistakes” and is still negotiating compensation for the families.

This year, the Israelis were careful to board the Marianne without firing shots. Nonetheless, the boarding of a ship in international waters is considered an act of piracy under international law.

A sardonic letter issued to the passengers by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office welcomed the passengers to Israel but wondered why they were sailing to Gaza and not Syria, “where Assad’s regime is massacring his people every day, with the support of the murderous Iranian regime.”

The letter said that Israel sends 800 truckloads of goods to Gaza every day, the equivalent of one ton per resident. “There is no blockade of Gaza,” Netanyahu stated. “You are welcome to transfer humanitarian aid through Israel. We are not, however, willing to allow weapons to enter Gaza and reach terror groups, as has been done in the past via the sea.”

If the Israelis were indeed concerned about weapons, they could have easily inspected the vessels. This is a point made by former Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor. “If the point is to make sure there are no weapons or explosives aboard, than we can easily check the boats and find out.” If the vessels contain only humanitarian goods, they should be allowed to reach Gaza, he reasoned.

It’s ironic that Netanyahu insists that there is no blockade while at the same time prohibiting the flotilla from reaching Gaza.

We asked 20-year-old Shrouq Aila from Gaza, a member of the group We Are Not Numbers, what she thought of Netanyahu’s letter. “If there is no blockade of Gaza,” she asked, “why are the 1.8 million people trapped here not able to move freely, by land, sea or even air? Why are we always short on fuel, construction materials and even many medicines, because we have no say in what we can ship in or out?”

Another member of We Are Not Numbers, 20-year-old Ahmed Alqattawi, echoed that sentiment. “Just because Israel lets a few goods pass in through Erez crossing [the Israeli border] doesn’t mean there is no siege. The fact that they taunt us by opening and closing the border at their own whim, and that we have no say, indicates there is a siege. A strict one. Imagine how it would feel if someone else had the power to randomly cut off your oxygen supply, turning it back on when you are about to suffocate. Does that make your ‘master’ a humanitarian?”

We asked our young friends in Gaza if they were disappointed that the flotilla would not arrive. Here are their answers:

“We knew Israel probably wouldn’t let the flotilla in, and that the UN and others would not defend our basic right to receive visitors. But it was a window of hope for hopeless people, a hope that with an open seaport, we could escape the siege and this largest open-air prison. We are waiting proudly for thousands more ships, and our wounds will be healed by your solidarity.” –20-year-old Shrouq Aila

“While the flotilla didn’t make it here, Israel didn’t win. Every action in our support gives the Palestinian people more hope, trust and love, and the courage to continue insisting on our basic rights.” –20-year-old Khaled Ostath

“I think the flotilla participants are courageous. They are brave enough to face this brutal regime with high spirits, fully knowing that death is a possibility, as was the fate of the brave Turkish activists. It is when ordinary people, leading ordinary lives, join together to make a statement that change happens. Netanyahu should know; after all, that many Jewish lives were saved in the Holocaust because of ordinary civilians taking extraordinary actions.” –22-year-old Mohammed Alhammami

Submitters Website: Www.globalexchange.org

Submitters Bio:

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK: Women for Peace

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Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity & Nothing Will Change Till Principle Trumps Party


Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity

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Why Not? By Bernie Sanders


Why Not?

By Bernie Sanders

We must send a simple message to the billionaire class: You can’t have it all. They will argue, of course. So will the politicians who serve them. They will insist that we can’t do better, that we can’t have the same basic rights as citizens of other countries. It’s time to ask them, and ourselves, a simple but very important question: Why not?

::::::::from: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Why-Not-by-Bernie-Sanders-Debt_Health_Inequality_Medicare-150701-406.html

Reprinted from Reader Supported News

From twitter.com/MadPolitics/status/616433124730212352/photo/1: Bernie Sanders

Our job is not to think small. It is to think big.

The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. Why are we so far behind so many other countries when it comes to meeting the needs of working families and the American middle class?

Why doesn’t every American have access to healthcare as a basic right?

Why can’t every American who is qualified get a higher education, regardless of family income?

Why can’t we have full employment at a decent living wage?

Why must many older Americans be forced to choose between paying for food, shelter, or medical care?

Why can’t working parents have access to affordable, high-quality childcare?

We should be asking questions like these every day. We have more billionaires in this country than any other nation on earth. We also have more child poverty than any other major industrialized nation. We have the highest rate of student debt. We have more prisoners, more homeless people and more economic inequality.

It doesn’t have to be this way. These conditions are the result of deliberate policy decisions. We provide outrageous tax loopholes for billionaires and large corporations. The top tax rate is less than half of what it was during the postwar economic boom. The real minimum wage has fallen dramatically since the 1960s.

We can make better choices. Let’s look at some of the issues that matter most to the American people:

Health Care for All

35 million Americans still lack health insurance. Millions of others are under-insured, with high deductibles and copayments that can make needed medical treatment unaffordable.

We are the only major industrialized country in the world that does not provide universal health care for all its citizens. Medicare is much more cost-effective than private insurers, and could serve as the foundation for a single-payer system like those in Great Britain, Spain, Norway, Italy, Iceland and Portugal. Other countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Canada and Denmark, provide universal coverage without a single-payer system but with better controls on costs and service.

If these countries can provide universal health care, why can’t we?

Tuition-Free Public Higher Education

Student debt has reached crisis proportions in this country — 41 million Americans are burdened with student debt. Student debt has surpassed credit card debt and is now the second-largest source of personal indebtedness in this country.

People who graduated in 2014 with student debt owed an average of $30,000 each. That’s unsustainable, and unforgivable.

College tuition is free in Germany, even for citizens of other countries. It’s also free in Denmark, Norway Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, and Mexico. If they can do it, why can’t we? Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?

Paid Family Leave

We are the only major nation in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid time off for new parents. Of 182 nations that do provide paid leave, more than half guarantee at least 14 weeks off.

In Great Britain, new mothers get 40 weeks of paid leave. 70 percent of countries offer paid leave to new fathers as well. Dads get two weeks of paid leave in Great Britain, Denmark, and Austria.

We are a nation that prides itself on its dedication to family values. Why can’t we ensure that new parents have time to bond with their children?

Sick Leave

Even when working Americans face a serious disease like cancer, they have no guarantee of paid sick leave.

The average worker in other developed countries is guaranteed paid sick leave for long-term cancer treatment, for periods that range from 22 days in Canada to 44 days in Germany and 50 days in Norway.

We are the only one of 22 wealthy nations that does not guarantee some type of paid sick leave. When will we join the rest of the world in ensuring that ailing workers can get well without going broke?

Paid Vacation

We are the only advanced economy, and one of only 13 nations in the entire world, that doesn’t guarantee workers a paid vacation. Workers in France get an entire month of paid time off every year. Scandinavian workers are guaranteed 25 paid vacation days per year. In Germany the figure is 20 days, and Japan and Canada each guarantee 10 paid vacation days per year.

It’s common (although not guaranteed) for higher-paid American workers to get some vacation time. But half of all low-wage workers in this country get no paid time off at all.

Overwork

Americans are overworked in other ways, too. Despite huge increases in productivity over the last 100 years, Americans continue to work some of the longest hours on earth. Vast majorities of working people (85.8 percent of men and 66.5 percent of women) work more than 40 hours per week. Compare that to a country like Norway, where only 23 percent of males and 8 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.

Every year Americans work 137 hours more than Japanese workers, 260 hours more than British workers, and 499 hours (62.3 days) more than French workers — despite the fact that productivity has risen 400 percent since 1950!

Other countries are moving in the opposite direction. Spain, Norway, and the Netherlands have all shortened their workweeks to 35 hours. Interestingly, those countries have higher productivity than those with a 40-hour workweek.

We’re also spending more years of our life at work. Millions of Americans are delaying retirement — and, in some cases, working until the day they die. Polls have shown that a third of Americans are afraid they will never be able to retire.

Inequality

We’re lagging behind in other areas too, ranging from childcare costs to internet access. We can and must do better. That means addressing the great economic, political, and moral issue of our time: wealth and income inequality. We have more inequality today than at any time since 1928. That is unacceptable.

We must send a simple message to the billionaire class: You can’t have it all.

They will argue, of course. So will the politicians who serve them. They will insist that we can’t do better, that we can’t have the same basic rights as citizens of other countries.

It’s time to ask them, and ourselves, a simple but very important question: Why not?

Submitters Bio:

Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate’s Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) committees.

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Everyone Said “You Can’t Work On Peace and Security.” These Afghans Did It Anyway.


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Credit: Laura K. Smith

Everyone Said “You Can’t Work On Peace and Security.” These Afghans Did It Anyway.

Yesterday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gave an impassioned speech to celebrate passage of the country’s new national action plan (NAP) on women, peace, and security. This policy sets Afghanistan on the path to elevating women as full partners in creating a stable future for the country.

The plan was approved by 21 deputy ministers and agency heads in November 2014. With this official launch, the lives of millions of Afghans—who’ve suffered decades of violence and insecurity—stand to be improved. We’ll post the NAP to ourNational Action Plan Resource Center when it becomes available.

We’ve been working with Afghanistan on their NAP for years, including hosting an Afghan delegation at our National Action Plan Academy in December 2014. In this video, Miki Jacevic, Vice Chair of the Institute for Inclusive Security, explains how we worked with Afghan leaders on the design and creation of this groundbreaking policy.

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Chomsky: Greece Faces “Savage Response” For Taking on Austerity “Class War”


Chomsky: Greece Faces “Savage Response” For Taking on Austerity “Class War”

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Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author. He is institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years.

As Greece defaults and faces a referendum this Sunday on a new bailout package, watch Noam Chomsky on Europe’s “savage response” to the pushback against austerity demands. He spoke to Democracy Now! inMarch.

Click here to watch Monday’s segment, “As Greece Heads for Default, Voters Prepare to Vote in Pivotal Referendum on More Austerity.”

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask you about Syriza in Greece, a movement that started as a grassroots movement. Now they have taken power, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. And then you have Spain right now. We recently spoke to Pablo Iglesias, the secretary general of the group called Podemos, that was founded, what—an anti-austerity party that has rapidly gained popularity. A month after establishing itself last year, they won five seats in the European Parliament, and some polls show they could take the next election, which would mean that Pablo Iglesias, the 36-year-old political science professor and longtime activist, could possibly become the prime minister of Europe’s fifth-largest economy. He came here to New York for just about 72 hours, and I asked him to talk about what austerity measures have meant in Spain.

PABLO IGLESIAS: Austerity means that people is expulsed of their homes. Austerity means that the social services don’t work anymore. Austerity means that public schools have not the elements, the means to develop their activity. Austerity means that the countries have not sovereignty anymore, and we became a colony of the financial powers and a colony of Germany. Austerity probably means the end of democracy. I think if we don’t have democratic control of economy, we don’t have democracy. It’s impossible to separate economy and democracy, in my opinion.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Pablo Iglesias, the head of this new anti-austerity group in Spain called Podemos, which means in English “We can.” The significance of these movements?

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s very significant. But notice the reaction. The reaction to Syriza was extremely savage. They made a little bit of progress in their negotiations, but not much. The Germans came down very hard on them.

AMY GOODMAN: You mean in dealing with the debt.

NOAM CHOMSKY: In the dealing with them, and sort of forced them to back off from almost all their proposals. What’s going on with the austerity is really class war. As an economic program, austerity, under recession, makes no sense. It just makes the situation worse. So the Greek debt, relative to GDP, has actually gone up during the period of—which is—well, the policies that are supposed to overcome the debt. In the case of Spain, the debt was not a public debt, it was private debt. It was the actions of the banks. And that means also the German banks. Remember, when a bank makes a dangerous, a risky borrowing, somebody is making a risky lending. And the policies that are designed by the troika, you know, are basically paying off the banks, the perpetrators, much like here. The population is suffering. But one of the things that’s happening is that the—you know, the social democratic policies, so-called welfare state, is being eroded. That’s class war. It’s not an economic policy that makes any sense as to end a serious recession. And there is a reaction to it—Greece, Spain and some in Ireland, growing elsewhere, France. But it’s a very dangerous situation, could lead to a right-wing response, very right-wing. The alternative to Syriza might be Golden Dawn, neo-Nazi party.

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