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Michael Munk PDX Historian

GOP’s Strategy
of Deception

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two veteran centrists who disdain partisan labels, finally said what nearly everyone knows to be true. In April, they penned a Washington Post article entitled, “Let’s just say it, the Republicans are the problem.” Yet, the GOP “problem” goes even deeper, says Beverly Bandler.

By Beverly Bandler     (News Bytes:  http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/newsbytes

U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’
by on May 14, 2013

      Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself
Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’

"Eric Freedman, a constitutional law professor from Hofstra University,
also calls the ruling “an unauthorized power grab.” According to Freedman, “The Department of Defense does not have the authority to grant itself by regulation any more authority than Congress has granted it by statute.” Yet that’s precisely what it did."

details:  http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/militaryindustrialcomplex
Federal lawsuit demands Portland Officer

Dane Reister be terminated for a 2011 shooting!

 ... Portland Police Officer Dane Reister should lose his job for suddenly firing a beanbag shotgun that he mistakenly loaded with lethal rounds at a man obviously suffering from a mental illness, a federal lawsuit filed Thursday says.

The attorney for William Kyle Monroe, wounded by Reister on June 30, 2011, accuses the officer, Police Chief Mike Reese and the city of Portland of violating Monroe's civil rights through false arrest, assault and negligence.

 The suit seeks more than $11 million in damages.

Monroe, who was 20 at the time and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, narrowly escaped bleeding to death only because OHSU Hospital was near the shooting scene, but he's permanently disabled, his lawyer said.

The suit alleges that the police chief could have prevented such a mistake by prohibiting officers from mixing lethal ammunition with less-lethal munitions in their duty bags, as Reister did. Further, the suit contends, the bureau has failed to adequately discipline officers who are "pre-disposed'' to using excessive force.

"Defendant Reister's conduct was so extreme that it goes beyond all possible bounds of decency, and it constituted conduct that a reasonable person would regard as intolerable in a civilized community," Monroe's attorney Thane Tienson wrote in the suit.
Monroe assured police he hadn't done anything wrong as he backed away and then began running and yelled for help. Without warning, the suit says, Reister fired five times, emptying his clip. The fifth round jammed because of Reister's "excessively rapid firing," the suit says.

The shots fractured Monroe's pelvis, punctured his bladder, abdomen and colon. The fourth shot, fired from less than 15 feet away, left a "softball-size hole in his left leg," and severed the sciatic nerve, the suit says.

The next day, then-Mayor Sam Adams and Reese called the shooting a "tragic mistake." The president of the Portland Police Association said the union would "stand by" Reister through the judicial process.

--By  Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian

Oregon News Service:  A statewide news service for Oregon
Producer: Chris Thomas, 818 SW 3rd St., Portland, OR, 97204-2405 Ph: 888-692-8368 Fax: 208-247-1830 E-mail: ons@newsservice.org
Podcast and Web Content Version Online: www.newsservice.org April 11, 2012
Union Membership Swells in Oregon:  SALEM, Ore. - Union membership is growing in Oregon. At nearly 17 percent of the workforce,
it's bucking a national trend, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the past five years, the number of union workers in the state has increased from
211,000 to 270,000. (contd.)  Podcast and entire story available: http://www.newsservice.org/index.php

Photos from Sunday, Feb. 12 Anti-War march in Portland! Anti-War March PDX F12 - a set on Flickr

Breaking News and Commentary   Here is Joe Anybody's first video in a five part servies.

                                              “No War with Iran”
By Alliance Reporter Rod Such

A preemptive protest in opposition to a possible war with Iran took place in downtown Portland on Feb. 12
when a crowd estimated by organizers at between 400 to 500 people took part in a rally and march under the slogans,
“No War with Iran” and “Stop the War of the 1%.”

Several committees of the Occupy Portland movement were among the chief organizers of the event,
along with the American Iranian Friendship Council, Bikeswarm, Jewish Voice for Peace, Peace and Justice Works,
and Veterans for Peace.  The Rally & March were endorsed and promoted by The Portland Alliance and other progressive
media resources.

Nefi Bravo, one of the organizers and a student at Portland State University, told the Alliance, “We heard all of the war
talk and decided we had to act. It reminded us of Iraq ten years ago.”  A sizable group of Iranian Americans attended the
march and rally, carrying signs that read “No War, No Sanctions, No Dictatorship in Iran” and “Peace, Justice, Democracy
for Iran.”

In an interview, Iranian-American Morteza (Mort) Anoushiravani, who has lived in the United States for 39 years and
has family in Iran, told the Alliance that he was participating because he wanted “to prevent another tragedy.” He said
a military assault on Iran would be “counterproductive” and would worsen the human rights situation in Iran. He said
he feared not just for his family but for anyone in Iran who would be harmed by a military attack.

The Obama administration says it is keeping all options on the table, including the military option, to prevent Iran from
obtaining nuclear weapons. Speakers at the rally pointed out that Iranian leaders have stated they are not seeking nuclear
weapons and are pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Moreover, Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), which bans nonnuclear states from developing nuclear weapons while allowing them under Article 4 to produce
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Iran is under an inspection regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has not concluded that Iran has a
nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, right-wing partisans in the government of Israel are beating the war drums for a
preemptive attack on Iran, and refuse to sign the NPT.  Israel is widely believed to have an arsenal of some 200 to 400
nuclear weapons.

Ned Rosch of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) told the crowd that JVP and “Jews all over the world” oppose a war with Iran.
“Make no mistake about it,” he said, “an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be a war crime,” not only because it would
violate Iran’s sovereignty but also because an attack would likely lead to the widespread dispersal of radioactive materials.

One of the most militant and impassioned speeches of the day came from Iraq war veteran and Occupy Portland
Micaiah Dutt, a former Marine staff sergeant . “We cannot allow the U.S. government to repeat what happened
in Iraq,” Dutt told the rally. “War is terror. Do not be fooled. All war is class war.”

During a spirited march through downtown Portland streets, Anoushiravani was asked if he thought the U.S. government was
pursuing regime change in Iran as it did in Iraq. “Where does it say in our Constitution,” Anoushiravani replied, “that it is our
business to do regime change in another country?” The solution to human rights violations in Iran, he added, “has to be homemade.”

Here is an Iran TV Video of the same event!

Here are the other five clips by Joe Anybody:
No War on Iran Rally and Protest part5 2.12.12.


    Time4:00pm until 6:00pm
    Yanelli Herenandez is set to be DEPORTED ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31ST.

    Please join the Northwest Immigrant Youth Alliance on Monday, January 30th at Portland City Hall as we hold a vigil calling for a stop to Yanelli Hernandez' deportation and bring local immigrant youth together to raise awareness about the mental anguish they face.

    Yanelli Hernandez crossed the border to the United States alone at the age of 13. She worked hard to sustain herself. In order to help put food on her families table Yanelli was forced to drop out of school at a young age, from the age from the age of 15 she worked in an aircraft manufacturing plant; she is currently 22. Suffering from severe depression Yanelli attempted to commit suicide in October of 2009. She survived, however her depression went untreated.

    In the spring of 2011 Yanelli began to self-medicate with alcohol. That same spring she was arrested for driving under the influence and, unable to present valid identification, charged with forgery: yielding her a 9 month jail sentence. While detained Yanelli’s depression has continued to worsen, “She attempted suicide after she begged to just be deported. When her request was rejected, out of desperation, she attempted to take her own life.” States Marco Saavedra, an organizer, and close friend of Yanelli.

    Yanelli has not returned to Mexico in almost 10 years. Her entire immediate family lives in Ohio. "The worst thing you could probably do to someone who is suicidal is to leave them alone in their moments of crisis. Deporting someone where they have no support system is doing just that, which will most likely increase their risk of suicide” Jacqueline Luna, MSW.

    The situation is dire for Yanelli; in November Joaquin Luna, an undocumented student from Texas took his own life due to his immigration status. “We are so worried for Yanelli, she is a part of our community and as undocumented youth we are going to do everything we can to make sure she gets all of the help she needs” said Jonathan Perez, organizer with the Immigrant Youth Coalition in California.

    On Wednesday January 25th Yanelli was given an order of deportation from an immigration judge. She is currently scheduled to be deported on Tuesday, January 31st. A national effort has been launched to bring attention to Yanelli’s plight (http://bit.ly/dreamsuicide); over 4,000 supporters have signed onto a national petition demanding she be reunited with her family.

    On Monday solidarity actions will be taking place from coast-to-coast – Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Raleigh, NC, Tallahassee, FL, Birmingham, AL, Harrisonburg, VA, and Cincinnati, OH, and many more – in an effort to end the deportation of Yanelli.

    Portland City Hall
    Portland, OR
    View Map · Get Directions

    Gingrich Wins South Carolina Primary, Upending G.O.P. Race


    Newt Gingrich's showing brought to the fore questions about whether Mitt Romney, presumed the front-runner, could win over conservatives, Tea Party supporters and evangelical Christians.

    Air transport company Aero has role in extraordinary rendition, report says

    By Jay Price | McClatchy Newspapers

    SMITHFIELD, N.C. — With fresh ammunition from a University of North Carolina law school report, activists renewed their call Thursday for state officials to take legal action against Aero Contractors Ltd.

    For years the Johnston County, N.C., air transport company, which has links to the CIA, has been accused of being a taxi service for paramilitary teams that pick up terrorism suspects in one country and fly them to another where it's easier to interrogate and, perhaps, torture them. The process is known as extraordinary rendition. 


    The article targets only Aero in its report on the "torture taxi"" business. But one of its links was to Portland-based Bayard Foreign Marketing, a CIA front managed by the late attorney Scott Kaplan. In 2004, it bought a Gulfstream V permitted to use U.S. military bases with the tail number N44982 (formerly N379P and N8068V) from another CIA front, Premier Executive Transport Services. The plane was used by the CIA to kidnapp suspected terrorists and deliver them to its secret torture chambers around the world.
    The Oregon Bar declined to discipline Kaplan in 2007, presumably for the same reason the article says another torture taxi company was let off the hook by the courts in 2008: the federal government pleaded a "state secrets" defense. That company, although not named in the article, was Jeppesen Travel Services, a Boeing subsidiary.

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/01/19/136410/air-transport-company-has-role.html?story_link=email_msg#storylink=cpy


    Mayor 2012: Brady wins first labor union endorsement
    ... a leader on the Oregon Health Fund Board. Portland needs Eileen's deep management and job creation experience in the Mayor's office." The endorsement comes two months after a coalition of labor unions held a debate with all three major candidates. ...
    See all stories on this topic »

    Thursday 15 December 2011

    How Have We Become the United States of Fear?

    Mark Karlin, Truthout: "Tom Engelhardt: Americans ... are now remarkably detached and insulated from the wars fought in our name and, increasingly, even those wars are fought with an eerie detachment, at least the drone part of them. In essence 1% of Americans who run things send 1% of Americans (those in the armed services) out to fight their wars and the other 98% are left out of things. It's not exactly the definition of a democratic republic, is it?"
    Read the Article

    Secret Accounts of Iraq Massacre Found in Junk Yard
    Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times News Service: "The Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and gave secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America's time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha ... Four-hundred pages of interrogations, once guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq. Instead, they were discovered ... at a junkyard outside Baghdad."
    Read the Article

    Obama's "Twisted Version of American Exceptionalism" Laid Bare
    Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Obama declared the week of December 10th as Human Rights Week, the same week Congress is set to pass the National Defense Authorization Act ... legislation that would grant the president the power to indefinitely imprison without charge ... anyone suspected of terrorist activity in the US. When the US voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it promised to uphold several ideals, including one that said, 'no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.'"
    Read the Article

    US Officially Ends Its Mission in Iraq
    Thom Shanker and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times News Service: "The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country ... Even after the last two bases are closed and the final American combat troops withdraw from Iraq ... a few hundred military personnel and Pentagon civilians will remain, working within the American Embassy as part of an Office of Security Cooperation to assist in arms sales and training."
    Read the Article

    The Making of the American 99 Percent and the Collapse of the Middle Class
    Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, TomDispatch/The Nation: "Despite all the official warnings about health and safety threats [in Occupy encampments], there was no 'Altamont moment': no major fires and hardly any violence. In fact, the encampments engendered almost unthinkable convergences: people from comfortable backgrounds learning about street survival from the homeless, a distinguished professor of political science discussing horizontal versus vertical decision-making with a postal worker, military men in dress uniforms showing up to defend the occupiers from the police."
    Read the Article

    On the News With Thom Hartmann: The Iraq War Is Officially Over, and More
    In today's On the News segment: Democrats may cave on the payroll tax cut, 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance thanks to Obamacare, Russian scientists have discovered methane gas plumes in the Arctic Ocean, and more.
    Read the Article

    How Credit Collectors Have Reinvented the Debtors' Prison
    Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0: "Debtors' prisons are illegal, and some point out that this is really jail for a summons problem, not a payment ... Requirements to appear in court are being overused and abused as a way of confusing debtors and forcing a strong hand on payments. This ultimately threatens the integrity of the entire debt collection system and the crucial protection of freedom and liberty."
    Read the Article

    F-35 Fighter is Latest in Long Line of Wasteful Weapon Failures
    Dina Rasor, Truthout: Dina Rasor, Truthout: "There has been a flurry of articles in the defense press Tuesday about an internal Department of Defense (DoD) report on how the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon's newest attempt to buy a fighter jet, is skating toward potential mechanical and monetary disaster ... Is the system, which has given us generation after generation of overpriced and technically dubious fighters, tanks, and other weapons finally succumbing to its own folly?"
    Read the Article

    Bodies in Alliance: Gender Theorist Judith Butler on the Occupy and SlutWalk Movements
    Kyle Bella, Truthout: "The demand is for a radical economic and political restructuring of the world. And most people would say that's impossible. And it may or may not be achieved, but I think that's less important than articulating what a just and fair world can be. This can't be the kind of movement where you have your six demands ... There is no one individual who runs it. It is a structure, a system."
    Read the Article

    Occupy Supporters Should Reach Out to Local Economic Justice Campaigns
    Annette Bernhardt and Anastasia Christman, Truthout: "The promise of the 99 percent banner is that it can forge common cause among constituencies that often remain balkanized from one another - by class, race, gender, immigration status, sexual identity and politics. But in order for that collective learning to happen, people have to get involved - all kinds of people, in all kinds of struggles. And the good news is, there's a wide and rich menu of campaigns to choose from."
    Read the Article

    Paul Krugman | In the US, Decidedly Warped Standards for "Mission Accomplished"
    Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "What's unforgivable is the way policy makers ... basically declared Mission Accomplished as soon as the panic in financial markets subsided and stocks were up again. When spring rolls around ... there will still be 4 million Americans who have been out of work for more than a year. Yet there has been no sense of urgency about dealing with unemployment; indeed, most of the elites' conversation has been about stuff like cutting Social Security payments."
    Read the Article

    Marines Promoted Inflated Story for Medal of Honor Recipient
    Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: "With Dakota Meyer standing at attention, President Barack Obama extolled the former Marine corporal for the 'extraordinary actions' that had earned him the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for valor. Obama told the audience in the White House that Meyer had driven into the heart of a savage ambush in eastern Afghanistan against orders ... But there's a problem with this account: Crucial parts that the Marine Corps publicized and Obama described are untrue."
    Read the Article

    E.J. Dionne Jr. | A Huntsman Moment?
    E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post Writers Group: "Since all things seem possible in the Republican presidential contest, is there another turn coming that could benefit Jon Huntsman? That would be the former Utah governor polling nationally at 3.2 percent, according to Wednesday's Real Clear Politics average of national polls ... Here's the underlying secret of the campaign: Jon Huntsman is far more conservative than either moderates or conservatives realize."
    Read the Article

    North Dakota's Economic "Miracle" - It's Not Oil

    by: Ellen Brown, YES! Magazine | News Analysis

    more articles like this can be found in http://www.theportlandalliance.org/schwebkenotes

    The state-owned Bank of North Dakota is credited with the state's relatively healthy economy. (Photo: banknd.nd.gov)

    In an article in The New York Times on August 19th titled “The North Dakota Miracle,” Catherine Rampell writes:

    Forget the Texas Miracle. Let’s instead take a look at North Dakota, which has the lowest unemployment rate and the fastest job growth rate in the country.

    According to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, North Dakota had an unemployment rate of just 3.3 percent in July—that’s just over a third of the national rate (9.1 percent), and about a quarter of the rate of the state with the highest joblessness (Nevada, at 12.9 percent).

    North Dakota has had the lowest unemployment in the country (or was tied for the lowest unemployment rate in the country) every single month since July 2008.

    Its healthy job market is also reflected in its payroll growth numbers. . . . [Y]ear over year, its payrolls grew by 5.2 percent. Texas came in second, with an increase of 2.6 percent.

    Why is North Dakota doing so well? For one of the same reasons that Texas has been doing well: oil.

    Oil is certainly a factor, but it is not what has put North Dakota over the top. Alaska has roughly the same population as North Dakota and produces nearly twice as much oil, yet unemployment in Alaska is running at 7.7 percent. Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming have all benefited from a boom in energy prices, with Montana and Wyoming extracting much more gas than North Dakota has. The Bakken oil field stretches across Montana as well as North Dakota, with the greatest Bakken oil production coming from Elm Coulee Oil Field in Montana. Yet Montana’s unemployment rate, like Alaska’s, is 7.7 percent.

    A number of other mineral-rich states were initially not affected by the economic downturn, but they lost revenues with the later decline in oil prices. North Dakota is the only state to be in continuous budget surplus since the banking crisis of 2008. Its balance sheet is so strong that it recently reduced individual income taxes and property taxes by a combined $400 million, and is debating further cuts. It also has the lowest foreclosure rate and lowest credit card default rate in the country, and it has had NO bank failures in at least the last decade.

    If its secret isn’t oil, what is so unique about the state? North Dakota has one thing that no other state has: its own state-owned bank.

    Access to credit is the enabling factor that has fostered both a boom in oil and record profits from agriculture in North Dakota. The Bank of North Dakota (BND) does not compete with local banks but partners with them, helping with capital and liquidity requirements. It participates in loans, provides guarantees, and acts as a sort of mini-Fed for the state. In 2010, according to the BND’s annual report:

    The Bank provided Secured and Unsecured Federal Fund Lines to 95 financial institutions with combined lines of over $318 million for 2010. Federal Fund sales averaged over $13 million per day, peaking at $36 million in June.

    The BND also has a loan program called Flex PACE, which allows a local community to provide assistance to borrowers in areas of jobs retention, technology creation, retail, small business, and essential community services. In 2010, according to the BND annual report:

    The need for Flex PACE funding was substantial, growing by 62 percent to help finance essential community services as energy development spiked in western North Dakota. Commercial bank participation loans grew to 64 percent of the entire $1.022 billion portfolio.

    The BND’s revenues have also been a major boost to the state budget. It has contributed over $300 million in revenues over the last decade to state coffers, a substantial sum for a state with a population less than one-tenth the size of Los Angeles County. According to a study by the Center for State Innovation, from 2007 to 2009 the BND added nearly as much money to the state’s general fund as oil and gas tax revenues did (oil and gas revenues added $71 million while the Bank of North Dakota returned $60 million). Over a 15-year period, according to other data, the BND has contributed more to the state budget than oil taxes have.

    North Dakota’s money and banking reserves are being kept within the state and invested there. The BND’s loan portfolio shows a steady uninterrupted increase in North Dakota lending programs since 2006.

    According to the annual BND report:

    Financially, 2010 was our strongest year ever. Profits increased by nearly $4 million to $61.9 million during our seventh consecutive year of record profits. Earnings were fueled by a strong and growing deposit base, brought about by a surging energy and agricultural economy. We ended the year with the highest capital level in our history at just over $325 million. The Bank returned a healthy 19 percent ROE, which represents the state’s return on its investment.

    A 19 percent return on equity! How many states are getting that sort of return on their Wall Street investments?

    Timothy Canova is Professor of International Economic Law at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. In a June 2011 paper called “The Public Option: The Case for Parallel Public Banking Institutions,” he compares North Dakota’s financial situation to California’s. He writes of North Dakota and its state-owned bank:

    The state deposits its tax revenues in the Bank, which in turn ensures that a high portion of state funds are invested in the state economy. In addition, the Bank is able to remit a portion of its earnings back to the state treasury . . . . Thanks in part to these institutional arrangements, North Dakota is the only state that has been in continuous budget surplus since before the financial crisis and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

    He then compares the dire situation in California:

    In contrast, California is the largest state economy in the nation, yet without a state-owned bank, is unable to steer hundreds of billions of dollars in state revenues into productive investment within the state. Instead, California deposits its many billions in tax revenues in large private banks which often lend the funds out-of-state, invest them in speculative trading strategies (including derivative bets against the state’s own bonds), and do not remit any of their earnings back to the state treasury. Meanwhile, California suffers from constrained private credit conditions, high unemployment levels well above the national average, and the stagnation of state and local tax receipts. The state’s only response has been to stumble from one budget crisis to another for the past three years, with each round of spending cuts further weakening its economy, tax base, and credit rating.

    Not all states have oil, of course (and it’s hardly a sustainable basis for an economy), but all could learn from the state-owned bank that allows North Dakota to capitalize on its resources to full advantage. States that deposit their revenues and invest their capital in large Wall Street banks are giving this economic opportunity away.

    Mark Schwebke

    News Updates:  MEDIA ALERTS
                               and NEWS BYTES
    The occupation was removed by police on 13 November, but demonstrations in Portland have regularly attracted thousands of people. During demonstrations on 17 November, a protester was pepper-sprayed by police at point-blank range. The moment was captured on camera, and until events at UC Davis and Seattle – where 84-year-old Dorli Rainey was pepper-sprayed by police – was set to become one of the most striking images from the protests so far. Protesters are continuing to hold general assemblies in Portland, and gather each Sunday to plan new actions. Portland police have promised to limit their presence at rallies held by the group, in part due to a lack of manpower. AG


    CNN) -- Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber blocked the execution of a death row inmate on Tuesday and said no more executions will take place in the state as long as he is governor.



     Launch of Free Sotoudeh Project

    (5 December 2011) Today, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran launched a project to help build support for the release of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and highlight the tragic situation of Iranian prisoners of conscience. The launch coincides with the occasion of Human Rights Day, which is celebrated worldwide on 10 December.

    "Most people around the world understand that Iranian citizens are often imprisoned for speaking out or joining protests, but they usually can’t name these prisoners,” said Ghaemi. “Hopefully, by putting a name and face on the plight of prisoners of conscience in Iran, we will build momentum towards not only Sotoudeh’s release, but the release of hundreds of others unjustly behind bars in Iran."

    Nasrin Sotoudeh, a mother of two young children, gained prominence in Iran and internationally for her work to abolish the juvenile death penalty, improve the rights of women, and defend prisoners of conscience. She received the 2008 HRI-Prize for Human Rights form the Italian based Human Rights International Committee. In 2011, Sotoudeh was awarded the prestigious Pen International Freedom to Write Award.

    Sotoudeh’s case has been consistently cited as a violation of human rights by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, numerous governments and the European Union, as well as international rights NGOs.

    For interviews or more information:
    Hadi Ghaemi, in New York: +1 917-669-5996


    The 'School to Prison Pipeline': Education Under Arrest

    by Kanya D'Almeida

    WASHINGTON - Metal detectors. Teams of drug-sniffing dogs. Armed guards and riot police. Forbiddingly high walls topped with barbed wire.

    Such descriptions befit a prison or perhaps a high-security checkpoint in a war zone. But in the U.S., these scenes of surveillance and control are most visible in public schools, where in some areas, education is becoming increasingly synonymous with incarceration.  more information:  http://www.theportlandalliance.org/education

    War Propaganda Mounting on Iran

    By Seymour Hersh, Democracy Now!

    22 November 11+

    Seymour Hersh: Propaganda used ahead of Iraq War is now being reused over Iran's nuke program.

    http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/alphabet/rsn-W.jpghile the United States, Britain and Canada are planning to announce a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran's oil and petrochemical industry today, longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh questions the growing consensus on Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. International pressure has been mounting on Iran since the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency revealed in a report the "possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear activities, citing "credible" evidence that "indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device." In his latest article for The New Yorker blog, titled "Iran and the IAEA," Hersh argues the recent report is a "political document," not a scientific study. "They [JSOC] found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization," Hersh says. "In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities to build the bomb. This is simply a fact."

    See Interview on this page: http://www.theportlandalliance.org/peace

    November 19, 2011

    Proposal for a Coordinated West Coast Port Shutdown, Passed With Unanimous Consensus by vote of the Occupy Oakland General Assembly 11/18/2012: In response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation:Occupy Oakland calls for the blockade and disruption of the economic apparatus of the 1% with a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire
    West Coast on December 12th.  

    ...We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port.  Our eyes are on the continued union-busting and attacks on organized labor, in particular the rupture of Longshoremen jurisdiction in Longview Washington by the EGT.   Already, Occupy Los Angeles has passed a resolution to carry out a port action on the Port Of Los Angeles on December 12th, to shut down SSA terminals, which are owned by Goldman Sachs.

    Occupy Oakland expands this call to the entire West Coast, and calls for continuing solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview Washington in their ongoing struggle against the EGT.  The EGT is an international grain exporter led by Bunge LTD, a company constituted of 1% bankers whose practices have ruined the lives of the working class all over the world, from Argentina to the West Coast of the US.  During the November 2nd General Strike, tens of thousands shutdown the Port Of Oakland as a warning shot to EGT to stop its attacks on Longview.  Since the EGT has disregarded this message, and continues to attack the Longshoremen at Longview, we will now shut down ports along the entire West Coast.

    FBI Sanctioned for Lying About Existence of Surveillance Records
    by Jennifer Lynch

    An order from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has revealed the FBI lied to the court about the existence of records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), taking the position that FOIA allows it to withhold information from the court whenever it thinks this is in the interest of national security. Using the strongest possible language, the court disagreed: “The Government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the Court.” Islamic Shura Council of S. Cal. v. FBI (“Shura Council I”), No. 07-1088, 3 (C.D. Cal. April 27, 2011) (emphasis added).


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     We provide news about Occupy Portland, the Portland Alliance is on site.  Check with Andrea Townsend, Max Linden Levi, & others from the Northwest Alliance http://www.theportlandalliance.org/occupyportland  send stories, articles pictures for online or print issues!

    From Labornotes.org
    Aug 29, 2011
    At Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, workers supported a new initiative to improve working conditions. They joined with others from around the country to put their fear aside to stand up for better treatment on the job despite bullying by managers and threats of termination.   http://labornotes.org/2011/08/store-workers-say-whose-walmart-our-walmart
    From the Asian Reporter
    China vows crackdown on sex-selective abortions.
    Chinese authorities will increase efforts against the non-medical use of ultrasound tests and abortion of fetuses based on gender. Spurred by the one-child policy and a traditional preference for boys, sex-selective abortion has created a male-female ratio at birth in China of about 119 males to 100 females, with the gap as high as 130 males for every 100 females in some provinces.
    From El Hispanic News
    Panel Warns Against Colombia Free Trade Agreement
    August 11, 2011
    This controversial free trade agreement will be debated this summer.  Latin American Working Group claims that the Central American Free Trade Agreement track record shows, it could reduce small farmers’ income 50 percent.  A delegate for Witness for Peace Colombia alleged that poor Colombian workers will have no guarantees or job security and get fired at the whim of their bosses.  http://www.elhispanicnews.com/2011/08/11/panel-warns-against-colombia-free-trade-agreement/
    From El Hispanic News
    August 11, 2011
    At CAUSA’s new Portland office on the 2nd floor of the Left Bank Project, José Artiga made a case for the need for observers in “a country with a long history of electoral fraud.” Artiga is executive director of SHARE, a group wanting to strengthen “solidarity with and among the Salvadoran people in El Salvador and the United States in the struggle for economic sustainability, justice, and human and civil rights.”
    From the Skanner
    ‘Kids Count Data Book’ Shows More Oregon Families in Poverty
    Aug.  30, 2011
    Oregon is losing ground in three key measures of child welfare, according to the above book. In Oregon, there was a rise in the percentage of babies born with low birth weight; a rise in infant mortality and an increase in the proportion of children living in poverty.  Although Oregon has done amazing things in making health insurance available to kids, the state can’t provide care for their parents.

    OR Groups Speak Out About E-Verify

    PORTLAND, Ore. - From immigrants' rights groups to religious, labor and business organizations, more than a dozen groups in Oregon joined in a national day of action on Wednesday to voice their united opposition to the Electronic Employment Verification System (EEVS), commonly known as E-Verify. It is a government database that some employers use to check the immigration status of workers or job applicants. In a few states, its use is mandatory, but not in Oregon. (contd.)  Podcast and entire story available: http://www.newsservice.org/index.php

    ALERTUS:   Man Robs Bank to Get Healthcare

    By Ed Pilkington, Guardian UK           22 June 11

    Unemployed and without health insurance,
    man in North Carolina has himself arrested in order to receive treatment.

    It was not perhaps the most obvious way of getting a bad back, arthritis and a dodgy foot seen to. But if you're unemployed in North Carolina with no health insurance, there is no obvious way.

    So on 9 June James Verone left his Gastonia home, took a ride to a bank and carried out a robbery. Well, sort of.

    What he did was hand the clerk a note that said: "This is a bank robbery, please only give me one dollar." Then, as he later told the local NBC news station, he calmly sat in the corner of the bank having told the clerk: "I'll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police."

    Before his peculiarly modest robbery, Verone, 59, sent a letter to the Gaston Gazette. "When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body."

    He invited the paper to send a reporter to interview him in Gaston county jail, where he is now in custody facing charges of stealing from a person (for just $1 the prosecutors didn't think they could hold up a bank robbery charge).

    He told the paper he had lost his job after 17 years as a Coca-Cola delivery man, and with it his health insurance. He was in increasing pain from slipped discs, arthritic joints, a gammy foot and a growth on his chest.

    Since being in the jail he has attained his goal: he has been seen by nurses and an appointment with a doctor is booked.

    OCPP  CenterPoint:  June 2011 / Balanced Budget Amendment: Still Flawed, More Dangerous


    Sacrifice-Lite: The American Way

    Post-9/11, doesn’t it seem as though all American experience is blending into a single experience 
    whose label is “your safety?”  Which means, in practical terms, you get poked, prodded, searched, 
    and surveilled wherever you go.
    “End the war, not just the surge”  by Brian J. Trautman
     see page www.theportlandalliance.org/peace Submitted by Tom Hastings... Whitefeather

    Obama Says He'll Really Fight for the People ... Next Time  by Jim Hightower http://www.theportlandalliance.org/hightower   Truthout | Op-Ed Aug 3, 2011


    By gollies, America's workaday majority of middle-class and poor people have a fighter on our side in Washington. Unfortunately, that fighter is Barack Obama.

    On Sunday, he waved his white hankie of surrender in the debt ceiling battle, agreeing to a disastrous deal ruthlessly pushed by the loopiest of the tea party extremists in the Republican House. It slashes some nearly $1 trillion from national programs that ordinary Americans count on, puts Social Security and Medicare at risk, and promises to make our depressed economy, and even the deficit, worse. 

    Saturday 15 October 2011
    After the Storm: The Instability of Inequality
    Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate: "This year has witnessed a global wave of social and political turmoil and instability, with masses of people pouring into the real and virtual streets.... While these protests have no unified theme, they express in different ways the serious concerns of the world’s working and middle classes about their prospects in the face of the growing concentration of power among economic, financial, and political elites."
    Read the Article

    Anatomy of a Victory: Occupy Wall Street Wins a Big One
    J.A. Myerson, Truthout: "Mayor Bloomberg’s Wednesday night visit to Liberty Plaza Park, during which he delivered news (on behalf of his girlfriend’s corporation) that the park would be cleaned Friday morning, made me very nervous.... Over the next 20-or-so hours, there precipitated one of the most impressive single days of organizing I can recall or even imagine, and by 6 AM the next day, when the cleaning was set to begin, the Wall Street occupiers and our allies around the world had won. It’s worth looking into what made that happen, if for no other reason than to derive best practices for like operations in the future."
    Read the Article

    Eugene Robinson | Raising Cain
    Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group: "Just be patient and you, too, can lead the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. Witness the ascent of Herman Cain.... Cain's contribution to American political discourse thus far is a novel debating technique: When confronted with inconvenient facts, say they're wrong."
    Read the Article

    12 Most Absurd Laws Used to Stifle the Occupy Wall Street Movement
    Rania Khalek, AlterNet: "As Occupy Wall Street protests spring up in cities across the country, authorities are thinking up creative ways to contain this peaceful and inspiring uprising. Although laws and municipal ordinances vary from city to city, there is a consistency in the tactics being used to stifle the movement.... Here are 12 desperate and unsuccessful measures the authorities are using to discourage, deter and crack down on peaceful protests."
    Read the Article

    Egypt’s Military Expands Power, Raising Alarms
    David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times News Service: "Egypt’s military rulers are moving to assert and extend their own power so broadly that a growing number of lawyers and activists are questioning their willingness to ultimately submit to civilian authority. Two members of the military council that took power after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak said for the first time in interviews this week that they planned to retain full control of the Egyptian government even after the election of a new Parliament begins in November."
    Read the Article

    "Convenient" Base Is Unexamined Excuse for US Silence on Bahrain Crackdown
    Robert Naiman, Truthout: "Pressure is building on the Obama administration to delay a proposed arms sale to Bahrain, which brutally suppressed its pro-democracy movement and continues to squash dissent.... In noting that the US has been quiet on the crackdown in Bahrain, press reports usually mention the fact that the US has a naval base there.... But the way this fact is often cited gives the impression that it's a foregone conclusion that the administration can't speak up about human rights in Bahrain because of the naval base."
    Read the Article

    House Bill Would Block EPA Oversight of Coal Ash, Leave it to States
    Renee Schoof, McClatchy Newspapers: "Next up for Republicans in the House of Representatives who are seeking to curb the role of the Environmental Protection Agency is a vote Friday on a bill that would give states the power to monitor the disposal of coal ash from power plants.... If the bill became law, it would block the EPA from imposing a federal rule to regulate the coal ash in disposal sites as a hazardous substance. The EPA has proposed that, but it hasn't yet decided whether to follow through with it or opt for a state-based plan instead."
    Read the Article

    "Cambodian Grrrl" Brings the Zine to Phnom Penh
    Alissa Bohling, Truthout: "Women and girls in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia have more than a history of poverty and genocide to contend with.... Theoretically, Moore's goal to help her students channel their voices in a self-made medium is the perfect answer to the corruption, poverty and bereft educational system.... But on her first day in the country, engulfed by disorder and without the 'Khmenglish' she and her students will later use to communicate, she has her doubts: 'I evaluated the last 24 hours and thought to myself: You came here to make zines?'"
    Read the Article

    "Grim Milestone as 300th CIA Drone Strike Hits Pakistan
    Chris Woods, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: "The United States ‘covert’ drone war in Pakistan reached a new milestone today with the 300th attack on alleged militants in the country’s tribal areas, according to research by the Bureau.... The Bureau has now identified 300 drone strikes since June 17 2004. Of these, 248 have occurred during President Obama’s three years in office, rising to a frequency of one strike every four days."
    Read the Article

    Arrested for Peace
    Robert Corsini, Truthout: "For over a decade now, we have only heard deafening silence when it comes to an honest assessment of what has transpired throughout the Middle East, but in particular in Afghanistan and Iraq. Raised Catholic, I learned that the only path toward atonement is through honesty, truth and action - all conspicuously missing from American society and sadly missing especially from many American Christians.... The right-wing Jesus continues to dominate the airwaves, Congress and the White House, further enabling the American war machine to consume our nation's wealth."
    Read the Article Friday 09 September 2011

    Noam Chomsky | After 9/11, Was War the Only Option?
    Noam Chomsky, The New York Times Syndicate: "This is the 10th anniversary of the horrendous atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001, which, it is commonly held, changed the world. The impact of the attacks is not in doubt. Just keeping to western and central Asia: Afghanistan is barely surviving, Iraq has been devastated and Pakistan is edging closer to a disaster that could be catastrophic ... Even the most obvious and elementary facts about the decade lead to bleak reflections when we consider 9/11 and its consequences, and what they portend for the future." 
    Read the Article 

    New Documents Suggest DoD Watchdog Covered Up Intelligence Unit's Work Tracking 9/11 Terrorists
    Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Senior Pentagon officials scrubbed key details about a top-secret military intelligence unit's efforts in tracking Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda from official reports they prepared for a Congressional committee probing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, new documents obtained by Truthout reveal." 
    Read the Article 

    An Unending Crisis - America in the 21st Century
    Cary Fraser, Truthout: "For more than four decades, the American political system has been defined by a growing gap between the electorate and the presidency as a symbol of good governance and political legitimacy. It would appear that the serial crises affecting presidents since 1968 have served to entrench a 'credibility' gap within American politics. That gap is now a bellwether of the American political system and it is an indicator of the political polarization that has overtaken the American political system. The fissures in American politics have been provoked by and contributed to, the escalating conflicts among the three branches of government - the legislature, the judiciary and the executive - and internecine war within the two major political parties." 
    Read the Article 

    Obama to Congress: Pass My $447 Billion Jobs Plan Now
    Lesley Clark, McClatchy Newspapers: "With the nation verging on renewed recession, President Barack Obama urged a divided Congress Thursday night to back his new $447 billion jobs package ... The plan includes tax breaks for employees and companies that hire the unemployed, programs to help cities and towns retain teachers, firefighters and police officers, and money to rehab vacant and foreclosed homes. It also calls for $50 billion to improve transportation and $10 billion toward a public-private 'infrastructure bank.'" 
    Read the Article 

    September 11 Lessons: Combating Ignorance, Avoiding Arrogance
    Robert Jensen, Truthout: "On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, it is tempting to want to linger on the part about 'being right,' but it's more important to focus on why ''it didn't matter' because we are still right, and it still doesn't matter. Understanding this is necessary to shape a realistic political program for the next decade - as bad as the past ten years have been, the next ten are likely to be worse, and we need to speak bluntly about these political/economic/social realities in the United States." 
    Read the Article 

    On the News With Thom Hartmann: DC and New York City on High Alert After Officials Confirm Terrorist Attack Threat, and More
    In today's On the News segment: Obama calling Congress to immediately pass "The American Jobs Act" - a $447 billion proposal; FEMA estimates that states have been hit with over $36 billion in disaster damages; DC and New York City on high alert after officials confirmed a terrorist attack threat; after first meeting of Gang of 12 Super Congress, John Kyl threatens to quit; Department of Justice warns that Mexican drug cartels have opened up for business in over 1,000 US cities; and more. 
    Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

    Is the Corporate Media Still Censoring Stories?
    Mark Karlin, Truthout: "Project Censored has an illustrious history of drawing attention to stories that the mainstream press overtly censors or ignores through a corporate media culture that dismisses the existence of topics that threaten the status quo ... With the forthcoming publication of the newest edition of Project Censored, Truthout interviewed long-time project Director Peter Phillips and current Director Mickey Huff to gain a sense how this project began, and how it intends to continue making an impact in a constantly transforming media landscape." 
    Read the Article 

    California Health Insurers Hire Tobacco Lobbyists, Pay Top Lawmaker Tens of Thousands in Direct Payments
    Lee Fang, ThinkProgress: "Health insurance companies have concealed their lobbying efforts by funding many of the so-called 'pro-business' trade groups in California, which have in turn lobbied or released letters opposed to AB 52. But a closer look at the health insurance lobby's disclosure reports paints an even broader picture of their influence." 
    Read the Article 

    Ten Years Later: Will We Ever Hold Torturers Accountable?
    Stephen F. Rohde, Truthout: "The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is a fitting opportunity to ask the urgent question: What has the US government done to human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law in the name of fighting terrorism?... In a revealing new book, 'The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse,' Marjorie Cohn, law professor and president of the National Lawyers Guild, has collected 14 incisive and comprehensive essays which, taken together, serve as a detailed indictment of the Bush administration for its acts of commission and the Obama administration for its acts of omission." 
    Read the Article 

    Hunger Rate Spikes in Rick Perry's Texas, Even as National Rate Holds Steady
    Marie Diamond, ThinkProgress: "A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that household hunger remained steady from 2009 to 2010, even though almost 49 million people - a near record number - were affected by food insecurity. Some states even saw their hunger rates decline. But one glaring exception was the state of Texas, which has been hailed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) as a model for the rest of the nation during these tough economic times." 
    Read the Article 

    House Conservatives Charter Ideology Over Educational Reality
    Isaiah J. Poole, Campaign for America's Future: "The House is poised to vote on legislation that would increase federal support for charter schools and would encourage states to authorize new charter schools. The 'Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act' represents the latest triumph of ideology over reality in public education." 
    Read the Article 

    The Die-Hard Recession Heads Off the Charts
    Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, New Geography: "The unusual slump has provoked a stream of commentary that attempts to define the problem, but it hardly matters whether the downturn is identified as the second dip of a 'double-dip' recession, a continuation of the 'Great Recession,' a fast-moving slowdown, a slow nosedive, a long-term stall-out, or a confirmation that the economy has entered a Japanese-style 'lost decade'. Growth during the 21st century is following a different trend line than it did in the 20th, and employment is also responding in new, different ways from earlier post-World War II recessions." 
    Read the Article 
    Howard Zinn | No Human Being Is Illegal

    In a July 2006 article for The Progressive, the late Howard Zinn provides a context for today's immigration reform debate by tracing the history of how we've treated foreign-born people in this country since the Revolutionary War.
    Read the Article 

    Noam Chomsky | Cuba in the Crosshairs: A Near Half-Century of Terror
    Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch: "The Batista dictatorship was overthrown in January 1959 by Castro's guerrilla forces. In March, the National Security Council (NSC) considered means to institute regime change. In May, the CIA began to arm guerrillas inside Cuba. 'During the Winter of 1959-1960, there was a significant increase in CIA-supervised bombing and incendiary raids piloted by exiled Cubans' based in the US. We need not tarry on what the US or its clients would do under such circumstances."
    Read the Article 

    New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide
    Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont. The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU)." 
    Read the Article 

    Fifty-Four Protesters Arrested as Environmental Report on Tar Sands Pipeline Is Released
    Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "As environmental activists were handcuffed in front of the White House on Friday, the State Department released the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the massive Keystone XL pipeline that would pump crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada across six western states to stations in Oklahoma and Texas. Climate change and environmental groups have staged protests against the proposed pipeline across the country in recent months, including a two-week sit-in currently underway in front of the White House."
    Read the Article 

    Three Things That Must Happen for Us to Rise Up and Defeat the Corporatocracy
    Bruce E. Levine, AlterNet: "Transforming the United States into something closer to a democracy requires: 1) knowledge of how we are getting screwed; 2) pragmatic tactics, strategies, and solutions; and 3) the 'energy to do battle.' The majority of Americans oppose the corporatocracy (rule by giant corporations, the extremely wealthy elite, and corporate-collaborator government officials); however, many of us have given up hope that this tyranny can be defeated. Among those of us who continue to be politically engaged, many focus on only one of the requirements - knowledge of how we are getting screwed. And this singular focus can result in helplessness. It is the two other requirements that can empower, energize, and activate Team Democracy - a team that is currently at the bottom of the standings in the American Political League." 
    Read the Article 

    Larry Cohen | Verizon Strike Has Big Lessons for US Economy
    Larry Cohen, Truthout: "The 45,000 CWA and IBEW members are hopeful that Monday night's return to work at Verizon after a two-week strike will bring meaningful collective bargaining and a good result for all concerned. For us, the strike was about real collective bargaining rights as much as about preserving the standard of living for our families. The unity of our members and the widespread public support for workers really speak to the general state of working families in the US. This includes stagnating real wages in recent years, the collapse of employer based health care, declining retirement security and the export of good jobs to low-wage contractors and offshore." 
    Read the Article 

    On the News With Thom Hartmann: Republican Lawmakers Literally Up for Sale in Minnesota, and More
    In today's On the News segment: Dick Cheney has a new book coming out, earthquake rattles Eric Cantor's Congressional district, Republican lawmakers are literally up for sale in Minnesota, new study shows that over half of the US population will be obese by the year 2030, and more. 
    Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

    Bernanke Offers No Plan for New Stimulus
    Binyamin Appelbaum, The New York Times: "The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said Friday that the economy was recovering and the nation's long-term prospects remained strong, an upbeat assessment that offered little indication of any plans for additional measures to bolster short-term growth. Mr. Bernanke's much-anticipated remarks follow the Fed's announcement earlier this month that it intended to hold short-term interest rates near zero until at least the middle of 2013, a reflection of its view that growth will not be fast enough during that period to drive up wages and prices." 
    Read the Article 

    Bernie Sanders Introduces Bill to Lift the Payroll Tax Cap
    Zaid Jilani, ThinkProgress: "Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was a featured speaker at the United Steel Workers 2011 conference in Las Vegas. Sanders focused much of his speech on the Social Security system, blasting suggestions by Democrats and Republicans alike that, for example, we should adjust the cost of living adjustment to cut Social Security payments to working class Americans or raise the retirement age. 'When [Social Security] was developed, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty. Today, poverty among seniors is too high, but that number is ten percent. Social Security has done exactly what it was designed to do!' he thundered, defending the program." 
    Read the Article 

    Residents of Tourist Haven Fight Plans to Build Naval Base
    Nicole Erwin, Truthout: "Home to orange groves and skin divers, this Northeast Asian vacation spot sometimes known as the 'Island of Peace' may soon have new inhabitants: a South Korean naval base, believed by opponents to be US motivated, and a fleet of warships equipped with technology that could affect the security landscape of the entire region. Local residents and international groups alike have joined to protest the base's ongoing construction in standoffs with police and Navy officers that continue to escalate. It's this sense of inevitable violence that has since moved the South Korean government to some dialogue." 
    Read the Article 

    The One Billion-Dollar Question: Who Are the Libyan Rebels? (Video)
    Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: "Libyan rebels have consolidated their grip on the capital of Tripoli by capturing Col. Muammar Gaddafi's main compound, but the whereabouts of the Libyan leader remain unknown, and he has vowed his forces would resist 'the aggression with all strength' until either victory or death. Reporters in Tripoli say heavy gunfire could still be heard nearby the area of the Rixos Hotel, where dozens of international journalists guarded by heavily armed Gaddafi loyalists are unable to leave." 
    Watch the Video 

    A Global Rush to Grab Land
    Terry J. Allen, In These Times: "A 21st-century land rush is on. Driven by fear and lured by promises of high profits, foreign investors are scooping up vast tracts of farmland in some of the world's hungriest countries to grow crops for export. As the climate changes and populations shift and grow, billions of people around the globe face shortages of land and water, rising food prices and increasing hunger. Alarm over a future without affordable food and water is sparking unrest in a world already tinder-dried by repression and recession, corruption and mismanagement, boundary disputes and ancient feuds, ethnic tension and religious fundamentalism." 
    Read the Article 

    Rights Commission Rebukes US on Domestic Violence
    Amanda Wilson, Inter Press Service: "In a groundbreaking decision that affirms domestic violence as an international human rights issue, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has ruled that the US should do more to protect victims of domestic violence. The ruling, officially made in July, was detailed in a report officially released to the public here on Wednesday. The decision marks the first time that an international tribunal has found that the US violated the rights of a domestic violence survivor. It also specifically articulates that failure to respond to domestic violence can constitute a human rights violation by the US government." 
    Read the Article 

    FEMA During Hurricane Katrina and Beyond
    Leo Bosner, Truthout: "Friday afternoon, August 26, 2005, was a pleasantly warm summer day in Washington. It was my day off from duty as a Watch Officer at FEMA's National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and my wife and I had gone to see a show of Japanese prints at an art gallery near Dupont Circle. We had just left the gallery and were discussing possible restaurants for a Friday night dinner when my FEMA pager buzzed. These were still my pre-cell phone days, so I borrowed my wife's phone to call in to the NRCC and see what was up. My co-worker Matt picked up on the first ring. It seemed that an Atlantic storm had crossed south Florida and entered the Gulf of Mexico, where it could endanger Louisiana, Mississippi, and other states along the Gulf. The NRCC was being activated and I was to report in for night shift at 7 PM. The storm had been given a name: 'Hurricane Katrina.'" 
    Read the Article 

    Dying for a Glass of Clean Water in California's San Joaquin Valley
    David Bacon, New America Media: "Today Lanare is one of the many unincorporated communities in rural California that lack the most basic services, like drinking water, sewers, sidewalks and streetlights. According to Policy Link, a foundation promoting economic and social equity, 'Throughout the United States, millions of people live outside of central cities on pockets of unincorporated land. Predominantly African-American and Latino, and frequently low-income, these communities ... have been excluded from city borders.'" 
    Read the Article

    Symptoms of the Bush-Obama Presidency

    David Bromwich, TomDispatch: "Is it too soon to speak of the Bush-Obama presidency? The record shows impressive continuities between the two administrations, and nowhere more than in the policy of 'force projection' in the Arab world. With one war half-ended in Iraq, but another doubled in size and stretching across borders in Afghanistan; with an expanded program of drone killings and black-ops assassinations, the latter glorified in special ceremonies of thanksgiving (as they never were under Bush); with the number of prisoners at Guantanamo having decreased, but some now slated for permanent detention; with the repeated invocation of 'state secrets' to protect the government from charges of war crimes; with the Patriot Act renewed and its most dubious provisions left intact - the Bush-Obama presidency has sufficient self-coherence to be considered a historical entity with a life of its own."
    Read the Article 

    On the News With Thom Hartmann: SEC Accused of Covering Up High Crimes on Wall Street, and More
    In today's On the News segment: Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is alleging that the SEC destroyed more than 9,000 documents related to investigations into some of America's top banks during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, rate of child poverty grew 18 percent in America over the past ten years, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa hired vice president of Goldman Sachs to spearhead efforts to block government regulations on big banks like Goldman Sachs, gold may be the next bubble to burst, and more.
    Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

    Let's Learn the Right Lessons From Wisconsin
    Dave Poklinkoski, Labor Notes: "Two Democratic state senators in Wisconsin beat back recalls yesterday, by 58 and 54 percent. That means that in the nine recall elections held this month and last, two incumbents were defeated, both of them Republicans. It was enough for unions to claim a victory, in the sense that the Republicans' margin in the senate is now down to one, and that one senator, moderate Dale Schultz, voted against the union-busting legislation. It is now unlikely that Right to Work and other elements of the corporate right's agenda will pass." 
    Read the Article 

    Paul Krugman | A Success Story as Big as Texas? Actually, That's a Myth
    Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "Texas has been adding jobs faster than the rest of the nation, a fact that has become especially notable in the past couple of years - I recently saw it referred to as the Texas 'jobs juggernaut' - as overall job growth has been so poor. But what's the story here? Oddly, it's rare to see anyone in this debate talking in terms of models - that is, the kind of stylized, simplified, but internally consistent stories (not necessarily mathematical) that are what economic analysis is all about. So let me try to fill that gap by offering three informal models of what might be going on in Texas."
    Read the Article 

    Biological Weapons: Bargaining With the Devil (Part Four)
    H. Patricia Hynes, Truthout: "The earliest recorded use of biological warfare was that of Romans putting dead horses into an enemy's water supply. Other documented examples include combatants hurling plague-ridden human corpses into enemy garrisons; giving blankets contaminated with smallpox to hostile forces; infecting enemy livestock with anthrax and the equine disease, glanders; and poisoning an adversary's water supply with intestinal typhoid bacteria. These heinous war practices may seem pre-modern; yet, readiness for biological warfare continues, aggressively and in extreme secrecy, today. Up to a dozen countries are suspected of offensive, or 'first use,' biological weapons programs, chief among them the United States."
    Read the Article 

    Rick Perry's Deeply Flawed Brand of Texas Justice
    Shani O. Hilton, Colorlines.com: "To the surprise of no one, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he'd be running for the Republican presidential nomination last weekend. As we've covered before, Perry has been getting his ideological ducks in a row for some time now, even becoming more draconian on immigration issues. Back in 2001, Perry signed the Texas DREAM act - the country's first law of that kind - and while he still supports it, he's now putting money toward more border security and pushing laws that would force towns to monitor undocumented immigrants."
    Read the Article 

    Human Rights Watch: Abuses by All Sides Fueling Crisis in Somalia (Video)
    Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!: "A new report by Human Rights Watch accuses all sides in the Somali conflict of committing war crimes. The report, '"You Don't Know Who to Blame:" War Crimes in Somalia,' calls on all sides to immediately end abuses against civilians, hold those responsible to account, and ensure access to aid and free movement of people fleeing conflict and drought."
    Watch the Video

     Jim Hightower | America's Illegal Foreclosure Epidemic
    Jim Hightower, Other Words: "To foreclose on someone's home, an authorized bank employee must sign the foreclosure document, swearing that the facts in it are true. But that requires hiring people to review each case. To avoid that cost, they take an illegal shortcut by signing the name of someone who has not read the document and might not even exist."
    Read the Article 

    On the News With Thom Hartmann: Warren Buffett Asks a Billionaire-Friendly Congress to Stop Coddling the Rich, and More
    In today's On the News segment: Warren Buffett asks a billionaire-friendly Congress to stop coddling the rich, only one-third of Americans have $1,000 or more in savings, Obama approval rating at 39 percent, fear of a deeper recession are growing, Michele Bachmann wins Ames Straw poll, and more.
    Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

    Somali Women Bear Superhuman Burden
    Inaki Borda, Inter Press Service: "While the exit of the Al-Qaeda-backed rebel group Al Shabaab has led to the first U.N. relief airlift in five years in the capital of famine-wracked Somalia, the situation for women and children remains precarious, humanitarian workers warn."
    Read the Article 

    The Problem With Affirmative Action
    Lewis R. Gordon, Truthout: "Affirmative action, which brought people of color to the table to learn first-hand about the level of performance of their white predecessors and contemporaries, stimulated a reflection on standards in many institutions. As more people of color began to meet inflated standards, what were being concealed were the low standards available to the whites who preceded them (and no doubt many who continue to join them as presumed agents of excellence)."
    Read the Article 

    E.J. Dionne Jr. | The New Old Obama
    E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post Writers Group: "Obama's aides say he understood liberal anger over the Republicans' irresponsibility in using the default threat to strengthen their own bargaining position. But while progressives wanted the White House to call the right wing's bluff, Obama insisted that this was not a risk a president could take. He preferred to escape this box with the best flawed deal he could get, provided he could take the lethal debt-ceiling weapon out of Republican hands."
    Read the Article 

    Dean Baker | The S&P Downgrade Market Plunge Myth
    Dean Baker, Truthout: "Yes, the markets completely laughed off the S&P downgrade. Let's say that a third time just so that even a Washington Post editor can understand it: the markets laughed off the S&P downgrade. The S&P downgrade was supposed to mean that it is now more likely that the US government will not be able to pay its debt than previously believed."
    Read the Article 

    How to Deal With Iran's Influence in Iraq
    T.J. Buonomo, Truthout: "It would be reckless of Iran to attempt to accomplish through overt military force what it has the potential to achieve through political and economic influence. The US should, therefore, be primarily focused on how to limit or neutralize this influence through its own political and economic measures in Iraq."
    Read the Article 

    Why Do The Koch Brothers Want to End Public Education? (Video)
    The latest Brave New Foundation video reveals chilling new details about the Koch brothers' plan to privatize American education.
    Watch the Video 

    Cholera Outbreaks Spread Across Somalia, UN Says
    Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times News Service: "A cholera epidemic is sweeping across Somalia, the United Nations said on Friday, as thousands of starving people flee famine zones and pack into crowded camps in the capital, Mogadishu. According to the United Nations World Health Organization, 181 people have died from suspected cholera cases in a single hospital in Mogadishu, and there have been several other confirmed cholera outbreaks across the country."
    Read the Article

    Click here for more Truthout articles

    Saturday 06 August 2011

    31 US Troops Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Shootdown
    Hashim Shukoor and Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers: "Thirty-one U.S. troops, including more than 20 Navy SEALs, and seven Afghan soldiers died when their helicopter was shot down during an overnight operation against Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, according to statement issued Saturday by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.... It was the worst single-day toll for American forces in Afghanistan since U.S. troops entered that country nearly 10 years ago, and one of the largest tolls in a single incident of either the Afghan war or the fighting in Iraq." 
    Read the Article 

    Michael Moore | 30 Years Ago Today: The Middle Class Died
    Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com: "Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to 'go for it' - to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves. And they've succeeded. On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who'd defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days." 
    Read the Article 

    S.& P. Downgrades Debt Rating of U.S. For the First Time
    Binyamin Appelbaum and Eric Dash, The New York Times News Service: "Standard & Poor’s removed the United States government from its list of risk-free borrowers... a downgrade that is freighted with symbolic significance but carries few clear financial implications. The company, one of three major agencies that offer advice to investors in debt securities, said it was cutting its rating of long-term federal debt to AA+, one notch below the top grade of AAA. It described the decision as a judgment about the nation’s leaders." 
    Read the Article 

    A Historic Opportunity to Cut Military Spending
    Robert Naiman, Truthout: "The agreement in Washington to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts has made a lot of people very unhappy. But the agreement had one important positive aspect: it created a historic opportunity for significant cuts in projected military spending... Significant cuts in projected military spending are on the table. Indeed, if the joint committee doesn't agree on a plan or Congress doesn't enact it, $1.2 trillion in cuts in projected spending over ten years will be triggered, of which half must come from the military." 
    Read the Article 

    UN Challenges Slavery Conditions for Domestic Workers
    Dick Meister, Truthout: "The hope for improving the domestics 'slavery-like conditions has arisen from action taken in Geneva this month at the annual meeting of the United Nation's International Labor Organization - the ILO... With a lot of luck, we may finally take decisive action to guarantee decent treatment for the world's highly exploited housekeepers, maids, nannies, and other domestic workers. There are an estimated 100 million of them, working in more than 180 countries. Their pay is generally at the poverty level... Almost half of them are not entitled to even one day off per week." 
    Read the Article 

    Mainstream Media Ignores S.& P. Attack On Republicans
    Thom Hartmann, ThomHartmann.com: "Could it be that many reporters - and virtually all of the television talking heads - are themselves relatively high income-earners who don’t relish the idea of higher taxes? Or could it be that reporters are afraid that if they report the actual language of the S.& P. Research Report, then Republicans will punish them by denying them 'access' – i.e. refusing to show up on their programs – which is the career and show kiss-of-death for radio and TV programs that rely on big-name politicians to work?" 
    Read the Article 

    The People's Rogue: FDR vs. the Nine Old Men
    Robert Wilbur, Truthout: "Throughout American history, Supreme Court justices have enjoyed undeserved reverence, which has allowed them, by and large, to be water boys (and girls) for the forces of money and power. The vaunted system of checks and balances is skewed in favor of the Supremes, and, inexplicably, ordinary men and women do not seem to realize that they're being rolled. The present political gridlock as a proximate result of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision recalls the situation FDR confronted In Jeff Sheshol's new book, 'Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court.'" 
    Read the Article 

    Spain's "Indignados" at the Vanguard of a Global Nonviolent Revolt
    Pablo Ouziel, Political Thoughts: "In a truly Gandhian manner, a group of Spanish ‘indignados’ is currently walking from Madrid to Brussels in order to make their voices heard by the bureaucrats of the European Union. They aim to get there before the global protest they have called for to be staged on October 15th. Perhaps by the time they get to Brussels, their indignation will have rubbed-off on those in other European nations who have understood the farce of our imperialist representative democracies, and the Spanish ‘indignados’ will not find themselves camping alone in front of the buildings of the European Union." 
    Read the Article 

    Obama on the Backs of the Poor
    Ray McGovern, Consortium News: "A huge majority of economists concede that America has been sliding into a land of haves and have-nots for the past several decades and that the “deal” Obama signed into law on Tuesday will do little, if anything, to improve the lives of our fellow citizens deprived of work, shelter, medical care and other necessities. In sum, Obama - again put in a corner by Republicans who appeared ready to force the United States into default if they didn’t get their way - reneged on a promise not to let the burden for coping with the economic/fiscal mess fall primarily on the backs of the poor." 
    Read the Article 

    Shiny Happy Corporate People
    Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign for America's Future: "Mitt Romney got a lot of press for telling a heckler at the Iowa State Fair that 'corporations are people'... Here's the paradox in this whole concept of 'corporate personhood.' When it comes to rights, Republicans say corporations are people. But when it comes to the responsibilities of personhood - like paying taxes, being sued for negligence or criminal manslaughter, that sort of thing - their response is 'Are you crazy? We're talking about corporations here, not people.'" 
    Read the Article 

    Twelve Unions Tell Democrats They'll Boycott Convention in N. Carolina
    Tim Funk and Kirsten Valle Pittman, McClatchy Newspapers: "Casting North Carolina as an anti-union bastion with 'regressive policies aimed at diluting the power of workers,' more than a dozen trade unions affiliated with the national AFL-CIO have told the Democratic National Committee that they will sit out the 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C. Coming on the heels of some liberals' complaints that President Barack Obama is giving in to Republicans, the unions' decision is another sign that key Democratic allies are unhappy with Obama and other party leaders as they gear up for a difficult election season." 
    Read the Article 

    Israeli Tent Protests Ignore Link Between Neoliberalism, Occupation
    Max Ajl, Truthout: "Complaints started in response to rapid increases in the price of cottage cheese, moved on to the housing crisis and have spread to the general crisis: a country... which is the second-most-unequal industrialized democracy on the planet. It is yet early, but two things seem clear. One, this movement will not break the Israeli structure of power. Two, this is an early fracture - a foretaste of later ruptures - within Zionism." 
    Read the Article 

    Torture in the US Prison System: The Endless Punishment of Leonard Peltier
    Preston Randolph and Dan Battaglia, Truthout: "News reports from California's Pelican Bay Prison amplified the need for change, but after the three-week inmate hunger strike ended, the torture of solitary confinement continues nationwide... In 1977, American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was convicted of murdering two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Peltier has now served more than 35 years in federal prison. His trial remains one of the most controversial in the history of the American judicial system." 
    Read the Article 

    Could Unspent Stimulus Money Be Used to Fend Off a New Recession?
    Michael Grabell, ProPublica: "The nation's top economists are already giving odds on a double-dip recession... So, it seems all the more surprising that the federal government still has $100 billion to $150 billion in stimulus money left to spend. That's about as much as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave $800 apiece to middle-class families in 2009 and 2010. And it's twice as much as Congress gave to states to stabilize budgets and save education jobs." 
    Read the Article 

    Quick Retribution in London Threatens Due Process for Thousands
    Bryan Gerhart, Colorlines: "As some Londoners exhale during a lull in the riots that have raged throughout the United Kingdom since Saturday night, others, particularly young Britons of color, face the hasty, heavy hand of the law. Whether the seemingly impulsive punishments continually doled out by British magistrates represent justice remains open for debate. Amidst intense public pressure, over 16,000 police officers are now on the streets of London. They've made more than 1,700 arrests... A majority of those arrested are minors, many of whom are being identified with footage from Britain's extensive network of CCTV cameras." 
    Read the Article 

    The Verizon Strike as the Next Wisconsin
    Mark Engler, Dissent: "The picket lines are up. This past weekend 45,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), went on strike.... Without a doubt, this is a conflict of national significance... The parallel to Wisconsin is apt for several reasons. First, like the Republican elected officials in their attacks on unionized schoolteachers and other public employees, Verizon is taking aim at one of the last bastions of the American middle class." 
    Read the Article 

    Will Tax Breaks for the Wealthy Trump the Common Good?: Choices Still to Be Made in the New Debt Deal
    Donna Cooper and Seth Hanlon, Center for America Progress: "The compromise reached between Congress and President Obama last week requires $1 trillion in cuts from federal budget discretionary programs and an agreement to identify another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. But there is no agreement yet on closing tax breaks for the highest income Americans or ending tax subsidies that pad the bottom line of the most profitable companies - special tax breaks that were declared off the table by Republicans in the recent round of negotiations. Our chart details the choices still to be made." 
    Read the Article 

    Media is Growing More White. What's the FCC Doing About It?
    Jason Smith, Colorlines: "The increasing lack of racial diversity in the U.S. media landscape is becoming a hot topic and putting pressure on policy makers to (finally) pay attention. s the American Society of Newspaper Editors has reported, racial and ethnic minorities make up less than 13 percent of newsroom employees. Minority ownership of television stations hovers around 3 percent, while radio station ownership is at 7 percent, despite the fact that the minority population of the U.S. is roughly 28 percent." 
    Read the Article

    Click here for more Truthout articles


    The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return Monday.

    Krugman: Hard to Think of Anyone Less Qualified Than Rating Agencies to Pass Judgement
    Read the Article at The New York Times

    China Demands US "Live Within its Means"
    Read the Article at the LA Times

    The White House Gives Credibility to the Psychotic Radicals of the Tea Party
    Read the Article at BuzzFlash

    Current, Ex-Cops Convicted in Katrina Shooting
    Read the Article at Yahoo! News

    EU Slams Israel's Decision to Build New Housing in East Jerusalem
    Read the Article at Haaretz

    Hannity Blasts Insurance Coverage for Birth Control, Defends Viagra: "That is a Medical Problem!"
    Read the Article at ThinkProgress

    If it Walks like a W and Talks Like a W, it may be Texas Gov. Perry
    Read the Article at Salon


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