Greenville, Mississippi—In March, President Trump revealed his "skinny budget," a rough sketch of the nascent administration's fiscal priorities and objectives that included deep cuts to education and nutrition programs. Budget chief Mick Mulvaney defended the move. "[The programs] are supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home so they do better in school," Mulvaney said at a press conference on the day of the announcement. "Guess what? There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually doing that. There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually helping results, helping kids do better in school."
In Greenville, Mississippi, a town on the Blues Highway in the Mississippi Delta where every public school student receives free breakfast and lunch, Joan Rowe, director of the local Boys and Girls Club, heard that comment and immediately thought: "They should come down here."
Rowe and her colleagues across the Delta are watching with keen attention as the federal government aims to slash vital programs and relax school meal standards that have helped combat pervasive community health concerns and poor academic performance in one of the nation's neediest states.
Video by Emrys Eller.
The Trump administration's proposed budget would nix the Greenville afterschool program and impose deep cuts in other areas that impact school meals and nutrition. The USDA, which administers numerous grants and programs that help feed needy children, is facing a budget cut of $4.7 billion, or 21 percent of its discretionary spending, while the Department of Education's budget could fall by more than $9 billion. Even if Trump's budget never passes, the administration has already put its stamp on school meals. Newly installed Department of Agriculture chief, Sonny Perdue, is rolling back school lunch nutrition standards.
The moves befuddle researchers, who cite a growing body of evidence demonstrating that more meals for school children, and specifically more nutritious meals, benefit kids in a myriad of ways, not only in the short term, but throughout their lives. Recent studies indicate the impact of healthier meals is even greater on low-income children.
"I think there is a disconnect between the policy makers and the reality in many places," said Michele Leardo, assistant director of the Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University. "They haven't experienced what it's like to go home and not get a meal. Some of these students are getting all three meals of the day at school -- free breakfast, free lunch and an afterschool meal. I think they are out of touch with what these kids face, and how vital these programs really are."
Many communities in the Mississippi Delta have better access to casinos, convenience stores and fast food than to grocery stores selling fresh fruits and vegetables. Sherry Jackson, who runs federal programs for the Greenville School District in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, views the proposed cuts with dismay. "[They] make me feel sick to my stomach," she said.
"There is nowhere else for parents to turn; we are the safety net," she added.
In Greenville, the people stitching that net together are loath to imagine what will happen if holes develop.
On a humid Wednesday afternoon in April, children wearing khaki pants and polo shirts color-coded to their grade level trickled into the Boys and Girls Club of Greenville, one of five sites for Greenville's 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an afterschool program. The center faces closure if the Trump budget passes.
Inside, tutor Louise Cox helped a group of 16 elementary and middle school students with their homework and ran them through math and language exercises. In another room, an instructor directed high school students in computer and career placement lessons. A forest green pennant from Delta State University, a school in nearby Cleveland, was tacked to the wall alongside motivational posters, alphabet charts and multiplication tables. Rowe, the director, who was born and raised in Greenville, repeatedly reminds the children how important it is to graduate high school and move on to college, just as she did.
Rowe would also like to offer a lesson to the federal budget experts like Mulvaney. "I'd tell them to come out here and see what the children are faced with," Rowe said "Not everyone is privileged. I remember I walked the kids over to the bank a while back to give them a lesson on banking. We walked in and the kids were amazed by the elevator -- they'd never seen one before."
Mississippi's graduation rates and test scores have lagged behind the national average for years, but recently started to catch up. The four-year graduation rate was up to 82 percent in 2016, an improvement from 74 percent in 2012 and close to the national average of 83 percent. But in Greenville, where about 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, the high school graduation rate is just 62 percent, one of the lowest in the state.
Greenville was once a prosperous and progressive city, but industry, including barge building and factory work, has slowly abandoned the area. Today the population is roughly 32,000, down from a high of 45,000 in 1990. The school district is shrinking with the community, and funding continues to decline. The district, held up as a model of integration when it became the first in the state to desegregate back in the 1960s, has become largely segregated again, with black children in public schools and white children in private ones. Today, 94 percent of Greenville's public school students live in poverty.
"A lot of them are latchkey kids. They eat a lot of fast food and some of their parents don't cook at all," said Patricia Allen, nutrition director for Greenville School District. "It's not like when I was a kid and you were taught how to cook, and maybe had fried chicken once a week as a treat. There is nobody at home for them. Nobody is providing food for them, period. They look forward to coming to school to get that meal. I see a lot of children that I'm sure are not getting the proper nutrition at home."
Good nutrition is vital for kids, who have a high metabolic rate and are growing. The effects of hunger and malnutrition go far beyond a grumbling stomach and daydreams of pepperoni pizza during algebra class, potentially causing lasting physiological damage and reduced brain development. Low levels of iron and long-term food insecurity are linked to cognitive delays. When blood glucose levels are low, adrenalin, cortisol and other hormones are released, leading to feelings of agitation and irritability. When a child is hungry the body prioritizes vital needs, dedicating scarce calories to organ function and growth. Hunger in school children is linked to an inability to focus, lower grades, higher rates of absenteeism, and often leads to grade repetition.
An array of new research has reinforced previous studies showing school meals have a profound impact on students' academic outcomes, attendance, and overall health. Initiatives that help the most needy, either through direct financial means or programs like free school lunch, have benefits that last decades -- boosting income, health and other life outcomes. The federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers is one such program, offering academic help and an evening meal to mostly low-income children enrolled in underperforming schools. Under the president's proposed 2018 budget, the program, which currently serves 1.8 million children through a $1.1 billion federal grant, would be eliminated.
Annual reports from the US Department of Education have consistently found 21st Century improves grades, test scores, class participation and student behavior.
"The data and performance indicate that this broad-reaching program touches students' lives in ways that will have far reaching impact," report author Sylvia Lyles, director of the USEDs Office of Academic Improvement, concluded in the 2016 report.
During the 2014-15 school year, approximately half the students who regularly attend the 21st Century program improved their math and English grades. In Mississippi, more than one third of program participants increased their math and reading assessment scores, according to the report.
While the USED study did not compare 21st Century participants to those not enrolled in the program, a 2013 Texas study did. That report found significant benefits, particularly for high school students: After school participation was associated with higher test scores, and led to much higher rates of grade level progression for students in grades nine to 12. Middle school students enrolled in the program missed fewer days of school and had fewer disciplinary incidents.
In Greenville, after the homework session with Cox, the kids slurped up spaghetti and meatballs and a fruit cup around 5:30 p.m. Then they ran outside for recess while they waited for their evening pickup. Rowe and the Greenville Boys and Girls staff feed, tutor and provide recreation for 50 students.
Brenda Birkhead is one parent who leans on Rowe and the 21st Century Program. The single mother of 10-year-old LaNiya Birkhead, a fourth grader at Greenville's Weddington Elementary School, works at a local clothing store.
"The 21st Century program really boosts the children," she said. "I know my daughter is safe. I know when I pick her up she has been fed dinner, she's had some exercise, and her homework is done."
Birkhead makes $8.50 an hour, slightly above the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25. Mississippi has no state minimum wage. She works more than 30 hours per week, and often has to close the store at 8 p.m. and work weekend shifts.
"Without the Boys and Girls Club and programs like 21st Century, my back would be up against the wall," she said.
Up the road in Cleveland, Mississippi, Shenika Maiden carefully observed the lunch time assembly line at Bell Academy, inspecting for waste and other inefficiencies. The nutrition and food services director for Cleveland School District, Maiden has overseen the recent evolution in the district's school lunches. In single file, children grab their trays, choose between a banana and a fruit cup, and then receive green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, a whole wheat roll, and hamburger steak.
"Shhhhhh. Listen. You hear that?" she asks. "They're not talking. They're not playing around. That means they're eating."
It's a reassuring sound. Since the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect in 2012 with new nutrition standards for school meals, Maiden has been working to cut sodium and fried foods, and add whole grains, fruits and vegetables to the lunch trays.
Less than 10 years ago Bell Academy, an elementary school, was failing and facing a state takeover. In 2010, it was completely revamped with a new magnet math, science and health curriculum, a direct response to rising childhood obesity rates. Recently, the school has been getting B's and C's on its state report cards. Principal Sonya Swafford says the magnet program, particularly the health portion, which is backed by a patchwork of federal grants, has brought the school a sense of purpose and community. "It's given us our own little limelight," she said.
"In general, nutrition in the community is poor. There are high rates of poverty in the Delta, and many of our families receive SNAP benefits," Maiden said, referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps. "It's a big issue. Many of the people who get SNAP buy the cheapest food items, junk food … hot dogs."
In the Mississippi Delta, where many of the communities have little access to affordable, fresh ingredients, the school meal program serves multiple purposes. Children who do not get enough nutrition at home get the food they need to learn and thrive, but the hope is that teaching healthy eating habits will also reverse a troubling trend. Mississippi has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country, with almost 40 percent of the state's children considered obese or overweight.
"Change was necessary. Maybe Michelle Obama went a little far with it, and it was a lot at one time, but it was needed." Maiden said, referring to the former first lady's championing of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. "Now we're seeing a big jump in the quality of school meals. These children will be healthier in the future, if we continue the course. If they get used to eating this way at a young age, they'll make that choice on their own when they're older."
The standards required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act were recently dialed back by new USDA director Sonny Perdue, who referenced the need to add flexibility and reduce food waste.
"This announcement is the result of years of feedback from students, schools, and food service experts about the challenges they are facing in meeting the final regulations for school meals," Perdue stated when he announced the change in May. "If kids aren't eating the food, and it's ending up in the trash, they aren't getting any nutrition -- thus undermining the intent of the program."
After the implementation of the new rules, some states complained of waste and declining school lunch participation, but those figures have since rebounded. A 2016 Journal of the American Medical Association study assessing the Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act found the new standards significantly improved meal quality in school cafeterias and had only a negligible impact on participation.
The nation's public schools feed a lot of children -- 30 million -- and companies are willing to meet their needs. "The manufacturers have been great. Schools buy a lot of food, so they'll accommodate us," Maiden said.
Since the school meal standards went into effect, there have been significant increases in the amount of fruits and vegetables children are eating, coupled with an increase in fiber consumption and reductions in sodium and saturated fat intake, the JAMA study found. Another study, showed the percentage of calories from saturated fat in the average lunch fell from 9 percent to 6 percent after the changes.
"There's definitely a lot of variance, but since 2012 the average nutritional floor of school lunches has moved up," said Michael Anderson, an associate professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of a recent study on nutrition in school lunches.
Kids can still find junk food at school, but it comes with more limitations and alternative ingredients. Some schools are installing filtered, cooled water fountains and turning off soda machines until after the school day. Snacks at Bell Academy, available for an extra 50 cents, included whole grain brown rice crispy treats or reduced-fat Doritos. Next year, the district is partnering with Pizza Hut, which is using a new school-approved recipe incorporating low-fat cheese and a whole wheat crust.
Although the new standards have shown results, making nutritious meals that the children will eat, while also staying on budget, remains a challenge. The same study that lauded the lower levels of saturated fat and sodium raised concerns regarding lower amounts of calcium and Vitamin C.
"The hope is kids will take the [health] information home and share it with their families," said Leardoof NYU's Institute for Education and Social Policy. "There are a lot of needy families that aren't exposed to the best options and information for healthy eating. They live near bodegas and fast food restaurants, and don't have easy access in their communities to healthy ingredients."
Five years into the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, research shows kids at schools serving more nutritious meals are doing better academically. Anderson's study found the California schools with healthier school lunches scored, on average, four percent higher on standardized tests. Also, the poorest students saw the most impact, with academic gains 40 percent higher for those who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches. The study determined healthier meals cost approximately $80 more per year per student; to achieve similar testing improvements through reducing class sizes by hiring more teachers would cost five times as much.
"As an education policymaker you have multiple levers you can pull to improve performance," Anderson said. "If you're looking for the most return for dollars spent, school meals is a good place to start."
Sherry Jackson, the Greenville director for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and other federal programs, has already had a glimpse of what would happen under the proposed cuts. During the 2016-17 school year the district lost nearly half its after school sites, representing spots for 250 children, due to a state accounting error that forced Mississippi to severely curtail participation in the program.
"I had parents calling me frantic, in tears," Jackson said. "They had nowhere else to turn, and were very worried about what they would do. I think they felt punched in the gut after seeing their kids thrive in the program."
It is communities like Greenville, with very few local resources to fall back on, that will see the deepest impact from any changes. "If it closes, I don't know what I would do," said Brenda Birkhead, LaNiya's mom. "It would be devastating."
Hear reporter Tovin Lapan talk about this story with the Education Writers Association.
This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the newsletter.
Trump keeps spinning out. After a few cities removed monuments of Confederate Civil War heroes, he tweeted Thursday, "The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"
The idea of replacing Trump is now edging back into the public's mind. The Washington Post's famed 1970s Watergate scandal reporter, Carl Bernstein, is urging the press to dig into sentiment for replacing Trump inside the GOP.
Petitions are circulating. A national PRRI poll released Thursday found 40 percent favor impeaching Trump. That's 72 percent of Democrats, compared to 58 percent six months ago, and 38 percent of independents, compared to 27 percent in February. Only 7 percent of Republicans, however, want to see him ousted, a figure holding firm from February.
With Congress firmly in GOP hands, the question becomes when would the House, which initiates the impeachment process, realize that it's in the GOP's benefit to do so. Of course, Trump could step down, as unlikely as that sounds. All of this is uncharted territory. But the latest Trump chaos is on par with last fall's grabbing-pussy boasts that at the time prompted some Republicans to consider their options for replacing candidate Trump.
All of these machinations lead to taking a closer look at Vice President Mike Pence, who would become history's latest accidental president -- even if he, too, is under the cloud of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian collusion in the campaign. (In January, Pence told CBS News the campaign had no contacts with Russia, a claim that has been disproven.)
What would Pence bring to the presidency that's not already in Trump's White House, besides self-control and a lack of drama, threats of nuclear war and overt embraces of neo-Nazis and slavery-defenders? The answer appears to be even more doctrinaire right-wing positions than those taken by Trump. Pence would shepherd the agenda repeatedly rubber-stamped by the House and Senate GOP and vetoed by President Obama. As FiveThirtyEight.com noted after his selection, he's the most far-right veep nominee in 40 years.
Pence was a smooth-talking radio host before being elected to the House, where he served in the leadership with current Speaker Paul Ryan. He was elected Indiana governor in 2012, but his backing of a "religious freedom" bill allowing businesses to refuse service to LGBT individuals caused such an economic backlash that his career seemed over until Trump rescued him.
Virtually all of his policy positions are in sync with the GOP's draconian 2016 platform, adopted at the convention soon after he introduced himself as "a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order." While it might be a relief for virtually everyone left of the political center should Trump be fired, Pence actually knows how Washington works and could deeply damage government and many public policies.
A quick survey of Pence's stances is revealing -- beyond his habit of never meeting alone with a woman other than his wife because he believes such interactions are implicitly sexual. As the Washington Post put it, "There's little distance between that perspective and that of the ultra-Orthodox Jews who refuse to sit next to a woman on an airplane, or the fundamentalist Muslims who demand that women be covered head to toe to contain the unstoppable sexual allure that renders men unable to control their urges."
Here are snapshots from a biography of his career: After he was elected to the House in 2000, he opposed President George W. Bush's expansion of Medicare prescription drug benefits. During his 12 years in Congress, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions. None became law. He opposed Obama's Affordable Care Act, needless to say.
After becoming governor in 2013, he faced a state fiscal crisis. He cut tens of millions from the budget for higher education, social agencies and human services. Although Indiana's economy had the nation's worst job growth, he signed bills blocking local governments from raising the minimum wage or requiring businesses to offer better benefits. He pushed cutting income and business taxes, but would not sign laws reversing other regressive taxes.
Pence was a big booster of privatizing government services, whether new highways or traditional public schools. He repeatedly acted to boost charter schools and vouchers and undermine the teachers' unions, including making the state Board of Education an arm of the executive branch. From there, he clashed with educators over treatment of transgender students.
On energy and the environment, he rolled back energy efficiency standards, denounced and fought with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and declared Indiana was a pro-coal state. On guns, he signed a bill to let people keep guns in their cars parked on school grounds, recruited the NRA to train the Indiana National Guard and pre-empted the city of Gary from suing gun manufacturers whose weapons were sold illegally.
On health, he and the state GOP defunded Planned Parenthood, even with southern Indiana experiencing an HIV epidemic. He opposed needle exchanges for drug addiction treatment. While he did accept Obamacare funds to expand state-run Medicaid, he added bigger co-payments for recipients.
Pence received national attention after signing a so-called religious freedom bill in 2015, prompting some big state employers -- notably Angie's List -- to cancel a state-based expansion in Indianapolis, costing the state 1,000 jobs. The backlash forced him to rescind parts of the law. On women's health and reproductive rights, Pence has been a fundamentalist, signing into law a bill banning abortion procedures and penalizing providers. A federal court overruled the law, saying it was unconstitutional.
Pence also tried to create a state-run news service, to circumvent local media. He's repeatedly stonewalled reporters seeking public documents. He is known for using private emails to conduct official business -- the same thing he criticized Hillary Clinton for. And he tried but failed to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in the state. A court stopped him.
In the fall 2016 campaign, Pence said his role model for the vice presidency, if elected, would be Dick Cheney, George W. Bush's powerful surrogate.
"I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American," he told ABC-TV. "Vice President Cheney had experience in Congress as I do, and he was very active in working with members of the House and the Senate."
While tens of millions of Americans want the nightmare of Trump to end, a different right-wing takeover looms should Pence inherit the Oval Office. One can ask, as Carl Bernstein has, whether Republicans and careerists in military and intelligence circles have completely lost faith in Trump. It's anybody's guess when congressional Republicans will decide whether they would be better off with a President Pence -- notwithstanding Mueller's probe.
The country's last accidental president was Gerald Ford, who took office after Richard Nixon resigned, and wasn't re-elected in 1976 after issuing a full pardon for Nixon two years before. Ford did not get much done in his time in office. But the mid-1970s was another era.
Should Pence inherit the job, and should the GOP maintain its control in Congress, the far right could have even more power than it does today.
Single-payer health care is still a controversial idea in the US, but a majority of physicians are moving to support it, a new survey finds. Fifty-six percent of doctors registered either strong support or were somewhat supportive of a single-payer health system, according to the survey by Merritt Hawkins, a physician recruitment firm.
There's a growing sense of inevitability as more doctors assume single-payer is on the horizon. (Photo: megaflopp / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Single-payer health care is still a controversial idea in the US, but a majority of physicians are moving to support it, a new survey finds.
Fifty-six percent of doctors registered either strong support or were somewhat supportive of a single-payer health system, according to the survey by Merritt Hawkins, a physician recruitment firm. In its 2008 survey, opinions ran the opposite way -- 58 percent opposed single-payer. What's changed?
Red tape, doctors tell Merritt Hawkins. Phillip Miller, the firm's vice president of communications, said that in the thousands of conversations its employees have with doctors each year, physicians often say they are tired of dealing with billing and paperwork, which takes time away from patients.
"Physicians long for the relative clarity and simplicity of single-payer. In their minds, it would create less distractions, taking care of patients -- not reimbursement," Miller said.
In a single-payer system, a public entity, such as the government, would pay all the medical bills for a certain population, rather than insurance companies doing that work.
A long-term trend away from physicians owning their practices may be another reason that single-payer is winning some over. Last year was the first in which fewer than half of practicing physicians owned their practice -- 47.1 percent -- according to the American Medical Association's surveys in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Many doctors are today employed by hospitals or health care institutions, rather than working for themselves in traditional solo or small-group private practices. Those doctors might be less invested in who pays the invoices, Miller said.
There's also a growing sense of inevitability, Miller said, as more doctors assume single-payer is on the horizon.
"I would say there is a sense of frustration, a sense of maybe resignation that we're moving in that direction, let's go there and get it over with," he said.
Merritt Hawkins emailed its survey Aug. 3 and received responses from 1,003 doctors. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The Affordable Care Act established the principle that everyone deserves health coverage, said Shawn Martin, senior vice president for advocacy at the American Academy of Family Physicians. Inside the medical profession, the conversation has changed to how best to provide universal coverage, he said.
"That's the debate we're moving into, that's why you're seeing a renewed interest in single-payer," Martin said.
Dr. Steven Schroeder, who chaired a national commission in 2013 that studied how physicians are paid, said the attitude of medical students is also shifting.
Schroeder has taught medicine at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center since 1971 and has noticed students' increasing support for a single-payer system, an attitude they likely carry into their professional careers.
"Most of the medical students here don't understand why the rest of the country doesn't support it," said Schroeder.
The Merritt Hawkins' findings follow two similar surveys this year.
In February, a LinkedIn survey of 500 doctors found that 48 percent supported a "Medicare for all" type of system, and 32 percent opposed the idea.
The second, released by the Chicago Medical Society in June, reported that 56 percent of doctors in that area picked single-payer as the "best care to the greatest number of people." More than 1,000 doctors were surveyed.
Since June 2016, more than 2,500 doctors have endorsed a proposal published in the American Journal of Public Health calling for a single-payer to replace the Affordable Care Act. The plan was drafted by the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which says it represents 21,600 doctors, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer.
Clare Fauke, a communications specialist for the organization, said the group added 1,065 members in the past year and membership is now the highest since PNHP began in 1987.
As former industrial communities seek to rebuild their economies around clean energy, two cities in the Midwest provide examples with starkly different outcomes.
Chicago's Southeast Side and Newton, Iowa both used to house thriving industries, keeping residents with a solid toe in the middle class through well-paid and steady factory work. In Chicago it was steel, while Newton boomed under the all-encompassing attentions of the Maytag family and their washing machine factories.
Thirty years later, those core industries have left both areas and a handful of different businesses have taken their place. In Newton, the Maytag sites have been reborn to manufacture wind turbine bodies and blades. But in Chicago, the jutting land formerly housing US Steel remains empty.
While urban Chicago and rural Iowa are different in obvious ways, experts say there are still common factors that influence how a green economic development transition takes place.
Greg Carlock, a climate researcher with the World Resources Institute, says that sustainable development is a wide-ranging and complicated process, but he has seen some essentials emerge. These were detailed in a study for the Brookings Institute in 2011 which found that any green development transitions require long-term commitment to incremental changes, a shared public-private vision, public support, specialization and strategies that take local context into effect.
And to understand how this plays out in real life, says Carlock, look at the local level.
"All changes are local, if you can identify these local models you have created the enabling environment for action," he says.
Who Is Leading the Transition -- and Bringing the Resources?
Where the transitional plan comes from, and who has buy-in, is a significant factor. In Newton, the shock from the unexpected loss of their biggest employer pushed both local officials and community leaders to band together to find a new major employer for the area.
In contrast, the Southeast Side was just one of many areas in Chicago competing for economic development funding -- and the valuable lakefront real estate is also being targeted by multiple parties for development.
US Steel, the company that dominated a 369 acre site called the South Works, closed in 1992. It left an area of polluted and vacant land, one of the last few pieces of Chicago's lakefront that was undeveloped or unclaimed. A series of development proposals has come and gone for the area, including a Solo Cup Factory and high-rise housing, to no avail.
Today there are three primary plans for developing the space. The first is the Green Economic Industrial Corridor plan, a blueprint created by the Southeast Environmental Task Force that re-imagines redevelopment of the site as including environmentally friendly businesses and residential space as well as integrating renewable energy.
The second is called the Chicago 808 Lakeshore Master Plan, a joint venture between a Spanish housing developer and a social media security platform called WELink to create apartments with up to 12,000 homes, and include extensive green spaces and gardens.
And most recently, the city of Chicago reached a deal with a developer to buy the property to convert the site into a mixed-use development which will include housing as well as manufacturing space.
These initiatives, announced over the last several years, however, are mostly stalled, moving slowly or in the very initial stages.
Alberto Rincon, a native of the Southeast Side, briefly a development intern with local alderman Sue Garza's office and currently a graduate student at Harvard University completing a fellowship with the City of Chicago's Mayor's office, says he saw a lack of coordination, coherence and concreteness in these efforts that kept them from moving forward.
The stalling is also an example of the ways in which poorer neighborhoods of color, and particularly those further away from the city center, see less investment. As the Southeast Side, which is more than 70 percent Latino and majority working class, has been struggling to find a developer for the area, complicated projects with more city backing, like the development of an elevated walking trail on the wealthier and whiter Northwest Side, have moved forward.
"People don't really know a lot about what is going on around here," says Rincon. Unlike initiatives in other areas that have had direct mayoral backing, the Southeast Side has been working with numerous local partners but is rarely a pet project of the mayor's office. "It's important to collaborate because it allows communities to tap into the resources and skill-sets needed to see a project through," says Rincon.
Carlock says that a disconnect between citizens and government is common, and unfortunate. "If the needs of the people in the area can't be conveyed up through the political apparatus, then the incentives aren't aligned and the will won't be there," he says.
In Newton, Maytag announced in 2007 that it would be selling out to Whirlpool and closing the doors of its factories, which at their peak employed one in every five people in the town of 15,000 people. The leadership of the town -- both then-mayor Chaz Allen and the Newton Development Corporation, a business group -- saw the need for an immediate solution.
With Iowa already a leader in wind energy, the city decided to court two companies -- TPI Composites, which makes wind turbine blades, and Trinity Structural Towers. Among the incentives for the companies, which eventually settled in Newton, were Maytag's existing infrastructure, a workforce familiar with manufacturing, the city's willingness to help redevelop the land for TPI Composites, and the availability of state-level funds to offer training programs.
"We had the workforce and we had the access to capital," said Frank Liebl, executive director at the Newton Development Corporation, "and it gave us confidence that this was a good place to locate."
Carlock says having a clear economic argument for a certain type of energy or industry is also often helpful when localities are considering large investments.
"When it makes economic sense, it aligns with values because it supports people," says Carlock. "Everyone is motivated by positive economic outcomes, particularly when there is good policy alignment and market incentives."
In Iowa, wind energy was the obvious answer. The state creates a larger share of its electricity from wind energy than any other in the country, and its wind energy infrastructure was rapidly growing. The state also offered tax incentives for areas that were interested in transitioning to green energy. Newton was also connected to rail lines that could carry components to other markets.
"It just happened that wind energy was taking off at the time, and we were in the right place," says Liebl. "We want to create a new workforce, and let these youngsters know there is a career in manufacturing."
Green development in a larger city can be more complicated. In Chicago, clean energy manufacturing competes with other needs, such as those for tourist areas, nature reclamation and expanding affordable housing in an already densely populated area.
That said, Carlock says, there is "a clear global trend about where it is in the interests of global and national government to go in sustainability."
A May 2017 report called "Sizing Up Our Region's Green Economy," from the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that the clean economy in the Chicago region was growing faster than other sectors, and that there were clear specialties that included energy services, lighting, and air-water purification.
On the Southeast side, access to the Calumet River for bringing materials in and out of the area, as well as a population trained to work in manufacturing settings, could make it an area particularly good for green energy manufacturing, says Rincon.
On the former US Steel site, Rincon says he would like to see wind or solar manufacturing, which could be helped by the state's recent passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which promises support for bringing clean energy jobs to low-income communities.
The recently elected alderman of the 10th ward, Sue Garza, knows well the need for a livelihood for the residents of the area -- her father was Ed Sadlowski, legendary union activist and former director of the United Steelworkers of America. Garza, before becoming alderman, was a former public school counselor and union activist.
"Traditionally the 10th ward has always been an industrial corridor, everyone comes to bring dirty industry and landfills," she says. "But we want no more landfills, no more toxic waste. We want something that will revitalize the whole Southeast side of the city."
Both Donald Trump and his neoliberal opponents seem to agree that NAFTA has been good for Mexicans, but in reality, the pact caused Mexico to lose millions of jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, and resulted in a sharp increase in migration to the US. If NAFTA is renewed, it will continue to benefit transnational corporate moguls rather than workers.
Robert Lighthizer, then-nominee to serve as United States trade representative, meets with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, January 18, 2017. On August 16, Lighthizer met with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico to open talks on renegotiating NAFTA. (Photo: Wikipedia)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect at midnight on January 1, 1994. That night, thousands of Indigenous Mayans rose up in arms in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, seizing at least five towns and declaring NAFTA a "death certificate" for people like themselves. This was just the beginning of Mexico's troubles in a year that brought countless protests, hotly disputed elections and the assassinations of two of the then-ruling party's leaders. 1994 ended with a sudden devaluation of the peso, the start of an economic collapse from which the country didn't recover fully for years.
NAFTA is back in the news this month: On August 16, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, the other two NAFTA nations, to open talks on renegotiating the pact.
While it's true that NAFTA was just one of the many problems Mexico had in the 1990s, we have to wonder, given the renewed focus on the trade accord, why US mainstream media have carried so little discussion of the events that accompanied NAFTA's rollout in Mexico. The reason may be a consensus among opinion makers about NAFTA and similar trade pacts.
It is an article of faith across party lines that these accords are beneficial to our trading partners in the Global South. On the right, we have President Trump, who told CBS during the campaign that "Mexico ... is taking our jobs. I love the Mexican people. They're great people. But the leadership is too smart for our country.... We're being defrauded by all these countries." On the other side, we have commentators who insist that NAFTA's been good for the US economy but still go along with Trump's claim that Mexicans benefit from it. Some even assert that these trade pacts are the only hope for the developing world.
NAFTA's lifting of protective tariffs left Mexico's family farms unable to compete against imports from US-subsidized agribusiness firms.
The numbers tell a different story. In 2009, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace issued a report on Mexico after 15 years of NAFTA. The researchers found some positive results -- including trade growth and an 80 percent productivity increase in the manufacturing sector -- but little improvement in areas such as economic growth, inequality and the disparity between Mexican and US wages. Interestingly, the worst news was about jobs. The export assembly plants known in Mexico as maquiladoras gained some 660,000 jobs, most of them probably manufacturing jobs outsourced from the United States and lost to workers here. But at the same time, NAFTA's lifting of protective tariffs left Mexico's family farms unable to compete against imports from US-subsidized agribusiness firms. The result was the disappearance of 2.3 million jobs in Mexico's agricultural sector -- a net loss of some 1.6 million jobs for Mexicans.
This helps explain a sharp increase in Mexican migration to the United States "from about 350,000 per year before NAFTA to nearly 500,000 per year by the early 2000s," according to the report. Many of these immigrants are the unauthorized residents Trump is now deporting.
It's true that NAFTA produced some winners. Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim moved into the top 10 on Forbes' list of the world's billionaires, Walmart became Mexico's largest private employer, and US corporations like Archer Daniels Midland, Bartlett Grain and Cargill profited handsomely from our country's agricultural exports to Mexico, worth $17.7 billion in 2016. NAFTA critics suggest that trade accords negotiated behind closed doors by business-oriented experts are bound to produce results like these and that future negotiations should be handled by the people left behind in previous pacts.
In fact, there have been several efforts to bring together civil society groups from Canada, Mexico and the United States to formulate demands for a more equitable accord. The DC-based nonprofit Global Trade Watch has been promoting the idea for years, and a meeting in Mexico City in May this year has set the project in motion. The agenda would include proposals to create or strengthen protections for labor organizing, for small-scale farming, for the environment, and for the rights of women and people of color -- along with a more rational approach to migration than what we have now.
These grassroots efforts are important, although they aren't likely to sway the policy makers in the short term. US negotiator Lighthizer talked tough on August 16, telling the press that "NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement," but a letter he sent Congress in May suggests that the Trump administration will actually go ahead with what is pretty much a modernized version of the old NAFTA, its flaws intact.
Still, at the very least, we can use the new attention on trade to start dispelling the fantasy that NAFTA was a giveaway to Mexico. This was never a conflict between the people of the NAFTA nations; the conflict was between the super-rich and all the rest of us, and we're the ones who have been losing.
Following the recent clashes between the alt-right and the group antifa, some libertarians have debated which group they should support. The answer is simple: neither. The alt-right and its leftist opponents are two sides of the same authoritarian coin.
The alt-right elevates racial identity over individual identity. The obsession with race leads them to support massive government interference in the economy in order to benefit members of the favored race. They also favor massive welfare and entitlement spending, as long as it functions as a racial spoils system. Some prominent alt-right leaders even support abortion as a way of limiting the minority population. No one who sincerely supports individual liberty, property rights, or the right to life can have any sympathy for this type of racial collectivism.
Antifa, like all Marxists, elevates class identity over individual identity. Antifa supporters believe government must run the economy because otherwise workers will be exploited by greedy capitalists. This faith in central planning ignores economic reality, as well as the reality that in a free market employers and workers voluntarily work together for their mutual benefit. It is only when government intervenes in the economy that crony capitalists have the opportunity to exploit workers, consumers, and taxpayers. Sadly, many on the left confuse the results of the “mixed economy” with free markets.
Ironically, the failure of the Keynesian model of economic authoritarianism, promoted by establishment economists like Paul Krugman, is responsible for the rise of the alt-right and antifa. Despite a recent (and likely short-lived) upturn in some sectors of the economy, many Americans continue to struggle with unemployment and a Federal Reserve-caused eroding standard of living. History shows that economic hardship causes many to follow demagogues offering easy solutions and convenient scapegoats.
Left-wing demagogues scapegoat businesses and the “one percent,” ignoring the distinction between those who made their fortunes serving consumers and those who enriched themselves by manipulating the political process.
Right-wing demagogues scapegoat immigrants and minorities, ignoring how these groups suffer under the current system and how they are disproportionally impacted by policies like the war on drugs and police militarization.
As the Keynesian-Krugman empire of big government and fiat currency collapses, more people will be attracted to authoritarianism, leading to an increase in violence. The only way to ensure the current system is not replaced with something even worse is for those of us who know the truth to work harder to spread the ideas of liberty.
While we should be willing to form coalitions with individuals of good will across the political spectrum, we must never align with anyone promoting violence as a solution to social and economic problems. We must also oppose any attempts to use the violence committed by extremists as a justification for expanding the police state or infringing on free speech. Laws against hate speech set a dangerous precedent for censorship of speech unpopular with the ruling elite and the deep state.
Libertarians have several advantages in the ideological battle over what we will replace the Keynesian welfare model with. First, we do not need to resort to scapegoating and demagoguing, as we have the truth about the welfare-warfare state and the Federal Reserve on our side. We also offer a realistic way to restore prosperity. But our greatest advantage is that, while authoritarianism divides people by race, class, religion, or other differences, the cause of liberty unites all who seek peace and prosperity.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's 36-year-old (he's 52 btw) trophy wife Louise Linton has landed herself in a bit of hot water this morning after an epic social media rant against a taxpayer who took issue with one of her Instagram posts.
And while most folks have learned to simply ignore the Twitter trolls, Linton apparently has not...which is great news for everyone else because it prompted the following epic rant in reply:
“Cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message [sic], one filled with wisdom and hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”
Others quickly chimed in: “Quite the populist hashtags on Louise Linton’s Instagram (Mnuchin’s wife), following her taxpayer-funded day trip to Kentucky,” joked Matt McDermott, a pollster and Associate Director at Whitman Insight Strategies.
“Curiously this Instagram post is no longer available. F–king hedge funders,” wrote one Twitter user. “Louise Linton is a hideous person, growing fat off of our tax dollars,” another said.
At one point during the evening, someone even went so far as to change Linton’s Wikipedia page to reflect her IG comment. “Never forget she posted this on Instagram,” the page read as of 10:30 p.m.
Alas, in the end, it seems that only the President is permitted to post outlandish social media rants as Linton's post has since been deleted and her account turned private.
One day after the US Navy announced it was placing global operations and patrols on temporary hold as it investigates the cause for the second deadly warship crash in two months, Navy and Marine Corps divers searched on Tuesday for 10 sailors missing from the USS John S. McCain which collided with a merchant ship near Singapore. According to the Navy’s Pacific Fleet Commander, at least one body and other unidentified remains have been found as the search so far.
"We have discovered other bodies during the diving on the McCain today,” Admiral Swift said at a news conference, held within sight of the damaged ship. “But it is premature to say how many or what the status of the recovery of those bodies is."
As the WSJ reports, Malaysian search teams had reported one body found in the waters off the coast of Malaysia and east of Singapore, where the McCain collided with a civilian tanker early Monday. U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers had located other remains inside sealed compartments of the vessel, Adm. Scott Swift said at a press conference in Singapore. Swift said the Navy was seeking possession of the body found by Malaysian search-and-rescue teams and was in the process of trying to identify the remains inside the McCain. He said search operations would continue until the chances of finding any remaining sailors was exhausted. “That remains our focus,” he said.
Swift declined to comment on the potential causes of the collision with the tanker, saying an investigation is still “in its earliest stages.”
At his news conference Tuesday, Admiral Swift discounted suggestions that the crew of the McCain had been overworked or underprepared. He also said there were no signs of failure in the ship’s steering system or of a cyberattack, two possibilities that have been mentioned in news reports.
He said the Navy hadn’t seen any indications of attempts to interfere with the ship through cyberattacks, but the investigation would consider all options.
“We are not taking any considerations off the table and every scenario will be reviewed and investigated in detail,” he said.
The admiral, who oversees 60% of the U.S. Naval global deployment, said exhaustion didn’t appear to be a problem for the McCain crew, but the investigation would determine whether negligence had occurred. He said the Navy didn’t have concerns about its readiness and capability despite recent incidents involving four of its ships.
“I was on the McCain this morning looking at the eyes of those sailors,” he said. “I didn’t see exhaustion”
As previously reported, the guided-missile destroyer had a hole torn open below the waterline on the left side in a collision with the oil-and-chemical tanker Alnic MC. The warship made it to Singapore’s Changi Naval Base under its own power, escorted by a Singaporean navy vessel. The Alnic, a much larger ship, suffered relatively minor damage.
In Malaysia, Zulkifli Abu Bakar, the director general of the Maritime Enforcement Agency, said the collision had occurred in the country’s waters, at the highly congested entrance to the Singapore and Malacca Straits. Quoted by the NYT, he said 80,000 ships a year pass through the area. “It is in our waters, so we are leading the S.A.R. operations,” he said Monday, using an abbreviation for search and rescue. But he said any territorial dispute was secondary to the search effort. “We do not want to have another collision,” he said. “For the time being, I don’t think we should argue about whose waters, because I think the most important thing is to focus on the search and rescue effort.”
The story has become short-hand for making light of a catastrophe, either out of self-interest (one theory had Nero clearing a site he desired for a palace with the fire) or out of a mad detachment from reality.
Are we fiddling while Rome burns? I would say yes--because we're not solving any of the structural problems that are dooming the status quo. Instead, we're allowing a corrupt, corporate mainstream media to distract us with fake "Russians hacked our election" hysteria, false "cultural war" mania, and a laughably Orwellian frenzy over fake news which magically avoids mentioning the propaganda narratives pushed 24/7 by the mainstream media--narratives that are the acme of fake news.
The media is only half the problem, of course; the audience doesn't want to hear about structural problems that can only be fixed by disrupting the status quo. If we don't accept that the financial system we inhabit is imploding, maybe all the problems will go away.
The system is coughing up blood and we still want to believe it is "recovering" from a cold.
Here's a short list of structural problems we should be tackling:
1. Soaring inequality and the institutionalization of economic privilege. Systemic economic privilege doesn't exist in a vacuum--it's enforced by a centralized hierarchy, a dynamic I describe in my book Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege. Systemic inequality doesn't just undermine the economy--it also undermines the social and political orders.
2. The central state (government) has one default setting: endless expansion into every nook and cranny of daily life. There are no mechanisms for contraction and no institutional memory of government reducing its control of every aspect of life.
3. Finance has detached from the real-world economy, distorting every function via financialization, which concentrates income and wealth in the hands of the few. As I have often explained in the blog (and in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform), if we don't change the way we create and distribute credit-money, we change nothing.
4. Our educational system is obsolete but the the current system is incapable of transformation for structural reasons. These include high sunk costs, bureaucratic sclerosis, self-serving fiefdoms that fear disruption of their gravy trains, a lack of understanding of the emerging economy, a dysfunctional centralized hierarchy and the state-funded exploitive machinery of student-loan debt.
5. The economy and thus our society (i.e. our mode of production) are changing beneath our feet in dramatic ways. Highly centralized hierarchies (government, corporations) are the wrong unit size and structure to manage this transformation to the benefit of all rather than to the benefit of the few.
Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities. The world is changing rapidly, and centralized systems that worked well in the past are failing because they are optimized for a world that no longer exists.
The status quo is coughing up blood, and the situation is dire. Denial won't fix what's broken, and neither will magical thinking (the economy is "recovering," symbolic gestures and virtue-signaling will fix everything, etc.) Clinging to the absurd hope that the status quo just has a nagging cold will only increase the disorder when the system breaks down.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin visits Fort Knox Gold
Later tweeted ‘Glad gold is safe!’
Only the third Treasury Secretary to visit the fortified vault, last visit was 1948
Last Congressional visit was 1974
Speculation over existence of gold in Fort Knox is rife
Concerns over Federal Reserves lack of interest in carrying to an audit on gold
Gold was last counted in 1953, nine years before Mnuchin was born
Mnuchin may be looking to prevent countries and states from worrying about and repatriating their gold
US Treasury Secretary 'assumes' the gold is still in Fort Knox, 64 years after it was audited.
81 years after it was built Fort Knox received its third visit from a US Treasury Secretary yesterday, Steven Mnuchin.
The fortified facility is reportedly surrounded by 30,000 soldiers, tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery. Despite this, there is still concern as to whether the gold is there.
As he headed in, Mnuchin told an audience “I assume the gold is still there…It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.”
With a background in Hollywood it was unsurprising that Mnuchin’s imagination appeared to be getting carried away with tales of finding the $200 billion of gold missing.
Missing gold: fact or fiction?
An empty Fort Knox is an issue far removed from the hills of Hollywood and has far more basis in reality than many give it credit for.
For many decades campaigns have been led for the US Treasury and government to audit the gold and to testify to its existence.
The gold has not been ‘counted’ since 1953. This was less than 20 years after Fort Knox was built. Since then there has been no official count or audit.
The facility (purportedly) holds 147 million ounces of gold, worth around $186 billion. This is small compared to the amount purportedly held at the Liberty Street facility, in New York.
As with Fort Knox, the New York gold is yet to be audited.
At the moment, a tweet from a US Treasury Secretary is all we have when it comes to assurance over the gold’s existence.
Lack of Fort Knox gold audit to prevent damage, will cause damage
Congressman Ron Paul has argued previously that the US government ask Americans to trust that the Fort Knox gold is there plus gold stored elsewhere. They refuse to allow any checks and audits (whether independent or carried out by the government).
Paul stated back in 2010, "if there was no question about the gold being there, you think they would be anxious to prove gold is there.”
Mnuchin is no doubt aware of the damage that would be done to the US economy should it come to light that the gold is no longer where it's supposed to be.
He has likely taken note of Goldfinger’s dastardly plan in the infamous Bond film. In Goldfinger the villain plans to contaminate the US gold holdings in order to boost the value of his and the Chinese’s own bullion.
Whilst the gold in Fort Knox is unlikely to have been contaminated there is a strong argument that it isn’t there at all. Instead, it has been leased out many times over.
Who has the gold?
As GATA found out between 2008 and 2009 the Fed keeps a secret of its gold-swap arrangements with foreign banks.
Unsurprisingly gold-swap arrangements potentially lead to the eventual problem that no-one’s sure whose gold is whose anymore. It can be a high-end, expensive game of pass-the-parcel.
It’s worth remembering that the gold held by the US Government is not just owned by America, they hold gold for many countries, including Germany.
There is an argument to be made over whether or not Germany, or anyone else storing gold in a central bank abroad, owns allocated gold or is merely a ‘creditor’ on a metal statement, given gold swap arrangements.
Venezuela and Germany are the two most high profile countries to have recently repatriated their gold. Both went to big efforts to publicise the existence of the gold as it was repatriated. Germany even published bar numbers.
Missing gold has the states in a state
The US has its own trust issues though when it comes to gold, thanks to the lack of checks in place. Two years ago the state of Texas were given the go ahead to build its own Bullion Depository, into which the state would repatriate over $1 billion worth of gold.
The move by Texas highlighted mistrust in the Federal Government’s ability to not only keep the physical gold but also to not confiscate it should the monetary system run into problems.
Gold going missing in the US is not a recent issue.
Back in the 1920s Herr Hjalmar Schacht, then head of the German Central Bank, went to New York to see Germany’s gold. Despite the importance of the visit, Fed officials could not find the palette of Germany’s gold bullion.
One would have thought this would have triggered an early start to the Second World War but instead Herr Schacht turned to the Federal Reserve Chairman, Benjamin Strong, and said ‘Never mind, I believe you when you when you say the gold is there. Even if it weren’t you are good for its replacement.’
All of this serves as a timely reminder that we should learn from the mistakes of governments and central banks. Rather than offer up a blind trust to counterparties storing gold we should ensure that we have as much control as possible over our gold bullion.
We believe that allocated and segregated gold bullion, stored in secure locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich is the best way to store gold. When you do this with GoldCore you have control and a audit of your gold holdings so you know they are right where you want them, when you want them.
According to IntelNews.org quoting Catalonia’s daily El Periodico, the CIA had warned the Spanish authorities that the Islamic State was planning to attack Barcelona, they even mentioned that it could take place in Las Ramblas.
“The tasking we get at Pine Gap is look for this particular signal coming out of this particular location. If you find it, report it, and if you find anything else of interest, report that as well.” David Rosenberg, …
His exit is a win for backers of a more traditional — and interventionist — U.S. foreign policy. Stephen Bannon may have been a political adviser to President Donald Trump, but his firing Friday could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Bannon’s exit clears an obstacle […]
“I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents – on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America.” That is what former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, over the phone, told the man who wrote the book on how Bannon/Macchiavelli actually conquered the White House for The Prince, Donald Trump. Immediately after his ouster […]
The media in Europe rarely mention the increasing outbreaks of dangerous diseases in Ukraine. No one has mentioned it except for UNICEF’s representative in Ukraine, Giovanna Barberis, and a few Ukrainian TV stations. But meanwhile, the problem in that country has reached catastrophic proportions. In the town of Izmail (the Odessa region) in the summer of 2016 an […]
On August 18, during a regular briefing, the Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department Heather Nauert stated that the United States doesn’t intend to extend its stay in Syria after the Islamic State is defeated. “That is our intent, to defeat ISIS and not do anything more than that. Syria must be governed by its […]
Imagine a world where one country – country X – is bombing at least seven countries at any one time and is seeking to bomb an eighth, all the while threatening an adversarial ninth state – country Y – that they will bomb that country into oblivion, as well. Imagine that in this world, country X already bombed country Y back into the Stone Age several decades ago, which directly led to the current adversarial nature of the relationship between the two countries. Now imagine that country Y, which is currently bombing no one and is concerned mostly with well-founded threats against its own security, threatens to retaliate in the face of this mounting aggression if country X attacks them first. On top of all this, imagine that only country Y is portrayed in the media as a problem and that country X is constantly given a free pass to do whatever it pleases.
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Police in Spain, on Monday, stated that Younes Abouyaaqoub, the main suspect in Thursday’s vehicle ramming attack in Barcelona, was shot dead in a police operation. Thirteen were killed in the Barcelona road rage. However, the shooting is but the latest fatal shooting of a terrorism “suspects” in a European Union […]
nsnbc : Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Monday, appointed the Russian Federation’s former Deputy Foreign Minister and Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov to be the country’s next ambassador to the United States. The office of the Russian Federation’s Presidency released a statement on the Kremlin’s website saying Antonov was appointed by presidential decree. The former […]
nsnbc : Afghanistan’s Taliban responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia by vowing relentless fight against the occupation. Stressing the Afghanistan is occupied by foreign forces, the Afghan Taliban issued a statement saying Washington was supposed to think about the withdrawal of its forces from […]
nsnbc : After years of deriding the U.S. war in Afghanistan as “complete waste”, U.S. President Donald Trump trumped his previous position and election promises on Monday, when he said he now believes it is in the United States’ interest to remain committed to Afghanistan. In an evening address from a military base outside Washington, U.S. President […]
nsnbc : French energy giant Total, on Monday, announced that is was buying Danish Mærsk’s oil and gas business as part of a $7.45 billion (5.7 billion pounds) deal. With the oil market showing signs of recovery, the world’s top oil companies including Total, have returned to the takeover trail over the last year. As […]
How many times have you been told that fighting for a cause you hold dear won’t make any difference in Washington? That politicians will do what they want, and we’ll just have to keep dealing with it? As someone who believes the Constitution matters, and liberty isn’t a whim the Founders acted on while […]
More people were shot in Chicago over the weekend than on any other this year, except for the Fourth of July weekend that stretched four days, according to police and data kept by the Chicago Tribune. At least 63 people were shot in the city, and eight of them were killed, police said. More […]
Amid the national fervor over Civil War monuments, a former Trump spokeswoman is reminding the left that doing away with reminders of history doesn’t change anything. Democrats ought to listen up. Tea Party advocate and Trump campaign spox Katrina Pierson joined Fox News Monday to discuss the controversy Democrats are currently fueling over monuments. […]
When it comes to emergency preparedness there is a focus on having depth and breadth to stockpiles of supplies and equipment but with a balance of skills and knowledge. When taking this into consideration, the old axiom “knowledge is power” should at a minimum be entertained. For my own definition, I will include skills under […]
While there have been countless books, movies and television shows about life after some type of apocalyptic event, chances are none of us will ever actually be forced to experience what its like trying to rebuild society from the ground up. More than likely, the majority of us will never be so hungry that we’re […]
At least 5 sailors have been injured and 10 are missing after a US guided-missile destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, "sustained damage" in collision with a merchant vessel while on a routine port visit to Singapore, the US Navy has said.
The vessel arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore with significant damage and several flooded compartments.
"Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding," the US Navy's 7th Fleet said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump said he ordered the US military to aggressively engage the Taliban and "fight to win" in Afghanistan "killing terrorists," signaling there will be no "rapid exit" from the 16-year war.
"Our troops will fight to win," Trump said, and he insisted victory in Afghanistan would be clearly defined. In his assertive speech at the Army's Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, next to Arlington National Cemetery, the president said, "My administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work."
Trump spoke as he presented a new Afghanistan strategy that as Trump said was under consideration right after his inauguration.
Yes, there is a civil war looming in the United States.
But it will not look like the orderly pattern of descent which characterized the conflict of 1861-65. It will appear more like the Yugoslavia break-up, or the Russian and Chinese civil wars of the 20th Century.
It will appear as an evolving chaos.
And the next US civil war, though it yet may be arrested to a degree by the formal hand of centralized government, will destabilize many other nation-states, including the People's Republic of China (PRC).
It may, in other words, be short-lived simply because the uprising will probably not be based upon the decisions of constituent states (which, in the US Civil War, created a break-away confederacy), acting within their own perception of a legal process. It is more probable that the 21st Century event would contage as a gradual breakdown of law and order.
I warned everybody about this in several posts last week. How some of the worst cretins rummaging around the carcass of American freedom and democracy instantaneously began salivating ferociously at the opportunity to look heroic by coming out in opposition to a grossly exaggerated Nazi threat hyped up by the corporate media. The events in Charlottesville presented such a tremendous opportunity for sleazy people in power to preposterously frame themselves as "speaking truth to power," I knew they'd milk it for all it's worth. Days later, and they're still doing it.
Of course, the "journalists" of corporate media, i.e., public relations stenographers for billionaires, are doing everything they can to push this ridiculous narrative. Unsurprisingly, The New York Times has helped lead the charge, with David Gelles penning an article on Saturday that has to be one of the most revolting pieces of shameless propaganda ever composed in the english language.
The article, titled The Moral Voice of Corporate America, should be etched in stone and thrown into time capsule so generations hundreds of years from now can accurately comprehend just how absurdist things had become by mid-2017 - the waning years of the hopelessly stupid American empire. A time when everybody enthusiastically lost their minds in a manic and desperate effort to avoid stark reality.
The death toll in Bihar floods has crossed the 300 mark with 51 people losing their lives since Sunday. The figure of flood fatalities stood at 253 till Sunday. 1.38 crore people are battling the deluge in 18 districts of the state. The figure of flood fatalities rose by three each in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. However, life in the deluge-ravaged areas of West Bengal slowly limped back to normalcy, with the water level of rivers receding.
Around *7.34 lakh people in Bihar have been shifted to safer areas. Close to 3.27 lakh people are putting up in 1,346 relief camps.
Araria district accounted for 71 deaths alone, Sitamarhi (34), West Champaran (29), Katihar (26), Madhubani (22), East Champaran (19), Darbhanga (19), Madhepura (15), Supual (13), Kisanganj (11), Gopalganj (9), Purnea (9) Muzaffarpur (7), Khagaria (6), Saran (6) and Saharsa (4), Sheohar (4).
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar held a high-level ministerial meeting to take stock of the flood situation.
In this edition on SPOTM: Ashley Graham, Buzz Aldrin, Bella Hadid, and Jim Carrey’s highly symbolic paintings. As usual, the one-eye sign was everywhere in pop culture this month. One truly needs to be blind to NOT see it and how it represents the industry being owned by a small elite. Special thanks to […]
The Vigilant Community is a brand new site featuring high-quality articles covering a wide range of topics including news, current events, health, technology and much more. The site is about understanding the agendas and being a more “vigilant citizen”. The Vigilant Citizen has been, since its creation in 2008, a website mostly dedicated to symbolism […]
In the music video for Fetish, Selena Gomez harms herself in all kinds of painful and degrading ways, while displaying symptoms of severe mental issues. The video is considered “hot”. Something is seriously wrong with pop culture. Selena Gomez is a classic example of them child star who garners millions of young fans and then […]
While Praying is said to be a “liberating” song that addresses Kesha’s painful past with her producer Dr. Luke, the video tells a whole other story. Indeed, through symbolism, the video implies that Kesha is still an industry slave … because that’s what she actually is. For years, Kesha has been displaying all of the “symptoms” of […]
New allegations claim that R Kelly has been keeping at least six women (some minor) under total control in “guest houses”, denying them contact with the outside world. His ex-assistant describes R Kelly as a “master of mind control and a puppet master”. R Kelly’s taste for underage girls has been making headlines for decades. […]
Rapper and artist Potent Whisper discusses how London is being deliberately turned into a 'playground for the rich' by dispossessing londoners from their communities and their roots via a process known as 'regeneration'
Randy "Iron Stache" Bryce has been elevated by establishment organizations and mainstream media pundits as Paul Ryan's congressional challenger, ignoring the existence of a Democratic Primary he still has to win.
John Herrmann writes for The New York Times: […] Like its fellow mega-platforms Twitter and Facebook, YouTube is an enormous engine of cultural production and a host for wildly diverse communities. But like the much smaller Tumblr (which has long been dominated by lively and combative left-wing politics) or 4chan (which has become a virulent and […]
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig: I drink coffee in the morning on a round, ornate oak table that once belonged to Harlan Fiske Stone, a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1925 to 1946 and the chief justice for the last five of those years. Stone and his family spent their summers on this windswept, remote […]
Margaret Hartmann reports for New York Magazine: Previously on the Bizarro World version of The West Wing, Steve Bannon’s far-right campaign to get the national security adviser fired appeared to be backfiring. With Rupert Murdoch urging Trump to fire his chief strategistand the introduction of a new character, Chief of Staff John Kelly, it seemed we might finally […]
James Laporta reports for The Daily Beast: Jack Posobiec is one of the right’s leading agitators and conspiracy theorists. He implied there may be a child-sex ring under a D.C. pizza joint run by Democrats. He peddled rumors about the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich. He interrupted a supposedly anti-Trump Julius Caesar play, yelling “you are all Goebbels.” […]
Sam Kriss writes for Politico: The words “alt-left” sounded strange coming from Donald Trump’s mouth, but then most words do. After a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead, including an anti-fascist activist murdered by the far right, Trump has refused to unequivocally condemn the “alt-right” neo-Nazis responsible for the violence. Instead, he […]
Could it be possible that it wasn’t just a “coincidence” that a naval vessel named the USS “John S. McCain” was severely damaged on the exact same day as “the Great American Eclipse”. I have previously written about how solar eclipses have long been believed to be warnings that judgment is coming upon a nation, [...]
Have we now entered a time of major financial shaking? On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 274 points. The was the largest decline for the Dow since May, and high yield bonds were down dramatically as well. Many are blaming the terror attack in Barcelona and “instability in the White House” for [...]
On August 21st, approximately 25,000 U.S. troops will join “tens of thousands” from the South Korean military to conduct a “major military exercise” that is already triggering threats from North Korea. Considering the fact that any sort of provocation could cause a nuclear war to erupt on the Korean peninsula, is this really a wise [...]
What you are about to read is going to absolutely shock you. Rick Wiles has done outstanding work over at TruNews for well over a decade, and now just days before the August 21st solar eclipse he has issued his most ominous warning ever. His warning is not directly related to the eclipse, but I [...]
Next Monday, we are going to witness one of the strangest events in U.S. history. This will be the first total solar eclipse to ever be seen only in the United States and nowhere else. Millions upon millions of people are going to flock to areas of the country where the full eclipse will be [...]
(WASHINGTON TIMES) Democrats on Monday slammed the prospect of President Trump granting a pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying it would mark a win for “white supremacy” and set the stage for the commander-in-chief to use his constitutional power to keep his family out of legal trouble. Rep. Ruben Gallego told reporters [...]
Indictments and allegations are piling up concerning the information technology specialist that was used in the offices of several different House Democrats, and an IT specialist running to unseat a congressional Democrat suspects there is a lot more that will emerge in this case. Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport last month while [...]
(ASSOCIATED PRESS) — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Monday night the United States must continue fighting in Afghanistan to avoid the “predictable and unacceptable” results of a rapid withdrawal from the country where the U.S. has been at war for 16 years. In a prime-time address to the nation, Trump said his “original instinct [...]
WASHINGTON – The progressive left typically dismisses the Democratic Party’s history of segregation and slavery, contending the two parties “switched,” with the GOP morphing into the party of “white supremacists,” contends documentary filmmaker and bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza. In an interview with WND, he called the claim the parties switched a “big lie.” Democrats, he asserted, [...]
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Abby and Robbie Martin talk about the Unite the Right white nationalist rally and murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, the argument over confederate monuments, Trump’s brownshirt army and conservative apologists for neo-Nazis, the invention and weaponization of the term “alt left” on Media Roots Radio. Donate to Media Roots Radio on Patreon. @AbbyMartin | @FluorescentGrey
Colombia and Venezuela: two neighboring countries that receive extremely different treatment by the US Empire and the mass media. While Colombia is known for one of the worst human rights records in the world, it remains a top recipient of US military aid and enjoys uncritical press coverage in Western media–all while Trump threatens military intervention against Venezuela over unsubstantiated … Read More
Peter Joseph is the founder of the Zeitgeist Movement, a grassroots, worldwide organization that advocates an alternative economic system based on sustainability, cooperation and human need. His most recent book, ‘The New Human Rights Movement,’ delivers a startling exposé about the violent oppression that defines our economic order, while issuing an urgent call for global activism to unite to replace … Read More
Abby Martin and Robbie Martin talk about the latest news in America’s dystopia: the Democratic Party backing anti-choice and GOP candidates, the Trump administration’s genocidal threats and warmongering against North Korea, fierce media propaganda and threats of regime change against Venezuela and the 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima on Media Roots Radio. Donate to Media Roots Radio on Patreon. @AbbyMartin | @FluorescentGrey
The recently introduced RAISE Act–Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy–would utilize a merit-based point system to increase the English language fluency and technical skills level of foreign citizens accepted into the U.S. while at the [...]
Recent court rulings seem to favor Amazon and Google in the ongoing battle over Internet censorship. AFP asked a professor who specializes in Internet law to explain how such tech giants are legally allowed to [...]
Despite the mega-corporation’s desperate attempts to keep company secrets secret, internal emails written by top Monsanto executives that were gathered during the discovery phase of a lawsuit now underway have been unsealed. What did this treasure [...]
The mainstream medical monopoly continues waging a war of lies on saturated fats, supported by the majority of corporate media parroting the establishment line as to what is and is not healthy for us. Apparently, [...]
The non-jury trial of former Maricopa County “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio concluded with the judge announcing her guilty decision via electronic communication, rather than by reading the verdict aloud during a hearing with the defendant in [...]
The Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) has initiated the New European Plan for Ukraine (the so-called Marshall Plan) for 2017-20. According to the plan, Kiev will receive at least €5 billion annually to implement the long-awaited reforms. The proposed aid package is discussed internationally. Efforts are underway to form a group of Ukraine’s friends, which will try to create the necessary support for the initiative.
When Russia and Syria killed civilians in driving Al Qaeda forces out of Aleppo, U.S. officials and media shouted “war crimes.” But the U.S.-led bombardment of Iraq’s Mosul got a different response, notes Nicolas J S Davies.
In every nation there are power conglomerates that determine and influence the domestic and foreign policy choices their nations. In the United States, it is important to highlight the concept known as American exceptionalism that accompanies these power centers, often called the deep state. According to this principle, the United States alone has been chosen by God to lead mankind.
In a recent press conference, President Donald Trump claimed that the United States had a variety of plans for dealing with Venezuela and would not rule out a “military option.” Never ones to miss out on an opportunity, the media’s response was predictably unbalanced. You would have thought the United States was launching an amphibious assault on Venezuela’s coastal Puerto Cabello.
What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the Second World War.
US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift has said divers searching for 10 missing sailors on an American warship that collided with an oil tanker off Singapore have found human remains. The USS John S. McCain collided with the oil tanker Alnic MC on Monday morning local time while the guided-missile destroyer was passing near […]
Washington Free BeaconAugust 21, 2017 Former Obama administration official Jeh Johnson said the removal of Confederate statues was a matter of “public safety and homeland security” on Sunday. In the aftermath of deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., when a man with white nationalist ties was arrested for ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protesters last […]
The UK will oppose a preemptive ban on ‘killer robots’, despite widespread calls in the UN to prohibit the use of ‘murder machines’. Britain fights for right to field ‘killer robots’ in direct defiance of UN Read more The UK will oppose a preemptive ban on ‘killer robots’, despite widespread calls in the UN to […]
Welcome back all you amazing human beings. Today while the world anxiously awaits the latest comments from the ‘Flat Earthers ‘on the solar eclipse and the rest of the country prepares for civil war, some real news stories are happening that you should know about. That’s what we are going to cover today on our […]
Hey everyone Jason Bermas here reporting for WeAreChange. I wanted to talk to you about the future of news and information and how you can no longer believe your own eyes and ears regarding almost any media because of realtime Video and Audio Manipulation. A year and a half ago, face to face real-time technology […]
Hey, Luke Rudkowski here from WeAreChange to discuss the breaking news about the dismissal of Steve Bannon from the White House. To talk about these latest developments, I have a guest Lee Stranahan who was the former lead investigative journalist at Breitbart. Lee was originally hired by Steve Bannon himself and now works at ThePopulist. […]
In his latest video, Luke discusses how difficult it has been to watch the infighting that is occurring and the responses that media have made to the Charlottesville situation. I have been following closely the response to Charlottesville, and sadly the situation is escalating and looks like it will get a lot worse before it […]
In a special broadcast today, we remember legendary comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away on Saturday in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84. Gregory became one of the most popular comedians in the country, paving the way for generations of African-American comedians. On Sunday Chris Rock wrote on Instagram, "We lost a king. They'll never be another. Read his books. Look him up you won't be disappointed. Unfortunately the America that produced Dick Gregory still exists." Dick Gregory was the first African-American comedian to sit on the couch of The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Parr. As his popularity grew, so did his activism. In 1967, Dick Gregory ran for mayor of Chicago against the infamous Richard Daley. He was a close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1968 he ran for president against Richard Nixon. Dr. Greg Carr, chair of Afro-American Studies at Howard University and a friend of Gregory, described him as a perpetual student. “His intellectual capacity was honed to precision with a lifetime of deep study,” Carr told _Diverse Magazine_. We feature Dick Gregory in his own words in our 2002 interview with the comedian in our old firehouse studio. We first interviewed Gregory just months after _Democracy Now!_ went on television. In a special broadcast today, we remember legendary comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away on Saturday in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84. Gregory became one of the most popular comedians in the country, paving the way for generations of African-American comedians. On Sunday Chris Rock wrote on Instagram, "We lost a king. They'll never be another. Read his books. Look him up you won't be disappointed. Unfortunately the America that produced Dick Gregory still exists." Dick Gregory was the first African-American comedian to sit on the couch of The Tonight Show, then hosted by Jack Parr. As his popularity grew, so did his activism. In 1967, Dick Gregory ran for mayor of Chicago against the infamous Richard Daley. He was a close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and in 1968 he ran for president against Richard Nixon. Dr. Greg Carr, chair of Afro-American Studies at Howard University and a friend of Gregory, described him as a perpetual student. “His intellectual capacity was honed to precision with a lifetime of deep study,” Carr told _Diverse Magazine_. We feature Dick Gregory in his own words in our 2002 interview with the comedian in our old firehouse studio. We first interviewed Gregory just months after _Democracy Now!_ went on television.
Tens of Thousands March Against White Supremacy in Boston & Other U.S. Cities, Thousands in Berlin, Vancouver & Quebec City Protest Nazis & Xenophobic Extremists, Steve Bannon Leaves White House & Rejoins Right-Wing Website Breitbart, Entire President’s Committee on Arts & Humanities Resigns, Calls on Trump to Step Down, U.S. & South Korea Launch Massive Military Drills on Korean Peninsula, Trump to Give Update on U.S. Military Strategy in Afghanistan Tonight, U.S.-Backed Iraqi Military Launches Campaign to Seize Tal Afar from ISIS, 10 U.S. Navy Sailors Missing After USS John S. McCain Collides with Oil Tanker, Philippines: Protests Growing Against Duterte’s Bloody Drug War, 200 People Die in Mudslide in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan Poised to Pass Law Ensuring Full Rights for Transgender People, Hong Kong: 20,000 March to Protest Jailing of Pro-Democracy Student Activists, Comedian & Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies at 84, Total Eclipse Visible Across Continental United States for First Time in 99 Years
The Justice Department is demanding web hosting provider DreamHost turn over 1.3 million IP addresses of people who visited the website DisruptJ20.org, which was used to organize the protests against President Trump's inauguration. The Justice Department is also seeking names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other information about the owners and subscribers of the website. More than 200 protesters were arrested during the Inauguration Day protests and are now facing decades in prison on trumped-up charges. We are joined by Nate Cardozo, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. His group is assisting DreamHost in its opposition to the government’s search warrant.
We feature Part 2 of our discussion with a former neo-Nazi and the nephew of a white supremacist who marched in the Charlottesville, Virginia, protest. Christian Picciolini is co-founder of Life After Hate, a nonprofit helping people disengage from hate and violent extremism. He was a leading neo-Nazi skinhead gang member and far-right extremist in the 1980s and 1990s. We also speak with Jacob Scott, the nephew of Peter Tefft, who was disowned by his father, Pearce Tefft, in a letter published in a local newspaper. Scott discusses what it means for the family to speak out.
President Donald Trump continues to face outrage over his response to last weekend's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where racism and anti-Semitism were on clear display. We speak with Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, which is calling on Twitter to suspend Trump's personal account, after branding him an accomplice to domestic terrorism.
While all experts agree that the events in Venezuela are following the same model as those in Syria, some writers have contested the article by Thierry Meyssan which highlights their differences from the interpretation in the anti-imperialist camp. Here, our author responds. This is not a quarrel between specialists, but an important debate about the historic change we are experiencing since 11 September 2001, and which is influencing all our lives.
The Shiite Nationalist leader Moqtada Sadr met the Prince Mohamed ben Salmane, heir to the throne in Riyadh (photo) and is now in the United Arab Emirates where he has met its heir to the throne, Mohammed ben Zayed Al-Nahyane. Moqtada Sadr supports the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and challenges Iran's influence over the Iraqi Shi-ite community. Moqtada Sadr's increasing power is good news for Iraq to the extent that Sadr is promoting Iraq's national unity, thereby countering (...)
An Israeli delegation will be received at the White House this week. The agenda: Syria. The three members of the Israeli delegation are: • Yossi Cohen (photo), Head of Mossad (Foreign Intelligence); • General Herzl Halevi, Head of Aman (Military Intelligence); and • Colonel Zohar Palti, Head of Military and Political Affairs at the Ministry of Defense. This delegation will meet with the following US representatives: • General H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor; • Dina Powell, (...)
During a press conference held on 16 August 2017 in Damascus, Syria's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Faiçal Mekdad, has revealed that both toxic and chemical substances were discovered in bunkers built by the jihadists. Thus he stated: “All the unusual material retrieved consists of hand grenades and pieces of grenades launchers of toxic substances, CS and CN (…). The company Federal Laboratories manufactured the chemical ammunition on US territory, whereas the companies Cherming Defence (...)
A bit more than 500 Kurds that converted to Christianity have just fled Iran. They think that Hassan Rohani's government has no problem in tolerating those who have been Christians for a long time, but that it comes down heavily on those who have converted. This is because the party views recent converts as infidels - traitors to Islam, who, have passed over to Christianity because they are under Western influence. Now, following the political hardening of Shiite Iran, many Iranian Kurds (...)
I was emotional. They are only fossils, but they have been human beings and very quickly you make a connection with these people who lived and died here 300,000 years ago. — Dr. Jean-Jacques Hublin, Department of Human Development at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany Human connectedness, the existence of […]
Liberals, progressive and Democrats should think critically about the negative impacts of widespread media bias on American democracy. There simply is no doubt that virtually all mainstream media regularly show their strong bias against president Trump and his administration. These media have convinced themselves that they are working to save American democracy from an incompetent, […]
Under the new policy just announced in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city will be taking down all but the non-racist war monuments and memorials in all of its public spaces. Three monuments to the Confederate war, fought to maintain slavery — those of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and a generic Confederate soldier — will all […]
They say you wake up with the strangest feeling— they say the sky will darken like the evening does just before the night, the sunray’s weaving will be blocked by the moon’s inherent reeling across the blue, and birds instead of pealing in morning song might sink into a ceiling of trees, confused, tuck in […]
The prison cell, in fact, turned out to be a gift, a blessing in disguise. Taking her out of the chaos that her life had become. A safety rope which pulled her free from those last few desperate rungs of the Downward Spiral. Instantly snapping the neck of negative and destructive relationships and associations. Now, […]
By: Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge | Statistics professor Salil Mehta, adjunct professor at Columbia and Georgetown who teaches probability and data science and whose work has appeared on this website on numerous prioroccasions, was banned by Google on Friday. What did Salil do to provoke Google? It is not entirely clear, however what is clear is that his repeated attempts at ...
Boosting testosterone has become all the rage today, but unless you activate your body’s innate ability to do it naturally you will have to face the possibility of serious side effects. As men reach their mid-forties their testosterone levels begin to decline, with approximately 1% to 2% decrease in measurable bloodlevels annually, and then dropping ...
On August 21st, approximately 25,000 U.S. troops will join “tens of thousands” from the South Korean military to conduct a “major military exercise” that is already triggering threats from North Korea. Considering the fact that any sort of provocation could cause a nuclear war to erupt on the Korean peninsula, is this really a wise thing to ...
The aftermath of 9/11 transformed America into a police state. Obama continued what Bush/Cheney began – cracking down hard on fundamental freedoms, subverting constitutionally protected rights. Will Charlottesville be used as a pretext for more of the same? Violence last weekend was reprehensible. Responsible parties should be held fully accountable – federal, state and local ...
Declassified files are useful in a world where truthtellers and open-minded investigators are shut down, censored and accused of being “conspiracy theorists.” Our world is fast becoming a digital censorship grid, where corporate technological behemoths like Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook rig algorithms (which control search engine results and news feeds) to elevate the information they ...
In what appears to be a coordinated attack against the rising popularity of coconut oil, the American Heart Association (AHA) has just published a “Presidential Advisory” on “Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease” in which it condemned coconut oil, and recommended that people not consume it.
The AHA’s recommendation clearly contradicts research that exists on not only coconut oil but saturated fats in general, which debunks the old lipid theory of heart disease that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease.
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski just erased any lingering doubts the corporate press serves almost wholly to vomit propaganda in order to control public perception, in a rather stupefying statement during an exchange with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough about President Trump possibly “trying to undermine the media.”
“Exactly. That is exactly what I hear,” Scarborough stated.
“What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, ‘Yeah you guys are going crazy. He’s doing — what are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.’”
“Well, I think that the dangerous, you know,” Brzezinski replied, “edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”
This unknown mineral is one of the best kept health secrets in the world.
The ancient Asian substance known as Shilajit is mostly unknown in Western medicine, though it has many amazing properties. Shilajit is a tar like substance which oozes from the rocks in the Himalayan mountains.
For millenia it was ignored as locals were unsure if it was a poisonous substance, but after native chimps were seen eating the substance the locals decided it must be safe.
After the first few people began to try Shilajit the health benefits were clear for all the natives to see. Body and brain function were improved drastically, leading to the nickname the ‘destroyer of weakness’.
A new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll finds finds that twice as many Americans want to keep Confederate monuments in public spaces as want to remove them: The Aug. 18-21 poll found that 54 percent of adults said Confederate monuments “should remain … Continue reading →
Remember the “Russians hacked our election!” hysteria–or have you already forgotten? That entire narrative collapsed under a deluge of factual evidence that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) data release was an insider job, and a compelling lack of evidence of any … Continue reading →
Eric Zuesse, as originally posted at The Saker Barack Obama was the only U.S. President who at the United Nations defended nazism — racist fascism — and Holocaust-denial. It received almost no reporting by the press at the time (or … Continue reading →
‘Colombia and Venezuela: neighboring countries that receive extremely different treatment by the US Empire and the mass media. While Colombia is known for one of the worst human rights records in the world, it remains a top recipient of US … Continue reading →
World Bank, IMF, BIS, NBER, McKinsey Now Admit that Globalization Increases Inequality We’ve all heard that globalization lifts all boats and increases our prosperity … But mainstream economists and organizations are now starting to say that globalization increases inequality. The National Bureau … Continue reading →
The United States government has invested more than $160 million since 2009 on a failed program to combat the endemic corruption that continues to plague one of the largest revenue sources for the Afghan government, the cash-based system to collect customs duties on goods entering Afghanistan, reveals a U.S. watchdog agency.
A nonprofit group that provides substantial financial support to the National Mall says the Jefferson Memorial and other monuments to the Founding Fathers will be updated to reflect their personal records as slave owners.
Monday night on “CNN Tonight,” while analyzing President Donald Trump‘s new Afghanistan strategy calling for a troop increase, network host Fareed Zakaria asked where was Steve Bannon “when you need him?” Partial transcript as follows: LEMON: You think his approach was right? You think it’s the only viable approach? ZAKARIA: No, I think this was a moment––this was a real lost opportunity. I actually feel like, where is Steve Bannon when you need him? This was an opportunity to really have a re-think, to sit back and ask fundamentally, what can we do? Wes Clark I think was closest to the truth when he said the fundamental challenge is actually diplomatic. In any one of these wars when you’re the country that’s 8,000 miles away, the locals know one day you’re going to go home. So the question is, how do you construct some kind of political settlement that will last when you leave? And that means getting the Pakistanis involved; the Indians involved but also the Russians, also the Iranians who we don’t talk to. Unless they’re all buying in—right now you have a situation where none of them are buying into the U.S. war—they’re all undermining it in various ways,
The Cairo platform of the Syrian opposition positively assesses Tuesday's negotiations with the Riyadh-formed High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and the Moscow opposition platform, Cairo platform delegation head Firas Khalidi told Sputnik on Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump highlighted during his speech on a revised US strategy in Afghanistan the importance of standing united in facing the enemy, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview on Tuesday.
Believing in Neo-Nazi ideologies is considered acceptable by nine percent of the US population, or around 22 million people, while 83 percent believe such views to be unacceptable, a new poll showed on Tuesday.
Under the new strategy for Afghanistan, President Donald Trump intends to deploy a sufficient number of troops to the country who will also be aided by additional air power, US Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview on Tuesday.
As we have all seen on the news, an effort is underway to remove statues and other remembrances of people who fought on the losing side in the US Civil War. This has attracted a lot of publicity due to the racist behaviour of some of the defenders of these monuments. But there is much […]
An operation that began as a seemingly obscure academic discussion three years ago is now becoming a full-blown propaganda campaign by some of the most powerful institutions in the industrialized world. This is what rightly should be termed the War on Cash. Like the War on Terror, the War on Cancer or the War on […]
The 2016 BBC documentary on Deobandis in the UK exposed what many of us knew all along. That the Muslim communities in the United Kingdom are not a monolithic and that there are some schools of thoughts that dominate terrorist violence and intolerance, while other Muslims are held collectively responsible. Most disturbingly, the vast and […]
It would come as no surprise to most readers that slavery has been officially outlawed in pretty much every country of this world. This cruel practice was condemned by the League of Nations in 1926 and then by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948, along with pretty much every single […]
The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for centre stage in American politics with fears of “Russian hackers” disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very […]
On Monday, Lithuania received a shipment of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Vilnius wants to strengthen links with Washington and diversify its gas supplies away from Russia. Lithuania is expecting another shipment next month. Read Full Article at RT.com
A North Korean envoy to a UN disarmament forum has refused to negotiate its nuclear program, accusing the US and South Korea of using joint military drills to carry out “an aggressive war scenario” and “a secret operation” against the North’s leadership. Read Full Article at RT.com