News Articles for November 7, 2021

Assange, banking, child labor, COP26, corporate, Corruption, elections, employment, imperialism, Israel, jobs, labor, Palestine, propaganda, rights, taxes, The U.S., Uncategorized, vaccine, voting, Yemen

I've seen a lot of good folk die
Who had a lot of bills to pay
I'd give the shirt right off of my back
If I had the guts to say
Take this job and shove it!
—Johnny Paycheck song written by David Allen Coe

It's the Covid, stupid!

That simple reality is apparently too complex for most of the media to figure out, as they transcribe and repeat Republican talking points over and over again about how people are quitting their jobs because the $300 a month unemployment benefits earlier this year were "too generous."

Twenty-six Republican-run states cut off unemployment benefits to their people two and three months early—and not one single Red state that did it saw a bounce in people looking for work.

You'd think that would have been enough to put a stake through the heart of that particular zombie GOP lie, but it went almost completely unnoticed by the national media. READ MORE

"Labeling effective NGOs 'terrorists' is a textbook way to evade accountability for human rights violations—and an affront to everyone who cares about peace," said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Progressives on Friday denounced Israel for classifying six Palestinian human rights groups as "terrorist organizations," a move that effectively criminalizes them.

The six groups, most of which document human rights violations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), are Addameer, AlHaq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International—Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

"The Israeli defense ministry said they were linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular political movement with an armed wing that in the past carried out attacks against Israel," reported The Guardian. READ MORE

"With all eyes on Glasgow this week, the Biden administration seems to be turning its back on reality and throwing climate leadership into the toilet," said one critic.

As U.S. President Joe Biden professed Washington's alleged commitment to decarbonization during the ongoing COP26 climate summit, the White House on Tuesday authorized more fossil fuel pollution—advancing its plan to sell oil and gas leases on public lands even after concluding that the resultant emissions could generate billions of dollars in social and ecological damage.

Environmental advocates denounced the Biden administration's decision, which came the same day the U.S. rejoined the so-called High Ambition Coalition, as "scientifically ignorant and legally indefensible."

"While President Biden is talking a good talk on climate action, the reality is his administration is actively working to fan the flames of the climate crisis by selling more public lands for fracking," Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians, said in a statement.  READ MORE

"What corporations and big conservation groups call 'nature-based solutions' is a dangerous distraction."

As a global climate summit continued in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, an international coalition of advocacy groups warned world leaders that corporate polluters are pushing for "nature-based solutions" to capture planet-heating emissions so they can "keep burning fossil fuels, mine more of the planet, and increase industrial meat and dairy production."

The coalition announced that a sign-on statement on the issue—which is open for signature through the end of 2021—has so far been endorsed by 257 groups and 78 individuals from 61 countries.

"What corporations and big conservation groups call 'nature-based solutions' is a dangerous distraction," the statement says, blasting companies from Microsoft and Nestlé to Shell, Total, and Unilever for "peddling a dangerous scam" that "is dressed up with unproven and flawed data." READ MORE


Welcome to the "Bannana Republic of America?"

Rather Than Pass Wage Increases, GOP Legislatures Move to Weaken Child Labor Laws

Lawmakers in Ohio and Wisconsin are pushing to allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work longer hours as exorbitantly wealthy corporations pay their adult employees less than $15 per hour on average.
Months into the United States' so-called "labor shortage"—which progressives and economists have repeatedly said is actually the result of weak worker protections during the coronavirus pandemic and wages that have remained stagnant for decades—Republican lawmakers and pro-business groups across the country are leading an effort to enable companies to fill out their ranks by hiring young teenagers.
Most recently, the Republican-led Wisconsin state Senate passed S.B. 332, which would expand "the permissible work hours a minor under 16 years of age may work," allowing businesses to hire 14- and 15-year-olds to work starting at 6:00am and until as late as 9:30pm on weeknights or 11:00 p.m. on weekend evenings. READ MORE
"A Billionaires Income Tax is not only an overdue tax reform, but also... smart politics."

As congressional Democrats continue to revise a pared-back version of the Build Back Better Act, a group of roughly 250 millionaires on Monday urged party leaders to include an "overwhelmingly popular" proposal to tax billionaires' annual investment gains in the final package, after it was excluded from the framework President Joe Biden unveiled last week.

Biden's 10-year, $1.75 trillion Build Back Better framework "is a momentous investment in working families, and it achieves important tax reforms that will create a much fairer system," the millionaires wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). READ MORE

"Foreign donors shouldn't be influencing our elections, no matter whether it's at the federal, state, or local level, said Rep. Katie Porter.

Democracy defenders expressed concern Tuesday in response to new reporting on a Federal Election Commission ruling that affirmed foreign entities—including overseas corporations—can fund U.S. state-level ballot campaigns.

"This is egregious," tweeted former Ohio congressional candidate Nina Turner. "A complete attack on our democracy."

Axios reported on the FEC's 4-2 July ruling that concerned a Montana ballot initiative on hardrock mining regulations and accusations that a Canadian subsidiary of Australian company Sandfire Resources violated federal campaign law by funding a campaign opposed to the measure. READ MORE

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”

He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm, an evocative symbol of institutional control.

For all but the two hours of my visit, he was confined to a solitary cell in a wing known as “healthcare,” an Orwellian name. In the cell next to him a deeply disturbed man screamed through the night. Another occupant suffered from terminal cancer. Another was seriously disabled.

“One day we were allowed to play Monopoly,” he said, “as therapy. That was our healthcare!”

“This is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” I said. READ MORE

“It is now apparent that these products in the blood stream are toxic to humans. An immediate halt to the vaccination programme is required while an independent safety analysis is undertaken to investigate the full extent of the harms, which the UK Yellow Card data suggest includes thromboembolism, multi-system inflammatory disease, immune suppression, autoimmunity and anaphylaxis, as well as Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE).” Tess Lawrie, Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12  READ MORE

Short of full discharge, those refusing the mandate could be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), based on prior Defense Department statements. Currently, some class action lawsuits are said to be underway among troops – including reservists – who argue the mandate violates their individual medical freedom and constitutional rights.

When it comes to the Air Force especially, there’s a risk of losing pilots and technicians – people in elite and highly skilled positions – who have undergone years of prior training at a government and taxpayer cost of millions of dollars.  READ MORE

The strangest war is the one that people don’t even realize is happening. It’s like that kid who was building sandcastles at Normandy while 156,000 allied troops stormed the beach. Or the fella who’d play backgammon in the middle of no man’s land during those world war one trench battles. That guy was silly.

I envy people who can ignore total war. They must feel so fuzzy inside. Personally I’ve always been somewhat turned off by the idea of my civilization being destroyed. Just never quite sat right with me. But I guess I’ve always been somewhat of a worry wart.

Sometimes I feel weird seeing atrocities no one else can see. Like, should I say something about those folks being led to the concentration camps or would that be awkward? Probably best to just let it slide, huh? Don’t want to ruffle any feathers. READ MORE

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”

He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm, an evocative symbol of institutional control.

For all but the two hours of my visit, he was confined to a solitary cell in a wing known as “healthcare”, an Orwellian name. In the cell next to him a deeply disturbed man screamed through the night. Another occupant suffered from terminal cancer. Another was seriously disabled. READ MORE

A long time ago, Gordon Adams introduced the term “iron triangle” to characterize the interlocked relationship of the Pentagon’s military services, the corporations that contract with it to build weapons and provide services, and the Congressional committees that vote on military appropriations—in short, the key players that constantly push for annual increases in military spending and the latest lethal weapons.

Though there are other players, such as lobbyists and pro-defense think tanks, this military-industrial-governmental complex comprises central casting. They work together to meet and sometimes exceed the military’s funding requests, in good economic times and bad, in peacetime as well as in times of crisis. To them, national security is a gravy train. READ MORE

Did you know the insects are vanishing?

They are. Land-dwelling insects like butterflies, ants and grasshoppers are now half as common as they were 75 years ago; that’s why those of you who remember catching fireflies on summer nights as kids don’t see them much anymore, and why car windshields don’t get covered in dead bugs like they used to.

This is a part of the animal kingdom that the rest of the ecosystem is built upon, and it’s undergone a drastic plummet that we’ve personally witnessed in our own lifetimes. If you were a sapient insect watching it happen, you wouldn’t be thinking in terms of a future armageddon, you’d feel that you were currently witnessing it. READ MORE

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley recently called China’s testing of a hypersonic missile designed to evade U.S. nuclear defenses “very close” to a “Sputnik moment” for the United States. The comments underscore an ongoing pattern on the part of the U.S. government and corporate media structure that reinforces and instigates dangerous preexisting geopolitical tensions with China, a rhetorical theme unnecessarily produced by a Sinophobic bipartisan U.S. political elite.

In this interview, international relations scholar Richard Falk provides the historical context of Sputnik and summarizes U.S. interests in promoting a culture of fear with China. Falk also outlines how prospects for a new Cold War could ultimately subside due to increased focuses about the climate emergency and COVID, thus rendering geopolitics less relevant, which is both fortunate and unfortunate for its own sets of reasons. READ MORE

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas over recently-passed legislation that imposes restrictions on voters from marginalized communities.

The Republican-authored law, known as Senate Bill (SB) 1, passed the legislature late this summer after Democrats unsuccessfully tried to block it by fleeing the state to prevent a quorum on its vote. The law created a number of new restrictions, including outlawing drive-through voting, creating an application process for people with disabilities to have others assist them in voting, implementing strict ID requirements for voting by mail, and making it easier for poll watchers to intimidate voters at the ballot box. READ MORE

The potential for public banking — or managing taxpayer funds through publicly-controlled financial institutions rather than private banks — first became real to me in the office of my city councilmember in the spring of 2019. A group of us had fanned out through City Hall to speak with every member of the council about the benefits of establishing a Philadelphia Public Bank. The staffer we were chatting with was new to the idea, and grew more and more interested. “The Council person would really like this idea,” he said. “It’s good for the common people. It’s good for the city budget. I’m going to talk with her about it. I think she’ll want to support it.” In that moment the concept of public banking, which I found compelling and had been promoting informally for years, became not just another good idea but an attainable goal. READ MORE

After Moderna announced Thursday that it expects to deliver up to 300 million fewer coronavirus vaccine doses this year than previously anticipated despite posting large profits, public health campaigners ramped up pressure on President Joe Biden to force the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant to share its recipe with the world.

Despite the lower delivery forecast, Moderna said it still expects to rack up between $15-18 billion in sales this year from its vaccine, which was largely funded by the U.S. government and developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The U.S. government owns a patent covering key spike-protein technology used in several coronavirus vaccines, including Moderna's and Pfizer-BioNTech's.

Moderna reported $3.3 billion in third-quarter profits from its coronavirus vaccine—the company's only product on the market—as it faces criticism for denying poor countries access to the shot and refusing to participate in global technology transfer initiatives. READ MORE

History has been rewritten almost daily this week, almost immediately as it occurs. A Wall Street Journal editorial on November 4 spun its view of what is at issue for the Democratic Party: “Voters warn Democrats to walk away from the Sanders-Pelosi agenda.” The Democrats’ own leadership quickly agreed with this take, playing the blame game against the Progressive Caucus for insisting on economic reforms that opinion polls have reported are precisely what voters say they want.

But these are not the policies that the party’s major donors want. What really is at issue is just whom the Democratic Party (and their duopoly partners the Republicans too, of course) supports: corporate lobbyists and the Donor Class, or wage-earning voters seeking economic policies that benefit them as employees, consumers and debtors. READ MORE

I have often reported on the drug maker ruse of “disease mongering” or “selling sickness” –– floating symptoms of scary diseases that you may have right now with convenient online, “symptom quizzes” for you to self-diagnose and verify. Long gone are the days when the medical establishment assured you that you were well (“take two aspirins and call me in the morning”) thanks to direct-to-consumer advertising.

Disease mongering makes patients into de facto drug reps who tell the doctor both the condition they have and the exact med they need –– it makes a mockery of medical school education. A current example of disease mongering is AbbVie’s promotion of the obscure-to-barely-existent condition of “exocrine pancreatic insufficiency” whose ads include voices brazenly leading the witness (or patient) by asking “Could I have EPI?” READ MORE

“Capitalism, Marx said, never went beyond those economic models where a few dominate a majority. Capitalism just replaced the dichotomies of master/slave and lord/serf with a new one. A dominating and exploiting minority was still there, but it had a new name: employers.”

― Richard D. Wolff, Understanding Marxism

Perhaps you’ve noticed something. There have been massive staffing shortages throughout the US and elsewhere. Workers are walking out or just not showing up. Little analysis has been given to this phenomenon outside of left circles, but some have dubbed it “Striketober.” How ever it is termed, this is what late capitalism looks like as it dies.

How long did we think this would go on for? Millions of lives full of monotony, drudgery and economic lack and hardship, while billionaires jaunt off to the upper atmosphere in penis shaped rockets to the cheers of most mainstream media. But along with what we are witnessing there is a disconnect. READ MORE

America likes to think of itself like Van Helsing in a world full of monsters; a rogue vigilante republic cursed with the responsibility to protect the weak and the downtrodden from the forces of evil with it’s superpowers. After all, without the great benevolent savior state of America, who would be there to combat autocracy and rid the world of the scourge of drugs and terrorism? And it’s true, America does wage a constant battle against a veritable rogues gallery of supervillains. But there is just one tiny detail that’s often left out of this Hammer House narrative. America may be defined by its forever war with the monsters of the world, but this Helsing nation gave birth to most of them. In reality, the American horror story bares far more in common with Frankenstein than any other mythology, with our indispensable nation playing the titular role of the mad scientist at war with the scourge of it’s own hideous creation. A simple glance at history makes this analogy painfully clear. READ MORE

Social psychologist Roy Baumeister begins his book Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty, with a proposition that will be counterintuitive to many: “Evil usually enters the world unrecognized by the people who open the door and let it in. Most people who perpetrate evil do not see what they are doing as evil.”

Dismissing evildoers as “insane” is an attempt to absolve both them and you of responsibility. Baumeister observes, “People do become extremely upset and abandon self-control, with violent results, but this is not insanity.” If only “insane” people commit “evil” acts, you might reason there is no need to strengthen spiritual and moral muscles. You might skip the reflection, study, and practice that builds spiritual and moral strength. READ MORE

Opposition to 5G has been ongoing worldwide since long before COVID-19 came into our lives.  Since 2017 doctors and scientists have been asking for moratoriums on Earth and in space and the majority of scientists oppose deployment.  Since 2018 there have been reports of people and animals experiencing symptoms and illnesses after it was activated.  Of course, there are health and environmental risks associated with other sources of cell phone and wireless radiation too.  In fact, a few months ago, a federal court ruled in favor of petitioners who sued the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for not protecting Americans from harmful radiation exposure.

Thanks to the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) for having Dr. Joel M. Moskowitz host a webinar about health risks from exposure. READ MORE

There can be little doubt that, had the US, China and Russia been on the same page, an advanced agreement was likely to be reached at COP26, but since it is not, the collapse can be laid at the feet of human tribalism and eternal conflict since the dawn of civilization, ultimately leading to a mass extinction of species.

Climate scientists have practically been excluded from COP meetings, dominated as they are by economists, lawyers and politicians. To date no address has been made by leading climate scientists, including authorities such as James Hansen, Michael Mann, Joachim Schellnhuber, Will Steffen and other, leaving delegates and populations unaware of the ultimate consequences of global climate devastation. READ MORE

UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder has just returned from Yemen with some tragic news about children living in what the United Nations calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, he said: “The Yemen conflict has just hit another shameful milestone: 10,000 children have been killed or maimed since Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign started in March 2015. That’s the equivalent of four children every day.” Elder told reporters that the estimates provided by the international UN agency were likely an understatement of the actual number of children killed and injured, which is rarely recorded by anyone. “These are of course the cases the UN was able to verify. Many more child deaths and injuries go unrecorded, to all but those children’s families.”

International experts have identified four significant dangers that have brought the country to the brink of humanitarian collapse. First of all, it is a brutal and protracted military conflict, and the blame for unleashing it lies entirely with the US and Saudi Arabia. Secondly, the colossal economic devastation that struck all regions of the country resulted from the military conflict. Also, there is a lack of infrastructure and social services, i.e., health, nutrition, water and sanitation, social protection, and education. Finally, the UN is critically underfunded. READ MORE

Researchers found fast food from popular chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Pizza Hut contain harmful chemicals linked to a suite of health problems.

As Americans devour a fast-food burger in the car or gobble up a chicken burrito in front of the TV, some may bite into phthalates, according to a new study in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

This is the first study to directly measure the amount of phthalates present in common fast foods in the U.S. and adds to mounting evidence linking phthalate exposure to fast food consumption.

A group of synthetic chemicals widely used to make plastic more flexible, phthalates are as ubiquitous in modern life as their host plastic products, ranging from toys to personal care products to food packages. Easily absorbed by human bodies, phthalates have been shown in human and animal studies to disrupt our endocrine system by heisting hormone receptors—such as the estrogen receptors or the retinoic acid X receptors—and turning on and off the switches for gene expressions. The chemicals have been linked to a wide range of health impacts, including birth and reproduction problems, impaired brain development, diabetes, and cancer. READ MORE

Pandora Papers Expose Elite Shadow Economy

25 Minute Video

Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos discuss the Pandora Papers and how world leaders, celebrities, criminals and the uber wealthy hide their money in offshore accounts. Army veteran Daniel Gade talks about improving the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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