Showing posts from November 27, 2015

'Global War on Terror' Coincides with Dramatic Increase of Terrorism

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["Mission accomplished!" Terrorism index shows a nine-fold increase since 2000. Soon enough the world will consist solely of Westerners, refugees and terrorists. *RON*]
by Tharanga Yakupitiyage, Inter Press Service,, 26 November 2015

In 2014, the number of lives lost to terrorism around the world increased by 80 percent, the highest level ever. The majority of such terrorist activity occurred in the largest refugee-producing nations, a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) showed.

The GTI, developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), comprehensively studies the patterns and impacts of terrorism globally.

The 2015 GTI, released on 17 Nov, has recorded the rise in terrorism, with a nine-fold increase in terrorism-related deaths since 2000. In total, 32,658 people were killed in terrorist attacks in 67 countries in 2014.

Even in the wake of the 13 Nov Paris attacks, the majority of terrorism-related deaths do not occur in…

Fossil fuel companies risk wasting $2tn of investors' money, study says

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[Unfortunately we're forced to announce that the continued existence of planet earth is, quite simply, not a good investment. "Paris climate deal could render oil, gas and coal projects worthless with US, Canada, China and Australia most vulnerable to losing billions." *RON*]

Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 26 November 2015

Fossil fuel companies risk wasting up to $2tn (£1.3tn) of investors’ money in the next decade on projects left worthless by global action on climate change and the surge in clean energy, according to a new report.

The world’s nations aim to seal a UN deal in Paris in December to keep global warming below the danger limit of 2C. The heavy cuts in carbon emissions needed to achieve this would mean no new coal mines at all are needed and oil demand peaking in 2020, according to the influential thinktank Carbon Tracker. It found $2.2tn of projects at risk of stranding, ie being left valueless as the market for fossi…

At Donald Trump Rally, Ohio Students Become Part of a Lesson

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[Hatred, fear, exclusion. Just another day on the campaign trail. Some teenage students attended a Trump rally for extra credit. After vocally objecting to the candidate's Islamophobia, they were ordered remove by Trump and, two of the students said, called a racial epithet. *RON*]

By Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 25 November 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio — They looked as if they didn’t belong.

Seven students from Columbus Alternative High School filled a pocket of space in a cavernous hall of the city’s Convention Center on Monday night. They had come for a Donald J. Trump rally, but they looked as if they would be more at home at a casting call for the television show “Fame.” The group included a boy in skinny jeans who wore a wool hat and kept the fingernails on his right hand long and manicured, a girl with the sides of her head shaven, and two other girls wearing Marvel T-shirts and granny glasses.

They came to get extra credit for a history class…

Confronting the Best and Worst of Ourselves in Chicago

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["The underbelly of the city is a biting hatred that I, a black woman, fear when I hear it." At Esquire, Britt Julious writes how the video of black teenager Laquan McDonald's murder at the hands of a white police officer lays bare Chicago's larger systemic problems: "We've known all along how Chicago operates. The corruption flowing through all levels of government is a given and a running joke. The violence, conveniently pocketed in forgotten communities. The push and pull of history, the real currency of power more than outright wealth." *RON*]

By Britt Julious, Esquire, 25 November 2015

Chicago is a city rooted in communal isolation. Separation runs through our blood and muscles. Segregated bodies are the connective cultural tissue that citizens—political "leaders" and business owners and everyone else—use to define our ills. It makes Chicago "work." If we isolate the problem, ignore it, com…

President Obama Compares Syrian Refugees to Mayflower Pilgrims, Administration Says States Can't Block Them

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["The Obama administration said Wednesday that states can’t legally block the resettlement of refugees, according to a letter from the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement sent to state officials." The letter explains that "states are bound by the Refugee Act of 1980 to provide 'assistance and services' to refugees 'without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex or political opinion.'" See also: Watch: Here's What the Refugee Screening Process Looks Like*RON*]

By John Parkinson and Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 26 November 2015

President Obama used his weekly address to appeal to families counting their blessings on Thanksgiving, reminding Americans that the holiday isn’t only about turkey but a tribute to the deep immigration history that led to the nation’s founding.

“In 1620, a small band of pilgrims came to this continent, refugees who had fled persecution and violence in their native land,” Obama say…

How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce

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[The corporatocracy, labour and the surveillance state. How Walmart spies on its employees, hoping to prevent Black Friday strikes or unionization drives that would hurt its profits. "Walmart considered [labor group OUR Walmart] enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group… Employees (or associates, as they’re called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the ‘home office,’ as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark." *RON*]
By Susan Berfield, Bloomberg Business, 24 November 2015

The retail giant is watching.

In the autumn of 2012, when Walmart first heard about the possibility of a strike on Black Friday, executives mobilized with the efficiency that had built a retail empire. Walmart …

GOP rider would boost party spending

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[Mitch McConnell plans to slip campaign cash rider into a must-pass omnibus spending bill. This would effectively result in limitless campaign spending. *RON*]

By Kenneth P. Vogel and Seung Min Kim, Politico, 25 November 2015

Senate Republicans plan to insert a provision into a must-pass government funding bill that would vastly expand the amount of cash that political parties could spend on candidates, multiple sources tell POLITICO.

The provision, which sources say is one of a few campaign-finance related riders being discussed in closed-door negotiations over a $1.15 trillion omnibus spending package, would eliminate caps on the amount of cash that parties may spend in coordination with their candidates.

Pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime foe of campaign finance restrictions, the coordination rider represents the latest threat to the increasingly rickety set of rules created to restrict political fundraising and spen…

Pentagon Faces More Scrutiny Over $766 Million Task Force

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[Corruption in the military corporatocracy? Say it ain't so! The Pentagon is "...making it difficult for the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction to investigate reports of gross waste and mismanagement by the now-defunct, five-year Task Force for Business Stability Operations. One of its projects, a gas station, cost 140 times what it should have." *RON*]
By Megan McCloskeyProPublica, 27 November 2015

The Pentagon is scrambling to justify its actions in restricting the government watchdog investigating a $766-million task force in Afghanistan - with more controversy seemingly erupting by the day. Now there are allegations that Defense Department officials retaliated against a whistleblower and news of several ongoing criminal investigations.

Earlier this month, we reported that the Pentagon was making it difficult for the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction to investigate reports of gross waste and mi…