By SHAMUS COOKE - February 25, 2013
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts...
Washington is a rogue terror state. So is Israel. It denigrates non-Jews. It's waged war on Palestine for decades. It's guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Its rap sheet makes serial killers look saintly.
By BEN ROSENFELD - Counterpunch Weekend Edition
The reality, too well known to the marginalized and dispossessed, but little known to their affluent fellow citizens on the other side of town, is that modern paramilitary police operate with virtual impunity, in a vacuum of both institutional accountability and societal ignorance and apathy. They patrol the urban streets with a siege mentality, regularly harassing and administering street justice to people they know wouldn’t dare complain, or whose word wouldn’t stack up against theirs anyway.
By James Ridgeway - February 24, 2013
...[O]therwise progressive labor unions [further] America's addiction to mass incarceration. In terms of prisoners rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, unions are seen as a major obstacle to more-humane conditions...[U]nions have fought proposed facility closures and the establishment of programs that would divert offenders into treatment and other lockup alternatives. They have frequently opposed reforms that could affect their members' autonomy, including oversight programs designed to curb abuses by prison employees.
The Latin American Exception: How a Washington Global Torture Gulag Was Turned Into the Only Gulag-Free Zone on Earth
By Greg Grandin - February 19, 2013
It seems that, between 9/11 and the day George W. Bush left the White House, CIA-brokered torture never saw a sunset...All told, of the 190-odd countries on this planet, a staggering 54 participated in various ways in this American torture system...No region escapes the stain. Not North America...Not Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia. Not even social-democratic Scandinavia...No region, that is, except Latin America.
The 2011 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) never really went away. It ducked and covered for another day. It's more about destroying personal freedom than online security. It gives government and corporate supporters unlimited power to access personal/privileged information online.
America is no democracy. It never was an isn't now. Obama enforces police state harshness. It's official policy. Lawless entrapment reflects it. Hammond is one many victims. Some call him the other Bradley Manning. They do so for good reason. He founded the web site HackThisSite. In 2003, he created it after graduating from high school.
Strategic interests largely benefit Israel. Washington provides it more aid and benefits than all other nations combined. A special relationship does more harm than good. It's counterproductive and lawless. It's financially, politically, militarily and diplomatically bankrupt.
By William Blum - February 7th, 2013
...[H]ave they learned nothing? When it comes to following international law, is the United States like a failed state? The Somalia of international law? Well, if they were perfectly frank, the war lovers would insist that the purpose of all these interventions, and many others like them, was to keep the atheists out of power – the non-believers in America’s god-given right to rule the world – or to at least make life as difficult as possible for them.
Imagining honoring crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. Imagine calling war on humanity honorable. Imagine granting a nation's highest civilian award for waging it. It shouldn't surprise. Obama will receive Israel's Presidential Medal of Distinction.
By Laura Gottesdiener - AlterNet
The case of a young man with Down's Syndrome who was asphyxiated while in police custody last week has spiraled into a shocking national news story...The tragedy began when 26-year-old Minnesota resident Robert Saylor was reluctant to leave a movie theater, prompting employees to call the police. Without stopping to learn from Saylor’s aide that he had Down's Syndrome, the police handcuffed him and restrained him on the ground until he died of asphyxiation...“A few times each week, across the United States, police shoot and kill mentally ill people in complicated, often incredible circumstances.”
By Karl Eisner - 20 February 2013
On February 8, federal authorities arrested a San Jose man for attempting to set off a car bomb outside a bank in Oakland, California. The charges filed against Matthew Llaneza, 28, stem from a months-long operation staged by the FBI’s South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force. The event is the latest in a long series of bogus terror plots hatched or otherwise encouraged by the federal government.
By Charles Bogle and Fred Mazelis - WSWS
The Winter 2012-2013 issue of American Educator...features an article on Howard Zinn’s well-known A People’s History of the United States. The article, by Stanford University professor Sam Wineburg, is entitled, “Undue Certainty: Where Howard Zinn’s A People’s History Falls Short”...The AFT’s attack on Zinn...demonstrates that the union loyally defends the status quo. Wineburg’s attack is in part a preemptive attack, a warning that it will do its best to see that no exposure of the ruling elite is presented in middle- and high school classrooms.
By Dave Zirin - February 19, 2013
...[T]here is little to admire about Michael Jordan at 50. If anything, the more you learn, the more you recoil. We all know the story of the pro athlete who ends up bankrupt. But what happens to the athlete who gains the world yet still stews in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction? This is Jordan. He’s no longer the smiling, gravity-defying movie star from Space Jam. Instead, he’s more like the glowering recluse from Citizen Kane.
By Marcus Day - 19 February 2013
Nearly 50 prisoners launched a hunger strike on February 4 at Pontiac Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in central Illinois. As of February 16, almost two weeks later, some 25 inmates remained on the strike...The protest comes in the midst of increased overcrowding and growing violent confrontations.