Curated Links

New Report: Death by Drone

Posted in Curated Links on April 17th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

In 2013, President Obama promised that before any U.S. drone strike, “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” Death by Drone, a new report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, questions whether he has kept that promise.

Learn More: Death by Drone | Open Society Foundations (OSF).

Download the Executive Summary.

Download the full report.

Stratfor on the US Empire

Posted in Curated Links on April 17th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Here’s an interesting article on American imperialism written by George Friedman for Stratfor’s Geopolitical Weekly. It was republished on the Committees of Correspondence site.

The United States found itself with an extraordinary empire, which it also intended to abandon. This was a genuine wish and not mere propaganda. First, the United States was the first anti-imperial project in modernity. It opposed empire in principle. More important, this empire was a drain on American resources and not a source of wealth. World War II had shattered both Japan and Western Europe. The United States gained little or no economic advantage in holding on to these countries. Finally, the United States ended World War II largely untouched by war and as perhaps one of the few countries that profited from it. The money was to be made in the United States, not in the empire. The troops and the generals wanted to go home.

But unlike after World War I, the Americans couldn’t let go.

Read the full article: The Bashful Imperialists: An Elite Intelligence Group on US Empire : Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

Congratulations, America

Posted in Curated Links on April 15th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Along with Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, you rank lowest for the material well-being of children in all of the developed world.

As Paul Buchheit reports, the callousness of America’s political and business leaders is shocking once you start looking at the numbers.

Read more: The Numbers Are Staggering: U.S. Is ‘World Leader’ in Child Poverty | Alternet.

Read the UNICEF Report on child well-being in rich countries.

The Military Indoctrination of Our Children

Posted in Curated Links on April 8th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Middle school military programs are younger cousins of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), a Pentagon program taught by retired military officers and present in more than 3,500 high schools nationwide. There are strong similarities with JROTC— military-style uniforms, close-order drills, a curriculum that emphasizes patriotism and military history.

A review of programs in more than a dozen states found that there are at least 97 public middle schools currently offering military-style education.

Read more: America’s Tween Soldiers – In These Times.

Walkable Towns Don’t Happen By Accident

Posted in Curated Links on April 1st, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

It’s got great transit, plenty of sidewalks, and values people more than cars.

Read about it: What Your Town Can Learn From America’s Most Walkable Suburb by Jay Walljasper — YES! Magazine.

Privatization: Profits Over People

Posted in Curated Links on March 25th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Paul Buchheit at Common Dreams takes a look at The Project on Government Oversight’s latest report on privatization. They found that in 33 of 35 cases the federal government spent more on private contractors than on public employees for the same services. The authors of the report said “Our findings were shocking.”

For the U.S. Postal Service, for instance, it costs less than 50 cents to send a letter to any remote location in the United States. For an envelope with a two-day guarantee, FedEx and UPS charge about four to five times as much.

USPS is so inexpensive, in fact, that Fedex actually uses the U.S. Post Office for about 30 percent of its ground shipments. As Ralph Nader notes, the USPS has not taken any taxpayer money since 1971, and if it weren’t required by an inexplicable requirement to pre-fund employee benefits for 75 years, it would be making a profit. Instead, this national institution has been forced to cut jobs and routes and mailing centers.

In other words, privatization places profits over people.

Read the entire article: How Privatization Degrades Our Daily Lives | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Capital Punishment and the Brutality of U.S. Class Rule

Posted in Curated Links on March 20th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

The latest abomination in a US death chamber took place on Tuesday night in Missouri when Cecil Clayton, 74, was injected and killed with a single dose of pentobarbital. The condemned inmate was executed despite overwhelming evidence of his intellectual disability.

Read More: Capital punishment and the brutality of class rule in America – World Socialist Web Site.

The Amazing Mister Boots

Posted in Curated Links on March 12th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Joseph Bien-Kahn interviews Boots Riley.

When I say, “We have hella people, they have helicopters,” I’m trying to point out that they can have this technology, but we’re the ones that have to operate it. They’ve got our eyes on the details of technology, but the truth is, this whole world is run through the power of the working class. We’re who creates the profit and we can reorganize it. Helicopters won’t matter.

Read the full interview: Boots Riley on the State of Oakland, the Power of the Working Class, and His New Screenplay | VICE | United States.

Rolling Firebombs

Posted in Curated Links on March 12th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Environmentalists around the country have been protesting the “bomb trains” for several years now, but the 100 car unit trains are continuing to roll through hill and dale, towns and cities. This, despite the fact that we now know that fracked Bakken crude is more explosive than gasoline. The fireballs that have erupted lately dramatically illustrate this point.

Read More: Exploding Trains and Crude Oil » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

U.S. Backed Warlords Terrorize Afghanistan

Posted in Curated Links on March 4th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Afghan government troops and civilian paramilitary units, trained and sanctioned by the United States, are routinely terrorizing the Afghan people, according to a Human Rights Watch report. The report indicated that the government in Kabul rules over a network of criminals on a spree of plunder, not subject to legal accountability.

…forces under the command of Hakim Shujoyi have killed dozens of civilians in Uruzgan province, yet despite a warrant for his arrest he remains at large and evidence suggests he has enjoyed the support of US forces. In Paktika province, Afghan Local Police forces under the command of Azizullah,an ethnic Tajik who, as of June 2014, was a commander of the local ALP in Urgun district, have committed multiple kidnappings and killings. Azizullah has worked closely with US Special Forces despite their awareness of his reputation for unlawful brutality.

Read the press release: Afghanistan: Abusive Strongmen Escape Justice | Human Rights Watch.

Download the report in PDF.