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Steve Sack | Iowa Caucus Craziness / www.truthdig.com

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Do the Right Thing?

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  • "And -- and -- you know, it goes back to the whole concept of regulations, which are in everything. The reason that I -- I hate them so much is because every single regulation costs in terms of goods and services." -Ben Carson
  • Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? 

Carl Petersen, OpEdNews

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http://www.opednews.com/populum/cachedimages/s_500_opednews_com_0_aqmd-hearing-jpg_503224_20160110-222.gif 1/10/2016 Hearing before the Hearing Board of the South Coast AQMD (image by Carl Petersen)   DMCA

It is not uncommon for businesses in California to complain that they have to deal with too many regulations. Unlike their brethren in Texas, they have to deal with inconveniences like state fire codes and contributions to workers' compensation insurance, which they say puts them at a competitive disadvantage. In response, some threaten to relocate their business from Los Angeles to cities like Houston, which does not even have zoning laws. Government regulation is viewed as unnecessary "government interference" because these critics say that "market forces regulate the seller as strictly as any bureaucrat could". The 2,258 households that have been displaced by the Porter Ranch Gas Leak are living within the fallacy of this argument.

There is no doubt that government officials and the bureaucrats that they employ have failed the residents of Porter Ranch and the problem was not that Sempra Energy was too highly regulated. Natural gas has been leaking uncontrolled from an antiquated well since at least October 23, and "it does not appear that Southern California Gas violated any regulations."

Carl Petersen: My activism goes back to 1988 when I had just moved to Los Angeles to attend Musician's Institute. I saw a flyer requesting help to defend against Operation Rescue's planned attempts to shut down family planning clinics and volunteered.

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Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan? Stephen Rodrick, Rolling Stone

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  • In Flint, Michigan, the feds and the state are investigating what one water expert calls one of the greatest American drinking-water disasters he's ever seen.
  • A writer returns home to find a toxic disaster, giant government failure and countless children exposed to lead
  • Do the Right Thing?

Losing Our Way

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  • New ideas and new leadership have seldom been more urgently needed.
  • Series | How America Can Recover from Addiction, Dysfunction,  and Corruption, Part 1: We admitted we were in a hell of a mess, that our country was in a downward spiral

Bob Herbert, New York (NY) Times

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March 25, 2011 | So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living.

Bob Herbert, a former New York Times Op-Ed columnist, writes about politics, urban affairs and social trends. Mr. Herbert is the author of “Promises Betrayed:  Waking Up from the American Dream,” (Times Books, 2005).

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Related:

http://www.filmsforaction.org/img/large-wide/643857a3-654e-4929-99e7-d23028711499.jpg Series | How America Can Recover from Addiction, Dysfunction,  and Corruption, Part 1: We admitted we were in a hell of a mess, that our country was in a downward spiral, David Culver, Telling It Like It Is

Donald Trump isn't an embarrassment to our country, he is  an indictment of it. The fact that he is the (Regressive) frontrunner for the highest job in the land - with absolutely zero experience and flaunting a (position) of unbridled bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny - clearly shows everything is wrong with the U.S.A.

The "Natural" Presence of US Armed Forces in Latin America

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  • Some figures illustrate the degree of dependency of the Latin American Armed Forces: the sale of US arms to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2014 amounted to 1,606’861,326 dollars and in 2012 was 2,408’527,664 dollars. The Latin American military who received training in 2013 were 12,157 effectives, while in 2014 they were 14,600.
  • Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world.

Silvina M. Romano, Latin America in Movement / Upside Down World

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/images/stories/0-1-0-honduras-us.2.jpgHonduras. (photo: Latin America in Movement) 

2016 January 18 | The discourse on freedom, democracy, diplomatic contacts and friendly relations with Latin America, so characteristic of the Obama administration in their eagerness to reinforce the "soft power" of his foreign policy, finds its real limits in the need for "order" and "stability" (watchwords that were familiar during the implementation of the National Security Doctrine in Latin America). Currently, the US Armed Forces in the Hemisphere are present not only in more than 70 military bases, but also through various multi- and bilateral security agreements: Plan Colombia, the Andean Regional Initiative, the Mérida Initiative, the Initiative for Regional Security of Central America, among others. These pacts include training programmes, capacity building courses, the sale of arms and equipment involving the companies providing these materials and US security agencies such as the DEA and the FBI, as well as the governments, companies and police forces of Latin American countries [1].

The reason for this presence is the "security of the United States", that implies by definition security and "stability" in territories that could constitute a threat to the United States. In the training manuals of the end of the 1960s, one can clearly read the link between them: "The lack of political stability and socio-economic order in a Latin American country puts in check US national security. Consequently, in matters of training and programs of military aid, the United States should adopt tactics destined to avoid the risks of such instability, through economic development and the imposition of order" [2].

Silvina M. Romano is a researcher with the Instituto de Estudios de América Latina y el Caribe, UBA, CONICET, Argentina.

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Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador largely responsible for some of the highest murder rates in the world, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Concerns over the safety of justice advocates have heightened since the arrests. The former military men arrested today have close ties to Guatemala’s organized crime networks. 
  • Bloodshed in El Salvador
  • Part 1: 18 Former Guatemalan Military Officers Arrested for Crimes Against Humanity
  • Part 2: El Salvador is on pace to become the hemisphere’s most deadly nation

Is Education the overlooked issue of 2016?

  • “Read John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education,” the high school teacher said to me at the end of the night.
  • What American Education Has in Common with the Dark Ages

Jon Nichols, Political Moll

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January 20, 2016 | “Education in America isn’t broken. It’s doing exactly what it was intended to do.”

I heard that from someone at a dinner party about four months back. This guest I sat across from was a twenty-something high school English teacher. I asked him what he meant by that statement. He said something to the following, paraphrased effect:

“Government and corporations don’t want people who can think. They want people who know just enough to get by but not enough to question and to form our own ideas. They want people who will be good consumers.”

Jon Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, writes about politics for the Nation magazine as its national affairs correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.

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Related:

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/monty_python_peasants.jpg What American Education Has in Common with the Dark Ages, Daniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout 

Interestingly, in America today, one finds some of these same trends: fewer students are exposed to philosophy (which used to be taught at the high school age), there are reports of teacher shortages, 20% of four-year college students now take remedial courses, and 27% of adults didn’t read a single book last year. The general consensus is that American education is in crisis.

Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America

Series | American Political Tomfoolery, Part 2: Democratic Shenanigans

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  • Money is not speech and corporations are not people. Put the people in charge for a change and see how society can run if we govern ourselves rather than merely allow others to subjugate us to their will in their own interests.
  • Series | American Political Tomfoolery – Part 1

Rcooley123's Blog

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Tom%20Stiglich%20%7C%20Political%20Nausea%20Bag%20copy_1.jpgSeptember 6, 2015 | The race for the Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential election has begun in earnest. So far, there are five announced candidates, with former First Lady, New York Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton currently leading the national polls by a substantial, though not insurmountable percentage. She has been leading all polls since the 2012 election was decided, though Independent US Senator Bernie Sanders has gained substantially since announcing his candidacy earlier this year. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee (who also has not always run as a Democrat) and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb currently register in single-digits in the polls.

While the Democrats have thus far avoided the clown car, carnival atmosphere of the Republican primary process (involving at least 17 candidates, with real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump leading the way while seemingly insulting virtually every voting block except for aging white males), the road to the nomination is proving to be anything but smooth. Republicans in Congress have continued to spend an inordinate amount of time and money investigating Clinton’s conduct while she was Secretary of State, trying to make a case against her for her handling of the situation  which resulted in the deaths of Americans in Libya to an email irregularity which they insist on keeping in the media spotlight.

Rcooley: Progressive, antiwar, humanitarian, environmentalist, civil liberties, human rights, Down Syndrome (my son). #ConnectTheLeft. 

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Series | American Political Tomfoolery – Part 1, Rcooley123's Blog

The merits of a candidate should be demonstrable by their performance and/or the strength of their ideas, not by the quantity of the lies and distortions they can afford to flood the airwaves with.

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