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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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A new generation, outraged over Gaza, rejects Washington’s reflexive support


(Salon) It might seem counterintuitive to make the argument that Israel should no longer count on U.S. support for its policies as assuredly it has in the past. After all, hasn’t the Senate just passed not one but now two resolutions by unanimous consent declaring its backing of Israel’s deadly attacks on and invasion of Gaza?

In the first – Resolution 498 – the Senate “reaffirms its support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and ensure the survival of the State of Israel; condemns the unprovoked rocket fire at Israel; calls on Hamas to immediately cease all rocket and other attacks against Israel; and calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.” The second — Resolution 526, passed again by unanimous consent on July 29 — restates the Senate’s support for Israel and adds a criticism of a United Nations report on the violence. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that the U.N. report “was ‘disgusting’ and failed to recognize that Israel is defending itself from attacks started by Hamas, a terrorist organization.”

Yet even with these unambiguous resolutions emanating from the Senate, we find more and more evidence that support for Israel from the American public is slipping. A recent report in the Washington Post noted that “A new Pew Research Center poll is the second in the past week to show a huge generational split on the current conflict in Gaza. While all age groups north of 30 years old clearly blame Hamas more than Israel for the current violence, young adults buck the trend in a big way. Among 18 to 29-year olds, 29 percent blame Israel more for the current wave of violence, while 21 percent blame Hamas.”

Clearly there are a number of possible explanations for this; here are three that come to mind.

Recent polls show a growing divide between a younger generation that’s “over Israel” and their elders who, according to Salon writer David Palumbo-Liu, still view the recent conflict in the context of the Holocaust among other reasons. But can we wait for Generation Y to address the “tremendous humanitarian crisis” taking place in Gaza? .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.salon.com/2014/08/01/millennials_are_so_over_israel_a_new_generation_is_outraged_over_gaza_demands_change/



Rent or Tuition? The Growing Student Dilemma


(Truthout) For most members of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) community, life has returned to normal after the horrific shooting in May. Young people leisurely roll down streets on skateboards to buy supplies for nightly festivities, while others return from spending the day at the beach soaking up the summer sun. But for a growing group of marginalized students, this lifestyle is far from "normal." Increasingly, economic pressures are forcing some to choose between paying for rent or tuition. Amid the Mediterranean architecture and tropically-flowered landscape, lives a largely invisible population of homeless students.

In the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, University of California tuition skyrocketed by 355 percent. Nationally, inflation-adjusted tuition and fees at public universities have increased 27 percent over the past five years (2008 to 2013), according to the College Board. While it is almost passé to discuss rising tuition costs, readers may be surprised to find that this year, room and board expenses increased at a faster rate than tuition. Over the past five years, inflation-adjusted room and board rates across the country rose almost as quickly as tuition: 21 percent. Here at UCSB (and at most public universities in the country), room and board expenses still remain higher than surging tuition rates.

"Higher education can't be a luxury - it's an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford." President Obama's comments on educational reform in his 2012 State of the Union address must have sounded hollow to homeless youth, whose number had hit an all-time high in the same year. According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), 1.2 million public school children under the age of 18 were homeless in 2011-12, a 10 percent increase over the previous year and a 71 percent increase since the beginning of the recession in 2006-07.

Unfortunately, homeless college students remain institutionally overlooked and no reliable nationwide data exists. Colleges are not required to keep data on student homelessness and FAFSA only recently began to include a question regarding the subject. On 2012-13 FAFSA applications, 58,158 college students identified as homeless, an 8 percent increase from the previous year and a 23 percent increase from the first year data was collected (2009-10). The actual numbers are likely far higher. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25258-rent-or-tuition-the-growing-student-dilemma



Big Players Promoting Water Privatization


(Truthout) Americans used to take water for granted, but the water shutoff in Detroit has taught us all-important lessons. We now know that the private sector is willing to be ruthless in denying access to the most basic needs of living beings, and we also know that even those who have the least resources can also have power - if they are organized.

Knowing these facts can prepare us all for the current fight over the privatization of water. Here are the basic facts as to the players and the events that are leading us to this water war.

On May 21, as the Senate prepared to vote on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA), Senator Boxer spoke on the critical roles the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) section would play. Said Boxer,

We also have a new initiative to assist localities in need of loans for flood control or wastewater and drinking water infrastructure to receive those loans from a new funding mechanism we have named WIFIA, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

WIFIA will allow localities an opportunity to move forward with water infrastructure projects in the same way that TIFIA works in the transportation sector. Where there is a local source of funding to reimburse the federal government, the federal government can front the funds in order to speed up the process.

These funding arrangements supplement existing programs and will help to leverage more investment in our nation's aging infrastructure. The conference report also updates the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to ensure that our existing sources of water infrastructure funding are able to continue to meet pressing infrastructure needs.

The conference report authorizes 34 critical Army Corps projects where the Chief of Engineers has completed a comprehensive study. These projects will strengthen infrastructure that protects lives and property, restore vital ecosystems to preserve our natural heritage, and maintain navigation routes for commerce and the movement of goods.


There is no question that we have long needed a new water law that can accomplish all these goals.

But, even before the ink from President Obama's signing pen had touched the bill, the finance and private water industries were reenacting their own version of the pivotal moment in Oliver Twist - when the starving orphan Oliver holds out his empty bowl and says, "Please, sir, I want some more." ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/25308-big-players-promoting-water-privatization



NLRB: You can run, but you can't hide, Mickey Dee's


(McDonald's) On Thursday morning, about 15 Chicago McDonald’s employees rallied in front of the city's monumental downtown location, chanting, “Hey, corporate, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side!”

It’s not the first time demonstrators associated with the two year-old fast-food workers’ movement have crowded the sidewalk outside the Rock N Roll McDonald's—once the chain's busiest location in America—calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to unionize without retaliation from their employer. This time, though, they're here to celebrate rather than protest.

The cause for excitement? On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel Richard Griffin determined that McDonald’s can be treated as a “joint employer” at its franchises—which could make the corporation partly accountable for the labor practices of its franchisees.

“This is huge news,” says Nazly Damasio, a spokesperson for the Fight for 15 campaign, which organized today’s demonstration with support from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “This is something that workers have known all along, that (McDonald’s is) responsible for the poverty wages and the poor working conditions in their stores. ...It’s very exciting. It re-energizes us in the fight.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17019/mcdonalds_is_the_boss_and_thats_a_good_thing



David Sirota: Clinton Isn’t Warren, No Matter What Her Allies Say


from In These Times:



Clinton Isn’t Warren, No Matter What Her Allies Say
Despite recent claims by Hillary Clinton constituents that she aligns with Elizabeth Warren, a look at her track record proves otherwise.

BY David Sirota


Hillary Clinton’s political allies want Democratic primary voters to believe that the former secretary of state is just like populist Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and they've been claiming that there are no differences between the two possible presidential contenders. There’s just one problem: That’s not true.

Clinton last week filled in for George W. Bush at an Ameriprise conference, continuing a speaking tour that is raking in big money from Wall Street. One of her aides later downplayed the idea that Clinton’s relationship with the financial sector could be a political liability for her, should she face Warren in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. The aide defiantly insisted that the two are exactly the same.

“Ask any so-called 'left' or 'liberal' critic of Hillary to name a single vote or position (on) which Elizabeth Warren and Hillary would disagree,” said the Clinton strategist to The Hill newspaper.

OK, fine. I’ll take the challenge—there are many differences between these two politicians.

For example, in her book, The Two Income Trap, Warren slammed Clinton for casting a Senate vote in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that ultimately passed in 2005. That legislation makes it more difficult for credit card customers to renegotiate their debts, even as it allows the wealthy to protect their second homes and yachts from creditors. According to a 2009 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the bankruptcy bill’s provisions changing debt payback provisions played a central role in the foreclosure crisis, as the new law forced homeowners to pay off credit card debts before paying their mortgage. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/17021/Clinton-Warren-differences



Thom Hartmann program Daily Take: Doomsday Trigger for Megadrought?


Doomsday Trigger for Megadrought?

Thursday, 31 July 2014 15:56
By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed


One of the worst North American droughts in history could be getting a whole lot worse.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map released on Tuesday, more than 58 percent of California is in an "exceptional drought" stage. That's up a staggering 22 percent from last week's report.

And, in its latest drought report released earlier today, the National Drought Mitigation Center warned that "bone-dry" conditions are overtaking much of the Golden State, and noted that, overall, California is "short more than one year's worth of reservoir water, or 11.6 million acre-feet, for this time of year."

All across California, streams are drying up, crops are dying off, and local communities are struggling to maintain access to water, thanks to three years of persistent drought conditions. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/25314-doomsday-trigger-for-megadrought



Anti-Drone Activist's One-Year Sentence Will Not Deter Movement


Anti-Drone Activist's One-Year Sentence Will Not Deter Movement

Thursday, 31 July 2014
By Ben Kuebrich, Waging Nonviolence | Op-Ed


Like most of her supporters in the courtroom, I was enraged when I heard N.Y. Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady-Flores to one year in jail on July 10. But a deep hope prevailed, which characterizes the local anti-drone movement in New York and is no small part of the impact we’ve had.

When Grady-Flores was handcuffed in DeWitt Town Court, the 115 people in attendance stood up and sang. Resonating deep from her roots in the Catholic Worker movement, we called out in unison that night in the courtroom:

Rejoice in the Lord always
Again I say rejoice
Rejoice, rejoice
Again I say rejoice


We shook the room with our song. Some embraced each other and some cried, but everyone sang. When the court guards had enough and told us to leave, the singing only grew louder. We stayed for 10 minutes in that courtroom, repeating the same song, hoping that Grady-Flores could feel us through the court walls.

Grady-Flores was sentenced to one year in jail for violating an order of protection at the behest of Col. Earl Evans of the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field in Syracuse, Judge Gideon gave her the maximum sentence despite a pre-sentencing report from the parole office recommending that Grady-Flores receive a conditional discharge, which would mean no jail time. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25297-anti-drone-activists-one-year-sentence-will-not-deter-movement



The Wobblies (history of the IWW)





Documentary movie for "Industrial Workers of the world" (IWW, also referred to as The Wobblies), the largest union in the history of the labor movement in the United States.


Citizen Militias (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/citizen_militias_20140731



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