Tag Archives | Politics

A Frightful Prospect: Hillary vs. Jeb

"Jeb Bush by Gage Skidmore 2" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Jeb Bush by Gage Skidmore 2” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Andrew Levine via CounterPunch:

Around the world, elections happen; they are scheduled or called and then they are over and done with – all in short order. America is “exceptional.” Even before 2015’s April showers, 2016’s November election is taking shape.

The good news is that the first six months are usually low key. There is no reason to expect that this year will be different.

There is therefore plenty of time to stock up on anti-emetics. If, as seems likely, Hillary and Jeb become the candidates, the need for them will be acute.

There is time too to pray to a merciful God that we will not have to endure that nightmarish scenario, and that neither of those miscreants will ever see the inside of the Oval Office again.

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Three Practical Hurdles to a Universal Basic Income

basic-income

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

The campaign for the introduction of a universal basic income (UBI) has been gaining ground in recent years. What was once a slightly obscure proposal, beloved by certain political theorists and welfare reformists, is now being embraced as a potential solution to the threat of technological unemployment. I myself have written about it on several occasions, mainly focusing on different political and philosophical arguments in favour of its introduction. These arguments focused on the normative/political grounding for the UBI. They rarely, if ever, focused on the practicalities of the UBI. How would it be introduced? Would this be an easy thing?

In this post, I want to take up some of those practical questions. In particular, I want to consider a pragmatic argument in favour of the UBI, one that is often trotted out by its supporters. Then, I want to consider some potential pragmatic hurdles to the introduction of a UBI.… Read the rest

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Crimethinc: Power, Culture, and the Birth of a Free Society (Free Radical Media Podcast)

You can also listen to an audio-only version of this episode via Archive.org.

In this episode, the Free Radical Media crew is joined by a representative of the Crimethinc Ex-Workers Collective, one of the most influential anarchist organizations in existence. The crew discusses the most recent Crimethinc project, the multimedia introductory anarchist manifesto To Change Everything, which replaces their earlier, well circulated “Fighting for Our Lives: an Anarchist Primer.”

The group also discusses the modern anarchist movement, anarchist philosopy, and the nature of power and control, as well as putting forward strategies for building a new world.

You can learn more about Crimethinc via their website.

Free Radical Media can be reached via:
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Ted Cruz Wonders Why NASA Scientists Should Study Planet Earth

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)

Uhh…

Rebecca Leber via The New Republic:

Ted Cruz’s plan as chair of the Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee is to ensure NASA stays focused on spaceinstead of studying the havoc humans have caused on planet Earth. Space exploration is “what inspires little boys and little girls across this country,” Cruz said at a hearing on NASA’s 2016 federal budget on Thursday, according to National Journal. “I am concerned that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

His enthusiasm for space exploration is really just a lack of enthusiasm for understanding how humans affect the world. He is an outspoken climate change denier, claiming previously that there “has been no recorded warming” in the past 15 years. Cruz’s appointment as chair was almost as controversial as James Inhofe‘s taking over the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, as many expected Cruz would try to undercut NASA’s study of climate change.

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Hidden History: An Exposé of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics

51wKfc0eJ6L[Excerpted from Donald Jeffries’ new book, Hidden History: An Exposé of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politicspublished by Skyhorse Publishing.]

 

Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
- Robert A. Heinlein

I can remember when believing in conspiracies wasn’t cool. Now, in the second decade of the twenty first century, more people are starting to sense that things may not be as they appear to be. The truth in Lord Acton’s classic axiom that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” becomes more self-evident every day. Politicians from the only two parties we have to choose from break promises, are unresponsive to the will of the people, and opt for war, austerity measures and state control over and over again. Gary Allen, author of the book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, defined things perfectly when he wrote, “It must be remembered that the first job of any conspiracy, whether it be in politics, crime or within a business office, is to convince everyone else that no conspiracy exists.”

I contend that none of this is accidental, that it is not the result of what John Kennedy Toole termed A Confederacy of Dunces.Read the rest

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History in the Making: Three Prominent US Senators Roll Out Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

Brett Levin (CC BY 2.0)

Brett Levin (CC BY 2.0)

Phillip Smith via AlterNet:

A bipartisan trio of senators will introduce historic legislation to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rand Paul (R-KY) are set to file the bill today.

Booker and Paul have already made names for themselves as drug war reformers, but the addition of Gillibrand as a New York senator backing medical marijuana is welcome.

The bill would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and allow patients, doctors, and providers in states with medical marijuana laws to go about their business without fear of federal prosecution.

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The Vanquished Light

Michael Welton writes at CounterPunch:

From its founding, America has cast itself as a kind of redeemer nation unlike other nations (see E. Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: the Idea of America’s Millennial Role (1968) and J. Axtell, The School Upon a Hill: Education and Society in Colonial New England (1974)). The first emperors—Alexander the Great and the Roman Caesars—created myths of their descent from the gods. Alexander was “great” because he was descended from semi-divine beings. Augustus declared himself a son of a god. He raised a statue to his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, on a stage alongside Mars and Venus—not bad company. The USA engages in the same sort of myth-making. The Puritans came with an “errand in the wilderness” to build the New Jerusalem. They had no doubt that eradicating the indigenous people was within their god’s will, part of the divinely-promised land.

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Military court: Army must not refer to WikiLeaks leaker Manning as a male

"Chelsea Manning with wig" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Chelsea Manning">Fair use via Wikipedia.

Chelsea Manning with wig” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

David Kravets via Ars Technica:

A military appeals court on Thursday ordered the government to refrain from referring to WikiLeaks leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning as a male.

Formerly known as Bradley Manning, the private was court-martialed last year and sentenced to 35 years for forwarding a cache of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

After the August 2013 espionage conviction for leaking more than 700,000 documents and video, Manning announced that she would live as a woman with the name Chelsea going forward. She also appealed the conviction. A non-military judge approved the name change last year. Hormone therapy, which she is now getting, is assisting her transition. Manning has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

“Reference to appellant in all future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e.g., Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun,” the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Thursday.

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Everything I know about homelessness I learned from SimCity

David Blackwell. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

David Blackwell. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Aaron Sankin at Kernel Mag:

In October 2012, a gamer posted a provocative comment to a forum run by Electronic Arts about its beloved, long-running SimCity franchise.

“There is one area I’d like to see as future expansion … the homeless,” gamer IanLoganson wrote. “Most cities have homeless … Some of the world’s biggest cities now are in the rapidly developing countries and one big problem [they] seem to have is slums. Let’s say you have a thriving commercial city full of landmarks, high-end jobs and high-end housing. Such city lights draw the dispossessed in search for hope and if there aren’t enough low-end jobs, low-end housing, or a social safety net, they end up on the street.

“A small homeless problem is no big deal, but as it gets bigger it brings down property value and discourages tourists,” IanLoganson continued. “You need to think of helping them with aid, providing more jobs/housing for them, or getting the police to kick them out of the centre.

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