History They Don’t Want You To Know

Rutger Bregman : ‘Utopia for Realists’ And The Convincing Case For A Universal Basic Income

  Amazon Review After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don’t need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn’t be this way-and in some places it isn’t. Rutger Bregman’s TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. His April 2017 talk continues to make the provocative case, detailing the idea’s 500-year history and even its brief success in a forgotten trial in Manitoba in the 1970s. Nearly a million views later, guaranteed basic income is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the…

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes Cynical Lobbyist Tricks

  The Young Turks (2/14/19) There’s nothing these people won’t do to influence politicians. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Read more here: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/… “On Wednesday morning, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted a picture of a line of people outside a House committee hearing on marijuana banking.* According to Ocasio-Cortez, the people in the photo are homeless and were paid by lobbyists to hold their places in line. The practice of lobbyists paying people to stand in line for committee meetings is, according to previous reporting, a longtime practice in Washington, DC. In 2009, CNN wrote…


Before Black Lung, Union Carbide’s Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster Killed Hundreds Of Black Workers

In the photo above, dust circles a worker during the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel in 1930. Workers on the project were exposed to toxic levels of silica dust; hundreds ultimately died. (Courtesy of Elkem Metals Collection, West Virginia State Archives.) By Adelina Lancianese NPR (1/20/19) Southern West Virginia is a playground for hikers, cyclists and rock climbers, but in the heart of that lush landscape rests the site of what many consider the worst industrial disaster in American history. Today, from a picturesque overlook on the mountain above, tourists can see the gate of the Hawks Nest Tunnel,…


Time To Get The News

John Muir (Wikipedia). “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine to make money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of me. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.” — John Muir, conservationist and Wisconsin native.


Trump & Republicans Provide Comfy Socialism For The Rich & Brutish Capitalism For The Rest Of Us

    By Robert Reich RoberReich.com (2/11/19) “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a…



Intercepted: The National Security Shadow State & Policy Of Mass Murder Imperialism

    “Donald Trump is good for their dirty business.” Jeremy Scahill Intercepted Podcast / Intercept (2/6/19) DONALD TRUMP RECEIVED big bipartisan applause at his State of the Union. This week on Intercepted: As Trump openly pushed regime change in Venezuela, Democrats cheered him on. Trump also engaged in red-baiting during his speech by warning of the threat of socialism within the borders of the U.S. Jeremy Scahill talks about how economic sanctions are a mass-killing weapon intentionally aimed at the most vulnerable. Indian historian and journalist Vijay Prashad discusses the state of imperialism in the world, the battle for Venezuela, India’s…


Rep. Ilhan Omar Nails Criminal Trump Official Elliott Abrams Over His Links To War Crimes

  By Carla Herreria HuffPost (2/13/19) Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) homed in on Elliott Abrams’ dubious past when the controversial diplomat testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Abrams is now the special envoy to Venezuela, appointed by President Donald Trump in January. Omar ― who is embroiled in her own controversy over tweets viewed by some as anti-Semitic (she “unequivocally” apologized on Monday) ― questioned how Abrams, who has a history of lying to Congress and abetting war crimes by U.S. allies, could be trusted at all. “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the…


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exposes The Corruption Of DC In 5 Incredible Minutes

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/11/19) And to think some people — some democrats even — have been saying AOC needs to shut up, sit down and learn from the wise  ‘experienced’ hands in congress. I mean WTH, she’s only 29, what does she know about how congress works? Well, she knows exactly how congress works and nailed those ‘experienced’ hands exposing the rigged game congress has become. And she did it in only 5 minutes of congressional hearings. It’s the old farts in congress — too any of them democrats — who need to shut up,…


‘Shame On Sackler’: Massive Protest Breaks Out Over Guggenheim Museum’s Ties To Big Pharma

Common Dreams Staff  (2/10/19) Demonstrators inside New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum staged a “die in” and dropped thousands of paper slips designed to look like of OxyContin prescriptions Saturday night to protest the facility’s ties to the billionaire Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma and has been accused of deliberately fueling the opioid epidemic for profit. “Education facilities at the Guggenheim, including a theater and an exhibition gallery, are housed inside the 8,200-square-foot Sackler Center for Arts Education, identified by the museum as ‘a gift of the Mortimer D. Sackler Family,’” the New York Times reported. “The cloud of white…


Meet Victorina Morales, An Undocumented Immigrant Who Spent Five Years Working As Trump’s Housekeeper

    Democracy Now! (2/7/19) Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is calling on the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate whether employees at Trump National Golf Club broke the law by helping undocumented employees obtain fake work papers amid news reports that the Trump company has fired at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey in the past two months. On Monday, Menendez called on the federal government to allow former undocumented employees of the Trump properties to remain in the country while the investigation proceeds. We speak with an undocumented…


Venezuela & The Bipartisan Record Of War: The U.S.’s 68th Regime Change Disaster

This generation of Americans has already seen how our government’s endless sanctions, coups and wars have only left country after country mired in violence, poverty and chaos. By Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J.S. Davies Common Dreams (2/4/19) In his masterpiece, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, William Blum, who died in December 2018, wrote chapter-length accounts of 55 U.S. regime change operations against countries around the world, from China (1945-1960s) to Haiti (1986-1994).  Noam Chomsky’s blurb on the back of the latest edition says simply, “Far and away the best book on the topic.” We agree. If you…


Some Prominent Democrats Join With Trump, Media, CIA & War Criminal Elliot Abrams To Overthrow Nicolás Maduro & Steal Venezuela’s Oil

    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” — Friedrich Hegel   By Jeremy Scahill The Intercept / Intercepted podcast(2/2/19) The Trump administration is openly engaging in a blatant effort to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. It’s a campaign aimed at regime change, and it’s being publicly promoted as an opportunity to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations. They’re not even pretending. But this is not some insane Twitter thought spewed by Trump after guzzling down gallons of Fox and Friends. It’s open imperialism, and it’s not just being…


Edward Bernays, Corporate Propaganda & Engineering Consent For Empire With Mark Crispin Miller

The most influential man of the 20th and 21st centuries… ***** [Editor’s Note: While few know his name, Edward Benays was nephew of Sigmund Freud and can arguably be tagged as the most influential person of the 2oth — and on into the 21st — century. His work on how to form, shape and direct public opinion through subtle framing of wants, desires, hates and loves created the field of corporate public relations and government propaganda. If you want to get a deep understanding of it do a YouTube search of the four-part BBC series “Century of the Self”. —…


The American ‘Just-Us’ System Subjects Poor To Grinding Cycle Of Injustice & Hopelessness

  ‘I’m going to be paying it down until I die.’   Southern Poverty Law Center (1/25/19) The women incarcerated in Corinth, Mississippi, have a phrase for it: “sitting it out.” We have another name for it: “debtors’ prison.” Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court has been clear that it’s unconstitutional to jail people simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees. But in states across the South — and across the country — that’s exactly what cash-strapped municipalities are doing. Take Glenn Chastain. He owed $1,200 to the city of Corinth for expired vehicle tags. Because he missed a hearing, he…


“Where’s My Roy Cohn?”: Film Explores The Twisted Roots Of How Joseph McCarthy’s Ex-Aide Mentored Trump & Roger Stone

Donald Trump is a kind of delayed re-emergence of this dirty pool transactional type of politics that now really is verging onto a type of fascism.  Democracy Now! (1/28/19) Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who was arrested on Friday, and Donald Trump share a unique history: Both were heavily influenced by the infamous attorney Roy Cohn, who served as a chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare in the 1950s and would later become a leading mob attorney. Cohn represented Trump for years and once claimed he considered Trump to be his best friend. Cohn is…


The Ruling Class Phoney Crusade To Save The World – Without Changing A Thing That Leads To Injustice

  By Anand Giridharadas The Guardian (1/22/19) A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. The same could be said of others around the world. And now many of the people who broke the progress machine are trying to sell us their services as repairmen. When the fruits of change have fallen on the US in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them. For instance, the average pretax income of the top 10th of Americans has doubled since 1980, that of…


Teachings From A Political Prisoner: The Crisis Of The Interregnum

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” ― Antonio Gramsci (1881-1937), Prison Notebooks. Italian neo-Marxist theorist and politician. Eventually imprisoned by Mussolini. ***** From Wikipedia: The Prison Notebooks (Italian: Quaderni del carcere [kwaˈdɛrni del ˈkartʃere]) were a series of essays written by the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was imprisoned by the Italian Fascist regime in 1926. The notebooks were written between 1929 and 1935, when Gramsci was released from prison on grounds of ill-health. He died in April 1937. He wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and…


Investigative Reporter James Risen Describes His Long Fight To Report On Government Secrets At The New York Times

Cheney/Bush & Obama officials and New York Times editors conspired to suppress the information that was eventually released by Edward Snowden a decade later. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (1/5/19) Investigative journalist James Risen fought hard to get classified information published at The New York Times, where editors were quite willing to cooperate with the government. In this video, Intercepted host Jeremy Scahill speaks to Risen about his yearslong battle with the Department of Justice — spanning both the Bush and the Obama administrations — as well as his struggles with his own editors at the New York Times. Link to…


‘Bluff City’ Captures Photographer Ernest Withers During Civil Rights Movement

Weekend Edition, Saturday / NPR (1/12/19) NPR’s Scott Simon asks Bluff City: The Secret Life Of Photographer Ernest Withers author Preston Lauterbach about the undisclosed life of Ernest Withers, a celebrated civil rights photographer and FBI informant. Link to 6-Minute Audio ***** Amazon Review: The little-known story of an iconic photographer and FBI informant, whose work captured―and influenced―a critical moment in American history. Who was Ernest Withers? Most Americans may not know the name, but they do know his photographs. Withers took some of the most legendary images of the 1950s and ’60s: Martin Luther King, Jr., riding a newly integrated bus…


What We Need To Learn From The Fall Of The Roman Republic

“There’s a complacency that comes about from living in an old republic because it’s hard to imagine what seems impossible.” On Point / WPR (1/11/19) The fall of the Roman empire has fascinated history buffs and close students of power for centuries. The Fall of the Roman republic, however, may cast more light on our age. To walk around the federal part of Washington, D.C., is to attain constant glimpses of ancient Rome. The physical seat of all three branches of government — the White House, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Capitol — and the National Archives all draw inspiration…


Podcast: Jeremy Scahill On The Cynical Presumptions & Betrayal History Of Whataboutism — Intercepted Podcast

  History matters, Facts matter. Context matters. Let’s have an honest discussion of our national history. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (11/15/17) You cannot erase the murderous past of George W. Bush and his allies and act like all that matters is opposing Trump. If we, as a society, were actually honest about how often we do the very things — albeit in our own American way — as those we condemn as despots and tyrants and terrorists, then the whole dialogue would change. Link to 8+-Video


Newly Declassified Documents Shed Light On Gina Haspel’s Involvement At Guantanamo

  [Editor’s Note: keep in mind six democratic senators betrayed the constitution, international law and human decency  by voting to confirm torturer Gina Haspel in her confirmation hearing to be director of the CIA. This is a bipartisan disgrace.  — Mark L. Taylor] By John Kiriakou Reader Supported News Service (1/8/19) Last week, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified what at first glance appears to be an innocuous transcript of a request for discovery and witnesses made by Guantánamo defense attorneys during a hearing in the “trial” of 9/11 suspect Khalid Shaikh Muhammad. In the transcript, the attorney complains to the judge that the…


Christian Bale Credits Satan For Inspiration On How Best To Play Dick Cheney In ‘Vice’

By Ethan Sacks NBC News (1/7/19) It’s a good thing for Christian Bale that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was voting, and not Republicans. The Welsh-born thespian won the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture – musical or comedy for his portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice” and in accepting the award, he made clear where he stands on the real-life subject. “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role,” said Bale, 44. … Read the Rest and 1-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open…


Replay Of History? Rachel Maddow Investigates Spiro Agnew’s Bribery Scandal

  Fresh Air (1/19/19) Richard Nixon’s first vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned in 1973 amidst charges of bribery and tax evasion. Now, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and producer Mike Yarvitz revisit the Agnew scandal in the hit podcast ‘Bag Man.’ “The parallels with what was going on in the Nixon and Agnew administration 45 years ago to the efforts by the Trump administration right now … is uncanny,” Maddow says. Link to Story and 49-Minute Audio


Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture Of Corporate Media In Scathing Resignation Letter

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/3/19) In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.” Reflecting on his past couple of decades working with the network—in addition to writing books and columns for major newspapers and serving as as military adviser to…


History Shows The Descent To Authoritarianism Happens Slowly … Then Very Quickly

An out-of-focus, rain and sleet-soaked, twisted half-mast flag tightly wrapped around a Walmart flag pole in the middle of a dark winter night is emblematic of the New Year in Trump’s America. ***** The extent of the brutality exceeds the imagination of people until it is too late. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/3/18) On a recent broadcast of Grit TV’s Laura Flanders Show (12/18) Pulitzer Prize-winning author Chris Hedges spoke about his recent book “America: The Farewell Tour”. Drawing from over 20 years of foreign reporting for the New York Times in places as diverse as Central…


Democracy Now! Author Jason Stanley Explains How Fascism Cannot Operate Without Rigid Patriarchy

  “Everything in fascism is about smashing the truth and replacing it with loyalty and power.”   [Editor’s Note: This is an excellent conversation with Jason Stanley on the propaganda pillars of fascism, the sexualized politics of fascism and the steps to counter our growing far right fascist movements. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (10/22/18) In his new book “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them,” Yale professor Jason Stanley outlines the 10 pillars of fascism and warns about the dangers of normalizing fascist politics. Following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite multiple…


Search For Missing $21 Trillion Comes Up Empty As Pentagon Fails First Audit In 71-Year History

The War Dept can’t account for trillions. Yet we are told there isn’t enough money to care for citizens. We have the resources, they are just in the wrong hands.   [Editor’s Note: This story barely made nary a ripple in the mainstream corporate press, which — of course — gobbles down multiple billions in war industry advertising dollars. This scandal is a real opportunity for the democrats in the House, but will they hold meaningful hearings? — Mark L. Taylor] By Randi Nord Mint Press News (12/21/18) WASHINGTON — Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s…


“The War At Home”: 1979 Film On Anti-Vietnam War Protests In Madison, WI Hits Theaters With Timely Relevance

“This is Hometown. America in revolt … not to be missed.” — Variety Democracy Now! (12/28/18) The War at Home, a landmark documentary about antiwar protests in the 1960s and ’70s in Madison, Wisconsin, has just been re-released nationwide. In an extended interview, we revisit the film with co-director Glenn Silber, two-time Academy Award nominee, and discuss why he argues now is an important time to revisit the responsibility to stand up and say no to war. “I think the Dow demonstration, at least in Madison, and probably elsewhere, is one of the most important demonstrations ever, because what was it?…


Book Review — ‘Marx’s Inferno’: The Political Theory Of Capital

    William Clare Roberts Marx’s Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2017. 304pp. By Seth Ledwith Marx & Philosophy Review of Books (12/5/17) This year’s 150th anniversary of the publication of Volume One of Marx’s Capital has created renewed interest in that unrivalled magnum opus of radical political economy. The undimmed relevance of the book has only been enhanced by recent economic and political developments in this decade of the 21st century. 2017 also marks the tenth anniversary of the onset of the great recession that continues to act as a drag-weight on the Western capitalist economies. The transparent…



Filmmaker Frank Capra Warned Us: Facing Down The Challenge To Our ‘Wonderful Life’

  America feels more and more like Pottersville. By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (12/21/18) I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. Must be north of 40 anyway. Yet it has a way of hitting closer to home with passing year. The movie’s battle of wills between public-spirited George Bailey and greedy Mr. Potter has always symbolized conspicuous social and economic tensions between America’s privileged rich and struggling working class. But with the gap between the rich and the rest widening and the country’s middle class losing ground, and with hate on the…


Who Killed 7 Year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín At The US Border? Decades Of Brutal US Military & Corporate Policy

If it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes it takes a nation to kill one. By Greg Grandin The Nation (12/17/18) Her full name was Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquín, and she was from Guatemala. She turned 7 days before her death on December 8 from septic shock and cardiac arrest in the custody of the US Border Patrol. As public outrage mounts over reports of negligence on the part of the Border Patrol in delaying medical care for the child, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen blamed Jakelin’s family for their choice to “cross illegally.” Jakelin was Q’eqchi’-Maya, from the Guatemalan town of Raxruhá, in…


History Matters: The Bloody U.S. Dirty Wars In Central America Set The Stage For Today’s Refugee Crisis

“The U.S. set a house on fire.” By Jeremy Scahill The Intercept (12/2/18) The world watched in horror as U.S. Border Patrol agents opened fire with tear gas on a group of refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Among the targets of this assault by U.S. forces were women and children, many of whom who fled Honduras. Across the news media, these refugees are simply referred to as “migrants,” or “the caravan.” Rarely do we get any context of why they are risking their lives and the lives of their children to flee Honduras. And part of why we…


A Short History Of Often Brutal U.S. Meddling In Foreign Elections

By Mehdi Hasan The Intercept (10/1/18) Meddling in foreign elections is bad. I think we can all agree on that. And almost everyone — bar Donald Trump – seems to believe that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election. So that should be condemned. Here’s the problem, though: U.S. politicians and pundits cannot credibly object to Russian interference in U.S. elections without also acknowledging that the United States doesn’t exactly have clean hands. Or are we expected to believe that Russian hackers were the first people in human history to try and undermine a foreign democracy? In this video,…


‘The Silence Of Others’ — New Film Warns Against Spain’s Fascist History Repeating Itself

“How unjust life is. Not life, we humans .. we are unjust.” — Victim of Spain’s Franco fascist regime. Democracy Now! (12/6/18) A far-right, anti-immigrant, anti-abortion political party in Spain has made gains in regional elections, prompting protests in the streets. Members of Spain’s younger generation are too young to remember the brutal 40-year military dictatorship under General Francisco Franco. But a remarkable new documentary titled “The Silence of Others,” or “El Silencio de Otros,” hopes to remind Spaniards of the country’s fascist past, lest history repeat itself. The film follows several survivors of the Franco regime in their pursuit…


Setting The Record Straight: The Life And (Partial) List Of The Many Crimes Of George Herbert Walker Bush

  “You cannot make this stuff up.” Family fortune enriched by Nazi slave labor Secret slush funds Tax evasion Nixon dirty tricks operator Assassination cover-ups Mobster ties and murder cover-ups Protection of terrorists Cozy business ties with Osama bin Laden family Treason Secret deals with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini Union busting Protecting banksters Protecting right wing dictators Financing Central American death squads Obstruction of justice Enabling Saudi 9/11 terrorists Lying U.S. into two wars Support of torture & terrorism Racism Hate mongering Murder of innocents War crimes Taking orders from Saudi Arabia Ties to Sun Yung Moon Voting corruption, disenfranchisement and…


All US Presidents, Living & Dead, Are War Criminals

“The US has caused the deaths of 20 to 30 million people since World War Two, a level of carnage approaching that inflicted on Europe by Hitler.” By Glen Ford Black Agenda Report (12/6/18) Especially at state funerals, media and politicians pretend that US presidents are honorable men, instead of the mass murderers that all of them become in office. The daily whitewashing of imperial crimes that masquerades as “news” on corporate media becomes high ceremony when a Genocider-in-Chief dies. Now it is George Herbert Walker Bush’s turn to be canonized for bringing “’a ‘thousand points of light’ illuminating the…


Of Lies & Blood Of Innocents: A Dose Of Reality On George H.W. Bush’s True Dark Legacy

  Mehdi Hasan On George H.W. Bush’s Ignored Legacy: War Crimes, Racism & Obstruction Of Justice With the sanctions, with the devastation that came in the ’90s and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi kids who died. That all started on George Bush Sr.’s watch. Democracy Now! (2/3/18) George H.W. Bush died in Houston on Friday night at the age of 94. Bush was elected the 41st president of the United States in 1988, becoming the first and only former CIA director to lead the country. He served as Ronald Reagan’s vice president from 1981 to 1989. Since Bush’s death, the media…