Man holding a Confederate flag. (photo: Complex)
Keisha Hatchett | Yahoo News | Reader
Supported News | October 5, 2015
espite what Donald Trump and many other politicians have told you, the major threat to America isn’t Muslim extremism. In fact, statistics show that the real danger lies with domestic extremists who aren’t of the Muslim faith.
The New York Times reported back in June that since Sept. 11, 2001, almost twice as many people have died at the hands of white supremacists and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims. Using data compiled by New America, a Washington Research center, a study found that 48 people have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim—including the mass killings in Charleston, S.C.—compared to the 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists. However, this does not factor in yesterday’s tragic shooting or less publicized incidents like the Las Vegas couple who murdered two police officers and left a Swastika on one of the bodies.
These stats reveal a vast difference between public perception and the number of actual cases in which Muslim extremists have claimed American lives. So why aren’t more people outraged about domestic terrorists? Because then we’d have to admit that white supremacy is still a problem.
Texas’ progressive political curmudgeon, Jim Hightower. (photo: JimHightower.com)
Scott Galindez | Reader Supported News | October 5, 2015
hile Bernie Sanders was drawing huge crowds in Massachusetts, a Super Tuesday state, supporters from surrounding states, including Jim Hightower, were canvasing in Iowa in what was billed as a weekend of action. While they were knocking on doors and making phone calls to supporters in Iowa, Bernie was speaking to over 30,000 supporters in Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts.
Back in Iowa Jim Hightower, one of the country’s leading populists, was firing up the troops before they pounded the pavement for Bernie. Hightower told supporters that Bernie was “giving us all an opportunity to win.” Hightower, who campaigned for Sanders in Vermont when he first ran for Congress, told supporters that they were the key to victory.
Hightower said he wasn’t surprised that the country was ready for a campaign like Bernie’s, but was surprised by the fundraising, calling it astonishing. He said Bernie was already winning, citing the large crowds that indicate a growing movement.
Student loan debt protest. (photo: YouTube)
Casey Quinlan | Think Progress | Reader Supported News | October 5, 2015
en. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Shelley Moore (R-WV) introduced the Student Loan Relief Act of 2015 on Thursday, which would let borrowers refinance their federal student loans in the private market. The senators argue that if their legislation passed, students would be able to benefit from lower interest rates.
“Our legislation would give borrowers flexibility, allowing them to save money by refinancing their student loans the way they would refinance a mortgage. And to better support our younger generation of workers, this bill would allow employers to help qualified employees pay off their student loan debt with pre-tax dollars,” Ayotte said in her announcement about the introduction of the legislation.
Despite the framing of the legislation as beneficial to students, it’s really the private market that has the most to gain from this bill. This bill would also provide a loan guarantee for refinanced loans. To better understand why Republican lawmakers are pushing for this bill, it’s important to remember that in 2010, The Affordable Care Act contained a reconciliation bill that meant all student loans would originate with the federal government compared to the old system, when 55 percent of those loans originated with banks. The federal government used to pay the banks more than the cost of the loans, which meant the change would actually save taxpayer money.
Marjorie E. Wood | Inequality.org | Truthout | October 3, 2015
It’s a refrain we’ve heard a million times. “Women make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.”
But what does it really mean?
According to a recent report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, at the current rate, women will not see equal pay until 2059—one year later than the group’s findings from the previous year.
2059 is a long time from now. And certainly too long a wait for women who need to put food on their families’ tables today.
Is the solution as simple as employers paying women more for their work?
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a fundraising event at Town Hall in New York, September 18, 2015. (Photo: Sam Hodgson / The New York Times)
Barbara G. Ellis | Truthout | October 3, 2015
The past few weeks have shown that the powerful, leading parties in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia – and perhaps soon, Canada – have suffered a revolution from revulsion of austerity policies heaped on the 99% so that the 1% might live like Bourbon kings. This grassroots-led public uprising in the midst of Great Depression II is being achieved peacefully by ballots and polls in four of the world’s major countries.
No pundits have yet called this bombshell a “storming of the Bastille” or “overthrowing of the Hoovers.” But it certainly is an “earthquake awakening” for establishment rulers on three continents, not to mention multinational corporations profiting from war and resource exploitation of the “third world.”
The voice of the people finally is being heard loud and clear.
Jeremy Corbyn’s historic and staggering (59.5 percent) overthrow of leadership in the UK’s complacent Labour Party may make him prime minister if the present government falls soon from a parliamentary vote of no confidence. Australia’s Tony Abbott was just ousted as an austerity prime minister by a 54-44 vote of his conservative Liberal Party. And in Canada “uneasy lies the head” of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who faces an October 19 vote by a large, angry electorate fed up with an economic recession that he refuses to acknowledge.
Madeline Taterka | Autostraddle | Truthout | October 2, 2015
Christina Lopez is an undocumented Peruvian trans woman being held in a “GBT pod” in the immigration detention center in Santa Ana, California. She needs medication for Hepatitis C, but after repeated requests, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to deny her access to them.
Lopez’s medical crisis is the latest in the ongoing denial of basic needs for trans women and other LGBTQI people in immigration detention. Hers is one of many cases which are leading LGBTQI activists across the country to demand freedom for LGBTQI people from immigration detention.
This summer, ICE released a memo announcing a shift in policy that moved towards creating different options for transgender women who have been detained in men’s detention facilities, even suggesting that there was a possibility that trans women could be held in women’s detention centers. Getting trans women out of men’s detention centers is an obvious win – it’s well-known that trans women face major amounts of sexual violence in detention centers, and it’s inherently transmisogynistic to keep trans women locked up with men in the first place.
Noam Chomsky. (photo: Va Shiva)
Noam Chomsky | Noam Chomsky’s Website | Reader Supported News | October 2, 2015
hroughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the U.S. Arms Control Association that “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely.”
There are, however, striking exceptions to the general enthusiasm: the United States and its closest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. One consequence of this is that U.S. corporations, much to their chagrin, are prevented from flocking to Tehran along with their European counterparts. Prominent sectors of U.S. power and opinion share the stand of the two regional allies and so are in a state of virtual hysteria over “the Iranian threat.” Sober commentary in the United States, pretty much across the spectrum, declares that country to be “the gravest threat to world peace.” Even supporters of the agreement here are wary, given the exceptional gravity of that threat. After all, how can we trust the Iranians with their terrible record of aggression, violence, disruption, and deceit?
Opposition within the political class is so strong that public opinion has shifted quickly from significant support for the deal to an even split. Republicans are almost unanimously opposed to the agreement. The current Republican primaries illustrate the proclaimed reasons. Senator Ted Cruz, considered one of the intellectuals among the crowded field of presidential candidates, warns that Iran may still be able to produce nuclear weapons and could someday use one to set off an Electro Magnetic Pulse that “would take down the electrical grid of the entire eastern seaboard” of the United States, killing “tens of millions of Americans.”