By G. Pascal Zachary for Alternet. The Port Huron statement, named after the city in Michigan where SDS leaders met in June 1962, presented a sharp break with political dissent in America. For the entire 20th century, leading up to the 1960s, radical politics in America was chiefly derived from European formulations. Left-wing Americans were deeply shaped by European socialism and Soviet (i.e., Russian) communism. As in 1962, our moment doesn’t seem auspicious. Again, the words from Port Huron ring true today: humanity “desperately needs revolutionary leadership,” and “America rests in national stalemate, its goals ambiguous and tradition-bound instead of informed and clear, its democratic system apathetic and manipulated….”
By David Morris for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. We believe in direct democracy, where people make the decisions rather than elected representatives. This article describes initiatives in three state that take on different issues. California has an initiative that takes on pharmaceutical prices. It is imperfect but a step toward controlling the out-of-control prices of pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. South Dakota takes on multiple democracy initiatives, i.e. one does away with partisan elections, a second creates a commission to redraw legislative districts every ten years, and the final vote is on a series of steps to reduce money in politics, one of the changes would be democracy credits donate to state legislative candidates who agree to participate in at least three public debates and cap the amount of private money they receive per contributor. We do not support doing away with partisan elections because what this ends up doing is doing away with third parties who do not have the money to compete, and can result in having two Democrats or two Republicans running against each other . . .
By Staff for Common Dreams. Native American leaders vowed on Saturday to protest through the winter against a North Dakota oil pipeline they say threatens water resources and sacred lands and are planning lawsuits over police treatment of arrested protesters. Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said he and other tribal leaders were working on providing food, heat and shelter for protesters opposed to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. "We're just working through some technical details as far as where the land is, and the type of land that can be used for some permanent structures," Archambault told reporters in Mandan, North Dakota on Saturday morning. At least 10 shelters were being readied on tribal land against temperatures that can fall below -35 Fahrenheit (-37 Celsius) for days at time, he said.
By Wendy Sol for the Indypendent. AIM is short for Algonquin Incremental Market Project, one of a number of pipelines that are being built in the Northeast to transport natural gas from fracking fields in Pennsylvania to New England and on to markets abroad. If completed by Nov. 1, as planned, AIM will carry approximately 342 million cubic feet of gas to Boston and other ports in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Spectra is also increasing capacity by more than a third on an existing pipeline that runs within about 100 feet of generators at the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson in Westchester County, about 35 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.With Spectra intending to have AIM ready by the beginning of November, groups that have opposed the project since it was first proposed to federal regulators in 2014 worry they are running out of time to halt the pipeline and are escalating their activism.
By Eric March for Up Worthy - Women in Iceland make roughly 18% less than their male counterparts, according to the latest European Union data. Which is good, compared to a lot of other countries — including the United States (which ranks 28th on the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report; Iceland is first). But still pretty unfair. Unless, of course, their work day was 18% shorter. Which means they'd get out at 2:38 p.m. This isn't the first time women in Iceland have gone on strike.
By Janine Jackson for FAIR - While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage. One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.
BY David Sirota, Avi Asher-Schapiro And Andrew Perez for IBT - When Massachusetts public school teachers pay into their pension fund each month, they may not realize where the money goes. Wall Street titans are using some of the profits from managing that money to finance an education ballot initiative that many teachers say will harm traditional public schools. An International Business Times/MapLight investigation has found that executives at eight financial firms with contracts to manage Massachusetts state pension assets have bypassed anti-corruption rules and funneled at least $778,000 to groups backing Question 2, which would expand the number of charter schools in the state.
By Belén Fernández for FAIR - As she marches toward the US presidency, Hillary Clinton has stepped up her promotion of the idea that a no-fly zone in Syria could “save lives” and “hasten the end of the conflict” that has devastated that country since 2011. It has now been revealed, of course, that Clinton hasn’t always expressed the same optimism about the no-fly zone in private. The Intercept (10/10/16) reported on Clinton’s recently leaked remarks in a closed-door speech to Goldman Sachs in 2013
AKA: Happy Halloween, If the Elections Weren’t So Scary, They’d be Hilarious Decades of lesser evil voting and a growing
By Nathan Wellman for US Uncut. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has sent a team of human rights observers to monitor law enforcement response to those protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision to send the team came in response to reports of militarized police deploying pepper spray, bean bags, and strip searches, as well as a case where improperly trained mercenaries allowed guard dogs to bite multiple protesters. The protesters – who prefer to be referred to as water protectors – have so far emphasized the importance of peaceful protesting tactics. Members of the media have also been arrested for covering the confrontations. “Our observers are here to ensure that everyone’s human rights are protected,” said Eric Ferrero, director of communications for AIUSA.
By Alan Pyke for Think Progress. It turns out pot is a stronger economic driver than 90 percent of the industries active in Colorado. Legal weed created 18,005 full-time jobs and added about $2.4 billion to the state’s economy last year, an analysis from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG)shows. Between the dollars that customers spend and the money businesspeople invest in their crops and shops, pot is generating more wealth and activity than almost anything else on a pound-for-pound basis. Every dollar spent in the industry generates between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity. Only federal government spending has a higher multiplier. Normally a business boom redounds immense benefits to people far outside of its immediate influence, as the money generated in one set of activities gets recirculated into others through consumer spending and business investment. But federal prohibition puts undue friction on that cycle, preventing it from reaching its full potential to create jobs and generate new opportunities.
By NoDAPL Solidarity. The Red Warrior Camp calls on all People from around the world to take action and join the Global Solidarity Campaign. If you live on this land, breathe the air and drink water, this is your fight too. Our Brothers, Sisters and Protectors are putting their bodies and lives on the line everyday on the front lines in Standing Rock. FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE CALL UPON ALL PROTECTORS TO COME STAND WITH US ON THE FRONTLINES. If you cannot be physically present, you can still take escalated action to stop the pipeline and support our struggle. The projected in service date for the Dakota Access Pipeline is January 1st, 2017. With that date quickly approaching, we are calling for two months of sustained waves of action targeting the Army Corp of Engineers, investors, pipeline companies, security firms and elected officials who are behind this project.
By William Hartung for Tom Dispatch. War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it's good for -- or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. Right now, the U.S. is ever more deeply involved in significant conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and increasingly Yemen -- at least five ongoing wars in the Greater Middle East. Yet, in the midst of Election 2016, with the single exception of the long-proclaimed, long-awaited Iraqi-Kurdish offensive against Islamic State militants in the city of Mosul (with U.S. advisers on the frontlines and U.S. Apache helicopter crews in the air), the rest of our spreading military actions might as well be taking place on Mars.