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December 2018

The New Congress and the Rolling Catastrophe of the US Body Politic

The American body politic is in a deep malaise with the current administration. But Trump is the symptom, not the disease, which is the neoliberal rule. The conditions that allowed the ascendency of Trump were the result of the neoliberal policies of Obama/Bush and of their predecessors. Trump does not so much represent a break or reversal of Obama era policies. Rather, we are suffering a continuation and intensification of those policies as the body politic lurches to the right.

Teachers Strikes Expected In 2019

Teachers in the U.S. are getting ready for a combative 2019, as strikes have been organized to protest the same old educational issues. The new year promises new teacher strikes in the United States (U.S.), as teachers are already preparing for more struggles for better working conditions. In the United States, 2018 was marked by teacher strikes. The number of educators walking out of classrooms to demand better salary conditions, smaller class sizes and the increment of founding, has never been seen before. In many U.S. states the 2018 teachers strikes resulted in progressive achievements.

Mountain Valley Pipeline Protested With Tree Sitter

Two people face removal from trees because they are blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline project near Elliston, a pipeline attorney said in court papers. A person who said he is one of the protesters expressed defiance Thursday. The person, who identified himself as 24-year-old Phillip Flagg, said only “if the pipeline were stopped” would he leave the tree voluntarily. He said he was speaking from about 50 feet above the ground in a chestnut oak near Yellow Finch Lane. He said he has ample supplies to stay alive, and another tree-sitter is nearby. The location is a steep slope below Poor Mountain in eastern Montgomery County, he said.

Universal Basic Income Is Easier Than It Looks

Calls for a Universal Basic Income have been increasing, most recently as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and supported in the last month by at least 40 members of Congress. A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a monthly payment to all adults with no strings attached, similar to Social Security. Critics say the Green New Deal asks too much of the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the resolution proposes. It says funding would primarily come from the federal government, “using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks,” and other vehicles.

Syrian Kurds Throw Americans Under The Bus

The Syrian government forces have entered the northern town of Manbij on the Turkish border earlier today. The Syrian military command announced in Damascus that the operation stemmed from the commitment to “impose sovereignty to each inch of Syrian territories and in response to calls of locals of Manbij city.” The announcement reiterated Damascus’ twin objective of “smashing terrorism and expelling the invaders and occupiers out of Syrian soil.” The government troops have hoisted the Syrian Arab flag in Manbij. In a highly significant move, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov promptly welcomed the development. “No doubt, this is a positive step towards stabilizing the situation,” the spokesman said.

The Decade-Long U.S. Campaign To Foment Syria’s “Revolution” And Unseat Assad

SYRIA — (First published in May, 2017) The fingerprints of U.S. imperialism can be found all over the manufactured insurrection in Syria, in keeping with the ultimate goal of destabilization and eventual “regime change”  through fomenting a sectarian civil war.  Former NATO commander Wesley Clark has gone on record as stating that Syria was on a list of targeted nations to be toppled by the U.S. as early as 2001. In 2002, former Secretary of State John Bolton gave a speech titled “Beyond the Axis of Evil” that listed Syria as a handful of nations that could expect to be targeted.

The United States Is First In War, But Trailing In Crucial Aspects Of Modern Civilization

Maybe those delirious crowds chanting “USA, USA” have got something. When it comes to military power, the United States reigns supreme. Newsweek reported in March 2018: “The United States has the strongest military in the world,” with more than two million military personnel and vast numbers of the most advanced nuclear missiles, military aircraft, warships, tanks, and other modern weapons of war. Furthermore, as the New York Times noted, “the United States also has a global presence unlike any other nation, with about 200,000 active duty troops deployed in more than 170 countries.” This presence includes some 800 overseas U.S. military bases.

To Achieve Peace, It Must Not Become An Economic Matter

Frequently we ask ourselves if peace is possible. Many people are disappointed thinking that it is just a delusion, an unattainable utopia. Even those who support and adhere to the peace movement, still appear to struggle to mobilize for it. There are powerful interests behind the scenes working towards total domination, power and control. Since it has always been this way, it will continue to be this way forever, without the possibility for change or improvement, they add. This is our problem when we try to invite people to work in our nonviolent activities aimed at ending of wars and disarming nations. Powerful industries know this as well as governments.

Democratic Leadership Blocking Green New Deal

As House Democratic leaders prepare to reclaim power this January, they are clamping down on insurgent progressive initiatives like the Green New Deal, which could be sidelined in favor of a broader climate committee with limited powers. Despite pledges from at least 43 Democrats to support a Green New Deal select committee – including prominent representatives like Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) – incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) derailed the move on Thursday by creating a climate committee with no explicit commitment to crafting a Green New Deal. Thursday afternoon, The Huffington Post reported that Pelosi picked Florida Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) to head the new climate committee, which may include members who take campaign money from the fossil fuel industry.

Japan Prepares For War Alongside US, Massive Military Build-Up Targets China & Russia

The cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved new so-called National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) on December 18 that will rapidly accelerate Tokyo’s remilitarization, including the acquisition of offensive weaponry. The new 10-year policy explicitly targets China and North Korea, as well as Russia. The document makes clear that Japan is preparing for war alongside the United States. It states that the US “remains the world’s most powerful nation, but national rivalries are surfacing and we recognize the importance of the strategic competition with both China and Russia as they challenge the regional order.”

Movement Victory: Over Five Million Workers Will Have Higher Pay On January 1

On January 1, 2019, 20 states will raise their minimum wages, lifting pay for 5.3 million workers across the country.1 The increases, which range from a $0.05 inflation adjustment in Alaska to a $2.00 per hour increase in New York City, will give affected workers approximately $5.4 billion in increased wages over the course of 2019. Affected workers who work year-round will see their annual pay go up between $90 and $1,300, on average, depending on the size of the minimum wage change in their state.

The Top 25 Censored Stories Of 2017-2018

The presentation of the Top 25 stories of 2017-2018 extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State University students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across North America has made the Project even more diverse and robust. During this year’s cycle, Project Censored reviewed over 300 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 351 college students and 15 professors from 13 college and university campuses that participated in the Project’s Campus Affiliates Program during the past year.

If LA Teachers Strike Don’t Expect It To Stay In LA

The nation’s second largest school district is about to ring in 2019 with a teacher strike that is already reverberating in public schools across California, and could be felt by taxpayers and communities throughout the state. United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents more than 30,000 teachers and employees in the Los Angeles Unified School District, says it will strike Jan. 10—the first Thursday after students return from the holiday break—unless the district agrees to a wide-ranging list of demands on pay, support resources and working conditions.

In North Korea, Verifying Requires Reconciling

During the Bush years, as it had done previously, Pyongyang showed some willingness to accept verification when it saw Washington moving away from enmity but balked when it did not. In September 2005, a US commitment to reconciliation with the DPRK would open the way to verification—only to be stalled by US failure to follow through. Any attempt to secure access to its nuclear facilities, not to mention its nuclear materials and weapons, will require a sustained US effort to end enmity with North Korea. The message from Pyongyang seems clear: no verification without reconciliation.

Democrats and Neocons Are the Biggest Losers of Trump’s Syria Withdrawal

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw them from eastern Syria has generated a rich list of winners and losers. Rarely has a strategy backfired as roundly as the Dem-neocon approach has since 2011. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney may have exaggerated when he said that Syrian withdrawal is “very popular with ordinary American people,” but not by much. Certainly, no one is taking to the streets to keep the troops in place. Democrats have suffered a major rebuff, deservedly so.
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