Education is the foundation of political change. In this section we provide news and information from organizations and independent media outlets free of corporate and government propaganda. In particular, these groups focus on the fifteen core issues that define today’s national and global crises. We also provide some tools and resources for you to become part of the growing movement of citizens’ media.

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Recent Articles in Educate!

Seth Rich, Craig Murray And The Sinister Stewards Of The National Security State

ANGELA N / CC BY 2.0

By Mike Whitney for Counter Punch – Former-DNC employee, Seth Rich, not only had access to the emails, but also a motive. He was pissed about the way the Clinton crowd was “sandbagging” Bernie Sanders. In contrast, there’s neither evidence nor motive connecting Russia to the emails. On top of that, WikiLeaks founder, Julien Assange (a man of impeccable integrity) has repeatedly denied that Russia gave him the emails which suggests the government investigation is completely misdirected. The logical course of action, would be to pursue the leads that are most likely to bear fruit, not those that originate from one’s own political bias. But, of course, logic has nothing to do with the current investigation, it’s all about politics and geopolitics. We don’t know who killed Seth Rich and we’re not going to speculate on the matter here. But we find it very strange that neither the media nor the FBI have pursued leads in the case that challenge the prevailing narrative on the Russia hacking issue. Why is that? Why is the media so eager to blame Russia when Rich looks like the much more probable suspect? And why have the mainstream news organizations put so much energy into discrediting the latest Fox News report, when– for the last 10 months– they’ve showed absolutely zero interest in Rich’s death at all?

UN Must Face Scientifically Predicted Consequences Of Nuclear War

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By Steven Starr for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – The preamble of the treaty to ban nuclear weapons now under consideration at the UN will be greatly strengthened if it includes a summary of the long-term environmental consequences of nuclear war, as described by a series of peer-reviewed studies done by prominent scientists working at major US and Swiss Universities, as well as at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research. These studies are considered to be the most authoritative type of scientific research—subjected to criticism by the international scientific community before final publication in scholarly journals—and the findings of these studies remain unchallenged. The research predicts that a nuclear war fought between emerging nuclear weapon states—with less than 1 percent of the explosive power contained in the global nuclear arsenals—can produce catastrophic long-term damage to global environment and weather. A war fought with 100 atomic bombs can result in the coldest average annual surface temperatures experienced in the last 1,000 years, and this prolonged cold (and drought) would last for several years before temperatures began to return to normal.

There’s Less Than Meets The Eye In Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal

Trump flanked by the Blackstone CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, a Momentive investor and Trump’s ‘jobs czar’, and the General Motors CEO, Mary Barra. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

By William D. Hartung for Defense One – Donald J. Trump may be unpredictable, but there is one common theme that runs throughout his presidency: a penchant for exaggerating his achievements. From his insistence that the crowd at his inauguration numbered over one million people to his claim to have rebuilt the military before his first budget was even announced, the president is perfectly comfortable claiming credit for things that have not, in fact, occurred. So it may be with the new arms deal with Saudi Arabia, pegged by the Trump administration as worth up to $110 billion. Many of the items mentioned as part of the package had already been offered to Riyadh during the Obama administration, including a Patriot missile defense system, Multi-mission Surface Combatants, attack and transport helicopters, and artillery systems. The value of these offers runs into the tens of billions of dollars. One item in the Trump package that is clearly new is the offer of a Lockheed Martin Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, a deal that could run into the billions depending on how many missiles are included and what kind of support systems are involved. But that leaves the administration a far distance from its $110 billion in claimed sales.

How The US Empire Was Made In North Korea

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By Niall Bradley for SOTT – Over the past 15 years, fighting-talk has periodically flared over ‘what to do about that crazy Asian dictator’ in North Korea. Today’s round of brinkmanship by the US/Western ‘deep state’ against North Korea will – in all probability – unfold the same way as in previous episodes; it will fizzle out. China is a guarantor of North Korean security, so the US will not go to war with North Korea. Period. The battle between Trump and the Washington Crazies for control of the reins of empire continues, however, and the ‘Krazy Korean’ is relevant to that. I hope to get to that in a later article, but in the meantime, take note of the contradictory messages coming from the US. One minute, US Navy battle-groups are ‘en route to North Korea’; the next they’re heading in the opposite direction. One minute, THAAD missile systems are ‘installed and operational in South Korea’; the next, Trump wants South Korea to pay for them. One minute, someone on the US National Security Council is telling NBC News that the US is considering ‘decapitating the North Korean regime’; the next, Trump announces he’d be honored to meet Kim Jung Un… All of which has provoked the South Korean and Japanese governments to denounce Trump’s confusing and contradictory statements.

Donald Trump’s Turn Towards China Curtails Navy Patrols In South China Sea

The USS Chancellorsville in the Luzon Strait, which links the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea, in March last year. Recently, three requests by the US Navy to sail near disputed islands in the South China Sea were rejected.PHOTO: NYTIMES

By Staff of Straits Times – WASHINGTON • More than 100 days into the Donald Trump presidency, no US Navy ship has gone within 12 nautical miles of any of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials said. A request by the United States Pacific Command six weeks ago for a warship to sail within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a reef claimed by China and the Philippines, was turned down. The decision not to challenge China’s territorial claims shows a remarkable deference towards Beijing from an administration that is increasingly turning towards Chinese President Xi Jinping for help amid the escalating crisis in the Korean peninsula. It remained unclear whether it was Defence Secretary James Mattis, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or one of their deputies who turned down the request and two others by the Navy in February. Defence officials said the White House was not involved. Mr Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the US at the Wilson Centre, said: “All of the language, combined with the fact that the Republican foreign policy establishment had been critical of (Barack) Obama for not carrying out enough Fonops (freedom of navigation operations), means there was a wide expectation that Trump would put down a marker early. And that hasn’t happened.”

“I’m Scared I’m Not Going To Make It To My 31st Birthday

(Image: Health care via Shutterstock)

By Staff of HCRMD – Pain medication [opioids]. I hate it so much. But my grandmother hates her insulin for her diabetes, but she still does because it keeps her alive. I’m on a teeny tiny dose to just keep me going. My rheumatologist informed me yesterday that this was the last script he was going to do, so now I have to go to a pain clinic. It’s difficult for me to get to a pain clinic. Hogan declared a state of emergency for the opioid epidemic and I think that’s what made the doctor not able to give me my prescription. I think it’s interesting that they’re putting all this money into fighting the epidemic instead of funding research to alternative pain medications. Since talking to you, I’ve had three fractures. Yesterday, when I got that phone call, I broke down. The first thought that was through my head was, “this is how I die”. It’s such a huge topic for me because if I didn’t have to take pain medication, I would be so much happier, because I hate it. I don’t like the sluggishness and I don’t like the addictiveness of it.

S Korean Activists Discuss Left Priorities In The Moon Jae-in Era, Part 3

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By Staff of Zoom In Korea – In response to his election, KCTU said in its statement, “While we will support the administration when it moves in the right direction, we will not hesitate to criticize it and make it the target of our struggle should it fail to do so.” Moon promised that he would build a country where the dignity and rights of workers are respected. It is our assessment that while his labor policy is focused on creating new jobs in the public sector, it is weak in the area of promoting fundamental labor rights. The key question is how much will Moon be able to control the chaebols, which dominate the country’s economy, and change the existing laws and labor relation practices to ensure the guarantee of fundamental rights for all workers. The Korean economy is deeply enmeshed in the global recession and relies too heavily on the chaebols. Many of the economic problems the country faces—from low growth to inequality and youth unemployment—can be solved under a system where the working class plays a leading role. In this sense, strengthen unity and solidarity among workers is more important than ever.

US Has Budgeted $49M For Venezuelan Right-Wing Since 2009

U.S.-funded violent opposition protests continued into their seventh week. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – The funds have now become a mainstay of the U.S. State Department congressional budget for foreign operations. Since at least 2009 the U.S. Department of State has budgeted at least US$49 million in total to support right-wing opposition forces in Venezuela who are now in their seventh week of violent protests to oust democratically-elected President Nicolas Maduro. According to the 2010 budget justification, which designated US$6 million that year to Venezuela’s “Economic Support Fund” the budget “will support efforts to preserve and expand democratic space through programs that strengthen and promote civil society, citizen participation, independent media, human rights organizations, and democratic political parties.” In a more detailed breakdown of the 2011 US$5 million budgeted for Venezuelan economic support, the budget indicates that US$1 million was designated specifically for the support of “political competition and consensus building.”

At CNN, Imagining An Absurd Iranian/ISIS Alliance

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR – Axelrod’s suggestion that Iran might be sharing intelligence with ISIS is absurd. ISIS’s stance toward Shia Islam, the kind practiced by most Iranians, is openly genocidal: “Shia have no medicine but the sword,” an ISIS video proclaimed, showcasing Shiites decapitated by ISIS’s militants (Independent, 3/20/14). The Iranian government is predictably hostile toward a movement that would exterminate 90 percent of its citizens. Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds special forces unit, called ISIS “a plague and a grave catastrophe in the world” in explaining why Iran was supporting the government in Syria’s civil war (Al-Monitor, 3/8/15): “We need to quarantine our borders and aid our neighbors so this cancer does not spread to our country.” Donald Trump was rightly scorned when he gave a foreign policy speech which seemed to not understand the Shia/Sunni division in the Muslim world. The New York Times editorial board (8/16/16) lectured him: Lumping Iran, which is a Shiite nation, with the Sunni militants of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda makes no sense. In fact, Iran and the Sunni groups are enemies.

Standoff In Venezuela

From links.org.au

By Staff of LINKS – There is no better indication of the deceptiveness of the mainstream media’s narrative than the spatial nature of the anti-government protests in early 2014 known as the “guarimba” and again this year. The protests are centred in the middle and upper class areas whose mayors belong to the opposition. The strategy behind the protests is for the mass civil disobedience, confrontation with security forces and widespread destruction of public property to spread to the poorer areas. Certainly, the popular sectors have a long tradition of street protests, particularly over deficient public services. But the popular sectors have remained largely passive, although with more exceptions now than in 2014. Obviously the opposition is banking on greater active popular support than in 2014. Along similar lines, the Chavista United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has been more damaged by electoral abstention among disenchanted Chavistas than those who end up voting for the opposition. Such electoral behaviour is what explains the Chavista defeat in the December 2014 elections for the National Assembly. But the Chavista leaders still have an impressive degree of mobilisation capacity, as was demonstrated in two recent marches, one on Venezuelan Independence Day on April 19, and the other on May 1.

Irrefutable Proof: Russian Election Meddling Documented!

The Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin: Did the Russians hack U.S. election databases? (Yahoo News photo illustration, photos: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters, Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters, AP, AP)

By Fred Gardner for Counter Punch – For months we have all been force-fed a story few of us can digest about the hacking of the Democratic Party’s email servers, presumably by Russians commanded by Vladimir Putin himself. The pundits say, “Nothing like this happens in Russia without Putin’s approval,” as if they actually knew what was done by who. It is unclear how the contents of the DNC emails are supposed to have swayed the US electorate. Was anyone shocked to learn that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign managers were manipulative, lame, and fearful of Bernie Sanders? The current brouhaha is utterly trivial compared to the extreme, direct interference by US government-connected campaign professionals in the election that solidified oligarchy in the former Soviet Union.* Ahoy, out there in the United States of Amnesia… Does anyone remember when Time Magazine was influential? A team of US political consultants operating clandestinely in Moscow was paid $250,000 plus expenses to help a very unpopular Boris Yeltsin get re-elected as Russia’s president in 1996.

Trump And Cabinet Members 'Bust A Move' In Saudi Arabia

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By Press TV. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – US President Donald Trump joins a sword dance held in his honor in Saudi Arabia after signing Washington’s largest-ever single arms deal with Riyadh. He was accompanied at the Saturday jubilation by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Trump arrived in the Saudi capital earlier in the day on the first leg of a nine-day overseas tour. Upon arrival and official reception, he proceeded to sign the $110-billion deal and other agreements amounting to $250 billion before joining the party. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir put the volume of the collective bilateral deals higher, saying they were worth more than $380 billion. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter that the “defense agreement” was the “largest single arms deal in US history.”

First Ever Global Health Study Finds Massive Inequity

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By Dean R. Owen and Rachel Fortunati in HealthData.org. SEATTLE – A first-ever global study finds massive inequity of access to and quality of health care among and within countries, and concludes people are dying from causes with well-known treatments. “What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “Having a strong economy does not guarantee good health care. Having great medical technology doesn’t either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments.” For example, on a scale of 0 to 100 for health care access and quality, Norway and Australia each scored 90 overall, among the highest in the world.

This Is What Emboldened White Supremacists Look Like

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By Douglas Williams for The Guardian. Charlottesville, VA – It was a scene out of the darkest days of the civil rights movement. A couple of dozen white supremacists rallied around a statue of Robert E Lee, a Confederate army general, in Virginia, carrying torches and chanting: “You will not replace us.” But this was no black-and-white newsreel, relaying the horrors of a time long since past. This grotesque scene played out on Saturday, at a rally headlined by the white supremacist Richard Spencer. The cause for this neo-Klan rally? The city of Charlottesville’s decision in February to remove the Lee statue from the park that bears his name in the city’s downtown area. The white supremacists also demonstrated at the city’s Festival of Cultures earlier in the day.

Ecuador Expects ‘Safe Passage’ For Julian Assange

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By Jim Wyss for Cuenca High Life. The government of Ecuador on Friday said WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange should be granted safe passage to the South American nation after Swedish authorities dropped their investigation of him. Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy for five years avoiding extradition to Sweden where he was wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual assault. Prosecutors eventually interviewed him at the embassy in November. Sweden dropped the investigation on Friday. In a series of tweets, Ecuador Foreign Minister Guillaume Long questioned the delays. “Ecuador regrets that it took Swedish Prosecutor more than four years to carry out this interview. This was a wholly unnecessary delay,” Long wrote.