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US City Replaces Columbus Day With Indigenous Holiday

By Staff of Tele Sur - Oberlin City Council members met Monday following a public discussion with town residents and voted unanimously to replace the controversial holiday. The small Ohioan city of Oberlin has decided to no longer celebrate Columbus Day, replacing it instead with Indigenous Peoples Day, out of respect for its Indigenous population. City Council members met Monday following a public discussion with town residents and voted unanimously to remove the controversial holiday, which celebrates Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas in 1492 and his subsequent colonization of the region. “Christopher Columbus was an agent of and continues to be a symbol of the genocide of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas,” said Elissa Washuta, who attended a demonstration Saturday together with around 100 protesters demanding the removal of the statue of Christopher Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Oberlin councilwoman Sharon Pearson defended the move, employing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “It’s never too late to do the right thing,” she quoted, according to the Morning Journal. “And I think that it is time for us as a community to take the words of our indigenous people and do the right thing.”

The End Of The American Empire

By Chas W. Freeman, Jr. for Lobe Log Foreign Policy - for I’m here to talk about the end of the American empire. But before I do I want to note that one of our most charming characteristics as Americans is our amnesia. I mean, we are so good at forgetting what we’ve done and where we did it that we can hide our own Easter eggs. I’m reminded of the geezer—someone about my age—who was sitting in his living room having a drink with his friend while his wife made dinner.

US Corporate Empire & Global Resistance Bringing It To Its Knees

By Mnar Muhawesh for Mint Press News - MINNEAPOLIS — Throughout history, some of the world’s most influential empires have also been the most brutal. In turn, their legacy has turned “empire” into a very dirty word, indeed. The Roman, British, Ottoman, Spanish and Soviet empires come to mind readily. And in school, we learn about the glories of these civilizations, their cultural triumphs and their contributions to the world we live in today. But what’s often left out is the devastating truth that empires are built on the atrocious foundations of sex and migrant slavery, military expansion, land and resource theft, genocide and overall intimidation.

The US American Way Of War

By Brian for S. Brian Willson - October 19, 2015 - In Viet Nam, being terribly ignorant like so many others, I “accidentally” discovered, against my greatest wishes, that the US was systematically targeting for destruction, schools, hospitals, churches, and inhabited, undefended villages, often by low-level napalm and 500 pound bombs. These were not accidental. US Army intelligence personnel admitted that hospitals had been routinely listed as targets: “The bigger the hospital the better it was”. Classified USAF bombing manuals defined hospitals, schools, and churches as ‘psycho-social targets’ useful for dissolution of civilian order and decimating morale.

When Peace Activists Met With The U.S. Institute Of Peace

By David Swanson for World Beyond War - I was part of a debate on Tuesday that involved a larger disagreement than any exhibited at the Democratic presidential candidates debate that evening. A group of peace activists met with the president, a board member, some vice presidents, and a senior fellow of the so-called U.S. Institute of Peace, a U.S. government institution that spends tens of millions of public dollars every year on things tangentially related to peace (including promoting wars) but has yet to oppose a single U.S. war in its 30-year history.

Native American Activists Ramp Up Push To Rebrand Columbus Day

By Laila Kearney for Reuters, NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - About four miles from the world's largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land. The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend "powwow" on Randall's Island in New York's East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art. The Redhawk Native American Arts Council's powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.

We Collectively Are Answerable For The Demise Of The United States

By Egberto Willies for Daily Kos, The President exasperatedly addressed the shooting massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon with a passionate press conference. He made one statement that should be burned into every American's psyche. He said, "We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction." Looking at the big picture, that statement could very well be, "We collectively are answerable for the demise of the America we thought we had." This is deja vu all over again. A mass shooting occurs. People are shocked. The president speaks, begging for legislative action. Time passes. People forget. No substantive action is taken. People go back to life as usual. It is a pattern that we expect. It is a pattern that has become routine. We are now programmed to be accepting of this.

Rise Up America, Rise Up!

The time has come when America must rapidly transform its values through a more inclusive and spiritual vision, based upon a just sharing of the world’s resources. It is up to you, the youth of America, to lead the way by organising a non-stop demonstration in every state, until that nationwide wave of peaceful protest eventually catches on globally. What has caused the United States of America, such a great nation, to sink to the depths of turmoil and confusion that it finds itself in today? A country that was founded upon the ideals of freedom, justice and democracy, but that has increasingly lost its way and degraded these noble concepts – to the extent that the Statue of Liberty should really bow her head and reassemble her broken shackles, and let go her flaming torch.

Driving American Politics Underground

Politics, if we take politics to mean the shaping and discussion of issues, concerns and laws that foster the common good, is no longer the business of our traditional political institutions. These institutions, including the two major political parties, the courts and the press, are not democratic. They are used to crush any vestiges of civic life that calls, as a traditional democracy does, on its citizens to share among all its members the benefits, sacrifices and risks of a nation. They offer only the facade of politics, along with elaborate, choreographed spectacles filled with skillfully manufactured emotion and devoid of real political content. We have devolved into what Alexis de Tocqueville feared—“democratic despotism.” The squabbles among the power elites, rampant militarism and the disease of imperialism, along with a mindless nationalism that characterizes all public debate, have turned officially sanctioned politics into a carnival act. Pundits and news celebrities on the airwaves engage in fevered speculation about whether the wife of a former president will run for office—and this after the mediocre son of another president spent eight years in the White House. This is not politics. It is gossip. Opinion polls, the staple of what serves as political reporting, are not politics. They are forms of social control. The use of billions of dollars to fund election campaigns and pay lobbyists to author legislation is not politics. It is legalized bribery. The insistence that austerity and economic rationality, rather than the welfare of the citizenry, be the primary concerns of the government is not politics.

America’s Growing Food Inequality Problem

Income inequality isn't the only gap the U.S. needs to mind these days; the country is amassing a sad and expensive discrepancy between what its poor and rich eat. America's wealthiest people are eating better, while its poorest are eating worse, concludes a new study published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, which measured the quality of diets among American adults between 1999 and 2010. "Socioeconomic status was associated strongly with dietary quality, and the gaps in dietary quality between higher and lower SES [socioeconomic status] widened over time." the study said. On the one hand, the analysis found that the American diet, on the whole, improved during the observed period. "Our study suggests that the overall dietary quality of the U.S. population steadily improved from 1999 through 2010," the study said, suggesting that Americans are likely responding to recent nutrition education efforts. That's consistent with a number of macroeconomic food trends, including America's shift away from soda.

The Limits Of Corporate Citizenship

Dozens of big U.S. corporations are considering leaving the United States in order to reduce their tax bills. But they’ll be leaving the country only on paper. They’ll still do as much business in the U.S. as they were doing before. The only difference is they’ll no longer be “American,” and won’t have to pay U.S. taxes on the profits they make. Okay. But if they’re no longer American citizens, they should no longer be able to spend a penny influencing American politics. Some background: We’ve been hearing for years from CEOs that American corporations are suffering under a larger tax burden than their foreign competitors. This is mostly rubbish. It’s true that the official corporate tax rate of 39.1 percent, including state and local taxes, is the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But the effective rate – what corporations actually pay after all deductions, tax credits, and other maneuvers – is far lower.

Declaration Of Independence In The 21st Century

While much of America marks July 4th with fireworks, barbeques and family gatherings, people should also take a moment to pause and consider the state of the very freedoms, liberties and rights that the Declaration of Independence was produced to acquire for the population. At a mere 1302 words subject to editorially consent by its creators, the Declaration of Independence from British monarchical rule listed clear intentions of the-then 13 colonies that wanted to become the United States of America. The preamble is more widely known than the rest of the document, but worth restating for its potency: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” The ideology behind the document reflected a sense of spirituality, respect and commonality with God and Nature, but more than that, it underscored essentials that a government should provide the governed, and that the governed were entitled to receive, if said government was to remain appropriately responsible and humane to its citizens.

Americans Consensus: Fix The Corrupt System

July 4, 1776: In the shadow of the hangman's noose the signers of the Declaration of Independence ended their document that would change the world with these words -- "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Sacred Honor." July 4, 2014: In a different but no less significant crisis, the American people are being summoned to reclaim that first Revolution. The challenge of this moment is to redeem the promise of America, to revitalize the American Dream and to restore the People's rightful place as the sovereign rulers of America. Let's be blunt: America is in trouble. We are in danger of losing the American dream. That's not just the opinion of the three of us. It's the conviction of most Americans. Over the past six months, we have conducted an intense national research project among likely voters of all parties, and we are releasing the results now, for Independence Day, 2014. The battle lines of the new political order are emerging. When presented with the proposition that "the real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but mainstream America and the ruling political elites," over 66% of voters agree.

New Study: Americans Not That Polarized

A new study finds remarkably little difference between the views of people who live in red (Republican) districts or states, and those who live in blue (Democratic) districts or states on questions about what policies the government should pursue. The study analyzed 388 questions asking what the government should do in regard to a wide range of policy issues and found that that most people living in red districts/states disagreed with most people in blue districts/states on only four percent of the questions. “A Not So Divided America,” contradicts the conventional wisdom that the political gridlock between Democrats and Republicans in Congress arises from deep disagreements over policy among the general public. The study was a joint project of Voice Of the People and the Program for Public Consultation (PPC), affiliated with the University of Maryland. “Clearly, the gridlock in Congress is not driven by the people,” said PPC Director Steven Kull, who led the study. “Although some research has shown partisan polarization in response to broad ideological slogans, on specific questions about what government should do, the study found hardly any difference between red and blue districts.”

Noam Chomsky: America’s Real Foreign Policy

It goes without saying that the honchos of the national security state weren’t exactly happy with Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. Still, over the last year, the comments of such figures, politicians associated with them, and retirees from their world clearly channeling their feelings have had a striking quality: over-the-top vituperation. About the nicest thing anyone in that crew has had to say about Snowden is that he’s a “traitor” or -- shades of the Cold War era (and of absurdity, since the State Department trapped him in the transit lounge of a Moscow airport by taking his passport away) -- a “Russian spy.” And that’s the mild stuff. Such figures have also regularly called for his execution, for quite literally stringing him up from the old oak tree and letting him dangle in the breeze. Theirs has been a bloodcurdling collective performance that gives the word “visceral” new meaning. Such a response to the way Snowden released batches of NSA documents to Glenn Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman calls for explanation. Here's mine: the NSA’s goal in creating a global surveillance state was either utopian or dystopian (depending on your point of view), but in either case, breathtakingly totalistic. Its top officials meant to sweep up every electronic or online way one human being can communicate with others, and to develop the capability to surveil and track every inhabitant of the planet.
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