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23 Jul

ALEC and the NRA Have Blood on Their Hands & More

Nation of Change

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chris Hedges | Mind Rape and the Christian Right

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed: Noel Lyons, a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1976 to 1981 and once one of the country’s top professional skiers, found herself in a Vail, Colo., hospital in the spring of 2010 after another round of binge drinking. “I had given up on myself,” she would say later. Her boyfriend and sister decided she needed rehabilitative help. Because their resources were limited, they turned to the free Total Freedom Program, a Florida ministry for women and men that identifies itself as Christian.

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Iraq Invades the United States

Eduardo Galeano, Op-Ed: On this early morning (March 9th in 1916,) Pancho Villa crossed the border with his horsemen, set fire to the city of Columbus, killed several soldiers, nabbed a few horses and guns, and the following day was back in Mexico to tell the tale. This lightning incursion is the only invasion the United States has suffered since its wars to break free from England. In contrast, the United States has invaded practically every country in the entire world. Since 1947 its Department of War has been called the Department of Defense, and its war budget the defense budget.

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PepsiCo’s Naked Juices Have to Drop ‘All Natural’ Label After $9 Million Class Action Lawsuit

Christina Sarich , News Report: While government agencies like the FDA keep stalling on demanding rigorous scientific testing of numerous questionable ingredients, GMO foods, and the correct labeling of such foods, PepsiCo has recently agreed to settle out of court for $9 million over a class action lawsuit that claimed ‘natural’ and ‘non-GMO’ on their bottles was misleading since they are made with GMO ingredients, as well as synthetic and ‘unnatural’ items.

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Stand Your Ground

Stephanie Van Hook, Op-Ed: Poet Maya Angelou once said that courage is “the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” It takes courage to “stand your ground” and I am not talking about the law in Florida (or others like it around the country) which cruelly allows a person to commit murder without meaningful legal accountability. Standing your real ground is a powerful act; we can find that ground by refusing to be guided by our fear and refusing to lose sight of the other’s humanity.

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Female Pioneer in Journalism Dies at 92

Ashley Curtin, News Report: Helen Thomas, the first female member of the White House Correspondents’ Association and the first female to serve as its president, died on Saturday after battling illness. In an email released by the Gridiron Club, in which Thomas was the first female member and later became the club’s president, informed its members of her passing at the age of 92. Known as a “trailblazing reporter and columnist,” Thomas started her career as a news service reporter for United Press in 1943 and later wrote the column “Names in the News” in which she interviewed various big names in Washington before becoming UP’s White House correspondent in 1961.

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Trash the TPP: Why It’s Time to Revolt Against the Worst “Trade Agreement” in History

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Op-Ed: Odds are that you have not have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While the TPP has been under negotiation since 2008, talks have largely been done in secret and not covered by the mass media. The media black-out is quite impressive since this is the largest corporate trade agreement to be negotiated since the World Trade Organization got underway in 1995. Commonly called a global corporate coup, the TPP makes transnational corporations more powerful than governments.

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What Happened in the Zimmerman Trial?

William Boardman, News Analysis: Listening to the lead prosecutor’s final argument in the Zimmerman case, it’s hard to believe he really wanted a conviction. Lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda lost focus from the moment he opened his mouth and began: “A teenager is dead. He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions….” Not only is de la Rionda’s voice flat, his tone subdued and resigned, he begins by presenting the victim as an abstraction, characterizing him in a neutral, almost dismissive way as “a teenager,” who also happens to be dead, which everyone knew before the trial started.

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Detroit Goes Bankrupt: Will Unelected Manager Pit City’s Needs Against Rights of Pensioners?

Amy Goodman, Video Interview: Facing an estimated $18 billion in debt, Detroit has become the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy. It is a grim milestone in the decline of what was once the country’s fourth largest city. Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of the middle class, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. A steady decline in population has decimated its tax base, leaving the city with massive cuts to basic services and one of the nation’s highest rates of violent crime.

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Dean Baker | Edward Snowden and Financial Speculation Taxes

Dean Baker, Op-Ed: In the last few weeks Edward Snowden has been holed in Moscow’s airport trying to negotiate terms of asylum with various countries around the world. Thus far it doesn’t seem that Snowden has been able to find any acceptable offers. Part of the reason is that the United States government has been openly threatening governments that are considering offering asylum, warning of dire consequences. Governments throughout the world take these threats seriously.

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ALEC and the NRA Have Blood on Their Hands

Terrance Heath, Op-Ed: Attorney General Eric Holder may be getting a reputation for saying what President Obama can’t, thanks to the irony of a black president. While Obama has shifted from calling for compassion to encouraging calm in the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin, Holder spoke out against Florida’s “stand your ground” law during a speech at the NAACP convention in Orlando, FL, saying that the laws “create more violence than they prevent,” by “encouraging violent situations to escalate in public.”

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The 3 Most Ridiculous Keystone XL Scandals in the Last 90 Days

Jesse Coleman, News Analysis: Since it was first proposed in 2008 the argument for building the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pump tar sands crude oil from Canada to the Gulf coast for refining and export to foreign countries, has had some major holes. Literally. If approved, Keystone will pump a super-heated mixture of tar, sand, and chemicals from the most carbon polluting oil development on earth, while the effects of global warming manifest themselves across the country and the world.

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Why the Massive Jailbreak in Iraq is Worse than You Think

Hayes Brown, News Report: Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has engineered a massive jailbreak from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, according to reports from the country. Reuters quotes a senior member of the Iraqi Parliament as saying that at least 500 convicts have escaped, possibly as many as 1,000. “Most of them were convicted senior members of al Qaeda and had received death sentences,” Hakim Al-Zamili said. This would be troubling under any circumstances, but the present situation in the Middle East lends to Monday’s escape being a situation with possible repercussions for the entire region.

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Day Four: Youth-Led Occupation of Florida Capitol Still Growing

James Trimarco, News Report: While many pundits anticipated riots if George Zimmerman was acquitted on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin, that first response was a series of peaceful yet forceful protests in cities including Oakland, Chicago, and New York. Now, less than a week later, a more sustained answer to the verdict is taking shape in Florida’s capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida. The occupation of the capitol began on Monday, July 15, when a crowd of people began to gather just outside the doors to the office of Florida governor Rick Scott.

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