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Journal Archives

Amy Goodman: This Year’s Best-Kept Secret: The Next Generation of Community Radio

from truthdig:

This Year’s Best-Kept Secret: The Next Generation of Community Radio

Posted on Jul 10, 2013
By Amy Goodman

A microphone and a radio transmitter in the hands of a community organizer imparts power, which some liken to the life-changing impact when humans first tamed fire. That’s why the prospect of 1,000 new community radio stations in the United States, for which the Federal Communications Commission will accept applications this October, is so vital and urgent.

Workers toiling in the hot fields of south-central Florida, near the isolated town of Immokalee, were enduring conditions that U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy called “slavery, plain and simple.” Some worked from dawn to dusk, under the watch of armed guards, earning only $20 a week. Twenty years ago, they began organizing, forming the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Ten years later, working with the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Prometheus Radio Project, the workers started their own radio station, Radio Consciencia, to serve the farmworker community and inform, mobilize and help the struggling workers forge better lives.

As the largest media corporations on the planet have been consolidating during the past two decades, putting the power of the media in fewer hands, there has been a largely unreported flowering of small, local media outlets. An essential component of this sector is community radio, stations that have emerged from the Low-Power FM (LPFM) radio movement. This October, community groups in the U.S. will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to apply to the FCC for an LPFM radio-station license. But the mainstream media are hardly reporting on this critical development.

“This is a historic opportunity for communities all over the country to have a voice over their airwaves,” Jeff Rousset, national organizer of the Prometheus Radio Project, told me on the “Democracy Now!” news hour. “The airwaves are supposed to belong to the public. This is a chance for groups to actually own and control their own media outlets.” The Prometheus Radio Project formed in 1998. It was named after the Greek mythological hero who first gave fire to humans to make their lives more bearable. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_years_best-kept_secret_the_next_generation_of_community_radio_20130710/

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales right-wing shills?

Yes, this an assertion somewhere in the bowels of GD today. You can't make this sh*t up.

Sincerely, WTF?

John Rocker, still a moron

CLEVELAND—John Rocker is still making noise, a decade after the disgraced pitcher last played in the big leagues.

Rocker told a Cleveland radio station this week that performance-enhancing drugs made Major League Baseball “more entertaining” during the steroids era.

Rocker told WKRK-FM on Tuesday: “Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game.”

“At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town,” he said. “They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 m.p.h. and some other guy hit it 500 feet. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/2013/07/10/john_rocker_says_baseballs_steroids_era_was_more_entertaining.html?cta=bottom&utm_expid=6682428-0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thestar.com%2F

Stopping the TPP: A Victory in the Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination

Stopping the TPP: A Victory in the Global Revolt Against Corporate Domination

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 09:20
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Truthout | News Analysis

We are in the midst of an epic battle between the people of the world and transnational corporations. Wealthy governments and corporations are merging in a global system in which private corporations have absolute power over your life. This is a battle the people can win and when we do it will show that we can defeat corporate power on issue after issue.

The 1999 battle in Seattle to stop the World Trade Organization (WTO) from granting increased power to transnational corporations and the negative consequences of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created broad public awareness about the ways that ‘free trade’ hurts people and the planet. As a result, in the past few decades, the WTO has effectively been unable to move forward with its neoliberal economic agenda. And the United States was forced to move to smaller country-by-country trade agreements, many of which were stopped by public pressure.

The Obama administration is currently mired in an ambitious project to accomplish both the continuation of the WTO’s agenda and a restructuring of NAFTA in ways that place corporate property rights over protection of people and the environment. Using the friendly term, ‘partnership,’ the administration is negotiating a sweeping free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which could potentially involve the entire Pacific Rim as well as a sister agreement with European nations. This is being done largely in secret and in a way that subverts the democratic process.

Former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, who now has a lucrative job in the private sector advising transnational corporations for the law firm Gibson Dunn, said that if people knew what was in the TPP, there would be no way to get it signed into law. As he told one interviewer, if the text were made public negotiators would be walking away from the negotiations because they would be very unpopular. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/17472-stopping-the-tpp-a-victory-in-the-global-revolt-against-corporate-domination

North Carolina GOP Attaches Abortion Restrictions To Motorcycle Safety Bill With No Public Notice

WASHINGTON -- North Carolina House Republicans are pushing legislation that would restrict abortion access, attaching the measure to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill on Wednesday and giving neither the public nor Democratic legislators any advance notice.

On Wednesday morning, state Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D) wrote on Twitter, "New abortion bill being heard in the committee I am on. The public didn't know. I didn't even know."

"I wish I had more time to look at this new bill before I had to ask questions about it or debate it," he added.

The bill then passed the state House Judiciary Committee in a 10-5 party-line vote. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/nc-abortion_n_3573833.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

Apple Broke Antitrust Law in E-Books Pricing, Judge Says

(Bloomberg) Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s biggest technology company, violated antitrust law by engaging in a scheme to fix the prices of electronic books, a federal judge ruled in a suit brought by the U.S. government.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who tried the case without a jury, ruled against Apple in a decision filed today in federal court in Manhattan.

“The plaintiffs have shown that Apple conspired to raise the retail price of e-books and that they are entitled to injunctive relief,” Cote said in her opinion. The judge ordered a trial on potential damages.

The U.S. sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, claiming the maker of the iPad pushed publishers to sign agreements letting it sell digital copies of their books under what’s known as the agency model. Under that model, publishers, and not retailers, set prices for each book, with Apple getting 30 percent. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-10/apple-found-to-violate-antitrust-law-in-e-book-pricing.html

National Security Policies Go Too Far In Restricting Civil Liberties: Poll

A plurality of Americans say that counterterrorism policies go too far in restricting civil liberties, revealing a massive change in attitudes since 2010, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed.

Forty-five percent said the government's anti-terrorism efforts go too far in restricting civil liberties, compared to 40 percent saying they did not go far enough. A 2010 poll by the group found that 63 percent felt anti-terrorism policies did not go far enough, while just 25 percent said they went too far.

The numbers suggest that the revelation of the NSA's telephone and Internet spying programs has caused many Americans to change their opinions of the national security state.

Men, by a 54-34 margin, said that policies had gone too far, while women, by a 47-36 margin, said they had not gone far enough, revealing a sizable gender gap. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/national-security-poll_n_3572406.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

Cheerleaders for Anarchism

from Dissent magazine:

Cheerleaders for Anarchism

General assembly at Occupy Wall Street, 9/2011. Courtesy of Caroline Schiff Photography/Flickr.

By Nikil Saval - Summer 2013

Books discussed in this essay:

Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play
by James C. Scott
Princeton, 2012, 198 pp.

The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement
by David Graeber
Spiegel & Grau, 2013, 352 pp.

Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina
by Marina A. Sitrin
Zed Books, 2012, 224 pp.

The financial crisis of 2007–2008 inspired a shallow but significant revival of Marxist analysis in academic life. A violent upsurge in theory, however, has corresponded to no particular insurrection in practice. If any radical left tendency has been responsible for inspiring action, the palm should go to Marxism’s historic antagonist on the Left—anarchism. Wherever movements have been provoked against neoliberalism, black flags have tended to outnumber red. Autonomista and other kinds of left-libertarian thought were major currents running through movements in Greece and Spain. The cornerstone for the occupation of Zuccotti Park was laid by anarchists, who also developed the consensus procedures by which the movement participants made (or occasionally failed to make) decisions. Even where demands have seemed social democratic, many of the more creative and disruptive protests fueling them have been anarchist.

The ongoing confinement of Marxism to the academy is in some ways to be expected—it is, as David Graeber often quips, “the only great social movement that was invented by a Ph.D.” More surprising, however, is the relative absence of anything like a professedly anarchist viewpoint—whether anarchist social science or anarchist literary theory—in theoretical work. It’s not the case that anarchists, with classic bodies of work and debates on natural selection and evolution as a model for cooperation (Kropotkin), the nature of revolutionary action (Bakunin), or the origins of private property (Proudhon), have nothing to say about matters long the province of Marxists. Still, anarchism seems to be chiefly visible and successful in the world of activism, rather than in that of social thought. It’s as if (to cite a point also made by Graeber) Marxists and anarchists have submitted to a tacit division of labor: you handle the organizing, we’ll handle the theory.

But it appears as if the more recent anarchist movements are beginning to leave their mark, with a spate of books that attempt to consolidate what may be a kind of anarchist theory for the twenty-first century. Like Marxist analysis, which often seeks to unmask the real tendencies of history beneath the surface of the quotidian, anarchist theory, too, has an unmasking strategy: it sees fervent activity where one might be tempted to see stasis and homogeneity. What looks like consent is actually resistance; what looks like capitalism’s domination over everything actually conceals systems of mutual aid. Anarchist theory doesn’t just advocate anarchism; it rather reveals that, beneath everything, we’re more anarchist than we thought.

James C. Scott, a political scientist and anthropologist at Yale, has pursued anarchist themes, mostly in Southeast Asian history, for more than three decades. Though not an anarchist himself (he has described himself as a “crude Marxist, emphasis on the ‘crude’”), his analysis of protest movements is ecumenical in an anarchist way, acknowledging all kinds of disruption as “political.” And though he discusses inequalities of economic distribution, the focus of his disapprobation is usually unchecked exercise of state power, attempts by states at social engineering, something that distances him from more traditional socialists. In Scott’s hands, anarchism isn’t so much a socio-political doctrine as an anti-authoritarianism practiced, unselfconsciously, in everyday life—a means of insubordination running across societies everywhere. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/cheerleaders-for-anarchism

NRA Steps Up Attack On Joe Manchin

The National Rifle Association is stepping up its attacks on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) over a gun-buyer background check bill he's co-sponsored.

The group plans to mail 200,000 two-page letters to West Virginians this week criticizing Manchin's background checks proposal, according to the AP. The background check amendment, supported by 90 percent of Americans, failed by a 54 to 46 vote in April 2013.

"The Manchin amendment would have forced law-abiding gun owners like you to get government permission to buy a firearm from a lifelong friend if it was seen on Facebook, advertised in a local church bulletin, or the transaction occurred at a gun show,'' the letter says, according to the AP.

This isn't the NRA's first attack on Manchin since he co-sponsored the background check legislation with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). In June, the NRA released an ad urging viewers to call Manchin's office and tell him "to honor his commitment to the Second Amendment." Manchin responded with his own ad, claiming he doesn't "walk in lockstep with the NRA's Washington leadership, this administration or any special interest group." ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/nra-joe-manchin_n_3572516.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

China warns of grim trade outlook after surprise 3% fall in exports

(Guardian UK) China has warned of a grim outlook for trade as the world's second-largest economy surprised financial markets by reporting a fall in exports and imports when both had been expected to rise.

The figures, which follow a government crackdown on the use of fake invoicing that had exaggerated exports earlier this year, are likely to raise fresh concerns about the extent of the slowdown in the economy and global demand.

The June data, showing that exports fell 3.1% from a year earlier and imports dropped 0.7%, may now reflect the true trade picture, customs officials said.

"China faces relatively stern challenges in trade currently," customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng told a news briefing. "Exports in the third quarter look grim." ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/10/china-trade-outlook-fall-exports

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