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FOCUS: More Santa Barbara Oil Spills? Or TOTAL Renewables by 2050?
'Forty years ago, in 1975, the organization Get Oil Out (GOO) convinced 1500 of us to gather in front of the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors. We called for the county to deny the permit for a proposed gas processing facility in Las Flores Canyon.' Bill Simpich, RSN
By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

We don’t have to do oil spills anymore! Join the #SunlightRevolution sign up with the www.TheSolutionsProject.org let’s turn the page on fossil fuels together.

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Real Black History Month - Malcolm X: Evidence of US Intelligence Assassination

An FBI memorandum of March 4, 1968, among other documents, confirm that US Intelligence considered Malcolm X the top threat to the wealthiest white power structure. It discussed the “long range goals” including: “Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. By john potash

ALSO FROM THIS ARTICLE …

Undercover police agent infiltrator Gene Roberts joined the OAAU at its inception and rose to the leadership ranks of its Harlem-based security force. Roberts worked for the New York Police department’s Bureau of Special Services (BOSS). The FBI directed BOSS actions as part of it’s Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro) against Malcolm X. On top of the hierarchy mandated by the National Security Act of 1947, CIA superiors supervised this entire U.S. Intelligence apparatus. …

Agent John X Ali also reportedly played a part in orchestrating the firebombing of Malcolm’s house in 1965. Ali had risen to a national secretary assignment, one of the highest leadership positions in the NOI. NOI leader Elijah Muhammad’s son, Wallace Muhammad, said several FBI undercover agents in the NOI national staff helped Ali make that rise, as also attested to by FBI documents. …

Furthermore, FBI and police action on the day of Malcolm X’s assassination, February 21, 1965, supports their role in it. An FBI document said [undercover agent] John Ali met with Talmadge Hayer (a.k.a. Thomas Hagan), one of the gunmen that shot Malcolm X, the night before the assassination. Hotel information on Ali’s stay in New York those days supports this. At the Audubon Ballroom hall where Malcolm X gave his last speech, uniformed police left the area. At every other speech by Malcolm, they had uniformed officers inside and outside the halls. …

Gene Roberts revealed his undercover police agent status at a trial against the Black Panthers in 1971. Roberts had followed members of Malcolm X’s OAAU as they started the New York Panther chapter. Under cross-examination at the trial, Roberts said he was the first to arrive at Malcolm’s body and he “proceeded to give Malcolm X mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” But Roberts revealed more, in interviews decades later, which supports that his real role appeared to be checking Malcolm X’s vital signs to confirm the assassination’s success

Roberts described the actions of his wife, Joan Roberts, who was with him at the event. When Malcolm X was shot, Malcolm’s wife Betty Shabazz first tried to cover her daughters and screamed, “They’re killing my husband!” When the shooting stopped, Shabazz, a nurse, went to run to her husband, but Joan Roberts grabbed her. Shabazz struggled to get free, threw Roberts into a wall and ran to Malcolm. Gene Roberts said he was there checking Malcolm’s pulse. He turned to Shabazz and said Malcolm was dead. …

*****

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BACK IN 2011 AND OUR OWN BLACK PEOPLE ARE STILL REPEATING THE COINTELPRO PROPAGANDA LIE, IN 2014, THAT ELIJAH MUHAMMAD AND/OR LOUIS FARRAKHAN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BROTHER MALCOLM’S DEATH.

Yes, there are other generic articles out here from major chain newspapers and websites that muddy the waters with conflicting information (many purposefully, some due to lack of actual research) but the QUALITY OF THE SOURCES CITED makes this one believable to a studious historian.

If the FBI had ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER that Farrakhan had a hand in it, don’t you think that would’ve been all over the internet YEARS AGO? Don’t just regurgitate a belief you have to be stubborn - THINK.

The Freedom of Information Act has long since declassified the documents detailing Malcolm’s assassination and most of them can be found with a simple Google search.

Please stop spreading misinformation lies and slander about Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan when not only do you have nothing close to proof of such a horrible claim, but ALL RELEVANT VERIFIABLE INFORMATION SUGGESTS OTHERWISE.

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This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Raised the Minimum Wage. Now, His State's Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

The next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers’ wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article.

When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton inherited a $6.2 billion budget deficit and a 7 percent unemployment rate from his predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, the soon-forgotten Republican candidate for the presidency who called himself Minnesota’s first true fiscally-conservative governor in modern history. Pawlenty prided himself on never raising state taxes – the most he ever did to generate new revenue was increase the tax on cigarettes by 75 cents a pack. Between 2003 and late 2010, when Pawlenty was at the head of Minnesota’s state government, he managed to add only 6,200 more jobs.

During his first four years in office, Gov. Dayton raised the state income tax from 7.85 to 9.85 percent on individuals earning over $150,000, and on couples earning over $250,000 when filing jointly – a tax increase of $2.1 billion. He’s also agreed to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2018, and passed a state law guaranteeing equal pay for women. Republicans like state representative Mark Uglem warned against Gov. Dayton’s tax increases, saying, “The job creators, the big corporations, the small corporations, they will leave. It’s all dollars and sense to them.” The conservative friend or family member you shared this article with would probably say the same if their governor tried something like this. But like Uglem, they would be proven wrong.

Between 2011 and 2015, Gov. Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to Minnesota’s economy – that’s 165,800 more jobs in Dayton’s first term than Pawlenty added in both of his terms combined. Even though Minnesota’s top income tax rate is the 4th-highest in the country, it has the 5th-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent. According to 2012-2013 U.S. census figures, Minnesotans had a median income that was $10,000 larger than the U.S. average, and their median income is still $8,000 more than the U.S. average today.

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FOCUS: Why Baltimore Blew Up
'When Baltimore exploded in protests a few weeks ago following the unexplained paddy-wagon death of a young African-American man named Freddie Gray, America responded the way it usually does in a race crisis: It changed the subject.' Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

[It’s a long article so I’ve taken the time to copy and paste the most important parts] 

‘Instead of using the incident to talk about a campaign of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal searches and arrests across decades of discriminatory policing policies, the debate revolved around whether or not the teenagers who set fire to two West Baltimore CVS stores after Gray’s death were “thugs,” or merely wrongheaded criminals.’

‘Most Americans have never experienced this kind of policing. They haven’t had to stare down the barrel of a service revolver drawn for no reason at a routine stop. They haven’t had their wife and kids put on an ice-cold sidewalk curb while cops ran their license plate. They haven’t ever been told to get the fuck back in their car right now, been accused of having too prominent a “bulge,” had their dog shot and their kids handcuffed near its body during a wrong-door raid, watched their seven-year-old dragged to jail for sitting on a dirt bike, or dealt with any of a thousand other positively crazy things nonwhite America has come to expect from an interaction with law enforcement.’

‘ The sociological idea behind Broken Windows was pitched as something much more benign, of course. It was supposed to be the government version of tough love. And it was an easy sell politically, particularly to white and upper-class New York. From the point of view of the uptown crowd, it was a cheaper solution to urban decay than creating jobs. It also had the advantage of blaming the subject population for the rot and destruction of crime.’

‘A City University of New York professor eloquently described the mission creep of Broken Windows last year. “If the problem is a broken window, they should fix the window,” professor Steve Zeidman told Reuters. “But somehow we don’t fix the window, we just arrest people who start hanging out by the broken window.”

At the policy’s height, in 2011, New York cops were stopping more than 680,000 people a year (around 89 percent of whom were nonwhite, in a city whose population is more than half white) and issuing upward of half a million summonses a year.’

At the policy’s height, in 2011, New York cops were stopping more than 680,000 people a year (around 89 percent of whom were nonwhite, in a city whose population is more than half white) and issuing upward of half a million summonses a year. Though a landmark 2013 ruling by federal judge Shira Scheindlin would ostensibly outlaw the stop-and-frisk policies, many other cities — among them Philadelphia, Seattle, New Orleans and Boston — would create their own aggressive policing policies. “What New York developed,” says Miranda, “was the blueprint other states followed.” Smaller towns also adopted it, some with especial verve. A Miami exurb called Miami Gardens executed more than 99,000 stops in a five-year period, and reportedly stopped the same black man 258 times — including dozens of inexplicable arrests for trespassing at the convenience store where he worked.

‘So when O'Malley started his version of Broken Windows, he had a mandate, and it’s not surprising that Baltimore’s program was wildly aggressive. At its peak, in 2005, an incredible 108,000 of the city’s 600,000 residents were arrested. Later on, critics like The Wire creator David Simon, would describe O'Malley’s police department as obsessed by statistics, determined to produce crime-reduction rates that were “unsustainable without manipulation.” The emphasis on stats, Simon said, “destroyed police work,” forcing cops into the roles not of investigators and protectors, but of strong-armers bent on producing numbers above all else. Zero tolerance also forced cops to behave in ways that were virtually guaranteed to piss people off on a mass scale.’

‘The way residents like Ansar describe it, if you’re not at the address listed on a photo ID, you go into the paddy wagon. But if you run, it’s worse. “Then, it’s an ass-whipping,” says a nearby bystander. “Believe me, Freddie [Gray] knew he was gonna get an ass-whipping if he got caught.?.?.?.?Everybody knows that. It may not be a real bad one, but you gonna get one.”

So most people go along, which at minimum is a huge waste of time. Ansar’s friend, who goes by the name of Big T, says if you get picked up at lunchtime, you’re lucky if you make it to central booking by five. You spend the whole freaking day in that hot, cramped van.

And once you get to booking? “You’re spending the night,” says Big T. “It’s just them saying, ‘We’re gonna get you.’?"’

‘If you live in the other America where this stuff doesn’t go on, and you didn’t know the context of these "self-initiated contacts,” you might look at Jaleel Fields, and his arrest for resisting, and think he was a criminal. You might especially think that if you didn’t see the video. “Most people think that there’s a high burden for getting arrested, because maybe for them, there is,” says Martha Grieco, Fields’ attorney. “But they don’t pick up kids in these neighborhoods because they do anything. They pick them up as a form of social control.?.?.?.?We want your fingerprints in the system. We want your iris scans in the system. We want to know your tattoos."’

‘You can walk into any public defender’s office in the country and find stacks of arrest reports in which police say they saw something that common sense tells you almost certainly couldn’t be. There is even a name for it: "test-a-lying.” One lawyer tells a story of police smelling weed in a closed Ziploc bag from some 150 feet away. Another is representing the estate of a man, ultimately shot by police, who authorities said marched into a state police barracks reeking of marijuana (“Because everybody smokes a huge joint before they go to the police station,” the attorney says, noting that no marijuana was found in the victim’s system at autopsy). A third has a handful of clients who all apparently made furtive motions in the direction of an officer’s gun. “It must be epidemic in New York, these furtive movements for police guns,” he says.

‘The game is set up so the only real end for the victim of police abuse to pursue is a check from the government. This brings us to the most shocking and probably most under-reported aspect of the police-abuse story: In most cities it’s close to impossible to get a police officer removed for lies, abuse or other forms of misconduct.’ 

‘A similar statistical pattern emerged in New York, where after last year’s Eric Garner case, the NYPD’s Inspector General’s office and its Civilian Complaint Review Board both conducted evaluations of chokehold incidents. The upshot of the reports is that between 2009 and the first half of 2014, New Yorkers complained of 1,048 incidents involving chokeholds, which had been banned by the NYPD for more than a decade. Of those complaints, the CCRB “substantiated” only 10. And none of those offending officers saw significant repercussions.’

‘ This problem — of police almost never facing consequences — was the obvious subtext of the Baltimore revolts. It’s the reason the one thing that calmed the city down was the curiously rapid decision by the new state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, to file sweeping charges, including manslaughter and murder, against the six police, three white and three black, involved with Gray’s arrest.’

‘Caught in traffic, Smith noticed a commotion, with a gang of police officers surrounding a young suspect. As she later alleged in a civil complaint, the boy was on the ground and one of the cops seemed to be getting dangerously aggressive. Concerned, Smith opened the door of her car and held up her phone as though filming the scene. “I was hoping that if they saw me,” she says, “then maybe they would stop doing what they were doing.”

Instead, she alleges, the following took place: An officer, later identified as Nathan Church, rushed at her, screaming, she says, “You want to film something, bitch? Film this!” Frightened, Smith tried to get back in her car. Church took her phone, smashed it on the ground and kicked it down the street. Then he dragged her out by her hair, at which point she momentarily blacked out. Eventually, she claims, police threw her on the hood of her Saturn, where she snapped awake and saw her two-year-old wailing in the back seat. She began to panic: If she got arrested, who would take care of the baby?

According to Smith’s complaint, police told her, in about the least reassuring manner possible, that child protective services was coming to take her daughter. It’s an example of how completely black America distrusts the police and the government that Smith chose to allow a little girl standing on the side of the road, a stranger, to take her baby for her, rather than give the child to CPS. As she was dragged off to that seemingly omnipresent paddy wagon, Smith called out her mother’s cellphone number, so that the little girl could get in touch with the baby’s grandmother.

Smith ended up in jail overnight and didn’t reunite with her daughter until 24 hours later. Playing the usual game of police-abuse chicken, authorities hit her with a list of charges, ranging from assault in the second degree against a police officer (“They say I took on four healthy male officers,” she says), to resisting, to a host of traffic offenses.’ 

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Editor of Major German Newspaper Says He Planted Stories for CIA

Saying he believes a medical condition gives him only a few years to live, and that he is filled with remorse, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, said in an interview that he accepted news stories written and given to him by the CIA and published them under his own name. Ulfkotte said the aim of much of the deception was to drive nations toward war.

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FOCUS: US Replenishes Israel's Arsenal With $1.9 Billion in New Weapons
'This week the U.S. State Department approved almost $1.9 billion in new weapons for Israel. The approval comes just weeks after the Israeli rights group Breaking the Silence collected reports of possible violations of international law during Israel's 2014 'Operation Protective Edge' in Gaza.' Paul Gottinger, Reader Supported News
By Paul Gottinger, Reader Supported News

23 May 15

This week the U.S. State Department approved almost $1.9 billion in new weapons for Israel. The approval comes just weeks after the Israeli rights group Breaking the Silence collected reports of possible violations of international law during Israel’s 2014 “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza.

The weapons sale includes 14,500 kits to upgrade “dumb” bombs into precision-guided munitions, over 12,000 unguided bombs, and 50 Super Penetrator “bunker buster” bombs, designed to hit targets underground.

Also approved for sale were over 3,000 hellfire missiles, which the U.S. briefly withheld from Israel following last summer’s attack on Gaza. The 50-day assault killed over 2,200 people, most of whom were civilians.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated in its announcement of the arms sale that “the United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability.”

“These munitions will enable Israel to maintain operational capability of its existing systems and will enhance Israel’s interoperability with the United States,” the agency said in the statement.

“These are weapons that Israel already has in its arsenal, and this shipment will help replenish the stock depleted by last year’s Gaza operation,” Gerald Steinberg, political science professor at Bar Ilan University told Bloomberg.

The sale still awaits Congressional review. However, U.S. weapons sales to Israel have very rarely run into difficulty passing though Congress.

The sale is to be funded through U.S.Foreign Military Financing grants. TheUnited States provides Israel with over $3 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing, which accounts for almost a quarter of Israel’s total defense budget. The Congressional Research Service report onU.S. aid to Israel states, “U.S. military aid has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Critics of U.S. military assistance to Israel have raised concerns about the sale, given possible violations of international law committed by the Israeli military during last year’s attack on Gaza. U.S. lawprohibits providing military assistance to countries that engage in human rights violations.

A report from last summer found that the U.S. supplied Israel with many of the same types of weapons that were used in “Operation Protective Edge,” and an Amnesty International report last December stated that a number of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza amounted to war crimes. Amnesty also documented cases of the Israeli military attacking hospitals and health workers.

The latest allegations of war crimes came earlier this month when Israeli soldiers gave anonymous testimony about their experience in the 2014 war in Gaza.

The testimonies allege that the Israeli military didn’t institute basic measures to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. According to the testimony, Israeli soldiers were told to regard anything in Gaza as a “threat” and told that they should “not spare ammo.”

In one testimony, a staff sergeant with the mechanized infantry unit stated,

The saying was: “There’s no such thing there as a person who is uninvolved.” In that situation, anyone there is involved. Everything is dangerous; there were no special intelligence warnings such as some person, or some white vehicle arriving … No vehicle is supposed to be there – if there is one, we shoot at it. Anything that’s not “sterile” is suspect.

Other testimonies allege that tanks fired randomly or for revenge on buildings without regard for civilians who might be inside. The testimonies also describe Israeli soldiers looting Gazan’s homes and engaging in arbitrary property destruction. In one instance, an individual describes running over cars with tanks.

Perhaps most troubling was the testimony given by a sergeant first class in the Israeli Combat Intelligence Collection Corps. The sergeant stated that during debriefings the destruction waged on Gaza was referred to as “accomplishments.”

You could say they went over most of the things viewed as accomplishments. They spoke about numbers: 2,000 dead and 11,000 wounded, half a million refugees, decades worth of destruction. Harm to lots of senior Hamas members and to their homes, to their families. These were stated as accomplishments so that no one would doubt that what we did during this period was meaningful.

The State Department’s announcement of this unusually large arms sale is likely meant to reassure Israel over its concerns about the U.S.-Iranian nuclear agreement.

“The timing certainly has the appearance of calming Israeli fears about Iran,” Gerald Steinberg said.

Yiftah Shapir, who heads the Middle East Military Balance project at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies, agreed. He told Bloomberg, “There’s no doubt that packaging them all together in one sale, and announcing it now, is clearly linked to the Iran agreement.”

Haaretz reported earlier this week that the U.S. has quietly made plans to provide compensation to Israel if the U.S. and Iran reach an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

According to Haaretz, this compensation includes F-35 stealth fighters, missile defense systems, and other unknown military materials. The U.S. and Israel have already agreed that Israel will buy 33 F-35s at $110 million apiece. The first planes are set to arrive in 2016. However, the Israeli military is seeking a total of 50 F-35s.

Paul Gottinger is a staff reporter at RSN whose work focuses on the Middle East and the arms industry. He can be reached on Twitter @paulgottinger or via email.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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A Contested Convention Is Exactly What the Democratic Party Needs
Nichols writes: What Sanders is proposing is a necessary quest - and a realistic one. Already, he is better positioned than any recent insurgent challenger to engage in rules and platform debates, as well as in dialogues about everything from the vice-presidential nomination to the character of the fall campaign.
By John Nichols and Moyers & Company
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Let Rachel Dolezal Be as Black as She Wants to Be
'I sympathize with the dilemma of Rachel Dolezal, the head of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP whose parents maintain that she is not any part black, as she has claimed. See, I too have been living a lie. For the past 50 years I've been keeping up this public charade, pretending to be something I'm not. Finally, in the wake of so many recent personal revelations by prominent people, I've decided to come out with the truth.' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, TIME
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, TIME

Dolezal chose to identify with a racial group she was not born into, like Sean Connery as the Japanese expert in Rising Sun.