A Local Food Revolution in Puerto Rico
by Alex Sammon
Posted December 18, 2018
“They say that during Maria, Puerto Rico only had enough food for one week,” says Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, who became an international figurehead after calling out President Trump for his inadequate response to the crisis. “I hate to say anything positive about Maria. But what the hurricane did was force us to look at the realities of life here and how our dependency on the outside weakens our ability to ensure our people are taken care of. Maria made it evident that we need agricultural sovereignty.”
The story of Puerto Rico’s food production is also the story of the island’s own colonial history. Large-scale plantations replaced native farming during Puerto Rico’s days as a Spanish colony, resulting in the consolidation of agricultural land and landholding, as well as the number of crops being grown on it. When the United States took over the island in the wake of the Spanish-American War in 1898, economic restructuring meant that the remaining agricultural activity focused only on cash crops like sugarcane and coffee. More…
William Barr Is Out of Step on Criminal Justice Reform
by Tim Lau
Posted December 17, 2018
Barr’s record suggests he might also be opposed to the FIRST STEP Act, the current bipartisan bill on criminal justice reform. If passed, the bill would shorten some unnecessarily long federal prison sentences and enforce rules that would improve conditions for people currently in prison. Barr’s potential opposition to the FIRST STEP Act would put him at odds with President Trump and the majority of Republicans in the Senate, who support the bill.
Barr’s previous stint as attorney general also included troubling positions on criminal justice issues. During his tenure in the Bush administration, Barr helped devise federal policies that furthered mass incarceration and the war on drugs. Notably, in 1992, he published a book by the Department of Justice called The Case for More Incarceration, which argued that the country was “incarcerating too few criminals.” After serving as attorney general, Barr led efforts in Virginia to abolish parole in the state, build more prisons, and increase prison sentences by as much as 700 percent. More…
The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted December 16, 2018
Julian Assange founded an innovative leak outlet on the premise that corrupt power can be fought with truth and transparency. Corrupt power responded by silencing, persecuting and smearing him. In so doing they succeeded in slowing down the leaks, minimizing the impact of publications, and nullifying Assange’s ability to defend himself, and in exchange they have publicly proved that his thesis was, and is, absolutely correct. There is a power establishment which uses lies and secrecy to manipulate and deceive us, and it hates having the light of truth shone upon it more than anything. We know that for certain now. There is no doubt whatsoever.
Julian Assange was never hiding from justice. Julian Assange is, and always has been, hiding from injustice. He has been proven right about his reasons for seeking political asylum from Ecuador, as he has been proven right about so very much before. More…
Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted December 16, 2018
The Trump Justice Department inadvertently revealed in a court filing that it has charged Julian Assange in a sealed indictment. The disclosure occurred through a remarkably amateurish cutting-and-pasting error in which prosecutors unintentionally used secret language from Assange’s sealed charges in a document filed in an unrelated case. Although the document does not specify which charges have been filed against Assange, the Wall Street Journal reported that “they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.”
Prosecuting Assange and/or WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents would be in an entirely different universe of press freedom threats. Reporting on the secret acts of government officials or powerful financial actors – including by publishing documents taken without authorization – is at the core of investigative journalism. From the Pentagon Papers to the Panama Papers to the Snowden disclosures to publication of Trump’s tax returns to the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, some of the most important journalism over the last several decades has occurred because it is legal and constitutional to publish secret documents even if the sources of those documents obtained them through illicit or even illegal means. More…
The Importance of Quiet Time
by Alan Lightman
Posted December 14, 2018
I believe that we can develop a new habit of mind toward the wired world, but it will take time. We will first need to recognize the danger. Certainly, younger people should take some responsibility for their addiction to the wired world at the expense of their inner selves. But shouldn’t we who created that world take more responsibility? We are victims ourselves, but we are also the perpetrators. Don’t we owe all of our children a world in which their contemplative lives are valued and supported? Don’t we owe it to ourselves?
Although changing habits of mind is difficult, it can be done. With a little determination, each of us can find a half hour a day to waste time. And when we do so, we give ourselves a gift. It is a gift to our spirit. It is an honoring of that quiet, whispering voice. It is a liberation from the cage of the wired world. It is freedom. Decades ago, when I was that boy walking home from school through the woods, following turtles as they slowly lumbered down a dirt path, wasting hours as I watched tadpoles in the shallows or the sway of water grasses in the wind, I was free. We cannot return to that world, nor would we necessarily want to, but we can create some of that space within our world today. We can create a preserve within our own minds. More…
The Fed Will Continue Tightening Until Everything Breaks
by Brandon Smith
Posted December 13, 2018
First and foremost, let’s be clear, the Federal Reserve is an autonomous entity that does not answer to government oversight. It never has and it probably never will. This reality is supported by admissions by former Fed officials like Alan Greenspan, who publicly noted that the Fed answers to no one.
Fed propaganda asserts the lie that the bank is audited annually by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), but this is NOT an audit of Fed financial actions and policy initiatives. Rather, it is an audit of minor expenditures. Knowing how many pencils and desks the Fed purchases in a year does not help us to understand the bank’s influence over our economic security. All other audits of the Fed are done internally by the Fed’s own Board of Governors. This is hardly transparent or independent. More…
Researcher Jailed After Uncovering Deadly Virus Delivered Through Human Vaccines
By Richard Enos
Posted December 12, 2018
Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, PhD, was thrown in prison after she refused to discredit her own research that led to the discovery that deadly retroviruses have been transmitted to 25 million Americans through vaccines.
Dr. Mikovits’ paper, in and of itself, did not immediately bring the wrath of the powerful pharmaceutical industry. However, when a paper published 2 years later made the connection between this new virus and vaccines, then Mikovits’ research findings became too dangerous for the Deep State.
It was not long after the implications from the paper became clear and the Deep State saw the threat that was being posed to the vaccine industry that their powerful mechanisms of cover-up, obfuscation, and deception were activated: More…
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