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June 21, 2021

Headlines:

NSA Spying, Tax Fraud Join Trade Debacle

Although the horrendous TPP (“Trans Pacific Partnership”) pact is the most pressing global trade story here in the U.S., the current round of the TPP’s European cousin (aka TAFTA) is taking the cake in Belgium for sheer entertainment value. At the core of both pacts are sweeping new corporate rights and privileges, like the investor-state system. That little gem allows corporations to sue governments in foreign tribunals for taxpayer compensation of any domestic policy they claim undermines their “expected future profits.” Take a minute and sit with that last sentence until it really sinks in. Developing nations seeking commercial relationships with the…

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TPP 101 in Less than 4 Minutes. Go.

You’ve likely heard about the “TPP” in the news lately. You know it has 3 letters. You may even know that they stand for Trans Pacific Partnership. You may know that it’s considered a bad thing by the left, the right, and everyone in between. You may know it has something to do with trade… aaaand you may have gotten overwhelmed. Or you may be frustrated that other fairly engaged people seem not to know what it’s all about and why it matters. Here’s a great primer that takes less than four minutes, featuring Amy Goodman from Democracy Now interviewing…

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Springtime for Goldman Sachs

You just knew it had to be one of those brie-biting, Sartre-spewing, overly-garlicked Frenchmen who pushed the Earth’s finance system over a cliff. This week, US prosecutors finally began the trial of the only person on the entire planet whom they have charged with the financial crimes that sank worldwide stock markets by trillions in 2008 and left millions homeless and jobless, from Detroit to Manchester. By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine Amazingly, say prosecutors, it all came down to a single Frenchman, Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre, only 29 years old at the time. Even Julius Caesar waited until he turned 51…

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Today is Malala Day: She Speaks at the UN on Education for All

Malala Yousafzai, the girl who fought for education in Pakistan made famous by her diaries on BBC, spoke at the UN today less than a year after she was shot  in the head by members of the Taliban. Her voice didn’t waver, it was strong and clear. Today is now Malala Day – it’s her 16th Birthday. [Friendly warning: I’m a grown man and I openly wept for 16 straight minutes while watching this… and am tearing up as I type this blog… you might want to schedule in some time to listen to it and really deal with it….

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Revolution 2.0 – Where to Get the News from Egypt

The US networks are doing (in my opinion) a terrible job covering the ouster of Morsi in Egypt. From spelling Morsi’s name wrong, to interviewing those who previously supported the dictator Mubarak. This is why I turned off my TV, and tuned in to aljazeera.com.  For those that don’t know, there’s an excellent 24-hour live stream on Al Jazeera’s website. I’m sure people have their problems on both the left and the right with me promoting AJ, but compared to the US coverage right now, it’s the gold standard. If you have better or just different news sources, please post them…

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Jeremy Scahill takes on Obama Talking Points

Friend of the Mudflats, and Nation contributor Jeremy Scahill went on MSNBC’s The Cycle to discuss Obama’s drone program along with his book and film Dirty Wars. Scahill has spent the past several years investigating drones, private militaries, and US war crimes under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Touré (yes, that’s his only name), ever the defender of all things Obama asked him: “I’m curious, Jeremy, as to how you think we should be doing this, If you were the commander-in-chief entrusted with keeping Americans safe, and your legacy is on the line, and all those sort of things, how…

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The Gun Cathedral

In light of recent events and the national debate now raging, I thought it timely to share with you a jarring, brilliant and utterly original work of art I encountered at San Francisco’s de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park a couple of years ago. The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro, by Al Farrow (b. 1943), is a cathedral constructed entirely of guns and bullets. The work is a striking commentary on the historical relationship between religious intolerance and warfare, in particular the Crusades and their violent conquest of the Holy Land. Farrow believes the world’s major religions to…

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Big Oil, Big Ketchup & The Assassination of Hugo Chavez

By Greg Palast for Truthout Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It’s the oil. And it’s the Koch Brothers – and it’s the ketchup.   Reverend Pat Robertson said, “Hugo Chavez thinks we’re trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.” It was 2005 and Robertson was channeling the frustration of George Bush’s State Department. Despite Bush’s providing intelligence, funds and even a note of congratulations to the crew who kidnapped Chavez (we’ll get there), Hugo remained in office, reelected and…

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