After years and countless lives lost, the U.S. government is refusing  to fully acknowledge the health crisis its burn pits in Iraq have unleashed upon the U.S. service members exposed to airborne contaminants, even after the VA was ordered  by Congress last year to establish a registry for those who have suffered ill health as a result. But when it comes to the long-term …
Part I: Lee Hall, On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century
Ten years experience as an airline worker, including numerous encounters with shipped animals, forged Lee Hall’s interest in animal-liberation philosophy. Hall earned a law degree at age 37, then worked in immigration legal services, taught immigration and animal law at Rutgers University, and served as an animal lawyer in the non-profit world for a decade. In 2014, Hall earned a Master of Laws in environmental law wit a focus on climate change. Hall has been interviewed for Allegheny Front Environmental Radio, Alternet, and Court TV, and teaches at Widener University -Delaware Law.
It has been two weeks since 49 people were murdered at the Orlando LGBTQ Pulse club’s Latin night, and lawmakers at the state and federal level have already seized on public fear of “terrorists” to advance a spate  of reactionary bills that expand police powers and erode civil rights. Perhaps the most draconian of them all is the proposed New York State Terrorist …
Ed. note: The San Francisco Chronicle  has spearheaded an effort to cover the city’s most intractable humanitarian crisis, homelessness. More than 70 local and national media organizations are participating by examining the issue from all possible angles. As part of this effort, AlterNet has interviewed homeless people in San Francisco to get their take on how and why they have lost their shelter …
Guest 1: Arun Kundnani is the author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror and a lecturer at New York University. Sarah Lazare reports for AlterNet in “The FBI Has a New Plan to Spy on High School Students Across the Country,” that: “Under new guidelines, the FBI is instructing high schools across the country to report students who criticize government policies and ‘western corruption’ as potential future terrorists, warning that ‘anarchist extremists’ are in the same category as ISIS and young people who are poor, immigrants or travel to ‘suspicious’ countries are more likely to commit horrific violence.
“Based on the widely unpopular British ‘anti-terror’ mass surveillance program, the FBI’s ‘Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools’ guidelines [PDF], released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities. However, in its caution to avoid the appearance of discrimination, the agency identifies risk factors that are so broad and vague that virtually any young person could be deemed dangerous and worthy of surveillance, especially if she is socio-economically marginalized or politically outspoken.
“This overwhelming threat is then used to justify a massive surveillance apparatus, wherein educators and pupils function as extensions of the FBI by watching and informing on each other.”
He said today: “The document aims to encourage schools to monitor their students more carefully for signs of radicalization but its definition of radicalization is vague. Drawing on the junk science of radicalization models, the document dangerously blurs the distinction between legitimate ideological expression and violent criminal actions.
“In practice, schools seeking to implement this document will end up monitoring Muslim students disproportionately. Muslims who access religious or political material will be seen as suspicious, even though there is no reason to think such material indicates a likelihood of terrorism.”
Guest 2: Dr. Francis Boyle – Talking about Zika Virus man-made as a GMO. Francis Anthony Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois with degrees from the University of Chicago, magna cum laude from Harvard Law , and further Ph.Ds. from Harvard University.
Guest 3: Tracy Rosenberg, author of Pacifica in Exile Newsletter. In an unsigned blast, former Pacifica IED Margy Wilkinson attacked her colleagues on the national board who assisted her in taking over national leadership in 2014 (including several she called “workables” in her notepad) accusing them of “grabbing KPFA’s money” and “redirecting it”.
The board’s 11-5 vote that the bequest had been redirected incorrectly to KPFA’s exclusive use by Wilkinson was taken on October 29th. Taking advantage of the board’s penchant for confidentiality, Wilkinson characterized the contents of the 60-pages of related documents no one besides the board is being allowed to see for more than a week.
Wilkinson, PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert, and LA-based KPFA listener rep Jose-Luis Fuentes bitterly fought the release of the documentation on Thursday night to the local station boards. Wilkinson secretly set up a duplicate nonprofit foundation in California using Pacifica’s mission statement to acquire Pacifica’s broadcasting licenses under her sole control “should Pacifica go bankrupt”.
Wilkinson ends her screed with the comment that members of the slate opposed to her own Siegel/Brazon faction “Members of the UCR slate have long championed replacing unionized staff with volunteer-produced programming”.
Wilkinson in a last-minute maneuver on her very last day as Pacifica’s director appointed slate-mate Leslie Radford, an unqualified community college instructor, as KPFK’s general manager. Radford has been aggressively replacing unionized staff with volunteer-produced programming in LA and created the biggest labor crisis for Pacifica in 16 years, with more than 20 different grievances being arbitrated with the SAG-AFTRA union, including withheld seniority pay, pension deposits and union dues totaling more than $100,000 by Wilkinson as Pacifica’s IED.
Melting Pot host/producer Michael Barnes became the 4th KPFK show host to quit on air Friday night saying “he was done with the place and how badly it was being managed”.
The cognitive dissonance indicates that Wilkinson herself does not have a consistent set of beliefs about how Pacifica should be run, only a willingness to do whatever she believes necessary for her own faction to remain in power until she is able to un-hook KPFA’s broadcasting license for her own company.
Continuing on that theme, PNB treasurer Brian Edwards-Tiekert claimed that “financial stability has been recovered at KPFA due to windfall income” and electioneered for Wilkinson’s re-election.
The hit piece ended with a plea for loyal Siegel/Brazonites to attempt to shut down this Pacifica In Exile publication by filing complaints with the email service, as the faction prefers the only information provided to members about the foundation’s governance come from them. Everything else is labeled a “conspiracy theory”.
Les Leopold is the co-founder and executive director of two nonprofit educational organizations: The Labor Institute and the Public Health Institute. He also helped to create the Blue-Green Alliance, and organization that merges labor unions with environmental concerns, such as the Sierra Club. Les’ articles appear in Alternet, Truthout and Huffington Post and Ralph Nader listed Les’s award-winning book, “The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor” on his recommended top 10 read list. His recent book “Runaway Inequality: An Activists Guide to Economic Justice” puts into clear perspective an integral view of understanding the many consequences of the growing inequality gap that has decimating Americans’ lives, the economy and the planet. His website is RunAwayInequality.org
Larry—not his real name—is 38. He is serving a 30-year sentence for murder in a New Jersey prison. He will not be eligible for parole until 2032, when he will be 55. His impoverished and nightmarish childhood mirrors that of nearly all prisoners I have worked with who were convicted of violent crimes. And as governmental austerity and chronic poverty …
Updates on Obama on/in Detroit, Walmart closing stores, Santa Fe and public banking, food-makers’ profits vs people’s health. Major discussion of Oxfam and IECD reports on world poverty and inequality.
It’s a familiar trope in U.S. society that baby boomers are the “richest generation.” But a report released online Thursday by the Population Reference Bureau shows that wealth is unequally distributed among this demographic, with people born between 1946 and 1964 facing pronounced disparities along race and gender lines. For people 65 and older, the poverty rate has decreased dramatically …
Most talk of income inequality focuses on the problems of the very poor or the broader socioeconomic implications of rising inequality. What is less well-known is that income inequality makes us all less happy with our lives, even if we’re relatively well-off. We examined data from the Gallup World Poll and the World Top Incomes Database and found that the …