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Rob Verchick – Our Energy Grid Is Incredibly Vulnerable

When I dream about Hurricane Katrina (and I still do), it always starts with the refrigerators. Kenmore, GE, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Amana. Hundreds of thousands of these abandoned appliances stood duct-taped shut on the curbs and yards of homes throughout New Orleans. Many were spray-painted with whimsical or forbidding messages. “Funky. Not in a good way.” “Free Beer and Maggots.” “Smells …

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Long-Time Vegetarians may Have Altered DNA – This is What it Means

A new study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution suggests that consuming a long-term vegetarian diet may alter human DNA and make people more susceptible to some cancers and heart disease. This, according to researchers, is because DNA makes vegetarians more susceptible to inflammation by boosting arachidonic acid, a substance linked to cancer and inflammation. The study suggests that because of this, vegetarian populations have a 40% increased …

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Bill Quigley – America’s #1 Incarceration State

In 2014, the US Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1 [3], among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma.   Because the US leads the world in incarcerating [4] its people, this means Louisiana is number one in the world.   Compare [4] Louisiana’s rate of 816 people per 100,000 with Russia’s 492, …

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Bruce Wilson – Cruz Super PAC Head Promotes ‘Biblical’ Slavery for Non-Christians

Since 2013 (and with growing interest, especially since Ted Cruz mounted his bid for the presidency), various authors have sought to address Cruz’ ties to the diffuse but widespread movement known as dominionism. But most of these various treatments seem to share common flaws—they typically focus on a few details but miss the extensive range of evidence tying Ted Cruz …

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Black Agenda Radio – 02.29.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with host Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– There is turmoil this presidential primacy season, in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubois Scholar and veteran activist who helped put together a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, this January, in Philadelphia, says the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns reveal a crisis in the duopoly political system.

– Students, teachers, parents and community members in Detroit are gearing up for a city-wide strike to defend the public schools, which have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after 17 years of management by the state. Among the leaders of the protests is Steven Conn, the elected president of the Detroit teachers’ union, who was deprived of his seat by the union’s national leadership. Conn says Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his appointed emergency financial managers are hell-bent on destroying public education. Their current plan is to divide the Detroit school system in two.

– A new study shows that Teach for America, or TFA, which has been a leading force in the charterization of the nation’s public schools, enjoys a special relationship with school systems in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans and New York. The lead researcher for the study is Jameson Brewer. He says Teach for America collects finders fees to provide school systems with novice teachers, and protects them against lay-offs, while traditional teachers are pushed out of the profession.

– The Alliance for a Just Society has released a new report titled “Jobs After Jail.” The problem is, there AREN’T many employment opportunities for ex-offenders, partly because former prison inmates are prohibited by law from working at literally hundreds of jobs. Allyson Fredericksen was one of the authors of the report.

– As a lifelong activist, and a veteran journalist and educator, Dr. Charles Simmons takes the long view. Simmons spoke last week to a meeting on Black Men in Unions, at the Institute for Labor and Community Studies, in Detroit.

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Black Agenda Radio – 09.21.15

– A researcher at the University of Connecticut has come up with a price tag for reparations for Black people for slavery in the United States. Professor Thomas Craemer puts the cost at between $5.9 trillion and $14.2 trillion, depending on how you do the calculations.

– Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report, a renowned whistleblower, and an activist with the Hands Up Coalition-DC. She’s also become a close friend and comrade with the mother of Emanuel Okutuga, a Nigerian American college senior who was shot dead by a cop in suburban Washington, in 2011. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo says her Nigerian friend’s American dream has turned into a nightmare.

– A new book reveals U.S. efforts to undermine and overthrow governments in Latin America during the Bush and early Obama administrations. The book is titled “The WikiLeaks Files,” and it’s co-authored by Dan Beeton and two other researchers from the Center for Economic Policy and Research. The team examined diplomatic cables detailing U.S. subversion of the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras. The United States claims that it is a good neighbor to nations in Latin America, but Dan Beeton says the evidence tells a very different story.

– There will soon be a new film on the aftermath of Katrina, in New Orleans. Kimberly Rivers-Roberts produced her first film, “Trouble the Water” shortly after the 2005 catastrophe in her hometown. The film was nominated for an Oscar and won several awards at the Sundance Film Festival. Ms. Rivers-Roberts is also known by her Hip Hop artist name, Queen Kold Madina, Her new film looks at what has happened to New Orleans in the ten years since Katrina. It’s titled “Fear No Gumbo.”

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Cronyism is Putting Diabetic Patients at Risk

New legislation could limit patient access to unbiased diabetes advice. A bill before Congress called the Access to Quality Diabetes Education Act of 2015 (HR 1726, S 1345) and state efforts by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) will make it more difficult for Medicare patients with diabetes to get the help they need to overcome the disease. The …

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This Can’t Be Happening – 09.02.15

Prof. Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois Law School with a long career as an anti-war activist and upholder of human rights. He has served as a counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina and was a legal advisor to the Palestinian delegation during the Middle East Peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993. Prof. Boyle has served on the board of directors of Amnesty International, and the Council for Responsible Genetics. He drafted the legislation for what became the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act in 1989 which was signed into law by the first Bush administration. He has been a strong opponent of the current Afghan and Iraq wars, and was an advocate for bringing international arrest warrants against George W Bush, Cheney and others in the Bush administration. Prof. Boyle has published numerous papers in law reviews and many books. His most recent publications are “Palestine, Palestinians and Internaitonal,” “Biowarfare and Terrorism” and “The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence” co-written with Phillip Berrigan.

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Naomi Klein – Change Everything or Face A Global Katrina

For me, the road to This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate begins in a very specific time and place. The time was exactly ten years ago. The place was New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The road in question was flooded and littered with bodies. Today I am posting, for the first time, the entire section on Hurricane Katrina …

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Russ Baker – How the Bush Machine Destroyed America’s Emergency Response Agency

This article was originally assigned, accepted, and paid for in full by Vanity Fair — which never got around to publishing it, and graciously released it to the author. It tells the story of the cronyism, corruption, ineptness, contempt for the public and utter shamelessness of the Bush family apparatus and its extensive network. With yet another Bush now contesting …