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Health Care & Environment
12.17 Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious wood to China [clear-cutting forests harshly impacts all life above and below ground-level for decades; it decreases oxygen production and seguestration of CO2 and increases area, frequency and duration of drought]
12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]
News Media Matters
12.17 A Report to Our Readers
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
12.17 'Making America Stupid Again': Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can't Say at Trump's CDC [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
12.16 Poverty in US set to increase due to Donald Trump's policies, says UN official [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 Republicans Despise the Working Class [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.17 Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil [something else Republicans are packing the courts for...]
12.15 Who Pays for Judicial Races? The Politics of Judicial Elections 2015-16 [desperately packing the courts at all levels to protect white power & unregulated capitalism]
12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]
12.17 Trump’s Misuse of Intelligence on Iran [immoral behavior that could lead to War]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
12.17 How a Philadelphia nun became the unlikely face of conscientious capitalism [Why don't we teach morality in Law & Business schools?]
12.16 The Republican Tax Bill Provides Huge Benefits to People Who Don’t Work. But Only if They’re Rich. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 The United States Is Now as Unequal as Russia. And That’s Before the Tax Bill. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers [what are the chances oligarchy-controlled countries (esp. America and Russia) ever agree to fight tax evasion and money landering? International agencies must all mandate common regulations as a condition for UN membership, trade agreements, world bank loans, etc.]
12.15 FCC Chair Ajit Pai 'Shows Just How Dumb He Thinks Americans Are' With Video Mocking Net Neutrality [he won't discuss how giving more monopoly power to cable ISPs will increase consumer costs and stifle innovation]
12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]
International & Futurism
12.17 Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life [a good model that converts victims of abuse and cruelty into positive activists with good jobs...]
12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]
Flawed Voting in our Democracy
Why does the Republican Party want the Voting Rights Act to expire?The history of America can be written as an attempt to realize the dream of democracy—but in 2006 America it may still remain only a dream. Republican efforts to suppress the votes of poor minorities is becoming ever more creative and determined—we need only look at the details of the 2000 Florida vote and the 2004 Ohio vote for confirmation.
Mr. Palast’s most recent book, Armed Madhouse, details how votes of African Americans can be challenged in a process referred to as “caging.” Independent analysis of so-called “spoiled” votes in the 2004 election showed that the chances of a black vote being spoiled and not counted (blacks vote 90% democratic) was 500 times more likely than the spoilage of a Latino vote (Latinos vote about 40% Republican). Even the votes of black soldiers serving in Iraq were successfully challenged when they returned to the states. Not having enough voting machines or functioning machines in predominantly black districts and poor neighborhoods, or at liberal colleges; stopping and searching cars with black occupants on the way to the polls; searching the households of blacks for potential voting fraud; not allowing election day to be a holiday or not extending the time for voting or having voting on weekends; not allowing D.C. to have representation in the Senate: all are ways of suppressing the black democratic vote. Gerrymandering and voter picture I.D.s, (many poor blacks don’t drive and may not have picture I.D.s) or some other test of voter eligibility, are more traditional tactics.
If the poor and black do manage to vote, their votes are likelier than not to be recorded on machinery designed to provide such ambiguous results as to be subject to challenge.The GOP elites have never trusted democracy and are luxuriating in their present one-party rule. They will continue to find ways to assure that only “qualified” people vote, just as new loopholes will be created to allow the wealthy to buy votes through bogus campaign finance “reform.” And, if the poor and black do manage to vote, their votes are likelier than not to be recorded on machinery designed to provide such ambiguous results as to be subject to challenge. In 2004, 3 million votes were challenged in the 50 state elections. This is the sorry state of voting patterns in America.
In 2004, 3 million votes were challenged in the 50 state electionsAll these activities mentioned are prohibited under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and that is why the Republican Congress would like to see the Act expire. Mr. Palast put it this way: When I look over the caging lists and the scrub sheets, it’s clear to me that the GOP has traded in white sheets for spreadsheets.”
J. Russell Tyldesley, an insurance executive, writes from Catonsville, Md.
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This story was published on June 29, 2006.