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2016.22.11 BF Cohen(Photo: Joe Brusky)ELLIOT D. COHEN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At Truthout and BuzzFlash, we don't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the forces in power. Don't wait to hold the next president's feet to the fire: Make a donation to independent media today!

The infrastructure for mass warrantless surveillance is now in place for cyber racial profiling by a government administration with the will to carry it out. The latter is the systematic use of a spy technology network for purposes of targeting a specific race/s. As disclosed in the National Security Agency (NSA) slides leaked in 2013 by Edward Snowden, the present system of surveillance technology is of global proportions with the capacity to capture, store, and inspect virtually every electronic message (email, phone conversation, internet search, chat, etc.) sent and received by millions of U.S. citizens each day. The selection of racially motivated cabinet members at the highest level of the Trump administration is a clear warning sign that we may be about to witness a firestorm of cyber racial oppression that could end the experiment in democracy our forefathers began more than two hundred years ago.

The NSA presently conducts warrantless searches that have captured and stored millions of communications of U.S. citizens. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FIS) Court has allowed this activity to continue unabated rather than to insist that the technology be equipped with content filtering technologies that block government access to personal information of U.S. Citizens. While, pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, federal agencies conducting terrorism investigations need a court warrant to target U.S. citizens, they do not need such a warrant when their target is a non-U.S. citizen. However, the 2008 amendments to the 1978 FISA law now allow the feds to gather information containing the personal information of U.S. persons when this information is collected tangential to collecting foreign intelligence that targets non-U.S. persons. All that is necessary is that a "significant purpose" of the search is to gather foreign intelligence. Previous FISA law required that "the [only] purpose" of the investigation be to gather foreign intelligence. So, if the feds are conducting a terrorist investigation and they "just happen" to gather information about a U.S. citizen who is engaged in an allegedly illegal activity, this information is admissible for purposes of charging the person with a crime.

JUDY WICKS OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Protectors 1121wrp opt(Photo: EcoWatch)This Thanksgiving, I'm going to Standing Rock with a delegation of more than 50 people from across the U.S. to cook and serve dinner for 500 Water Protectors, as a small way to give back to Native Americans on our national day of thanks.

Looking back on history, Native Americans saved the lives of newly arrived Europeans in what is now Massachusetts by sharing their harvest in the winter of 1620. The Wampanoag, who had lived in the region for some 12,000 years, taught the settlers to grow native crops. The Wampanoag were not the only tribe to be generous. In the earliest days, many tribes throughout the Americas helped new settlers survive.

The foods the natives shared with settlers were not just growing wild. They were cultivated over many generations by native people who had a deep connection to the land. Today, many vegetables and fruits in our diet were first cultivated by Native Americans, including foods found on the Thanksgiving table—potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, corn, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin and cranberry. The turkey many enjoy on Thanksgiving Day was first domesticated by Native Americans.

Monday, 21 November 2016 08:17

The Terrorism Targeting Our Grandchildren

PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Children 1121wrp opt(Photo: Saveoursmile)Four decades of American narcissism and greed and exceptionalism have allowed the super-rich to dictate the future path of our nation. We're paying the price now, with environmental disasters, nonexistent savings for half of our families, Americans dying because of expensive health care, and a growing fear of blowback from desperate victims of our foreign wars.

Environment Be Damned

Almost all reputable sources agree that human-caused climate change is killing people, with up to 400,000 annual deaths "due to hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children in developing countries," and up to 7 million deaths -- over a half-million of them children under the age of five -- caused by air pollution.

The richest people in the world create most of the pollution, yet are the least likely to feel guilty about the effects of their behavior, and the least likely to suffer from the impending environmental damage. This could lead to terror-filled years for the generations to follow us. Even the CHANCE of such misery for their grandchildren should motivate the super-rich to address the root causes of global warming. Instead, they have plans to retreat to impregnable "safe rooms" with food and water, oxygen, medical supplies, and all the amenities for a year or more of underground living.

2016.17.11 BF Chow(Photo: Kevin Gill)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is one of the most intelligent individuals on the planet, which is why his assertion that humanity has only 1,000 years left on Earth and must find another place to colonize is incredibly frightening.

"[W]e must ... continue to go into space for the future of humanity," professor Hawking said in a lecture on "The Origins of the Universe" at Britain's Oxford University Union earlier this week.

According to the Daily Express, the 74-year-old scientist warned that humans are using up Earth's ecological resources faster than it can be replenished.

"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet," Hawking said.

2016.17.11 BF Quigley(Photo: Courtesy Bill Quigley)BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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Andrea Burton, a 30 year old Ohio criminal defense lawyer, was rocketed onto the national social justice scene this summer after she was handcuffed and jailed for refusing to take off a Black Lives Matter pin while in court. 

Burton's stance received international attention.  "I think that you can't remain silent or you remain a party to oppression," she told The Washington Post. "I am usually a pretty agreeable person. I'm always smiling.  I'm polite. I have manners. But at some point it eats away at you how any time people see you talk about Black Lives Matter, then you're being sensitive, you're the person who's racist."   In interviews with local media Burton insisted "I'm not anti-police, I work with law enforcement and I hold them in the highest regard, and just to say for the record, I do believe all lives matter. But at this point they don't all matter equally."

Thursday, 17 November 2016 06:35

Election Theft and Racist Elitism

2016.17.11 BF Koehler(Photo: Todd Lappin)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At Truthout and BuzzFlash, we don't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the forces in power. Don't wait to hold the next president's feet to the fire: Make a donation to independent media today!

"All great changes," said Deepak Chopra, "are preceded by chaos."

That starts to get at it -- how to understand, and start healing, the national wound inflicted on this country, and the world, by the 2016 presidential election. But I need to throw in a little John Oliver as well.

"We are faced," he said on his TV show, "Last WeekTonight," "with the same questions as the guy who wakes up after a Vegas bachelor party deep in the desert, naked, tied to a cactus and a dead clown. Namely, how the fuck did we get here and what do we do now?"

2016.15.11 BF spear(Photo: US Department of State: South and Central Asia)STEFANIE SPEAR OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Those of us who want to build a better world will have our work cut out for us in the months and years ahead, and the commentary and analysis at Buzzflash will be more important than ever. Can we count on your support?

U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry, while speaking in New Zealand Nov. 13, vowed to do "everything possible" to prevent president-elect Donald Trump from pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.

"I believe the evidence is clear, and the question now that we, this administration, are going to continue to address is how we will implement the Paris Agreement," Kerry said. "And until January 20th when this administration is over, we intend to do everything possible to meet our responsibility to future generations to be able to address this threat to life itself on the planet.

2016.15.11 BF Berkowitz(Photo: Gage Skidmore)BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

At Truthout and BuzzFlash, we don't pull any punches when it comes to criticizing the forces in power. Don't wait to hold the next president's feet to the fire: Make a donation to independent media today!

Hillary Clinton may have made a huge rhetorical gaffe when during the campaign she labeled more than half of Donald Trump's supporters as occupying a "basket of deplorables." That term, however, may be much more applicable to some of the people heading up Trump's transition team. As proof that Trump intends to consummate his affair with conservative Christian evangelicals, he has named Kenneth Blackwell, the senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council -- an organization named as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – to head his domestic transition team.

Blackwell, the former mayor of Cincinnati, UN Ambassador, and Secretary of State of Ohio, is a controversial figure, in part stemming from being accused of voter suppression while Secretary of State of Ohio and honorary chair of George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

Monday, 14 November 2016 07:25

Jim Hightower: Takeaways From the Election

2016.11.14.Hightower.BFDonald Trump is in the White House, but the takeaway from voters in this election is a mandate for progressive economic populism and more diversity among public officials, says Jim Hightower. (Photo: Michael Rosenstein / Flickr)JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Buckle-up, friends, it's going to be a hairy ride.

Start with Day One for President Trump (gotta get used to saying that). He will need to be up-and-at-'em no later than 12:01 a.m., for during his campaign he promised to get oodles of big stuff done on his very first day in office: Repeal Obamacare; begin working on impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall; meet with Homeland security officials and generals to begin securing the Southern border; fix the Department of Veterans Affairs; repeal every single Obama executive order; suspend Syrian refugee resettlement; get rid of gun-free zones in schools; end the war on coal; defend the unborn; start taking care of ... our military; and convene top generals and inform them they have 30 days to come up with a plan to stop ISIS.

Good grief! Americans have actually put a xenophobic-misogynous-racist-nativist blowhard in the Oval Office. Has our country gone right-wing? 

BILL MCKIBBEN FOR ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from Ecowatch

2016.11.14.McKibben.BFSolidarity with Indigenous leadership -- in Standing Rock and beyond -- is more important today, not less, says Bill McKibben. (Photo: Peg Hunter / Flickr)

So, the question everyone's asking me this week is: What now?

I don't have a great answer -- the Trump saga will play out over time, and we'll be learning how to resist as we go along. But resist we will.

I do know that the election last Tuesday made this Tuesday's demonstrations in support of Standing Rock even more important. We'll be gathering in nearly 200 cities worldwide to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Obama Administration, do their jobs and reject the Dakota Access Pipeline's final permit.

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