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James W. Knowles, III — does that name ring a bell? Don’t worry if it doesn’t. Knowles’ 15 minutes of fame came and went with the Ferguson uprising. Maybe it’s coming back to you now — James Knowles was the mayor of Ferguson back in August 2014 when unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Since that fateful day back on August 9, 2014, the City of Ferguson Police Department was placed under consent decree, the Black Lives Matter movement emerged, and the Brown family was awarded over $1.5 million for their loss. …


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In December of 2019, the world learned that a highly contagious potentially lethal strain of the Coronavirus was spreading in China. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned all countries that if they did not 1) isolate; 2) test; 3) treat and 4) trace this virus that they would be placing their populations at risk for transmission of the virus.

In January 2020, the governments of the United States and South Korea both learned of the first case of the Coronavirus to reach their countries — these two governments were informed on the same day. Following is a list of events that occurred after the U.S. …


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Coronavirus Intersectionality: Who Chooses Who Lives

Unlike some people who make this claim, the Coronavirus has demonstrated that it truly does not see race, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender. Until there is a vaccine or some other remedy, none of that will matter if someone comes into direct contact with the virus.

But, considering the highly stratified nature of this country, there are opportunities for the virus to disproportionately impact certain segments of our population.

Fractures in social equality that existed way before the virus appeared on the scene can provide pathways that mainstream media is not discussing.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that healthcare providers who come into direct contact with people carrying the Coronavirus are at a high risk of contracting the virus themselves. …


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Self-Serving Newspapers Like the New York Times Ditch Their Own Ethics Rules

The most disturbing aspect of the New York Times op-ed by an anonymous “senior official in the Trump Administration” isn’t its content.

The content isn’t significant enough to make an impression.

“Meetings with [President Trump] veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back,” writes Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. The “revelation” that Trump rambles incoherently and can’t keep a thought straight is not news to anyone who has watched Trump speak more than a minute and a half.

What is scary is that the stewards of a grand 167-year-old publishing institution can cavalierly abandon the basic standards of journalism in search of a social media splash in their tepid jihad against a sitting president. …


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Family members of detainees, including Maria Lopez, Adrianna, and Hulissa Aguilar, called on ICE to release their loved ones after it was announced the center would close. (All photos by David Bacon)

ICE contended that forcing Contra Costa County to divest from cooperation in immigrant detention would harm the detainees — an argument similar to those heard during the fight for divestment from apartheid in South Africa.

Bay Area immigrant communities and immigrant rights activists felt they’d won an important victory July 10. At a news conference, Sheriff David Livingston, flanked by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, announced that his department was ending its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold immigration detainees in Richmond at the West County Detention Facility, one of the county’s four jails.

Immediately, the organizations that had put pressure for years on the county over its cooperation with ICE demanded the release of the detainees, urging authorities not to transfer them to another location. For the next two months, until the immigrant facility inside the jail was closed, detainees’ families and their supporters mobilized to get legal help, and raise the bond money needed to bail people out of detention. In the end, they raised tens of thousands of dollars, and freed 21 of about 175 detainees held inside the center. The rest were transferred. …


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No President can govern alone. George Washington picked a few of the most prominent revolutionary leaders for his Cabinet, including Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Now the federal government directly employs over 2 million people, and pays millions of others, such as our soldiers.

Candidates tell us they will get the best people. For most of our history, it was assumed that the best meant white men. After Emancipation of the slaves in 1865, black men began to be hired in Washington, encouraged by the early Republican Party. President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, reimposed racist criteria on federal hiring early in the 20th century. …


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As if the horrific Saudi bombing of a Yemeni school bus that killed 44 children on August 9, 2018 wasn’t bad enough, CNN reported that the bomb used in the attack was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, one of the major U.S. defense contractors. Nima Elbagir, reporting for CNN’s Situation Room, showed a map of Yemen pinpointing several other attacks where large numbers of civilians have been killed by bombs from not only Lockheed Martin, but also General Dynamics and Raytheon. It was a rare moment when a mainstream US media outlet made the connection between U.S. …


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What, we wonder, can we do about it?

What is there to do about a lack of funding for our public schools and education in general? Just looking at the federal level, despite an economy that is doing very well at the moment, Trump’s proposed 2019 education budget chops it from $68 billion in 2016 to $63 billion in 2019, cheating children while at the same time spending more and more on war profiteers like Lockheed and Boeing.

Indeed, the daily contracts for the war department are staggering. Just today, 10 September 2018, Boeing is awarded $2.85 billion, $51 million to Lockheed, $19 million to Northrup Grumman, an additional contract of $14 million more to Boeing, and $12 million to BAE Technology Solutions. …


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Impeachment is not limited to indictable offenses. As Alexander Hamilton wrote, impeachment extends to serious violations of “the public trust.”

The greatest immediate threat to American democracy isn’t Russian intervention in our elections. It’s Donald Trump. So if you’re searching for a term to express the dangers posed by Trump’s presidency, don’t invoke “Russiagate.” Think instead of “Trumpgate.”

Although I am not the first to use the Trumpgate label, the tag has not yet gained wide currency. But rest assured, if the recent past is any prologue to the future, it will.

So let’s begin by defining Trumpgate as the ever-expanding cluster of scandals, ethical infractions, and criminal conduct that Trump has triggered, abetted, and committed since the earliest days of the campaign, coupled with the President’s very real and severe personal pathologies. …


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REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

After reading a piece Jon Lee Anderson published recently in The New Yorker, an incredibly biased account of the recent crisis in Nicaragua, I set out to find out more about the famed war correspondent. I came to understand he was greatly elevated by his writing from Afghanistan, later he was in Iraq. There was little criticism, although someone took exceptionwith a piece he had done on Libya which was also published by The New Yorker. “Damn near every paragraph of this Jon Lee Anderson piece on Libya is dubious.”

Eventually I came upon an interview Anderson had done with Robert Birnbaum which was compelling enough and they had even touched upon the topic of Nicaraguan politics. Still, his latest piece seems like a wart on what is otherwise considered, at least by some, to be a stellar career. Aside, that is, from a little scandal over Venezuela’s Gini coefficient (the most common measurement of inequality). I think that was in 2013 and led to so much criticism Anderson eventually responded to it. …

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LA Progressive's online social justice journal has been publishing progressive insights for a decade.

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