Daily Archives: May 2, 2022

Illegal oil discharges by container vessels contaminate oceans | DW Investigation


Apr 4 2022

When goods are shipped internationally, there are hidden costs like the creeping contamination of the oceans through illegal oil discharges by container vessels. It’s an environmental crime that goes largely undetected.

Vessels continue to pollute the world’s oceans with oily wastewater. DW teamed up with Lighthouse Reports and other media outlets to investigate how seafarers circumvent environmental laws to save time and money, with devastating effects.

Russia’s increased nuclear threats: How will NATO respond? | DW News


Apr 26 2022

Days after launching his invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his strategic nuclear arsenal on high alert — a warning to the west not to interfere. Analysts believe the risk of an all-out nuclear war is low. Instead, Putin might be tempted to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine – smaller weapons designed to cause more limited devastation. How likely is that – and how would the west respond?

Germany calls for ban on Russian oil imports | DW News


May 2 2022

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock says the country is now ready to support an embargo of Russian oil-imports in a new sanctions package, a measure it has thus-far resisted. EU members are keen to end fossil-fuel imports from Russia. More than two-months into the war, they’ve only been able to sanction coal. Germany is one of the countries most dependent on Russian oil and gas. The government has warned however that fuel embargoes are likely to push up consumer prices.

CNN media analyst has meltdown over Elon Musk Twitter takeover: US ‘headed to hell’


May 2 2022

New congressional evidence suggests several GOP members tied to former President Donald Trump were seeking pardons for their conduct relating to overturning the election. The evidence, cited in letters requesting testimony from Congressman Ronny Jackson, Congressman Andy Biggs, and Congressman Mo Brooks, suggests the members viewed their own election plot as potentially criminal. MSNBC’s Ari Melber reports on the developments and wider efforts by different Trump allies to overturn the results, including former White House aide Peter Navarro, whose admissions about overturning the election overlap with some of these apparent efforts by members of the House.

Amazon labor vote accelerates organizing efforts nationwide


May 2, 2022

New congressional evidence suggests several GOP members tied to former President Donald Trump were seeking pardons for their conduct relating to overturning the election. The evidence, cited in letters requesting testimony from Congressman Ronny Jackson, Congressman Andy Biggs, and Congressman Mo Brooks, suggests the members viewed their own election plot as potentially criminal. MSNBC’s Ari Melber reports on the developments and wider efforts by different Trump allies to overturn the results, including former White House aide Peter Navarro, whose admissions about overturning the election overlap with some of these apparent efforts by members of the House.

‘They Knew’: Republican Lawmakers Wanted Pardons For Criminal Coup, Per Evidence


May 2 2022

New congressional evidence suggests several GOP members tied to former President Donald Trump were seeking pardons for their conduct relating to overturning the election. The evidence, cited in letters requesting testimony from Congressman Ronny Jackson, Congressman Andy Biggs, and Congressman Mo Brooks, suggests the members viewed their own election plot as potentially criminal. MSNBC’s Ari Melber reports on the developments and wider efforts by different Trump allies to overturn the results, including former White House aide Peter Navarro, whose admissions about overturning the election overlap with some of these apparent efforts by members of the House.

How the Establishment Distorts the History That You Read: Howard Zinn on A People’s History (1999)


May 2, 2022

Read the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U…

Eager to fight fascism, Zinn joined the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and became an officer. He was assigned as a bombardier in the 490th Bombardment Group, bombing targets in Berlin, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. As bombardier, Zinn dropped napalm bombs in April 1945 on Royan, a seaside resort in western France. The anti-war stance Zinn developed later was informed, in part, by his experiences.

On a post-doctoral research mission nine years later, Zinn visited the resort near Bordeaux where he interviewed residents, reviewed municipal documents, and read wartime newspaper clippings at the local library. In 1966, Zinn returned to Royan after which he gave his fullest account of that research in his book, The Politics of History. On the ground, Zinn learned that the aerial bombing attacks in which he participated had killed more than a thousand French civilians as well as some German soldiers hiding near Royan to await the war’s end, events that are described “in all accounts” he found as “une tragique erreur” that leveled a small but ancient city and “its population that was, at least officially, friend, not foe.” In The Politics of History, Zinn described how the bombing was ordered—three weeks before the war in Europe ended—by military officials who were, in part, motivated more by the desire for their own career advancement than in legitimate military objectives. He quotes the official history of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ brief reference to the Eighth Air Force attack on Royan and also, in the same chapter, to the bombing of Plzeň in what was then Czechoslovakia. The official history stated that the Skoda works in Pilsen “received 500 well-placed tons”, and that “because of a warning sent out ahead of time the workers were able to escape, except for five persons. “The Americans received a rapturous welcome when they liberated the city.

Zinn wrote:

I recalled flying on that mission, too, as deputy lead bombardier, and that we did not aim specifically at the ‘Skoda works’ (which I would have noted, because it was the one target in Czechoslovakia I had read about) but dropped our bombs, without much precision, on the city of Pilsen. Two Czech citizens who lived in Pilsen at the time told me, recently, that several hundred people were killed in that raid (that is, Czechs)—not five.

Zinn said his experience as a wartime bombardier, combined with his research into the reasons for, and effects of the bombing of Royan and Pilsen, sensitized him to the ethical dilemmas faced by G.I.s during wartime. Zinn questioned the justifications for military operations that inflicted massive civilian casualties during the Allied bombing of cities such as Dresden, Royan, Tokyo, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II, Hanoi during the War in Vietnam, and Baghdad during the war in Iraq and the civilian casualties during bombings in Afghanistan during the war there. In his pamphlet, Hiroshima: Breaking the Silence written in 1995, he laid out the case against targeting civilians with aerial bombing.

Six years later, he wrote:

Recall that in the midst of the Gulf War, the U.S. military bombed an air raid shelter, killing 400 to 500 men, women, and children who were huddled to escape bombs. The claim was that it was a military target, housing a communications center, but reporters going through the ruins immediately afterward said there was no sign of anything like that. I suggest that the history of bombing—and no one has bombed more than this nation—is a history of endless atrocities, all calmly explained by deceptive and deadly language like ‘accident’, ‘military target’, and ‘collateral damage’.

After World War II, Zinn attended New York University on the GI Bill, graduating with a B.A. in 1951. At Columbia University, he earned an M.A. (1952) and a Ph.D. in history with a minor in political science (1958). His master’s thesis examined the Colorado coal strikes of 1914. His doctoral dissertation Fiorello LaGuardia in Congress was a study of Fiorello LaGuardia’s congressional career, and it depicted “the conscience of the twenties” as LaGuardia fought for public power, the right to strike, and the redistribution of wealth by taxation. “His specific legislative program,” Zinn wrote, “was an astonishingly accurate preview of the New Deal.” It was published by the Cornell University Press for the American Historical Association. Fiorello LaGuardia in Congress was nominated for the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Prize as the best English-language book on American history.

His professors at Columbia included Harry Carman, Henry Steele Commager, and David Donald.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_…

In Support of Boycott, Divest, Sanction and a Free Palestine

Crimson-Editorial

Harvard’s Divest Fest is Tuesday, May 3rd!

By The Crimson Editorial Board
4 days ago

When oppression strikes anywhere in the world, resistance movements reverberate globally. The desire for rightful justice spreads, like wildfire, moving us to act, to speak, to write, and right our past wrongs.

Over the past year, the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee has strived to do just that. Amid escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine, PSC has hosted informational programming, organized weekly demonstrations of support through “Keffiyeh Thursdays,” and even installed a colorful, multi-panel “Wall of Resistance” in favor of Palestinian freedom and sovereignty.

In at least one regard, PSC’s spirited activism has proven successful: It has forced our campus — and our editorial board — to once again wrestle with what both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called Israel’s “crimes against humanity” in the region.

We first and foremost wish to extend our sincere support to those who have been and continue to be subject to violence in occupied Palestine, as well as to any and all civilians affected by the region’s bellicosity. We are not sure how these words will reach you, or whether they’ll do so at all. But our stance isn’t rooted in proximity or convenience, but rather in foundational principles we must uphold — even if (or perhaps especially when) it proves difficult.

This editorial board is broadly and proudly supportive of PSC’s mission and activism, including its recent art display. The admittedly controversial panels dare the viewer to contend with well-established, if rarely stated, facts. They direct our eyes towards the property and land confiscations, citizenship denials, movement restrictions, and unlawful killings that victimize Palestinians day in and day out. Art is a potent form of resistance, and we are humbled by our peers’ passion and skill.

In the wake of accusations suggesting otherwise, we feel the need to assert that support for Palestinian liberation is not antisemitic. We unambiguously oppose and condemn antisemitism in every and all forms, including those times when it shows up on the fringes of otherwise worthwhile movements. Jewish people — like every people, including Palestinians — deserve nothing but life, peace, and security.

Nothing about PSC’s Wall of Resistance denies that. While members of our campus might well find its messages provocative, or disagree with their philosophical outlook, nothing about them is, in our view, worthy of that delegitimizing label. We have a certain community-wide tendency to dismiss opposing views as inherently offensive and unworthy, straw-manning legitimate arguments and obfuscating difficult but necessary discussions. Yet civil discourse and debate, even when trying, are fundamental steps towards a better reality.

Israel remains America’s favorite first amendment blindspot. Companies that choose to boycott the Jewish state, or otherwise support the pro-Palestine Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement face legal repercussions in at least 26 states. Even for journalists, openly condemning the state’s policies poses an objective professional risk. Only last year, the Associated Press prompted outcry after firing a news editor over college-age tweets critical of Israel. The controversial decision followed a long-established pattern: Dare question Israel’s policies or endorse Palestinian freedom and you will be shunned from the newsroom, past accomplishments or legitimate arguments be damned. For college students like ourselves, speaking bluntly about events in the region can prompt online harassment or even land you on a blacklist.

What this immense opposition to student activists and journalists makes clear is the overwhelming power imbalance that defines and constricts the ongoing debate. This stark power differential extends far beyond the arena of free speech, shifting from rhetorical to lethal on the ground in Palestine, where Israeli soldiers have killed nearly 50 Palestinians, including eight children, this year alone.

As an editorial board, we are acutely aware of the privilege we hold in having an institutional, effectively anonymous byline. Even on this campus, many of our brave peers advocating for Palestinian liberation can be found on watchlists tacitly and shamefully linking them to terrorism.

See related:

Harvard’s Divest Fest — Tuesday, May 3rd 2022

Divest Fest is Tuesday, May 3rd 2022!

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VICTORY: HARVARD DIVESTS FROM FOSSIL FUELS

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard invites you to a celebration of our victories, and an announcement of what’s to come, happening TOMORROW!

We’ve been encouraged this year by Harvard’s steps toward divestment – a victory made possible by everyone who showed up to rallies, signed petitions, came to our meetings, or shared our social media posts. These past two semesters have been a transformative time, and we’re finishing the year with new demands for the administration – to disentangle its climate research centers from the fossil fuel industry, and to reinvest its endowment into more sustainable, community-oriented sources. On May 3rd, we’ll be reflecting on our victory and announcing our new demands.

This is a day of celebration, and all are welcome! There will be:

  • Live music from Harvard bands!

  • Pizza, drinks, and other snacks!

  • Art and games!

  • Speeches from Harvard organizers and community members!

So come by Memorial Church in Harvard Yard on Tuesday, May 3rd, 5pm! We’d love to see you there!

In solidarity,

Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard

* * *

In this moment of celebration, it is worth recalling some the history of the “Divest” struggle at Harvard

Faust-Rubin-regime

The choreography was masterful.  Never was President Faust out of step with Wall Street because their dance was her dance — something which Kristine Guillaume, from the Harvard Crimson Staff made clear in The Crimson headline on 5 July 2018

Faust-Sachshttps://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/7/5/faust-goldman-sachs/

Nevertheless, at Harvard the student voice was crystal clear and strident for a long time:

Tim-DeChristopher

Tim DeChristopher – Hard truths that must be spoken about Harvard

Graduates of Harvard have made the case against the dangers of fossil fuel investments for decades.  Perhaps Harvard’s most famous living graduate, Noam Chomksy, has made his insights clear for years on the obfuscation of universities in adopting or manufacturing smoke-screens to hide the deceptions of the fossil fuel industries.  His condemnation of the tactics of the American Chamber of Commerce made this clear in 2011.

Perhaps equally famous among the younger generation, Harvard’s more recent graduate, Bill McKibben, has always played a prominent role in opposing the Divestment movement at Harvard.

Bill-McKibben-Harvard

The Greta Thunberg Generation Pushes Harvard to Deal With Climate Crisis: Bill McKibben

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as well as the student-faculty and civil-society alliances:

Student-faculty

and the collapse of Harvard’s leadership on the divestment issue:

Movement in the Movement: Next Steps in the “Divest Harvard” Movement
20150301-evn-w500

as well as the overview collection of video webcasts:

* * * *

Looking forward both faculty and students must now become  attentive to the struggles on campus at Harvard and beyond that lie ahead in the fight for ecosystem integrity.  Some of these issues have been touched upon in national television broadcasts, but there is an increasingly important debate emerging internationally about the ethics of geo-engineering technology and its application to planetary-scale alterations in the climate regime.

While some Harvard alumni, prominent in the global divestment movement have spoken out clearly on this topic, there is much more room on campus for extended discussion of the the ethics of major research programs at Harvard that are currently underway in this realm.

McKibben-geoengineering.jp

Perhaps one of the most revealing aspects that have come to light in the course of the Harvard student Divestment Campaign — and perhaps as a warning for the forthcoming geog-engineering experiments — has been the larger context of the corporate disinformation, obfuscation and delay that has been operating very powerfully and systematically against any citizen action — like the Harvard student Divestment campaign — to raise the alarm about the imminent dangers that the use of fossil fuel entails for the survival of our civilization.

A three-part Frontline series, summarizing this larger dimension of the global struggle culminated in the 3 May broadcast on the PBS network of the series entitled:

* * *

Courses offered online from the Harvard Extension School throughout the divestment controversy included:

Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/event/2022-telling-the-truth-about-all-this-conference

“Nations reel and stagger on their way; they make hideous mistakes; they commit frightful wrongs; they do great and beautiful things. And shall we not best guide humanity by telling the truth about all this, so far as the truth is ascertainable?”
—W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880 (1935)

Over the past two decades, universities around the world have begun to engage with their legacies related to slavery. Many have issued reports detailing some of their historical ties to slavery, the substantial financial benefits the institutions and their affiliates extracted from slave economies, and universities’ intellectual contributions to racist ideologies and practices. At the same time, this research has uncovered a long history of African American resistance, and we are just beginning to address the impact of legacies of slavery on Black students at these institutions into the 21st century.

With this history uncovered, we must now ask: What must institutions of higher education do? What types of repair work can and should we undertake? We will explore these questions in our conference through discussions about a range of topics, including engagement with descendant communities, legacies of slavery in libraries and museums, and novel public engagement and educational opportunities.

This program is presented as part of the Presidential Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a University-wide effort anchored at Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

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