Daily Archives: June 4, 2022

Noam Chomsky on Race, Gender and Class with Kathleen Cleaver (1997)

2017, Sep 3

Noam Chomsky and Kathleen Cleaver talked about race, gender and class issues that confront the United States today. They recalled their activism in the 1960s and offered advice on what should be done today relating to these issues. Following their remarks, Dr. Chomsky and Dr. Cleaver answered questions from the audience.

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The Elites of Power and Privilege in Washington & Wall Street Are Lobbing Bombs at the People (1997)

Jun 7, 2022

Read the book: https://amzn.to/3MoUuC5

James Allen Hightower (born January 11, 1943) is an American syndicated columnist, progressive political activist, and author. From 1983 to 1991 he served as the elected commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. He publishes a monthly newsletter that is notable for its in-depth investigative reporting, The Hightower Lowdown.

Born in Denison in Grayson County in north Texas, Hightower comes from a working class background. He worked his way through college as assistant general manager of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and later landed a spot as a management trainee for the U.S. State Department. He received a Bachelor of Arts in government from the University of North Texas in Denton, where he served as student body president. He later did graduate work at Columbia University in New York City in international affairs.In the late 1960s, he worked in Washington, D.C., as legislative aide to U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough. In 1970, Hightower co-founded and worked at the Agribusiness Accountability Project in Washington, D.C., which resulted in two of his early books. After managing the presidential campaign of former Senator Fred R. Harris of Oklahoma in 1976, he returned to Texas to become the editor of the magazine The Texas Observer. His first attempt at public office was an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and natural gas industries, rather than the railroads the name of the commission would seem to indicate.In 1982, Hightower was elected Agriculture Commissioner, having unseated fellow Democrat Reagan V. Brown, who had ordered a quarantine of fruit coming into Texas from California. He served as agriculture commissioner until he was unseated in 1990 by the Democrat-turned-Republican Rick Perry, later the governor of Texas. His tenure was noted for fostering organic production, alternative crops, direct marketing by small farmers, and strong gross materials regulations. During that time, he also became a leading national spokesman for Democrats and endorsed Jesse Jackson for president in 1988. Three of Hightower’s aides at the Agriculture Commission, Mike Moeller, Pete McRae, and Billie Quicksall, were convicted on bribery charges related to procuring contributions to Hightower’s reelection campaign from seed dealers who were subject to the department’s oversight. While Hightower was not involved in the plot, it contributed to his defeat by Perry.During the 1992 presidential election, he supported the candidacy of U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. After Harkin left the race, Hightower supported Jerry Brown, and cast his superdelegate vote for Governor Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.Soon after Clinton was elected, Hightower became a critic of the president. He criticized Clinton for having accepted corporate soft money contributions, his support of NAFTA, his health care plan, and his refusal to crack down on “corporate welfare”, as well as what Hightower viewed as inadequate efforts at fighting unemployment and poverty.In 2000, he joined with talk show host Phil Donahue and actress Susan Sarandon to co-chair the presidential campaign of Ralph Nader. He also appeared at Nader’s “super-rallies” and stumped across the country for him.After the disputed outcome of the 2000 election, Hightower voiced the opinion that it was Vice President Al Gore himself, who lost his home state of Tennessee, and not Ralph Nader, who caused Gore’s defeat at the hands of Governor George W. Bush of Texas. Although he issued no endorsement of any candidate during the 2004 presidential primaries, he spoke and wrote approvingly of since defeated U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, calling him a “clear populist with a lifelong history of unambiguous advocacy of populist principles.” Once Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts won the nomination, Hightower endorsed him and urged fellow progressives to work for his election, saying, “I don’t care if he’s a sack of cement, we’re going to carry him to victory.” During this election, he also campaigned in support of the U.S. Senate bid of Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a friend and fellow activist who was running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.Since 1993, Hightower has produced Hightower Radio, a daily two-minute commentary carried by over 130 affiliates. He also hosted a weekend talk show on the American Broadcasting Company radio network and a weekday midday talk show on the United Broadcasting Network (later called America Radio Network). Hightower’s Chit & Chat aired in thirty-eight markets around the United States. Floyd Domino was his music director and co-host. Susan DeMarco was also a co-host of the program and continues to work with him.


What the Mainstream Media Ignored About NAFTA: Free Trade, Washington, & the Subversion of Democracy

Jun 6, 2022

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

The North American Free Trade Agreement (Spanish: Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN; French: Accord de libre-échange nord-américain, ALÉNA) was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States that created a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994, and superseded the 1988 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Canada. The NAFTA trade bloc formed one of the largest trade blocs in the world by gross domestic product.

The impetus for a North American free trade zone began with U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who made the idea part of his 1980 presidential campaign. After the signing of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, the administrations of U.S. president George H. W. Bush, Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney agreed to negotiate what became NAFTA. Each submitted the agreement for ratification in their respective capitals in December 1992, but NAFTA faced significant opposition in both the United States and Canada. All three countries ratified NAFTA in 1993 after the addition of two side agreements, the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

Passage of NAFTA resulted in the elimination or reduction of barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The effects of the agreement regarding issues such as employment, the environment, and economic growth have been the subject of political disputes. Most economic analyses indicated that NAFTA was beneficial to the North American economies and the average citizen, but harmed a small minority of workers in industries exposed to trade competition. Economists held that withdrawing from NAFTA or renegotiating NAFTA in a way that reestablished trade barriers would have adversely affected the U.S. economy and cost jobs. However, Mexico would have been much more severely affected by job loss and reduction of economic growth in both the short term and long term.

After U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he sought to replace NAFTA with a new agreement, beginning negotiations with Canada and Mexico. In September 2018, the United States, Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to replace NAFTA with the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and all three countries had ratified it by March 2020. NAFTA remained in force until USMCA was implemented. In April 2020, Canada and Mexico notified the U.S. that they were ready to implement the agreement. The USMCA took effect on July 1, 2020, replacing NAFTA. The new law involved only small changes.

In a 60 Minutes interview in September 2015, 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump called NAFTA “the single worst trade deal ever approved in [the United States]”, and said that if elected, he would “either renegotiate it, or we will break it”. Juan Pablo Castañón, president of the trade group Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, expressed concern about renegotiation and the willingness to focus on the car industry. A range of trade experts said that pulling out of NAFTA would have a range of unintended consequences for the United States, including reduced access to its biggest export markets, a reduction in economic growth, and higher prices for gasoline, cars, fruits, and vegetables. Members of the private initiative in Mexico noted that to eliminate NAFTA, many laws must be adapted by the U.S. Congress. The move would also eventually result in legal complaints by the World Trade Organization. The Washington Post noted that a Congressional Research Service review of academic literature concluded that the “net overall effect of NAFTA on the U.S. economy appears to have been relatively modest, primarily because trade with Canada and Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP”.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, called it “a continuation of other disastrous trade agreements, like NAFTA, CAFTA, and permanent normal trade relations with China”. He believes that free trade agreements have caused a loss of American jobs and depressed American wages. Sanders said that America needs to rebuild its manufacturing base using American factories for well-paying jobs for American labor rather than outsourcing to China and elsewhere.

The American public was largely divided on its view of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with a wide partisan gap in beliefs. In a February 2018 Gallup Poll, 48% of Americans said NAFTA was good for the U.S., while 46% said it was bad.


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CARTA: Human Introduction and Dissemination of Invasive Species

Jun 4, 2022

The introduction of species into new environments has occurred throughout human history. While most introductions fail and most of those few that establish remain environmentally innocuous, a notable minority wildly proliferates in their new ranges. These invaders disrupt ecosystems and burden economies. Environmental impacts associated with invasions are hard to predict and vary in space and time but include ecosystem-level disruptions, species extinctions, and the homogenization of biodiversity. Economic costs, while challenging to quantify, are enormous and growing. Given that established invaders are difficult to eradicate, let alone manage, stopping invasions before they start remains the most effective strategy to limit further costs resulting from invasions. Challenges to implementing this approach include regulating trade and coordinating rapid governmental responses to emerging threats. [5/2022] [Show ID: 37905]

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Chris Hedges | Our Impending DESTRUCTION

Jun 4, 2022

Chris Hedges | American Empire is FINISHED:://youtu.be/OW52qqlQiJQ

Christopher Lynn Hedges (born September 18, 1956) is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Presbyterian minister, author and television host. His books include War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction; Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009); Death of the Liberal Class (2010); Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (2012), written with cartoonist Joe Sacco, which was a New York Times best-seller; Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015); and his most recent, America: The Farewell Tour (2018). Obey, a documentary by British filmmaker Temujin Doran, is based on his book Death of the Liberal Class.

Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, West Asia, Africa, the Middle East (he is fluent in Arabic), and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005) serving as the paper’s Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief during the war in the former Yugoslavia.

In 2001, Hedges contributed to The New York Times staff entry that received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2002. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the University of Toronto and Princeton University.

Hedges, who wrote a weekly column for the progressive news website Truthdig for 14 years, was fired along with all of the editorial staff in March 2020. Hedges and the staff had gone on strike earlier in the month to protest the publisher’s attempt to fire the Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer, demand an end to a series of unfair labor practices and the right to form a union. He hosts the Emmy-nominated program On Contact for the RT (formerly Russia Today) television network.

Hedges has also taught college credit courses for several years in New Jersey prisons as part of the B.A. program offered by Rutgers University. He has described himself as a socialist, specifically an anarchist, identifying with Dorothy Day in particular.

“The Role of the Population Is to Be Apathetic, Obedient … to Ratify Elite Decisions” (1988)

Jun 7, 2022

More from Noam Chomsky: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=U…

La Prensa is a Nicaraguan newspaper, with offices in the capital Managua. Its current daily circulation is placed at 42,000. Founded in 1926, in 1932 it was bought by Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Zelaya, who had become editor-in-chief. He promoted the Conservative Party of Nicaragua and became a voice of opposition to Juan Bautista Sacasa, for which the paper was censored. He continued to be critical of dictator Anastasio Somoza García, who came to power in a coup d’etat.

Twice the newspaper suffered the destruction of its building in earthquakes, in 1931 and 1972. Forces of Somoza attacked the newspaper’s offices in 1953 and 1956, and its work was repeatedly censored.

After Chamorro Zelaya died in 1952, his eldest son Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal succeeded him as editor-in-chief and a voice of opposition. He opposed the excesses of the Somoza regime and came into conflict for his criticism of the regime, including after 1956 when the son Luis Somoza Debayle succeeded his father.

According to Noam Chomsky, the post-1980 version of La Prensa bears virtually no relation to the paper which opposed Somoza. In 1980, the owner of La Prensa fired the editor Xavier Chamorro Cardenal. Eighty percent of the papers employees left with Chamorro Cardena due to La Prensa ‘s increasingly anti-Sandinista line and founded El Nuevo Diario. In Necessary Illusions, Noam Chomsky wrote that, La Prensa “made little effort to disguise its role as an agency of US propaganda, dedicated to overthrowing the government of Nicaragua by force”.


The Salvadoran Civil War (Spanish: guerra civil de El Salvador) was a twelve year period of civil war in El Salvador which was fought between the government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or “umbrella organization” of left-wing groups. A coup on 15 October 1979 followed by government killings of anti-coup protesters is widely seen as the start of civil war.[27] The war did not formally end until 16 January 1992 with the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City.[28]

The United Nations (UN) reports that the war killed more than 75,000 people between 1979 and 1992, along with approximately 8,000 disappeared persons. Violations of the most basic human rights – particularly the kidnapping, torture, and murder of suspected FMLN sympathizers by state security forces and paramilitary death squads – were pervasive.[29][30][31]

The Salvadoran government was considered an ally of the U.S. in the context of the Cold War.[32] During the Carter and Reagan administrations, the US provided 1 to 2 million dollars per day in economic aid to the Salvadoran government.[33] The US also provided significant training and equipment to the military. By May 1983, it was reported that US military officers were working within the Salvadoran High Command and making important strategic and tactical decisions.[34]

Counterinsurgency tactics implemented by the Salvadoran government often targeted civilian noncombatants. Overall, the United Nations estimated that FMLN guerrillas were responsible for 5 percent of atrocities committed during the civil war, while 85 percent were committed by the Salvadoran security forces.[35] Accountability for these civil war-era atrocities has been hindered by a 1993 amnesty law. However, in 2016 the El Salvador Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and that the Salvadoran government could prosecute suspected war criminals.[36]

In February 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero published an open letter to US President Jimmy Carter in which he pleaded with him to suspend the United States’ ongoing program of military aid to the Salvadoran regime. He advised Carter that “Political power is in the hands of the armed forces. They know only how to repress the people and defend the interests of the Salvadoran oligarchy.” Romero warned that US support would only “sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights”.[70] On 24 March 1980, the Archbishop was assassinated while celebrating Mass, the day after he called upon Salvadoran soldiers and security force members to not follow their orders to kill Salvadoran civilians. President Carter stated this was a “shocking and unconscionable act”.[71] At his funeral a week later, government-sponsored snipers in the National Palace and on the periphery of the Gerardo Barrios Plaza were responsible for the shooting of 42 mourners.


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Thursday 11 p.m. Tropical advisory on Potential Tropical Cyclone 1 | June 2, 2022

11Alive – Jun 2, 2022

This system will most likely become tropical storm Alex Friday

Hurricane Agatha kills at least 11 people in Mexico – BBC News

BBC News – Jun 2, 2022

Hurricane Agatha which struck Oaxaca state in Mexico has proved fatal, with 11 dead and more than 20 missing, the state’s governor has said. The category two hurricane is the strongest to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast in the month of May since records began in 1949. Heavy rain brought by Agatha, which struck on 31 May, triggered landslides and flash flooding. Most of the victims were swept away by rivers or buried in mudslides.

Oaxaca residents spend days cleaning up after deadly Hurricane Agatha

CBS 8 San Diego – Jun 1, 2022

Using shovels to clean up what Hurricane Agatha left behind, many residents in the southern Mexican State of Oaxaca, worked through windy conditions. Agatha made history as the strongest hurricane ever recorded to come ashore from the Pacific in May. It first hit Oaxaca on Monday as a Category 2 storm. Heavy rain triggered mudslides and caused rivers to swell and flooded multiple small towns.

Tropics update: First day of Hurricane Season

KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source – Jun 1, 2022

June 1 marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season. We’re tracking some tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico.