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Subscription February 2018

Cara Drinan - The Justice System’s War on Kids

The juvenile justice system is off the rails. It is in urgent need of reform. The U.S. incarcerates roughly 2 million children every year, even though 95 percent of them have not been convicted of a violent crime. Too many of them are held in adult facilities. The systemic problems range from racism to brutality and extreme sentencing. Thousands of kids, many of them suffering from trauma come of age behind bars. Two-thirds of them have mental health issues. They are subject to physical and sexual assault. Children are up to 36 times more likely to commit suicide after being housed in an adult jail or prison than children incarcerated in juvenile facilities. The Equal Justice Initiative says confinement of children in adult facilities is indefensible, cruel and unusual punishment and should be banned.

Richard Wolff - Cutting Corporate Taxes

Corporations are riding high in the saddle. With their friends in Washington they are raking it in. That certainly is the case with the tax law passed by Congress in late 2017. If you look at the details it is warmed over trickle-down economics. While most workers will get crumbs, the big winners will be corporations. And along the way, the deficit will go way up. Corporate tax contributions to the federal budget has been declining for decades and this bill will make it worse. The right-wing plan seems clear: Cut taxes on corporations and then reduce and eliminate programs like Social Security, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid because there is no money. As the saying goes, the rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer. Inequality has soared into the stratosphere. To bring it down we need a concerted grassroots movement.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortíz - An Indigenous People's History

The history of the U.S. is one of settler colonialism. The state was established on the basis of white male supremacy, slavery, land theft and genocide. “From sea to shining sea” the Native nations were decimated and dispossessed. The survivors herded into concentration camps. It was God’s will. The genocidal policy reached its peak under President Andrew Jackson. Its ruthlessness was best articulated by Army general Thomas Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.” Native people are still here. Today, there is growing support for their movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The Dakota Access Pipeline protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux was joined by many non-Native allies. The resistance, though unsuccessful, captured the imagination of people everywhere. The struggle for indigenous continues.

David Cay Johnston - Trump: The Age of Mendacity

An ultra-rich New York real estate tycoon and celebrity TV star is the 45th president of the United States. He puts America First by ignoring the world and pulling out of the Paris climate accord, undermining the Iran deal and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He drains the swamp by appointing people with dubious credentials. His economic policies are lining the pockets of the rich. His daughter and son-in-law occupy high White House positions. Can anyone say nepotism? Then there is the lying. Do politicians tell lies? Of course, they do. But the current occupant of the White House is setting new records. The Washington Post has documented more than 2,000 lies in his first year in office. The self-described “genius” has a penchant for mendacity. His core group of supporters comment, “That’s just Donald being Donald.” What can you say?

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