Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Subsidy Madness: US Taxpayers Still Spending $21 Billion to Fund Big Oil and Gas

Subsidy Madness: US Taxpayers Still Spending $21 Billion to Fund Big Oil and Gas

By Shakuntala Makhijani

Oil Change International has released a comprehensive report on fossil fuel exploration and production subsidies in the U.S., Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies Under Obama, which demonstrates that at a time when we need urgent action on climate change more than ever, the U.S. government is channeling huge and growing amounts of money to increasing discovery and production of oil, gas, and coal. These federal and state subsidies totaled $21.6 billion in 2013.

Subsidies that promote fossil fuel exploration are particularly harmful and hypocritical. The world’s preeminent scientific institutions working on climate and energy have determined that the majority of the world’s existing fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground in order to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.

In 2012, the International Energy Agency warned that “no more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2°C goal.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reached a similar conclusion in its 2013 climate assessment.

“The All of the Above energy strategy is not only climate denial – it’s climate denial that is funded with more than $20 billion in taxpayer support each year,” said Steve Kretzmann, the executive director of Oil Change International.

“Until our representatives in Washington and around the country find the courage necessary to put people’s interests ahead of rich polluters, this theft of our tax dollars is likely to continue. The next step for saving the climate should be clear: Stop Funding Fossils.”
Fossil fuel exploration subsidies are in direct conflict with these calls to restrict fossil fuel production and use. Rather than finding ways to curtail fossil fuel production in line with the demands of climate science, the U.S. federal government, under President Obama’s “All of the Above” energy strategy, is currently channeling more than $5 billion each year in exploration subsidies to actually expand proven reserves, leading to the discovery of fossil fuels that we know we should never burn.

Shakuntala Makhijani, the report’s author, added, “the science is clear that at least two-thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate impacts – it is time for the U.S. government to show leadership and immediately end the massive subsidies that encourage their production.”

Originally published by Oil Change International.

This article was published at NationofChange at: All rights are reserved.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Report Finds Abuse in US Terror Prosecutions

Report Finds Abuse in US Terror Prosecutions

By Linda Schade

The US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have committed a wide range of human rights violations in post 9-11 terrorism prosecutions, according to a report released yesterday by Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
International and U.S. law require impartial investigations and judges, fairness and due process and humane treatment of those convicted. However, in an examination of 27 federal cases, the report entitled Illusions of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions found – among other disturbing findings – a pattern of discriminatory and overly aggressive investigations and prosecutions including the use of informants, targeting ‘suspects’ based on religious and political beliefs, and entrapping and sometimes coercing otherwise law-abiding people who would not have engaged in criminal activity without informant manipulation.

Traditional practice requires that a suspect be offered an opportunity to commit a crime such as when an undercover agent propositions a client, when posing as a sex worker. However HRW found that in many FBI sting operations, agents ‘carefully laid out an ideological basis for a proposed terrorist attack, and then provided investigative targets with a range of options and the weapons necessary to carry out the attack’ thus fabricating completely the target’s interest in terrorist conduct.

Quoting former FBI agent Mike German from the report, “When the FBI undercover agent or informant is the only purported link to a real terrorist group, supplies the motive, designs the plot and provides all the weapons, one has to question whether they are combating terrorism or creating it.” Add in the tendency to target mentally or financially vulnerable individuals and equip agents with large sums of money to wave around and you’ve got yourself a fresh statistic to bolster your budget and justify your agency’s existence.

It is permissible under U.S. law to raise ‘entrapment’ as a defense IF it can be shown that the government induced the defendant to commit the act and if he can show he was not ‘pre-disposed.’ It is easy to see how racism, heightened post-9-11 fears and anti-Islamic sentiment would make such a character defense difficult if not impossible.

Illusions of Justice found a range of other human rights violations including the use of confessions obtained under torture, abusive use of years of solitary confinement BEFORE trial and after conviction, and ‘use of overly broad material support charges, punishing behavior that did not demonstrate intent to support terrorism’.

HRW reports that the largest share of convictions in terrorism-related cases since September 11 have been based on material support charges. (See DDF’s resource page on material support.) One disturbing and high profile example of using material support charges to prosecute based on political belief is the case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a professor of engineering at the University of Southern Florida. The prosecution’s case hinged on phone conversations Dr.Al-Arian had with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) prior to its designation as an Federally-designated Terrorism Organization; ‘prosecutors then relied heavily on evidence of Al-Arian’s political views to convince the jury to convict him without establishing a link to any specific act of violence (p. 6 Executive Summary)’.

There is no doubt about the chilling effect that these abuses have on the Muslim-American community and their Constitutional right to dissent. Have a problem with your houses of worship being infiltrated by hostile racist law enforcement? You must be a terrorist. Have an opinion about the Israel/Palestine nightmare? You are – somehow – a serious threat to U.S. national security.

But don’t worry! In case you have no political opinions, you still have a chance to be among the FBI chosen ones. HRW found that in some cases agents find their marks by hanging around outside mosques and throwing out inflammatory statements at passers-by until someone engages. ’Random’ is the word that comes to mind and one example cited is the so-called Newburgh Four which is an entrapment case so tragic that DDF published a comic book about it as an educational resource aspiring to save others from the same fate.
HRW has made a persuasive case that terror prosecutions based on religious and political profiling are rife and that the consequences for the accused, for human rights – and for dissent – in the United States are highly troubling. Throughout the report’s detailed recommendations to the President, Congress, FBI, DOJ on down, HRW urges that investigations must not be made ‘on the basis of religious behavior, political opinion, or other activity protected by the right to freedom of expression under international law’. And then there’s that pesky First Amendment.

DDF joins HRW’s urgent call for reform. In this writer’s view, in light of the evidence, perhaps all post-9-11 terror cases should be reviewed – and sentencing reconsidered – given the kinds of unlawful manipulation, bias, over-prosecution and sentencing that now define U.S. security practice.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza

Glenn Greenwald. (photo: Salon)
Terrorism in the Israeli Attack on Gaza
By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
29 July 14

As I’ve written many times before, “terrorism” is, and from the start was designed to be, almost entirely devoid of discernible meaning. It’s a fear-mongering slogan, lacking any consistent application, intended to end rational debate and justify virtually any conduct by those who apply the term. But to the extent it means anything beyond that, it typically refers to the killing of civilians as a means of furthering political or military goals.

Below are two charts reflecting the deaths of civilians, soldiers and “militants” in both Gaza and Israel since the July 8 Israeli attack began. The statistics used are unduly generous toward Israel, since “militants” in Gaza are often nothing more than residents who take up arms to defend their homes against an invading and occupying army. Even with that generous interpretation, these numbers, standing alone, tell a powerful story:

If you landed on earth from another planet this week, knowing nothing other than the most common use of the word “terrorism,” which side do you think would most frequently be referred to as “terrorists”?

Often, the most vivid illustration of the criminality of this attack comes not from data but from isolated stories. Yesterday, for instance, “in Khan Younis, five members of the Najjar family, which lost 21 people in a previous strike, were killed.” Meanwhile, “in the Al Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, an airstrike from an F-16 killed the mayor, Anis Abu Shamala, and four others in his home, some of whom had taken refuge there from intense artillery shelling nearby.”

At the same time, the Israeli government’s messaging machine quickly switched from hyping rocket attacks, which were causing relatively little damage, to featuring what it began calling “terror tunnels”. The U.S. media dutifully followed suit, with CNN anchor (and former AIPAC employee) Wolf Blitzer touring a “terror tunnel” led around by the IDF and his flashlight, while the New York Times’ Jodi Rudoren did the same in an article headlined “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear,” quoting “Israeli military officials”, “an Israeli military spokesman”, and “Israeli experts”. But a separate article in the NYT highlighted how these “terror tunnels” are actually used:

The strikes during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr came after the latest humanitarian halt to hostilities was punctured by attacks on both sides, culminating in the most deadly incursion yet by Palestinian militants through an underground tunnelfrom Gaza into Israel.

Colonel Lerner said Tuesday that between four and eight gunmen had burst from the tunnel near a military watchtower near the border and killed five soldiers in an adjacent building with antitank missiles.

In American media discourse, when Palestinians overwhelmingly kill soldiers (95% of the Israeli death toll) who are part of an army that is blockading, occupying, invading, and indiscriminately bombing them and killing their children by the hundreds, that is “terrorism”; when Israelis use massive, brutal force against a trapped civilian population, overwhelmingly killing innocent men, women and children (at least 75% of the Palestinian death toll), with clear intentions to kill civilians (see point 3), that is noble “self-defense.” That demonstrates how skewed U.S. discourse is in favor of Israel, as well as the purely manipulative, propagandistic nature of the term “terrorists.”

© 2014 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert - July 29 - Aug. 3

22] Call for end to water cut-offs in Detroit – July 29
23] Philadelphia Peace Vigil – July 29
24] No Drone Research at JHU – July 29
25] Rally to oppose Baltimore’s curfew laws – July 29
26] See the film “Amílcar Cabral” – July 29
27] EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing – July 30
28] Foreign state actors in the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations – July 30
29] Protest the massacre of the Palestinians in Gaza – July 30
30] See the film “The Ghosts of Jeju” – July 30
31] Silent candlelight vigil to mourn children killed in Gaza – July 30
32] An Evening with Norman Finkelstein – July 30
33] UUs take action against deportation – July 31 – Aug. 2
34] D.C. In It Together Fest – July 31 – Aug. 3
35] Webinar Introduction to Transformational Resilience – July 31
22] – Join the national call-in day on Tues., July 29 and demand that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder end the water war, restore water to all residents, and implement the Detroit Water Affordabiity Plan. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) promised to halt shut-offs, but it has rumored they are still happening. This is a local manufactured emergency, but a national issue. If this ALEC-led effort succeeds in Detroit, these tactics will be coming to your community next. That's why Progressive Democrats of America is convening a series of emergency actions. Call all of these numbers from 11 AM to 3 PM every Tuesday: (517) 373-3400 (Main Office), (517) 335-7858 (Constituent Services), and (202) 624-5840 (Washington, DC office). You can also send a FAX: (517) 335-6863.

During past call-ins, staffers claimed the Governor has no role in causing this crisis. This is blatantly untrue. Tell whoever offers this excuse that you know Detroit's emergency manager--appointed by Governor Snyder--is behind this horrendous policy called by The Guardian a "right-wing state and corporate push to cut off water," and "economic shock therapy at its most ruthless and racist." Under this policy, DWSD has been shutting off water to homes with balances as low as $40. By summer DWSD plans to have turned off water for 150,000 Detroit residents. This while Red Wing Stadium, Ford Field, golf courses, high rises and industrial buildings have outstanding balances greater than $30 million and still have water.

23] – Each Tuesday from 4:30 - 5:30 PM, the Catholic Peace Fellowship-Philadelphia for peace in Afghanistan and Iraq gathers at the Suburban Station, 16th St. & JFK Blvd., at the entrance to Tracks 3 and 4 on the mezzanine. The next vigil is July 29. Call 215-426-0364.

24] – Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" each Tuesday at 33rd & North Charles Sts. Join this ongoing vigil on July 29 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Call Max at 410-366-1637.

25] – Voice your opinion on the youth curfew laws and hear Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts speak at a community meeting on Tues., July 29 at 6 PM at University of Baltimore Law Center Moot Court, 1401 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21202. Use the Mt. Royal Street entrance.

The new Baltimore curfews, which have been hotly contested, will go into effect on August 8, 2014. Under the new legislation, all children under 14 must be indoors by 9 PM throughout the year, and youth between 14 and 16 must be in by 10 PM on school nights and 11 PM on weekends. Youth will be taken to the Baltimore Youth Connection Center if they are in violation of the curfew, an effort, the Mayor says, to “identify and help Baltimore’s most vulnerable children” and to get them “out of harm’s way and into a safe environment.” The Mayor emphasizes that this is a not a criminal enforcement.

The America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), however, calls the legislation “unworkable,” and creates opportunities for “arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” The law would prevent an older child from running out to the store for a parent and a young child at home, and could disproportionately target poor, minority areas, which already have a heavy police presence. After one violation, a child’s parents may be issued a civil citation or be required to attend family counseling. If there are repeat violations, the parents or guardians could receive a civil citation or misdemeanor with a fine up to $500. A grassroots effort will be launched to educate the public on what the curfew amendments mean for them. This legislation will impact day-to-day life for your community, so give feedback by attending or sending comments to

26] – At Bloombars, 3222 11th St. NW on Tues., July 29 from 7 to 9 PM, join BloomBars and TransAfrica for a film and discussion featuring one of the great African Leaders of the 20th century! The film, “Amílcar Cabral,” recalls the life of the leader of the Liberation Movement of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau and the founder of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Using rare footage, the film shows the various aspects of the life of Cabral as a father, politician, humanist, and poet. While the film is in Portuguese, there are English subtitles. The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion hosted by Mwiza Munthali, the Public Outreach Director of TransAfrica. Go to The suggested donation is $10, and the proceeds support both TransAfrica and BloomBars. Enjoy free organic popcorn.

27] – On Wed., July 30 from 9 AM to 8 PM, attend the EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing at William Jefferson Clinton East Building, Room 1153, 1201 Constitution Ave. NW, WDC. Physicians for Social Responsibility's Dr. Catherine Thomasson and Barb Gottlieb will testify at this hearing, one of four hearings in the US on the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan rule, which aims to reduce carbon emissions. Members of the public can register to testify at any of the four hearings. Go to for information about each hearing. Email

28] – Following the 1967 War and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a conscious effort began to create a just and lasting peace settlement between Israel and Palestine. Since the initial negotiations, the peace process has always involved outside actors, from the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations to individual states and actors. In a lecture on Wed., July 30 from 1 to 2 PM at the Palestine Center, 2425 Virginia Ave. NW, panelists Michele Dunne and Jenab Tutunji will focus on the role of foreign state actors in the most recent peace negotiations and both positive and negative effects of outside actors on the process. Email

29] – Be at the Baltimore Penn Station, 1500 N Charles St. on Wed., July 30 from 5:30 to 7 PM to protest the massacre of the Palestinians in Gaza. The Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza has claimed over 1000 lives, while in the West Bank Israeli forces have fired on mass marches, killing and injuring Palestinians protesting the attacks. Come out again in solidarity with the Palestinian people, this time for a march from Penn Station to the corner of North Avenue and Charles St. The march will end before Norman Finkelstein's talk at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse. Visit

30] – On Wed., July 30 from 6 to 8:30 PM, the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach presents… “The Ghosts of Jeju,” an 80-minute documentary about the struggle of the people of Jeju Island, South Korea, at the Theological College Conference Room, 415 Michigan Ave. NE, WDC 20017. Use the Brookland Metro, located across from the Basilica. Enter via the front door. The film tells the story of the struggle of the people of Gangjeong Village who are nonviolently protesting the construction of a naval base to accommodate the U.S. geopolitical “Asian Pivot.” Columbans are active in this struggle and will be available to answer questions and join in a discussion of the issue. RSVP to or 202-635-5812.

31] – The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, in conjunction with the Arab American Institute, American Federation of Ramallah Palestine, Bethlehem Association, Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations, and Network of Arab-American Professionals-DC, will hold a silent candlelight vigil in front of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW on Wed., July 30 at 7 PM to mourn the innocent souls taken by Israel's indiscriminate violence. As of this morning, over 1000 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands more wounded or unjustly arrested by Israeli Occupation Forces. In a report, the United Nations estimates that 80% of those killed were civilians, women and children. In this time of anger, frustration, and mourning, we ask that our community comes together to honor and mourn those who lost their lives due to the U.S. government's continued support of Israel's illegal occupation, blockade, and massacre. Email

32] – On Wed., July 30 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's, there will be An Evening with Norman Finkelstein—the longtime and consistently principled critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestine—for an evening of discussion on the politics of the Middle East. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of a number of books, “Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End” (OR Books, 2012); “What Gandhi Says: About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage” (OR Books, 2012), “This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion” (OR Books, 2010, expanded paperback edition, 2011), Goldstone Recants: Richard Goldstone Renews Israel’s License to Kill” (OR Books, 2011), “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History” (University of California Press, 2005, expanded paperback edition, 2008), and “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” (Verso, 2000, expanded paperback edition, 2003).

33] – On June 29th, delegates at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly 2014 in Providence, RI passed an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) calling on UUs to join national faith leaders and immigrant rights advocates from across the nation from Thurs., July 31 through Sat., Aug. 2 to call on the White House to stop the deportations of immigrants and end the unjust laws tearing apart families, communities and congregations. Meet at the United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave. NE.

The AIW called for UUs to consider participating in planned civil disobedience on July 31 and to support the National Day Laborer Organizing Network's #Not1More Deportation Campaign. Not One More will have a Day of Action in D.C. on Aug. 2. On Fri., Aug. 1, there will be a day of training. See

34] – Gather at the St. Stephens Church, 1525 Newton St. NW from Thurs., July 31 through Sun., Aug. 3 D.C. In It Together Fest, an independent festival of arts music and activism happening at spaces throughout the District. For a schedule of events and participating groups, see

35] – Join a webinar Introduction to Transformational Resilience on Thurs., July 31 from 7:30 to 9 PM. Living in a warming world is hard and trying to address the climate crisis in our congregations can sometimes be a dispiriting business. Interfaith Power & Light-DMV is proud to offer a special webinar on transformational resilience so that together, we can continue to respond and act from a compassionate, hopeful, and spiritually-rooted place. This webinar will be guided by Bob Doppelt, well-known thinker and writer on sustainability and Executive Director of the Resource Innovation Group. Register at

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gaza: Why a 'Cease-Fire' Is Not Enough

Gaza City. (photo: AP)

Gaza: Why a 'Cease-Fire' Is Not Enough
By Juan Cole, Informed Comment
27 July 14

When ordinary countries fight wars they have war aims. In World War II, the US wanted to defeat Germany militarily, but then to help it return to democracy and to economic health. By 1947 the US would actually be spending a lot of money on Germany’s well-being via the Marshall Plan.

Israel has no strategic war aims in Gaza because it has no large scale, long term strategy concerning the Strip.

Its war is all about tactics and minutiae. How many tunnels and rockets can it destroy? How much damage can it inflict on the Hamas leadership? But tunnels and rockets can be rebuilt and the dead leaders’ cousins will take over after them.

It is frankly stupid to think the Israelis can, in Mitt Romney’s words, kick the can down the road forever on making peace with the Palestinians. It hasn’t tried because Israel wants Palestinian land and resources and won’t give them up.

The United Nations has raised the specter that because of the Israeli blockade and the consequent inability of Palestinians in Gaza to build their infrastructure, it may well not be habitable by 2020. Its only native source of water, an aquifer, is 90% polluted. If Gaza fails, where will its by-then 2 million people go? Will Israel just let them thirst to death? Renal failure typically sets in in about 3 days if people don’t have water. That is genocide. Israel gives no evidence of doing any planning to avert that outcome in a territory for which it is responsible in international law.

The one strategy Israel has is to use collective punishment and a blockade on children and other non-combatants in an attempt to weaken Hamas. But even if they could succeed (so far they haven’t), the Israelis don’t seem to realize that the hellhole that is Gaza will always throw up radical groups intent on breaking the 1.7 million Palestinians there out of their large open-air jail, in which Israel is keeping them.

That is, Israel’s only real strategy is causing war, not ending war.

Gaza is not a country, that Israel can be at war with it. It is a tiny strip of land surrounded by Israel from land, sea and air, which is kept from exporting its made goods for the most part, faces severe restrictions on imports, and therefore has had imposed on it a 40% or so unemployment rate. Some 56% of Palestinians in Gaza are food insecure. Gaza is recognized by the international community as an occupied territory, with Israel being the occupying power. If being occupied by Israel were so great, by the way, why is Gaza so badly off?

Hamas keeps rejecting any ceasefire that does not include a provision for the lifting of the siege of the civilian population.

I heard the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, speaking after the meeting of diplomats in Paris, and he spoke about a settlement that allowed for the social and economic development of the Palestinians.

What a joke! France is has done nothing practical to end the blockade or allow Palestinians to develop.

So a cease-fire that does not include an end to the blockade on Gaza by Israel is not a cease-fire, it is a pause in the war.

© 2014 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Leading Civil Rights Groups Just Sold Out on Net Neutrality

Comcast truck. (photo: unknown)

Leading Civil Rights Groups Just Sold Out on Net Neutrality

By Lee Fang, Republic Report
27 July 14

The who's who of the civil rights community claims regulators would somehow “harm communities of color.”
Here's why

Last Friday, just before the Federal Communication Commission closed its comment period for its upcoming rule on “network neutrality,” a massive coalition of Asian, Latino and Black civil rights group filed letters arguing that regulators should lay off of Internet Service Providers regarding Title II reclassification and accept FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s original plan. In other words, something close to half of the entire civil rights establishment just sold out the Internet.

The civil rights group letters argue that Title II reclassification of broadband services as a public utility — the only path forward for real net neutrality after a federal court ruling in January — would somehow “harm communities of color.” The groups wrote to the FCC to tell them that “we do not believe that the door to Title II should be opened.” Simply put, these groups, many of which claim to carry the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr., are saying that Comcast and Verizon should be able to create Internet slow lanes and fast lanes, and such a change would magically improve the lives of non-white Americans.

The filings reveal a who’s who of civil rights groups willing to shill on behalf of the telecom industry. One filing lists prominent civil rights groups NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Urban League, the National Council on Black Civil Participation and the National Action Network. The other features the Council of Korean Americans, the Japanese American Citizens League, the National Black Farmers Association, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Coalition, and many more.

Of course, the groups listed on these filings do not speak for all communities of color on telecom policy, and there are civil rights groups out there that actually support net neutrality, including Color of Change and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Joseph Torres with Free Press told VICE that communities of color believe a free and open Internet is essential in the digital age, especially when most non-whites do not own radio stations, broadcast outlets or other forms of mass media. “Protecting real net neutrality is critical for people of color because an open Internet gives us the opportunity to speak for ourselves without having to ask corporate gatekeepers for permission,” Torres says.
A number of K Street consultants have helped make this epic sell-out possible.

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) coordinated many of the participants in the anti-net neutrality filings sent to the FCC last week. Last year, the Center for Public Integrity published an investigation of MMTC, showing that the group has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from Verizon, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and other telecom sources while reliably peddling the pro-telecom industry positions. For instance, the group attacked the Obama administration’s first attempt at net neutrality, while celebrating the proposed (and eventually successful) merger between Comcast and NBC.
Martin Chavez, the former Mayor of Albuquerque, now works with a group called the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP) to corral Latino civil rights groups into opposing net neutrality. Last month, Chavez hosted a net neutrality event on Capitol Hill to call on legislators to oppose Title II reclassification. As TIME recently reported, Chavez is on staff with one of Verizon’s lobbying firms, the Ibarra Strategy Group.

“HTTP is nothing more than an industry front-group that is at best misinformed and at worst intentionally distorting facts as it actively opposes efforts to better serve the communications needs of Latinos,” says Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which strongly supports net neutrality. His group has filed its own letter to the FCC.

Still, telecom cash has become a vital source of funding for cash-starved nonprofits. OCA, the Asian American civil rights nonprofit formerly known as the Organization of Chinese Americans, counts Comcast as a major donor and sponsor for its events and galas. Not only did OCA go on to sign the anti-net neutrality letter last Friday, the group wrote a similar filing to the FCC in 2010, claiming absurdly that Asian American entrepreneurs would benefit from having ISPs able to discriminate based on content. Similarly, League of United Latin American Citizens, better known simply as LULAC, has been a dependable ally of the telecom industry while partnering with Comcast for a $5 million civic engagement campaign. Here’s a picture of LULAC proudly accepting a jumbo-sized check from AT&T.

As VICE first reported, telecoms are desperate for third party approval, and have even resorted to fabricating community support for their anti-net neutrality lobbying campaign.

Perhaps the bigger picture here is how so many of the old civil rights establishment have become comfortable with trading endorsements for cash. Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and other telecom companies have donated, either directly or through a company foundation, to nearly every group listed on the anti-net neutrality letters filed last week. We saw a similar dynamic play out with Wal-Mart when the retailer handed out cash to civil rights groups in order to buy support for opening stores in urban areas.

Times have changed. Just as Martin Luther King Jr.’s children have embarrassingly descended intofighting bitterly over what’s left of his estate, the civil rights groups formed to advance Dr. King’s legacy seem willing to sell out their own members for a buck.

© 2014 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

The Kochs' New Racial Gambit: Behind a Quiet Battle With AFSCME

Published on Portside (

The Kochs' New Racial Gambit: Behind a Quiet Battle With AFSCME

Joan Walsh

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Rush Limbaugh attacked them as “lunatics” running a “plantation” [1] for black “slaves.” Another right-winger claimed a “white” union president was out to hurt “disadvantaged black youth,” even though the union president in question is black [2].
It’s no surprise AFSCME’s decision to end its partnership with the United Negro Colllege Fund [3], in the wake of UNCF accepting a $25 million contribution from the Koch brothers to establish a “Koch Scholars” program, as well as participating in their annual right-wing strategy summit, has conservatives trashing the influential public sector union. It fits their favorite story line: Liberals are the real racists.
But even some non-wingnuts have piled on. The Root’s Keli Goff blasted the decision [4] as “progressive intolerance,” insisting that the Kochs’ support of public sector union busting “has nothing to do with educating African-American students.” That’s led to renewed interest in AFSCME’s move, which president Lee Saunders announced two weeks ago.

In a letter to UNCF president Michael Lomax, AFSCME’s Saunders called the Kochs “the single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African-Americans from voting.” Lomax’s appearance at the Koch brothers’ annual summit, where they plot conservative strategy – this year’s focus was taking back the Senate in 2014 — was “a betrayal of everything the UNCF stands for.” Members of AFSCME, a union that supports Democrats with money and people power, voted unanimously to back Saunders’ decision at their annual convention in Chicago last week.
“This is not a Democrat or Republican issue,” Saunders told Salon, in his first interview since the fracas. “It’s an issue of right and wrong.”

Still, the critics keep coming. Just this week, in the right-wing Daily Caller [5], Raynard Jackson called it “a stunning move that should anger every Black in America.” In the backyard of Koch-critic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Las Vegas Review Journal [6] called the decision “ridiculous,” complaining that “Democrats and their supporters are quick to and fond of accusing conservatives and Republicans of being racists, but when Republican supporters such as the Kochs aim to demonstrate otherwise, a government employee union responds by causing direct harm to blacks.” The Review Journal is a conservative paper, but the African-American newspaper South Florida Times [7], which is not, likewise insisted “AFSCME must restore UNCF funding,” though it called Lomax’s decision to join the Koch summit “a mistake.”

It should be noted that AFSCME has always said it would continue the scholarship program for students of color it began with UNCF, but will find different partners.
Clearly the controversy, which involves two venerable organizations, has African-Americans on both sides of the issue. Founded by Mary McLeod Bethune and others in 1944, the UNCF offers scholarships to black students and funds important but embattled historically black colleges and universities. AFSCME, the union Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was supporting when he was assassinated in Memphis in 1968, now has its first black president, Saunders, and African-Americans make up 15 percent of its membership.

“It was a very difficult decision for me to make as an African-American,” says Saunders, the AFSCME leader who first approached former UNCF president Bill Gray with the notion of partnering on a scholarship program for students of color interested in labor movement careers, more than 10 years ago. Saunders says he personally raised money for UNCF for years.

He adds that if the Kochs had donated $25 million to UNCF “and said ‘here it is, do what you want to do with it,’ maybe we would have taken a different tack. Maybe I would have swallowed it.” But Lomax’s participation in the Kochs’ annual summit made the union draw “a line in the sand,” he said.

Michael Lomax did not respond to requests for comment. In an earlier statement about the controversy he said: “While I am saddened by AFSCME’s decision, it will not distract us from our mission of helping thousands of African-American students achieve their dream of a college degree and the economic benefits that come with it.” In an interview with Education Week about some UNCF supporters’ opposition to taking the Koch money, he argued “I think that Washington’s partisanship has really poisoned the thinking of some people all across the country.” Koch spokesperson Melissa Cohlmia told AP the Kochs “have devoted their lives to advancing tolerance and a free society — where every individual is judged on his or her individual merits and they are free to make decisions about their lives.”

According to reporting in the Nation [7] by Lauren Windsor, who obtained a “confidential” draft meeting agenda [8] and spoke to participants, the summit Lomax attended drew Republican luminaries including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate candidates Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Cory Gardner of Colorado — three close races that are crucial to GOP hopes of taking back the Senate – along with 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio. No Democratic officeholders or candidates were included in the annual confab, which took place this year at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort in Dana Point, California.

Titled “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” an early panel featured David Koch and longtime political partner Richard Fink, with whom he set up the right-wing Mercatus Center, holding forth on “Saving America: Our Fight to Advance Freedom and Reverse the Country’s Decline.” A dinner and then a morning panel showcased the notorious Charles Murray [9], who has long posited the “intractable” and probably genetic intellectual inferiority of African-Americans (and, more recently, low-income white people [10]) and preached that government programs worsen poverty by destroying the work ethic and marriage habits of the poor.

In a four-session panel titled “The Foundation for Progress,” Lomax was featured in “Part One: Drive the National Conversation,” alongside Richard Fink and two Koch Industries executives. A session on how to “Advance in the States” featured Americans for Prosperity’s Teresa Oelke; Mitch McConnell headlined the final session, “Free Speech: Defending First Amendment Rights.”
UNCF’s decision to accept Koch funding was controversial even before AFSCME’s move, and some African-Americans have raised questions similar to Saunders. On NewsOneNow, Roland Martin hosted a discussion on the Kochs’ donation [11] last month that turned into a polite but sharp debate between Lomax and progressive economist Julianne Malveaux, the former president of Bennett College for Women, the oldest historically black women’s college.

Expressing gratitude for UNCF’s support, Malveaux nonetheless questioned the “strings” attached to the Kochs’ gift: $18.5 million of $25 million is to create a “Koch Scholars” program, for “exemplary students” who want to study “how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society.” Koch organizations get two of five seats on that scholarship selection committee.

Lomax noted that $4 million of the grant is unrestricted support to HBCUs, and he invited Malveaux to come speak to the Koch Scholars. She replied: “I’d rather be on the selection committee,” and went on: “They’re using it to say ‘we support black people’ when the truth is that they don’t, they fund voter suppression.”

Beyond the details of the “Koch Scholars” program, or Lomax’s role in the Kochs’ right-wing summit, is the question of the role of Koch-demonized labor unions in the black community. African-American workers are more likely to be represented by a union than other workers, and labor leaders were among the earliest supporters of the modern civil rights movement (the famous 1963 March on Washington [12] was also a “march for jobs and justice,” initially catalyzed by African-American labor luminary A. Philip Randolph). Black men have the highest rate of union membership of any group, at 14.8 percent compared with 11.9 percent of white men. In the 10 biggest metro areas, black workers are 42 percent more likely to be union members than workers of other races, according to Stephen Pitts of the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center [13].

Pitts’ study found black workers are 30 percent more likely than other groups to be employed in the public sector, which AFSCME represents. Those black public sector workers also make roughly 25 percent more than black workers in overall workforce – in part because public workers are more likely to be represented by unions, 35 percent vs. 7 percent in the private sector.
“The Koch brothers want a government-free society,” Saunders says. “Public service has enabled African-Americans to move into the middle class, but the Kochs are trying to dismantle that.”

The backlash against AFSCME’s decision on the right has led progressives to come out in support of the union in the last few days. “We believe that AFSCME is doing what is right for its members who the Koch brothers have targeted and is working in the interests of students of color who attend not only UNCF Institutions, but all institutions of higher learning,” Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said in a statement. (Saunders is on its board.) Color of Change’s Rashad Robinson agreed, insisting that the Kochs, who “spend their lives advancing an agenda that puts our communities in harm’s way, will never give us enough money in the name of charity to overturn their agenda.”

Saunders says, once again, that critics are wrong when they insist AFSCME is taking scholarships away from black students. He promises the union will continue its scholarship program for students of color.

“We’re going to find another partner, or do it ourselves,” he promised. “We’re committed to that.” He went on: “We agree with the mission of UNCF 100 percent. But the question is, are we going to be sold off to the highest bidder? I just think that’s wrong. We can’t be bought.”

Joan Walsh is Salon's editor at large and the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America [14]."

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Drought Apocalypse Approaches as the Colorado River Basin Dries Up

Woody reports: "Scientists on Thursday released the results of a first-of-its-kind study that finds the seven states of the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin are depleting groundwater reserves at a rapid rate."

(photo: tailwindsphotography/Flickr)

The Drought Apocalypse Approaches as the Colorado River Basin Dries Up

By Todd Woody,
25 July 14

Scientists on Thursday released the results of a first-of-its-kind study that finds the seven states of the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin are depleting groundwater reserves at a rapid rate. That threatens the future of a river that supplies water to 40 million people and irrigates 4 million acres of farmland.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA analyzed data from a satellite that measures underground water reserves to calculate that the Colorado River Basin has lost 65 cubic kilometers—that’s 17.3 trillion gallons—of water between December 2004 and November 2013. That represents twice the capacity of the United States’ largest reservoir, Lake Mead in Nevada. Most worrying, 75 percent of the loss came from groundwater supplies.

“We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” Stephanie Castle, the report’s lead author and a water resources specialist at UC Irvine, said in a statement. “This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking.”

Terrifying, actually. Groundwater reserves have accumulated over thousands of years and recharge at an exceedingly slow rate as rainwater and snowmelt seep into the ground. Rain is rare as the current drought enters its 15th year.

The data indicates that farmers and cities are pumping far more groundwater than can be replenished. At some point, the well will run dry.

“We observe a negative net change in groundwater storage over the 108-month time period [of the study], indicating that groundwater withdrawals (pumping) are not balanced by recharge and must be greater than the observed depletion rate,” Castle said in an email.
Once the seven states of the Colorado River Basin—Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming—deplete their groundwater reserves beyond the point of no return, they will run out of options.

Usually, the states rely on aboveground reservoirs like Lake Mead to help them weather dry years. But the water level at Lake Mead has fallen to a historic low, and other reservoirs are drying up fast.
It will get worse, especially as the region grows hotter because of climate change.

“The rapid rates of groundwater depletion will lead to further declines in Colorado River steam flows and, combined with declining snowpack and population growth, will likely threaten the long-term ability” to supply water to the seven states, said Castle.

With less water flowing into reservoirs, the states will keep pumping irreplaceable groundwater reserves. That “poses a significant threat to the long-term water security of the region,” concluded the report, which is to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

So what to do? First, fill in the data gap to figure out exactly how much water is left so decisions can be made about its management for the future. That’s where the satellite program called Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment comes in. The satellite measures tiny changes in an area’s gravitational pull to determine its groundwater capacity.

“There’s only one way to put together a very large–area study like this, and that is with satellites,” Jay Famiglietti, a coauthor of the report and a senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement.

© 2014 Reader Supported News

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report


Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report


A military base in Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, which was a suspected location for the C.I.A.’s detentions and interrogations. CreditTomasz Waszcuk/European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — Just after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to declassify hundreds of pages of a withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program, C.I.A. Director John O. Brennan convened a meeting of the men who had played a role overseeing the program in its seven-year history.

The spies, past and present, faced each other around the long wooden conference table on the seventh floor of the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Northern Virginia: J. Cofer Black, head of the agency’s counterterrorism center at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks; the undercover officer who now holds that job; and a number of other former officials from the C.I.A.’s clandestine service. Over the speakerphone came the distinctive, Queens-accented voice of George J. Tenet.

Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month. The effort to discredit the report has set up a three-way showdown among former C.I.A. officials who believe history has been distorted, a White House carefully managing the process and politics of declassifying the document, and Senate Democrats convinced that the Obama administration is trying to protect the C.I.A. at all costs.

The report is expected to accuse a number of former C.I.A. officials of misleading Congress and the White House about the program and its effectiveness, but it is Mr. Tenet who might have the most at stake.

The detention and interrogation program was conceived on his watch and run by men and women he had put in senior positions. After virtually disappearing from public view since leaving the C.I.A. in 2004 except for a brief period promoting his memoir, Mr. Tenet is working behind the scenes with many of the same people to develop a strategy to challenge the report’s findings. And he is relying on his close relationship with Mr. Brennan to keep him apprised as the report moves through a glacial declassification process. Mr. Brennan rose to the C.I.A.’s senior ranks during Mr. Tenet’s tenure, and served as one of the former C.I.A. chief’s most trusted advisers during the post-9/11 period.

Mr. Tenet, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has arranged a number of conference calls with former C.I.A. officials to discuss the impending report.

After private conversations with Mr. Brennan, he and two other former C.I.A. directors — Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden — drafted a letter to Mr. Brennan asking that, as a matter of fairness, they be allowed to see the report before it was made public. Describing the letter, one former C.I.A. officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the former directors “think that those people who were heavily involved in the operations have a right to see what’s being said about them.”
Mr. Brennan then passed the letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Ms. Feinstein agreed to let a group of former senior C.I.A. officials read a draft of the report, although she initially insisted they be allowed to review it only at the committee’s office. Officials said President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, intervened and brokered an arrangement in which the officials could read an unredacted version of the report inside a secure room at the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Ms. Feinstein declined to comment.

The White House has been working closely with intelligence agencies to redact the document before it is returned to the Intelligence Committee, providing fuel to critics that Mr. Obama was giving license to the C.I.A. to vet a report that accuses the agency of a raft of misdeeds. The president has said little publicly about the report, other than that he would like it to be made public as soon as possible.

But some Senate Democrats are seething about how long it has taken to declassify the document, what they see as Mr. Obama’s inattention to the process, and the role played by Mr. McDonough, who is personally coordinating the redaction of the document and has a close relationship with Mr. Brennan, who served in the White House as Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser during the president’s first term.

Senator Ron Wyden, the Oregon Democrat who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “in my view this report should have been public yesterday, and attempts to disrupt and delay it are unacceptable.”
There is also residual anger at Mr. Brennan within the committee for authorizing the C.I.A. to search the computers of committee staff members working on the report late last year. The C.I.A. carried out the search after security officials came to think the committee staff may have improperly gained access to the spy agency’s computer systems.

“While former C.I.A. officials may be working to hide their own past wrongs, there’s no reason Brennan or any other current C.I.A. official should help facilitate the defense of the indefensible,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Spokesmen for the C.I.A. and the White House declined to comment.

The April meeting at C.I.A. headquarters highlighted how much of the agency is still seeded with officers who participated in the detention and interrogation program, which Mr. Obama officially ended during his first week in office in 2009.

At one point during the meeting, the current head of the counterterrorism center, an officer with the first name Mike, told Mr. Brennan that roughly 200 people under his leadership had at some point participated in the interrogation program. They wanted to know, he said, how Mr. Brennan planned to defend them in public against accusations that the C.I.A. engaged in systematic torture and lied about its efficacy.

Wagging a finger at the correspondent, Scott Pelley, Mr. Tenet said over and over, “We don’t torture people.”

“No, listen to me. No, listen to me. I want you to listen to me,” he went on. “Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through: The palpable fear that we felt on the basis of that fact that there was so much we did not know. I know that this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report is expected to directly challenge this contention. Several people who have read the report said that it concludes that the C.I.A.’s interrogation methods broke up no terrorist plots and that agency officials repeatedly inflated the value of the program.

Mr. Tenet resigned a decade ago amid the wash of recriminations over the C.I.A.’s botched Iraq assessments, and he has given few interviews since his book tour.

But he remains bound to the spy agency he once led, raising money for the C.I.A. Officers Memorial Foundation, which gives scholarship money to children of C.I.A. officers killed in the line of duty. He has also advised companies that do business with military and intelligence agencies, including Palantir Technologies, a California-based data analysis company that has won lucrative government contracts.

He maintains his friendship with Mr. Brennan, whose C.I.A. career flourished during the Tenet era. Despite being an analyst, rather than a clandestine case officer, Mr. Brennan in the late 1990s was given the prestigious position of C.I.A. station chief in Saudi Arabia.

He returned from Riyadh to become Mr. Tenet’s chief of staff, and later moved up to become the C.I.A.’s deputy executive director.

Correction: July 26, 2014

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misidentified President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser during his first term. It was John O. Brennan, not Denis McDonough.

Matt Apuzzo and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.
A version of this article appears in print on July 26, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Is Set to Respond to Sharp Rebuke.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

CIA Does the Torture, US Ally Pays the Price

Kucinich writes: "The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an 'extraordinary rendition' program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a 'black site' in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture -- in the attempt to extract bogus confessions."

Former congressman Dennis Kucinich. (photo: Getty Images)

CIA Does the Torture, US Ally Pays the Price

By Dennis Kucinich, Reader Supported News
26 July 14

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an 'extraordinary rendition' program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a "black site" in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture -- in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.

Court documents provide insight into the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques": Hooding, handcuffing, chambering a bullet, putting the gun to the suspect's head while cocking the trigger; threatening a hooded, naked suspect with a power drill; threatening to apprehend the suspect's mother or female relative, bring them before him to be sexually assaulted; various stress positions which could force dislocation of limbs; using a stiff brush on a suspect's naked body to induce pain; suspending the suspect on a bar or a hook for two to three days at a time; water boarding; electric shock; threatening to sodomize the suspect and to infect the suspect with the HIV virus.

The torture program has resulted in deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. One Guantanamo inmate who was tortured will soon go on trial before a US military tribunal. No one at the CIA has been prosecuted for torturing suspects. But one CIA agent who blew the whistle on an agency practitioner of torture was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

This year America will observe the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, a tragedy that should never have been appropriated to advance a foreign policy agenda that included war against innocent people, torture and murder of terror "suspects" abroad, and the destruction of dearly held US Constitutional values here at home.
It is time to take truth off the torture rack. America needs a full accounting of those dark days through a process of Truth and Reconciliation.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Baltimore Activist Alert July 27 – July 29, 2014

Baltimore Activist Alert July 27 – July 29, 2014

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours.
The initiative to stop it must be ours." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center. Go to If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to BNC, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218. Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-366-1637 or mobuszewski [at]

Tune into the Maryland Progressive Blog at

1] Books, buttons & stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Join Nonviolent Resistance lists
4] Buy coffee through HoCoFoLa
5] Free adoptions in July
6] GUTSY: Taking the Fear Factor Out of Feminism – through Aug. 8
7] Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity – through Aug. 31
8] To be a Humanist – July 27
9] Peace and Pancakes – July 27
10] Coffee Talk – July 27
11] Mobilize people to go to New York City – July 27
12] Two books on slave resistance – July 27
13] Pentagon Vigil – July 28
14] Marc Steiner on WEAA – July 28 – Aug. 1
15] Current invasion of Gaza – July 28
16] "Final Deal with Iran: Outcomes and Next Steps” – July 28
17] "Nuclear Politics on the Korean Peninsula" – July 28
18] Pledge of Resistance/Fund Our Communities meeting – July 28
19] Bless the EPA Hearing on Carbon Pollution Safeguards – July 29
20] National Conference on Ending Homelessness – July 29
21] Colombia Peace Forum – July 29
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available. “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Donate your books to Max. Call him at 410-366-1637.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR]. It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed. It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to the war in Iraq. To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net. Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.

THE NOTICES LIST will include only notices of NCNR actions and related information and is open to any interested person to subscribe. It will be moderated to maintain focus & will include periodic notices about getting involved in NCNR national organizing. To join the NOTICES List, send an email message to mobuszewski at Verizon dot net.

4] – You can help safeguard human rights and fragile ecosystems through your purchase of HOCOFOLA Café Quetzal. Bags of ground coffee or whole beans can be ordered by mailing in an order form. Also note organic cocoa and sugar are for sale. For more details and to download the order form, go to The coffee comes in one-pound bags.

Fill out the form and mail it with a check made out to HOCOFOLA on or before the second week of the month. Be sure you indicate ground or beans for each type of coffee ordered. Send it to Francine Sheppard at 5639B, Harpers Farm Rd., Columbia 21044. The coffee will arrive some time the following week and you will be notified where to pick it up. Contact Francine at 410-992-7679 or

5] – The Maryland SPCA has wonderful companions waiting for you! Adopt one of them this July during the Summer Lovin' event! For the entire month, the adoption fees for all adult cats (regularly $55) and large, adult dogs (regularly $125) are waived. The $17 Pet ID Package and all regular adoption procedures still apply. Visit

6] – GUTSY: Taking the Fear Factor Out of Feminism is a group exhibit of female artists whose work deals with feminist issues, themes, and aesthetics through Fri., Aug. 8 at Gallery CA, 440 East Oliver St. Call 410-528-9239 or

7] – See the exhibit Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity, which
delves into the various ways technology affects lives through the perspective of inventors, futurists and 40 plus visionary artists. The intent is to bring new thoughts on artificial intelligence, robotics, genetics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and big data, and you can see it through August 31 at the American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Hwy. Call 410-244-1900. Go to A ticket costs $20.

8] - Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite 102, Baltimore 21201-4661, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion from 10:30 AM to noon. On Sun., July 27, BES member Fred Compton will share his personal experiences “How Humanism Has Helped Me,” and then lead a discussion inviting others to share theirs. Call 410-581-2322 or email

9] - Join the Kadampa Meditation Center for Peace and Pancakes on Sundays at 10:30 AM at KMC Maryland, 2937 North Charles St. All are invited to participate in guided meditation and chant praying for world peace. There will be a talk based on Buddhist thought followed by brunch. Call 410- 243-3837. Brunch is $5.

10] – On Sun., July 27 at 1 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Cafe, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, hear a Coffee Talk with a presentation about cooperative coffee farming in Sumatra with a roaster, Casey McKeel. And see how to cup Thread’s Permata Gayo coffee. Call 443-602-7585. Go to Thread Coffee co-founder Casey McKeel spent two weeks in March 2014 visiting coffee farms in Sumatra, researching coffee trade and its impacts - both positive and negative - on communities. Casey will share a photo report back and interviews with farmers, looking at the dynamics of coffee trade on the ground in Sumatra.

11] – At the Conference Room, Shaw Library, 1630 7th St. NW, on Sun., July 27 at 2 PM, be a part of a discussion concerning the political importance of mobilizing people to go to New York City before corporate and governmental leaders arrive this September for the UN Climate Summit. System Change Not Climate Change together with the Global Climate Convergence will be laying the groundwork for an alternative summit, the New York City Climate Convergence. The objective is to build and strengthen an environmental movement that addresses the root causes of the climate crises--a social-economic system that values profits above people, planet and peace. As the corporate captured UN proposes false solutions like carbon trading and sets meager greenhouse reduction targets, this action will show the world what tackling global warming from the bottom up looks like. Go to

12] – On Sun., July 27 at 7:30 PM at Red Emma's Bookstore Cafe, 30 W. North Ave., Baltimore 21201, Gerald Horne presents "The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America" & "Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba during Slavery and Jim Crow." The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then residing in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with London. In this trailblazing book, Horne complements his earlier celebrated Negro Comrades of the Crown, by showing that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt. In the prelude to 1776, some Africans join the British military, and anti-slavery sentiments were starting to ripen in Britain. And in the Caribbean, rebellious Africans were rising.

The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In “Race to Revolution,” Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation’s internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North. He draws a direct link between the black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. Black Cubans were crucial to Cuba’s initial independence, reinforcing radical politics within the black communities of both nations. This in turn helped to create the conditions that gave rise to the Cuban Revolution which, on New Years’ Day in 1959, shook the United States to its core. Go to Call 443-602-7585.

13] -- There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop. The next vigil is Mon., July 28, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. Email or call 202-882-9649. The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro. By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr., and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM. No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.

14] – The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 AM on WEAA 88.9 FM, The Voice of the Community, or online at The call-in number is 410-319-8888, and comments can also be sent by email to All shows are also available as podcasts at

15] – At the Institute for Policy Studies Conference Room, 1112 16th St. NW, Suite 600, on Mon., July 28 from noon to 1 PM, join the Institute for Policy Studies for an in-depth discussion on the underlying dynamics and root causes of the current invasion of Gaza. They'll discuss the latest news and developments and address questions! You can also participate by phone. Dial-in to listen only at 1-415-655-0059 with an access code at 592-768-385. RSVP to be part of the webinar at

16] – On Mon., July 28 from noon to 1:30 PM, Dennis Ross, former special assistant to President Obama, Eric Edelman, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Stephen Rademaker, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, and Ray Takeyh, Council on Foreign Relations, will examine "Final Deal with Iran: Outcomes and Next Steps” at JINSA, 1307 New York Ave., Large Conference Hall, 1st Floor, W DC 20005. The forum is sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Visit

17] – On Mon., July 28 from 3 to 5:15 PM, the Carnegie Endowment and Korea Economic Institute present "Nuclear Politics on the Korean Peninsula" with seven speakers at the Carnegie Endowment, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, WDC. RSVP at

18] – The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore usually meets on Mondays at 7:30 PM, and the meetings take place at Max’s residence. The next meeting will be on Mon., July 28. The proposed agenda will include the appeal of the conviction of the CIA Five, anti-drone activities, including the arraignment of the NSA Three, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, bigotry on the border, Gaza and the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration. Call 410-366-1637 or email mobuszewski at for directions.

19] – Bless the EPA Hearing on Carbon Pollution Safeguards on Tues., July 29 at 8:30 AM at EPA Headquarters, 1201 Constitution Ave. NW, WDC. Use the Federal Triangle Metro. The EPA has proposed the first-ever safeguards that would limit climate pollution from existing power plants, our nation's single greatest source of the heat-trapping pollution that is causing our earth to warm.

Gather with Creation Justice Ministries and Sojourners to kick off two full days of EPA hearings and to share blessings for this auspicious process and for over two dozen diverse religious leaders who will be offering testimony. Then, join hundreds of caring citizens and speak out at the EPA hearing to call for reducing climate pollution from the nation's power plants. RSVP

20] – On Tues., July 29 from 9 AM to noon, join the National AIDS Housing Coalition at the 2014 National Conference on Ending Homelessness at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Hotel, 999 Ninth St. NW. There will be a Community Listening Session on Addressing Homelessness through HIV/AIDS Housing: What’s working? What’s not? And why? Join HIV/AIDS housing and service providers, consumers, and officials to discuss successful models and challenges in fulfilling housing's promise as a powerful prevention and healthcare intervention for homeless people with HIV/AIDS. Email NAHC at to register. Go to

21] – On Tues., July 29 at 10 AM at the U.S. Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Ave. NW, WDC 20037, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, Washington Office on Latin America, and United States Institute of Peace are pleased to invite you to Colombia Peace Forum -- Peace Proposals from Victims of Colombia's Armed Conflict. It will feature Clara Rojas González, Colombian National Congress Representative, Aida Quilcué, director of Human Rights, Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC), Deyis Margarita Carmona Tejada, spokeswoman, Peasants' Assembly of Cesar for Land Restitution, and José Antequera Guzmán, co-founder, Sons and Daughters of Memory and Against Impunity. This event will be webcast live at RSVP to Omar Martinez at 202-546-7010 or

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Remembrances of Charlie Haden

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Remembrances of Charlie Haden
Maurice Jackson

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I first met Charlie Haden in the late 1970s. He was playing at the One Step Down on Pennsylvania Ave. with the pianist and arranger JoAnn Bracken. Later he had duets there with the noted DC pianist Reuben Brown. The One Step was a cozy spot with booths and a long bar where I sat. After the gig we struck up a talk-not about music but about radical politics-and we kept talking, most often on his frequent calls to me (except when he was on the road), for over 35 years.

By the time I met him he had already gained an international reputation as a member of the legendary Ornette Coleman Quartet. And I had every record that I could find by Coleman's group and had Charlie's first recording with his Liberation Music Orchestra. I was just a young activist. We spoke that first night about the songs of the Spanish Civil War that he recorded and the men and women who fought to defend the Spanish Republic in 1930s. He had interspersed some of their songs, including "Los Cuatro Generales" the "Four Generals." He became excited when I told him that once at a rally in Moscow I saw Delores Ibarruri - the famed "La Pasonaria" of the Spanish resistance. Like Ben Webster or Lester Young on the tenor sax her voice was so powerful that she seldom needed a microphone and she could belt out a speech so resonant that one could hear her in whispers on the front row or loudly in the rear of a rally, with the same intonations.

Charlie was a man of the world who cared about the world-and its environment and peoples. Too often people, especially artists, like Charlie or scholars like me, know very little of the plight of everyday human beings. Many, as the late historian and social activist W.E.B. Du Bois once said, know a lot about humanity but know little of men (and women). Charlie was different and I try to be.

Whenever he would call and even if my wife or children answered the phone they would always be greeted with the same refrain "Hey man, Its Charlie." Over the years the topics changed. When the hearings on Clarence Thomas and his suitability for the Supreme Court were held, Charlie was glued to the proceedings. He wondered how a man who had been so convincingly portrayed by Anita Hill as a sexual harasser could be nominated for the land's highest Court. Charlie felt the discrimination suffered by women, especially African American women. He had a deep appreciation of their role in history and in music. He loved playing with DC's own Shirley Horn, and with the Howard University trained pianist Geri Allen, who joins us today. He was close to and recorded with Abby Lincoln and with Alice Coltrane, the widow of John Coltrane, and a grand musician in her own right. He had a special relationship with their son saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who he also taught at Cal Arts, where he founded the jazz program.

Over the years, when any a big political event occurred he would call. Because of his disdain of U.S. policies in Latin America, especially during the Iran-Contra hearings, he recorded another album with the Liberation Music Orchestra, "Not in Our Name." He also recorded, partly at my own suggestion, the Chilean resistance song "The People United Will Never be Defeated" and the anthem of the African National Congress, of South Africa "Nkosi SikeleL'I Afrika."

Charlie helped me understand the role of jazz in changing society and I regularly teach a course "Jazz and Human Rights" at Georgetown University about the social origins and the effect of the music on society.

He and Hank Jones recorded "Spirituals, Folksongs and Hymns," (1995) and "Come Sunday." (2012) I was honored when he asked me to write the liner notes for both CD's. He performed these songs twice at Georgetown, in 1995 with Mr. Jones and in 2009, with NEA Jazz master Kenny Barron. I accompanied him and Hank when they preformed them at Duke University in 2007. It was always a pleasure being with Hank and Charlie, both NEA jazz masters and Downbeat Hall of Fame inductees. They were both teetotalers and would tell the corniest jokes, and we all fell out laughing with them.

I wrote a letter to the National Endowment of the Arts to nominate Charlie for the NEA Jazz Master's honor. He did not receive it the first time. He asked me not to bother with submitting a letter the next year. I ignored him and the next year he was inducted at a grand ceremony at the Lincoln Center, chaired by its musical director, Wynton Marsalis. Charlie was ill and could not attend so his daughter Petra, the singer and violinist, read a message from him. The noted NY Post columnist and Charlie Parker biographer Stanley Crouch said introductory words for Charlie. Some time later I got a message from an old friend in NYC who sent me an article, in the NY Post, by Mr. Crouch in praise of Anthony Benezet, the French born Huguenot turned Quaker (1713-1784) who had fled France, gone to Philadelphia and became an international leader against slavery and the slave trade and founder of a school to educate Blacks. I had written a book, Let this Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet Father of Atlantic Abolitionism about Benezet and Charlie quietly made sure that Mr. Crouch got a copy. Charlie, for me, was made of the same cloth as the anti-racist Quaker, Benezet. In the parlance of Black people, like me, who have witnessed so much inequality, poverty, hatred and bigotry and have seen too few whites willing to fight for justice "they were two good white men."

As he grew weaker, our talks became less frequent. Often I would just call his number to leave a voicemail and his wonderful wife Ruth would let me know that he got it. In some of his last calls he would play ,over the telephone, an unrecorded tape, of one of his bands, or recordings of Sergei Rachmaninov's "Piano Trio Number 2 in D Minor" or Maurice Ravel's "Concerto in G Major" or some other favorite, or especially a Bach Etude.

Near the end he called and at the conclusion said, "I love you man." While I have always told my wife and our kids how much I love them, it caught me by surprise when a white man, my senior, spoke those words to me. After all, I grew up in the horrible Jim Crow, worked as a longshoreman and rigger in my native Newport News, Virginia and worked in the "movement." I felt battle scarred from my years growing up in Jim Crow Virginia and Alabama and from my many years in the "movement," where I indeed saw too few good white men.

On a recent radio program paying tribute to Charlie I was asked to suggest several songs with him playing.

The last song I played was the Cole Porter classic "Every Time We Say Goodbye" . "I die a little." It was recorded by him and pianist Keith Jarrett in 2007 but just released in the last month or so. In those last calls each time I said goodbye to Charlie "I died a little... I cried a little." To paraphrase the words of Khalil Gibran, Charlie's kindness "touched my silent heart and made it sing." I love you man and I will miss you immensely.

Maurice Jackson is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University and Chair of the District of Columbia's Commission on African American Affairs. He is coeditor with Blair Ruble of Jazz in Washington, D.C. in Washington History, Journal of the Historical Society of Washington, April 2014. [1]

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Dogs Feel Jealousy, Raising Questions About Its Evolutionary Origin

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Dogs Feel Jealousy, Raising Questions About Its Evolutionary Origin

Jason G. Goldman

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Despite the wide variety of species that have complex social structures – elephants, monkeys, chimps, dolphins, giraffes, wolves, corvids, and lots more – many have argued that jealousy requires a sophisticated understanding of the self and of other's social goals and desires.

That skepticism has proven reasonable in the case of guilt. What many dog owners report as guilt is probably the dog's learned response to the owner's own scolding behavior. As I wrote in 2012 at Scientific American, dogs probably give the "guilty look" because they've learned that it reduces the likelihood or severity of their scolding, not because they know they've broken a rule.

But dog owners may actually be right when it comes to jealousy. That's because young infants and toddlers, with their immature, developing brains, appear capable of at least simple forms of the emotion. Indeed, it was after reading a small but growing literature on jealousy in babies that Christine R. Harris and Caroline Prouvost of the University of California, San Diego, decided to adapt the experiment for pet dogs.

In the baby experiments, six-month-old infants showed jealous reactions when their mothers interacted with another infant (actually a lifelike doll), but not when their mothers interacted with a non-social object (a book). That suggested to the researchers that "jealousy may have a primordial or core form that can be triggered without complex cognition about the self or about the meaning of the social interaction." The primordial jealousy response can be provoked, they explain, by the "relatively simple perception that an attachment figure or loved one's attention has been captured by a potential usurper." The baby then does what it can to regain the attention of their loved one. More complex forms of jealousy experienced by human adults could build on simpler forms that are present in human infants.

If that's the case, then other social species might also be capable of demonstrating primordial jealousy. The basic structure of jealousy – whether primordial or complex – is straightforward: it emerges from a social triangle. When an interloper threatens an existing, important relationship, the outcome can be jealousy. That's the case for sexual or romantic relationships threatened by real or imagined infidelity, or for parent-child relationships threatened by siblings. Jealousy can also arise from non-kin relationships. The same underlying process that leads to jealousy in sexual or familial relationships can apply to any friendship of social or emotional value.

Harris and Prouvost simply adapted the baby experiment for dogs. Thirty-six dogs and their owners participated in their experiment. For safety purposes, the experiment was restricted to dogs under 35 pounds and shorter than 15 inches ("because of the possibility that the jealousy manipulation would result in aggression and small dogs could be more easily controlled in such circumstances"). Owners, who weren't aware of the true purpose of the experiment, interacted with a realistic looking stuffed dog that barked and wagged its tail, and as well as with two objects – a Halloween candy pail, and a book – while their dogs looked on.

The owners were instructed to interact affectionately with the pail, just as they had with the stuffed dog. If the dogs responded with jealousy to the stuffed dog but not the candy pail, that would suggest that the dogs could attenuate their jealousy, directing it at other dogs in particular. The fact that most of the dogs sniffed the doll's anal region suggests that they indeed perceived it as real. If the dogs responded jealously even when their owners read from the book, that would suggest that it wasn't jealousy at all that motivated their so-called "jealous behavior," but instead a simple lack of attention.

The researchers found that the dogs were much more likely to display jealousy behaviors, including aggression – snapping, getting between the owner and the object, and pushing the object away – for the stuffed dog compared with either the candy pail or the book. Not that the dogs wouldn't rather have all of their owners' attention on themselves: when engaging with the candy pail, the dogs still spent more time looking at their owners than for the book. While the dogs weren't thrilled to be ignored in favor of the candy pail, they directed their jealousy appropriately, just at the canine interloper.

Harris and Prouvost conclude the primordial form of jealousy isn't unique to human infants, but is shared at least with domestic dogs, if not with other animals. "This emotional state does not presuppose complex interpretations of the behavior of the rival and the attachment figure and its meaning to the self," they say, although "such cognitions clearly can impact jealousy in adult interpersonal relationships."

While primordial jealousy emerges early in human development and may have emerged early in evolution, that doesn't mean that the subjective emotional experience is equivalent to the type of jealousy that human adults experience.

Did jealousy evolve out of sexual or familial relationships? Could it have emerged in animals that require group cooperation for survival, in which alliances between individuals are malleable and are therefore open to threats from outsiders?
Since dogs (and wolves) are born into litters, have pair bonding, and hunt cooperatively, they won't be particularly useful for better understanding the evolutionary origins of jealousy. Other species could prove more informative: domestic cats, for example, bear litters but do not pair bond.

It is also possible that it was domestication itself that gave rise to dogs' capacity for even simple forms of jealousy. It would be prudent to see whether wolves also have primordial jealousy. And even if they do, dogs could be unique in their capacity for cross-species jealousy. Given how attuned they are to human social cues, research with horses could shed light on that question.

As with most interesting research, this finding raises more questions than it provides answers. It is clear, at least, that jealousy is not a uniquely human emotion.

But where does it come from? Are jealous behaviors actually effective at regaining the attention of a social partner? Are dogs alone in participating in multi-species social triangles, or is jealousy another marker of domestication? If nothing else, this study is yet another reminder that our species is not alone in experiencing social emotions.

Read the entire study in PLoS ONE [1].

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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs