Will Putin Accept Half A Loaf?

The eagerly awaited “written response” from the U.S. and NATO to Russia’s security proposals is now in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. And yet there is no sign the West caved in on Moscow’s insistence that NATO rescind its 14 year-old invitation to Ukraine to join NATO.

Those who expected the Russians to react to the West’s refusal to “redraw the security architecture of Europe” by promptly attacking Ukraine can breathe a bit easier. Although Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Thursday that the responses from the US and NATO provide “little ground for optimism,” he quickly added “there always are prospects for continuing a dialogue, it’s in the interests of both us and the Americans.”

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Cash Assistance Boosted Infants’ Brain Development, Study Shows

When mothers with low incomes received just over $300 in monthly cash assistance during the first year of their children’s lives, their infants’ brains displayed more high-frequency brain waves when they reached 12 months old, a major new study by a team of investigators from six U.S. universities and released this week by the National Academy of Sciences shows. These types of brain waves are associated with higher language and cognitive scores and better social and emotional skills in children as they grow older.

The expanded Child Tax Credit, which Congress enacted in 2021 and which expired last month, provided support very much like the cash assistance described in the new paper. The paper is a pathbreaking combination of social science and neuroscience, is methodologically rigorous, and adds heft to the substantial evidence about the difference that extending the Child Tax Credit expansion would make in children’s lives.

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Make The Whole World Know That The South Also Exists

On 19 January 2022, US President Joe Biden held a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. The discussion ranged from Biden’s failure to pass a $1.75 trillion investment bill (the result of the defection of two Democrats) to the increased tensions between the United States and Russia. According to a recent NBC poll, 54% of adults in the United States disapprove of his presidency and 71% feel that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

The political and cultural divisions that widened during the Trump years continue to inflict a heavy toll on US society, including over the government’s ability to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ukraine And US War Propaganda

The corporate media always carry water for the state, and they are never more dangerous than when the nation is on a war footing. Right now the United States government is sending weapons to Ukraine. One wouldn’t know that because of constant references to “lethal aid.” The euphemisms and subterfuge are necessary for a very simple reason. Everyone except the Washington war party knows that provoking war with Russia is extremely dangerous.

Joe Biden is picking up where he left off, as Barack Obama’s Ukraine viceroy. He and his incompetent foreign policy team have spun a tale about a pending Russian attack on Ukraine. In reality, it is the U.S. that is ginning up war by provoking the Ukrainians to start a fight that they can’t win.

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Why Are D.C. Cops Recruiting And Deputizing High School Students?

On Nov. 18, in the library of Ballou Senior High school, an audience of students, parents, school faculty, journalists, and city officials gathered for a press conference held by the District of Columbia’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and chief of police Robert Contee, who were at the high school to announce new legislation.

Behind the podium where Contee and Bowser gave their address stood three rows of 10 teenagers in Metropolitan Police Department cadet uniforms, most of whom were not even 18 years old. Thirty children staged behind Contee and Bowser in police uniforms provided a perfect backdrop for the announcement of the relaunch of the High School Cadet Program (HSCP), one of MPD’s many programs aimed at conditioning, propagandizing and recruiting youth.

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Big Problems With Proposals For Small Nuclear Reactors

Politicians and investor-owned utilities are now proposing small nuclear reactors in Montana to replace the old coal-fired power plants at Colstrip. For the last 44 years a successful Citizens’ Initiative banned nuclear power in Montana unless approved by the voters. But Republican majorities in the 2021 Montana legislature repealed the initiative and Republican Governor Gianforte signed the bill into law. There are similar proposals in Wyoming and Idaho.

But the rush to nukes suffered a major setback this month when the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission denied the application  to build and operate the nation’s first small modular nuclear 720 megawatt reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory.

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Judge Annuls Gulf Of Mexico Oil Auction Over Climate Impact

A federal judge invalidated the results of an oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday saying the Biden administration failed to properly account for the auction’s climate change impact.

The decision has cast uncertainty over the future of the U.S. federal offshore drilling program, which has been a big source of public revenue for decades but also drawn the ire of activists concerned about its impact on the environment and contribution to global warming.

The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 15% of existing U.S. oil production and 5% of dry natural gas output, according to the Energy Information Administration.

In the decision, Judge Rudolph Contreras of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia ruled to vacate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Lease Sale 257, which offered about 80 million offshore acres (37.4 million hectares) in the Gulf of Mexico in an auction last November.

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Russia’s Red Line

“They must understand,” Sergei Lavrov said in one of his many public statements last week, “that the key to everything is the guarantee that NATO will not expand eastward.”

The Russian foreign minister has repeated this thought almost ad infinitum lately. He speaks, of course, of the Biden administration and the diplomats who bear its messages to others.

Here is another of Lavrov’s recent utterances:

“We are very patient… we have been harnessing [burdens] for a very long time, and now it’s time for us to go.”

I do not know quite what Lavrov means by “harnessing burdens.” I suspect it is a translation problem, and he said something closer to “bearing burdens.”

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Russian Training Exercises Bad, Facilitating British And US Imperialism Good

As the COVID-19 mainstream media narrative steadily disappears from news headlines around the world, following the highly coincidental timing of last week’s Davos Agenda virtual event held by the World Economic Forum, the corporate media has now, in lockstep, moved onto what many commentators predicted they would – an escalation in the current Ukraine crisis, in which Russia has been accused of planning an ‘imminent’ invasion of its smaller Western neighbour, with Kiev having come under the control the US-EU aligned governments of Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky since the 2014 CIA and MI6-orchestrated Euromaidan colour revolution was launched in response to then-President Viktor Yanukoych’s November 2013 decision to suspend a trade deal with Brussels in order to pursue closer ties with Moscow.

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Glen Ford: Legacy Of A Black Revolutionary

As 2021 comes to an end, and the U.S. approaches the one-million mark of American lives lost to Covid-19, I would think holiday celebrations should include more somber notes than usual.  Instead of seeing street behavior that would acknowledge grieving over 800,000 people in the U.S. who have died of Covid-19, we witness the convulsions for survival in a society and nation that is imploding as the wealth gap stretches far beyond our imaginations.  In a nation inundated with death, whether from school shootings, the up-tick in crime rampages, fentanyl overdoses, alongside Covid-19 deaths, those who have passed may or may not have received the deserved attention due to their lives and legacies.

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Following ‘Unjustifiable’ UAE Bombing, US And UN Condemn Yemeni Retaliation

Saada, Yemen – In a scene rife with chaos and crying, volunteers and a rescue squad pulled the bodies of 91 prisoners from the rubble of the Sa’ada City Remand Prison in southern Yemen on Tuesday. Early last Friday morning, United Arab Emirates (UAE) warplanes supported by the United States targeted the overcrowded prison, which houses up to 3,000 inmates from across Yemen and Africa. The attack was one of the deadliest since the war began in 2015.

At least  91 people were killed and more than 236 seriously injured in the attacks, which left bereaved families in shock across Yemen and Africa. Witnesses describe the scene of the attack in its first minutes as chaotic and tragic. Fighter jets were heard over the skies of Saada while people were sleeping, before three violent explosions were heard from the prison, red fires mixed with dust and smoke illuminated flying rubble.

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For God’s Sake Boys, STOP THIS WAR S**T!!

We’ve seen this before.  The U.S. creates a situation, digs in its heels and makes ultimatums—and tens of thousands die. 

I resigned from the U.S. government in 2003 in opposition to another war-President Bush’s war on Iraq in which followed that war playbook.

We’ve seen it in Afghanistan and Iraq and now it may be over Ukraine or Taiwan, and oh yes, let’s not forget multiple missile tests from North Korea, ISIS fighters rioting and escaping from prisons in Syria, the millions in Afghanistan who are starving and freezing after the U.S. chaotic withdrawal and refusal to unlock Afghanistan’s frozen financial assets. 

Add to these dangers,  the emotional and physical damage done to the U.S. military’s own military forces by the poisoning of the drinking water of 93,000 persons, mostly the families of U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel in the Indo-Pacific command in Hawaii, from an 80-year-old leaking jet fuel tanks that have leaked into drinking water wells that, despite warnings over a 20 year period, the U.S Navy has refused to shut down,  and you have a military that is stretched to a dangerous point. 

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NATO As Religion

The US/NATO/Ukraine/Russia controversy is not entirely new.  We already saw the potential of serious trouble in 2014 when the US and European states interfered in the internal affairs of Ukraine and covertly/overtly colluded in the coup d’état against the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, because he was not playing the game assigned to him by the West. Of course, our media hailed the putsch as a “color revolution” with all the trappings of democracy.

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Assange Hearing Day

it is customary that the High Court refuses leave to appeal; with the certification of public interest, Julian can now appeal direct to the Supreme Court which will decide whether or not to take the case. The refusal of leave by the High Court is purely a show of deference to the Supreme Court, which decides itself what it will take. The lawyers put this as “the Supreme Court dines a la carte”.

Now some of the appeal points which the High Court refused to certify as arguable and of general public interest, were important. One point was that the diplomatic assurances by the United States promised not to engage in certain illegal practices amounting to torture, but made that assurance conditional on Assange’s future behavior.

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Yemen Conflict: Blowback Of Obama’s Botched Syria Policy

After Arab Spring protests erupted in the Middle East in 2011, toppling longtime dictators of the Arab World, including Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Yemenis also gathered in the capital’s squares demanding removal of Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Instead of conceding to protesters’ fervent demand of holding free and fair elections to ascertain democratic aspirations of demonstrators, however, the Obama administration adopted the convenient course of replacing Yemen’s longtime autocrat with a Saudi stooge Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Having the reputation of a “wily Arabian fox” and being a Houthi himself, Ali Abdullah Saleh wasn’t the one to sit idly by and retire from politics in ignominy.

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