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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

2016june1 trumpveteransThe mainstream corporate media can't get enough of Donald Trump, even if he's lacerating them. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

"He's Not Gonna Take it," CNN blared on its homepage yesterday, above a large close-up photo of Donald Trump. Beneath the picture, CNN placed a headline with a link to the article, "When Donald Trump hits back, he hits back hard." 

CNN, in essence, was pumping up the indomitable image that Donald Trump wants the media to portray of him. He and his campaign flacks consistently account for any of Trump's reprehensible and coarse portrayals of individuals and groups by asserting that he is a "counterpuncher." How that excuses racism, misogynism, bigoted pronouncements and childish name-calling is what the mass corporate media should be examining in their own reporting. However, such reporting is the exception rather than the rule. This was exemplified in the coverage of Donald Trump's Tuesday news conference in which he lacerated the press for questioning the sincerity of his commitment to raising money for veterans' charities -- including a personal million-dollar contribution he pledged in January.

The New York Times provided an account of the Tuesday spectacle:

He called a news conference ostensibly to answer questions about his fund-raising for charities that benefit military veterans. But Donald J. Trumpinstead spent most of his time on live television Tuesday berating the journalists covering his presidential campaign in unusually vitriolic and personal terms.

“You’re a sleaze,” he told a reporter for ABC.

“You’re a real beauty,” he told a reporter for CNN, snidely denigrating the man’s competence.

For 40 minutes, Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, assailed those reporting on his candidacy with a level of venom rarely seen at all, let alone in public, from the standard-bearer of a major political party. Then he warned that a Trump White House would feature more of the same.

Trump's use of the media as pawns in the usual scrum of national live cable coverage of all things Trump speaks to how the corporate media press corps is eating at his trough.

Trump caricature(Photo: DonkeyHotey)MICHAEL BRUNE OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Donald Trump has spent a lot of time talking about his hands  --  and less time talking about his actual plans. Today, though, Trump will be unveiling his so-called energy policy for an audience of fossil fuel CEOs.

Here's what you actually need to know about Trump's environment and energy agenda in five minutes or less.

1. Not only has Donald Trump failed to propose a plan to address climate change  --  he won't even admit that it's happening.

"A total hoax."

"Bullshit."

"A con job."

You might think these are good words to describe Trump's campaign. No  --  they're his take on the climate crisis.

The facts are clear: Climate change poses an urgent threat that requires immediate action.

 

Bottle of Roundup(Photo: Mike Mozart)ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

Glyphosate, the most used herbicide in the world, has been found in the urine of 93 percent of the American public during a unique testing project that started in 2015.

Glyphosate, labeled a "probable human carcinogen" by the World Health Organization's cancer agency IARC in 2015, has now been revealed to be ubiquitous in the first ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America.

The European Union is currently in the process of putting restrictions on the use of glyphosate due to health concerns, with Member States so far unable to agree on the re-approval of the chemical beyond June 2016.

Glyphosate-containing herbicides are sold under trademarks such as Monsanto's Roundup.

JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Missile2 0527wrp(Photo: Lockheed Martin)Question: Is China a threat to the world – or – is the US a threat to the world?

Answer: According to recent Win/Gallop international polls, “The US was voted the biggest threat by far, garnering 24 percent of the vote. Pakistan was a very distant second with 8 percent, followed by China (6 percent) and Afghanistan (5 percent).”

Now that the US has decimated the Middle East for the last sixteen years, after an invasion that set off a mass blood bath from Iraq to Syria, President Obama and his military advisors have turned their attention to a new enemy: China.

The long respected agreement to ban the sale of military weapons to Vietnam has been upheld for fifty years. The agreement reduced the possibility of brutally devastating wars would break out again after the US invaded Vietnam in the late 1960s and early 70s. The US believes that its political system of vulture capitalism, which is wrongly equated with social democracy by US leaders, should be accepted by all countries.

As Carl Jung put it, “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no {political} recipe…that suits all cases.” But that’s not how the US government sees it: one shoe must fit all countries. And that one shoe is US corporatism and control of global resources that benefit the top one percent of billionaires at the expense of the majority of people and at the devastation of the earth’s ecosystems from forests to water.

Like the Middle East invasion, historians have argued that the US government’s invasion of Vietnam was not only unnecessary, it was a colossal mistake.

But as the saying goes, our US government ignores the lessons of historical mistakes and with time merely revises the past to a ‘Might is Right’ moral edict.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

March2016July27TrumpglobalWDonald Trump the businessman appears to accept global warming, while politically denouncing it as a hoax. (Photo: Tory Webster

Politico published an article on May 23 that received a bit of attention, but was generally buried in the news cycle by more sensational aspects of the presidential race. In a campaign season when public policy has taken second place to entertainment value in coverage, it was interesting to read a report (particularly on a website with an often-conservative bent) that actually addressed how one candidate is contradicting an official position that he has taken. The candidate is Donald Trump, and his public position is that global warming is a "total hoax" yet, as Politico notes:

The New York billionaire is applying for permission to erect a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare.... 

A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure.

His public disavowal of climate science at the same time he moves to secure his own holdings against the effects of climate change also illustrates the conflict between his political rhetoric and the realities of running a business with seaside assets in the 21st century.

To put it more bluntly, Trump is a climate change denier except when it comes to impacting his bottom line. Then, he's a believer in global warming.A May 26 New York Times report states that "Donald Trump’s energy plan [consists of] more fossil fuels and fewer rules."

Trump speaking in Arizona(Photo: Gage Skidmore)BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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We recently wrote about the dilemma facing conservative evangelical Christian leaders over Donald Trump candidacy. Will they actively support Trump, and encourage their supporters to vote for him? Will they stay home? Will they support a third party candidate? Rob Boston, director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Frederick Clarkson, a senior fellow at the Massachusetts-based Political Research Associates, two longtime observers of, and writers about the religious right maintained that when push comes to shove, most of the movement's leaders would eventually come around. Well, on June 21, dozens of religious right leaders will be coming around to New York City for a meet-up with "the Donald."

The event, "A Conversation About America's Future with Donald Trump and Ben Carson," is being sponsored by United in Purpose, My Faith Votes, Global Fund Group, FCCI, Vision America, AFA Action and the Family Research Council, and may be one of the largest gatherings of anti-gay, and anti-abortion religious leaders in quite some time.

According to Time magazine's Elizabeth Dias, "Former presidential candidate Ben Carson is working with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Bill Dallas, who leads United in Purpose, to plan a closed-door session for about 400 social conservative leaders to meet with Trump in the coming weeks in New York City. A broader steering group of about 20 people includes people like American Values president Gary Bauer, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, and Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

2016 May26statoflibertyWill the torch welcoming refugees on the Stature of Liberty be replaced by a can of Budweiser beer? (Photo: Daniel Mennerich)

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Perhaps you have read that Budweiser has announced it is going to brand its beer cans (and bottles) simply as "America" over the summer, with all sorts of patriotic phrases emblazoned on the red, white and blue aluminum containers. It's all party of a multi-corporate sponsorship and advertising tie-in with many events, including the US team at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

In May of 2015, I wrote a commentary criticizing the National Park Service (NPS) for selling branding rights of National Park images to Budweiser (owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, headquartered in Belgium) for $2.5 million. The agreement not only was a violation of the National Park Service guidelines, which specify that our public lands should not be affiliated with alcohol or tobacco products, but it also indicated that US government austerity policies were forcing entities that should be considered a "public good" to enter into the corporate branding tidal wave.

The "America" branding of Budweiser -- which will run through the November election and include the opportunistic slogan, ""America is in Your Hands" -- includes an image of the NPS-trademarked image of the Statue of Liberty, according to the trade publication Creativity (an offshoot of Ad Age). The use of the iconic statue -- and possibly other National Park Service-owned images -- by Budweiser during its election and US Olympic team branding initiative was made possible by the rights agreement we discussed in 2015.

The national advocacy alliance Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) -- which condemned the Budweiser relationship with the National Park Service -- is now warning of even more aggressive corporate branding arrangements being pursued by the Park Service. On May 9, it revealed in a news release.

mushroom cloud(Photo: The Official CTBTO Photostream)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

This BuzzFlash commentary could not have been published without the support of our dedicated readers. Ensure that we can publish more stories like this one by donating now!

"Look, nuclear should be off the table. But would there be a time when it could be used? Possibly, possibly . . ."

This is -- who else? -- Donald Trump, flexing, you might say, his nuclear trigger finger in an interview with Chris Matthews, who responds in alarm:

"OK. The trouble is, when you said that, the whole world heard it. David Cameron in Britain heard it. The Japanese, where we bombed them in '45, heard it. They're hearing a guy running for president of the United States talking of maybe using nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to hear that about an American president."

"Then why," Trump shoots back in all his politically incorrect, rattle-the-establishment naïveté, "are we making them? Why do we make them?"

Uh . . .

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 13:23

How to Feed the World as the Planet Warms

DR. DAVID SUZUKI OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Earth 0525wrp opt(Photo: NASA)Calculating farming’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is difficult, but experts agree that feeding the world’s people has tremendous climate and environmental impacts. Estimates of global emissions from farms range widely. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts them at 24 percent, including deforestation, making agriculture the second-largest emitter after heat and electricity.

Agriculture contributes to global warming in a number of ways. Methane and nitrous oxide, which are more potent than CO2 but remain in the atmosphere for shorter times, make up about 65 percent of agricultural emissions. Methane comes mainly from cattle and nitrous oxide from fertilizers and wastes.

According to the World Resources Institute, “Smaller sources include manure management, rice cultivation, field burning of crop residues and fuel use on farms.” Net emissions are also created when forests and wetlands are cleared for farming, as these “carbon sinks” usually absorb and store more carbon than the farms that replace them. Transporting and processing agricultural products also contribute to global warming.

We need to eat. So what’s the answer? That obesity is epidemic in parts of the world while people starve elsewhere and that an estimated one-third of food gets wasted, shows improving distribution and reducing waste are good places to start—but won’t be enough to significantly curtail agriculture’s contribution to climate change.

Reducing meat and animal-product consumption and production—especially beef—would cut emissions, but wouldn’t get us all the way.

JIM HIGHTOWER ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Uber 0525wrp(Photo: Guilhem Vellut)Pouty, whiney, spoiled-bratism is not nice coming from a four-year-old — but it's grotesque when it comes from billion-dollar corporate elites like Uber and Lyft.

The two internet-based ride-hiring brats call themselves "ridesharing" companies, but that's a deceit, for they don't share anything — their business model relies on folks needing a ride to hire a driver through the corporations' apps. With the bulk of the fare going to out-of-town corporate hedge funders.

The tow outfits have swaggered into cities all across our country, insisting that they're innovative, tech-driven geniuses. As such, they consider themselves above the fusty old laws that other transportation companies, like taxis, follow. So Uber and Lyft have made it a corporate policy to throw hissy fits when cities — from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Houston to Portland — have dared even to propose that they obey rules to protect customers and drivers.

The latest tantrum from the California giants happened in Austin, when the city council there adopted a few modest, perfectly-reasonable rules, despite the screams of PR flacks from both outfits. The petulant duo then used fibs and high-pressure tactics to get enough signatures on petitions to force a special election to overturn the council's action. Naturally, being brats, they gave the city an ultimatum — "Vote our way or we will leave town" — and assumed that Austin's tech-savvy voters would flock to do whatever the popular ride-sharing service wanted.

But they picked the wrong city. First, they ran a campaign of blatant lies, as though Austinites wouldn't question them. Then, they shoved a sickening level of corporate cash into their campaign, apparently thinking that the sheer tonnage of ads would win the day for them. However, the slicks from California turned out to be uber-goobers. Despite spending $9 million (more than the combined spending of all city council candidates in the past decade), they went down, 56-to-44 percent.

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