JFK to 911:Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick



“Carceral Conglomerate” Makes Millions From Families of the Incarcerated

 t r u t h o u t 02.13

 “Carceral Conglomerate” Makes Millions From Incarcerated, Their Friends and Families

Brian Dolinar and James Kilgore, Truthout: Dallas-based Securus Technologies has become a carceral conglomerate. Building off its profits in the $1.2 billion-per-year prison phone industry, the company has branched out into video visitation, electronic monitoring and other technologies for prisons and jails.


“Why Muslim Lives Don’t Matter” — Interviews Available

Institute for Public Accuracy                                                         

 Institute for Public Accuracy

980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045

(202) 347-0020 [1] * [2] *


Friday, February 13, 2015

“Why Muslim Lives Don’t Matter”

Interviews Available

NBC News is reporting [3]: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is launching a ‘preliminary inquiry’ into the killings of three people near the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tuesday — slayings that authorities say were carried out by a neighbor upset over parking.

“But the families of Deah Barakat, 23, a dentistry student at the university; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her 19-year-old sister, Razan Abu-Salha, believe they may have been killed because they are Muslim … [by] Craig Stephen Hicks, a self-described ‘gun-toting’ atheist. …

“The funeral service was held [Thursday] on a field at North Carolina State University to accommodate the overflow crowd who came to mourn…”


[4], @KhaledBeydoun [5]

Beydoun is an assistant professor of law at the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. Nadia El-Zein Tonova is director of the National Network of Arab American Communities.

They wrote the piece “Why Muslim lives don’t matter [6],” which states: “Irrespective of what rallying cries, signs or adapted hashtags proclaim, Muslim lives in America don’t matter. The aftermath of the murder of the three American students in Chapel Hill, and the broader context that

spurred it, reconfirms this brutal truth. …

“State-run programming targeting Muslims marks members of that demographic as presumptively suspicious. NSA surveillance and counter-extremism programming, PATRIOT and Suspicious Activity Reporting strategies, are shaped within government walls. But these policies also shape stereotypes and spur violence far beyond them.

“This comprehensive programming, which is both synchronised and expanding, is built upon age-old perceptions of Muslims as ‘enemy combatants,’ ‘national security risks,’ and ‘unassimilable.’

“Past laws that restricted the naturalisation of Muslims were built upon racist and Orientalist tropes. However, state policies that profile and persecute today are still based on these very baselines.

“In addition to enabling discriminatory state tactics, anti-Muslim laws and programming sanction widely held stereotypes of Muslims as violent and unruly, threatening and anti-American. By endorsing these stereotypes, this

network of anti-Muslim laws and programming embolden private citizens, like Hicks, to take justice into their own hands.

“It would be a misnomer to single out anti-Muslim laws and policies as spurring Islamophobic and anti-Arab culture. Rather, it pronounces this already existing psychosis, which is magnified by slanted news coverage and cinematic misrepresentations, illustrated vividly in films such as American Sniper.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 [1], (202) 421-6858 [7];

David Zupan, (541) 484-9167 [8]

Contact information: Institute for Public Accuracy, Institute for Public

Accuracy, 980 National Press Building, Washington, DC 20045



[1] tel:%28202%29%20347-0020



[4] tel:%28313%29%20910-5170




A Brilliant Plan


Dear friends,

We all know that dark money is strangling our democracy, with mega corporations like Chevron and Exxon secretly spending billions to buy elections. Obama just called for massive reform, and now some brilliant Harvard law professors have hatched a plan so his administration can end secret political spending with a pen stroke.

The obscure government agency that regulates public companies — the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — can act on its own to force corporations to disclose political spending. The SEC doesn’t need a mandate from Congress, and the new rule would be constitutionally bullet-proof.

Until now SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White has bowed to big money blackmail and blocked the proposed rule. But she doesn’t want the SEC budget slashed — so she’s vulnerable to pressure from the White House and Democrats on key spending committees in Congress.

The SEC is deciding its agenda for the year right now. If we act fast, we can push our allies to make it too costly for White to ignore the massive public outcry:


A Moral Imperative: Release Aging and Long-Term Prisoners

T r u t h o u t   2.10                                                               

 A Moral Imperative: Release Aging and Long-Term Prisoners

Jean Trounstine, Truthout: Long-term prisoners who have committed violent crimes are the least likely to recidivate upon release – but we keep too many locked up until death. Our policies on sentencing and release need a massive overhaul.

Prodigal Bob Dylan

Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books: Bob Dylan’s sung poetry stands for, and continues, the popular forms deemed unworthy of academic consideration. But thanks to a new collection of his lyrics, edited by Christopher Ricks, Lisa Nemrow and Julie Nemrow, nobody is going to make that mistake with Dylan again.


Art House Gallery & Cultural Center is Now Available


 Art House Gallery & Cultural Center is now available for Meetings, Private Party’s

and all kinds of Special Events! Call 510-472-3170


Breaking News: Confirmed – Grand Canyon Wolf Killed

Defenders of Wildlife                                                                                                                                            

Crisis – Wolves on the Brink

Dear PB reader,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to share the news – the Grand Canyon wolf is dead.

DNA analysis confirms that the female wolf shot and killed on December 28th in Utah was the same wolf that some in the Southwest had nicknamed “Echo.” Not long ago, she captured the world’s imagination by showing up on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon – hundreds of miles from her birthplace in the Northern Rockies. She was the first wild wolf to see the Grand Canyon in 70 years.

Her death is a cautionary tale – a glimpse into the dark future facing so many of America’s wolves if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service goes through with its proposed national delisting.

I know you love wolves as much as I do. So won’t you please make a generous donation today to Defenders of Wildlife – for the wolves and other vulnerable wildlife?


eNews: Red wolves in Trouble… Again!

Defenders of Wildlife                                                                                             

 Defenders of Wildlife eNews

eNews: Red wolves in trouble again!

Action of the month:

Tell FWS to Stand Strong on Red Wolves!

North Carolina’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has asked FWS to give up on red wolves and shut down the wolf’s recovery program in the wild! Please urge FWS to stand strong on red wolf recovery!


Feature: America’s Wildlife Refuges Belong to All of Us

The Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain is a priceless landscape of pristine land and deserves the utmost protection.

Wins for Wildlife: A Traveler in Trouble Gets the Protections it Needs

The red knot has a long path to recovery, but with our help, this shorebird will keep making its amazing journey in 2015 and beyond.


Wandering Wolf OR-7 and his Family Named “Rogue Pack” in Oregon

Oregon’s famous wandering wolf is now officially the leader of his own pack!


Defending Wildlife:

White House Suggests Smart Planning, Congress May Say No


NEPA is one of the most important environmental laws that most people have never heard of. And it continues to come under attack.


From Humanitarian Impact to the NPT: Sign the Global Petition to Eliminate Nukes!


Help to Get 20,000 Extra Copies of Presente Distributed!

Dear Supporter,

Do you want to receive a copy of Presente, the newspaper of the movement to close the School of the Americas sent to your home? To sign up for free, visit:

Presente is already the most widely-read Latin America Solidarity publication in North America, but we won’t stop there. We want to expand the reach of the paper even further! Can you help to increase the print run by 20,000 copies?


Hottest Year Ever

t r u t h o u t 2.11                                                                                                         

Hottest Year Ever

Bruce Melton, Truthout: The 2014 average global temperature was “very likely” the highest ever recorded, but only by a little bit. Still, regardless of how global temperatures are calculated and the IPCC uses statistical language, climate change is real, the Greenland ice sheet is melting and sea levels are rising.


Intercontinental Cry: UN Registered Barro Blanco                                  Hydroelectric Dam Temporarily Suspended

Intercontinental Cry                                                                                               

 UN registered Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Dam temporarily suspended over non-compliance with Environmental Impact Assessment

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 03:35 PM PST


Islamic State Fighters Seize Parts of Western Iraqi Town

Citizens for Legitimate Government



*Richard Wolff**, Time to Change This Capitalist System: Oh Yes, We Can*

*February 15, Sunday, 7:30 pm*

*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Berkeley,

2345 Channing Way,


*Hosted by*: Sasha Lilley


*Tickets and more information: *




*Robert Scheer*, *They Know Everything About You*


*February 26, Thursday, 7:30 pm*


*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Berkeley,

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

*Hosted by*: Philip Maldari


*Tickets and more information: *




*Tom Hayden*, *Cuba and the U.S.*

*March 18, Wednesday, 7:30 pm*

*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Berkeley,

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

*Hosted by*: Gloria LaRiva

*Tickets and more information: **



*Mario Martinez**, The Mind Body Code*


*March 25, Wednesday, 7:30 pm*

*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Berkeley,

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley

*Hosted by*: Dr. Michael Lenoir


*Tickets and more information forthcoming:




*Mario Martinez**, The Mind Body Code*


*March 27, Friday, 7:30 pm*


*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Oakland,

2501 Harrison St, Oakland


*Hosted by*: Dr. Michael Lenoir


Tickets and more information: *



*Penny Rosenwasser**, The Age of Dignity*

*April 8, Wednesday, 7:30 pm*

*Venue*: The Hillside Club,

2286 Cedar St, Berkeley


*Tickets and more information forthcoming*


*Mario Marazziti**, 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty*


*April 15, Wednesday, 7:30 pm*

*Venue*: The Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St, Berkeley


*Tickets and more information forthcoming*


*Ai-Jen Poo**, The Age of Dignity*


*April 26, Sunday, 7:30 pm*


*Venue*: Oakland Asian Cultural Center,

388 Ninth St Ste 290, Oakland


*Host: *Mitch Jeserich


*With*: Angela Glover Blackwell


*Tickets and more information forthcoming*


*Chris Hedges**, Wages of Rebellion*


*June 9, Tuesday, 7:30 pm*


*Venue*: First Congregational Church of Berkeley,

2345 Channing Way, Berkeley


*Tickets and more information forthcoming*


*Michelle Goldberg**, The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi*


*June 18, Thursday, 7:30 pm*


*Venue*: The Hillside Club,  2286 Cedar St, Berkeley


*Tickets and more information forthcoming*



*Tickets available at ***

<>*, **800-838-3006* <file:///tel/800-838-3006>*,

and at independent bookstores at least one month prior to each event. Event posters online at *** <>*. *

*Full information at or ***



Mexican Government Opts for Repression

Global Exchange                                                                                                                        Ted Lewis                                                                                              

Dear Supporter,

The mass abduction of students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college, last September, generated a movement of mass repudiation so strong and so deep that it is giving rise to a whole new era of struggle against political repression in Mexico.

As Francisco Goldman details in a recent New Yorker article, the attorney general of the PRI government has attempted to quell criticism by conducting large-scale arrests and staging press conferences based on an evolving “official story” about the abductions that no one really believes. Despite strong circumstantial evidence of possible Army involvement in the crime, no serious investigation of military movements and communications during the hours in question has been undertaken.

[ ]

John Gibler is an independent journalist who has been an important source of information for Global Exchange and for many media organizations during this crisis. He is quoted extensively in Goldman’s piece. So is Marcela Turati of the independent progressive journalist organization, Periodistas de a Pie.

These journalists, like many others report that as the eyes of the world stray from Mexico, the state is turning up the repression, notch by notch.

If you would like to hear or share more, check out this NPR Radio piece John Gibler did about the Ayotzinpa case and its consequences for WBUR in Boston.

[ ]

Here in the United States supporters of the Ayotzinapa families have been busy organizing events and other support. That includes raising money that will help the Ayotzinapa families and students continue their search for their loved ones and for justice.

Supporters on the US side of the border have begun to organize speaking tours and support delegations this spring help build what has become an international movement to end violence, repression, and build a genuinely democratic Mexico.

As soon as visas are obtained and dates are firmed up for the extensive US tours being planned by Ayotzinapa survivors we will let you know via this list.

If you have ideas or want to support in the meantime, please feel free to write me:, tel. 415-575-5533.

[ ]

Ted Lewis

Human Rights Director

Global Exchange


Obama Asks Congress to Authorize Another Endless War

Common Dreams


NYPD Officer Pleads Not Guilty After Rare                                                        Indictment for Killing Unarmed Black Man

The Real News


 [48 Hills] Part Two: Who’s Watching to Make Sure That                                  Chevron’s Oil-Field Wastewater is Safe

Marc Norton                                                                                            



Who’s watching to make sure that Chevron’s oil-field wastewater is safe to use for irrigating crops?

48 HILLS [1]

February 13, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Marc Norton


As reported in PART ONE [2] earlier this month, it is an open secret that Chevron is selling oil production wastewater to corporate farmers in Kern County. That water is used to irrigate crops such as almonds, oranges, potatoes, wheat and many more common foods — food that may be on your dinner plate tonight.

Meanwhile, state regulators who are responsible for insuring the safety of our water supply are in the midst of a scandal, having allowed California

oil companies, particularly in Kern County, to inject oil production wastewater — “a blend of briny water, hydrocarbons and trace chemicals” — into federally-protected groundwater aquifers that contained water that had been clean enough to drink.

Here is PART TWO of our report from the Central Valley oil fields.


Chevron’s Kern River oil operation, situated north of Bakersfield, is the fifth-largest oil field in the country.

“There were over 3.5 billion barrels initially in the field, and 2 billion barrels have been produced over the last 100 years,” Jeff Hatlen, a senior petroleum engineer for Chevron, says in a Chevron-produced video.

“The oil’s thick and viscous. Think molasses,” Hatlen continues. “To get more of it out of the ground, we needed a new technology. That became steam flooding. So we’ve just generated steam in a cogeneration plant. We bring it through pipelines. The steam runs through the ground, heats up the oil, heats up the water, and then brings it to our wells that lift it up from 1,000 feet _— _nine thousand of these wells, over 20 square miles. For every barrel of oil, we’re lifting 10 barrels of water.”

“Think in Chevron at Kern River as a water company that skims oil,” says Jim Waldron, a Chevron “hydrogeologist.”

Chevron puts about 20 million gallons of this water a day through “minimal filtration,” then sells the water to the Cawelo Water District in Kern County. The Cawelo Water District in turn sells it to corporate farmers to irrigate their crops.

The Cawelo Water District has been buying water from Chevron for more than two decades, but purchases were greatly expanded in 2007, after Chevron built an 8.5 mile canal from its processing plant. Last year, in the midst of the ongoing drought, the Cawelo Water District got half of its water from Chevron.

The state agency responsible for overseeing Chevron’s oil production wastewater “recycling” program is the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. I talked to Clay Rodgers, the Assistant Executive Officer in charge of the Fresno office. He told me that the water from the Kern River oil field is “fairly good quality” and that it would be a shame to waste it.



State regulators responsible for insuring the safety of our water supply are not looking too good these days. Following the recent story by the _San Francisco Chronicle_ about state regulators allowing oil companies to inject dirty oil production wastewater into federally protected groundwaternaquifers, Associated Press expanded on this scandal with a new REPORT [3].

According to Associated Press, “regulators in California… have authorized oil companies to inject production fluids and waste into what are now federally protected aquifers more than 2,500 times, risking contamination of underground water supplies that could be used for drinking water or irrigation.”

EVEN MORE DAMNING, ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS THAT “nearly half of these injection wells… were permitted or began injection in the last four years under Gov. Jerry Brown, who has pushed state oil and gas regulators to speed up the permitting process.”

“We don’t know how this got approved,” said Jason Marshall, the deputy director of the California Department of Conservation, according to Associated Press.

“THE OIL RIGS ARE MOVING IN KERN COUNTY,” GOV. BROWN TOLD A SACRAMENTO CROWD IN 2012. “There’s going to be screw-ups. There’s going to be bankruptcies. There’ll be indictments, and there’ll be deaths. But we’re going to keep going.”


The oil production wastewater that Chevron delivers to the Cawelo Water District comes from wells that have been “steam flooded.” Steam flooding does not involve adding any chemicals to the water or the oil wells, at least according to Chevron.

But a more controversial method of oil production that does involve chemicals has been much in use in recent years, including Kern County, and wastewater from these wells has presumably been part of the wastewater that was illegally injected into federally-protected aquifers.

 That method is called “fracking.”

Fracking is a relatively new way of getting at oil and gas that is trapped in shale rock, and would otherwise be impossible to get out of the ground. Frackers inject fracking fluid _— _a combination of water, sand, and a large variety of chemicals _—_ into oil wells at very high pressures. That breaks open the shale rock and releases the trapped oil and gas.

Fracking fluid can included hundreds of chemicals, many of them toxic. But the oil companies rarely have to disclose what chemicals they use, because this information has been considered a “trade secret.” Recent state legislation now requires public disclosure of the chemicals being put into fracking fluid, but so far lax state enforcement has rendered this new law close to meaningless.

Some chemicals that have shown up in studies of fracking fluids include sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, methanol, ammonia, napthalene, benzene, toluene, xylene, and even diesel fuel, among others.

Some claim to have found lead, mercury and uranium in the mix.

There is a growing movement in opposition to fracking. Just last Saturday, February 7, thousands of protesters gathered in Oakland under the banner of the MARCH FOR REAL CLIMATE LEADERSHIP [4]. Opponents of fracking fear that the process contaminates our water, land and air, and that the increased production of oil that fracking is bringing about will worsen global warming and all the risks attendant to continued reliance on fossil fuels.

The movement against fracking has had some notable successes. New York State and Vermont have banned the process. In California, San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties _—_ a block of counties to the northwest of Kern County _—_ have banned fracking.  The Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved a moratorium on fracking, but is still working on implementing legislation.  Beverly Hills bans fracking. Butte County in the north and La Habra Heights in the Southland have scheduled votes on a ban.

FOOD AND WATER WATCH [5] counts over 450 communities that have banned fracking.

Under pressure from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and numerous press reports, state regulators have proposed to the EPA that oil companies be allowed to continue injecting oil production wastewater into federally protected aquifers for nine more months, through October 15, and into a smaller set of federally protected aquifers through February 2017. This proposal comes form the same state agency — the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) —_that has allowed oil companies to contaminate these aquifers for many years.


Chevron says that the water it delivers to the Cawelo Water District does not include fracking fluid. There is reason to believe this claim, given that the Kern River oil field historically has not included wells drilled into the shale rock that gets oil companies fracking.

But it is notable that the increased use of Kern River oil production wastewater coincides with increased fracking in parts of Kern County.

I asked Rodgers from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board if there might be fracking fluid in the wastewater delivered to the Cawelo Water District. He answered that there was no fracking fluid in the wastewater “to our knowledge.” He said this is because the board is“unaware” of any fracking in the Kern River oil field. However, he added, if regulators became aware of any fracking in that area, his “answer might be a little different.”

I also asked Rodgers about the wastewater injection scandal. He was at pains to point out that the injection program is not overseen by the water board, but by DOGGR. He said that the water board had not had concerns about the injection program “historically,” but that when the scandal began coming into public view last spring “we became a little more concerned.”

I posed the same question about fracking fluid to Steven Bohlen, the head of DOGGR. Brown appointed Bohlen to lead the division last June.

Bohlen told me that “Given the location, it’s very unlikely wells were hydraulically fractured in this area. We would need to know the wells from whence the water came to be certain. The Regional Water Quality Control Board would certainly know about the water quality and quality assurance in the Cawelo Water District.”

Bohlen is known as a strong supporter of fracking. He recently was quoted saying that “DOGGR is confident well-stimulation treatment activities can continue in California without the kind of environmental problems that have plagued well-stimulation treatment in other states with lesser levels of environmental protection.”

It seems a little contradictory that Bohlen would take a swipe at regulators in other states, while in the midst of the oil production wastewater injection scandal here in California. But then, according to Associated Press, he has minimized this scandal and remains “determined to both ‘manage the transition’ back into compliance with federal law and to ‘maintain a robust oil industry.’ ”

I also posed the question about fracking fluid in the Cawelo Water District irrigation water to California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, who was appointed to this position by Brown in 2011. Laird was an elected politician in Santa Cruz and the state legislature for many years and has a relatively progressive reputation. I also knew Laird a bit years ago when we both attended the University of California at Santa Cruz.

I emailed Laird and then talked to his staff. His staff promised that he would get back to me soon. That was mid-January. I have not heard from Laird or his staff since then.

The reader will be forgiven if you conclude that the responses I got from Rodgers, Bohlen and Laird seem designed more to provide plausible deniability of any problems, rather than being indicative of a real effort to insure that the water Chevron supplies to the Cawelo Water District is safe.


Last week I drove to Los Angeles to see my 98-year-young father, who just got out of the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. He is recovering well at home, thank you.

On the way home, I decided to scoot up Highway 99 and take a look around Chevron’s Kern River oil field. There are a lot of oil wells there:

While snooping around, I discovered a reservoir that Chevron uses for its oil production wastewater business, located just southwest of the intersection of Lerdo Highway and Highway 65:

I would have liked to get a more close-up photo, but circumstances did not permit that.

I did, however, find a canal that runs off to the north containing water from this facility. This canal runs alongside a dirt road that leads to the Camp Hamilton Veteran’s Memorial Park (which is a story by itself for another time), and just to the east of the Kern County Juvenile Treatment Facility and the Kern Count Sheriff Lerdo Detention Facilities.

Here is the canal:

I can report that the water in the canal is quite warm, about the temperature of a warm bath.  But I would not advise bathing in this water, since it’s so murky that you cannot see even an inch past the surface.

The beat goes on.

_Marc Norton’s website is [6].











JFK to 911:Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick

HUMANIST HALL FILM – OAKLAND                                                             


Hello Mindful Media Makers,


Please post the following film on your community                                                                    bulletin boards by February 18 to be shown

Wednesday, February 18 at 7:30 pm

Humanist Hall                                                                                                                                          390 27th Street

uptown Oakland, between                                                                                                           Telegraph and Broadway

Film evenings begin with optional potluck refreshments & social hour                                         at 6:30 pm, followed by the film at 7:30 pm, followed by optional                                  discussion after the film.


JFK to 911:Everything Is A Rich Man’s Trick                                                                                      by Francis Richard Conolly

Another 50 Minutes of this film shown each Wednesday evening


For this film, see YouTube:

Humanist Hall is wheelchair accessible                                                                                       around the corner at 411 28th Street

$5 donations are expected.

Thanks for making mindful media,



*Researching the Big Picture . . . . Humanist Hall*



Bay Area Progressive Directory Calendars of Events

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The struggle continues, as expected!


John Vance – Editor/Publisher/Compiler                                                                                Peoples Bark News Berkeley



















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