CVIndependent

Sun08182019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

National/International

09 Aug 2019
The week after Donald Trump launched his racist attack on U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, which came on the heels of his racist attacks on four nonwhite Democratic members of Congress, my hometown paper gave its resident MAGA apologist, J. Peder Zane, ink to argue that the president and his Republican Party are not, in fact, racist, but rather the victims of a “false narrative” painted by Democrats, who are the real racists. While Trump may have been “insensitive” in calling a mostly black congressional district with a median income above the national average “a disgusting rat- and rodent-infested mess,” Zane tells us, a “fair-minded person, while hoping that the president would be more precise, should see that he is not a racist.” Four days later,…
31 Jul 2019
Editor’s Note: Informed Dissent is a column, by alternative newsmedia veteran Jeffrey C. Billman, that explores the age of Trump, mixing political and historical insights with biting, unapologetic commentary. It will appear a couple of times per month at CVIndependent.com. By my count, Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees last Wednesday, July 24, produced six significant headlines. He confirmed that he had not exonerated President Trump. He said that Trump asked his staff to falsify records. He suggested there were “currently” FBI investigations into whether people in Trump’s orbit were compromised. He agreed that Trump’s written answers to his questions were not “always truthful.” He admitted (more or less) that Trump had met the three elements of obstruction of justice. And,…
30 Jul 2019
When Antoinette Martinez rolls her cart through the produce section of the FoodMaxx in Watsonville, her 5-year-old son, Caden, often asks for strawberries and blueberries. Sometimes Martinez bends, but usually she sticks to the produce on sale: Roma tomatoes for 69 cents a pound, or cucumbers at three for 99 cents. Banana bunches are relatively cheap. “If it’s not under a dollar, then I don’t buy it,” Martinez said, bypassing $2 lettuce as Caden clambered into her grocery cart. “It’s about stretching the dollar.” The food budget isn’t as tight as it used to be since Martinez, a single mother, got a job at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Santa Cruz County. She helps people sign up for food stamps, known in California as…
05 Dec 2018
At 8:29 a.m. on Nov. 30, part of the rock slab underneath the water 7 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, shifted, causing a magnitude 7 earthquake. As Anchorage was preparing for the day, the quake ripped apart roads, shattered windows and ruptured water and gas lines in and around the city. While officials are still assessing the damage, the biggest impacts appear to be to infrastructure—there were no reports of deaths caused by the quake. The response to such an event is extensive and wide-ranging: Across the globe, seismometers—instruments that measure tiny ground movements—recorded the earthquake’s signals. Scientists at the Alaska Earthquake Center and elsewhere started piecing together what happened and monitoring the hundreds of aftershocks that followed. Federal officials briefly issued a warning for…
09 Oct 2018
by  - 
“Fake news” is not a new thing. In Censored 2019: Fighting the Fake News Invasion, Project Censored’s vivid cover art recalls H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. The situation today may feel as desolate as the cover art suggests. “Censored 2019 is a book about fighting fake news,” editors Andy Lee Roth and Mickey Huff observed in the book’s introduction. In the end, they argued that “critical media education—rather than censorship, blacklists, privatized fact-checkers, or legislative bans—is the best weapon for fighting the ongoing fake news invasion.” Project Censored’s annual list of 25 censored stories, which makes up the book’s lengthy first chapter, is one of the best resources one can have for such education. Project Censored has long been engaged in much more than…
02 Aug 2018
by  - 
Editor’s note: When Aaron Cantú arrived at his new job at the Santa Fe Reporter—an alternative newspaper like the Independent—last year, he came with the baggage of a recent arrest. Two months earlier, he spent a night in jail with hundreds of others detained during protests on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C. His actions consisted of walking, wearing black and being a witness to history as a freelance journalist. Yet a few months later, federal prosecutors slammed him with eight felony charges, including conspiracy to riot and property damage—despite no clear evidence of such crimes. After nearly 18 months, the feds dropped the charges. Cantú (right; photo by Anson Stevens-Bollen) is finally able to publicly reflect on the ordeal. Read the full timeline of events…
03 Jul 2018
by  - 
This is the final Democracy in Crisis column that I will be writing. I remember the urgency with which it started. I was super-stoned in a Denver hotel room just days after Trump was elected. Editors at various alternative newspapers had been wringing their hands about how to deal with Trump. Many of these papers had been militantly local during the Obama era—when I was managing editor of Baltimore City Paper, my unofficial motto was “militantly Baltimorean.” But now it seemed that whenever someone picked up their local paper, they would want to see some news from the “alternative” angle—the independent, insouciant and fiercely opinionated alternative press. Now, more than 70 weekly columns later (the Independent ran the column once or twice per month), either…
03 Jun 2018
by  - 
The U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia—which has spent the last year and a half prosecuting people who protested the president’s inauguration—has been sanctioned by a judge for failing to hand over evidence to the defense, a major breach in court procedure that endangers the justice system itself. On Jan. 20, 2017—aka J20—Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department threw more than 70 “non-lethal” grenades, sometimes hitting innocent bystanders in the head, and emptied dozens of canisters of tear gas against protesters, before cordoning off more than 200 people and charging them all with a conspiracy to riot. Relying on a theory that anyone in black conspired to destroy property, the federal government charged more than 200 people with breaking just a few windows. The…

Page 1 of 5