Austin to recommend prosecution of sexual assaults in the military be taken out of commanders’ hands

Source: CNN

“Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Tuesday announced he will recommend to President Joe Biden a change in the military justice system to take the prosecution of sexual assaults out of the hands of commanders. ‘We will work with Congress to amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice, removing the prosecution of sexual assaults and related crimes from the military chain of command,’ Austin said in a statement. A Pentagon review panel submitted recommendations to Austin in the spring, including a recommendation that independent authorities decide whether to prosecute service members in sexual assault cases. If adopted, the change would mark a significant departure from how the military handles sexual assault, which the Pentagon has argued for years should be treated within the chain of command.” (06/23/21)

The Feds Can’t Compel States to Enforce Restrictions on Guns or Immigrants

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

“When state and local officials decline to help enforce federal firearm rules they view as unconstitutional, The New York Times says, they are adopting ‘a legally shaky but politically potent strategy’ with racist roots. But when state and local officials decline to help enforce federal immigration rules they view as ‘unjust, self-defeating and harmful to public safety,’ the Times says, they should be ‘proud’ of ‘choos[ing] not to participate in deportation crackdowns.’ That blatant double standard illustrates how policy preferences and partisan allegiances color people’s views of federalism, which they tend to endorse when it serves their purposes and reject when it doesn’t. But as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Attorney General Eric Schmitt recently observed while defending that state’s Second Amendment Preservation Act, ‘you cannot have it both ways.'” (06/23/21)

The mounts of piety: A case study in Christian innovation

Source: Acton Institute
by Marcin Rzegocki

“Hard times require brave solutions. In times of economic hardship, it is important to look for ethical and moral solutions to address social problems and alleviate material poverty. One such example is the phenomenon of the montes pietatis, or the mounts of piety, a series of medieval Christian banking institutions that provided an innovative response to difficult times. Mounts of piety were small credit institutions conceived in late medieval Italy to support the poor in their personal and family difficulties.” (06/23/21)

Report: Gavin Newsom badly misled California on wildfire prevention efforts

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A striking new report from CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom alleges that Gov. Gavin Newsom made false and misleading statements related to wildfire prevention efforts in the state of California. CapRadio, which is the NPR affiliate in Sacramento, obtained data that shows Newsom has dramatically overstated the level of preventative work that has been done in advance of what is widely expected to be a challenging fire season.” (06/23/21)

The Police Can’t Be Reformed

Source: CounterPunch
by Nick Pemberton

“Last year I predicted that as a ploy to get more support for police officers, the media would frame a defunded police force as the reason for a rising crime rate. The headlines by the same media companies who claim to be woke read daily about crime. The media intends to scare the public. But their plan has hit a hiccup. The police are the ones scared, not the public. What am I referring to? The movement by police to cancel themselves and go on leave! While this did create the shortage of cops the media fear mongered about it looks a little different when the cops walked out on their comrades.” (06/23/21)

“Rules-Based International Order” Means Washington-Based International Order

Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
by Caitlin Johnstone

“The US government has shut down multiple news media websites based in the Middle East, including Iran’s state-owned Press TV, and al-Masirah TV which is owned by the Houthi group Ansarullah in Yemen. The Department of Justice said on Tuesday it had seized 36 Iranian-linked websites, claiming without evidence that they were associated with ‘either disinformation activities or violent organizations’ and were shut down for a violation of US sanctions. This would be the same US government that is imprisoning Julian Assange for journalism which exposed US war crimes, the same US government which paid for the weapons used to destroy more than 20 Palestinian media outlets in Gaza last month, the same US government whose unipolar domination of the planet is made possible by the journalism-destroying propaganda of the media-owning plutocratic class in alliance with sociopathic government agencies.” (06/23/21)

Argentina: Regime skips default thanks to agreement with Paris Club

Source: MercoPress [Uruguay]

“Argentina’s Economy Minister Martin Guzman Tuesday announced that the Paris Club had agreed to give his country until March 31, 2022, to pay the US $ 430 million in instalments while the rest of the debt is renegotiated. Guzman explained the understanding to extend payment terms saved Argentina from another default. ‘A default situation would have been a blow to the economy that would have done particular damage,’ he said. … The minister insisted the Government was making progress in international negotiations to ‘create conditions of predictability that are conducive to enabling Argentina to sustain economic recovery and aim at the objectives of job creation, inflation reduction, poverty reduction and economic growth.'” (06/23/21)