Freedom: Tales from Real Life

A Journal of People report

All love freedom. However, freedom faces hurdles within a reality. Freedom is not only an idea, a concept or a feeling. In real life, it has many dimensions, and the dimensions are real.

The following reports say something about freedom:

A Freed Person, But …

A Yahoo Lifestyle report – “Cyntoia Brown freed from prison after 15 years — here’s what obstacles she may face re-entering society” – by Paulina Cachero tells about Cyntoia Brown, a sex-trafficking survivor initially sentenced to life in prison for killing her abuser.Read More »

A letter from a reader on the poverty line: “I know what it means to go hungry for five days until you get your next paycheck”

by Quentin Fottrell

MarketWatch’s Moneyist | August 19, 2019

This woman from Texas, then aged 36, wrote to the Moneyist in September 2018. She didn’t have a college degree, said she would never earn more than $30,000 a year, and worked full-time for $15 an hour, in addition to a part-time job for $10 an hour. She paid $1,050 a month in rent.

The reason for her letter: She was about to inherit $150,000. It was more money than she had ever had in her life. She had grown up in a family that had experienced generations of poverty. It was a life-changing opportunity for her, and she did not want to waste it.

She wanted to get dental work done, invest some money and, if she could afford, buy a house. “I feel like this money is my chance to finally be financially safe and maybe have a shot at retiring. I’m just not sure which one will get me there safely and hopefully before I’m 70,” she wrote.Read More »

NAFTA 2.0: Still a job killer

by Chris Moore

People’s World | August 21, 2019

NAFTA 2.0: Still a job killer
Gregory Bull/AP

The following article reflects a discussion of the Communist Party Labor Commission. Send your comments or questions to You can also request notifications of future discussions.

DETROIT – What do NAFTA 2 and Donald Trump’s new tax law have in common? A little-noticed section of the new tax code encourages multinational corporations to invest in Mexico by granting them a 0% tax rate for such investments, compared to a 10% rate for U.S investments. Both NAFTA 2 and the new tax code continue down the path of sacrificing jobs of U.S. workers to generate super profits for billionaires.

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Union workers ordered: Go to Trump rally or don’t get paid

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | August 21, 2019

Union workers ordered: Go to Trump rally or don’t get paid
Trump gives thumbs up at rally where workers were forced to attend. | Carolyn Kaster/AP

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa.—If this happened during a union organizing drive, you’d call it a “h-u-uge” “captive audience” meeting.

Instead, it was an official presidential speech which GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump turned into a campaign-style event on August 13 at an under-construction Shell natural gas plant in Monaca, Pa., in Beaver County north of Pittsburgh.

And a Shell subcontractor ordered the workers to show up there or don’t get paid. Not only that, but they had to be in line at 7 a.m., have their ID cards scanned and then wait for hours – through lunchtime but with no lunch break – for Trump to talk. “No scan, no pay,” was the memo’s message.

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US’ claims of innocence in Hong Kong are fooling no one

by Ian Goodrum

People’s World | August 21, 2019

US’ claims of innocence in Hong Kong are fooling no one
A protester wearing a U.S. military costume waves a U.S. flag during an anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. | Vincent Thian / AP

For no particular reason, I’ve been thinking of Claude Rains in Casablanca lately. You remember him—the Moroccan police captain who is “shocked, shocked” to find gambling in Humphrey Bogart’s establishment during a raid, only to be handed his winnings without missing a beat.

You might wonder at the relevance of that famous movie moment. I’ll explain.

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Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience


The New Yorker | August 19, 2019

Silicon Valley is reckoning with the effects of its technology. Is this evidence of deep introspection, or of canny P.R.?
Illustration by Nick Little

There are two kinds of people: those who know nothing about Esalen and those who purport to know everything about it. To find out which kind of person you’re talking to, simply utter the three syllables (stress on the first, slant-rhyme with “mescaline”) and wait. In response, you’ll get either an uncomprehending stare or an effusion of tall tales. Have you heard the one about the poet and the astrophysicist who met in the Esalen hot springs and eloped the next week? How about the accountant who visited for the weekend, cured his depression with a single dose of ketamine, and became a Zen monk? The secret full-moon dance parties? The billionaire-C.E.O. sightings? “This isn’t a place,” a staffer told me while rolling a joint on a piece of rough-hewn garden furniture. “It’s a diaspora, a guiding light out of our collective darkness, an arrow pointing us toward the best way to be fully human.”

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USAID Agents Hold Meetings With Political Groups in Ecuador

teleSUR | August 04, 2019

Where USAID goes, the US military often follow
Where USAID goes, the US military often follow | Photo: USAID

USAID was expelled in 2014 by President Correa, but has found a more welcoming environment with the current administration who have shifted to the right.

The U.S. governmental organization USAID has announced that they will return to Ecuador following their expulsion in 2014, and held meetings with political groups at the U.S. embassy in Quito on Tuesday. The former leftist President Rafael Correa had expelled them in 2014 for interfering in national politics by funding right-wing opposition groups.

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Mexico: EZLN Announces Creation of New Rebel Municipalities

teleSURteleSUR | August 18, 2019

EZLN announced the creation of Centers of Autonomous Resistance and Rebellion, which will comprehend government councils and autonomous municipalities.
EZLN announced the creation of Centers of Autonomous Resistance and Rebellion, which will comprehend government councils and autonomous municipalities. | Photo: Reuters

“This exponential growth is due to the organizational and political work of the Zapatista women, men, children and elderly,” the group said.

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) published Saturday a statement to report the creation of new rebel and autonomous municipalities in different areas within the southwestern state of Chiapas in Mexico.

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The Corporate Capture of Agriculture

Offering Choice but Delivering Tyranny

by Colin Todhunter

Dissident Voice | August 18, 2019

Many lobbyists talk a lot about critics of genetic engineering technology denying choice to farmers. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies to maximise choice and options. At the same time, somewhat ironically, they decry organic agriculture and proven agroecological approaches, presumably because these practices have no need for the proprietary inputs of the global agrochemical/agritech corporations they are in bed with. And presumably because agroecology represents liberation from the tyranny of these profiteering, environment-damaging global conglomerates.Read More »