Questionable Content

An inexpert attempt at contradicting the contradictions

March 2011

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3/31

100 Years After Triangle Fire, Immigrant Workers Still Fighting for Labor Rights
by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger
The Media Consortium

*History repeating

Society retreating

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/31-3
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A Primer on Class Struggle
by Michael Schwalbe

*Excellent piece on calling a spade what it is

A shovel upside our heads

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/31-4
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Obama on Libya: George W. Bush 2.0
by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

*No paunch or Caucasian coloration, but the man does a damn good impression of his immediate predecessors, doesn’t he?

It’s a killer act.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/31-0
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Return to Wisconsin: The Beginning or the End?
by Andy Kroll

*I hope Kroll’s right about the igniting of a spirit of activism, and I hope it’s independent of what passes for an institutional left in this country.

Unions in large measure have only themselves to blame for their, and our, predicament, by aligning themselves with a party that is only slightly less committed to the predilections of profit than its rival.  In doing so, they’ve bought into a system that their forebears fought and died in opposition to.

I’m going to check out the Autonomous Solidarity Organization mentioned here.  I’m hoping they have a commitment to a broadbased struggle, encompassing all the assaults on the underclass, working class and middle class.

Nothing less is gonna cut it, is it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/31-12
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Wisconsin Governor Defies Court, Prepares for Coronation
by Mary Bottari

*More Badgerland badness from the Tea Party animals, and efforts underway to cage them

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/31-3
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Earthjustice
Judge Puts Brakes on Kansas Coal-Fired Power Plant
Federal support for troubled Sunflower project violates federal law

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/31-4
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Beyond Nuclear
Citizen Action in Japan Prevented Larger Plutonium Disaster at Fukushima Reactor 3
Plans to use MOX in U.S. reactors in doubt after fuel flaws

*This makes crystal clear the necessity of putting our mouths – and whatever else we have to – where their money is, doesn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/31-5
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Institute for Public Accuracy
As Japan Disaster Spreads, Threatening U.S., Obama Embraces Nuclear Power

*No “bamboozling” extant, is there?

The corpress knows this is industry and gummint propaganda, and is complicit in passing it along as “expert analysis”.

Words matter.  Don’t portray these bastards as merely incompetent, when we’re talking about a criminal contradiction to journalistic ethics, aren’t we?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/as-japan-disaster-spreads-threatening-u-s-obama-embraces-nuclear-power/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Jeremy Scahill and Ex-DIA Analyst Joshua Foust on “The Dangerous U.S. Game in Yemen” & CIA Ops in Libya

*This is what’s so often so goddamn frustrating about DN!.  They bring some former establishment type on to talk about “strategy and tactics” in the GWOT, and the moral dimension gets lost, doesn’t it?

And any outlet truly concerned about that would be examining at every opportunity how the US uses “terrorism” as a stalking horse for its imperial agenda, and that “threats to the homeland” aren’t an unalloyed negative for that agenda, don’t you think?

If you don’t have boogeymen, you don’t need an ever-expanding security state, do you?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/31/jeremy_scahill_and_ex_dia_analyst

Libya’s Eman al-Obeidi Remains Missing Since Risking Life to Tell Story of Rape by Gaddafi’s Forces

*And as frustrating as they can be, as I said below, they can present segments like this, which give us greater detail and insight into an horrific situation.

There’s just no legitimate reason for the inconsistency, is there?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/31/libyas_eman_al_obeidi_remains_missing

Supreme Court Weighs Massive Lawsuit Accusing Retail Giant Wal-Mart for Sexual Discrimination Against Female Workers

*Ladies last

And good on Odle for fighting for her sisters

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/31/supreme_court_hears_weighs_massive_suit

3/30

What Location Tracking Looks Like
by Seth Schoen
Deeplinks Blog/EFF

*Big Brother’s buddies are watching you, too

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/30-2
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Back at You, Glenn Beck
by Stephen Lerner

*How do we truly scare the scaremongers?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/30-4
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The Dangerous US Game in Yemen
by Jeremy Scahill

*Much useful intel, as per usual with the author.

As to how to “pull the rug out from under” radicalization?

That would require an entirely different raison d’etre for the United States, wouldn’t it?

It would have to end its centuries-long imperial march, and start living by the principles whose principal purpose at present is to provide cover for that bloody path.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/30-12
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How to Waste Money and Lives: The American Prison System
by Celia Chazelle

*Fine piece, but left unexamined is the role of the prison industrial complex.

Never overlook the profit motive.

Corporations don’t.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/30-9
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Libya: * Who Are the Rebels? * WikiLeaks

*Am I right in interpreting the WikiLeaks intel as the US taking
advantage of the rage engendered by its actions in the region to fuel
the rebellion against Gadafi?

That would seem to indicate a schizophrenic view of the US on the part of the rebels, as hated enemy and vital supporter, wouldn’t it?

If that’s the case, I’d like to see some solid analysis on just how that plays out should Gadafi be defeated, or the country partitioned, with the rebels gaining control of much of the oil-producing area, as well as on the unity, or lack of, among the various rebelling factions regarding the alliance with the West, secular and religious divisions, or any other schisms.

I think most folks, including me, have a very unclear view of just who’s who, and what they stand for.

http://www.accuracy.org/release/libya-who-are-the-rebels-wikileaks/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“Prescription for Survival”: A Debate on the Future of Nuclear Energy Between Anti-Coal Advocate George Monbiot and Anti-Nuclear Activist Dr. Helen Caldicott

*I don’t think I need to add anything to Caldicott’s arguments, other than to wonder why Monbiot has such faith in these UN institutions, which are subject to intense pressures by governments seeking to protect corporate profits.

And his stance on the immense dangers of coal is of course warranted, but as Caldicott points out, we have the ability to transition from all forms of dirty energy, including nukes, to truly clean varieties.

We have to fight to create the political context that allows us to do so, and in doing so, pulls us away from the precipice.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/30/prescription_for_survival_a_debate_on

Haitians Deported from the U.S. Held in “Absolutely Horrific” Conditions

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/30/haitians_deported_from_the_us_held

Haitians Face Imminent Eviction from Displaced Persons Camps

*A heartrending tale of broken promises, collapsed principles, and shattered lives

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/30/haitians_face_imminent_eviction_displaced_persons

3/29

Billion-Plus People to Lack Water in 2050: Study
by Shaun Tandon
Agence France Presse

*Despite the optimism expressed, what will that “global assistance fund” look like nine years from now, considering all the unkept promises of a similar nature?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/29-2
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America’s Growing Intolerance
How “Enemy Creep” Is Guantanamo-izing America
by Karen Greenberg

*Create an atmosphere of fear

Give the frightened a scapegoat to focus that fear, and rage, on

Promise to protect them from that “enemy”

Sound familiar?

Like the sound of goosestepping jackboots?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/29-5
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The End of Empire
Wall Street’s days are numbered. Ours need not be.
by David Korten

*The imperial road takes us to a literal dead end

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/29-2
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The Rich Get Richer While Nurses, Teachers, and Firefighters Get Trounced
The Deficit Hawks Target Nurses and Firefighters
by Dean Baker

*Feeding on the carrion of a middle class life

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/29-4
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Assault on Public Unions an Affront to Women’s Historic Gains
by Susan Feiner

*The thrust of the piece is legit, of course, but the party animals gone wild here come from both frat houses.

It’s a disservice to the victims to paint this as solely a Republican pillage, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/29-3
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‘Worse Than Chernobyl’: When the Fukushima Meltdown Hits Groundwater
by Tom Burnett

*I don’t know how likely this is to occur.

I do know that the fact that it has even a chance of occurring should be enough to end this insanity once and for all, shouldn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/29-6
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Libya: “Hidden Agendas” and “Vital Interests”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/libya-hidden-agendas-and-vital-interests/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“We Have Intervened to Stop a Massacre”: Obama Defends the U.S.-Led Military Action in Libya

*I think the only term that fully does justice to this supreme hypocrisy is “Orwellian”.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/29/we_have_intervened_to_stop_a

A Debate on U.S. Military Intervention in Libya: Juan Cole v. Vijay Prashad

*Prashad provides the most detailed intel on the makeup of the rebel “leadership” I’ve seen so far, as well as a logical explanation of just what the West’s – and many of the region’s regimes’ – intentions are.

Cole comes across here as something of an apologist for them, and I’m sure his defense of Dear Misleader’s actions are music to liberal hot warriors’ ears, don’t you think?

But this isn’t a simple equation, and it’s incumbent on us to not treat it as such, which I think Prashad avoids.  The bottom line for me is what ultimately advances the cause of justice in Libya, and I can’t see this leading to the fulfilling of the goals so many have already suffered and died for.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/29/a_debate_on_us_military_intervention

“Shocked and Appalled”: Sister of Death Row Prisoner Troy Davis Responds to Supreme Court Ruling

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/29/shocked_and_appalled_sister_of_death
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FAIR Blog
WashPost and the Wider War

*”Drawn deeper”?  Wasn’t this the plan from the beginning, and wasn’t this very scenario a major reason at least some people didn’t jump on the “humanitarian intervention” bandwagon?

Again, what’s the quid pro quo from rebel “leaders”, and is there a schism among the resistance on aligning the revolt with Western interests?

Inquiring, and responsible, minds have to know.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/29/washpost-and-the-wider-war/

Maybe NYT Should Be Embarrassed by Misleading Hussein Profile

*No need for a mind reading of any sort on why this fits the corpress profile, is there?

In this case, and so many others, those who do not recall history are fervently hoping to repeat it.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/29/maybe-nyt-should-be-embarrassed-by-misleading-hussein-profile/

3/28

Prison for Peacemakers in Tacoma, Washington
Two Grandmothers, Two Priests and a Nun Go onto a Nuclear Base
by Bill Quigley

*It’s a cliché, but it sums up the situation as well as anything

When it comes to matters of conscience in our “justice” system

No good deed goes unpunished

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28-14
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Who’s Bashing Teachers and Public Schools and What Can We Do About It?
by Stan Karp

*Appropriately enough, a very useful primer on education issues and their inseparability from the gross injustice extant in the greater society

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28-11
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Unpacking for a Disaster: What You Need to Survive the Unexpected
by Rebecca Solnit

*The one indispensible item is your humanity.

But that’s true at all times, isn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28
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A Choice for States: Banks, Not Budget Crises
7 ways state-owned banks could help states overcome budget deficits and boost their local economies.
by Ellen Brown

*There certainly are advantages to this, but like so many other reforms, it’s limited to making a bad system better, rather than creating the new system that’s necessary as a matter of survival, as well as justice.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28-7
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How to Design a Neighborhood for Happiness
by Jay Walljasper

*Connecting on common ground

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/28-9
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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
EPA Continues to Promote Coal Ash Without Knowing Risks
Inspector General Excoriates EPA for Blocking Risk Assessments and Screening

*Ashes from asses

Dusting us

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/28
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Earthjustice
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hears Testimony on Freshwater Loss Due to Climate Change
Regional water supplies at risk in many regions of the Western hemisphere

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/28-6
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Obama Administration Relents and Grants Visa to Leading Afghan Antiwar Campaigner Malalai Joya into U.S.

*The travails of traveling with the political luggage of truth

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/28/obama_administration_relents_and_grants_visa

“Stop These Massacres”: Ex-Afghan Parliamentarian Malayia Joya Calls for End to U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan

*Pretty goddamn clear why our gummint didn’t want Joya to come here, isn’t it?

And why whatever coverage her message gets in the corpress will be minimal and distorted.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/28/stop_these_massacres_ex_afghan_parliamentarian

“This is Economic Treason”: 500,000 March in London Protesting Public Spending Cuts and Corporate Tax Dodgers

*Taking over another square to demand a square deal

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/28/this_is_economic_treason_500_000

Will Syria Lift Decades-Old Emergency Law? Street Protests & Deadly Crackdown Force Assad Regime to Consider Political Changes

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/28/will_syria_lift_decades_old_emergency

3/25

Million Against Monsanto
by Millions Against Monsanto

*Shutting down production of “Frankenfood Conquers the World!”

http://www.commondreams.org/video/2011/03/25-0
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ADHD: It’s The Food, Stupid
by Kristin Wartman

*Faux food

Real dangers

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/25-4
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Is There No Other Way in Libya?
Qaddafi may or may not be crazy, but our own sanity is up to us
by Eric Stoner

*This can’t be dealt with in a short comment, but I think I can at
least lay out some general principles regarding the use of violence
that I believe have some moral validity.

First off, violence should be a last resort, and in the service of a
moral goal.  To my mind, defending yourself or others is a legitimate
use of violence, as well as fighting to end oppression.

That said, situations often don’t allow for reflection on the path of
least harm, and innocent people may be injured or killed.  That is
never acceptable, but it will happen in the chaos of conflict, and
when it occurs, every effort must be made to make amends for it.

And no, it’s not as simple as that.  We must learn from it, and commit
ourselves to doing all we can to prevent it from happening again.
Nothing will bring back the dead, but this has to be our solemn duty
in their memory.

Revenge is not the same as justice.  Those who are captured must be
treated humanely, and those who have committed crimes must be tried
and punished according to principles of justice, not vengeance.

I’m not at all satisfied with what I’ve written, but I hope it makes
some moral sense.

And just to be perfectly clear, in no way should this be taken as
support for the utter duplicity and hypocrisy of the West’s
“humanitarian intervention” in Libya, or anywhere else, for reasons
I’ve delineated previously.

I agree with Stoner that it’s a sad day indeed when seeming persons of
conscience can countenance such acts.  For me, it’s not a matter of
violence or nonviolence, but of the undeniable history of horrors
inflicted by this empire in the name of “freedom and democracy”.

This empire, and all others, act out of greed and lust for power.  To
believe other is truly an act of lunacy.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/25-15
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Open Letter from a Teacher: ‘I Will Remember, and I Have a Voice’
Letter from a School Teacher to Michigan’s GOP Legislators
by Cathy Sheets

*You can’t teach these bastards anything about humanity, but it’s good to know that folks like Sheets are teaching our kids, isn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/25-1
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Bahrain Repression: Saudi Troops, U.S. Arms, Al-Jazeera Silence

*Contrary to the way it was presented, Clinton wasn’t praising Al-Jazeera a few weeks back, but I’m sure she has nothing but admiration for its duplicity here, don’t you think?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/bahrain-repression-saudi-troops-u-s-arms-al-jazeera-silence/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

*Just thinking about this horror causes me to tear up, and the fact that it didn’t lead to profound change based on simple humanity shows just how morally bankrupt this system is, doesn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/25/100th_anniversary_of_the_triangle_shirtwaist

Labor Rights Legacy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: Garment Unions Marched Out of this Fire and Produced the New Unionism

*There is a history of committed union struggles that’s essential to inspiring today’s movement, and that’s why you see it either blacked out or distorted by the corpress.

The elites realize that, in this instance, those who recall the past will want to repeat it.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/25/labor_rights_legacy_of_the_triangle

100 Years After Triangle Fire, Tragedy in Bangladesh and Anti-Union Bill in Wisconsin Highlight Workers’ Enduring Struggles

*There will never be true freedom and democracy at work until people no longer work *for* others, but instead work *with* others.

Only the end of hierarchy and the creation of universal cooperative labor will assure our rights as human beings.  Until then, our lives will not be our own.

That’s easy to say, I know, but we won’t get there unless we start to seriously talk about such a world, and just how we will get there, will we?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/25/100_years_after_triangle_fire_tragedy

3/24

Plastic Particles Circulating Endlessly in World’s Oceans
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

*As per usual, this is a consequence of greed, but beyond that, it’s emblematic of humanity at its most self-centered and thoughtless, that we can’t be bothered to hang onto these objects until we can recycle them.

It takes no courage, and no real effort.

So just do it, dammit.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/24-4
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Relatives Sue Banana Firm Over Killings in Colombia
by Tom Hennigan in São Paulo
the Irish Times

*The Attorney General took blood money from a mass-murdering corp.

You can’t say “Only in America”, but we’re the pros from Dover when it comes to chutzpah around the hypocrisy of it all, aren’t we?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/24-0
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Six Libyan Villagers Shot by US Team Rescuing Pilot
Six villagers in a field on the outskirts of Benghazi were shot and injured when a US helicopter landed to rescue a crew member from the crashed jet, reports Lindsey Hilsum.
by Channel 4 News/UK

*Who protects you from your “protectors”?

http://www.commondreams.org/video/2011/03/24
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The Nuclear Myth Melts Down: How the “Peaceful Atom” Became a Serial Killer
Nuclear Power Loses its Alibi
by Chip Ward

*Excellent piece, but Ward leaves out the crucial role the corpress has played in creating this Frankenstein’s monster, which continues apace with the stenographing of officials’ reassurances, and editorializing against “knee-jerk reactions” to this latest horror.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/24-7
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In Michigan, We’re Facing More Than Just a Class War
by Angi Becker Stevens

*From womb to tomb, the repression never relents

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/24-12
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‘Drill Here, Drill Now, Drill Everywhere’ and Other Nonsense
by Dean Baker

*Tall tales with low motives

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/24-10
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FAIR Blog
Public TV and Libya: Govt. Officials, Current and Former

*But they’re from different *parties*, aren’t they?  That they represent the same interests is immaterial.

To PBS, that fulfills their obligation to provide “balance”.

They may not fit the exact definition of “corpress”, but certainly they deserve an honorary membership, don’t you think?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/24/public-tv-and-libya-govt-officials-current-and-former/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
AFRICOM as Libya Bombing Motive

*The plot thickens

With the blood of the innocent

http://www.accuracy.org/release/africom-as-libya-bombing-motive/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Thousands Protest in Syria After Gov’t Forces Kill Scores of Demonstrators

*I’m ignorant of the US stance toward the Syrian regime these days, and I wish that had been brought up here.  Has it, like Libya’s until recently, been “rehabilitated” in Western circles?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/24/thousands_protest_in_syria_after_govt

Radioactivity in Food, Water Sparks Fears of Widespread Contamination in Japan

*A crisis of information containment and contamination

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/24/radioactivity_in_food_water_sparks_fears

As Obama Completes First Latin America Tour, Anniversary of Slain Salvadoran Archbishop Romero Evokes Legacy of U.S.-Backed Crimes

*Nairn lays bare the brazen hypocrisy of visiting Romero’s grave, doesn’t he?

Obama essentially spits on it, and those of all the other victims of imperialism, with his words and deeds in the service of Yanquismo.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/24/as_obama_completes_first_latin_america

3/23

Radiation in the Homeland: Honeywell’s Guilty Plea Shows Importance of Unions
by Mike Elk
In These Times

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/23
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Peak Water Has Already Come and Gone
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/23-2
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Maine Governor LePage Orders Removal of Labor Mural from Dept. of Labor, Sparking Outcry
by Steve Mistler
the Lewiston Sun Journal (Maine)

*All together now …

Goebbels would be proud

But the argument against this, that labor history is “beyond politics”, defies logic, don’t you think?

Of course it’s political.  Fighting for your rights and dignity is a political act, isn’t it?

You might see how an artist might not suss that, but when labor officials chime in …

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/23-4
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Libya Intervention Threatens the Arab Spring
Despite its official UN-granted legality, the credibility of Western military action in Libya is rapidly dwindling.
by Phyllis Bennis

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/23-3
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Piven’s National ‘Teach-in’ Aims to Spread Wisconsin’s Anti-Austerity Fight
by Roger Bybee

*I have to question whether Piven and West will provide the radical analysis necessary to understand and act against this baleful – and bipartisan – blitzkrieg.

I’m also sorry to say that I haven’t seen this “extraordinary solidarity” yet regarding an alliance of the underclass, working class and middle class, but I’m happy to see Piven’s inclusiveness on the matter.

I also wanted to point out the couple of paragraphs on the “social compact” between labor and capital, as I thought they were insightful.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/23-12
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Note To Progressives Who Back a No Fly Zone on Libya
by Joe Emersberger

*Thinking outside Pandora’s box

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/23-7
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Be Consistent—Invade Saudi Arabia
by Robert Scheer

*Some good points made here on Western motives and hypocrisy, but I don’t think you can call this “essentially a tribal-based civil war”, can you?  That element exists, but there are many in Libya whose actions fall outside that context, aren’t there?

And I don’t believe this will ever be legitimately seen as a “boon” to Libyans, precisely because of those Western motives and how they’ve been historically pursued.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/23
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Worldwatch Institute
A “Revolution of Greens” and Innovations in Local, Diversified Food Production Needed to Curb Food Price Crisis

*Important intel here, but why should we fear “political unrest” and “global instability”?

Don’t mistake this for some twisted logic that it’s a good thing for folks to be hungry, so they’ll rise up against their oppressors.

I’d like to think the desire for freedom and justice exists regardless of how full your stomach is.

It’s elites that fear unrest, and you have to question why that’s presented as a reason to combat hunger here, don’t you?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/23-1
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Food & Water Watch
ALERT: Washington Set to Make Our Food and Water Less Safe
USDA, FDA and EPA Facing Cuts That Bring the Budget Fight Onto Our Dinner Tables

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/23
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Chernobyl Experts: Fukushima Could be Worse

*More shit, and a bigger fan

http://www.accuracy.org/release/chernobyl-experts-fukushima-could-be-worse/
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FAIR Blog
O’Reilly Factors Code Pink

*Comment left at link

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/23/oreilly-factors-code-pink/

War to Protect Civilians Threatened by Killing Them

*It doesn’t seem to have been particularly complicated in other wars where we’re “committed to protecting civilians”, does it?

It’s been in large measure a matter of “Kill ‘em all … let Allah sort ‘em out”, hasn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/23/war-to-protect-civilians-threatened-by-killing-them/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Debating Intervention: Is U.S.-Led Military Action the Best Solution to Libya Crisis?

*Missing from this is the issue of what the West expects from a victorious rebel movement.

There will be a quid pro quo.  How will it affect the goal of a truly democratic and independent Libya?  I’d like to hear from someone who has a good sense of just what’s going on behind the scenes between rebel “leaders” and Western nations, wouldn’t you?

And this is only speculation, but I have to look askance at the ability of Gaddafi’s forces to remain on the attack, when it’s clear the West considers them legitimate targets.

Are they being allowed to wreak carnage for ulterior motives?

I don’t know, but it would be irresponsible not to consider the possibility, don’t you think?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/23/debating_intervention_is_us_led_military

3/22

World Water Day Report: African Cities Outgrow Their Water Supplies
by Environment News Service

*Again, I’m not an expert, but I think that the reference to “the role of the private sector” in managing this crisis shows the limits of what the UN will recommend and support.

It might eye the edges, but don’t expect it to think outside of the capitalist box.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/22-3
.

Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs
by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/22-11
.

Stop Bombing Libya
by Marjorie Cohn

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/22
.

One Year Anniversary: The Incredible Shrinking Obama Health Care Law
by Kevin Zeese

*Reforming a rotten “reform”

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/22-12
.

Our Growth Economy: A System Designed to Crash
Why a money system dependent on constant growth can’t last
by David Korten

*As I’ve said before, I’m no expert on these matters, and I can get a headache trying to suss them, but “phantom wealth” or “real wealth”, I don’t see how a system based on monetary exchange can get us to where we need to go – a world in which everyone has what they need to live a life with dignity.

Certainly the latter would be an improvement, but any role for profit in an economy will invariably lead to winners and losers, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/22-6
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Libya: A War We Shouldn’t Believe In
by Ted Rall

*Rall makes some good points here, especially regarding the composition of rebel forces, which I really haven’t seen anyone explore as yet.

But this piece suffers from the same sort of dismissive attitude toward Qadafi’s victims I’ve seen elsewhere.  Their deaths and suffering are real, and the duplicity of this intervention doesn’t make them any less so, does it?

This act of war has to be resisted, but that doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to respond to the horror visited upon others, regardless of its origins.

It’s not an either/or, or a linear, equation.  Sometimes trying to do the right thing isn’t as straightforward as we’d wish it were.

But it’s always a moral imperative that can’t be ignored.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/22-0
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FAIR Blog
NYT’s Reassuring Radiation Reporting

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/22/nyts-reassuring-radiation-reporting/

Bill O’Reilly: Saving the Libyans He Wanted to Starve

*No hypocrisy is too grotesque for Mr. Bill, is it?

But Kucinich fails the humanity test in his own way, in couching his arguments purely in terms of “mission failure” and cost, rather than in the deaths of civilians and the manipulation of a revolt for imperial ends.

In that, he’s in bad company with all those other “progressives” who employ the same spiel to oppose War, Inc.

“Pragmatism” has its place as an adjunct, but the supremely paramount factor for anyone with a working conscience has to be that human beings are dying for power and treasure, and if you can’t put yourself in the place of the parents of a child decapitated by shrapnel from a missile strike, and see these wars through their eyes, you’re not giving your heart the workout it needs to sustain a determined struggle against these crimes, are you?

(Additional comment(s) at link)

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/22/bill-oreilly-saving-the-libyans-he-wanted-to-starve/

Libya, Lockerbie and the Fox/MSNBC Convergence

*Sorta shoots a hole in the whole “humanitarian” rationale, don’t it?

And it might be enlightening to do a check on how often these folks called for Qaddafi’s head (and its seriously psychotic contents) in the last few years, when he was our ally in The War on Terror ™, don’t you think?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/22/libya-lockerbie-and-the-foxmsnbc-convergence/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Jeremy Scahill: As Mass Uprising Threatens the Saleh Regime, a Look at the Covert U.S. War in Yemen
“The No-Fly Zone Has Always Been a Recipe for Disaster”: Jeremy Scahill Says Libyan Strategy Has No Endgame

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/22/jeremy_scahill_as_mass_uprising_threatens

Long Night’s Journey into Day: Democracy Now!’s Exclusive Interview of Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/22/long_nights_journey_into_day_democracy

Former First Lady Mildred Aristide on Her Historic Return to Haiti: “Aristide is Ever Present in the Haitian Psyche and History”

*There seems to be this unwillingness on the part of both Aristides to directly confront the US role in repressing the Haitian people, and I’d like to know just why that is, and whether that will change, as I don’t see how you can avoid dealing with it if you want to effect deep change, do you?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/22/former_first_lady_mildred_aristide_on

21-Year-Old Libyan American Medical Student Muhannad Bensadik Killed in Benghazi; Hear His Interview with Democracy Now!

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/3/21/21_year_old_libyan_american_medical_student_muhannad_bensadik_killed_in_benghazi_hear_his_interview_with_democracy_now

3/21

March Madness for Corporate Tax Dodgers
Top seeds in the Tax Haven Tourney: banks and power companies
by Paul Buchheit

*Assist leaders:  Our gummint and a corporate media that treats taxes as the spawn of Satan

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/21
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The Human Cost of Slashonomics
by Katrina vanden Heuvel

*Why are we talking about cutting poverty by half over ten years?

Why not work to end it NOW?

Impossible?

If you don’t try, damn straight.

And “progressives” like those at The Nation won’t take that leap of moral logic to see that the only way that can happen is to fight to end a profit system that ensures the degradation of many millions here, and billions around the world.

Call it a lack of imagination, or call it a limited sense of humanity.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/21-1
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CEO Pay Bashing, Tea Party Style
Has Jim DeMint, the right-wing senator leading the assault on federal domestic spending, finally gone too far? His corporate executive benefactors may soon come to think so.
by Sam Pizzigati

*Lucky for DeMint, logic in the mainstream media pretty much only exists in Star Trek reruns.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/21-9
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The Body Baggers of Iraq
by Chris Hedges

*I don’t expect most Americans to give a shit about the people our military kills in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, but if we heard these stories and were shown these images, maybe we wouldn’t allow our gummint to unleash its death machine anymore.

Or am I being naive?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/21-7
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Libyan Citizen Journalist Mohammed Nabbous Killed by Gunfire While Reporting on the Battle for Benghazi

*Nabbous’ last comments illustrate what has to be at the heart of any revolution, and any society that comes out of it – that people look beyond their own circumstances, and stand with others in the struggle for a nation where all live with dignity.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/21/libyan_citizen_journalist_mohammed_nabbous_killed

No-fly Zone Enacted as U.S. and Allied Forces Launch Air Strikes on Libya Amid Growing Concerns for Civilian Safety

*”No-fly” and “Mo’-lie”

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/21/no_fly_zone_enacted_as_us

Former President Aristide on His Party’s Exclusion from Haiti’s Election: “Exclusion is the Problem, Inclusion is the Solution”

*You think about Obama’s actions here, and then what the FOX trotters and Tea Bagmen say about his “dangerous socialist views” – which none of them actually believe – and it makes it pretty goddamn clear what his true colors are, doesn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/21/former_president_aristide_on_his_partys

Democracy Now! Exclusive Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide: If Haiti’s Military is Restored, “We are Headed Back to Misery”

*I’m not comfortable with the apparent relationship Goodman, and by extension, DN!, has with Aristide.  I don’t think it’s conducive to honest journalism.  In order to do their job, news organizations need to distance themselves from those they report on, don’t you think?

The atmosphere of hero worship and celebrity is antithetical to the cause of independent reporting, as well, wouldn’t you say?

I’m not comparing this to the farce of corpress coverage, but I do believe it shows a lack of judgment that’s troubling.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/21/democracy_now_exclusive_interview_with_jean
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Egypt: Army Still Torturing People a “Red Line”

*A red line drawn across a democratic future

I think it’s important for independent media to look at why so much faith was placed in the army, don’t you?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/egypt-army-still-torturing-people-a-red-line/

Tipping Point in Yemen?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/tipping-point-in-yemen/
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FAIR Blog
To Milbank, Ending NPR and Afghan War Are Both ‘Trivial Pursuits’

*To me, democracy is about more than doing what 73, or 50.1, percent, of the citizenry want.  Recall that the overwhelming majority of Americans supported this war in the beginning, and it was just as immoral and illegal then as it is today, wasn’t it?

As for it being “fertile ground” for Republican opposition, Hiatt’s engaging in what corpress types are past masters at – ignoring history in the service of making a specious observation.

Some folks might call that lying.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/21/to-milbank-ending-npr-and-afghan-war-are-both-trivial-pursuits/

Two Signs Your Country Has Gone to War

*Libyan civilians are presumably a cinch to ID, as opposed to folks in other countries where the US blows up stuff real good.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph …

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/21/two-signs-your-country-has-gone-to-war/

3/20

The Butterfly and the Boiling Point: Charting the Wild Winds of Change in 2011
by Rebecca Solnit

*My impression from a couple of trips down to Madison is that many folks are sort of playing at revolt.

There’s real anger, don’t get me wrong.  But I think we’ve been so conditioned to see almost everything not (seemingly) part of our immediate lives as somehow not real, as images on a screen, that we behave accordingly even when we’re participating in them.

That, of course, isn’t the case for billions in the Third World.  Oppression and desperation are daily facts of life, and when circumstances converge to create a critical mass, people act accordingly.

Even in Europe, though, you see authentic rage.

We have to resist the inculcated impulse to televise the revolution, and see this for what it is – a literal life and death struggle for our future.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/20
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Saudi-Backed Crackdown in Bahrain Exposes US Hypocrisy
by Michael Hughes

*The contradictions of empire sharpen

Just as its sabres

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/20-0
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Libya: The Wearingly Familiar Odor of Regime Change
First it was Saddam. Then Gaddafi. Now There’s a Vacancy for the West’s Favorite Crackpot Tyrant
by Robert Fisk

*White horses and black hearts

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/19-8

3/18

Judge Issues Temporary Order Blocking Union-Busting Bill
by Brendan Fischer
PR Watch

*I only hope that the effort against this focused union-busting bill is equally matched by one against the other vicious measures in the original bill, and any other assaults on social services, vital regulations and folks’ rights.

At this point, I don’t consider that too likely.

I dearly wish to be mistaken in that pessimism.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/18-5
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On Hope and Belief: The Far East, the Mid-West, and the Middle East
by Matthew Skogstad-Stubbs

*When it comes to true sacrifice to achieve change, I think most people need more than hope to act.  They need to feel that their actions have a real chance of succeeding.

But to get to that point, you need those who act out of commitment to their principles, regardless of the odds.

Few have the conscience and courage to do so.

Our future depends on increasing that number.

In the end, it’s a decision each of us must make.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/18-3
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Mad Scientists in the Lab of Democracy
by David Sirota

*Keep in mind that these bastards sponsor these abominations in the all-too-reasonable belief that it’s to their political advantage to do so.

If that doesn’t scare the shit out of you …

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/18-7
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Obama on Presidential War-Making Powers
by Glenn Greenwald

*I agree that Congressional authorization is a crucial check on presidential power, but the history is that it very rarely acts as such, does it?

When it comes to “wars not sanctified by justice”, both branches have shown themselves to be enthusiastic perpetrators, haven’t they?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/18-6
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Physicians for Human Rights
PHR Condemns Violations of Medical Neutrality in the Middle East and North Africa

*The issue is righteous, of course, but aligning it with the deceptive reasoning for instituting a no-fly zone over Libya is a truly ignorant thing to do, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/18-13
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Afghan Women’s Rights Advocate Barred from U.S.

*Women’s rights and freedom of speech are fine, as far as they go.

Which isn’t to America.

http://www.accuracy.org/release/afghan-womens-rights-advocate-barred-from-u-s/

Declaration of War on Libya?

*Mandel puts this in the proper perspective, doesn’t he?

We need to be focusing on just what the West wants out of this, and
the price the people of Libya, and elsewhere, will pay for it.

Those malevolent machinations, and their consequences, were missing
from the DN! segment, weren’t they?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/declaration-of-war-on-libya/
.

FAIR Blog
Ann Coulter on O’Reilly: Radiation Is Good for You

*Given the deliberate misleading of the Times piece cited below on Aristide’s return below – and countless others in the corpress en masse – that FOX viewers are *more* misinformed seems almost outside of the realm of possibility.

And very much within the realm of downright frightening.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/18/ann-coulter-on-oreilly-radiation-is-good-for-you/

Haitian Candidate’s ‘Roguish’ Threat to Kill Aristide

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/18/haitian-candidates-roguish-threat-to-kill-aristide/

NYT Explains Peculiar Japanese Customs

*Does “amakudari” translate to “It’s the American way”?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/18/nyt-explains-peculiar-japanese-customs/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“Underestimating the Seriousness of the Problem”: Experts Urge Japan
to Raise Nuclear Alert and Evacuate Wider Area

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/underestimating_the_seriousness_of_the_problem

“Why are We Playing Russian Roulette with the American People?”:
Longtime Nuclear Critic Ralph Nader Advocates Phasing Out Nuclear
Power Industry

*As a friend said, nuclear waste comes in many forms – from the
near-immortal deadly detritus, to the billions upon billions of our
tax dollars propping up an industry that couldn’t survive any other
way, to the lives that have been sacrificed yesterday, today and
tomorrow on the altar of unbridled greed.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/why_are_we_playing_russian_roulette

Gaddafi Declares Ceasefire After U.N. Security Council Backs No-Fly
Zone in Libya

*I’m no expert, but it seems to me that this indicates that the West,
and its regional allies, have determined that they can have
significant influence over the rebels and what direction they will
take in future.

You also have to consider what those forces now control – a large
portion of the oil-producing area in the country – and how that plays
into all this, don’t you?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/gaddafi_declares_cease_fire_after_un

Daniel Ellsberg on Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement: “The
Conditions Clearly Violate the Constitution”

*It really bothers me when someone, let alone a person like Ellsberg,
from whom I expect a greater degree of candor, couches the issue of
Dear Misleader’s crimes in terms such as “it really raises very much a
question about President Obama’s own understanding of the law or
willingness to abide by it, in this case, and not for the first time.”

He knows there’s no question, and he, and everyone else who
understands how power works in this country, needs to call it what it
is, don’t they?

As for Crowley, how he’s made out to be some champion of human rights
is beyond me.  He didn’t say Manning’s treatment is inhuman, or
criminal.  He did say that Manning was where he should be.

So you have this phenomenon of an administration official saying
something that isn’t straight up and down the party line, and many
“progressives” leaping on it as vindication of their views, regardless
of the context in which it was stated.

And that’s “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid”, don’t you think?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/daniel_ellsberg_on_bradley_mannings_solitary

Daniel Ellsberg Joins Peace Activists Risking Arrest at Protest
Marking Iraq War Anniversary, Nader Calls for Impeachment of Obama

*In contrast to Ellsberg, Nader doesn’t mince words on Obama’s
criminality, does he?

One thing about the “creating more enemies” argument, though:

While perhaps not the case here, often it seems to be used in the
context of the US doing something that’s not in its nature, that its
current behavior is an aberration, when the reality is that this is
what it’s done from the moment it first embarked on the path to
empire.

It will always create enemies among its victims, and rightly so, until
we stop it.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/18/daniel_ellsberg_joins_peace_activists_risking

Ralph Nader and Daniel Ellsberg: We Need to See Courage and Mobilization Here as Well as the Middle East

*Good to see Ellsberg progress from his earlier muted statements about Obama.

Language matters, because honesty matters.  I don’t think he was being dishonest at first, but being overly cautious can lead to misunderstanding of the dire seriousness of a situation, and consequently can act as a brake on motivating folks to do something about it.

My two cents, at any rate.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/3/18/nader_and_ellsberg

3/17

Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media
Exclusive: Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
by Nick Fielding and Ian Cobain
The Guardian/UK

*Besides the propaganda aspect – and don’t believe for a minute that this will be used only against “jihadists” – this will also have the intended effect of sewing mistrust among opponents of US actions, wouldn’t you think?

Big Brother’s not only watching you.

He’s fucking with your head, man.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/17-1
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Canada’s Forests Key to Earth’s Water: Report
by Agence France Presse

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/17-0
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The Age of Activism
by John Feffer

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-13
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Wisconsin Senators “Sell Out” to Corporate Interests as DC Crowds Pick Up the Chant: “Recall!”
by John Nichols

*Pay day – picking up some hefty quid for their quid pro quo

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-8
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Taking the “War” Out of Air War
What U.S. Air Power Actually Does
by Tom Engelhardt

*From Hiroshima to Helmund

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-5
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Libya and the World Left
by Immanuel Wallerstein

*Chavez – and I’d like to know what others – seem to follow the dictum, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Except that your “friend” was a friend of your enemy for years, wasn’t he?

And has been an enemy of his nation’s people for much longer.

De Beauvoir’s are the words to live by here, aren’t they?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-6
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Haiti Must Decide Haiti’s Future
It is outrageous that, at the 11th hour, the US is still pressing South Africa to stop the return of ousted President Aristide
by Mark Weisbrot

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-9
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‘Blood Money’ Paid for Raymond Davis, Nothing Done for Shane Bauer
What does the United States’ record on justice and human rights look like after it has paid to get its alleged CIA killer out of jail?
by Pratap Chatterjee

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/17-2
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FAIR Blog
Jay Carney, Comforting the Powerful

*Going by his last and latest gigs, it looks like Carney has the whole “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” thing bass ackwards, don’t it?

As Hart says, that’s the royal road to riches in the kingdom of the corpress.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/17/jay-carney-comforting-the-powerful/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“Serious Danger of a Full Core Meltdown”: Update on Japan’s Nuclear Catastrophe

*Greed is the most dangerous form of mental illness

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/17/serious_danger_of_a_full_core

Report from Sendai: Fears of Radioactivity Are Hampering Relief Efforts

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/17/report_from_sendai_fears_of_radioactivity

Hiroshima Organizes Scientific Teams and Medical Treatment Centers to Receive Victims of Radiation Poisoning

*Let’s hope the radiation doesn’t reach here, but the anger makes its way across the Pacific, and everywhere else there’s a ticking time bomb of a nuclear plant.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/17/hiroshima_organizes_scientific_teams_and_medical

Libyan Rebels Maintain Benghazi Media Center to Battle Gaddafi Regime through the Internet and Airwaves

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/17/libyan_rebels_maintain_benghazi_media_center

3/16

Michigan’s ‘Emergency Manager Law’ Epitomizes State-Level ‘Shock Doctrine’
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to get Emergency Manager powers this week
by Eartha Jane Melzer

*Top down control

Bottomed out democracy

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/16-12
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FAIR Blog
Assigning Blame for West Bank Killings

*I would say the Times suffers from a guilt reflex, but they’re not the ones suffering from its effects, are they?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/16/assigning-blame-for-west-bank-killings/
.

Journalism and democracy in a dead culture: An interview with Robert Jensen
Greek journalist CJ Polychroniou interviewed Robert Jensen about recent trends in media and politics. The interview appeared in Epsilon, the Sunday magazine of Eleftherotypia, Greece’s premier progressive newspaper.

http://www.countercurrents.org/jensen150311.htm
http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/9308-journalism-and-democracy.html
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
“No Happy Ending”: Nuclear Experts Say Japan’s Disaster is Intensifying

*The only positive development in this tragedy would be if the radiation fallout can be mitigated … and the political fallout can’t.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/16/no_happy_ending_nuclear_experts_say

South Africans Question the Push to “Go Down the Nuclear Road” to Meet Rising Energy Demand

*One of the consequences of a revolution reined in

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/16/south_africans_question_push_to_go
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Backing Nuclear: Administration “Disconnected from Reality”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/backing-nuclear-administration-disconnected-from-reality/

Haiti: “Would Kill Aristide” Says Presidential Candidate Martelly in Video

*Stacking the deck against democracy

http://www.accuracy.org/release/haiti-would-kill-aristide-says-presidential-candidate-martelly-in-video/

St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish Famine

*”The luck o’ the Irish” must have been coined by someone with an acute sense of irony, don’t you think?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/st-patricks-day-and-the-irish-famine/

3/15

Bahrain’s Regime Talks Softly While Bringing the Big Guns In
by Tahiyya Lulu

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/15-7
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French Government Advises its Citizens to Stay Away from Tokyo, Japan Stays Silent
It’s ironic that the French are giving such strong advice to their citizens in Japan.
by Daphne Wysham

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/15-12
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Beyond the Crisis of Liberalism
There is a groundswell of popular resistance to the forces of reaction, but the left must break out of its defensive posture
by Stanley Aronowitz

*If we don’t fight for the dream, we’re never going to awaken from the nightmare

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/15-6
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The Idiocy and Hubris of Engineers: Will GE Get Whacked for the Catastrophic Failure of its Nuke Plants in Fukushima?
by Dave Lindorff

*I wonder how much GE saved by going with this configuration?

When money talks, CEOs listen.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/15
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The Arab Lobby: How the Tiny Kingdom of Bahrain Strong-Armed the President of the United States
by Nick Turse

*I’m including this for the useful intel on the relationship among the Pentagon, arms contractors and regional dictatorships, but it defies reality to frame this situation as one in which Dear Misleader has been “cowed” by that cabal, don’t you think?

The only hesitation in backing these despots results from a calculation of the odds of their demise, in which case trying to manipulate the forces arrayed against them becomes the priority, rather than supporting a status quo which has a limited future.

Maybe there are internal arguments about how long to hang with these “friends”, but they don’t have a goddamn thing to do with “American democratic ideals”, do they?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/15-13
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Public Citizen
Commerce Group CAFTA Ruling Highlights Threat of Foreign Investor Rules Also
Included in Korea FTA: Even as Mining Firm’s Frivolous Challenge of
Environmental Policy Is Dismissed on Technicality, El Salvador Must Pay $800,000

*Corporations aren’t people

They’re soulless predators

http://www.citizen.org/documents/commerce-group-press-release-march-2011.pdf
.

FAIR Blog
NBC Still Doesn’t Know About O’Keefe’s ACORN Hoax

*I wouldn’t say the corpress was “fooled” by O’Keefe.  When you make no attempt to verify the authenticity of these videos until after the damage has been done, and give them wide exposure, rather than exposing them as propaganda, that seems more a matter of wilful ignorance, at best, and complicity at worst, doesn’t it?

And, of course, O’Keefe didn’t take down anyone on his own, did he?  The reactionary media made these cause celebres, and their “liberal” counterpart went right along with them, didn’t they?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/15/nbc-still-doesnt-know-about-okeefes-acorn-hoax/

The ‘New’ Newsweek’s Nuclear Power Puffery

*If I can play editor here, and wield my red pencil …

“To understand how nuclear energy has morphed in the public consciousness from apocalyptic villain to “clean, green” renewable energy, look no further than Lauvergeon.”

Scratch “Lauvergeon”, and add “a plethora of major media PR pieces”.

Which we’ll undoubtedly see shifted into overdrive over the next period, as the industry and gummint scramble to save “the nuclear renaissance”, don’t you think?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/15/the-new-newsweeks-nuclear-power-puffery/
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
The U.S. and Egyptian Army Are One?

*The universally empty rhetoric of “hope and change”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/the-u-s-and-egyptian-army-are-one/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“This Could Become Chernobyl on Steroids”: Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen on Japan’s Growing Nuclear Crisis

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/15/this_could_become_chernobyl_on_steroids

Vermont Gov. Fights to Close Vermont Yankee, One of 23 U.S. Nuclear Power Facilities Nearly Identical to Failed Japanese Plant

*”New nuclear”?

Jesus fucking Christ. 

The technology doesn’t exist to make this shit safe, the dangers are horrific, and the companies in charge are lying, greedy sumbitches.

And you want to talk about new plants?

And this schmenge’s better than most, at least on decomming the museum pieces.

Oy gevalt.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/15/vermont_gov_fights_to_close_vermont

“Get the Children Away from the Reactors”: Japan Urged to Expand Evacuation Area Around Nuclear Plants as Leaking Radiation Spreads

*Doesn’t it make you sick to your stomach to think of all the lying sacks of shit who claim that nuclear is “clean energy”?

Perhaps anyone perpetuating that hoax should not be allowed to live further than a mile from the nearest plant?

I’m venting, I know, but at least it’s not radioactive.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/15/get_the_children_away_from_the

“Bahrain is No Longer an Independent Country, It is Occupied by Saudi Forces”: Activist Says Pro-Democracy Protests Will Continue

*It’s obvious who the literally silent partner is in this, isn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/15/bahrain_is_no_longer_an_independent

Yemen Expands Crackdown on Pro-Democracy Movement, Deports Journalists

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/15/yemen_expands_crackdown_on_pro_democracy

3/14

Anti-Cuts Campaigners Plan ‘Carnival of Civil Disobedience’
Student groups and tax avoidance protesters will stage occupations to coincide with TUC demonstration on 26 March
by Matthew Taylor
The Guardian/UK

*Brits at the barricades

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/14-2
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Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand
by Chris Hedges

*Nothing really to add here.

We have to know where we’ve been to know where we need to go.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/14
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What’s Left of the American Left?
There’s no denying its historic decline, but the left does not lack for issues. It needs only organization.
by Richard Wolff

*Beyond organization, there has to be vision.

An effective “left” that doesn’t confront just the “excesses” of capitalism, but its very nature, will still leave us a deer in the headlights of the oncoming climate catyclysm, won’t it?

And it will make compromises with the power structure that will improve the lives of many, as has been the case in the past, but won’t lift all up from poverty and discrimination.

And if you believe in justice and equality, how can you settle for less?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/14-2
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Environmental Working Group (EWG)
FCC Weakened Consumer Caution on Cell Phones After Meeting with Industry
Radiation Advisory on Website Was Revised to Parrot Industry Position

*Dropped call for doing their job

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/14-3
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FAIR Blog
NPR Unstung? Once Again, O’Keefe Shows He Shouldn’t Be Trusted

*Shocking!

Okay … not so much.

I think this whole sorry episode highlights a few things.

It’s another example of the wanton duplicity of right-wing propaganda, as well as the complicity of the corpress in same, and the utter lack of integrity on the part of public broadcasting, to the point that it won’t even defend itself against blatant misrepresentation, but instead resigns itself, literally, to this hit job.

As to the broader issue, yes, we do need to save public broadcasting.

From itself.

But while I agree it shouldn’t die, it sure as hell needs to be reborn, doesn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/14/npr-unstung-once-again-okeefe-shows-he-shouldnt-be-trusted/

FAIR Extra!
Time to ‘Drop and Leave’ Loaded Language
From ‘illegals’ to ‘anchor babies,’ media warp immigration debate
by Julie Hollar

*The corpress needs to drop “anchor”, and sail toward reporting on what truly drives folks to make the arduous, and often deadly, journey to El Norte – the destruction of their ability to make a living in their home countries due to US corporate greed, facilitated by “free trade” agreements.

But I don’t think we’ll be waving from the dock anytime soon, do you?

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4258

11th Annual Fear & Favor Report
How power shapes the news
by Janine Jackson

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4259
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Japan Facing Biggest Catastrophe Since Dawn of Nuclear Age

*Brace yourself for the propaganda tsunami that will come flooding in from the nuke industry, the gummint and the corpress, all bent on assuring us that “it can’t happen here.”

But it can, and the NRC will let it happen, if we allow it to.

I said the other day that I wish those responsible for the BP crime would be forced to swim in the Gulf.  That was a moral failure on my part.  If I’m opposed to the death penalty, I can’t take that stance, can I?

And so I can’t say that I want those responsible for this horror to be forced to stand next to the reactors, and have the radiation soak into their bodies.

But the minimum sentence any of these murderers should receive is life, don’t you think?

That most likely none of them will serve a day in prison illustrates the profound injustice of a system designed to punish the innocent and protect the guilty, in the name of profit and power.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/14/japan_facing_biggest_catastrophe_since_dawn

Worker Uprising: Up to 185,000 Protest in Madison as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Signs Union-Busting Bill

*While they did have Rep. Zamarripa talking about other crimes besides union busting, attacks on social services, environmental regs et al. are still being given short shrift, and you have to ask why that is, don’t you?

And it bothers me that “the Fab 14″ were treated as heroes, when doubtless many of them, if not the whole Sheboygan, have less than stellar records when it comes to fighting for poor folks, who are the first to be chucked off the bus, aren’t they?

What they did was laudable. What they will do needs to be watched like a hawk. They are, after all, politicians.

That was made manifest when one of them quoted the godhead of these bastards engaging in the nauseating hypocrisy of supposedly standing for “free unions” in Poland, while crushing them here, wasn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/14/worker_uprising_up_to_185_000
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Saudi Occupies Bahrain

*Don’t hold your breath waiting on a condemnation by the West here, and a declaration of “a wide range of options being considered.”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/saudi-occupies-bahrain/

Japan Nuclear Disaster

http://www.accuracy.org/release/japan-nuclear-disaster/

3/12

*A few thoughts on the day …

Well, the scene around the capitol was very inspiring.  I’ve no idea
of the number, but the streets encircling the building were filled,
with a ton of folks assembled immediately around it.  I left about
one, so it may have built beyond that.

And it got me thinking about just what you’d call the crowd, what label you’d append to them.

Are they “progressive”, “liberal”, “populist”, “left” … ?

And that leads me to asking just what they – we – want.  And that’s a
failure I see all too often – the lack of articulation of our vision.

In this instance, we can say what we oppose.  But what do we wish to
see in its place?

And how do we get there?

And I think that takes us to what we believe in, and why, wouldn’t you say?

Each person answers that in their own way.  I call tell you my story,
abbreviated, if you’re interested.

I grew up in the South in the ’60s.  My daddy was a member of the
White Citizens Council.  Essentially, it was South Africa with a
drawl.

Of course, I went to church, First Baptist, all white, needless to say.

But I took those lessons, never meant to be taken literally, to heart.
 The Golden Rule made sense, in my naivete, and from that point it was
largely a matter of not allowing the world to induce me to rationalize
that view.

A hair-trigger guilt reflex and an unhealthy dose of OCD didn’t hurt.
(Well, they did, but you know what I mean.)

So we come back to labels.  I try to be what I conceive to be a
mensch, a Yiddish term if you don’t know, for someone who does right
by others.  I don’t claim to be anywhere near that standard, but I try
to do what my conscience demands and my courage allows, and to never
be satisfied with the limits of either.

I think that’s as good a moniker as any.  It also establishes “the
vision thing” – we want to see a world where every person has what
they need to live a life of dignity.  Our gummint committed to that
over sixty years ago, in signing the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, and to me our goal should be to make it keep that promise.

I’d like to think that sea of humanity in Madison shares that aim,
although I’m old enough to know that many of them would place any
number of qualifiers into the equation.  Still, I’d hope the general
sentiment is shared, and if so, it’s something to build on, isn’t it?

That leads into how to get there.  I’m no expert – that’s pretty clear if you’ve visited here previously – but I will say that I believe that a zero sum profit-based system can’t get us where we need to go, nor pull us back from where we’re heading.

We need a paradigm in which we work with others for the benefit of
all, rather than for others solely for their benefit.

And we’ll need a livable planet on which to build that model, won’t
we?  That’s Job One.

So, for those of you still with me, the bottom line for me is that if
we’re on this rock for anything, it’s to give a damn about each other,
and to work for a world that mirrors that purpose.

I think that commitment resonates with most of humanity, and it’s what
we need to be showing in our words and deeds.  We talk the talk, we
walk the walk, and we hold out our hands to all who feel moved to walk
along with us.

No guarantees of a happy ending.  In fact, you’d be a fool to think
this will end well, given our history so far, wouldn’t you?

But while hope’s nice, it isn’t necessary.  Our fulfillment comes from
the effort, not the result.

So let’s get lifting, and maybe we can prove my pessimism premature.

That would be one sweet mea culpa.

3/11

On the Brink of Meltdown: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
The devastating Japanese quake and its outcome could generate a political tsunami here in the United States.
by Robert Alvarez

*The only good to come of this tragedy would be if we teeter on the brink of nuclear horror, but manage to avoid falling over, and it scares the living shit out of enough people that we swear off the stuff forever and ever, amen.

Given that there have been plenty of previous examples of what can, and has, gone wrong, I’m not very hopeful.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/11-11
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Demanding Cheaper Oil is Disastrous
The most popular cry in politics today is a pledge to deny reality and cut petrol prices. Give us our fix! Make it cheap! Make it now!
by Johann Hari

*Pretty dead on, other than what I think is a naive reading of Carter’s commitment to breaking our addiction, which, if history is any guide, would have resulted in ultimately futile half-measures even had he been “listened to”, as well as the continued backing of murderous regimes in the region, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/11-6
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Tim DeChristopher Showed Us ‘We Must Act’, Let’s Not Let Him Down
by Subhankar Banerjee

*There’s no time like the present

Because there may be no time to the future

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/11-9
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School Woes Rooted in Boardrooms, Not Classrooms
by Michael Schwalbe

*Solid piece.  I just wish the terms “entrepreneurs” and “managers” had been left out of the equation.

They imply a for-profit economic system and a hierarchial working environment, both of which are antithetical to a just world, and in these days we live in, inimical to the prospects for a livable one.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/11-3
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FAIR Blog
Stinging NPR: James O’Keefe’s Big Nothing

*Moyers and Winship speak of “editorial integrity”, yet Hart makes a compelling case for just the opposite, doesn’t he?

The Vulcan in me would appreciate an explanation of that seeming contradiction.

And these NPR reporters and hosts talk about “respect” – for what largely amounts to the nationwide equivalent of the White Citizens Councils?

(Of which my daddy was a member way back when, and if he were around today, I have no doubt he’d find his way to Tea Bagdom.)

But beyond that, what’s unfathomable to me is that when some group offers you five million dollars, you don’t check ‘em out?  You don’t ask for some lit, or a website, or something?

That’s asking for trouble.  And boy howdy, they got it, didn’t they?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/11/stinging-npr-james-okeefes-big-nothing/

O’Reilly’s Amnesia on Right-Wing Terror

*Which begs the question:

Given the fawning coverage these hearings will receive on the network, what are the odds that some right-wing lunatic won’t be “inspired” to try his hand at “deradicalizing” a few Muslim Americans?

And the odds that such will be virtually ignored by said network, should that tragically come to pass?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/11/oreillys-amnesia-on-right-wing-terror/

FAIR Media Advisory
Remembering David Broder
Despite non-ideological reputation, he pushed political culture to the right

*Broder’s wet dream was for two Republican Parties

And he lived to see that dream largely come to reality, didn’t he?

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4261
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Threat of Nuclear Disaster in Japan

*Scientific hubris and basic human greed will always place us at the precipice of disaster

http://www.accuracy.org/release/threat-of-nuclear-disaster-in-japan/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Japan Struck by One of Biggest Earthquakes in Recorded History, Tsunamis Threaten Pacific Basin

*You have to ask what connection this might have with climate change, and you have to marvel at the exceptional insanity of building nuke plants in a nation so vulnerable to disasters like this, don’t you?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/11/massive_earthquake_rocks_japan_triggering_tsunamis

Walkouts, Bank Boycotts and Recalls: Wisconsin Protests Intensify as Union-Busting Legislation Pushed through State Assembly

*Just a shout out to all the public servants who don’t happen to be “teachers, police and firefighters”, but who do the work necessary for the delivery of state services.

Props to y’all, too.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/11/walkouts_bank_boycotts_and_recalls_wisconsin

Mother of 9/11 Victim Condemns King Hearing on Muslim “Radicalization”

*Vicious demagogues like King, and McCarthy before him, depend on a corporate media that gives credence to their vile lies, rather than exposing them as the hatemongers they are by simply doing their job to report the facts.

King and his ilk have no shame, and neither does the corpress.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/11/mother_of_9_11_victim_condemns

3/10

Decline of Honey Bees Now a Global Phenomenon, says United Nations
by Michael McCarthy
the Independent/UK

*The most dangerous pests are of the two-legged variety

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/10-0
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Gulf Spill Sickness Wrecking Lives
Nearly a year after the oil disaster began, Gulf Coast residents are sick, and dying from BP’s toxic chemicals.
by Dahr Jamail
Al Jazeera

*Forget jail.

Every bastard responsible for this should be forced to swim daily along the Gulf Coast.

That would be justice.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/10-2
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Wisconsin Continues Right-Wing Structural Reforms That Have Decimated the United States
The real story of Wisconsin is the Republican right’s long war to refashion American society without unions
by Mark Weisbrot

*The Republicans lead, the Democrats follow …

And we’re stuck with the horseshit after the parade

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/10-17
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Europe Takes the Lead in Drive to Tax Speculators
There are still places in the world where folks from across the political spectrum can have a rational discussion about fair taxation.
by Sarah Anderson

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/10-16
.

New Wave of Protests Fighting Banksters
by Laura Flanders

*And when the corpress can’t ignore mass action, it does its dead level best to obfuscate and insinuate in order to sew doubt and blunt its impact, doesn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/10-15
.

A Real Sharia Law Promoter for Peter King to Investigate
by Jeremy Scahill

*An irony-clad case of high hypocrisy

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/10-9
.

Forbes 400 or the SiCKO 12?
by Donna Smith

*Club-ing us to death

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/10-12
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RootsAction
Tax Wall Street — For Jobs!

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/10-17
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Physicians for Human Rights
Obama’s Guantanamo Policy Condemned by PHR
Indefinite detention can cause psychological harm and should not be formal US policy

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/10-10
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Outrage in Wisconsin: Thousands Flood Capitol After GOP Strips Public Workers of Bargaining Rights in Surprise Senate Vote

*So where is Dear Misleader in all this, aside from issuing noncommittal nincomposities?

If anyone still believes this schmenge has an iota of concern for all those naive folks who voted for him, they should have their head examined.

Which, given the cuts to mental health around the country, just might not be possible.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/10/outrage_in_wisconsin_thousands_flood_capitol

“We Have Reached a Turning Point”: Journalist Frank Emspak Says Protests Will Grow in Response to WI Anti-Union Bill

*We may have reached a turning point, but until we have a clear vision of what we want to build, as well as what we want to tear down, we’re in danger of taking a wrong turn on the road to where we need to go.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/10/we_have_reached_a_turning_point

As Calls Grow for No Fly-Zone in Libya, Questions over Legality and Past Precedents Give Pause

*I agree with Falk that this is a tragic situation, and in a different world, such action could be legitimately seen as necessary in defense of the Libyan people.

But we’re in this world, one in which that aim is nothing more than a mask for trying to manipulate events to the West’s benefit, isn’t it?

What would be the quid pro quo for intervening?  How are the goals of democracy and self-determination served by the price exacted?

Given that context, I think the long-term aspirations of Libyans have a better chance of being fulfilled without Western military actions.

I say that with deep regret, but also with full awareness of the responsibility those Western powers bear for creating such a wrenching moral quandry.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/10/as_calls_grow_for_no_fly

Mark Potok: Peter King Hearings on Muslims “Despicable”

*Mosque-ing the reality of domestic terrorism

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/3/10/mark_potok_peter_king_hearings_on_muslims_despicable
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FAIR Blog
NYT’s Retro Rape Reporting Returns to Victim-Blaming Ways

*And just after International Women’s Day.

Do these bastards have a keen sense of irony or what?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/10/nyts-retro-rape-reporting-returns-to-victim-blaming-ways/

White Domestic Terrorism Suspect Arrested–See Page 20

*Typical of the liberal media, isn’t it?

Persons of color get reams of press, but if a white guy does the same thing …

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/10/white-domestic-terrorism-suspect-arrested-see-page-20/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Wisconsin Struggle: Now Come the Tractors

*Vaj’s comments put this fight in the proper perspective, don’t you think?

This is an attack on all but the rich – even on those Tea Baggers too daft, and blinded by their own prejudices, to see it – not only in Wisconsin, but across the nation.

The only way to resist it, and turn the tide so that we’re on the offensive, is for us to suss just who the hell “we” are – to see that an injustice to one is an injustice to all.

The reactionaries’ aim is division.  Ours must be unity.

http://www.accuracy.org/release/wisconsin-struggle-now-come-the-tractors/

3/9

FAIR Blog
Washington Post’s Pension Propaganda

*Comment left at link

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/09/washington-posts-pension-propaganda/
.

Israel Postpones Deportation of Foreign Workers’ Children
Interior Minister Eli Yishai made the decision Wednesday, claiming he did not wish to disrupt the studies of children enrolled in Israeli state-run schools.
by Haaretz (Israel)

*Arizona on the Jordan

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/09-2
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The Wisconsin Effect: Union Power Rediscovered
by Brian Tierney

*Very important point not made nearly enough:

“The bosses” often wear union labels, and collude with “the party of labor” as well as corps to the detriment of the rank and file.

I wish Tierney had made the vital connection between union busting and austerity cuts to services, though.

The circle must be unbroken, and wide enough for us all to join.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/09-12
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Maine Librarian’s Pointed Budget Message Hits the Mark
by Bill Nemitz

*I know this didn’t make a lick of difference to the bastards to whom it was addressed, but isn’t it good to hear someone talking about morality in such unambiguous terms?

And don’t you think we need to hear it a whole hell of a lot more?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/09-6
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Americans for Prosperity Road Show is Classic Astroturf
by Anne Landman

*The grassroots grow outside, not on the cushy carpet of a rented Radisson.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/09-8
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Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?
by David Cay Johnston

*The mangled mathematics of “mainstream” media misdirection

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/09-9
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Democracy and Saudi Arabia

*A draught of freedom in a sea of oil

http://www.accuracy.org/release/democracy-and-saudi-arabia/
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Listening to Life, before it’s too late: An interview with Ellen LaConte
by Robert Jensen

*Much here worth considering.

I don’t put any stock in the spiritual aspects, but it’s eminently logical to view “Life” as the true arbiter of our destiny, isn’t it?

I don’t believe it’s as benign in its actions as LaConte posits.  Think of the intense violence animals display acting within nature’s rules.

That’s where our ability to choose comes in, doesn’t it?  We have the option to obey those rules, but adapt them as our conscience dictates.

And that’s what makes us human.

If we choose to be.

http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-08/listening-life-it%E2%80%99s-too-late-interview-ellen-laconte
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: “This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, It’s a Kind of a Corporate Coup D’Etat”

*I think I see more contradictions in the movements in Wisconsin and elsewhere than Klein, but I agree it’s a dramatic shift from the status quo ante.

The question is how to focus that energy on attacking not just union rights rollbacks, but the entire reactionary corporate agenda, isn’t it?

And she’s dead on about going after all the bad guys, including Dear Misleader, but I don’t believe putting pressure on him and the party will yield more than cosmetic results.  We have to understand and confront the synergy of the political duopoly, or we’ll never see the day when we’ll have truly representative government, will we?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/9/naomi_klein_on_anti_union_bills

Naomi Klein: Tim DeChristopher Guilty Verdict Exposes “Double Standard” of How “Oil and Gas Companies Privatize Profits…Externalize the Cost”

*It’s good to see talk of making connections among all the vital issues facing us, isn’t it?

My question is, just how will that realization be realized?  How deep will the analysis, and the action, go?  I can envision a scenario in which we fool ourselves into thinking we’re taking decisive action, and understanding too late that it isn’t enough.

As the song goes, we must keep our eyes wide open all the time.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/9/naomi_klein_tim_dechristopher_guilty_verdict

“My Fear is that Climate Change is the Biggest Crisis of All”: Naomi Klein Warns Global Warming Could Be Exploited by Capitalism and Militarism

*Klein’s last comments sum it all up, don’t they?

I’d just say that it isn’t a fear that climate change is the greatest crisis facing humanity.

It’s the literally dead certain reality.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/9/my_fear_is_that_climate_change

3/8

Eco-Farming Could Double Food Output of Poor Countries, Says UN
Report cites insect-trapping plants in Kenya and Bangladesh’s use of ducks in paddy fields, and resulting rise in crop yields
by Reuters

*The natural thing to do

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/08-2
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The War is Killing Afghanistan’s Children. Enough!
Afghan Civilians Intentionally Targeted by NATO/ISAF Forces
by Afghans for Peace

*Civilian deaths aren’t “collateral damage”.

History shows us that they’re an integral part of war, American style, doesn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/08-6
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From Buccaneers to Profiteers: On the Origin of Corporations
by David Korten

*The fashions may change, but the cutthroat mentality remains

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/08
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Unions’ Many Mistakes and Opportunities to Mend
by Ted Rall

*”Which Side Are You On?” was the old union hymn.

Today’s “leadership” is in dire need of a music lesson.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/08-4
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Physicians for a National Health Program
Massachusetts Health Reform Hasn’t Stopped Medical Bankruptcies: Harvard Study
Skimpy health insurance policies are likely culprit in continuing problem; findings indicate national reform law won’t stop bankruptcies

*Moral bankruptcy leading to financial bankruptcy

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/08-0
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FAIR Media Advisory
How Many Afghan Kids Need to Die to Make the News?

*”Collateral damage” control

In the sights of US weapons, and out of sight in the US “mainstream” media

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4257
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Debate on Libya and Intervention

http://www.accuracy.org/release/24016/

Obama “Institutionalizing” Guantánamo

*Git mo’ contemptuous of justice with each passing day, don’t he just?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/obama-institutionalizing-guantanamo/

Who is the Government Jailing? * Environmentalists * Whistleblowers * Peace Activists

*Chains we can believe in

http://www.accuracy.org/release/who-is-the-government-jailing-environmentalists-whistleblowers-peace-activists/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
“Women’s Rights are Workers’ Rights:” Kavita Ramdas on History of International Women’s Day and Challenges Women Face 100 Years Later

*I think it’s a very important point that Ramdas makes about the superficiality of “gender equality” and how that masks the reality for most women here and around the world.

The fact that Clinton holds a high position is somehow seen as a victory for women’s rights, when her acts have led to the deaths and suffering of so many women, shows how identity politics can be perverted by those in power to pit one’s identity as a member of an oppressed group against one’s identity as a human being.

The two aren’t at odds with each other.  They’re mutually reinforcing, aren’t they?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/8/womens_rights_are_workers_rights_kavita

Novelist Ahdaf Soueif on Egypt’s Revolution: “People Were Rediscovering Themselves”

*We need to know about what contacts are being made between the military and the US, don’t we?  There’s a long-established relationship there, and it’s certain to be used to try to manipulate events.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/8/ahdaf_soueif_on_egypts_revolution_people

3/7

This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us
by Chris Hedges

*Not much cause for hope, is there?

But hope isn’t necessary in order to act, is it?

And that’s our obligation as human beings – to act as if we care about each other.

And if there is any hope, it’s in those acts.

But whatever the outcome, we will have acted on our best instincts.

And if we’re here for any purpose, that has to be it, doesn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-0
.

Equality for Women Can Reduce World Hunger, Says UN Report
Ending discrimination against women in agriculture could feed 150m people, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation
by the Associated Press

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/07-2
.

The Republican Attack on Women’s Health Goes Global
by Michelle Chen

*The next time you’re tempted to lay the blame for the population explosion at the feet of the “irresponsible” Third World, you might think about just who’s really being irresponsible – and inhuman – in this tragic tale.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-14
.

The Imperative Of Women’s Human Rights
Reflections On The 100th Anniversary Of International Women’s Day
by Lucinda Marshall

*It’s a man’s world

So should we be surprised by the shape it’s in?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-13
.

Beware the Invisible Hand of Privatization
by Willie Pelote, Sr.

*Public good

Private bad

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/07-12
.

FAIR Blog
Fareed Zakaria’s Contra Solution in Libya

*Doesn’t it make your skin crawl to listen to imperial-minded bastards like these mulling over how best to hijack a revolution in the name of “freedom”?

Especially when these same imperial-minded bastards were just ducky about the flow of blood, along with the flow of oil, in Libya just a few short weeks ago.

As for the Contras and the Afghan warlords, I don’t believe Zakaria sees their body counts as a drawback. He’d be perfectly happy for deja vu all over again, as long as it culminated in the desired results for the US this time.

And if it doesn’t, well, there’ll likely be other opportunities to get it right, won’t there?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/07/fareed-zakarias-contra-solution-in-libya/

Hearts, Minds and Dead Children

*As sickening as this exchange is, it mirrors to some extent how many “progressives” frame this horror show. They speak of “failure” – not in the moral sense – but of the “mission”, as if that mission was something other than control of a nation containing coveted pipeline routes in a geostrategically important region.

They too speak of “hearts and minds” – and in doing so throw into question the extent of their possession of the former.

Perhaps they believe that is the “pragmatic” way to be effective, because otherwise the public won’t respond, but if you can’t put this in the context of the murder of innocents in the name of greed and power, and make that the core of your opposition to this war, what does that say about the moral compass of this country – and how your “pragmatism” determines which way it points?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/07/hearts-minds-and-dead-children/
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Behind U.S.-Backed Bahrain Regime’s “Dialogue”

*Note the picture of Clinton with, I assume, Mubarak, on the poster in the photo.

And contrary to the storyline last week, she wasn’t praising Al-Jazeera for presenting “real news”, in the sense of honest coverage of Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere.

So, put the two together, and you can see that the network’s back flip when it comes to Bahrain is her actual model for “responsible reporting”, isn’t it?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/behind-u-s-backed-bahrain-regimes-dialogue/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Hopes of Peaceful Revolution in Libya End as Opposition Prepares for Long Battle Against Gaddafi Forces

*Let’s hope the rebels can maintain a “no-hijack” zone, because if they can defeat Gaddafi’s forces, the West will unleash every dirty trick in its playbook to keep its grip on Libyan oil, and what will all the death and suffering have been for?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/7/hopes_of_peaceful_revolution_in_libya

Thousands of Migrant Workers Stranded at Libyan Borders and Ports as Violent Clashes Spread: Video Report by Anjali Kamat in Benghazi

*The human tragedy

Breaking chains of misery, while forging others

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/7/thousands_of_migrant_workers_stranded_at

3/5

Link to “I Wish to Live without Wars!” petition

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/livewithoutwars/

*I left this comment:

There are many reasons to oppose this horror, but the only one that truly matters is that people are dying so that my country’s rulers can maintain an empire, and I pay for that sin.

I ask forgiveness from the Afghan people, and pledge to work toward an end to this war, and for just reparations.

I fervently wish for the day when my tax dollars will be spent for that purpose, rather than in the service of greed and power.
.

How can we defeat Scott Walker?
Lee Sustar argues that organized labor has failed to demonstrate that it has a strategy to defeat Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting campaign.

*Moving from reaction to results

Whatever the path, we all have to walk it together, don’t we?

I’m glad to see that principle raised in this piece.  It can’t be stated too often, can it?

http://socialistworker.org/2011/03/04/how-can-we-defeat-walker

3/4

Libya Protests Break Out After Friday Prayers
Gaddafi forces put on show of strength as demonstrators gather in Tajura area of Tripoli
by Peter Beaumont in Tripoli and Mark Tran
The Guardian/UK

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/04-0
.

Bradley Manning and the Tomb of the Well-Known Soldier
by Greg Mitchell

*The celling of a conscience

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/04-11
.

The Cost of US Terrorism in Afghanistan: Incalculable
by Kathy Kelly

*There are none so blind as those who cannot feel

http://vcnv.org/incalculable
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/04
.

Scott Walker Down the Rat Hole with the Palace Guard
by Mary Bottari

*King Richard wouldn’t be proud

He’d be downright jealous

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/04-8
.

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
NBC-WSJ Poll: Majority of Americans Rank Nuclear Power Subsidies Top Target for Federal Budget Cuts

*A power failure on all fronts, other than in the halls of Congress and the Oval Office, where morality and common sense are always at a disadvantage, aren’t they?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/04-13
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Environmentalist Tim DeChristopher Found Guilty of Sabotaging Oil and Gas Auction; Faces up to 10 Years in Jail

*Welcome to America

Where no good deed goes unpunished

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/4/environmentalist_tim_dechristopher_found_guilty_of

Leaked EPA Documents Expose Decades-Old Effort to Hide Dangers of Natural Gas Extraction

*Is it the Environmental Protection Agency

Or the Enabling Pollution Agency?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/4/leaked_epa_documents_expose_decades_old

Natural Gas Industry Attacks Oscar-Nominated Film “Gasland” for Chronicling Devastating Impact of Hydraulic Fracking

*The Tea Bagmen want us to despise public employees.

When it comes to the decision-makers at EPA, I must concur.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/4/natural_gas_industry_attacks_oscar_nominated

Michael Hastings: Army Deploys Psychological Operations on U.S. Senators in Afghanistan

*Anyone with the most tenuous grasp on reality knows the military lies and manipulates with impunity to futher its aims, and makes no distinction between American and foreign audiences, between “friend” and “foe”, so although the details are useful intel, this shouldn’t be in the least surprising, should it?

And this house of horrors has been “off the rails” from a moral standpoint since it was a gleam in Dick Cheney’s beady little eye.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/4/michael_hastings_army_deploys_psy_ops

Arab Hip-Hop and Revolution: The Narcicyst on Music, Politics, and the Art of Resistance

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/3/2/arab_hip_hop_and_revolution_the_narcicyst_on_music_politics_and_the_art_of_resistance
.

FAIR Blog
Rose Hearts Huckabee: ‘Public’ TV on Wisconsin Protests

*This might put things in proper perspective:

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/3/really_bad_reporting_in_wisconsin_media

And Huckabee doesn’t know too many people with a retirement plan?

Maybe he meant he doesn’t know too many people who *provide* a pension for their employees?

Just a thought.  He is, after all, from Arkansas – alternatively known as “Walmart World”.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/04/rose-hearts-huckabee-public-tv-on-wisconsin-protests/

3/3

Next Mass Extinction an Eyeblink Away: Scientists
by The Age (Australia)

*Left unsaid is the primary cause for our planet’s precarious predicament

Simply put …

Heedless, naked greed

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/03/03-4
.

The Afghan War is Brutal, Expensive, Unpopular, and Ineffective – So Why Are We Spending Billions on It?
Leading Afghan Feminist Wants the U.S. and NATO to Leave Her Nation
by Sonali Kolhatkar

*The title gave me pause, but it fact the piece focuses primarily on the horror experienced by the Afghan population, rather than on “pragmatic” reasons to oppose the war due to its “failures”, and not because of its immorality.

And Joya is a voice of reason and reality that needs to be heard far more widely.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/03
.

Intervention in Libya Would Poison the Arab Revolution
Western military action against Gaddafi risks spreading the conflict and undermining the democratic movement
by Seumas Milne

*Excellent piece that should be a touchstone for anyone seeking to support authentic revolution in the region, and stand against its hijacking by imperial jackals determined to maintain their bloody grip on the levers of power in those nations

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/03-5
.

NARAL Pro-Choice America
House Resumes War on Women
As committee advances “Stupak on Steroids” bill, NARAL Pro-Choice America reports surge in pro-choice activism

*Woman is the nigger of the world, as the song goes

And on Capitol Hill, she’s the House nigger

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/03-7
.

FAIR Blog
Are Teachers Scorned? Much Less Than Reporters

*I think perhaps Gabriel’s confusing Christie’s standing among his corpress colleagues with the esteem in which he’s held by the general public.

As for those selfsame journalists, I’d be curious to know the reasons for their poor showing.

I’m clear as to the basis for my own opinion of them.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/03/are-teachers-scorned-much-less-than-reporters/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
As Gaddafi Forces Launch New Attacks, Reports on the Ground from a Divided Libya

*Still not clear what the US will do, is it?

The only certainty is that the best interests of Libyans will play no part in the deliberations, will they?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/3/as_gaddafi_forces_launch_new_attacks

“Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin”: Media Parroting Walker’s False Claims of Taxpayer “Subsidies” for Workers’ Pensions

*In what part of town do the real “welfare kings and queens” live?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/3/really_bad_reporting_in_wisconsin_media

NATO Gunships Kill 9 Afghan Children; 3rd Reported Attack on Afghan Civilians in 2 Weeks

*Why are we talking about strategies and their failure or success?  The US wants to control Afghanistan, and will try to accomplish that however it can.

COIN or kill teams, “development” or drones, it’s all about empire.

Do you oppose imperialism or not?  If you do, its form is immaterial, isn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/3/us_apologizes_to_afghan_people_for

Bradley Manning Hit with New Charges in WikiLeaks Case, Including “Aiding the Enemy”

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/3/bradley_manning_hit_with_new_charges

3/2

FAIR Blog
Lobbying for Dictators a ‘Precarious,’ ‘Uneasy’ Business

*Odd, isn’t it, how the corpress excoriates journalists going undercover to unmask morally-challenged (i.e., bankrupt) lobbying firms and Midwestern governors by reporting what they actually said, while enabling reactionary activists engaged in the same activity (re ACORN and Planned Parenthood), but who present blatantly falsified accounts of their findings to further their agenda.

So there is an issue of ethics involved here.  It’s just not the one Kurtz wants us to focus on, is it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/02/lobbying-for-dictators-a-precarious-uneasy-business/

ABC’s Made in America Hypocrisy

*The products may be produced elsewhere, but the hypocrisy’s certifiably “Made in USA”, isn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/02/abcs-made-in-america-hypocrisy/

Bill O’Reilly’s Public Opinion Solution: Don’t Poll Union Members

*Comments left at link

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/02/bill-oreillys-public-opinion-solution-dont-poll-union-members/
.

The Phony Budget Crisis: Forget Austerity, Tax the Rich
by Ted Rall

*Just popped into my head for, some reason:

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/o/ojays/for_the_love_of_money.html

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/02-14
.

How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden
by Richard Wolff

*The mainstream mantra is “More wealth means more jobs.”

The facts categorically refute this equation.  Thus, they are persona non grata in gummint and corpress circles, and so the public is left ignorant of them, and susceptible to the false logic of the lie.

One of the most important developments that can come from the current ferment over service cuts and labor rights revocations is the dissemination of this intel, don’t you think?

Knowledge is people power.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/02-2
.

State Health Law Waivers: Opportunity or Ominous?
The president supports state innovation in health care, but vigilance is required to ensure state reforms improve health as we continue to call for national reform
by Margaret Flowers

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/02-15
.

The Wave of Popular Uprisings Has Washed Beyond the Middle East
by Michelle Chen

*Useful overview of the struggles, but I’m not sure why Chen speaks of this aversion to violence to achieve their ends, especially in Libya.

True, elsewhere the uprisings have been largely nonviolent, but even in Egypt, we haven’t see a Gandhian adherence to the principle, have we?

The point is that armed force is a complex tactic that must be carefully considered, but not ruled out.  It’s a hard truth that requires a rejection of the romance of both violence and nonviolence in order to make an intelligent decision as to whether it must be employed.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/02-3
.

Earthjustice
EPA Estimates Clean Air Act Will Gain $2 Trillion in Health Benefits by 2020
Includes 230,000 saved lives

*And just think what could be accomplished if the agency was truly committed to its mandate

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/02-10
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Prof. Horace Campbell: Peace & Justice Movement Should Oppose U.S.-Led Intervention in Libya

*Doesn’t a chill go down your spine when you think about how Washington coldly and calculatingly assesses its next move, as if the fates of human beings were of no more concern than those of pieces on a chess board?

Can someone who engages in such acts truly be considered “human” themselves?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/prof_horace_campbell_peace_justice_movement

U.S. Silent on Deadly Iraqi Gov’t Crackdown on Protests; 300 Arrested in Sweeps Targeting Dissidents

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/us_silent_on_deadly_iraqi_govt

Labor Protests Spread: Thousands Rally Against Anti-Union Bill in Ohio

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/thousands_protest_anti_union_bill_in

As Demonstrators Remain Locked Out, Wisconsin Gov. Walker Unveils Budget to Slash Education, Gov’t Aid

*Being from the South, I keep having these flashbacks to Walker’s kindred spirits – vicious bastards like George Wallace and Ross Barnett.

But the corpress paid lip service to condemning their vile acts back then.

Today, it’s just “politics”, isn’t it?

You might ask some of the black folks who headed north decades ago, and are now facing the loss of their meager lifelines, about the “politics” of the situation.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/as_demonstrators_remain_locked_out_wisconsin

Indiana Dems Vow to Remain in Illinois to Stall Anti-Union Bill

*”Right to work” …

Why do I hear the strains of “Dixie” in the background?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/indiana_dems_vow_to_remain_in

Idaho Students Stage Walkout to Oppose Teacher Layoffs, Collective Bargaining Curbs

*Smart kid.

The odds of many more dim with every perversion of education promoted by both parties, don’t they?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/2/idaho_students_stage_walk_out_to

3/1

FAIR Blog
The Public vs. the Media on Unions, Deficits

*It’s the only instance in which the corpress can accurately be called “a class act”, isn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2011/03/01/the-public-vs-the-media-on-unions-deficits/
.

FAIR Action Alert
Why Does USA Today Hate Public Workers?
Paper’s Dennis Cauchon continues misleading spin

*Yet another defective product from the faux fact-ory

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4254
.

$1.2 Trillion: The National Security Figure No One Wants You To See
by Chris Hellman

*Paying the price for perverted priorities

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/01-7
.

Shifting Political Power: From Citizens United to Wisconsin
by Brian Miller

*Unions have made great contributions, but labor must be independent if it’s to truly serve the cause of a fair economy.

As long as most union leadership remains in bed with the Democratic Party, we’ll continue to be the ones getting fucked, won’t we?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/01
.

Changing the Terms of Economic Debate
As long as we let ourselves be boxed in by a rightwing agenda that leaves us searching for least-worst options, we’re losing
by Dean Baker

*Failing the vision test

But Baker’s also limited by his own inability to see beyond the profit system, isn’t he?

We have to change the terms of the economy, to one which ensures every person a life with dignity, and a planet on which to live that life, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/01-9
.

Nurses Offer to Buy President’s Shoes to March With Workers
by Rose Ann DeMoro

*What a union leader ought to be saying, and props to DeMoro for saying it

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/01-0
.

Physicians for a National Health Program
‘Wisconsin Battle Crucial for Health and Democracy’: Doctors Group

*Writing a prescription for a healthy body politic

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/03/01-13
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
“Deficit Fears Irrational, Cuts Will Impede Recovery”

*Cutting to the chase, not the bone

http://www.accuracy.org/release/deficit-fears-irrational-cuts-will-impede-recovery/

U.S. “Hypocrisy” on Libya and International Criminal Court

*Don’t do as we do

Do as we say we do

http://www.accuracy.org/release/u-s-hypocrisy-on-libya-and-international-criminal-court/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Terror in Tripoli: Libyan American Describes Country in State of Fear, But Hopeful of Gaddafi’s Ouster

*Every time anyone from the US gummint makes a statement such as the one Clinton gives here, I think it’s incumbent upon DN! and all other alternative outlets to point out the utter hypocrisy of it, don’t you?

When you have a corpress dedicated to following the biparty line, you can’t contradict it too often, can you?

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/1/terror_in_tripoli_libyan_american_describes

Labor Organizers Consider General Strike in Wisconsin as Gov. Scott Walker Refuses to Negotiate over Anti-Union Bill

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/1/frank_ernspak_of_workers_independent_news

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Written by Doug Latimer

03/01/2011 at 7:29 PM

Posted in posts

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