Questionable Content

An inexpert attempt at contradicting the contradictions

November 2010

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For-Profit Schools See “Subprime-Opportunity”
by Julianne Hing

*Schools for scandal

Center for Economic and Policy Research
Statement from Dean Baker on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
Simpson-Bowles’ Violation of Charter is Characteristic of Their Approach

*The truly dangerous deficit facing the nation is one of humanity

Free Press
FCC Must Act to Keep Comcast in Check
Group Calls on Chairman Genachowski to Investigate Level 3 Allegations, Protect Internet Users

*Information superhighway robbery

Food & Water Watch
Factory Farm Nation: Map Charts Unprecedented Growth in Factory Farming
Food & Water Watch Analysis Finds Livestock on Factory Farms Grew by 20 Percent in 5 Years

*Deadly serious food fight

Richard Cohen Nails That Lying George W. Bush

*Mr. Cohen seems to be suffering from Gabriel’s Syndrome:’t-Remember-lyrics-Peter-Gabriel/4A8AC835EA38875A482568E400046FE0

It’s a common complaint among the corpress, innit?

“We Have Not Seen Anything Yet”: Guardian Editor Says Most Startling WikiLeaks Cables Still To Be Released

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal “Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership”


NYT Oversells WikiLeaks/Iranian Missiles Story

*Comment left at link

Hope, Real Hope, Is About Doing Something
by Chris Hedges

*I don’t know that I’d call this “hope”.  I think “humanity” comes closer to the concept.

For me, hope means expecting better days.

My view of hope isn’t necessary for the acts Hedges advocates.  The odds are that there won’t be better days.  But this is about how we show our humanity, not about its ability to change things.  It’s about the act, not the result.

I want to be wrong, of course, but if I’m not, it doesn’t change the necessity of doing what we know is right.

If there’s any reason for our existence, that’s it, isn’t it?

The Yahoos are in Charge: Taking It Out on the Kids, and the Grandkids
by Dave Lindorff

*Shortening the distance “from sea to shining sea”

Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP)
Governments at Cancún Climate Talks Need to Support Local Solutions
IATP releases new ‘Climate and Agriculture’ series

Cornucopia Institute
Dirty Little Secret in the Natural Foods Industry: Toxic Chemical Use
Solvents Banned in Organics all too Common in “Natural” Food Production

*Sorta begs the question that if some companies knew about hexane’s dangers long ago, why didn’t these “responsible” ones who’ve now switched know, as well?

Center for Public Integrity (CPI)
Obama: Economic Stimulus Trumps Environmental Laws

*How ethanol qualifies as “clean energy” is beyond me.

And beyond that, this is not about creating a “clean energy economy”, is it?  It’s about greenwashed PR, and providing subsidies to companies and corporations whose products may or may not be “green”, but whose only interest is the green they gain from selling them.

U.S. Facing Global Diplomatic Crisis Following Massive WikiLeaks Release of Secret Diplomatic Cables

*Whatever the fallout from this, imagine the impact if we had a news media that did their job, rather than subverting the principles they claim to uphold.

But if that were the case, there wouldn’t be anywhere near the level of duplicity revealed in these documents, would there?


Global Food Justice
With more than one billion people worldwide being overweight, why are so many others struggling to fill their plates?
by Riz Khan

Rethinking the Global Economy: The Case for Sharing
by Rajesh Makwana and Adam Parsons

*This hits many nails precisely on the head, but seems to shy away from where all that pounding must logically lead to – namely, an end to profit.

Even if everyone is acting more or less ethically, a profit-based system must by definition produce winners and losers.  You can ameliorate some of the inequity, but it still exists as a fundamental consequence of the system, don’t you think?

Cooperation is the antithesis of competition, and profit is the very essence of competition.  They really can’t exist in harmony, can they?

I’m no expert, as the above likely makes abundantly clear.  I just try to be a mensch, and give that whole Golden Rule thing a shot.

And that principle, to me, is the only moral, and practical, basis for creating a truly just world.

There Won’t Be a Bailout for the Earth
by Johann Hari

*So, will our epitaph be:

“Here lies the human race
A most industrious species

While others unconsciously took eons
It managed to wilfully wipe itself out
In just a few centuries

Stupid sumbitches
But efficient”?

24/7 Consumerism is Killing Us
by Denise Civiletti

*Shop ’til you drop


Talking to the Taliban about Life after Occupation
Special report: In the last of his series from Afghanistan, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad asks Taliban leaders past and present what kind of regime they would run – and whether there is a chance of negotiated peace
by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
The Guardian/UK

*I wouldn’t blithely take these pronouncements at face value – PR isn’t exclusively the province of western forces, stating the obvious – but they’re important to hear, and there’s no argument that the US has no right to tell the Taliban, or anyone else, about democracy and human rights, is there?

Center for Biological Diversity
187,000 Square Miles Designated as Polar Bear Critical Habitat in Alaska

*As you might imagine, the devil is in the details

Human Rights Watch
Egypt: Systematic Crackdown Days Before Elections
Mass Arrests, Intimidation, Campaign Restrictions Make Fair Outcome Questionable

*The Obama admin makes the empty gesture of calling for international observance, knowing full well it will be rejected, but giving it “plausible deniability” regarding its collusion with the Mubarak regime.

New dog, old tricks.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Haitian Elections on Sunday “Neither Free Nor Fair”

*Disaster, disease and democratic disconnection


The meaning of Thanksgiving: Holocaust denial
by Robert Jensen

*A day for duplicity and delusion

Have a happy

Teaching Virtual Resistance to Violence
by Kanya D’Almeida
Inter Press Service

*Serious child’s play


Firms See Long-Sought Goal in Sight: Major Pay Cuts
by Roger Bybee
In These Times

*Maté’s observations on community and connection in the DN! segment below are pertinent here, don’t you think?

As is Tom Paine’s admonition:

“If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”

This Isn’t Just a Student Protest. It’s a Children’s Crusade
Those too young to vote, yet with their futures at stake, have organically come together to be heard
by Laurie Penny

*Out of the mouths of angry babes

Private Insurance Induced Stress Disorder (PIISD)
by Russell Mokhiber

Another Taxpayer-Funded Thanksgiving Feast for Wall Street
by Les Leopold

*Although this is coming from the right angle, within the context of the current system, the only truly just solution is an end to profit, isn’t it?

Any system based on competition, no matter how “fair”, produces winners and losers, and that doesn’t make a lick of moral sense when we’re talking about folks’ lives, does it?

Let’s Join a World-Wide Bank Run in December!
by Robert Prasch

*Bank off it

The Incredible Shrinking Withdrawal Date
How to schedule a war
by Tom Engelhardt

*Engelhardt at least makes mention of motives beyond “The War on Terror” ™, as well as the horrible human cost for Afghans.  But, again, these are not in the forefront, and, again, you have to ask why they aren’t, don’t you?

National Lawyers Guild Files Amicus Brief in Kevin Kjonaas et al. v. United States of America

Tim Shorrock: Direct Talks With North Korea Are the Only Answer to End Korean War

*Crucial context covered up in the corpress

As for nukes, if nuclear power were outlawed, the question of whether a facility’s being used for civilian or military purposes would be moot, wouldn’t it?

Dr. Gabor Maté on ADHD, Bullying and the Destruction of American Childhood

*Very important piece on the loss of connection and community for children.

I’ve dissed DN!, and I think with justification, for a number of failures, but segments like this show what it’s capable of, and has no excuse for not doing on a daily basis.

Even here, though, the SOP references to “best-selling” grate, don’t they?

Oy …


Patrick Cockburn and Embedded Journalism

*Comments left at link

Corporations Show Largest Profits in History Amidst Jobs Crisis
by David Dayen

*Keeping the home fires burning

To the ground

Canadian Gov’t, Alberta Fighting Foreign Climate Laws to Push Tar Sands: Report
by CBC News

*An ill wind from the north

Healing from Empire: Anti-War Veterans Redefine Veterans Day
by Clare Bayard

*From cannon fodder to cannon clogger

What the TSA Patdown Searches Are Really About
by Robert Freeman

*Chains we can believe in, and the audacity of grope

Center for Biological Diversity
Lawsuit Filed Over EPA Refusal to Address Lead Poisoning of Wildlife
Suit Seeks to Prevent Annual Deaths of Millions of Wild Birds, Wildlife From Toxic Lead in Ammunition, Fishing Gear

Institute for Public Accuracy
Is IAEA Using Fraudulent Documents on Iran?

Joe Nocera on “All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis”

*This system is a malignant tumor, and regulation is a band aid when a scapel’s called for


America’s Failed War of Attrition in Afghanistan
by Jeremy Scahill
The Nation

*Somewhat better than the DN! segment below, but again primarily focused on “failure”, with no mention of why this war is being waged.

That always has to be your starting point, doesn’t it?

Michael Chertoff, Bend Over, Please…
by Thom Hartmann

*”If we are serious about stopping Middle Eastern zealots from attacking us, instead of blowing up our own Fourth Amendment right to be secure in our persons, let’s stop blowing up Middle Eastern countries.”

Spock would be proud, don’t you think?
Bush’s Friend Barack
by Ralph Nader

*Buddy picture cum horror movie

New Health Care Law Fails to Make the Grade
by Margaret Flowers

*We have universal coverage in this country, don’t we?

It just goes to the insurance industry

America’s Eggshell Nukes
by Harvey Wasserman

*Iran?  North Korea?

Here’s the real meal deal nuke threat, don’t you think?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama-Republican Alliance on War?

*No gridlock on the imperial highway


Video Report From Afghanistan: How the U.S. Counter-insurgency Campaign Is Failing

*How many times does the point have to be made?

It’s not about “failure” or “success”.

It’s about empire and death, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter if this strategy “works” or not from a moral point of view, and yet hardly a word is uttered regarding the fundamental inhumanity of US actions.

Someone please explain to me the mentality behind a piece like this.

“Anti-war” doesn’t seem to fit, at least not as I define it.

Anthony DePalma on “City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11”

*Another example of DN! bringing on some half-assed mainstream “critic”, rather than someone who could put this in proper context without mincing words.

What occurred was the wilful deception of thousands directly affected, and all those concerned about them getting proper treatment and just compensation, in order to protect wealth and power.

Given that, DePalma was the best choice?

The Times Recalls the Good Old Days of SOA Protests

*Comments left at link


A Sit-In Success Story
Parents in a low-income Chicago neighborhood endured a 43-day sit-in to get a library for their children.
by Micah Uetricht
YES! Magazine

*You need to read about things like this every once in a while to keep you from feeling there’s just no hope, don’t you?

And while these folks may have won, and they’re absolutely justified in being wary of that, that’s not the main point, is it?

They took action, they hung together, they showed the best side of their humanity.

That’s the main point, and that’s what gives our existence meaning, don’t you think?

Hotel Workers Lead a New Tide of Labor Militancy
by Brian Tierney

*Checkout time for haughty hoteliers

Good Things Come in Small Farming Practices
Fear and fertility are the two biggest stumbling blocks to Australian farmers shifting their agricultural model from industrial to artisan, writes Helen Greenwood.
by Helen Greenwood
The Age (Australia)

*The guy makes a lot of sense, doesn’t he?

So why was he “hailed by TIME”?

It always bothers me when someone who seems to get it gets props from some corpress outlet, y’know?  It makes you wonder if all is not as it seems, doesn’t it?

Malalai Joya Won’t Be Silenced by Warlords, Fundamentalists, or US Occupation
by Adele Horin

*I’m sure the Herald has plenty to be deeply critical of, but this piece does set you to considering the odds of its twin appearing in a “major” outlet over here, doesn’t it?

4 Common Myths about the War on Terrorism
by Reese Erlich

*A good primer on the subject, but I’d say that US policy intentionally, not inadvertently, leads to more terrorism, as that supplies the empire with its supposed raison d’etre – as a bulwark against barbarism.

Orwell would recognize the tactic, wouldn’t he?

How Low Can We Go if We Shop Till We Drop?
by Danny Schechter

*Getting sold out as we buy, and buy, into it

The Deadly Lie of Democracy in Iraq
by Ahmed Habib

*Choosing your rapist

US War Veterans, Civilian War Opponents to Demand ‘Peace on Earth’ at White House
Vets Urge American Public to Join in ‘Civil Resistance’ Dec. 16

*Taking the call to conscience to Dear Misleader’s doorstep

Chris Hedges Was Supposed to Write A Book about the Media…

*I read whatever I come across from Hedges.  He’s broken with reformist “progressives” who believe that the system can be repaired.

You can’t repair rot.  You can only replace it.

His work often provides vital intel for folks thinking about just how the hell to do that.

That said, and this should go for anyone you respect – and especially one’s own self:

Pedestals are inherently unstable structures.

That’s stating the bleedin’ obvious, I know, but it’s a little scary how often we overlook the obvious, isn’t it?

National Outcry Over TSA Body Scanners and Invasive Pat-Downs

*Now, for some folks the groping might be enjoyable.  They might be in the mood for it that particular day, and should be able to request it.

For everyone else, hands off.

The most effective safety measure is the one least likely to be implemented:

Stop killing people in other countries.


Rush to Approve Frankenfish May Prove Risky
by Agence France Presse

“Privacy” Protections for Corporations Undermines Government Transparency
by Rebecca Jeschke
Deeplinks Blog/EFF

*Corporations aren’t persons

For one thing, they all have more than one dick

Your Angry God Will Not Save You Now
by Mark Morford

*Doing what comes naturally, and dying by what doesn’t

Peddling War to Children
by Robert C. Koehler

*Excellent piece.

War was fantasyland for me growing up, as well, with a fascination for the machines of death, especially aircraft.  I went to an air show this summer, and could still recall many of the planes I lovingly painted and constructed as models, and hung above my bed, never thinking to put myself in the place of those they rained hell down upon.

Thinking back on that, it frankly scares the shit out of me, that I could be so oblivious to the reality of war, but of course that’s precisely the purpose of the military-entertainment complex, then and now, isn’t it?

The piece I just posted by Russell Mokhiber sets you to pondering the connection between the psychopathology that he relates and the glorification of war, doesn’t it?

To put a counterspin on the old anti-war slogan:

War is bad business
Divest your young

The Physical and Emotional Costs of Long-Term Unemployment
by Yvonne Yen Liu

*It’s not “partisan bickering” that prevents an adequate jobs program, is it?

It’s bipartisan policy to keep anything approaching what’s necessary from being implemented.

War Is a Drug
by Russell Mokhiber

*You have to ask how this could make it into the paper in the first place, don’t you?

Did the editor agree with the author, or just feel that readers needed to hear the psychopath point of view?

Can you see this transposed to Nazi Germany, with a storm trooper rhapsodizing about his righteous slaughter of “the dirty Jews, who must be cleansed from the Fatherland”?

Such a submission would be welcomed in that time and place.

Why was this so here and now?

Haitians Barricading Streets with Coffins as Protests against U.N. Continue over Cholera Outbreak

*There’s no direct economic or geostrategic benefit to this continuing oppression, so you have to think the Haitian people are being punished solely for asserting their independence, as an example to others, don’t you?

As New York Debates Secure Communities Program, Study Challenges Controversial Policy to Deport Immigrant Prisoners

Student, Prisoner Advocate Tam Phan Faces Deportation Order to Vietnam


U.S. Poll Finds Growing Aversion to Death Penalty
by William Fisher
Inter Press Service

*Any bets on whether this will become a plank in the Demoȼrats’ platform?

Add it to the scrap pile of other popular proposals passed on by “the party of the people”

Chomsky on Post-Midterm America
by The Real News Network

The Religion of Politics
by David Michael Green

*Green focuses on Americans, but it’s our species en masse that is the only one wilfully incapable of reason, and thus will be the only one wilfully involved in its own extinction.

It goes without saying that I hope to hell I suck at clairvoyance.

Could Nonviolent Resistance Defeat Petraeus’ Night Raids in Afghanistan?
by Robert Naiman

*A proposal with potential, don’t you think?

Food & Water Watch
Biotechnology Industry Spends Over Half a Billion Pushing Controversial Projects like Genetically Engineered (GE) Food Animals
Food & Water Watch Analysis Exposes Government Connections to Biotech Lobbyists; Despite Widespread Opposition, FDA may Approve First GE Food Animal on Nov. 23

*Talk about a monster of a meal

We’d better be

Center for Responsive Politics
Congressional Members’ Personal Wealth Expands Despite Sour National Economy

*(Insert caustic comment about “the power of the purse”)

Institute for Public Accuracy
Federal Reserve and Unemployment

Jury Appears Deadlocked in Landmark Civilian Trial of Gitmo Prisoner

*Maybe prisoners are no longer being tortured in the “classic” sense at Guantánamo, but wouldn’t you say their treatment amounts to a form of torture?

What would you call it if you were held there?

45 Years Later, Former Alabama State Trooper Pleads Guilty to Killing Black Civil Rights Worker Jimmie Lee Jackson

*Something tells me that the “law and order” types won’t be outraged by this travesty of a sentence, and that should tell you in no uncertain terms what their concept of “order” is, shouldn’t it?

Rep. John Lewis on Congress After GOP Victory, Closing Gitmo, Afghan War and Ethics Conviction of Charles Rangel

*I met Lewis many years ago, and I’d like to think he has a good heart, but as long as he believes in playing or feels compelled to play the party game to achieve the goals he’s dedicated so much of his life to, he’ll never see those realized, will he?

I hope I’m not engaging in political romanticism in thinking Dr. King understood that at the end.  I think it’s very likely that someone believed he did, and so he had to be silenced.

“Push Michael Moore Off a Cliff”: Health Insurance Whistleblower Wendell Potter Details How the Industry Attacked Michael Moore’s Film Sicko

*Isn’t it quintessentially American that these bastards were scared shirtless about a movie, rather than an organized, effective grassroots opposition to folks dying because they couldn’t afford healthcare?


The Coming Water Shock
by GRITtv

The Democrats’ Problem Was Not Overreach
by Christopher Phelps

*Good things never come to those who wait for help from above, do they?

The Corporate Takeover of American Schools
The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice
by Paul Thomas

*Vital point made here about the overwhelming influence of inequality on educational achievement

Twenty-First Century Blowback?
As Prospects Dim in Iraq, the Pentagon Digs in Deeper Around the Middle East
by Nick Turse

*Nothing lacking in this stimulus package, is there?

Except any commitment to peace and justice

Tradition triumphs

US Activists Face New Repression as Political Prisoners Fight for Justice
by Nora Barrows-Friedman and Maureen Clare Murphy

*The cost of conscience in “The Land of the Free” ™

United for a Fair Economy
Small Business Owners Say ‘Yes’ to Estate Tax – Tell Opponents ‘You Don’t Speak For Us’
They Join United for a Fair Economy in Asking Congress and White House for Permanent Restoration of a Robust Tax on Inheritance

Friends of the Earth
Nanotechnology’s True Climate and Energy Cost Exposed
Report reveals large net energy cost and other environmental threats posed by nanotechnology

Wendell Potter on “Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans”

*That last segment illustrates to me what’s often wrong with DN! – when Potter starts making excuses for Obama’s betrayal on healthcare (throwing in Clinton’s feint for good measure), Goodman doesn’t challenge his contention that the administration was simply outmaneuvered by the industry, rather than it simply not ever having any intention of doing the right thing.

Not sure how you get to be “award-winning” off that, are you?


Projecting Power or Promoting Peace: The Prophetic Call for Justice, Kindness, Humility
by Robert Jensen

*Not much to add to this, other than to say that I think our willingness to take the risks necessary is inextricably linked to our sense of connection with others.

When we feel isolated, fear and doubt find their voice.

Community mutes those destructive whispers.

That’s why those in power seek to keep us separated, and why empathy and the ability to express it is such a danger to their hold on that power.

The Origin of America’s Intellectual Vacuum
by Chris Hedges

*Excising the left side of the academic brain

Another recommended read from Hedges

Our Imperial Stimulus Package: War to the Horizon
by Tom Engelhardt

*Trillions for tribute to empire

Pennies for defense of a decent life

G20 Trials and the War on Activism
by Naomi Klein

*Klein’s closing comments are what it should be all about, aren’t they?

The whole Golden Rule thing, and its partners in other faiths and philosophies, sometimes seem to get lost as some folks talk the talk, but forget to walk the walk.

Want a more just world?  Act like it with everyone you come in contact with.

It feels good, honestly.  And it gives that talk some walkin’ ’round credibility that’s worth its weight in golden tongues.

White House Says Child Soldiers Are Ok, if They Fight Terrorists
by Michelle Chen

*Youth shall be served

A death sentence

Food Shouldn’t be a Poker Chip
Commodities markets are dominated by speculators who have never gotten their hands dirty in a corn field.
by Sarah Anderson

*Putting food on the table by taking the cards off it

Center for Biological Diversity
Deadly Pesticide Endosulfan Finally Banned in United States
Endocrine-disrupting Chemical Is Highly Toxic to Wildlife, Threatens Endangered Species and Is Dangerous to Human Health

Friends of the Earth
Congress Urged to End Multi-Billion Tax Credit for Dirty Corn Ethanol in Lame Duck Session
Environmental group launches online ad campaign to pressure Congress to let wasteful tax break expire

*Stop spreading the butter on Big Oil

Center for Economic and Policy Research
Growth of Ex-Offender Population in United States Is a Dramatic Drag on Economy

*Extended sentence for the economy

Institute for Public Accuracy
Afghanistan Policy: Fueling War

Burmese Pro-Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Freed After 15 of Past 21 Years in Detention

Moroccan Forces Raid Protest Camp in Western Sahara, Thousands Demonstrate in Madrid Against Crackdown

Author and Activist Derrick Jensen: “The Dominant Culture is Killing the Planet…It’s Very Important for Us to Start to Build a Culture of Resistance”

*Jensen’s point about trying to work within the system to change it is vital, I think.  You can’t repair or reform rot.

You can only replace it.

It’s an easy thing to say, of course.  How can you do it is the question that has confronted persons of conscience since time immemorial.

But time’s running out, isn’t it?

Economist Ha-Joon Chang on the G20 Summit, Currency Wars and Why the Free Market is a “Myth”

*Useful intel for economic doofusi (And we know who we are, don’t we?) wanting to get a handle on how all this relates to the struggle for a just world

Glenn Beck’s Jewish Problem

*Interesting how the ADL reacted to this.

While taking Beck to task over his remarks regarding Soros, they made clear their confidence that he was a steadfast supporter of Israel.

Their coming to Soros’ defense would also seem to signify that when it comes to “liberal” causes, justice for the Palestinians isn’t on Mr. George’s check (literally) list.

That’s just an assumption, though.  Does anyone have any intel on his financial contributions to any groups legitimately working for a just solution?


7 Ways to Transform Banking
Each of us can help build a resilient financial system that will serve real people in real communities.
by Fran Korten

War Is Not Good For You
by Conn Hallinan

*I wonder if the authors address why wars are fought

You can’t do much about ending them if you don’t confront the motives of those who profit from them, can you?

Yes, I Can: Straight Talk on Balancing the Budget
by Ted Rall

*Slashing the logic deficit

Shocking State Fair Scandal, Wage Theft Epidemic, Spur Nationwide Protests
by Art Levine
In These Times

U.S. Defaults on Vow to Reform Asylum System
by William Fisher
Inter Press Service

*Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

And I’ll toss their sorry asses in stir

It’s the American Way

Get used to it

Suffragium Ex Machina: Voting Machine Monopolies and a Different Kind of Public Option
A FairVote Innovative Analysis by Rob Richie

*Putting an open and accurate process to the vote

A Look at Argentina’s Economic Rebellion and the Social Movements that Led It

*Giving the boss a pink slip

“Nieto Recuperado”–Born to Parents Disappeared by Argentina’s Dictatorship, Kidnapped and Raised by a Military Family, a “Recovered Grandchild” Finds His Way Home

Argentine Torture Survivor Patricia Isasa Tells of Her Struggle to Bring Her Torturers to Justice

*Left out of this is US support for the coup.  Hopefully that’ll be rectified in later segments.


Deficit Commission Proposals Ignores Reality, Threatens Recovery
by Dean Baker

*The truly dangerous deficit of humanity on display

Time to Stop Making Nice to Military
by Laura Flanders

*A dishonorable discharge of duty

Public Like A Frog: “Where All Are Guilty, No One Is”
by Phil Rockstroh

*Keeping our focus on the assholes above, not the turds they’ve excreted below

Aren’t we all pieces of shit to some degree?

Toxic Hotspots Require Global Superfund
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

Obama Deficit Commission Criticized for Proposals to Slash Social Security, Medicare

*There’ll be nothing metaphorical about these deaths by a thousand cuts

Over 50,000 Students Protest in London over Planned Cuts to Education Funding

*Forget “hands across the water”

What we need are fists clinched in rage

Haiti Cholera Outbreak Reaches Port-au-Prince, Congress Continues to Block Release of Aid Funds

*That Bill Clinton has anything to do with disaster relief for the Haitian people is the very definition of “bitter irony”, isn’t it?

Haitian American Novelist on “The Immigrant Artist at Work”

*A spirit that ill winds of man and nature cannot blow away

Hating the Rich
Go Ahead, Hate Them, It’s Good for You
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

*I come at this from a different angle.  To me, it’s not about hate, or love.

It’s about justice, as I think it is for Dunbar-Ortiz.

But I think hate precludes complexity, and our species is nothing if not complex, isn’t it?

The rich aren’t born evil.  Understanding how someone becomes a purveyor of evil in the world is vital to changing the world, and blind hatred isn’t conducive to that understanding.

So I guess I do say “Hate the act, not the actor”, but that doesn’t connote any hope that the actor can be redeemed, although it may be theoretically possible.  It just means that there is the element of “There but for the grace of God go I”, and if that’s the case, there’s a connection among us all, rich and poor, that hatred denies.

I don’t believe this view diminishes the capacity for righteous rage at injustice and inequality.  I believe that justice demands that the exploiters and murderers pay for their crimes.

I don’t believe hate is a necessary ingredient in creating that just world.

I hope that makes sense.

Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies


Interviewing Bush: Lauer’s Lowlights

*The deference this bastard is shown by a “journalist” – calling him “sir” illustrative of same – is pretty goddamn galling.

It’s not just Dear Leader, though.  Any president, former or current, is accorded such treatment.

Leaving aside the fact that every president is a mass murderer, and should be giving interviews from prison, they’re supposed to be public *servants*, worthy of respect only to the extent that they serve the public good, and never entitled to obsequiousness.

That should be a first principle of the Fourth Estate, shouldn’t it?

The Media/Education Reform Revolving Door

Biofuel Plan Will Cause Rise in Carbon Emissions
by Oliver Wright
The Independent/UK

*Given that the plan never should have reached this stage in the first place, I wouldn’t take the gummint’s proclaimed change of heart at face value, would you?

Billionaire Launches Campaign to Slash Social Security
by Jane Slaughter

*We have to dramatically cut the deficit

Of common humanity

The Wall Street TARP Gang Wants to Take Away Your Social Security
by Dean Baker

*More on robbing Paul and Mary to pay Peter

Study Shows Fast Food Companies Aggressively Market to Kids, Minorities
by Kristin Wartman

*However much certain Supreme Court justices may beg to differ (And they don’t have to beg, do they?), I don’t see how corps have a First Amendment right to advertise a dangerous product, do you?

It’s beyond yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater – it’s setting the place aflame, and the audience is too obese to escape.

The Betrayal of Gaza
The US is vocal about its commitment to peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories — but its actions suggest otherwise
by Noam Chomsky

Nir Rosen on “Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World”

*Rosen, and by extension, Goodman, as she doesn’t question him on this, seems to accept the myth that “terrorism” is the reason for the war in Afghanistan.  There’s no mention of pipelines or geostrategic goals, and without it being made clear that the US is there for plunder and “Great Gaming”, you’re left with arguing over what’s the best way to fight terrorism, rather than an understanding that the US really doesn’t give a damn about that – that, in fact, terrorism (always by others) serves its purposes in having a boogeyman to point to to justify its imperial aims.

Rosen may believe that oil was the principal reason for invading Iraq – so obvious that perhaps he didn’t think to actually state it – but I don’t see his viewing Afghanistan in the same light, do you?

“Wartorn 1861-2010” New Doc Chronicles Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from Civil War to Iraq & Afghanistan

*It’s jarring to hear a parent describe the inhuman treatment his son received at the hands of his “superiors”, and at the same time speak of “patriot(ism)”.

There’s a disconnect there, a failure to recognize that your child owes no loyalty to an institution that sends him to kill for empire, and then blames and brutalizes him for the consequences of that betrayal.

Only a nation which acts according to its highest principles is worthy of patriots.  Allegiance to anything less is a vow divorced from virtue.


FAIR Out There

*Comment left at link

Pennsylvania to Become ‘Gasland’?
Pennsylvanians set to take on gov’t, industry, and Karl Rove over one of world’s largest gas deposits
by The Real News Network

Chemicals in Fast Food Wrappers Show Up in Human Blood
by Environment News Service

New Orleans: Incarceration Capitol of the US
A struggle over the size of New Orleans’ jail could define the city’s future
by Jordan Flaherty

*Gumbo and gulags

Tea Partiers Prefer Secession Rather Than Health Care for the Poor
by Tom Turnipseed

*I, too, am a “son of the South”, and every time I see a Rebel flag (in Wisconsin, for chrissake), I have to wonder if the owner understands what that flag has represented for nearly 140 years.

Or if he does, if he cares.

Or if he’s “whistlin’ ‘Dixie'” and not forgetting “old times there”.

And a chill goes down my spine to think that anyone would ever want that South to rise again.

Food & Water Watch
Activists Mobilize to Ban Arsenic in Maryland Poultry Production
New Food & Water Watch Report Warns of Public Health and Environmental Risks of Chemical

*Any way you look at it, it’s chicken shit

Center for Biological Diversity
Obama Administration Denies Endangered Species Act Protection to 251 Species
Imperiled Plants and Animals Relegated to “Candidate” List Where They’ll Languish for Years Without Protection

United for a Fair Economy
Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Speak Out For A Strong Estate Tax; Call the Tax Fair, Manageable and Rare
United for a Fair Economy Hosts a November 16 Press Conference Call Featuring Three Business Owners

As Obama Arrives in Jakarta, Secret Docs Show U.S.-Backed Indonesian Special Forces Unit Targets Papuan Churches, Civilians

Widow of Poisoned Indonesian Human Rights Activist Munir Calls on Indonesia to Hold His Killers Responsible

*Dear Misleader does have “a vision in humanity”.

He views it as a fig leaf for murder and destruction.

And all the photo ops of “a new kind of president” dancing with children with his jacket off and sleeves rolled up can’t hide the fact that it’s brutal business as usual, can it?


Bush’s ‘Sickening Feeling’ on WMDs Was an Inside Joke With the Press

*And since they’re emblematic of a corpress in bed with mass murderers (and doing really gross things under the sheets to them), I get a sickening feeling reading Connolly’s comments.

And there’s really nothing you can take for that.

A Recipe for Fascism
by Chris Hedges

*Hedges speaks of those who retreat into delusion to deny a wrenching reality, but I read his and others’ work to face that nightmare, and find something – I wouldn’t call it comforting, certainly, but maybe steadying’s a good way to put it – in doing so.

Truth may not make you free, but it seems to keep me at least somewhat sane.

The “Tea Party” Does Not Exist
The Tea Party is not new, or coherent. It’s merely old whine in new bottles
by Gary Younge

*Corporate America’s cup of chamomile

Obama: Create Jobs by Executive Order
by Jeanne Mirer and Marjorie Cohn

*This, of course, makes sense

And so, of course, it will never happen

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Uncontrolled Medical Drug Discharges into Drinking Water
EPA Health Facility Guidance Is Weak, Contradictory and Counterproductive

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
False Sense of Urgency Over Changes to Social Security
Even without changes, program will remain solvent for years

*As nearly every mention in the corpress denies the facts, this always bears repeating, doesn’t it?

National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Denounces Police Violence, Unlawful Arrests and Jailing of Peaceful Demonstrators After Mehserle Sentence

*”Peace officers”

How much more Orwellian can you get?

Big Business & Arms Deals, Not Poverty, Top Obama’s Agenda in India

*Tripping up peace and justice

Hundreds of Survivors of Bhopal Disaster Protest Obama India Visit

*The deafening silence from Dear Misleader

The Case of David Headley: Pakistani American DEA Informant at Center of 2008 Mumbai Attacks

*The Warriors of Terror have no problem prosecuting activists for “terrorist ties”, yet this guy’s right under their nose, and nada happens?

Any way you look at it – utter incompetence or perfidious priorities – the maintaining of “national security” has no place in the discussion, does it?

Acclaimed Indian Author Arundhati Roy on Obama’s Wars, Poverty and India’s Maoist Rebels

Institute for Public Accuracy
India: Security Council, Gandhi, Walmart and Bhopal


Obama’s Imperial Continuity
by Allen Ruff

*The latest grim reaper in the killing fields


Guantánamo, Exception or Rule?
All-American Justice for a Child Soldier at Obama’s Gitmo
by Chase Madar

*A malignant model of consistency

The Democrats Prepare to Move Right
by Shamus Cooke

*Too many “progressive” analyses of Tuesday’s results make these same unquestioned points, but don’t take the logical step of advocating an end to the illusion of reforming the unreformable.

It’s heartening to see that vital Vulcanosity here, Captain.

Green Groups
UN Advisory Group on Climate Finance Report Falls Flat
Recommendations Downplay Role of Public Finance, Rely Too Much on Private Finance

*Marketing misery

New $600B Fed Stimulus Fuels Fears of US Currency War

*This is the intel DN! needs to feature far more often, and follow up on, instead of endless segments with Michael Moore, et al, don’t you think?

That *would* help you to think, wouldn’t it?

Justice for Sale? Right-Wing Groups Fund Successful Campaign to Oust Iowa Judges Who Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

Rep. Alan Grayson: “Bipartisanship Has Become Code Word for Appeasement”

*What I’d ask Grayson is, “Okay, so what are you going to do to challenge the appeasers?  You’ve got some time on your hands.  How are you going to use it to change the equation?”

His reply, if given honestly, would show just how committed he is to ending the behavior he condemns here, don’t you think?

Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists Targeted in FBI Raids

Institute for Public Accuracy
Why Initiative to Gut Calif. Environmental Law Failed

*While defeating Prop 23 is a good thing, the IDs of many of the members of that “big tent” coalition, and the fact that so many corpress outlets aligned with it, should clue you that, for them, this is more about profit than principle, don’t you think?

Will they back anything beyond a half-measure?

Is that the very definition of a rhetorical question?


Media Misreading Midterms
As usual, press urge a move to the right
by Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

*This goes beyond “poor coverage”, doesn’t it?

You could call it “Malice in Punditland”

New Report Refutes Industry Argument that Genetically Modified Salmon will Feed Hungry World Populations
by Food and Water Watch Europe

*Giving the hook to Frankenfish

Suburban Poverty by the Numbers

by the Center for American Progress

*Ozzie and Harriet on the skids

You’d hope this would create some empathy and solidarity with folks who’ve been on the bottom for far longer

Time will tell

Toxic Soil Busters: An Environmental Justice Story

*Getting down on dirty

Thought Crimes
by Neve Gordon

*Presumably that “bastion of progressive values”, Russ Feingold, has no problem with these proposed laws.

I don’t mean to discount the good Senator’s positive actions by pointing out his contradictions, but I’ve just seen too much unqualified lamentation of his electoral loss, conveniently ignoring his support for a gummint that has no regard for the principles he claims to champion.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
At Least Five Crooked Candidates Coming to Washington

*Some of the worst that money can buy

Institute for Public Accuracy
Election: * Outside Money * Jobs and Trade

*I’m not saying it’s the case here, but the thing that bothers me about rhetoric on “exporting jobs” is that there often seems to be a hidden appeal to xenophobia – that “they” are stealing our jobs.

If we want truly good jobs, cooperation among working folks internationally is how we’ll get them – not by competing for the crumbs the profit system wants us to fight over.

Big Gains in State Races Position Republicans to Alter Political Landscape in Upcoming Redistricting

*I didn’t get what I needed out of this segment, as far as understanding the rudiments of redistricting.  I imagine a lot of other folks felt the same, don’t you?

As Right-Leaning “Blue Dogs” Lose Seats, Democrats’ Progressive Caucus Increases Plurality in Next Congress

*I’d have liked to have heard some analysis of just why so many Blue Dogs lost, wouldn’t you?

As for the “Progressives”, how will they react to an administration moving further right?

I’d say talk is cheap, but without drastic action, it’s pretty goddamn costly, isn’t it?

After Midterm Gains, How Will GOP Run the House?

*This didn’t tell me much, either, and you have to wonder about the time wasted on this sort of detached politicismo, rather than on the big picture of what these bastards are planning to do to us, don’t you?

“Children of the Exodus”: Surge of Deportations Endangers Migrant Youth Abandoned in Mexico

*The human face, and the inhuman consequences, of immigration policy

And that that despicably deceptive ad is seemingly perfectly legal shows just how perverted the political process is in these here United States, doesn’t it?


AIPAC Lauds Re-Election of Pro-Israel Stalwarts
Pro-Israel group hails success for supporters on both sides of the political divide, as well as election of three new Jewish members of Congress.
by Haaretz (Israel)

*When “progressives” mourn the loss of the “principled” junior senator from Wisconsin, please keep in mind that he was one of these “pro-Israel stalwarts”, as well.

Folks in Gaza and the West Bank, and Palestinians in Israel and the diaspora, might take exception to that laudatory appellation.
Obama Economic Team Passes Out the Kool-Aid
by Mary Bottari

*What Bottari, and many others, don’t seem to suss is that what Team Obama did was what they were expected to do by the people who gave them the money to do it.

And they’ll continue to do it, along with the Demoȼratic “leadership”, and the Republicans, of course, and the corpress will continue to cover up the contradictions, as they’re expected to do.

You don’t have to be Orwell to understand that, do you?

GOP Win Back House, Dems Keep Senate in 2010 Midterm Elections

*I don’t know who’s more nauseating to listen to here – the Demoȼrats or the Republicans.

And that goes a long way toward explaining what happened yesterday, doesn’t it?

Election Roundtable: Breaking Down the Results with Laura Flanders of GritTV, The Nation’s Richard Kim & John Nichols, and Journalist David Goodman

*I’m always leery about posting intel from folks like this, who for the most part can’t or won’t look beyond the left side of the conventional wisdom spectrum, but I guess there’s some worthwhile information here.

See what you think.  Meanwhile, here’s hoping I run across something with more depth of understanding.

NYT: It’s Still Not Torture If Bush Did It

*”Harsh interrogation techniques” are yelling in someone’s face and banging the table.

Torture is torture – try it sometime.

And if you don’t think this is still going on under Dear Misleader, I have some prime real estate on the Gulf Coast you might be interested in.

Bring your own air filter mask.


Hillary in Cambodia

*Comment left at link

Institute for Public Accuracy
* Botching Health Care Reform * Ballot Measures in Mass.

*Repairing the tracks after the train wreck

Your Vote, Your Economy—Why Today’s Election Matters to Your Pocketbook
by Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

*More “Gotta vote for Dems” agitprop, but some useful intel on ballot badlands

Elections Cannot Erase Injustice of the US Occupation of Afghanistan
If Karzai’s re-election was a fraud, Obama’s surge of troops brought just more violence. For Afghans he’s the ‘second Bush’
by Malalai Joya

*No “women’s vote” for Dear Misleader in this district of the empire

Why the ‘Voter Fraud’ Myth Won’t Die
by Chris Kromm

Organizing in the Internet Age
How online activism can help us understand how real change is made.
by Mark Engler

We’ve Been Conned. The Deal to Save the Natural World Never Happened
The so-called summit in Japan won’t stop anyone trashing the planet. Only economic risks seem to make governments act
by George Monbiot

*Written off in invisible ink

Human Rights Watch
Sudan: End Continuing Repression of Darfur Activists

How Safe Is Your Ballot? Tracking Voter Suppression, Intimidation on Election Day

*The true voting fraud

And don’t you think it’s telling that you haven’t seen the Democrats fiercely challenging these attempts at voter suppression, or putting major resources into voter registration?

Ralph Nader: Dems Face Losses to “Most Craven Republican Party in History”

*Nader seems to have this affection for Libertarians, based on their rhetoric, I suppose.

But why would they be part of a movement bankrolled by billionaires and rife with racism if that rhetoric meant anything?

He does make some good points, as usual, especially regarding the Demorats, but he’s still all about “reforming” the profit system, and you can’t reform rot, can you?

You can only replace it.

After Thwarted Bomb Plot, US Military Operations in Yemen Could Intensify

*You have to wonder why there’s no suspicion shown that this could be a “false flag” op.  I don’t have any evidence of that – I just know that it’s happened before, and it will happen again.

And maybe it happened here.


David Broder’s Economic Rx: War With Iran

*Let’s forget the moral implications for a moment – most everyone in a position of responsibility has, haven’t they?

Two wars have played a major role in sucking the US down into a depression – and make no mistake, it is a *depression* to many millions, isn’t it?

By deductive reasoning then, a third will pull us out?

Broder may be an imperialist, but he sure as hell ain’t no empiricist.

My Support for Ralph Nader, Ten Years Later: Lessons Learned
by Stephen Zunes

*Zunes mentions Parry’s analysis approvingly, so in response I’ll post a little of what I’ve said to him, since I think it relates to Zunes’ piece, as well:

“I’ll vote for Feingold (although I don’t know how I’d
justify that to a Palestinian, given his staunch support for Israeli
apartheid) and other Dems, as a vote against the greater evil, but I
don’t consider that ‘practical’ – I see it as a travesty of democracy.

It’s a shame we can’t vote for these hypocrites, but also have it
recorded, and reported, as a vote against their opponents.  I’d be
interested to see how many voters would define their choices as such,
and I think it’d result in a larger turnout to have that option,
wouldn’t you?

‘Practicality’ as you seem to define it won’t create the drastic
change we have to effect now.  We’ve never had the luxury of time.
People die every day because of the actions of our ‘leaders’, and have
done so for centuries.

But now the whole damn planet’s on the gallows, and nothing out of DC
will change that, will it?

I just see this as a situation where things have to change, but trying
to make that change may make things worse, without creating the change
necessary – yet the alternative is to work to make things slightly
less horrible, knowing that ultimately everything will go to hell

That sucks, big time, for us all.

But given that scenario, I have to choose real change, and hope for the best.”

The Giddens Paradox: Understanding Climate Change Too Late
In this remote town in Mali, climate change takes on a sinister reality
by Madeleine Bunting

*The least shall be first – the deep injustice of climate change

Let’s Rally to Restore Peace
by Marjorie Cohn

*There’s a distinct lack of sanity in looking to a couple of comics paid by corps for insight and inspiration – on the subject of war, or anything else, don’t you think?

Republican-Sanctioned Stereotypes
by Roberto Rodriguez

*Insidiously image conscious

Friends of the Earth
New Report Says Biofuels Industry Spent $22 Million on Lobbying and Campaign Contributions to Influence Policies

*Long green for greenwashing

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
New Jersey Rushes to Halliburton-ize Toxic Clean-Ups
Election Eve Hearing Signals Desire to Rush Relaxed Contractor Standards

Legalizing Pot, Tax Reform, Healthcare and Climate Change Ballot Initiatives to be Decided on Tuesday

*I wish this constant reference to California’s climate legislation as “groundbreaking” would cease.  I suppose it is, but that’s more due to how abysmal the rest of the country is on the issue than how effective it will be in drastically reducing the state’s carbon footprint, don’t you think?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Behind “Voter Fraud” Charges

Election Protection

*Mostly awful choices, but we have the right to make them without harrassment and intimidation

Written by Doug Latimer

11/01/2010 at 7:23 PM

Posted in posts

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