February 2011


No Other Way Out
by Chris Hedges

*All of us need to aspire to the courage and humanity shown by Hugh Thompson, don’t we?

If we do, perhaps one day such acts of selflessness will be honored in this country.

And we can walk proudly along that American Way.


Raymond Davis Incident Shows How Tangled U.S.-Pakistan Web Is
by Conn Hallinan

It seems to me that the US has a couple of desired aims in this horror show.  It wants a pliant gummint in Kabul, to secure its access to pipeline routes, as well as having an ally in the region.  I don’t know if it makes a rat’s ass to it whether it’s one controlled by the Taliban or Karzai or anyone else, as long as it gets its way.

As far as how to get there, you have conflicting interests, don’t you?  Obviously, a lot of folks are making a hell of a lot of money, from us taxpayers, from this war, and don’t want that spigot turned off.  The “pragmatists” think that’s gone too far, and would like the war wound down, for financial and political reasons.

The military has those on both sides of the equation, don’t they?  Some want “victory” at whatever price, while others aren’t willing to pay that price, given the strain on resources.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with the people of Afghanistan, in the same way as instigating the war had nothing to do with terrorism, which is a convenient boogeyman for frightening the populace into accepting war abroad and “security measures” at home.

The US’ economic and geostrategic interests, as always, are the sole determinants of policy.  All that’s really being debated is how to secure them, isn’t it?

Would you say that’s a reasonable assessment of the situation?


Legislators Are Going to Unbelievable Lengths to Gouge Clean Water Laws and Cozy Up to Big Coal
by Jeff Biggers

*This is a perversion of democracy in service to naked greed, to be sure, but why is it that Biggers and others appear to make this distinction between mountaintop removal and surface mining, and underground mining?

Perhaps the latter isn’t as immediately destructive of the environment as the other forms, but coal from whatever source is killing us through air pollution and climate change, and needs to be abandoned as an energy source, don’t you think?


What Else Is in Walker’s Bill?
by Brendan Fischer

*A depressingly anomalous piece dealing with the horrific impact this bill will have on poor and lower working class folks.

So why, in Fischer’s words, is this “now just being understood”?

And how many of those one hundred thousand souls surrounding the capitol Saturday were there in support of them, as well as union rights?


Corporate Accountability International
Local Water Warriors Strive to Have International Impact
Community Members Meet with UN Expert on Human Right to Water, Expose Bottlers’ Abuses


Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel &
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Folk music legend Pete Seeger endorses boycott of Israel

*Hugging the trees that hide the inhumanity


Institute for Public Accuracy
Wall Street Criminality: Origin of State Crises

*This is one time when justice calls for an increase in the prison population


Defying Gov. Walker, Wisconsin Protesters Refuse to Leave Capitol Building

*Don’t you wonder what the reaction would have been had Walker not gone after collective bargaining?  Would we have seen these massive protests if this was just about cutting lifelines for folks?

Sadly, I think I know the answer.

And Roys’ pathetic comments about Dear Misleader’s commitment to “doing everything he can to get people back to work and preserve people’s rights” make crystal clear the disconnect the vast majority of Democrats have with the reality of life for so many millions of Americans, doesn’t it?

I don’t mean by that that they don’t know.  I mean they ultimately don’t care.  They’re perfectly willing to cut untold numbers loose from those lifelines in the name of political expediency, and then claim they “did all they could” to limit the damage.

With “defenders” like these …


Libyans in “Liberated” Eastern Cities Balance Self-Government with Supporting Tripoli Resistance: Anjali Kamat Reports

*The intel on people coming together to manage their cities is very encouraging, and I’d like more details on the process, wouldn’t you?

I’d also like to know about the composition of the armed forces fighting against the regime, and their relationship with the population.


Libyans Organize Citizen Councils to Run Cities Liberated from Pro-Gaddafi Loyalists

*There are those in Libya who understand that outside “support” and “attention” have to be scrutinized very carefully as to their intentions.

Hopefully their cautions will be heeded.



*Quick note:  I futzed up the link to this month, using “feb2010″ rather than “feb2011″.  The corrected link is https://fromanunlikelysource.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/feb2011



“We’re Broke,” Say the Rich, and the Poor Must Pay
by Glen Ford

*The world turned upside down

And its shit dumped on our heads


Latest Glimpse of Fox’s Culture of Lying?

*Well, it makes sense for FOX to argue for the right to lie, doesn’t it?

Otherwise, there’d be nothing on the network but dead air.

That goes in large measure for the rest of the corpress as well, of
course, but they don’t make quite as much of a fetish of it, do they?


Thousands Feared Dead in Gaddafi’s Crackdown on Libyan Uprising

*It’s good to see the attitude toward intervention expressed at the end, isn’t it?

This revolution appears to differ from others in the necessity for using deadly force to defend and advance it.  Nonviolence is always the first option to consider, but it’s wishful thinking to believe that it will always accomplish the desired ends, isn’t it?

I want to make clear that I don’t say that lightly.  I wish it weren’t so, but history shows otherwise.  Violence is a last resort, but it is sometimes a necessary act given the violence of one’s oppressors.


Protesters Expect 100,000 in Madison as Assembly OKs Anti-Union Bill

*I guess the first thing to say is that anyone who supports this deformation of democracy is either a sadist or a masochist.

Regarding the coverage, this is getting a little fetishistic, don’t you think?  It’s one thing to focus on what is a pretty remarkable outpouring of protest in these here United States, and another to sort of cheerlead without looking at the contradictions, which I’ve mentioned previously.

I don’t think you’re helping the situation by ignoring that, do you?

Nichols can really get on my sodding wick.  His remark about Walker defeating the primary candidate who was “really right wing” is just idiotic.  No, Walker didn’t talk about these actions during the campaign, but by any definition he was right wing, wasn’t he?

“Mainstream conservatives” are office holders who often use less confrontational tactics to try to achieve essentially the same ends as those salivated over by Tea Baggers.  It’s more a matter of degree than kind.  When someone like Walker, and his backers, believe they see a way to jack things up on the degree scale, you get what we’re witnessing now, don’t you?

So please, John, call a turd a turd, and don’t make it out to be simply a fart.


Despite Exemption From Anti-Union Bill, Wisconsin Firefighters Stand with Public Sector Workers

*Speaking of contradictions …

Mitchell talks about “getting the job done right”, but these unnecessary concessions on pensions and healthcare are getting it dead wrong.  And his constant reference to “the middle class” comes across as not giving a tinker’s damn about lower working class and poor folks.

I hope I’m wrong on that score, but as I’ve said before, it doesn’t appear union leadership has any interest in a united front with others facing the budget scalpel, and that’s both callous and self-defeating, isn’t it?


“Until We Throw This Bill Out, We Can’t Come Back:” Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson Remains in Illinois

*Larson makes those connections among those getting shafted that I’ve been talking about, and that’s good to see.

We’ll see if the walk matches the talk, won’t we?



Institute for Public Accuracy
Palestinians, Israel and Freedom and Democracy


Microcredit Critics Say Debt Doesn’t Equal Emancipation
by Kanya D’Almeida
Inter Press Service

*Excellent piece unmasking the “kinder, gentler” face of usury


Koch Brothers “Prank” No Laughing Matter
by Mary Bottari

*You wouldn’t think you could pack so many scandals into a twenty-minute call, would you?

I guess it’s all part of Walker’s drive for efficiency.


Reflections on Right to Water
by Shiney Varghese

*A seat for all at the water table


Iraq Veterans Against the War to Troops: “We Are Public Employees Too!”
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) calls on all U.S. military service members to refuse and resist any mobilization against workers organizing to protect their basic rights. IVAW stands in solidarity with the multitude gathered in Madison, Wisconsin and many other cities to defend their unions.
by Iraq Veterans Against the War


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Stop-and-Frisks of New Yorkers in 2010 Hit All-Time High at 600,601; 87 Percent of Those Stopped Black and Latino
CCR Launches Stop-and-Frisk Jumbotron Ad in Times Square


Glenn Greenwald on the Assange Extradition Ruling, the Jailing of Bradley Manning, and the Campaign to Target WikiLeaks Supporters

*The ghost of J. Edgar smiles


Obama Withdraws Support for Anti-LGBT Defense of Marriage Act

*”Unqualified praise”?

As Greenwald himself points out, once the issue landed on the Second Circuit docket, the admin really had no choice.  It’s run out of excuses, and would have to baldfacedly argue for discrimination against gays.

It had nothing to do with doing the right thing, did it?  It could have done that from Day One, but continued to defend the law for over two years, and how many persons suffered for that?

How does a seemingly intelligent person, and a journalist to boot, ignore the empirical evidence that he’s just related in favor of making such a foolish comment?

Depressingly common, though, isn’t it?


“Everywhere There is Graffiti Saying, ‘Welcome to the New Free Libya'”: Democracy Now! Correspondent Anjali Kamat Reports


Billionaire Right-Wing Koch Brothers Fund Wisconsin Governor Campaign and Anti-Union Push

*”Just and right” … “freedom” …

I guess it’s appropriate that Walker conjures allusions to “1984”, considering who was president at the time.

And yes, Lisa, Reagan did want to destroy unions in this country, or at least their ability to function as effective defenders of labor rights.  No amount of self-serving rhetoric about Poland can change that fact, can it?


The Public Doesn’t Hate Public Workers

*Well, the majority of the public may oppose givebacks, but it appears union “leadership” doesn’t.

The AFL-CIO took out a full page ad in the Wisconsin State Journal today highlighting their capitulation to Walker’s demand for pension and healthcare concessions.

I’m assuming the idea is to counter this image of “selfish public workers” – one that it appears the majority of folks don’t hold.

Regardless, isn’t this tantamount to pleading with an armed robber to take your money, just please don’t shoot you?

How is this “negotiating”?

Shouldn’t the principle be “From each, according to their income”?  Let corps and the wealthy pay their fair share.  Even if you accept that there is a “budget crisis”, that would solve it, wouldn’t it?

State that you’re willing to do your part, if necessary, but that the “sacrifices” have to be shared proportionately.

I believe most persons – and rank and file union members – would find that eminently reasonable, don’t you?



Gov. Walker in Prank Call: ‘This is Our Moment’
by CommonDreams.org

*Unlike the “budget crisis”, you can’t make this shit up.

Of course, the Kochs have planted their top troublemakers in governor’s mansions across the country, haven’t they?


A Global Call for Sharing and Justice
Protesters in the Arab world have much in common with those reacting to austerity across Europe, as well as the millions who have mobilised in support of ending poverty in the South. What we may be witnessing is an emerging public voice in favour of a fundamental reordering of global priorities, write Adam Parsons and Rajesh Makwana.
by Adam Parsons and Rajesh Makwana

*We must all hang together if we’re to slip the hangman’s noose of global capital, mustn’t we?


A CMD Special Report: Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money
by Lisa Graves

*Solid intel, but it’s pretty goddamn sad when “progressives” refer to “socialism” as a “smear”, isn’t it?

Especially in this context, as socialists have played a major role in the history of unions in this country.


Local and Organic Food and Farming: The Gold Standard
by Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins and Kate Desterberg

*Think “local”

Then think again

And act “organic”


Torturing Detroit’s Kids for Racist Fun and Profit
A Black Agenda Radio commentary
by Glen Ford

*You can’t call 911 when child abuse is public policy, can you?


Center for Public Integrity (CPI)
Aging U.S. Oil Refineries Put Americans at Risk

*Beating climate change to the punch


Institute for Public Accuracy
CIA Spy Captured in Pakistan: Fallout


“We’re Witnessing the Violent Lashings of a Dying Beast”: Libyan Novelist Hisham Matar on Gaddafi’s Brutal Crackdown in Libya

*I don’t think we have to worry about Dear Misleader “com[ing] out and speak[ing] in very clear terms about Gaddafi,” do we?

Not as long as he’s seen as the best guarantor of GWOT cooperation and access to oil.

The deaths of Libyans don’t figure into that equation beyond being a factor in whether he can maintain power, do they?


“People Have Finally Found Their Voice”: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt After Mubarak


Arrest of CIA Agent Sheds Light on American Covert War in Pakistan, Straining U.S.-Pakistani Relations


Fact Checking ABC’s Fact Check on Public Workers

*Comments left at link


Priorities? GOP Governors Shift Burden To Poor, Middle Class To Pay For Tax Breaks For Rich, Corporations
by Josh Dorner

*I wish there were more attention paid to the fraud that gives these abominations “legitimacy” in the eyes of the ignorant – the Orwellian equation that corporate tax breaks create jobs.

The empirical evidence to the contrary is abundant, and without the fig leaf of job creation, the vast majority of folks would see this con game for what it is, don’t you think?

Of course, that’s why the corpress covers it up, and why it’s all the more essential that alternative outlets expose it at every opportunity.


Link to a petition for a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United ruling

From Public Citizen:


Further Fiscal Folly
Before we take deficit hawks’ advice on slashing social security, they should explain how they missed the $8tn housing bubble
by Dean Baker

*Of “hawks” and vultures


EU Farmers Ditch GM Crops, Industry Figures Show Drop in Cultivation



Republicans, Doing Just What Democrats (Never) Did

*Comment left at link


Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S., International Law, Libya and Israel

*No exception to the unprincipled


Wisconsin and Egypt: Waves of Protests and Solidarity

*Some hopeful signs of solidarity from far and near


“Gaddafi Cares More for Himself and His Power than He Cares for Anybody in Libya”: Libyan American Activist Abdulla Darrat on Bloody Crackdown on Protesters

*Gaddafi was Public Enemy Number One (or Two) to the US years ago, wasn’t he?

Once he became an “anti-terrorism asset” and a corporate client, all that changed.

But his brutality toward the Libyan people has remained constant, and so they are victims of not just his homicidal rule, but the US’ “pragmatic” policy of “peace through pliancy”.

“Let freedom ring” …


Labor Protests to Defend Collective Bargaining Rights Spread to Ohio

*No, it’s not about the money.

But it should be, shouldn’t it?

If you’re defending your collective bargaining rights, how does conceding on gains made using those rights aid your cause?

Again, if concessions were necessary, and part of everyone making sacrifices, that would be one thing.

But it’s not that one thing, and labor is making a bad mistake by not putting this in that context, don’t you think?

And they’re also harming their cause by not allying with folks fighting to preserve their vital public benefits, like Medicaid.  That’s the right thing, and the smart thing, to do, isn’t it?

So friggin’ do it.  Jesus …


Matt Taibbi: “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

*Very important to read.  The pension fund angle needs to be a major talking point in the battle against the budget buzzards, doesn’t it?


Judge Convicted in Pennsylvania Kids-for-Cash Scheme, Faces Long Prison Term and Class Action Lawsuit

*The only just sentence would be essentially life, so I don’t see that happening, do you?

Even after being exposed for the heartless, corrupt bastard that he is, Ciavarella will benefit from the deference the system pays to those in his position.

“Justice for all” …



Fighting the 5 Fascisms in Wisconsin and Ohio
by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis

*Wingtips instead of jackboots, but the march is to the same end


What’s at Stake in the O’odham Trial
The prosecution of indigenous peoples’ activists over protests last year bring into sharp relief what kind of Arizona we want
by Roberto Rodriguez

*A sociopolitical culture only a conquistador could love


“Iran, the Green Movement and the USA”: Hamid Dabashi On the Future of the Iranian Pro-Democracy Movement

*Hopefully much more coming up on Iran, ’cause I still don’t have a decent grasp of the deep skinny here


Massacre in Libya: Witnesses Say Protesters Have Taken Control of Benghazi Despite Gov’t Violence


“Libya is Forever Changed by These Events”: Libyan Poet and Scholar Khaled Mattawa on the Pro-Democracy Movement Amid Government Violence

*Difficult to suss all this, given the spotty transcribing, Mattawa’s less-than-fluent English, and not least my woeful ignorance of actors and acts present and past


“We Have a Fire in the House of Labor. We Are Here to Put it Out”: Wisconsin Firefighters and Police Officers Join Massive Protests Against Anti-Union Bill

*This stance of concessions on pensions and healthcare, as I said earlier, is bad juju.  Focus on who *isn’t* paying their share, rather than trying to appear “reasonable”.

If there was actual equity, no one would have to worry about being “priced out of a job” would they?

And again, no mention from a union voice of the vicious cuts to services folks depend on.

Also, some useful intel on which unions backed Walker.



*Wisconsin’s having its own “people power” uprising, after a fashion, so I thought I’d pass along my observations.

I went down to Madison yesterday, and the energy was tangible, if not as focused as I would think it needs to be.

I’m leery of public workers talking about “making concessions” and “negotiating”, when there’s no legitimate reason to do so.  I think the point to be pressed is that, when it comes to “sacrifices”, we need to take it from the top, with the process obeying both the laws of gravity and the principles of humanity.

It’s one thing to ask someone making a million to do without a tenth of their income, and quite another to ask someone making forty thousand – stating the bleeding obvious.  And if the wealthy pay their share, the question becomes moot for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

The teabaggers were out in what I’d imagine to be full force.  Their own estimate was up to ten thousand.  I didn’t see that, but even assuming the accuracy of it, we’re talking around a seventh of the assemblage.  Of course the Wisconsin State Journal, the local corpress rag, gave them equal if not the preponderance of coverage today, and labeled the juxtaposition of views a “HEALTHY DEBATE”.

I tend to look for analogies, and to me it’s about as healthy as one between a black person and a Klansman, or a Latino and a Minuteman, don’t you think?

Admittedly, some of these schmenges are poor deluded saps, who hopefully will realize where their true interests lie as they see their situations worsen, and the well-off getting, well, off on the largesse funneled their way by Walker’s gravity-defying income redistribution regime.

But many are just out and out classist and racist bastards, and there’s no sense in pretending other, is there?

My hope is that the right has seriously misplayed their hand here, and that this will be reflected nationwide.  You have to wonder, though, whether the strategy is to see what they can get away with, then “negotiate” something less, but still substantial, given labor’s failure to stand firm on the principles stated above.

I don’t have the intel to make a case for that, and I’d like to hear from sources who can give the solid skinny.

But whatever happens with union issues, you have both parties slicing into the lifelines for poor folks, and who stands for them?  Solidarity has to be more than a union thing, doesn’t it?  We need a grand alliance to resist the resurrection of the rotting corpse of Herbert Hoover.

On the subject of “leaders” for same, the “Feingold fixation” of some gives me pause.

We have to coalesce around principles, not personalities, don’t you think?

My favorite sign?


I guess if I’d thought to bring my own, it would’ve been along the lines of:


Permafrost Melt Soon Irreversible Without Major Fossil Fuel Cuts
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

*The frozen earth thaws while the frozen mindset of greed only solidifies, and our fate with it


Barclays Branches Targeted in Protests Against Tax Avoidance
UK Uncut mounts direct action against 50 branches as Barclays admits it paid 1% corporation tax in 2009
by David Batty
The Guardian/UK

*Working on, and against, a scandalous bank holiday


UK Uncut: How to Do a Bail-In
by UK Uncut


Dignity: An Idea Gone Missing in the Land
by Thomas S. Harrington

*Human values and the value of humans


The Education Reform Fig Leaf Is Finally Stripped Away
by Jim Horn

*Tearing down the wall corps see our children as nothing but the bricks in


The World Becomes What We Teach
by Zoe Weil

*Weil doesn’t take on the primary systemic challenge – the hegemony of the profit system itself – so her vision of an education married to the goal of solving real world problems created by that system falls short, but the basic point is beyond debate, and vital to our future, don’t you think?



FAIR Media Advisory
Media Advisory
How to Save Ourselves From the ‘Save PBS’ Routine

*Preserving the promise and not the past and present intensely imperfect


Chris Christie’s Not Telling the Truth–Ugly or Otherwise

*Reich’s solution is certainly a better way to go, but isn’t the fairest path ending the program as “insurance”, and making it a benefit, payed for by progressive taxation?

Remember, Social Security was initiated almost eighty years ago, and structured under the political pressures of the time, which didn’t allow for entitlements, a word that’s a political epithet, but should simply reflect our society’s commitment to each person’s right to a life of dignity.

It’s analogous to the “public option” in healthcare.  It’s certainly better than a swift kick in the cojones, but true universal care is what we really need, and deserve, don’t we?


Climate: Putting People Over Money
Facing climate change, a social movement in El Salvador fights mass flooding and the toxic burning of cane fields.
by Dahr Jamail


U.S. Justice v. the World
by Glenn Greenwald

*The US’ outlaw status is no state secret, is it?


“Localization is the Economics of Happiness”
We know what makes us happy—but too often our economic decisions stand in the way. Helena Norberg-Hodge, director of the Economics of Happiness, on how to change all that.
by Brooke Jarvis

*Proximate cause


Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Saving Public Libraries from the Privatization Beast
Privatization Threatens America’s Public Libraries and Library Services


Public Citizen
Obama Can No Longer Ignore the Federal Election Commission
Public Citizen Sends Open Letter to President Obama

*Given his jones for a second term, I guess the question is whether he sees a functional FEC as an advantage or a obstacle, wouldn’t you think?


Noam Chomsky on Civil Rights, Obama, Latin America, and the History of the U.S. in the Middle East

*I don’t hold out much hope that Americans will no longer be “quiet and passive” in the face of the hell we face, but for me hope’s not essential.  You do what you do because it’s the right thing to do, and for most of us it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves.

If we have the courage to do it.

Folks around the world are finding that courage, so I hope (that word again) I’m overly pessimistic here.

Related to that are Chomsky’s comments on voting for the lesser, though still enormous, evil, then working to apply pressure to it.  Is he advocating that we abandon attempts at building truly progressive electoral strength, and focus our time, money and effort on movement building outside the electoral process?


Uprising in Wisconsin: Tens of Thousands Protest Anti-Union Bill, as Wisconsin Lawmakers Leave State to Stall Vote

*It’s vital that the unions not be divided, and so it’s heartening to see the solidarity so far.

Dear Misleader’s hypocrisy is galling, of course, and we’ll see if anything more than words are expended in defense of labor and citizen rights.

Don’t bet scared money on it.


“A Celebration, Not a Protest”: Massive Crowd Packs Cairo’s Tahrir Square to Mark One Week Since Mubarak’s Ouster

*There’s something about a man in uniform

And it ain’t something to give carte blanche to, is it?


Egyptian Uprising Fueled by Striking Workers Across Nation

*Laying the groundwork, with their fists in the air


Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Beaten, Arrested for Silent Protest at Clinton Speech

*And I’m guessing not a single person present objected – including “journalists”.

“Freedom of the press” doesn’t connote the liberty to blithely ignore abuses like this, does it?



Cables Illuminate US Relations with Bahrain, Potential for Unrest
by Elizabeth Dickinson
Foreign Policy

*”King Hamad understands that Bahrain cannot prosper if he rules by repression.”
repression (n):  being kept down by force: the process of suppressing a population, or the condition of having political, social, or cultural freedom controlled by force or military means

Can you say “Disconnect with reality”?


UK Forest Sell-Off: ‘People Power’ Forced U-Turn, say Campaigners
Plans to sell England’s forests attracted cross-party opposition and sparked a public outcry
by Press Association

*Putting the wood to Thatcherismo


Big Nuke Billions Lurk in Obama’s Budget
by Harvey Wasserman

*Warming the hearts of nuke industrialists

Freezing the homes of poor folks


Obamaland, Where Right Meets Center-Right
A Black Agenda Radio commentary
by Glen Ford

*Taking a hard right – straight into the ditch

Telling it like it is, was and forever shall be with regard to Dear Misleader’s betrayals


Friends of the Earth
TransCanada Runs Deceptive Ad Pushing Controversial Oil Pipeline
Canadian company misleads public, asserts pumping tar sands oil into U.S. would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil

*Digging up the dirty, and shipping it south


Institute for Public Accuracy
Massacre in Bahrain


Defiant Student Protesters Force Withdrawal of Puerto Rican Police from Restive Campus

*Lessons in democracy


“People Are Bleeding in the Streets:” Bahrain Police Wage Brutal Overnight Attack on Hundreds of Pro-Democracy Protesters

*As the oil flows, so does the blood


“The Genie Is Out of the Bottle”: Assessing a Changing Arab World with Noam Chomsky and Al Jazeera’s Marwan Bishara

*Ruminations on whether the top downs will go bottoms up


“Democracy Uprising” in the U.S.A.?: Noam Chomsky on Wisconsin’s Resistance to Assault on Public Sector, the Obama-Sanctioned Crackdown on Activists, and the Distorted Legacy of Ronald Reagan

*Of “gods” and goddamn liars, thieves and murderers

And I guess some folks deify Chomsky to some extent.  I don’t imagine he cares for that, as someone who champions openmindedness.  While I have a high regard for his intellect, and more importantly, his intellectual integrity, I certainly don’t agree with him perfunctorily.

That’s a status we should never grant to anyone, should we?



Hiding Horrific Tales of Torture: How Guantanamo Fuels Injustice
Why The US Government Reached A Plea Deal with Guantanamo Prisoner Noor Uthman Muhammed
by Andy Worthington

*How can “they hate our values”

When we have none?


How Big Business Subverts Democracy
by Joseph Huff-Hannon and Andy Bichlbaum

*And with the corpress having created a pervasive atmosphere of studied nonchalance about these crimes, the occasional “exposure” in the MSM has no real impact.

In other words, “Mission accomplished”.


Already Forgetting the Martyrs of Egypt
by Sam Husseini

*Life – and death – are cheap to our “leaders”, aren’t they?


Number 1 in the World, Mr. Duncan? Really? You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
by Jim Horn

*Well, we are Number One in one respect:

In the manufacturing of drones – for unconscionable wars, and unjust workplaces


Cold Day in Hell Arrives for Patients
by Donna Smith

*Please remember this and so many other heart-rending stories the next time Dear Misleader makes another of his “inspirational” speeches

And that Michelle and he don’t have to worry about “making sacrifices” to heat the White House


Harvard: Coal Impacts Cost Public up to a Half Trillion dollars Annually
Harvard Medical School researcher estimates that the impacts of coal cost the public a third to over half a trillion dollars annually.

*Hidden costs to most

Brutally apparent damage and death to many


Action Alert: Newsweek Downplays Critics of Drone Assassinations

*My two cents tossed to a two-bit corpress rag:

It occurs to me that there are many “high-level terrorism suspects” (make that “perpetrators”) in the US, aren’t there?

What if another country chose to “take out” some of them – killing many civilians, a single innocent party, or no one other than the targets, in the process – in retaliation for the deaths among its own population?

Would you consider those acceptable “acts of national security”?

“Terrorism” is in the eye – and the propaganda – of the beholder, isn’t it?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Military Sexual Assault Against Female Soldiers: Class Action Lawsuit Filed

*And these are “America’s heroes” who are fighting to liberate women from the oppression of Muslim fundamentalism?


Beyond Race, Gender, and Class: Reclaiming the Radical Roots of Social
Justice Movements
by Robert Jensen

*Well-reasoned approach, don’t you think?

I wonder if bringing religious principles (the Golden Rule, et al.)
into the discussion would be useful, not only to connect with those in
the audience who give weight to them, but to buttress the point about
nice words being meaningless without dealing with the facts on the
ground, since that’s mirrored by the vast majority of religious
institutions that mouth such platitudes?


“A War on Women”: GOP Bills Target Abortion, Family Planning, Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

*Richards makes the distinction between this institutionalized violence toward women and the so-called “jobs agenda” of the Republican leadership, but both seek to destroy rights won through long struggle, don’t they?

Reproductive rights, labor rights, the right to a healthy environment – these are woefully incomplete in this country, but wouldn’t be at the level they are today without the work of so many dedicated women and men.

With the complicity of Dear Misleader and the Democratic Party, these rights may soon exist in name only, if that, if we don’t wake up and see the nightmare playing out before us.

I wish I had confidence in that occurring, but in all honesty I can only desperately hope it will happen.


As Mideast “Rolling Revolution” Grows, U.S. Denounces Iranian Crackdown — But Stays Silent on Key Ally Bahrain

*Hypocrites denouncing hypocrites

And speaking of US actions, I’d like to know what connections our gummint has with Iranian opposition figures.  It’s undeniable the common cause is meritous, but it wouldn’t be the first attempt to pervert a just struggle to suit nefarious ends, would it?


“The Regime is Running Scared”: Algerian Forces Crack Down on Pro-Democracy Protests


Defying Government Repression, Yemeni Protests Continue for 6th Day

*Will a rising tide sink these gunships of state?



President Obama, the Jobs Crisis and Corporate America’s Game Plan
by Jack Rasmus
In These Times

*I think Dear Misleader is fully aware of Big Business’ game plan, and is committed to following it.  What he’d like is for them to grant him a few superficial “victories” he can spin to his political benefit, don’t you think?

Thing is, with every concession he makes, corps see less reason to do so, knowing that he won’t really press them for even these pathetic crumbs.

And sure, he’d like to win in 2012, but regardless, he’s set for life, isn’t he?  He’ll get a very nice book deal – The First Black President ™ – which will be chock full of inspiring passages that are as empty as the promises he’s made in office.

Meanwhile, the world will hurtle on toward disaster on multiple fronts – ones he played no small role in.

But don’t look for that in his memoirs.


Prisoners Have No Choice But to Drink Arsenic-Laced Water
by Charles Davis
Inter Press Service

*Let the punishment fit the crime

Make these bastards swallow the same poison they force the inmates to

Right quick there wouldn’t be a problem, would there?


A Better Approach to Health Care
As the current health law comes under attack and our national deficit continues to grow, single-payer plans are gaining more and more interest.
by Margaret Flowers


Why Mubarak Fell: The (Sometimes) Incredible Power of Nonviolent Protest
by Michael Schwartz

*Squeezing the business boys’ balls

But doesn’t the question now become – If the elites ditched Mubarak to save their fortunes, won’t they do all in their power to subvert the revolution to maintain them?

How the movement confronts that will determine its fate, won’t it?


Free Trade Kills Korean Farmers
by Christine Ahn and Albie Miles

*A history of hostile hubris


Richard Cohen’s Teach For America Column Deserves a Failing Grade

*Call me silly, but if we’re talking potential “investment banker” material, here, something tells me we’re not talking fond school days memories for that person’s pupils, are we?


Would the Bard Have Survived U.S. Copyright Law?

*To borrow from the Bard …

Twould be far fewer things in heaven and earth, Horatio, if our dreams be chained by these fools’ philosophy.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama’s Budget and Women

*Ladies first

Over the side


Obama’s $3.7 Trillion Budget Calls for Military Spending Increases and Deep Cuts to Social Service Programs

*Only people who really aren’t affected by these inhuman cuts are “disappointed” in Dear Misleader.

Those directly in the line of fire have another word for their reaction, don’t they?


Wisconsin Governor Launches Attack on Public Sector Employees and Unions; Threatens to Deploy National Guard to Quell Labor Protests

*Again, those in the crosshairs have a different term for being threatened with armed troops than “inappropriate”.

And how Nichols equates the US paying lip service to labor rights abroad with being “outspoken” on these attacks is beyond me, as is why DN! continually has these sorts of folks on, when there are plenty of other activists and analysts who’d do a hell of a lot better job of enlightening us on the issues, don’t you think?


Ecuadorian Court Orders Chevron to Pay $17 Billion for Oil Pollution in Amazon

*Commensurate payment for damages would be a great victory – of course no amount of money can truly compensate the victims – but justice demands that those responsible be punished as the criminals they are, doesn’t it?


EXCLUSIVE: Authorities Search and Copy U.S. Journalist’s Notes, Computer and Cameras After Returning from Haiti Reporting Trip



Democracy Born in Chains: South Africa’s Constricted Freedom
by Naomi Klein

*Extremely long, and extremely imperative to read.

There’s so much to respond to, but I think the most important lesson is that placing your faith unquestionably in political leaders – even a “saint” such as Mandela – is a dangerous act of naiveté.

Klein seems to vacillate between viewing the ANC’s actions as betrayal on its part or entrapment by the white elites and the international financial blackmailers, doesn’t she?

I think that the The Freedom Charter “theme park” story puts any debate on that count to rest.  Whatever dark and powerful forces the leadership may have faced, they were obligated to tell the people what was occurring, and just as they did with the Charter, listen to them.

They didn’t, and we see the results.  I think in the end, they were more concerned with how market shocks would affect their personal power than avoiding them to spare folks more suffering.

And the suffering continues, doesn’t it?  An addict doesn’t recover by shooting up.

It’s a stone truth that us Yanks would do well to remember.  Our own Dear Misleader is doing the bidding of the corporate elite, and many millions will join those whose lives have already been destroyed in the name of “growth” and “fiscal discipline”.

Ignorance is no excuse.  It’s a death sentence.


Fight for a World Without Coal
by Chris Hedges

*Smoke and mirrors held up to the hell of Coal Country


The Day Egypt Disappeared
by Mary Bottari

*Screening out the struggle, there and here


Mexico Goes Back to the Land
A steady dismantling of support for peasant farmers left Mexico importing half its grain supply. Now they are fighting back
by Gustavo Esteva

*Feeding the hunger for justice


Institute for Public Accuracy
Egypt: Mubarak Out, Is Democracy Coming?



*Belt tightening

Around our throats


“This is a Dream Come True”: Egyptians Celebrate in Cairo After Mubarak Resigns

*I hope this doesn’t signal a break in the momentum toward true democracy.  I don’t believe that this supposed interim period will lead down that road, and it’s uncertain to me whether folks can recapture the energy necessary to force events back on track.


After the Revolution: Mubarak is Gone After 30 Years in Power, But Questions Remain as to How Transition Will Proceed

“There is a Pre-History to this Revolt”: As Egypt’s Military Bans Labor Strikes, Mona El-Ghobashy Examines How Egyptian Labor and Social Movements Laid the Foundation for Revolution

*We have to be alert to how the elites in Egypt, with the complicity of our gummint, will attempt to divide the opposition, don’t you think?  Its success so far has been based on the extraordinary solidarity among diverse groups, and it will be vital to maintain that unity.


Yemeni Forces Use Tasers, Batons, Knives and Rifles to Quash Anti-Government Protests



Yemen Protests Revived in ‘Friday of Rage’
Thousands of South Yemen Protesters Demand Secession
by Mohammed Mukhashaf and Khaled Abdallah


Wendell Berry Joins Retired Coal Miners and Residents in Kentucky Rising Capitol Sit-in
by Jeff Biggers

*Derailing Mr. Peabody’s coal train



Social Forum Calls for a World Without Borders
by Daniele Mariani

*No mention of the causal connection between immigration and the actions of European corps in the migrants’ home countries, is there?

And the call for a “world without borders” isn’t dealt with beyond the headline.

So much for “Info”, eh?


On “Leaderless Revolutions” and the Fall of Mubarak
by David Porter

*Excellent piece on the dynamics of revolution, with great resonance for its possibilities here, as well, don’t you think?


Tom Friedman Admires His Writing in Egyptian Mirror

We’re talking about stolen, not rented, cars here, aren’t we?

And Friedman’s bad ass ‘Mericanismo on Iraq makes pretty damn clear his identification with the guys carrying the crowbars, doesn’t it?


The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! Special on Mubarak’s Resignation

*No transcript yet, but I wanted to post this ASAP

Comments possibly forthcoming


Will the Egyptian Military Stage a Coup to Oust Mubarak?

*I’d like to know more about this favorable view of a military coup, wouldn’t you?

It may get rid of Mubarak and others of his ilk, but I don’t see it leading to fundamental change, from what I know of the leadership and its interests – another area I’d like to know much more about.


Live from Cairo: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Anjali Kamat on Egypt’s “Farewell Friday”


Post-Mubarak: What Will Egypt Look Like the Day After the Regime Ends?

*Shehata misunderstood Cole’s allusion to Iran.  He was musing on the possibilities of a government crackdown similar to the Iranian rulers’ response in 2009, and not referring to the ’79 revolution.

But I’m glad she did, in that she passed along some useful intel on the Muslim Brotherhood, which will obviously play a significant role in the events to come, as well as on the NDP and on the dynamics of elections past and future.


“Our Hope Increases Day After Day”: Longtime Egyptian Human Rights Activist Nawal El Saadawi

*It’s heartening to hear El Saadawi make it clear she susses the US’ game here, and I hope that knowledge is already possessed by many, and will be disseminated to many more, because it’s vital to the creation of a truly just and independent future for Egypt, isn’t it?


“Omar Suleiman, the CIA’s Man in Cairo and Egypt’s Torturer-in-Chief”

*Do US officials have wet dreams about this murderous bastard assuming power?

Given his pedigree, it’s a smart bet, isn’t it?


“We Are Not Going Home Until This Regime Leaves”: Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah Reports from Cairo

*Tremendous news about what’s happening outside of Cairo.  Hopefully we’ll get details soon.


AUDIO: Nawal El Saadawi Before Mubarak’s Speech “We Will Bring Him Back To Be on Trial”



US Chamber’s Lobbyists Hired Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents
by Lee Fang

*Dirty tricks from corporate pricks


The New Scramble for Africa
by Thandi Winston
Terra Viva / Inter Press Service

*Feeding frenzy of greed


Noam Chomsky: How Climate Change Became a ‘Liberal Hoax’
by The Nation and On The Earth Productions


What Wikileaks Teaches Us About Obama and Latin America
by Rebecca Ray

*”Nasty Neighbor” policy, renewed


From Toilet to Planet: A Brief Journey of Survival
by Subhankar Banerjee

*Flushing our chances of survival down the toilet of avarice


2011 Is the Year to Grab the Mic
A Black Agenda Radio commentary
by Bruce Dixon

*As the man said

Radio is the sound salvation


Center for Biological Diversity
President Obama’s Forest Service Tries to Weaken Wildlife Protections in National Forests

*Natural low


House Hears Testimony On Electronic Employment Verification System

*Not getting jobbed


FAIR Media Advisory
Duvalier = Aristide?
Equation of dictator with popular ex-president distorts Haitian history, reality

*The corpress wasn’t particularly concerned with “stability” when Aristide was being overthrown with our tax dollars, were they?

Their preferred version of stability was on display in Tunisia, Egypt and points east until recently, wasn’t it?


REPORT FROM TAHRIR: Sharif Abdel Kouddous, “Everyone Is Eagerly Awaiting and Anticipating Mubarak to Leave. They Think Tonight Might be the Night.”


Striking Egyptian Workers Fuel the Uprising After 10 Years of Labor Organizing

*Critical mass movement


Defying Regime Threats, Thousands of Workers Join Protesters in Tahrir Square

*What I’d like to know is whether the US, hedging its bets, is trying to identify “leaders” in the movement to coopt, and if they can, how they will try to use them to persuade folks to back off their demands for true change, and accept a ruling elite without Mubarak, but still pliant to US control.

Let’s hope that the nature of this uprising mitigates against such manipulation.


Bush’s Shrinking World: George W. Bush Cancels Europe Trip as Human Rights Lawyers Threaten Legal Action over Torture

*Of course, if there were such a thing as justice in this country, Dear Leader would be indicted here, wouldn’t he?

But expecting one mass murderer’s DOJ to take action against his bloody predecessor …


Human Rights Attorney Bill Quigley on the U.S. Deportation Death Sentence and the Undermining of Meaningful Elections in Haiti



WikiLeaks Cables: Saudi Arabia Cannot Pump Enough Oil to Keep a Lid on Prices
US diplomat convinced by Saudi expert that reserves of world’s biggest oil exporter have been overstated by nearly 40%
by John Vidal
The Guardian/UK


The Stink in the Super Bowl
by Robert Shetterly

*The yawning chasm between empire and empiricism

I have to disagree about the virtues of football.  I too played it – not particularly well – and derived nothing positive from the experience.  It’s institutionalized violence, and has wreaked untold physical damage, and even death, on its participants.

Sports can be a source of worthy values – teamwork, sportsmanship, camaraderie and more.

You don’t have to knock the shit out of one another to benefit from them, do you?


No More Mr. Nice Autocracy
Democrats and Republicans alike have long wished that U.S.-allied Arab states would forever remain docile dictatorships.
by Chris Toensing

*Succinctly stated, making it plain that we should in fact hope, and work, for a US “foreign policy setback”, unlike some who seem unable to separate their own valid criticisms from a view of a fantasized beneficent American intent gone astray.

Remarkable, Captain.


New Study Reveals the Benefits of EPA Regulation for Labor
by Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith

*That last paragraph juxtaposes jobs with corps’ profit margins, but that’s the economic and political myth that’s being sold – that profits equal jobs – isn’t it?

The intel here dispels that myth, which leads to the imperative question:

If the facts are so evident, why does the administration and the Democratic Party leadership ignore them?

If you believe they have workers’ interests at heart, it’s a stumper, isn’t it?

If you have a clear-eyed view of just who they are and who they answer to, well …


The Myth of “Stability vs. Democracy”
by Ira Chernus

*Deconstructing the myth above, as well as that of “The Patron Saint of Liberalism” ™

I won’t repeat the admonition about pedestals


Egyptian Youth Activist Speaks with Democracy Now’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous

*Important to read, I think.  El Fattah is talking about the next phase of the revolution, and the diverse views of Egyptians regarding it, and I’ve seen little on this so far.

Maintaining solidarity without it being at the expense of true transformation is going to be a monumental challenge, don’t you think?


After Record-Level Turnout in Tahrir, Egyptian Protests Spread to Parliament, Cabinet Buildings; Labor Unions Launch Strikes Nationwide


“We Are Writing History by Our Blood”: Egyptian Physician on Why Protests Won’t End Until Mubarak Resigns


Human Rights Watch: 300 Deaths, Massive Detentions and Abuse under Mubarak Regime Crackdown


“People Are Taking Care of Each Other”: Democracy Now!’s Anjali Kamat Camps with Protesters Overnight in Tahrir Square


“The Great Tragedy is Obama Chose Not to Hold Out His Hand”: Robert Fisk on the Gap Between U.S. Rhetoric and Action in the Egyptian Uprising

*I’ve said this before, and I’ll no doubt say it again, because it keeps happening.

Why do intelligent persons like Fisk persist in this fantasy of Obama as someone possessed of any measurable amount of human decency?

Robert, he’s President of the United States.  His sins aren’t the result of him being “weak”.

They’re mandated in the job description.

And Amy, if you didn’t ask guests what Dear Leader “should do”, why the hell are you asking them about Dear Misleader?

He’s not in need of life guidance.  He’s in need of a life sentence.


Venezuelan Optic Fiber Cable Reaches Cuban Coasts
by The South Journal

*Net gain



The Insurers’ Real Agenda for Change
by Wendell Potter
Center for Public Integrity

*A shell, and shelling out, game


Hacktivists Take Control of Internet Security Firms
by Jerome Taylor
The Independent/UK


U.S. Middle-East Policy: “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil — Just Practice It, Then Act Surprised”
A bit of disconnected, but not irrelevant, history
by Rob Prince


Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy
Women at the Center of Climate-friendly Approaches to Agriculture and Water – New IATP Paper

*Sisters are doing it for themselves

And everyone else


Amnesty International Says Libyan Writer is Jailed for Calling for Protests for Greater Freedoms in Libya
Human Rights Organization Raises Doubts About Allegation that Jamal al-Jajii was Arrested by Security Agents for Hitting Man with Car

*Driving while dissenting


Institute for Public Accuracy
Omar Suleiman, “Egypt’s Torturer-in-Chief,” Tied to False Iraq WMD Tortured “Intel”


Egypt: Frank Wisner and the Nexus of U.S. Interests

*Seeking to sustain the stability of an iron fist


“People Are Determined to Stay Until Mubarak Leaves”: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports in Cairo on Day 15 of the Egyptian Pro-Democracy Protests


Asmaa Mahfouz & the YouTube Video that Helped Spark the Egyptian Uprising

*This is incredibly inspiring, isn’t it?

But it isn’t about one person, no matter how courageous she may be, and how much we might admire her for that.

It’s about that spirit existing in the hearts of so many, for without that, Asmaa’s actions wouldn’t have had the effect they did, would they?

Perhaps a few lit a match, but many cursed the darkness and said, “No more.”


“The Heroes are the Ones in the Street”: Google Exec and Facebook Activist Wael Ghonim on His Release After 12 Days in Egyptian Jail

*You might not think of humility as a necessary virtue for revolution, but the ability to see yourself as just one among many, and to be able to put yourself in another’s place, is to me the essence of humanity, and so the prime motivation for trying to change things so that we all can have the dignity we deserve.


Shooting the Messenger: Egyptian Journalist Shot Dead by Sniper While Covering Cairo Protests


Detained Al Jazeera Journalist: “[The Military] Viewed So Many of Us as Prisoners of War. Our Hands were Tied Behind Our Back with Cables. Our Eyes were Blindfolded.”

*Freedom of the press, and freedom to repress, as the US corpress and gummint pay muted lip service to the former


Not The Onion: Redskins Owner Offended by Dehumanizing Imagery

*Pretty heavy duty chutzpah, huh?

But no more so than my alma mater, which proudly proclaims its teams “The Rebels”.

Oh, but that’s going overboard, isn’t it? No one sees that as defending slavery.

I’d be interested in how the black athletes on those teams view it. I’d have to think at least some of them make the connection, wouldn’t you?

And a related Old South “fun fact”:

“Ol’ Miss” was how house slaves referred to the plantation owner’s wife, as opposed to her daughter(s), who would be addressed as “Young Miss”.

Saw that in a University of Mississippi yearbook from the early ’40s.

And given the sesquicentennial observances of the Civil War, it appears old times there are still not forgotten.

They’re elaborately celebrated.

Go Rebs!


NYT’s Fisk Factcheck Fail

*Let’s see if *I’ve* got this straight …

The firm openly boasts about its Egyptian ruling class connections on its site, yet when a spokesperson downplays those, the Times happily goes with the spinning spiel.

I wonder what those journalists catching all manner of hell from this company’s clients think about such dogged reportage?


NYT Documents U.S. Support for Egypt’s Torturer

*The “counterproductive” argument struck me, as it is a meme of many “progressive” commentators.

My question to them is, “Counterproductive to what?”

Supporting Mubarak has been extremely productive to US – i.e., corporate and geostrategic – interests, hasn’t it?

That relationship with this regime may finally be at an end, depending on whether our gummint can manipulate events to its advantage, as has been done in the case of the downfall of many tyrants in the past.  But regardless, the benefits to the power structure in this country have been many and varied, don’t you think?

Cohn’s and others’ arguments seem to hinge on there being some upside to “doing the right thing” for the US.  Since its goal is to control the area’s resources and politics for the purposes of power and profit, just how is it in its interest to relinquish that control?

That’s a substantial blind spot when it comes to seeing the US for what it is, wouldn’t you say?



The Right Way to Support a Friendly Dictator…er, ‘Strongman’

*”I believe in relationships”?

I’d say anybody who could make a comment like that about a mass murderer has a “quality … that is chilling”, wouldn’t you?


Hate in Arizona: Two Mothers Mourn Their Murdered Children
by Valeria Fernández
New America Media

*The South rises again, in the Southwest


Virtual Warfare Escalates on US-Mexico Border
by Kanya D’Almeida
Inter Press Service

*Nothing borderline about the inhumanity here, is there?


Recognizing the Language of Tyranny
by Chris Hedges

*The languages of force and farce


Key Hand Sanitizer Ingredient May Cause More Harm than Good
Triclosan can impair thyroid function, upset estrogen and testosterone levels, and promote problems that could interfere with fetal development.
by Wenonah Hauter

*Whitewashing dirty cleansers


Corporate Control? Not in These Communities
Can local laws have a real effect on the power of giant corporations?
by Allen D. Kanner

*Thinking globally, enacting locally

Banksters Back in the Black: JPMorgan Chase
by Mary Bottari


The Real Effect of ‘Reaganomics’
Ronald Reagan promoted the idea that conservatives prefer to leave the economy to the market. Nonsense – we’ve been gulled
by Dean Baker

*Ignorance is no excuse for being schooled


What Can We Do to Support Egypt?
Address in Solidarity with the Popular Revolution
by John Clark

*It’s a daily right bastard perusing so-called “progressive” analyses
that accept ruling paradigms while claiming fealty to the principles
they suppress.

Reading this piece is pretty much the antithesis of that ennervating experience.

See if you agree.


Public Health Cost of Global (Corn) Trade
by Sarah Clark

*The moral bankruptcy of NAFTA’s Chapter 11


Farmers and Conservationists Challenge Latest Federal Approval of
Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets
In defiance of earlier court ruling, USDA allows continued growing of
controversial, illegally planted crop

*Another stroke of the poison pen


Institute for Public Accuracy
Egyptian Activists Demand Resignation of Mubarak


Protests Demanding Mubarak to Resign Grow Stronger, Despite Some
Government Concessions


“The Empire’s Bagman”: Obama Egypt Envoy Frank Wisner Says Mubarak Should Stay

*The US couldn’t get away with these deadly games if the corpress
honestly reported on them, could they?

But then, they wouldn’t be the corpress if they did, would they?


Media Crackdown: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from
Tahrir Square on the Systematic Targeting of Journalists in Egypt

*Black hearts and blackouts



Uprising in Egypt: A Two-Hour Special on the Revolt Against the U.S.-Backed Mubarak Regime

*I’m posting this without having read it in its entirety (I’ve read about 24 minutes in, then watched for about the same period), but I wanted to get this out to folks.  What I’ve seen so far has had a good deal of important intel, especially regarding the component parts of the Egyptian power structure.

I may add more comments after digesting the full program, but events are moving rapidly, obviously, and I didn’t want to wait any longer for the full transcript.


PR Watch
NFL 1, Toyota 0

*Hitting ’em where it hurts



Institute for Public Accuracy
Egypt: Threat of the Army, Resilience of the Protests

*On the subject of anger and aesthetics, I think this Yank contribution mirrors the resolve shown by the folks in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt, and around the

See if you agree.




Mass Tree Deaths Prompt Fears of Amazon ‘Climate Tipping Point’
Scientists fear billions of tree deaths caused by 2010 drought could see vast forest turn from carbon sink to carbon source
by Damian Carrington
The Guardian/UK


Egypt’s Military-Industrial Complex
With US-made tear gas canisters fired on protesters in Cairo, Washington’s role in arming Egypt is under the spotlight
by Pratap Chatterjee
The Guardian/UK

*I always cringe when I see the view expressed at the end here.

Entreaties to the US to “do the right thing” are the equivalent of urinating into a hurricane, aren’t they?  Our gummint will always endeavor to do the bidding of its corporate masters, and appealing to its supposed better angels is time tragically wasted – time much better spent educating folks about the true nature of this “defender of democracy and human rights”.

There is no “there” there.  See it for what it is – a opportunistic supporter of your own charlatans.  If you do, ridding yourselves of them becomes that much more possible.


Food, Egypt and Wall Street
by Robert Alvarez

*Let them eat ticker tape


Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die
by Jodi Jacobson

*Life begins at conception

And ends in legislation


Monsanto Nation: Exposing Monsanto’s Minions
by Ronnie Cummins

*Cummins makes imperative connections between and among organic activism and other issues, doesn’t he?  It’s a lesson we all need to take to heart.

And I understand his spiel about Whole Foods and others not being the enemy, but doesn’t it prompt you to add …

“Of course, with friends like these … “?


Egypt’s Rhyming Revolution
by Nathan Schneider

*Poetry in motion


5 Ways to Help Your Community Go Local
Buy Independent and Buy Local campaigns have a big effect, according to a new survey of independent businesses. Here’s how you can reap the benefits for your local economy.
by Jeff Milchen

*I have mixed feelings about this, as ultimately we have to end the role of profit if we’re to survive, but I think it’s better to interact with such an economy in this way than buying from corporations.

But buying local is not the solution, because buying can’t be part of it, can it?


Day of Departure: Massive Demonstrations Across Egypt Aim to Oust Mubarak. Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports Live from Cairo

*We can only hope that if Suleiman takes over, it won’t split the solidarity shown among the disparate groups opposing the regime, and sap the energy from the movement, which would be the aim of the government and the US.

There’s a lot of pressure, just in the sense of folks’ lives having been disrupted, to put this on PAUSE, and it’s going to be the task of those aware of what that would mean to convince the less astute that all they’ve sacrificed so far would be lost if that were to happen.

Appealing to honoring the memory of those killed for the cause might accomplish that.


Eliminate the Witnesses: Committee to Protect Journalists Criticizes Mubarak’s Policy of Attacking and Silencing Journalists in Egypt

*The irony of corpress journalists being attacked by those their outlets have covered for for decades shouldn’t be lost, should it?


Video Report on the Battle for Tahrir: An Inside Look at How Pro-Democracy Activists Reclaimed Tahrir Square After Attacks by Mubarak Forces

*The bond among these folks, and their discipline, is incredible, isn’t it?  And while they try to maintain a nonviolent posture, they will defend themselves according to the circumstances, and I think that’s an important distinction from “violence”.

Force should be a last resort, but defending yourself and others is not violence, is it?

Whatever happens, I think vital lessons can be drawn from how these people have conducted themselves, don’t you?



Joe Klein and the Rotten Fruit of Arab Democracy

*Anyone see the irony in someone like Klein utilizing the word “creepy” to make his point?

His is a distinctly unnerving hubris, innit?

Of course, by “distinctly”, I by no means mean “unique” within the confines of a copiously conceited corpress.

But I’m confident you knew that.


Mexico, Cradle of Corn, Finds Its Noble Grain Under Assault
by Tim Johnson
McClatchy Newspapers

*Science on the march

Just like lemmings


Inspired by a Revolution in Our Midst, Worried About a Revolution in Our Atmosphere
by Bill McKibben

*Included for the sobering climate intel.

McKibben’s a good source for that, but he’s blind to the need for truly radical change – the end of profit – isn’t he?

We won’t be able to make the transition necessary via anything less.

And I’m scared shitless that that means we’re doomed.


The New Face of Revolution: After Tunisia and Egypt, the World
by Ted Rall

*While no one has a crystal ball, and while I agree with Rall about much of what he calls “the Official Left”, I don’t really think you can take what’s happening in the Middle East as the blueprint for revolution here, or in the West in general.

Even the movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen et al. aren’t mirror images of each other.  They have strong similarities because their circumstances are much alike, but there’s no way to predict how these initial characteristics will change over time, is there?

One similarity these societies share is a narrow focus on their oppressors after decades of directly experiencing their police-state tactics and theft of their nations’ wealth.  No amount of gummint and allied media propaganda can hide their crimes.

It’s different here, isn’t it?  We are the most politically and economically ignorant people on the planet due the skillful manipulation of our historical prejudices and national myths by the ruling class.  Even when confronted with their perfidy, and having a visceral sense of how we’ve been screwed by them, we still can’t help wanting to *be* them at some level, can we?

Until there’s a truly united belief that the privileges of the elites aren’t to be envied, but ended, our anger will continue to be turned against each other, and our collective strength unrealized.  This is all against the backdrop of the steadily ticking clock of climate change.  At some point it won’t matter, will it?

Maybe we can come to our senses.  Maybe something in these foreign revolutions will cause the penny to drop.

Being an empiricist, I’m not sanguine about the prospects.

Being a human being, I hope to hell the future isn’t foretold by the past.


The ‘Greenest Olympics’ Actually an Environmental Catastrophe
by Erik Hoffner

*Playing dirty games with being clean and green


Why Sexual Violence Against Latina Farmworkers Is a Hate Crime
by Catherine A. Traywick

*The immigrant’s journey:

Going through hell

Only to arrive in hell


As International Privacy Day Is Celebrated, Governments Continue to Chip Away at Privacy Rights
by Katitza Rodriguez

*Big Brother’s dirty data stream


Center for Biological Diversity
Arctic Sea Ice Hits Historic Low Just As Congress Moves Against Controls on Global Warming

*The ice melts while reason freezes


Friends of the Earth
Secret Plan Exposed to Use Surplus Weapons Plutonium in Washington State Nuclear Reactor
FOIA Documents Reveal Energy Northwest Plans Plutonium Fuel (MOX) Experiments While Seeking to Control Information Leaks to the Media


Institute for Public Accuracy
“Mubarak Will Hunt Us Down One by One”
“May be preparing for something which he does not want the world to see.”


Eyewitnesses to a Massacre: Reports from Inside Tahrir Square as Pro-Mubarak Forces Open Fire on Protesters


A Battle for Democracy: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports on How Anti-Government Protesters Are Resisting the Mubarak’s Regime Crackdown

*Hopefully the action against the machine gun fire indicates a schism in the army, leading to a defense of the people, but it’s just a hope at this point, isn’t it?


California Professor Beaten by Pro-Mubarak Forces Minutes After Interview on Democracy Now!

*Israelis and “American-paid” instigators working to topple Mubarak?

It’d be hard to find a more textbook definition of “Orwellian”, wouldn’t it?


Journalists and Human Rights Activists Arrested and Beaten in Cairo Crackdown


Robert Fisk: Obama Administration Has Been Gutless and Cowardly in Dealing with the Mubarak Regime

*Fisk, being a first rate journalist, should know the consequences of choosing words, and when you call the US “leadership” “gutless” and “cowardly”, you’re not giving folks the true picture, are you?

This isn’t about courage – it’s about complicity and criminality.  To make even vague allusions to any other motivation is deeply misleading, isn’t it?  I don’t think that’s Fisk’s intent, but I’d love to be able to ask him just what the hell is his intent in characterizing US actions and inactions in that way.


“The True Face of Hosni Mubarak” is Now Being Televised Across the World: Democracy Now! Reports Live from Downtown Cairo

*First it’s Israel and America (talk about I-R-O-N-Y).

Now it’s Iran and Hamas.

Next it will be Darth Vader and Lex Luthor?


Noam Chomsky (Part 2): “This Is The Most Remarkable Regional Uprising That I Can Remember”

*Goodman has this irritating habit of asking guests what they think Dear Misleader should do, doesn’t she?

I think Chomsky’s reply puts the question, and Obama, and every other president, into perspective.  The administration’s objectives in the region are the same as Eisenhower’s, Carter’s, Reagan’s, Clinton’s, the Shrubberies and the rest, and he makes it abundantly clear just what those goals are, doesn’t he?



The Great British Austerity Experiment
With deficit hawks poised in the US, we watch with great interest UK economic policy. It’s not looking an enviable example so far
by Dean Baker

*Of course, Baker is a capitalist, if a comparatively rational one.

But that’s just the point, isn’t it?  No matter how rational a profit-system supporter is, ultimately their reason runs smack dab into the unassailable fact that the system cannot be just, that it depends on winners, and thus losers, to operate.

Talk of “consumption” when we’re facing the greatest crisis humankind has known in the form of climate change is anything but rational, don’t you think?  Profit was always antithetical to the principles of humanity, but now we’re staring oblivion in the face if we continue on that path, no matter how much “kinder and gentler” we try to make it.

Any true rationalist gets that.  So far, there ain’t many card-carrying members, are there?


When Israel’s Protective Net of Tyranny Tears
We have not yet reached the stage in which the machinery of Israeli repression breaks up into its component parts – the people – who instead of obeying, begin to think.
by Amira Hass

*I’d like to know more about Hamas’ actions here, wouldn’t you?


Fraudclosure: Will State AGs Step Up to Their Moment in History?
by Mary Bottari

*Let’s hope to hell they do, but I wouldn’t bank on it, so to speak


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
EPA Regulates Fuel Explosive in Tap Water
Perchlorate first drinking water standard since 2001


Oxfam International
Crisis of Poor Quality Medicines Being Used as an Excuse to Push Up Prices for Poor

*Confronting the crisis, Big Pharma leaps into action:

BP1:  “Poor people are dying from bad medicines!”

BP2:  “Can we make a profit off that?”

BP1:  “That’s a rhetorical question, right?”


Pimps and Prostitutes…Again?

*It’s not a matter of the corpress “learning” anything here, is it?

They know damn good and well what’s going on, and as Hart says, they’re eager to aid and abet.

Meanwhile, actual news about evil deeds, such as the WikiLeaks revelations, is ignored, skewed or treated as itself criminal.

That’s the work of a system with no interest in getting to the facts, not one clueless as to how to do so, don’t you think?


“I Either Leave Here Free or Dead”: Egyptian Protester Refuses to Leave Tahrir Square Despite Violent Attacks by Mubarak Supporters


“It’s a Massacre”: Eyewitness Account of Attack on Peaceful Egyptian Protesters by Pro-Mubarak Forces


Live From Egypt: The True Face of the Mubarak Regime by Sharif Abdel Kouddous

*The empire’s vassals strike back


Bloodshed in Egypt: Mubarak Supporters Riding on Horses and Camels Violently Attack Protesters in Tahrir Square, Over 100 Injured


Voices of the Egyptian Revolution: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous Speaks with Demonstrators in Tahrir Square at “March of Millions”


As Mubarak Pledges To Finish Term, Egyptian Protesters Stay in Streets Demanding Immediate End to Regime: Democracy Now! Reports Live from Cairo

*I’m not sure what Radwan means by “negotiating” with the US.  I hope it doesn’t mean that Egyptians view the rhetoric and promises of Dear Misleader as somehow more honest than those of Mubarak.

That would be a disastrous mistake, leading to a betrayal of all they’re standing fast for now, wouldn’t it?


Noam Chomsky: “This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember”


Institute for Public Accuracy
Following Mubarak and Obama Speeches, Government Thugs Attack Demonstration
Egypt: Did Obama Give a Green Light for Violence?


Into Egypt’s Uncharted Territory
by Hesham Sallam, Joshua Stacher and Chris Toensing

*There’s still much to sort out in all this, and it’s advisable to eschew proclaiming any source’s view as gospel, but I think there’s a good bit of useful intel here, especially regarding the military’s interests and US machinations.

See what you think.



Tunisia’s Spark & Egypt’s Flame: The Middle East Is Rising
by Phyllis Bennis

*Bennis provides some useful intel and analysis here, but reveals her, and many others’, limits at the end, with her musings over the possibility of the US, under Obama, getting on the right side of history.

Thirty-plus years of dealing with this shit tells me that’s about as far from an empirical view as you can get.

What do you think?


Washington’s Sudden Embrace of Al Jazeera Won’t Erase Past US Crimes Against the Network
by Jeremy Scahill

*I would’ve liked for Scahill to have gone into how he sees the US interacting with Al Jazeera going forward, and how the network would react to that, wouldn’t you?


Overkill: Future Weapons, Future Wars, and the New Arms Race
by Nick Turse

*Imperial wet dreams of making nightmares come true


Sexual Prey in the Saudi Jungle
by Walden Bello

*A “staunch ally” of the US

What’s a little sadistic slavery among friends?


Environmental Groups
Cancer-Causing Chemical in the Water: New Report Details Risk
Coal ash waste contains hexavalent chromium


NARAL Pro-Choice America
House Committee Schedules Hearing on Bill, Boehner Refuses to Discuss
Controversy over the Legislation’s Provisions Seeking to Redefine Rape Put Boehner on the Defensive

*Victimization redux


Indian Guestworkers Ask Federal Court To Certify Largest Human Trafficking Civil Suit In U.S. History As Class Action
Workers Lured To U.S. After Hurricane Katrina And Subjected To Abusive Conditions Seek Class Certification


Millions Against Mubarak: Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports Live from Tahrir Amid Massive Protest

*I hope that the “disappointment” folks feel about Obama’s actions and inactions evolves into an understanding that there will come a point where the US will attempt to coopt this popular revolution, and they will be able to see that for what it is.  That applies to Tunisia and elsewhere, of course.

Many people have died for their countries’ freedom in these last few weeks, and untold numbers before then.  Their blood is in large part on American hands, and to allow the US any influence in these events would deeply dishonor their sacrifice.


Media Blackout in Egypt and the U.S.: Al Jazeera Forced Off the Air by Mubarak, Telecommunications Companies Block Its Expansion in the United States

*But let’s be honest.  The overwhelming majority of Yanks don’t give a rat’s ass about what’s happening in the Middle East.

And until many more do, and see the necessity for solidarity with folks there and around the world, the fundamental change that has to happen here – for our own sakes as well as everyone else’s – won’t occur, will it?


Digital Darkness: U.S., U.K. Companies Help Egyptian Regime Shut Down Telecommunications and Identify Dissident Voices

*Virtual support for free speech, and actual actions to restrict it


Arab TV vs. Polite People Like You

*So why are apologists like Indyk on a supposed “progressive” program?  Don’t they get enough ink and airtime via the corpress?

Aren’t there other folks out there who can provide an honest analysis of the situation?  Shouldn’t they be getting far more exposure than they do?

So why is that?  And I’m not speaking solely about mainstream media.  A look at DEMOCRACY NOW!’s guest list, for example, reveals a not-insubstantial predilection for corpress and academic establishment types.

Granted, these persons might have some useful intel, but every time they appear, someone who has more to offer doesn’t, right?

And isn’t showcasing alternative voices part of the mission of the “alternative media”?


FAIR Media Advisory
The Delicate Tightrope of Supporting a Dictator
U.S. media gloss over Washington’s role in Egyptian repression

*The true tight rope is the one pulled taut against any entrance to the corpress echo chamber, lest any evidence of US complicity with repression be able to squeeze through



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