May 2011


For Sale: The Desperate States of America
by Rania Khalek

*Private profit and public loss

Contracts Against Americans
by Ralph Nader

*Sign on the mine-dotted line

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Legal Team for Abu Ghraib Victims: U.S. Ignores Torture in Supreme Court Brief

*Perhaps the administration’s “opposition” to torture simply means it doesn’t believe the subject should be raised in polite company.

Such as a court of law.

Some Muslims Like Us! The Lighter Side of the Libya War

*Imperialists say the darnedest things

The Things That Roger Ailes Fears…

*I think it’s important to make clear that the hate produces the paranoia, and not the other way around.

Of course, there are many bigots who don’t have the slightest fear of those they hold prejudice toward, and there are those whose prejudice has its origins in a different sort of fear …

A fear that the wealth and power they’ve accumulated at the expense of “the other” (and class and gender as well as race, religion and sexual orientation can define that term) will one day slip from their grasp as the consequence of justice finally having been done through those despised “inferiors”‘ determined efforts.

And it’s the job of those who give a rat’s ass about justice to help make those fears all too real, isn’t it?

FAIR Extra!
Selling the Anti-Immigration Story
Media blitz gains attention–but little scrutiny–for nativist Federation
by Beau Hodai

*Whitewashing in more than one sense

Out of Exile: Exclusive Report on Ousted Honduran President Zelaya’s Return Home 23 Months After U.S.-Backed Coup

Zelaya’s Daughter Pichu Recalls the Honduran Military’s Brutal Kidnapping of Her Father in 2009

Exclusive Interview with Manuel Zelaya on the U.S. Role in Honduran Coup, WikiLeaks and Why He Was Ousted

*No mention of Zelaya’s agreeing to recognize the coup regime and support Honduras’ reinstatement to the OAS in return for his return.  Maybe Goodman will bring that up tomorrow, but it should have been dealt with at the outset, don’t you think?

So far, their coverage is emblematic of DN!’s frequent preference for focusing on personalities rather than principles – e.g., this whole business of an “exclusive” interview.

As for Zelaya’s analysis of the US forces involved, perhaps Dear Misleader would’ve preferred a more “soft power” approach to Honduras’ “waywardness”, but the bottom line is he went along with the coup, and I would hope that the people there see him for what he is – an accessory to murder and repression.

Zelaya may speak of the “right wing” having “ben(t) his arm”, but that’s either disingenous or indicative of a lack of understanding of the basics of foreign policy bipartisanship (read “empire building”), wouldn’t you say?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Egyptian Military Courts and IMF

*Call it “chump change”


UK Undermining Europe’s Tar Sands Ban, say Campaigners
Environmentalists accuse coalition of caving in to Canada by blocking attempt to restrict controversial fuel
by Terry Macalister
The Guardian/UK

Who Cares in the Middle East What Obama Says?
by Robert Fisk

*Fisk is certainly worth reading, but he’s one of these commentators that I’d love to question more closely on just where he’s coming from.

To take one example from this piece, he speaks of Qatar militarily supporting the Libyan rebels, and given his characterization of the Emir as “wise”, I’d have to assume he sees no problem with that.

But is he making some sort of distinction between Qatar engaging in such actions, and what the West is doing, and if so, why?

Or does he not, and finds any support morally acceptable?

The Sky Really Is Falling
by Chris Hedges

*No punches pulled on what we face, but as I said a few days back, McKibben doesn’t see the absolute necessity to end the profit-based system that allows for the horrors he delineates here, and Hedges doesn’t deal with it, either.

Dr. Gabor Maté on the Stress-Disease Connection, Addiction, Attention Deficit Disorder and the Destruction of American Childhood

*Excellent intel on the interconnectedness of not only the mind and body, but of how we behave according to the societal environment we inhabit, or more precisely, we’re forced to inhabit in a profit-driven system.

I thought this was Maté’s most salient point:

“What we have to understand here is that human beings are not discrete, individual entities, contrary to the free enterprise myth that people are competitive, individualistic, private entities. What people actually are are social creatures, very much dependent on one another and very much programmed to cooperate with one another when the circumstances are right.”

Our goal must be to make those circumstances right, don’t you think?

I’ve been pretty critical of this program lately, and I think that’s warranted, but this is what DN! is capable of doing, and that should be noted, as well.

MSNBC: War Crimes Arrest and Henry Kissinger

*I suppose you can’t get much more expert commentary than that.


Haitian Mayor’s Office Vows to Destroy All Refugee Camps, Launches Violent Campaign
by Beverly Bell

*Expect a ringing denunciation from the White House

Along with The Rapture ™

Cleaning up City Squares in Democratic Spain
by Pablo Ouziel

*Ouziel says elites have to choose between reform and revolution.

I’d say the people have to, as well.

Reform will only delay the inevitable, and keep the elites in power.

Revolution is our only real option.  What form that takes I can’t say.

But you can’t reform rot.  You can only remove it.

I don’t say that lightly.

But I do say it with certainty.

The New-Economy Movement
by Gar Alperovitz

*I suppose it’s not surprising that there’s no consideration here of the total elimination of the profit motive

But it’s goddamn maddening

Women Rise to the Challenge in the Arab Spring
by Michelle Chen

*If you say you want freedom, you better be prepared to give it as well.

You have to walk the talk.  There is no righteous revolution if its goals aren’t mirrored in how its participants treat each other, is there?

Center for Biological Diversity
Feds Deny Endangered Species Act Protection for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Decision Flies in the Face of Tuna’s Recent 80 Percent Decline Due to Overfishing

NPR Journalists Worry About (Some) Money

*This discomfiture brought to you by a grant from the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Ousted Honduran President to Return Tomorrow

*Disheartening to hear of Zelaya’s capitulation, but it illustrates the folly of following “heroes”, doesn’t it?

I hope the folks in Honduras see that the fate of their future lies in their hands, not those of any “leader”, and continue to stand strong against the murderers and exploiters with which our gummint colludes.

The Battle for Wisconsin: Court Strikes Down Gov. Scott Walker’s Anti-Union Bill

*Odd that while there’s discussion of service slashes with Ryan’s abomination, that subject is wholly missing at the state level, isn’t it?  And nada on anything outside of conventional actions, such as strikes and boycotts – just legal and electoral moves.

We have to have a broad view of what’s at stake, who’s in danger, and what we can do about it, don’t we?  I sound like a broken record, but it’s a groove we move the needle out of at our peril.

Eli Pariser on “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You”

*I think you have to view this holistically.  You have a mainstream media that pushes people along conventional “data paths”, and then those paths are reinforced by these filters.

Alternate intel loses offline and online.

I would think that merits consideration, wouldn’t you?

Yet even as he criticizes the situation, Pariser doesn’t seem disposed to ponder the implications of intentional perception management here.

Well, he *is* a big dog at MoveOn, isn’t he?

Which is why it’s not too surprising that in seeking out those who disagree with him, his inclination is to turn right, and not left.

Sandra Steingraber on the Health Crisis Surrounding Natural Gas Extraction


Europe Sowing the Seeds of Hunger
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

*An unsteady diet of profit over plenty

Slash and Burn: Brazil Shreds Laws Protecting Its Rainforests
The new bill relaxes laws on the deforestation of hilltops and the amount of vegetation farmers must preserve. Partial amnesties will also be offered for previous fines
by Guy Adams
The Independent/UK

*Killing the future, and those who defend it

A Turning-Point We Miss at Our Peril
We have the choice of burning all the oil left and hacking down all the remaining rainforests – or saving humanity
by Johann Hari

*Piss change for such a treasure, and the elites snap their wallets shut

Does insanity come more blatantly bare?

Obama, Hands Off Our Spring
The US wants to turn the Arab revolutions into eastern Europe part 2. It is destined to fail
by Soumaya Ghannoushi

*May the farce not be with you

Is Fukushima Now Ten Chernobyls into the Sea?
by Harvey Wasserman

*Toxic releases

Of radiation, and prevarication

Ass-Backwards in the Middle East
The Myths That Underpin the Failure of American Policy in the Middle East
by Ira Chernus

*Some imperative points made, but again, no mention of one state for all.

And Chernus seems to think that the US would prefer something more than a “peace” based on an indirectly, rather than directly, dominated “independent” Palestinian nation, but is constrained from doing so, but I don’t see any evidence of that, do you?

A “peace” of that sort, with bastards like Abbas playing along, is the US’ aim.  The last thing it wants is any possibility of a viable Palestine linking up with newly populist Arab states in a determined effort to finally shake off Western hegemony.

So the charade of a “peace process” will drag on, until the pliant ruling classes of client states are removed, and the many sane voices in Israel are able to convince its Jewish citizens that their interests lie in a break with the status quo.

Long odds, but it’s the only fair game in town.

Environmental Working Group (EWG)
U.S. Scientists Find BPA in Most Canned Foods
FDA tests confirm EWG research

Communities of Color, Poverty Bear Burden of Air Pollution
EPA public hearings this week filled with stories of poor communities and people of color fighting illness, health impacts from power plant air toxics

MSNBC Misogyny

*The Hilton piss has no defense.  Ingraham and Malkin are certainly more than worthy of derision, but for what they do, and that doesn’t have a damn thing to do with their gender or physical appearance, does it?

There are legitimate gender-neutral epithets (although some admittedly wouldn’t pass the censor), and you have to ask why these dips chose not to incorporate one of them in their disses, don’t you?

Lennon sang, “Woman is the nigger of the world”, and this shit just proves the pervasiveness of that view even among many so-called “progressives”, doesn’t it?

Vermont Poised to Become 1st State to Enact Single-Payer Healthcare

*I understand the obstacles, but a lot of people are going to suffer and die in six years, aren’t they?

I wish there’d been more detail on just what’s covered.  Medicare doesn’t cover everything, does it?  “Medicare for All” then would not be truly universal coverage, as far as being fully comprehensive, and that’s what we need, isn’t it?

The public support’s there, and we have to translate it into an irresistable force for full coverage ASAP, don’t we?

And I really don’t give a damn about Keifer Sutherland.

Bill McKibben: From Storms to Droughts, Devastating Extreme Weather Linked to Human-Caused Climate Change

*McKibben talks of not making the connections, or rather the sinister effort to prevent those connections from being made, but he fails to make the connection between a profit-driven world and the end of the world as we know it, doesn’t he?

We will not be able to do what’s necessary to save this rock as long as we accept a place for competition and profit on it.  We can kid ourselves that steps like Goodman boasts about regarding the DN! studios will make a difference, and they will to some limited extent, but they’re essentially pissing in the wind as long as the economic model that’s brought us to this precipice isn’t challenged, and defeated.

“Toma la Plaza”: Frustration with Unemployment, Budget Cuts Fuels Grassroots Protests in Spain

*Looks like these folks have sussed that two major parties equals one bad hangover, doesn’t it?

You’d like to think that a couple of years of Dear Misleader’s misdirections, on top of all the evidence from duplicitous Dem dealings in years past, would have the same effect here.

I’d like to think that, but I try to be an empiricist.

Institute for Public Accuracy
G8, European Austerity and Protests


7 Ways to Stop Wall Street’s Con Game
by David Korten

*Sensible, but short-sighted

Korten aims for a “kinder, gentler” version of profit-making, and while that may be a lesser evil, it’s still an unnecessary one, isn’t it?

I’ve never heard anyone make a logical case for the need for profit.  It’s usually based on “human nature”, that people are hardwired to compete, not cooperate, profit provides the incentive, and somehow that competition “lifts all boats”.

Tell that to the folks fighting to keep their heads above water – literally in many cases, as greed leads to more flooding and rising sea levels.

The facts on the ground are rapidly submerging the rationalizations for avarice as an engine of progress.  We either learn to work together for the common good, or we die together in a common, sodden grave.

Move Over Machiavelli: WI GOP Kills Public Financing to Pay for Voter Suppression
by Mary Bottari

*There’s plenty of fraud in elections

Here’s a prime example

Race to the Bottom: The Trouble with “Innovation” in Schools
by Gregory Michie

*Shitting bricks in the wall

‘Frontline’ WikiLeaks Program: No Meat, Just a Goldfish
by Greg Mitchell

*Putting the “pathetic” in PBS

Or maybe it’s “putrid”

With our tax dollars, to boot

Rape in Haiti: The Aftershocks Continue
by Michelle Chen

*Why Chen thinks these women and girls should have any faith in Martelly’s empty promises, and why she doesn’t delinate his wretched record, is beyond me.

Institute for Policy Studies
Expert Cautions that 30 Million Spent Nuclear Fuel Rods Are Unsafely Stored in United States, Could Cause Fukushima-like Disaster

*Pools and fools

Report: Invert State Tax Structures To Eliminate State Budget Deficits
United for a Fair Economy Releases Flip It to Fix It: An Immediate, Fair Solution to State Budget Shortfalls, Documents Current Regressive State Tax Structures

*Reversal of fortune for fortunes

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
USDA Urged to Prohibit Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella in Ground Meat and Poultry
Dangerous Strains Make Foodborne Illnesses Harder to Treat, Says CSPI

*Profit margin goes up

Safety margin goes down

ACLU and NILC File Lawsuit Challenging Indiana’s Draconian Anti-Immigrant Law

*Stacking the ID cards against “furriners”

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Dashes Palestinian Hopes of a Just Mideast Peace Agreement

*Notice how “the right of return” is never mentioned by Barghouti?

And, of course, any talk of one state for all the people residing in historic Palestine is out of bounds, isn’t it?

I do definitely agree with him on the vomitous cheerleading by both parties.  Can you imagine that having been the case for P.W. Botha?

What’s the difference?

“Netanyahu is the Main Obstacle to Peace”: CodePink Activist Disrupts Israeli PM Speech to Congress

*Netanyahu’s reference to Tunisia just makes your skin crawl, doesn’t it?

Not the first time such hyperhypocrisy has been uttered in the halls of Congress, and it sure as hell won’t be the last, will it?

Obama to Make First Presidential Visit to Puerto Rico Since 1961

*A promise Dear Misleader will actually keep – not that it really means diddley to anyone who cares about justice for the island’s people, does it?

And it only took him three years.

“Harvest of Empire”: New Book Exposes Latino History in America as Obama Campaigns for Latino Vote

*Hidden history

Overt hostility


Global Campaign to Bestow Legal Rights on Mother Earth
by Thalif Deen
Inter Press Service

*Mother knows best

The question is, do we?

Danish Commandoes Wade into Greenpeace Arctic Oil Protest
Armed forces called in to prevent environmentalists interfering with Cairn Energy’s exploration of Arctic waters
by John Vidal, environment editor
The Guardian/UK

A Link Between Climate Change and Joplin Tornadoes? Never!
by Bill McKibben

Throwing a Shoe at Obama’s Betrayal
by Ilan Pappe

*I’m not as optimistic as Pappe about Hamas’ and Fatah’s rapprochement and the effort for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN.

I plead ignorance of Hamas’ intentions, but given its history, I think it’s wise to look askance at what Fatah’s are, don’t you?

Too Big to Jail
by Danny Schechter

*Will justice be served?

Don’t bank on it.

Over Two Thousand Six Hundred Activists Arrested in US Protests
by Bill Quigley

*Cuffed wrists and clenched fists

China: Pakistan’s Other Partner. Has the Obama Administration Miscalculated in Pakistan?
by Dilip Hiro

*I still think that much of US criticism of Pakistan is kabuki theatre, and my best guess is that both gummints knew bin Laden’s whereabouts for years.

But it may be that Pakistan would prefer to align with someone who doesn’t use it as a periodic whipping boy for their own domestic political ends, so Hiro’s thesis may well be valid.

In any event, that’s my clearly inexpert take on the situation.

Campaign and Peace and Democracy
Hundreds of Bahrainis Join Call to End US Support for Bahrain Gov’t

*This empire will end when we who are oppressed here join with those who suffer worse abroad to demand it.

That’s still an open question, and it’s our moral obligation to close it, isn’t it?

Center for Constitutional Rights Launches Case Seeking U.S. Knowledge of and Role in Deadly Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Flotilla to Gaza
U.S. Victim’s Father Hopes Documents May Shed Light on Son’s Killing

Institute for Public Accuracy
Supreme Court California Prison Ruling

*No rush to judgment, or reform

PBS’s New Plan: More Intrusive Ads

*I can see why folks might not notice an ad in the middle of a PBS “news and public affairs” program, insofar as much of the actual content wouldn’t differ discernibly from the commercial, would it?


Greeks Mobilize to Protect Endangered Seeds
by Agence France Presse

*Seeds of changelessness

The #Spanish Revolution
Nobody expected the Real Democracy Now grassroots movement that overshadowed an election campaign to capture the imagination of the world
by Joseba Elola

*I think what’s related here points out the deficiences in our “uprisings”.  I don’t mean to paint what’s occurring in Spain or elsewhere as models of perfect democracy, but that sense of fully participating in the direction of the movement appears to be much stronger abroad than here.

As Olmo said, “I never got the point of marching for the sake of marching.  Demonstrations need to be meeting points, ways to connect with others that can produce outcomes.”

Avoiding that characterization has to be a key goal of our actions, doesn’t it?

Fukushima Daiichi and Nuclear Weapons
by David Krieger

*Splitting the atom

And leaving intact the evils that may end life through having done so

Amid Disaster, Community
by James Carroll

*Making whole those devastated lives, and addressing the environmental destruction that could well have wreaked this devastation, won’t occur as a consequence of a sense of gummint accountability, will it?

We either hold it, and the elites it serves, responsible and accountable, or hold our breath, waiting for the next deadly calamity to befall us.

Netanyahu and the One-State Solution
by Neve Gordon

*I can’t conceive of “a viable and just two-state solution”, as I think partition vitiates those conditions, but it’s good to see someone talking seriously about one state, isn’t it?

Europe’s Obamaphilia says More about its Own Weakness than the US President
Europeans see in Barack Obama the possibility of intelligent, public-spirited leaders, a far cry from their own, and ignore his actual record
by Gary Younge

*I’d like to think those in the streets of Europe protesting the austerity regimes imposed on them have a different view of Dear Misleader than the polls indicate.

If not, that reveals a major weakness in their ability to make change, as he and their political classes have the same objectives, don’t they?

As for black folks here, I’d say his strong approval ratings among them reflect more a desperate clinging to any thread of hope, and the danger of identity politics, and not an endorsement of his heartless policies, wouldn’t you?

Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West
by Chris Hedges

*A lot of indisputable empiricism here, but the folks listed as “prophets”, while certainly more attuned to their moral radar than “lib’ruls”, for me still largely fall short in their visions for a truly transformed world.

What do you think?

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Parents, Teachers to Scholastic: Stop Sneaking Corporate Marketing into Classrooms
After Scholastic Pulls Coal Industry-Sponsored Curriculum, 50,000 Sign On to Demand Scholastic Dump Corporate-Funded Educational Materials

*Sleazy kid stuff

American Civil Liberties Union
Supreme Court Orders California to Reduce Prison Population
ACLU Says Extreme Overcrowding Jeopardizes Health and Safety of Prisoners and Prison Staff

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama, Netanyahu and AIPAC: Professional Wrestling or Real Fight?

FAIR Media Advisory
Libya and the Law
Media Show Slight Interest in War Powers, Geneva

*Concomitant to this is much of the “alternative” media’s disinterest in examining the reasons for Western intervention, as well as the makeup of the opposition, and what agreements they may have with the West should they oust Gaddafi, or in the event of a partition of the country.

That should be a central focus here, and you have to ask why it isn’t, don’t you?

NYT and Bogus Gas Price Rhetoric

*”So the editorial page is where bogus narratives are questioned, while the news section is where they’re propagated.”

When it comes to the Times, and the corpress in general, there’s ample parking for them on both of those streets, wouldn’t you say?

Peterson Pay-to-Play at the Washington Post?

*That’s a mighty meager “range”, isn’t it?

In topographical metaphor terms, I’d call it more of a bluff.

I guess that works for straight up reality as well, doesn’t it?

Massey Energy Guilty: West Virginia Probe Finds Coal Giant Systemically Failed to Comply with Law

*There may be a way to make coal mining safer, but there’s no way to make it safe.

And there’s no need to, is there?

Coal mining, underground or through mountaintop removal, has to end.  The miners need to be transitioned into other work, and certainly renewable energy jobs can play a role in that, and the execs need to go to jail for their crimes.

I know it’s a dream.  But just about everything worthwhile in this world has started out as one, hasn’t it?

The Fight over Coal Mining is a “Fight About Democracy”: New Documentary with Robert Kennedy, Jr. Chronicles Campaign to Halt Mountaintop Removal

*Some useful intel, so I post, but again, there’s this sort of celebrity aura with the Kennedy name and Sundance, isn’t there?

Aside from that, what the fuck’s “progressive” about cap and trade?  And while I’m no expert on wind farms, I’ve heard of distrubing problems for flying critters and folks living close by, and I’d like to see those addressed when the topic arises.


The Always-Expanding Bipartisan Surveillance State
by Glenn Greenwald

*J. Edgar had wet dreams about what our gummint can legally do today, don’t you think?

Lots of Rhetoric – But Very Little Help
Then we had to hear what America’s ‘role’ was going to be in the new Middle East. We did not hear if the Arabs wanted them to have a role
by Robert Fisk

*I have to disagree with Fisk about the US doing nothing in regard to the regional revolts.

It did, and is doing, what it can to maintain the status quo, and where things changed, it’s paying lip service to “democracy”, while doing what it can to subvert the will of the people.

That ain’t nothing, is it?

One Year in Jail, Bradley Manning is a Hero
Blowing the whistle on war crimes is no crime.
by Peter Tatchell

Fukushima’s Apocalyptic Threat Demands Immediate Global Action
by Harvey Wasserman

*Out of sight, out of mind for the corpress

While the poison is out of site

And the “authorities” are out of their minds

Electronic Frontier Foundation
EFF Demands Answers About Secret Surveillance Law Memo
Justice Department Withholding Information on Controversial Legal Theory

*Big Brother is watching you

And stonewalling to keep you from watching him

Bill O’Reilly Explains the ‘Muslim Problem’

*The irony of O’Reilly’s remarks about anti-Semitism is that he follows in the footsteps of demagogues like Father Coughlin, doesn’t he?  He just directs his bile at other “others”.

As for “many Muslims believe if you don’t worship Allah you are an infidel and therefore you don’t deserve human rights”, the hypocrisy of that is made plain by the experience of many Muslims in this country, in which if one does worship Allah, you are treated as though you don’t deserve human rights.

Anti-Semitism exists in many societies, and is to be condemned in all of them.  Again, it’s ironic that our closest Muslim ally, Saudi Arabia, is among the worst of these, isn’t it?

But what is presented as anti-Semitism by the O’Reillys of the world is often anti-Zionism, which condemns the actions of the Jewish state in oppressing the Palestinian people, and aids and abets Western imperialism in the region.

True, some use that legitimate anger for their own anti-Semitic purposes, but it’s equally the case that pro-Zionists conflate the two for their own ends as well, isn’t it?

Until there is a just resolution to the tragedy of Palestine – and to me that entails a one-state solution – and an end to US and Western domination of the region and their unholy alliance with local dictatorial regimes, there will never be reconciliation between two peoples who have both suffered greatly from historical prejudice.

Did Obama’s Mideast Speech Signal U.S. Shift on Israel-Palestine? Democracy Now! Roundtable

*So why is Ben-Ami a guest here?  What does he bring to the table, but support for a “kinder, gentler” domination of Palestine by Israel, for a “one state, one ‘bantustan on steroids'” solution?

And why is there no room here for advocates of one state, which can be the only truly just outcome?  Can you imagine a “two-state solution” having been the only option given credence regarding South Africa?

I also have to look askance at the Hamas/Fatah rapprochement, and would like to see an in-depth and intelligent discussion of what it means for the Palestinian people.

But I’m afraid that may be too much to ask from this program.


America’s Healthcare Crisis is Getting Worse
by Roger Bybee
In These Times

*Paying through the nose for something you can’t afford to use?

That’s just sick.

Living Buildings, Living Economies, and a Living Future
What we can learn from two of the most exciting emerging movements of our time.
by David Korten

*Some intelligent ideas here, but again Korten can’t let go of profit as a component of a “living economy”.  And since profit is the scorecard of a competitive system, that seems at direct odds with his vision of a cooperative society, doesn’t it?

Also, while we’re working toward building new social and economic systems, we need to realize that it’s all moot if we don’t work toward creating a new vision of what it means to be human.  If empathy and cooperation don’t take center stage in our consciousness, all this sustainable planning will just be so much pissing in the wind, won’t it?

The Illegal War in Libya
by Glenn Greenwald

*Greenwald addresses the illegality of this hyperhypocrisy, but the immorality of it is the core of its repulsive nature, isn’t it?

You have to wonder how many Libyans perceive their struggle for justice being subverted for imperial ends with every bombing run and special op, don’t you?

Rethinking the Common Good
Neither capitalism nor communism, new concept protects resources
by Steven Novotni

*Commons sense

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
Tens of Thousands Call for White House Action on Cancer-Causing Chemicals
Public Health Groups Deliver Over 70,000 Signatures Calling for a “National Cancer Prevention Plan”

*It’s all so reasonable, isn’t it?

And all so damn ineffective.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Progressives Respond to Obama

*I’d say Gray’s is an atypical – and righteous – response to Dear Misleader’s sinister sophistry, while Allison’s is all too typical among “progressives”.

It’s clear to all willing to see that the issues she lists have all “been addressed” by this administration, haven’t they?

And notice that Afghanistan isn’t on that list, which is indicative of the moral bifurcation of its and Iraq’s invasion and occupation by many claiming to be “anti-war”.

Pretty shallow “roots”, wouldn’t you say?

Beyond Obama’s Speech: A “U.S.-Saudi Axis” Backing Counter-Revolution

“Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”: Manning Marable’s Exhaustive Biography of the Civil Rights Leader

Manning Marable’s Controversial New Biography Refuels Debate on Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

*I have to admit that I’m pretty ignorant of Malcolm’s views, and I didn’t gain much from these segments in that regard.

I’d have liked to have seen a discussion focused on his political vision, and what it means for us today.  His journey to that understanding, and whether Marable does it justice, are subjects worthy of attention, but with so many others besides myself lacking a solid grasp of his ideology, they’re of secondary importance, don’t you think?


Many Baby Items Found to Contain Toxic Chemicals
by Victoria Colliver
the San Francisco Chronicle

People or Polluters: Ending Oil Subsidies
by Erich Pica

*Downright foolish comment about “the social safety net that has made this country the economic and social wonder it has been for the last fifty years”, and at odds with the righteous points made about the rampant greed and corruption that have always characterized the American economy and politics.

The worst off in our society historically have had to survive on anything from a crust of bread, to just a few crumbs.

The wonder is in how long we’re going to allow that to continue.

The Real Problem with Bin Laden Killing Video Games
Once again, the Pentagon is co-opting electronic entertainment to sell us on the military
by David Sirota

*It didn’t take a genius to predict the bin Laden “games”, did it?  As proof, I did so shortly after the assassination.

Watch for “Holy Warriors in an Unholy Land”, modeled on the deadly derring-do of UAE-based Blackwater (or whatever the name of the moment) mercs, narrated by crusader king Erik Prince.

It may be that these abominations don’t inspire many personal acts of violence, but they make imperial use of it seem legitimate, and that has far more deadly consequences, doesn’t it?

California Protesters Refuse to Become ‘Wisconsin of the West’
by Allison Kilkenny

*What’s so goddamn maddening about pieces like this is that they’re focused on hanging on to the pathetic crumbs we have, rather than what would be necessary to order up the full meal deal.

And “moderate” tax hikes on the rich may be on the bargain menu, but it ain’t gonna satisfy the hunger for justice and dignity, is it?

Spain’s Tahrir Square
by Pablo Ouziel

*Ouziel’s point is taken about “progressive” media silence on not only Spain’s, but Europe-wide, protests against injustice.  And there’s no legitimate reason for all movements for freedom around the world not to be covered on a consistent basis, is there?

Beyond Nuclear
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Must Come Clean on Reactor Safety Hazard
Beyond Nuclear and Mark I reactor communities petition NRC to suspend Fukushima-style reactors in US and demand NRC reveal what they know about failed “fix” for US reactors

*”Safe” and sorry

Environmental Groups
State Department Sued for not Disclosing Clinton Correspondence with Oil Lobbyist
Groups question what impact the relationship will have on controversial pipeline decision

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama on Mideast — Chomsky: More Deceptive Rhetoric?

*A suggested title:

Droning On, or Blowing Smoke from the Barrel of a Gun

Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater Founder Erik Prince’s Private Army of “Christian Crusaders” in the UAE

*More proof of Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior”, to quote Newt Gingrich.

Inside Obama’s “Orwellian World” Where Whistleblowing Has Become Espionage: The Case of Thomas Drake

*Yet another in a long line of examples of one of the principle precepts of our “Justice” Department:

“Use a conscience, go to jail”

Will the Justice Department Prosecute Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo for Mortgage Fraud?

*Pretty telling that the gummint used the audits to try to effect a settlement, instead of just hauling these bastards in front of a judge, isn’t it?

Pinstripes clash with prison stripes.


Palestinians Protest Israel’s Founding–or Something Else?

*This is to be expected from the institutional media of a nation that
ignores or misrepresents its own oppressive history at every turn,
isn’t it?

There’s not much difference between these lies and those told about an
ethnic cleansing of native peoples which closely parallels what
occurred, and continues, in Palestine, is there?

The US’ actions may have been “politically corrected” in the
acceptable history books to include a morally barren mea culpa, but
the underlying prejudice still exists, doesn’t it (see “Geronimo, bin
Laden codename”).

And no number of casinos will change that.

Bill Moyers and Tavis Smiley on Public TV’s Elite Bias

*There’s “an elite bias” in “alternative media” represented by folks like Smiley and Goodman and Moyers, as well, isn’t there?

The parameters of acceptable discourse may be wider, but they, with rare exceptions, don’t include truly radical ideas, such as an end to profit, and the transformation to a cooperative, rather than competitive, paradigm, for the sake of justice, and simply for the sake of survival.

How many times has a socialist, broadly defined, appeared on DEMOCRACY NOW!, or BILL MOYERS’ JOURNAL – or been quoted here, for that matter?

However one wishes to rationalize it, the disconnect between the stated principles of these media entities and their actions can’t be justified.

I’m not coming at this from a “pox on all your houses” position.  All of the above have done valuable work from which I and many others have benefited.

But when you don the mantle of “fairness and accuracy”, or being “the exception to the rulers”, you have a obligation to live up to those claims, don’t you?

And that entails an uncircumscribed intellectual arena.

Trotting out Chomsky every so often don’t feed the bulldog, does it?

(Further comments added at the link)

New Nonviolent Resistance Movement Grows as Palestinians Mark Nakba Day with Protests at Syria, Lebanon and Gaza Borders

*Why is talk of a one-state solution so rarely part of “alternative” coverage of this struggle?  For all the broken promises of post-apartheid South Africa, it is one nation.  The bantustans were seen as an unjust political fiction, and so should be “an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders”.

Anything less makes a mockery of the principle of the right of return, doesn’t it?

“Violent Crackdown” on Pro-Palestinian Protesters in Cairo Leaves Over 350 Injured

Opposition to Military Trials of Civilians in Egypt Gains Momentum

*I’d like a clearer understanding of why there was this trust of the military among seemingly most Egyptians.  I haven’t come across anything that’s really explored that.

“Getting Wise to Breitbart’s Lies”: Missouri Professors Survive Right-Wing Smear Campaign by Andrew Breitbart

*Notice how neither statement from the universities contains a mea culpa for accepting this bullshit at face value, nor do either decry the attack on academic freedom it represents.

But even more galling are the actions of Giljum’s union president.  That someone who reacts in that way could occupy that position is indicative of the reasons labor is in such dire straits in this country, don’t you think?

And I’d like to have a better sense of just how Ancel and Giljum were actually presenting the issue of violent self-defense.  It’s a complex subject, and dealing with it fairly doesn’t entail approval, or rejection, of it, does it?

“Electronic Brownshirts”: Pt. 2 of Judy Ancel on the Right-Wing Attack on Labor Professors

Institute for Public Accuracy
Egypt: Attacking Protesters and Military Convicting Over 5,000

*Old “habits” die hard

People die relatively easily

EU Moves Gingerly Toward More Aid for Greece
Eurozone countries have signaled an apparent willingness to move toward a second bailout for Greece with a possible debt restructuring plan, if Athens commits to more economic reforms.
by Deutsche Welle (Germany)

*”Economic reforms” is corpress speak for “Squeezing ’til they scream …

“And then really putting the screws to ’em.”

Solitary Confinement Widely Used in US
by RT America

The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic
by Chris Hedges

*My reaction to West’s words are similar to that of Belafonte’s.  For whatever good they may have done, anyone who has “the ear of the President”, regardless of whether he takes that counsel, is someone who doesn’t pose much of a threat to the ruling class, do they?

And why didn’t Hedges press him on just why the hell he saw anything in Dear Misleader in the first place?

Deconstructing a Paul Ryan Sound Bite
Ryan’s budget cuts spending that helps average Americans to fund tax cuts for rich Americans.
by Sam Pizzigati

*Lying down on the jobs

GOP Not the Only Party Targeting Unions
by Shamus Cooke

*”Friendly” fire

“Sing Your Song”: Harry Belafonte on Art & Politics, Civil Rights & His Critique of President Obama

*I usually don’t go for celebrity politics pieces, but I thought there was some useful history worth passing along.

That history is largely bound up in personalities writ large, and as such is constrained in its view of the world.  That isn’t to denigrate whatever Belafonte and other celebrities may have done that had tangible benefit, or the courage they may have shown in their acts, but it’s clear from his appraisal of mass murderers like Kennedy and Obama that he doesn’t understand, or care to understand, the reality of power and the depths of depravity to which those who wield it will sink to maintain it.

It’s not about “disagreement”.  It’s about life and death.

The segment also exposes the limits of a program like DN!, and many other “progressive” media entitites, doesn’t it?  They offer a mostly superficial critique of empire that will never suffice to challenge its hold on us, and they appear to be satisfied with that.

I’d love to be able to ask why that is, and compel an honest reply.

But, in part because I’m not a celebrity, I won’t get that opportunity, will I?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Israel Firing on Refugee Protesters

*Libya fires on civilians, and it’s an act of murder, say our gummint and the corpress.

And it is.

Israel fires on civilians, and the rationales from those self same sources ooze across TV screens and newspaper pages.

Blood shed for the same cause, for justice.

Hypocrisy spewed for the same cause, for power.

More Evidence of Gingrich’s Idea-Spewing

*I think Newt’s on to something.

Not the voting requirement, but many more Americans, native born or no, should know this country’s history, don’t you think?

I’d recommend Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”.

But I suppose that isn’t really what he has in mind.  He’s looking for something with a good deal more red, white and blue to it.

Especially the white.

NYT’s Sorkin Hasn’t Heard of the People’s Budget

*Perhaps Franklin actually said …

“In this world nothing is certain but death and unfair taxes.”

And paid-off politicians to make certain they remain unfair.


Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.
by Noam Chomsky

*A rational view

And thus wholly outside the acceptable spectrum of political discourse in this country

Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, on the other hand …

The Audacity of Genetically Modified Foods
by Bruce Robinson


Corporate Demands, Federal ‘Reform,’ Keep Shifting Healthcare Costs to Workers
by Roger Bybee
In These Times

*A couple of thoughts …

Could it be that the ACA has been bipartisanly set up to fail from the beginning, to advance the claim that “We tried healthcare reform, it didn’t work, and we should go back to the status quo ante”?

And a truly just system would mean workers taking time to tend to their health needs, rather than being forced to ignore them while slaving away at their bosses’ beck and call, wouldn’t it?

And where’s the profit in that?

The Post-Wisconsin Game Plan
by John Nichols

*This piece is the very definition of “progressive”, isn’t it?

It poses as advocacy for some sort of break from conventional politics, yet remains attached at the hip to the Democratic Party as the vehicle for change – a fool’s game if ever there was.

The only mention of strikes or any other truly radical actions references those from many decades past – not suitable for today.

The best analogy I can come up with is that it’s like taking cancer medicine that may ease your pain in the short term, but ultimately will hasten your death.

I don’t say this to claim I know the royal road to justice, other than the certainty it’s not on any map laid out by folks like Nichols, but I’ve been around long enough to know that while this may promise us an exit ramp off the highway to hell, we’ll find out soon enough that it takes us down a dead end street.

Pesticide Lobby Gets Their Spray Rigs in a Twist
by Ken Cook

*I guess the “poison pen” metaphor is outdated, but you get the idea

The Youth Will Win in Yemen
We will complete our revolution and oust President Saleh, with or without international support
by Wasim Alqershi

*Heartening to see such a lack of naiveté around Western and GCC machinations, isn’t it?

It’s an imperative asset to any legitimate revolution.

Immigrants for Sale
by Peter Rothberg

*Prison walls and profit margins

National Low Income Housing Coalition
House FY12 Funding Plan Would Dismantle Housing Safety Net

Project On Government Oversight
POGO Database Tracks Revolving Door Between SEC and Wall Street

*Revolving and revolting, but not in the least surprising

FAIR Media Advisory
Lehrer Steps Down
Will NewsHour do more to fulfill PBS mission?

*And then these bastards have the effrontery to pimp this program as a reason to donate.

As I’ve said before, I don’t want to see public broadcasting die.

I want to see it reborn.

“Friday of Decisiveness in Yemen”: Tens of Thousands Protest as President Saleh Defiantly Rejects Demands to Resign

*I think Saleh may have reached the tipping point where the West and its Arab allies will decide to cut him loose, and direct their energies toward controlling what comes after, as is the case in Tunisia and Egypt.


Battle for Arctic Oil Intensifies as US Sends Clinton to Polar Summit
WikiLeak cables show fears that Arctic resources rivalry could lead to military conflict between Nato and Russia
by Terry Macalister
The Guardian/UK

Teachers, Secretaries, and Social Workers: The New Welfare Moms?
by Randy Albelda

*That last sentence exposes the main obstacle to protecting the rights of both public workers and mothers on welfare – and the rest of us.

We all need “a cadre of supporters” behind us, and the only way that can be achieved is through solidarity across issues, through a united front that doesn’t allow us to be divided and conquered.

One of your legs might be in great shape, but without another healthy one, you’re not going to get very far, are you?

Immigration Detention Reform: A Matter of Life and Death
by Meghan Rhoad

*The heartbreaking false hope of change

And this is a deplorable action by a public employees’ union (and of course there’s more going on than just that) that I’m sure union-busting bastards have no problem with, aren’t you?

Center for Biological Diversity
More Wolf-Killing Legislation Proposed
New House Bill Would Circumvent Mexican Wolf Recovery Planning

Public Citizen
Big Oil Spends More on Shareholder Expenditures, Dividend Payments Than Energy Investments, New Research Shows

*Heaven forfend that we should “seek to punish oil companies.”

Their global history has been a shining example of corporate responsibility, hasn’t it?

Jesus …

Newt Gingrich, Intellectual Powerhouse

*”Left-wing radical” and “secular socialist” are indeed grave slurs in this country, across the “acceptable” political spectrum.

Which might help explain why it finds itself in the situation it’s in, don’t you think?

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: Obama Has Discretionary Authority to Advance DREAM Act, Humane Immigration Reform

*It’s pretty hard to listen to this, especially Gutiérrez’s disingenous defense of the military option in the DREAM Act.

But beyond that, neither he, Gonzalez or Goodman say a goddamn thing about how trade policy has been the primary factor in forcing folks to travel north by making it impossible to make a living in their homelands.

Gutiérrez also seems to defend their exploitation while decrying it, doesn’t he?  He speaks of how undocumented labor has been “good for the economy”, and says nothing about protecting them from being abused at work.

In sum, he’s a fucking Democrat.

“They Are Violating All the Rules”: Rep. Luis Gutierrez Calls for Public Hearings, Impact Studies into Massive Gas Pipeline for Puerto Rico

*More cojones here, but that’s the deal with Dems – even with the better ones, and I’d put Gutiérrez in that category, the moral expediency is a given, isn’t it?

Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón on Bin Laden’s Killing, Holding Torturers Accountable, Universal Jurisdiction, and His Threatened Ouster from the Bench

*Unless there was something lost in translation, Garzón’s last comments on the “proper conduct” of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan undermine the very principles he’s being persecuted for following, don’t you think?


On the Border, Obama Pivots on Immigration, Wavers on Real Change
by Michelle Chen
In These Times

*It’s jarring to read Chen’s comments on it being “naive” to challenge the status quo, when the bulk of her piece makes clear the case for the imperative nature of doing so, doesn’t it?

Look Past Public Workers—the Root of Labor’s Crisis Lies in Private Sector
by Joe Burns

*Much sense here, but a limited vision of “solidarity”.

That word must encompass all the struggles for dignity and a decent
life – from an end to empire to the beginning of a rational
relationship with the natural world.

We’re all in this together.

Or we’re all facing the same sad and sorry fate.

Obama Health Law Unlikely to Stem Medical Bankruptcies
by Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein

*If she were doing her job, the Surgeon General would issue the following alert:

WARNING:  Trusting in Obamacare has been determined to be hazardous to your health.

Disregard all reassuring statements emanating from the White House or supportive pundits, and do not consider this an “accomplishment” of the president during the election campaign.

The only known cure is full and free universal healthcare.

Libyan “Humanitarian” War Creates Humanitarian Crisis
by Glen Ford

Think Congress’ Anti-Choice Legislation is Extreme? Look at the States
by Michael Keegan

*There’s more going on here than meets the eye.  Severely restricting women’s reproductive health options, at a time when the percentage of women in the labor force is at its highest level, diminishes their ability to push for economic justice, doesn’t it?

It’s about more than pandering to the “right to life (until birth)” crowd.  It’s of a piece with the assault on social programs and workers’ rights that’s at the heart of ruling class economic strategy.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Why is Scholastic Selling Kids on Coal? Advocates Urge Publisher to Shelve Industry-Funded “Curriculum”

*Teaching kids to recognize predatory propaganda, especially that aimed at them, should be in every curriculum, shouldn’t it?

Obama Calls for Immigration Reform amidst Record Levels of Deportations

*Do a search for “amnesty” on this page.


How does a “discussion” on immigration not mention a universal amnesty, but gushes over the DREAM Act, which entices young folks to join the military and kill for empire?

And “amnesty” is an awful term, isn’t it, for it implies a crime to be pardoned, rather than the desperate act of people forced toward El Norte due to the destruction of their livelihoods by “free trade” policies originating from that very same destination.

“A War on Civilians”: Mexico’s Drug War Draws Protests as Grueling Death Toll Grows

*Criminals controlling a gummint

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

“Every 30 Minutes”: Crushed by Debt and Neoliberal Reforms, Indian Farmers Commit Suicide at Staggering Rate

*The GM seeds of destruction

Noam Chomsky: “The U.S. and Its Allies Will Do Anything to Prevent Democracy in the Arab World”

*It’s an interesting dynamic between Chomsky and FAIR, DN! and perhaps others.

They like to trot him out occasionally to, I don’t know, give themselves some “radical” legitimacy, while often, to my mind, shying away from his level of critique of US policies and the ravages of capitalism.

I’d like to see him, and them, address that seeming dichotomy, wouldn’t you?


The Great Corporate Tax Swindle
by Richard Wolff

*I think a valid case for declaring eminent domain could also be made, don’t you?

But while Wolff’s idea for worker-directed businesses would be positive step, it would still be in the context of a competitive, profit-based economy, when our only hope for survival is a cooperative, needs-based one.

‘The Worst I’ve Seen By Far’: Budget Cuts Meet Poverty in the Heartland
by Greg Kaufmann

*Dickens meets “deficit reduction”

The Yes Men
Tackling Childhood Asthma Not Coal Industry Priority After All

*It won’t be the joke that’ll knock ’em dead, will it?

Institute for Public Accuracy
“Major Corporations Are Threatening Us”

*A protection racket a capo crimini would kill for

And for which corporations do

Historian Adam Hochschild: Lessons for the Antiwar Movement from the Pacifists of World War I

*It will never cease to amaze me how seemingly morally intelligent persons can make such foolish comments as Hochschild’s advocacy for a reinstatement of the draft.

Yes, its existence did compel many to oppose the Vietnam War, but many did go, and killed, and died, for empire.  It was a factor in ending the war, but much more important was the fact that the ruling class in the US realized the war had become a losing proposition from a geostrategic standpoint, and so they cut those losses.

And, of course, as was said, we do have a de facto draft, of those with next to no other option.  A reinstatement would only add more victims to those numbers.

Wars of empire won’t end until we clearly see the greed and simple evil they embody.  Once we do, any rationale for a draft to fight them will cease to exist.

That may never happen, but freely making a choice based on our humanity, rather than forcing one upon us based on our self-interest, is the only way we’ll finally beat our swords into plowshares, isn’t it?

Pt. 2 of Interview with Adam Hochschild on Voices of Dissent amidst the Din of War

*I reckon I’ve made plain my problems with some of Hochschild’s views, but I thought the history of horrors in Congo needed passing along.

So I am.


Wisconsin’s Walker Heads to DC to Take Lead in Fight to Privatize Education
by John Nichols
The Nation

*”All Children Matter”

“American Federation for Children”

Is it possible to be more grotesquely Orwellian?

NATO Units Left 61 African Migrants to Die of Hunger and Thirst
Exclusive: Boat trying to reach Lampedusa was left to drift in Mediterranean for 16 days, despite alarm being raised
by Jack Shenker in Lampedusa
The Guardian/UK

*Caught between the devils and the deep blue sea

Students and Teachers Fight Education Cuts in North Carolina
Thousands of North Carolina students and teachers take to the streets opposing Republican controlled State assembly bill to cut education
by The Real News Network

How the McEconomy Bombed the American Worker
The Hollowing Out of the Middle Class
by Andy Kroll

*I’m including this for what I think are some important facts and figgers, but Kroll comes at this from a position of reforming a profit-based economy to achieve economic justice, and there are no rabbits in that hat, are there?

Related to that are the self-inflicted wounds to the labor movement, whose “leadership” long ago abandoned a vision of solidarity and equality for the realm of realpolitik, and in so doing renounced any legitimate claim to speaking for its rank and file.

Mexico’s Failed War Against the Drug Gangs
Mexicans are calling for an end to the battle against organised crime that has cost 40,000 lives
by Luis Hernández Navarro

*Understand that these horrors are fully endorsed from El Norte

Deadly Silence on Fukushima
by Vivian Norris

*The far more important fallout to those in power

Friends of the Earth
Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Spills in North Dakota
Latest spill from TransCanada Keystone I pipeline adds to mounting concerns over safety of proposed Keystone XL

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
EPA Halts Heightened Monitoring of Fukushima Fallout
No New Milk, Rain or Drinking Water Sampling for another Three Months

*Preparing the contaminated soil for “The Nuclear Renaissance” ™

On Second Thought: The White House’s Shifting Story on bin Laden Raid

*Just what’s “entirely unclear” about the reasons for these lies?

The initial version was the wet dream of gummint propagandists, with the ubermensch SEALS firefighting their way toward the ultimate confrontation with The Evil One, finally killing him in a blazing exchange of fire.

Golly, what’s to be skeptical about?

That an unarmed and undangerous bin Laden was offed with a couple of slugs to his head in what could only be termed an assassination … well, that just doesn’t fit the PR criteria, does it?

That there’s been backtracking, after the full effect of such Hollywoodismo has been realized, likely reflects concern about the actual facts being made known.  Not concern as regards the corpress, as they’ve made abundantly clear that the facts should never get in the way of a good story, but that many folks around the world (and maybe a few here) might see the original version for the manipulation that it was.

But why FAIR wants to cut ’em some slack on this is – as well as the lack of skepticism toward the party line on just when and how the man’s whereabouts became known – is indeed a bit of a mystery, and one I’d like to understand.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Repression in Honduras “Worse than After Coup”

*The vicious assault on public education is a global phenomenon, isn’t it?

Not content to exploit the products of a system almost wholly designed to meet its desires, the ruling class now wishes to profit even while those products are being molded, doesn’t it?

And there’s no place for teachers who stand up for their, and their students’, rights and dignity in that soulless assembly line, is there?

U.S. Assassination Campaign Continues as CIA Drone Targets U.S.-Born Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen

*You could accuse the US of acting as “judge, jury and executioner”, but it’s misleading to imply that legal deliberation, lawful or not, plays any part in its actions, isn’t it?

Syria Crackdown: Syrian Dissident Haitham al-Maleh Speaks from Hiding as Al Jazeera Journalist Dorothy Parvez Remains Locked Up

*I’d be cautious about al-Maleh’s comments regarding Iranian connivance.  There may be truth to that, but given how often that theme occurs in Western propaganda, and being ignorant of precisely where he’s coming from in making those remarks, I wouldn’t take it as gospel at present.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Cairo on Rising Sectarian Tension in Egypt After Deadly Attack on Coptic Christian Church

*You have to think that the powers that still be are not only using the violence to justify continued authoritarian policies in the name of “stability”, but have a hand in fomenting it, don’t you?

It’s an old script, and one elites in many Third World countries, and the West, never tire of, do they?


Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. Drone Strikes Kill in Pakistan and Yemen

Arab Spring Comes in Western Arms
by Simba Russeau
Inter Press Service

*Making a killing in the martial market

Big Bank Backlash: From Coast to Coast People are Moving their Money
by Mary Bottari

At Glencore’s Pinnacle of Capitalism, Even Hunger is a Commodity
by Raj Patel

*Empty bellies and overflowing greed

Help Defeat The ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’
by Peter Rothberg

FAIR Media Advisory
Ignoring Trump’s Record of Racism

*Until the bastard dons a white robe and hood, he’ll get a free pass from the corpress.

And even then, they’re likely to accept his claim that it was only a Hallowe’en costume.

In March.

Disability Rights Activists Are Even Invisible Getting Arrested on Capitol Hill

*This ain’t no tea party.

In more ways than one.

Everything Proves That Torture Worked

*Comment left at link

Native American Activist Winona LaDuke on Use of “Geronimo” as Code for Osama bin Laden: “The Continuation of the Wars against Indigenous People”

Native American Activist, Author Winona LaDuke on “The Militarization of Indian Country” and Obama Admin’s “Lip Service” to Indigenous Rights

*A valuable history and present-day lesson on the oppression of Native folks, but Duke seems to softpedal her criticism of Dear Misleader’s role in it, and I wish she’d made an explicit connection between the struggle for indigenous peoples’ rights and the larger fight against the ruling class in this country.

Oil Wealth, U.S. Backing Enables Saudi Arabia to Crush Dissent in Bahrain and at Home

*So now, with a possible racheting down in Afghanistan using bin Laden’s death as a pretext, does attention shift to more direct confrontation with Iran, in concert with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies?

Tech Giants Sony, Apple, Google Face Outrage over Privacy Breaches in Devices

*Rotenberg appears to paint the private data collection as inadvertent, as just these corps being thoughtless about the implications.

I’d be much more skeptical, especially considering that intel is gold to the surveillance state, isn’t it?  Could it be that the gummint directed these companies to gather that information?

If you don’t ask the questions, you never get the answers, do you?

FAIR Extra!
More Terror, Less Coverage
Discounting right-wing domestic political violence
by Steve Rendall

*Whitewashing the white hands of rightist terror


D.C. Nurses Union and the Fight for Health Care
by Brian Tierney

The Xtremes: Subversive Recipes for Catastrophic Times
by Ronnie Cummins

With Liberty and Justice for… Corporations?
by Rania Khalek

*Supreme injustice in the small print

Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet
by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay

*Laying out in starkest terms the starkest reality

And the starkest choice we face to confront it

Food & Water Watch
“Sustainable” Seafood? Maybe Not
New Consumer Guide to Eco-labels Examines What Certifications Do—and Do Not—Tell You About the Fish You’re Eating

*Call it “bluewashing”

NYT’s Easy Ride for Christian Right Propagandist

Navy SEALs: Subtle, Brainy Super Humans

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph …

All they’re lacking are spandex one-pieces and capes.

Although from my childhood, I don’t recall the Man of Steel ever blowing a hole in the head of an unarmed man.

Even if it was Lex Luthor.

A minor moral detail.  Watch for the new recruiting video game, “Killing the Snake”, based on the daring exploits of our avenging dark angels!

Did the WaPo Hire Sean Hannity?

*So this is a “news story”, and not an “opinion piece”, or has that distinction been pretty much obliterated at the Post – and every other corpress outlet?

And forget “the past decade”.  When has the vast majority of Americans, propagandized from potty training on, ever given a rodent’s rear about “a sovereign country”, other than their own?

Pakistani Military Faces Scrutiny as Unfolding Evidence Suggests Direct Role in Harboring bin Laden

*So with this parade of corpress voices, just how does DN! qualify as “alternative media”?

This segment was largely a waste of time, don’t you think?  It ignores the larger question of US strategy in favor of a sideshow of “investigative journalism”.  I think it’s pretty telling that Smith dismisses as “wild conspiracy theory” the reasonable assumption that the US has known where bin Laden was (as has Pakistan), and has planned to use his murder to facilitate a facade of a withdrawal from its debilitating situation in Afghanistan.

And that Goodman remains silent on the matter.

Further to that “conspiracy theory”, the US would have a pliant client state in a geostrategically important region – Karzai can claim to have “stood up” to the Americans, while remaining its lackey, and the Taliban will be paid off to stand down – which will ensure Western access to coveted pipeline routes.  With the end of night raids and drone strikes, and the deaths that come with them, a substantially reduced US military presence would be tolerated.

And Obama will be lauded by liberal “critics” for achieving “peace with honor”.  They can now resume their ruefully interrupted dick kissing and commit themselves wholeheartedly to working for his re-election, can’t they?

Only time will tell if it’s right, but it’s a logical supposition, and I’d like to see it treated as such.

Physicians Urge Obama Admin to Pressure Mideast Ally Bahrain to End Repression of Doctors, Patients

*It’s hard to hear about these vicious acts, and then the pallid pleas for the US to “speak out” about them, isn’t it?

What good does it do to document such crimes, and then play nice with the hypocritical bastards who in large measure allow them to happen?

I’m not fucking “reassured”.

Are you?

Suffering from PTSD, Freed U.S. Hiker Sarah Shourd Won’t Return to Iran Next Week for Espionage Trial Alongside Jailed Fiancé, Friend

*I don’t see what the Iranian government hopes to gain from this.  It’s obvious the US doesn’t give a damn about these folks, so it wouldn’t seem they’re any sort of bargaining chips.

Why they just haven’t tried and convicted them of some lesser charge, and then made a show of being “merciful” and kicked them out of the country, is a mystery, isn’t it?


FAIR Media Advisory
Waterboarding ‘Worked’?
Media push pro-torture message

*The argument against torture here focuses on its failures, and while that’s important to keep in mind, the principal reason to oppose it is that it’s just plain fucking evil.

At the heart of the propaganda for it is that it’s necessary to save lives.  It has to be done to “protect us”, doesn’t it?

In a far different world, where the US really were “the good guys”, in a truly dire situation, where torture had some real possibility of working, and was the absolute last resort to prevent deaths, perhaps a case could be made for it.

That’s the scenario the bastards try to conjure in our minds, isn’t it?

But none of those conditions exist in reality, do they?  The US tortured because it could, because it brooked no limits on its “Global War of Terror”.

And if torture has been ended by Dear Misleader, it has nothing to do with the inhumanity of it, only the efficacy.

(And Bradley Manning’s treatment would seem to put that into question, as well as the US’ penchant for sending prisoners to gummints who torture as SOP.)

To those who say the US has “lost its way”, I’d point them to the history books – the honest ones, at any rate.

This has been “the American Way” for centuries, and will continue to be until we have the conscience and courage to say:

Not in our name.

No more.

Onondaga Nation Leaders Blast ‘Geronimo’ Codename for Bin Laden
by Charles McChesney
the Post Standard

*An appropriate codename would have been “Custer”

Paul Ryan Gets an Earful as Tour Bombs
by John Nichols

*Meanwhile, the Walker – um, Wisconsin – State Journal (which incidentally owns the Capital Times, once an independent paper) has attempted to portray this tour as at least a qualified success for Ryan.

Fudging the facts?

Call it Candyland.

Throw Your Smartphone Down the Rabbit Hole
by Tim Karr

It’s Time for Change, Not Celebration
by Bill Shein

*Watch for the video game, “Killing the Snake”, based on the daring exploits of our righteous avengers

Coming soon!

The New Economy: Design for Life
Can we design a self-correcting society?
by David Korten

*I think Korten undermines his design by seeing a place for profit within it.

As I’ve likely said ad nauseum, the pursuit of profit leads to winners and losers, and even if those seeking it try to do so “ethically”, the very nature of the search will lead them to exploit others, won’t it?

Profit demands competition.  If Korten’s serious about a cooperative society, he needs to seriously ponder that contradiction, doesn’t he?

Environmental Groups
Congressional Proposals Aim to Eviscerate Environmental Laws Along U.S. Borders, Coasts
Under Guise of Border Security, Bills Would Eliminate Measures Protecting Air, Water, Endangered Species

*Am I off in seeing this as an example of single-issue callousness?

The comment equating “border security” with stopping “illegal” immigration seems to suggest that these groups don’t have any problem with the crimes committed by border agents against undocumented folks.

Border policy harms humans, and the environment.

So show some cohones and stand up for all the victims of the fearmongers.

Defenders of Wildlife
Interior Department Announces Wolf Delisting Rule
All eyes are on Montana and Idaho as states take over wolf management

*Predators with pens

Former Military Interrogator Matthew Alexander: Despite GOP Claims, “Immoral” Torture “Slowed Down” Effort to Find Osama bin Laden

*First off, I realize I’m repeating myself, but I think this bears repeating:

Do we really believe that the US had no idea of bin Laden’s whereabouts until just recently?  I think that severely strains credulity, don’t you?

As for torture, I think Alexander makes some important points, but they’re made in the context of how the US maintains its empire, not in the context of the fact that there is an empire, which dominates other peoples for power and profit.

It would seem he has no problem with the invasion and occupation of other lands, just in how we conduct ourselves in those actions.  He doesn’t see those acts as in themselves manifestations of the immorality he decries.

That’s a massive ethical blind spot, don’t you think?

And Goodman, with her Right Livelihood Award, doesn’t address this contradiction, does she?

50th Anniversary of the First Freedom Ride: New Documentary Recounts Historic 1961 Effort to Challenge Segregated Bus System in the Deep South

*This is a story of incredible conscience and courage, and one that speaks directly to what’s required of us today, doesn’t it?

Can I summon that level of humanity?

Can you?

And I dearly hope that no one involved in these shining moments reflecting the best we have within us will allow themselves to be taken in by Dear Misleader’s contemptible ploy to exploit the inspiring example of their bravery for his own repugnant ends.

But I imagine that hope will go unfulfilled, don’t you?


Cheering for John Paul’s Sainthood–and Ignoring His Ties to Abuse Scandal

*Suffer the little children to come unto me

And they will come to suffer

U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass
by Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

*So what conclusions can we draw from this intel?

That having bin Laden at large as “Terror, Inc.” was seen as vital to the pretext for invading Iraq?

And beyond that, that his presence justified the “Global War on Terror” ™ in all its iterations?

If so, why hasn’t this history been integrated into the narrative of the anti-war movement and the alternative media, rather than this repetitive foolishness about having been sucked into a “quagmire” over “revenge” for 9/11?

Disability Rights Group Protests at Ryan’s Office Over Medicaid
by Sofia Resnick
The American Independent

*Given the media infatuation with this bastard, I don’t imagine this will get much play in the corpress, do you?

Fury Over Secret Australian Deal With US Over Cluster Bombs
by Dan Oakes
The Age (Australia)

Report: Arctic Warming May Raise Global Sea Levels Five Feet
by Alister Doyle

Where Have All the Graveyards Gone?
The War That Didn’t End War and Its Unending Successors
by Adam Hochschild

*A moving account of the horrors of a hundred years ago, well worth reading, but I have to point out the same ignorance, wilful or not I can’t say, I’ve seen from many others on the reasons for the Afghanistan war and occupation, leading to a schism in how it’s viewed, as opposed to Iraq.

Both were immoral and illegal.  Both were about empire.

And both should be opposed equally for those reasons.  All others are secondary, aren’t they?

Bin Laden’s Crimes, and Ours
by Matthew Rothschild

*You could add every president to this list, couldn’t you?

And while Rothschild’s central theme is spot on, his apparent endorsement of capital punishment has, to use his words, “a creepy edge” to it, doesn’t it?

Wisconsin’s Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
by Jim Goodman

*Goodman asks whether Governor Walkover doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the lives he’s fucking with.

Put your money – what’s left of it – on the latter.

It’s as sure a bet as you’ll get, don’t you think?

World Is Drowning in Corporate Fraud
by Jeffrey Sachs

*You could say these bastards have a “Get Out of Jail Free” card

But that would imply they were in danger of going to jail, wouldn’t it?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Views of Pakistanis

10 Years Too Long: Rep. Barbara Lee Renews Calls for End to Afghan War After Killing of Osama bin Laden

The Right and Left Claim Success in Canada: The Conservatives Win Majority in Canadian Election as Left-Leaning NDP Makes Historic Gains

*I’d have liked to have heard more on why Rebick sees the NDP as moving right, but regardless, the dynamic for fundamental change will come from those working for it outside of parliament, won’t it?

Delivering educational products: The job formerly known as teaching
by Robert Jensen


JSOC: The Black Ops Force That Took Down Bin Laden
by Jeremy Scahill
The Nation

GM Soy: The Invisible Ingredient ‘Poisoning’ Children
The home of Petrona Villasboa is surrounded by genetically modified (GM) soy fields. The golden crop looks like a bumper harvest but for her it is a symbol of death.
by Louise Gray
The Telegraph/UK

*This shit can’t be “managed”.

It can only be banned.


Justice or Vengeance?
In the midst of the Arab Spring, which directly rejects al-Qaeda-style small-group violence in favor of mass-based, society-wide mobilization and non-violent protest to challenge dictatorship and corruption, does the killing of Osama bin Laden represent ultimate justice, or even an end to the “unfinished business” of 9/11?
by Phyllis Bennis

*You have to wonder whether the hit squad was sent in now in order to lay the groundwork for a “withdrawal” from Afghanistan.

Perhaps it’s finally been decided that the empire is better off working its will in less overt ways than outright war and occupation there, while Libya and possibly other nations will experience deja vu all over again.

Time will tell, and it won’t be saying anything hopeful, will it?

The Ability to Kill Osama Bin Laden Does Not Make America Great
by Kai Wright

On Osama Bin Laden’s Death
by Chris Hedges

Are We Still on an Imperial Planet?
China as Number One? Don’t Bet Your Bottom Dollar
by Tom Engelhardt

Bush’s Palpable Persistence in Pursuit of bin Laden

*Comment left at link

Jeremy Scahill on Killing of Bin Laden: Obama Has “Doubled Down on Bush Administration Policy of Targeted Assassination”

*What a week for the corpress.

First they get to fawn over royalty.

And now they can engage in an orgy of Americanismo after the killing of Public Enemy Number One.

Doesn’t get much better than this, does it?

Did Pakistani Gov’t Know Where Osama bin Laden Was Hiding?

*I think it’s plausible that the US knew precisely where bin Laden was, and had known for a long time, and for reasons that hopefully will become clear down the line decided to kill him at this time.

As for Ali’s allusion to a trial, there’s no goddamn way, given his alliance with the US against the Soviet occupation, that he was going to be allowed to give testimony in court about that connection, don’t you think?

“One Killer Killing Another”: Journalist and Activist Allan Nairn on Obama’s Targeted Killing of Bin Laden

*I’d like to think Nairn’s right about Americans turning against US crimes abroad if they knew the reality, but that’s a blind spot that in some respects is wilful, isn’t it?

The fear-inducing propaganda is the dominant factor, but it also plays into the fact that most people here just don’t see non-white foreigners as worth caring about.  They’re not considered our equals, are they?

So until that prejudice is confronted, most Americans will allow it to inure them to the suffering and death our government, in service to empire, spreads around the world.

Military Intelligence Analyst Joshua Foust: Death of Bin Laden Will Not Have Enormous Impact on Operations of Al-Qaeda Affiliates Worldwide

Ex-State Department Official Matthew Hoh: With Killing of Bin Laden, Why Are 50,000 U.S. Troops Still in Afghanistan?

*I don’t know what benefit there is to having persons like Foust and Hoh on, do you?

Obviously, neither welcomes the prospect of waning US influence.  Foust states that it’s the US’ obligation to “lead”, and Hoh frets about it losing “credibility”.

So are they “exceptions to the rulers”?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Bin Laden Killing

*Porter’s comments make clear that the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan had nothing to do with “terrorism”, and everything to do with control of a country in a geostrategically important region, and one encompassing prized potential pipeline routes.

As for the assassination, one mass murderer killed another.

The far more dangerous one celebrates.


Moves to Undermine Egyptian Revolution
by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani
Inter Press Service

Walking for Water
Highlighting threats to our water, Indigenous people carry water from four corners of the continent to Lake Superior
by Faye Brown
On the Commons

Delusion and Denial Part 1: Work, Jobs, Careerism, Charity
by Kristine Mattis

*Excellent piece, but I think Mattis loses sight of a vital point in saying that there might have been “small ethical quandaries” arising from her sandwich shop job.

No matter how much one might try to avoid exploitation in a competitive, profit-based system, the very nature of that system makes that impossible.  Someone will win, and someone will lose.

If you’re one of the losers, you won’t view the damage done to you, your family, your community as “small”, will you?

She seems to echo that truth elsewhere, so I’m not sure how it eludes her in that instance.

Anti-Union Forces Try to Knock Out New York City’s Hard Hats
by Michelle Chen

*Deconstruction site

Glenn Greenwald on Why He Strongly Supports WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning

*Important point about Obama’s Guantanamo promise, that it was
essentially a shell game involving only the relocation of this house
of horrors


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