February 2012


Tom Friedman Is Waiting For Afghans to Shape Up

*I’d assume Friedman’s conception of a “holy book” would be Machiavelli’s “The Prince”.

He certainly is faithful to its tenets.


Hezbollah says Attack on Iran Would Set Middle East Ablaze
Israeli/US Officials Downplay Costs of Attack on Iran
– Common Dreams staff

*A chilling cost/benefit analysis


Wikileaks: US Dept. of Homeland Security Kept File on Occupy Wall Street
– Common Dreams staff


Gitmo Plea Deal May Speed Prosecutions; Does Not Address Torture, Indefinite Detention
– Common Dreams staff


Victory: Grassroots Pressure Leads to Closure of Two Highly Polluting Coal Plants in Chicago
“Today we are ending over 100 years of pollution for profits and showing the power of community.”
– Common Dreams staff

*I imagine this isn’t an unalloyed victory, but closing these sources of illness and death has to be viewed as a positive development.


Education Cuts Spur Huge Student Protests Across Spain
– Common Dreams staff


On the Fracking Frontlines
by The Guardian/UK


How the Media Got the Iran/IAEA Access Story Wrong
by Gareth Porter


Haiti, Cholera and the United Nations: Negligence and the Rule of Law
by Lauren Carasik


On Regaining a Spirit of Defiance: ‘I’m Worried Now but I Won’t Be Worried Long’
by Phil Rockstroh


A Real Cure for “Obamacare”: Medicare for All
As court fight looms, healthcare crisis is far from over
by Rose Ann DeMoro

*”American exceptionalism” in the real world


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
California Regulators Turn a Blind Eye to Fracking


Institute for Public Accuracy
War Protests: From Afghanistan to Hancock Air Base — to Prison?


Leaked Stratfor Email Suggests Secret U.S. Indictment of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

*We have a “justice” system which upholds the antithesis of the principle that “the truth shall make you free”.


Amnesty International’s Salil Shetty: Arms Embargo, Human Rights Monitors Needed for Syria Crisis



Millions Join Strikes Across India Demanding Reforms
Indians demanding improved rights for employees, trade unions and political activists
– Common Dreams staff


Antarctic Ocean Alliance Calls for World’s Largest Marine Reserve
“Now is the time to protect this amazing environment”
– Common Dreams staff


New Mountaintop Removal Campaign Kicks Off in Washington, DC
by Jeff Biggers


WikiLeaks’ Stratfor Dump Lifts Lid on Intelligence-Industrial Complex
WikiLeaks’ latest release, of hacked emails from Stratfor, shines light on the murky world of private intelligence-gathering
by Pratap Chatterjee

*Cut-rate intel sold to cutthroat corps


AIPAC Undermines Democracy at Home and in the Middle East
by Medea Benjamin


Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
CCFC Launches “Save the Lorax!” Campaign
New Film Uses Conservation Icon to Pitch SUVs and More

*Horton hears a hoax


Center for Biological Diversity
Bill Would Steal 260 Billion Gallons of Water Annually From California Salmon for Wealthy Water Brokers
US House Poised to Vote on Bill Overriding State Sovereignty, Environmental Protections for Salmon and San Francisco Bay-Delta

*The money flows in

And the water flows out


Lessons from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Report Shows Millions Remain at Risk


No Fracking Way, CBS Evening News

*The literally Golden Rule for the corporate media, and the corporatocracy that controls them:

What we don’t know won’t hurt them


Report from Kabul: Deadly Protests over U.S. Koran Burning May Be Turning Point for U.S. Occupation

*Another woeful segment from DN! that for all intents and purposes could’ve been aired on CNN or NPR, don’t you think?

Wendle prattles on and on about the “damage” this act of cultural arrogance has done to “the mission”, as if it had any moral legitimacy whatsoever, and Goodman allows him to do so, without ever placing it in the context of the imperial aggression that it is.

It just makes you feel like you’ve wasted your time in large measure, and we don’t have that time to spare, do we?


WikiLeaks: Leaked Emails Expose Inner Workings of Private Intelligence Firm Stratfor, a “Shadow CIA”


WikiLeaks: “Private Spies” Stratfor Helped Dow Chemical Monitor Bhopal Activists, The Yes Men


Senegal Faces Runoff Election After Youth-Led Protests Against Abdoulaye Wade’s Bid for Third Term



There Will Be Fire: The ‘Carbon Bomb’ ‘Waiting to Be Ignited’
Scientist: With climate change fires will become more frequent, more intense and harder to stop.
– Common Dreams staff


Monsanto Wins Lawsuit While Food Justice Advocates ‘Occupy’ Food System
Organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen: “This flawed ruling will not deter us from continuing to seek justice.”
– Common Dreams staff


Create Food Democracy, Occupy our Food Supply
by Vandana Shiva


While Schools Sink, NYC Teachers Get Slammed in Shame Game
by Michelle Chen

*Filling circles

Emptying minds


Soaking the Customer: Private Companies Infiltrate the Water Market, We’re Getting the Raw Deal
by Wenonah Hauter

*Drunk with power

While we thirst for justice


Contagion and the Conflict Between Religious Beliefs and Immunization
by Bill Moyers

*Obviously, some serious educating of the public needs to be done.

And just as obviously, there shouldn’t be exemptions for vaccinations on anything other than scientifically sound grounds.  It’s one thing to make a decision about your own health, and very much another when that decision impacts the health of others.

That goes for your children as well as those outside your family.  Parents have no right to place their children in danger in this or any other circumstance.


Friends of the Earth
TransCanada Employs Piecemeal Gimmick to Resurrect Keystone XL; Administration Caves to Ploy

*This really isn’t an “about face”, is it?  Dear Misleader, despite the effusive praise lavished on him by many enviromental groups for “rejecting” the pipeline, has never stated his opposition to it on principle, and there was every reason to expect that it would be resurrected “after a full and complete review”, with some slight modifications that would be meaningless in regards to the inestimable damage it would do to the environment.

So there’s plenty to be “alarmed” about, but nothing in the least surprising.


Institute for Public Accuracy
WikiLeaks Exposes Stratfor, “Shadow CIA” — Charges of Using Sex, Targeting Activists, Blackmail, Insider Trading

*Blackmail, black ops, and black hearts


Saudi Attacks Syrian Regime, While Repressing Its Eastern Province

*The silence from the State Department is deafening

And death dealing



‘Anonymous’ Targets Private Prison System in Latest Hack
– Common Dreams staff


Postal Service Cuts a Path to Privatization, say Critics
– Common Dreams staff


Global Day of Action: Occupy Our Food Supply
Food justice advocates rise up to confront corporate control of our food system
– Common Dreams staff


Outlawing Solidarity in Tucson
by Rethinking Schools Editorial


Screwed Unemployed Workers and Rising Concentrated Poverty
Unemployment insurance and poverty
by Greg Kaufmann

*The unemployment extension story has been framed in the same way as many other issues.  It’s presented as a Democrat versus Republican battle, and should the former prevail, that’s hailed as a win for “progressive values”, when a deeper look often reveals a phantom victory, as here.

That framing is to be expected from the corpress, but that the realities aren’t made plain as a matter of course in much of the “alternative media” exposes the failure of many outlets to be dependable sources of honest information.

It’s a shortcoming we can’t afford.


Krugman: Actually, Romney’s Insincerity Is a Bad Thing

*I think this illustrates just how insane the acceptable parameters of political ideology are in this country, that if Romney were indeed to pursue what are considered “moderate” policies within those parameters, he would apparently be seen as “sensible” by persons like Krugman.

We’re talking about a difference akin to that between a murderer, and a mass murderer.  The lesser of two evils is, by definition, evil.

And when it comes to the variances among oligarchically vetted political philosophies, it’s almost always a matter of degree, and not kind, isn’t it?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Students on Hunger Strike for University Workers’ Living Wage


Death of Hunger-Striking California Prisoner Sparks New Outrage over Inmates’ Suffering


Occupy the SEC: Former Wall Street Workers Defend Volcker Rule Against Banks’ Anti-Regulatory Push


Supreme Court to Decide Whether U.S. Corporations Can Be Sued for Abuses They Support Overseas



The emperor’s messenger has no clothes: Belén Fernández dresses down Thomas Friedman
by Robert Jensen


Bill Gates: We Need Genetically Modified Seeds
Gates’ yield-increasing claims widely refuted by studies
– Common Dreams staff

*Calling Bill Gates a “philanthropist” is akin to calling Rick Santorum a “humanist”

Or “human”, for that matter


Economists Predict ‘No Gain, More Pain’ for Greece
If alternatives are not pursued, Greece faces many years of economic pain along austerity path
– Common Dreams staff

*This is a better path, but it’s still a bandaid on a gaping wound that won’t heal until we free ourselves from the profit system

And that’s stating the truly bleeding obvious.


EU Vote on Canadian Tar Sands Ends in Stalemate
Decision to label Alberta’s oil ‘highly polluting’ will take place this summer
– Common Dreams staff


Obama Sells Out Homeowners Again: Mortgage Settlement a Sad Joke
by Ted Rall


Bradley Manning, Solitary Confinement and Occupy 4 Prisoners
by Bill Quigley

*Solidarity against solitary


How the New Mexico Anti–Nuclear Campaign Achieved A Major Victory
by Subhankar Banerjee


Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC Lawsuit Seeks to Ban Agent Orange Ingredient from Weed and Feed Products
Popular Use of Toxin 2,4-D in Pesticides Poised to Skyrocket without Action


Republicans Debate in Arizona as GOP Faces Backlash in State over Extremist, Anti-Immigrant Policies

*The Democrats’ motto?

“All things in moderation”

Things like justice, peace, equality, dignity

The list goes on and on, and will continue to go on and on

Until we decide to turn off this road to nowhere


Under Fire over Earmarks & Spending Record, Rick Santorum Seen as D.C. Insider, Culture Warrior

*Fanatic or charlatan?

A moot point to those of us in his sights, isn’t it?


Sen. Russ Feingold, New Obama Election Co-Chair: “The President is Wrong” to Accept Super PAC Money

*Oy …

The contradictions fly fast and furious, don’t they?

I think this is an object lesson in the malleability of the term “progressive”.

And given that, it’s one I would never wish to be associated with.



Silencing of Women on Women’s Health Continues
“We finally have the agenda in its full bloom in Congress.”
– Common Dreams staff


Wall Street Oil Speculation Driving Surge in Gas Prices
– Common Dreams staff


Warrantless Surveillance?: Gov’t Subpoenas OWS Activist’s Twitter Records
Malcolm Harris: Subpoena dangerous because it might “produce a chilling effect and discourage people from using Twitter while protesting.”
– Common Dreams staff


Where Victors Are Victims: Santorum and Republican ‘Dissent’
by Jules Boykoff

*Ever seen abortion clinic protesters teargassed and baton beaten?

Me neither.


My Husband, Khadr Adnan, Has Shed a Light on Israel’s Disregard for Human Rights
Through his own suffering, Khadr has helped expose the plight of Palestinians held under ‘administrative detention’ by Israel
by Randa Musa


Caring Across Generations
Stand With Home Care Workers Now!


Institute for Public Accuracy
End of a Palestinian Hunger Strike Sheds Light on “Lawless Captivity”


Media’s Weird Ethics: Pretending to Be Someone Else Is Worse Than Facilitating Global Catastrophe

*Comment left at link


James Traub Bids a Fond Farewell to an Era of Constant Warfare

*I wonder what Traub thinks of McCain’s call to arm Syrian rebels.

I mean, it doesn’t cause the rush of blood to the face that seeing US troops and aircraft wreaking havoc on another country would for “humanitarian” imperialists like him.

But perhaps he would be mollified by the assurance that Special Ops forces would certainly accompany such materiel.

I’d have to think he could still get his Jones on for that, don’t you?


Solidarity and Its Discontents
by Raha Iranian Feminist Collective

*I thought this was well reasoned and principled.  See if you agree.

I also think the points made apply to other morally difficult issues, such as support for the people of Syria and Libya in their struggles.  My gut reaction is to oppose US and Western intervention in whatever form they take, but I can find myself at a loss when trying to contend with those who say that amounts to an abandonment of those fighting against tyranny.  I can point to the history, motivations, and destructive results of those interventions, but desperate persons will grab at any seeming possibility of support in the short term, and it’s difficult to counter that.

Ultimately, it comes down to seeing that support for intervention is a betrayal of those struggles.  It has never resulted in the aspirations of the people being fulfilled, and never will.  We must work outside the realm of military might, regardless of the sincere desire of some to “send in the cavalry”.

I hope that makes sense.


Foreign Intervention in Syria? A Debate with Joshua Landis and Karam Nachar

*How do you have a “debate” on this subject when both parties essentially agree on the need for intervention?

Neither guest opposes US intervention in principle, and how can you have a rational discussion about this without someone coming at it from that standpoint?

I realize that this isn’t a simple moral conundrum.  People are dying, and we have an obligation to do what we can to support them.

But we also can’t ignore the history of and the motivations behind US involvement in these situations, and I’d have liked to have seen someone well versed in those topics given the opportunity to make the case against intervention from that perspective.



Occupy Movement Targets Corporate Interest Group with Ties to Legislators
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will face ire of the 99%
– Common Dreams staff

*Shining a light on the heart of darkness


Deception Aside, Scientist Who Leaked Heartland Docs Called ‘Hero’
The Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick admits leaking docs, but receives support from scientists and climate activists
– Common Dreams staff

*Mandia has it right.

What’s unethical about using subterfuge to expose criminal behavior?  And what else would you call lying and manipulation regarding a matter of life and death?


With Greece’s Final Austerity Deal Reached, the ‘Gruesome Bleeding Process’ Continues
– Common Dreams staff


Tucson to Palestine: History As a Weapon
by Jody Sokolower


Police Chief Timoney, Meet Bahraini Mothers
by Medea Benjamin

*Noxious clouds of poison and propaganda


Food & Water Watch
Why Walmart Can’t Fix the Food System
Report Reveals How Walmart’s PR Efforts on Healthy Food Access, Nutrition, Sustainability Fall Short Of Reality

*Walmart’s focus on health extends only as far as its profit margin


Committee to Protect Journalists
Local Censorship Goes Global as Media Under Siege

*Why is there no mention of the situation in the US, where journalists have been assaulted and jailed while covering protests?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Yemen “Elections”


Bombing Iran: A Real Headache for Israel

*There’s nothing the corpress revels in more that earnest speculation over the best way to kill “the enemy”, is there?

It’s like foreplay, precedent to the orgasm of war coverage that is their fondest wet dream.


Apple’s ABC Friends Get China Exclusive

*You can’t make this stuff up.

But Weir and ABC can, and no doubt will.


Money Rules Politics? Robert Samuelson Busts That ‘Myth’

*It’s a common malady among the punditocracy …

Selective amnesia.

Samuelson and his confreres conveniently forget about tax cuts for the wealthy, and corporate subsidies, and regulatory failures, and a “law enforcement” and “justice” apparatus geared to protect privilege.

There is a cure for this debilitating social disease.

It’s called a conscience.

But I don’t imagine that will be recollected, either.


Palestinian Prisoner Khader Adnan to be Released from Israeli Jail After 66-Day Hunger Strike


Spying on Campus: New York Police Caught Monitoring Muslim Student Groups Throughout Northeast

*There’s this assumption here that the NYPD and its collaborators are engaged in something “un-American”, when history shows precisely the opposite.

“The other” has often been targeted for infiltration and/or repression, on whatever pretext has the most utility at the time.  Today, that pretext is “terrorism”, and Muslims are the most “other” of “the other”.

That’s the nature of “law enforcement” in the US.  Whether or not there’s a threat to public safety, and regardless of the magnitude of that threat if it exists, the raison d’etre of police and other “security” entities ensures that they act as they do.

This has little to do with “protecting the public”, and everything to do with protecting the powers that be, by creating the perception of a menace from those who are “different”.

A divided people are a conquered people.


As Calls for Intervention in Syria Grow, Vijay Prashad Urges Reevaluation of NATO Attack on Libya

*The farce of “a force for good”



U.S. Legacy in Afghanistan: Giant Prisons
– Common Dreams staff


Seasick: Dead Sea Otters, the Canaries in a Coal Mine of ‘Sick Seas’
Changing temperatures increase invasive parasites: marine life, humans at risk
– Common Dreams staff


Australian Cancer Survivor Fights to Stop Gene Ownership
– Common Dreams staff


How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street
by Ellen Brown


The Abortion Wars: The Real People Behind the Restrictions
by Carole Joffe


Support Our Schools Chicago
Candlelight Vigil and March Delivers a Message: “Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them!”
Parents Take Their Concerns to the Mayor’s Neighborhood



Moving Backwards: Despite Fukushima Disaster, World Moves Towards More Nuclear Power
‘Use of a failed and dangerous technology’ expanding
– Common Dreams staff

*That last comment from GE sort of sums it all up, doesn’t it?

It’s a spurious defense, but if a natural disaster can overcome the greatest precautions taken, how can there be any justification for building a nuclear power plant?


Thousands Rally in Gaza, Hunger Striker Sparks Political ‘Imagination’
Richard Falk: If Adnan is to die, a third intifada may rise
– Common Dreams staff


Mortgage Settlement ‘Whitewash’: US Taxpayers Will Pay for Big Bank Settlement
Mortgage Deal or Not, Abusive Foreclosures Continue
– Common Dreams staff

*Nail me

And make me pay for the hammer


We’ve Seen the Threats Against Iran Before
by Phyllis Bennis

*A succinct dismantling of the tissue of lies about Iran’s “nuclear threat”, but Bennis’ advocacy of using “the carrot” of ending sanctions deviates from a principled view of this crisis.

The sanctions, in addition to causing great harm to innocents, are not morally or legally warranted.  They don’t pertain to Iran’s human rights abuses, only to its not capitulating to Western demands.


The Occupy Chicago Arrests: Rahm Emanuel’s ‘Dry Run’ for G8 and Nato?
Never mind free speech, Chicago’s mayor wanted to show protesters who was boss ahead of May’s summits, says attorney
by Bernard Harcourt

*Forget about Emanuel’s plans for a moment.  We all know where he’s headed.

What’s disturbing here is Harcourt’s characterization of the protesters as “peaceful, well-dressed, respectful” and “articulate”.

The implication is that unkempt and less than elocutively accomplished activists need not apply for his advocacy, don’t you think?

As well, the raising of the spectre of “’68” as a boogeyman to be avoided at all costs, and the concomitant conflation of protesters’ actions with police violence, evinces an attitude of paternalism that truly makes me cringe.


Progressive Democrats of America Joins the 99% Spring

*It is “coopt”, or “co-opt”?

In any event …


Public Citizen
Will Chevron Case Take Down Trade Pact ‘Investor-State’ Enforcement System?
Unprecedented Ruling Today by International Investor Tribunal Orders Ecuadorian Government to Violate Its Constitution, Interfere in Its Independent Court System to Help Chevron Evade Liability for Amazonian Contamination


Obama Administration Asks Supreme Court to Dismiss ACLU Challenge to Warrantless Wiretapping Law


Postal Service Broke? Letter Explains What USA Today Omitted

*You’d think USA Today and the rest of the corpress would know something about mailing it in, wouldn’t you?


Is Iraq Media Failure ‘Coloring’ Iran Coverage?

*The larger issue isn’t whether Iran is aiming to build a nuclear weapon, but, if it is, why.

Given the forces arrayed against it, a nuke may be seen as the best insurance against attack.  And, given the consequences of such an attack for Iran and the region – and the world – having that insurance might prove beneficial for us all.

But the best solution is for the Middle East to be nuclear-weapon free, and for all nations with nukes to decommission these avatars of utter insanity.

Perhaps the acronym “MAD” has faded from our political vocabulary in recent years, but the madness remains with us as long as these abominations exist.


Corporate Pundits Waiting for a Palestinian Gandhi? Meet Khader Adnan


These bastards become bitter over a frigging parking ticket – assuming that can’t get it fixed.

And they have the nerve to counsel against bitterness?

I have news for these schmucks.  There are plenty of people who are “bitter” about being jailed, beaten, tortured – and have every right to be.

But we’re not really talking about bitterness, are we?  What the corpress really desires is a lack of anger, and the action that it fuels.

Meekly accept your oppression, ask nicely for your rights, and maybe we’ll give you a little column space or a few seconds of airtime.

That’s not what King and so many others did, but that’s the revisionist history we’re being fed to deny us the inspiring examples of the courage and humanity of those who’ve come before, and live among us today.


“Where Are the Women?”: Lawmakers Walk Out on Contraception Rule Hearing After Female Witness Barred

*Of course what Issa and his cronies did is horseshit, but to have a segment on this, and present this “compromise”, with Norton being an administration surrogate, as some “win-win”, with no one on to talk about the difficulties this will cause for women versus sticking to the original rule … well, I just think that’s emblematic of the continual contradictions encountered in the “alternative media”, DN! being a prime example.

To me it’s analogous to going along with a “voter fraud” bill because its provisions are made somewhat less onerous.  Principle’s tossed out the window by political maneuvering, and the erosion of our rights are furthered by the complicity of our “champions”.


Florida Lawmakers Defeat Prison Privatization amid National Push for For-Profit Jails

*As you might expect, nada from the senator about the issue of prisoner welfare, which, while awful enough in public facilities, is worse in private prisons.



Olympic Committee: Dow Not Responsible for Bhopal Tragedy
IOC to keep Dow Chemical as Olympics sponsor despite protests
– Common Dreams staff


Transcanada Pushes Eminent Domain for Its Tar Sands Pipeline
GOP senators plan to hold Federal Oil Reserve hostage to KXL approval; Nobel laureates rally against tar sands in EU
– Common Dreams staff

*Pipe dreams

And planetary nightmares


Wikileaks Banned From UN Conference on Wikileaks
UNESCO opens 2-day media conference in Paris
– Common Dreams staff


Israel To Demolish Palestinian Solar Energy Program
– Common Dreams staff


The Greek People Have Been Sacrificed to the Capitalist Gods of Speculation
In Europe, capitalism has persuaded the world that capitalism is the world
by William Wall


Instead of Being Disgusted by Poverty, We are Disgusted by Poor People
Empathy has crashed. No more cruel to be kind. We must simply be cruel.
by Suzanne Moore

*The man with the hollow eyes pleaded

“Brother, can you spare a dime?”

The man in the silk suit paused for a moment, studying the aspect of
his implorer

“Oh, I can spare far more than that,” he replied

And walked away


Jeremy Scahill: U.S. Has Ignited Islamist Uprising in Impoverished, Divided Yemen

*Addendum to Scahill’s piece posted yesterday


Iran Tensions Rise with Diplomat Bombings, Scientist Killings, Nuke Claims and Media Warmongering


Deadly Fire at Overcrowded Prison Adds to Worsening Toll in Post-Coup Honduras



‘Global Square’: Wikileaks-Backed Activist Platform Launching in March
‘To perpetuate and spread the creative and cooperative spirit of the occupations’
– Common Dreams staff


Documents Reveal Plans, Funders and Goals of ‘Climate Denial’ Machine
– Common Dreams staff


Democracy ‘On the Chopping Block’ Under Michigan’s ‘Emergency Management’
– Common Dreams staff


Hundreds of Nonprofits Out Cash After Fiscal Sponsor Scam
Tim DeChristopher-founded Peaceful Uprising among groups affected
– Common Dreams staff


Push To Privatize US Prisons Lurks in Corporate Investment Scheme
Firm will purchase facilities from states in exchange for guaranteed 90% occupancy rate
– Common Dreams staff


And supply


Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires
by Jeremy Scahill


David R. Montgomery: Treating Earth Like Dirt
by The Green Interview


The Imperial Way: American Decline in Perspective
by Noam Chomsky

*Again, required reading, to my mind


Greece: Your Money or Your Life
by Margaret Kimberley

*I said yesterday that Greece was the canary in the coal mine for the
developed world

And if we don’t develop a class consciousness – as in the exploited
class versus the exploiter class

We’re headed inexorably for the shaft


Can Obama Avert War with Iran?
by Gareth Porter

*I don’t know how much credence to give this, but I think it’s worth being aware of.

What’s clear is the power of the Israel lobby to induce such crypticism, rather than straightforward statings of policy.


Preventing a Blowout in the Arctic
by Julia Heath

*Heath devotes the first part of this piece to making the eminently logical case for no exploration, then turns to policy wonking on ways to do so.

Safely, of course.

As if that would be done.  And even if that were the case, it’s not only about how you get to the oil, but what you do with it, and what it does to the planet, including the Arctic, once you do.

And you wonder why I get headaches reading this stuff.


National Low Income Housing Coalition
Nation’s Renters Face Severe Affordable Rental Shortage


Institute for Public Accuracy
Honduras Fire: Government Complicity?


Newsweek and the ‘War on Christians’

*Maybe this is a cost cutting move.

I’d assume fact-ferreting investigations are a good deal more expensive than propaganda screeds.

As well as a good deal less pleasing to the powers that be.


NYT: Okinawans’ ‘True Views’ Aren’t What They Say

*I guess I’m having difficultly understanding what’s so hard to understand.

The US wants something.

There are inconvenient facts working against the realization of that something.

Ergo, the facts go.

Remember the old “Fawlty Towers” line?

“This isn’t a proposition from Wittgenstein.”

Two plus two equals four.

Unless the gummint wants it to equal five.


Bizarre Record of Fox’s Rape-to-Be-Expected Pundit

*There’s no ambiguity regarding Trotta’s milieu, is there?

Or the fact that it has no relation to a sense of humanity, as commonly defined.


NYT: ‘Scrutiny’ of Iran’s Nuke Sites Means Bombing Them

*Nothing new about Newspeak on Iran, is there?

I’m very concerned about how these incidents in India and Thailand are being portrayed by the stenography pool that is the corpress.  It makes no sense for the Iranian government to be behind them, as it feeds the narrative of a regime out of control, and needing to be dealt with as soon as possible.

But that logic is lost in the drumbeat for war, and these could be the match that sets the region aflame.


NY Hospitals Saddle Uninsured Patients with Massive Debt Despite $100s of Millions in Gov’t Aid

*The Hypocritical Oath:

First do great harm

Then come back for seconds



Fukushima Nuclear Plant at High Risk for Major Earthquake
Scientists issue call for safeguards to prevent another nuclear disaster
– Common Dreams staff


Don’t Be Stupid, Cupid: How to Show Your Love Responsibly
What classic Valentine’s gifts are linked to exploitation—and what can you do about it?
by Annie Leonard

*The sinister side of the sentiment business


Hegemony and Its Dilemmas
“Losing” the World: American Decline in Perspective, Part 1
by Noam Chomsky

*Highly recommended


Cold, Cold Heart
by Kathy Kelly


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
EPA Inaction Imperils Clean Water Anti-Conflicts Safeguard
Governors in Florida and Maine Open Hen-House Doors to Fox with Corporate Ties



And chicken shit


Single Payer Action
Fifty Medical Doctors for Single Payer Urge Supreme Court to Strike Down Individual Mandate

*After witnessing so many “healthcare advocates” remain mute on this subject, it’s encouraging to see it being challenged by someone who actually wants universal coverage.


ABC and the ‘Family Budget’ Fallacy

*What would be “strange” is if the corpress stuck to the facts, don’t you think?

Well, not so much strange …

As utterly fantastical.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Next for Occupy: Global Protests? Nine Years After February 15, 2003


“Real Despair” Sweeps Through Greece as Severe Austerity Measures Demanded by E.U.-IMF Cripple Nation

*Greece looks to be the canary in the coal mine for the developed world, and it will be instructive to see how the people fight back.

There’s no cookie-cutter design for struggle.  Each nation will be different.  But we can learn from each other, and of course we must support each other.

The plutarchy understands the global nature of its power.

We must understand the same of ours.



Court: Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning in France
– Common Dreams staff


Iris Photographs by Police, Not So Optional, Occupiers Among Others Subjected
Program extended despite objections
– Common Dreams staff


Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops in Afghanistan
The Pentagon’s Afghan Basing Plans for Prisons, Drones, and Black Ops
by Nick Turse

*Construction for destruction


Institute for Public Accuracy
Greece: Government vs People?

*The whip comes down

And the people rise up


Do TV Networks ‘Practice’ for War?

*You know what they say …

Practice makes perfect propaganda.

And while I’m sure this is all great fun, when it comes to that honest to Mars adrenaline rush these mavens of mayhem jones for …

Ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.


For NYT, Apple Making Less Profit Is Not Even an Option

*Here’s another alternative.

How about a world where money doesn’t exist, where we don’t work for bosses but with each other, and where we receive what we need to live a dignified life, and contribute whatever our abilities allow?

To the contention that “These are things that do not happen in the real world”, I’d only say that that “real world” is falling apart with each passing day, and we can either work for the justice of the above, or descend into the nightmare being planned and implemented by those desperate to keep control.

The odds are against us.  They always have been.

But it’s the only game in town, so let’s play it till the place closes for keeps.

(More comments at link)


Latin Jazz Musicians Lead Protest Against Grammys for Cutting 31 Musical Categories from Awards Show

*The dissonance of dissing diversity


U.S.-Backed Bahraini Forces Arrest and Deport Two American Peace Activists Acting as Human Rights Observers



Thousands March Against Nuclear Power in Japan
– Common Dreams staff


Is ‘Prescription for Disaster’ Our ‘Most Optimistic’ Climate Future?
New data indicates warming of 2C now planet’s “most optimistic” scenario
– Common Dreams staff

*Fiddling while home burns


The New Anti-Science Assault on US Schools
In a disturbing trend, anti-evolution campaigners are combining with climate change deniers to undermine public education
by Katherine Stewart

*For these intellectual downsizers, others’ ignorance is bliss


Punishing Protest, Policing Dissent: What is the Justice System For?
by Erik Hoffner


Perfect Storm Threatens Long-Term Unemployed
by Greg Kaufmann



What Progressive Criticisms of Anarchists in Occupy Don’t Understand: A Response to Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges’ “Black Bloc” takedown is only the most recent in a series of critiques bashing anarchists within the national Occupy movement. Here’s why they’re not helpful.
by Susie Cagle


Eastward No! Enviros Warn of Tar Sands Heading to Maine Coast
– Common Dreams staff

*A tainted tentacle slithers eastward


Greeks Compare Austerity to ‘Dictatorship’ as 48 Hour Strike Begins
– Common Dreams staff


President Obama Makes ‘Accommodation’ on Birth Control Policy
– Common Dreams staff

*Dear Misleader earns his epithet

And NOW and PP are bucking for their own


Nearing Imminent Death, Palestinian Hunger Striker Continues Protest Against Israeli Military Justice System
Khader Adnan now held for 55 days without charge or trial
– Common Dreams staff


Intervention in Syria Won’t Work, So How Do We Stop Assad?
by Mehdi Hasan


The NDAA and the Militarization of America
by Carl Mirra


We May Yet Lose Tokyo… Not to Mention Alaska… and Now Georgia, Too
by Harvey Wasserman


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
EPA Lists Dry Cleaning Chemical Likely Carcinogen


Public Citizen
California’s ‘Stop Special Interest Money Now Act’ Is a Deception Wearing Reform Rhetoric

*Shadow boxing to knock out labor


Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama Contraception Compromise: Barrier to Access, Fostering Unequal Attitudes


“Witness Bahrain” Launched One Year After Start of Uprising


50-State, $25B Mortgage Settlement: Relief for Struggling Homeowners or Bailout for Big Banks?

*It’s true there are rotten apples

But they come from a putrid orchard

And those charged with raising a healthy crop reek of the same decadence


Apple, Accustomed to Profits and Praise, Faces Outcry for Labor Practices at Chinese Factories

*Duhigg comes across as little more than an apologist for Apple, and it makes you wish he’d have to spend just a week in the shoes of these horribly exploited people.  I’d like to think his callous rationalizations would seem utterly hollow to him after that experience.

But he never will, and so they never will.

It’s unfathomable that both Daisey and he can refer to these bastards as “well-meaning”.  Daisey just comes across as a fool in that respect, but what do you call a so-called journalist who makes such a comment?

I’ll leave you to guess at my response.

DN!’s making a habit of having these persons as guests, when deeper intel, and a far more honest perspective, could be had from other sources.

But I suppose that would lessen their “visibility”.


Spanish Judge Garzón Disbarred in Trial Seen as Retaliation for Trailblazing Human Rights Work

*You know there’s some “Made in USA” stitched into this, don’t you?



Bank Bailout 2: Obama Lets Mortgage Abusers Off the Hook
The Obama Administration has followed a predictable pattern: Leave No One Accountable
– Common Dreams staff

*I think Scarecrow puts it pretty well.  When a corporate crime can’t be ignored, the public perception of how it can be addressed must be altered.

And what you end up with is this, or BP’s “Get Out of Jail Free” card, or Massey’s walk after killing dozens, ad infinitum, being labeled as “justice”, or at least “The Best We Could Do” ™.

Leaving the victims to do the best they can with what’s left of their ravaged lives.


With New Plants Approved, Anti-Nuke Coalition Readies for Fight
– Common Dreams staff

*How many different ways can you spell “disaster”?


U.S. Military Beefing Up Its Asia/Pacific Presence
Increased military in Philippines “coincides with diplomatic and military friction in the South China Sea and its oil-rich Spratly Islands”
– Common Dreams staff


Judge: Whales Are ‘Non-Persons,’ So Seaworld’s ‘Enslavement’ OK
– Common Dreams staff

*Funny how the legal logic here applies to these nonpersons

But not those with a logo and a lobbying budget


30,000 Domestic Drones to Fill the Sky, Civil Liberties at Risk
FAA Act would raise ‘very serious privacy issues’
– Common Dreams staff


Pentagon: The Planet’s Biggest Polluter
by RT America

*A killing machine on the front end

And the back end


Rotten Recovery for Women
by Laura Flanders


In Washington, Fear the Silence, Not the Noise
The Campaign Against Whistleblowers in Washington
by Peter Van Buren


WI Senate Leader Working Overtime to Stave Off Recall
by Mary Bottari

*Electoral fraud is a huge problem.

It’s just that it has nothing to do with those who are voting.


Institute for Public Accuracy
iEmpire: Apple’s Labor in China Even Worse than NYT Reports?

*Walmart’s a workers’ paradise compared to this hellhole.

These jobs should be offshored, and deep sixed.

And that can’t happen without shoreless solidarity, can it?


Coup in Maldives: Adviser to Ousted Pres. Mohamed Nasheed Speaks Out from Hiding as Arrest Sought


Ousted Maldives Pres. Mohamed Nasheed a Leading Voice for Island States Threatened by Global Warming

*It’s charitable to call Roberts and McKibben “naive” in their
assessments of the US reaction to the coup, isn’t it?  Perhaps they’re
holding their tongues in the hope that the administration will act against it.

If so, I’d say the odds are that they’ll be sorely disappointed.

There’s also a troubling lack of objectivity regarding the man.  I
have to look askance at his portrayal, given that no head of state I’m
familiar with has ever fit this profile.  Whatever the reality behind
the Maldives’ endorsement of Copenhagen, it doesn’t seem to jibe with
this praise of Nasheed’s openness and honesty.  Roberts’ comments on
the benefit of the accord smacks of rationalization, as well.

And what’s McKibben trying to say about the US “owing” him?  That he’s
covered for their duplicity, and they should have his back here?  I
really don’t know what he’s trying to get at.

But it’s beyond doubt that this was a coup, and whatever the nature of
the Nasheed presidency, its usurpers are wholly illegitimate.


LGBTQ Rights Activists on Victories for Marriage Equality in California and Washington

*I think Cohen stated some hard truths about the lack of solidarity in the LGBTQ movement, and it didn’t appear the other guests were particularly enthusiastic to address those, were they?

And as is the case with so much else in this society, class plays a major role here, doesn’t it?



Emails Show Panic Within US Nuke Agency in Wake of Fukushima Disaster
US experts for Nuclear Regulatary Commission disagreed over best way to contain ongoing nuclear disaster
– Common Dreams staff


In Lead-Up to Mass Protests in Chicago, Illinois Ban on Recording Police Challenged
G8/NATO protests “that are almost certain to be countered with excessive police force will be illegal to record”
– Common Dreams staff


Obama Wavering In Face of Anti-contraception Pressure
– Common Dreams staff

*Well, we didn’t get the hope

But we sure as hell get the change, every time a situation like this arises


Obama Joins the Democracy Sell Off
by Tim Karr

*Not that he wasn’t getting bailed out banks full of Wall Street smack before.

But what’s principle, however diluted, when four more years of backstabbing’s at stake?


Children of Immigrants Targeted by Tax Warfare in Congress
by Michelle Chen


Food & Water Watch
Protestors Walk Red Carpet in Trenton for “Fracky Awards”
As Legislature Ponders Ban Bill, Activists Protest Oil and Gas Industry Pow Wow Across from Statehouse


To Be Fair, He Is a Journalist: A Short Response to Chris Hedges on
the Black Bloc
by Charles

*In reply to this piece:

The Cancer in Occupy
by Chris Hedges



FAIR Extra!
Natural Gas and the News
Most messages on fracking ‘brought to you by our sponsors’
by Miranda Spencer

*Buying the lies


The 1 Percent President
Americans Elect’s hypothetical ‘centrist’ candidate wins plaudits from pundits
by Peter Hart

*Not a lot of room on the right if this represents the center stripe on the road to the White House


LAT: Where’s the Drone Deaths Coverage?

*Doing what you’re paid to do?

Focusing on the job at hand?

Business as usual?

Standard operating procedure?

A time-honored tradition?

Lying out your ass?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Santorum: “Holy Owned Subsidiary”

*Ever notice how seldom these “Christians” talk about Jesus?


Santorum Wins GOP Contests in 3 States as Evangelical Vote Surges and Pro-Romney Spending Dips


As Contraceptives Rule Enters GOP Race, Will Reproductive Rights Affect 2012 Election?

*Freedom of religion is not absolute.  When the teachings of a religion abrogate the rights of those who don’t voluntarily abide by them, there is no obligation to respect those teachings.  That’s a core principle of the separation of church and state.

I think this also amply illustrates the bankruptcy of Democratic liberalism.  It would be nice – and shocking – if the adminstration stood up for women’s rights here out of principle, but crass political calculation should dictate doing so, as this is an issue where most folks agree with the policy.

But that’s not how the game works, is it?  As with so many other issues, abandoning triangulation and making an unapologetic defense for liberal policies (which I want to make clear are pathetically inadequate to my mind) would carry the day with the public.

But politics in this country isn’t about convincing the public, is it?  It’s about the good cop and the bad cop, about seeming to have choice when none is offered, about carrying out whatever strategy the plutocracy deems in its interest, where differences are always a matter of degree, and not kind.

We’ll see how this plays out.  The Republicans would like nothing better than Catholic fanatics on the streets to create a diversion from their inane, insane and inhuman economic and foreign policy prescriptions for the future of this country, don’t you think?


Ramarley Graham: NYPD Slays Unarmed Black Teen as Outrage over Targeting of People of Color Grows



*Humanity knows no borders


Nerve Gas To Be Used for Crowd Control in the UK?
Royal Society scientists tell of ‘incapacitating chemical agents’ investigation
– Common Dreams staff


Monsanto, Agent Orange Creator, Returns To Vietnam
Monsanto ready to sell GM crops and weed-killing chemicals in Vietnam; Many outraged
– Common Dreams staff


As BP Profits Gush Skywards, Deal May Be Cut to Allow BP to Avoid Trial
– Common Dreams staff

*The fix is in, as if there were ever any question.

What’s oilier – the Gulf, or what’s oozing from these negotiations?


Once Again, It’s Not Just Abortion: The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Global Gag Rule
by Yifat Susskind


It’s All About the Framing: How Polls and the Media Misrepresent the Keystone XL [Tar Sands] [Oil] Pipeline
by Liz Barratt-Brown

*No surprises here, of course.

But speaking of framing, you’ll notice that there’s no criticism, much less condemnation, of Dear Misleader’s and his party’s actions in this area.

Again, no surprise.  The brief period of “pique” with the administration has ended, as many groups like NRDC will now fall in line with the Democratic campaign machine, after having co-opted the whole “99%” rhetoric.

The less engaged might be forgiven for assuming that Occupiers had been invited to pitch tents on the South Lawn, and offered low-fat snickerdoodles by Michelle.


The Great Carbon Bubble: Why the Fossil Fuel Industry Fights So Hard
by Bill McKibben

*McKibben’s quite right that the carbon cutthroats could switch gears into renewable energy and do quite well for themselves, although his apparently being fine with that shows just how limited his idea of economic justice is.

But the point’s taken.  The hardwired lust for profit doesn’t allow for any foregoing of a future of obscenely obese bottom lines.  It’s a sin in this religion to eschew any opportunity to make a buck, and the end of the world as we know it is no brake on its followers’ fanaticism.

And note once again that while the insanities of Republicans are given due derision, the more leisurely Sunday drive off the cliff with the Democrats at the wheel is given a miss.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Syrian Repression, The Chinese-Russian Veto and U.S. Hypocrisy

*Pots, kettles, and the black heart of empire


A Struggle for Regional Supremacy: Syria Conflict Escalates as World Powers Debate Assad’s Future

*A lot to digest, and I certainly wouldn’t just accept Seale’s analysis en toto, whatever validity it might have in some respects.  This is obviously a complicated situation that calls for considering more than one viewpoint.

But what isn’t complex is the fact that people are dying, and you don’t have to untangle all the threads here to voice your horror at that, or your opposition to that tragedy being used as an excuse for imperial intervention.

As with Libya, it’s not a facile decision to reject “humanitarian military action”, but given the history of catastrophic results for the very persons we want to support, I believe it’s the one our conscience compels us to make.


U.S. Maintains Embargo of Cuba After 50 Years, Despite International Condemnation

*You don’t have to proclaim Cuba a “workers’ paradise” to oppose the continuation of this brutal sanctions regime.  The hypocrisy’s blatantly obvious, causing great hardship for those whose human rights the US professes to champion.

This is about collaborating with the descendants of Batista’s cohorts in the immiseration of the Cuban people.  The failure of the revolution to uphold its ideals is immaterial to that pitiless policy.


“Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away with Murder”: New Book Ties Johnson Admin to Guevara’s Death


Part 2: ‘Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away with Murder’: New Book Ties Johnson Admin to Che Death

*It’s never a good idea to place anyone on a pedestal, and so I’d have liked to have heard more about Che’s contradictions, but what you get from this is a sense of the commitment of him and so many others to ending the hell their peoples suffered under for the enrichment of heartless murderers such as the Dulleses.

That doesn’t provide a defense for the harm done in the name of revolution, but it does illustrate the will necessary to struggle for it.

It’s a question we will have to ask ourselves, because there will be no way our conscience will allow us to avoid doing so.

Do I have that will?



The Millions Funding Geoengineering
Bill Gates among wealthy funding large-scale geoengineering
– Common Dreams staff

*I can’t really add to Shiva’s comments, other than to say that this is truly breathtaking arrogance, or a confidence scheme of the highest – make that “lowest” – order.

In any event, should these insanities come to fruition, we will live with – later to die from – the consequences.


Sea Mammals of War: Next Stop – Iran?
Retired Admiral: “We’ve got dolphins” for mines in Strait of Hormuz
– Common Dreams staff


The Seed Emergency: The Threat to Food and Democracy
Patenting seeds has led to a farming and food crisis – and huge profits for US biotechnology corporations.
by Vandana Shiva

*Does any other act so encapsulate the fundamental logic of the profit system as the patenting of seeds?

To take one of the core achievements of the human race, the ability to grow and improve that which allows for life itself, and reduce it to a matter of legal ownership in order to deny that legacy, illustrates the all-consuming rapaciousness of those who, to quote Oscar Wilde, know “the price of everything and the value of nothing.”


Offshore Everywhere: How Drones, Special Operations Forces, and the U.S. Navy Plan to End National Sovereignty As We Know It
by Tom Engelhardt

*A Sherwin-Williams strategy

And that ain’t paint in this logo


On Not Asking the ‘Job Creators’ the Tough Questions
by Tom Gallagher

*Taking the credit

For all it’s worth


Public Citizen
Enact Legislation to Prevent ‘Congressional Insider Trading’
House Leaders No Longer Can Stand in the Way of Much-Needed Legislation


Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Federal Court Dismisses Gun Lobby Lawsuit Claiming Right to Carry Loaded Guns In Public


NYT Lets Nameless Official Smear Drone Researchers as Al-Qaeda Fans

*Very high-minded.

And low-followed.

Talk about “turns of phrase [that] are valueless to a reader” …


Institute for Public Accuracy
A Dangerous Game on Iran


Police Clear Occupy D.C. Encampment Near White House


U.S. Accused of Using Drones to Target Rescue Workers and Funerals in Pakistan

*The question’s never asked as to just why these deliberate attacks on obvious civilians are occurring.  Some benefit has to be seen to order these strikes, but that’s not addressed.

Whatever the rationale, we’re talking about war crimes, and when we speak of “accountability”, justice demands we take the concept to its logical conclusion – that those responsible must be prosecuted and punished commensurately for acts of cold-blooded murder.


West Memphis 3: Freed Death Row Prisoner Makes Film about 18-Year Battle to Prove His Innocence

*There’s a profoundly bitter irony in anyone connected with the truly criminal justice system labeling anything “satanic”, isn’t there?



Prophetic politics: Charting a healthy role for religion in public life
A review of Walter Brueggemann, The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipatory Word (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012).
by Robert Jensen


Bird Population in Collapse Near Fukushima
Study: Many species show “dramatically” elevated DNA mutation rates, developmental abnormalities and extinctions
– Common Dreams staff


War on Iran? Most American, Israeli Citizens Oppose
64% of Israelis favor a nuclear-free zone
– Common Dreams staff

*While there’s some reason for being heartened at these numbers, if I’m interpreting them correctly, at least 77 percent of Americans polled have swallowed the rationale for some form of aggression toward Iran.  That number’s likely higher, as some who are opposed to sanctions, covert or overt military action probably believe the propaganda, and could change their minds.

Keep in mind that these sanctions have nothing to do with the Iranian regime’s human rights violations.  They’re strictly based on its nuclear program, without any hard evidence that it’s pursuing nuclear weaponry.

I’m more encouraged by the results from Israel, which indicate an aversion to war fever, despite Netanyahu’s relentless pounding of those drums.


The Apple Connection
by Walden Bello

*Rotten to its corporate soullessness


The Komen Foundation Pinkwashes Anti-choicers, Punks Planned Parenthood
by Katha Pollitt


The Deal That Saved Detroit (and Banned Strikes)
by Laura Flanders

*Bogus brake job on workers’ rights


Free Press
Arizona State University Blocks Popular Online Organizing Site


Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto: Will Farmers Receive Justice?


Iran and the Threat of Not Having Future Wars

So for the Israelis, this isn’t about an “existential threat” from Iran, but about the threat of attack impeding their ability to attack other countries.

Damn …

That *is* real “Axis of Evil” ™ stuff.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Komen: Boobs’ Best Friend?

*Pink stink

What’s next?

Pink pepper spray?

“Protect Your Privilege While We Protect Your Breasts”


Afghanistan: Drawdown Is Not Withdrawal


NYPD Muslim Spy Scandal Grows With Newly Revealed Plan to Target Shiite Mosques

*I’m glad the imam was there to put Apuzzo’s reporting in context, because he was clearly incapable of it.

His view seems to be that there needs to be openness about this in order to decide whether these programs are necessary.  He doesn’t see them as wrong on their face.

His viewpoint also ignores the cause for any concern about “terrorism”, which is what the US does in Muslim countries, as well as omitting the history of police state tactics in New York and elsewhere since time immemorial.

And if he can’t figure out why the Obama administration can talk out of both sides of its mouth on this, or rather proclaim a fealty to “best practices” while keeping silent about the NYPD’s actions, then perhaps he should look for another line of work.

Like being a TV news anchor.


Occupy the Super Bowl: Indiana’s New Anti-Union Law Sparks Protest at Sport’s Biggest Spectacle

Throwing labor for a loss

Piling on the working class

Unsportsmanlike conduct in office

Pick your metaphor.  What it comes down to is rigging the game for the bastards in the skyboxes.


ICE Enabled East Haven Police’s Racial Profiling By Detaining, Deporting Targeted Immigrants



The Rapidly Expanding, Secret ‘No-Fly List’
List has doubled in past year to 21,000
– Common Dreams staff


ACLU Suit Demands Release of US Government’s ‘Assassination Memos’
– Common Dreams staff


IMF Official: Austerity Policies Hurting Greece
Official’s statements a “departure from the IMF script”
– Common Dreams staff

*Twisting the knife a bit more slowly


Report: Global Land Grab Efforts Will Lead to “Widespread Civil Unrest”
“Local land rights are being repeatedly and tragically ignored during an astonishing buying spree across Africa”
– Common Dreams staff

*A soil erosion of rights


Drumbeats of War: Israel says Iranian Missiles Aimed at US
‘Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again.’
– Common Dreams staff

*New fan

Same shit


Corporate Education Reformers Plot Next Steps at Secretive Meeting
ALEC Education “Academy” Launches on Island Resort
by Dustin Beilke

*From Fantasy Island

To the reality of an education nightmare


In Year of Uprisings, Reporters Brave Crackdowns from Wall St. to Tahrir Square
by Michelle Chen


National Whistleblowers Center
FDA Whistleblower Lawsuit Sparks Congressional Investigation


‘Bard of the 1 Percent’ Sings the Same Tune

*I’ve never been comfortable with the 99/1 paradigm, because while it’s true that Brooks is engaging in transparent sophistry, the reality is that exploitation occurs beyond the rarified air of million dollar incomes.

There are plenty of persons who make less than that who are screwing those who make substantially less than they do, and positing income inequality as exclusively the work of the one percent is indeed letting others who would be included in any rational definition of “wealthy” off the hook.

This is about the exploited and the exploiters.  Subjective divisions, no matter how memorable, don’t serve the cause of justice.


NYT and GOP’s Keystone Talking Points

*I think the “key issue” here is that even if all the lies about “energy independence” and “job creation” were true, this pipeline would still be a stake in the heart of whatever chance we have to continue living on this planet.

“Essentially game over”, as Hansen said.

That that doesn’t trump everything else tells you a great deal about just how we’ve come to this point, doesn’t it?


“Gasland” Director Josh Fox Arrested at Congressional Hearing on Natural Gas Fracking


Obama’s Support for Natural Gas Drilling “A Painful Moment” for Communities Exposed to Fracking

*I think we see, both in Fenton’s recounting of his neighbors’ initial support for drilling, and in Fox’s praise for the EPA, an ignorance induced by government and corporate propaganda, aided and abetted by media complicity.

In the Pavillion case, folks were willing to trust those entities because the information that would have dissuaded them from doing so was either suppressed, or treated as a minor issue designed to evade our consciousness.  When something like this isn’t given the attention it deserves, even though it may be reported on, it doesn’t make a dent in our thinking when placed in a context of an overwhelming false narrative.

And Fox, even though he sees through that false narrative to a great extent, doesn’t go deeper in trying to understand that the EPA response, which I’d characterize as pathetic given the situation, is meant to allay fears by giving false hope that there’s some agency that will do its job.

This is the game that’s played.  The Republicans in the main don’t want to dismantle the EPA completely, as that wouldn’t truly serve their goals, and the Obama administration and most Democrats don’t want it to have the ability to do its job as it should.  Pressure from the right allows the White House to back away from its duty to protect us, while appearing to be the only alternative to utter deregulation.  Doing some wholly inadequate amelioration, while pushing ahead with fracturing with only some window dressing of chemical disclosure, is a tactic repeated ad nauseum.

This isn’t about the good guys at the EPA coming to the rescue.  It’s about a version of triangulation that leaves us all fracked.


After Right-Wing Campaign, Leading Breast Cancer Charity Komen Drops Funding for Planned Parenthood

*After hearing of the presence on the Komen board of anti-choice zealots, I think this may well not be a matter of cowardice on its part, but of complicity.

Using abortion as a wedge issue to divide supporters of women’s health programs may be the goal here.  Certainly Komen’s response does nothing to contradict that supposition, does it?

And I’m bothered by the continual assertion that these programs have nothing to do with abortion.  While that’s factually true, it feeds into the propaganda that abortion is immoral.  I’d have liked to have heard a defense of abortion care, as it is another vital aspect of women’s healthcare.



Super PAC Power: The 0.1% Buying Our Elections
FEC disclosures yesterday show wealthy donors, corporations behind Super PAC money
– Common Dreams staff


Wall Street Journal Slammed for Giving Platform to Climate Change Deniers
– Common Dreams staff

*It may be that I’m misinterpreting their meaning, but while I obviously agree with the thrust of this letter, those last comments compel me to advise the authors to heed their own words.

Green “economic growth” will still carry with it grave consequences for humanity, if all we’re talking about is maintaining the same class system and exploitation, minus the ecological damage.

These folks know their stuff when it comes to climate change.

They should leave the economics to those who understand the malevolent machinations of the profit system.


Anti-Choice Bullying in Congress Threatens Planned Parenthood Cancer Programs
– Common Dreams staff

*The changing colors of a fall from principle

From pink

To yellow


Why Are US Health Costs So High? Follow the Bills
by Ralph Nader

*The best healthcare [profits] money can buy


Harper’s Border Deal Expands the National Security State
by Emily Gilbert


Center for Biological Diversity
Obama Continues Destructive Federal Grazing Subsidy on 258 Million Acres of Public Land


Iran: This Is What Propaganda Looks Like

*There are times when I miss having a TV.

Then again …

I have to imagine this propaganda parade was accompanied by copious campaign ads.

The facts never had a chance.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Nobel Peace Prize Jury Under Investigation

*Obama, Gore, Kissinger …

A peace prize redolent of the stench of death


Syria: Internal Repression, External Manipulation

*This should be Imperialism 101, yet many sincere supporters of freedom for oppressed populations still believe in “sending in the cavalry” …

Although the lessons from Native folks here should make plain the foreseeable outcome of that advocation.


Romney Gains Momentum with Florida Win, But Gingrich Vows Prolonged Fight


Exploring Mitt Romney’s Shifting Stances from “Moderate” Governor to GOP Front-Runner

*I hope there will be a future guest who’ll take a deeper look into just how well Massachusett’s healthcare system works.

Leaving it with Bernstein’s seal of approval just doesn’t cut it for me.


Baltasar Garzón, Trailblazing Judge Who Pursued War Criminals, Faces Trial of His Own in Spain
Is Former Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Off the Hook For Human Rights Crimes?

*There’s never any “bipartisan gridlock” when it comes to protecting the perverted perogatives of empire, is there?



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