April 2012


Jeremy Scahill: US Has Become ‘Nation of Assassins’
US Peace conference puts face to drone victims
– Common Dreams staff

*Six votes …

And how many members of the “Progressive” Caucus?


Welcome to the Asylum
by Chris Hedges

*My definition of reason encompasses these qualities Hedges deems essential to our humanity, and our survival.

That’s why I see our species’ fatal flaw in being the only one that is willfully incapable of reason.


The Obama Contradiction: Weakling at Home, Imperial President Abroad
by Tom Engelhardt

*I really don’t see much of a contradiction here.

Obama’s got the power to do what his masters want, which is the job description of every president.

He may seemingly be constricted from doing what he *says* he wants, but the contradiction would lie in honest intent, not dishonest campaign promises.

“Nice guy” or not, the distinction between actions abroad and at home is largely one of degree, not kind.


99% Spring has Sprung: Shareholder Actions Underway Across the County
by Mary Bottari

*Bottari devotes a good deal of energy to debunking the overwrought cries of “Conspiracy!”.

And I have to wonder why.

In Wisconsin, a great deal of other energy was diverted from building mass action to the recall campaigns, and MoveOn, labor “leadership” et al. were a part of that.  There’s no reason to think they’ve changed their ways.

That doesn’t mean you can’t work with them, but it does mean you have to be aware of the fundamental fact that they have an agenda that differs from yours (hopefully), and push for them to be honest about it.

And I don’t think it’s honest to portray legitimate questions over their involvement with these trainings as paranoia.


Pink Slime and Mad Cow Just the Tip of the Iceberg
by Paula Crossfield

*The cows are mad

And we need to be livid


Planned Parenthood
Federal Judge in Texas Rules in Favor of Women’s Health
Court Halts Exclusion of Planned Parenthood from Women’s Health Program, Protecting Access to Preventive Care for Tens of Thousands of Women

*Sometimes reason prevails (for now)

Even in Texas


White House Admission of Drone Strikes Does Nothing to Justify Program’s Legality, ACLU Says
ACLU National Security Experts Warn Program is Unlawful and Dangerous


Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS)
94 Organizations Urge Senate to Reject Possible Renomination of Kristine Svinicki to NRC
Groups Cite Consistent Pattern of Supporting Nuclear Industry Interests at the Expense of Public Health and Safety

*Another sickening reminder of just who’s in whose pocket

And whose campaign pockets are lined by whom


Yes, the 99% Spring is a Fraud “Front Groups, Not Issues!”
by Charles M. Young

*Ramparts not included


Institute for Public Accuracy
“Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the FBI”

*No drones hover over the hotbed of terror at 935 Pennsylvania AV NW


What No One Said About NCLB Profiteering (Except the People Who Were Saying It)

*That’s some mighty expensive bricklaying, I tell you what.



For WaPo, Promises to the Elderly Have ‘No Economic Significance’

*Of course, if Social Security were funded with no income cap, there’d be no “crisis”, manufactured or not.

But beyond that, basing the program on the concept of “insurance”, rather than “assurance” (as in equitable taxation to take truly adequate care of older, disabled and other folks who now qualify for SS, and the whole pay in part is 86ed), was the Roosevelt administration’s attempt to sidestep a “socialistic” solution, and that basis needs to be consigned to the “dustbin of history”, to coin a phrase.


Jailed Bahraini Activists Get Appeal, But U.S.-Backed Regime’s Abuses Continue Unabated

*I think it’s important to keep in mind what US interests are in the region and in each country, and those are to maintain cooperative regimes to further its reigning class’ economic and geostrategic aims.

Whatever public pronouncements made and measures taken have to be seen in that light.  The US has no fealty to any particular group within these countries.  Whoever serves their interests is who they support, and as we saw in Egypt, when someone like Mubarak no longer can do so, over the side with them.

Of course, the regime is still very much in place there, only without its figurehead, but if it’s deemed that they aren’t the best guarantors of the US’ goals, their days will be numbered, as well.

So despite the realpolitik and PR moves, it’s the same old song, but with a slightly different melody.


“Booker’s Place”: Documentary Tells Story of Black Mississippi Waiter Who Lost Life by Speaking Out

*When I was growing up in Canton, Mississippi, during this time, there was a black employee at the Canton Country Club whom we called “Pedro”. When I was growing up in Canton, Mississippi, during this time, there was a black employee at the Canton Country Club whom we called “Pedro”.

My sense is that may not have been his actual name, that his “betters”‘ use of an Hispanic name denoted his status as a “good nigger”, to the point that he should not be considered of the same race.

(Although it was pronounced with a long “e”, revealing the “equal opportunity” ignorant racism of its users).

At any rate, Pedro shared a commonality with Booker Wright, in that the white kids really “cottoned” to him.   We all thought the world of Pedro.  Of course, we, or rather our parents, controlled his world.

I remember some adult talking about Pedro’s supposed dislike of other blacks as though that were an exceptional quality.  And it may be that there was something to that, that he had internalized the loathing of his people as a way to cope with the viciousness of the hate that surrounded him, and the praise he received for doing so reinforced this perversity.

I’m no expert on the phenomenon.

But it may be that he, like Wright, played a part not of his choosing, that he understood that whatever “respect” he was accorded in this white world was based on his seeming “otherness” from the despised “other”.

That contemptible convolution makes plain the obscenity that was American apartheid.

And while that chapter may have ended, the book’s still a long way from being closed.


Ahead of May Day, David Harvey Details Urban Uprisings from Occupy Wall Street to the Paris Commune

*Bloomberg knows we have a “managed economy”.

He’s managed to do quite goddamn well with him and his plutocratic pals managing it, hasn’t he?



‘Wrong Font Size’ Keeps Michigan’s ‘Shock Doctrine’ in Place
– Common Dreams staff

*I have this fantasy of Republican operatives cloistered in some antiseptically lit office at 3AM, poring over this petition, desperately trying to find *something* amiss to give their cohorts on the board some excuse to invalidate it.

All appears lost, until …


Cheers erupt.

Democracy is thwarted.

As God intended.


The Legacy of Chernobyl
by Laura Flanders

*Taking tragedy out of the picture


Scientists Cry Fowl Over the FDA’s Regulatory Failure
Overuse of antibiotics in factory farming kills thousands every year, yet the industry is force-feeding chickens pharmaceuticals
by Richard Schiffman

*A War on Drugs we *should* support


ALEC Retreats, the Right Wing Freaks
by Mark Engler

*The backlash is predictable, and hopefully patently transparent, but I think there’s a problem with the premise of this campaign.

It seems the threat is that we’ll take our business elsewhere if these companies don’t cut ties with ALEC, but will continue our patronage if they do.

Considering what their membership says about their view of their customers, why isn’t the call to flush these bastards forever and ever, amen?

I’ve never sussed the ‘tude that once some mofo changes its behavior to avoid damage to itself, we’re supposed to return to the status quo ante, or indeed, never leave it.  And in some cases we’re encouraged to thank them for doing so.

Up the revolution?

Oy …


Occupy Asteroids? To Boldly Share What No One Has Shared Before
by Randall Amster


The final frontier to be fuggered

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/27-1 .

Public Citizen
State Visit Kabuki: What Happened to Japanese Prime Minister’s Big Washington Announcement on Joining Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Talks?

*A pact with the deregulatory devil


Worldwatch Institute
Economic Recovery Brings Return to Growth of CO2 Emissions

*Revving up the engine

That’s driving us over the cliff

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/04/27-1 .

Occupy Prepares For May Day: No Work, No School, No Banking
by Allison Kilkenny
The Nation

*Springing forward

No falling back


For-Profit Education Firm Kaplan is 14th Company to Dump ALEC
by Rebekah Wilce
PR Watch


Institute for Public Accuracy
“May Day is Coming Home”

*Every day needs to be May Day, wouldn’t you say?


As Obama Expands Drone War, Activists & Victims’ Advocates Join D.C. Summit on Growing Civilian Toll

*A “drone caucus” …


Did a chill go down your spine when you thought about the reality – or unreality – or these drone jockeys playing lethal video games during their shift, then going home after another day at the office?

Lastly, Benjamin makes the vital point that this is bipartisan brutality.  Why any sane person ever believed Dear Misleader would be anything other than the latest in the unbroken line of mass murderers seated behind that imposing desk in the Oval Office is beyond my limited ability to comprehend.

You’re President of the United States of America.

You kill people one way or another every day you’re in office.

And your flag lapel pin won’t get you into heaven.


U.S. Nuns Face Vatican Rebuke for “Radical Feminism” in Stances on Church Teachings, Social Justice

*Split from the goddamn church.  Its leadership is the antithesis of Jesus’ example, and has been so from time immemorial.

And that can be said of most every other “Christian” denomination.

“WWJD?” isn’t on their list of primal questions, is it?


“CeCe” McDonald: Black, Transgender Woman Faces Murder Trial for What Supporters Call Self-Defense



Report: Humanity Must Stabilize Population, Consumption or Face ‘Downward Vortex’ of ‘Ills’
Doing nothing would mean a “drift into a downward vortex of economic, socio-political and environmental ills”
– Common Dreams staff

*At some point the whistling past the graveyard becomes a dirge


FCC Ruling Exposes Broadcaster Reluctance to Public Interest
But putting political ad information online would be boon to democracy, say advocate
– Common Dreams staff


Quebec Spring: Students Back on the Streets in Ongoing Struggle Against Tuition Hikes
Breakdown in talks over tuition fee increases leads to continuing fury on the streets
– Common Dreams staff


Profit-Driven Medicine Violates American Patients Young and Old
by Donna Smith

*Paying through the nose

And whatever other orifices can be forceped to fatten the wallets of callous “caregivers”


America’s Mad Cow Crisis
by John Stauber

*Flushing the bullshit on BSE


US Hegemony in Latin America
by Renee Parsons

*Like the GWOT, the War on Drugs really isn’t about the proclaimed nemesis.

Both are pretexts for imperialism under the guise of safeguarding the populace, as their execution only increases our suffering.

Terrorism – others’ terrorism – will abate when our government’s own is abjured, and the misery and sorrow of drug addiction will not subside until there is a commitment to ending the poverty and alienation that drives it.

Until then, the innocent will continue to suffer from the pursuit of these “crusades”, which have nothing to do with humanity, and everything to do with human exploitation for the benefit of those whose gilded lives come at our expense.


Center for Food Safety et al.
USDA Receives Over 365,000 Public Comments Opposing Approval of 2,4-D-Resistant, GE Corn
143 Farm, Fisheries, Public Health, Consumer, and Environmental Groups Send Secretary Vilsack Joint-Letter on Potential Threats to Human Health, American Farms; Public Comment Period Ends Friday, April 27

*Snakes in the weeds


Rainforest Action Network (RAN)
EPA Underestimates Emissions from Palm Oil Biofuels, Public Comment Deadline Tomorrow


CISPA Critics Warn Cybersecurity Bill Will Increase Domestic Surveillance and Violate Privacy Rights


Targeted Hacker Jacob Appelbaum on CISPA, Surveillance and the “Militarization of Cyberspace”

*Big Brother’s Big Toys for Bad Boys


Obama Admin Challenges Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law While Overseeing Unprecedented Mass Deportations

*So after the administration loses this case – or, more accurately, throws it – you think Dear Misleader won’t use this “principled stand” in his pitch to Latino voters?

With friends like these …

Enemies are superfluous.



‘Mad Cow’ Finding Highlights Food Safety Gaps, Say Critics
– Common Dreams staff

*Rather striking the difference between the Reuters and the Mercury News excerpts, wouldn’t you say?

The former’s basically a regurgitation of gummint fear allaying, while the latter engages in a skepticism, or at least a refusal to take assurances at face value, that, you know, might be considered responsible reporting.

I’m sure the Mercury News indulges in its fair share of press release echoage, but at least in this case, someone remembered a few lessons from Journalism 101.


Bradley Manning’s Trial To Begin September 21
Presiding Judge, Colonel Denise Lind, order prosecution to present official “damage assessment” reports
– Common Dreams staff


ALEC and ExxonMobil Push Loopholes in Fracking Chemical Disclosure Rules
by Cora Currier, ProPublica

*So, just who are these “environmental advocates” who are “relatively” copasetic with these mockeries of effective regulation?

Well, the link takes you to an Enviromental Defense Fund blog page.

Given their greenwashing of Walmart, I’d take their assessment with more than a pinch of Great Value ™ Iodized Salt.


GE Annual Meeting Interrupted by 99 Percent Protesters
– Common Dreams staff

*Making a literal killing abroad

And a financial killing at home

“We bring good things to light” …

Is there another corporate ad slogan drenched in greater irony?


Romney’s Economic Fix and the Inequity of Private-Equity Hustlers
by Jim Hightower

*Paying out our ass for getting corporate connivance shoved up it

(Revealing image.  Every picture tells a story, don’t it?)


Sayef’s Story and the Forgotten Children of Fallujah
The phosphorus shells that devastated this city were fired in 2004. But are the victims of America’s dirty war still being born?
by Robert Fisk


Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders
by Glen Ford

*The sale price of “justice”


Public Citizen
Report: In Wake of Supreme Court’s AT&T v. Concepcion Decision, Consumers Are Worse Off
Report Highlights Cases in Which the Ruling Infringed on Consumers’ Ability to Pursue Class-Action Claims

*The mavens of misery loathe company in court


Corporate Accountability International
Coke’s Priority is Marketing Dasani, No Matter the Costs to Our Environment

*Spinning the myth of the beneficent bottle


Institute for Public Accuracy
Arizona Immigration Case and “Reverse-Commandeering”

*Creating a states’ right of way


FAIR Action Alert
Sunday Shows: More than GOP TV?

*My comments for the petition:

This is an exercise in futility, I realize.

But if we only act when our chances of success are strong, we’ll be pretty damn sedentary, won’t we?

So …

Do what you claim is your mission, or be honest as to your true motivation.

Which has nothing to do with “upholding the public’s right to know”, does it?


Hundreds Protest at DOJ to Demand Federal Probe of Alleged Racism in Mumia Abu-Jamal Conviction

*We need to heed Mumia’s entreaty to care for each other, to walk the talk of solidarity and humanity, if we’re to have any chance at a just world.

We should also learn from his reluctance to speak to his own circumstances, although he has every right to do so.  His focus is on the larger battle, and on his comrades in that struggle.

I’d like to think that if we look out for others, they’ll be looking out for us.

Is that naive?

I guess if it is, that struggle will ultimately be a futile one.


Exclusive: Mumia Abu-Jamal Speaks from Prison on Life After Death Row and His Quest for Freedom

*Related to this, I’m deeply perturbed by opposition to the death penalty based seemingly solely on the possibility of innocence.  That is one aspect, but even when guilt is unquestionable, once that person is no longer a threat to others, the taking of their life cannot be seen as remotely connected to any valid concept of justice.

Their humanity, and ours, demands such a stance.

I would think that Mumia would agree.


Exclusive: Mumia Abu-Jamal and Danny Glover Speak to Each Other for First Time Ever on Democracy Now


1T Day: As U.S. Student Debt Hits $1 Trillion, Occupy Protests Planned for Campuses Nationwide

*A neoliberal education



Groups to World Bank: Stop the Land Grabs!
Groups, farmers mobilize at Bank’s annual conference, say: “The World Bank’s RAI principles are an attempt to legitimize corporate land grabs and the expansion of an industrial model of agriculture that is destroying people’s livelihoods and the planet”
– Common Dreams staff


Anti-Choice ‘Secret Hoax’ Infiltrators Target Planned Parenthood
Another Tactic in the ‘Wars Over Safe Abortion Care and Women’s Rights’
– Common Dreams staff

*Tales from the James O’Keefe School of Acting

Rotten oaks from rancid ACORNs grow


Nestle’s New Deal More Proof of Profits Trumping Public Health
Company purchased Pfizer’s infant formula business, creates privatization pathway in emerging Asian markets
– Common Dreams staff

*The Nesquik bunny morphs into a killer rabbit


Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the US
The radioactive inventory of all the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools at Fukushima is far greater and even more problematic than the molten cores.
by Robert Alvarez


Machine-Made News The Internet as the Toy With a Tin Ear
by Lewis H. Lapham

*Language is a virus

And we are in dire need of a pandemic


Labor Action and Inaction in Colombia Free Trade Deal
by Michelle Chen


Occupy Wall Street: What Is To Be Done… Next?
How a protest movement without a program can confront a capitalist system that defies reform
by Slavoj Žižek

*Some nails with headaches here, but patience is not a virtue at this point in history.

Because there may not be much time left to make history.


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
U.S. Relents and Grants Pakistani Lawyer a Visa in Time for International Drone Summit


The Middle Class Hasn’t Disappeared. It’s Just Sliding Toward the Bottom
by Paul Buchheit

*I feel something needs to be said here.

Many in the middle class – and I grew up in it – didn’t give a rat’s ass about those worse off, as long as they had theirs.

Now that they’re plummeting down the income and wealth ladder, suddenly there’s outrage about “inequality”.

It’s always been there, folks.  It’s just that now you’re knee deep in it.

And if we want to get out of it, we going to need to show a shitpot full of interclass solidarity, and just plain old humanity.

Let’s make this a class act.

Underclass Working class Middle class


Okay, it’s sloganeering.

But it’s no less true for being so, is it?


The Globalization of Hollow Politics
by Chris Hedges

*What’s the lesson here?

The lesser of two evils remains evil

And we ignore that truth to our, and our planet’s, peril

Our choices can be complicated, I realize

But if we’re not asking the right questions

We’ll never find the right answers


ALEC’s Vision of Pre-Empting EPA Coal Ash Regs Passes the House
by Sara Jerving

*The song remains the same



Thresholds of Pain: Assessing the Human Costs of Health Care Reform
by Health and Human Rights Clinic Staff and Students

*Crumbs look appetizing when you’re faced with starvation

But we need a goddamn bakery


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Human Rights Groups say Canada Violated Convention Against Torture Obligations

*Nothing borderline about this act of lawlessness


Center for Biological Diversity
Pesticide Lobby Attacks Laws Protecting U.S. Waters From Dangerous Pesticides
Sneak Attack on Clean Water Act Pushed via Farm Bill

*So if this is such a danger, and it is, why isn’t this group talking about eradicating pesticide use, rather than merely “limiting” it?

Its argument in favor of the law seems to be that compliance is no big deal, and given its truncated reach, that would appear to make sense.

But it doesn’t make any sense to fight for such a weak law without making a strong case for greatly expanding it, does it?


Prostitution Scandal Is the Big Government Story You Were Waiting For

*Scandals such as these may indeed harm “liberal” arguments, as they’re based on the notion that you can reform rot, rather than working to replace it.

But if your vision of government isn’t that of a paternalistic institution that the “good” elites control and use to “accomplish great things” for our benefit, but one of a cooperative enterprise that we all have a stake in and responsibility for, in order to assure the dignity and well-being of every person, then whatever exposes the fairytale of noblesse oblige should serve as an object lesson in the necessity for true self-government.

That said, the corpress will of course use these for their own ends.

Which brings us back to the subject of prostitutes.


Institute for Public Accuracy
“Occupy the Justice Department”


Principals Against State of Testing

*Bricks and mortification

http://www.accuracy.org/release/principals-against-state-of-testing/ .

Death on the Border: Shocking Video Shows Mexican Immigrant Beaten and Tased by Border Patrol Agents



“There are Marxists in India?”
Economist Prabhat Patnaik on the global crisis
by Robert Jensen

*Teaching an old dogmatism new tricks


Shell’s Wildly Inaccurate Reporting of Niger Delta Oil Spill Exposed
Spill 60 times bigger than Shell maintains
– Common Dreams staff

*Cracking Shell’s PR carapace


‘Whole Food, Not Whole Foods’: Renegade Farmers Reclaim Land on Earth Day
To prevent the sale for private development, citizens plant community garden
– Common Dreams staff

*Let’s hope for peppers

Not pepper spray


North, South, East, and West: Austerity Revolt Felt Across Europe
Europe’s austerity backlash gains steam in challenge to German-driven program
– Common Dreams staff

*Putting the squeeze on the squeezers


Vermont’s Push to Force GMO Labeling Faces Obstacles
Organic food and consumer advocates make progress, but slow pace worries many
– Common Dreams staff

*A pretty sad state (and Vermont’s far from alone) of affairs when just getting this shit labeled is a monumental struggle.

That it isn’t banned outright attests to both the malfeasance of our “public servants”, and the complicity of the mainstream media.


Arctic Methane in Vicious Cycle of Global Warming: Study
More methane emissions lead to more warming, and more warming leads to more methane emissions
– Common Dreams staff


Chicago Continues Beefing Up ‘Security’ for NATO Summit
While Protesters Still in Dark ACLU, protesters still waiting for protest area information
– Common Dreams staff

*The irony of providing “security” for an organization dedicated to exploiting the vulnerability of peoples around the world to the rapaciousness of imperialism is … what?

To call it “Orwellian” may not do justice to that evil enterprise.


Deepwater Drilling in Gulf ‘Back With a Vengeance’
– Common Dreams staff

*”Heightened government scrutiny”?

Meanwhile, back in this reality …


Czechs Stage Massive Anti-Austerity Rally
– Common Dreams staff


Bribing Mexico: Walmart Accused of Corruption
by Pratap Chatterjee

*Walmart has its Great Value house brand.

$24M in bribes in exchange for billions in profits seems in keeping with that appellation, doesn’t it?


Trials and Tribulations of a Tea Drinker
by Darcey Rakestraw

*A tea totaling that adds up to a bitter brew of regulatory retrogression

(Alliteration mode OFF)


“Making It Right” After BP Oil Disaster Is Up to Us – Not BP
by Riki Ott

*Ott’s call to action is undeniably righteous, but I have to wonder just how much change can be effected through working within the system, given the collusion extant between gummint and industry.

Perhaps if nothing else, such actions might serve to make plain that unholy alliance, and open eyes.

Still, time is way over on the other side of the room, and may have left the building.  We have to find a way to break through the induced lethargy, and get folks to see that this shit isn’t somehow separate from their lives – that their lives, and those of their progeny, will be forfeit if SOP prevails.

I wish to somebody’s god I knew how to accomplish that, because the bottom line for the whole goddamn shootin’ match is, as the sign says …



Distance Learning and Academic Labor: Promise & Peril
by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

*The Pixeled Professor Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Academia Via Apple

Another deep flaw in this model is the loss of the social aspect of college.  It’s more than a formal educational experience.  Students take their first steps into adulthood in college, and likely come in contact with a broader range of perspectives and personalities than in their home communities.

The loss of that rite of passage has both personal and societal impacts, don’t you think?


‘The Only Winning Move Is Not to Play’—The Insanity of the Regulatory Race to the Bottom
by William K. Black

*Black is reading from the reformer’s bible here.  Yes, you can make the world of finance more accountable and less destructive, but to me it’s a matter of kind, and not degree.

Just as we don’t regulate illegal activity, but seek to end it, the viscerally exploitative and profiteering nature of finance, and the economic system it’s but a part of, will always rise to the fore, regardless of whatever rules are promulgated to “tame” it.

It’s the heart of the game, and to echo Black’s admonition, if not his angle on it …

The only winning move is not to play.


PBS Series, Brought to You by Dow Chemical Company

*My missive:

Hello Michael

This popped in my box today:


No surprise, course.  You folks have been nicked as “the Petroleum Broadcasting Network” for quite some time now.

“Pesticide” fits the bill – and pays it – in this instance.

To allude to your fundraising pitch … just where is “the public in public broadcasting”?

Because it surely isn’t here.

Doug Latimer Baraboo WI


Anti-Obama, Pro-Romney Media? Don’t Believe the Hype

*In a perfect world, all these bastards would be subject to incessant negative coverage – otherwise known as honest reporting.

But then, if they were in office or had any chance of being elected, that would mean that we were in nothing resembling a perfect world, wouldn’t it?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Socialist Victory in France


Gulf Oil Spill: BP Execs Escape Punishment as Fallout from Disaster Continues to Impact Sea Life

*Lustgarten’s level of seeming naiveté is alarming, don’t you think? Hard to understand how someone can claim to be a journalist, and be so unskilled at connecting the dots.

Fortunately, Jamail proves far more adept.

But I think the main point to take from this is how an obscenely profitable corp like BP would not pony up a relative pittance to replace a vital piece of equipment, knowing full well that failure to do so could result in vast multiples of that sum being forfeited due to its absence – never mind the horrors inflicted upon the victims of that negligence.

So it doesn’t make a rat’s ass worth of sense, from even a wholly and viciously self-interested point of view, does it?  To me it’s analogous to climate change denial.  Nobody will escape the consequences, but the singleminded pursuit of profit uber alles drives these bastards like an addiction, even when it might harm the bottom line – financial or existential.

If fanaticism is defined as unswerving allegiance to dogma, even to the ultimate detriment of the faithful, I think we have a match.


More Secrets on Growing State Surveillance: Exclusive Part 2 with NSA Whistleblower, Targeted Hacker

*The next time you hear the justification of “national security” for some illegal and immoral action, recall how these agencies are more concerned for turf than they are for any legitimate defense of the people of this country.



Vatican Orders Crackdown on ‘Radical Feminist’ US Nuns
Not speaking out against abortion and gay marriage while being too supportive of health care reform draws criticism
– Common Dreams staff

*Nobody expects the Roman Inquisition!

Although I’m not certain what misguided support for a sop to the insurance vampires has to do with “radical feminism”, are you?


Wikileaks to Break ‘Bank Blockade’ with US Foundation
Whistleblowers seek to restore funding 500 days after Visa, MasterCard and PayPal blocked donations
– Common Dreams staff


Georgia, Out Migrant Workers, Turns to Prison Labor
– Common Dreams staff

*I wonder when some bureaucrat will get the bright idea to use these poor souls to fatten the employment statistics.


Two Years After the BP Drilling Disaster, Gulf Residents Fear for the Future
by Jordan Flaherty


Free Your (Eco) Mind
by Frances Moore Lappé

*Unfolding our better angels’ wings


Unions and Environmentalists: Get It Together!
by Jane McAlevey

*What’s not really addressed here is the issue of direct complicity with the ruling class among both union and enviro leadership, of essentially a “loyal opposition” that seeks visible but shallow “victories” to bolster their bonafides with their constituents, but leaves the edifice of economic and ecological exploitation essentially untouched.

Environmental and economic justice will never be won in this Kabuki theater.

As McAlevey writes, it’s going to have to come from below, and from a visceral understanding of the life and death stakes involved.


The Prisoners in Gaza – Their Blackout Nightmare
by Ralph Nader

*Prisoners of consciencelessness


Our Chemical Cocktail Evaluated in New Report
by Paula Crossfield

*Does big danger come in small plastic packages?

The FDA sees no evil

Hears no evil

But gives a pass to a quite possible evil


The Unlearned Lessons of the BP Disaster
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

*The chasmic gulf between the imperative of protection

And the impunity of exploitation


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
2012 Senate Farm Bill Does More Harm Than Good

*Plowing under public benefits to plant yet another crop of agribusiness boondogglage


NY Times Bungles Keystone Debate (Again)

*The corpress are the masters of the self-fulfilling prophecy, aren’t they?

Provide only the information – and disinformation – desired by those in power …

And then present the polling of a propagandized public as somehow representative of their will.

Goebbels would be proud.

And perhaps a wee bit envious.


Institute for Public Accuracy Drop Egypt’s Debt: IMF Loan May be “Odious”

*Same ol’ same odium


Exclusive: National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance


Detained in the U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at U.S. Airports


“We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance

*The Department of Homeland Security

Keeping you safe from the dangerous exercise of your cognitive functions since 2002


Whistleblower: The NSA is Lying–U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails

*So, should we CC all correspondence to the pertinent NSA address?  What about a brief acknowledgment to the eavesdroppers during a phone conversation?

And on this issue of the veracity of the intel Obama receives, it’s a moot point, don’t you think?

He knows what’s going down.  If he really wanted the straight skinny, he would demand it, and heads would roll if it didn’t happen.

But he doesn’t, and they don’t, and in any event the ultimate crime doesn’t lie in the lying, but in the actions taken, which would be virtually identical regardless of the honesty of the information.

Because, you know, that’s what being president is all about, isn’t it?



Thousands of Peasant Farmers ‘Reclaim’ the Land with Honduras Occupations
‘Small farmer demands are simple: they need access to land and freedom to grow food for their communities’
– Common Dreams staff


Germany to Greece: Cut Safety Nets for Citizens But Keep Buying Our Weapons
– Common Dreams staff

*Force feed ’em the guns

Screw the butter


Greenwashing Walmart
by Pratap Chatterjee

*That acronym should stand for “Environmental Defense Fraud”.

But let’s not forget the other “greenies” willing to take a load of long green from their ostensible adversaries.  Sierra Club scored a cool $26M in natural gas cash as part of the industry’s fraternal fracas with King Coal.

Not so unnatural allies, it seems.

Or, put another way …

Talk about being paid by Peter to piss on Paul.



Romney-Rosen Firestorm Is Reminder: We Need to Redefine Gender Justice
by Michelle Chen


Georgia Agrees to Comply with “Motor Voter Act,” in Settlement of ACLU Suit
Suit Eases Path for Public Assistance Recipients to Register to Vote


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Groups Demand Information on NYPD Crowd Control Policies and Surveillance of Occupy Wall Street Protests


Now They Tell Us: Iran Didn’t Actually Threaten to Wipe Israel Off the Map

*Throughout the long and literally twisting history of the American media establishment, it has been remarkably consistent in never letting the facts get in the way of a facile demonization.


Institute for Public Accuracy
“George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and Me”

*Barking up the wrong hanging tree


VIDEO: ‘Sex, Race and Class’ — Extended Interview with Selma James on Her Six Decades of Activism

*Well worth the time invested to read, view and/or listen to, from both a historical perspective and James’ views on the present and future, although I have to say I felt her analysis of Dear Misleader and his initial campaign at the end to be lacking in the insight of the great bulk of the rest of her thoughts presented here.

Despite that, it was a shitpot more useful to me than listening to Van Jones or some goddamn corpress “investigative journalist” waste valuable airtime with their inanities, which is so often the case on this show.

Hardly “exceptions to the rulers”, although they may have retired that tagline in favor of the less confrontational “A daily independent global news hour”.

Call it a move in the direction of truth in advertising.


Photos of Soldiers Posing with Afghan Corpses the Latest Outrage of U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan

*It may be true that these grostequeries are perpetrated by a small number of soldiers, but I’d think that the vast majority of their fellow warriors aren’t perturbed in the least by these abominations, and many cheer them on.  Keep in mind that these images seemingly weren’t exposed due to any concern for Afghans, but because these acts cause blowback that endangers troops.

As Gopal said, it’s the putrid tree, not its rotten fruit, that’s at the root of the inhumanity.


Back from Syria, Journalist Anand Gopal Warns Protesters “Face Slaughter” by Assad Regime

*I’d like to hear a great deal more about the nature of the revolution.  Of course you hope Gopal’s assessment is accurate, but even if it is, questions arise as to the unity of the resistance, and how committed some elements are to the type of democratic goverance he describes.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/19/back_from_syria_journalist_anand_gopal .


SOPA Redux: Groups Push Back Against Cyber Spying Act
CISPA would allow government, private companies to surveil massive amounts of Internet users’ data
– Common Dreams staff

*Big Brother is letting others watch you


Obama Echoes Bush, Sets Plan for Polar Bear Extinction
“President Obama’s proposal for these magnificent and imperiled animals is a gift to Big Oil”
– Common Dreams staff


Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Admits Ahmadinejad Never Said Israel Should Be ‘Wiped Off the Face of the Map’
– Common Dreams staff


Changing the Climate in Our Schools
by Bill Bigelow and Bill McKibben

*Ignorance is these bastards’ bliss


How the Goldman Vampire Squid Captured Europe
The Goldman Sachs coup that failed in America has nearly succeeded in Europe—a permanent, irrevocable, unchallengeable bailout for the banks underwritten by the taxpayers.
by Ellen Brown


Argentina’s Critics are Wrong Again about Renationalizing Oil
In taking back oil and gas company YPF, Argentina’s state is reversing past mistakes. Europe is in no position to be outraged
by Mark Weisbrot

*The priniciple of asset sovereignty is a righteous one, but consider the assets involved here.

So how does a nation so dependent on revenue from hydrocarbon production make the imperative – and immediate – transition to renewable energy?

This is yet another instance of how a profit-driven system is antithetical to moral and rational actions.

When you have to make money, you can’t make change.


Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Leaked Defense Memo Criticizes the Department of Energy’s Push to Expand Nuclear Weapons Laboratories


Institute for Public Accuracy
Sen. Conrad Proposal “Would Dismantle Social Security”

*Bipartisan backstabbing


BP Disaster Two Years Later

*The slime covers the coral

And the complicit


Part 2: Father of Peace Studies, Johan Galtung, on Occupy Wall Street, Failed U.N. Response in Syria

*Galtung’s views on US imperialism are somewhat paradoxical.  He clearly sees the horrors visited upon other peoples – and the concomitant repression growing here – but he also seems to believe that our “leaders” can learn from their “mistakes”, and act rationally and humanely.

And I think that shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of imperialism, or more broadly the nature of illegitimate power and what those who have it will always seek to do with it.

Put another way, anyone who desires that sort of power has no interest in using it for the benefit of anyone other than themselves and those they have affinity with.  They may be more or less vicious in how they exercise control, but they will never willingly surrender that power, will they?

Enlightenment doesn’t live at that address.


ALEC Drops Push for Voter ID, Stand Your Ground Laws After Public Outcry Sparks Corporate Exodus

*Some rats have deserted the ship, but it’s still afloat.

And it will remain so as long as the focus is on some behavior which is in the nature of corporations, rather than on the inhumanity of that nature itself, and that of the system in which they operate.

It’s the actors, not the actions, that are at the heart of the heartlessness.


Kony 2012: Ugandans Criticize Popular Video for Backing U.S. Military Intervention in Central Africa



GOP Unveils Plan to Gut Food Stamp Program
– Common Dreams staff

*Let them eat cake

If they can find a bakery dumpster


How Wealth Reduces Compassion As riches grow, empathy for others seems to decline
by Daisy Grewal

*The obverse really isn’t considered here – that being in the same boat, or at least in the same body of water, as others enhances our ability to empathize.

It’s not so much a matter of being dependent on others as being aware of the obligation to be someone on whom others can depend.  Our relatively similar circumstances are an important factor in our propensity to say to ourselves, “That could be me.”

So while there’s much room for variation, on average wealth will mute our humanity, and the lack of same will pump up the volume on it.

Make sense?


The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret
An inside look at how killing by remote control has changed the way we fight.
by Michael Hastings


The Republicans Who Want Ignorance to Get Equal Time in Schools
Education is the new Republican enemy. No more free thinking and empirical evidence, just the Bible, rumour and Fox News
by Diane Roberts

*Evolution in reverse


On Saving the ‘Soul’ of Occupy
by Danny Schechter

*Schechter seems to be engaging in the same sort of ad hominem attack that he accuses the AdBusters folks of waging.

I do think that their warnings are over the top.  MoveOn et al. are certainly aiming to leech off the energy of Occupy, and have appropriated the whole “99%” meme (which I never have cared for, as there are a pitshot full of exploiters outside of the 1%) and accompanying rhetoric for their own ends.

And those ends are to promote the Democratic Party at all costs – costs which are borne by a people and a planet hurtling toward an ignominious end to the human experiment, taking along untold numbers of fellow species along with them.

That’s not to say there aren’t sincere, if ideologically constricted, persons involved in these other formations, or that Occupy is some pristine vision of true democratic revolution.

Anyone who’s been involved with any of its diverse iterations would be able to attest to that.

But it is an attempt, however unfocused, to escape from the straitjacket of US liberalism and its Democratic leash holders, and as such I wouldn’t want to see  it slowly devolve into Politics As Usual, only with an “edgy vibe”.

That would be my fear in all this.  But I don’t think it’s of any value to go over the top polemically.

Work with these groups if there’s a way to do that and maintain your principles.  Be honest in your critiques, let them know where you’re coming from, and where you want to go – and don’t want to go.  If they can deal with that, solid, Jackson.

If not, onwards.

In the end, they’re of limited, and limiting, use.  I don’t have a roadmap to The Promised Land, but I do know that stopping for every half measure will never get us the whole way.


The Boss Man Cometh: Through State Tax Breaks, Employers Pilfer Workers’ Earnings
by Michelle Chen

*Call it “jobbed creation”


Sizing Up the Peace Prize War President
by Tom Engelhardt

*In honor – or in truth, dishonor – of Orwell, it should be renamed the Nobel War Is Peace Prize


BP Settlement With Government May Follow Pattern of Allowing Companies to Write Off Costs of Wrongdoing
Group Calls on Justice Dept to Promise No Tax Deductions for Oil Spills

*Writing off a die off

Our cost of their doing business


Food & Water Watch
Walmart Unaccountable to Consumers’ Demands A Statement From the Coalition Pressuring Walmart Not to Sell GE Sweet Corn

*Frankenfood from Walton’s Mountain (of Ill-Gotten Gains)


Five Reasons Why The Very Rich Have NOT Earned Their Money
by Paul Buchheit

*An intensely literal manifestation of goldbricking


Six Rigged Rules Corporations Use to Dodge Taxes
by Sarah Anderson and Scott Klinger


Raising Kids Is Work? Tell That to Women on Welfare
by Laura Flanders

*A poor woman’s place in the home.

Someone else’s home.

Cleaning someone’s else’s floors.

Or taking care of someone else’s kids.


Occupy Unveils ‘Spring Awakening’
by Allison Kilkenny


Do ‘Laws of War’ Simply Legitimize ‘War Crimes’?
Do the WikiLeaks War Logs Reveal War Crimes — Or the Poverty of International Law?
by Chase Madar

*Excellent piece, and too rare in the world of the “establishment alternative” media.

I’d just draw a line from IHL hypocrisy to its civilian doppelganger embodied in “Stand Your Ground” legislation.  It may turn out that the killing of Trayvon Martin was all nice and legal like under Florida’s version.

If so, calling such an outcome a “travesty of justice” doesn’t do anything close to justice in describing the moral perversity extant, does it?


First They Come For the Muslims
by Chris Hedges

*We have a “justice” system with a hair trigger “Guilty” reflex


Are GOP Governors Representing Their Citizens in the Health Care Debate?
26 Governors told the Supreme Court that the health reform law is unconstitutional because the federal government is too generous.
by David Morris


Fool’s Gold: US Healthcare System Cheats Patients
by Donna Smith

*I’m sorry.  Common decency’s not covered under your policy.

It is available under our Gold Medal ™ plan …

But, at your income level, it’s really a moot point, isn’t it?


National Priorities Project Breaks Down Federal Income Tax Dollars to the Penny


Institute for Public Accuracy
Equal Pay Day Today

*A woman’s work is never done

Being devalued


NYT: Iranians and Their Lying Religion

*The “smoking gun” fires blanks.

Now, while the whole taqiyya thing may be so much Islamophobiosity (Shia subsection), I’m still not willing to accept Khamenei’s proclamations on faith, because … well, because he’s a person with great power, and placing trust in such persons flies in the face of any concept of empiricism, don’t you think?

I’m not saying he’s being duplicitous.  I’m just saying it wouldn’t come as any shock were that to be the case.

But the larger point is that the media mouthpieces for the leadership of a “Christian” country (and for all the talk about secularism, the US is in great measure defined by its religious pedigree) disparage the morality of adherents to another religion, while the actions of those leaders contradict in the most egregious manner the teachings of the central figure of its own faith.


Don’t go by what these “Christians” do.


40 Years in Solitary Confinement: Two Members of Angola 3 Remain in Isolation in Louisiana Prison

*Interesting that Thompson sidestepped the question of whether these folks are political prisoners, isn’t it?  He also didn’t address the issue of their guilt or innocence.

What to make of that?


Norway’s Johan Galtung, Peace & Conflict Pioneer, Reflects on Norwegian Massacre, Afghan War

*Galtung relates some insightful intel about the Taliban and the region, but his comments regarding US motivations are a puzzlement.

It doesn’t “see enemies everywhere”.

It *makes* enemies everywhere.

That’s what empires do, in their pursuit of riches and power.

Perhaps he’ll acknowledge that further on in the interview.



Texas Toxic Dump Site May Benefit from Owner’s Political Largesse
Nation’s radioactive waste may soon be traveling at rapid pace to Texas disposal site
– Common Dreams staff

*For all of Simmons’ disdain for Obama’s “socialist” policies (Oy gevalt … ), his EPA isn’t telling the bastard to get stuffed, are they?

It’s just that he wants a sure thing, devoid of any possibility that science and concern for public safety will play any role in the process.


Group to World Bank: Stop Funding Water Privatization
– Common Dreams staff

*Private gets flooded

Public goes dry


As Ice Cap Melts, Militaries Vie for Arctic Edge
– Common Dreams staff

*Well, that’s welcome news.

The military acknowledges the reality of climate change, and scientists are collaborating with it to “calibrate its response”.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph …


Jim Yong Kim Chosen as World Bank President Amid Protests
– Common Dreams staff

*I don’t view this as “good news” for the folks who could use some.

The fact that Kim is the US choice speaks volumes about what they expect from him, and what he will do to deliver, if history is any judge.

And it usually judges quite well, doesn’t it?

Whatever he may have done or not done for the world’s poor and working class, he will walk Washington’s line, with perhaps some PR projects to point to, which, while benefitting a few, will in the long run make true change that much more difficult.

Which is the whole point of nominating someone like Kim, don’t you think?

These bastards ain’t stupid.


Pondering Bill Keller’s ‘Middle’

*Something tells me that there should be no worries about Dear Misleader being mistaken for a “plutocrat-bashing firebrand”, other than by his political rivals and members of the corpress – who, truth be told, know full well the farcicalness of such an appellation.

And delusional FOX trotters, I should add.

Plenty of pennies from plutocratic heaven are being plunked into his campaign coffers.  That loose change is coming from those who are wholly aware of how the game is played, and really don’t mind a bit of populist posing, just as all that prattle about “Hope and Change” ™ only elicited a knowing chuckle in such circles.

Can you say “Lawrence Summers”?

I knew that you could.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rebuffs U.S. State Department on Upcoming Summit

*Taking the prize for coopting chutzpah


Housework as Work: Selma James on Unwaged Labor and Decades-Long Struggle to Pay Housewives

*James’ views need to be the focus here, especially the idea of solidarity among all exploited groups, rather than a feminism besotted by ambition, as she calls it, but I have to say something about this idiocy over Rosen’s remarks.

It’s patently obvious what she was trying to say, and her explanation puts her remarks in proper perspective, don’t you think?

But look at how the goddamn Democrats responded to the “controversy” – as they invariably do.

They don’t back Rosen in making clear what was her meaning.  Rather, Dear Misleader doesn’t just leave her to twist in the wind.

He gives a few yanks on the rope.

(And no doubt, as a “strategist”, Rosen’s no paragon of virtue when someone else is hung out to dry.)

And you wonder why people don’t vote for these schmenges.


Latin America v. Obama: U.S. Policy on Cuba, Drug War, Economy Under Fire at Colombian Summit


Obama Refuses to Back Growing Call for Drug Legalization to Stem Spreading Violence in Latin America

*I’d like to know a hell of a lot more about why bastards like Santos, Schultz, Norquist et al. back decriminalization or legalization.  Is it that they see an “emerging market” their corporate cohorts can step into?

This segment was a missed opportunity to pose questions on that, wouldn’t you say?



Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Caves on Credit Card Fees
Credit card companies win battle over introductory fees
– Common Dreams staff

*Paper tiger?

Try “one-ply tissue”


Fungal Threats to Biodiversity, Food Supply at ‘Unprecedented’ Levels
– Common Dreams staff


Study: Historic Rise to Sea Levels in Pacific Ocean Linked to Climate Change
Drastic changes are ‘important climate change signals,’ researchers conclude
– Common Dreams staff


US-Israel Deal to Demand Qom Closure Threatens Nuclear Talks
by Gareth Porter


The Campaign to Privatize the World
by David Macaray

*The bitter irony of a “free” market solution


Can ‘Caring Across Generations’ Change the World?
by Laura Flanders

*Home is where the hard organizing is


Time to Give Mothers the Respect—and Financial Compensation—They Deserve
by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez


Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Are the Real Job Killers
by May Boeve and Brendan Smith

*Clearing up the oil slick of employment propaganda


Iran Nuclear Crisis Needs ‘Disruptive Diplomacy’, Not Shock and Awe
by Kumi Naidoo


On Drones and Democracy

*Some deep dish condescension in that “healthy exercise in democracy” comment, don’t you think?

And an unsurprising omission of the “efficient and effective” murder of civilians.


Institute for Public Accuracy
* Iran Talks * Bahrain Repression * Summit of Americas


SDS Founder, Veteran Activist Tom Hayden on Participatory Democracy from Port Huron to Occupy Wall Street

*There’s a good bit here to look askance at – referring to the plutocracy’s power in terms of “influence” rather than “rule”, for one, and questioning the coordinating of the Occupy crackdown, for another – but it’s worth listening to Hayden’s take on the ’60s as someone in the midst of the turbulence, regardless of your view of his analysis of that time or the present.


Arizona Teacher Sean Arce Fired in Latest Crackdown on Acclaimed Mexican American Studies Program



Report: Treasury Snubs Struggling Homeowners
Important TARP funds targeted for homeowners have not been released
– Common Dreams staff

*Keeping the home fires burning


Planned Parenthood Sues Texas Over Women’s Healthcare Funding
Planned Parenthood: Texas law would take away basic, preventive health care from tens of thousands of women.
– Common Dreams staff


US in Flames: Global Warming, ‘Perfect Recipe for Fire’
‘Red flag’ warning as fire, drought persist due to extreme weather
– Common Dreams staff


Spain Proposes ‘Draconian’ Anti-Protest Measures
– Common Dreams staff


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Judge Orders Plaintiffs Removed from Sex Offender Registry
Louisiana must “cease and desist” from placing any individuals convicted of Crime Against Nature by Solicitation on Sex Offender Registry


Buffett Rule Bores, Annoys Washington Post Reporters

*I tire of some things, as well.

Such as the endless prattling by Obamaphiles that the Buffett Rule would be some revolutionary advance in tax fairness, when the highest individual tax bracket at one point (under radicals like Ike) was 91%, and has dropped precipitously ever since.

The once thoroughly mainstream concept of a progressive income tax rate has been replaced by the rubric of “fairness”, which equates to working stiffs paying the same percentage as multibillionaries.

How that equates to equity is beyond the ability of my fatigued faculties to comprehend.


A Racist at National Review? Do Tell

*Let’s not forget FIRING LINE’s third of a century run on PBS, which gave Buckley and buds a legitimacy that only enhanced his and the Review’s ability to spread this racist bile.

It’s a tired trope, but true:

Your tax dollars at dirty work.


FAIR Extra!
Top Op-Ed Pages Offer Choice of Elites On reigning issues, convergent perspectives
by Nick Porter

*All the news

And views

That’s printed to fit


45 Days After Killing Trayvon Martin & Sparking National Outcry, George Zimmerman Finally Charged


Connecticut Poised to Repeal Death Penalty as Momentum Grows for Supreme Court Challenge

*Jealous gives short shrift to the “concessions” made, as outlined in the headlines item today, seemingly in order to claim this as a great victory.

And I’m not saying it isn’t significant, but I think there needs to be an honest conversation about just what was given up to attain it.

That rarely happens.


Outrage over “Stand Your Ground” Laws After Trayvon Martin Killing Sparks Corporate Exodus from ALEC

*Why would we “applaud” these bastards for a PR move?

The argument could be made that they need an incentive to do so – that it rewards positive behavior.

To me, that’s analogous to saying that you should praise a murderer if he says he’s sorry, and promises not to kill again.

(Of course, these corps will continue to exploit, injure or kill untold numbers of victims regardless of their membership status with ALEC, won’t they?)


Grand Jury Hears Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. Case as Autopsy Casts Further Doubt on Police Claims



FAIR Extra!
Losing Patients
Making Medicare a story about doctors—not those they treat
by Amy Poe

*First do no harm

To the bottom line


Study: Autism Linked to Industrial Food, Environment
Report cites prevalence of high-fructose corn syrup in US diet as possible contributor to alarming epidemic
– Common Dreams staff


BP Target of Prank: Company Dropped from Olympics, Hoax Website Reports
The Campaign for a More Sustainable Olympics takes credit for fake website
– Common Dreams staff

*A hoax

Exposing a farce


Student Protesters in Montreal Stage ‘Marathon’ Day of Action
On strike over tuition fee increase, organizers commit to “marathon of intensive vindication”
– Common Dreams staff


US Court Denies British MPs Access to Information about Rendition, Torture
Federal judge cites the Freedom of Information Act as the basis for the rejection
– Common Dreams staff


‘Left-to-Die Boat’: NATO Negligence, Deceit Lead to Death of 63 Migrants
New report shows ‘damning’ evidence against NATO forces that refused to save boatful of stranded migrants
– Common Dreams staff

*Recall that the Libya action was justified as necessary to prevent “massacres”


Homophobes Need (Gay) Love Too
by Mark Morford


If the Other Shoe Drops, I Want Medicare
Medicare for All, For Life
by Donna Smith

*Insuring injustice


The Logic of Unintended Consequences: The ‘Mess in Mali’
by Ramzy Baroud


The Liberal Betrayal of Bradley Manning
by Charles Davis

*Standing on (the neck of) principle


Center for Biological Diversity
Study Links Massive Oyster Die-offs in Northwest to Ocean Acidification


Institute for Public Accuracy
Gaza “More Dire Than Ever”

*Your tax dollars at deadly dirty work

All those DIMEs* add up

[*Dense Inert Metal Explosives]


Grand Jury Probes Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. Amidst Broad Allegations of Police Misconduct



Israeli Forces Gear Up to Confront ‘Flytilla’ Activists
Israel attempting to thwart peaceful, pro-Palestinian action
– Common Dreams staff


Bahraini Tensions Heat Up Over Jailed Hunger Striker
Whereabouts, health unknown as authorities cut off contact with family, lawyers and protests erupt
– Common Dreams staff


Michigan Teacher Fired For Helping Student Fundraiser For Trayvon Martin
– Common Dreams staff

*An unteachable moment


Big Trouble in Little Havana: The Perilous Politics of Ozzie Guillen
by Dave Zirin

*Beanballed by the Batista Brigades


America’s Prescription Drug Addiction Suggests a Sick Nation
The growing taste for prescription opioids in the US is a concern. What is it about our way of life that necessitates such relief?
by Victoria Bekiempis

*The link between oligarchy and addiction

A lack of control leads to a loss of control


On Keeping Government Out of Our Pregnancies
by Margaret Krome


Institute for Public Accuracy
Where Did Your Taxes Go?

*Your tax dollars at work

Much of which is pretty damn dirty work


Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings

*For all the valuable intel he unearths, Hersh sometimes doesn’t seem to suss the implications of it.

For example, his comments towards the end – “[W]e really blew a chance by putting [Iran] on the Axis of Evil”, evinces a fundamental misunderstanding about just what US goals are, to my mind.

The GWOT ™ has never been about terrorism.  It’s been a stalking horse for control of the region, and to that end, whatever can be done to neuter Iranian influence will be pursued.

This doesn’t equate to support for the Iranian regime’s actions.  The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

It’s about understanding why the US does what it does, and who it views as obstacles in the way of its imperial aims.

Hersh appears to whiff at that curveball here.


Shock Doctrine in Egypt: Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Post-Mubarak Economic Crisis, Presidential Race



Record Warm March Temperatures Continue Record-Breaking Periods
More than 15,000 warm temperature records broken during March
– Common Dreams staff

*If you can’t stand the heat

Get out of the kitchen

And into the streets


Thirteen Ways Government Tracks Us
by Bill Quigley

*A toxic alphabet soup of surveillance


The Folly of Big Agriculture: Why Nature Always Wins
Instead of urging farmers away from uniformity and toward greater diversity, the USDA is helping them do the same old wrong thing faster
by Verlyn Klinkenborg

*The horror and hubris of herbicide


Obama Administration Silencing Pakistani Drone-Strike Lawyer
by Medea Benjamin


Center for Biological Diversity
EPA Allows Widespread Lead Poisoning of Wildlife to Continue
Agency Rejects New Petition Asking for Nontoxic Hunting Ammunition; Wildlife Advocates Vow to Sue


Public Citizen to Hospitals: Stop Handing Out Industry-Provided Samples of Infant Formula
Hospitals Should Focus on Public Health, Not Marketing for Drug Companies


Institute for Public Accuracy
Egypt’s “Torturer-in-Chief” Running for President

*Note the “measured” USA Today headline.

If Suleiman is deemed to be the best choice for the US’ “man” in Egypt, then even that level of allusion to his brutality will likely go missing from future coverage, wouldn’t you think?


Tuareg Rebels in Mali Declare Independence: Part of an African Awakening for Self-Determination?

*A good deal of useful intel on the legacy of colonialism, the ravages of neocolonialism, and the resistance to it.

It’s the sort of segment that should be the norm, rather than competing for airtime with “celebrity progressivism” nonsense et al.


From Political Prisoner to Climate Activist: Ousted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed Speaks Out

*This is an example of the “celebrity progressivism” I was alluding to, to my mind.

Nasheed has sacrificed for his vision of the Maldives, and I don’t mean to belittle that, but just as I think it’s important to criticize “icons” such as Mandela, in his seeming acceptance of the gross injustice that still pervades South African society, you have to look askance at Nasheed’s stance regarding Copenhagen.  I’d also like the straight skinny on the bribe he denies taking for doing so, as I’m not willing to take his word for it.

And neither should Goodman defer to his version of events in this instance or others.  Her job is to ask the questions that need asking, not to act as largely the gracious host to these guests, as happens on a not infrequent basis.

That’s where the value lies in having the visibility DN! does, and it’s an abrogation of the responsibility that comes with that exposure when it doesn’t occur.



‘Mass Murder’: Rhinos Being Poached at Record Rates
– Common Dreams staff


US Continues to Train Terrorists on its Own Terror List: Report
New report reveals evidence that the US trains, funds Iranian insurgents
– Common Dreams staff



How the US Uses Sexual Humiliation as a Political Tool to Control the Masses
by Naomi Wolf

*Naked repression


Render to Caesar, Extraordinarily
by Ray McGovern

*A question for the “Christians”

What would Jesus do?

Not what was done to Jesus


Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need New Roads
by David Sirota

*Turning off the road to perdition


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Statement: Chad Stone, Chief Economist, on the March Employment Report

*Numbing numbers


Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Yemen: Transition Needs Accountability, Security Reform
Human Rights Watch Delegation Completes Official Visit in Sanaa


New Details Emerge over Police Fatal Shooting of Elderly Ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

*It’s in situations like this when I really don’t want to hear anyone say, “Cops are part of the 99 percent.”

That may have some truth to it, but the police union’s covering for a killer cop, and the actions on that night, and the earlier beatings of the brothers, make plain who police stand with, and as long as they do, they are adversaries.

Welcome those few who reject such acts, but remain fully cognizant of the uncommonness of their courage.


“Merchant of Death” Viktor Bout Sentenced to 25 Years; Trial Ignored His Ties to U.S., Dick Cheney


“Shouting in the Dark”: Film Chronicles Bahrain’s Pro-Democracy Uprising Against U.S.-Backed Rule



Despairing Greek Leftist Makes Final Stand
Christoulas active in “I Won’t Pay” — citizens’ movement protesting austerity
– Common Dreams staff

*Dying to decry the death of dignity


Study Links NAFTA to Obesity Epidemic in Mexico
As Mexico’s food system becomes more Americanized, Mexico’s struggle with obesity and its related health problems become Americanized as well
– Common Dreams staff


And dying

Off the forced fat of the land


Austerity USA Decimating Health, Safety, and Education
Gutting of public sector turning teachers into lion tamers and firemen into gamblers
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/05-0 .

USGS: Recent Earthquakes ‘Almost Certainly Manmade’ Report implicates oil and natural gas drilling, aka fracking – Common Dreams staff



And a bigass bankroll


What’s the Difference Between Fox News and Oxford University Press?
by Frances Moore Lappé


The Alchemy of Forgiveness
by Robert C. Koehler

*To forgive is not to forget

It is to recall our humanity

And it cannot succeed without all committing to that recollection

It takes two to dance the dance of forgiveness


Oxfam International
Oxfam Warns Sanctions Could Be a Tipping Point as Malians Face a Triple Food, Security and Political Crisis


Institute for Public Accuracy
“JOBS Act” a “Recipe for Fraud” Creating a “Race to the Bottom”

*Newspeak for an old scam


Bill O’Reilly: Muffin but the Truth

*Do you know the Muffin Man?

All too bloody well.

But disregarding the hypocritical hyperbole of the source, there is something galling about the money wasted on the settings and amenities for these gummint get togethers, don’t you think?

“Conference” at a public building.

Eat your damn breakfast at home, or at a local diner.

Screw the “afternoon snacks”.

And take the money saved and use it to meet the needs of those who don’t know from “continental breakfasts”.

That would be the menschy thing to do.

Which means, perforce, I’m pissing in the wind, aren’t I?


Exclusive: Cop in Fatal Shooting of Ex-Marine Kenneth Chamberlain ID’d, Sued in 2008 Racism Case

*I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that eminently perceptive quote from Malcolm X.

I imagine there are many Canadians of color who would question his grasp of geography, though.



Report: Worldwide Opposition to Monsanto Growing
“Farmers worldwide are resisting for food sovereignty, but the rest of the world must join us.”
– Common Dreams staff

*Planting the seeds of justice


Matterhorn, Europe’s Great Summit, Crumbling in Face of Climate Change
Global warming is causing accelerated decay of Matterhorn, high peaks around the world
– Common Dreams staff


Stripped of Protection, Wolves Face ‘Second Extermination’ in US
Outrage follows photos of tortured wolf and trend of plummeting populations
– Common Dreams staff

*The deadliest species

There are no sadistic wolves


Retired Pharmacist’s ‘Austerity’ Suicide Jolts Greece; Ignites Outrage
– Common Dreams staff

*Blood on the ax


Catching up to the Local Food Revolution
Government policies and spending primarily support industrialized agriculture and the giant farms and corporations that profit from it.
by Bill Wenzel


The Fracking Frenzy’s Impact on Women
by Sara Jerving


‘Celebration Capitalism’ and the Real Cost of the Olympics
The cost of hosting the Olympics has skyrocketed while private funders have evaporated
by Jules Boykoff

*The garrisoned greedy take the gold


Drug Policy Alliance
Six National Drug Policy Organizations Call on President Obama to End Unnecessary Assault on Medical Marijuana
Providers Coalition to President Obama: “It is time for a new approach on marijuana policy.”

*”The War on Drugs” ™ is a useful smokescreen for the goal of US hegemony, which is invoked to support repressive regimes such as in Honduras.

And Big Pharma sees medical marijuana legalization as undermining their ability to gouge patients for their products.

So in that context, Dear Misleader’s continuation of policy makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?


Institute for Public Accuracy
International Criminal Court Rejects Israeli War Crimes Probe, Court Called “Hoax”

*Getting away with – and from – murder


J. Edgar Hoover vs. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Book Exposes FBI’s Targeting of the Civil Rights Leader


“Enemies: A History of the FBI”: Tim Weiner Explores a Century of Secrets, Snooping and Subterfuge

*A superficial treatment of profound issues.

For one, Hoover’s anti-communism, and that of the era, isn’t explored within the context of how it related to the protection of the power of capital, which seems to me to be a pretty fundamental subject to deal with.

We’re given anecdotes rather than analysis, and while there’s information of value in them, the deeper insights are missing.  Again, we have a mainstream journalist presenting their material and views with little probing from the host(s) or any alternative assessment.

We need much more than this, don’t we?


FBI Surveillance Today: Bay Area Agents Used “Community Outreach” to Gather Intelligence on Muslims

*Everything I know about those in the leadership of the “national security” apparatus leads me to give credence to German’s view of the situation, as opposed to Weiner’s painting of Mueller as principled.

But that’s just me being an empiricist.



Same-Sex Couples Challenge Defense of Marriage Act
Gay rights group brings lawsuit; claims DOMA treats non-citizens unfairly
– Common Dreams staff


60 Years Old, and Still Paying off Student Loans
New data shows that people over 60 owe 36 billion in student loans
– Common Dreams staff


Fukushima Radiation Moving Steadily Across Pacific
Concentrated levels found as scientists sample the Pacific for signs of Fukushima
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/03-2 .

Iranian Diplomat Says IAEA Undermined Recent Talks to Satisfy Israel and West
Gareth Porter: IAEA demanded to see Parchin on recent visit ahead of schedule to make Iran look uncooperative
by Real News Network


Why Do Bankers Get to Decide Who Pays for Europe’s Mess?
There were summits about how much misery would be imposed on the Greeks – and no trade unions got a say
by Aditya Chakrabortty


Averting the ‘Total Ruin’ of Institutionalized Injustice
by Randall Amster

*We can hope for the best

Or we can bring out the best within us

Which is our only hope


Democracy Under Attack
Did Americans vote in 2010 to make it harder for them to vote in 2012?
by David Morris

*A lot of good info, but a transparent effort to convince readers to “ELECT DEMOCRATS!” as the best strategy to fight the true voter fraud perpetrated by Republicans, with most Dems at best just talking the walk.

And you’ll notice Stevens, not one of the Fetid Five, wrote the main opinion that made this all nice and legal like.


Arizona Teacher Embodies Educational Spirit of Howard Zinn
Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Director Sean Arce Wins National Zinn Education Award
by Jeff Biggers


Amnesty International
USA: Arizona Urged to Curb Inhumane Use of Prison Isolation Units

*Who are the “animals” here?


“Final Curtain Call” in America?
Deep Police State Surveillance and the Death of Democracy
by Tom Burghardt

*Orwell updated for the Information Age


Institute for Public Accuracy
Martin Luther King and the Decline of Black Politics

*I don’t place anyone on a pedestal, but can you think of anyone who could conceivably be in the same position today making such a break with the “acceptable”, given the consequences King faced for doing so?

Neither can I.


Cholera in Haiti: Responsibility and Resurgence


No Protests from the Left–According to Progressive TV Guest

*Actually, what Jones did was a little more than “vote and hope”, wasn’t it?

What he did was sell out (if you can say he was ever really in a position of principle), until he was tossed overboard by Dear Misleader.

So his analysis of “What Needs to Be Done” ™ might be considered a bit suspect, wouldn’t you say?

Nice suit, though.

By the way, he’s the sole guest on today’s DEMOCRACY NOW!

(Another example of why I find that program far less useful than it could – and should – be.)


The White House and the Fear of Fox

*FOX will no doubt take this as proof of their potency, but there’s a logical disconnect here.

FOX portrays the administration as this “radical liberal” (there’s a textbook contradiction in terms) juggernaut hellbent on eviscerating the rights and liberties of free men (oh, yeah … and women, too), and itself as one of the only champions of “the people” standing in the way.

Yet the portrait we see here is of a regime dedicated to staying as far away from the fringes of “acceptable” political action as possible, and scared shirtless to be painted as anything other.

One and one equals negative seven in this equation, don’t you think?

But empiricism – as opposed to imperialism – has never been a concern of Reichsmarschall Murdoch and minions, has it?

And FOX is a rabid pit bull.

By comparison, MSNBC comes across as a yappy toy fox terrier.



Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Invasive Strip Searches
ACLU: Ruling puts privacy rights of millions at risk
– Common Dreams staff

*Stripped of our clothes

Our rights

And our dignity


America’s New Data Center Makes UK Surveillance Plans Seem Petty
Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors in Utah

by Alice Ross
the Bureau of Investigative Journalism


Five Preposterous, Persistent Conservative Myths
by Paul Buchheit

*Never let the facts get in the way of a fractured fairy tale


Welcome to the New Third World of Energy, the United States
How Big Energy Companies Plan to Turn the United States into a Third-World Petro-State
by Michael T. Klare


Women Face Down Violence, Build Peace in Niger Delta
by Emem Okon


A Very Sick Country
by David Michael Green


Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?
by Brian Moench

*The price of poisonous profit


Violence Policy Center
New VPC Study Details How Lax Concealed Carry Laws Are Designed to Boost Gun Sales
Study Contains Gun Industry, NRA Quotes; Examples of Gun Industry Ads Including Kel-Tec Pistol Used In Trayvon Martin Shooting

*It’s trite to label this “Making a killing”

That doesn’t make it any less true


Worldwatch Institute
Losses from Natural Disasters Reach New Peak in 2011

Catastrophic events in 2011 caused fewer deaths than in 2010 but incurred record monetary costs


Institute for Public Accuracy
Syria Revolution “Enigma”

*While not knowing enough to endorse Hagopian’s analysis, I’d recommend reading the Counterpunch piece linked at the end for its historical intel.


Trayvon’s killing and Florida’s tragic past
by Isabel Wilkerson

*Hideous horrors of a heinous history

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-26/opinion/opinion_wilkerson-trayvon_1_black-settlement-black-men-lynching?_s=PM:OPINION .

General Strike in Spain: Report from Madrid on Growing Anti-Austerity Protests

*Intel on Garzón and the Western Sahara as well.

Well worth a read.


From Prison to Parliament: Burma Pro-Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Wins Seat in Landmark Vote

*This has a hero worship feel to it that doesn’t mesh well with understanding the situation in Burma, to my mind.  Popham clearly is incapable of dealing objectively with Suu Kyi’s possible contradictions – and I say that coming from a position of ignorance, and thus wanting an honest appraisal before making an assessment.

He also avoids dealing with corporate complicity with the regime, for whatever reason, and Goodman doesn’t press him on it.

I have to say that she showed a degree of self-effacement is not alluding to Allen Nairn’s and her ordeal in the country when the topic of the horrible repression that occurred in ’88 arose.


Bahraini Hunger Striker’s Life in Peril as U.S.-Backed Forces Continue Anti-Democracy Crackdown



2 thoughts on “April 2012

  1. Hi Doug, saw your comment on Common Dreams and was drawn over to the blog by your tag line -jumping self imposed limits -is so yes!!
    I would like to know about the Sierra Club $ figures natural gas , coal juxtapose and it would also be intersting to see how it breaks down ie how much the top pockets andthe volunteer “free labor ” numbers equate with early slave to management numbers…so like old skool in green clothes…there truly is a lot of it…thnx

    1. Hello Deborah

      I recalled something about this from a short while back, and did a search on a few keywords, like “sierra club”, “natural gas”, “coal”, “million”, and up popped a plethora of pieces (alliteration mode off) on the subject.

      Interestingly, it didn’t get much play in the “alternative media” – at least at the places I visit. This was the be all and end all of it at DN!:


      As for the internal dynamics of groups like the Sierra Club, sadly, and inexcusably, the rhetoric of many so-called “progressive” orgs often doesn’t match how folks are treated within them. I’ve run into that on more than one frustrating occasion

      You got to walk the talk, don’t you?

      Any thoughts on the blog are welcome. You can respond here, or by email at the add in the intro.

      Be honest … but kind. -g-

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