May 2012


Growing Petition Urges Obama to Create ‘Do Not Kill’ List
– Common Dreams staff

*There’s something profoundly disturbing to me about the “blowback” argument.  It’s based on the contention that US actions are counterproductive, and thus should be opposed, rather than on the inhumanity unleashed by those actions.

By this reasoning, had the GWOT ™ gone swimmingly by US planners’ lights, there’d be nothing to get upset about.

The language accompanying the argument is perturbing, as well.  Anyone enraged by the deaths of their family and friends, and determined to do something about it, is deemed to be an “extremist” or “terrorist”.  While by no means excusing actions taken that legitimately fall within those definitions, this is painting with a pretty goddamn expansive brush, isn’t it?

The basic ‘tude seems to be that the US, and the West in general, should be the subjects of a Dr. Phil program titled “When Good People Do Bad Things”.  The Telegraph’s historically ludicrous claim of the UK’s erstwhile “wisdom and decency” is Exhibit One.

The past decade is no aberration, but fits seamlessly on a continuum of aggression and oppression that has destroyed the lives of untold billions over the centuries.

With New Malware Virus, Israel Fans a Virtual Flame Against Iran
by Pierre Klochendler
Inter Press Service

*That’s a pretty jarring last paragraph, isn’t it?

To entertain the notion that Israel is only interested in determining the intent of Iran’s nuclear program, rather than using it for propaganda purposes to paint itself as in mortal danger regardless of the reality, makes you wonder just what Klochendler’s smoking to enduce that “euphoria”, doesn’t it?

And do you think that this program will be used solely for the purpose of defending against an alleged (a term he noticeably eschewed) “nuclear threat”, and not to further its own aims in the region at the expense of the populations of those targeted nations?

Dream on.

Plan X: US Military Building Digital ‘Armored Tank’ for Cyber Battlefield
Envisioned capabilities would include a real-time ‘map of the internet’ and ability to thwart and launch cyber attacks
– Common Dreams staff

What Would George Tiller Do?
The late doctor trusted women. It was his philosophy and practice.
by Jessica Valenti

*So how long before “intentional spermicide” is declared a Class 1 felony?

Cornucopia Institute
Wildfires Rage at New Mexican Organic Meetings
Farmers, Consumers and Public Interest Groups Square off Against Corporate Interests

*Of artifice and artificiality

Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Government Records Show Crop Insurance Subsidies Are A Boon To Big Farm Interests

*Harvesting the handouts to the heavyweights

3 Years After George Tiller’s Murder, Reproductive Rights Face New Legislative Attacks, Hate Crimes

*The irony

And the blood


Claiming to base their “crusade” in respect for life and sexual and racial equality, when they evince no concern or actively work against these ideals outside of this issue, scales the greatest heights of hypocrisy.

Has there been any honest condemnation from the “pro life community” of the injury, death and damage done by those who’ve taken their inflammatory rhetoric to heart and made what to them is the next logical step?

Has there been any sincere denunciation of the prejudice and violence women and people of color experience in this country, or any bemoaning of the fact that the US has an obscenity of a child poverty rate?

Life for these fanatics, and those who use that fanaticism for their own avaricious and power-hungry ends, really does begin at conception …

And ends at birth.

Out of Jail, Bahraini Activists Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Alkhawaja Urge End to U.S.-Backed Crackdown

*I never understand why clearly intelligent and aware persons under despotic rule aided and abetted by the US express shock and surprise that this would be the case.

Perhaps it’s simply rhetoric meant to highlight the hypocrisy, because it doesn’t make sense that they see through their own regime’s propaganda, yet have been fooled by our government’s, does it?

Who Will Benefit from Haiti’s Gold Rush? Haitian Government Embraces U.S., Canadian Mining Firms

*The pit

and the perdition


UNICEF: US Among Highest Child Poverty Rates in Developed Countries
– Common Dreams staff

*The shameful face of “American exceptionalism”

Casseroles Across Canada: Tonight We Resist and Dream Together
by Derrick O’Keefe

*Banging on the door to justice

Outraged Over Atrocities… Unless They’re Ours
by John LaForge

*A very black pot indeed

Europeans’ Economic Future Has Been Hijacked by Dangerous Ideologues
EU authorities, supported by Spain’s government, are pushing a political agenda at the expense of economic recovery
by Mark Weisbrot

*It was never Nirvana, but even the limited benefits of living in these nations with some guaranteed economic and labor rights set too dangerous an example for the moneyed class of Europe to allow.

While the safety net and workers’ rights were being shredded across the Atlantic, they had to deal with a more aware and thus more resistant populace.

What’s a poor plutocrat to do … ?

Looks like they found an answer.

And perhaps the people are finding a way to respond.

High-Stakes Testing Protests Spreading
by Valerie Strauss

*Failing the fairness test

Banks Skim Millions in Fees From Student Aid Using Debit-Card-Linked Student IDs

*Rigging the card game

Those Children Weren’t Civilians–Says Nobody

*A new way to express an old abomination …

Kill ’em all

We’re God, and we don’t have to sort ’em out

Institute for Public Accuracy
Radioactive Tuna in U.S. from Fukushima * “Meltdown at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission”

*Attack dogs and lap dogs

Divided British Court Upholds Extradition of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange to Sweden

With Global Spotlight on Assange Case, Bradley Manning Marks 2 Years Behind Bars

Glenn Greenwald: Obama’s Secret Kill List “The Most Radical Power a Government Can Seize”

*Imperial inhumanity never suffers from partisanship

Veteran Mideast Journalist Charles Glass on Syria’s Violence & the Prospect of Military Intervention

*Glass makes a vital point at the end.

All the sins of these vicious regimes were ignored – or abetted – by the US and the West when it suited their interests.

There is no humanity behind “humanitarian intervention”.

Just hypocrisy and cynicism in the service of power.


Appeals Decision Paves Way for Shell’s Arctic Drilling
Court ruling issued Friday before holiday weekend sides with federal gov’t to green light exploration plans
– Common Dreams staff

*Cracking the ice on poisoning the pristine

Ikea Products Made From 600-Year-Old Trees
Subsidiary of Swedish furnishing giant is destroying ancient and unique Russian forests
by Ida Karlsson
Inter Press Service

*Clear cutting and cloudy PR

Is “Right to Work” Next on Walker’s Agenda?
by Mary Bottari

*I’d vote for a steaming heap of parrot droppings against Walker.

And since that’s the pathetic choice I’m presented with, that’s precisely what I’ll be doing next Tuesday.

Obama Re-Defines “Militant” and the Media Eats It Up
To avoid counting civilian deaths, Obama re-defined “militant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone”
by Glenn Greenwald

*What’s in a name?

An unquestioned narrative

Cleveland Occupy Arrests are the Latest in FBI’s Pattern of Manipulation
The FBI says the five arrested before May Day are terrorists, but friends in Cleveland say they were goaded on by informant
by Arun Gupta

*What we don’t hear about are the operations where the marks quickly put two and two together, and tell the infiltrator, “You’re a fucking plant.”

Or maybe that doesn’t happen.  Perhaps the feds make certain they’re dealing with the addled and credulous in these entrapment ops, as opposed to simply making things up out of whole cloth, as appears to be the case in Chicago.

By now I imagine they’ve become quite adept at identifying those folks, don’t you think?

Ahead of Rio+20, A Battle to Define ‘The Green Economy’
Memo to the Earth Summit: ‘Green Economy’ should not mean monetizing nature
by Hannah Griffiths

*Pricing the priceless

Government Accountability Project
More USDA Inspectors Question Poultry Plan Safety as Comment Period Ends
New Concerns Raised Over Safety of Chicken, Turkey Products

*A deadly line dance where the corps call the tune

Institute for Public Accuracy
President Obama’s Priestly Assassinations

*You have to marvel at the mentality that allows these abominations to be portrayed in such a manner.

Perhaps “marvel”‘s not the right word …

“Bain Actually Loves Dems”

*Harsh words

And hidden hugs

Report from Cairo: Protests Erupt in Egypt as Mubarak’s Ex-PM Secures Spot in Presidential Runoff

*I think we know the US’ preference, and I’d like to know what they’re doing to achieve the desired result, wouldn’t you?

“Inside Job” Director Charles Ferguson: Wall Street Has Turned the U.S. into a “Predatory Nation”

*A whitewash in the ivory towers of academe

Practicing the pedagogy of predation


Japan’s Toxic Tsunami Debris Heads Towards North America
Chris Pallister of the Gulf of Alaska Keeper Organization: “This is more hazardous than oil”
– Common Dreams staff

No One Hears the Poor
by Kathy Kelly

*Voices lost in the din of iniquity

The War on Gays
by Chris Hedges

*Twisting the cross into a swastika

Those six verses are not from the teachings of Jesus, and as such cannot be called “Christian”, can they?

I know something of the utter hypocrisy of many “Christian” institutions, having grown up in Mississippi in the ’60s and gone to an, needless to say, all white Baptist church.

The Golden Rule, haphazardly applied in general, was specifically declared null and void when it came to relations with black folks.

Sexual orientation wasn’t an issue then – for us good “normal” people (I’ve since discovered I’m not all that “normal”) – but I’m certain that today that rule’s also suspended for the LGBTQ community.

Or maybe it’s more accurate to say it’s been rewritten.

“Do unto ‘the other’ as you would never wish to be done unto you.”

Fighting the Real Enemy: Cancer in America
by Donna Smith

*The malevolent malignancy that threatens us all

The States: More Bully Politics of Education Reform
by P. L. Thomas

*One thing educators definitely must suss is that it doesn’t make a tinker’s damn whether a Republican sledgehammer or a Democratic pickax is taken to public ed.

The result’s ultimately the same.

The edifice crumbles.

Amnesty International
Russia: Moscow Must End ‘Shameful’ Clampdown on Pride

*From West and East, a contemptible comity of the abomination of “otherness”

Memorial Day Special: U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Return War Medals at NATO Summit

*There is no honor in these “honors”

Mother of Iraq Veteran Who Committed Suicide: “Honor the Dead, Heal the Wounded, Stop the Wars”

*No “embarrassment”

Only shameless suppression of the realities of a war machine that grinds the humanity of all in its path into bloody pulp, and then spews out the perverted pretense of “honor and duty”

“Hero of War”–Rise Against Song Captures Iraq War Veteran’s Tragic Experience

*There’s nothing to add to this

Just watch it

I need to go wipe my eyes …


The Left Should Declare Its Independence from the Democrats
by Thomas Harrison

*What’s that they say about insanity?

It’s doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

In this case, it’s giving up on a different result.

Electoral politics in the US is about damage control, and rarely anything more.  Harrison advocates for trying to break that vicious cycle through the creation of a political party truly dedicated to peace and justice.

I’d like to think that’s possible.  I don’t know that it is.

He gives the example of the UK, but look at the sick joke Labor has become.

Tony Blair, anyone?

So, can a principled party make real gains, and can it retain its soul if it does?

I don’t know, and I don’t know that it’s worth the effort to find out.

I do know that, even if you say you’re voting against Romney (or Walker here in Wisconsin), rather than for Dear Misleader (or a Milwaukee mayor with as much street cred as Kim Kardashian), if that isn’t followed up by going after these bastards tooth and nail, the cycle will spin that much faster.

I have little expectation that this will happen, if history is any judge.

But that’s my plan.  And if a party proves possible, I’ll bring the chips.

Shifting US, Israeli Demands Drive Failure of Iran Nuke Talks
Contradictions in US policy reveals the manner in which it bends to Israeli demands, analysis shows
by Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

*401 to 11.

There are 76 members of the Progressive Caucus.

Do the math.

Sneak Attack on Teachers’ Collective Bargaining Rights in Pennsylvania
by Mike Elk
In These Times



And revanchist arithmetic

US Public School System is Under Attack
In Philadelphia, the privatisation of the public school system isn’t working – yet the stage is set for even more.
by Liza Featherstone

*Call it “No Child Left Standing”

Why a Growing Movement of Young People Could Ignite a Workers’ Revolution
by Michelle Chen

*So what does solidarity look like?

For me, it’s a principle that places the struggle for a life of dignity for every single person on this planet at its apex.  That requires a deep empathy, and an unshakable commitment to resisting the historically successful strategy of divide and conquer.

It’s the foundation upon which any truly just world must be built, don’t you think?

Pretty words, I realize, and I wish I had the answers for how to build that world.

But you have to know where you want to go before you can figure out a way to get there.

Obama’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition: Nothing New About Ignoring Africa’s Farmers
by Eric Holt-Giménez

*The only green this grows is seeded in the sterile soil of Swiss bank accounts

It’s Not About Climate Change–It’s About Keeping Advertisers Happy

*The SA duplicity does indeed smell to high heaven, but, for vastly different reasons, I don’t think a carbon consumption tax is a solution, even with the usage adjustment.

I can afford to drive my ancient Tercel relatively sparingly – about 6000 miles a year currently, and significantly less for many years prior.  So I’d make out well under this scheme.

But many folks just can’t cut back much, due to the lack of decent public transit and long commutes.  They shouldn’t be punished for public policy failures.

Taxation should be progressive, and this really doesn’t cut the mustard on that count, does it?

The only just way to kick this addiction is to create *publicly owned* renewable energy sources, prosecute and fine the living hell out of the assassins of our environment, and develop efficient alternative means of transportation.

The clock’s ticking.

It’s time to piss …

Or get flushed down the pot.

Gawker’s New Media Model: Have Advertisers Edit Content

*Which term doesn’t belong?

(a) open and transparent (b) engaging with the public (c) reasonably controlled

Answer:  They all do.

We’re talking marketing, silly.

And CJR seems to be just fine with that.

Egypt Election: Muslim Brotherhood Candidate Could Face Mubarak’s Ex-Prime Minister in Runoff

As New Jersey OKs NYPD Surveillance, Muslim Groups Continue Challenge to “Unconstitutional” Program

*There’s a fundamental misconception here, that the reason for this program is based in some “misguided” attempt to prevent terrorism, when it has nothing to do with that.

It’s about the scapegoating of “the other”.  It’s about creating fear of Muslims, and creating fear within the Muslim community.  We see the same tactics, for the same reasons, used against dissidents, and anyone else who can be made into a boogeyman to justify police state actions.

The setups, the entrapments, are the “proof” of the danger posed.

And the underlying message, aimed at everyone, is, “Step out of line, the man come and take you away.”

It’s not paranoia when they’re actually out to get you.

Maple Spring: Nearly 1,000 Arrested as Mass Quebec Student Strike Passes 100th Day

*I imagine the Canadian mainstream media are employing the same tactics as their US cohorts did with Occupy, ranging from a condescending pat on the head while explaining the “political realities”, to the disseminating of disinformation and vicious character assassination.

The support the students have received indicates many folks aren’t buying it, but there are still many arrows left in the corpress quiver as they try to “isolate the contagion”.

“Who’s Killing Philly Public Schools?”: Daniel Denvir on Plan for School Closings, Privatization

*Obama and Romney on education

Tweedle Dumbed and Tweedle Dumbing


US Neo-Conservatives Assail Possible Compromise on Iran Talks
by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

*As no counterpoint was presented to the neocon narrative, I thought I’d offer this.

I think it’s a solid refutation of the rationale for sanctions, much less an attack, as well as the Iranian regime’s assertion of a “right” to a nuclear energy program.

Sanctions Against Iran: A Duplicitous “Alternative” to War
by Raha Iranian Feminist Collective


TEPCO: 2-1/2 Times More Fukushima Radiation Released Than Previously Announced
– Common Dreams staff

*And if this is what they’re admitting to …

Thousands March in Mexico, Outraged Over Corporate Media Bias
Students fear PRI rise in upcoming elections as corporate media takes sides
– Common Dreams staff

*Meet, and repeat, the old boss

Global Protests Against Draconian Education Cuts, Tuition Hikes
by Allison Kilkenny

*Lessons from a neoliberal education

The Road to Amnesia: How to Forget on Memorial Day
Whistling Past the Graveyard of Empires
by Tom Engelhardt

*Death takes a long holiday weekend.

As we look out on the soldiers’ cementeries that dot our nation’s landscape, we should question why it is that such great care is given to the graves of the dead.

And so little to the bodies and souls of the living.

But we know the answer.

Learning from Facebook
by Robert Weissman

*Facebook wants to be your friend



Friend *this*

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Romney Hog-Tied Pollution Prosecution Enforcement
Obstruction, Disruption and “Kill the Lawyers” Style in Massachusetts

*Thank goodness he’s running against such a steadfast champion of environmental protection.

(What’s the icon for “sarcasm dripping”?)

If GOP Was Anti-Racist, Why Wasn’t Buckley a Democrat?

*The history is a shameful one for both parties.  Both have played the race card when it was to their advantage (ask a deportee about Democratic enlightenment), and both have viciously violated our civil rights in the service of their masters.

We can argue about lesser evilism, but it is just that – evil of a comparatively lesser nature.

I grew up in the Mississippi of Eastland, Stennis and Ross Barnett.  That these perverted purveyors of apartheid weren’t expelled from the party, and that desegregation was a farce until the end of the ’60s, tells me all I need to know about the Democratic commitment to combatting racism.

They’ve sold out more times than a performance of “CATS”.

Nothing need be said about what Republicans have done in that area, but I’ll offer a telling term.

“Southern strategy”.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Iran: * Scuttling Talks * “Un-Declaring War”

With Control of Drone Strikes, Is Counterterror Chief John Brennan the U.S. “Assassination Czar”?

*Wheeler speaks of divergent interests in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and the US, but that assumes the US goal is to end terrorism, and any empirical analysis of US actions would cast grave doubt on that.

The roots of terrorism, at least that directed at the US, lie in what it’s done in the rest of the world.  Only when those imperial aims are abandoned, and reparations made to the victims, will terrorism be effectively countered.

But terrorism provides the very rationale for those aims.  It cloaks the sinner in righteousness.  It is the current “Red Scare” that keeps so many fearful and quiescent.

To misunderstand that does substantial harm to the struggle for justice.

Senate Advances Expanded, “Orwellian” Gov’t Surveillance with FISA Amendments, CISPA

*I don’t know why Binney says Congressmembers don’t understand the situation, when he’s informed them of it.

No, it’s not ignorance, but complicity that’s at work here, with an eye toward suppressing rising dissent in this country.

And the thing is, by swinging for the fences, even if this is scaled back a bit, they’re still standing on second with a double, and we’ll see who tries for a pick off play.

Again, all this has nothing to do with terrorism.

Other than the terror unleashed on those willing to confront the growth of a quasi police state.


‘Biggest Act of Civil Disobedience in Canadian History’
Marchers defy Bill 78; Neighborhoods fill with sound of banging pots and pans
– Common Dreams staff

*A cacophany of camaraderie

‘Killer Summer Heat’: How Climate Change Is Killing Us
– Common Dreams staff

*Mercury, and mortality, rising

The Environment Is Dead: Long Live Mother Nature
Environmentalism’s failure raises key questions in moving forward
by Raffi Cavoukian

*I think checking Cavoukian’s resume at the end gives a clue to the failure of the mainstream environmental movement.  All these awards from groups and gummints don’t speak to an utterly honest view of why we’re headed to hell in a handbasket.

The mainstream enviros, the Sierras and NRDCs et alia, never really question the primal premise of the profit system – that if a profit can be made, it will be made, and nothing must ever interfere with that Guilded Rule.  For all their handwringing over its “excesses”, they accept it at base, and even contend that “environmental entrepreneurship” is one key to avoiding catastrophe.

They receive funding from the very interests that are whisking us all off to perdition.  Sierra accepted over $20M from the natural gas industry for its campaign against Big Coal.

Acting as hit man for one don in his turf battle with another isn’t my idea of fighting the good fight.

You can’t clean the toilet with your head in the bowl, and you can’t make true change in a system when you’re begging for it from those who control it.

‘Faster Than We Thought’: An Epitaph for Planet Earth
by John Atcheson

*I think the missing ingredient is fear.

Humans have proven time and again that they can be stampeded into the most idiotic, vicious and ultimately self-destructive acts through the manipulation of this emotion, based on the most remote possibility, if that, of some boogeyman coming to get us.

Here, of course, those in power have applied their resources toward the realization of the opposite result – utter ennui.

They are ably aided, and earnest efforts to counteract their propaganda decisively deterred, by the incontrovertible fact that our species is the only one willfully incapable of reason.

The odds ain’t good, people.

But it’s the only game in town, so let’s play it till they close the place down.

A Can’t-Miss Season Finale: The 99% Takes on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange
by Elizabeth Parisian

The Rise of Re-Use
by Ralph Nader

*Dumping disposability

Freedom to Marry
New Poll Shows Record Intensity in Support for the Freedom to Marry
Strong Majority of African-Americans Now Back Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples

*Dear Misleader’s “embrace” was more like a campaign stop handshake, don’t you think?

Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. “Escalating Military Presence in Honduras”

*The “War on Drugs”, like its sinister sister, “The War on Terror”, has nothing to do with eliminating its supposed targets.

Were that the case, US policy in both would be focused on cures for the causes, rather than spreading the disease.

But from incarceration for mere use, to blocking any move toward decriminalization or legalization, it guarantees the horrors at home and abroad.

And as with the unleashing of the war machine which feeds the assembly line for “terrorists” (both actual and those so labeled because they dare to defend themselves and their peoples), this policy serves imperial interests through the maintenance of an enemy, who can only be defeated, we are conditioned to believe, through the unfettered use of force.

The boogeyman has occupied our dreams, and the nightmare remains reality.

Chris Matthews: Cable News Would Have Stopped Iraq War Lies

Mendacity basks in the limelight

Where history is kept in the dark

Give Friedman a Chance–to Rewrite His Own History

*Bastards like Friedman don’t give war a chance.

They rig the whole goddamn casino for it.

Karl Rove’s Ad ‘Deeply Researched’–Says NYT

*”Creative flexibility” is for gymnasts.

‘Round these parts, we just call it lying out your ass.

Egypt Votes: Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Cairo on Historic Post-Mubarak Election


Red River of Protest Runs Through Montreal as Students Continue Fight
Massive demonstration in defiance of new anti-protest law
– Common Dreams staff

Top Obama Officials, Secretive Process Create ‘Assassination List’
President Obama’s counter-terrorism chief has “seized the lead” in secretly determining who will die by US drone
– Common Dreams staff

*Effecting an economy of assassination

EU Rejects France’s Ban on Monsanto’s GM Corn
– Common Dreams staff

Leaked Memo Exposes Toxic US ‘Burn Pit’ in Afghanistan
Another ‘Agent Orange scenario’?
– Common Dreams staff

On the War Path: The Nearly $1 Trillion National Security Budget
by Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer

*Unmentioned here is the overarching reason for these obscene statistics:

Corporate profits.

Whether it’s as military contractors feeding at the public trough, or beneficiaries of the commitment to what’s truly being “defended” – their interests – corporations are at the wheel …

And we get the driveshaft.

I think Ike’s warning was simply that of an old warrior who didn’t care to see civilians in boardrooms calling the shots, but he did give us a useful phrase.

The military-industrial complex is the embodiment of imperialism abroad, and repression at home.

Its profits are our and others’ loss …

Of freedom.  And life.

How America’s Death Penalty Murders Innocents
The evidence is in: the US criminal justice system produces wrongful convictions on an industrial scale – with fatal results
by David A. Love

*Often left out of these arguments for ending the death penalty is, for me, the bedrock principle …

Life can only be taken to protect oneself or another.

It is morally reprehensible to kill the perpetrators of even the worst crimes once they have been rendered unable to continue their abhorrent acts.

That would apply to a Hitler, a Mao, a Pinochet, a Bush …

Or an Obama.

The state murder of innocents is indeed a horrible thing to contemplate, but if that is our tripwire for opposing the death penalty, we’re suffering from severe moral myopia.

Would It Make a Difference to Progressives if Norman Solomon Goes to Congress?
by Robert Naiman

*Electoral politics in the US are almost always about damage control, not transformative change.

Would I vote for Solomon if I were in his district?


Would I work to get him elected?

No.  Just as I’m not working to elect Tom Barrett for governor of Wisconsin, another supposed “progressive”.

(Although I have more respect for Solomon than Barrett … at least the Solomon previous to his candidacy.  Time will tell as to the difference after, should he win.)

The thing is, we’re always urged to be “pragmatic idealists”, and while that may seem to be the Vulcan tack to take, unless it’s followed by getting after our “pragmatic” choice like white on rice after they take office, there’s not a goddamn thing “pragmatic” about it.

See 2008, or any other election year.  And that allows for the haphazard adherence to “progressive principles” we see continually from members of that self-styled Congressional caucus.

Recall the moment over a decade hence, when the need for principle was at its height …

And one Congressperson stood up.  One.

We can keep applying duct tape, or we can work to build something new and durable outside the polling place.

So I’ll vote for the best, or least worst, choice … but I won’t feel “betrayed” when the promises prove mostly empty.

You have to have had faith in the first place.

Protest Is Coming to the London Olympics
by Dave Zirin and Jules Boykoff

*Steel-plated chariots of firepower to protect the privileged sporting life

Time on Netanyahu: Frozen Puffery

*Stengel smacks a double in the myth department.

His portrait of Bibi as all conquering potentially “historic figure” …

And his comparing him to “the streetwise local anchorman who told it like it was”.

Is an allusion to “the tough as nails street cop with a heart of gold” following close behind?

(And don’t you find the juxtaposition of such an endearing nick as “Bibi” with the reality of the suffering his actions cause so many to be more than a little calculated?)

Attorney: “NATO 3” Activists Detained on Terror Charges in Chicago Are Victims of Police Entrapment

Sea Shepherd Founder Paul Watson Fights Extradition to Costa Rica for 2002 Shark Defense

*The deadliest species walks upright


Sanctions Against Iran: A Duplicitous “Alternative” to War
by Raha Iranian Feminist Collective

*Solid refutation of the rationale for sanctions, as well as the Iranian regime’s assertion of a “right” to a nuclear energy program.

But along those lines, what about the dependence on oil income?  The pollution and contribution to global warming are also mortal dangers not only to the Iranian people, but to the world population, and the planet itself.

I don’t have an answer to how a nation weans itself from this curse of an oil-based economy without causing great harm to the living standards of its people, but it’s a discussion that there’s no doubt must take place, isn’t it?

The Case for a Morality of Radical Caution
Robert Jensen works through his underlying rationale for making moral judgments, as on meat-eating and abortion.
by Robert Jensen

*Jensen’s main point about being humble as to what we know and don’t know is well taken.  At the same time, we can’t allow our ignorance to lead to paralysis, which is one way those in power seek to thwart our acting on our principles, through the distortion of the facts of a situation designed to cause moral confusion and doubt.

I recall that happening to me some thirty-odd years ago, regarding the revolution in Nicaragua, as the corpress strove mightily to paint the Sandinistas and the contras as equally vicious, as a way to induce persons of good will to throw up their hands in frustration and remain disengaged.

In cases such as these, seeking information outside the mainstream is of the utmost necessity for those beginning to explore a particular issue.  Doing so enabled me to avoid the trap laid by the propagandists, and support the struggles of the peoples of Central America.

I should add that I’m aware of the deep flaws within the revolutionary movements, and that, to take Nicaragua as an example, the promise of the revolution has not come close to being realized.  Of course, outside the region, the same can be said of South Africa, no matter how hard many try to iconize Mandela.

To the issues of abortion and the moral status of other creatures, I’d add as a moral conundrum the conflicting impulses surrounding “humanitarian intervention”.  We know the motives behind it, and we condemn them, but at the same time our fellow human beings are suffering under brutal regimes.

My present view, and I’d be hard pressed to see any reason to change it, simply because I feel I have a good grasp on the consequences of intervention, and have heard the voices of those within those countries who oppose it, is that in the end, while perhaps some short term benefits may be realized, the West will deny the very thing it claims to have acted to allow – justice.

Meet the new boss.

But still, it’s difficult to see what’s going on in Syria, and not want the cavalry to come to the rescue.

That’s when you have to remember what the cavalry did to the First Nations.

As for the two matters Jensen deals with, I think the first principle regarding abortion has to be universally accessible contraception.  I have no truck with anyone who speaks of the immorality of abortion who can’t accede to that fundamental right.

Secondly, abortion can never be criminalized.  For me, the major question is when a fetus can feel pain, which doesn’t appear to have been, and may never be, settled.

If it is, or if we go with our best estimation, whatever is done to deter abortion beyond that point can have no criminal penalities attached to it.  This is a matter of education, and of doing all we can to eliminate the factors that lead to abortion, whether physical, emotional or financial.

Up to that point, I personally don’t see a moral quandry, but I’d be open to others’ views on the subject.

On consuming our fellow sentients, again, pain is a primary consideration.  I’m not entirely at ease with this formulation, but as other creatures have no higher cognitive functions, I don’t place ending their lives in the same context as I do human life.

But that must be done humanely, and their time on this earth, however long, must be made as comfortable and happy as possible.

That said, I agree with Jensen that we should be moving away from meat eating to the greatest extent possible, and I acknowledge my hypocrisy here, although I imagine I eat less meat than the average American.

Simply because it may not be a “sin” to eat the flesh of a well cared for and humanely slaughtered animal, I can’t say it wouldn’t be good for our “souls” to refrain from doing so.

My views in this final area could certainly be more cogent (and I imagine some would say the commentary in its entirety), but for what it’s worth …

Alexis Tsipras Warns: Greek Crisis Also Europe’s, World’s Austerity: “Neoliberal shock experiment”
– Common Dreams staff

*The guy sings some solid shit, doesn’t he?

I guess we’ll see, if Syriza is able to grab the reins, how much is solid

And how much is …

Night of Protest in Montreal after ‘Emergency Law’
Police continue to attempt crackdown on ‘one of the most amazing mass protests of the year’
– Common Dreams staff

*Quebec and Chitown

Sister cities in suppression

Israeli Settlers Shoot Palestinians In Presence Of Army And Police
– Common Dreams staff

*All part of the “piece process”

Taking the most desirable parts of Palestine

Piece by piece

Organic Farmer Charged for Disturbing Genetically-Modified Crop Trial
Man to face charges of ‘criminal destruction’ for damaging wheat plants altered by scientists at the Rothamsted Research facility in UK
– Common Dreams staff

*Getting to the root of the problem

Protesters March to Boeing Headquarters as NATO Summit Continues
– Common Dreams staff

*A multitasking malefactor, whom we must expose and excoriate until the day dawns when we can chant …




Evidence Continues to Mount for Ticking ‘Methane Time Bomb’
– Common Dreams staff

Now They Tell Us: Iranian Diamonds, Megrahi Questions

*Following the facts …

I guess the thought was that a change of pace is nice once in a while.

Just don’t make a habit of it.

No worries on that count, are there?

NYT and Honduras Killings, Take Two

*Well, it looks like you got under their skin, doesn’t it?

I like to say you touched their consciences, but that would require an observable presence of same, wouldn’t it?

This isn’t about “one story”.  It’s about the long and sordid history of corpress outlets when it comes to giving free reign to gummint propaganda.  Doing your job to some extent after the fact doesn’t absolve you of that sin.

I know none of this makes a rat’s ass worth of difference to the likes of Cove and Powell.  They’ll dismiss this criticism, as they have all previous to it, although I have to think that, if they retain any allegiance to the alleged standards of their profession – not to mention to humanity – they know it’s righteous, and they know the harm their work does to others.

They won’t act on that, of course.  It will just be something that will bubble to the surface of their consciousness, and their consciences, in their “weaker” moments, to be swiftly resubmerged through their prodigious powers of rationalization.

It’s in the job description.

(Click the link for additional comments)

“No NATO, No War”: U.S. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Return War Medals at NATO Summit

*A true, and affecting, honoring of commitment

And a military tradition worthy of honoring

Scott Olsen, U.S. Vet Who Nearly Lost Life at Occupy Protest, Brings Antiwar Message to NATO Summit

*The battlefield dangers of confronting the actual enemy

U.S. Army Vets Join with Afghans for Peace to Lead Antiwar March at Chicago NATO Summit

*Language is a virus.

Clumpner speaks of “creating terrorists”, appearing to lump anyone who is “radicalized” into opposing their country’s occupation into that category.

Isn’t there a difference between taking up arms to defend yourself and others, and setting off a bomb that kills them?

That said, it’s heartening to see Afghans and vets working together to stop Dear Misleader’s “Right War” ™, isn’t it?

Chicago Police Face Accusations of Entrapment, Brutality in Crackdown on NATO Protesters

*Call it “intimated intimidation”.

The state wants all who confront it to know what can happen to them when they do, but they don’t want their naked brutality exposed to a wider audience in an unedited context.

They want control of the narrative, to be able to justify their violence.  Leaving it to viewers to draw their own conclusions contradicts the Repression Rulebook © 1984.

Rev. Jesse Jackson at NATO Protests: “People Are Searching for Alternatives to War”

*First off, stating the bleeding obvious …

Who gives a damn what Jesse Jackson has to say about anything?

But his statement regarding what servicemembers deserve made me think.

“[A] lifetime healthcare, a place to stay, a job and education”

Aren’t these things we all deserve?

(I’d substitute “work” for “a job”, ridding the category of the singular stench of hierarchy.)

They shouldn’t be viewed as “rewards”, but as rights … for us all, don’t you think?

What servicemembers have every right to is to be made whole after their experience in the military, and that is a right that is abridged every minute of every day.  Eighteen suicides on each of those dark days attest to that shattered promise.

And in a world where “defense” was what they truly provided, they would deserve our gratitude.  Not our iconization, not our idealization, but our thanks for their commitment to our safety.

Perhaps one day we will live in that world, or far better, one where there would be no need for a Department of Defense.

In the one we inhabit, those in control of our military victimize us all for the benefit of those who control our lives – not least those of us whose service they hypocritically uphold as the epitome of self sacrifice, while fueling the flames of the sacrificial fire that will consume them.

As we look out on the soldiers’ cemeteries that dot our nation’s landscape, we should question why it is that such great care is given to the graves of the dead.

And so little to the bodies and souls of the living.

But we know the answer.


Obama’s ‘Poverty-Relieving’ Plan for Africa a Profit Boon for Giant Agribusiness
$3 billion investment from BigAg leaves sustainable agriculture, small-scale farmers’ voices behind
– Common Dreams staff

*Feeding the beast

Starving the beauty

The Organic Watergate: Alarming Report Reveals USDA’s Cozy Relationship with Corporate Agribusinesses in ‘Organics’
– Common Dreams staff

*Gummint corruption and corporate interest

An organic relationship if ever there was

US Iran Hawks in Congress in Some Disarray
by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

*Where’s the “Why?” of the five queries essential to informative reporting?

Regardless, whatever striations there are in policy toward Iran, this is both an unjust and dangerous path to follow.

Keep in mind that this isn’t about domestic repression – and many Iranian activists reject US sanctions and intervention in that area – but about the hypocritical posturing on nuclear weapons that promotes a nation which flaunts the NPT, while punishing one that has none, and may not have any desire for one, if sanity were to prevail.

Let’s hope that it does.

Medical Students Embrace Medicare for All
by Ed Weisbart

*Taking the hyprocrisy out of the Hippocratic Oath

Civics 101: Cutting Defense Means Not Voting for $642.5 Billion for US Military
by Carolyn Eisenberg and Gael Murphy

*Forgive the premature reuse of the analogy, but when “anti-war” Demorats (no misspell extant) play this shell game

We’re the ones who get shucked

Women: 50% of the 99%
by Laura Carlsen

*Good to see Carlsen relate the remark about the profit system as a “poisoned pie”.

It speaks to the blinkered view of many “feminists” that more female execs, and more woman officers in the military, would denote true “progress”.

But such “evolution” only diversifies the exploitation and oppression.  It doesn’t confront them.

Woman will always be “the nigger of the world” in such a system.

And the mass of other genders will join them in that fate.

Where are the Missing Five Million Workers?
by Laura Flanders

*I’m always leery of talk about dealing with “the most egregious … practices in the near term”, “lay[ing] foundations for a possible transformation in the longer term.”

I’m sure that was the plan for most of labor in the ’30s in the US.

Look around you today.

A “transformation” it ain’t.

Israel and the Neocons Mounting Pre-Emptive Strike on History Applying the Six-Day War to Iran
by Ray McGovern

*Of eyepatches

And a piratical perversion of history

Institute for Public Accuracy
NATO and ICC: Power and Accountability

*The ICC

Justice decayed is justice denied

NYT, WaPo Let Unnamed U.S. Officials Spin Honduras Killings

*So, are employees at the Times and Post eligible for gummint pay and benefits?

It seems only fair, as their employers are engaged in the facilitation of both foreign and domestic policy, and thus are figuratively on the government payroll.

Why not take the logical step?

Occupy G8: Peoples’ Summit Confronts World Leaders at Camp David, Urging Action on Poverty, Hunger

*I don’t want folks to get the idea that I get off on pointing out what I see as the contradictions of persons like Offenheiser, and to a lesser extent, Flowers, but if you’re not going to be honest, what’s the point of saying anything?

The former is whistling past the graveyard of innumerable proposals for a more equitable system, none of which have created, or are intended to create, the justice he claims he desires.  He knows full well what “private sector” solutions means, and should be making it abundantly clear that he’s on to Dear Misleader’s game, rather than praising him for “bold” action.

Flowers, too, has a limited vision of what’s necessary, although I think she’s more open-eyed about the game being played.

Reformism will at best result in somewhat less misery, but any action not aimed at exposing and fundamentally transforming a global power structure that can pretend to care about hunger and poverty, while working feverishly to ensure their place as a primordial feature of the world as we know it, is at best naive, and at worst, complicit.

“I Know He Was Scared”: Trayvon Martin’s Girlfriend Recounts Phone Call Right Before Fatal Shooting

*I can’t imagine the terror she went through as she listened to Trayvon’s last moments.

And tellingly there was no mention made of this, or the call from the unindentified source, in the AP piece I read in the Wisconsin State Journal.  Instead we’re informed that “it’s still unclear what exactly happened and whether it was racially motivated.”

Which is true, but leaving out these vital details adds to the lack of clarity.  And you have to wonder why that decision was made, don’t you?

Could it be to obfuscate rather than enlighten, to foster the view that “[t]he evidence supports” the claims of both sides, and to ultimately persuade us to throw up our hands in frustration?

In other words, to follow the MO the corpress has adopted in case after case of this nature?

Do you have an alternative explanation?

Ben Jealous: “Heartbreaking” Trayvon Tapes Capture Experience of Millions Racially Profiled in U.S.

“The Worst Racial Profiling Program in the Country”: NAACP President on NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Program

*I’m sure the LAPD engages in its own acts of racial profiling, as does every other city in the country.

And I’d like to see a open and honest accounting of just how Bloomberg has been “investing tens of millions of his own dollars in improving the lives of young black men”, wouldn’t you?

U.S. Secret Drug War in Honduras: Botched DEA Raid Leaves 2 Pregnant Women, 2 Men Dead

*Reviving Reagan’s greatest hits

And hit men


Massive Student Protest Fills Streets of Montreal after Proposed ‘Emergency’ Law
Thousands of students react after Quebec tries to make their strike illegal
– Common Dreams staff

Updated: Under Pressure, TED Releases ‘Income Inequality’ Talk
Talk was deemed ‘too partisan’ for non-profit group who champions “ideas worth spreading”
– Common Dreams staff

*The irony of this is that I’d also decline to “spread this idea”, but from the obverse perspective.

What’s being advocated is a “kinder, gentler” capitalism that “works”.

And I stopped believing in fairy tales about the time I tired of watching CAPTAIN KANGAROO.

Regardless, to label this “partisan”, given the fleeting reference to both parties (and taking Democrats to task at that), appears to be a desperate attempt to latch onto *something* that would justify TED’s action, don’t you think?

Perhaps Anderson truly believes his rhetoric.  If so, it evinces a pretty narrow view of what comprises legitimate discourse.

But we can’t dismiss the possibility that something is being spread here.

And it ain’t ideas.

International Civil Society Ramps Up Campaign Against US Drones
The Political Drones Get Louder
by Ashfaq Yusufzai
Inter Press Service

*Death from above

Duplicity from below

Preying on Poverty: How Government and Corporations Use the Poor as Piggy Banks
by Barbara Ehrenreich

*A profitable poverty of conscience

Did the Norwegians Have a Revolution?
by George Lakey

*Lakey conveniently ignores the fact that Norway is a founding member of NATO, which is about at “1 percent” as it gets, wouldn’t you say?

Ask Rahm Emanuel.

So for all the undeniable progress made in the last century, it would seem Norway’s “revolution” is more in line with the Keynesian consensus that held sway in the US until the ’70s, which bought labor peace by giving many workers a buy in to the benefits (for them) of the profit system.

Of course, folks in places pilfered and pulverized by Empire America on the dark side of that deal, as well as those here not even offered it, might have a different take on that “Golden Age”, don’t you think?

If we’re truly all in this together, “Solidarity” has to be more than a slogan.

The Student Debt Bomb
by Laura Flanders

*He’s not nicked “Dear Misleader” for nothing.

Well, as here, doing nothing is a big part of it.

Center for Biological Diversity
Study: 90 Percent of Endangered Species Recovering on Time
Wolves, Whooping Cranes, Panthers, Sea Lions Among Species in All 50 States Improving Because of Endangered Species Act

Center for Media and Democracy
ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State Watchdog Groups Call for Attorney General Investigation of ALEC Lobbying Activities

*They buy

We pay

Institute for Public Accuracy
Bilking the Poor: America’s Poverty Taxes

*The poor will always be with us

As long as a profit can be made off them

Journalist, Plaintiff Chris Hedges Hails “Monumental” Ruling Blocking NDAA Indefinite Detention

Part 2: ‘Magic Soap’ Maker David Bronner on Organic Labeling, Fair Trade, Hemp and Not Selling Out


Despite Fukushima, US Reduces Nuclear Plant Drills, Test Evacuations
The Fukushima nuclear meltdowns scream out for stronger planning in the United States, not weaker
– Common Dreams staff

*The disaster occurred long ago, with the advent of this insanity.

Now, we’re just whistling past the apocalypse.

‘Mortgage Settlement’ Funds Paying for Prisons, Not Foreclosure Relief
Needy states use housing aid cash to fund prisons, education shortfalls, and plug budgets
– Common Dreams staff

*Some of these other needs are obviously legitimate, but this is a classic case of robbing a poor Peter to pay an impoverished Paul.

This settlement stunk to high heaven even had the money gone where it should have.

This illuminates the imperative of an end to portioning out scraps while the masters feast at the banquet table.

We have what we need to fill all our bellies.

We just have to have the stomach to take it from the obscenely obese.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Socializing Risks, Privatizing Profits
by Jan Haverkamp

*A case could be made that the execs of these corporations, and the gummint officials and politicians that abetted them, are guilty of negligent homicide.

A case could be made …

Any takers on the odds that it will?

America the Serial Killer
by John Feffer

*Feffer ignores the real reasons behind the slaughter, attributing it to “revenge”, rather than for the exact same rationale as the genocide of First Nation peoples and the horrors of slavery – greed and power.

If you don’t begin with that, you can’t understand how to end the killing, can you?

Remember that many of these “worst of the worst” were funded and hailed by our government as “freedom fighters” not so very long ago.  They served the purpose of negating the imperial aspirations of another superpower, and consequently furthering its own.

And, of course, the US backs others today whose actions can be called nothing less than terrorism.  Perhaps in the future some of them will be added to a “kill list” when circumstances change.

There is no “Global War on Terror” ™, in the sense of a campaign to end it.  It works to the US’ advantage to have this spectre of evil invading the dreams of its citizens, in order to realize its imperial dreams.

Because, in today’s empire game …

You can’t boogie without a boogeyman.

Back to the Land for the Occupy Movement
Commons at the heart of the issue in occupation of agricultural land in the Bay Area
by Jeff Conant

*This bold act of conservational conscience begs the question …

Are we a nation of laws

Or a nation of principles?

Supposedly the former are derived from the latter, but anyone with open eyes and an open mind sees the farcicality of that fallacy.

Let’s hope for more folks possessive of both.

For that is indeed our last best hope.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Climate Study: Extreme Rain Storms in Midwest Have Doubled in Last 50 Years, Often Leading to Worsened Flooding
Report Details Major Storm/Flooding Trends in 8 States: IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, OH and WI; Midwest Illustrates Growing Concerns About Climate Link Between Big Storms and Flooding.

Arctic Oil Drilling to Pump Pollution into Pristine Skies
Groups file lawsuit challenging EPA air pollution permit for Shell Oil

Center for Biological Diversity
Suit Filed Against Expansion of Navajo Coal Mine Polluting Four Corners Region
Federal Approval Ignores Human Health and Environmental Impacts

Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. in Yemen: Escalating War, Stifling Speech

*Within the hollow shell of his Nobel hides a heart of darkness

As NATO Meets in Chicago, Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn Condemn “Militarized Arm of the 1 Percent”

*A police state of mind

“What Have We Been Doing?”: Decorated Veteran Aaron Hughes to Return War Medals at Anti-NATO Protest

*The connection between the lies of “the promotion of democracy” abroad

And the reality of the subversion of it at home

FBI Crackdown on Antiwar Groups Targets Chicano, Brown Beret Activist Carlos Montes

*In our rapidly developing replica of Orwell’s Oceania, war criminals are honored

And peace activists are persecuted

But truth be told – ironically – Newspeak is old hat in this dystopia


Report: ‘Over-Consumption’ Threatening Earth
If rampant misuse of resources continues, even two planets would not sustain us
– Common Dreams staff

*As is usually the case with such groups, the prescriptions for change offered don’t take into account the overriding factor mitigating against it:

The stone jones for profit uber alles.

As long as green is gained from the brutalization of the biosphere, all the lovely sentiments on “resource management” and “reducing our carbon footprint” are so much whizzing into the whirlwind.

If you can’t confront the source of the sin, you’re damning us all to perdition.

Shocking New Investigation Reveals Details of Wrongful Execution
Investigation in Columbia Human Rights Law Review shows how Texas executed innocent man in 1989
– Common Dreams staff

*I think something other than unconscionable incompetence – and racism – might have been at work here.

It seems highly unlikely that the prosecution believed that DeLuna was lying about the existence of someone well known to law enforcement, don’t you think?

That Hernandez was an informant raises the distinct possibility that he had value to them, and they didn’t want to lose that.

But they did want a conviction.

And they got one.

Nuclear Catastrophe Imminent at San Onofre if Guidelines Continue to be Ignored
Negligence led to release of radiation from defective equipment at San Onofre in January
– Common Dreams staff

Thousands of Palestinians Mark ‘Day of Catastrophe’, Hunger Strike Victory
Demonstrations in West Bank, Gaza and Israel as Palestinians remember displacement from lands in 1948
– Common Dreams staff

The Palestinian Nakba: The Resolve of Memory
by Ramzy Baroud

*History does not forgive

Memory does not forget

Five Reasons Drone Assassinations Are Illegal
by Bill Quigley

*Logic would dictate that this bloody sauce for the goose is meet fare for the gander.

If Dear Misleader were to be “taken out” with a drone strike, along with whomever happened to be in the vicinity, in someone else’s campaign against “terrorism”, the US would have no legitimate cause for outrage, would it?

What goes around explodes around.

Six members of Congress …

And how many “progressives” and “liberals” extant?

The Only Beltway White Guy Pundits Too Hot for the Sunday Shows?

*Of course, for Mann and Ornstein, “compromise” is the prescription for all sorts of “ideological extremes”.

Like universal healthcare, or trying US war criminals (which should include those currently in office).

Their lopsided notion of “balance” shows just how severely tilted the world according to the Kochs and company really is, don’t you think?

Time Ignores Climate Change to Paint a ‘Golden Age’ of Fracking

*Addicts rarely respond to logic.

I’m not referring directly to the addiction to hydrocarbons, but of the overarching addiction to profit, which renders any rational consideration of the consequences of continuing and accelerating the destruction of our ecosphere moot in the minds of the moneyed.

The corpress, as courtiers to those who harbor these dark desires, merely mirrors the insanity that hurls us headlong toward the abyss.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

And who willfully blind others.

WaPo Surprised Voters Getting Chance to Weigh In on Ryan Budget

*Proponents “make a compelling case”.

Opponents “make claims”.

Like issues of gender equity in general, in such instances “He said, she said” rarely accords a fair hearing to the latter.

The Complex Panorama of Supporting the Wrong Side in Bahrain

*As long as the corpress fronts for foreign policy perniciousness, walking the “tightrope” of appearing to have any fealty to human rights while engaging in their wholesale vitiation won’t be anywhere near the “complex” feat it should be, will it? .

Institute for Public Accuracy
Majority Favors Cutting Military Budget

*Still buying the hype

But at least willing to dicker over the price

Crony Capitalism: After Lobbying Against New Financial Regulations, JPMorgan Loses $2B in Risky Bet

*Having banksters in charge of their own regs is like Big Oil running the EPA.

I know.  For all intents and purposes …

Black wants to fine tune the system, but the dissonance is too great.  We can never achieve harmony playing with these instruments.

As Obama OKs Weapons to Bahrain, Neurosurgeon Tortured by Regime Faces Trial for Treating Protesters

“Magic Soap” Maker David Bronner on Labeling Genetically Modified Food, Fair Trade, the War on Hemp

*What’s in a naming?

The seeds of safety


Take Responsibility for Civilian Deaths, Group Tells NATO
Human Rights Watch says 72 Libyan civilians were killed during NATO’s assault on Libya last year, including 20 women and 24 children.
– Common Dreams staff

*The inhumanity of “humanitarian intervention”

IAEA Refuses Iran Cooperation Pact Until After Parchin Visit
by Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

Greek Leftist Leader Gains Support for Standing Firm Against Austerity
Alexis Tsipras says he will not be ‘partner in crime’ with mainstream leaders
– Common Dreams staff

Five Facts That Put America to Shame
by Paul Buchheit

*American Dream, meet the nightmare of American reality

Predator Nation: America as a Shining Drone Upon a Hill
On Staring Death in the Face and Not Noticing
by Tom Engelhardt

*The thought’s occurred on innumerable occasions, when confronted with such delusionally arrogant propaganda …

“Goebbels would be proud.”

In this instance, I believe he might be envious.

Farm Protesters Land Seized by UC Berkeley
by Alison Hope Alkon

*Sewing the seeds of insurgency

Colonized by Corporations
by Chris Hedges

*Obviously a lot to digest here.  I’ll just address a couple of points.

I don’t know that there is a predictable formula for the trajectory of a revolution, as Hedges suggests, especially as regards “democratic” states, and most especially one at the black heart of corporate power.

I’d say keep in mind what’s gone before, but don’t make the old playbook into a bible.  Adapt the lessons learned from history to an anything but predictable present.

Pretty nebulous, I realize.

And I think it’s vital to reject the romanticism of both violence, and nonviolence.  Force is a last resort, but it is a legitimate reaction to oppression.  It must be principled – directed at those directly responsible for injustice – and disciplined – focused on concrete goals rather than an understandable but counterproductive lashing out.

The bottom line is to use our heads.

Or we risk losing them, in more than one sense of the term.

Romney the Bully
by Marjorie Cohn

*Old habits die hard.

But while these acts of viciousness past and present will no doubt serve as campaign fodder for Democratic surrogate attack dogs like MoveOn (I received a message from them this morning regarding the prep school incident), designed to “fire up the base”, they will play no role in the broader Obama and party electoral strategy.

To do so would take the issue of gay rights out of the ghetto of “targetted messaging”, which strategists have deigned an overall plus, as long as it remains background music.

And as far as the heartless profiteering (I guess that’s redundant) is concerned, while some populist rhetoric may pass his lips, to get down to the nitty gritty of Bain’s crimes would throw into question a system that makes them all nice and legal like.

And Dear Misleader, true to his nick, won’t bite the hand that signs the contribution checks, will he?

No Country for Rich Men
From Manhattan to Monaco, the world’s wealthiest people are disconnecting into a class of stateless transients.
by Sam Pizzigati

*The world is their oyster

And we’re getting shucked

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
First-quarter Stop-and-Frisk Data Sets Yet Another Shameful Record
CCR Condemns Increased Stops, Continued Racial Disparities and Low Rates of Arrest

Newsweek Enables Colin Powell’s Iraq War Revisionism

*I’m not certain why it’s stated that someone has a “right” to lie.

I guess that’s the difference between “legality” and “morality”.

Regardless, Newsweek prints this horseshit for the same reasons it does most everything else …

To support the powers that be.

And to make money.

Powell’s career and celebrity allows for a happy marriage of those motives, doesn’t it?

Institute for Public Accuracy
NATO Above the Law?

*The “good guys” wear whitewash

Noam Chomsky: Palestinian Hunger Strike a Protest Against “Violations of Elementary Human Rights”

*I still don’t see the justice in a “two state solution” in any manifestation, any more than I would have had that been the fate of South Africa, not that the situation for most blacks has improved much since the end of apartheid.

This land was stolen from the Palestinians, and justice demands this be recognized, and that one state, with equal rights for all, be established.

Is that possible?  Regardless, that’s what true justice would look like, to my mind.  My assumption is that Chomsky doesn’t feel it’s possible, and thus his comments here.

I wish I could ask him about them.

Chomsky: Occupy Wall Street “Has Created Something That Didn’t Really Exist” in U.S. — Solidarity

*I’m not as sanguine about Occupy’s accomplishments so far, off my admittedly limited interaction with one of its offshoots.

For me, what we say we want in the wider world has to be mirrored within our groups.  Empathy and respect, together with the ability to be honest with each other, are bedrock principles.

Those to me form the foundation for solidarity, and I didn’t encounter it at nearly the level necessary.

Perhaps as the movement matures, how it embodies these values will, as well.

Noam Chomsky on WikiLeaks, Obama’s Targeted Assassinations and Latin America’s Break from the U.S.

*I wish I could be as hopeful as Chomsky, but I try to be an empiricist, and while the possibility for transformational change may exist, I think the odds are very much against it.

But so what?  Whatever happens, if we have any reason for being here – and I don’t know that we do – it’s to be a mensch.

So we try, however inadequately, to do the mensch thing.

Maybe if enough of us do, we can reach a critical mass for the mass struggle.

But time, like this planet, is wasting away.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Mommy Wars or Moms Against War: Bread and Butter and the Radical History of Mother’s Day

*The literal mother fuckers

JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Tumble Renews Call: ‘Break Up the Big Banks’
– Common Dreams staff

*The “financial crisis” (aka “Greed on Speed”) doesn’t just “[fade] from view” without the able assistance of corpress conspirators like the NYT, does it?

And I wish it wouldn’t be taken for granted that we suss the arcane arts of avarice, and that a “Financial Finagling for Dummies” ‘tude be de rigueur for every article on the subject, don’t you?

Justice Now!: Spain’s Indignados to Retake the Streets
– Common Dreams staff

Watchdog: Huge Spike in Cancers, Fertility Problems Linked to Chemicals in Household Items
– Common Dreams staff

*The chemistry of catastrophe

Chicago Police Ready for NATO Summit Protesters With ‘Sound Cannon’
– Common Dreams staff

*Lowering the sonic boom

Shock Doctrine Opponents Revolt: The Austerity Backlash Across Europe
The truth is that the real world has paid the high priests of austerity an unwelcome visit
by Owen Jones

*The question is just how “anti-austerity” the backlash will be.

Hollande is no radical.  The term “Socialist” is meaningless in this instance.

Will Syriza discover “pragmatism”?

Let’s be cautious – hopefully hopefully cautious – about proclaiming the revolution has begun, shall we?

We’re Fighting in a War We Lost Before the War Began
New poll shows support for Afghanistan war lower than ever, and for good reason.
by Phyllis Bennis

*I’m so goddamn tired of saying this.

This isn’t “a war of vengeance”.

It’s a war of empire, fought for resources and geostrategic gain (see “Iraq, War in”).

It’s about pipelines and power politics.

And the only 911 connected to it is the one Afghans are living through.

And dying in.

Pentagon Spending and the War on Children
by Jeff Blum

*Greasing the guns of empire

With the butter pilfered from the plates of the poor

Indentured Servitude for Seniors: Social Security Garnished for Student Debts
by Ellen Brown

*We don’t need to create money

We need to abolish it

Money may not be the root of all evil

But evil – one way or another – is the route to all money

The ‘Global May Manifesto’
A global movement wants a better world. Such a world is possible, and here’s how …
by Global Spring Movement

*Any system that allows for the exploitation of one person by another is irreconcilable with any legitimate concept of justice.

Capitalism, the profit system – whatever one chooses to label it – is by its very nature exploitative.  Corporations are the means to perpetuate that nature.

Until our labor is in the context of working with one another for all our benefit, rather than for another at our and others’ expense, justice and equality are mere dreams.

Environmental Working Group (EWG)
FDA Bows to Industry Pressure, Delays Sunscreen Rules
Agency Once Again Postpones New Consumer Protections

*Perpetuating the smokescreen on sunscreens

Common Cause
ALEC Legislators, Companies Convene in Charlotte, N.C.
Common Cause pressing states to investigate group’s tax/lobbying violations

*Where the elites meet

To conspire discreet

Oily Propaganda on ABC World News

*Meanwhile, Sawyer makes her millions in the time-honored tradition …

Selling her soul, and every single iota of her integrity.

That’s where the big money is in corpress “journalism”.

No news here.


The U.S. v. Joe Arpaio: Justice Department Sues Arizona Sheriff for Racial Profiling of Latinos

*So, it took the feds *how long* to bring this suit?

And they were in *settlement* talks with the southwestern equivalent of Bull Connor, instead of prosecuting the bastard and his minions for any number of civil rights violations?

And we’re supposed to “applaud” them?

U.N. Probe: U.S. Should Return Stolen Sacred Land, Including Mt. Rushmore, to Native Americans

Sexual Violence and Natural Resource Pillaging Top Hardships Facing Alaskan Natives

*Custer’s ghost lives on.

Anaya appears to advocate for some slightly more than token gestures by the US gummint, rather than an honest effort to right historic wrongs, and unflinchingly address the history of oppression and dispossession – indeed, of genocide – perpetrated against the First Nations.

So why wouldn’t he receive “superb” cooperation?

And as Dorough states, the new “Black Gold Rush” will only exacerbate the injustices indigenous communities are subjected to.

Will the federales stand against the rapes of person and place and culture?

A dark history illuminates the answer.


Iran and the US Anti-War Movement
by Manijeh Nasrabadi

*A compromising of conscience cannot coexist alongside a commitment to justice

To quote King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”

Hundreds of Thousands March Against Austerity in UK
Public workers, including 20,000 off-duty police officers, protesting pension and benefit cuts
– Common Dreams staff

Report: Fracking Wastewater Disposal Methods Leave Environment, Public Health at Risk
New report from NRDC shows national implications for Pennsylvania’s risky fracking wastewater practices – Common Dreams staff

*A typical mainstream enviro call for better regulation, rather than for the prosecution of the industry execs who know full well the harm they’ve done to humans and other species.

Ask the victims what they’d like to see occur.

If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

US Military Taught Officers: ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics For ‘Total War’ On Islam
“Taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary”
– Common Dreams staff

*The true evil isn’t that such fanatics exist, but that their acts are condoned by the military hierarchy – until they come to light.  This went on for four years, or since just before the advent of “Hope and Change” ™.

Note the genocidal historical precedents listed by Dooley come from “The Good War”, supposedly fought on a high moral plane – Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Dresden.

Unspoken is the horrific example of “the Indian Wars”.  This has been the nature of the US military since its founding.

I’m not a Muslim, but add me to the 140 million who “hate everything [they] stand for”.

It has nothing to do with what I want this nation to embody.

Game Over for the Climate
The science of the situation is clear — it’s time for the politics to follow
by James Hansen

*Hansen has the bonafides to talk about the causes of climate change.

If only he had them to talk about the solutions.

Oil Wars on the Horizon
Six Recent Clashes and Conflicts on a Planet Heading Into Energy Overdrive
by Michael T. Klare

*So how do you write a lengthy article on the subject without addressing the elephant in the room of climate change, other than a fleeting oblique reference toward the end?

I guess if you’re a fully credentialed “expert analyst”, it’s a piece of cake.

This “energy overdrive” is speeding us toward a rapidly approaching cliff.

And no amount of “wealth, power or prestige” will matter once we hurtle off it, will it?

Welcome to the Knowledge Factory
by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

*A lesson in the power dynamics of higher education that you don’t need a higher degree to understand

The Greediness of Brain Drain
by Ralph Nader

*In this instance, Corporate America literally sucks

And, as always, folks here and abroad get suckered

Ryan Shrugs: Overlooked GOP Budget Provision Would Fuel Offshoring With New Tax Incentives
by Roger Bybee

*The Obama campaign might be “smart” to engage in some populist rhetoric on this, but the smart money would be on his administration not doing a goddamn thing about it.

Unless we make it.

And in the end, we control the odds on that wager, don’t we?

Profits over Health: A Short History of the Pesticide Lobby
Chemical Agriculture Goes to the Mattresses
by Leeann Brown

*Poisoning the process

And the people

Food & Water Watch
National Consumer Group Identifies Five Human Right to Water Hot Spots in the United States
New Report Suggests Need for Greater Overall Commitment to Address Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation in the U.S.

*Access to safe water is a human right

Denying it is an inhuman wrong


Plastic in ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ Has Increased 100-Fold
“Alarming amount” of plastic having ecosystem-wide effects
– Common Dreams staff

*Sewing the seas of self-destruction

Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage
– Common Dreams staff

*Luckily I have decent control over my gag reflex.

Look up “hypocrisy” in Webster’s, and you might well find this quote.

Think this has anything to do with the election campaign?  Of course, Dear Misleader, and Dems in general, have been talking the talk without walking the walk since Hector was a pup, so for all the buzz, and backlash, this proclaimed “evolution” will generate, it’s actions, not words, that matter.

Multiply that dynamic by every other “other” in this country, and it should be abundantly clear that faith in “Hope and Change” ™ is an exercise in futility.

And masochism.

We have to move beyond the lesser of two evils …

To the one greater good.

To those who contend that breaking with these bastards threatens what progress we have made, I’d respond that we’d have progressed far beyond where we are if we’d done so many moons before.

Perhaps, given the deeply disturbing fact that that hasn’t happened, a rational argument can be made for voting Democratic this year.

But if that isn’t followed by holding these hypocrites’ feet to the biggest bonfire we can build – again, as we should have done long before now – then we will have no one else to blame for the consequences.

And neither will our children.

First Nations Rally in Toronto to Demand No Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline
– Common Dreams staff

FAIR Extra!
New Conflict of Interest at NYT Jerusalem Bureau
Isabel Kershner’s family tie to pro-government think tank
by Alex Kane

*All the news that’s fit to print

(Unless it calls into question our credibility)

North Carolina Voters Approve Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage, Civil Unions

*Robinson sidesteps the issue of cultural and religious bias against gays among many blacks, and that has to be honestly addressed if the tactic of divide and conquer is to be nullified.

Of course, that goes for working and middle class whites, Asians, Hispanics and just about every other group that should be seeing its interests as inextricably entwined with the struggle for equal rights for all, wouldn’t you say?

From Coal to Foreclosures, Bank of America Faces Protest at Shareholders’ Meeting in Charlotte

*The most dangerous bank robbers sit on their boards of directors

Wisconsin Democrats Select Recall Challenger to Take On Gov. Scott Walker’s “Ideological Civil War”

*Goodman doesn’t inquire as to just who Barrett is, and Rothschild waits till the end to make a vague characterization of his being “a moderate Democrat”.

What it comes down to is a choice between a tepid turd, and a heaping pile of horseshit – as is almost always the case.

Given that choice, you vote against volume.

But you better hoard the toilet paper.

‘Cause in the end, we’re really only talking about how much wiping we’ll have to do, aren’t we?


In Victory, Greek Left Says: No Bailout, No Austerity
– Common Dreams staff

*Tossing the “life preserver” back at the sinking ship

‘Locavorism on the Rise Everywhere’: US Consumers Turn to Smaller, Local Farms
New index ranks states using government agricultural and population data
– Common Dreams staff

*Food for rational thought

GOP, Dems ‘Play Chicken’ with Student Loan Rates in US Senate
Small fixes like Stafford interest rate cuts will do little for crushing student debt
– Common Dreams staff

*Pissing in the wind

While the hurricane makes landfall

Global Temperatures Could Rise by More than 2°C by Mid-Century: Report
40 years after original ‘Limits to Growth’ new report says ‘short-termism’ and ‘over-consumption’ killing planet
– Common Dreams staff

*Nero’s curse

A Rebellious World or a New Dark Age?
On the History of the US Economy in Decline
by Noam Chomsky

*Little to argue with here, is there?

As regards organizing, my experience has been that there is often a disconnect between what many say they want to see in the wider world, and how they treat each other within their groupings.

Call it talking the walk … not walking the talk.

If we say we want a world based on cooperation and common caring, then it has to start among ourselves, doesn’t it?

I haven’t seen a true recognition of that yet.

Part of that paradigm is the obligation to be honestly critical of each other, but respectful in doing so.  Again, precious little evidence of that to relate.

I’d be interested in others’ experiences.

The Massive Palestinian Hunger Strike: Traveling below the Western Radar
by Richard Falk

*His closing comments notwithstanding (The PLO, and now the PA, have betrayed the aspirations of the Palestinian people for years – and that fact doesn’t translate into any deep love for Hamas, either), Falk does an excellent job of exposing the deadly hypocrisy of the US gummint and the Western corpress.

In a situation analogous to pre-“liberated” South Africa (quotes as the ANC has also dashed the hopes of black citizens), these entities rarely deign to offer even the lip service given to the struggle against apartheid, or to the recent uprisings in the region, for that matter, but rather adopt a default mode of painting the victims as intransigent and violent.

And Friedman’s the highly paid poster child for the sanctimoniousness that passes for what little concern can be found in those corners.

Media, Austerity and Bad Medicine

*I imagine Hollande’s plan is closer to Obama’s.

Which is why, when it comes to the label “Socialist”, we must ask, as did Juliet …

What’s in a name?

The reply here must be …

Not too bloody much.

Of course, that goes for “Democrat” over here, doesn’t it?

Justice Cheated: Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth on Failures of Guantánamo Military Tribunals

*It’s not about “investing political capital”, is it?

No president or top officials will ever be held to account for any crimes of this nature.

When it comes to questions of empire, we witness the ultimate bipartisanship.


Global Corporations Undermining Democracy Worldwide
by Isolda Agazzi
Inter Press Service

*Take the BIT out of our mouths and toss these bastards out of the stable

EPA Whistleblower on Dangers of 9/11 Toxic Dust Reinstated to Job
– Common Dreams staff

Why America’s Rich People Are Better Than Everyone Else’s
by Paul Buchheit

*Don’t worry

Be happy

There’s nothing wrong with the profit system that a good dose of psychosis won’t fix

Surveillance State Democracy
As the FBI seeks full access to all forms of Internet communication, it is not voters who need to be convinced
by Glenn Greenwald

None of the Poor Children Matter
by Pat LaMarche

*Out of sight

Out of mind

Out of empathy

How Private Bottling Companies Water-Down Education to Boost Profits
Project WET’s supposed mission is a slap in the face to any community that has had its water muscled away by Nestle.
by Wenonah Hauter

*Evil to the last drop

Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Yemen: Detained, Tortured, and Disappeared
Yemenis Describe Illegal Detentions, Abuse by Security Forces

The BP Disaster Photos Big Oil and the White House Don’t Want You to See
Greenpeace Uncovers Disturbing Images of Sea Turtles, Dolphins, & Whales Injured and Killed By BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster

*Images of insidiousness and infamy

It’s Hard to Change the Discussion of Poverty on Sunday Morning

*I’m sure Will considers $30K a “pittance”.

For him, it’s walking around money.

For a college graduate who might consider themselves lucky to find a job that pays that, it’s something else.

But Will’s the shill for those who profit off of others’ misery, which they consider their legitimate “entitlement”.

To update a quote from one of his role models …

Let them eat cake?

If they can find a bakery dumpster.

“A Political Implosion”: Anti-Austerity Parties Win Historic French and Greek Elections

*Solid analysis by Varoufakis.

All too rare on DN!

As for a “Socialist” win in France …

Well, we call them “Democrats” over here.

How well does the name match the actions?

ExxonMobil’s Dirty Secrets, from Indonesia to Nigeria to Washington: Steve Coll on “Private Empire”

*And here we have a more typical DN! segment.

Some useful intel, but the interpretation of same has its share of contradictions – e.g., anyone intimating that ExxonMobil or the oil imperialists in general will be taken to task by the Demorats in any way other than via some pseudopopulist rhetoric meant to appeal to voters’ wallets and reformist enviros, and quickly forgotten after the campaign, should have his analyst credentials revoked post haste.

And referring to the EPA as “tough”, even in relative terms, defies any logic I’m familiar with.  The existence of fracking per se makes that clear, don’t you think?

On Strike: Quebec Students Boycott Classes for 12 Weeks to Protest Proposed Tuition Hikes

*A “Yes” vote on this rancid deal would be the very definition of a “pyrrhic victory”, wouldn’t you say?

Let’s hope this receives the fate it deserves.  To have struggled for so long only to achieve so little would be a bitter lesson indeed for these students.


Global Warming Believers Are Just Like Mass Murderers, Says Heartland Institute
by Nancy Roberts

*Hopefully it’s a literal sign that these bastards are getting desperate.

Anyone swayed by this patently preposterous propaganda shouldn’t be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

Like a shoehorn.

‘Broken Earth Day’: Connecting Climate Change to Wild Weather
– Common Dreams staff

New Fracking Rules Come Up Short Leaving Communities, Earth Unprotected
‘Seriously inadequate’ proposal disappoints
– Common Dreams staff

*There’s a remarkably genteel tone to these criticisms, don’t you think?

How about this for a “common-sense solution” …




Study: Biodiversity Loss Impacts as Great as Climate Change Impacts
Ecologist: “These extinctions may well rank as one of the top five drivers of global change.”
– Common Dreams staff

*The malevolent multitasking of environmental malefactions

Scientists: Deep Ocean Beneath Antarctic Responding Rapidly to Climate Change
Latest research shows continuing dramatic change in southern oceans
– Common Dreams staff

Gloomy Jobs Report Shows 12.5 Million Unemployed
– Common Dreams staff

Wall Street’s Speed Demons: A 10-Point Primer
by Sarah Anderson

*Yes, they’re speed demons

But the less fleet of foot are no less free of conscience, are they?

40 Years after Kent State: The Shredding of Constitutional Liberty Still Goes On
by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn

*Counterinsurgency begins at home

Common Cause
List of ALEC Corporate Members Released

*It’s not simply a matter of abandoning ALEC.

The rats jumping ship are still just that.

Of course, that species has a biological excuse for the damage it inflicts.

Greed is not an immutable genetic trait, is it?

Matthews Remembers Mission Accomplished (Some of It)

*And this schmuck gets paid *how* much?

Welcome to the meritocracy.

Misremembering Gaza, Again

*Getting the facts straight

Into the shredder

Obama, Bill Clinton and the Need to Move Rightward

*The corporate media

The road to the White House’s equivalent of a KEEP RIGHT sign

As Grand Jury Clears White Plains Police in Kenneth Chamberlain’s Death, New Tape Shows Fatal Raid

Kenneth Chamberlain’s Family Seeks Lawsuit, Federal Probe as Grand Jury Rejects Charging Officers

*Now, can you imagine this scenario going down at a middle or upper class white home?

You can?

Then I’d say you have one healthy imagination.

Although there’s nothing really healthy about it.

“They Can’t Just Kill Us”: Kenneth Chamberlain’s Neighbors Speak Out as Police Avoid Charges

“Private Empire”: Author Steve Coll on the State-Like Powers, Influence of Oil Giant ExxonMobil


Institute for Public Accuracy
* 7,000 Occupy Arrests * Return of May Day

Is Murdoch Fit to Control Broadcast Licenses?

*”Good character”

If that’s the criterion, and it has any meaning in reality, then just who among media owners would qualify?

Report: How CEO Compensation Is Fueling Inequality
CEOs were paid 231 times more than workers in 2011.
– Common Dreams staff

*The land of opportunism

Provocateur Unmasked: The FBI’s Cleveland Bridge Bomb Plot Informant
Shaquille Azir, 39, was indicted twice during FBI Occupy Cleveland sting operation

– Common Dreams staff

*Getting the bang for the bucks


Entrapments R Us

High Cost Health Care: US Spending ‘Dwarfs’ Other Countries
– Common Dreams staff

*The true face of “American exceptionalism”

May Day 2012: Love in a Hopeless Place?
‘What’s next’ or ‘what’s left’ for the Occupy movement?
by Laura Flanders

*So how do we get there from here?

And just what “here” are we trying to get to?

Subsidy Buffet for Agribiz, Table Scraps for Good Food
by Kari Hamerschlag

*I think it’s ironic that Hamerschlag criticizes, and deservedly so, others for not fighting back against this giveaway to Food Inc., when her prescriptions fall well short of what I’d consider a principled stand against these perverted policies.

It’s akin to those advocating for a miniscule financial transaction tax, instead of seeking to excise the rotten core of the system itself.

I understand the obstacles involved in transformational change, but reformism literally means collective death at this point, and has always meant someone staring the Grim Reaper in the eye.

Radicalism, or whatever you care to call it, is the ultimate pragmatism.

Friends of the Earth
TransCanada Secretly Moves Forward with Permits for Keystone XL Southern Segment Amid EPA Region 6’s Previous Objections

*I’m glad to see the terms “unconscionably” and “shamelessly” applied here.

Would that it were the norm among enviro groups regarding Dear Misleader’s dissembling, rather than the exception.

Free Speech and Digital Rights Groups Call on Department of Justice to Protect Everyone’s Right to Record

*You have the right to remain silent

And we’ll make goddamn sure you do

ACLU Asks Guantánamo Tribunal Not to Censor 9/11 Defendants’ Accounts of Torture Motion Seeks to Bar Government from Keeping Statements about Torture and Abuse Under Wraps

*”Kafkaesque” would also work.

But I wonder what history Shamsi’s reading from when she speaks of reverence for the truth in the US “justice” system.

It isn’t the one that records the hangings of the Haymarket martyrs, among countless other travesties of true justice, is it?

The US Sponsored “Protest Movement” in Malaysia
by Nile Bowie

Fox Host Leaps to Link Occupy to White Powder Mailings

*A movement seeking to grow its numbers by persuading the public of its self-interest in supporting it pulls a stunt like this.

As the pointy-eared fellow said …

“Highly illogical, Captain.”

But logic is an alien life form on Planet MSM, isn’t it?

Lord knows what will be made of the entrapment operation in Cleveland.

But you can bet your foreclosed home objectivity won’t be pulling overtime on the production line.

FAIR Extra!
Bored With Occupy—and Inequality Class issues fade along with protest coverage
by John Knefel

*No class act here

In any sense of the term

Egyptian Military Rulers Face Growing Unrest as 11 Killed in Pre-Election Clashes

Rupert Murdoch in “Unprecedented Firestorm” as U.K. Panel Finds Him Unfit to Run Global Media Empire

U.S. Media Giants Reel as FCC Orders Disclosure of Rates for Billion-Dollar TV Campaign Advertising

Free Press Co-Founder Robert McChesney: Murdoch Hacking Scandal a “Moment of Truth” for U.S. Media


Beyond Fossilized Paradigms: Futureconomics of Food
The economics of the future is based on people and biodiversity – not fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and monocultures.
by Vandana Shiva

*Taking the measure of madness

Obama Administration Pushes UN to Thwart West Bank Settlements Probe
Israel believes the aim of Obama administration pressure is to postpone the probe until at least after the presidential elections in November
– Common Dreams staff

New Study Predicts Frack Fluids Can Migrate to Aquifers Within Years
by Abrahm Lustgarten

*No fracking way … ?

May Day Media

*I don’t think the Democratic leadership and their allies in the media and mainstream organizations quite know how to deal with Occupy.

Do they ignore it, while local gummints and federales across the nation bash heads, infiltrate and try to discredit it?

Or do they attempt to coopt the “brand”, as MoveOn and other fellow travelers are attempting with “The 99% Spring” ™?

Being the faithful followers of Machiavelli that they are, it appears they’ve opted for both, doesn’t it?

(“White powder” …

Jesus, Mary and Joseph.)

NYT Reassures Afghans That the Troops They Want to Leave Are Going to Stay

*This is a classic example of defining the terms of the debate.

(Not that there’s any real debate going on in the corpress on this subject.)

Withdrawal is labeled “an all-out scramble to get away”, rather than the morally requisite ending of a bloody imperial enterprise.

Thus leaving now becomes a cowardly and irresponsible act, and not one required by our collective conscience.

Language is a virus.

And the corporate media its infectious agent.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama-Karzai Text Allows for Tens of Thousands of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

*And the “liberation” drones on

Part 2: David Harvey on Rebel Cities, Occupy Wall Street, and the Benefits of Class Struggle

*Harvey refers to Marx’s observation on “the equal treatment of unequals”.

In a capitalist economy, we’re not all in the same boat.

We’re in the same ocean.

The exploitive class is on the yacht.

Most of the rest of us are in rowboats.

And the worst off are treading water.

Or going under.

Obama Touts War’s End in Afghanistan, But Critics See Election-Year Guise for Prolonged Occupation

*Once again, as is rarely not the case in such discussions here and elsewhere, there is no reference to US aims in the region, namely the realization of the Turkmenistan/Afghanistan/Pakistan/India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline, and control of a geostrategically vital area of the world.

That should always be your starting point, don’t you think?

May Day Protests Span the Globe with Calls for Economic Justice, International Solidarity

May Day Legacy of Labor, Immigrant Rights Joined by New Generation of Occupy for Historic Protests

As Students Revolt over Cutbacks and Debt, NYC Occupy Stages May Day “Free University” for the 99%

*As the exploiters decide what knowledge is worth

We need to ask ourselves

What knowledge is worth knowing?


May Day Protests Across the Globe
– Common Dreams staff

*The whole world is watching

The question is

How many will do more than that?

Oakland Police Used ‘Overwhelming Military-Type Response’ Against Occupiers: Report
Court ordered monitors ‘thoroughly dismayed by what we observed’ at Oakland Police Department
– Common Dreams staff

*Confirmation of the literally bleeding obvious

Suspended for Civil Disobedience, Students Create Their Own ‘Freedom School’
– Common Dreams staff

*An inspired, and inspiring, example of suspended animation

Imperialism Didn’t End. These Days It’s Known as International Law
A one-sided justice sees weaker states punished as rich nations and giant corporations project their power across the world
by George Monbiot

*Common criminals break the law

Corporate criminals control it

Freeing the University: Education Occupation on May Day
by Michelle Chen

*The soul can never be free as long as the mind is in chains

Food & Water Watch
Consumer Advocates and Food Safety Inspectors Tell Christie Vilsack to Oppose Privatized Poultry Inspection

*More chicken shit on all fronts

Center for Biological Diversity
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Asked to Investigate Shell’s Statements of Arctic Drilling Risks

*A deadly game of freeze tag

Institute for Public Accuracy
May Day: Activists on the Ground

*Call it the “health bare” industry

Romney’s the Right Kind of Flipflopper

*I think it needs to be said that for the Obama campaign to accuse anyone else of flipfloppery – setting aside the unquestionable veracity of that charge – might make for a perfectly serviceable substitute for the standard dictionary definition of “hypocrisy”.

Still, points for expertise on the subject.

He Said, She Said on Voter ID Laws

*Well, electoral fraud *is* a huge problem.

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

Behind the right-wing racial politics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
by Tom Eley

*Lapping up the limelight

While leaving those they “champion” in the dark

“No Work, No Shopping, Occupy Everywhere”: May Day Special on OWS, Immigration, Labor Protests

*I liked how the other guests responded to Hedges’ castigation of what he terms “Black Bloc tactics” – not to say that he’s wholly off base – especially Gutierrez’ comments toward the end when she relates the attempt by the cops to get an organizer to commit to signing on to a complaint against “disruptive” elements.

Her message of inclusion in the face of a strategy to divide and conquer is one that needs to be taken to heart.

I also appreciated Sitrin’s ideas on space – that the relationships and methods of cooperation that have to arise to replace the rot of an exploitative society are not dependent upon the occupation of a physical location, that there can be a sense of occupying the greater space of the community.

Of course, that overlooks the dynamics of the situation in Madison and elsewhere, where folks depend on that physical space to simply have a place to live.  I’d like to have heard her, and the other guests, address that issue, as well as the fact that, as Madison’s mayor disingenuously pointed out, these encampments are hardly utopias of respect and communalism.


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