June 2012

6/29

Crackdown in Sudan Continues as Anti-Austerity Protests Rage On
Protests ongoing since June 16; protesters teargassed, journalists arrested
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/29-6
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Sumatran Orangutans Being ‘Extinguished’ by Palm Oil Push
Fires set by landowners leave wild orangutans on brink of annihilation
– Common Dreams staff

*Burning down their house

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/29-5
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US Coast Guard Creates ‘Protest-Free Zone’ in Alaska Oil Drilling Zone
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/29-2
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200,000 Protest in Japan Ahead of Nuclear Restart
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/29-1
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‘Heat… Fire… Disaster’: What Climate Change Looks Like
Western US fires are being driven by extreme temperatures, which are consistent with IPCC projections
– Common Dreams staff

*It may be apocryphal to maintain that there are no atheists in foxholes.

But let’s hope that after this, there really are no climate deniers in Colorado.

If reason were the order of the day, however, this would never have occurred, would it?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/29-0
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Justice Roberts’ Decision Is Not for Cheering
by Laura Flanders

*The deviltry’s in the disregarded details

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/29-5
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Latin America: How the US Has Allied with the Forces of Reaction
Honduras three years ago created a new template of the US backing coups to compensate for lost influence on the continent
by Mark Weisbrot

*Doing some weeding in the US’ “backyard”

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/29-10
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Moral Injury and American War
Mad, Bad, Sad: What’s Really Happened to America’s Soldiers
by Nan Levinson

*Moral injury is the symptom

Imperialism is the disease

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/29-8
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Public Citizen
WTO Rules Against Yet Another U.S. Consumer Protection Policy Final WTO Appeal Ruling Goes Against U.S. Country-of-Origin Meat Labeling Law that Applies to Domestic and Imported Meat

*”[N]egotiating savvy”, my eye

(And other areas of my anatomy).

This is as much about US complicity as it is Mexican and Canadian malefactions, isn’t it?

The “secretive foreign tribunals” are largely a product of our gummint’s servility to corporate power.

So let’s drop the appeals to parochialism, shall we?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/29-2
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Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. Attacks Church of Nativity Designation by UNESCO

*The wrong kind of Christian

http://www.accuracy.org/release/u-s-attacks-church-of-nativity-designation-by-unesco/
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FAIR Blog
Is Limbaugh Sure He Wants Lying to be a Crime?

*Do as I say.

Not as I avoided doing.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/29/is-limbaugh-sure-he-wants-lying-to-be-a-crime/

Public TV’s Narrow Debate on Supreme Court and Obamacare

*The ACA has profound issues with access.

And so does PBS.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/29/public-tvs-narrow-debate-on-supreme-court-and-obamacare/

The Race to Be First to Be Wrong at the Supreme Court

*Clemente could have at least come up with a cogent analogy, however misleading it would have been.

What FOX did was tell us the Yankees won, when they lost.

Arrogance 1, Integrity 0.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/29/the-race-to-be-first-to-be-wrong-at-the-supreme-court/ .

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Roundtable: Supreme Court Ruling Ensures Coverage for Millions, But Doubts Remain on Quality, Access

*I think it shows just how retrograde the healthcare situation in this country is that the argument of whether the glass is half empty or half full – and I come down on the former side of that ledger – is even taking place, don’t you think?

And a major reason why it is is the complicity of groups like MoveOn who are basically shills for whatever policy the Democratic Party pursues, while maintaining a facade of independence.

Had there been a united and unshakable front for single payer, we might not have achieved it at this point, but this charade may not have been politically feasible, making for the stark choice of true universal coverage, or maintaining the deadly status quo.

And perhaps that would lay the groundwork for a real victory.

Or not.  The bottom line is that once again popular discontent has been funneled into the fool’s game of “reform”, and we have to find a way to make it clear that these half steps invariably take us off the path we need to follow.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/29/roundtable_supreme_court_ruling_ensures_coverage

As Supreme Court Affirms Patchwork U.S. Healthcare System, Vermont Pushes Ahead with Single Payer

*This piece takes a less sanguine view of Vermont’s situation, and DN! would have done well to have followed suit.

Can Vermonters Win Single Payer? by Steve Early Labor Notes   http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/22-7

And I think Potter’s “political realism” is an invitation to incrementalism, the results of which we’re all too familiar with.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/29/as_supreme_court_affirms_patchwork_us

6/28

Fukushima Radiation at Record High
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/28-1
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Rhode Island Enacts Nation’s First ‘Homeless Bill of Rights’
– Common Dreams staff

*Now the question is

Will enforcement find a home?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/28-4
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‘Medicare for All’ Must Remain the Goal
by Don McCanne, MD

*We can settle for a moldy half loaf

Or we can work for the day when we run the bakery.

Is the risk worth the reward?

Ask those who won’t get even a stale slice.

At some point you have to piss

Or get flushed down the pot.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/28-7
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‘Monopoly’: Calling the Global Financial Sector What It Is
by Sasha Breger Bush

*The dice are loaded in this deadly boardroom game

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/28-3
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Center for Biological Diversity
Obama Plan Expands Risky Offshore Drilling in Arctic, Gulf of Mexico

*That sucking sound is the last drop of oil being drained from this planet

And our chances of survival going with it

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/28-8
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Earthjustice
Deal Reached on Transportation Bill Excludes Dangerous Coal Ash Provision Senate rejects House plan to prevent EPA from ever regulating toxic coal ash pollution

*You can call it “give and take” or “horse trading”

I’m thinking more along the lines of something horses do, rather than what’s done with them

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/28-9
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Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Taxpayers paid $6.2 million in Farm Subsidies to Members of Congress or Their Family Members

*Pork

It’s what’s for dinner in the Congressional Dining Room

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/28-10
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FAIR Blog
Newsweek’s ‘New Media’ List Resembles Old Media

*It’s pretty obvious with whom Newsweek’s at war … and not at war … isn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/28/newsweeks-new-media-list-resembles-old-media/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Roberts Upholds “Obamacare”: Corportists United?

*With victories like this

Who needs defeats?

http://www.accuracy.org/release/roberts-upholds-obamacare-corportists-united/
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Campaign for Peace and Democracy
This Sunday – March Against Sanctions on Iran!

If the newsletter link below doesn’t work for you, check the Facebook page for the event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/313413165412632/

http://www.mailermailer.com/x?function=view&c=137240643u-dc1688f4%2a923018x-8dab3529
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Mexico Votes: Will Occupy-Inspired, Student-Fueled Movement Give Manuel López Obrador an Upset Win?

*López Obrador looks to be a poseur, so as with our electoral politics, this appears to be about limiting the damage, rather than a true change.

I’m sure the US can “work with” any of these candidates.

And off this intel, I need to correct a comment from yesterday.  I said Nieto hadn’t purchased his positive press, when in fact he did buy the hype, so to speak.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/28/mexico_votes_will_occupy_inspired_student

Amidst Holder Contempt Vote, New Investigation Undermines Key GOP Claims on “Fast and Furious”

*I’m not sure what to make of this.  It may be that this wasn’t the morally repugnant operation I’d gathered it was, but I’d like to see an analysis of Eban’s info I could put some trust in.

As for being some dark conspiracy against “gun rights”, this is another attempt to play on the paranoia of gun nuts and Tea Baggers.  That this administration has any interest in effective gun control is the height of fantasy.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/28/amidst_holder_contempt_vote_new_investigation

“Escape Fire”: As Supreme Court Rules on Healthcare, Film Tackles U.S. Inefficiency, Spiraling Costs

*Here’s an “out-of-the-box idea” for the military …

Stop turning youngsters into monsters to serve imperial ends, and you’ll see your healthcare costs plummet.

Your charge is defense, not dominion.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/28/escape_fire_as_supreme_court_rules

6/27

UK Accuses Israel of Violating Rights of Palestinian Children
Israel sees Palestinian children as ‘potential terrorists’, Foreign Office panel finds
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/27-7
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Leading Intellectuals Call for ‘Global Democracy’ to Challenge Corporate Globalization
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/27-1
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Mexican Media Scandal Hits Tumultuous Presidential Election
Report reveals history of secretive dealings between presidential frontrunner and predominant broadcaster
– Common Dreams staff

*You can’t buy positive coverage like this.

And apparently, Nieto didn’t have to.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/27-2
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Class War at the Supreme Court
by Harold Meyerson

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27-1
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Who is Bankrolling the Fight Against “Obamacare?”
by Brendan Fischer

*What if all this filthy lucre was aimed at defeating a truly just system of universal healthcare?

Sorry … lost in my daydreams again.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27-7
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In Ohio, the People Push Back on Fracking
Tired of waiting for their leaders to ban the destructive drilling practice, citizens passed their own resolution—and took over the Statehouse to make it heard.
by Joshua Kahn Russell

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27
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Old Monopoly Tricks in the New Media Age
by Tim Karr

*Old wine in a new bottleneck

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27-4
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Desert Mirage? Supreme Court Ruling May Bring Little Relief in Arizona
by Randall Amster

*Does anyone else see the irony inherent in the term “lawful contact”?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27-2
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Egypt’s Revolution Will Only Be Secured by Spreading It
by Seumas Milne

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/27-0
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Earthjustice
New EPA Data Show Coal Ash Problem Much Worse
Number of coal ash ponds nationwide increases by over 60%

*Considering the feckless regulation of coal ash, and the fact that the information about it had to be obtained via FOIA, it’s not at all clear to me that the EPA would act according to its charge even if it wasn’t the subject of congressional attempts to hamstring it.

They’re doing a pretty goddamn good job of it on their lonesome, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/27-9
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Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Equal Protection Class-Action Suit Filed Over Crime Against Nature Statute

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/27-7
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Citizens United, Part 2? Supreme Court Overturns Montana Law Banning Corporate Spending on Elections

*I think there’s a problem here with this narrow focus on a constitutional amendment.

Corporate money was rife in politics before Citizens United.  The ruling just magnified the influence.  If an amendment isn’t combined with a truly effective system of public campaign funding, its passage will be a largely symbolic victory.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/27/citizens_united_part_2_supreme_court

Dark Money: Inside the Final Frontier of Unlimited Political Spending (Part 2)

*Some useful intel here, especially regarding Bopp’s use of “cultural” issues to attack campaign finance laws, but as per usual with a DN! piece, there are caveats.

One is Bauerlein’s poverty defense of the corpress’ enabling of this holy war by their lack of coverage.  To her credit, Goodman brings up the conflict of interest inherent in accepting this tsunami of ad money, but then doesn’t press the question.

And Kroll’s acceptance of the Democrats’ argument for playing the super PAC game shows, at best, a level of naiveté that has no place in serious journalism.

Dear Misleader was receiving money hand over fist from Wall Street in 2008, and it was pure posturing to talk about principled campaign funding, as should be clear from developments since.

There’s more than “a little bit of irony” here, don’t you think?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/27/dark_money_inside_the_final_frontier

6/26

Seismologists Warn Japan Against Nuclear Restart
– Common Dreams staff

*Flirting with disaster?

More like full on coitus

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26-0
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Small Town Police Amass ‘Battlefield-Grade Arsenals’ in New Federal Program
– Common Dreams staff

*Toys for Totalitarians

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26-9
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Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic: Report
‘War on Drugs is a failure’ says Global Commission on Drug Policy
– Common Dreams staff

*Left out of this is how the War on Drugs serves as a stalking horse for US machinations in other countries, and as a rationale for the repression of persons of color domestically.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26-6
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Taliban Leader Bans Polio Vaccinations in Protest at US Drone Campaign
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26
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BP Gulf Oil Disaster Further Choked Long-Attacked Wetlands
New study reveals BP oil doubled erosion rates in parts of Louisiana marshes, already being lost at alarming rate
– Common Dreams staff

*A disaster in perpetuity

Perpetuated by another, in the guise of US energy policy

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26-7
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Amazon Indians Occupy Belo Monte Dam Site in Brazil
by Gabriel Elizondo
Al-Jazeera

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/26-1
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Losing Strength? An Alternative Vision of Spain’s Indignados Movement
A silent revolution emerges from the underground. Far from losing strength, decentralization has allowed 15-M to become ever more dynamic.
by Marta Sánchez

*A Spanish lesson that mustn’t be lost in translation

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26-7
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The Evil of Our Interventionist Wars
Iraq, Libya, Syria: We have no right to play God
by Jonathan Cook

*I think Cook makes some vital points here, as well as some at which I look askance, one being embodied in his remark, “If we owe other societies struggling for freedom anything, it is our solidarity, not access to our government’s arsenals.”

There are many struggling against these repressive regimes that do not want Western intervention, from Syria to Iran.  They understand the deadly game being played, and the outcome should it play out as the US and its allies wish.

I also see a salient omission in not speaking to Gaddafi’s and Assad’s complicity with the West, an echo of the airbrushing out of bin Laden’s sponsorship before he became Public Enemy Number One.

Gaddafi had been “rehabilitated” to some extent, no longer the “crazy raghead”, until it was judged that he’d outlived his usefulness.  Assad participated in the outsourcing of torture for the Shrubberite regime.

That’s beneficial back story to know, to my mind.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26
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Who Stole Helen Keller?
by Ruth Shagoury

*If you can’t delete someone from history

Dissemblingly deify them

(See King, Martin Luther, Jr.)

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26-1
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Radioactive Conflicts of Interest
by Robert Alvarez

*Trust us

We’re experts

(At deceit)

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/26-0
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Friends of the Earth
Protests Challenge Obama Administration’s Push to Rubber-Stamp the Keystone XL Pipeline Southern Segment
More than 117,000 activists sign petition calling on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to intervene

*Relying on anyone in a prominent position in this administration to be “a hero” is the height of folly.  Jackson won’t stand in the way of something of this magnitude, just as was the case when the original plan was being pushed.

What’s the definition of doing something over and over, and expecting a different result?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/26-3
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FAIR Blog
This Just In: Hillary Clinton’s Scrunchie

*Well, first I searched on “scrunchie” to make sure I knew just what one was … and I did.

But how do you “brandish” one?

Mme Clinton has brandished many things during her tenure, which “unplugged” many folks’ hopes for justice.

But a hair accessory is what the corpress finds worthy of note.

It begs the question …

Is there a need for political satire?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/26/this-just-in-hillary-clintons-scrunchie/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Rwanda Denies Sponsoring War Criminals in Congo; U.S. Charged with Covering Up at U.N.

*“If the United States’ administration is to avoid the mistakes made by the administration during the 1994 Rwandan genocide … “

Make no mistake

There’s nothing unintentional about US actions now, or then

http://www.accuracy.org/release/rwanda-denies-sponsoring-war-criminals-in-congo-u-s-charged-with-covering-up-at-u-n/

“Show Me Your Papers”-Based Immigration Policy

http://www.accuracy.org/release/show-me-your-papers-based-immigration-policy/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
In Mixed Ruling, Supreme Court Overturns Parts of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, Upholds “Show Me Your Papers”

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/26/in_mixed_ruling_supreme_court_overturns

Juvenile Justice: Plaintiffs’ Lawyer, Victim’s Father Hail Rejection of Mandatory Life Terms for Kids

*Khamisa’s story illustrates our capacity to engage our humanity even in the midst of great tragedy and the accompanying impulse for revenge.  I hope others are inspired to follow in her footsteps.

And I think this is an issue that goes beyond age.  A life sentence may be just for a heinous crime, but the possibility of parole is society’s signal that it believes in redemption, just as Khamisa.

If it does, then the entire “justice” system has to be transformed, to be reoriented toward rehabilitation, rather than retribution.  Having said that, it must be made plain that revenge often serves as a facade for repression.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/26/juvenile_justice_plaintiff_lawyer_victims_father

Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Historic Egypt Election Outweighed by Continued Dominance of Military Rule

*A puppet on a short string

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/26/sharif_abdel_kouddous_historic_egypt_election

6/25

Studies: Rising Oceans to Wreak Havoc this Century
Separate studies show dramatic sea level increases along Pacific and Atlantic coasts in US
– Common Dreams staff

*A flood of facts is dammed by the deniers of reality

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/25-0
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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law
Today’s ruling rejects 3 provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070, allows for racial profiing provision
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/25-1
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Life Without Parole for Juveniles
– Common Dreams staff

*Some may say that life without parole should be reserved for the worst of the worst, but I’d contend our humanity obligates us to reject such a label for anyone.

Save those whose power and wealth ensures that they will never have to worry about that or any other sentence for their crimes.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/25-3
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Koch Brothers Hope to Raise Even More Funds at Secretive Right-Wing Gathering
While Romney has his own confab for the super-rich, oil baron brothers hunker down in California with wealthy conservatives
by Ed Pilkington
The Guardian/UK

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/25
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Yes, There Is an Alternative to Capitalism: Mondragon Shows the Way
Why are we told a broken system that creates vast inequality is the only choice? Spain’s amazing co-op is living proof otherwise
by Richard Wolff

*Mondragon may be an improvement over the usual structure of a capitalist enterprise, and I don’t mean to diminish that (although I’m sure it isn’t a “paradise”, and would’ve liked to have learned something about its contradictions), but it is still a capitalist enterprise.

It engages in competition with other businesses with the goal of making a profit, and those are essential characteristics of capitalism, aren’t they?

My point is that a true alternative to capitalism is a system that is based on cooperation rather than competition, that elicits the efforts of each person according to their talents, and distributes the fruits of those efforts to each person according to their needs.

We can argue till hell freezes over – or till the oceans boil over – the benefits of something less than that, but let’s call this what it is, and not label it something else.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/25-4
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Organic Consumers Association Challenges Logic of American Medical Association’s Position on GMO Labeling
AMA votes in favor of pre-market testing for GMOs, but against mandatory GMO labeling

*Just what the doctorers ordered

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/25-0
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Supreme Court: Money in Politics Doesn’t Matter; Montanans Disagree

*I guess when you yourself are devoid of humanity, it’s not difficult to view corporations as human beings

http://www.accuracy.org/release/supreme-court-squashes-montana-attempt-to-deal-with-money-in-politics/

“Tragic Week in Paraguay”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/tragic-week-in-paraguay/ .

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Coup in Paraguay: Will U.S. Join Latin America in Condemning Ouster of President Fernando Lugo?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/25/coup_in_paraguay_will_us_join

6/22

High Court Produces a Politics Of, By and For Corporations
– Common Dreams staff

*A salient starboard list to the scales of justice

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/22-2
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Can Vermonters Win Single Payer?
by Steve Early
Labor Notes

*Solidarity forever!

(As long as we get *our* way)

And I don’t know Oxfeld and Richter from Eve, but they’re either whistling past the graveyard …

Or helping lug the shovels.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/22-7
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Call for Ray Bradbury to be Honored with ‘451’ Internet Censored Message
A new status code to reflect internet censorship could be named after Ray Bradbury’s most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451
– Common Dreams staff

*Book burning’s so passé

Cybercensorship’s the new dystopian frontier

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/22-4
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Nowhere, Nothing, Nada: Rio+20 Draft Text is 283 Paragraphs of Fluff
Why ‘sustained growth’ is the exact opposite of ‘sustainability’
by George Monbiot

*It is a tale told by an idiot bent on self-destruction

Devoid of sincere sound and righteous fury

Signifying nothing save utter insanity

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/22-5
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With New Burden on Unions, Court Tips the Balance Toward Corporations
by John Nichols

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/22-0
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Food & Water Watch
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio Takes 20 Steps Back
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe

*The lavish farce brought to you by The Corporatocracy

The Corporatocracy

Subverting the public interest since …

Well, since forever

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/22-0
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National Whistleblowers Center
Justice Department Takes Hit in “War on Whistleblowers”

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/22-1
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FAIR Blog
When ‘Factchecking’ Means Telling Your Colleagues They’re Liars

*Now, if Kessler were talking about the hypocrisy of criticism about outsourcing …

Backdoor Talks on Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Aim to Globalize Corporatocracy by Michelle Chen

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21-10

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http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/22/when-factchecking-means-telling-your-colleagues-theyre-liars/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
40th Anniversary of Title IX: Not Just Sports

http://www.accuracy.org/release/40th-anniversary-of-title-ix-not-just-sports/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Torture in U.S. Prisons? Historic Senate Hearing Takes Up Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Toll

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/22/torture_in_us_prisons_historic_senate

From Death Row to Exoneration: Former Texas Prisoner Anthony Graves on Surviving Solitary Confinement

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/22/from_death_row_to_exoneration_fmr

Dark Money: Will Secret Spending by a Group of Billionaires Decide the 2012 Election? (Pt. 1)

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/22/dark_money_will_secret_spending_by

6/21

More than 10,000 High School Chilean Students March for ‘Free Education’
Protests turn violent as secondary school students calling for ‘end to profiteering’ clash with Chilean police
– Common Dreams staff

*Learning the lessons of la lucha

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/21-1
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Strike! UK Doctors Take Day Off in Austerity Protest Austerity attacks on pensions, retirement age
– Common Dreams staff

*Medical leave due to sick schemes

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/21-6
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Death Knell for ACTA?
4th European Parliament committee votes against controversial copyright treaty
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/21-5
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Backdoor Talks on Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Aim to Globalize Corporatocracy
by Michelle Chen

*Call it “The Screw Deal”

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21-10
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Obama Channels Cheney’s Geopolitical Energy Policy
Four Ways the President Is Pursuing Cheney’s Geopolitics of Global Energy
by Michael T. Klare

*Klare writes a lengthy piece which leaves no doubt as to the continuity of imperial designs from administration to administration …

And then obviates it at the end.

He states that there’s no evidence that Obama is replicating Cheney’s strategy (and let’s be clear, while tactics may change, the overarching goal of dominance predates Cheney by a couple of centuries), but he just spent the many preceding paragraphs laying out a convincing rationale for just that.

So what’s “surprising” about the current regime’s actions?

And it’s interesting that there’s no mention of Aghanistan’s role in this strategy, given that a primary reason for the war was to facilitate the creation of the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) natural gas pipeline.

This is left out of many analyses of the war, isn’t it?

I think the chilling image accompanying this article sums things up more accurately than Klare has.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21-6
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Hope Dies at Guantanamo
by Marjorie Cohn

*Welcome to the dark star chamber

The Orwellian “presumption of regularity” renders habeas a corpse

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21-3
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Chicago Teachers Union Takes the Upper Hand with Overwhelming Strike Vote
by Kari Lydersen

*I wonder just who considers Emanuel “far to the left” of Walker, when he’s engaged in, among other outrages, the same union busting devolution of public education?

Likely not the teachers, or the students and parents who suss the strategy.

Likely not the city residents destined to lose or pay through the nose for formerly public services should his privatizations plans become reality.

And likely not the folks who came to Chicago for the NATO confab, and were met by cops decked out like Star Wars Stormtroopers and their latest tech toy, the LRAD.

Perhaps having a self-serving sellout of a union “leader” on the same podium qualifies?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21-5
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Only the Military Are Guaranteed Victory in this Egyptian Election
by Robert Fisk

*The West may “bellow”

But we will surely know it to be

A protestation full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/21
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Food & Water Watch
Senate-Passed Farm Bill Misses the Mark on Improving Food System
Statement by Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter

*Big Ag plows under food fairness

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/21-13
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NARAL Pro-Choice America
Anti-Choice Lawmakers Continue Their War on Women
Committee rejects effort to help women in Washington, D.C., passes far-reaching ban on insurance coverage of abortion

*You’d think that Dear Misleader, simply as a resident of the city, might have something to say about this.

But that would be a principled action.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/21-5
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Earth Summit: Questioning the “Green Economy”

*You can’t see the forest for the fabricated trees

http://www.accuracy.org/release/earth-summit-questioning-the-green-economy/
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FAIR Blog
Aaron Sorkin, Media Critic

*While splitting the difference is one tactic for obscuring the facts, it’s relegated to instances in which to engage in outright propaganda would be too obvious.  Thus the “he said, she said” false balance is employed to confuse the issue.

But many other times, such as reportage on the various facets of US policy toward Iran, we witness State Department stenography.

There’s more than one arrow in the corpress quiver.

And they’re all aimed squarely at our ability to separate truth from treachery.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/21/aaron-sorkin-media-critic/

ABC: European Elections Matter, Mostly to American 401(k)s

*The use of the possessive adjective here is interesting, isn’t it?

It switches from “your” to “our” and back again.

Might this be an effort to effect a sense of camaradie among this host and these reporters (and by extension the network which employs them), and the “ordinary Americans” who have 401 (k)s?

As pointed out above, they’re not so ordinary, but that’s the myth.

And the other myth here may be that the corpress are just like you, and thus worthy of your trust.

What do you think?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/21/abc-european-elections-matter-mostly-to-american-401ks/ .

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Nigerian Activist Nnimmo Bassey: Rio+20 Summit Will Not Get Us Out of Environmental Crisis

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/21/nigerian_activist_nnimmo_bassey_rio_20

6/20

Change.org Drops Michelle Rhee Group Under Pressure From Progressives
by Ryan Grim
Huffington Post

*”Change” is a tricky word …

Even when it’s not associated with Dear Misleader.

(Although his spirit is present, isn’t it?)

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/20-0
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Report: Public Sector Austerity Crushing Economies Locally and Nationally
– Common Dreams staff

*Again, we have to look at the privatization angle, don’t we?

If the public sector can’t do the job, what’s the alternative?

And we’ll pay the price …

In more ways than one.

As our lives become less private, our vital infrastructure becomes more so.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/20-4
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Endgame for Assange? The Politics Behind Ecuador’s Asylum Offer
by Nikolas Kozloff

*I think this makes clear the need to look askance at any political “leader” purporting to stand for freedom and justice.  At the risk of repeating myself, pedestals are inherently unstable objects.

But the world’s a complex place, isn’t it, and anyone trying to do what’s right has to navigate its imperfections and contradictions while maintaining their principles as best they can.

What we can always do is be honest about that, and don’t pretend those contradictions don’t exist.

Compromise may be a last resort.

Duplicity should never be an option.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/20-5
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Why Jamie Dimon and his Wall Street Buddies Need to Pay a Robin Hood tax
by Rose Ann DeMoro

*I’ve never really understood the strategy behind pushing for such a tiny tax of half a percent.  If this is intended to be a “sales tax”, why shouldn’t it be commensurate with its models, at five percent or higher?

And would it really curb reckless speculation?  Has it done so in other countries?  I may be exposing my ignorance, but I don’t imagine it would have that effect even at the higher level.

If I’m right about that, there’s no need to make unsubstantiated claims.  The unarguable benefits are obvious.

I’m just saying that if you’re not going to try to close the casino, you should at least be upping the ante.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/20-10
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Message from the Street in Mexico: ‘The G20 is Illegitimate!’
by Lacy MacAuley

*You can’t reform rot

You can only replace it

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/20-8
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Food & Water Watch
Drastic Cuts Threaten Future of U.S. Water Infrastructure

*Think this has anything to do with privatizing water services?

Make certain gummint can’t do the job, then “Presto Chango!”

The black magic of the market fills the void.

For those who can pay for it.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/20-3
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Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Report: Large-Scale Water Pipeline Trend Threatens Western Water Supplies and Rates
Most projects fail to assess climate change impacts, water supply reliability and cost-effective alternatives, putting millions of people at risk of long-term water supply vulnerability

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/20-5
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FAIR Blog
Turning Down a Free Palace for Everyone Requires a Very Good Reason

*I thought the whole point of creating art was to reach as wide an audience as possible with one’s work.

Certainly an artist should be able to make a decent living from that effort.

Something tells me David Lowery and most others who kvetch about copyright violations are in no danger on that score.

I’d venture to say he might well live in one of those palaces, at least compared to what the vast majority of other folks inhabit.

Of course, in a economic system not based on profit, this wouldn’t be an issue, would it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/19/turning-down-a-free-palace-for-everyone-requires-a-very-good-reason/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
A Coup in Cairo: As Muslim Brotherhood Claims Election Victory, Military Strips President of Power

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/20/a_coup_in_cairo_as_muslim

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks Seeks Asylum in Ecuador in Attempt to Avoid Extradition to U.S.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/20/julian_assange_of_wikileaks_seeks_asylum

6/19

Furious Greenpeace Moves to ‘War Footing’ at Rio+20
by Jo Confino
The Guardian/UK

*We’ll see what comes from this, but my question is why anyone would think there was the slightest possibility of anything meaningful coming out of this PR exercise in the first place.

But that’s just me getting all empirical again.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/19-7
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Japanese Gov’t Hid Radiation Information from Public
Japan withheld US-provided radiation maps in days after Fukushima disaster
– Common Dreams staff

*Orwellian to the nuclear reactor core

“We are determined to make further efforts to restore people’s trust in nuclear policy and safety regulations.”

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/19-3 .

UN Investigator Blasts US Drone Program
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/19-0
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The Earth Cannot Be Saved by Hope and Billionaires
World leaders at Earth summits seem more interested in protecting the interests of plutocratic elites than our environment
by George Monbiot

*I try to be an empiricist, and that mitigates against hope.

But whatever hope there may be is not a blessing bestowed, but a struggle engaged.

Homes have to be built.  Crops have to be raised.

And hope arises from work, not wishes.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/19
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At the Crossroads Between the ‘Green Economy’ and Rights of Nature
by Pablo Solón

*Give these biospheric bonds a AAA rating

Avarice

Arrogance

and Annihilation

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/19-6
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Low-Wage Nation: Poverty and Inequality Are Threatening Our Democracy
by Peter Edelman

*Another of those incredibly frustrating articles where everything adds up …

Until the author gives his total.

The “corporate bottom line” is precisely what threatens what passes for democracy in this country.  Edelman, as so many other good liberals, can’t seem to decouple the profit system from his vision of the just and fair.  He still clings to the delusion that by making capitalism “better”, it can be made good.

As we say down South, that dog won’t hunt.

Reading pieces like this is akin to watching a YouTube video where someone has paired affecting imagery with an inspiring song.  I’m always looking for these for the Veterans for Peace public access program I work on.

So I think I’ve found something that fits the bill, and might even be tearing up, then right at the end, up pops some hagiographic image of Dear Misleader or JFK, or some other moral malapropism.

It can drive you mad.

And these days, it’s not that long a trip.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/19-4
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The Folly of Mindless Science
by Alice Slater

*The moral madness to their scientific method

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/19-0
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How the Obama Administration Is Stalling Its Way to War with Iran
Deep-Sixing the China Option
by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

*For all the solid intel extant, why do the authors insist on placing this in the context of “reversing America’s decline”?

As long as the US aspires to imperial domination, as it has for over two centuries, shouldn’t that be welcomed?

I suppose you could make the argument that what’s meant is that an American foreign policy that respected other nations’ rights would be a transformative change, but the comparison to Nixon’s China policy would seem to obviate that reasoning, as it had nothing to do with anything other than bowing to the inevitable regarding the Chinese government’s stability, while continuing to wreak death and destruction around the world.

Two and two aren’t adding up to four here, are they?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/19-9
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National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)
Broad Coalition of Advocates Acts to Oppose “Drone Zone” Border Bill
Over 50 diverse groups send strong letter to Congress opposing measure

*Crossing the line on the borders

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/19-6
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Environmental Working Group (EWG)
EWG Releases 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Researchers Highlight Pesticides in Produce, Baby Food, Tap Water

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/19-5
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Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
End Prisons’ Brutalizing Use of Isolation for Unconscionable Periods of Time, Lawyers Say
Human Rights Group Submits Testimony to Congressional Hearing on the Consequences of Solitary Confinement

*”If you wish to know the true morality of a country, observe how it treats its prisoners.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/19-4
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Ramarley Graham, Unarmed Black Teen Slain by NYPD, Remembered at Weekly Vigils Outside Bronx Home

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/19/ramarley_graham_unarmed_black_teen_slain

Ramarley Graham’s Mother Speaks Out: NYPD Cop Who Killed My Son Should Be Charged with Murder

*Breathing while black

Until they take your breath away

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/19/ramarley_grahams_mother_speaks_out_nypd

From Youth to Elderly, NYPD’s “Stop-and-Frisk” Targets People of Color Across Multiple Generations

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/19/from_youth_to_elderly_nypds_stop

Stop “Stop-and-Frisk”: Bronx Great-Grandmother Joyce Williams, Organizer Thenjiwe McHarris Speak Out

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/19/stop_stop_and_frisk_bronx_great

6/18

Socialists Win Complete Majority of French Parliament in Historic Elections
Promised reforms include a softening of Germany-led austerity drive and increased taxes for banks and corporations
– Common Dreams staff

*”[T]o temper its campaign spending promises” …

“Socialists”, eh?

Truth in labeling …

Oy.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/18
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Major Design Flaws Uncovered at Calif. Nuclear Plant; Watchdog Groups Petition for Closure
– Common Dreams staff

*There’s a difference between being asleep at the wheel

And closing your eyes to the dangers on the road ahead

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/18-3
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G-20 Protesters Call for Alternatives to Austerity
G20 to fixate on Europe and ‘forget about the rest of the world,’ say protesters
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/18-2
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Republicans Love Big Government (So Long as It Serves Big Business)
by Dean Baker

*Of course, the “security” apparatus – aka the Military Industrial Complex ™ – is the ultimate example of Big Gummint, in both whom it serves and what it does.

And it, like those mentioned here, isn’t solely a conservative creature, but a quintessentially bipartisan project.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-10
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Greenwash+20
by Kaisa Kosonen

*I think Kosonen undermines her message at the end, by praising corps for practices which may be beneficial in isolation, but don’t reflect those followed elsewhere, either in the area of environmental protection, or others such as labor rights.

In that, Greenpeace, despite its “edgy” rep, is much like other mainstream enviro groups such as NRDC and Sierra.

All need to walk their own talk, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-9
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Occupy Will Be Back
by Chris Hedges

*My thoughts on one aspect of movement building …

(If these seems familiar, I’ve taken part of what I wrote yesterday in regard to another piece, as I think it’s equally applicable here.)

Very little attention is paid to how movements mirror their calls for respect, honesty and fairness in the wider world in their internal dynamics.  The concept of critical solidarity to me applies not only between and among groups, but within them, by committing to a camaraderie that leaves no doubt as to the value and the valuing of each member, while promoting honest and open criticism not meant to demean, but to bolster the efforts of the individual, and the collective.  

Aside from being simply the principled thing to do, this is a imperative element to the success of any struggle, to my mind, and one that has been sorely lacking from every group I’ve worked with, or attempted to work with.  

Individuals within those groups may have been better attuned to this necessity, but there was no overarching commitment to it, and I think that plays a major role in the inability to build a wider movement. 

We have to provide a milieu that is welcoming and supportive, while also challenging, and if we can do that, I’d like to believe it would be attractive to a great many folks who want to do something meaningful, and be around others with the same orientation.  

And, dare I say it, enjoy the experience.  

And we must keep in mind that all we do is set against a backdrop of a planet on the verge of collapse.  The “long struggle” is on a short timeline, and we won’t get a chance to pick up the pieces should we fail.  

As the sign says …   There is no Planet B.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-0
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Mubarak’s 300,000-Strong Army of Thugs Remains in Business Despite Elections
The military has played a shrewd game – insisting Mubarak go on trial while realigning supporters to preserve their privileges
by Robert Fisk

*Meet the new boss

Literally the same as the old boss

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-8
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The 5-Step Conservative Plan to Save Public Education
by Paul Buchheit

*Assembly line education is good business

Invest your child

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/18-5
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Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Critical Cables, Wires at Nuclear Plants Are At Risk of Failure
NRDC Sees Need to Better Monitor Them, Asks NRC

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/18-7
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Earthjustice
EPA Rule Leaves Gulf Coast Communities Burdened With More Toxic Pollution
Community groups’ lawsuit challenges EPA’s weakened protections against toxic air pollution from polyvinyl chloride facilities

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/18-6
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Protests at G20 Summit

*Shut off in their own world

And shutting down ours

http://www.accuracy.org/release/protests-at-g20-summit/

French and Greek Elections

*Let’s hope things are moving in the right direction, but the French Socialists will have to be closely watched and constantly pushed by the people, and it remains to be seen whether Syriza is a paper tiger, until it actually has its hands on the reins.

Should that occur, I dearly hope my caution will be found to be unfounded.

http://www.accuracy.org/release/french-and-greek-elections/
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FAIR Blog
Nuclear Power and the Not-So-Divided Japanese Public

*What’s “deeply divided” here is the corpress’ spin cycling from reality.

But that’s to be expected when “freedom of the press” is interpreted to mean being free to ignore the facts, wouldn’t you say?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/18/nuclear-power-and-the-not-so-divided-japanese-public/

Pakistan’s Weird Media

*Does the irony drip?

Or gush?

Perhaps “ooze” is the optimal term.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/18/pakistans-weird-media/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
After Years of Struggle, DREAM Act Activists Hail Monumental Victory for Immigrants Living in Fear

*Nothing about the political calculus behind this, or how this works to the benefit of the military and business, or any consideration of all those who are unable to take advantage of such a restrictive policy.

And you have to ask why, don’t you?

Hopefully this is to follow, but I won’t put scared money on it.

That said, for those who are eligible, and have been forced to live in the shadows for so long, there has to be a sense of relief and release, regardless of the motivations behind this.

My fear, though, is that this half a loaf may give cover to those who would bar the rest from the bakery.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/18/after_years_of_struggle_dream_act

6/17

Some Lessons of 1989’s East European Revolutions
Reflections of a U.S. Peace Activist
by Joanne Landy

*Obviously there are many aspects to this discussion, but I think two central issues are how movements mirror their calls for respect, honesty and fairness in the wider world in their internal dynamics.  The concept of critical solidarity to me applies not only between and among groups, but within them, by committing to a camaraderie that leaves no doubt as to the value and the valuing of each member, while promoting honest and open criticism not meant to demean, but to bolster the efforts of the individual, and the collective.

Aside from being simply the principled thing to do, this is a imperative element to the success of any struggle, to my mind, and one that has been sorely lacking from every group I’ve worked with, or attempted to work with.

Individuals within those groups may have been better attuned to this necessity, but there was no overarching commitment to it, and I think that plays a major role in the inability to build a wider movement.  We have to provide a milieu that is welcoming and supportive, while also challenging, and if we can do that, I’d like to believe it would be attractive to a great many folks who want to do something meaningful, and be around others with the same orientation.

And, dare I say it, enjoy the experience.

The other issue regards party building.  I think we have to ask ourselves, just what is a party?  Does it have to have an electoral element?  If so, how do we operate in a principled fashion in an system utterly hostile to the concept?  When does “political pragmatism” become a failure of principle?

I don’t have the answers, but I do know that all this is against a backdrop of a planet on the verge of collapse.  The “long struggle” is on a short timeline, and we won’t get a chance to pick up the pieces should we fail.

As the sign says …

There is no Planet B.

http://www.newpol.org/node/632
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Is the Secret War in Yemen and Somalia Secret No Longer?
Obama openly described ‘direct action’ – military operations – in both Yemen and Somalia.
by Chris Woods
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

*The only transparency here is of Dear Misleader’s desire to do the badass boogie, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/17
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A Parable of Imperial Self-Confidence and Mastery Gone to Hell
by Tom Engelhardt

*The empire strikes out

And may take the whole ball game with it

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/16-2
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Israel’s Anti-migrant Violence Fueled by Racial and Economic Segregation
by Michelle Chen

*The poor will always be with us

As long as the rich can keep them apart

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/17-5
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A Syriza Victory Will Mark the Beginning of the End of Greece’s Tragedy
A vote for the left today will drastically change the austerity policies that have created a humanitarian crisis
by Costas Douzinas and Joanna Bourke

*This comes across in some measure as cheerleading, and I’m always leery of unalloyed praise for a party.

I hope the authors have it right, and certainly if I were a Greek, I’d vote for Syriza.

If they do emerge victorious, time will tell whether or not their principles will devolve into “pragmatism”.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/17-3

6/15

Walmart PR Officer Posed as Journalist to Spy on Union Workers
Public relations officer attended events and interviewed workers as student journalist with false name
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/15-3
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Revolution is the Only Way to Save Egypt
No matter who wins the election, without acts of sacrifice guided by conscience no real change happens
by Khalid Abdalla

*And they call it “democracy”

There

And here

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/15-9
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Vaginas Aren’t Dirty, Even in Michigan
A Michigan politician was banned from a debate after saying ‘vagina’ in a discussion about women’s health. Whatever next?
by Naomi McAuliffe

*What a bunch of male genital organs of higher vertebrates, carrying the duct for the transfer of sperm during copulation.

I realize I’m taking a chance with “sperm” …

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/15-12
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Latino Victory and the Imperatives of Political Pressure
Like LGBT activists, Latinos continously pressured Obama, and now have an important victory to show for it
by Glenn Greenwald

*So, will Latino, immigrant and LGBTQ “leaders” now “simply stay quiet and cheer blindly for Obama”, now that they’ve gotten half a loaf?

Or will they unite with all the others who are being bludgeoned by the bipartisan battering ram, and call these “victories” what they are – buyoffs?

Single issue advocacy, as imperative as those issues may be, yields isolated gains.

Our strength lies not in doting on the “I”s

But in cross-fertilizing the “We”s.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/15-8
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10 Things You Should Know About the Rio+20 Earth Summit
by Janet Redman

*A disastrous color scheme

Greenwashing and the black “magic of the market”

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/15-5
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Food & Water Watch
During Green Economy Negotiations Leading Up To Rio +20, Prestigious Water Institute Aids Pepsi Bluewashing
Joint statement of Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch

*Green, blue and white washing

The colors change

The complicity remains the same

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/15-9
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Environmental Working Group (EWG)
FCC to Finally Review Cell Phone Standards

*An end to phoning it in?

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/15-8
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ACLU
Obama Administration Gives Lifeline to DREAMers
ACLU Welcomes Action and Calls on Congress to Pass the DREAM Act

*Interesting that he waits until the middle of a reelection campaign to do this.

Well, maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word, when you’re playing with people’s lives for your political benefit, is it?

And what about all the immigrants who don’t fit in these narrow categories, but deserve to have the threat of deportation lifted and a path to citizenship raised?

As for the DREAM Act, of course “military commanders” and “business executives” are high on it.  It’s a pipeline for more cannon fodder and low wage workers they won’t have to worry about losing to deportation.

It’s a dream for them, no doubt.

And the ACLU doesn’t see fit to mention any of the above.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/15-1
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FAIR Blog
Millionaire Pundit: Public Sector Pensions are the Real Threat

*Maybe that old saying should be changed to:

The poor will always be used as an excuse to ensure that the poor are always with us.

I wonder how much of those speaker’s fees go to help “the poor, the young, students and average citizens”.

You probably don’t have to be terribly good at math to figure it out.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/15/millionaire-pundit-public-sector-pensions-are-the-real-threat/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
A Judicial Coup in Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood-Controlled Parliament Dissolved, Military Gains Power

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/15/a_judicial_coup_in_egypt_muslim

Ralph Nader: 30 Million Workers Would Benefit from Raising Minimum Wage to 1968 Level

*21 sponsors …

And 76 members of the Progressive Caucus.

So what’s the definition of “progressive”?

This isn’t about cowardice.

It’s about collusion.

You can’t explain decades of inaction on something that couldn’t be considered “radical” in any sense of the term any other way, can you?

But why aren’t we talking about a living wage?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/15/ralph_nader_30_million_workers_would

6/14

FDA Moves (Slowly) Towards BPA Ban for Infant Formula Packaging
– Common Dreams staff

*The substance is sickening

The regulatory response likewise

And WaPo’s framing of the issue completes the troika, don’t you think?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/14-4
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Report: Gaza’s Water ‘Unfit to Drink’
New report describes ongoing health impact of the blockade of Gaza
– Common Dreams staff

*Poisoning the waters of justice

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/14-5
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Japan One Step Closer to Nuclear Restart; Reactors Likely to be Turned On by Weekend
Japanese mayor approves plan to restart nuclear power plant
– Common Dreams staff

*Is this the key to unlock the doors in other countries that had (supposedly) been closed to nukes after Fukushima?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/14-3
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Mexico’s 30-Day Lesson in Democracy
by Marta Molina

*Taking it to the streets

And not taking it from the same old guard

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/14-4
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The Right Path for Washington in Syria
The question in Washington should be: will adding fuel to the violence make matters worse?
by Saul Landau

*It’s hard to know just how to respond to this horrific situation.  I don’t think alternative media in the main have covered Syria with the depth required, both to understand motivations and actions among the players, and to counter the narrative pushed by the US and its allies and stenographed by the corpress.   I really don’t have much faith in a UN-brokered peace process leading to something resembling a just solution.

Of course, I fervently wish to be proven mistaken in that view.

What I can say with confidence is that any “humanitarian intervention” would be the epitome of blood-drenched hypocrisy, and must be opposed by those who give a damn about the Syrian people.

History is no partisan.  The facts of previous “rescues” speak for themselves.

(Apologies for the repetitive comments from yesterday.  Different audience.)

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/14-14
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Congressperson Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich: We Can’t Wait for the Banks to Save Us
N.E.E.D. Act Will Give State and Local Governments Freedom to Balance Budgets and Fund Much-Needed Infrastructure

*While the banks’ boundless avarice is unquestioned, it’s misleading to portray many state and local gummints as helpless victims who only want to serve the public.

Many are unnecessarily slashing vital public programs in service to their corporate masters, following the ALEC game plan, and many have regressive tax structures, leaving large sources of revenue untapped in deference to large business and wealthy interests.

We’re victims of not only the banksters, but of the gangsters who profit off TIF funding and other government goodies, while paying a pittance relative to their riches, and of those in office determined to erase any notion of the public good from the American system of governance.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/14-9
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FAIR Blog
Was Houla Massacre a Manufactured Atrocity?

*Never let the facts – or a lack of facts – get in the way of a good massacre story pinned on “the bad guys”.

The same goes for discrediting one where the perps are “the good guys”.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/14/was-houla-massacre-a-manufactured-atrocity/

WaPo’s Plug for Health Insurer Misses the Deadly Fine Print

*This brings up the question of why someone would “intentionally lie” to get coverage, doesn’t it?

In any just system, your health shouldn’t matter.  You get the healthcare you need, as a right.

(See Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which the US is a signatory – for what that’s worth)

In *this* system, you’re forced to lie to get coverage if you have a pre-existing health problem.

Where does the sin really lie?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/14/wapos-plug-for-health-insurer-misses-the-deadly-fine-print/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
JPMorgan Chase CEO Gets Warm Hill Welcome from Senators Flooded with Millions in Wall St. Donations

*So, is the Banking Committee listed as an asset on JP Morgan Chase’s financial statement?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/jpmorgan_chase_ceo_gets_warm_hill

Breaking ’08 Pledge, Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations

*Any bets on Dear Misleader being in the dark on this?

A foolish thing for Wallach to say, don’t you think?

The corpress may not totally black out, or whitewash, this, but it will be pushed well to the back of the campaign bus, and forgotten quickly, I imagine.  That the Republicans are having wet dreams about this will keep it well hidden, and electoral considerations will keep most every Democrat with qualms about it on the QT.

That much *is* transparent.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/14/breaking_08_pledge_leaked_trade_doc

6/13

Afghan Women: Which Side Are We On?
by Pat Kennelly

http://vcnv.org/afghan-women-which-side-are-we-on
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“Buddy, Please Put Your Hood.”
by Buddy Bell

*An empirical education in imperialism

http://vcnv.org/buddy-please-put-your-hood
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US Trade Agreement Leak Reveals ‘Radical New Powers’ for Multinational Corporations
Obama administration agrees to deal that contradicts domestic agenda
– Common Dreams staff

*Here’s the “change” we were promised.

Actually, not really a change as much as an acceleration of giving us the business as usual.

While this piece focuses on the parochial, this corporate coup would decimate the sovereignty and the citizenry of every signatory.  Many of those “domestic businesses” would make out like bandits abroad.

And a nice chunk of that ill gotten gain would flow into the campaign coffers of the “public servants” who made it all possible.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/13-5
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Greek’s Leftist Leader Holds Firm Against Fear-Mongering Ahead of Crucial Elections
‘People demand a clear direction,” says Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/13-0
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New York to Repeat Chicago’s Parking Privatization Catastrophe
by Matt Taibbi

*The meter never runs out at the corruption car park, does it?

I can do without Taibbi’s xenophobia.  I don’t give a flying fig where the bastard that’s futzing with me comes from.

Dubai or Denver.  Santa Monica or Saudi Arabia.

A POS is a POS.  And there’s no dearth of them wherever ye may roam.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/13-7
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What Might Cause Another 9/11?
It is supporters of Obama’s aggression, not its opponents, who are likely to provoke another Terrorist attack
by Glenn Greenwald

*Greenwald states the literally bleeding obvious.

I’m not saying that critically.  It needs to be stated, for the reasons he lays out.

But he’s conflating the reasons for US actions – in sum, to dominate and exploit – with a wholly fallacious desire for “revenge”, or as Sullivan and Packer would put it, “justice”.

9/11 was a godsend to Cheney and company (I’ll let others debate whether it was allowed to happen, made to happen, or an instance of incompetence working in one’s favor).  It was their Maine, their Gulf of Tonkin, their Pearl Harbor, and the precursor to their WMDs.

When folks like Greenwald repeat the revenge meme, they do a disservice to history and humanity.  Iraq is (and that’s the correct tense) about oil.  Afghanistan is about pipeline routes.

Both are also about geostrategic games versus rivals in the region.

You don’t have to be Chomsky to figure that out, do you?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/13-1
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To Truly Fix Food System, the Farm Bill Should Restore Fair Markets
by Wenonah Hauter

*Hogging the market

While we get porked

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/13-4
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How California’s GM Food Referendum May Change What America Eats
The vast majority of Americans want genetically modified food labelled. If California passes November’s ballot, they could get it
by Richard Schiffman

*You might think that if this shit were safe, the corps would dearly wish to prove it via independent testing.

You might think that …

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/13-9
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Amnesty International
Europe’s Deadly Frontiers: European Parliament Must Stand Up for Migrants
Launch of Campaign, New Report by Human Rights Organization Underscores Europe’s Failure to Protect Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/13
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Institute for Public Accuracy
Will JPMorgan’s Dimon Get Serious Questions Today From Senate Banking Committee?

*Clubby

Rather than a clubbing

http://www.accuracy.org/release/will-jpmorgans-dimon-get-serious-questions-today-from-senate-banking-committee/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Is Syria in a Civil War? Journalist Patrick Seale Debates Activist Rafif Jouejati on a Just Response

*It’s hard to know just how to respond to this horrific situation.  I don’t think alternative media in the main have covered Syria with the depth required, both to understand motivations and actions among the players, and to counter the narrative pushed by the US and its allies and stenographed by the corpress.

My far from confident sense is that Jouejati is engaging largely in propaganda, not in the sense that most of what she relates isn’t true, but in how she spins it.  I think Seale makes some vital points about the geopolitical games being played, but I really don’t have much faith in a UN-brokered peace process leading to something resembling a just solution.

Of course, I fervently wish to be proven mistaken in that view.

What I can say with confidence is that any “humanitarian intervention” would be the epitome of blood-drenched hypocrisy, and must be opposed by those who give a damn about the Syrian people.

History is no partisan.  The facts of previous “rescues” speak for themselves.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/13/is_syria_in_a_civil_war

Military Suicide Epidemic: More U.S. Soldiers Have Killed Themselves Than Died on Battlefield in 2012

*You have to wonder who booked these people.

Carroll comes across as a PR rep for the military, Hines wants to sane soldiers up so they can go do more killing, or, as he puts it, “do good for this country”, and Glantz, while somewhat less laudatory towards the Pentagon, still doesn’t put the blame where it belongs, on an imperialism that grinds the humanity out of its “defenders”, who wouldn’t be killing themselves, or anyone else, if not for the greed and thirst for power that the military is charged with propagating.

Whatever improvement there’s been in this area is solely for the purpose of carrying out that charge more effectively.

Call it keeping the cannon fodder fresh.

It’s incredibly frustrating to listen to this tripe on a supposed “exception to the rulers”.

This is NPR territory.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/13/military_suicide_epidemic_more_us_soldiers

6/12

America’s Love Affair With the Motor Car Is Running on Empty
The country once wedded to driving is having its eye turned by other forms of transport – but policymakers are oblivious
by David Burwell

*There are some hopeful signs, but the title of this piece is nonsensical, wouldn’t you say?  Rush hour is any city will make that plain.

I do think that the attachment to a personal car, or to using it a great deal, is often the result of a lack of viable alternatives.  Given a time efficient and affordable choice, I’d like to think that many people would opt for it.

Of course, if we’re to avoid ecological catastrophe, the internal combustion engine will have to become a relic relegated to the museums we visit via wholly accessible mass transit.

Place your bets.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/12-8
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In Moscow, Tens of Thousands Take to Street to Decry Putin Rule
A day after opposition leaders’ homes were raided, huge protest calls for Russia without Putin
– Common Dreams staff

*If Putin is deposed, he can always come work for Emanuel or Bloomberg.

He has the perfect skill set, not to mention the mentality, doesn’t he?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/12
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Repressive Book-Banning from Johannesburg to Tucson
by Bill Bigelow

*I think of my own “education” in the segregated school system in the Mississippi of the ’60s, of the literal whitewashing of the state’s and the nation’s history.

I really don’t remember much in the way of overt racism in the cirriculum.  Black folks and other “others” were in the main invisible, background figures on the grand historical stage where trod the great white men who shaped our state, nation and world.

It would be instructive to know just how much that’s changed in the intervening decades, whether there’s much that differs in the pedagogy in public schools from the “academies” whites like me fled to en masse when integration progressed beyond tokenism.

I hope there are students, of all colors, possessing the courage and sense of humanity shown by these kids in Arizona, fighting for an education that promotes those qualities, and honors those who have exhibited them, past and present.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/12-3
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Eating Our Way to a Better World?
A Plea to Local, Fair-Trade, and Organic Food Enthusiasts
by Andrea Brower

*Brower’s orientation is a welcome antidote to the truncated notions of what’s just and how to achieve it promulgated by far too many activist orgs, which may posit some useful ideas, but invariably fail to ask the next logical, and moral, question …

And the next …

And the next …

If you’re taking the bus to justice, you don’t get off at the first stop.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/12-4
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The Ultimate No-Fly List: Obama’s Secrecy Problem
How Obama’s Targeted Killings, Leaks, and the Everything-Is-Classified State Have Fused
by Peter Van Buren

*Remember “the imperial presidency”?

(Not that anything’s changed)

Call this “the nonempirical presidency”

The facts are what we say they are

We’re not above the law

We are the law

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/12-1
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The JOBS Act and Green Slime
In place of a real jobs bill, an invitation to fraud.
by William K. Black

*”The modern, effective approach that America, at its best, champions is the exact opposite—that no person is ‘above the law’.”

The question begged is, when has it been “at its best”?

In “modern” times, or otherwise?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/12-5
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ACLU Demands Removal of Detainees from Arizona Immigration Detention Center
Conditions at Pinal County Jail Belie Obama Administration’s Stated Commitment to Create a “Truly Civil” Immigration Detention System

*The horrors awaiting the huddled masses

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/12-1
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Center for American Progress (CAP)
Untapped Electoral Power: Staggering Numbers of Unregistered Latinos and Immigrants Eligible to Naturalize in 10 Key States
Two Streams of Voters-in-the-Making Could Influence the 2012 Elections and Beyond

*Think this has anything to do with the voter restrictions and roll purges?

At the same time, how much effort will the Dems put into registering these folks?

More specifically, given its track record on the subject with low income persons of all sorts, what are the odds that trend will be bucked in this instance?

Sure, they want more votes …

But let’s not go overboard.

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/12-3
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Institute for Public Accuracy
* Syria * Supreme Court and “Gutted Habeas Corpus”

http://www.accuracy.org/release/syria-supreme-court-and-gutted-habeas-corpus/

Middle Class Wealth Plummets

*Topped up

And bottomed out

http://www.accuracy.org/release/middle-class-wealth-plummets/
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FAIR Blog
A Gaffe Is a Gaffe When Reporters Say So

*What’s interesting, if that’s the right term to use, is the lack of attention paid to the rest of Obama’s remark.

Governors like Walker in Wisconsin aren’t slashing social programs and busting public sector unions because of fewer funds from the feds.  They’re doing it as part of a nationwide campaign coordinated by ALEC to choke the life out of any sense of gummint responsibility for the welfare of any segment of the population save the rich.

That Dear Misleader would earn his nick via his aversion to calling a spade a spade, and that the corporate media doesn’t consider this worthy of a factcheck, let alone tagging it as a “gaffe”, speaks volumes about the parameters of effecting change through the political system, and the complicity of the corpress in ensuring the efficacy of those limits.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/12/a-gaffe-is-a-gaffe-when-reporters-say-so/

FAIR Extra!
Lost in Translation Iran never threatened to wipe Israel off the map
by Steve Rendall

*A nonexistential threat

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4556
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Supreme Court Rejects Gitmo Appeals, Spelling Potential End to Prisoners’ Legal Fight for Release

*How do you cleanse a “moral stain” from a garment soaked in blood?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/12/supreme_court_rejects_gitmo_appeals_spelling

Romney Blocked Anti-Bullying Guide as Mass. Governor over Mention of “Bisexual,” “Transgender”

*Language is a virus.

Note Rowland’s use of the terms “family groups” and “the LGBT agenda”.

Perhaps they were used ironically, in the context of Romney’s opportunistic homophobia.

Which brings us to another type of virus, one with which most every politician and gummint official in this country is infected at some level.

HIV – humanity intolerant virus

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/12/romney_blocked_anti_bullying_guide_as

Bloomberg Cuts Threaten Thousands with Eviction as NYC Homeless Population Hits Record 43,000

*Caving in the roof over their heads

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/12/bloomberg_cuts_threaten_thousands_with_eviction

6/11

Greece’s ‘Potato Movement’ Grows in Power
A growing group of grassroots activists are cutting out agricultural middlemen and connecting farmers and shoppers.
by John Psaropoulos
Al Jazeera

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/11-2
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Squeezing Africa Dry: Behind Every Land Grab Is a Water Grab
by GRAIN

*Evil to the last drop

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/11-4
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Japan State-Wide Nuclear Restart on the Horizon
Reactor approval meeting moved to private venue after anti-nuclear protests
– Common Dreams staff

*What’s the half life of a politician’s promise?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/11-0
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Daniel Berrigan: America’s Street Priest
by Chris Hedges

*The money changers have not been routed from this temple.

Regarding Berrigan, while giving him his deserved due for his acts of sacrifice and courage, I’m uneasy with Hedges’ hagiography.

Pedestals are inherently unstable objects.  They have a propensity for toppling over on those gathered in admiration around them.

The passing mention of Berrigan’s opposition to abortion raises questions, doesn’t it?  I can see a principled stand based in an honest defense of life, even as I would disagree with it.

But does that stand recognize the hypocrisy of those for whom life begins at conception – or before – and ends at birth?  Does he believe that “every sperm is sacred”, or does he see that the way to reduce the need for abortion is to make contraception wholly accessible for all?  Does he advocate for persecution and prosecution, or for persuasion?

Hedges leaves those questions unanswered.

Given the possible contradictions with his other work, they would be the first I would ask the man.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-0
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As Cries of “Religious Freedom” Grow Louder, It Is Clear Anti-Choicers Are Targeting Contraception
by Amanda Marcotte

*Sex and the sinisterly singleminded

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-4
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In The Name Of My Father, Part Two: In the Shadow of the Corporate State Madhouse
by Phil Rockstroh

*Anger management for the masses

An essential evocation for the autocratic operators of the asylum

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-2
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Mining Gold, Undermining Democracy
Neither foreign investors nor unelected tribunals deserve the power to trump democratically elected leaders.
by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

*Never accuse our gummint of not following the Golden Rule

If it gives gold to the gilded

It rules

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-1
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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Hundreds of Vulnerable Communities not Tsunami Ready
Proposed NOAA Cuts Would Reduce Ranks of U.S. Cities Prepared for Tsunamis

*Whistling past the graveyard

While tossing bodies over the fence

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/11-8
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FAIR Blog
Newsweek: In Praise of Ray Kelly, Crime-Fighting Superhero

*Given this heartfelt hagiography, the NYPD surely could afford to substantially cut its public relations budget … down to, say, the cost of reprinting this paean to police brutality.

It would be the austere thing to do.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/11/newsweek-in-praise-of-ray-kelly-crime-fighting-superhero/
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Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. Supporting Rwanda as it Destabilizes the Congo — Again

*Friends in bloody deeds

http://www.accuracy.org/release/u-s-supporting-rwanda-as-it-destabilizes-the-congo-again/

Beyond Wisconsin: “The Case Against the Middle Class”

*Out of the GOTV ghetto and into the streets

And the fields, the factories, the offices, the homeless shelters, the housing projects, the houses of worship, the neighborhoods …

And the union halls

(Or build new ones)

http://www.accuracy.org/release/beyond-wisconsin-the-case-against-the-middle-class/
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Mariela Castro, Daughter of Cuban President, Helps Lead Struggle for LGBTQ Rights in Changing Cuba

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/11/mariela_castro_daughter_of_cuban_president

Mariela Castro on Ending the Embargo & Swapping Cuban Five for Jailed U.S. Contractor Alan Gross

*Interesting from the standpoint of hearing from a representative of a government we rarely are exposed to, but both on the issue of the status of the LGBTQ community in Cuba, and on the broader actions and policies of the government, an obvious lack of candor.

I’d like to hear about these issues from an much more honest source.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/11/mariela_castro_on_ending_the_embargo

Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up: Saul Landau on U.S.-Aided Anti-Castro Militants & the Cuban 5

*I’d have liked to have heard some intel on the wealthy Cuban exiles who have been the mainspring for these acts of terror over the past half century, and the workings of their influence within both parties.

But the main point is taken.  US enmity toward the Cuban government on the basis of its repressive acts is a transparent facade.

Cuba was the first victorious revolution against US domination in the hemisphere, and they expropriated the essence of that domination.

Call it an original sin, and one that will never be forgiven for the blow to US hubris at a time when such a thing was thought impossible in “our backyard”.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/11/will_the_real_terrorist_please_stand

6/8

FAIR Blog
Does Fox Hire Uninformed Pundits—or Does Being on Fox Make You Uninformed?

*The frightening thing is that FOX doesn’t exist in some ghetto of the wilfully and willingly ignorant.

Whether you get your “news” with a heaping helping of Murdochismo, or via the lockstep vacuousness of USA Today, your local rag, dripping with AP stenography and fact checkmating, or the highfaluting hagiography of the rich and powerful permeating the NYT and WaPo, the bottom line is that honest journalism is as rare in the corpress as a kept progressive campaign promise.

It’s all the news that’s printed to fit into the prescribed worldview of the plutocracy.

Read all about it?

Not bloody likely.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/08/does-fox-hire-uninformed-punditsor-does-being-on-fox-make-you-uninformed/
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Canadian Pipeline Spills Crude Oil into Major River
Heavy rains exacerbating spill
– Common Dreams staff

*Callous corpress POV

” … happened in a remote area … “

It wasn’t “remote” to the native folks living there, was it?

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/08-3
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Killer Insect Virus Helping to Decimate World’s Bee Population
Weakened by habitat loss and chemical pesticides, bloodsucking parasite wreaking havoc on vital pollinators
– Common Dreams staff

*Man and nature working together

To destroy both

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/08-0
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Oceans in Peril as World Oceans Day Marked
Pollution, climate change, overfishing plague oceans
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/08-6
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Greenpeace, the Yes Men and the Inside Story of #ShellFail
by Greenpeace/James Turner

http://www.commondreams.org/video/2012/06/08-0
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Recovery? What Recovery?
Behind the New Jobs Numbers, Dull Statistics Tell a Terrifying Story
by Ted Rall

*Jobbing the numbers game

And the real people behind the numbers

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/08-0
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Accountability in Defeat: On a Whupping in Wisconsin
by Matthew Rothschild

*Rothschild hits some nails on the head here, but I’ll add one he missed.

Yes, we need to be talking to people, but the main focus should be on those folks who have the heel of that boot on their throats, and who are utterly disengaged, because the unions and the Dems and most all the activist orgs have disengaged from them.

Perhaps a better way to put it is that they were never engaged to begin with.

You’ve got huge numbers of people who viscerally suss just who’s fucking with them, from both parties, but who are ignored as the greatest potential source of energy to ignite a true people’s movement.

It won’t be easy.  When you’ve been pissed on for so long, hope is in short supply, and suspicion, sadly based in empiricism, is rife.

But if you don’t tend to the roots, the tree never flowers.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/08-8
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Translating the Quebec Student Protests
by Joan Donovan

*Liberté

Egalité

Communauté

et

Communiquer

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/08-6
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BPA-Free Doesn’t Always Equal Toxic-Free
by Katie Rojas-Jahn

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/08-1 .

MADRE
Rights Must Be At the Center of the Family Planning Summit: Civil Society Declaration

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/08-0
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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Ahead of September Trial, Bradley Manning Seeks Withheld Gov’t Evidence and Dismissal of 10 Charges

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/8/ahead_of_september_trial_bradley_manning

“Private”: Bradley Manning’s Story, From Difficult Childhood to Alleged Whistleblower on World Stage

*Nothing here about the primary reason for Bradley’s torture – to force him to cooperate with the future prosecution of Assange.

That’s the big fish they’re after, and we’re seeing the casting coming closer with each passing day.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/8/private_bradley_mannings_story_from_difficult

Part 2: Acclaimed New Film “5 Broken Cameras” Captures Palestinian Village’s Nonviolent Resistance

*I’d have liked to have heard more about the conflict Burnat faced, compelled to document the oppression his people suffer, yet aware of the toll the reaction to his efforts are taking on his family.

It’s a dilemma so many activists have to confront.

As for Davidi’s concluding comments, paranoia and the myth of current Jewish victimhood, based in the horrible reality of their history and exploited by those in power, play a role, but so do racism and a sense of superiority toward “the other”, no different from South Africa and the US South, past and present, or much of the rest of America and the world.

We can hope, perhaps naively, that a film like this can play some part in creating a breach in those walls of fear and hate.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/8/part_2_acclaimed_new_film_5

6/7

Earth Facing Imminent Environmental ‘Tipping Point’: Report
Biosphere reaching an environmental ‘state shift’, says scientists
– Common Dreams staff

*Deadly serious stuff.

So it’ll rate a three paragraph item in the “Nation and World” digest in my local paper.

Maybe.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/07-3
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Greek Neo-Nazi PM Assaults Leftist Rivals on Live Television
– Common Dreams staff

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/07-5
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Is Occupy Wall Street Dead?
The movement has gone from hibernation to invisible, but can rebirth still flourish summer and beyond?
– Common Dreams staff

*From my own experience, one thing that afflicts Occupy, as it does many other groups claiming commitment to change, is that that external cause isn’t mirrored in the internal dynamics among its members.

In other words, the outside talk don’t get walked inside.

That was my hope at first – that a society based on principles of community and cooperation could be modeled in these encampments, and that that spirit of camaraderie would energize the actions aimed at the wider world.

To be sure, that spirit was far from wholly MIA, but I never felt that sense of bonding that I think is essential in any attempt to confront a system that seeks to atomize us, to make us feel that no one else gives a damn about me, so why should I care about anyone else?

I hope that Occupy 2.0 sees the necessity for that commitment to community, because how we treat each other in large measure determines how well we work with, and for, each other.

For all the debate over demands, I always felt there was one that we should make of ourselves.

Be a mensch, dammit.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/07
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‘The Butter Battle Book’ from Kabul
by Kathy Kelly

*This popped into my head

Can’t imagine why

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/peter+gabriel/games+without+frontiers_20107496.html

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/07-1
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Probing Obama’s Secrecy Games
Will high-level Obama officials who leak for political gain be punished on equal terms with actual whistleblowers?
by Glenn Greenwald

*It’s never been a secret what the overarching goals of this administration, or any that preceded it, have been, has it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/07-10
.

Rio+20: Fiddling While Earth Burns
by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/07-4
.

US Austerity Is Here, We Just Don’t Talk About It Enough
The Lost and Forgotten Americans of 2012
by Renee Parsons

*Totting up the deaths from a thousand cuts

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/07
.

Earthjustice
Politicians for Dirty and Toxic Water Skate Their Bill Through House Committee
House committee OKs another dirty water bill, threatening communities nationwide

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/07-5
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S.-Mexican Border: A New Front of the War on Terror?

*Profiteering off propaganda-produced paranoia

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/7/five_broken_cameras_home_videos_evolve
.

FAIR Blog
Disney Makes the World a Better Place, Reports Disney’s Network

*Neat trick.

Do an ad during the program, and you have that much more time for the paid commercials.

From a profit standpoint, nothing Mickey Mouse about that, is there?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/07/disney-makes-the-world-a-better-place-reports-disneys-network/

NATO’s Afghan Airstrike Reported…Sort Of

*The victims are buried in more ways than one.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/07/natos-afghan-airstrike-reported-sort-of/

FAIR Extra! New Media—but Familiar Lack of Diversity
Women, people of color still marginalized online
by Janine Jackson

*Diversity

And diversion

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4551
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Resistance to NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk Comes to D.C. as Lawmakers, Groups Urge Justice Dept. Probe

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/7/resistance_to_nypds_stop_and_frisk

Muslim Group Files Landmark Suit Challenging NYPD Surveillance in Northeast

*”[Y]ou are not going to survive, you will not be able to be a journalist and write what you want to say, if the people who want to take away your freedoms are allowed to succeed.”

Straight from the horseshitter’s mouth.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/7/muslim_group_files_landmark_suit_challenging

Five Broken Cameras: Home Videos Evolve into Stirring Film on Palestinian Resistance to Israeli Wall

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/7/five_broken_cameras_home_videos_evolve

6/6

In Wisconsin, An Ominous Crucible of US Politics
by Arun Gupta

*Let’s hope Schmidt’s upside scenario comes to pass, that folks realize that electoral politics is almost always at best damage control, and that truly transformative change comes outside the polling place.

As the gambling crowd would say, I wouldn’t put scared money on it.

But it’s the only bet on the board.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/06-9
.

Greece and the Euro: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover
by Ellen Brown

*Make the money and run

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/06-10
.

Have You No Decency, Republicans?
Congress Must Censure Extremist Members Over ‘Child Porn’ Abuse of Coal Mining Witness
by Jeff Biggers

*An vomitous episode like this makes plain the moral bankruptcy of both parties.

While the Republicans engage in this vicious Orwellian farce, the Democrats remain mum.

Forget human decency.  Political advantage should dictate exposing this shameless behavior, and making clear just who we’re dealing with.

But their silence only makes clear just who we’re dealing with on the other side of the aisle, doesn’t it?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/06-3
.

‘Transglutaminase’ and Other Fun New Foods
by Jim Hightower

*Living high on the hog off the fat of the land

It’s eats to literally die for

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/06-1
.

In Syria, Foreign Intervention Will Only Shed More Blood
The US and its Gulf allies are already fuelling sectarian conflict in their proxy war with Iran. The fallout could be disastrous
by Seumas Milne

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/06-5
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FAIR Blog
NYT: Drone Strikes ‘Combat Militancy’ by Increasing Militants

*It’s a pretty simple equation.

You kill someone’s family members, friends and neighbors, you make an enemy.

But I’m always leery of arguments about “blowback”.  The implication seems to be that the problem resides in any possible danger for us, rather than in the immorality of our government’s actions.  There also can be a conflation of attacks on hostile actors, aka NATO troops, and terrorism directed at the US mainland.

Defending your country against invaders is not an act of terrorism.

And there was nothing “illiterate” about what the Pakistani quoted said, was there?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/06/nyt-drone-strikes-combat-militancy-by-increasing-militants/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall After GOP, Corporate Backers Rally and Dems Stay on Sidelines

*There’s obviously a lot to be digested here, and much of it may be hard to stomach, but I’ll make a few points now.

You can’t advertise chicken salad on the menu, then serve chicken shit, and expect folks to keep coming to your place.  Yes, a sack of dried dog turds should have been able to beat the horseshit in office, but Barrett ran about as pathetic a campaign as possible, with messaging that did nothing to inspire those most victimized by ALEC’s holy war against the very concept of our shared obligations to each other.

And given that, I have to wonder just where all this supposed GOTV energy was focused.  Was there any effort to reach the most disaffected?  Again, with the message so profoundly discouraging, it may be a moot point.

Lastly, this clearly shows the incredible ignorance of many regarding the realities that shape their lives.  As godawful as the alternative was, that anyone with an inkling of recognition of how their lives are impacted by this vicious agenda could vote for it, or just not vote at all, is beyond comprehension.

Obviously, that recognition doesn’t exist for a great number of people.  There has to be some hard thinking done to figure out just how to make that light come on.

Or we’re looking at a very dark time indeed.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/6/walker_survives_wisconsin_recall_after_gop

Part 3: Norman Finkelstein on What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage

*I have to take issue with some of Finkelstein’s views.

First, though, I’d like to say that although I don’t place Gandhi, or anyone else, on a pedestal, I have never considered him lacking in courage, and anyone who does evinces an ignorance of history.

On the subject of courage, for me it’s difficult to criticize others for a lack of physical courage, for I think most people, myself among them, struggle with summoning the courage of our convictions when we’re truly tested.  Finkelstein, to his credit, admits to his own trials in this regard.

For Gandhi to be so unyielding in this views here to my mind denotes a lack of empathy.

And it may be stating the obvious, but if conscience without courage is useless, courage without conscience can be deadly.  Some of the most morally degenerate persons to have walked this earth were very brave.

Our obligation is to do what our consciences demand and our courage allows, and to be honestly determined to pushing the envelopes of each.

Back to my contentions.

As I said earlier, I have a real problem with Finkelstein’s vision of organizing.  I do believe in pushing people beyond their comfort zone.  We have to be aware of where they’re at morally and politically, but we then have to connect that to a deeper understanding of the evil we confront.

King went beyond where most were when he broadened his critique of the power system.  He knew the consequences, but he also knew that playing the game within the boundaries set by the system would never lead to true justice.

And it would seem that Gandhi himself pushed those boundaries through his insistence that the Koran be included in services, despite the intense opposition to it.

Lastly, I don’t accept that we’re “supposed to march in the line of fire, smilingly and cheerfully, and get [ourselves] blown to bits.”

We have a right to defend ourselves and others.  There’s a romance of both violence and nonviolence, and I reject both.  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.

One argument has been that the moral high ground is lost when violence is used, but I think that force, employed as above, and explained as such, can be seen as a justified act in the face of the inhumanity unleashed against us.

That’s my hope, at any rate.

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/6/5/part_2_norman_finkelstein_on_what_gandhi_says_about_nonviolence_resistance_and_courage

6/5

24 Policies to End the Earth Emergency
World Future Council presents 24 tipping-point policies needed to preserve a habitable planet
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/05
.

Colin Powell: Another War Criminal Cashes In
by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

*Book tours of the damned

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/05-7
.

North Carolina Legislature Prepares to Ban Sea From Rising!
by Richard Schiffman

*Stomping on the science today

Treading water tomorrow

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/05
.

No, It Has Not ‘Always Been This Way’
by Thomas S. Harrington

*I think Harrington’s misreading history in his desire to make an unquestionably valid point.

I don’t see the Nuremberg or Eichmann trials as shining examples of the rule of law.  Remember that all manner of illegal, and undoubtedly immoral, acts were being committed at the time by the nations holding those trials.

I’m not saying these were “show trials”.  To my knowledge they were indeed honestly prosecuted and judged.  But I don’t see them as tests of adherence to the rule of law, but rather as an effort to portray such a commitment, while elsewhere violating it in the most vicious manner.

And Eichmann was executed.  As horrific as his crimes were, he, and anyone else of his ilk, once no longer posing a threat to others, should be allowed to live by dint of his humanity, regardless of his inhumanity.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/05-3
.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Slam Republicans for Filibustering Paycheck Fairness for Women

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/05-4
.

FAIR Blog
NewsHour Showcases Its Education ‘Reform’ Funder

*CPB

Well, the “P” may be a misnomer

But the “C” is spot on, isn’t it?

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/05/newshour-showcases-its-education-reform-funder/
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
* Escalating Drone Strikes in Pakistan * State of Libya

http://www.accuracy.org/release/escalating-drone-strikes-in-pakistan-state-of-libya/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Polish Resistance Figure Jan Karski, Honored with Posthumous Medal of Freedom, in His Own Words

*That Roosevelt could listen to the relating of these horrors, and be seemingly unmoved, speaks volumes to the disconnect between the humanity of those in power and their exercise of that power.

That these abominations could be used to justify the vile crimes of Israel visited upon the Palestinian speaks volumes to the disconnect between history and humanity.

I remember a cartoon by Tony Auth on the invasion of Lebanon in 1982.  Above the destruction floated the spectre of a concentration camp inmate, a look of utter horror on his face.

Every day without justice in Palestine debases the memory of the Holocaust.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/5/polish_resistance_figure_jan_karski_honored

As U.S. Escalates Pakistan Drone Strikes, Expansive “Kill List” Stirs Fears of Worse Civilian Toll

*It’s rather disgusting to listen to Woods tiptoe around the term “murder”, and fall back on the argument of “making things worse”, instead of calling these crimes what they are, and placing the focus squarely on the evil of their execution.

Perhaps that’s an attempt to appear “impartial”.

For me, it comes across as a failure of conscience.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/5/as_us_escalates_pakistan_drone_strikes

Wisconsin Recall: As Voters Head to Polls, a Debate on Walker’s Record, Election Spending and Unions

*DN! at its worst, to my mind.

Where is the analysis of Barrett’s glaring shortcomings as a “progressive”?  Why have this Republican shill on at all, if he isn’t going to be challenged by someone who’s not much more than his opposite number for the Democrats?

And how about that stirring speech from Slippery William?

“We don’t unions destroyed.

We want them at the table, so they can sell out their rank and file under the guise of ‘shared sacrifice’.”

What do you expect from someone who shredded the social safety net and championed “free trade”?

I voted earlier today, for that steaming heap of parrot droppings, and if I had a sense of smell, I’m sure the stench would still be with me.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/5/wisconsin_recall_as_voters_head_to

6/4

FAIR Blog
NYT: How Can We Be No. 1 if Pentagon Budget Is Cut by 1/12th?

*Austerity is never uniform

And never wears one

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/04/nyt-how-can-we-be-no-1-if-pentagon-budget-is-cut-by-112th/
.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Journalist Questioning Honeywell CEO Stifled, Police Investigating Incident

*When you ask about such things

You’re asking for it

And you’ll usually get it

http://www.accuracy.org/release/journalist-questioning-honeywell-ceo-stifled-police-investigating-incident/

Roots of the Rise of Fundamentalist Islam: The 1967 War

http://www.accuracy.org/release/roots-of-the-rise-of-fundamentalist-islam-the-1967-war/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Mubarak Sentenced to Life Term in Egypt, But Protests Erupt as Sons, Aides Avoid Convictions

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/4/mubarak_sentenced_to_life_term_in

Norman Finkelstein: Waning Jewish American Support for Israel Boosts Chances for Middle East Peace

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/4/norman_finkelstein_waning_jewish_american_support

Norman Finkelstein on the Role of BDS & Why Obama Doesn’t Believe His Own Words on Israel-Palestine

*I don’t know that this perceived shift will amount to anything that could be considered true justice for the Palestinian people.

Humans have an amazing capacity to limit their consciences while convincing themselves of, and congratulating themselves for, their ability to change.  You can look at the civil rights movement in this country as an example.  The trappings of discrimination were largely removed, but the essential injustice remains, and liberals may publicly bemoan that, but aren’t willing to question the fundamental political and economic forces that perpetuate it.

So I can see some condemnation of Israel’s actions to satisfy liberal Jews’ consciences, and support for a peace agreement slightly less farcical than what’s being proposed currently – perhaps a truncated Palestinian state that the PA and Hamas would accede to, and some limited compensation rather than a right of return.

I’m no expert, as may be clear from the above.  My point is that the conscience of a liberal is a very malleable thing, and those in power are fully aware of that quality.

And I can see Finkelstein’s point on the possible, but again, if the focus remains on what appears pragmatic in the present, it can preclude the opportunity for true justice in the future.  His belief is that it can move things toward that goal, while my reading of history is that it just throws up a massive roadblock on that path.

I guess it’s clear I think that a one state solution, with equal rights for all, is the only answer for those who want justice done.  And if you believe that, regardless of the “political realities”, you have to struggle for it, don’t you?

One final comment.  I wonder if this demonizing of Iran as an “existential threat” is an acknowledgement of these shifting attitudes, and an attempt to take the spotlight off Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians and herd American Jews back into the AIPAC corral.

If that fails, then Plan B above goes into effect.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/4/norman_finkelstein_on_the_role_of

6/1

For an Ailing Planet, the Cure Already Exists
With world carbon levels nearing 400 PPM, solutions to climate crisis abound
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

*Left out of this analysis, as is almost always the case, is just who would control “the green economy”.

If it’s the same corps who have brought us to this point, then, while their product may be more benign, they will still control the price and availability of renewable energy, with the attendant inequity that exists today.

Any plan for transition must be based on public ownership of energy sources.

Profiteering may become greener, but the green will still flow to the top.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/01-6
.

Citizens United Unleashed in Wisconsin Recall
by Will Dooling
PRWatch.org

*The money rolls in

And we just get rolled

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/01-0
.

Canada, Last Holdout, Drops Opposition to Water as Human Right
by Thalif Deen
Inter Press Service

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/06/01-2
.

A Global Call: Eco Warriors, Arise!
Ahead of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, a call for a paradigm shift
by Vandana Shiva

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-4
.

Kill the ‘Kill List’: Obama’s Assassination Program is Illegal and Immoral
The Obama administration is grossly misreading international law when it comes to targeting terrorists.
by Gabor Rona and Daphne Eviatar

*” … not all of them will be nations that share our interests or the premium we put on protecting human life, including innocent civilians.”

We can only hope.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-5
.

Tough Guy Leaking: Iran Edition
A White House obsessed with secrecy and punishing whistleblowers loves classifed disclosures that glorify Obama
by Glenn Greenwald

*Taking a leak on his Nobel

All we are saying

Is give peace a pass

(I initially considered these disclosures pathetic proxies for actual investigative reporting – see my FAIR Blog comment below.

I think Greenwald’s nailed it.  This is corpress collusion masquerading as revelation.)

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-12
.

Egypt’s Elections Under Military Rule: Join Our Resistance to the Counter-Revolution
by Comrades from Cairo

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-8
.

Nuclear Tuna and NPR’s Trivialization
NPR shouldn’t trivialize the risk of radioactive tuna from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
by Robert Alvarez

*I think we know the answer to Alvarez’ concluding question, don’t we?

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-2
.

The Legend of the Spat-Upon Veteran
by David Sirota

*Mything in action

The propaganda weapon of mass derision

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-7
.

In Texas, Battle for Living Wage is a Fight for Dignity and Family
The nation’s lowest paid janitors take a stand for their dignity and their families in Houston
by Greg Kaufmann

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/01-6
.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Statement by Chad Stone, Chief Economist, on the May Employment Report

*Losing the numbers game

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/06/01-0
.

FAIR Blog
D.C. Press Corps Sits on Hands as Actual Reporter Is Silenced

*Call it “the Complicity Clique”

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/01/d-c-press-corps-sits-on-hands-as-actual-reporter-is-silenced/

MSNBC: No Time for Obama’s Kill List?

*Well, it would be a bit jarring to juxtapose the moral turpitude of the Obama regime with the tsunami of “Hope and Change, the Sequel” adverts that will swamp MSNBC over the next few months, wouldn’t it?

It was fun to play faux populist with the Occupy meme – ask MoveOn – and pretend to be miffed at Dear Misleader, but there’s a White House to win, and if truth is the first casualty of war, facts get offed off the bat come election time.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/01/msnbc-no-time-for-obamas-kill-list/

Cyberwar Is War, White House Said, but NYT Didn’t Notice

*Isn’t this how the corpress burnishes its “investigative” credentials?

Allow for some exposure of the dark side of gummint or corporatedom, but leave the answer for “2+2” blank.

While elsewhere filling in the oval next to “11”.

E.g., AP has done some decent investigative pieces lately, but as here, failed to put the pieces together that would make clear the systemic nature of the actions in question.

Simultaneously, its more prosaic reportage has the back of these same malefactors, negating much of the relevatory benefit from the former.

They get a shiny journalism award to place in their trophy case …

While keeping the curtain drawn on the profound conclusions true journalism would bring to light.

http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/06/01/cyberwar-is-war-white-house-said-but-nyt-didnt-notice/
.

DEMOCRACY NOW!
Justice Department Orders Florida to Stop Voter Purge Targeting Latino, Democratic Voters

*Of course, if the Democrats really wanted to greatly increase voter turnout, they’d run candidates worth voting for.

But that’s outside the rules of the game, isn’t it?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/1/justice_department_orders_florida_to_stop

The OCCUPIED Amendment: Rep. Ted Deutch on Banning Corporate Campaign Money Post-Citizens United

*There’s nothing in the amendment about public financing of campaigns.

Don’t you think Deutch should have been asked why?

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/1/the_occupied_amendment_rep_ted_deutch

In Victory for Marriage Equality, Appeals Court Rules DOMA Discriminates Against Same-Sex Couples

*That’s a disingenuous reply from Solomon to Cohen’s legitimate criticism of the focus on marriage, don’t you think?

Fighting for equality “across the board” is precisely what Cohen’s arguing for.

And Solomon’s defense of the administration is hardly surprising, as it’s emblematic of much of the “leadership” of the gay rights movement, who represent the epitome of single issue advocacy.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/1/in_victory_for_marriage_equality_appeals

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