July 2012


Farmers: Biofuels Quota Exacerbating ‘Food Crisis’
EPA’s requirements for corn ethanol will drive food prices even higher after an already distressed harvest, growers warn
by Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian/UK


‘When It Rains, It Pours’: Global Warming Brings Increased, Heavier Storms
Report documents increasing and heavier snowstorms and rainstorms since 1948
– Common Dreams staff


Extremism Normalized: How Americans Now Acquiesce to Once Unthinkable Ideas
by Glenn Greenwald

*It would seem that we can get used to anything

As long as it’s not us

Or don’t think it’s us

That the anything is used on


Mission Failure: Afghanistan
A Message Written in Blood That No One Wants to Hear
by Tom Engelhardt

*The critics of this horror movie persist in couching their critique in terms of “failure”.

What does that mean?

Had it gone well for the West, it would get a thumbs up?

It was a failure of humanity from the time the script was conceived in the grotesque gray matter behind Dick Cheney’s beady little eyes, simply waiting for – or to be provided with – an excuse to be unleashed on that tragic land.

As the war theater empties out, to be replaced in the seats by overseas overseers, we need to understand the moral of the story, and do our damnedest to be script doctors to write, if not a happy, a human ending to this horror show.

This ain’t no movie.

The blood’s not safely on the screen.

If we don’t act, it’s on our hands.


Will Tar Sands Pipeline Spills be the New Normal?
by Mijin Cha

*It’s a “free market” for bastards like Enbridge, isn’t it?

Free to profit

Free to pollute

Free from prosecution

But there’s always a price tag for the public, isn’t there?


Brennan Center for Justice
Study: Design Flaws Contribute to Hundreds of Thousands of Lost Votes in Recent Elections
Report Details Major Ballot Design Problems, Proposes Non-Partisan Solutions

*There are design problems

And then there are problems by design


Institute for Public Accuracy
Romney Lauds Israeli Economy During Wave of Attempted Self-Immolations

*Not feeling the burn

Or caring about the conflagration


Olympic Goodwill Image Belied by Arrests, Censorship and Corporate Ties Behind London Games

*I take the point, but I have to say that I honestly don’t give a good goddamn about whether people can get Olympics tickets, anymore than I would if we were talking about the Super Bowl or World Series or any other empty spectacle the public pays for while corps make a mint.

It used to be bread and circuses.

Now the bakery’s closed.


Key Figures in Salt Lake Olympic Bribery Scandal Now Backing Romney’s Presidential Campaign

*Going for the gold

And getting it from the grifters


Exhaustive Study Finds Global Elite Hiding Up to $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts

*Obama could pound away at this, and likely win in a cakewalk.

But this goes to the multitrillion dollar heart of the system.  You might make some noise about Bain, focusing your critique on an “outlier” aspect of capitalism, one you emphasize is not engaged in by “honorable” companies.

But the bastards who stash their cash offshore hold the keys to the Oval Office, and that money flows to both sides of the aisle.

So don’t expect anything from Dear Misleader.  He dearly wishes for another term, but no one playing this game as a Democratic candidate will ever bite the hand that fills their campaign coffers.

And the flip side of that is that no one would ever be allowed to have the opportunity.  The president serves at the pleasure of those who control the system.

No one with any notion of truly challenging corporate power will ever get any closer to the presidential bedroom than a White House tour.


Matt Taibbi Explains Wall Street’s “License to Steal,” Offshore Tax Havens and Private Equity Firms



Romney Raises Cash in Israel, Ire in Occupied Territories
‘It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people’
– Common Dreams staff

*I guess you could call this trip AIPACkage deal


Be Not Fooled, Insurance Companies Still Gaming the System
by Donna Smith


The CEO Plan to Steal Your Social Security and Medicare
by Dean Baker

*Cashing in off the dead from a thousand cuts


The Perversion of Scholarship
by Chris Hedges

*Mixing the mortar for the bricks in the wall of callous conformity


Life in the American Slaughterhouse: Beyond Aurora, Guns Are Going Off Everywhere
Police shootings echo nationwide
by Stephan Salisbury

*Shoot first

Don’t ask, or answer, questions later


Public Citizen
HELP Committee Report Sheds Light on Predatory Lending Practices Within For-Profit College Industry, Underscores Need to Boost Student Borrowers’ Access to Courts
Statement of Micah Hauptman, Financial Campaign Coordinator, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division


Court Upholds Most Extreme and Dangerous Abortion Ban in the Nation
ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights Vow to Appeal to Protect Women’s Health

*”Pro life”

(Some restrictions apply.  See court decision for details.)


Pundit Accountability: What an Idea!

*The “right” and “wrong” in this discussion have nothing to do with morality, only with how well things went for the perpetrators.

I have to conclude that going by the latter context, if the invasions and occupations had gone according to plan, folks like Beinart would be copasetic with the outcomes, regardless of what that meant for the people of those countries.

It’s the most salient definition of the Vietnam Syndrome …

A war’s worth is calculated by how it impacts its prosecutor

Not its victims


The Toll of Drone Wars…on U.S Pilots

*Roasting ragheads from half a world away

Be all that you can be


Institute for Public Accuracy
Officer-Involved Shootings Highlight Need for Representative Democracy in Anaheim

*Them that’s got, gets

Them that’s not, gets screwed



Despite Pennsylvania Victory, Anti-Fracking Campaigners Rally for Fight Ahead
– Common Dreams staff


Contaminated Inquiry: Prof with Money Ties to Industry Led Fracking Study
Report: UTexas Study Spun the Facts and Misled the Public
– Common Dreams staff

*Talk about insider misinformation

And the corpress gobbles this shit up like the hors d’oeuvres at an industry news conference


Stephen Lewis: As World Spends Trillions on War and Bank Bailouts, Little Money Left to Fight AIDS

*It’s very frustrating to listen to Lewis make some righteous criticisms of the empty rhetoric around this tragedy, then express hope that bastards like Clinton and Obama will do more than spout these hypocritical platitudes.

And I don’t know much about Kim, but that he could be named World Bank president probably tells you a great deal about the limits of his commitment, don’t you think?


The Berlin Patient: Timothy Ray Brown Speaks Out on Being First Man “Cured” of HIV

*Whether Big Pharma’s interested in a cure or not, it’s a given that they’re intensely interested in making a mint off this disease, while portraying themselves as “partners in the fight against AIDS”.

Great profit, and great PR.

It’s the industry’s wildest wet dream.


Rev. Canon Byamugisha Makes History as 1st African Religious Leader to Reveal HIV-Positive Status

*Vital point by Byamugisha about the immense irony of the charge of “recolonization”.

If these fools are concerned about that, they have only to look to the religious zealotry from the West – and those that profit from it – which seeks to keep them in ignorance and poverty, while assuring them of “God’s favor” for their trangressions against others.



‘Time Running Out’ to Avert Global Food Crisis: Experts
US Drought To Cause Spike in Food Prices, says USDA
– Common Dreams staff

*So why was this drought “a surprise to everybody”?

Not that it could have been confidently predicted, but given the impact of climate change, why wasn’t it considered at least a distinct possibility?

An instance of science – or more honestly, beholden and blinkered scientists – following the fantasy, rather than the facts?


Increase in Extreme Storms Causing ‘Rapid Ozone Destruction’
Injection of water vapor makes ozone layer sensitive to global warming — and geoengineering
– Common Dreams staff


Located at the dangerous intersection of Arrogance and Greed

We cross at our own risk


Study: At Least 70% of Arctic Sea Ice Loss ‘Man-Made’
Scientists fear the impact of feedback loops as dramatic ice loss begets further melting
– Common Dreams staff


Texas Judge Rules ‘The Sky Belongs To Everyone’
Is this a “shot heard round the world” for fight against climate change?
by David Morris

*Common sense on the commons

Nothing at all common about that, is there?


The World is Closer to a Food Crisis Than Most People Realize
Unless we move quickly to adopt new population, energy, and water policies, the goal of eradicating hunger will remain just that
by Lester Brown

*The silver lining in all this – and I hesitate to call it that, for it’s the very definition of a mixed blessing – is the “political instability” I keep seeing being presented as something to be avoided.

But isn’t that the situation in Egypt, Spain, Greece and elsewhere?  Food prices were one factor in the dawning of the Arab Spring.  I hope it goes without saying that I don’t wish suffering upon anyone – other than those who promulgate it – but it’s the spark that leads to change.

That change isn’t always beneficial, I realize, and comes with much pain.  But I just felt compelled to speak to this continual aversion to “unrest”, when it’s a necessity for the struggle against the forces that cause the conditions that have led to our current food crisis.


In the Land of Never Was: The Last, Desperate Hours of Climate Chaos Deniers‪ and Capitalist Rah-Rahs‬
by Phil Rockstroh

*Ever faithless, dogma is not our best friend

But our worst enema


Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods: Whose Side Are You On?
by Zack Kaldveer


Public Citizen Releases Updated ‘White House For Sale’ Website to Track Bundlers
On Site, Visitors Can Get Names, Home States and Employers of Major Fundraisers for 2012 Presidential Election

*Tracking the packaged power deals


Inside Karl Rove’s Secretive Effort to Defeat Obama’s Re-Election With Help of Billionaire Donors

*What’s all this bullshit about giving Rove “his due”?

Would Barrett say the same thing about Goebbels?

And I see a goddamn bit of “poignancy” in Bush’s estrangement from the Republican Party.  He’s damaged goods, and if the shoe was on the other foot with another ex-president, he’d do precisely the same thing, don’t you think?

Let’s call these bastards out for what they are, and what they do.

This isn’t, or shouldn’t be, PBS NewsHour.


“Glock” Author Paul Barrett: Aurora Massacre Latest Tragedy to Show Failures of U.S. Gun Laws

*Barrett’s advice on how to deal with gun violence doesn’t make much sense to me.

How does focusing on “crime control” have much of anything to do with the problem at hand?  The guns that are used in street crime are overwhelmingly obtained illegally, I would think.  That’s a separate issue from Aurora and Columbine and Virginia Tech, as well as the guns used in domestic murder and suicides, isn’t it?

The only way to deal with those is to confront the gun lobby, to change the question from “Why shouldn’t I have a gun?” to “Why should I?”

Obviously, no one needs a goddamn semi-automatic rifle or similar weapon to protect themselves, so those, and their accessories, should be banned outright.

And gun license applicants should have to make a compelling case for the need for a gun to protect themselves or their families, and undergo rigorous background checks.

Needless to say, these concealed and open carry laws have to be repealed.

All that requires taking on the NRA.

Barrett doesn’t come across as an “expert” in advocating the opposite, to my mind.


Lockdown in London: Professor, Ex-U.S. Athlete Jules Boykoff on Olympic Censorship & Militarization

*You can’t make this stuff up

But the corps and the IOC and the gummints do

And make damn sure everybody bows down before it


“No Papers, No Fear”: As Arpaio Fights Arizona Suit, 4 Undocumented Immigrants Reveal Their Status

*Very brave protest by these folks, and it’ll be interesting to see if Obama’s forced to react to it, given his grandstanding in courting the Latino vote.

I’m not happy about saying it, but I don’t think the KKK remark is as damning as it’s claimed to be.  I imagine Arpaio meant that this is just a smear tactic coming from those supporting criminal behavior, and who don’t want him to do his job, and so he considers it a badge of honor … not that he’s honored to be compared to the KKK.

Of course, painting his opponents as above is the true smear, isn’t it?

But it goes without saying that there’s plenty of other remarks, and obviously many actions, that make it clear that he shares the same racist views as Klansmen.

Let’s hope he pays a fair price for that.



NSA Whistleblowers: They’re Spying on ‘the Entire Country’
Former NSA employees Thomas Drake, Kirk Wiebe and William Binney warn of widespread gov’t surveillance
– Common Dreams staff

*There appears to be an assumption in Cohn’s comments that the “national security” rationale is legitimate, but the means are not.

I may be mistaken, but if that’s the case, she’s seriously mistaken.

This is the technological version writ large of the infiltration of organizations and groups whose aims the gummint seeks to subvert.

The security sought accrues to the oligarchs, while ours, and our First and Fourth Amendment rights, are fed to the shredder.  


Despite Overwhelming Evidence, Federal Appeals Court Upholds Law Requiring Doctors to Lie to Women
by Jodi Jacobson

*Forced hypocrisy and the Hippocratic Oath

First, do no harm

But a little lie never hurt anyone


US Politicians Must Regulate Finance to Tackle the Drought and Food-Price Crisis
US leaders worked hard to tackle the 1930s drought and food crisis. Today they are supine, offering the hungry only prayers
by Raj Patel

*FDR sought to save the system

Today’s “leaders” are intent on helping it commit suicide

Taking the rest of us along with it


Women’s Health Groups Ask Judge To Block Arizona Abortion Ban
Court Holds Hearing in Challenge Brought By American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Arizona, and Center for Reproductive Rights Against Most Extreme Ban in the Nation

*”The ban also contains no exceptions for a woman who receives the devastating diagnosis that the fetus will not survive after birth.”

But, you see, it’s the principle.

Jesus …


Food & Water Watch
Consumer Group and Lawmaker Join Together to Call for a Statewide Ban on Fracking
New USGS Study Shows Fracking is a Statewide Issue in Maryland

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/07/25 .

Institute for Public Accuracy
$21 Trillion the Wealthy are Hiding: The Shocking Facts — and the Great Opportunity

*Hidden in plain spite


International AIDS Conference Convenes in D.C. After U.S. Lifts Travel Ban on People With HIV

*That Chevron anecdote, and what it more broadly represents, is reprehensible … and that’s not nearly strong enough a word for it.

A corporation that’s destroying the planet and our ability to survive on it, that engages in murder in Nigeria and elsewhere, shouldn’t be able to issue press releases touting its “partnering in the fight against AIDS”.

How many HIV infected persons have suffered and died as a result of Chevron’s crimes in Africa and elsewhere?

To call that a disconnect is to scale the heights of understatement.


Barred by U.S. Restrictions, Sex Workers Hold Alternative AIDS Summit in Kolkata, India

*Sex and the singleminded

The immorality of “immorality”

And, as always, the hypocrisy


Rep. Barbara Lee and Dazon Dixon Diallo on Confronting the Overlooked AIDS Epidemic in Black America

*Lee lauds the ACA and the Obama’s actions in this area, rather than pointing out how much more could be accomplished under single payer and an administration that actually was committed to eradicating AIDS, rather than playing single issue politics with it.

For all her hype as a “true progressive”, I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything different.

And vote Democrat!

Oy …



Austerity’s Winners = The Corporate Class
– Common Dreams staff

*The vultures feast on the carrion from the deaths of a thousand cuts


Gun Sales Soaring in Colorado Since Theater Shooting
– Common Dreams staff

*More proof, as if more were needed, that humans are the only species willfully incapable of reason


US Religious Right Propelling Homophobia in African Countries
– Common Dreams staff

*Can JC sue for defamation of character?

There’s not a goddamn thing “Christian” about these merciless mofos, is there?


Occupy the Dam: Brazil’s Indigenous Uprising
In the Amazonian backcountry, tribes are challenging construction of the world’s third-largest dam—by dismantling it. Here’s what they can teach us about standing up to power.
by John Perkins

*Averting a voyage of the dammed


The West in Flames: The Oxygen Planet Struts Its Stuff
Not a “Perfect Storm” But the New Norm in the American West
by William deBuys

*What I think is a likely scenario, as opposed to “doing all the right things”, is that nothing of real consequence will be done until the situation is effectively hopeless.

At that point, technological “fixes” will be touted, or pesticide “shock and awe” will be employed against insect infestation, with their own diastrous impacts.

Can we divert this dire dystopia?

The odds are against it.

But it’s the only game in town.

So let’s roll the dice till closing time.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Iran: A Repeat Ten Years After “Fixing” Intel on Iraq

*Going Honky Tonkin


Obama Stoops to Convincing Voters Not to Support the Other Guy

*Meanwhile, Romney’s only too happy to court “birthers”, Islamophobes and anticom-yu-nists … tars which his campaign avoids, but which his surrogates either implicitly or explicity employ.

And stating the bleeding obvious, it speaks volumes about politics in these here United States when “socialist” is an epithet, and used primarily to demonize those who couldn’t be reasonably labeled as such in even a Euro party context.

Dear Misleader falls somewhere to the right of Tricky Dick on many policies.  He represents unity in the sense that his presidency has continued the constriction of the acceptable political spectrum in this country, bringing both major parties even closer together ideologically.

Not that there was ever a yawning gap to begin with.

Trans-Pacific Partnership, anyone?


Destroying the Commons: On Shredding the Magna Carta
by Noam Chomsky

*Tremendous piece, and, along with Hedges’ righteous rumination on the amoral enablers of evil, the sort of material that need to be the norm, not the exception, at “progressive” sites, don’t you think?

The level of superficiality and contradiction extant in much of what passes for contrarian commentary is incredibly frustrating.

If we are to speak truth to power, we need to be exploring and exposing those deeper truths that so often go begging in the “establishment alternative” media.

Any future we may have depends on it.


Penn State Students Bear Brunt of NCAA Sanctions for Sandusky Cover-Up as Trustees Emerge Unscathed

*Zirin’s point about the NCAA’s intervention in civil and criminal matters is well taken.  This is an unaccountable private body, and as much as the courts can be likewise, still these are matters that should be decided with ostensible public oversight.

But his larger point about the power wielded by that organization, and the sports programs it oversees, speaks to the perversion of priorities at both universities and the larger society.

Beyond that, sport as spectacularly profitable spectacle is another way to distract us from the reality of the rot at the core of our “democracy”, to amuse us with circuses as the bread is stolen from our tables.

It’s a game we’re losing

And the scoreboard clock’s ticking.


Police Brutality in Anaheim Sparks Outrage After 2 Latinos Shot Dead and Demonstrators Attacked

*The Trigger Happiest Place on Earth



Three Big Lies Perpetuated by the Rich
by Paul Buchheit

*A wealth of deception in the propaganda of wealth


The NRA’s War at Home
by Ladd Everitt

*I know it’s far from original, but this is my suggestion for an NRA theme song:




The Careerists
by Chris Hedges

*All it takes for evil to triumph in the world is for good persons to do nothing

And for the soulless to do their jobs


The Obama Gitmo Myth
New vindictive restrictions on detainees highlights the falsity of Obama defenders regarding closing the camp
by Glenn Greenwald

*If anything earns this bastard his title as “Dear Misleader”, this would be it.

And all the good liberals swoon over his empty gestures, and excoriate anyone who can’t in good conscience fill in that circle next to his name.

I may well vote for him as the best of a horrible set of choices, recognizing the real struggle has little to do with electoral politics, but I’ll be goddamned if I’ll criticize the character of anyone who doesn’t.


Violence Policy Center
National Rifle Association-Backed Law Made Possible Internet Ammunition Sales Reportedly Exploited by Colorado Shooter and Removed Recordkeeping Requirements, NRA Reaps Profits From Such Sales Today
NRA Receives Millions of Dollars From Online Sales of Ammo, Other Accessories Through Leading Benefactor’s “Round-Up Program,” M&P15 Assault Rifle Manufacturer Smith & Wesson is NRA’s Latest Million-Dollar Donor

*It’s too facile to label this “making a killing”

But that doesn’t make it any less true, does it?


People for the American Way (PFAW)
PFAW Calls on Speaker Boehner to Remove Michele Bachmann from Intelligence Committee

*Guilt by lack of association


Scores Dead, Hundreds Wounded in Violent Wave Across Iraq
– Common Dreams staff

*Imperium sews the wind

Iraqis reap the whirlwind


US Poverty Rate Reaching 50-Year High Economist Dean Baker: “The real tragedy is that this economic collapse was totally preventable before the fact and it could be quickly overcome even now with the right policies.”
– Common Dreams staff

*If the poor will always be with us

It is because the rich will be, as well


Will Libor Indictments Fit the Scale of the Rate-Rigging Scandal?
As US and European prosecutors prepared arrest warrants, will banks escape scrutiny as traders take fall?
– Common Dreams staff

*The headline here is wholly rhetorical, of course, and will remain so as long as regulators are complicit in these schemes.

And why is no one talking about those bastards serving hard time?


Erratic Weather Across Globe Fueling Impending Food Crisis
– Common Dreams staff

*A food fight we can’t afford to lose


Fukushima Report Blasts TEPCO’s On-Going Failures
“I now understand what people are worried the most about is the vulnerability of the No 4 spent fuel pool”
– Common Dreams staff

*This was an accident waiting to happen

But there was nothing accidental about the avarice that allowed it to happen


With Drug Resistant AIDS on Rise, Health Advocates Call for Continued Vigilance
Lancet study shows growing concern for strains resistant to treatment as global conference kicks off
– Common Dreams staff

*The greater disease is the lack of humanity that permits this misery and death to continue


Institute for Public Accuracy
Empty Anniversary: Minimum Wage Stuck as Poverty Climbs

*The deadening wages of the corporatocracy’s deadly sins


Aurora Shooting Witness Omar Esparza Describes Watching Massacre Unfold & Narrowly Escaping Theater

*I dearly wish it had been the NRA execs, the politicians and the gun and ammo makers who allowed this deranged person to carry out his horrific fantasy in that theater, instead of the victims.

I’m not wishing physical harm to them.  I’d just like them to experience that transcendent terror.

I don’t imagine it would change their behavior.

But it would serve as a wholly inadequate penance for their crimes.


Are We Going to Wait for Another Massacre? Rep. Carolyn McCarthy Urges Stricter Gun Control Measures

*It’s hard to listen to someone like McCarthy, who’s been through this horror, make such carefully calibrated comments about gun control.

In that, she’s no more than just another politician, I’m sorry to say.

We need a hell of a lot more than the half step legislation she’s pushing, and despite the power of the gun lobby, I think an intelligent campaign could accomplish that by exposing the inhumanity of that cabal and its direct connection to this horrible event, and all the daily tragedies that don’t make the headlines.

We won’t see that from Dear Misleader.  He makes a show of suspending his reelection campaign, but uses the suffering of the victims to play the consoling patriarch, while making clear his acquiescence to the NRA agenda.

One other thing about McCarthy occurs to me.

Someone who’s directly experienced the insanity of this violent culture voted for the war in Afghanistan, and likely voted for other acts of imperial butchery which resulted and will continue to result in others going through what she did.

It’s a contradiction which can’t be countenanced.


Virginia Tech Shooting Survivor Colin Goddard: “The Time Is Now” for Action on Gun Control Laws

*We need to go much further than an assault weapons ban.  Ask yourself how many people die from their use, against how many from handguns.

We have to change the question from “Why shouldn’t I have a gun?” to “Why should I?”

There may be a legitimate need in extreme situations, but even under those circumstances, obtaining a firearm should entail a rigorous and thorough procedure.

And there’s a circular logic at work here.  Those “extreme situations” exist due to the culture of violence in this country, and that culture justifies the claimed need for defense.

We have to go beyond gun laws, to confronting that culture.

And just as importantly, who profits from that culture.


Bud Welch, Father of Oklahoma City Victim, on Rejecting the Death Penalty & Healing After a Tragedy

*As the saying goes

And eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind

All that execution accomplishes is the further debasement of our humanity.  There is no moral or practical argument for it.  It’s patently obvious that it is no deterrent.

As well, unlike the murderers who inhabit the worlds of business and government, and who will never pay for their crimes, the perpetrators of these horrors are often severely disturbed, and not truly accountable for their actions.

We can never protect ourselves from those actions through revenge … only through a commitment to understanding why human beings reach such a point, and doing all we can to ensure that that point is never reached.



Private Student Loan Lending Parallels Sub-Prime Lending
Report from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and US Department of Education shows shady lending practices
– Common Dreams staff


American Tourists Flock to Israeli Settlement Shooting School
– Common Dreams staff

*Riddle a raghead!

Manson Family fun for all!

Oy gevalt …


The Green Deserts of Western Civilization
by Masanobu Fukuoka

*Letting nature take its recourse


Cracks in the Foundation: New Fracking Information Shows More Underground Contamination, Toxic Fluids Than Previously Thought
by Kate Sinding


Romney: Gold Medal in Dishonesty
by Brian Moench

*It should be patently obvious to anyone with functional synapses just who Mitt Romney is.

That goes for his primary opponent in the presidential campaign, as well.

But I wanted to say something about Moench’s comment that Mormonism is a Christian religion.

It most certainly is, in that it’s just as sodden with hypocrisy as all the other denominations.

If Christianity is defined as following the teachings of Jesus, they all fail abysmally, wouldn’t you say?

The Golden Rule has metastasized into “Them that’s got the gold, makes the rules”.

And no amount of pious posturing will alter that fact.

Growing up in the First Baptist Church in Canton, Mississippi in the ’60s impressed that point upon me early on.

And for that, I should be perversely grateful.


Health Law’s Flaws Will Spur Drive for Single-Payer Reform
by David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler

*When life – or your gummint – gives you rotten lemons

You toss ’em in the garbage

And make your own goddamn lemonade


We Give and We Get
by Rosa Gonzalez

*Common effort for the common good


ACLU and PUBPAT Argue Against Patents on Breast Cancer Genes in Appeals Court
Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Medical Associations, Geneticists, Patients and Breast Cancer and Women’s Health Groups


Objectivity and Its Opposite, ‘Objectivity’
by Jim Naureckas

*At some point, this is akin to arguing how many angels you can fit on the head of a pin, but I think Romney wasn’t expressing a lack of compassion for the very poor, and that the comment was unfairly characterized by the Obama campaign.

Words and deeds are very different things, however.  Romney’s made it quite clear through his actions that he’s perfectly happy to let the poor eat cake.

If they can find a bakery dumpster.

Of course, ultimately that goes for Dear Misleader, as well.

And if Zorn is taking Romney at his word, or claiming to, he’s in the wrong business.

To succeed in that business, however, he’s got the right perspective, doesn’t he?


by Peter Hart

Blaming Iran for Bulgaria Bombing: Assertions Before Evidence

*Given the threats of attack from Israel and the US, and the desire for an excuse to do so, you have to ask what benefit Iran would realize from this, don’t you?

In this context, I don’t see retribution for the assassination campaign to be a sufficient motive for an unalloyed act of terrorism.

Of course, that’s thinking rationally.

Something the corpress avoids assiduously when it comes to Israel and Iran.


Action Alert: CBS’s Climate Change Denying Weather Expert?
by Peter Hart

*Well, you’ve got newscasters who relate utter fantasy with solemn equanimity

So this makes a sort of deeply perverted sense, doesn’t it?


Institute for Public Accuracy
“In the U.S., It Happens Again and Again”

*There’s a bitter and bloody irony in “gun rights” supporters also claiming to be “pro life”


Denver Shooting Rampage Leaves 12 Dead, 50 Wounded in Latest of Unparalleled U.S. Gun Attacks

*I imagine the NRA spinmeisters got a early morning wake up call on this, don’t you?


Subhankar Banerjee: Looming Deadline Creates Window for Protests to Stop Shell’s Arctic Drilling

*As long as Shell and other corps know that there will be no real punishment for their transgressions, they will have no incentive to clean up their act, will they?

But it’s really not a matter of drilling “safely”.  The product itself is inherently harmful.

The only way to avoid that harm, from spills or spewing poison into the sky, is to leave it where it is.

Of course, that goes for coal, as well.

The image of Dear Misleader in front of a fighter illustrates another danger.

The increasing accessibility of the Arctic could transform it into a frigid Middle East and North Africa, an actual Cold War with nations fighting over its resources.

The heat’s on in the Frozen North.

And unless we stop it, one way or another, we’re going to get burned.



Continuing Drought, Heat Bring Fear of Global Food Crisis
– Common Dreams staff

*Not mentioned here is the destruction of local agriculture through the promotion of imports, making populations dependent on transnational agribusiness products.

It’s a case of reaping what you didn’t sew.


More People Turning to Risky, High Cost ‘Payday Loans’ to Meet Basic Needs
– Common Dreams staff

*A matter of extreme interest

And extreme exploitation


US Austerity Continues to Empty Student Pockets as Public Universities Crumble
– Common Dreams staff

*Lessons from a neoliberal education


A Long Hot Summer
by Bill McKibben

*What needs to be part of any strategy against this headlong rush over the climate cliff is a tune to counter the siren song of “job creation”.

People desperate for work are susceptible to its entreaties, and hostile to those they’re told are “treehuggers” and “ecoterrorists” preventing them from improving their lot.

The point can’t be stressed enough that renewables can provide those jobs, that it’s not a zero sum game.

But it also can’t be stressed enough that we can’t allow the same corps that brought us to the brink to glom onto clean energy as another entry in their profit portfolio.

Clean means clear of corporate control.  Public power must be our clarion cry, along with the work waiting for those who will create and maintain it.


Hating in Athens
by Michelle Chen

*For the exploited

Hate is horizontal

Justice is vertical


That Makes No Sense!: Your Security’s a Joke (and You’re the Butt of It)
by Tom Engelhardt

*Fear is always the fodder for fascism

That it’s of the proto variety at present is cold comfort


Technology and Inequality: The Happy Myth
The 1% likes to blame technological innovation for income redistribution but calculated policy changes are at fault
by Dean Baker

*Anyone working at Walmart, if they’re working at all, gets that the problem isn’t technology, don’t you think?

You don’t need a PhD to understand why you have so little, and your bosses have so much.

It’s called greed.

And the brief period when it was deemed in the greedy’s interests to make things better for some folks ended when the threat of true change subsided, either from repression or cooptation.

With that threat hopefully rising again, it’s apparent that this time around, the velvet glove will remain in the drawer, isn’t it?


Oxfam International
Yemen Food Crisis: People Left Without Aid as Funding Fails to Arrive
Oxfam and Islamic Relief warn of increasing hunger

*It costs approximately a million dollars a day to keep one serviceperson in Afghanistan

Priorities are priorities


Local TV News–Now With Ice Cream!

*(Insert pun about “getting the scoop” here)

But what’s being scooped into our living rooms doesn’t smell much like ice cream, does it?


Syrian Activist in Hiding: “We’re Not Looking for Intervention, We’re Looking for Support”

*I thought this was a very honest account of the situation by this person, devoid of the propaganda inherent in the appearances of spokespersons for rebel groupings.

The call for arms is problematic, though.  Who gets them?  What strings are attached?

I don’t know that arming the rebels is much different from actual military intervention in the end.

We want black and white.

And it’s a gray day in Syria.


Back from Syria, Reporter David Enders Says Assad Regime Crumbling to “Grassroots Rebellion”Back from Syria, Reporter David Enders Says Assad Regime Crumbling to “Grassroots Rebellion”

*The guy works for McClatchy, so I don’t know how much faith to put in his analysis, but for what it’s worth …


Assad Biographer: After Initial Hopes of Reform, Syrian Ruler Has Succumbed to Delusions of Power

*I don’t know Assad’s history, but this relating by Hesch smacks of an elitism, of having access to someone like him, and ironically engaging in the same denial of reality that he says Assad succumbed to.

Assad was part of a dynasty that used and uses repression to maintain control.  It may be that the son was inclined to be less vicious than his father, but that leaves a lot of room for some awful things to occur, doesn’t it?

Keep in mind, as well, that he was perfectly happy to cooperate with the torture regime of the US’ GWOT.  As with Gaddafi, the decision’s been made to throw an erstwhile ally under the bus.

And whatever rationale Assad may have constructed in his mind for his actions, and I’m inclined to look askance at Hesch’s hypothesis, the only reality that ultimately matters is the suffering of his victims, isn’t it?


Matt Taibbi: Libor Rate-Fixing Scandal “Biggest Insider Trading You Could Ever Imagine”

*What do regulators do?

These banks engaged in a criminal enterprise that resulted in great harm, and even death, to untold numbers of people.

What does our alleged system of justice call for in such circumstances?

Dream on, I know.

But even were that to occur, the real solution is an end to the profit system, and the whole concept of interest tied to it.

No rates.

No banks.

No exploitation.

Again, the dream thing …

But dreaming, and acting on those dreams, is the only chance we have to avoid the nightmares.



Israel Accuses Iran In Bulgarian Bus Bombing
Netanyahu vows Israeli response ‘will be powerful’
– Common Dreams staff

*Israel has an interest in assassinating Iranian scientists.

What possible benefit would Iran derive from this horrific act of terror?


US Families of Drone Victims, Rights Groups File Lawsuit
“Illegal, out of control, and must end”
– Common Dreams staff

*Death from above

Duplicity from below


Disenfranchised: Report Looks at How Voter ID Laws Set Up Roadblocks to Voting
– Common Dreams staff

*There are plenty of examples of voting fraud

These laws, for one


The Rise and Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces
Why we need parks, streetlife, squares, markets, trails, community gardens and other hangouts more than ever
by Jay Walljasper


Four Spending Myths That Could Wreck Our World
How Not to Solve an American Crisis
by Mattea Kramer

*Included for the useful intel

Not the restricted perspective


Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA)
Landmark Family Farmers Lawsuit Grows
Prominent Allies Join Effort to Reinstate Challenge to Monsanto Patents

*Sewing the seeds of resistance to Frankenfarming


Another ‘Palestinian Gandhi’ Ignored by U.S. Media

*The hypocrisy’s undeniable, but there’s this assumption that nonviolent resistance is the only morally legitimate tactic to what must be seen as something worse than apartheid in South Africa, which was met with force by those oppressed, as in so many other instances.

There needs to be a rejection of the romance of both violent and nonviolent struggle, and a principled and disciplined use of both when circumstances warrant.  We should condemn acts of true terrorism, but avoid laying guilt by association on those who take up arms against their oppressors when so many of their family, friends and neighbors have been murdered, and their ability to live any kind of decent life denied them through the violence of their tormentors.

I don’t say any of this lightly.  Violence is a very difficult strategy to control, and the potential for its abuse is always present.

But we should think twice before we fault those who decide that it’s necessary to protect themselves.

History supports that caution, here and abroad, from Palestine to South Africa to Nicaragua to the Polish and French resistance to Spain to Blair Mountain, West Virginia.

Let’s hope and work for the day when there will be no reason to make that fateful decision.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Syria on Fire, and the U.S. and Russia Have “Turned up with Flamethrowers”


Bomber Strikes Syrian Regime in Damascus, Killing Assad’s Defense Minister, Brother-in-Law

*I’m woefully ignorant of the dynamics here, but Seale’s perspective makes as much sense as anything else I’ve seen on Syria.

The one thing of which I’m certain is that “humanitarian intervention” as touted by the West is a textbook case of a contradiction in terms.

And next to that entry is a picture of Libya.


As Senate GOP Blocks DISCLOSE Act, Top Donor Sheldon Adelson Probed for Bribery and Mob Ties

*It’s interesting how Stone tiptoes around Adelson’s actions on Israel, isn’t it?

Would that be the case if we were talking about South Africa thirty years ago?

What’s the real difference?

And McConnell’s comments on the DISCLOSE Act give “projection” a whole new meaning, don’t they?



Senate Republicans Kill Disclose Act in Blow to Campaign Transparency
Citizens United Remains Unscathed as GOP Senators ‘keep public in the dark’
– Common Dreams staff

*The hidden ball playing trick


Fishermen All Say US Navy Opened Fire Without Warning
“We were fishing and then on the way back they started shooting at us, so many shots, like a storm”
– Common Dreams staff

*Shoot first

Deflect questions later


Greenpeace Activists Shut Down 77 Shell Gas Stations in Day of Action
– Common Dreams staff

*Working to put the freeze on the ice capades


Geoengineers to Start Volcano-Inspired Experiment in Risky Climate Manipulation
– Common Dreams staff

*Dr. Frankenstein, there’s a Mr. Gates to see you.


After 800 Years, the Barons are Back in Control of Britain
by George Monbiot

*History repeating

Or is that “excreting”?


America’s Drones Are Homeward Bound
by Ann Wright

*Eyes in the skies

Ears in the ether

Rights in the toilet


Hot Enough for You? Time to Teach Against Fossil Fuels
by Bill Bigelow

*Ignorance isn’t bliss

It’s abetting Armageddon


How the Pentagon Is Quietly Transforming Its Overseas Base Empire and Creating a Dangerous New Way of War
by David Vine

*Like Turse’s piece a few days earlier, Vine’s perspective tends to ignore the imperial implications of this strategy for those directly affected by it, and focuses on what he sees as a boomerang effect on US power.

That may be true, but the fact that someone ostensibly opposed to US foreign policy appears to worry about the diminution of that power illustrates just how fuzzy such persons’ moral logic can be.

And that can’t be a good thing for the prospects of successfully struggling against that power, can it?


A Coup Over Land: The Resource War Behind Paraguay’s Crisis
by Benjamin Dangl

*I can’t imagine living like these folks.

That they can’t imagine living like me speaks to the profound injustice that is perpetuated not only by the oligarchs and government in Paraguay, but by their allies here.

Administrations change, but the sorrowful song remains the same.


Planned Parenthood Arizona Files Litigation to Protect Access to Preventive Health Care


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
FDA To Bar BPA From Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups
EWG: FDA Should Extend Toxic Chemical Ban To Infant Formula Cans, Food and Beverage Packaging


Congressperson Dennis Kucinich
If You Lived Down Wind From This Power Plant, Would You Be Concerned?

*It goes beyond lowering standards.  Any nuke plant is an accident waiting to happen, regardless of the level of regulation.

It’s been proven over the last half century that this technology is beyond our capacity to safely control.  Its use is potentially catastrophic, and wholly unnecessary.

That’s the message Kucinich should be seeking to spread.


How Campaign Strategists Turned Reporters Into Brain-Picking Zombies

*”Or maybe they’ll refuse to do interviews altogether, and campaign correspondents will be forced to do stories on the candidates’ policy proposals and how they might impact people’s lives.”

Or maybe they’ll just do more stories based on the propaganda spewed by campaigns for public consumption.  Granted, it’s not as sexy as the insider idiocy, but given a choice between doing the job expected of them by their owners, and actually doing their job as journalists …

Well, we can hope they go for Door No. 2.

But I wouldn’t put scared money on it.

Would you?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Secret Pentagon Docs Reveal Pre-War Plans to Get Big Oil into Iraq

*Plenty of blood

And bloodlessness

For oil


Laid Off Steelworker in Anti-Romney Ad Doesn’t Want Obama Either

*Instead of trying to convince union members to vote Democratic, how about labor “leaders” demanding Democrats vote for legislation that benefits those members, and all workers, and against bills that harm them?

And when they don’t, make certain they pay a real price?

But that would require political surgery to separate them from the hip, wouldn’t it?

And Box is wrong about Dear Misleader’s lack of courage.

It’s not about cowardice.

It’s about complicity.


As Disclose Act Fails in Senate, FEC Quietly Removes Files on Big Ticket Donors

*Following the money

Down the rabbit hole


Spying on Scientists: How the FDA Monitored Whistleblowers Who Raised Concerns over Radiation


Twilight of the Elites: Chris Hayes on How the Powerful Rig the System, from Penn State to Wall St.

*Hayes is a good liberal who makes a lot of money and has book parties at swanky hotel bars, and so it’s little wonder he believes that if people like Bernanke were exposed to the suffering they cause, they’d behave appropriately.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it?

It’s certainly less true today, but at one time many of the worst bastards on earth came from poor beginnings, and they were as remorseless in their drive to destroy all in their path to power and wealth as those today.  Their empathy was not stirred by what they saw around them.  It only made them contemptuous of those who lacked the ruthlessness to exploit anyone and everyone they could to achieve those aims.

Then, and now, the powerful know the consequences of their actions.  It’s not a matter of willful ignorance (although I’m not certain Hayes considers it willful).  We’ve heard enough of that which wasn’t meant to be heard to know that this is true, haven’t we?

In the end, Hayes doesn’t seem to believe in a truly egalitarian society.  He’s copasetic with the existence of elites.  He just wants them to “show wisdom”, and says he wants them to be held accountable when they commit crimes against the public.

But why should anyone be in such a position to begin with?  Why should someone be accorded power and wealth in exchange for relatively decent behavior?

I think the bedrock principle of any just society is that each of us contributes to it according to our talents, and we receive from it according to our needs.

There’s a need for leaders, but leading is not about hierarchy.  It’s about ability.  And it’s not about being rewarded, but about being responsible to those who’ve placed their trust in you.

The respect you receive from honoring that trust should be all the reward you would want.

If it isn’t, then you have no ability to lead.



Britain Flooded with ‘Brand Police’ to Protect Olympic Sponsors
Likely to intensify criticism that the Olympics has become too corporate
– Common Dreams staff

*Millions for defense

Of tribute


The Battle of Blair Mountain
by Chris Hedges

*What made this uprising possible?

Individual courage, certainly, but within the context of community, of solidarity.

It’s what power fears most, and works unceasingly to prevent – that we will, from our atomized existence, begin to form the nucleus of support and empathy that gives us the strength of character to face the slings and arrows of the outraged holders of fortune.

I dearly wish to believe we’re capable of that.

My reason is resistant.

My humanity is haltingly hopeful.


Five Reasons the Super-Rich Need Government More Than the Rest of Us
by Paul Buchheit

*I think it’s important to point out that the vast majority of what the plutocracy does with this largesse isn’t benign, let alone beneficial.

From unsafe work to unjust wages to the tenuousness of simply having work.

From toxic products to toxic politics.

And from price gouging to gouging the life from this planet, we pay for the privilege of being screwed six ways from Sunday.

You’d have to be a masochist worthy of the Marquis’ most delirious wet dream to believe this is any way to run a society.


Chicago’s Teachers Could Strike a Blow for Organized Labor Globally
If the fight to halt school budget cuts in Obama’s Democratic heartland succeeds it would be a huge boost for unions
by Richard Seymour

*Union leadership that could prove worthy of the title


Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Houston Strike to Spread to Eight Cities as City-Wide Janitors Strike Enters Second Week


Supreme Court Asked to Review Edie Windsor’s Challenge to “Defense of Marriage Act”


“Fuel on the Fire”: Author Greg Muttitt on Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, Arab Spring

*It’s always about “interests”, isn’t it?

Some useful intel extant, but, again, what’s blatantly obvious in Iraq seems not to be so in Afghanistan.  Goodman turns to Libya and Syria, without any mention of the resources and the means to access them that are also at the heart of that horror show.

So, again, the question is why this distinction?  Is it that Afghanistan is seen as some sort of morality play, rather than the same stage where all imperial dramas play out … the backdrop of which is always control of the local wealth and the global strategic high ground?



Leaked Docs Reveal ‘Off the Charts’ Damage at US Nuke Plant
San Onofre’s steam generators in worst shape of all US nuclear plants
– Common Dreams staff


World’s Faith in Capitalism Erodes as Financial Crisis Continues: Survey
– Common Dreams staff

*I think the most striking revelation is just how perniciously persistent free market propaganda can be.

We are born without sight.

And those in power strive mightily to see to it that we remain that way.


‘Extinction Debt’: Reaping What We’ve Bulldozed
– Common Dreams staff


Increasing Militarization at London Olympics: Royal Air Force Threatens ‘Lethal Force’
– Common Dreams staff

*Austerity’s for the peasants

We’ve got rich people to protect


In Canada’s Tar Sands, a Dante’s Hell Threatens People Nearby and Across the Globe
by Rocky Kistner

*Drowning in the carbon cabal’s wet dream


Hillary Clinton Should Have US Sign Cluster Bomb Treaty
by Amitabh Pal

*Pathetic promises

Horrific realities


Israeli Blockade Takes Its Toll on Mental Health in Gaza
Stress-related and mental health disorders are on the increase in the Gaza Strip, brought on by loss of jobs and dignity, and lack of freedom under Israel’s blockade
by Angela Robson

*Destruction without leads to destruction within


Student Groups and Civil Rights Organizations Applaud Dismissal of Lawsuit Seeking to Chill Student Speech
Settlement Agreement Requires Dismissal of Lawsuit Targeting Arab and Muslim Student Activists


George Zimmerman Was Never Violent–if You Don’t Count Domestic Violence…

There was an Orlando Sentinel piece today that made the same claims, that interviews with “friends, neighbors and co-workers” didn’t reveal racism on Zimmerman’s part.

Well, that’s surely an impartial sampling, isn’t it?

And this:

“Chris Serino, the police detective who interviewed Zimmerman the night of the shooting, told agents he thought Zimmerman pursued Martin ‘based on his attire’ and not ‘skin color.'”

Talk about the fashion police.

Bad joke aside, had a white guy been wearing that hoodie, do you really believe he wouldn’t be alive today?


The Third-Party Lock Out

*You’ll notice how the Times leaves itself and the rest of the corpress out of the equation when it comes to “national name recognition” for candidates outside of the duopoly.

Covering them would have some impact on that factor, wouldn’t you say?

And rather than strengthening that duopoly, I would think that the responsibility of the chairman of the Democratic Party might be to … I don’t know …

Strengthen democracy?


Green New Deal: Organizer, Physician Jill Stein Poised to Win Green Party’s Presidential Nomination


Green Party Nominee Jill Stein & Running Mate, Activist Cheri Honkala: “We Represent the 99 Percent”

*At this point, I don’t know what I’ll do come November.  I’ve said that I’ll vote for Dear Misleader, on the theory that electoral politics in this country is almost always about damage control, and true change occurs outside the polling place.

I did vote Green four years ago, because I couldn’t stomach what I knew what would be coming were the Democrats to win, although I’ll have to admit I didn’t think it would be as bad as it has been, because I thought, similar to the Great Depression, that the power structure’s interests wouldn’t be served by staying the course.

Needless to say, I’ve tossed that crystal ball into the dumpster.

But Zinn’s argument makes sense.  And so does the counter that we can’t keep voting for the lesser of two evils, which is always, by definition, evil.

Sometimes there is no clearly correct answer.

Make that often.

But there are clear principles.  We have hearts and minds for the purpose of determining how to realize them.  Whatever I decide, I will not castigate anyone else who makes a different decision based on those principles.

And whoever and whichever party wins in November, it is a sideshow to the real struggle that must occur every day against the powers that be that control that duopoly.

So vote your conscience.

And then go out and put it to work.


Green Party Members Worldwide Join U.S. Counterparts to Forge Global Solidarity in Trying Times

*I should have made it clear that I don’t think the Greens are Jesus on a stick.  They don’t really challenge the profit system, but seek to reform it.

But you can’t reform rot.

You can only replace it.

And when Stein makes a foolish remark about MoveOn having any agenda other than shilling for the Dems, when every thing in my inbox from them contradicts that assessment, it doesn’t do much for my confidence.

Now, it may be that, unlike the Democrats, there is a possibility of making the party into something worth putting our time, energy and hopes into.

But I can’t make that call at present.



Are US, France Pressuring Palestinian Authority to Quit Arafat Probe?
Palestinian officials ‘flip-flop’ over investigation
– Common Dreams staff


Icelandic court rules that payment processor broke contract laws by blocking credit card donations to whistleblowing site
– Common Dreams staff


As ‘Statute of Limitations’ Approaches, Wall Street Crimes of 2008 Go Unpunished
With time running out, federal agencies show no urgency in holding firms or executives to account
– Common Dreams staff

*The time frame would be a moot point if justice were the aim, but fair’s fair.

The federal statue of limitations for bank robbery is five years, according to a quick search.

That it should be the same when the bank is the robber seems equitable.


‘Dangerous Partnership’: The UN’s Increasing Use of Mercenary Firms
– Common Dreams staff

*A protection racket the Mob can only dream about


Animal Rights Advocates say ‘Show Business Is No Business’ for Wild Animals
‘Children would run screaming from tents, if they knew reality’ say campaigners
– Common Dreams staff

*Who are the real circus freaks?


America’s Shadow Wars in Africa
Secret Wars, Secret Bases, and the Pentagon’s “New Spice Route” in Africa
by Nick Turse

*Turse doesn’t seem to be too interested in how all this affects Africans, does he?

Instead, he speaks of “blowback”, which with the rubric of “unwinnability”, are often the core of arguments against US foreign policy, rather than the death and destruction they spread abroad.

He also doesn’t say anything about the “why” … that this is all to secure the resources of the continent for foreign consumption, from water to land to minerals to oil.  The GWOT justification is a facade to destroy any resistance to that control, whether from those who act with the same inhumanity as their neocolonialist adversaries, or from people rising up against imperial avarice and oppression.

That’s a pretty goddamn glaring omission, wouldn’t you say?


The Broken Link Between OWS and a Murder

*The standard of evidence is apparently much lower for the sensationalistic connection of class foes to murder than it is for the linking of your ownership to phone tapping, bribery and other crimes.


Institute for Public Accuracy
Penn State: “The Larger Scandal”

*If our children are to be our future

The profit system must be our past


Obama and Romney Both Backing Secret Job-Killing Deal?

So, why is there a question mark here?

We hear the talk they talk.

But they don’t want us to see the walk they walk.

And in that, the corpress is wholly complicit.


On Woody Guthrie’s Centennial, Celebrating the Life, Politics & Music of the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”

*This may sound petty, but Goodman’s “Gee whiz” approach (“Whoa!  Wow!”) is a bit aggravating.  You also have to wonder about spending a couple of hours of precious airtime on Guthrie’s life.

I’d like to think he’d feel there are far more important matters to deal with.

I’d also would have liked to have had Earle expound on what he meant by “I’m going to be able to look at myself in the mirror, if there are certain lines that I draw for myself as I go along and identify who I am as an artist that I don’t cross. And that can change. It’s not necessarily a static thing. Times change. What’s important to you changes.”

I wouldn’t think he means that your principles change, but that could be one interpretation.



Portuguese Doctors, Nurses Launch 48-Hour Strike Over Austerity Cuts
– Common Dreams staff


America’s Own Terror Group
Huffington Post publishes, and then deletes, a post by a MeK spokesman. What does this tell us about Terrorism?
by Glenn Greenwald

*You might ask

Where does all this spending cash come from?

If their cause is so righteous, why do they need to pay such serious smack to their high profile supporters?

And why do those supporters take the money, if they’re so convinced of the righteousness of the cause?

So let HP post this propaganda

With the above as a preamble.


Addiction to High Stakes Testing is Killing US Education
by Jim Horn

*A test drive that’s taking us straight over the cliff


Beware of the Genetic Tomato Tamperers
by Jim Hightower

*A deadly double team

Poisoning our bodies

And our children’s minds


Tucson Freedom Summer, Or 5 Ways to Fight Back Against An Unjust Law
by Julianne Hing

*They can ban the books

But they can’t box up the spirit they inspire


Medicare. For All. For Life. Everywhere.
When the Medicare for All bus gets stuck, a neighborhood shows its true spirit
by Donna Smith


When Safety Becomes Voluntary: Workplace Self-Policing Program Under Scrutiny
by Michelle Chen

*But the workers and the public didn’t volunteer, did they?


Leather: Bad for the Environment, Workers, Communities, and Animals
by Bruce Friedrich

*Call it fashion conscience


Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Hundreds of Houston Janitors Go On Strike
Workers Report Potential Stripping of Healthcare Benefits and Other Misconduct as Harassment From Employers After Standing Up For Living Wage


Institute for Public Accuracy
Climate: Record Heat, Policy Adrift

*Faux forests

And the fire gods who love them


As Romney Evades on Tax Returns, New Report Reveals Loopholes, Offshore Havens Behind His Fortune

*Every time you hear a seemingly intelligent person talk about the hopes they had for Dear Misleader, you have to roll your eyes till they ache, don’t you?

Especially a journalist, who, you know, is supposedly dedicated to digging up the facts … not that you had to go very deep to find what this bastard was all about.  A look at his Senate record, not to mention his campaign contributors, would have told you all you needed to know about the reality of “Hope and Change” ™.

But to the matter at hand, while the Democrats will try to make political hay to some limited extent out of Romney’s dirty dealings (and let’s not equate “legal” with “clean”, if indeed they are fully legal), when it comes down to actually doing something about it, the buck stops there.

Or rather, the bucks keep flowing, to Romney and to all the heavyweight contributors to both parties. 

Call it licking the hand that feeds you.

And that ain’t the only part of their anatomies that gets some tongue lovin’, is it?


Are Israeli Settlements Legal? Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah vs. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin

*There’s no question as to who wants to destroy whom, but I have to take issue with Abunimah’s comments on post-apartheid South Africa and the southern US.

It’s one thing to ostensibly have equal rights, and quite another to be able to exercise them.  Of course, that goes for the whole of the US, as well.

I imagine he’d agree that we can’t settle for anything less than true justice in Palestine, and in South Africa, the US, and everywhere else.


Corporate Exodus Continues From ALEC as Secretive Right-Wing Group’s Policies Come to Light

*A couple of things pull me up short here.

Shaikh seems to endorse using products of companies that have left ALEC, as though that somehow redeemed them.

And related to that, Graves speaks of these companies “standing up and saying no to ALEC”, as if this was some act of conscience, rather than ass covering.

These are transparent PR moves, and these same corps will push their dangerous and deadly agendas through other means.  That’s why they were members, and nothing will essentially change now that they aren’t.

It may be that neither meant what their words imply.  If so, both should think much more carefully about those implications before they speak.



Canadian Scientists ‘Mourn Death of Evidence’ under Harper Government
Protest march will highlight public harm done by gutting of research programs
– Common Dreams staff

*Blinding us without science


Report Slams Enbridge’s Negligence in Tar Sands Spill
“Learning about Enbridge’s poor handling of the rupture, you can’t help but think of the Keystone Kops.”
– Common Dreams staff

*If there were actual Keystone cops, we wouldn’t have to worry about the XL pipeline, would we?


Brazil Set to Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Oxitec continues “dangerously misguided” plan to combat dengue fever
– Common Dreams staff

*Scary skeeters and astounding arrogance


Obama’s Trade Policy Ensures Big Pharma Profit at Expense of World’s Poor: Report
– Common Dreams staff

*A drug addiction to avarice


The Constitution Is Just Parchment, Get Over It
by David Michael Green

*I think Green makes some pretty pertinent points about the violability of the Constitution, but misses the mark on Roberts’ reasoning for his ruling regarding the ACA.

PR may have played a part, but ask yourself how he’d have voted had this been about true universal healthcare, rather than a bastardized sop to the “healthcare” and insurance industries?

Corporatismo carried the day, no matter how outraged the faux FOX populists and their ill bred ilk claim to be.


The NSA’s Warrantless Wiretapping Is a Crime, Not a State Secret
As the US will neither affirm nor deny its vast dragnet of phone calls and emails, we must sue to protect our privacy and liberty
by Cindy Cohn and Trevor Timm

*The difference between watching over us

And watching to keep over us


Apologies to Mexico: The Drug Trade and GNP (Gross National Pain)
by Rebecca Solnit

*Mainlining malevolence


Conservation Organizations
Shell’s Inadequate Oil Spill Response Plans Threaten America’s Arctic
Oil and Ice Don’t Mix

*Courting disaster

Jilting responsibility


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Romney Loathed Non-Partisan Civil Service
Corporate Style Clashed with Anti-Spoils System Safeguards in Massachusetts

*This from a “moderate” …



Human Rights Watch (HRW)
Greece: Migrants Describe Fear on the Streets
New Government Should Act to Prevent, Punish Xenophobic Attacks

*I’m sure the scapegoating extends beyond these fascists.  Political and media machinations play the same role in Greece as they do here, diverting attention from plutocratic rapaciousness toward the suspicious “other” in order to divide and control a population whose only hope, and their rulers’ greatest fear, is in a solidarity among all the exploited.


Institute for Public Accuracy
LIBOR Scandal: The Conundrum of Bank Regulators


NYT: Tax Factchecking Is for the Editorial Page

*Of course the Republican spiel is blatant propaganda, but there’s plenty of room for salient criticism of Dear Misleader’s plan, isn’t there?

That someone making $249,999 a year isn’t considered wealthy, for starters.

And just the existence of the plan in the first place, while the instituting of truly progressive tax rates isn’t just off the radar screen.

It’s in a whole other dimension.

One where words like “fairness” and “justice” actually retain their meaning, and aren’t merely part of politicians’ and pundits’ Newspeak lexicon.


FAIR Extra!
‘Hope It’s in Your Backyard!’
Gushing over fracking ignores climate crisis
by Neil deMause

*Forsaken facts and fracturing fairy tales leave us with another “F” word, don’t they?


Fantasy Economies
Enforcing neoliberalism through myth
by Steve Rendall

*Wouldn’t you expect sadists to advocate economic masochism?



“Hope is for the Lazy: The Challenge of Our Dead World”
by Robert Jensen

*I thought this a fitting companion to Hedges’ piece.

It may be that our species deserves what likely will be our fate.

What we do in the next short period will confirm or disprove that assessment, whatever the ultimate outcome.

I wouldn’t advise putting scared money on the upside, but I would admonish us all to strive mightily to change the odds on the proposition.


Rate of Climate Change’s ‘Evil Twin’ Has Scientists Worried
Ocean acidification is moving at a rate faster than scientists had expected
– Common Dreams staff


How to Think
by Chris Hedges

*A mind is a terrible thing to waste

A soul is a terrible thing to lay waste to


Arafat: Murder Most Foul
by Eric Margolis


As the West Burns: Speaking Truth to Fire
by Brian Moench

*If you can’t stand the heat

Get out of the kitchen

And put the pols’ feet to the fire


For Our Health or Your Wealth, That is the Question
by Donna Smith

*When paying takes precedence over pain


Common Cause
Study Urges Federal and State Lawmakers, Election Officials, to Protect Voters from Bullying, Misinformation Campaigns
New report highlights threat to voting rights from political vandalism


The Future of the Planet? Get Over It

*I think we have to either assume Will’s lost his grip on reality …

Or he’s lying through his teeth (some might say another part of his anatomy, but be that as it may).

My money’s on the latter, but at some level, the whole issue of global warming is moot.

You may be a fool not to believe the science, but even if climate change weren’t very real, the pollution and destruction of our planet will drive us over a rapidly approaching cliff.

The same changes have to be made irrespective of the causes.

Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

And those who ignore the consequences of the present condemn us, and themselves, to an apocalyptic future.


Keystone Pipeline: When Industry Ads and Industry-Friendly Coverage Collide

*Notice the section both ads are in.


I’d say the irony drips, but “oozes” would be more apt, don’t you think?

And in the “language is a virus department” …

The Houston Chronicle states that energy companies and pipeline operators “think” the promise … yadda yadda.

Now, how do they know that?  They can say that they *said* they think, or that they *said* they believe, but I see this continually – the ascribing of honest belief for no other reason than the subject claims that is the case.

Of course, the overwhelming majority of the time, that ascription benefits those whose past and present behavior would seem to dictate an aversion to taking their pronouncements at face value.

But then, I don’t work at a corpress outlet.


Institute for Public Accuracy
“Is Union Busting to Blame for Power Outages?”

*Losing power


And unions


Syrian Opposition Spokesperson: Any Transition Deal Should Entail Assad’s Prosecution for War Crimes

*It appears Jouejati’s going to be DN!’s go to person for the Syrian opposition’s views.

I’d like to see an independent analysis, someone from Syria who will honestly speak to both sides’ malefactions and machinations, and the intentions of the West, as well as those of nations supporting Assad in some manner.


Texas, Justice Dept. Square Off over Voter ID Law as Part of Dispute That Could Decide 2012 Election

*IDing an all out assault on voting rights for the “wrong” people


Oakland City Council Seeks to Cut Goldman Sachs Ties After Bank Profits from Lowered Interest Rates

*Chasing the money changers out of the public temple



Three Quarters of a Million Voters Set to Be Disenfranchised in Pennsylvania
– Common Dreams staff

*Efficiency in election rigging

If they can’t vote in the first place, you don’t have to go to all the trouble of miscounts and machine manipulation come election day.


In Blow to Big Pharma, India to Hand Out Generics
– Common Dreams staff


Gay Couple Arrested After Being Refused Marriage License in Texas
‘This is about not being treated equal’ couple says
– Common Dreams staff

*Breaking the bounds of matrimony


Farmers Continue Fight Against Monsanto
Appeal filed to reverse Feb. decision allowing “Monsanto’s scorched earth legal campaign of threats and intimidation against America’s farmers” to continue
– Common Dreams staff


Federal Government Can Restore Full Employment – If Only it Wanted to Do So
by Mark Weisbrot

*I don’t know why Weisbrot talks about “restoring” full employment … since we’ve never had it.

By sleight of hand definition, at one point it may have existed, but there was always “surplus labor”, and that’s one of the main characteristics of a capitalist economy.

I’m certainly no expert, but it doesn’t really take one to know that some fear of being unemployed is a major weapon in the employer arsenal to keep workers in line, does it?

That won’t change until “labor relations” describes a horizontal, rather than a vertical, relationship.


How US Prison Labor Pads Corporate Profits at Taxpayers’ Expense
Thanks to rightwing lobbying, companies can use a loophole to exploit a scheme designed to give offenders work experience
by Sadhbh Walshe


Talk about chain stores …


When It Comes To Reproductive Health, The National Right To Life Committee Literally Wrote The Media Playbook
by Robin Marty

*Language is the virus

Propaganda, the disease


O’Reilly as Paul Revere: The Disabled Are Coming

*Oh, so that’s the problem …

And here I was thinking that the *rich* weren’t paying their fair share.

Silly me.

So that probably means that the jobless numbers are hokum.

The jobs are there.  It’s just that people don’t want to take them to avoid paying income tax.

It all fits.

Thanks, Bill.  I don’t know what this country would be without brave souls like you sounding the alarm.

We’d might have something like “social justice”.

I don’t even want to think about it.


As Japan Says Fukushima Disaster “Man-Made” & “Preventable,” Fears Grow for Nuclear Plants Worldwide

*You have to wonder if the Diet report is an attempt at damage control, to appear tough while allowing the restart of nukes.

It doesn’t call for even a suspension while these proposed reforms are put in place, and reforms are only as effective as the will to enforce them.

But reform isn’t what’s needed here.

An end to nuclear power, and the prosecution of those responsible for the death and suffering, is the only morally acceptable solution.


Peru Declares State of Emergency as 5 Die in Protest Against Gold Mine Owned by U.S. Firm, Newmont

*Divide and conquer

The people

And the land


Rendered, Tortured & Discarded: A Shocking Story of an Innocent Man’s Ordeal in U.S. Prisons Abroad

*I think we can become inured to some degree to these horrors.  Part of it may be the mirroring of them in our “entertainment”.  A subconscious aversion to empathizing with the victims based on our prejudices and ignorance could play a role, as well.

We need to able to imagine ourselves in their place.  It’s impossible to do so with any degree of accuracy – how could you?  But it’s vital to try, because only then will we summon the conscience and courage to end these atrocities carried out in our name.

Whether our government directly commits or chooses to outsource these outrages, the blood is on its hands, and drips onto ours.

Fully enabling our humanity is the only way to cleanse them.


Amy Goodman in Spain on the 75th Anniversary of Guernica Bombing, Portrayed by Picasso Painting

*Art for our hearts’ sake



Jailed Russian Punk-Rockers ‘Pussy Riot’ Begin Hunger Strike
– Common Dreams staff

*Use a preamp

Go to jail


Anti-Mining Protests Escalate in Peru; Four Killed in Police Violence
Protests continue despite ‘state of emergency’, ban on freedom of assembly
– Common Dreams staff


New Report on the Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods
by Richard Schiffman

*Sewing the seeds of dysfunction


Olympian Arrogance
by Jules Boykoff and Alan Tomlinson

*Here’s an idea.

Get rid of the whole goddamn charade.

The Olympics at heart has never been anything other than a celebration of power and wealth.

And exclusion.

Avery Brundage, anyone?

The proffered reforms wouldn’t change that.

I think London could find far more productive ways to spend the money wasted on this paean to plutocracy.

It likely wouldn’t, but that’s beside the point, isn’t it?


Workers vs. Investors: Famous Windows Factory in Danger of Liquidation
by Laura Flanders


Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor
by Carl Takei


Washington’s Militarized Mindset
The Lessons Washington Can’t Draw From the Failure of the Military Option
by Tom Engelhardt

*There’s a sharp focus here on strategic and tactical failure, but no real examination of the moral failure, of just why the US in engaged in these actions.

I keep coming back to the premise of what Engelhardt and others would say if things had gone swimmingly for our gummint in the region.

Would that in any way be any less obscene?  It would have resulted in fewer deaths, I imagine, but the domination and exploitation would have been worse.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you don’t start and stay on the “why”, the “how” is superfluous.


New Film Hammers Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s Plan to Frack New York
by Sara Jerving

*Exposing fracturing fairy tales

And the gremlins behind them


Public Citizen
With Hundreds of Workers Dying, OSHA’s Denial of Petition for a Heat Stress Standard Is Shortsighted
In Denying Petition, OSHA Opts for Continued Employer Self-Policing Rather Than Accountability

*I dunno …

You’ve got folks dying here, and this org chooses terms like “shortsighted” and “needlessly” to express its views of what is essentially murder.

There’s a disconnect there that I see far too often.

Once is far too often, isn’t it?


Voting Rights Organizations File Suit to Enforce NVRA in PA

*Step one is ensuring the right to vote

Step two is ensuring there’s something worth voting for


Center for Biological Diversity
Study: Fish and Wildlife Service Routinely Ignored Scientific Experts When Choosing Protected Habitat for Endangered Species


Shamir Remembered–With Selective Amnesia

*History belongs to those who make it up

Or bury it


Institute for Public Accuracy
Fukushima Disaster “Man-Made” — Has the Nuclear Industry Captured the Regulators?

*The industry and its lapdogs loaded the gun

And nature pulled the trigger


Dirty Tricks Cloud Mexico’s Elections

*So if proof of all this skullduggery doesn’t translate into an invalidation of the results, much less any charges, just what the deuce does?


In Win for M15 Movement, Spain Opens Criminal Probe of Ex-IMF and Bankia Chief Rodrigo Rato


“Something Is Starting to Happen”: Spain’s M15, Precursor to Occupy, Hails Probe of Ex-IMF Chief

*I’d like to see one DN! segment dealing with movements in other countries in which the word “Occupy” is never used.

Maybe that’s an overreaction, but it becomes this unnecessary shorthand for these grassroots movements, which may have some similarities to Occupy here, but need to be seen in their own contexts.

And all movements should be viewed in a global context as well, with Occupy as just one of many.

One thing that strikes me about Spain, and elsewhere, is the connection to the neighborhoods.  That doesn’t seem to be the case in the US.  Partly that’s due to decisions made within the movement – which one can be critical of – and partly it’s due to the atomized nature of this society, a result being a lack of connections among persons.

We’ve been force fed individualism, and lost a great deal of communal spirit that appears to exist elsewhere.

That’s where direct actions like fighting foreclosures come into play.  Hopefully the work being done in the US on that will begin to break down those walls, and there are many other actions directly affecting folks’ lives that can have a similar impact.

Analysis, agitation and action.

That’s the AAA rating for accomplishing true change, don’t you think?


“Zero Accountability”: Glenn Greenwald on Obama’s Refusal to Prosecute Wall Street Crimes

*Wall Street butters its bread on both sides

And never has to worry about prison food


Glenn Greenwald: As WikiLeaks Reveals Syria Files, Assange Remains in Ecuador Embassy Seeking Asylum

*I think Greenwald’s view of Roberts’ actions relies on facile reasoning.  Maintaining a facade of impartiality may have played some part, but certainly on the ACA decision, you have to ask who really won, and the answer is the insurance and healthcare industries.

And that’s unquestionably in line with Roberts’ corporatist career on the bench, isn’t it?

And his ending remarks equating Occupy with the Tea Baggers are off the mark, to put it mildly.  While there is anger, and justifiably so, by the latter toward the wealthy, it’s motivated by their own situations.  The vast majority could care less about any other group that’s being harmed, often far worse than they are.

And they’re perfectly willing to follow the scapegoaters of those very same people, and those scapegoaters are the very same people whose exploitation – again, of them – they’re angry about.

That willful ignorance and prejudice are prerequisites for the emergence of a protofascist regime, the beginnings of which we’re already experiencing, and which some folks have had to endure aspects of for far longer.

So let’s not make such foolish comparisons.  It’s one thing to be aware of the possibility of changing some minds, and to be careful not to put everyone in the same category, and quite another to make this sort of false equivalency.

I’ll grant that he may have spoken broadly, but I think it’s vital to be extremely clear in this area.

It’s an overarching lesson we all should take to heart, myself included.



S’il Vous Plaît: France to Tax Corporations and Wealthiest to Address Budget Gap
– Common Dreams staff

*A shriveled carrot

Followed by a stout stick


Weak Apology, Deflected Blame and Continued Drone Strikes
Pakistan to reopen supply routes into Afghanstan after US issues carefully scripted apology
– Common Dreams staff

*The going price for “national sovereignty and honor” in Pakistan these days would appear to be $1B US … check made payable to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.


EU Defeats ACTA
European Parliament votes against controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
– Common Dreams staff


What Good is a Higgs Boson When the Planet is Burning?
by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez

*There’s no argument with the primary point, but once again the focus is on the perversity of the product, with no thought given to that of the producer.

Browdy de Hernandez is right that control of renewables would be “good for business” … for the same bastards responsible for “creating the market” for them in the first place.

They need to be prosecuted, not presiding over a new energy regime that should be in public hands, managed for the benefit of and responsive to the needs of us all.

You don’t put a rapist in charge of the crisis center.


What’s in Romney’s Offshore Accounts?
by Ben Adler

*Will an issue be made of this in the campaign?

Who’s he running against?

What do you think?


Evidence of a US Judicial Vendetta Against WikiLeaks Activists Mounts
Iceland’s government warns me not to visit the US, which tried to hack my Twitter account: Julian Assange has legitimate fears
by Birgitta Jónsdóttir


Woody Guthrie at 100: Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Will Kaufman Honor the “Dust Bowl Troubadour”

*No end of moral contradictions and conundrums here, is there?

Guthrie’s initial racism and his ongoing lack of commitment to his family, Seeger’s and Springsteen’s playing at Dear Misleader’s inauguration, naming names before the McCarthyites, the abandonment of noninterventionism, the betrayal of Communist activists by union “leadership”, the blindness of many of those same activists to Stalinism …

As well as instances of unambiguous moral fortitude.

Seeger’s defiance with prison hanging over his head, and Guthrie’s support of him, the courage of Robeson and the many thousands to confront the Peekskill terrorists, the bravery of organizers in the face of vicious repression, Lawrence Nelson’s defense of his family …

And the horrific inhumanity.

The lynchings, the murders, the beatings, the devastation of peoples’ lives …

I take a couple of things from this panorama of America at its best and worst, and the spaces in between.

One is to be cautious in both praise and condemnation.  Both may be justified, but often those judgments need to be tempered with the knowledge of how imperfect a species we are, and a possibly sobering consideration of how we might react under similar circumstances.

Another is the necessity of an addendum to my watchwords.

I say that I try to do what my conscience demands and my courage allows, and never be satisfied with the limits of either.

To that I should add a codicil – to do what reason seems to deem best, and to continue to question that reasoning.

It can be goddamn difficult to know the right thing to do, and if anything is certain in this world, it’s that we won’t avoid mistakes in trying to do it.

What we do after making them defines our principles, and our progress.



As Drought Hits Key Crops, Fears of Food Crisis Loom
As commodity speculators seek to profit from diminished yields, the world’s poorest pay the price
– Common Dreams staff

*Call them vultures

Call them vampires

But you can’t call them criminals

‘Cause it’s all nice and legal like, innit?


International ‘Whale Sanctuary’ Proposal Denied
– Common Dreams staff


We Were Wrong on Peak Oil. There’s Enough to Fry Us All
A boom in oil production has made a mockery of our predictions. Good news for capitalists – but a disaster for humanity
by George Monbiot

*Does it matter how much oil is left?

Oil production was going to continue past the ecological point of no return regardless.

The danger remains the same.  We either have to end our dependence on carbon based energy yesterday …

Or we’ll surely face the gates of hell tomorrow.


Is It Now Possible to Blame Extreme Weather on Global Warming?
Wildfires, heatwaves and storms witnessed in the US are ‘what global warming looks like’, say climate scientists
by Leo Hickman

*Loading the dice

And coming up snake eyes

At some level, though, the question is moot.  Even if there were no impact – and it’s insane to think there isn’t – the continued polluting and degradation of the planet are enough to ensure apocalypse, aren’t they?

If we’re hurtling toward a future in which we can’t breathe the air or drink the water, it really doesn’t matter if extreme weather due to whatever cause were to vanish tomorrow, does it?

We’re dying here, and there’s plenty of blame to go around.

The question is, is there enough will to pull back from the precipice?


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
FDA Sued to Force Release of Livestock Drug Records
Evidence of Agency Effectiveness in Combatting Rising Antibiotic Immunity Sought

*Bullshit any way you look at it


Public Citizen
Meat Inspection Act Turns 106, Finds Itself in the Crosshairs
Public Citizen Urges the Obama Administration to Uphold Key Safeguards and Improve Food and Workplace Safety Instead of Turning Back the Clock

*This time, it’s literally chicken shit from Dear Misleader


Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
CREW Congratulates June’s Scoundrel of the Month: Aetna


Institute for Public Accuracy
Extreme Weather and Global Warming: “Media Miss the Forest for the Burning Trees”


FAIR Media Advisory
Not So Fast on Fast & Furious
CBS sold ‘scandal’ on false premises

*CBS’ coverage



And substantively false


Getting Iran Sanctions Wrong

*Kristof’s theme song would seem to be “Cruel to Be Kind”.

Aside from the moral turpitude, wouldn’t his argument that a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities also apply to sanctions?  Despite his cherry picked remark from the “businessman”, do most Iranians blame the hardships caused by them on their government, or on Western designs on the nation’s oil?

They only have to look next door.

And that “unpopular regime” in Egypt hasn’t gone anywhere, due in no small part to the actions of those Kristof lauds as agents of democratic change in Iran.

But if such contradictions concerned him, he wouldn’t be where he is today, would he?


Corporate Media Untells the ALEC Story

*(See Naureckas’ comment directly above)

So, Jim, according to Rogers’ logic, cherishing the right to vote entails a desire for it to be restricted.

That sort of falls into the category of “Beat me.  Whip me.  Make me write bad checks.”

Masochism can be fun.

But I really don’t see it as an terribly effective motivation for the preservation of democratic rights.


“This Is Just the Beginning”: Forest Fires, Deadly Storms, Record Heat Reveal a Changed Climate

*I don’t think the propaganda from groups like Heartland has much to do with belief.  They see doing anything about climate change as harmful to their corporate members’ bottom lines, and will do what they can to negate that, regardless of the reality.

In other words, the facts really don’t enter into the equation.  Some may have rationalized a disbelief, but in the main I don’t think these persons care one way or another.  Their job is to protect the system they profit from, and they don’t consider anything beyond that.

Not even the fact that they’ll be in the same boat with the rest of us.

That’s how addiction manifests itself.  All that matters is the here and now.  The future be damned.

They’re addicted to money and power.

And the future will damn them.


Climate Disasters’ Toll Worsened by Sustained Attacks on Public Sector, Science and Regulation

*Parenti seems to buy in to the notion that the private sector should control the production of energy, that if polluters are heavily taxed, investment will turn green, which of course leaves corporations in charge.

So why not tax the profits they’re sitting on, and use that to finance publicly controlled energy production?

And Masters’ comment that “oil companies have to protect profits by law” is another eye roller.  Does he honestly believe that these bastards are acting as they are due to some fiduciary obligation?

They’re also required by law to adhere to regulations.

How’s that obligation working out?


Will U.S., the World’s Largest Arms Manufacturer, Back Landmark U.N. Arms Trade Treaty?

*It’s hard to take seriously Nossel’s comments at the end about US law when our gummint’s facilitating arms shipment to Syrian rebels via Qatar and Saudia Arabia, don’t you think?

If the law hampers US policy, it’s seems simple enough to skirt it.

But forget about arms.  Ban ammo.  That applies to hunting, as well.

Let these schmoes dress up in camo and hunter orange, go out in the woods, get drunk and point their guns at whatever they care to.  Do everything short of killing another living creature.

Of course, that’s the payoff, isn’t it?  All the bullshit about family bonding, being out in the great outdoors … it comes down to just wanting to satisfy your bloodlust.

So at least be honest about it.



Sea Level Rise Unstoppable, say Scientists
Even if nations manage to mitigate carbon emission levels, oceans will continue to rise throughout 21st century
– Common Dreams staff

*This seems appropriate




Some Outrageous Facts about Inequality
by Paul Buchheit

*So why are we always talking about a “tiny” financial transaction tax … ?


Wal-Mart: 50 Years of Gutting America’s Middle Class
Walmart’s explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paid manufacturing jobs
by Stacy Mitchell

*Low prices we can’t afford


Europe’s Shock Doctrine: Government by the Banks, for the Banks
The ESM Coup D’Etat in Europe
by Ellen Brown

*On Rockefeller’s pride in being labeled an “internationalist” …

Something tells me they don’t sing The Internationale at the opening of Trilateral Commission meetings


Time To Get Crazy
by Chris Hedges

*Victory is not defined by the outcome

But by the struggle


Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe
Ocean-Farmed Fish, Brought to You by Monsanto and Cargill
Soy Industry Stands to Gain Hundreds of Millions Annually from Open Ocean Aquaculture

*A fish story without a happy ending


Friends of the Earth
New Report Details Risks of China Development Bank’s Global Footprint

*Friends and many other enviro orgs seem to think that any investment in renewables is good, but as important as the product is who controls it.

Corporations who simply see a “growth opportunity” and grab it, hoping to squeeze as much profit as possible out of its customers, are often the forces behind these projects, and may be involved in dirty energy, as well.

A holistic view is necessary in this area.  For energy to be truly clean in every respect, it must be publicly controlled, for the benefit of all.


Do You Change the Weather When You Change the Climate? Yes

*From the Associated Press:

A man plummeted four stories to his death from a building in Chicago today.

Investigators are unsure whether it was a suicide or an accident.  Regardless, some scientists believe it to be associated with the so-called “laws of gravity”.

The insurance industry denies the existence of such laws.  A spokesperson for the American Insurance Institute stated, “He could just have easily fallen upward, and landed safely on top of the building.  The fact is is that there is no conclusive proof of gravity, only circumstantial evidence.”

He then dropped his pen, picked it up, tossed it upward and caught it on the ascent.

“What goes down often comes up,” he stated, to laughter from the reporters present.


After Election, Mexico Poised for Return of PRI — And Continuation of Deadly U.S.-Fueled Drug War

*I’m leery of the student and other popular movements being too close to López Obrador.  That he wouldn’t forcefully denounce the “drug war” policies of the current regime should give pause to anyone viewing him as a leader to be trusted.

Beyond that, placing any politician in such a position is a serious mistake.  Build the movements outside the political boundaries, and let him respond to their actions, not direct them.

And I’m not clear why Ackerman considers the November election results in the US important for bilateral relations, as I don’t know how much more damage a Romney win and possible Republican control of the Senate could wreak.

Dear Misleader’s been pretty much in lockstep with what’s gone before, hasn’t he?  The corporations control the agenda.  The administration, regardless of party, is there to advance it.


Kenneth Chamberlain’s Family Files Suit After White Plains Police Evade Charges for Slaying, Slurs

*You have to think that one reason this occurred is that the cops couldn’t accept someone not obeying their commands.  Had Chamberlain let them in, he might be alive today, though who knows what the bastards might have done to him anyway.

But his refusal to accede to their demands for entry may well have sealed his fate.

Welcome to America, where proffered image and perverted reality are constantly at odds with one another.



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