September 2012


France’s ‘Toughest’ Budget: Super Tax on the Super Rich
New budget released Friday has 75% tax on millionaires, still commits to spending cuts
– Common Dreams staff

Voyage Reveals ‘Planetary Scale’ of Plastic in Oceans
– Common Dreams staff

Big Pharma Medicaid Fraud Penalties at Record High
Major pharmaceutical companies undeterred as profits continue to rise
– Common Dreams staff

*No “War on Drugmakers” here

Just a slap on the wrist

Being careful to avoid the Cartier

‘Excessive’ Tear Gas, Water Cannons Used in Chilean Students’ Latest March
– Common Dreams staff

*What would be “appropriate” amounts of tear gas and water cannons?

Pakistan ‘Categorically Rejects’ Claim That It Tacitly Allows US Drone Strikes
by Chris Woods
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The Invisibles in Mississippi and the US
by Greg Kaufmann

*I come from “the great and sovereign state of Miss’ssippi”, but I haven’t lived there in years, and I’d forgotten about Fordice, the ideological heir to Ross Barnett, George Wallace’s doppelganger.

While my memory may not be sharp, I do remember that “old times there are not forgotten”.  Strip back the facade of “conservatism”, and you’ll find the same allegiance to apartheid, or as close as feasible to it, as that sworn to by the White Citizens Councils decades before.

Arizona may be the current face of racial intolerance in the US, but Mississippi wrote the template, and keeps the fetid faith.

Bradley Manning Support Network
Military Makes a Mockery of Bradley Manning’s Right to a Speedy Trial

Institute for Public Accuracy
* Netanyahu “Distracting Attention” with Iran * Does Abbas Really Want Full U.N. Membership?

*Abbas wants to do what’s best for the PA … and for Abbas.

And that has nothing to do with what’s best for the Palestinian people.

NYT and Professor Netanyahu

*I’m trying to imagine the skull session that went into the production of that graphic.

“We need a visual aid.  Something that will really pound our point home.”

“Um … what about a bomb?  You know … with a fuse burning down?  Like in the cartoons.”

“And we’ll put it in Khamenei’s turban.”

“Eh … too much.  And it’s been done.”

“You’re right.  But maybe Ahmadinejad dressed up like Boris Badenov?”

“No more TV for you, young man.”


ALEC’s (Corporate) Love Affair with Fracking
Special report from Center for Media and Democracy
by Sara Jerving
PR Watch

*Fracturing fairy tales

That will become a nightmare if we don’t wake up

Student Debt Hits Record 1 in 5 US Households
– Common Dreams staff

Social Security: Solidarity, Not Investment
The most fundamental misunderstanding about an essential program
by Jeff Nygaard

*The fundamental flaw in the Social Security program is that benefits are based largely on income, on taxes paid, not on need.

Remember, SS was created at a time when “entitlement programs” didn’t exist.  Today, those programs can help make up for the basic needs unmet by one’s SS benefit, but the number of older folks living in poverty in these here United States makes clear that there’s a grave problem with the system as currently constituted, don’t you think?

So why don’t we have a structure based on need?  Why should someone who doesn’t need as much, or anything, from SS, get more than someone who needs a great deal?

The argument is that the current set up gives everyone a stake in supporting it, but not everyone receives food stamps or other “entitlements”, and I’d like to think most people don’t begrudge those who do those benefits.

If they haven’t swallowed whole the “welfare queen” and allied myths, that is.

Social Security should be just that.  It should give those who receive it the security of knowing they will have what they need to live a dignified life.

If that’s not something we as a community can agree on, we’re not worthy of the label, are we?

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Iran and the Bomb, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Facts
by Christian Stork

*A fractured fairy tale

That could rend apart the region

Keystone XL Blockade
TransCanada Endangers Lives of Dozens of Peaceful Keystone XL Protesters in East Texas
Tar Sands Blockade is prepared to remain in trees as long as it takes to halt the tar sands pipeline despite dangers posed by TransCanada’s reckless endangerment of their lives

Institute for Public Accuracy
Decline in New SAT Scores “Shows Failure of Test-Driven Schools”

*Flunking the true test of educational excellence

Praising Obama’s Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid

*Our forty-fourth president is a foursquare defender of free speech.

As such, his speeches are unfettered flights of fancy, free from any fealty to factuality.

Of course, he is far from a lone figure in that fetid forum.

And a feckless corpress facilitates the farce.


In U.N. Address, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Urges Obama Admin to End “Regime of Secrecy”

Exposed: U.S. May Have Designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks an “Enemy of the State”

*Wikileaks is an enemy of the state.

It’s an enemy of the state of secrecy, of the state of impunity, of the state of inhumanity which exists by dint of our government’s immorality.

What it – and Assange and Manning and all others committed to exposing the truth – are not

Is an enemy of the people.


100 Million Dead, Trillion of Dollars Lost from Climate Change by 2030, Estimates Study
– Common Dreams staff

*These sorts of studies, despite their value in raising the alarm over climate change, remain firmly rooted in solutions within the current economic system, supposing the existence of the capacity for rational action among those who control it.

But if that rationality existed, it would have manifested itself long before now, don’t you think?

As long as there’s this refusal to look beyond the present profit based economic structure, these reports are all just so much pissing in the poisoned wind.

Exposed: “Small Business” Group Just a Front for “Big Business” Interests
New watchdog website shows how secretly funded NFIB exploits sympathy for small business owners to push corporate-friendly agenda

Gloomy Prognosis: US Has Set Fuse for Prolonged Afghan Civil War
New report joins growing calls for renewed and serious peace talks with Taliban
by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

*I guess this is what passes for “serious analysis”, and indeed, there is useful intel extant.

But the tone is not dissimilar to sportcasters debating the best strategy for the team – aka the US and A and “its longer-term interests in and around Afghanistan” – and not seeming to give a tinker’s cuss about the Afghans themselves.

I’m sure the same ‘tude was evident towards the end of the Vietnam War, with little thought given to what had been done to the region, but rather how to mitigate the damage to the empire.

Is that an unfair assessment?

The Spanish Public Won’t Accept Financial Coup D’etat
Spain’s government is right to fear the public reaction to this new round of suffering mandated by the financial markets
by Katharine Ainger

A Crucible of Political Disenchantment: ‘Dismiss Whatever Insults Your Own Soul’
by Phil Rockstroh

*Our souls are buried under the rubble of the superfluous and the selfish

The rescue and rehabilitation of them must be our highest priority

And will be our greatest achievement

Nestlé: Malevolent Corporation Capitalizes on Global Water Crisis
by Maude Barlow

*Water, water everywhere

Nor any drop to drink

Unless you got the smack to score some

Food & Water Watch
Superbugs on the Factory Farm New Report Offers Primer on the Dangers of Antibiotic Resistance and Its Origin in Our Food Supply

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
New Report Looks at Sustainability of Venezuela’s Economic Recovery Rise in living standards, poverty reduction, and increased access to education and health care factors behind Chávez’s lead in polls

*The ten ton gorilla in the room here is how do you reconcile the need for producing oil, minerals and other natural resources in developing countries in order to raise living standards with the imperative to end that exploitation?

The short answer is you can’t.  Production can’t be decoupled from the standard of living as long as profit rules the global economic system.

We have to move to a model that provides a dignified life to each person, regardless of what and how much they produce, and that vitiates the need to produce that which is destroying the ability to live that dignified life.

Or any sort of life.

And I’m afraid that a short answer’s all I’m capable of.  But that doesn’t negate the unassailable fact that we can’t keep raping the earth and strangling the air and water.

Whatever benefits that are gained from doing so will be lost in the struggle to merely survive.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Exposed: Secret Cold War Inhalation Experiments on Poor, Minority Communities in St. Louis; Possible Radiological Testing

*Guinea pigs never have Swiss bank accounts

Major Protests in Greece and Spain

*Franco’s ghost gets the giggles

Thousands Surround Spanish Parliament in Bid to “Occupy Congress” and Stop Austerity

*The shape of things to come in the US

And I hope we get our asses organized as well as the Spanish have

Study Finds U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan Miss Militant Targets and “Terrorize” Civilians

*This is where the ability to empathize, sorely lacking in this country – and make no mistake, that’s by design – is essential.

If Americans could put themselves in the place of the Pakistanis, Afghans, Yemenis and all the other victims of this hideous policy, if they could imagine how it would affect them to have family and friends become “collateral damage” in Denver or Newark or Jacksonville or Austin, I’d like to think that they’d rise up and stop the murder that takes place in our names.

But the British don’t have to imagine, having experienced something similar with the buzz bombs, and it doesn’t appear many of them make the connection.

Fear and hatred of “the other”, fed by the lies of propaganda, keep our better angels grounded, and I think all the appeals to self-interest over “blowback” won’t change that.

We have to find a way to go beyond simply the rational.

To speak to our humanity.

To speak to our souls.


Havaar Protests Ahmadinejad, Netanyahu, Obama & Their Threats to Iranian People

Open Letter to the Anti-War Movement

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph …

No need for gumment infiltration and instigation here.

At some point, you’d think the lesson would be learned

Dogma is not man’s, woman’s, or justice’s best friend.

Champions of De-Growth Offer Alternatives to Destructive ‘Extractivism’
Global South invited to ‘de-grow’ at international conference
by Claudia Ciobanu
Inter Press Service

Scientists: No to Genetically Modified Crops, Yes to Paradigm Shift
Scientists say India should not believe false promises of genetically modified crops
– Common Dreams staff

Police Turn Spanish Parliament into ‘Fortress’ as Numbers Swell at ‘Occupy Congress’ Protest
– Common Dreams staff

UN: Yemen Plummets Into Severe Food, Humanitarian Crisis
– Common Dreams staff

Top GOP Senate Candidate Just Says It: ‘Do Away With Medicare, Medicaid’
by John Nichols

*Now, if we had anything approaching a responsible media, this would sound the death knell for Thompson’s campaign.

But we don’t, and so he may survive it.

I’m in Wisconsin, and Baldwin has surged ahead in the polls.  If this can’t be ignored by the corpress, it will be goddamn difficult to overcome.

Assuming a fair election – always a dicey proposition with so much at stake.

And to be clear, Baldwin’s by no means Jesus on a stick.  She has all the contradictions of your classic liberal Democrat.

But I’ll fill in her oval, just as I will Dear Misleader’s and other Dems’, as an exercise in damage control we call electoral politics in these here United States.

And then do what I can outside that gym.

Where the real heavy lifting goes on.

Is Climate Change Hell Now Inevitable?
by John Atcheson

*How can someone look unflinchingly at the catastrophe cause by the pursuit of profit

Then propose solutions that are based on it?

This isn’t about making renewables “competitive in the marketplace”.

That marketplace is what’s driving us off the cliff.

And no, I don’t have the roadmap that marks the exit off that highway to hell.

But like Atcheson, I can’t ignore what’s slapping me in the face.

And that’s the inescapable fact that you can make capitalism better.

But you can’t make it good.

And if we’re to have any chance to survive

We’re going to need the greatest good we can get.

The TPP: A Quiet Coup for the Investor Class
The Obama administration’s trade negotiators are quietly selling out workers and the environment in a massive Bush-style trade agreement.
by Hilary Matfess

*I don’t want to see these negotiations opened to public scrutiny.

I want to see them closed.


As for congressional oversight, a fat fucking lot of good it did with NAFTA, CAFTA and all the other FTAs that the TPP is heir to, didn’t it?

Drones: The West’s New Terror Campaign
The CIA’s Predator drones are bringing to Pakistan the same horror that Hitler’s doodlebugs inflicted on London
by Clive Stafford Smith

*The ascent of technology

The descent of humanity

Friends of the Earth
Gates Foundation-Led Green Revolution Promotes False Solutions to Hunger in Africa
Friends of the Earth International warns against damaging industrial farming promoted by the Gates Foundation at the Agricultural Green Revolution Forum 2012, Arusha, Tanzania on 26-28 September.

Institute for Public Accuracy
State of the UN

*Unaccountable Neoliberalism?

“Harvest of Empire”: New Film Recounts How U.S. Intervention Caused Mass Latin American Migrations

*I think Obama’s draconian deportation policy makes clear how winning elections is a minor consideration for the major parties, compared to maintaining the power structure both serve.

If that weren’t the case, he’d do all he could to get these folks legalized, and the loyalty that would engender would put the Democrats in the electoral catbird’s seat for the foreseeable future.

But that is the case, because the fear and powerlessness that accompanies undocumented status is what allows the often horrific economic exploitation of immigrants.

And that obscene treatment translates into obscene profits.

And that, above all else, is what our political system is designed to protect.


TV Stations Accept Political Ad Cash — and Leave Viewers in the Dark
by Timothy Karr
Free Press

*Cashing the checks

And not checking the cash

Civilian Blood Continues to Spill in Afghanistan
UN: August was second deadliest month for civilians
– Common Dreams staff

Climate Change, Ocean Acidification Threaten Food Security of Billions
CO2 emissions pushing fish, seafood into colder waters and wreaking habitats
– Common Dreams staff

*A frighteningly factual fish story

Iranian Diplomat Says Iran Offered Deal to Halt 20-Percent Enrichment
by Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

Expert: US Plan for Uranium-233 Disposal “Shocking”
Report warns against plan to simply bury weapons-grade nuclear material ‘straight into the ground’
– Common Dreams staff

They Villified Us. We Won. (Quebec Students Hail Their Movement’s Victories)
by Camille Robert and Jeanne Reynolds

*Sounds like a CLASSE act to me, especially on the need to connect student issues with other struggles.

Kids these days …

Now We Know Our ABCs. And Charter Schools Get an F.
by Paul Buchheit

*Learning the hardhearted way

Fifteen Issues this Election is NOT About
by Bill Quigley

*There will be literally no debate on these points

The Middle East in Turmoil Once Again: And It’s Not All About Us
by Phyllis Bennis

Time for Some Good Jobs Guarantees
Corporations often take big helpings of public funds, saying that they’ll provide jobs in return. But how can communities make sure they deliver?
by Brooke Jarvis

Center for Biological Diversity
Lawsuit Seeks Full Implementation of Modern Clean Air Act Standards for Lead
A Dozen States Haven’t Complied With Rules Lowering Airborne Lead Pollution That Causes IQ Loss in Children

Institute for Public Accuracy
U.S. Backs Terrorist Group, Making War with Iran “Far More Likely” After Big-Money Campaign

*Now, explain to me why it’s a bad thing that US support for terrorism “will seriously damage … America’s standing among ordinary Iranians.”

Isn’t that what it should do?   The fact that those its targets are oppressors doesn’t change the equation, does it?

And that repressive regime is stating the truth when it claims that “the U.S. is out to destroy Iran and is the enemy of the Iranian people”, and that this decision is “proof that the U.S. is cozying up with a reviled terrorist group”.

So how is any of that “a false argument”?

That this is emblematic of bipartisan bloodletting on the imperial stage is no surprise, is it?

As Anti-Immigrant “Papers” Law Takes Effect, Jeff Biggers on Arizona, the “State Out of the Union”

*To shape your future

You must know the shape of your past

Jailed, Censored at Home, Russia’s Pussy Riot Hailed by Supporters from Yoko Ono to Aung San Suu Kyi

*Gulags and the ghost of Stalin

One Billion Rising: Eve Ensler, Activists Worldwide Plan Global Strike to End Violence Against Women

Pt. 2: Eve Ensler on Her Battle with Cancer: “We Can Use Sickness as a Tool for Transformation”

*A cancer of the body

And a catharsis of the soul


American Trust in News Coverage Falls to All-Time Low
Gallup poll finds that US news consumers are tuning out and losing faith with each passing cycle
– Common Dreams staff

*The premise here is rather misleading.

While I’m sure many people are clued in to the duplicity of the corpress, the fact that Republicans are most distrustful indicates that much of this leeriness is predicated on the myth of “the liberal media”, propagated by decades of reactionary propaganda.

And the far from delicious irony is that they turn to those propagandists for all the news that’s printed – or aired – to fit.

In Quebec It’s Official: Mass Movement Leads to Victory for Students
Naomi Klein: ‘This is why radical movements are mercilessly mocked. They can win.’
– Common Dreams staff

*You have to believe that there will be a concerted attempt to split the student movement, and I wonder if the FEUQ and allied orgs, who will likely be offered some goodies in exchange for “responsible behavior”, will maintain the solidarity that led to this victory.

That’s looking at it from an outsider’s perspective.  I know very little about the situation aside from the broad outlines.

And I hope my wariness proves unwarranted.

Shell Sues to Ban Public Protest Against Arctic Drilling
Hefty fine aimed at Greenpeace for Arctic actions
– Common Dreams staff

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth
by Abrahm Lustgarten

*And the company takes what the company wants

And nothing’s as precious

As a hole in the ground

No Days of Peace in War-Ravaged Afghanistan
by Johnny Barber

Who’s Deceiving Whom?
Push to Label GMO Foods Frightens Big Ag Interests
by Anna Ghosh

Corporations Should Have to Pay For Torturing People
by Katie Redford

*Impunity for inhumanity

An immutable “market principle”

Institute for Public Accuracy
“In What Ways Did Standardized Tests Prepare You for the Job You do Today?”

*Flunking the tests

And not to jump on O’Sullivan, but

Fuck finding “corporate allies”.

Remembering Troy Davis: Questions Remain over Whether Georgia Executed Innocent Man One Year Ago

*Troy Davis said

“May God have mercy on your souls.”

But those responsible for his execution, and the execution of anyone else, regardless of their guilt or innocence, have nothing approximating a soul to receive that mercy.

Troy Davis One Year Later: Execution Fuels National Movement to Abolish Death Penalty

*It’s very frustrating not to have anyone speak to the fundamental immorality and inhumanity of execution, regardless of guilt.

Even if the duplicitous and heartless bastards who fuel its existence were themselves to be convicted of murder – and the wanton killing of the innocent cannot be seen as anything other than that – they should not be subject to the death penalty.

That includes Clinton, off what Jealous related.

As for Obama, to say he “knows better” is meaningless.  If you know better, you do the right thing.

But what can you expect from the head of the NAACP?

As Italy Sentences 23 CIA Agents in Rendition Case, Obama Refuses to Prosecute Anyone for Torture

*Like the “War on Crime” and the “War on Drugs”, the “War on Terror” has nothing to do with actually confronting the claimed scourge, and everything to do with exercising unquestioned power.

The methods, be they torture or drone strikes or the death penalty or prison for drug users, don’t work, but that doesn’t matter, because that’s not the intent.

To end torture, to observe international law, to legalize drugs, to employ alternatives to incarceration, to deal with the social problems that lead to criminal behavior …

That would vitiate the authoritarianism that those in power rely on to maintain that power.

And as long as they can propagandize most people into accepting that this is necessary, or that it’s useless to struggle against it, it will continue.

Alfred McCoy: “Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation” (Pt. 2)

*McCoy eviscerates Sutherland’s rationalization of the depiction of torture, but in speaking to the mainstreaming of it in popular culture, I don’t know that the “Casino Royale” scene should be lumped in with “24”.

Now, I haven’t seen the film, but if it concerns consensual sadomasochism, that to me connotes conflating two very different phenomena, and it’s puzzling why McCoy would do so.

But the overarching point is dead on, and I think there’s something going on here beyond public acceptance of the proclaimed necessity for torture to “keep us safe”.

Americans, especially whites, are all too eager to go along with the dehumanization of those declared enemies.  That goes beyond fear, to the darker impulses of a nation built on the subjugation of and brutality toward “the other”.

Lynchings and massacres of indigenous people are two horrific examples of this black thread that runs through this country’s history.

And that thread is still stitched securely into the fabric of the American psyche.


Taliban Outflank US War Strategy with Insider Attacks
by Gareth Porter and Shah Noori
Inter Press Service

Strike Erupts in India as Economic Reforms Pit Small Business Vs. Retail Giants
“The government is lying that companies like Wal-Mart will generate millions of jobs in India”: lawmaker with opposition Bharatiya Janata Party
– Common Dreams staff

*The low life leader

Operation Zero Tolerance: Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson Gears Up for Biggest Fight Yet Against Japanese Whaling
– Common Dreams staff

Quantifying ‘Muslim Rage’

*You have to qualify “enraged”, don’t you?

I imagine most every Muslim – and a whole helluva lot of non-Muslims – who is aware of this bile is angered by it.

But the corpress frame is “Anger = Protest = Violence = Death”, which delegitimizes righteous anger and action.

So whether it’s fifty or fifty thousand, the stigma sticks.

And “the Muslim world” gets stuck with the consequences.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama and Romney Quietly Backing Jobs-Killing Secret Pacific Trade Deal

*The campaign’s for show

The conspiring’s for dough

David Cay Johnston: “The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use ‘Plain English’ to Rob You Blind”

*A lot of very important intel here, but Johnston’s naive faith in “the market economy” ignores the fact that the pursuit of profit will always lead to these horror stories.

When the motivation is to make money, the impetus accelerates to make more and more of it, and any sense of societal responsibility – or humanity – is obliterated.

And even if everyone were on their best behavior, the competition at the heart of capitalism will perforce create winners and losers.

We don’t need to be driven by a desire to “get ahead”.

We need to listen to our conscience, and create what we need, and all we need, through cooperation.

It’s not only a matter of justice.

It’s also a matter of simple self interest.

Exclusive: Live from Illinois Plant Where Workers Camp Out to Pressure Romney, Bain on Saving Jobs

*Of course I support these people, and hope they succeed, but I can’t help thinking that this is all about their plight, and has little to do with the overarching fight for workers’ rights.

I think Gaulrapp’s remarks about the Korean solidarity could be ironic.

Yes, it is “absolutely imperative that people stick together on this stuff”, but I have to wonder whether if the situation were reversed, how likely it’d be that the American workers would reciprocate.

And if they weren’t losing their jobs, whether they’d care about others who are.

That may seem harsh, but there’s a substantial strain of parochialism evident in labor struggles in this country, as well as a certain level of racism toward the peoples of the nations where jobs are being outsourced.

It’s becoming a cliché with me, but if US workers are to have any chance of successfully confronting the vicious attacks leveled at them, solidarity must be shoreless.

One final thought.

I can see Dear Misleader holding a exploitative photo op at the camp.

I’d love to hear one of these folks ask him about the Trans-Pacific Partnership “free trade” deal.

Would she be removed, while Obama acolytes chanted “USA! USA!”?


“Show Me Your Papers” Law Takes Effect in Arizona
Following judge’s order, police can now demand proof of immigration status
– Common Dreams staff

*Driving while excoriated

As Ice Melts, World Powers Vie for Arctic Supremacy
Resource depletion feedback loop generates race for previously inaccessible oil, gas, and minerals
– Common Dreams staff

NOAA: Record High Ocean Temperatures in North Atlantic
– Common Dreams staff

Study Finds Tumors in Rats Fed Monsanto GM Corn
Controversial data prompt’s EU agricultural vice-chairman Bove to call for Euro wide suspension of GMOs
– Common Dreams staff

Hollywood Film Pushes Flawed Corporate Education Agenda
“Won’t Back Down” pushes so-called “parent trigger” laws espoused by rightwing policy groups and privatization advocates
by Mary Bottari and Sarah Jerving

*If only it was just a movie

US Drought Brings Mass Livestock Slaughter, Soaring Food Prices to World
– Common Dreams staff

*Mass immiseration is always a money maker

‘Born on Third Base’: How the Wealthy Inherit the Earth
The real story told by the Forbes 400 is about privilege and the growing inequality in both wealth and opportunity
– Common Dreams staff

*Left out of this is just how that wealth is created.

Those policies affect the wealth already amassed, but you had to make it somehow.

And that somehow almost always involves screwing someone over.

If not directly or indirectly contributing to their death.

You might ask the Waltons.

And I’m not talking about Olivia, John and John-Boy.

So no, let’s don’t shame the wealthy.

Let’s prosecute those who have committed crimes, and use their ill-gotten gains to ameliorate the immense harm they’ve done.

And change the laws that make what should be criminal legal.

It’s a dream, I know.

But change doesn’t happen without the ability to dream.

Given US Foreign Policy, Only Surprise Is There Aren’t More Violent Protests
The Muslim eruption reflects a deep popular anger and blowback from US intervention in both Libya and Afghanistan
by Seumas Milne

Public Citizen
FDA’s ‘Minor Deletions’ Policy Violates Freedom of Information Act, Should Be Revoked
GAO Told Agency 20 Years Ago That Policy Violates Letter and Spirit of Transparency Law

Institute for Public Accuracy
Fallout from the Chicago Strike: * Rally in D.C. * Testing

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis: Deal Ending Strike a Victory for Education

*We’ll see how this plays out.  No diss on Lewis, but I want to see what reliable independent thought makes of this.

Romney’s Dismissal of “Dependent” 47% in Line with Tax Policies Favoring the “Country Club” 1%

*The implication here seems to be that Obama is not a friend of the “Country Club” 1%.

Which explains the cartloads of campaign cash he gets from many of them.

In this system, the task of Republicans is to keep the pedal to the metal.

The task of Democrats is to take their foot off the accelerator.

But don’t apply the brakes.

Given where we’re headed if we don’t jam them on ourselves, our choice is effectively how fast we want to be going when he hurtle off the cliff.


Study: Deeper CO2 Cuts Needed to Save World’s Dying Corals
by Stephen Leahy
Inter Press Service

*Reefless madness

New Study Links BPA to Obesity in Kids
– Common Dreams staff

*Profiting off pestilence

Mitt Romney’s 47% Problem
by Pierre Tristam

Unlike Afghan Leaders, Obama Fights for Power of Indefinite Military Detention
Obama lawyers file a breathless, angry appeal against the court ruling that invalidated the NDAA’s chilling 2011 detention law
by Glenn Greenwald

*I think Greenwald gives too much credit to Karzai and other Afghan “leaders” for their supposed fealty to just legal norms, but the point’s taken.

The US displays a level of disdain for due process and other legal rights that would do the North Korean – or the Saudi – gummint proud.

And that disdain translates into terror and death.

Terror and Teargas on the Streets of Bahrain
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (in the U.S. at Least)
by Jen Marlowe

*Going beyond the headlines

(Or lack of them)

To the hearts of those who matter

NYT Buries Occupy Wall Street

*Of course, this isn’t really about “Occupy” – whatever it is, and it is many things, and as uneven as the Oakland hills.

(Which means there are hilltops as well as lowlands, and we’d do well to eschew ignoring either.)

No … it’s about squelching hope.

It’s about telling us that pulling a lever or filling in a circle every so often is how we should address the destruction of our and our fellow human beings’ lives.

It’s about keeping us inside the fences, and outside the gates.

It’s about kettling our humanity.

It’s their raison d’etre.

And it’s our charge to be unreasonably enraged by it.

And to do something about it.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Beyond the “Muslim Rage” Hype

Michigan a Key Battleground for Labor Rights with Votes on Emergency Managers, Collective Bargaining

*Re that ad clip, the appeal to a sense of societal benefit from enshrining collective bargaining as a constitutional right is stated in language that echoes a narrative that has been used time and again against workers, one of “compromise” and “doing what’s best for the community”.

It’s as though union leadership is afraid to state their case for worker rights straightforwardly, and make that case based on notions of fairness and justice, which have nothing to do with “selfishness”, and which do indeed benefit the community, by diminishing the power of corporations and their servants in public office to not only harm the interests of union members, but all workers and all those they seek to subjugate.

That’s what you get when you use members’ dues for “message experts”, and not for waging the kind of struggle necessary to secure the rights of all workers, which should be the overarching goal of unionism.

From Guantánamo to NDAA: Obama Admin Bids to Preserve Indefinite Detention at Home and Abroad

*A few comments

There’s nothing “cowardly” about Dear Misleader’s actions.  That assumes he’d act differently if there wasn’t a presumed political cost – not from the public, but from the elites – but he’s part of those elites, and he’s as committed to the police state as they are.

Romney should know about “treason”, if you define it as undermining the safety and security of your fellow citizens.

And I agree that, “in this country, we have a right to take those people and put them in jail.”

There is no such thing as “a great moderate governor”.

And finally, it’s not that he “never understood about manufacturing”.

It’s that he discovered he could make a shit pot full of money destroying it.

Detropia: New Doc Takes Intimate Look at Detroit’s Struggle with Manufacturing Collapse, Urban Decay

*Foolish comment by Grady about the city administration not cutting services “out of cruelty”.

It’s effectively working with the plutocrats to destroy the lives of these people.  It may not have the money, but it could be fighting to get it from these bastards, rather than pleading poverty.

It could be making clear whose side it’s on, and doing whatever it can with what it has to make life better for its residents.

Is it doing that?

What do you think?

And I don’t know why Grady keeps using the term “man on the street”.

It doesn’t matter which orifice is used.

Both genders are getting screwed.


Arctic Sea Ice Will Reach ‘Final Collapse’ Within Four Years: Expert
– Common Dreams staff

US Poised to Violate Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
by Pat LaMarche

*Weapons that kill

Without ever being used

Five Looming Curses of Privatization
by Paul Buchheit

*Should the national emblem be changed

From an eagle

To a vulture?

Challenging the NDAA: We Won—For Now
by Chris Hedges

*The gummint’s case comes down to “Trust us.”

And like its farcical presentation in the courts, it provides no evidence to justify placing our trust in it, while there is overwhelming evidence for not doing so.

Top Myths about Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment Program
by Juan Cole

*Putting the propaganda in proper context, but I do have to take issue with one aspect.

There is nothing “logical” about nuclear power.

Oxfam International
Europe’s Thirst for Biofuels Spells Hunger for Millions, as Food Prices Shoot Up

After NATO Strike Kills 8 Afghan Women, Pundits Still Wonder: Why Do They Hate Us?

*I think this LA Times headline makes plain the POV here:

NATO Force Suffers Catastrophes

You kill nine innocents, and *you* “suffer”.

It’s the flip side of blaming the victim.

Sympathy for the perpetrator.

At NYT, She Said No to ‘He Said/She Said’–but They Said Yes

*One of the reasons the Times and other corpress outlets became branded as “the liberal media” is that they didn’t present the blatant racism and oppression in the apartheid South a half-century ago as just one side of the story.

Not to ascribe any altruism to that.  To have done so would have been to so completely and utterly deny reality that all legitimacy as journalists would be lost.

Fast forward to today, and you have the same issues in the guise of voter suppression, but a very different calculus is in effect.

This is evident in many other areas as well, of course, from climate destruction to imperial wars (the “pragmatic”, not moral, abandonment of the Southeast Asia project being another reason for the “liberal media” label).

I think the key here is that truthfully covering overt racial repression in the South didn’t challenge the national power structure.

Doing so with respect to the issues above certainly does.

So this is how the corpress maintains the illusion of journalistic integrity, by covering struggles in a “balanced” way.

And that provides cover for the omissions and outright propaganda (aka “lies”) that are also part and parcel of mainstream media.

No news there.

Institute for Public Accuracy
Chicago Strike and the Corporate Attack on Education

*I echo Ohanian’s concerns.

If this results in a “shadow victory”, I think many – teachers, students, parents and others – will feel betrayed by the CTU leadership.

Perhaps not immediately, as gains will have been made, but as it becomes clear that accepting a “half a loaf” deal leaves many of their goals unfulfilled, and less likely to be in the future, discouragement and cynicism will overwhelm the sense of true “hope and change”.

I dearly hope those worries prove unwarranted.

Occupy Sunset Park: 99% Solidarity Takes Root in Brooklyn Community Where Tenants Stage Rent Strike


France Says No to Genetically Modified Crops, No to Fracking
– Common Dreams staff

*Sanity in any language

Spaniards Rally Against Austerity: ‘There Are Alternatives’
Massive demonstration in Madrid on Saturday pushes back against gov’t cuts
– Common Dreams staff

Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Sections of Walker’s Act 10 as Unconstitutional
by Brendan Fischer
PR Watch

Conservatives, Democrats and the Convenience of Denouncing Free Speech
Westerners love to decry censorship aimed at them by Muslims while ignoring the extreme censorship they impose on them
by Glenn Greenwald

*A few days back, I commented on another Greenwald column:

“I don’t think free speech rights extend to acts intending to, or known to be likely to, cause harm to others.   It’s the old example of yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.   Establishing intent is often not a simple matter, of course.  Likewise, a standard for negligence.  So care must be taken, stating the obvious.   But I think these factors are at play in this instance, and I think Greenwald should reassess his civil libertarian absolutism.”

Now I feel I have to reassess *my* views, after reading this piece.

But I still think the “FIRE!” analogy is pertinent.

And there are sincere persons – and I’d count myself among them – who feel that the issue of speech and consequences is more complex than is presented here.

And my motivation for saying that are the images of death and destruction arising from that speech.

I’d welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter with the man.

Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body
New findings explain how politics, economics, and ecology can help or hurt our bodies.
by Claudia Rowe

*This isn’t meant to be a diss on Schettler.  He may well be well intentioned in his reformism.

But it’s emblematic of a limited vision – no surprise, given YES! as the source – and likely explains why he hasn’t been excoriated, or worse, by The Powers That Be ™ for his activism.

It’s one thing to know the facts

And quite another to know how far you must go to do them – and us – justice.

It’s Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History?
by Bill Bigelow

*We hold these “truths” to be anything but self-evident

Behind the ‘Green Economy’: Profiting From Environmental and Climate Crisis
by GRAIN et alia

*Now I am become profit

The destroyer of worlds

This is the sort of deep dish intel that should be the exceptional rule at Common Dreams and elsewhere, don’t you think?

And you’ll notice that Sierra, NRDC and other mainstream enviros are not part of that “et alia”, are they?


Institute for Public Accuracy
Getting Past Protest Disinformation

Anti-American Protests Alight Across Muslim World
Roiled by denigration of Islam and US policies, popular anger takes hold
– Common Dreams staff

Romney: “Middle Income” in the US is $250,000
– Common Dreams staff

*Romney will likely “clarify” that he meant a quarter mil would be the “upper level” of a middle class income.

In which case, the term loses all meaning, doesn’t it?

But think about Stephanopoulos’ own reckoning, at twice the median.

ABC News has a new slogan:

“See the Whole Picture”

Not through that lopsided looking glass.

Canadian Environmentalists Plan Mass Mobilization Against Tar Sands Pipeline
– Common Dreams staff

US Attack Would Destroy Region, Not Iran’s Nuke Program: Report
US, Israeli assault unlikely to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, say former prominent US military officials
by Jim Lobe and Jasmin Ramsey
Inter Press Service

*So how do you produce an article on this matter without once mentioning that there is no actionable evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon?

I suppose in the same way that most every piece I’ve seen on Afghanistan omits any mention of pipeline routes and geostrategic goals.

Sometimes the alternative media doesn’t provide enough of one, does it?

Decades Of Deception: The Coal Industry Has Advertised ‘Clean Coal’ Since At Least 1921
Greenpeace campaign reveals the history of coal industry spin

*Deadly smoke

And deceptive mirrors

The Global Food System Casino
by Vandana Shiva

*I thought that Sheeran’s comment was an odd thing for Shiva to quote.

It comes across as warning that food must be freed from speculation, or folks will rise up.

Isn’t that what folks – meaning us – need to do?

Anyone have an alternative interpretation?

‘Students Suffer in Low-Performing Charter Schools’
A letter from the Chicago Teachers Union president
by Karen Lewis

Living Up to ‘The New Deal’: Half the Nation Is Still Waiting
by Susan Feiner

*A woman’s work is never done

Being devalued

Is There Even Less Arctic Sea Ice Than the Satellites Show?
Only 350 miles from the north pole, possibly 50% of the sea is covered in ice, yet data says there is ice cover at this latitude
by John Vidal

Revisiting An Arctic Tale of Ice and Shell
by Subhankar Banerjee

NYT Buries the Lead on Iran

Make that “the Paper of Reeking”.

It seems a bit odd that there’s any controversy over Iran’s intentions toward Israel, doesn’t it?

If the Iranian government has such intent, don’t you imagine that declarations to that effect would be standard fare in their pronouncements?

Yet the Times and the rest of the corpress have to engage in pretzel logic to make the case for Iran’s bloodlust.

It’s enough to make Spock raise both eyebrows.

FAIR Action Alert
Brought to You by…Big Oil?
Washington Post hides industry sponsorship of energy debate

*Silence on a silent partner

Could Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Help Romney Win Race? Up to 1 Million Voters Face Disenfranchisement

*Such a valuable right

And so often such little value in the exercise of it

In Controversial Death Row Case, Pennsylvania Prepares to Execute Man Who Killed His Sexual Abusers

*So how would life without parole be considered a victory for justice, given what drove Williams to these acts?

And don’t you have to consider that race very well might have played a role in the sentence, and in the prosecution’s attempt to portray robbery as the motive?

If there were any justice, Williams would be free today, and these bastards would be behind bars for the perversion of it.

Pittsburgh Ban on Natural Gas Fracking Faces Challenge from State Authorities

Department of Administration installs 482 panic buttons in Capitol offices
by Clay Barbour
Wisconsin State Journal

*Panic buttons

Jesus …

What next

Ejection seats?


Big Ag Directly Funded Anti-Organics Stanford Study: Report
– Common Dreams staff

*Willfully blinded by science

‘Agent Orange Corn’ One Step Closer to Approval
– Common Dreams staff

*Frankenfoods Conquer the World!

A horror movie to induce a nightmare

We can’t awake from

Inside the Strange Hollywood Scam that Spread Chaos across the Middle East
A group of rightwing extremists aimed to destabilize post-Mubarak Egypt and roil US politicians. They got their wish
by Max Blumenthal
The Guardian

*Below I said that “Time will tell, hopefully.”

It appears time is right on cue.

The Provocateurs Know Politics and Religion Don’t Mix
It only takes a couple of loonies a few seconds to kick off a miniature war in the Muslim world
by Robert Fisk

*It’s early days yet, so this is clearly speculative, but don’t you have to suspect a possible attempt to create a crisis for Dear Misleader that can be exploited by his opponent?

Which he wasted no time in doing, although he made a mockers of it.

Which makes no never mind to the true believers – *our* fanatics – of course.

I’m not saying this was coordinated with the Romney campaign … only that whoever was behind this film may well relish a change in administration, and saw this as a way to further that goal.

Time will tell, hopefully.

Moody’s Threat to Downgrade US Debt is Political, Not Fiscal
There is no risk of default on US bonds. Moody’s warning about its AAA rating serves a rightwing agenda of public spending cuts
by Mark Weisbrot

*Weisbrot’s point about the dud of “the debt bomb” doesn’t get much play in the alternative media, does it?

And it desperately needs to.

When you accept the assumptions of those you oppose, even as you resist their implications, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back, don’t you think?

Labor Is Under Attack All Over the World
by David Macaray

*If we are to survive

Solidarity must be shoreless

Here’s another to add to the list:


Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Coalition Urges Consumer Protection From Deceptive Oil and Gas Leases

*Fracking’s a fraud in every facet

Middle East Protests at U.S. Embassies Spread in Uproar over Anti-Muslim U.S. Film

Islamic Scholar Tariq Ramadan on the Growing Mideast Protests and “Islam & the Arab Awakening”

*It may be difficult to understand the interactions among all the players, but the main principle should be clear.

We should be wary of those who claim to be champions of “the people”, of altruistically acting on behalf of others

As the lopsided odds are that they’re only concerned with their own interests.

That’s not cynicism

That’s empiricism

Especially, but hardly exclusively, as it pertains to the US and the West.

As U.S. Inequality Widens, Scholar Cornel West and Broadcaster Tavis Smiley Launch Poverty Tour 2.0

*You can search on “cornel” and “smiley” here to get my take on their sincerity, but I have to say that their critiques of Dear Misleader were more trenchant here than what I’ve heard previously.

We’ll see where that leads.

But Smiley’s allusion to LBJ is one stone contradiction, isn’t it?

He should avail himself of King’s appraisal of that administration.


Generation Food
by Robert Jensen

*Putting grassroots action on the table

So we can put good and plentiful food on it, as well

Numbers, Analysis Show 30 Years of Failed US Economic Policy
Census numbers show persistent poverty, falling wages, and rising inequality
– Common Dreams staff

*Taking it

And losing it

By the numbers

The Tragic Consulate Killings in Libya and America’s Hierarchy of Human Life
The murder of American staff over a hate film is an unmitigated wrong. But so are deaths caused by the US that go unremarked
by Glenn Greenwald

*Greenwald makes some righteous points, as is his wont, but I disagree with a couple of contentions.

I don’t think free speech rights extend to acts intending to, or known to be likely to, cause harm to others.

It’s the old example of yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded theater.

Establishing intent is often not a simple matter, of course.  Likewise, a standard for negligence.  So care must be taken, stating the obvious.

But I think these factors are at play in this instance, and I think Greenwald should reassess his civil libertarian absolutism.

Secondly, whatever comes of the Libyan revolution, we don’t have to wait to condemn US and Western intervention, because we *do* know the intent behind it, and it had nothing to do with “freedom and democracy”.

Let’s hope that’s the outcome, but if so, it will be at odds with the results desired by those governments.

The Persecution of John Kiriakou: Torture and the Myth of ‘Never Again’
by Peter Van Buren

*I have to demur on Van Buren’s description of a “frightened” president.

“Fear mongering” would be my edit.

Farmworker Wage Theft: As Common as Dirt
by Paula Crossfield

*Justice is left rotting in the fields

‘Get a Rock and Talk’: On the Power of Restorative Justice
by Robert C. Koehler

*Seeing beyond winning for one

To well being for all

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
CREW Names the 12 Most Corrupt Members of Congress; Eight More Earn Dishonorable Mentions

*Of course, this is about textbook corruption.

The moral corruption of the political system infects “honest” officeholders as well, and is the far more dangerous threat, isn’t it?

Jobs with Justice
Walmart: Meet with your Warehouse Workers

*A new ad slogan for Walmart:

Low prices
Lower wages
Exponentially lower morals

Talk about truth in advertising

Institute for Public Accuracy
Behind the Libyan “Success”

*A no fly zone

For democracy

Pro-Mubarak Media Disinformed, Driving Cairo Embassy Protests

*Another possible piece of the puzzle

How Poverty Affects a Majority of Americans

*Part time poverty

Full time fuck

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Killed as Anti-Islam Film Inflames “Repressed Social Forces” Post-Gaddafi

*Not much clarity here, to my mind.

Hopefully later intel will place matters in clearer perspective.

“500 Days”: Author Kurt Eichenwald’s New Account of How Bush Admin Ignored Warnings Before 9/11

*This may all be “fascinating”, but to talk about the neocon “fascination” with Saddam, and not mention oil …

And as I said yesterday, it strains credulity to believe that this was all due to this obsession with Iraq, don’t you think?

To not even consider the possibility of another explanation, to do your own “ignoring” of what is entirely reasonable to assume – that this was allowed to occur …

Well, I think it does a profound disservice to your stated commitment to be “the exception to the rulers”.

As well as to your viewers, listeners and readers.

Not that there isn’t some worth to what’s related here.  For example, the apocalyptic rant from Bush is revealing.  I’d felt that his religiosity was merely a useful facade, but perhaps he was a true believer.

If so, having the most powerful political office in the world held by such a fanatic, and the psychosis that would lead him to think that Chirac would be swayed by such insanity, is some scary shit to contemplate, indeed.


Conservationists Issue Plea to Save 100 Most Endangered Species
‘What can nature do for me?’ mindset wrong path to conservation, say experts
– Common Dreams staff

*Human beings are the only species willfully incapable of reason

Living in “The Greatest Nation on Earth”
by Tom Engelhardt

*Bellowing bombast from the mountain top

To drown out the groans of agony in the valley

Public Security – The Greatest Casualty of the Drug War
by Laura Carlsen

*Something that wasn’t pointed out here is that The War on Drugs ™ provides cover for US imperial machinations in Latin America and elsewhere.

Call it murderous multitasking.

We Are at War
by Johnny Barber

*The value of war

Is that the powerful get

What the powerless pay for

Virtually, Anything Goes with Online Education
State officials are allowing tax dollars to underwrite K-12 virtual disasters.
by Sam Pizzigati

*Web of deceit

Another Guantánamo Prisoner Death Highlights Democrats’ Hypocrisy
With closing Guantánamo given up as a lost cause, Obama’s policy has moved onto assassination rather than detention
by Glenn Greenwald

*Fraudulent form

And sickening substance

The Democrats’ Missed Opportunity
In failing to link immigrant rights and women’s rights, DNC speakers overlooked how injustices interlock
by Michelle Chen

*It’s not a “missed opportunity”, or a “blind spot”, precisely because of what Chen describes

The political exploitation of these issues by “the good cop”.

Pretty words can’t mask the ugly reality of deceit and betrayal.

Center for Biological Diversity et alia
As Climate Warms, Petition Seeks to Stop Methane Leaks at Drilling Operations on America’s Public Lands

*“This isn’t about whether oil and gas drilling is good or bad … “

Goodness, no.

To address that would risk being seen as “environmental extremists”.

Or simply sane.

Institute for Public Accuracy
First Federal Drone Trial: “Guilty”

*A truly criminal conviction

How the Government Could Have Prevented 9/11: Read the Documents

*I don’t see this as a matter of negligence, incompetence or “misguided suspicions”.

The threat was obvious, and the level of those factors necessary to have done nothing about it beggars belief.

The most reasonable explanation is that the attack was allowed to occur in order to set the stage for the neocon fantasy that followed.

I can’t say that for certain, and in large part that’s due to the aversion of the “establishment alternative media” to pursue the truth, possibly out of a fear for being labeled “conspiracy theorists”.

But I have news for you.

History is littered with conspiracies.  They are one of the ways those in power obtain and maintain it.

And we can’t challenge that power if we don’t honestly acknowledge and expose that fact.

‘You Can Look Fair or You Can Be Fair’: Corporate Media’s Dilemma

*Klein, of course, is only concerned with the acceptable spectrum of issues, and the acceptable manner of dealing with those issues.

Going beyond those boundaries would expose the lies that underpin both campaigns, and the political process itself.

And he wouldn’t be where he is today without knowing full well where those boundary lines lay, would he?

Chris Hedges might know something about that.

Are Chicago Teachers Really Rooting for Student Failure?

*I would say lying is second nature to these schmenges

But that would imply it’s not their primary impulse. .

Thousands Rally in Chicago Teachers’ Strike, Pushing Back Against Corporate-Backed Education Reform

*Learning the lessons

And applying the knowledge

Chris Hedges: Dems Owe Chicago Public Teachers Support for “Most Important Labor Action in Decades”

*First the dissection

Then the disembowelment

Chris Hedges on 9/11, Touring U.S. Economic Disaster Zones in “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”

*There will be no campaign stops in Pine Ridge or Immokalee.

These people exist outside the duopolistic frame of reference.

And their existence can never be acknowledged

Lest that frame fracture.


Shell Bores Into Arctic Sea Despite Flimsy Safety Tests
– Common Dreams staff

*No freeze on this sleaze

Global Carbon Trading System Has ‘Essentially Collapsed’
by Fiona Harvey
The Guardian

*Interesting that the only substantial criticism of carbon trading in this piece is found in the photo caption.

The Guardian is often a cut above the US corpress, but the body could have been from an AP article, wouldn’t you say?

Climate Change Wreaks Havoc on US Power Plants
Less water, more heat putting enormous strain on aging energy infrastructure
– Common Dreams staff

Surveillance System Set Up for RNC May Be Permanent
– Common Dreams staff

*Big Brother puts down rotten roots

Growth Is the Problem
by Chris Hedges

*I understand the logic of localism, but I have to think that there must be a national and international component to our ability to survive, because our problems are broader than our immediate communities.

We have the technology to connect with others far away, and we have to take full advantage of it, especially as pertains to organizing to confront the plutocracy.

It seems to me that Hedges and the authors interviewed don’t see the possibility of mass action to do so.

Maybe I’m naive to think that it exists, but I think it’s our best chance to transition to a livable world that affords us the dignity we deserve, and so it’s worth the effort to try to build, and not simply give up on.

What do you think?

S17: Occupy Wall Street Plans Anniversary Protest of Wall Street
by Allison Kilkenny

*I’m not sure what “non-threatening” means here.

Every action should be threatening to those in power, or it’s useless, isn’t it?

There’s an equating of “non-threatening” with “peaceful” that I have to look askance at.

The Freedom Rides and lunch counter sit ins were peaceful – on the part of activists – but they presented a dire threat to apartheid in the South.

My point here is that we should be always be looking to threaten those who threaten our well being … and our lives.

If we ever hope to end that threat.

Conservation Groups Challenge Kill-at-will Policy for Wyoming Wolves
Federal Delisting Undermines Successful Recovery of Iconic Endangered Species

*Hunting down the human predator vote

ACLU of Florida
The Faces of Voter Suppression Become the Voices of Voter Empowerment at “Let Me Vote”

NYT Gives Emanuel’s Side on Chicago Strike

*Notice how the Times cloaks its cheerleading for the mayor with frettage over how the strike will impact parents and students.

What you won’t see in its coverage is much, if any, attention paid to the significant numbers of those very same parents and students out on the picket line with those “selfish” teachers.

Today’s DEMOCRACY NOW! provides much of what’s missing in the corpress’ lopsided take on the issues.

Speaking of picket lines

Dear Misleader once made a pledge to walk them with unions.

But he doesn’t want to walk with them.

He wants to walk over them.

And many union “leaders” lie down to let him.

These folks don’t seem to have an inclination to that make that declination, do they?

Iran Coverage Offers Confusion Over Clarity

*I hadn’t heard the “Persian Bomb” line before.

It’s doubtful you’ll hear Keller referring to Israel’s arsenal as the “Hebrew Bomb”, don’t you think?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Chicago Strike “Tip of Iceberg” in School “Reform’s” “Disastrous Consequences”

DEMOCRACY NOW! Chicago Public Teachers Stage Historic Strike in Clash with Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Education Reforms

Striking Teachers, Parents Join Forces to Oppose “Corporate” Education Model in Chicago

*The push for “reform” is primarily about two things:

The privatization of public education, and the transformation of schools into nothing more than factories for churning out cogs to fill the needs of corporations.

The teachers are being pelted with brickbats

And the kids are being pressed into bricks for the wall.

Chicago Teachers Strike Could Portend Referendum on Obama Admin’s Approach to Education Reform

*I’m encouraged by Lipman’s description of the CTU, and its democratic nature, but I’d like to know more about how that commitment to democracy, and to connecting with communities, is realized.

Infiltrating Occupy: Austin Activists Face Charges for Equipment Provided by Undercover Police

*Hopefully the charges will be thrown out, but that’s about all that ever happens in these entrapment cases, isn’t it?  The true perps don’t suffer any consequences of note.

As a result, there’s no incentive to cease and desist.  They can continue their police state tactics with impugnity.

And it’s not just the immediate victims who pay the price.

We all do.


FAIR Extra!
Missing Latino Voices
Excluded from the newsroom, absent from the conversation
by Julie Hollar

Media Not Concerned About the Very Poor
Study finds poverty not an issue in most election coverage
by Mariana Garces and Steve Rendall

*Unless we act on our humanity

The poor will always be with us

And never among us

‘Unprecedented,’ ‘Amazing,’ ‘Goliath’: Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice Melt
Arctic Sea ice levels continue to drop below record set on Aug. 26
– Common Dreams staff

BP Oil Spill, Tar Balls Churned up by Isaac
– Common Dreams staff

*The legacy of licentiousness

Stanford Scientists Shockingly Reckless on Health Risk And Organics
by Frances Moore Lappé

*Fact faulty fare

Consumed with relish by the corpress

Democrats Parade Osama bin Laden’s Corpse as their Proudest Achievement
It’s one thing for Democrats to fete Obama’s tougher-than-thou national security credentials, but this ghoulish jingoism is warped
by Glenn Greenwald

*I’m in full agreement with Greenwald’s revulsion at this display of orchestrated bloodlust, but his description of capital punishment as “justified and necessary” tends to blunt his point, don’t you think?

Once someone, no matter how heinous their acts, has been captured, and no longer poses a threat, there can be no justification for the taking of life.

That includes Nazi war criminals … and in a truly just world, US presidents.

To argue otherwise is to engage in a downsized version of the same inhumanity decried here.

Who Is Held to Account for Civilian Deaths by Drone in Yemen?
There is a history of Yemeni officials lying to protect the US, and the Pentagon and CIA greeting queries with obfuscation
by Chris Woods

*That last sentence

“Civilian deaths risk undoing all that the United States is trying to achieve in Yemen … “

Is worth pondering.

Just what is the US trying to achieve?

I don’t think it has diddley to do with “combatting terrorism”, and everything to do with flouting international law and rewriting the rules to its liking, so it can do what it goddamn well pleases.

Now, certainly the US wants to control terrorists – and let’s not confuse the term with “militants”, who are killed because they fight back against foreign aggression.  But terrorism is the boogeyman that justifies imperialism.

And in the empire game, you can’t boogie without a boogeyman.

There’s a Machiavellian logic to that that should send shivers down our spines.

Don’t Call It ‘Raising the Retirement Age,’ Because That’s Not What They’re Doing

*Of course, the limitations of Social Security as an insurance program would be of no consequence if the US adhered to its commitment under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

It wouldn’t be about what you paid in.  You would get what you need to live a dignified life.

Now, this isn’t some “com – yun- ist plot”.  This is what our gummint agreed to over sixty years ago.

But it isn’t legally binding.

Only morally.

And you know how much water that sieve holds.

“Effective Evil” or Progressives’ Best Hope? Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency

*I’d have like to have seen this segment given completely over to an honest recounting of Dear Misleader’s crimes, rather than this false balance of debate about his policies, given that so much of DN!’s coverage has been focused on apologists for him.

Ford makes the essential point that even if we vote for the bastard come November, we must be honest about just who he is, and who he serves.

It’s interesting.  I searched on “dyson” at my blog, and came up with one mention, ironically off a DN! segment from four years ago, with his comments on Obama’s acceptance speech.

Nothing’s changed, as evidenced by some of my remarks:

I don’t want to waste a lot of time on Obama and all this reality-show convention horseshit … but I thought this piece was instructive as to the contradictions folks like Dyson exhibit in backing him.

You have to wonder whether they’re being self-delusional, or trying to delude others, about what this guy represents … and will continue to represent if he wins.

I shouldn’t say nothing.  I have a stronger sense that this isn’t about self-delusional on Dyson’s part, given how he tries to impugn Ford’s commitment to working for true change.

Now, as then, this is my bottom line:

This isn’t about opinions and attitudes and political punditry.

It’s about life and death.

Electoral politics in this country is essentially about damage control, and I may well vote for Obama and other Democrats.

But I won’t delude myself, or anyone else, about who these people are.

If they win, the challenge remains the same.

We must speak truth to power, and we must strive to build our own.

Seven billion lives depend on it.


*I didn’t post anything from DEMOCRACY NOW! today, as I just didn’t see anything really worth passing along.

Let’s just say independent analysis wasn’t a featured speaker.*

We Stand with the Greek People Fighting Austerity — for their Sake and Ours
Statement of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy

*Solidarity is shoreless

Sign at the link below

Institute for Public Accuracy
Democratic Party Forces Jerusalem Position on Delegates

Obama’s Five Rules for Covert Drone Strikes
by Chris Woods
Bureau of Investigative Journalism

*The irony doesn’t just drip

It’s New Orleans after Isaac

‘Catastrophe’: Critics Slam Neoliberal Plan for Privatized Cities in Honduras
Built from scratch with private investors, opponents say “charter cities” violate people’s right, guarantees of democracy
– Common Dreams staff

Report Reveals Widespread CIA Torture Alongside Gaddafi’s Libya
New accounts of waterboarding, abuses in secret prisons reveal larger scope of Bush torture than previously known
– Common Dreams staff

Obama Campaign Brags About Its Whistleblower Persecutions
Excuse me if I don’t join in Democrats’ sycophantic cheerleading for an Obama presidency that has shredded laws and liberties
by Glenn Greenwald

*From “Hope and Change”

To “Doped and Deranged”

Will the GOP Steal America’s 2012 Election?
by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis

*The authors say they have no answer to why the Democrats stood by as their wins in 2000 and 2004 were nullified, yet they do provide the frame that answers that question.

Both parties seek to maintain power, not against each other, but over us, and for the plutocracy.

They are rivals, just like two sports teams, but just as no franchise would kill the goose that lays the golden eggs by doing anything to destabilize the league, the Democrats would never be party to exposing the theft of the highest office in the land, which would make plain just how corrupt the political system is in this country.

That’s beyond the political pale.

And will remain so if it’s deemed necessary to steal this election, as well.

Fracking Water Hogs
by Mijin Cha

*Starve a crop

Feed a fever

for fortune

Moms Discriminated Against at the DNC?
by Laura Flanders

*Plenty of money for pomp

None for these women’s circumstances

Amnesty International
Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement Must Uphold Core Principles of Human Rights

NYT Still Has a Torture Problem

*For the Times

These horrors are literally unspeakable

AP’s Mostly Factless Factcheck

*Here’s a factcheck on McConnell’s comment:

The Republican strategy is “to block Obama at virtually every turn” …

When he’s not in near-perfect snyc with them.

Which, when it comes to empires – national, financial or corporate

Is always a good bet.


Politicians in Tampa, Charlotte Massaged by Media–Literally

*”Relatively modest” or not, Fahri’s bosses at the Post will make certain that their and the rest of the corpress’ sycophany has a limited engagement on its pages, wouldn’t you think?

Dissonance may be fashionable in some quarters

But these folks are classicists to the core.

Study: Extreme Weather Hammers Global Food System
Current and future impact of floods and droughts being underestimated, says Oxfam
– Common Dreams staff

Survey: Level of Child Malnutrition “Shocking” in War-Torn Afghanistan
As war rages and despite influx of foreign aid, Afghan children teeter on edge of ‘famine’
– Common Dreams staff

*Empty stomachs

From barren souls

Spain’s Robin Hood Mayor: ‘The Solution to the Crisis is Outside of Capitalism’
by The Real News

‘A Great Silence Is Spreading Over the Natural World’
Bernie Krause has spent 40 years recording nature’s sounds. But such is the rate of species and habitat loss that his tapes may become our only record of the original diversity of life
by John Vidal

*A silent prelude

To the screams

CNN and the Business of State-Sponsored TV News
The network is seriously compromising its journalism in the Gulf states by blurring the line between advertising and editorial
by Glenn Greenwald

*I do an awful James Earl Jones impression

Be that as it may




Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
Share of Bad Jobs Has Risen Since 1979

13% of Students Paying For College with Credit Cards Cannot Afford to Graduate

*For many, higher education is not in the cards

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Leading Scientists to Congress: Do Not Block Government List of Cancer-Causing Chemicals
They Say Public Needs Unbiased Assessment; Human Health is at Stake

*The push to make what can hurt you

What you don’t know

Institute for Public Accuracy
Obama and Romney vs the 99 Percent?

Undocumented Activists Arrested Outside DNC After Cross-Country Journey for Immigration Reform

Political Party Time: Corporations, Donors with Billions at Stake Fund Lavish Events at DNC

*More logos than a NASCAR event

And less honest

At GOP Fundraiser with Billionaires, Karl Rove Maps 2012 Strategy and Jokes of Murdering Todd Akin

*It may be that Rove is banking on the base having been satiated by the diet of red meat that’s been served so far, that GOTV will ensure their getting to the polls, and he can focus on these disillusioned Obama voters with his soft sell.

If you don’t think this bastard hasn’t read Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, and taken copious notes …

Black and Latino Southern Voters May Hold Key to 2012 Election as Region Hosts Dems, GOP Conventions

*So you have the Republicans trying to block the emergence of black and Latino political power in the South

And the Democrats trying to control it.

The only hope for the region is for both to come up craps.


US-Funded Armies Slaughtering Record Number of Elephants
– Common Dreams staff

Food Crisis Looms, UN Agencies Urge Action to Avoid ‘Catastrophe’
– Common Dreams staff

*Empty stomachs

And insatiable appetites

Protests, Fury After US Drone Strike Kills 13 Civilians in Yemen
– Common Dreams staff

*When I passed this along to a friend, he remarked

“Job security for the drone makers:  every strike increases the number of targets.”

Death sells

And we’re doing the buying

The US and Israel, Not Iran, Threaten Peace
by Noam Chomsky

*Turning the world upside down

To get the right side up

Labor Day Message: We Can’t Labor Without Our Lives
by Laura Flanders

*Fixing a Whole

Where the pain gets in

Thinking Outside the Processed Foods Box—Health and Safety Advantages of Organic Food
by Mark Kastel

*This was a front page story in the Wisconsin State Journal – no surprise there – and I’m glad to see it challenged here.

One other thing that occurred to me while reading it is that the issue of pesticide runoff was MIA.

Balance was likewise a no show, with a cameo appearance by the Organic Trade Association as the only source quoted countering the narrative.

Call Ronnie Cummins?

You’re joking, right?

Wall Street South March on the DNC: Good Cop, Bad Cop
by Jen Schradie

*As you might imagine, an AP piece in the Walker – um – Wisconsin State Journal on the protest played up the “cordiality” of the cops, neglecting to mention the kettling aspect.

And the reporter made damn sure to define the turnout at “disappointing”.

SOP for the MSM, DYT?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Speak at Convention as Teachers Strike Looms

*Standing up to having it Rahmmed down their throats

Newsweek: Obama Needs to Be Clinton

*Newsweek and the rest of the corpress don’t want “New Democrats”.

They want “Old Republicans”, to go with the protofascists presently in control of that party.

And that, to them, would represent “political balance”.

Ryan’s Lies… I Mean, His ‘Overreaches’

*I’m old enough to remember this lyric:

I can still hear you saying those words that never were true Spoken to help nobody but you Words with lies inside But small enough to hide till your playing was through

So is Brokaw.

But here life doesn’t imitate art, by his lights, does it?

(Bonus points for guessing the song and band)

Ahead of Charlotte DNC, Hundreds Protest Corporate Giants in “March on Wall Street South”

*There are many reasons to protest, but it all comes down to this:

People are dying, people are in misery

And the bastards in both parties, and those they serve, are responsible.

If you can’t raise your voice against that

Can you truly call yourself human?

Grassroots Leader Rev. Dr. William Barber on the Fight for Voting, Civil Rights in North Carolina

*This transcript wasn’t posted when I commented on the segment below, and it gives more detail on what happened in the post-Civil War period, but I’d still like to know more about just how the biracial coalition was destroyed.

Poor and working class whites were seeing benefits from it, so why should appeals to racial hatred been able to dismantle it?  Was it that it was more a marriage of convenience, and many of these whites felt they could get as good or a better deal by allying with the oligarchs?

Or is a rational explanation along those lines missing the meaning here?  Is racism so deeply inbedded in the American psyche that even self interest can’t tame it?

On another subject, Goodman should have queried Barber on Dear Misleader’s misdeeds.  Even though he said he didn’t endorse him, I’d have liked to have heard him give his opinion of this administration, because, again, too often do we hear someone like him say some righteous things – especially in this case the diversity of issues being championed – then vitiate it to a large degree by aligning with the Democrats.

Baldemar Velásquez Draws on Years of Farm Worker Organizing to Continue Struggle in Anti-Union South

*Giving Velásquez all due credit for what he’s done over the years, it’s extremely frustrating to see him avoid any criticism of someone who’s done nothing but sell out those for whom he’s worked to make life better.

Of course, his reticence is far from unusual among other “vets”, which is why we should be leery of viewing anyone as a “leader” based solely on past actions.

Honesty is an immutable requirement for that position, don’t you think?

Bright Lights of Charlotte’s DNC Cast Shadow Over City’s Poor and Marginalized

*A Foxx in the penthouse

You have to wonder if the push to decentralize low income housing was designed to create opposition, and force poor folks out of the area.

I’d like to know more about that biracial coalition from a century before.  How did it come about, how did it gain political power

And how was it torn asunder?

Diverse Causes Join Forces in Charlotte to Kick Off Week of Protests at DNC

*The nascent stirrings of a righteous Southern Strategy?

Why Did the Dems Choose Charlotte? Examining Obama’s Close Ties to Utility Giant Duke Energy

*Duke represents the future of energy industry propaganda.  As the evidence of climate change becomes impossible to ignore, you’ll likely see corps admitting it exists, while distorting its true impact, and pledging to address it.

Greenwashing will be the order of the day, and a compliant and complicit corpress will aid and abet the strategy, as per usual.

And if you’re “surprised” by Obama’s ties to all this

You are either breathtakingly – and dangerously – naive

Or just plain irredeemably idiotic.

No Papers, No Fear: Busload of Undocumented Immigrants Defy Risks to Bring Message to DNC

*Obama and the Dems have already chosen – to toss crumbs while barring the door to the bakery.

It’s up to these folks – and all of us – to force them to change that callous and cynical choice.


Israel ‘Pillaging’ Palestinian Resources: Report
by Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Inter Press Service

Speculating Banks Profit as World’s Poorest Go Hungry
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley among those accused of reaping financial harvest from growing food crisis
– Common Dreams staff

Politicians, Don’t Worry About Factcheckers–They Don’t Worry About Your Lies

*One reason these schmenges aren’t concerned with being called on their prefabricated prevarications is that they know the corpress won’t follow up.  Yes, they will often mention them – and “mention” is indicative of the level of salience they attach to lying – but then they’ll move on to what’s truly “important”.

And when they do mention them, context is almost always lacking.  No pattern is discerned.  Most every instance stands on its own, and quickly fades into oblivion.

Now, this is usually a phenomenon reserved for conservative and Republican transgressions.  Democrats, especially those favored for their “moderation”, certainly benefit from it, as well – most often when lying to advance corporate and military interests – but because the Limbaughs and O’Reillys pound away at Democratic deceptions, conceded and concocted, the mainstream media keeps them in the public eye on the rationalization of there being a “controversy”.

What we’re left with is a milieu in which honesty becomes not an immutable value, but a manufactured “quality” wholly unrelated to any allegiance to the truth, such that a stone story teller like Ryan can project an aura of “sincerity”, while spewing utter tripe about his plan to “save Medicare”.

So to go all Lewis Carroll on you

That’s a pretty goddamn cloudy looking glass, isn’t it?

Institute for Public Accuracy
Labor Day: * Min. Wage * Occupy * Political Conventions

*We must hope that by next Labor Day, the empty rhetoric will have been replaced with full scale action

That will only happen with the emergence of many true leaders

And the eclipse of mere title holders

Rev. Moon and His Cult

*Your first reaction may be, “I’d never fall for that”, but many intelligent people did, and it’s important to understand how Moon played upon psychological and social vulnerabilities, and political ignorance, to entice these folks into his clutches.

Of course, the same could be said of Falwell, Robertson, or the secular variants that have wooed so many into service to the cause of greed and power in the name of some deity or a perverted vision of this country.

I’d disagree with Clarkson’s contention that “Moon hated America”.  That America that demands a mindless subservience to authority, religious and secular, was fertile ground for his megalomania.

I don’t think we have much of a “tradition of individual rights and independent thought”, other than in the acts of those too few who have challenged power in this country, and by doing so have bestowed on us what freedoms we do possess.

And the call for the courage to emulate them is never ending.


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