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Showing posts from February 18, 2007

Three More Free Audio Books (Podcasts)

These passed the "taste-test," too.

A Tale of Two Cities great story. Should be worthwhile, even if long. A female, American reader; knows what she's doing.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn reader is a decent actor, so this sounds good. American; does the language well -- no outrageously exaggerated accents. Hell, at least at some point, Twain was dictating his stuff, anyway.

The Republic's face it: this is a play -- Plato's first love, supposedly. The reader sounds like someone out of Beyond the Fringe, but it seems tolerable.

Two Free Audio Books (i.e., Podcasts)

These two books should work very well in this medium: they're short, they're first-person stories-within-stories, and they're absolutely riveting classics.

Copy-and-paste the URL into your iTunes (or whatever) to enjoy. I sampled each; they're well-read. Not machine-read or unprofessional.
Heart of Darkness
The Time Machine

Washington's $8 Billion Shadow

An excellent example of the free (sic) market (sic) in operation. An interesting quote:
It is a simple fact of life these days that, owing to a deliberate decision to downsize government, Washington can operate only by paying private companies to perform a wide range of functions. To get some idea of the scale: contractors absorb the taxes paid by everyone in America with incomes under $100,000. In other words, more than 90 percent of all taxpayers might as well remit everything they owe directly to SAIC or some other contractor rather than to the IRS. In Washington these companies go by the generic name "body shops"—they supply flesh-and-blood human beings to do the specialized work that government agencies no longer can. Often they do this work outside the public eye, and with little official oversight—even if it involves the most sensitive matters of national security. The Founding Fathers may have argued eloquently for a government of laws, not of men, but what we've …

Counterviews -- Interviews by Tao Ruspoli for Counterpunch

These are well worth viewing. The rss feed (video podcast) is:

Put that in your iTunes (or whatever); the second part of the Patrick Cockburn interview on Iraq is available.

Links to previous interviews are on the page linked above. As the show has progressed, it's gotten better. P. Cockburn is the best of all, partly because he is such a fine journalist.

The Denial Machine, CBC

Also known as "journalism." Canadian Broadcasting System nails it, mostly: the anti-global-warming folks, funded by Exxon-Mobil and friends, have "argued" the US into a standstill on one of the two most important issues of our time (the other being nuclear weapons).

Frank Luntz should be placed in a cage with George Lakoff and dropped in the Mojave. Now he's a "convert" to global warming. That's the nice thing about science: you don't need to "convert," you just need to be consciously honest (as much as is possible, which is considerable), know what you're talking about, and speak accordingly.

John Pilger Address to Columbia University 2006

On 14 April 2006, the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in New York brought together John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Robert Fisk and Charles Glass for a discussion entitled "Breaking the Silence: War, lies and empire".

War by Media
During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States. On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions. "I have to tell you," said their spokesman, "that we were astonished to find, after reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital issues were, by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don't have that. What's the secret? How do you do it?�"What is the secret? It's a question now urgently asked of those whose job is to keep the record straight: who in this country have extraordinary constitutional freedom. I refer to journalis…

Making Martial Law Easier - New York Times

The New York Times gets it right. If they would stop publishing bullshit unsourced propaganda that helps this admin stay in power, that would help a bit, too.

Also, come on: the reason there is no public debate on this is because none is desired. Connect the friggin' dots, already: the Bush admin are a bunch of fascists, and they've systematically put into place an authoritarian framework that can be turned on (more so) at the flick of a bureaucratic switch. Why not write that?

Don't answer; I know.

The final sentence should read:
Since changes of this kind are not unusual in this criminal administration, this paper, as should the Congress itself, supports immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney in order to protect what's left of the Republic. It's the least we can do, given how we've caved into this revolutionary President's administration; we have blood on our hands, and will make up for it as best we can.

PBS's NOW on AT&T's Collaboration with the NSA

Launches RealPlayer; other options here.

Very nice. Electronic Frontier Foundation and the whistle-blower from AT&T. Yep: it's domestic, international, subject-lines and e-mail content, the whole megillah.

Chilling interview with Nazi lawyer (sic -- on the "lawyer" part) John Yoo, who is completely full of Schmitt [see Comment to this post for more information], on why when the President does it, it's not unconstitutional. (Yes, we've heard this before.)

BBC's Rageh Omaar on Iran -- and in Iran

Get to know some of the people we're getting ready to kill in Iran:

Think we should kill these people because of their fucked-up "leadership"? Then you of course think that Americans are fair game for death because of our fucked-up "leadership" -- right? Ah, that's different...why?

Think about it.

Romney being handled by Stephanopolous with kid Mitts on Iran. A partial transcript. Apparently, Romney's Mormonism rates a video clip, but this insane statement, being repeated on both sides of the aisle, upon which potentially millions of lives hang, only rates a partial transcript. Let alone no challenge by that cute little Clintonista.

We're being softened up, kids, and the Nazi holocaust, once again, is being used as emotive leverage to, ironically (if that's the word -- perhaps, "unspeakably cynically," if you don't mind two adverbs side-by-side), kill a whole lot of innocent people.

I would think American Jews (not to mention everyone e…

Senator Russ Feingold: Congress Must Defund the War

Not a word about Iran, funnily enough. (No, it's not funny.) From Counterpunch:

On January 31, Feingold introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007 to use Congress's power of the purse to end our military involvement in Iraq and force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops. More information on Senator Feingold's bill is available [here (PDF)].
More info, from Feingold's site:

Senator Feingold Introduces Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007

Read, watch, and listen to Senator Feingold oppose the President's escalation plan and call on Congress to use the power of the purse to end our involvement in Iraq.

Read about Senator Feingold's legislation to use Congress's power of the purse to safely redeploy troops from Iraq.

Read Senator Feingold's blog calling for Congress to use its power of the purse to end the …

Impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to Stop the Guns of August, An Attack on Iran

Interview with Francis A. Boyle (Vita, PDF) who went to Chicago and studied with the neocon poli-sci peeps, whose godfather was Leo Strauss (as everybody ought to know by now; see first two Comments).

Went to Harvard Law with Elliot Abrams; knew Wolfowitz. Pretty much nails these fascists to the wall.
Summary: Professor Francis A. Boyle discusses the Neoconservatives in the Bush administration he met in college and explains their dangerous agenda. To prevent World War III he urges members of Congress to begin impeachment proceedings immediately, cut funds to Iraq, and use the War Powers Act to strengthen opposition to strike on Iran.

Ilan Pappé Interview

The interview starts 15 minutes into the broadcast, "Crossing the Line: Life in Occupied Palestine," from (or at least using the weekly news summary from) the Palestine News Network. Interesting to hear criticism of the Mecca agreement from another angle: Hamas and Fatah kept any other group out of the deal (Ashwari and others comment before the interview with Pappé).