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Showing posts from April 20, 2008

Upon Glancing at the Providence Journal Today...

Nowhere will you find word one about the international food crisis.

Meanwhile, the "liberals" (not all, of course) are pushing biofuels: fill your tank with food from people's mouths, for the benefit of the Archer Daniels Midland Corp (not the "Jeffersonian farmer" Monsanto is currently suing out of existence for not paying for their naturally -- or intentionally -- dispersed, copyrighted GMOs).

After the coming economic cataclysm (already here for most people), ya think people will finally rise up and overthrow the global neoliberal regime? Think Obama will lead that fight here in the US?

I think South America is the brightest spot, relatively speaking, in the world right now: they are pointing, messily, toward the only possible future for the species. (Example of "messy": Lula is pro-biofuels -- and not the non-edible kind, either. Even non-edible biofuels will displace all other crops due to rising demand, and not just in the US/EU, but in India, Chin…

Israel: A Crazy State...

...getting plenty of help from our homegrown lunatics, of course.

Viz. on day of headlines from DN! (I know, Amy Goodman is a self-hating Jew. Aren't we all?):
Facing Fuel Shortage, UN Halts Aid to GazaIn Israel and the Occupied Territories, the UN has been forced to suspend aid deliveries to the Gaza Strip. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency says it’s run out of fuel because of Israel’s blockade. The UN delivers aid to two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.4 million people. The top UN official in Gaza, John Ging, said Israel had ignored the agency’s warnings.UNRWA Director John Ging: “There is a crisis here, and it will not be solved with one truck. We need over nine million liters of diesel for Gaza per month. There has been no diesel supply to Gaza at all, not one drop of diesel, since the 9th of April.”Israel has intensified its stranglehold over the Gaza Strip since Hamas took control last June. Gaza resident Abu Muhammad appealed for international intervention.Abu Muhammad: “This is …

Democracy Now! Needs an Outreach Director

Click above or read below:
Immediate opening for full-time Outreach DirectorDemocracy Now! is a daily, non-profit, national, independent news hour based in New York City. Over the past 12 years, the outreach team at Democracy Now! has extended the reach of the program dramatically. In 2001 Democracy Now! was available on only 34 stations. Today, over 700 TV and radio stations across the globe carry the program and hundreds of thousands of viewer/listeners stream and podcast the show at Democracy Now! is hiring a full-time Outreach Director to lead our ongoing efforts to reach hundreds of millions new viewers and listeners with our grassroots global news hour.RESPONSIBILITIES
• Manage the work of outreach department staff and volunteers as they work to grow DN! audience and expand the network of stations that carry the program.
• Develop and implement DN! publicity strategy.
• Build online viewer/listenership and raise DN!’s profile on the Internet.
• Seek out new distribu…

20,000 Visitors to Free Expression...

...since June, 2006. From ClustrMaps:
Running total of visits to the above URL since 12 Jun 2006: 19,980Total since archive, i.e. 19 Jun 2007 - present: 11,694 (not necessarily all displayed) We'll pass that mark sometime tomorrow -- or, given the lag time, we may have already passed it. I'm happy to see that the year-on-year has gone up considerably, too: 8,286 visits from 6/06 - 6/07; already ~11,700 since 6/07.

Thanks, everyone!

The Flowering of New England, Van Wyck Brooks, 1936

Let's take a break from the various political stories, such as the Pentagon-Media Access of Evil, and enjoy some of the better angels of our nature.

I think I may have waxed ecstatic about this book already, but I just read the chapter on Thoreau, and I must share some of it with you.

Brooks is a master not only of the apt and original figure but also of a now out-of-fashion style: marshaling an obviously intimate familiarity with his subject's writings to plausibly recreate his subject's thoughts, while simultaneously commenting on his subject with great subtlety. Intimate distance: a paradox more of a novelistic nature, at least nowadays, and wonderful to see in a work of history.

The following is from pp. 308-311 in the Everyman's Library edition (1952) that I picked up for fifty cents at a public library, which had deemed the well-preserved volume superfluous. For those currently enjoying a riotous New England summery-spring, this will have special significance:

Petition: Five Steps to Put an End to Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

Click title of this post to sign...

Dear Candidates for U.S. President,

In order for United States national security policy to be strong and effective, it must be consistent with the laws and values of our nation. The Bush Administration’s detention and interrogation policies have led to torture and other abuses, undermining American values, staining our reputation in the world and compromising our global leadership, jeopardizing our national security, and increasing the danger to members of the U.S. military serving abroad. The next president will have the opportunity to get the United States back on track. I am asking you to pledge that if you are elected President you will ensure that detention, interrogation and trial procedures adhere to international and domestic law so that the United States can reclaim the authority to enforce these standards to protect our own troops abroad and promote the values that define our nation.

As a candidate for the highest office of the land, you must…

Darwin Design Clothing Company: Earth Day E-mail

From my buddy Otto Pohl's company...

Switch 5 bulbs to CFLs: a 25watt CFL casts as much light as a 75 watt incandescent and lasts 10x longer. 5 CFLs will save $400 over their lifetime.

Use Power Strips: Turning off electronic devices reduces stand-by drain. Power chargers from your cell phone, iPod and computer use electricity, even when the device isn’t plugged in.
Use the low-power dishwasher setting: You rarely need to use anything other than the light-wash setting, and you can reduce water usage up to 55%.

Use a refillable water container: It takes seven liters of water to produce a one-liter plastic bottle (and we're not even counting the energy usage).
Cotton is grown on only 3% of the world's farmland, yet uses 25% of the world's insecticides.

It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. One pound of soy requires 250 gallons. A pound of wheat uses 25 gallons.

Using power management on your desktop computer can save 900 kilowatt-hours a year, or 1,500 …

Hamas Truce Offer: A Media Rundown (Pun Intended)

So, check Google news to see how this is being reported. I leave it to y'all to see through the silliness. Bottom line: Hamas has -- again -- accepted the reality of an Israeli state within the June 4, 1967 borders. Which is only the ruling UN resolution(s) on the topic, and the international consensus for 30 years. Israel and the US have responded by telling Hamas to go fuck itself (Cheney's influence?), while pillorying Carter for doing the obvious thing -- if one wants a good chance -- any chance -- at peace in the region, upon which the fate of the species, literally, may depend.

Israel's government, it must be admitted, simply doesn't want peace. They have their own military-industrial complex, too. Of course, the Israeli people seem to be fine, by a majority, to talk to Hamas, so we shouldn't confuse states with people. I refer y'all to Zeev Maoz's Defending the Holy Landif you want to see how an ideologically blinded, expansionist set of Israeli gover…

Pentagon’s Pundits: A Look at the Defense Department’s Propaganda Program

DN! has a well-deserved field day with this issue (more here). An excellent segment: this is why Democracy Now! is so necessary.

Meanwhile, DN! reports that CNN has snapped into action after the Times' article:
CNN Hires Ex-White House Press Secretary Tony SnowIn other media news, CNN has hired former White House spokesperson Tony Snow to serve as a news commentator. Snow worked as President Bush’s chief spokesperson up until September. Prior to his stint as White House press secretary, Snow worked at Fox News. Snow is the second top former Bush administration official to land a prominent television gig. Former White House Senior Adviser Karl Rove has been appearing on Fox News as a commentator since February. Mmmmmm...yes. Hire a serial liar to "commentate." What a disgusting -- and revealing -- act. Kind of like the Times hiring William Kristol.

Nader Campaign Event, 4/5/08

Part 1 and Part 2 -- yet to be commodified by CSPAN. (Go try to watch anything a tiny bit older than utterly topical on their archive nowadays.)

Click the pic to see what Nader/Gonzalez keep on the proverbial table, as opposed to Hillary/Obama/McCain....

US News Media's Latest Disgrace, Robert Parry

On the off chance any of you missed this article on April 20th, a very good day to publish an article on military-industrial-media complex propaganda offensives.

Gotta love those PR firms, TV "news" networks, and the over-riding fact that this was painfully obvious to anyone outside of elite media long before the Bush regime standardized the system. The Times is shocked -- shocked! -- to find gambling going on in this establishment! However, it is nice to see it in black-and-white, especially since the Times, via Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, was playing the same game in the run-up to Iraq, and Gordon has been a loyal "troop" in the run-up to Iran. The subtextual message, in this article about a message machine, is that somehow the Times (1) doesn't do such things, and (2) is thus a superior news source to its competitors. I leave that to y'all to judge.
Update: Ah, I see Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher points out the equal guilt of the print medi…

Noam Chomsky, The installation of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe is, virtually, a declaration of war.

Simply imagine how the US would react if Russia or China or Iran or in fact any foreign power dared even to think about placing a missile defense system at or near the borders of the US, let alone carrying out such plans. In these unimaginable circumstances, a violent US reaction would be not only almost certain but also understandable, for reasons that are simple and clear.

It is well known on all sides that missile defense is a first-strike weapon. Respected US military analysts describe missile defense as “not simply a shield but an enabler of U.S. action.” It “will facilitate the more effective application of U.S. military power abroad.” “By insulating the homeland from reprisal, [missile defense] will underwrite the capacity and willingness of the United States to `shape' the environment elsewhere.” “Missile defense isn't really meant to protect America. It's a tool for global dominance.” “Missile defense is about preserving America's ability to wield power abroad.…