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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 22,368

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"The symbol of the Ukrainian revolution"?

The dreamers of a revolution that self-evidently never was, and it's not impossible I'd be in the square with them, if I was there. But there has been no revolution in Ukraine. One set of kleptocrats replaced another, and promptly solved the country's divides by starting a civil war with U.S. backing. Hip hip.

Burger King nixes Burger King

Now that would be a worthy headline.

I can't see how Shitburger Jr.'s menu modifications qualify as news. Even when it's negatively inflected, it's still PR for the sellers of hot grease smeared on poison buns.

It's parroting some ignorant, racist propaganda

about how all those people out there are animals, not like civilized Westerners who don't behead people. (Unless a drone strike happens to knock off their head, you know? We always behead collaterally, so to speak.)

With most people who do this it's a psychological device for distancing oneself from the crimes of one's own culture, one's own nation. The U.S. government launched a war of aggression, destroyed one nation directly and helped destroy another (Syria had to absorb four million Iraqi refugees for years, and of course the faction that became IS were originally set up by Gulf States and CIA).

As a means of dealing with the situation in Iraq, the U.S. started a genocide among factions that it armed heavily. Now the latest round of ethnic cleansing is underway and Americans who think they're smart and enlightened tell themselves such stories to pretend they had nothing to do with it. It's all because of their religion, nothing to do with economics, history, imperialism, etc.

Karen Lewis vs. Rahm Emanuel - February 2014

Gary Younge in The Guardian:



Emanuel, who was Barack Obama’s chief of staff, is now mayor of Chicago. Lewis is the head of the Chicago Teachers Union who got the better of him after leading the teachers in a strike two years ago. The two genuinely despise each other. When Lewis took on Emanuel over lengthening the school day, he told her: “Fuck you, Lewis!”; during the strike Lewis branded him a “liar and a bully”.

Now Lewis is seriously considering running against Emanuel for the mayoralty next year. People are wearing buttons urging her candidacy and setting up Facebook pages to support her. When she showed up at a civil rights conference two months ago the crowd cheered “Run, Karen, run!”

She could win. A Chicago Sun Times poll last month gave Lewis a nine-point lead with 18% undecided. Other polls have Emanuel in front by a similar margin. But between them a general picture emerges. The situation is volatile; Emanuel is vulnerable and Lewis is viable.


The organisational and electoral bases of these campaigns are virtually the same as those that propelled Obama to victory – trade unions, minorities, young people (particularly young women) and liberals. And they are promising what Obama has been unwilling or unable to deliver. They are trying to raise the minimum wage, introduce green technology, create affordable housing, levy money from the wealthy to fund universal childcare and rein in their police departments from racist excess. These are bold plans and, for the most part, they are acting on them. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, has described the city as a “laboratory” for New Deal-style reforms. In reality these initiatives are more like local triage against the wounds of over a generation of stagnant wages, neoliberal reform and the class and racial polarisation that comes with them – all of which were further aggravated by the most recent economic crisis. It looks like the New Deal only because so many Americans have been getting such a bad deal for so long. Local, populist and redistributive, they owe more to the Occupy movement of 2011 of which they are the most logical, likely corollary. Their agendas, of course, are far less ambitious. But they share a trajectory.


I had no idea that Lewis is "a former standup comedian... recently converted to Judaism. She studied music in college, has a master’s degree in film, and taught chemistry in high school."

Article describes Emanuel rejecting donor offers of less than $5000 because these are embarrassing!

The key thing, if Lewis tries it, will be to jiu-jitsu the money. The more Rahm spends, the more it can be leveraged against him. Bloomberg's one-year barrage of spending to harrass everyone in New York on a daily basis leading up to the 2009 election caused more people than ever to hate him, effectively helping a non-entity opponent with no money to get 46% on election night. Lewis is already the second best-recognized name in Chicago and effectively built a ground campaign during the successful teachers' strike.

Please look up privation.

Yes, offensive speech exists and can be very harmful to the people it targets. I do not agree with the OP as a general principle in all cases, but it does address an exaggerated style of being offended that has become very widespread, is counterproductive and distracting, and is actually abused by many to reinforce their own privileges. (See all the right-wingers constantly offended about things like insufficient displays of "patriotism" or "the war on Christmas.")


Almost the only thing that knocks bikers over guardrails is automobiles.

Can we have a civilized talk about the U.S. water fluoridation industry?

Fluoridation of drinking water is not practiced in any of the world’s industrially developed countries outside the “Anglosphere” of the United States, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as about half of Canada and parts of the UK.

In matters of environmental issues as well as dental health, my default position is to accept the word of scientists, doctors and trained technicians and experts. In this case, for various reasons, I happen to prefer the word of the scientists and experts guiding policy in most of the industrial countries outside the United States.

(Necessary digression: NO! I don’t believe water fluoridation is a communist plot to poison our bodily fluids, or to prevent us from having dreams. In addressing the issue of the fluoridation industry I prefer to argue from evidence, and I haven’t seen evidence for any of that.)

The following chart shows tooth decay trends for “unfluoridated” and “fluoridated” nations since the 1960s, based on the United Nations World Health Organization country index for “DMFT” – a measure of the rate of decayed, missing, or filled teeth among 12 year-olds:

For decades the DMFT index has declined radically in all developed countries. It is true, as fluoridation advocates hold, that the period of fluoridation in a few countries has coincided with a dramatic decline in tooth decay in the same countries. It has also coincided with equally dramatic declines in countries that do not fluoridate. Some countries, such as East Germany and other members of the East bloc, fluoridated and then stopped, but the decline in DMFT continued there as well.

This evidence serves to falsify the hypothesis that water fluoridation was a major factor in improved dental health, and suggests that improved dental health results from other economic factors or public health policies. Fluoridation advocates agree that the supposed dental benefits come only from topical application, which almost everyone in industrial nations, including most of the poorest of children, already perform every day with a toothbrush and a tube.

The fluoride added to drinking water is a by-product of the production of fertilizers and refined aluminum, among other goods, and is classified as a contaminant by the EPA. The producers of fluoride wastes do not pay the full price for the cost of disposing of their pollutants, however. Instead, they are paid untold millions of taxpayer dollars by thousands of communities that then dump fluoride into our drinking water.

Best known among these producers is ALCOA, which during the period before and after the Second World War played the pivotal role (along with the Mellon fortune) in selling fluoridation as a practice that benefits public health. By the 1960s, the John Birch Society, also funded by big right-wing money (the Kochs, in fact), declared fluoridation to be a communist plot, as a consequence helping to discredit any discussion of the issue among reasonable, non-paranoid liberals.

So yes, I do believe that fluoridation of drinking water in the United States stands as an example of governments putting private corporate profits before the interests and rights of the public. It's hard to quantify all the different municipal funds going into the practice (and municipalities tend to obscure by offering statistics on the supposed savings due to the benefits), but it is likely in the low hundreds of millions of dollars per year, about a dollar per capita. I say we save all that public money and put it into programs for children in poverty.


(PS - In reviewing the above, I ran across this link to a 1999 statement in which the employee union local of the EPA headquarters took a stand against fluoridation policy. Remember when that was on the news? Ha ha. http://sdsdw.org/fluoride-facts/why-epa-union-opposes-fluoridation/)

How about a program offering incomes to all workers in the prostitution industry?

Jobs, or if unavailable, basic incomes enough for a person (and their live-in children) to have a roof with good food?

Wouldn't that be addressing the problems of coercion and desperation and associated criminality like human trafficking better than criminalizing prostitution, by whatever model?

I'll note that also in Sweden, which presents what's called the progressive model of criminalization, it is additionally the case that there's a real welfare system (as well as good public education and child-care), a durable safety net on which almost everyone can rely. I suggest this probably contributes more than does the criminalization policy to the better life there for those women who are engaged in the prostitution industry, whether by coercion or otherwise.

Yes, it's about power more than science, but what about the science?

The real science, as opposed to what the pro-GMO fakers and pretend "skeptics" say, already speaks to the problems of flooding the world with BT and the like. (Apparently judges in some places are starting to get it.)

Curiously they seem to have different forms of science in most advanced industrial nations outside the United States, especially the ones not blessed with a beautiful glorious Monsanto of their own.

Honest-to-God high-tech countries ban GMOs and seem to think really bizarre things, like that micro-evolution by artificial selection actually works -- by which I mean that over-applying pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics is a really bad idea that's likely sooner or later to fuck over monoculture agriculture, if not a few hundred million people in the process. But hey, who's done the controlled study of this?! We get to find out the shocking answer about whether the theory of micro-evolution works in an uncontrolled study using the planet as the test case.

As another example, a bit off-topic, it's also the case that in almost all of these countries outside the U.S., they have this weird, pseudo-scientific idea that fluoride is not a tasty medicine for which ALCOA should receive billions in payments in exchange for allowing everyone to apply it to their teeth via its ingestion in drinking water. They actually think it's a pollutant, and don't want to pay public funds to administer it to their reservoirs. (This is why, for example, Germany's so toothless and they can't afford a dentist. They're all barefoot over there, it's shocking.)

Why does the world hate science, LWolf? Is it because they hate America?


Thanks for illustrating my point...

with your response, perhaps true (with regard to Hamas) but nevertheless entirely irrelevant to the issue of the Israeli aggression and war crimes against Palestinians (killing straight and gay ones in equal proportion, one presumes).

Or wait, are you advocating that like Israel in Gaza, someone powerful should relentlessly bomb the civilian populations of "Russia, Uganda, Iran, Zimbabwe etc" because their regimes are "virulent gay hating" and "there's no pass for sick gay haters"?

There's probably a reason your post makes no sense, like pinkwashing overall makes no sense. Because its only function is to use an injustice to distract from an entirely unrelated atrocity.
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