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Member since: Wed Jan 5, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Journal Archives

Noam Chomsky: Our Govt. Is Capable of Creating Total Catastrophe for Humankind -- Can We Stop It?

An interesting bit:


When the NSA’s surveillance program was exposed by Edward Snowden’s revelations, high officials claimed that it had prevented 54 terrorist acts. On inquiry, that was whittled down to a dozen. A high-level government panel then discovered that there was actually only one case: someone had sent $8,500 to Somalia. That was the total yield of the huge assault on the Constitution and, of course, on others throughout the world.

Britain’s attitude is interesting. In 2007, the British government called on Washington’s colossal spy agency “to analyze and retain any British citizens’ mobile phone and fax numbers, emails, and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet,” the Guardian reported. That is a useful indication of the relative significance, in government eyes, of the privacy of its own citizens and of Washington’s demands.


Christian right secession fantasy: Spooky neo-Confederate talk grows louder at the fringes

Source: Salon

A Saturday ago at the annual conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal accused President Obama and other Democrats of waging a war against religious liberty and all but openly threatened a violent revolution, AP reported:

“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.”

Of course, Jindal’s speech didn’t come out of nowhere. Jindal is notorious as a weather vane, not a leader. So this is a clear sign of the need to take threats of right-wing violence seriously — and to look to its justifications as formulated on the Christian right.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/christian_right_secession_fantasy_spooky_neo_confederate_talk_grows_louder_at_the_fringes/

Anti-vaxx insanity: New study highlights the dangers of science denialism

Source: Salon

We are breaking a new record in the U.S., and it is not one we want to break: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles cases are at a 20-year high. As of May 23, more than 288 cases have been reported this year. To put that in perspective, only 37 cases were reported in all of 2004. In 2002, measles had been declared eliminated in the Americas.

The CDC reports that most Americans have either contracted measles in the past, and are now immune, or have received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, among the most effective vaccinations available. Yet, measles is now an epidemic in Minnesota, where a 2.5-year-old child was identified by the science journal Pediatrics last month as patient zero, ultimately responsible for exposing more than 3,000 people in its community to the disease.

Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/anti_vaxx_insanity_new_study_highlights_the_dangers_of_science_denialism/

Rupert Murdoch’s interest in Time Warner fuels industry speculation

Source: By Reuters

By Ronald Grover

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch jets into Idaho’s Sun Valley next week for the year’s most exclusive tech and media industry gathering, armed with both the money and the appetite for a major deal.

The 83-year-old Twenty-First Century Fox Inc chief executive officer, a regular at investment bank Allen & Co’s annual gathering, is in the midst of a deal that would give Fox the firepower to buy a content company.

Fox’s 39 percent-owned British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc is negotiating to buy Fox’s Sky Italia and its Sky Deutschland subsidiary in a deal that could net Fox as much as $13 billion.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/01/rupert-murdochs-interest-in-time-warner-fuels-industry-speculation/

Hyenas vs. Rhinos: Who Could the NYT Get to Write an Op-ed on Iraq?

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan did a quick study and found that critics of the paper of record over its preference for Iraq War hawks as sources and commentators in the past two weeks are justified in their feeling that Iraq War critics have been slighted. This lack of balance grates in part because in 2002-2003 then editor in chief Bill Keller showed himself gullible in swallowing the lies of the Bush war machine, e.g. hyping aluminum tubing that could not in fact be used for nuclear centrifuges and committing other elementary errors that could have been avoided by simply checking with the IAEA and other real experts.

By the way, we need to put away this “hawk” versus “dove” imagery. Who wants to be a “dove”? How about we replace it with “hyena” vs. “rhino”? Hyenas attack the weak and eat carrion; rhinos are peaceful vegetarians unless you rile them up, when they are good at defending themselves

So here is a list of people that the NYT could ask to write op-eds on the current crisis who might not buy into the inside-the-Beltway perennial conviction that “We can fix this, we must intervene, preferably militarily!”


Using Ukraine to Cook the Planet By Naomi Klein

The way to beat Vladimir Putin is to flood the European market with fracked-in-the-USA natural gas, or so the industry would have us believe. As part of escalating anti-Russian hysteria, two bills have been introduced into the US Congress – one in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6), one in the Senate (S. 2083) – that attempt to fast-track liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, all in the name of helping Europe to wean itself from Putin's fossil fuels, and enhancing US national security.

According to Cory Gardner, the Republican congressman who introduced the House bill, "opposing this legislation is like hanging up on a 911 call from our friends and allies". And that might be true – as long as your friends and allies work at Chevron and Shell, and the emergency is the need to keep profits up amid dwindling supplies of conventional oil and gas.


Pennsylvania school district contract to cut 15 percent of teachers

Earlier this month, teachers in the Wilkinsburg Education Association (WEA), representing the 128 teachers in the Wilkinsburg School District in Pennsylvania, accepted a contract that will lay off 18 of their fellow workers, or 15 percent of teaching staff. This means 20 percent of the district’s teachers have been furloughed in two years, following the gutting last year of 10 teaching and three support staff positions.
Wilkinsburg, like many small school districts around the country, faces grinding poverty. It has been robbed of funding, first by the generous tax cuts given to corporations and then by the looting of state and local treasuries through the financial bailout of Wall Street.


Chicago Public Schools lays off 1,150 workers

In the latest attack on public education in the city of Chicago, Illinois, the city’s public school system is laying off more than one thousand workers, including teachers, teacher assistants and school staff.
Layoff notices were given to 550 teachers and 600 other workers Thursday. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) encouraged teachers to reapply for jobs elsewhere in the district, positions that typically receive lower pay.


Consume, Conform, Obey: About Homeland Security’s Targeting Of Anti-Consumerist Activities

Consume, Conform, Obey: What Homeland Security’s Targeting Of Anti-Consumerist Activities Says About The Government’s Desires.

At some point in time, the DHS and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force must have viewed John Carpenter’s cult classic “They Live” and saw in it a blueprint for future actions. If you’re not familiar with the premise, an average guy construction worker is given a pair of sunglasses that reveal the world for what it actually is — controlled by aliens who pacify the populace by subliminally pushing them to obey, conform and consume.

Remember a few weeks back when we discussed the DHS Fusion Centers’ use of powerful investigative tools like Twitter searches and The Google to investigate such harmful Occupy Wall Street-related activities like not participating in Black Friday sales or cutting up people’s credit cards (at their request). Anti-consumerist is anti-government, apparently. It makes for a great conspiracy theory — one that implies the government is actually run by corporations.


If the "Tea party" did this there would be 24X7 coverage.

Published on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by Common Dreams
Moral Movement Launches 'Freedom Summer' in North Carolina
Rev. William Barber: "We have exposed the hypocrisy, now it is time to organize."
- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Protesters who for over a year have railed against the "extremist" policies of the North Carolina legislature are now bringing their fight to the voting booth as the movement known as Moral Mondays launched a bold initiative to get-out-the-vote this week.

“We have exposed the hypocrisy,” Rev. William J. Barber II, chief organizer of the protests and head of the state chapter of the NAACP, said during a rally outside the General Assembly in Raleigh on Monday. Now is the time to organize.”

Organizers estimate that upwards of 3,500 protesters from across the state attended the mass demonstration before splitting up into smaller factions for "teach-ins" to discuss the group's new voter outreach strategy.

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