October 30, 2009 archive

Hey, Didn’t John McCain LOSE the Election?

I am a war criminal; I bombed innocent women and children”

-John McCain

From the treatment by the corporatist whore mainstream media you would think that John McCain was somehow still relevant. In the latest example the old loser and self-admitted war criminal is whoring himself out to the lazy cretins who masquerade as journalists in shilling for the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. McCain is ordering President Obama to make the decision on sending more troops into the meatgrinder NOW. I have to say that the ongoing forum for this asshat who has become a fixture on the Sunday morning bloviation circuit and as much a frontman for the Military Industrial Complex as the old phony Ronald Reagan was for the rising fascist tide is rather astonishing but not unpredictable. Anyone with any sense at all learned long ago not to trust a goddamned thing that the pocket media has to say even if they never even heard of Operation Mockingbird.

Friday Philosophy: Halloween Hash

Halloween tomorrow.


As a child I loved Halloween.  We’d go to Mrs. Silver’s house across the street and she would invite us inside and make us fresh caramel apples or popcorn balls.  Lord knows, one can’t do that anymore.

And we would go door to door around the neighborhood and get a real haul of treats.  And somewhere, later, older kids would toilet paper someone’s house or yard, which we would discover on the way to school in the morning.  I never liked the “trick” part.

Razor blades and pins and poison and just plain bad people put a stop to most of the good stuff I remember.  

As I got older, the tricks became worse and the treats were few and far between.

Direct Action: Charging Fox Noise Owner Rupert Murdoch a Pirate Base Tax

I am sure you have heard of Fox News, owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

This diary is about a direct action against Rupert Murdoch in another dimension of his media empire. It turns out that Rupert Murdoch has the biggest pirate base in the US anime market.

This direct action involves those of us with flat-rate broadband connections right-clicking on a bunch of links and downloading a bunch of bootleg files into a temporary directory – then erasing the files. Since Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace servers host hundreds of bootleg anime streams, from one anime streaming site alone, if enough of us download enough files at the same time – it will increase the amount of money that Rupert’s media empire has to pay to host bootleg anime.

In short, it hits Rupert in his wallet, where it hurts him the most. More, after the fold.

Act on Friday, 6pm Eastern, 3pm Pacific, and 10pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific.

MinistryofTruth Guest Stars on WWL Radio Tonight!

Join WWL Radio cohosts Diane Gee and Michael Gottlieb tonight on BTR at 6PM EDT.

Tonight, we will be joined by our Special Guest, MinistryofTruth. MoT, as he is known in short hand is a extremely prolific activist writer who posts On Docudharma, dKos, and when we are lucky, graces WWL as well:)

We will be addressing the Lieberman/Reid/Pelosi fiasco that is our ongoing soap opera of denying us the majority-backed Health Care Reform for which we voted.

Is Alan Grayson the only Elected Official with BALLS anymore?

On the Second half, we will be discussing our failed Foreign Policy; and witness the Veteran’s movement against it, as well as the defection of Matthew Hoh.

As always, we will be ranting about the utter lack of accountability the last administration is held to, and stand in shock and dismay as the new administration continues to enact War Crimes.

It should be a Wild Ride!

See you there! As always, respectful questions and commentary are welcomed.

Join Gottlieb and Diane tonight at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for an interesting hour of Political Reporting and Commentary.

WWL Radio: Free Speech in Practice.

The call in number is 646-929-1264

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The live chat link will go live around 5:15.



Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  59 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Hong Kong’s ghostly seas warn of looming tragedy

by Lawrence Bartlett, AFP

Thu Oct 29, 2:45 pm ET

HONG KONG (AFP) – The live fish facing death in the glass tanks in Hong Kong’s famous seafood restaurants tell a strange and haunting tale of a looming global tragedy.

At the heart of their story is the bizarre fact that there are more fine fish swimming in the tiny tanks than there are in the surrounding sea.

Having overfished and polluted its own waters to the point where they are home mainly to great ghosts of the past, Hong Kong now imports up to 90 percent of its seafood.

The GDP of Stimulus

  Now that the Great Recession has been declared dead and gone by everyone who failed to see the possibility of it happening in the first place, it is important to examine the reasons for its demise.

 The White House has been busy declaring that its Stimulus policies have created or saved 640,000 jobs. We should note that the White House originally claimed credit for 1 million jobs, and only revised them down after realizing that they are spending $234,000 for each job saved. More revisions are sure to come.

  It’s also important to note that the job number is based on mathematical calculations and is impossible to prove.

  One thing that can’t be denied is that the stimulus did have an effect on the economy. It’s this impact that needs to be examined further.

Happy Undead Nuclear Halloween

…a Zombie nightmare rides again.


Photo: Jonathan Lee. Me, Bob Del Tredici, Steve Wing and my hubby casing the FedEx Global Education Center lecture hall at UNC-CH, where all buildings and all departments are now owned by Big Business and Corporate sponsors, much to the dismay of the research faculty.

There are a great many important issues on our plates these days. Health Care (or merely insurance) Reform, two wars of invasion and occupation that show no signs of ending any time soon, an overstretched and vastly underappreciated military, a serious economic collapse and ever-lengthening Great Recession, home foreclosures, unemployment, torture as government policy, war crimes of the last administration stubbornly ignored, and the never-ending assault on the Constitution our erstwhile leaders swore to protect and defend. We who like to think of ourselves as Progressives and are keeping up with issues and actions via the ‘net and blogosphere do what we can on all of the issues, even if not all of them are The Most Important Issue we are personally engaging in our real life spheres. I am adding one more, which probably won’t be at the top of the list for most, but which has been around long enough that it does deserve a place in the lineup of things progressives should keep track of.

This week my husband and I were invited to attend and participate in a lunchtime seminar and evening lecture presentation by Robert Del Tredici of Vanier College in Quebec, Canada. “Looking Into the Nuclear Age: On Life, Art and the Bomb” was stunning. We’d been invited by epidemiologist (and friend) Steve Wing of UNC Chapel Hill, who hosted the event along with artist Elin O’Hara Slavick. Steve had conducted an independent epidemiological study of cancers in the area of Three Mile Island back in the early 1990s, and came to conclusions that directly contradicted those of previous studies and the U.S. government, which has insisted to this very day that no one was harmed by the meltdown.

Steve’s study was to have been evidence in a class action lawsuit in the 1990s with more than 2,000 plaintiffs who had developed cancer after the accident at TMI in 1979. My husband and I were to have been the backup evidence to support his study in that lawsuit, having been the designated “reporting agents” under provisions of 10CFR.21 for the health physics contractor at Three Mile Island immediately following the accident. Neither we nor Steve ever made it to court, as the lawsuit was finally dismissed for “lack of evidence” when the defendants convinced Judge Rambo that the only evidence admissible must be the coverup the guilty parties themselves provided. Duh.

Planet Or Profit………….A very rough draft

Here at the beginning of the 21st Century, Humanity as a whole faces a choice.

We can either continue to support an economic and political system that exists to generate profit for the wealthy elite, or we can save the Planet.

We can choose to use the remaining but dwindling resources of the earth for the sake of the People of the Planet, or we can allow them to be bought, exploited, and profited upon by the wealthy elite for their selfish need to grow ever richer. At the expense of the People of the Planet.

We can come together as citizens of the Planet Earth, the only planet we have….and use these resources in the urgent and necessary effort to mitigate Climate Change, or we can continue on as we are, a divided People at the mercy of the forces that control our political and economic systems…for their own greed.

Islands in the Pacific are beginning to disappear, the Bangladesh Delta is already underwater due to Climate Change, there are world wide food and water shortages and perhaps the most disruptive early symptom of Climate Change…Climate Refugees fleeing their homes has also already begun.

All as the wealthy elite use every considerable power in their arsenal to not only to block attempts at mitigation, but still deny…and spread disinformation to the effect of convincing others…that Climate Crisis does not exist.

In effect, they are working not just to accumulate and concentrate vast and underutilized wealth in their own hands, but are actively working to hasten the deadly effects of Climate Change on the Planet.

Our Planet.

Only through the People of the Planet banding together and dedicating ourselves to nonviolently changing the current and political systems that threaten humanity’s very future can we ensure that future.

They…the wealthy elite, would like us to think that we are helpless, that things must remain as they are, that the status quo that threatens the children and grandchildren of every person on the planet must be preserved.

But it is the Planet Earth and Her People that must be preserved. Preserved from the short sighted greed of those currently in power.

We are NOT helpless, we can effect change.

But only if we band together and in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King and demand change.

Demand a restructuring, demand a new priority for all of humankind, demand real change that will save the Planet.

Demand a new paradigm of planetary of constructive cooperation, not the destructive competition for resources that can only lead to resource wars and the further hastening of planetary and societal destruction….and the suffering or death of billions of our Brother and Sister humans. And our children. And our children’s children.

Our planet is now connected through the internet that allows each and every Planetary Citizen a voice in how our planet is run, how it’s resources are used, how it’s political systems are administered. All we have to do is let our voices be heard, loud and clear, as to what we wish the Planet to be.

And what we wish the Planet to be is peaceful, just, and equal for ALL of Humankind….not just for the one percent of Humanity that currently controls the political, economic, and resource distribution system of our Planet.

Ok, as the title says, it is very rough…and of course there are an immense amount of details etc to work through. TONS of development that needs to be done. But as a general theme, as a starting point, what do y’all think?

Trick or Treat: Updated

For your thoughts on Samhein

Transparent Motives, Transparent Government, Transparent Expectations

Some time ago I did work for a man who was promoting a truly radical idea regarding the act of negotiation between two competing nations.  Ostensibly it was an attempt to provide a kind of complete transparency that left the camera on every word, gesture, or strategic move made by both parties while each was seated around the bargaining table.  Though the notion was certainly composed of the best of intentions, it was also highly unlikely to find adoption among almost every country that believes behind-the-scenes diplomacy is the surest way to achieve a country’s fullest desires.  While I admit it would certainly be interesting to hear every word Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks while in the process of active deliberation with other countries, it’s much too soon for C-Span to worry about needing to considering adding another channel, one queued up specifically to cover diplomatic efforts in real time.

For those who push sunshine laws and greater transparency in government, the question before us is whether the government has an obligation to keep its internal matters protected from public view, even when they concern pending investigations into political corruption.  I find it interesting how the existence of these laws adheres mainly to government agencies and are rarely, if ever expanded to include the private sector.  The implication is that private business has some intrinsic right to lock out prying eyes (if not a sort of purity) that tax-payer funded endeavors do not.  It has been my own experience that every corporation or government entity which I have worked for prefers to use internal means whenever possible to deal with public relations snafus.  I am reminded of one of the arguments stated by those who advance vegetarianism, which states that if slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all forsake eating meat.  In this context, if corporations, government entities, and even school districts had glass walls, we’d all certainly be nauseated at the spectacle.    

The European perspective regarding is this matter is much different than our own.  Though we gripe about the abuses and excesses of our elected representatives, we still assume that they should and will adhere to a code of ethical conduct that they are sworn to uphold.  In great contrast, attitudes across the ocean assert that public officials, regardless of party are uniformly corrupt, and as a result, one should never expect, nor be surprised when they are revealed to be just so.  This past Presidential election saw Candidate Obama saying all the right things regarding the influence of lobbyists and lucre on the political process and I, like the rest of you, stood and applauded with great vigor.  Since then, I have not changed my stance, nor my belief in the President, but I recognize that the challenges before us are much more complex than I could have ever imagined.  I’m not sure I could ever become as jaded or fatalistic as our European brothers and sisters,  nor do I think we as a people could ever reach that state, either.  Though we deny it, we are still a romantic, idealist people at heart.  If that were not so, we’d keep the same party in control forevermore, and cast our ballots more in a spirit of harm-reduction than in hope.  We are much more inclined to resort to a “throw the bums out” kind of logic and eagerly toss one party out to insert the other, expecting that change alone is the correct remedy.        

Regarding businesses dealings, particularly with large corporations, we can always be reliably counted on to switch to a competitor if unsatisfied for whatever reason or another.  Free-market advocates cite this as being proof that capitalism works by providing choice to the consumer.  That might be true at face value, but underneath the facade of sweetheart deals and offers we can’t refuse are blatant monopolies, CEO pay raises in times of recession, and a litany of other objectionable practices that are quietly hushed up and “dealt with internally”.  I have no doubt that if by some miracle each on-going citation of illegal, unethical, or immoral dealing were magically made common knowledge and leaked to the press, we’d all end up with a collective stomach ache of epic proportions.  That it takes government stimulus money funded by taxpayer money to be the deciding factor which reveals the most significant of these offenses shows us just where our skewed priorities lay.  Governments cannot be corrupt even a little, but corporations can be corrupt up to a point.      

Public school systems, a subject of which I am fairly familiar, are masters in sweeping problematic matters under the rug.  To cite an example directly pulled from today’s headlines, for every reported instance of teachers engaging in sexual relationship with their students, there are probably one hundred that never reach the attention of the media.  Rules and regulations grant principals and administrators the ability to dismiss problematic employees without even needing to explain why, a practice that is designed primarily to save face for both the recently employed and those in charge of hiring said individual in the first place.  It is also a long-employed means of damage control, since the very threat of a lawsuit by a disgruntled parent or group of parents is frequently substantial enough for school systems to settle out of court rather than go to trial, even if the complaint is patently bogus.  That school systems cave too soon when corporations rarely have any problem proceeding directly to litigation also reveals much about what spheres of our lives we feel as though we have some degree of control and which ones we feel utterly powerless to influence one way or the other.    

It is easy for us to wish for transparency when we are on the outside looking in, but those of us in authoritative roles in our own day jobs understand that every situation isn’t nearly as cut-and-dried as management versus employees.  Nor as it as simple as consumer versus company, parent versus superintendent, or even government servant versus constituent.  This is not to say that transparency shouldn’t be our ultimate goal, but if we seek it, it ought to be uniformly applied into every area of our daily lives, not merely set out in a very limited way that easily suits someone’s talking point.  Candidates and whole political movements have lived and died by channeling populist anger at government waste and graft, but to apply this to only one highly limited segment of American society does us all a grave disservice.  We may not say this directly, but when we silently condone the unacceptable practices of any major force in our daily lives, we are implying that such behavior is fine by us.  We want public government to be lily white but we rarely speak out against private enterprise until it is consumed by the foulest, blackest cancer of greed and licentiousness.  We need to understand that it is a rationalization to assume that corruption in business or in any endeavor is not nearly as awful if it uses someone else’s money supply up front and, above all, isn’t taken out of our latest paycheck.  Eventually everyone hurts but unlike tax revenue, the results cannot be easily measured and inserted into an IRS income tax form.  The impact is a far more insidious one and it impacts more than just dollars and cents.

Veterans for Peace Urge Peaceful Civil Disobedience to Resist War


In a call to fellow military veterans against our immoral, illegal and irresponsible worldwide wars of aggression, Veterans for Peace is calling its members out into the streets. Now.

Matthew Hoh: “I wish people would refute what I’m saying.”

On October 29th 2009 the PBS News Hour had a discussion with Matthew Hoh the State Department Official who resigned over the Afghan War.

Ex-State Department Official Explains Exit Over Afghan War Strategy

A few of Matthews points made during their discussion and the video of same:

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