Friday, December 30, 2005

Which Wolf Will You Feed in 2006?

By Mickey Z.

“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

This statement (made by Dubya in late 2001) has been mocked by just about anyone to the left of Genghis Khan, but in 2005, I came to realize how often we all slip into that mentality...myself very much included.

For example, in the 10 years I’ve been vegan, I’ve often enforced the “you’re either with us or against us” mindset. In 2004, during the presidential election, I publicly mocked anyone who tried to find a reason to vote for Kerry. To the Anybody-But-Bush crowd, I ranted: “you’re either with us or against us.” Or, in a more general sense, I’d see someone driving an SUV into a McDonald’s parking lot, smoking a cigarette and yakking loudly on a cell phone...and I’d have that person judged, categorized, pigeon-holed, and lined up on the “other side.” (And these are only a few of far too many examples I could list.)

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Comments (0) | Posted on 12/30.

Inquiry Exposes Bandow Payola Scheme

Doug Bandow may have lost his fellowship at the Cato Institute and his syndicated column gig with Copley News Service as a result of BusinessWeek reporter Eamon Javers snooping into Bandow’s relationship with indicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

But perhaps owing to his strong evangelical Christian beliefs, Bandow’s fall from grace was short-lived. Less than two weeks after he resigned from Cato and Copley, Bandow was hired as VP of policy by Washington, D.C.-based Citizen Outreach, “a limited-government public policy organization dedicated to putting the ‘public’ back in public policy.”

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Comments (0) | Posted on 12/30.

Jensen's 'Endgame' on the Horizon

“Derrick Jensen is a gifted and lyrical writer on a wide range of critical issues. He is unrelenting in his commitment to the environment and justice.”
-Winona LaDuke

Something special will be arriving in bookstores in late spring 2006: Derrick Jensen’s long-anticipated book, Endgame: The Collapse of Civilization and the Rebirth of Community. The two-volume work, Jensen’s magnum opus on how to bring down civilization, is scheduled for release by Seven Stories Press (not Chelsea Green, the publisher of Jensen’s previous books) in May.

I suspect Endgame will quickly surpass the sales of Jensen’s previous works, even if libraries across the nation choose not to add the title to their collections. His many fans are probably placing orders for the book right now. And word-of-mouth marketing will likely take over after people read the book.

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Comments (0) | Posted on 12/30.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Online Casino: Republicans Keep White House in 2008

From BetUs.com

image According to analysts and oddsmakers at BetUS.com, an online sportsbook and casino, Republicans are favored with 3-4 odds to win the White House again in 2008. The leading Republican is Rudolph Giuliani with 1-2 odds, and John McCain in a close second at 2-1.

Giuliani gained his national fame starting on Sept. 11, 2001, and has been touring the country raising funds for his campaign, winning friends and trying to overcome the fact that he lacks foreign policy experience. Giuliani is known to be blunt and not always diplomatic, but that persona seems favored over the cowboy image of George Bush.

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Comments (3) | Posted on 12/29.

Chicago Turns Down Discounted Venezuelan Oil

By Jessica Pupovac

The NewStandard—The Chicago Transit Authority is refusing an opportunity to alleviate commuting costs for hundreds of thousands in the Windy City’s low-income neighborhoods. Instead of accepting deeply discounted fuel from the Venezuela-owned Citgo Petroleum Corporation, the city is instead raising fares to solve budget shortfalls.

In an October meeting with representatives from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the city’s Department of Energy and other city officials, Citgo unveiled a plan to provide the Chicago with low-cost diesel fuel. The company’s stipulation, at the bidding of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was that the CTA, in turn, pass those savings on to poor residents in the form free or discounted fare cards.

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Comments (1) | Posted on 12/29.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The 'Little Red Book' Crackdown Hoax

What’s the name of the Massachusetts college student who lied about getting a visit from Ministry of Homeland Security henchmen after he supposedly requested a copy of Mao’s “Little Red Book” through interlibrary loan? The news media isn’t disclosing his name.

The newspaper that initially broke the story, the New Bedford Standard-Times, now reports the unnamed senior at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth admitted to the hoax after his history professor, Brian Glyn Williams, confronted him about inconsistencies in his story.

NewsBusters wonders why The Standard-Times isn’t naming the student.

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Comments (0) | Posted on 12/28.

Monday, December 26, 2005

IMF Approves Loan for Iraq: Let the Oil Drilling Begin

By Joshua Frank

image The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $685 million loan for Iraq on December 24. Now the country’s war torn economy will be fully integrated into the global economy—indefinitely. The reconstruction of Iraq will soon be open to even more industrialized nations and interests.

Iraq will not be sovereign or independent in the near future, even if President Bush says so. The country’s financial future will instead be dictated by a new colossal economic occupation, complete with ground forces, tanks, foreign military bases and the like—all thanks to the United States, Britain and the IMF.

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Comments (4) | Posted on 12/26.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Shootdown of Flight 93

You’d think there’d be no ambiguity about such a momentous day in our nation’s history as Sept. 11, 2001. With 9/11 serving as justification for almost everything our federal government does today, you’d think our leaders and our vaunted free press surely would want all of the facts about that day’s events made public to make sure we appreciate why our government has taken such extreme measures during the past four years.

But, as David Lindorff reported in CounterPunch a few days ago, uncertainty still shrouds certain segments of the day that gave birth to the Global War on Terrorism. The mystery lingers because the U.S. government refuses to make public everything it knows about particular events from that day, even if disclosure would not harm “national security.” Take, for instance, the demise of United Airlines Flight 93.

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Comments (3) | Posted on 12/24.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Capital's Punishment

By Frank Scott

We begin the year with war, its death and financial tolls soaring, and whispers of Democratic disagreement rising to a crescendo of murmurs. When one called for immediate troop withdrawal, party leaders explained why we must continue the bloodbath, but in a more liberal way. And that’s the good news.

A massive power surge couldn’t help brighten the dim bulbs in our administration. The only thing protecting a disgraced president from impeachment is an equally disgraced opposition. The increasing paranoia of leadership and its weakening grip on reality are causing serious problems for collective sanity.

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Comments (0) | Posted on 12/23.

Press Action Awards 2005

Press Action presents its inaugural “Press Action Awards,” which track achievements of reporters and commentators in the print, broadcast and online journalism communities. Without further ado, here are the winners:

Amy Goodman

  • Press Action Person of the Year
  • Amy Goodman

    The Democracy Now! host did not show any fatigue after a grueling speaking and broadcast schedule in 2004. With Goodman at the helm, DN remains the best news program on radio or TV.

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    Comments (0) | Posted on 12/23.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    The Little Warriors

    By Mark Hand

    guer•ril•la - n. A member of an irregular military force, operating usually in small, independent groups capable of great speed and mobility.

    With Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” film scheduled for release on Friday, ESPN this week decided to broadcast a documentary about the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The documentary contained many clips of Jim McKay, the ABC sports anchor who provided hours of commentary during the tragic event.

    From his anchor chair, McKay described the members of the Black September group, which orchestrated the Munich operation, as “guerrillas.” I hadn’t heard that term uttered by someone on television in years. Even before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, “terrorism” had become the buzzword to describe any non-state act of violence. Our culture had lost all creativity in describing participants in a conflict, which made the flashback to 1972 terminology all the more surprising.

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    Comments (1) | Posted on 12/21.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Taking the Antiwar Oath

    By Joshua Frank

    Every so often a sliver of truth trembles off the lips of one of our elected officials. It doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does occur it needs to underscored and highlighted.

    Representative Nancy Pelosi gave the antiwar movement an honest reality check last week when she laid out quite plainly the Democrat’s position—er, non-position—on the Iraq war. As she told the Washington Post, “There is no one Democratic voice ... and there is no one Democratic position.”

    In other words, the Democrats will not take a stand on the war and they won’t draw up a unified exit strategy anytime soon. And perhaps worst of all, they won’t be making the war a major focal point in the upcoming 2006 congressional elections. They’ll just continue to argue amongst themselves while more civilians and soldiers perish in Iraq.

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    Comments (0) | Posted on 12/20.

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    A Small Matter of Justice

    By Rosemarie Jackowski

    There are some good reasons why every U.S. citizen should be thinking about reparations. The payment of reparations to every victim of U.S. foreign and domestic policy would have a dramatic effect on the course of history; but also there are other, often overlooked, advantages that would come from just having a great national debate about reparations. The debate itself would have long lasting rewards. A national conversation about reparations would be the one thing that could awaken and inform the sleeping citizens. This is a nation in which factual information is difficult to come by. School textbooks rarely give an accurate view of history. The combination of a misguided government-owned and operated educational system and an incompetent corporate-owned mass media has resulted in a misinformed, sleeping populace.

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    Comments (0) | Posted on 12/19.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    Murder in Jerusalem

    By Neve Gordon and Yigal Bronner

    A short article posted on the website of Israel’s most popular newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, described the killing of a Jerusalem resident. According to the article, the man, a young father of two, was shot down by police after he tried to run over one of the officers. Following the killing, his enraged friends and neighbors filled the streets, burning tires and torching a parked car.

    The readers’ reaction to the news item was immediate. Within hours there were 150 responses on the web page, almost all of which reiterated a similar viewpoint: “Come on police, take care of them” (signed Zionist); “Hit them without delay” (an Israeli with high blood pressure); “No mercy” (a Sabra); “Bomb the rioters with a few missiles, it’s not France here”; and finally, “Arabs beware, Israel is not Europe.”

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    Comments (0) | Posted on 12/09.

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    25 Years Later

    When asked once in the 1960s how he expected to die, John Lennon’s offhand answer was “I’ll probably be popped off by some loony.” Although he might have meant it as a joke and did not expect it to happen, the comment turned out to be chillingly accurate. Another chillingly accurate comment was made in his last interview, where he mentioned that he often felt that somebody is stalking him: first it was federal agents in the 1970s trying to deport him and later the obsessed fan in 1980.

    But was it really an obsessed fan who killed John Lennon?

    Some have cast doubt on the official theory that Mark David Chapman was a deranged fan who harbored a paranoid obsession with Lennon. British lawyer Fenton Bresler, author of the book Who Killed John Lennon?, concluded that Chapman was not a fan of John Lennon and that he may have been programmed by the CIA to kill the ex-Beatle.

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    Comments (1) | Posted on 12/08.

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