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Archive for November 21st, 2011

Late, Late Night FDL: If I Had a Hammer

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:46 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: If I Had a Hammer
Peter, Paul & Mary – If I Had A Hammer

Peter, Paul & Mary – If I Had A Hammer

What’s on your mind tonite…?

The First Amendment is only for those places that don’t have it
This brutality occurs… And the West political leaders are quick to react. The European Union’s foreign policy chief urged interim authorities in Egypt on Sunday to halt violence against protesters         But in our own nation, this occurs… And the noise of condemnation from our political leaders is deafening…in that you might […]

This brutality occurs…

And the West political leaders are quick to react.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief urged interim authorities in Egypt on Sunday to halt violence against protesters

?

?

?

?

But in our own nation, this occurs…

And the noise of condemnation from our political leaders is deafening…in that you might as well be deaf because there isn’t any.

Though there is this:

Newt Gingrich charged that the Occupy Wall Street movement believes that “we all owe them everything” and announced, to great applause, that protesters should “go get a job right after you take a bath”

Yes, it’s 1970 all over again, when the only response to peaceful protest is to say “take a bath hippy”.

So after all in America, protest is okay for other countries, but not for the self-proclaimed Land of the Free.



Anger Sowing Seeds of a New Consumer Movement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:45 am by HL

Anger Sowing Seeds of a New Consumer Movement
A new report shows that after years of rising anger, consumer rage has reached an all-time high.

By David Sirota

A new report shows that after years of rising anger, consumer rage has reached an all-time high.


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White House Shooting Suspect’s Path To Extremism

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:44 am by HL

White House Shooting Suspect’s Path To Extremism
IDAHO FALLS — A referee lifted Oscar Ortegaâ??s hand high into the clear Rocky Mountain night last summer. Mr. Ortega had not yet been accused…

Homeland Security Chair Comments On NYC Terror Plot
House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday evening that radicalized Muslim converts like Jose Pimentel, the Dominican-born U.S. citizen accused of an al…

Michael J. Hunt: Rahm Emanuel Comes Out Swinging For President
Emanuel told the audience that there is no question about whether President Obama will continue to fight for the middle class and the values Democrats hold dear.


GOP New Mexico Sec of State Finds Tiny Fraction Of The Voter Fraud She Alleged

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:43 am by HL

GOP New Mexico Sec of State Finds Tiny Fraction Of The Voter Fraud She Alleged
New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran said earlier this year that her state had a “culture of corruption” and referred 64,000 voter registration records to police that she thought were possible cases of voter fraud. Now a new report from her office proves she was completely right, 0.0296875 percent of the time.

Giffords Shooting Survivors Slam Grassley’s ‘Disregard’ For Gun Violence Victims
Eleven survivors and family members of victims of the January 2011 shooting in Arizona that nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) are criticizing Sen. Chuck Grassley for what they say was a “dismissive and political response” to Tucson shooting survivor Patricia Maisch’s testimony in support of legislation which would close holes in the background check system.



Dear GOP: Please Nominate Newt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:40 am by HL

Dear GOP: Please Nominate Newt


Kildee Denies Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:39 am by HL

Kildee Denies Allegations of Sexual Abuse
Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) “fiercely denied allegations by distant relatives that he sexually abused a then-12-year-old second cousin several decades ago,” the AP reports.

Kildee, who will retire next year, accused the relatives of working with “political adversaries to destroy my reputation by lying about something that never took place.”

The Washington Times first reported the allegations and posted on its website video interviews with the alleged victim’s mother, stepfather and sister.

Gingrich Soars Ahead to Lead GOP Field
With just six weeks until the Iowa caucuses, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Newt Gingrich has shot from 3% in the summer to the top of the GOP presidential field.

Gingrich leads nationally with 22%, followed by Mitt Romney at 21%, Herman Cain at 16%, Ron Paul at 9%, Rick Perry at 8% and Michele Bachmann at 4%

Key takeaway: “Gingrich is the sixth candidate or potential candidate to lead the field this year, as some Republicans have sought an alternative to Romney, whose support has stayed steady at about 20%, give or take.”


The Camp is the World: Connecting the Occupy Movements and The Spanish May 15th Movement

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:38 am by HL

The Camp is the World: Connecting the Occupy Movements and The Spanish May 15th Movement
With or without encampments, the constructive phase of the Occupy movement is here, and all indications are that it will not slow down, as it has not slowed down in Spain.

The 5 Most Toxic Energy Companies and How They Control Our Politics
Energy companies continue to rake in massive profits. They use this wealth to leverage elections, write legislation, scale back regulations and escape accountability.

Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominees
Now you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more.


The Quartet facade

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:37 am by HL

The Quartet facade
Israel and the United States have perfected, almost to a science, the management of international players who dare to intervene in trying to advance peace in the Middle East between Palestinians and Israelis. The most recent political configuration to serve…

What Can the G-20 Do in Cannes?
Tomorrow I’m heading to Cannes in the French Riviera. Not for a film festival, but the foreign policy wonk’s equivalent: a global world leaders’ summit. The same G-20 club of key economic powers that bolstered the global financial system against…


Republican Foreign Policy Debate, Ugh
If nothing else, devoting an entire GOP campaign forum to national security and foreign policy — the CBS News / National Journal organizers called it the “Commander in Chief Debate” — helps accentuate the preparation and seriousness the candidates have…



Is the Climate Crisis Caused by the 7 Billion or the 1 Percent?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:36 am by HL

Is the Climate Crisis Caused by the 7 Billion or the 1 Percent?
As we reach 7 billion people, Climate Progress is featuring a variety of opinions on population. – by Ian Angus and Simon Butler in a Grist repost The approach of [7 billion] milestone produced a wave of articles and opinion pieces blaming the world’s environmental crises on overpopulation. In New York’s Times Square, a huge […]

Too many people book coverAs we reach 7 billion people, Climate Progress is featuring a variety of opinions on population.

– by Ian Angus and Simon Butler in a Grist repost

The approach of [7 billion] milestone produced a wave of articles and opinion pieces blaming the world’s environmental crises on overpopulation. In New York’s Times Square, a huge and expensive video declares that “human overpopulation is driving species extinct.” In London’s busiest Underground stations, electronic poster boards warn that 7 billion is ecologically unsustainable.

In 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s bestseller The Population Bomb declared that as a result of overpopulation, “the battle to feed humanity is over,” and the 1970s would be a time of global famines and ever-rising death rates. His predictions were all wrong, but four decades later his successors still use Ehrlich’s phrase — too many people! — to explain environmental problems.

But most of the 7 billion are not endangering the earth. The majority of the world’s people don’t destroy forests, don’t wipe out endangered species, don’t pollute rivers and oceans, and emit essentially no greenhouse gases.

Even in the rich countries of the Global North, most environmental destruction is caused not by individuals or households, but by mines, factories, and power plants run by corporations that care more about profit than about humanity’s survival.

No reduction in U.S. population would have stopped BP from poisoning the Gulf of Mexico last year.

Lower birthrates won’t shut down Canada’s tar sands, which Bill McKibben has justly called one of the most staggering crimes the world has ever seen.

Universal access to birth control should be a fundamental human right — but it would not have prevented Shell’s massive destruction of ecosystems in the Niger River delta, or the immeasurable damage that Chevron has caused to rainforests in Ecuador.

Ironically, while populationist groups focus attention on the 7 billion, protestors in the worldwide Occupy movement have identified the real source of environmental destruction: not the 7 billion, but the 1%, the handful of millionaires and billionaires who own more, consume more, control more, and destroy more than all the rest of us put together.

In the United States, the richest 1% own a majority of all stocks and corporate equity, giving them absolute control of the corporations that are directly responsible for most environmental destruction.

A recent report prepared by the British consulting firm Trucost for the United Nations found that just 3,000 corporations cause $2.15 trillion in environmental damage every year. Outrageous as that figure is — only six countries have a GDP greater than $2.15 trillion — it substantially understates the damage, because it excludes costs that would result from “potential high impact events such as fishery or ecosystem collapse,” and “external costs caused by product use and disposal, as well as companies’ use of other natural resources and release of further pollutants through their operations and suppliers.”

So in the case of oil companies, the figure covers “normal operations,” but not deaths and destruction caused by global warming, not damage caused by worldwide use of its products, and not the multi-billions of dollars in costs to clean up oil spills. The real damage those companies alone do is much greater than $2.15 trillion, every single year.

The 1% also control the governments that supposedly regulate those destructive corporations. The millionaires include 46 percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 54 out of 100 senators, and every president since Eisenhower.

Through the government, the 1% control the U.S. military, the largest user of petroleum in the world, and thus one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Military operations produce more hazardous waste than the five largest chemical companies combined. More than 10 percent of all Superfund hazardous waste sites in the United States are on military bases.

Those who believe that slowing population growth will stop or slow environmental destruction are ignoring these real and immediate threats to life on our planet. Corporations and armies aren’t polluting the world and destroying ecosystems because there are too many people, but because it is profitable to do so.

If the birthrate in Iraq or Afghanistan falls to zero, the U.S. military will not use one less gallon of oil.

If every African country adopts a one-child policy, energy companies in the U.S., China, and elsewhere will continue burning coal, bringing us ever closer to climate catastrophe.

Critics of the too many people argument are often accused of believing that there are no limits to growth. In our case, that simply isn’t true. What we do say is that in an ecologically rational and socially just world, where large families aren’t an economic necessity for hundreds of millions of people, population will stabilize. In Betsy Hartmann’s words, “The best population policy is to concentrate on improving human welfare in all its many facets. Take care of the population and population growth will go down.”

The world’s multiple environmental crises demand rapid and decisive action, but we can’t act effectively unless we understand why they are happening. If we misdiagnose the illness, at best we will waste precious time on ineffective cures; at worst, we will make the crises worse.

The too many people argument directs the attention and efforts of sincere activists to programs that will not have any substantial effect. At the same time, it weakens efforts to build an effective global movement against ecological destruction: It divides our forces, by blaming the principal victims of the crisis for problems they did not cause.

Above all, it ignores the massively destructive role of an irrational economic and social system that has gross waste and devastation built into its DNA. The capitalist system and the power of the 1%, not population size, are the root causes of today’s ecological crisis.

As pioneering ecologist Barry Commoner once said, “Pollution begins not in the family bedroom, but in the corporate boardroom.”

– Ian Angus is coauthor of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis. He is editor of the ecosocialist journal Climate and Capitalism.

– Simon Butler is coauthor of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis. He is editor of Green Left Weekly.

Related Posts:

George Will Excoriates Gingrich?s Influence Peddling: ?He?s The Classic Rental Politician?
Continuing his salted earth campaign against Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, conservative columnist George Will said the former House speaker “embodies almost everything disagreeable about modern Washington.” “He’s the classic rental politician,” Will continued, suggesting that Gingrich’s political positions are for sale to the highest bidder. Will — whose wife works for Rick Perry — said […]

Continuing his salted earth campaign against Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, conservative columnist George Will said the former House speaker “embodies almost everything disagreeable about modern Washington.” “He’s the classic rental politician,” Will continued, suggesting that Gingrich’s political positions are for sale to the highest bidder. Will — whose wife works for Rick Perry — said Gingrich should hope people focus on his philandering and infidelity, instead of his pay-for-play influence peddling. Watch it:

Later, Will said, “I didn’t even get to finish my list,” to which he added, “absurd rhetorical grandiosity.”

Gingrich is reeling from revelations that he was paid over a million dollars to peddle influence for failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Even disgraced former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff has called Gingrich “corrupt[].”


Iran may have sent Libya shells for chemical weapons

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 21st, 2011 5:35 am by HL

Iran may have sent Libya shells for chemical weapons

The Obama administration is investigating whether Iran supplied the Libyan government of Moammar Gaddafi with hundreds of special artillery shells for chemical weapons that Libya kept secret for decades, U.S. officials said.

The shells, which Libya filled with highly toxic mustard agent, were uncovered in recent weeks by revolutionary fighters at two sites in central Libya. Both are under heavy guard and round-the-clock surveillance by drones, U.S. and Libyan officials said.

Read full article >>

Technology companies see ‘monster opportunity’ in federal shift to Apple, Google phones

Citrix Systems and Juniper Networks are among the technology vendors that could benefit from a U.S. government search for ways to secure Apple’s smartphones and tablet computers for the use of federal employees.

Apple’s devices, along with those using Google’s Android software, are drawing interest from U.S. agencies responding to a workforce that increasingly wants an alternative to the Research in Motion BlackBerrys that have long dominated the federal market.

Read full article >>

President Obama’s base of support remains solid heading into 2012

Everyone knows that President Obama has a problem with his political base heading into 2012. Except that he doesn’t.

One of the most persistent story lines for the president has been that the liberal left has grown increasingly dissatisfied with his actions (or inaction) on some of its priorities — including single-payer health insurance, the extension of the George W. Bush tax cuts and whether to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Read full article >>

Romney: ‘Confidentiality of strategy’ is key

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – The golden rule of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign just might be this: “confidentiality of strategy.”

Romney’s advisers sometimes marvel at how intimately involved the candidate is in charting out his path to the Republican presidential nomination. But ask the former Massachusetts governor what his strategy is and he won’t say.

Read full article >>