Friday, December 24, 2010

Wikileaks cable reveals U.S. conspired to retaliate against European nations if they resisted GMOs

"The latest batch of diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reveals what can only be characterized as a U.S.-led conspiracy to force GMOs onto European countries by making those countries pay a steep price if they resist."

"We’ve been saying for years that the United States government is joined at the hip with Monsanto and pushing GMOs as part of Monsanto’s agenda on the rest of the world. This lays bare the mechanics of that effort. We have Craig Stapleton, the former ambassador to France, specifically asking the U.S. government to retaliate and cause some harm throughout the European Union."

Learn more at:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Bernie Said, Part II

As Promised... Here is the Second Installment!

"Last Friday, Mr. Sanders spent more than eight hours laying out a number of hard truths that needed to be heard - about Mr. Obama's seemingly unstoppable tax deal with the Republicans, about what it means for the future of Social Security, about the budget-busting wars we are fighting, about the nature of greed in America, and how the very many are being robbed and deprived by the well-off few."

Read the rest of what William Rivers Pitt (and Senator Bernie Sanders!) had to say in Part Two of this multiple-installment assessment at!

Cherish - and Work to Protect - Our Rights

"Bill of Rights Day was December 15, a time to reflect on constitutional freedoms. And as we enter the tenth year since 9/11, it's hard to be optimistic about the state of civil liberties and human rights in the United States."

Read the rest of the article at: Truthout

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Dangers Of Externalizing Knowledge

So... Do you *know* things?
Or do you just know where/how to *find* things?
(It's a big difference, dontcha know...)
This could almost have been called "The Dangers of Pocket Calculators," in days gone by...

Read the full story at: TechCrunch

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Will The DEA Shut Down Every Major Music Festival in the Country?

"Every major music festival in the country could be shut down by law enforcement whose motive is not to make Americans safer through the protection of their rights, but the profit that police can make by taking property from citizens."
"The seizure of the 352-acre Camp Zoe property in Southeast Missouri has so far garnered substantial attention both in America and internationally. That’s because this is no ordinary seizure; without (so far) being charged with a crime, the property owner, musician Jimmy Tebeau, is having his land taken from him in a process that strips him of his rights under both the US and Missouri constitutions."

Read the rest of the story at: Cannabis Culture Magazine

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Bernie Said, Part I

"The speech delivered by [Senator Bernie] Sanders [I-VT] on Friday ranks among the most important I have ever heard in my life, certainly the single most pertinent expression of fact and outrage that has been delivered in this current climate of "compromise" and collapse. He told more truth in his eight hours than many of us have heard from an elected official in the last ten years, and it would be a disgrace if his eloquence faded into the background without the study and reflection it deserves."
- William Rivers Pitt

Read the rest of what William Rivers Pitt (and Senator Bernie Sanders!) had to say in Part One of this multiple-installment assessment at!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The new hungry: College-educated, middle-class cope with food insecurity

Come Christmas dinner, Rolanda McCarty, a 36-year-old single mother, usually goes all out.
Her table last year featured a rosemary-and-oil rubbed turkey and a sweet ham. She prepared fresh collard greens according to her grandmother's recipe. The dessert -- a rich butter pound cake -- was made from scratch.
But after being laid off from her technical recruiting job in January because of the struggling economy, there will be no fancy holiday feast, no family members pouring into her downsized one-bedroom apartment. She will rely on what she has: canned vegetables and microwavable meals from her community food bank..

Read the rest of the story on how the college-educated middle-class are facing food insecurities and going hungry at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

US life expectancy continues to plummet, but not because of inadequate health care

Rather than teach people how to eat better, for instance, the health care system waits until people become sick and loads them up with drugs and expensive procedures as the "cure". Drug companies make a lot of money with this approach, but overall health continues to decline as a result.
Read the rest at

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity had MUCH better signage....

...a consequence of being better educated. [PS: the percentage of misspellings is drastically lower than those Tea Parody Parakeets, too]

I masturbate and I vote (but usually not at the same time)

I disagree with you, but I'm pretty sure you're not Hitler.

You're mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I understand the difference between communism, fascism and socialism and don't use the terms interchangeably.

I'll respect your opinion as soon as you stop making shit up!

Historians against the misuse of history.

I'll keep my liberty, open mind and pursuit of happiness. You can keep your fear.

Paul Revere was an Anchor Baby.

RESTORE AMERICA! But not too far because then we'll have slavery! and no toilets!

Mainstream Media... Could you please stop pitting the ignorant versus the educated and framing it as a debate? [Bill Maher]

On the whole, I am rather gruntled.

STOP! You're starting to scare George Orwell.

Being loud, rude and ignorant is not a political movement. It's just bad manners.

This sign is spelled correctly.

Atlas Sucked.

Against Gay Marriage? That's fine.. I don't need your toaster.

Hey Tea Party: Shouldn't you all be in the FEMA Internment Camps by now?

If screaming makes you right then the three-year-old down the street is a freakin' genius.

Facts are like opinions, except they're true.

Hitler called... He wants his hyperbole back.

I put death paneling in my Torture chamber. (OK... I made that one up...)

How Prescient...

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” A. Lincoln, 1864

Saturday, October 30, 2010

To the folks who are upset with the 'Rally for Sanity'...

...because they think we should be fighting the denizens of Greater Wingnutia on their own level and with their own tactics...

You know, I spent a good few hours trying to figure out why I think that take on this rally is ill-conceived. Then it came to me... I absolutely understand that you want to take them on on their own terms...Would that there were a snowball's chance the battle could be won like that.

Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, Free Thinkers - Everyone even vaguely associated with our side of the fence believes in facts and figures, persuasion and provable truths. Our opposition believes in winning. They're willing to lie, to cheat and to pander to get their message across. For good or ill, We, as a collective entity, are not.

I am not talking about political campaigning. As Politifact attests daily, candidates of all stripes lie. I mean that you, me and the regular folk who are trying to communicate these ideas and positions are not going to forsake the moral high ground of truth just because 'Baggers refuse to hear anything but their own doctrine. We're kinds like the folks who help the ex-religious escape their old cultural and philosophical binds. It can't be done by creating an anti-sermon sermon. The atheists are far better spoken than the Fundies, but that hasn't helped them put an end to myths.

We have to stand our ground, live our principles and show the folks who aren't already crazied that we know something the Becks, Angles, O'Donnells, Millers, Boehners and Roves don't know... What will work for the America we ARE, not the preposterous retro-fantasy they are trying to sell the the largely unsuspecting populace.

Maybe the freedoms we have known all our lives are soon to be gone. Maybe the frightened Theocrats and thoughtless profiteering pundits will bring us down to the level of Christian Sharia. It's up in the air right now...

But, I can't lock and load while there is still some chance to bring across the vast majority of people who are NOT allied with one side or another. I goddamn well won't help them make the streets run with blood.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fear of [Muslims] Flying

There isn't any doctrine to this simple equation... In the last decade there was one major terrorist attack on American soil, and it being used to advance the profiling, the racism and the hatred we see in New York, in Murfreesboro, TN and all across America.

One attack. By radical terrorists... But there are 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world and the estimate of the number of terrorists by everyone but the uninformed hacks runs between five and ten thousand... Do that math... At the high end it's one terrorist in every ONE MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND Muslims. So how many in America.... four?

There's a higher ratio of gang-bangers in Newark, fer Christ's sake... Point being that this is a goddamn excuse for the rhetoric, and worse, actual violence: The cabbie shot in NY, arson in Murfreesboro, vandalism all across America... and all because the number of ACTUAL, REAL SERIOUS Islamic terrorists IN the USA might be as high as FIVE... A number, by the way, that could be reasonably assumed to be the number of Christians who are willing to bomb abortion clinics and/or murder doctors... but nobody is profiling churchgoers or vandalizing the church in the town Dr. Tiller was from - How come every Christian in HIS town wasn't questioned?

My friend Harry says Americans are not all bigots and racists. I agree, But many American ARE scared. Unfortunately, as any good psychologist can affirm, fear leads people to their lowest common denominator of behavior. Frightened people act with a mob mentality, behaving in ways none of them would individually. Frightened people are absolutely bigots and racists - Hell, there are situations in which good people would let their neighbors die to save their family - How easy it it to hate the image of some unspecified danger called a 'terrorist'.

Do you remember the Twilight Zone Episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"? Nowadays, they show it in schools to teach kids about the dangers of prejudice and hysteria. That's what's playing on the right...all day... all night.

It serves the interests of the Becks and the Palins to use charged rhetoric to keep their base afraid. It's all about 'The Other'...A president who is ...Other.... a religion that is...Other... They are not leading a national discussion to solve the problems, THEIR agenda is ultra-nationalist ultra-partisan rallying - Which does exactly nothing for the national discussion, nor does it in any way improve the chances for reasoned discussion between factions. They are reinforcing the image of monsters attacking us in our homes... a lie that short-circuits the discussion - which is EXACTLY what they intend.

We live in a dangerous time and it has little or nothing to do with anybody but ourselves. If we cannot get back to a world where parties compromise, we are going to be in a world of trouble.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Game Over (Apparently)

That's it. Game over. No appeal. American Free Speech no longer covers NON VIOLENT statements that MAY support of any organization that MIGHT be considered 'violent' by the US legal system. So says the Supreme Court. The neo-con-artists and tea-party-poopers will prolly be smiling until one of their own gets 15 years in the federal pen for making a speech...

WaPo: The Supreme Court goes too far in the name of fighting terrorism

Ayep. The end of the American Experiment, kiddies. No shit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proper use of English... or the Big Lie Technique...

Anyone who calls the gulf oil spill a 'natural' disaster is either being
disingenuous or flat out lying to take the blame off the CORPORATION
that caused it.

From Steve Benin: "When an oil company uses machinery
to go a mile below sea level, then digs down another mile below
that, and then builds a rig that explodes, ...sending
tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, there's nothing
"natural" about it."

Friday, March 26, 2010

To the angry right...

I am tired of the bullshit...

Do you support the schmucks who are throwing bricks through their representatives windows?
Are you in favor of the jamokes who cut the gas line of a Rep's brother in Tennessee?
Maybe you feels kinship with the fools who spit on a black congressman last week, or the ones who yelled racist epithets at elected reps.

The troglodytes who follow his irrational line of thinking can't see to grasp the simplest parts of government 101:

In every election,
In every debate,
In every court decision,
In every piece of legislation...

...somebody wins and somebody loses..

The honorable show some class when they lose...
They're gracious - instead of being infantile.
They accept that sometimes one does not get what one wants...

Those of us who suffered through eight years of George Bush, though he was a fool... but we didn't offer to cancel the US Government because of it.

No progressive was out in the street offering to kill representatives
No progressive was carrying a gun to a Presidential appearance.
No progressive threw bricks through Republican rep's windows.
No progressive told America to "reload".

By the way, if you don't grasp the significance in the incidents of broken windows at Dem's offices, maybe you should look up 'kristalnacht' in wikipedia.

In any event, if representative democracy isn't what you want,
there are plenty of places where that annoying 'majority rule' isn't considered important.


Monday, March 22, 2010


The right to health is part of our Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life..."

AND our Constitution:

"promote the general Welfare"

One cannot have life without health, nor can one's welfare be in any way interpreted to be 'Promoted' without it.

Ergo, like racial discrimination, woman's suffrage, Social Security and Medicare...
This is a right whose understanding we have finally begun to realize - Gee, and we're only the second to last nation in the hemisphere to do it.

Like the latter two above, this is the BEGINNING of the implementation - and just as was said about both Social Security and Medicare, it ain't right yet.

On the other hand, this isn't the end of any world we are familiar with.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who's deserting what, again?

[from Steve Benin @ the Washington monthly blog]

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele appeared to be relishing Sen. Evan Bayh's (D-Ind.) decision not to seek re-election to his U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

In a statement, Steele put Bayh's announcement in the context of other recent Democratic retirements, saying that it was a sign Democrats were "running for the hills because they sold out their constituents and don't want to face them at the ballot box."

Is that so. Here are a handful of relevant details for the RNC to consider:

In the House, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

In the Senate, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

Among governors, there are more Republicans retiring than Democrats.

I can appreciate party hacks spinning as best they can, but c'mon. Does Michael Steele not have a staff to check his statements before they go out? Did it not occur to anyone at the RNC to think, "You know, if we use retirements as a baseline, and our retirements outnumber theirs, we may look foolish"?

Now me:

Apparently the ability to count isn't a requirement for the leader of the RNC.
Apparently the ability to draw a considered conclusion based of facts is also not required.

My, what a surprise.

Update: Some on the left are attacking Bayh for the possibility of allowing the Dems to lose his Senate seat. Given the tripe that slither like elected representatives, one guy who walks away, telling the truth about the sad state of our process, is not a reasonable target. I can't fault anyone who hasn't the stomach for the surreal Roman Circus that is Washington. When the people we elect grow some nads, we'll have have a system that works.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Truth Justice and....

Try this on for size...

The preamble to the Constitution of the United States:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Salient part for our purposes is "promote the general Welfare".

The Definition of the word 'welfare'...

[Free online Dictionary] Health, happiness, and good fortune; well-being.
[] the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child's welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.
[Merriam-Webster] the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity

The point?

Health care is, in fact, a right guaranteed by the US Constitution and, like racial equality, one that has been ignored or downplayed for the convenience of those who profit by the failure of our nation to enforce that right.

Of course, now that Health Care and Insurance Corporations are even MORE people than they were last week, you may expect to be commensurately LESS of a person come the next election. Personhood cannot be created nor destroyed...but it can be bought.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Observations after Massachusetts Senate debacle...

Progressives embrace safety nets of rights, basic health care & sustenance for all humanity. Some call this "Socialism" & are violently opposed to "Redistribution of Wealth." But "Socialization of Costs?" The opponents' story changes. Pollution, Hazardous Consumables, Workplace Injuries or fatalities - Let the public assume these costs! Socialize the costs to the masses & privatize profits for the wealthy. Nice...
(And voters continue to roll over, preferring image over issues...)