Yearly Archives: 2006

21 posts

FCC Destroyed Media Ownership Report

Study found local ownership means more local news 15 September 2006 | FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) A 2004 Federal Communications Commission study that showed locally owned television stations provide more local news than others was ordered destroyed by FCC officials, and only came to light this week when a copy was leaked to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.). Three years ago, then-FCC chair Michael Powell launched a proceeding on the effects of local ownership on television news as part of his drive to further deregulate media and allow for even greater consolidation. But the report commissioned under Powell turned […]

Impermanence and thereitis.org

I’m Brendan Lalor, the one who runs there it is . org. In recent weeks I moved from Oklahoma City to Manchester Center, VT, and in the process the website went down a few times, and email communcations went hay-wire for periods of days. I thought I lost everything, and so posted this: Impermanence The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. […]

America’s 100 Years of Overthrow

25 July 2006 | AlterNet by Robert Sherrill George Bush and Dick Cheney may get your vote as the worst, the dumbest, the most venal, and the most dangerous bunglers in foreign affairs in U.S. history. But this book will show you that their equals have appeared before. Author Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq (Times Books, 2006) is an infuriating recitation of our government’s military bullying over the past 110 years — a century of interventions around the world that resulted in the overthrow of 14 governments — in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, […]

Feingold: Never Mind

[ This is a July 20, 2006 letter to Senator Russ Feingold from Alexandra Dadlez. –BL ] Senator Feingold, Several years ago, probably around the time of the Iraq War Resolution, I wrote an e-mail to you strongly urging that you run for president of the United States. This is to let you know: Never Mind. I have seldom been so disappointed in my life. You are quoted in the The Jewish Week as follows: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), expected to run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination on an anti-war platform, said, ?I stand firmly with the people of Israel […]

‘Because This Is the Middle East’: CBS’ Schieffer ignores context in Mideast crisis

19 July 2006 | FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) On July 16, CBS Face the Nation host (and CBS Evening News anchor) Bob Schieffer dedicated the entire Sunday morning news show to the Middle East conflict. In his closing editorial, he adapted a well-known fable in an attempt to explain the causes of the current conflict—or rather, the lack of causes: Finally today, when the war broke out in the Middle East, the first thing I thought about was the old story of the frog and the scorpion who were trying to cross a river there. The scorpion couldn’t […]

Ken Lay’s Alive

19 July 2006 | Greg Palast . com Don’t check the casket. I know he?s back. When I saw those lights flickering out at La Guardia Airport yesterday and heard the eerie shrieks and moans in the dark, broiling subway tunnels, I just knew it: Ken Lay’s alive! We can see his spirit in every flickering lightbulb from Kansas to Queens as we head into America’s annual Blackout season. It wasn’t always so. For decades, America had nearly the best, most reliable electricity system on the planet and, though we grumbled, electricity bills were among the planet’s lowest. It was […]

Put Away the Flags

1 July 2006 | The Progressive by Howard Zinn On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed. Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking — cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on — have been useful to those in power, and […]

Bush Is Not Incompetent

3 July 2006 | AlterNet by George Lakoff Progressives have fallen into a trap. Emboldened by President Bush’s plummeting approval ratings, progressives increasingly point to Bush’s “failures” and label him and his administration as incompetent. For example, Nancy Pelosi said “The situation in Iraq and the reckless economic policies in the United States speak to one issue for me, and that is the competence of our leader.” Self-satisfying as this criticism may be, it misses the bigger point. Bush’s disasters — Katrina, the Iraq War, the budget deficit — are not so much a testament to his incompetence or a […]

To Bush Admin’s Chagrin, Chavez Helps the Poor in the U.S.

The Mouse on Steroids 30 May 2006 | TruthOut.org by William Fisher We can’t be blamed if Venezuela’s mini-public diplomacy program reminds us of “The Mouse That Roared” – and we can almost hear the gnashing teeth in the White House SitRoom. I refer to the program being waged in the US by Venezuela’s President Hugo Ch├ívez. Under that program, Citgo, Venezuela’s wholly-owned gas and oil subsidiary, provides discounts up to 60 per cent on heating oil to poor communities in the US. Known as petro-diplomacy, the program is currently operating in Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode […]

Rising Wages for Nurses? Nanny State to the Rescue

24 May 2006 | TurhtOut.org by Dean Baker The New York Times had an article today that inadvertently revealed a huge amount about how wages are set in the US economy (“US Plan to Lure Nurses May Hurt Poor Nations,” 5-24-06; A1). We all know the official story – wages are supposed to be set by the market, our old friends supply and demand. When certain skills are in short supply, the wages for workers with these skills are bid up. This leads more people to acquire the skills and may also reduce the demand. Eventually, supply increases and demand […]

Music & Comedy on the Bush War: Must-Visit Links

Music. If you have not heard the new Neil Young album, it is well worth it, and he is streaming it free at www.neilyoung.com. Apparently, he was inspired and composed the whole thing in three days. Comedy. If you have not seen Stephen Colbert’s performance at the 92nd Annual Dinner of the White House Correspondents’ Association from 29 April 2006, you ought to: it made the Bush cabal very uncomfortable (click here or search the CSPAN archive, which requires Real Player).

Bush challenges hundreds of laws

30 April 2006 | Boston Globe by Charlie Savage WASHINGTON President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, “whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research. Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions […]

TELECOMMUNICATIONS GIANTS MOVE TO CONTROL HOW YOU SURF THE WEB

28 April 2006 | Organic Bytes (Organic Consumers Assn) A nationwide network of nonprofit organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association, are mobilizing to stop Congress from passing a law that would enable telecommunications giants to control the flow of traffic on the internet. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are pressuring Congress to pass the “Telecom Reform Bill” that would allow them to restrict or slow down your access to certain websites on the internet. As an example, last year, Canada’s version of AT&T — Telus — blocked their internet customers from visiting a web site sympathetic to workers with […]

Willie Nelson: Save Family Farms, Save America

[ Nelson argues that [i]f you care about local and democratic control, demand a Farm Bill that curbs the power of factory farms and the influence of lobbyists for large food corporations. If you care about health and nutrition for children, demand a Farm Bill that puts more fresh, wholesome food in our cities’ schools. If you want your children and grandchildren to enjoy the benefits of a clean environment, demand a Farm Bill that increases protection of our natural resources by helping farmers transition to organic and more sustainable growing methods. As the editors of AlterNet point out, this […]

How Massacres Become the Norm

[ Dahr Jamail, one of the few independent U.S. journalists in Iraq, does not write for Corporate Media in the insulated U.S. However, his work can be found in stories reported by the BBC, Inter Press Service, The Asia Times, The Sunday Herald, the Guardian, The Independent, and elsewhere. This piece ties in with other important articles appearing here on the psychology of evil. –BL ] 04 April 2006 | t r u t h o u t by Dahr Jamail US soldiers killing innocent civilians in Iraq is not news. Just as it was not news that US soldiers slaughtered […]

How Much Fossil Fuel is in Your Food?

23 March 2006 | Tom Dispatch.com The blurb from Organic Consumers Assn’s Organic Bytes letter runs: An average of over seven calories of fossil fuel is burned up for every calorie of energy we get from our food. This means that the average 2000 calorie daily diet requires approximately two quarts of crude oil to produce, process, package and transport. The processing of just one pound of coffee requires over 8,000 calories of fossil-fuel energy — the equivalent energy found in nearly 30 cubic feet of natural gas, or around two and a half pounds of coal. To reduce the […]

37 Million Poor Hidden in the Land of Plenty

19 Feb 2006 | The Observer (UK) Americans have always believed that hard work will bring rewards, but vast numbers now cannot meet their bills even with two or three jobs. More than one in 10 citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening by Paul Harris in Kentucky The flickering television in Candy Lumpkins’s trailer blared out The Bold and the Beautiful. It was a fantasy daytime soap vision of American life with little relevance to the reality of this impoverished corner of Kentucky. The Lumpkins live at the definition of […]

Sweden Plans to Be World’s First Oil-Free Economy

[ This piece about Sweden’s commitment to convert to fossil-free fuels shames the rest of the developed world. Sure, Sweden’s got ethanol on the table as a possible part of its strategy, contra voices of sanity (like that of James Howard Kunstler), insight (like that of Richard Manning), and manifesto (like the editors of The Stranger, who call for real solutions). But at least Sweden is treating the issue of sustainable energy policy as urgent. –BL ] 8 Feb 2006 | The Guardian 15-year limit set for switch to renewable energy Biofuels favoured over further nuclear power by John Vidal […]

The Defense of the Bush Admin. and Enron: (1) Play Dumb about the Facts and (2) Claim “Good Intentions”

Trial of the True Believers 7 Feb 2006 | AlterNet by Onnesha Roychoudhuri As the trial of Enron’s Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay enters its second week, journalists are again pointing to the connections between the Bush family and administration and the former corporate Goliath. It’s certainly not difficult to unearth the laundry list of ties between Bush’s tight-knit Republican circle and the company that cheated Americans out of over $1 billion in retirement funds and some 4,500 jobs. But perhaps the more interesting connection between the Bush administration and Enron is how people from both entities have flouted the […]

Is It Warm in Here? We Could Be Ignoring the Biggest Story in Our History

[ I presume you’re up on recent news from my Progressive Trinity — TruthOut, Common Dreams, and DemocracyNow! — which has reported a lot of scary news lately about the extent to which the impeachable Bush administration‘s illegality is documentable, about nuclear noise from Iran, and other depressing matters. But as much as climate change seems like background noise, it may force its way into the foreground before long. –BL ] 18 Jan. 2006 | Washington Post by David Ignatius One of the puzzles if you’re in the news business is figuring out what’s “news.” The fate of your local football […]

How Many Iraqis Have Died Since the US Invasion in 2003?

[ Many right-wingers continue to dismiss reports about the John Hopkins University study published in the British medical journal The Lancet which concluded, at the time of the study, there were probably about 100,000 excess deaths since the Anglo-American invasion. But my informal survey suggests that very few people have heard the telling interview about the study’s methodology which aired on This American Life (“What’s in a Number?,” 28 October 2005, episode 300) with one of the researchers (to get to the most relevant point in the interview, move ahead 12 minutes into the show). The article below, forwarded by […]