...at least there’s some good news in all this: “NATO has apologized for the deadly attack on Saturday, saying troops believed the compound they were firing on housed only insurgents.”
For anyone not centered in American righteousness and exceptionalism, this is Barbarism, Inc. It simply appears that the American economy runs on war and one of the products this economy produces is dead insurgents. We cheer about dead insurgents (think Osama) because, you know, it makes us safer. But the unwanted byproduct — the CO2 emissions, if you will — of killing these nameless, bearded enemies is dead civilians, a.k.a., collateral damage.
And that’s too bad. But apologies are cheap — far cheaper than dismantling the military industrial complex.
Yet just as we participate in the creation of climate change, or “global weirding,” with our voracious consumption of coal, oil and natural gas, we also participate in the creation of our own insecurity by spawning, bomb after bomb, endless reasons for people to hate us. Terrorists wind up being no more than people with grievances — very often, legitimate ones.
"[Libertarian and Republican hero] Ayn Rand stands against everything we were ever taught or believed about God and our faith values. Ayn Rand stands against everything we ever learned about basic compassion, human decency, and fair play...We urge our political leaders to drop Ayn Rand’s books and pick up their sacred texts." - Father Clete Kiley of the Archdiocese of Chicago, in a great letter to GOP leaders
Brigette DePape, 21, stepped into the political spotlight Friday when she stepped onto the floor of the Canadian Senate and held up a handmade sign, designed in the shape of a red stop sign. She was briskly removed from the Senate chamber, detained by security officials, and fired from her job. DePape has criticized the conservative Harper government for its pro-war stances and anti-environmental policies.
A new form of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been found in dairy cows and humans in the U.K. and Denmark, providing more evidence that animals could be passing this superbug on to people—not just the other way around.
If Roger Ailes thought Glenn Beck’s farewell tour for his final, televised goodbye on Fox News this month would generate a ratings boost as past fans turned in to toast Beck’s slow motion send-off, the Fox News chairman must be disappointed because it ain't happening.
If we value the one planet we’ve got, it’s going to be up to the rest of us to be crude and blunt. And happily that planet is pitching in. The geography of this beautiful North American continent is on our side: it’s crude and blunt, full of mountains and canyons. Its weather runs to extremes. It’s no easy thing to build a pipeline across it, or to figure out how to run an endless parade of train cars to the Pacific.Tough terrain aids the insurgent; it slows the powerful. Though we’re fighting a political campaign and not a military one, we need to take full advantage.
Japanese authorities are now admitting the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility was far more severe than they had previously admitted. On Monday, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency more than doubled its estimate for the amount of radiation that leaked from the plant in the first week of the disaster in March. The agency has also admitted for the first time that full nuclear meltdowns occurred at three of the plant’s reactors.
On June 7, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the first of the tax cuts that would turn the budget surpluses of the 1990’s into historic deficits. A new analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice explains that making these tax cuts permanent would almost double the long-term budget deficit.
The richest one percent of taxpayers, with an average income of about $1.4 million in 2013, would get an average tax cut of $68,079 that year if the Bush tax cuts are extended again. The poorest three fifths of taxpayers, with an average income of $29,000 that year, would receive an average tax cut of just $487.
Dole Food Company first poisoned the workers on its banana plantations outside of Managua, Nicaragua in the 1970’s, and then refused to provide them with adequate medical coverage. Fully aware of the health problems the use of the pesticide dibromochloropropane (DBCP) causes in humans (particularly sterility in males, which led to the chemical being banned in the US) Dole continued to require its application on banana plantations without providing proper training or handling equipment for its employees.
"The concentration of opposition to Mormons is among evangelical and fundamentalist Christians who are heavily concentrated in the South in the Bible belt. It is an impediment, and was an impediment four years ago, to Romney in terms of winning the Republican nomination. But if he gets that nomination, and then you've got a race between Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon, and Barack Hussein Obama, who is an African American of the left, evangelicals and fundamentalist, I think, in the South will go strongly for Romney."
The Index is based on 11 measurements of quality of life including housing, income, jobs, community, education, the environment, health, work-life balance, and life satisfaction. We made "life satisfaction" the cornerstone of our index because it is as good a proxy for "happiness" as the survey provides. We then compared "life satisfaction" scores to the other measurements to find those economic and socio-political realities that had the highest and lowest correlation to happiness.
As America girds itself for another round of lunatic political infighting over which barely-respirating social program or urgently necessary federal agency must have their budgets permanently sacrificed to the cause of billionaires being able to keep their third boats in the water, it's important to point out just how scarce money isn't in certain corners of the public-spending universe. In the coming months, when you watch Republican congressional stooges play out the desperate comedy of solving America's deficit problems by making fewer photocopies of proposed bills, or by taking an ax to budgetary shrubberies like NPR or the SEC, remember Christy Mack and her fancy new carriage house. There is no belt-tightening on the other side of the tracks. Just a free lunch that never ends.
Palin attracted some attention last week during her bus tour up the Eastern seaboard for saying that Paul Revere actually warned the British and not the colonists ahead of the Revolutionary War. [FUNNY, yet SAD, NOTE: Palin supporters have been desperately trying to edit the Wikipedia entry for Paul Revere to correspond with Palin's rewriting of history: Sarah Palin Supporters Attempted To Edit Wikipedia Page On Paul Revere]
The great writer Kurt Vonnegut titled his final book A Man without a Country. He was the man; the country was the United States of America. Vonnegut felt that his country had disappeared right under his – and the Constitution’s – feet, through what he called “the sleaziest, low-comedy Keystone Cops-style coup d’état imaginable.” He was talking about the Bush administration. Were Vonnegut still alive in the post-Bush era, he would not have felt that his country had returned.
London After Midnight / Sean Brennan