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Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July - Former Fox News Chief Says Fox Isn't Factual - Ralph Nader - Gaza Aid Ship - Michele Bacman is Dumb AND Crazy - Fukushima - ANOTHER Oil Spill - Nuke Worries - US Killing Whales - Film: Hot Coffee - The Soundstrike

- Ralph Nader Is Tired of Running for President
    The most important moral and intellectual voices within a disintegrating society are slowly discredited when their nonviolent protests and calls for justice cannot alter intransigent and corrupt systems of power. The repeated acts of peaceful civil disobedience, efforts at electoral and political reform and the fight to protect the rule of law are dismissed as useless by an embittered, dispossessed and betrayed public. The demagogues and hatemongers, the purveyors of violence, easily seduce enraged and bewildered masses in the final stages of collapse with false promises of vengeance, new glory and moral renewal. And in the spiral downward the good among us are reviled as naive and ineffectual fools.
- The Militarized Surrealism of Barack Obama
    ...whether by inclination, political calculation, or some mix of the two, our president has become a rhetorical idolator.
    These days [Obama] can barely open his mouth without also bowing down before the U.S. military in ways that once would have struck Americans as embarrassing, if not incomprehensible.  In addition, he regularly prostrates himself before this country’s special mission to the world and never ceases to emphasize that the United States is indeed an exception among nations.  Finally, in a way once alien to American presidents, he invokes God’s blessing upon the military and the country as regularly as you brush your teeth.

    Think of these as the triumvirate without which no Obama foreign-policy moment would be complete: greatest military, greatest nation, our God.  And in this he follows directly, if awkwardly, in Bush's footsteps.
- Exxon Claims Spill Damage Limited, Gov. Doubtful
    Teams of federal and Exxon Mobile workers are moving along the banks of Montana's legendary Yellowstone River in an effort to contain damage and gauge the impact from tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil that gushed from a ruptured pipe beneath the riverbed.
- French Nuclear Power Plant Explosion Heightens Safety Fears
    An explosion sparked a fire at a French nuclear power station on Saturday, just two days after the authorities found 32 safety concerns at the plant.
- Is New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory Really Safe?
    Caused by a fallen power line, the blaze — which spans more than 108 miles — has destroyed about 61,000 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest and forced the evacuation of the town of Los Alamos (population 11,000).  Worse, the fire is creeping dangerously close to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), one of the country's biggest nuclear research facilities. At risk are 20-30,000 drums of Cold War-era plutonium-contaminated waste Technical Area 54 in the Area G section that are sitting above ground in fabric tents.
- Former News Corp. President: Fox News' Opinion Shows Aren't Meant To Be "Factual"
    Former News Corp. President Peter Chernin admits in a new TV special on Rupert Murdoch that some Fox News shows are not meant to be "factual."
- Fox Nation: Re-Writing Headlines To Fit The Agenda
    A trend that has been noticed far too often here at Media Matters is this: if Fox News wants to spin a certain aspect of a story to fit their conservative agenda, they'll do it any way they know how. Their blog, Fox Nation, seems to exist solely to do just that.
-Actual News Headlines Vs. Fox News Headlines
         Fox News lies and manipulates people

- Sean Hannity Failed- an Example of how Fox "News' Routinely Lies and Misleads its Viewers
    On his Fox News show last night, Sean Hannity lashed out at former Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, launching into a series of discredited smears and anti-gay slurs.
    Hannity was responding to an interview Jennings gave to Media Matters, in which Jennings had discussed the impact of his anti-bullying work and said that those (including Fox) who had engaged in a campaign of "defamation" against him had "completely failed."
- “Hot Coffee” Documentary Exposes Corporate Attacks on Consumer Rights, Features Expert Insights from Public Citizen
    [Republicans and the mainstream media have long tried to villainize the legal system, citing this incident as an example of "frivolous lawsuits". They have done this in order to protect the rich corporations from being held responsible for producing dangerous products or doing things that harm people].
    Stella Liebeck, 79-years-old, was sitting in the passenger seat of her grandson’s car having purchased a cup of McDonald’s coffee. After the car stopped, she tried to hold the cup securely between her knees while removing the lid. However, the cup tipped over, pouring scalding hot coffee onto her lap. She received third-degree burns over 16 percent of her body, necessitating hospitalization for eight days, whirlpool treatment for debridement of her wounds, skin grafting, scarring, and disability for more than two years.

    Despite these extensive injuries, she offered to settle with McDonald’s for $20,000. However, McDonald’s refused to settle for this small amount and, in fact, never offered more than $800.

    The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages — reduced to $160,000 because the jury found her 20 percent at fault — and $2.7 million in punitive damages for McDonald’s callous conduct. (To put this in perspective, McDonald’s revenue from coffee sales alone was in excess of $1.3 million a day.) The trial judge reduced the punitive damages to $480,000, but did state that McDonald’s had engaged in “willful, wanton, and reckless” behavior. Mrs. Liebeck and McDonald’s eventually settled for a confidential amount. The jury heard the following evidence in the case:
- Floodwater Seeps into Nebraska Nuke Plant Building
    An 8-foot-tall, water-filled temporary berm protecting the plant collapsed early Sunday. Vendor workers were at the plant Monday to determine whether the 2,000 foot berm can be repaired.
- Wind turbine turns out surplus
    It's been a little over a year since the University of Delaware's joint-venture wind turbine started spinning in Lewes.
    And save for the first three months of operation in June, July and August 2010, power generated exceeded use at the Lewes Campus, said Jeremy Firestone, director of the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration and a professor at the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment.
- US police smash camera for recording killing
    A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit's decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera.
- Outcry in America as Pregnant Women Who Lose Babies Face Murder Charges
    Women's rights campaigners see the creeping criminalization of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion
- Bernie Sanders Takes to Senate Floor, Demands 'Shared Sacrifice'
    In my view, the President of the United States of America needs to stand with the American people and say to the Republican leadership that enough is enough. No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions. Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice. Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon. And, no we will not be blackmailed once again by the Republican leadership in Washington, who are threatening to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States government for the first time in our nation’s history unless they get everything they want.
- Washington Okays Attack on Unarmed U.S. Ship
    The Obama administration appears to have given a green light to an Israeli attack on an unarmed flotilla carrying peace and human rights activists — including a vessel with 50 Americans on board — bound for the besieged Gaza Strip.
- US, Israel Escalate Threats Against Flotilla, Including US Citizens
    A co-founder of the right-wing blog RedState (and former Bush speechwriter) created a mini-controversy over the weekend when he issued a sociopathic endorsement of Israel's possible shooting of his fellow unarmed citizens on a flotilla currently sailing to Gaza; that flotilla is trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gazans and protest the ongoing Israeli blockade...
- Justice In America: A Tale Of Two Crimes
    Consider Paul Allen, 55, a former mortgage CEO who defrauded lenders of over $3 billion. This week, prosecutors celebrated the fact they got him a 40-month prison sentence. Consider Roy Brown, 54, a hungry homeless man who robbed a Louisiana bank of $100 - the teller gave him more but he handed the rest back. He felt bad the next day and surrendered to police. He got 15 years. Justice in America has a ways to go.
- Michele Bachmann Uncorks Another Crazy Version Of American History: The Founding Fathers Worked Tirelessly To End Slavery video
    One of the leading Republican presidential candidates, Michele Bachmann, has offered yet another interpretation of American history.
    Following up on Chris Wallace's much-criticized line of questioning from FOX News Sunday this weekend (he called her a flake, and later apologized), ABC's George Stephanopoulos took the opportunity on Good Morning America this morning to give Bachmann a chance to correct some of her false statements.

    Namely, her assertion that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to ban slavery.
    Stephanopoulos pointed out that Constitution and Declaration of Independence were written about 80-100 years before slavery was banned, Bachmann defended herself. Slavery was a bad thing, she reiterated, and founding father John Quincy Adams was against it.
    Stephanopolos pointed out that John Quincy Adams was not a founding father. Then he gave up.
- Where Are You?
    Empathy -- the ability to immerse ourselves inside the world of another -- depends on us to consciously take the abstract, and make it real.You're confined. And the doors to the building? Locked. Fear fills you. You're beyond frustrated -- you're on the verge of madness.

    You can see and sense and hear tens of thousands of others just like you. They're close, some crammed right against you. Some are dying; others are deformed. The stress of this place has sparked violence -- and in rare cases, even cannibalism. Thousands have already been suffocated in massive plastic bags; thousands more were sucked through iron pipes, then electrocuted.

    And now for the frightening part.

    Look down at your body. You see two dime-sized bruises on your right side, and blood streaks on your legs. Your eyes burn from ammonia. Parts of your body responsible for touch and taste have been, ah, removed. And why are your toes blackened?! Despite all of this, the potential for joy still lives in you, and maybe in some small way, you sense that. And that awareness makes this precise moment all the more jarring.
- Republican Peter King: Chemical Security Hijacker
    Today, Greenpeace is releasing the name of a man wanted for hijacking chemical security legislation: New York Republican Representative Peter King. King is part of group responsible for the delay in safeguarding our communities from disasters that could occur at the nation’s chemical plants.
- Our Arizona music boycott has made a difference
    Sound Strike responds to charges that its protest against anti-immigration bill only hurts local venues and fans
- Japan's huge post-tsunami clean up continues
    [What to do with all the garbage?!] Officials say process set to take up to three years following twin natural disasters.
- Fukushima children test positive for internal radiation exposure
    Trace amounts of radioactive substances have been found in urine samples taken from children from Fukushima city, raising concerns that residents have been exposed internally to radiation from the stricken nuclear power plant 37 miles (60km) away.
- Populations Around US Nuke Plants Soar
    As America's nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural areas around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident, an Associated Press investigation has found.
- U.S. Replaces Japan in Role of Villain on Whales
    The United States has taken over the pro-whaling stance traditionally championed by Japan...
- Why Is This Happening to Us and Can Jesus and Rick Perry Please Stop It?
    Nation, we are in crisis. Let us count the ways. Well, there are many. Lo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided to come to our aid with a national call to prayer - and possible presidential run - to ask "God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision" - even though, it's true, that praying for the fires to stop didn't work so good. Many seriously creepy people are asking too. Mercy.

Get Over Ourselves on July 4
by Matthew Rothschild