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Showing posts from April, 2009

The Law is not a Fringe Issue

Alison Kilkenney - The law is not a fringe issue. Progressives may be the ones demanding an investigative commission, but the issue at stake here is the law itself. That’s not a partisan issue. The law should be sacred to all Americans: Republicans and Democrats. And if Democrats are proven to have been complicit in torture, then they too must be punished according to the law. Otherwise, Americans will learn only one lesson: the law does not apply to our leaders. What a terrible lesson to teach young Americans. Read more.

Torture is Torture

As Barak Obama continues in his attempt to grab as much [covert] power as he can, he has issued a series of very vexing statements saying that though top officials within the Bush Junta broke international law by employing torture tactics in secret prisons, this behavior should not be treated as "criminal" and Bush officials should not be held legally accountable. Obama, like Bush, seems to believe that the it's acceptable to break laws and bend rules, so long as you live a life of priviledge, power and prestige -- so long as you are a member of the ruling class. Needless to say criticism has ensued. Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawer who writes for Salon.com, writes most recently that:
* Bush officials ordered torture.* Torture is a crime.* Nobody is above the law.Unless you're David Broder, Fred Hiatt, Peggy Noonan or Tom Friedman, those premises of Obama's, as a matter of logical reasoning, all necessarily lead to one conclusion (hint: it's not: …

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Prince on Tavis Smiley Show: "I Was Born Epileptic"

- Prince -
Huffington Post - Prince announced Monday night on PBS' "Tavis Smiley" show that he was born with epilepsy."I've never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic, and I used to have seizures when I was young," he told Smiley. "My mother and father didn't know what to do or how to handle it but they did the best they could with what little they had."Prince continued, telling Smiley about how grateful he is today as he looks back on his emotional childhood...read more.

No Longer a Republican, Arlen Specter Switches Parties

Talking Point Memo:
Why Specter Did It -- And Had To Do It

By Eric Kleefeld - April 28, 2009, 12:48PM

So why exactly has Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA D-PA) switched parties?



tpmdc.com - It really comes down to electability -- specifically electability as a Republican. Specter's own statement acknowledged that his support for the stimulus bill has made his position untenable with the GOP:

"It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania."

Probably the most important point is here is the demographic changes going on in Specter's home state. Pennsylvania is a closed-primary state, and the ranks of registered Republicans, the folks eligible to vote in the GOP primary, shrunk last year. In 2…

Remembering Paul R. Williams: An Extraordinary Architect

***
Today I sketched the preliminary plans for a large country house which will be erected in one of the most beautiful residential districts in the world. Sometimes I have dreamed of living there. I could afford such a home. But this evening I returned to my own small -- inexpensive -- home, in a comparatively undesirable section of Los Angeles. Dreams cannot alter facts; I know I must always live in that locality, or in another like it. Because . . . I am a Negro.- Paul Williams, Architect -- LAX (Los Angeles Airport) designed by Paul R. Williams -
Architect Paul R. Williams

friendsoftcc.com - Paul R. Williams was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 1939, he was awarded the AIA Award of Merit for his design of the MCA Building in Beverly Hills. In 1951, Williams won the Omega Psi Phi Man of the Year award, and shortly after that, in 1953, he received the Springarn Medal from the NAACP for his outstanding contributions as an architect. …

Bea Arthur, `Golden Girls' Star, Dies At 86

The Huffington Post - In a 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Arthur said she was lucky to be discovered by TV after a long stage career, recalling with bemusement CBS executives asking about the new "girl." "I was already 50 years old. I had done so much off-Broadway, on Broadway, but they said, `Who is that girl? Let's give her her own series,'" Arthur said. "Maude" scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The comedy flowed from Maude's efforts to cast off the traditional restraints that women faced, but the series often had a serious base. Her husband Walter (Bill Macy) became an alcoholic, and she underwent an abortion, which drew a torrent of viewer protests. Maude became a standard bearer for the growing feminist movement in America. Read more.

Anti-racism Durban Review Conference concludes with successful outcome

- From Wikipedia's entry on Racism -
UN.org - The anti-racism Durban Review Conference concluded on 24 April with a consensus on how to achieve real changes for the millions of victims of racism worldwide. Calling the successful result "a platform for a new beginning," High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged all to implement vigorously the outcome document. "We will be leaving this hall tonight with a sure sense of accomplishment, with renewed and reenergized determination and purpose," said Pillay, who is Secretary-General of the Review Conference, in her closing statement Friday afternoon. "Such determination and experience will sustain the work ahead of all of us: the hard work of delivering on our pledges; the urgent task of giving concrete effect to the conference’s outcome; the imperative of erasing the age-old shame of racism." She said that the Conference proved to be "a celebration of tolerance and dignity for all", and …

Why Won't Anyone Say They are Jewish?

by Kalle Lasn

From the March/April 2004 issue of Adbusters magazine.

Deciding exactly who is a neocon is difficult since some neocons reject the term while others embrace it. Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish. Read more.

1,500 Indian Farmers Commit Mass Suicide

1,500 Indian Farmers Commit Mass Suicide: Why We Are Complicit in these Deaths

By Tara Lohan, AlterNet. Posted April 16, 2009.

Crop failure may have pushed farmers over the edge, but American companies have been leading them to the cliff for years.


Alternet -The headline has been hard to ignore. Across the world press, news media have announced that over 1,500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh committed suicide. The motive has been blamed on farmers being crippled by overwhelming debt in the face of crop failure.The UK Independent reported:The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels."The water level has gone down below 250 feet here. It used to be at 40 feet a few years ago," Shatrughan Sahu, a villager in one of the districts, told Down To Earth magazine."Most of the farmers here are indebted and only God can save the ones who do not have a bore well."While many may have been shocked by these deaths, farmer suicides in India, and in…

The Bailout Is a Fraud That Could Bring Down Obama

By Ruth Conniff, The Progressive. Posted April 23, 2009.

The Obama administration must change their approach to the financial crisis, or Obama -- and the rest of us -- will pay a serious price.
Alternet - If you want to hear someone absolutely destroy that approach to the current crisis, check out a round of recent interviews with William Black, the professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri who was deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. during the S&L crisis in the 1980s. Black, who liquidated a few banks in his time and earned the eternal enmity of Charles Keating, minces no words in describing the massive fraud by bankers and the regulators, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whom he describes as abetting them."This whole bank scandal makes Teapot Dome look like some kind of kids' doll set," Black told the investors' journal Barron's in an interview published in the print edition on April 13. (The intervie…

Whitewashing Torture: The 3 [corrupt] Rules of Media Behavior

U.N. torture official on America's legal obligations to impose accountability

Glenn Greenwald @ Salon.com - After President Obama announced last week that he opposes prosecutions of CIA officials who tortured detainees in reliance on OLC memos purporting to legalize that conduct (a decision which is not Obama's to make), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, announced that Obama's policy of immunizing CIA torturers violates international law and, specifically, the clear obligations of the U.S. under the Convention Against Torture (signed by Ronald Reagan in 1988). Read more.


Glenn Greenwald @ Salon.com - For years, media stars ignored the fact that our Government was chronically breaking the law and systematically torturing detainees (look at this extremely detailed exposé by The Washington Post's Dana Priest and Barton Gellman from December, 2002 to get a sense for how much we've known about all of this and for how long we've known it…

Torturers Should Be Punished

by Amy Goodman

SPOKANE, Wash. - George W. Bush insisted that the U.S. did not use torture.

But the four Bush-era Office of Legal Counsel memos released last week by the Obama administration's Justice Department paint a starkly different picture. The declassified memos provided legal authorization for "harsh interrogation techniques" used by the Bush administration in the years following Sept. 11, 2001. They authorized (as listed in the Aug. 1, 2002, memo by then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee) "walling ... facial slap, cramped confinement, wall standing, stress positions, sleep deprivation, insects placed in a confinement box, and the waterboard."

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the OLC under Bush "became a facilitator for illegal government conduct, issuing dozens of memos meant to permit gross violations of domestic and international law."

The memos authorize what the International Committee of the Red Cross called, in a leaked re…

Jane Harman and AIPAC Get Busted

Sources: Wiretap Recorded Rep. Harman Promising to Intervene for AIPAC

By Jeff Stein, CQ SpyTalk Columnist

CQ Politics.com - Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat long involved in intelligence issues, was overheard on a 2005 National Security Agency wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two former officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

In return, the Israeli agent pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chairwoman of the House Intelligence Committee.

(Read Jeff Stein's Q&A session about his column.)

Two former senior national security officials, one who has read a transcript of the wiretap and a second who was briefed on its contents, said Harman agreed during the conversation to “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference.” Their accounts were confirmed by a third source with knowledge of the wiretapped conversation and subsequent events.

AIPA…

Nobel Laureate Accuses Israel of 'Ethnic Cleansing'

Common Dreams - Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire on Tuesday accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" policies in annexed east Jerusalem, where the municipality plans to tear down almost 90 Arab homes.

"I believe the Israeli government is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians here in east Jerusalem," said Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel prize for her efforts at reaching a peaceful solution to the violence in Northern Ireland.

"I believe the Israeli government policies are against international law, against human rights, against the dignity of the Palestinian people," she said at a news conference. Read more.



Propoganda, Torture and American Exceptionalism

With it being recently discovered that the Bush era protocol for government sanctioned propaganda, warrantless wiretapping and torture were ordered from the upper echelons of the executive cabinet, it has also come to light that there were complicit collaborators to the Bush doctrine within Congress; Democrats included. Jane Harman, one of the most enthusiastic "Blue Dog" Democrats that supported the Bush wiretap program, has now been busted, caught in the act of aiding and abetting AIPAC, having shielded it's crimes from the public eye by propagandizing and suppressing the dissemination of information to the media. Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com reports here. As well, it also appears that Barak Obama has at last started to realize that he himself might be breaking the law in his own attempts to shield the Bush Junta from punishment of it's own high-crimes and misdemeanors. Mr. Greewald's full report of that is here, with a video from the Real News Network pre…

Toxic Farming: Mansonto's Poison for Profit

‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

Sunday 19 April 2009

“Superweeds” are plaguing high-tech Monsanto crops in southern US states, driving farmers to use more herbicides, return to conventional crops or even abandon their farms.

France24.com - The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields. In late 2004, “superweeds” that resisted Monsanto’s iconic “Roundup” herbicide, popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US multinational biotech corporation, is the world’s leading producer of Roundup, as well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10 US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops. Superweeds have since alarmingly appeared in other parts of Georgia, as well…

Glenn Greenwals Exposes Government Media Propoganda

Tuesday April 21, 2009 08:27 EDT
The Pulitzer-winning investigation that dare not be uttered on TV

(updated below - Update II)

Glenn Greewald @ Salon.com - The New York Times' David Barstow won a richly deserved Pulitzer Prize yesterday for two articles that, despite being featured as major news stories on the front page of The Paper of Record, were completely suppressed by virtually every network and cable news show, which to this day have never informed their viewers about what Barstow uncovered. Here is how the Pulitzer Committee described Barstow's exposés:

Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.

By whom were these "ties to companies" undisclosed and for whom did these deeply co…

A Loss of Civil Liberties: State Sponsored Terrorism

TruthDig - Pastor Steven Anderson of Tempe, Ariz., says he was tasered, assaulted and denied medical treatment after he refused to submit to a search by Border Patrol officers at an immigration checkpoint east of San Diego. The ACLU has called the area a “Constitution-free zone” where such abuse has become commonplace.For related stories, check out an amazing Twitter feed by “Injust_Seattle,” which collects reports of alleged police and Border Patrol abuses across the country. Read more.

Barak Obama: A Lexicon of Disappointment

Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine has offered her critique of President Obama's incremental slouch toward embracing Bush Administrations policies; acts of criminality involving severe encroachments upon civil liberties -- some amounting to a total violation of international law including laws withing the Geneva Conventions.


***

Published on Friday, April 17, 2009 by The Nation

Hopebroken and Hopesick: A Lexicon of Disappointment

by Naomi Klein

All is not well in Obamafanland. It's not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury's latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama's silence during Israel's Gaza attack.

Whatever the last straw, a growing number of Obama enthusiasts are starting to entertain the possib…

The Creativity Stimulus: A New Deal for Culture

What we might call "the creativity stimulus" goes far beyond job creation and even economic development. Culture is not just something conservatives wage war on. The arts are not just something liberals dress up for on weekends. Creativity can be a powerful form of organizing communities from the bottom up. The economic crisis gives us a chance to rethink the role of creativity in making a vibrant economy and civil society. Artists as well as community organizers cultivate new forms of knowledge and consciousness. One of the unsung stories of the past twenty-five years is how both have used creativity to inspire community development and renewal. Creativity has become the glue of social cohesion in times of turmoil. Read more.

George W. Bush Iraq War "Freedom" Cake

GEORGE W. BUSH IRAQ WAR "FREEDOM" CAKE
by Max Gordon
August 29, 2004

(Extra Rich Recipe)

Preheat a gas oven to 911°F.

In a small bowl, mix together one unfairly selected president, a vice president with corporate ties and a neo-conservative agenda.

In large pan, take the grief from a tragic national incident and place on stove, turning heat to high. Scramble the truth and slowly add grief while whipping “war on terrorism” propaganda and “axis of evil” fear until firmly set.

Carefully fold in lies and confusion. Read more.

Jesusland

by Max Gordon
Democratic Underground
December 7, 2004

JesusLand

There is a thirteen-year-old boy in America who walks to school this morning. He believes he is a pervert because he is sexually attracted to a boy in his class. Undressing in the locker room for gym, he is terrified he will get an erection or his friends will notice him staring at the other boys and call him a homo.

At night, he lies in bed. He promised God he wouldn't look at pictures of naked men having sex anymore, but he did it again after school. As a punishment, he pinches his penis between his fingernails until he breaks the skin. He believes the pain is good for him. It is only a fraction of the pain that sinners feel when they go to hell, or what Jesus must have felt on the cross.

He sits in church on Sunday and knows the priest is referring to him: deviants whose unnatural desire will keep them from entering the Kingdom of God. When he takes communion, he prays that God will heal the sic…

Integral by The Pet Shop Boys

Has Cheney been Murdering Americans?

- The (murdered?) Senator Paul Wellstone -

Now that it has come to light, via Sy Hersh, that Dick Cheney, under the auspices of the Bush Administration, was for years operating an international death squad, assassinating individuals at will, some are begining to question whether or not Cheney had anything to do with any of the strange (unexplained) deaths of high-profile Bush antagonists, like famed NFL player Pat Tillman and/or Senator Paul Wellstone, a stalwart progressive loathe by the Republican party. Back in 2002, author and investigative reporter Michael Niman reported that:

Various White House figures made numerous recent campaign stops in Minnesota to stump for the ailing campaign of Wellstone's Republican opponent, Norm Coleman. Despite being outspent and outgunned, however, polls show that Wellstone's popularity surged after he voted to oppose the Senate resolution authorizing George Bush to wage war in Iraq. He was pulling ahead of Coleman and moving toward a vict…

AD Mag Update: Vayhinger, Walker & Nilsen

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Financing Africa: Dambisa Moyo Offers an Approach to Aiding Africa

- Dambisa Moyo -

Dambisa Moyo is the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa. Published in the spring of 2009, the book offers proposals for developing countries to finance development, instead of relying on foreign aid. More @ Big Think.


A Hawk in Disguise? Barak Obama and the Corporate Military Complex

Trusted Progressives Agree: Obama Abusing Power
Monday April 13, 2009 06:06 EDT

An emerging progressive consensus on Obama's executive power and secrecy abuses

- Glenn Greenwald -
Glenn Greenwald @ Salon.com - It is becoming increasingly difficult for honest Obama supporters to dismiss away or even minimize these criticisms and, especially, to malign the motives of critics. After all, the Obama DOJ's embrace of many (though by no means all) of the most radical and extremist Bush/Cheney positions -- and the contradictions between Obama's campaign claims and his actions as President -- are now so glaring and severe that the harshest denunciations of Obama's actions are coming from those who, during the Bush years, were held up by liberals and by Obama supportersas the most trustworthy and praiseworthy authorities on these matters.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) -- which, to the cheers of liberals everywhere, was one of the nation's most stalwart defenders agai…

Rhythm and Blues Revue (1955)

Musical variety show filmed at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City featuring a cast of popular African-American performers: Willie Bryant, Freddie Robinson, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Faye Adams, Bill Bailey, Herb Jeffries, Amos Milburn, Sarah Vaughan, Nipsey Russell, Big Joe Turner, Martha Davis, Little Buck, Nat 'King' Cole, Mantan Moreland, Cab Calloway and Ruth Brown.

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

Medical Marijuana Laws Are Moving Pot Into Mainstream

By Karl Vick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 12, 2009; Page A01

LOS ANGELES -- With little notice and even less controversy, marijuana is now available as a medical treatment in California to almost anyone who tells a willing physician he would feel better if he smoked.

Pot is now retailed over the counter in hundreds of storefronts across Los Angeles and is credited with reviving a section of downtown Oakland, where an entrepreneur sells out classes offering "quality training for the cannabis industry." The tabloid LA Journal of Education for Medical Marijuana is fat with ads for Magic Purple, Strawberry Cough and other offerings in more than 400 "dispensaries" operating in the city.

Los Angeles officials say applications for retail outlets surged after Feb. 26, when U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that the Drug Enforcement Administration will no longer raid such stores. Those pressing for change in drug laws regard the announcement as a …

Who is Mogae?

By Gbemisola Olujobi


Truthdig - Festus Gontebanye Mogae is Botswana’s former president, and he is probably as little known as his country. Botswana, acclaimed as Africa’s brightest star, rose from the ashes of grinding poverty to middle-income status in a generation. Its elections are peaceful, its politicians retire voluntarily, its civil society is vibrant and its natural resources are not a curse but a blessing shared by all.

Mogae recently attracted meager attention when he won the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The annual prize was established by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and launched in October 2006 as an African initiative “to strengthen governance and affirm the importance of nurturing outstanding leaders on the continent.” The prize aims to encourage leaders like Mogae who dedicate their tenures of office to surmounting the development challenges of their countries, improve the livelihoods and welfare of their people and consolidate the foundation for s…

Justice Ginsburg Laments Being Court's Only Woman

- Ruth Bader Ginsburg -
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Friday it's lonely being the only woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ginsburg told law students at a symposium at Ohio State University that she misses her former colleague Sandra Day O'Connor, who retired in 2006. "It's lonely for me, not that I don't love all my colleagues. I do," Ginsburg said. Women bring a life experience to the court that men can't, she said. When members of the public visit the court to watch the proceedings, Ginsburg said she can't help but wonder what they think. "There I am all alone, and it doesn't look right," said Ginsburg, who was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Read more.

Maserati GranTurismo S

- website -



Democracy Now!: A New Way Forward

On a 70 city tour, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! stopped by Ohio University to speak about the swarth of American protests that are currently underway calling from President Obama to rethink his currently economic policies, currently manifest in his cabinet level economic team lead by Timothy Geithner.

- click image to watch video -A New Way Forward:Protests Scheduled Across the Country Calling on Banks to Nationalize, Reorganize, Decentralize

Democracy Now! - National demonstrations are scheduled in more than fifty cities across the country tomorrow to protest the government’s handling of the economic crisis. The demonstrations are organized by the recently launched group A New Way Forward. They are calling on the government to take three main actions on the country’s banks: nationalize, reorganize and decentralize. Visit Democracy Now!

Finding Fresh Water: Nanotubes to the Rescue

Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean

Carbon nanotube-based membranes will dramatically cut the cost of desalination.

By Aditi Risbud

Technology Review @ MIT -
A water desalination system using carbon nanotube-based membranes could significantly reduce the cost of purifying water from the ocean. The technology could potentially provide a solution to water shortages both in the United States, where populations are expected to soar in areas with few freshwater sources, and worldwide, where a lack of clean water is a major cause of disease. The new membranes, developed by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), could reduce the cost of desalination by 75 percent, compared to reverse osmosis methods used today, the researchers say. The membranes, which sort molecules by size and with electrostatic forces, could also separate various gases, perhaps leading to economical ways to capture carbon dioxide emitted from power plants, to prevent it from entering the atmosphere.The …

Africa Fights Back

You're Being Lied to about Pirates
John Hari @ The Huffington Post - Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains - and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls "one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century." They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed "quite clearly - and subversively - that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy." This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves. Read more.
In Defense of Pirates
Allison Kilkenny - If I’m to believe the mainstream press and pundits (most disappointingly, Rachel Maddow,) there are bands of inexplicab…

Paul Robeson, 111 years later

DesertPeace remembers Mr. Robeson

- Paul Robeson -

Africa Within - Paul Robeson, a great American singer and actor, spent much of his life actively agitating for equality and fair treatment for all of America's citizens as well as citizens of the world. Robeson brought to his audiences not only a melodious baritone voice and a grand presence, but magnificent performances on stage and screen. Although his outspokenness often caused him difficulties in his career and personal life, he unswervingly pursued and supported issues that only someone in his position could effect on a grand scale. His career flourished in the 1940s as he performed in America and numerous countries around the world. He was one of the most celebrated persons of his time. Read more.


An Erosion of Credibility: Obama's DOJ Adopts the Bush Secrecy Laws

Wednesday April 8, 2009 10:26 EDT

Keith Olbermann's scathing criticism of Obama's secrecy/immunity claims

Glenn Greewald @ Salon.com - Several weeks ago, I noted that unlike the Right -- which turned itself into a virtual cult of uncritical reverence for George W. Bush especially during the first several years of his administration -- large numbers of Bush critics have been admirably willing to criticize Obama when he embraces the very policies that prompted so much anger and controversy during the Bush years. Last night, Keith Olbermann -- who has undoubtedly been one of the most swooning and often-uncritical admirers of Barack Obama of anyone in the country (behavior for which I rather harshly criticized him in the past) -- devoted the first two segments of his show to emphatically lambasting Obama and Eric Holder's DOJ for the story I wrote about on Monday: namely, the Obama administration's use of the radical Bush/Cheney state secrets doctrine and -- worse still --…

Race and the Obama Administration

CommentByDanny GloverThe Nation - Our historical struggle against racism can claim great progress as a legacy of the civil rights movement led by the likes of Fanny Lou Hamer and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but this 2009 review of the 2001 Durban conference against racism should still be a moment in which the administration of President Obama returns to the world stage to join deliberations aimed at making even further progress against injustice. For twenty years, Congressman John Conyers, dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, has annually introduced a bill urging the United States to form a commission to study whether reparations are an appropriate response to the continuing legacy of slavery in our country. Would not the Durban Review Conference be a perfect venue to the administration to support the remedies recommended by the global community of nations to overcome the impacts of racism, slavery, anti-Semitism, apartheid and other forms of discrimination? Would this United N…

Larry Summers: The Clinton-Obama Fat Cat Extraordinaire

- Lawrence Summers -

Living Large and in Charge
By Robert ScheerTruthdig - Not surprisingly, Lawrence Summers is convinced that he deserved every penny of the $8 million that Wall Street firms paid him last year. And why shouldn’t he be cut in on the loot from the loopholes in the toxic derivatives market that he pushed into law when he was Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary? No one has been more persistently effective in paving the way for the financial swindles that enriched the titans of finance while impoverishing the rest of the world than the man who is now the top economic adviser to President Obama. Read more.

Barak the Betrayer? President Obama's Game of Deception Unfolds

by Glenn GreenwaldPublished on Tuesday, April 7, 2009 by Salon.comObama, the ICRC Report and Ongoing Suppression

Common Dreams - Following up on the latest extremist Cheney/Addington/Yoo arguments advanced by the Obama DOJ in order to shield Bush lawbreaking from disclosure and judicial review -- an episode I wrote about in detail yesterday, here -- it's worthwhile to underscore the implications of Barack Obama's conduct. When Obama sought to placate his angry supporters after he voted for the Bush/Cheney FISA-telecom immunity bill last June (after vowing the prior December to support a filibuster of any such legislation), this is what he said (h/t notavailable):[The FISA bill] also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. So candidate Obama unambiguously vowed to his s…

War Crimes Investigated: Dick & Dubya on the Hotseat

Spain Investigates What America Should

Monday 06 April 2009by: Marjorie Cohn | Visit article original @ The San Francisco Chronicle
A Spanish court has initiated criminal proceedings against six former officials of the Bush administration. John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith may face charges in Spain for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay. If arrest warrants are issued, Spain and any of the other 24 countries that are parties to European extradition conventions could arrest these six men when they travel abroad. Does Spain have the authority to prosecute Americans for crimes that didn't take place on Spanish soil?
The answer is yes. It's called "universal jurisdiction." Read more.

Drugs Drugs Drugs: Big Pharma Psychs Out the Shrinks

Published on Monday, April 6, 2009 by Unsilent Generation

Big Pharma Psychs Out the Shrinks
by James Ridgeway Just about everyone by now knows how the drug industry works to poison the minds of American doctors-not that many of them have resisted drinking the Kool-Aid, which comes in the form of ego-tripping awards, junkets, dinners, research funding, and cash in exchange for endorsing or prescribing the latest and most lucrative drugs. But even against this backdrop of sleaze, the latest news on the ties between Big Pharma and Big Psych could take your breath away.It turns out that not just some, but most of the shrinks who wrote the American Psychiatric Association's most recent clinical guidelines for treating depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia-which together account for $25 billion in prescription drug sales annually-had financial ties to drug companies, according a study to be published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, as reported in the Boston Globe.Summarizin…