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Showing posts from September, 2012

Netanyahu's Warning Reveals His Moments of Memory Loss

Robert Fisk @ Independent UK - Israeli President "Bibi" Netanyahu on Guy Fawkes. The super-terrorist plans to blow up parliament and the King; the very nation will be liquidated. Fawkes was a Catholic rather than a Muslim – though Renaissance Europe was pretty good at bestialising both – but what a cartoon! I loved the curly fuse and the "flashy" bit on the end – Dan Dare versus The Mekon – and the red line drawn on the black line. It was all oh-so-convincing. Ninety per cent convincing.  Read more.

Robinhood's FTT: A Tax for the Public Good

Friends of the Earth - This week, Friends of the Earth sent a letter signed by 63 U.S. organizations, to Secretary of State Clinton regarding misinformation spread internationally by State Department representatives about financial transaction taxes (also known as the Robin Hood Tax). The Robin Hood Tax is a widely-supported, promising source of new revenue to address the climate crisis, healthcare, education, and other public goods -- both in the US and globally.  Read more.

We Are at War

Counter Punch - Eleven years later, we are still at war. Bullets, mortars and drones are still extracting payment. Thousands, tens of thousands, millions have paid in full. Children and even those yet to be born will continue to pay for decades to come.

On a single day in Iraq last week there were 29 bombing attacks in 19 cities, killing 111 civilians and wounding another 235.  On Sept 9th, reports indicate 88 people were killed and another 270 injured in 30 attacks all across the country. Iraq continues in a seemingly endless death spiral into chaos. In his acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for President, Obama claimed he ended the war in Iraq, well… not quite.  Read more.

From Start to Finish: Why We Won and How We Are Losing

Robert Jensen @ Dissident Voice - We label as “crazy” those members of the human species whose behavior we find hard to understand, but the cascading crises in contemporary political, economic, and cultural life make a bigger question increasingly hard to ignore: Is the species itself crazy? Has the process of evolution in the hominid line produced a species that is both very clever and very crazy?  Read more.

UC Davis Reaches $1 Million Settlement over Pepper-Spraying of Student Protesters

SF Gate - The University of California will pay out $630,000 to 21 UC Davis students who were doused with pepper spray by campus police during a videotaped protest in November that the Occupy movement used as the iconic example of excessive police force.

The students will each receive about $30,000 and a written apology from the university chancellor, according to the terms of a $1 million legal settlement announced Wednesday. The agreement also calls on university officials to work with civil liberty advocates to modify crowd control policies and police response tactics.  Read more.

We're the NFL. We Don't Have to Care

Dave Morris @ On The Commons - Watching professional football these days reminds me of Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine the telephone operator on Saturday Night Live and her famous punch line, “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the phone company.”

Or in this case the National Football League. For those who don’t follow football, let me bring you up to date. In June the NFL locked out its referees and has been using replacements ever since. Referees at major college conferences refused to become scabs so the NFL reached down into the lower college and even high school ranks.  Read more.

Romney Has a Jobs Plan ... for China

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - Freeport, Ill., is the site of one of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. On Aug. 27, 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated there in their campaign for Illinois’ seat in the U.S. Senate. Lincoln lost that race, but the Freeport debate set the stage for his eventual defeat of Douglas in the presidential election of 1860, and thus the Civil War. Today, as the African-American president of the United States prepares to debate the candidate from the party of Lincoln, workers in Freeport are staging a protest, hoping to put their plight into the center of the national debate this election season.  Read more.

Seven Examples of a "Police State," and How They Are Appearing in the US

Will Potter - “Has the United States become a police state?”

That’s the stark question I was asked at the beginning of a recent radio interview.

Framing the current political climate in these terms is quite blunt, and can be jarring to some people because it automatically conjures images of, for example, Nazi Germany. That’s clearly different than what is occurring right now in the United States. So  how do we conceptualize the current state of government repression, and how do we put it in a historical context?  Read more.

Calling US Drone Strikes 'Surgical' Is Orwellian Propaganda

"[P]olitical speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible...like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face" - George Orwell
Conor FriedersdorfThe @ Atlantic - The Obama Administration deliberately uses the word "surgical" to describe its drone strikes. Official White House spokesman Jay Carney marshaled the medical metaphor here, saying that "a hallmark of our counterterrorism efforts has been our ability to be exceptionally precise, exceptionally surgical and exceptionally targeted." White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan attributed "surgical precision" and "laser-like focus" to the drone program. He also spoke of "delivering targeted, surgical pressure to the groups that threaten us." And a "senior administration official"…

Will 9 GOP Governors Electronically Flip Romney Into the White House?

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman for Buzzflash @ Truthout - Nine Republican governors have the power to put Mitt Romney in the White House, even if Barack Obama wins the popular vote.

With their secretaries of state, they control the electronic vote count in nine key swing states: Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Arizona, and New Mexico. Wisconsin elections are under the control of the state's Government Accountability Board, appointed by the governor.

In tandem with the GOP's massive nation-wide disenfranchisement campaign, they could---in the dead of election night---flip their states' electronic votes to Romney and give him a victory in the Electoral College.  Read more.

Julian Assange to UN: 'US trying to erect national secrecy regime'

Florida GOP Fired Romney Consultant's Voter Registration Firm After Fraudulent Forms Reported in Palm Beach

Brad Friedman @ Brad Blog - The Republican Party of Florida's top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections.  Read more.

K. Rashid Nuri cultivates oases of fresh produce amid food deserts

Atlanta Magazine - The older man steps out of a gray Chrysler Grand Voyager. He wears a tan fisherman’s cap and a brown tee topped with a plaid workshirt. People chat as they fill baskets with carrots, chard, kale, collards, lettuce, onions, cabbage, and mustard. The man briskly moves from person to person, hearing the day’s news or making sure necessary tasks are completed. He stoops to take a quick check of the soil. Feels it run through his hands. Almost everything is planted in raised beds; concrete makes it impossible to plant directly into the ground.

Meet K. Rashid Nuri, one of the country’s foremost minds on urban farming. Former appointee to the United States Department of Agriculture, Nuri is a lover of jazz, expert on lunar cycles, and creator of the nonprofit Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture. His urban farms bring fresh food to areas of Atlanta where rubble, history, and poverty are cross-pollinated.  Read more.

Chicago Teachers, Verizon Workers and Quebec's Students Prove That Resistance Works

Allison Kilkenney @ The Nation - Teachers in Chicago, Verizon workers, and students in Quebec recently proved that not only are strikes and general resistance and dissent essential to any democracy, they also work.

Despite ongoing efforts by private education lobbyists and a complacent national media working to smear teachers as being selfish, greedy leeches on society, educators in Chicago secured a major victory for themselves and their students.  Read more.

Russia Temporarily Bans Monsanto Corn Linked to Cancer in Rats

Mike Ludwig @ Truthout - Russian authorities have suspended the import and sales of a Monsanto genetically-engineered corn variety that French researchers recently linked to tumors and organ damage in lab rats.

The Russian consumer watchdog, known as Rospotrebnadzor, asked scientists to review the French study on the potential health impacts of Monsanto's NK603 corn variety, which is commonly grown in the United States.  Read more.

Meet the Welfare Queens of the 1%: The Moochers Mitt Missed Work for the Pentagon

Mike Lofgren @ Truthout - Mitt Romney's recently-exposed statement disparaging nearly half of all Americans as hopelessly dependent on government may actually make a valid point, however churlish it may seem on the surface. To be sure, the Republican presidential nominee was most likely denouncing purported scroungers and moochers like the unemployed person who rakes in a princely $293 a week on average from unemployment insurance, or the 60-percent disabled veteran who is dependent on government to the tune of $1009 a month.  Read more.

This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close

Matt Taibbi @ Rolling Stone - The press everywhere is buzzing this week with premature obituaries of the Romney campaign. New polls are out suggesting that Mitt Romney's electoral path to the presidency is all but blocked. Unless someone snags an iPhone video of Obama taking a leak on Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye, or stealing pain meds from a Tampa retiree and sharing them with a bunch of Japanese carmakers, the game looks pretty much up – Obama's widening leads in three battleground states, Virginia, Ohio and Florida, seem to have sealed the deal.  Read more.

Dumb and Hateful: The Consequences of US Islamophobia

Andrew Bacevich @ Tom Dispatch - First came the hullaballoo over the “Mosque at Ground Zero.”  Then there was Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, grabbing headlines as he promoted “International Burn-a-Koran Day.”  Most recently, we have an American posting a slanderous anti-Muslim video on the Internet with all the ensuing turmoil.  Read more.

Data Centers Waste Vast Amounts of Energy

NY Times - Jeff Rothschild’s machines at Facebook had a problem he knew he had to solve immediately. They were about to melt.

The company had been packing a 40-by-60-foot rental space here with racks of computer servers that were needed to store and process information from members’ accounts. The electricity pouring into the computers was overheating Ethernet sockets and other crucial components.  Read more.

Drones: A US New Terror Campaign

Guardian UK - Living Under Drones, a new report from Stanford and New York universities, was a difficult piece of fieldwork – I was with the law students in Peshawar as they tried to interview victims of the CIA's drone war. But it has made an important contribution to the drone debate by identifying the innocent victims of the CIA's reign of terror: the entire civilian population of Waziristan (roughly 800,000 people).  Read more.

On Voting Rights: You Want Fair, Move to Canada, Hippie

Cows fed gummi worms and cookies in factory farm nightmare

Carey Gillam @ Reuters - As the worst drought in half a century has ravaged this year's U.S. corn crop and driven corn prices sky high, the market for alternative feed rations for beef and dairy cows has also skyrocketed. Brokers are gathering up discarded food products and putting them out for the highest bid to feed lot operators and dairy producers, who are scrambling to keep their animals fed.

In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.  Read more.

US veto power used to serve Israeli interests: Analyst

Press TV - During an interview with Press TV, Professor at the Notre Dame University, Eugene Dabbous criticized the flawed structure of the UNSC, saying the US is “using its veto to protect Israel”.

Although the United Nations has more than 190 member states, only five permanent members, Russia, China, France, the UK, and the US enjoy veto power.  Read more.

How Do You Take Your Poison?

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - We will all swallow our cup of corporate poison. We can take it from nurse Romney, who will tell us not to whine and play the victim, or we can take it from nurse Obama, who will assure us that this hurts him even more than it hurts us, but one way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history’s most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth’s ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it.  Read more.

Libyans Target Militias, Forcing Flight

NY Times - Galvanized by anger over the killing of the popular American ambassador here last week, thousands of Libyans marched through this city on Friday, demanding the disarming of the militias that helped topple the dictatorship but have troubled the country with their refusal to disband.

In a show of mass frustration at the armed groups, protesters seized control of several militia headquarters on Friday night and handed them over to Libya’s national army in what appeared to be a coordinated sweep.  Read more.

Honduras: Our Ancestors Left This for Us to Protect

Lauren Elliot @ Other Words - "At this very moment we have advanced our struggle. We succeeded in breaking the gate of shame in Vallecito!" wrote Miriam Miranda yesterday, September 13, in the latest communiqué from the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), a human rights organization of the Afro-indigenous Garífuna people. Writing from Honduras, Miriam, the coordinator of OFRANEH, told about the first victory in the Garífuna's most recent campaign to win back their legal and ancestral lands lost to mega-development projects.  Read more.

Why the Mideast Exploded, Really

Ray McGovern @ Consortium News - "Why Is the Arab world so easily offended?" asks the headline atop an article by Fouad Ajami, which the Washington Post published online last Friday to give perspective to the recent anti-American violence in Muslim capitals.

While the Post described Ajami simply as a "senior fellow" at Stanford's conservative Hoover Institution, Wikipedia gives a more instructive perspective on his checkered career and dubious credibility.  Read more.

Perelman, Gagosian Gallery Sue Each Other Over Art Sales

Bloomberg - Ronald Perelman and Gagosian Gallery Inc. sued each other over payment for the billionaire’s purchases of contemporary art.

Perelman twice failed to pay an agreed-upon price after delivery of a sculpture and a painting and refused to meet a payment schedule for an unfinished sculpture, according to a lawsuit filed today by the New York-based gallery in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.  Read more.

Why the New Fed Stimulus Won't Jumpstart the Economy - and What Would

Ellen Brown @ Truthout - The Fed's announcement on September 13 that it was embarking on a third round of quantitative easing (QE) has brought the "sound money" crew out in force, pumping out articles with frightening titles like "QE3 Will Unleash 'Economic Horror' On The Human Race."

The Fed calls QE an asset swap, swapping Fed-created dollars for other assets on the banks' balance sheets. But critics call it "reckless money printing" and say it will inevitably produce hyperinflation. Too much money will be chasing too few goods, forcing prices up and the value of the dollar down.

All this hyperventilating could have been avoided by taking a closer look at how QE works.  Read more.

Boy Scouts helped alleged molesters cover tracks, files show

LA Times - Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.

A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.  Read more.

Pakistan Declares National Day of Protest over Anti-Islam Video

Al Jazeera - The US embassy in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, has become the latest target of protesters angry at an anti-Islam video that triggered protests in the Arab and Muslim world.

The total number of protesters reached around 5,000 later on Thursday with the arrival of protesters carrying the flags of hardline Islamist groups. At least 50 people were injured as police fired tear gas and live rounds towards the crowds.  Read more.

Global Warming's Terrifying New Math

Bill McKibben @ Rolling Stone - If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record." The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history.  Read more.

Global Warming Warning: Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone Article Was a Hit — So Why Didn’t It Make a Splash?

Jason Mark @ Earth Island Journal - Have you seen the numbers on Bill McKibben’s numbers? If you follow environment-related news (and even if you don’t), there’s a good chance you’ve read Bill McKibben’s recent Rolling Stone article, Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math. I know this because of the numbers displayed right below the article’s headline: 112k Facebook likes, more than 12,000 mentions on Twitter, 7,300 Stumble Upon tags, and nearly 5,000 reader comments. “Wickedly viral,” is how the New England-dwelling McKibben has described the response to the piece.  Read more.

Palestinian Authority Faces Fiscal Crisis, As World Bank Blames Israelis

Jim Lobe @ Inter Press Service - With a shortfall of some 400 million dollars this year, the Palestinian Authority (PA) faces a “deepening fiscal crisis”, according to new reports released here Wednesday on the eve of a critical donors’ conference by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Read more.

Mitt Romney: A Corporation Masquerading as a Person for President

Ralph Nader @ Common Dreams - There was something missing from the release of a tape showing Mitt Romney pandering to fat cats in Boca Raton, Florida with these very inflammatory words: “There are 47 percent who are with him, (Obama) who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. These are people who pay no income tax.” Romney said his job “is not to worry about those people.”  Read more.

Our Disgraceful Minimum Wage

Jim Hightower @ Creators.com - In natural terms, our economy is a giant sequoia. Unfortunately, our present corporate and governmental leadership can't seem to grasp one of the basic laws of nature: You can't keep a mighty tree alive (much less have it thrive) by only spritzing the fine leaves at the tippy-top. The fate of the whole tree depends on nurturing the roots.  Read more.

'Born on Third Base': How the Wealthy Inherit the Earth

Common Dreams - Gushing over the wild financial wealth of individuals, The Forbes 400: The Richest People In America In 2012 — released today online and heading to newstands nationwide—pays homage to the clichéd platitude that America is the land of opportunity for hard-working, gutsy entrepreneurs and great wealth is merely evidence of great accomplishment.  Read more.

French Study Finds Tumors and Organ Damage in Rats Fed Monsanto Corn

Mike Ludwig @ Truthout - Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto's genetically engineered corn or exposed to the company's popular Roundup herbicide developed tumors and suffered severe organ damage, according to a French study released on Wednesday.

The study could have a big impact on the battle over a California ballot proposal that would require groceries containing genetically engineered ingredients to be labeled as such. Monsanto has already donated $7.1 million to the campaign to defeat the proposal, known as Proposition 37.  Read more.

Chicago Teachers Union Ends Strike; Calls Victory for Public Education

Yana Kunichoff @ Truthout - After nine days of striking, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have come to an agreement over a contract that will allow more than 30,000 teachers to return to the classroom after their first strike in 24 years.

The contract includes hiring more than 600 additional teachers in art, music and physical education; making textbooks available on the first day of school instead of the six weeks that many students have to wait and bringing the percentage of teacher evaluations that are decided by standardized test scores down to the legal minimum of 30 percent.  Read more.

Quo Vadis Occupy? Mic Check on the State of the Revolution

JA Myerson @ Truthout - From its early exuberance and success through police suppression, Occupy at one year is graduating thousands of activists and hundreds of new social movements.

What must it have been like to be a banker as Occupy Wall Street achieved national prominence and political centrality a year ago?

Just a couple of weeks earlier, the only street protests around, staged by the Tea Party, were actually on your side, providing a grassroots face for the austerity-industrial complex.  Read more.

Colleges Replaced by Prison? Five Curses of Privatization

Buzzflash - With the breakdown of the private financial industry, and with the decision by corporations to stop meeting their tax responsibilities, and with the dramatic surge in tax haven abuse, less tax revenue is available to state and local governments. Deprived of funding, governments are forced to consider privatization schemes to balance their budgets. But any such scheme comes with adversity and pain.  Read more.

Occupy's protest is not over. It has barely begun

Guardian UK - A good many observers wonder, is Occupy over? After all, the encampments that announced the movement a year ago have largely disappeared, and no obviously similar protest demonstrations of young people have taken their place, at least not in the United States.

Nevertheless, I think the ready conclusion that the protests have fizzled is based on a misconception of the nature of movements, a misconception influenced by the metaphors we rely on. We think of these eruptions as something like explosions, Fourth of July fireworks perhaps that shoot into the sky, dazzle us for a moment, and then quickly fade away. The metaphor leads us to think of protest movements as bursts of energy and anger that rise in a great arc and then, exhausted, disappear.  Read more.

Newsweek Publishes Islamophobic ‘Muslim Rage’ Cover In Response To Embassy Attacks

Think Progress - Anti-Islam rhetoric in the United States has heated up this week in the wake of the violent protests in the Middle East. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough joined in the backlash this morning, saying the entire Muslim world hates the United States “because of their religion.”

Newsweek picked up on this theme, today releasing its new cover story by with the headline “MUSLIM RAGE” and a photo of angry Muslims:  Read more.

Campaigners 'Vindicated' As Shell Halts Arctic Drilling

Common Dreams - Following foibles in an Alaskan harbor, a global opposition campaign from environmental activists, revelations of a substandard equipment, the reality of crushing ice floes, and now a self-confirmed failure of an oil spill containment dome on one of its ships, Shell Oil has announced that it is abandoning its planned drilling operation in the arctic waters off the coast of Alaska.  Read more.

Chris Hedges on his lawsuit against Barak Obama et all

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - In January I sued President Barack Obama over Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized the military to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, strip them of due process and hold them in military facilities, including offshore penal colonies. Last week, round one in the battle to strike down the onerous provision, one that saw me joined by six other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, ended in an unqualified victory for the public. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, who accepted every one of our challenges to the law, made her temporary injunction of the section permanent. In short, she declared the law unconstitutional.  Read more.

Chicago Teachers Continue Strike; Emanuel Injunction Denied

Yana Kunichoff @ Truthout - The battle between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) escalated sharply Sunday evening when only hours after the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted to continue the strike, Emanuel announced that he would be seeking an injunction against the strike. But come Monday morning, the judge said that he would prefer to schedule a hearing on the injunction for Wednesday or Thursday - after the union delegates meet again to discuss the contract on Tuesday.  Read more.

Dirty Money: Cities and States Addicted to Soliciting for Corporate Favors

Mike Alberti @ Remapping Debate - When executives from the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced their plans to build a new $600 million factory in Mobile, Alabama in early July, local politicians wasted no time in congratulating themselves. "We have worked a long time and have put in many hours to make this announcement a reality," Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said in a press release. "This project will create thousands of well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve."  Read more.

Occupy Wall Street Begins "Year II" With Call to Debt Resistance

Yates McKee @ Waging Nonviolence - "The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!" cried voices across Zuccotti Park on Wednesday night as 30 people sat with their arms interlocked, surrounded by cameras and sympathetic onlookers. NYPD officers were positioned some distance away at the concrete barricades that had begun surrounding the park. Confronting the sit-in with mock dispersal orders were Sam Corbin and Logan Price, OWS Direct Action trainers tasked with helping to prepare participants for the People's Wall, a nonviolent civil disobedience action in the Financial District planned for the morning of Monday, September 17.  Read more.

NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan Kills 8 Innocent Women, Injures more

BBC - Nato has conceded that between five and eight civilians died as it targeted insurgents, and offered condolences. 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai "strongly condemned" the deaths and has sent officials to the area to investigate.
Earlier on Sunday, four US soldiers with the Nato forces were killed in an attack by suspected Afghan police.  Read more.

Spain and Portugal march against austerity

Al Jazeera - Thousands of Spanish and Portuguese protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid and Lisbon to rally against new anti-austerity measures aimed at avoiding international bailouts.

Organisers estimated that 50,000 people turned out in Lisbon on Saturday, where demonstrators threw tomatoes and fireworks at the local headquarters of the International Monetary Fund as anti-riot police stood guard.  Read more.

Obama Says One Thing in Spotlight, Another Behind Closed Doors

"While Obama Tells the Country He Will Create Jobs and Stop Outsourcing; His Administration is Secretly Negotiating the Biggest Job-Outsourcing Treaty in History"
October2011.org - Jobs.  That is the issue in the election – at least that is the issue Obama and Romney are focused on – who will create more jobs for a country in desperate need of them. During his convention speech, President Obama mentioned jobs 19 times, Romney did so 16 times. Obama promised a future where the U.S. will “outsource fewer jobs.” Of course, Romney is known as someone who made hundreds of millions by outsourcing jobs. Former President Clinton put forth a job scorecard, arguing Obama and the Democrats will create more jobs.  Read more.

Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body

Yes! Magazine - Talking with Dr. Ted Schettler is probably unlike any conversation you have had with your physician. Raise the topic of breast cancer or diabetes or dementia, and Schettler starts talking about income disparities, industrial farming, and campaign finance reform.

It is a complex, even daunting view—where does one begin when trying to solve problems this way?  Read more.

Funding Teachers Doesn't Get Embassies Attacked

David Swanson @ War IS A Crime - We're not out of money. We've stopped taxing billionaires and corporations, and we're funding war-preparation so generously that we're sparking a global arms race that will eventually generate some enemies with which to justify the war preparation . . . which will make sense to students who were never taught to put events into chronological order. They couldn't be taught that because their teachers had to be laid off so that greedy billionaires could stuff a little more cash into their fat "Job Creator" tote bags.  Read more.

Scotts Miracle-Gro to Pay Record Fines for Poisoning Birds and Selling Illegal Pesticides

Mike Ludwig @ Truthout - America's leading lawn care company is in big trouble for potentially poisoning wild birds across the country, and lying to the government and consumers about pesticide products.

Before a voluntary recall in 2008, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company sold 70 million units of wild bird feed that was illegally treated with an insecticide that is dangerously toxic to wild birds, fish and other wildlife. The Marysville, Ohio-based company must now pay $12.5 million in criminal and civil penalties that regulators say are the heftiest ever issued under federal pesticide law.  Read more.

Greg Palast on How the GOP Is Planning to Steal the 2012 Election

Mark Karlin @ Truthout - Greg Palast is back with a timely new book, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps." In the book, which is illustrated by Ted Rall and with an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Palast warns of more than a decade of Republican elections theft - and explains how they do it..  Read more.

Why These Kids Get a Free Ride to College

NY Times - Back in November 2005, when this year’s graduates were in sixth grade, the superintendent of Kalamazoo’s public schools, Janice M. Brown, shocked the community by announcing that unnamed donors were pledging to pay the tuition at Michigan’s public colleges, universities and community colleges for every student who graduated from the district’s high schools. All of a sudden, students who had little hope of higher education saw college in their future. Called the Kalamazoo Promise, the program — blind to family income levels, to pupils’ grades and even to disciplinary and criminal records — would be the most inclusive, most generous scholarship program in America.  Read more.

The Liberal Way to Run the World - "Improve" or We'll Kill You

John Pilger @ Truthout - What is the world's most powerful and violent "ism"? The question will summon the usual demons such as Islamism, now that communism has left the stage. The answer, wrote Harold Pinter, is only "superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged," because only one ideology claims to be nonideological, neither left nor right, the supreme way. This is liberalism.

In his 1859 essay "On Liberty," to which modern liberals pay homage, John Stuart Mill described the power of empire. "Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians," he wrote, "provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end." The "barbarians" were large sections of humanity of whom "implicit obedience" was required. The French liberal Alexis de Tocqueville also believed in the bloody conquest of others as "a triumph of Christianity and ci…

Obama in Rosh Hashanah greeting: Let's renew bond

YNet (Israel) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ramped up on Tuesday threats to attack Iran, saying if world powers refused to set a red line for Tehran's nuclear program, they could not demand that Israel hold its fire.

"The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel," Netanyahu, speaking in English, told reporters in a press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.  Read more.

Assange Case: Sweden's Shame in Violating Human Rights

Mark Weisbrot @ Al Jazeera - It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie, where the kidnapper walks up from behind, with a gun protruding from his trench coat pocket. “Keep walking, and don’t say anything,” he warns.

Such was the U.K. government’s threat three weeks ago to Ecuador, that British police could invade the Ecuadorian embassy if necessary to arrest WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange. But Ecuador’s foreign minister didn’t keep walking, and said something, to the great embarrassment of the U.K. Foreign Office. The Foreign Office tried to say it wasn’t a threat—although it was now available to the world in writing – and then took it back.  Read more.

Why We're Striking in Chicago

Karen Lewis @ Common Dreams - Negotiations have been intense but productive, however we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike. This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could avoid. Throughout these negotiations have I remained hopeful but determined. We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve.  Read more.

Missing Latino Voices: Excluded from the Newsroom, Absent from the Conversation

Julie Hollar @ FAIR - Since 1990, the Latino population in the United States has more than doubled to 16 percent, but English-language U.S. news media outlets are simply not keeping up. While people of color and women have always been underrepresented in U.S. media, Latinos consistently stand out—in the coverage as well as inside the newsroom—for their exceptionally paltry numbers relative to their population size.  Read more.

Confessions of a Former Republican: On Joining the Reality-Based Community

Jerimiah Goulka @ Tom Dispatch - I used to be a serious Republican, moderate and business-oriented, who planned for a public-service career in Republican politics.  But I am a Republican no longer.

There’s an old joke we Republicans used to tell that goes something like this: “If you’re young and not a Democrat, you’re heartless. If you grow up and you’re not a Republican, you’re stupid.” These days, my old friends and associates no doubt consider me the butt of that joke. But I look on my “stupidity” somewhat differently.  After all, my real education only began when I was 30 years old.  Read more.

Obama Ruling Shields Torturers

Ray McGovern @ Consortium News - When Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu said last week that the ex-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. should be made to “answer for their actions” in attacking Iraq on the basis of lies, Western savants and pundits greeted the remarks from the retired archbishop of South Africa with an all-too-familiar knowing, dismissive shrug.  Read more.

We Eat by the Grace of Nature, Not by the Grace of Monsanto

“Organic, schmorganic,” fumes New York Times columnist Roger Cohen sarcastically in an article entitled “The Organic Fable.”

He bases his sweeping dismissal of the organic foods movement on a new Stanford University study claiming that “fruits and vegetables labeled organic are, on average, no more nutritious than their cheaper conventional counterparts.”  Read more.

Obama Campaign Brags About Its Whistleblower Persecutions

"Excuse me if I don't join in Democrats' sycophantic cheerleading for an Obama presidency that has shredded laws and liberties"
Glen Greenwald @ Guardian UK - For several decades, protection of whistleblowers has been a core political value for Democrats, at least for progressives. Daniel Ellsberg has long been viewed by liberals as an American hero for his disclosure of the top secret Pentagon Papers. In 2008, candidate Obama hailed whistleblowing as "acts of courage and patriotism", which "should be encouraged rather than stifled as they have been during the Bush administration".
President Obama, however, has waged the most aggressive and vindictive assault on whistleblowers of any president in American history...read more.

Voting Rights Under Attack as GOP Seeks to Overturn Historic Civil Rights Law

Common Dreams - Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) told the audience at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, “we have come too far together to ever turn back,” warning that Republican-led voter suppression laws are taking America back to the days when states had the right to deny voting capabilities to minority voters. Voting rights for minority voters continue to come under attack as Republican leaders are now turning to the Supreme Court to overturn historic civil rights legislation.  Read more.

Breaking With Convention: Occupy Chicago Protests GOP in Tampa, Democrats at Home

Joe Macare @ Occupied Chicago Tribune - On September 17, Occupy Wall Street will mark its one year anniversary with a spirit somewhere between celebration, outrage, and the need to reaffirm its own identity and significance. But in Chicago the Occupy movement seems to have other priorities for September, namely protesting the Democratic National Convention and supporting the likely teachers' strike.  Read more.

Outing ACT: Test-and-Punish Doesn't Educate, but It's Profitable for Testing Companies

Susan Ohanian and Marion Brady @ Truthout - Future historians, trying to explain why America, at the turn of the 21st century, chose a path to education reform that made catastrophe all but inevitable, will have a difficult time unraveling the tangled weave of ideology, ignorance, hubris, secrecy, naiveté, greed and unexamined assumptions that contributed to that catastrophe.

Why, they'll wonder, would the citizens of a country that had become the richest and most powerful in the world, a country that had accumulated patents, Pulitzers, Nobels, and other national and international awards out of all proportion to the size of its population - why would it hand over its system of education to corporations, politicians and a wealthy guy who went to private schools?  Read more.

Star Trek: The Original Series' surprising role in US civil rights

Christian Science Monitor - Google features a doodle for Star Trek: The Original Series – a nod to one of the most progressive television shows of its era.

The Google on Friday depicts cartoon versions of the crew of the Starship Enterprise – an homage to the legendary television show Star Trek: The Original Series, which celebrates its 46th anniversary on Saturday. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Google designer Ryan Germick said he intended the doodle (pictured above) to be the ultimate geek homage.  Read more.

'Unprecedented,' 'Amazing,' 'Goliath': Scientists Describe Arctic Sea Ice Melt

Common Dreams - The rate of Arctic Sea ice melt has caught scientists by surprise, leaving them to describe the current record low levels as "amazing," "a Goliath" and "unprecedented."  While a record low was recorded on Aug. 26, the ice level continues to fall, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that there is still a week left in the melting season.  Read more.

BP Still Doesn't Want You to See Its Tarballs

Mac McCLeland @ Mother Jones - Lots has changed on Elmer's Island. Nearly a year after the great oilpocalypse of 2010, this Louisiana wildlife refuge about 100 miles south of New Orleans isn't crawling with teams of cleanup workers raking big black pools of crude off the sand; there's no cleanup machinery or equipment; the only immediately visible remnants of the BP/Deepwater Horizon spill are the occasional tarballs, big as a kid's head, that wash onto the shore.  Read more.

Quebec Election Gives Students a Victory on Tuition Hikes, Fight for Free Education Continues

Canada closes embassy in Iran, to expel Iranian diplomats

Reuters - Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, closing its embassy in Tehran and giving all Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave the country, Foreign Minister John Baird said on Friday, calling Iran the biggest threat to global security.

Baird, in Russia for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, said Canada's actions were not linked to growing speculation that Israel might launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

"Unequivocally, we have no information about a military strike on Iran," a spokesman quoted Baird as telling reporters.  Read more.

In the Shadow of the DNC, Organizers Call for a Unionized South

JA Myerson @ In These Times - The changeable letter board outside Charlotte, North Carolina’s Wedgewood Baptist Church, just a few miles south of where the Democratic National Convention will be held, read, “Yes, a liberal church.” But the meeting going on inside yesterday, sheltered from the sweltering heat, was somewhat further left-wing than the board suggested.  Read more.

Chris Hedges: Life Is Sacred

Chris Hedges - I retreat in the summer to the mountains and coasts of Maine and New Hampshire to sever myself from the intrusion of the industrial world. It is in the woods and along the rugged Atlantic coastline, the surf thundering into the jagged rocks, that I am reminded of our insignificance before the universe and the brevity of human life. The stars, thousands visible in the night canopy above me, mock human pretensions of grandeur. They whisper the biblical reminder that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Love now, they tell us urgently, protect what is sacred, while there is still time. But now I go there also to mourn. I mourn for our future, for the fading majesty of the natural world, for the folly of the human species. The planet is dying. And we will die with it.  Read more.

Pentagon eyes 66 countries as clients to buy US drones

Reuters - As many as 66 countries would be eligible to buy U.S. drones under new Defense Department guidelines but Congress and the State Department, which have a final say, have not yet opened the spigots for exports, a senior Pentagon official said on Wednesday.

The 66 countries were listed in a Defense Department policy worked out last year to clear the way for wider overseas sales of unmanned aerial systems, as the Pentagon calls such drones, said Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. He did not name them.  Read more.

Greek Riot Police Face Protest... from Anti-Austerity Police Officers

Common Dreams - Greek riot police, gathered aboard transport buses headed to confront upcoming anti-austerity protests in the northern city of Thessaloniki, were prevented from leaving their headquarters on Thursday morning by rowdy protesters.

But just who were these protesters blocking them?

Other Greek police officers—many in uniform and waving union and anti-austerity banners—protesting announced budget cuts that would see their pay and pension benefits slashed in yet the latest round of government-ordered budget measures.  Read more.

Hacked Intel Email: NYPD Involved in "Damn Right Felonious Activity"

Jason Leopold and Matt Harwood @ Truthout - The New York City Police Department (NYPD) really has gone rogue; at least that's what a high-level FBI official believes.

Among the 5 million emails the group Anonymous hacked from the servers of private intelligence firm Stratfor in February, one seems to not only confirm the controversial NYPD surveillance activities uncovered by the Associated Press, but hints at even worse civil liberties violations not yet disclosed. Anonymous later turned the emails over to WikiLeaks, with which Truthout has entered into an investigative partnership.  Read more.

How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted

Bill Moyers @ Truthout - Bill talks with Mike Lofgren, a long-time Republican who describes the modern dysfunction of both the Republican and Democratic parties. In Lofgren's view, Republicans have become overly obsessed with obstructing President Obama, and the Democrats suffer from political complacency. Lofgren's new book is The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.  Read more.

Senior immigration official resigns amid misconduct allegations

Reuters - Suzanne Barr, chief of staff to ICE Director John Morton, resigned, the agency said. She was cited in a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a senior ICE official in May.

In the lawsuit, James T. Hayes Jr. alleged that he had been passed over for a high-level position within the agency in favor a less-qualified woman, and detailed allegations of "sexually offensive behavior" by Barr directed against male subordinates.  Read more.

Brooklyn's Self-Powered Solar Building: A Game-Changer for Green Construction?

Inside Climate News - New York City's triangular-shaped buildings are notorious for being problematic sites for solar panels. Starting this fall, one five-story Brooklyn complex will defy that notion—by generating more solar power than it uses and becoming one of the city's greenest structures.

The building, the $700,000 Delta project, straddles the corner of Hamilton Avenue and 9th Street in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. When it officially opens in September, the Delta will triple as a bed and breakfast, Philly cheesesteak shop and showcase for green building technologies. It is expected to influence carbon-neutral and net-zero energy construction in dense urban environments nationwide.  Read more.

Drug Company Apology "Too Little, Too Late" for Thalidomide Victims

Common Dreams - Victims families and survivors of the drug Thalidomide widely rejected the first public apology from the drug's manufacturer Grunenthal, whose CEO Harald Stock expressed on Friday that the company had "sincere regrets" for the medical disaster and "deepest sympathies" for those harmed by the drug.

Thalidomide, which was marketed worldwide in the 1950's and 1960's as a cure for pregnant women's morning sickness and other ailments, caused thousands of babies to be born with extreme birth defects, including missing limbs, malformed organs and blindness.  Read more.

'What About Israel's Nuclear Weapons?'

Common Dreams - At the end of another week of agency reports, ratcheted-up rhetoric, claims and counter-claims between named (and unnamed) Israeli officials, Iranian leaders, the UN, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the progress, existence, or intention of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, the Washington Post's ombudsman Patrick Pexton took to his paper's pages to ask the question so consistently missing from the Middle East/nuclear weapons equation as its discussed in the United States: 'What about Israel's nuclear weapons?'  Read more.

South Carolina Voter ID Law Takes Hits in Court

McClatchy Newspapers - Inside and outside a federal courtroom a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, it appeared to be a rough week for South Carolina's bid to protect its elections against fraud.

During five days of often dramatic testimony on a disputed voter ID law, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia repeatedly upheld objections that the state's lawyers were asking leading questions of their witnesses or prodding them to recount third-party conversations the judges struck down as hearsay.  Read more.

Not On Our Land: Land Recovery Kicks Off in Honduras

Other Words - In what many indigenous people call a "second coming of Columbus," globalization and its twin offspring of resource exploitation and mega development threaten the survival of indigenous and small-farming communities all over our world. But as widespread as the threat is the response by organized peoples. The strategies for stopping the destruction of their land, claiming their rights to it, and protecting their way of life are diverse - land occupations, protests, and legal claims. Though movements are challenged at every step and are still on the defensive, victories in their own communities dot the world map. Meanwhile, they are gathering strength through cross-border alliances.  Read more.