Leaked: The Internet must go!
How weathly are Americans?
So long! It's been fun.
In July 2011 I started a new job teaching Italian at Kansas State University. In some ways this was a return to my roots, as I taught English as a Foreign Language for 17 years in Italy. Now I am teaching English speakers Italian. I've come full circle.
This coming full circle also means the end of an attempt on my part to start a new career in my 50s. Sadly, as much as I tried to bring community radio to Manhattan, I was not successful. So I have decided to dedicate my energy and time to my first love, being an educator.
The archive of my shows will remain active - there's a lot of great content in the shows. So I hope you continue to listen and enjoy them.
Once again thank you for your support and encouragement over the five years the show was on the air. I know many feel that my program needs to be on the air and I agree with you that a diversity of voices is sorely lacking in the local media. But alas, it is not I who will bring that diversity. It will have to be someone else.
Christopher E. Renner
30 October 2008
Cold War Spy Case Offers Lessons for Today
Marcia Mitchell writes for Truthout: "New allegations of illegal eavesdropping have put the NSA once again on the political hot seat. This time, for listening in on phone calls made by American military and humanitarian workers. Hardly a surprise, given the agency's history of disregard for the laws that govern who listens to whom and for what purpose. No surprise either that former NSA head Michael Hayden, now director of the CIA, insists that charges of agency lawbreaking are 'ridiculous.'"
Don't Fear the Fairness Doctrine
Craig Aaron writes for the Guardian UK that reading op-ed pages and blogs, or listening to some of the conservative talkers, you would think the fairness doctrine was at the top of the Democratic party platform. But here's the truth: the fairness doctrine is never, ever coming back. And that's a good thing.
The Cost of Slumber
Dahr Jamail writes for Truthout: "Despite a collapsing economy and complicity in a system that is devouring the embers of a burning planet, the privileged carry on with their lives, 'unaware.' But everyone knows. Even the most ardent supporter of the powers that be is aware of what the government of the United States has done and is doing to Iraq, to the world, to the planet."
More Than 30,000 Registered Coloradans Barred From Voting
Naomi Zeveloff reports for The Colorado Independent: "Thousands of Coloradans have been denied the right to vote because of a policy that may violate federal law. Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman has authorized county clerks to purge newly registered voters under the so-called 20-day rule. Here, county clerks must send non-forwardable letters to newly registered voters. If the mail bounces back to the clerks, then they must remove the voter applicants' names from the rolls. Voting rights advocates say that the policy violates the 1965 National Voting Rights Act."
Gates Gives Rationale for Expanded Deterrence
Thom Shanker reports for The New York Times: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that the United States would hold 'fully accountable' any country or group that helped terrorists to acquire or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The statement was the Bush administration's most expansive yet in attempting to articulate a vision of deterrence for the post-Sept. 11 world. It went beyond the cold war notion that a president could respond with overwhelming force against a country that directly attacked the United States or its allies with unconventional weapons."
Bush Undermines Democracy with Attack on 200,000 New Ohio Voters
Steven Rosenfeld writes for AlterNet: " As the heads into its final week, the current president threw a political wild card on table late Friday, when he asked to investigate the status of 200,000 Ohio voters. George W. Bush's request, if honored, could be politically explosive. It would remind voters of the Department of Justice's partisan abuses of power in the scandal surrounding the firing of seven U.S. attorneys in 2006 who did not deliver 'voter fraud' convictions."
Is America Still a Beacon for Freedom of the Press
Craig Aaron and Josh Stearns write for the Huffington Post that the United States of America -- land of the free, home of the First Amendment -- is supposed to be a beacon for the rest of the world. So where do we stand in the latest global rankings of press freedom? Thirty-sixth. That's not a typo. It's a national disgrace.
Is Your Local News Providing Enough Local Election Coverage?
Jon Bartholomew writes for Common Cause this is a big election year. Aside from the presidency, there are thousands of local races that will directly impact daily life. But there is statistical evidence that local TV broadcasters ignore local issues and candidates.
Big Media: Masters of Deception
Joseph Torres writes for StopBigMedia.com, that whether it's the military co-opting news programs to win support for the Iraq War, advertisers using deceptive ad practices in TV shows, or producers airing exploitative music videos, the media is consistently misinforming the public.
Just How Dumb Are White Males?
Truthdig editor Robert Scheer writes: "Let me now defend white males. We can’t possibly be as dumb as the polls showing we are John McCain’s most reliable voting base would indicate."
Populism Arising -- but Will It Be the Killer Kind?
Former Community Bridge guest, Chris Hedges writes in his column for Truthdig.com: "The old assumptions and paradigms about capitalism and free markets are dead. A new, virulent populism, still inchoate, is slowly and painfully rising to take their place. This populism will determine the future of the country. It is as likely to be right-wing as left-wing."
Beyond Privacy, Toward Equality
Priscilla Huang writes for RH Reality Check: "The Supreme Court declared in Roe v. Wade that the right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment was 'broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.' But the court did not declare the right to privacy to be an absolute right, and said that a woman's privacy right 'must be considered against important state interests in regulation.' Thus, Roe has become vulnerable to anti-choice arguments that are based on the belief that the state should regulate women's decisions about abortion because the state knows what is good for women."
Cuba, USA: Voting on the Embargo
Janine Mendes-Franco writes for Global Voices Online: "The United Nations General Assembly yesterday approved a resolution condemning the U.S. embargo. For the seventeenth year running, the vote went in favor of the Cuba-sponsored resolution and bloggers - from the diaspora and from Cuba herself - have had a lot of say on the subject."
The Raucous Caucus
John Nichols comments in The Nation: "When the nation's newest Congresswoman arrived in Maine in August to campaign for a fellow Democrat seeking an open House seat, she tossed aside the cautious talking points peddled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Maryland's Donna Edwards, who won a House seat in a June special election, was talking about how she and candidate Chellie Pingree would shake up Washington come January."
27 October 2008
White House Asks for Scrutiny
Mary Pat Flaherty reports in The Washington Post: "The White House has asked the Department of Justice to look into whether 200,000 new Ohio voters must reconfirm their registration information before November 4, taking up an issue that Republicans and Democrats in the battleground state have been fighting over in court for weeks."
Justice Department Targets ACORN but Ignores GOP Voter Suppression
Steven Rosenfeld writes for AlterNet: "Partisan considerations still appear to be contributing to the Department of Justice's actions when it comes to enforcing the nation's voting rights laws. With Election Day less than two weeks away, proponents of more tightly regulating the voting process - this time led by congressional Republicans - have gotten their desired response from the nation's guardian of civil rights' laws: a FBI investigation into ACORN, the low-income advocacy coalition that registered 1.3 million new voters in 2008."
The GOP's Blame ACORN Game
Peter Dreier and John Atlas writes for The Nation: "An increasingly desperate Republican attack machine has recently identified the community organizing group ACORN as Public Enemy Number One. Among ACORN's alleged crimes, perhaps the most serious is that it caused, nearly single-handedly, the world's financial crisis. That's the fantasy. In the reality-based world, it was ACORN that sounded the alarm about the exploitative lending practices that led to the current mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. "
Recommend Audio: Progressive Radio interview with Moustafa Bayoumi
Mather Rothschild interviews Moustafa Bayoumi, author of "How Does It Feel to Be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America." Highly recommended.
When the Gloves Come Off
Jonathan Schell writes for The Nation: "'Every tree in the forest will fall,' said James McCord, the Watergate conspirator, as he prepared to blow the lid off the cover-up of the scandal, leading to the forced midterm resignation of President Nixon. The phrase comes to mind as one surveys the condition of the United States today. The country's military power is evaporating in failing ground wars in two pulverized, impoverished countries, leaving its recent pretensions to global imperial grandeur in ashes. Its economic power is crumbling daily as its banking system collapses and its instruments of credit seize up in what Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke has told Congress may be a 'heart attack.'"
Recommended Audio: CounterSpin for October 24 - Bush's War on Science
Of particular interest, given what is at stake in the Kansas State Board of Education races here in Kansas, Community Bridge recommends listening to the second half of this week's CounterSpin podcast. We've heard about the battles between the Bush White House and various government scientific agencies--what reporter Chris Mooney dubbed the "Republican war on science." But how does that battle play out in the media? If agency scientists can't speak to the press, what effect does that have on journalists'--and more broadly, the public's--right to know? Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists will joins CounterSpin to talk about her group's new report on government science and the press.
The New Yorker endorses Obama - some of the best writing I have read in some time, well maybe not as good as the Marysville Advocate's endorsement of my candidacy, but still good writing...
"Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that’s the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast. And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true? When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has—at the levels of competence, vision, and integrity—undermined the country and its ideals?"
Good Thing We're Going to Have to Live with Less Stuff -- We'll Stay Alive on Earth for Longer That Way
Former Community Bridge guest, Stan Cox writes for AlterNet: "As the most serious economic crisis in 80 years rolls across the planet, financial panic has shoved food shortages, public-health emergencies, and ecological disasters into the background. With fantastic fortunes at stake, the number-one priority of governments and businesses must be economic growth; those "green" initiatives announced not long ago with such fanfare have already been deferred or forgotten."
GLBT History Month
Advocates for Youth write: October is GLBT History Month. GLBT History Month is a time to celebrate GLBT heritage and remember pioneers of the GLBTQ civil rights movement. Each day the GLBT History Month Web site profiles another icon of the community. 2008's icons include Phyllis Lion and the late Del Martin, founders of the first national political organization for lesbians; author Alice Walker, E.M. Forster, and Tennessee Williams; and anthropologist Margaret Mead.
The Gay and Lesbian Times published a two-part feature on coming out in adolescence and the special challenges for those who come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender while they are in high school or even middle school. Part One examines school safety as well as GLBTQ youth on the Internet; Part Two looks at high schools for gay and lesbian students and special challenges faced by transgender youth.
Finally, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released the 2007 National School Climate Survey. GLSEN researchers surveyed over 6000 young people who self-identified as GLBTQ to learn about their experiences in school and if they had experienced discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender expression.
- 86.2 percent of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 44.1 percent reported being physically harassed and 22.1 percent reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
- 73.6 percent heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school. Over 90 percent heard "gay" used in a negative way frequently or often.
- More than half (60.8 percent) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (38.4 percent) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
- About 61 percent of students who experienced harassment did not report it because they feared no action would be taken or the situation would become worse if they reported. Of those who did report, 31 percent said the school did nothing in response.
Authors noted that these statistics haven't improved significantly since 1999, the first year of the School Climate survey. They recommend safe spaces at school and gay-straight alliances (GSA's) as one solution. They also urge bullying laws that specifically address harassment - research shows that GLBTQ students at schools with blanket, non-specific anti bullying laws experience as much harassment as students with no bullying laws at all.
The Case Against the Escalation of the War in Afghanistan
Camillo "Mac" Bica writes for Truthout: "Despite some subtle nuances regarding a timetable for the phased withdrawal of at least a portion of the combat troops from Iraq, the positions of both John McCain and Barack Obama regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are quite similar. Under both their plans, American young men and women, despite their eventually being withdrawn from Iraq - 'with honor' for McCain, 'responsibly' for Obama - will not be returning home but, rather, redeployed to another battlefield upon which to continue to kill or be killed. Both candidates have promised a surge in Afghanistan, and a commitment to continue the 'war on terrorism' until our enemies, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, perhaps Iran, are defeated and Osama Bin Laden is killed or captured."
Mitch Betts writes for ComputerWorld: "Once considered "the fertile crescent of Internet innovation," the United States is trailing the world in broadband Internet. According to a new report, this a "Sputnik moment" for the country, a point at which we need concerted national policy to boost broadband penetration and speed."
The Clouded Wrath of the Crowd
Jamison Foser writes for Media Matters: "As Election Day approaches, the right-wing media are becoming increasingly vitriolic and irrational. Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Jerome Corsi, and others have attacked Barack Obama over his visit to his ailing grandmother. On Monday, Savage responded to Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama by insisting, "The only people who don't seem to vote based on race are whites of European origin." Later in the week, Savage said welfare recipients shouldn't be allowed to vote. Fellow radio host Jim Quinn went a step further over the edge, declaring that there was "good reason" for allowing only landowners to vote."
Greenspan: "Shocked Disbelief"
Robert Borosage writes for The Campaign for America's Future: "It marks the end of an era. Alan Greenspan, the maestro, defender of the market fundamentalist faith, champion of deregulation, celebrator of exotic banking inventions, admitted Thursday in a hearing before Rep. Henry Waxman's House Committee and Oversight and Government Reform that he got it wrong."
EPA Weakens New Lead Rule After White House Objects
Renee Schoof reports for the McClatchy Newspapers: "After the White House intervened, the Environmental Protection Agency last week weakened a rule on airborne lead standards at the last minute so that fewer polluters would have their emissions monitored."
24 October 2008
F Is for Failure: The Bush Doctrine
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch.com: "On the brief occasions when the President now appears in the Rose Garden to 'comfort' or 'reassure' a shock-and-awed nation, you can almost hear those legions of ducks quacking lamely in the background. Once upon a time, George W. Bush, along with his top officials and advisors, hoped to preside over a global Pax Americana and a domestic Pax Republicana - a legacy for the generations. More recently, their highest hope seems to have been to slip out of town in January before the you-know-what hits the fan. No such luck."
Communication Scholars Speak Out About Negative Campaigning
A group of top American communication professors have crafted and signed a statement calling on the McCain campaign, primarily, to stop its negative campaigning. “The purposeful dissemination of messages that a communicator knows to be false and inflammatory is unethical. It is that simple,” the statement says.
The Future of the Internet - Call to Action
A huge decision is going to be made on Election Day that could change the lives of millions of Americans. And it’s not about Obama or McCain. On Nov. 4, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to open unused television airwaves to provide affordable, wireless Internet services nationwide. Find out how you can help.
Could the US Election Be Stolen?
Agence France-Presse reports: "With John McCain and Barack Obama already swapping accusations of widespread voter fraud, experts warn that a bitter and protracted fight could ensue if the race to the White House is decided by a narrow margin. The legal battle over election rules has already made it all the way to the Supreme Court as Republicans fight to block potentially false registrations from being validated and Democrats struggle to prevent voter disenfranchisement."
Police Prepare for Post-Election Unrest
Alexandra Bolton reports for The Hill: "Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest. Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation's first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.... Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters."
Recommended Audio: New America Now: Border Special
New America Now (formerly UpFront Radio) is New America Media's award-winning radio show about dispatches from the new majority - inter-ethnic, international and intergenerational news for the new America. This episode from October 10th looks at issues of "borders" and the United States. It features: Navajo Times in Arizona covers the border and is also a link to home for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; Edward Alden on his book "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security After 911"; David Danelo on his new book "The Border: Exploring the US Mexico Divide" about the complicated issues of immigration and the way we view Mexico; and, Robin Goldfadden, Attorney for the ACLU explains why some Americans near the border can't get passports.
McCain Banking on a Confederacy of Duces
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That’s the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to 'redistribute the wealth' with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich."
Bush Authorizes Record Defense Budget
Maya Schenwar writes for Truthout: "Last week, Bush signed the 2009 Defense Authorization Act, allowing $611 billion to be spent this fiscal year on defense. Though the number was not a surprise - the money in the bill had already been appropriated over the last few months - this bill makes it official, placing ceilings on spending, granting authority on who gets to spend what, and nailing the 2009 defense budget into place. It is the highest defense budget since World War II, and Pentagon officials estimate that it will increase by $450 billion over the next five years."
Wealth Gap Creating a Social Time Bomb
John Vidal writes for The Guardian UK: "Growing inequality in US cities could lead to widespread social unrest and increased mortality, says a new United Nations report on the urban environment. In a survey of 120 major cities, New York was found to be the ninth most unequal in the world and Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington, and Miami had similar inequality levels to those of Nairobi, Kenya Abidjan and Ivory Coast. Many were above an internationally recognised acceptable 'alert' line used to warn governments."
Wrecked Iraq: What the Good News From Iraq Really Means
Michael Schwartz writes for TomDispatch.com: "Even before the spectacular presidential election campaign became a national obsession, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression crowded out other news, coverage of the Iraq War had dwindled to next to nothing. National newspapers had long since discontinued their daily feasts of multiple - usually front page - reports on the country, replacing them with meager meals of mostly inside-the-fold summary stories. On broadcast and cable TV channels, where violence in Iraq had once been the nightly lead, whole news cycles went by without a mention of the war."
Obama, McCain Views on Unequal-Pay Case Are Revealing
Kia Franklin writes in Newsday: "Roe v. Wade wasn't the only important Supreme Court case mentioned during the final presidential debate at Hofstra University last week. The candidates also had a tense exchange over a less-famous case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which involved a woman named Lilly Ledbetter, who received unequal pay at her job for years without realizing it."
Creationist Declare War over the Brain
Amanda Gefter writes for the New Scientist: "'YOU cannot overestimate,' thundered psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, 'how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down. You're gonna hear a lot in the next calendar year about... how Darwin's explanation of how human intelligence arose is the only scientific way of doing it... I'm asking us as a world community to go out there and tell the scientific establishment, enough is enough! Materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs to be understood as part of natural reality.'"
Net-neturality May Not Be Exciting, but Don't Ignore It
Dustin Michael Harris writes in an opinion piece for the Napervill Sun: "Net Neutrality is not something you'll hear a lot about on CNN. It's not a hot button issue, but it is very important and could have lasting effects on how the Internet shapes and delivers information."
Winning the Media Campaign: How the Press Reported the 2008 Presidential Campaign
The Project for Excellence in Journalism reports the media coverage of the race for president has not so much cast Barack Obama in a favorable light as it has portrayed John McCain in a substantially negative one, according to a new study of the media since the two national political conventions ended.
The Idiots Who Rule America
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good. "
National Security: Women Must Define the Priorities Debate
Lorelei Kelly, The Women's Media Center: "The 'guns versus butter' debate is on the way out. Even the US military has realized the importance of providing the latter. For this election and beyond, women leaders are learning how to recast the conversation and set new priorities to measure the nation's security."
Obsession with Controversy
Seth Hettena writes for the Columbia Journalism Review: "Editors and publishers of newspapers who distributed an inflammatory DVD about radical Muslim activities have defended their decisions to distribute it as principled ones. But the missed opportunities for meaningful civic dialogue in the aftermath of the distribution say otherwise."
19 October 2008
Waiting for the Barbarians
Richard Kim writes in an editoral for The Nation: "In case you haven't heard, there's a guy running for president named Barack Hussein Osama Nobama. This Nobama was born outside America and secretly schooled in Islamic terrorism at a Wahhabi madrassa. He then moved to the United States to take up the radical '60s teachings of the Weather Underground's Bill Ayers, while also organizing for ACORN, a subprime-lending, voter fraud-committing collective of affirmative-action welfare queens. All this happened before he became an elitist celebrity advocate of socialism, infanticide, the sexual abuse of children and treason. "
A Mighty Hoax From ACORN Grows
Michael Winship writes for Truthout: "You see, the ACORN 'election fraud' story is one of those urban legends, like fake moon landings and alligators in the sewers, and it appears three or four weeks before every recent national election with the regularity of the swallows returning to Capistrano."
Attack on Iran off the Table?
Ray McGovern - who is speakign this week in Manhattan and is this weel's Community bridge's guest - writes for CommonDreams.org: "On Sept. 23, the neo-conservative chiefs of the Washington Post's editorial page mourned, in a tone much like what one hears on the death of a close friend, that "a military strike by the United States or Israel [on Iran is not] likely in the coming months." One could almost hear a wistful sigh, as they complained that efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program has 'slipped down Washington's list of priorities...as Iran races toward accumulating enough uranium for a bomb.'"
McCain Takes Dishonorable Turn
Leonard Pitts Jr. writes for The McClatchy Newspapers: "Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are strange days. And it's difficult not to empathize with the Arizona senator, who has spent these last weeks flailing like a man trying to hit a fastball in the dark. His campaign has lurched about looking for ways to connect; the attempt to tie Barack Obama to Ayers, a onetime '60s radical, is among the most desperate and disappointing."
Recommended Audio: Progressive Radio
Two recent Progressive Radio show of interest. As a follow-up to our September 11th show with Stan Cox, listen to this week's broadcast featuring Barry Steinhardt, the director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program who explores the erosion of civil liberties under the Bush administration. Also check out last week's show featuring Stephen Schneider, climatologist from Stanford, who is one of the leading experts on global warming and takes on the Global Warming nay-sayers head on.
The 10 Biggests Difference between Obama and McCain that Will affect your Daily Life
AlterNet writes: "When the polls open in 18 days, voters will be faced with a stark choice in presidential candidates -- a choice that ultimately comes down to one question: What do you want the next four to eight years of your life to look like? Because the next president will shape the issues that affect the way we live our day-to-day lives."
How to Manage an Imperial Decline
Aziz Huq reports for TomDispatch.com: "Do empires end with a bang, a whimper, or the sibilant hiss of financial deflation? We may be about to find out. Right now, in the midst of the financial whirlwind, it's been hard in the United States to see much past the moment. Yet the ongoing economic meltdown has raised a range of non-financial issues of great importance for our future. Uncertainty and anxiety about the prospects for global financial markets - given the present liquidity crunch - have left little space for serious consideration of issues of American global power and influence."
The Torture Time Bomb
Philippe Sands writes for The Guardian UK: "The Bush administration allowed the US military and the CIA to embrace abusive techniques of interrogation - including waterboarding, in the case of the CIA - which violate the Geneva conventions and the 1984 UN torture convention. The torture issue's cancerous consequences go deep, and will cause headaches for the next president."
Guided by an Invisible Hand
Joseph Stiglitz writes in the New Statesman: "Make no mistake: we are witnessing the biggest crisis since the Great Depression. In some ways it is worse than the Great Depression, because the latter did not involve these very complicated instruments - the derivatives that Warren Buffett has referred to as financial weapons of mass destruction; and we did not have anything close to the magnitude of today's cross-border finance."
Private Military Contractors Writing the News? The Pentagon's Propaganda at Its Worst
Liliana Segura writes for AlterNet: "Less than a week after the Washington Post reported that the Department of Defense will pay private contractors $300 million over the next three years to 'produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support US objectives and the Iraqi government,' Virginia Sen. Jim Webb wrote a strongly worded letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates."
Murder of Military Women
Ann Wright writes for Truthout: "The October 14, 2008, editorial, 'Our View: Military Domestic Violence Needs More Aggressive Prevention,' by The Fayetteville Observer, focused on the murders of four military women in North Carolina and contained a startling comment: 'In a way, it's surprising that there aren't more bodies piling up at military bases all over this nation.' The Observer is the newspaper that serves Fort Bragg, one of the military's largest bases."
17 October 2008
AT&T Promises Not to Spy on You...Sort of
Timothy Karr writes for SavetheInternet.com: "AT&T and other telco giants have sworn before Congress to keep their distance from "deep packet inspection," or DPI, which allows network managers to inspect, track and target Internet content. But these execs aren't telling the public the whole truth about their Web-filtering plans."
Audio: Former McCain Supporter: McCain Is "Unleashing the Monster of American Prejudice"
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, interviews Frank Schaeffer, the bestselling author of "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back." She says, "He's the son of the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer, considered himself a lifelong Republican. He voted for John McCain in 2000. McCain even endorsed one of Schaeffer's earlier books on military service. But on Friday, Frank Schaeffer published an op-ed piece in the Baltimore Sun excoriating McCain for 'feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate.'"
The Rise of Voting by Mail Transforms Race in Colorado
Kirk Johnson writes for the New York Times: "The presidential debate had barely ended Wednesday night when Kristin Marshall had her ballot on her lap, pen in hand, ready to vote. Three friends, all supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, had their ballots, too. "
How Six Influence 300 Million
In an editorial the Tufts Observer writes: "The vast majority of media consumed by Americans, from newspapers, to television shows, to books, is owned by one of six massive media conglomerates. By reinforcing a particular message throughout its divisions, media conglomerates are able to turn opinion into fact, dilute news gathering and control the flow of information."
Free the Debates
From the Mother Jones Blog: A group of thinkers and activists from the left, right, and center want to see the presidential debates and the commission that organizes them fundamentally reformed.
Keeping the Internet Free for the Next Generation
Leslie Harris writes for the Huffington Post: "The Internet is at a crossroads. Down one path lies a future where digital technology enhances constitutional freedoms; spurs innovations in expression and entrepreneurship; and fulfills its ultimate promise of connecting and empowering the world. Down the other? A future where the Internet is turned against users; where government spying runs unchecked, and where innovation is stifled by a closed and locked system, controlled by a handful of entrenched players. The next president will play a key role in determining which path we take."
Who Gets to Vote
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com: "The 2008 presidential election may see the highest participation in U.S. history. Voter-registration organizations and local election boards have been overwhelmed by enthusiastic people eager to vote. But not everyone is happy about this blossoming of democracy."
Requiem for the Bailout Storyline
Norman Solomon writes for Truthout: "It's mid-October, and the Wall Street bailout that was supposed to save the economy from collapse is a flop. Only two weeks ago, the media hype behind the $700 billion bailout was so intense that it sometimes verged on hysteria. More recent events should not be allowed to obscure the reality that the news media played a pivotal role in stampeding the country into a bailout that was unwise and unjust."
Groups: ACORN Attacks Meant to Suppress Vote
Chris Good writes for The Hill: "Left-leaning groups Wednesday came to the defense of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), accusing Republicans of seeking to suppress voter turnout by attacking the group. 'This latest attack on ACORN follows a sorry pattern, played out in election after election,' said Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, outlining what he called a history of voter suppression tactics by the Republican Party."
Video: McCains Latest Pander Plan
Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Countdown: "During the warm-up act by a Red Meat Congressional Candidate aptly named Chris Hackett, Hackett mentions Obama and a Palin audience member shouts 'Kill Him.' And Gov. Palin, as usual, does nothing about it says nothing to these thugs and psychos. She may not have heard this one. It is impossible to believe that by now she has not heard about the other ones. Her silence is deafening. Just as, Sen. McCain, you have done nothing when violence has been asserted. Correction. You have done one thing."
CIA Tactics Endorsed in Secret Memo
Joby Warrick writes for The Washington Post: "The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public."
Journalist Arrested at RNC Faces over a Year in Prison
Journalists without Borders reports: "Jason Nicholas was one of over 40 journalists arrested while covering the Republican National Convention on September 1st. While most charges against other journalists in St.Paul have been dropped, Mr. Nicholas has not yet been cleared of obstruction to the legal process."
13 October 2008
The Associated Press reports: "Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and veteran of the civil rights movement, says the negative tone of the Republican presidential campaign reminds him of the hateful atmosphere that segregationist Gov. George Wallace fostered in Alabama in the 1960s. Republican candidate John McCain on Saturday called Lewis' remarks 'shocking and beyond the pale.'"
Alaskan Independence Party: Last Refuge of a Scoundrel
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes for the Huffington Post: "In 2004, America's malleable mainstream media allowed itself to be manipulated by artful Republican operatives into devoting weeks of broadcast attention and drums of ink to unfairly desecrating John Kerry's genuine Vietnam heroics while obligingly muzzling serious discussion of George W. Bush's shameful wartime record of evasion and cowardice. Last week found the American media once again boarding Republican swift boats against this season's Democratic candidate armed with unfair and hypocritical attacks artfully designed by GOP strategists to distract attention from the cataclysmic outcomes of Republican governance."
GOP Attacks on American Voters Turn Desperate, Ugly and Dangerous
Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman write for The Free Press: "The GOP assault on American voters has hit full stride as the economy and John McCain tank in synch. With just over three weeks until election day, the Republicans have mounted an all-out attack against newly registered voters and the organizations working to sign them up."
Welcome to the Third World, America
Eugene Robinson writes for Truthdig.com: "Here’s a question I’d like to ask Barack Obama and John McCain: Is the United States destined to look and feel increasingly like a 'developing country?' Is this the way it’s going to be?"
Justice, Bush Style
Andrew Gumbel writes for The Nation: "In 2002 conservative political journalist John Miller wrote an extraordinary call to arms in which he declared open season on the civil rights division of the Justice Department. This was the division that, for close to fifty years, had been dedicated to erasing the legacy of Jim Crow and protecting the rights of minority voters. "
Department of Justice Scandal almost Buried by Financial Crisis
Marilou Johanek writes for The Toledo Blade: "At any other time, what happened in the US Justice Department last week would have been big news. At any other time, when internal reports by the Justice Department call for more investigation into a case of unethical, if not criminal, conduct on the part of lawmakers and the White House, the administration would have a lot of explaining to do."
Audio: Fast, City-Wide WiFi Rolls out in Balitmore
The nation's first rollout of WiMax has launched in Baltimore. Steve Inskeep talks with tech commentator Mario Armstrong about the fourth-generation Internet service. It's a wireless connection that is fast and allows a subscriber to roam across the city.
Myths and Falsehoods about the Purported Links between Affordable Housing Initiatives and the Financial Crisis
Media Matters reports that conservatives and other media figures -- echoing a reported strategy on the part of Republicans -- have attempted to lay blame for the financial crisis on proponents of affordable housing. Those attacks are premised on several myths and falsehoods.
Six Ways to Improve the Presidential Debates
Jsutin Peters writes for the Columbia Journalism Review: "The consensus seems to be that the presidential debate in Nashville was extremely boring. Here are six viable suggestions for how the next one could be better."
09 October 2008
Chris Hedges Interviews Dennis Kucinich on the Bailout
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party."
New US Intelligence Report Warns "Victory" Not Certain in Iraq
Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and Nancy A. Youssef write for McClatchy Newspapers: "A nearly completed high-level US intelligence analysis warns that unresolved ethnic and sectarian tensions in Iraq could unleash a new wave of violence, potentially reversing the major security and political gains achieved over the last year."
Evidence of Warming Growing: Pachauri
Alister Doyle reports for Reuters: "Evidence is mounting day by day that mankind is to blame for climate change, and the financial crisis is a temporary setback in the hunt for solutions, the head of the UN Climate Panel said on Tuesday. Rajendra Pachauri, whose panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore, said the downturn could dominate for two to three months before politicians return to focus on fixing long-term problems like global warming."
How T. Boone Pickens' Energy Plan Just Got Killed
David Morris writes for AlterNet that the new bailout plan passed by Congress may have put the nail in the coffin on Pickens' dangerous energy proposal.
Citizens Want Debate Moderators to Challenge Candidate Spin
FreePress reports: "John McCain's supporters seemed happy with the ground rules of the second presidential debate in Nashville. Barack Obama's supporters seemed happy with the results. By large margins, an online panel of more than 2,800 volunteers thought that Brokaw's decision not to fact-check the candidates or challenge their spin was a problem."
Progressive Voter Guide to the Economy
AlterNet takes a look - from the housing crisis to the minimum wage - at where the candidates stand on nine important economic issues.
The Terror of Loving and Losing
Cathy Albisa writes for On the Issues Magazine: "Data and common experience reveal that it is women who primarily take care of the sick without pay, raise and nurture children, or make sure the elderly in their orbit eat well, get medical care and are protected from the threat posed by loneliness and isolation. As a result, the benefits and deficits of the system of social support - and the level of protection of economic and social rights - have a disproportionate effect on women."
The FBI Prevents Agents from Telling the 'Truth' about 9-11 Attacks on PBS.
MediaChannel reports: "The FBI has blocked two of its veteran counterterrorism agents from going public with accusations that the CIA deliberately withheld crucial intelligence before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks."
Politics of Attack
The New York Times comments: "It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember. They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record - into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison."
FCC Examining TV Networks, Military Advisors
Joelle Tessler reports for the Associated Press: "The FCC said it is investigating whether five television networks and 19 former military officers violated government disclosure rules in providing on-air analysis of the war in Iraq and other issues."
First Royality Rates Set for Digital Music
Ben Sisario writes for the New York Times: "In a decision closely watched by the music industry, a panel of federal judges who determine royalty rates for recordings ruled on Thursday to renew the current royalty rate for CDs and other physical recordings, while setting rates for the first time for downloads, ring tones and other services."
Where's the Outrage Over Mistreatment of the Press at the RNC?
Adam Reilly writes for the Boston Phoenix: "Given the media’s reputation for self-absorption, it’s remarkable how little attention the press has paid to the crackdown on journalists during September’s Republican National Convention."
Who Else Reads Your E-mails?
Harry Lewis writes for the Christian Science Monitor: "Because e-mail resembles a telephone conversation, we too often assume it's private. It's not. Who can see your e-mail -- even en route -- is a complicated question, made more uncertain by a recent court decision. The Fourth Amendment doesn't protect you from the government clandestinely searching your e-mail."
Audio: Truthdig podcast - Bill Boyarsky on McCain’s Low Blows
Truthdig’s chief political correspondent weighs in on the week in politics. From “pallin’ around with terrorists” to Tuesday’s debate, Team McCain is “going for the gut,” but will it work?
The Dirty Details of Voter Purges
David Rosenfeld writes for Miller-McCune Magazine: "Thousands of Americans will likely show up at the polls on November 4 to find they are no longer registered to vote. That's an estimate based on past elections and the findings of two leading research groups that found state-sanctioned voter purges are widely inaccurate."
07 October 2008
Voting Goes to Court
Tim Jones writes in The Chicago Tribune: "In a furious, multistate campaign raging far from television cameras and cable TV chatter, scores of lawyers are arguing over the voting rights of perhaps millions of Americans who plan to cast ballots in the presidential election. This is the courtroom campaign beneath the presidential campaign, fought in politically strategic states including Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and others. The outcome of battles over voter registration, absentee ballots and the integrity of state voting lists could prove to be decisive in states where the margin of victory is expected to be slim."
New surveillance program will turn military satellites on US
Julian Sanchez writes for Ars Techinca: "An appropriations bill signed by President Bush last week allows the controversial National Applications Office to begin operating a stringently limited version of a program that would turn military spy satellites on the US, sharing imagery with other federal, state, and local government agencies. The government's own watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office, has warned in an unpublished report that the more expansive program in the offing lacks adequate safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties."
Bush Provokes Fear to Push for Bailout
Dean Baker writes in a position paper for The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "This is the first time in the history of the United States that the president has sought to provoke a financial panic to get legislation through Congress. While this has proven to be a successful political strategy, it marks yet another low point in American politics. It was incredibly irresponsible for President Bush to tell the American people on national television that the country could be facing another Great Depression. By contrast, when we actually were in the Great Depression, President Roosevelt said that, 'we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.'"
Palin Ethics Probes Beset by Secrecy and Lawsuit
The Associated Press: "Seven aides to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have reversed course and agreed to testify in an investigation into whether the Republican vice presidential nominee abused her powers by firing a commissioner who refused to dismiss her former brother-in-law. There is no indication, however, that Palin or her husband will now agree to testify in the legislative inquiry, which has dogged her for the past several months and could hurt John McCain in the final weeks of the presidential race."
Both Candidates Say They Favor Equal Pay, but How Do They Vote?
Kay Steiger reports for RH Reality Check: "While media cover the economic bailout plan in great detail, few outlets have paid attention to how working women and families are doing in the face of an economic crisis. Economic issues like pay discrimination, paid family and medical leave, and flexible work hours get little attention or lip service from pundits. But the candidates running for president this year have very different views on these issues. The debates have the opportunity to highlight or hide their stances on issues important to women."
Armstrong Williams Criticized Ifill for Book Deal
On Media Matters' County Fair blog, bloggers Eric Boehlet and Jamison Foser report that conservative radio host Armstrong Williams criticized Gwen Ifill over her upcoming book about African-American political leaders, saying she "should have disclosed" it. But Williams did not disclose that he received $240,000 in Education Department funds to promote No Child Left Behind.
Nearly a Quarter of World's Mammals Face Extinction, Annual "Red List" Reports
Ian Sample writes in The Guardian UK: "Nearly a quarter of the world's land mammal species are at risk of extinction, and many others may vanish before they are even known to science, according to a major annual survey of global wildlife. At least 1,141 of the 5,487 known species of mammal are threatened, with 188 listed in the highest-risk 'critically endangered' category. One in three marine mammals are also threatened, according to the five-year review."
Field of Ruins (English translation)
Mario Roy writes for La Presse: "This frightening crack in the American financial edifice comes after the failure of its military apparatus, the slow collapse of which insidiously began, one may perhaps consider, in Korea. After the erosion of the United States' scientific and technological hegemony - which, in fact, leaves American students indifferent, while Asian youth gobble up the molecule and the algorithm. And after the great disenchantment with its diplomacy, to the point we see Nicolas Sarkozy's France cheerfully resume the role it has always considered its own since the time of Cardinal de Richelieu! The United States' only intact power today remains its culture. But for how much longer?" For original French version, click here.
In Arizonia, Illegal Immigrants Face Federal Criminal Charges
David Bacon write in The Nation: "A special Federal District court convenes every day at 1 pm in Tucson. All the benches, even the jury box, are filled with young people whose brown skin, black hair and indigenous features are common in a hundred tiny towns in Oaxaca or Guatemala. Their jeans, T-shirts and cheap tennis shoes show the dirt and wear from the long trek through northern Mexico, three days walking across the desert, and nights sleeping at the immigration detention center on the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Presiding over one court session in June, Judge Jennifer Guerin called these defendants before her in groups of eight."
Third Female Soldier Slain at Fort Bragg
The Associated Press: "For the third time in four months, a female soldier based at Fort Bragg is dead, and a husband or lover is charged with murder -- leading critics to demand the home base of the Army's elite soldiers exert 'control over their troops' and address domestic violence. Police on Friday charged Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, and Pfc. Mathew Kvapil, 18, with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder only days after Smith's wife was found stabbed to death in a pool of her own blood."
05 October 2008
The Republicans showed their true colors both inside their convention and outside on the streets. Using the "Patriot Act" and similar state laws, an all out attack was waged by the Minneapolis/St Paul police on the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. With the use of force against assembled citizens unparalleled and more akin to totalitarian regimes than a nation founded on the principles of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The police actions against the press have been especially appalling. It has also been reported that the City of St. Paul has a TEN MILLION DOLLAR insurance policy provided by the Republican Host Committee to protect the city for lawsuits arising from the use of force against our constitutional rights.
The Real News Network provided this documentary of their journalists being arrested.
CounterSpin for September 5th.
Most of the coverage of the political conventions focused on what was going on inside the arenas; so what about what was happening outside? Crackdowns on protests, arrests of journalists, and pre-emptive house raids could provide a very different measure of the state of American democracy. Heidi Boghosian of the National Lawyers Guild will joins the CounterSpin staff to tell what she saw. To listen to the podcast using Quick Time, click here.
I strong urge that people listen to the following Democracy Now broadcasts from September 1 "Police Conduct Massive Preemptive Raids", September 2 and September 4, as well as the broadcasts from Free Speech Radio News for Tuesday Sept. 2, Wednesday Sept. 3, and Thursday Sept. 4.
Thousands of protesters gathered in St. Paul, Minn., the site of the Republican National Convention. As tensions mounted between those gathered and police, AP photojournalist Evan Vucci was in the middle of the crowd. The following video shows what happened.
Megan Tady of StopBigMedia.com reports that media advocates and independent journalists delivered more than 60,000 letters to St. Paul City Hall calling on Mayor Chris Coleman and local law enforcement officials to drop all charges against journalists arrested while covering protests outside the Republican National Convention.
Writers Guild of America, East Calls on Authorities to Respect Press Freedom
The arrests and harassment of working journalists by the police, local and federal officials at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions go against the nature of our democracy. All charges against these journalists should be dropped and an investigation into police misconduct should be launched.
Jeffery Allen writes foor OneWorld USA that police along with local and federal officials in St. Paul, Minn., are under fire from independent media groups for their crackdown on independent news reporters at this week's Republican National Convention.
MyFox Lubbock reports that two MyFox journalists were among several media professionals detained or arrested on a bridge where about 200 protesters were taken into custody enroute to the site of this year's Republican National Convention finale. At least 19 other members of the media were detained and issued citations for unlawful assembly.
Amy Goodman writes for Truthdig.com reporting that the government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. Behind all the patriotic hyperbole that accompanies the conventions, and the thousands of journalists and media workers who arrive to cover the staged events, there are serious violations of the basic right of freedom of the press.
Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of video makers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. I-Witness Video's work four years ago lead to acquittal of more than 300 people who had been charged in similar raids by police at the Republican Convention in New York.
Craig Aaron write in The Hill's Congress Blog: "You won’t hear much about it in the tightly scripted primetime broadcasts from St. Paul, but local law enforcement is rounding up reporters in an aggressive -- and sometimes violent -- sweep outside the Republican National Convention. Their crime: committing journalism.
Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists are expressing outrage over recent arrests of journalists at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Dave Astor writes for Editor and Publisher that as more groups denounce the arrest of four journalists at the Republican National Convention, a YouTube video showing Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman's arrest has been viewed more than 508,000 times.
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: Not only is arresting and detaining journalists for doing their work a violation of free speech and freedom of the press, but it's a travesty that our tax dollars are being used to suppress dissent and arrest journalists at conventions that should be celebrations of our small "d" democracy.
Joe Klein writes for TIME Magazine: "The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign's war against the press. This has been building for some time. Those of us who have criticized the candidate - and especially those of us who enjoyed good relations with McCain in the past - have been subject to off-the-record browbeating and attempted bullying all year. But things have gotten much worse in recent days."
03 October 2008
Hate Speech Rises in the Media
John Torres writes for StopBigMedia.com that for many people of color, fighting against our nation's media system is a matter of life and death. Too often, the media have contributed to the racial divisions that still exist in this country by marginalizing people of color in its coverage.
Project Censored: Top 10 Stories the US Media Missed in the Past Year
Amanda Witherell writes for the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the daily dispatches and nightly newscasts of the mainstream media regularly cover terrorism, but rarely discuss how the fear of attacks is used to manipulate the public and set policy. That's the common thread of many unreported stories last year, according to an analysis by Project Censored.
FCC Commissioner to Public in Atlanta: Shut Up And Watch TV
Bruce Dixon writes for Black Agenda Report: "In Atlanta, the FCC's sham “Digital TV Consumer Education” town hall meeting was a near-secret affair, held in a conference room in rather than the advertised auditorium. FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate refused to answer questions about how the FCC gave broadcasters 5100 additional digital TV stations without the public bother or notice of issuing a single license. 'Shut up, get yourself a converter box, and watch TV' was the FCC's message, and let us and the broadcasters worry about who gets the frequencies and why."
Saying "No Deal" to this New Deal
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: "The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror."
Let the Rich Bail Them Out
Bernie Sanders is his Senate floor speech says: "This country faces many serious problems in the financial market, in the stock market, in our economy. We must act, but we must act in a way that improves the situation. We can do better than the legislation now before Congress."
From Empire to Democracy
Historian Howard Zinn writes for The Guardian UK: "This current financial crisis is a major way-station on the way to the collapse of the American empire. The first important sign was 9/11, with the most heavily armed nation in the world shown to be vulnerable to a handful of hijackers."
Red Flag on Purging Voter Rolls
Pia Malbran reports for CBS News: "With Election Day rapidly approaching, a new report, obtained exclusively by CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian, raises serious questions and exposes flaws in the way states maintain their voter registration rolls."
Firing Back on the CRA Libel
Sara Robinson writes for the Campaign for America's Future: "Conservative pundits and politicians have piled onto the excuse like shipwreck victims clinging to a passing log: The real blame for the current economic crisis lies not with anything they did, but rather with the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act-a successful Carter-era program designed to get banks to stop covert discrimination, and encourage them to invest their money in low-income neighborhoods. It's always easy to tell when the cons are completely lost at sea. The lies get more absurdly preposterous-and also more transparently self-serving. But when they go so far as to openly and unapologetically latch onto race and class as an excuse for their woes (which this is, at its heart), you know they're taking on water fast-and scared of going under entirely."
Kansas Governor Says Obama Better for Women Than McCain
Steven K. Paulson reports for The Associated Press: "Sebelius, a Democrat, campaigned for presidential candidate Barack Obama in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver on Tuesday. She said women are more likely than men to earn the minimum wage and go without health insurance and pension benefits. 'Women are at the forefront of the economic crisis,' she said during a panel discussion in Denver. Sebelius said she is promoting policies that Obama says will provide economic relief to small business owners, including many women."
International Women's Health? Who's President Makes the Difference
Craig Lasher writes for RH Reality Check: "Under the Constitution and our system of government as it has evolved over the more than 200 years of the country's history, the president has been vested with a number of powers and authorities by which he can imprint his stamp on the interactions of the United States with the rest of the world, including through development and humanitarian assistance. As a result, who occupies the White House can greatly affect what policies govern international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs and how much money is spent on these critical health activities. The president matters."
Leaked Memo Questions War Strategy in Afghanistan
Charles Bremner and Richard Beeston write for The Times UK: "The official version of the US-led campaign in Afghanistan received a blow today with a leaked report that the British Ambassador in Kabul believes that US strategy is wrong and the war is as good as lost. The potentially explosive views were published by Le Canard Enchaîné, a respected French weekly, which said that they were direct quotations from a diplomatic cable written by François Fitou, the French Deputy Ambassador in Kabul."
The Cost of Boots on the Ground in Iraq
John Basil Utley writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "It takes half a million dollars per year to maintain each sergeant in combat in Iraq. Thanks to a Senate committee inquiry, an authoritative government study finally details the costs of keeping boots on the ground. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in its report Contractors' Support of US Operations in Iraq, compared the costs of maintaining a Blackwater professional armed guard versus the US military providing such services itself. Both came in at about $500,000 per person per year. News reports of the study have largely focused on the total cost of US contractors. The 190,000 contractors in Iraq and neighboring countries, from cooks to truck drivers, have cost US taxpayers $100 billion from the start of the war through the end of 2008."
Fueling the Fires of Real Change
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com on the Catholic Worker Movement that the coals of radical social change smolder among the poor, the homeless and the destitute. As the numbers of disenfranchised dramatically increase, our hope, our only hope, is to connect intimately with the daily injustices visited upon them. Out of this contact we can resurrect, from the ground up, a social ethic, a new movement.
Banking Collapse Lands on American Schools
Bill Boyarsky writes for Truthdig.com that one of the worst casualties of the Iraq war and the Wall Street failures is the U.S. public school system, which is central to the nation’s economic, intellectual and social health. With financial resources being consumed, education cuts are on the way. Thank you, John McCain and President George W. Bush.
01 October 2008
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