Chris Hedges writes for Adbusters - the journal of the mental environment: "Aleksandr Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We think we are the doctors. We are the disease.” All resistance must recognize that the body politic and global capitalism are dead. We should stop wasting energy trying to reform or appeal to it. This does not mean the end of resistance, but it does mean very different forms of resistance. It means turning our energies toward building sustainable communities to weather the coming crisis, since we will be unable to survive and resist without a cooperative effort."
The New Deal in Reverse: How the Obama Administration Ended Up Where Franklin Roosevelt Began
Steve Faser writes for TomDispatch.com: "On March 4, 1933, the day he took office, Franklin Roosevelt excoriated the 'money changers who 'have fled from their high seats in the temples of our civilization [because...] they know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision and where there is no vision, the people perish.' Rhetoric, however, is only rhetoric. According to one skeptical congressional observer of FDR’s first inaugural address, 'The President drove the money-changers out of the Capitol on March 4th -- and they were all back on the 9th.'”
Not About Sarah Palin
David Norlin writes for the Kansas Free Press: "This is not about Sarah Palin. Instead, let's talk petro-states. Like Oman. And its sister state, Alaska. In 2007, Alaska produced approximately 719,000 barrels of oil per day. That puts it in the same ballpark as Egypt (710,000), Oman (718,000) and Malaysia (755,000). Its economy parallels Oman's. Its oil revenues account for about 75 percent of export earnings."
Globalization Is Killing The Globe: Return to Local Economies
Thom Hartman writes for the Huffington Post: "Globalization is killing Europe, just as it's already wiped out much of the American middle class. Spain and Greece are facing immediate crises that many other European nations see on the near horizon: aging boomer workers are retiring with healthy benefit packages, but the younger workers who are paying for those benefits aren't making anything close to the income (or, therefore, paying the taxes) that their parents did."
Wall Street Wants a Refund
Robert Scheer writes for Turthdig.com: "'Buyer’s remorse' is the way Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate Republicans’ fundraiser, gleefully refers to Wall Street moguls’ current disenchantment with the U.S. president they thought they had bought. They didn’t like it when Barack Obama, after a year of throwing trillions of American taxpayer dollars into the bailout sinkhole, dared remark that he had hoped there might be some return for ordinary folks trying to save their jobs and homes. Not just huge bonuses for the folks the president dared refer to as 'fat cats.'”
Corporate Welfare Roulette
Jim Hightower comments for Truthout: "One thing that governors and mayors absolutely love to do is win a prize in the national game called 'Corporate Welfare Roulette.' It's a simple casino-style game in which politicos put down a big stack of taxpayers' money on an out-of-state corporation as an 'incentive,' hoping that their bet outbids other states and cities trying to lure that same corporation to move to their area and hire some people."
Pierce has been covering the issue for nearly a year and most recently helped create our “Unemployment Insurance Tracker ,” which lets you see just how much trouble your state’s unemployment insurance system is in. Download Podcast.
The US Economic Crisis: Jobs Continue to Vanish While the Media Applauds “Recovery”
Shamus Cooke writes for GlobalResearch.ca: “At first glance it appeared there was a typo in the headlines. The national media reported that, in January, another 20,000 more jobs were lost. Somehow, the unemployment rate dropped, from 10 percent to 9.7 percent. Nobody thought this paradox was worth explaining; instead, the media’s attitude was 'more good news' about the economy.”
Budget Lies Aren’t Helping the Deficit
David Sirota writes for Truthdig.com: “Last month, President Barack Obama proposed to freeze government spending on everything other than defense, veterans’ benefits, homeland security, Medicare and Social Security. The New York Times reported that administration officials depicted the initiative as proof of the president’s 'seriousness about cutting the budget deficit.' Such spin may fly in Orwell’s Oceania or Washington, D.C., but if you happen to live in the real world, basic arithmetic tells a far more accurate tale about what is 'serious'—and what is not.”
Give Peace Spending a Chance
Maya Schenwar comments for Truthout: "Last week, when President Obama requested the largest-ever military budget since World War II, hardly anyone batted an eyelash. The Bush years immunized many of us to the shock of colossal defense spending bills skating across the table - and zipping through Congress to sure passage - regardless of shriveling public approval."
Chart of the Day
Kevin Drum writes for Mother Jones: "The Project on Defense Alternatives sent me this email a few minutes ago:
We’ve just opened the web page Trillions to Burn? A Quick Guide to the Pentagon Budget Surge — please have a look. It’s a quick read with 9 charts that explain why the DoD budget has risen to over 700 billion and what it implies for other federal spending and the national debt.Hey, you had me at "charts"! So here's your chart of the day: a look at Pentagon spending since World War II, adjusted for inflation. Right now we're spending more than we did during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the Reagan military buildup. And there's no end in sight. More at the link."
The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan Black Sites in the Empire of Bases
Nick Turse writes for TomDispatch.com: "In the nineteenth century, it was a fort used by British forces. In the twentieth century, Soviet troops moved into the crumbling facilities. In December 2009, at this site in the Shinwar district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province, U.S. troops joined members of the Afghan National Army in preparing the way for the next round of foreign occupation. On its grounds, a new military base is expected to rise, one of hundreds of camps and outposts scattered across the country."
Details of British Resident's Brutal Torture by CIA Officers Released
Andy Worthington provides the following analysis for Truthout: "Three senior UK judges on Wednesday ordered the British government to publicly disclose previously highly classified information that reveals how Binyam Mohamed, a British resident, was brutally tortured by the CIA while in Pakistani custody in April and May 2002."
The National Anthem - and Why We Need Health Care Reform So Desperately
Robert Reich, RobertReich.org: "My health insurer here in California is Anthem Blue Cross. When I first opted for it, it was just called Blue Cross. Then, a year or so back, I was notified that an entity called 'Anthem' would now be running my insurance policy. I didn't think much about it at the time. I've had the usual problems most people have with their health insurers - confusing bills, co-payments and deductibles that never seem to add up, a bureaucracy that gives every impression of being more interested in fighting me than helping me - but nothing more."
Fear of a ‘Multicultural’ Nation
Marcia Alesan Dawkins writes for Truthdig.com: “Last Thursday night former Congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo made opening-night remarks at the inaugural National Tea Party Convention in Nashville. Tancredo fired verbal shots at Barack Obama, Sen. John McCain and 'the cult of multiculturalism,' stating that people who 'could not spell the word vote or say it in English” had elected the president. And that Obama’s election reveals the need for us to “have a civics [or] literacy test before people can vote in this country.'”
Republicans at Highest Levels Really Want to Do Away with Democracy for All
Mark Ames writes for AlterNet.org: "While Tea Party movement followers ran around Nashville last week dressed up in their Paul Revere period costumes, blathering about their heroic struggle against Obama's Islamosocialist tyranny, the right-wing elite that nurtures them, and their paid libertarian ideologues, have been openly advocating the abolition of America's democracy in favor of a free-market junta, because, as they say over and over, voters cannot be trusted to rule themselves."
Scalia v. The World: On Antonin Scalia
Michael O'Donnell writes for The Nation: "The dean of the modern conservative legal movement, Justice Antonin Scalia, is neither an intellectual nor a primitive. He is both. Scalia has fused the cerebral and the atavistic strains of conservatism in a manner that leaves one wondering if they were ever distinct at all. For decades Scalia has beguiled conservative law students with his abhorrence of compromise and the colorful, take-no-prisoners style of his opinions. More than any other contemporary jurist, he claims to abide by a host of scrupulous legal principles: strict fidelity to a statute's text, adherence to the Constitution's original meaning, respect for the nation's federal structure of government. But notwithstanding these "neutral" principles and his habit of adorning his defense of them with intellectual flourishes, Scalia writes his opinions in boiling ink, mixing prodigious citations and vast learning with callous disregard for others and bursts of derision bordering on bigotry."
Brain Trust to Nowhere: Meet the Advisers Behind the Sarah Palin Road Show
Justin Elliott writes for Talking Points Memo: "As Sarah Palin relaunches her image for the next stage of her political career, there's a small set of advisers who are shaping the former governor's policy positions and public persona."
Climate Catastrophe: Surviving the 21st Century
Ronnie Cummins and Will Allen write for the Organic Consumers Association: "The climate, energy, and political catastrophe we are facing is mind-boggling and frightening. Yet there is still time to save ourselves, to move beyond psychological denial, despair, or false optimism. There is still hope if we are willing to confront the hydra-headed monsters that block our path, and move ahead with a decisive plan of action. The inspirational message we need to deliver is that we're not just talking about drastically reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, but rebuilding society, creating in effect a New Woman and a New Man for the 21st Century. What we are witnessing are the early stages of a mass grassroots consciousness-raising and taking back of power from out-of-control corporations, banks, corporate-controlled media, and politicians. This cultural and political revolution will empower us to to carry out a deep and profound retrofitting of industry, government, education, health care, housing, neighborhoods, transportation, food and farming systems, as well as our diets and lifestyles."
The Press after Citizens United
Clint Hendler writes for the Columbia Journalism Review: "Over the last two weeks, reporters covering campaign finance have ably chronicled the scope and effects of the bitterly divided Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. They’ve filed stories reporting that decades, perhaps a century, of regulations governing campaign finance have been rolled back, and that corporations would now be entitled to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of any candidate they desire. Observers predict a weakening of party organizations, and a massive new cudgel for lobbyists seeking to influence legislation."
Twitter Is Not Killing Journalism, Journalists Are Killing Journalism
Tim McGuire writes for The Media Channel: "Twitter is not killing journalism, journalists are killing journalism. This rather cheap play on that ugly bromide 'guns don’t kill people' is indirectly prompted by the constant uproar in popular media over the horrors of Twitter. The latest tempest was started when George Packer in the New Yorker wailed, 'Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it.'”
Conservative Activists Rebel Against Fox News: Saudi Ownership Is ‘Really Dangerous For America’
Lee Fang writes for Think Progress: "Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp — the parent company of Fox News — making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Alwaleed has grown close with the Murdoch enterprise, recently endorsing James Murdoch to succeed his father and creating a content-sharing agreement with Fox News for his own media conglomerate, Rotana."
Build Better Media
Megan Tady writes for In These Times: "Across the country, community media projects have been sprouting out of a dying traditional media system that has often failed to deliver what the public really wants: local news and information. Now, more than ever before, citizens are taking the media back, using this time of media chaos to forge ahead with news projects that serve their interests—regardless of whether they graduated from J-school or not."
Why Public Access Television Is Important and You Should Fight For the CAP ACT
Tracy Rosenberg writes for the Huffington Post: "In May of 2009, I became a public access television producer. Couldn't have picked a worse time. Not because I don't enjoy hosting and co-producing Media News. It's a great joy to interview guests and try to shed a little light on the issues closest to my heart including: net neutrality and the digital divide, coverage of turmoil abroad and at home, the loss of local public affairs coverage and the rise in citizen journalism. I feel privileged to bring voices that need to be heard onto my local TV dial."
Cable Comcast: Al Franken Says Hell No on the NBC Takeover
KAtrina vanden Heuvel writes for The Nation: "The 'I will mess you up' Senator is what Keith Olbermann is now calling Al Franken. He also added that 'orientation' for Minnesota's Senator is now over. Franken's toughness and savvy was on display last week at a hearing on the proposed $30 billion mega-merger between Comcast and NBC Universal."
Google’s Announcement of High-Speed Broadband Experiment Should Inspire FCC to Think Big
Responding to Google’s announcement today of a plan to build new, ultra high-speed broadband networks, Ben Scott, policy director for Free Press, said:
Google’s proposed experiment with building ultra-fast, open broadband pipelines in a handful of communities follows a trail already blazed by Verizon’s FiOS network, which has fiber optic cables capable of speeds comparable to what Google proposes. The FCC should use these examples to set forward-looking goals for the future of broadband throughout the United States. In the coming years, all Americans should have access to a world-class broadband network. The world’s most advanced broadband nations already have networks capable of these speeds -- we are years behind in the race to create a national infrastructure that can support the next generation of e-commerce, e-government, health and education technologies, and much more.