Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "With the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, there was a widespread feeling among large sections of the American public and its intellectuals that the moment and threat of authoritarianism had passed. And, yet, there are many troubling signs that, in spite of the election of Obama, authoritarian policies not only continue to unfold unabated within his administration, but continue outside of his power to control them."
The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class
David DeGraw writes for AlterNet: "We all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our founding fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy. It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99 percent of the U.S. population no longer has political representation. The U.S. economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us."
Reid and Obama Abandon the Jobs Front
Matthew Rothschild writes for The Progressive: "What planet are Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and the Democrats on? Obama's own economic advisers say that unemployment is going to average 10 percent this year and 9.2 percent next year. And yet all that Harry Reid now is proposing to spend on a new jobs bill is $15 billion over the next decade, which is peanuts. And most of those peanuts are going directly to businesses, which is the least efficient way to stimulate the economy. There is no money to extend unemployment benefits. There is no money to extend health care coverage to the unemployed. There is no money to support state governments, which are having to make vicious cuts to balance their own budgets. There is no money to create a federal jobs program."
Questions Raised About Role of Military Chaplains
John Lasker reports for Truthout: "While the US military continues to aggressively recruit Roman Catholic priests as chaplains, some Catholics question whether the military seeks priests as spiritual guides or as 'force-multipliers.' Within the US Armed Forces there are a large number of Catholics: of 1.2 million military personnel, nearly 400,000 are Catholic, not counting an estimated 800,000 dependents, according to Catholicmil.org, a Web site for chaplains and military personnel."
Our Human Rights vs. The Others
Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon.com: "Ten American Baptists were arrested two weeks ago in Haiti on charges that they exploited the chaos in that country by attempting to smuggle 33 young Haitian children across the border without permission -- either to bring them to a life of Christianity or (as some evidence suggests) to filter them into a child trafficking ring. National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez is deeply upset by the plight of at least one of the detained Americans, Jim Allen, whom she contends (based exclusively on his family's claims) is innocent. Lopez demands that the State Department do more to "insist" upon Allen's release, and -- most amazingly of all -- complains about the conditions of his detention. She has the audacity to cite a Human Rights Watch description of prison conditions in Haiti as "inhumane." Lopez complains that Allen
Read complete story at Talking Points Memo.
Revisionaries: How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
Mariah Blake reports for Washington Monthly: "Don McLeroy is a balding, paunchy man with a thick broom-handle mustache who lives in a rambling two-story brick home in a suburb near Bryan, Texas. When he greeted me at the door one evening last October, he was clutching a thin paperback with the skeleton of a seahorse on its cover, a primer on natural selection penned by famed evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. We sat down at his dining table, which was piled high with three-ring binders, and his wife, Nancy, brought us ice water in cut-crystal glasses with matching coasters. Then McLeroy cracked the book open. The margins were littered with stars, exclamation points, and hundreds of yellow Post-its that were brimming with notes scrawled in a microscopic hand. With childlike glee, McLeroy flipped through the pages and explained what he saw as the gaping holes in Darwin's theory. 'I don't care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,' he declared at one point. "Evolution is hooey." This bled into a rant about American history. "The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation," McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. 'But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan -- he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.'"
Republicans Send Out a ‘Census’ Form—That’s Really a Fundraiser
this "Census" form  in the mail last week. In big, bold letters at the top it announces, '2010 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CENSUS.' The form even has a 'Census Tracking Code.' But it's not from the Census Bureau."
Senate Republicans: Filibuster Everything to Win in November?
David Lightman reports for McClatchy Newspapers: "Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to limit and often derail Democrats' initiatives, paralyzing the Senate and making it nearly impossible to accomplish even the most routine matters. The filibuster strategy 'makes the Senate dysfunctional,' said Mark Strand, the president of the Congressional Institute, a nonpartisan research group. That, in turn, blocks the Obama administration's agenda, but it also sours public opinion on Washington, with polls showing clear public disdain for Congress in particular. Republicans think voters will reward them for that in November."
Money and Love
Cheryl Hudspeth writes for the Kansas Free Press: "The doorbell rang. Of course I was washing my hair and my husband was out in his man-cave. Forget it, I'm not answering the door. Of course then I was trying to figure out who had been at the door. Ah, its the day before Valentines. Hopefully, the flowers will be on the porch after I dry my hair."
A Union That Made Black History
Dick Meister writes for Truthout: "Few of the groups that we should honor during Black History Month are more deserving than the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a pioneering union that played a key role in the winning of equal rights for African-Americans."
Ralph Nader writes for CommonDreams.org: "A generation of Americans has grown up without a single nuclear power plant being brought on line since before the near meltdown of the Three Mile Island structure in 1979. They have not been exposed to the enormous costs, risks and national security dangers associated with their operations and the large amount of radioactive wastes still without a safe, permanent storage place for tens of thousands of years."
Indigenous Peoples Fight for Rights, Buoyed by New Report
Betwa Sharma reports for the GlobalPost: "Climate change isn't the only hazard described in the report entitled 'State of the World's Indigenous Peoples,' out this year. Its researchers find indigenous peoples trapped between the bottom rungs of all the main human development indexes like poverty, heath and education across 90 countries.... The startling revelation of the study is that while indigenous peoples make up around 370 million (5 percent) of the world’s population, they constitute around one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people."
Climate Change: The Day After Tomorrow Might Have Been Yesterday
Matthew Berger reports for Inter Press Service: "Dubbed the 'snowpocalypse' - or sometimes 'snowpocalypse II' in deference to the previous storm that blanketed Washington in December - the scenes on the streets this past week have actually seemed eerily post-apocalyptic. Silent, monochrome and empty, they have, for some, forebode a world in which no action is taken to stem the effects of climate change. Others, though, see the wintry landscape as undermining the direness - or even the reality - of the threat posed by climate change, which they prefer to refer to as global warming, thus underscoring what they see as the incongruences between the phenomenon and the snowy spell."
Should You Invest in a White Roof?
Kiera Butler writes for Mother Jones: "Common sense fashion advice: When the weather's warm, light colored clothes keep you cool. Recent studies have shown that the same is true for buildings: White roofs and roads reflect heat instead of absorbing it, reducing scorching summer temperatures in cities (cities are hotter than rural areas because of the "heat island effect")—and possibly even slowing global warming."
The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa
Kapya Kaoma reports for PublicEye.org: "For two days in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network's "Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals' Agenda." The seminar's very title revealed its claim: LGBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance."
Recommended Audio: BBC - Open Internet Under Threat in the US
The BBC reports: "The ability to access all websites easily could come under threat if internet service providers get their way in America. Critics of "net neutrality" - the principle that all web traffic is treated equally regardless of the type or origin - face opposition from some of the largest internet companies. President Obama has joined his voice to the debate in defence of an open web which does not discriminate when it comes to data."
The Information Super Sewer
Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig.com: "The Internet has become one more tool hijacked by corporate interests to accelerate our cultural, political and economic decline. The great promise of the Internet, to open up dialogue, break down cultural barriers, promote democracy and unleash innovation and creativity, has been exposed as a scam. The Internet is dividing us into antagonistic clans, in which we chant the same slogans and hate the same enemies, while our creative work is handed for free to Web providers who use it as bait for advertising."