15,000 Progressive Activists in Detroit: Why No Media or Respect?
Sally Kohn reports for AlterNet: "It’s not surprising that the mainstream media is paying little attention to the 15,000-plus community organizers and progressive activists gathered in Detroit, Michigan this week for the second United States Social Forum. After all, the center-left political establishment isn’t paying attention either."
Big Banks Escape Toughest Limits in New Regulation Bill
Wall Street 'Reform' in a Nutshell: The Politicians Lied, Media Applauded, and We Americans Will Suffer
Dylan Ratigan writes for AlterNet: "The same Washington spinsters who have driven our country into the ground seemed to be out in full force on Friday, claiming that their latest policy "victory" is the most "sweeping change" of our financial regulatory since the Great Depression. Actually, it is nothing more than window dressing."
More Stimulus Needed to Reduce Unemployment
Mark Weisbrot writes for The Center for Economic and Policy Research: "It is sad to see that the U.S. Congress is having trouble even passing just $24 billion for unemployment insurance at a time when the economy is weak and unemployment is at nearly 10 percent. This shows the power of right-wing ideology in this country: Even the simplest, smallest and most obvious steps to relieve economic misery can be held back."
Hands Off Social Security: There Are Better Ways to Cut the National Debt
Photo: Scott Nolan Smith
America Detached from War
Tom Engelhardt writes for TomDispatch: "Admittedly, before George W. Bush had his fever dream, the U.S. had already put its first unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drone surveillance planes in the skies over Kosovo in the late 1990s. By November 2001, it had armed them with missiles and was flying them over Afghanistan. In November 2002, a Predator drone would loose a Hellfire missile on a car in Yemen, a country with which we weren’t at war. Six suspected al-Qaeda members, including a suspect in the bombing of the destroyer the USS Cole would be turned into twisted metal and ash -- the first “targeted killings” of the American robotic era."
5 Million Iraqis Killed, Maimed, Tortured, Displaced -- Think That Bothers War Boosters Like Christopher Hitchens?
The Runaway General
Michael Hastings writes for Mother Jones: "How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Since McChrystal took over a year ago, the Afghan war has become the exclusive property of the United States. Opposition to the war has already toppled the Dutch government, forced the resignation of Germany's president and sparked both Canada and the Netherlands to announce the withdrawal of their 4,500 troops. McChrystal is in Paris to keep the French, who have lost more than 40 soldiers in Afghanistan, from going all wobbly on him. "
Firing McChrystal Isn’t Enough. Fire the War.
cover-up of the killing by his own troops of Pat Tillman, the NFL star who became an Army Ranger. McChrystal falsified the documents that lied to Tillman’s family. 'The false narrative, which McChrystal clearly helped construct, diminished Pat’s true action,' Tillman’s mother, Mary, wrote." Photo: Bradley A. Lail/U.S. Air Force
Fred Kaplan writes for Slate.com: "McChrystal is out, Petraeus is in. Civilian authority is reasserted, with no real compromise to the military mission. Good news, masterfully played. Now what? Or, to put it more crudely, so what? Yes, Gen. David Petraeus, who will be taking over command of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, is a brilliant soldier, one of the rare and true strategic thinkers in the military today. But the description also matches Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the man Petraeus is replacing."
Into the Valley of Death Rode the... 15?
Sebastian Junger—he of “A Perfect Storm” and currently the author of the best-selling “War,” which draws on the same material as the film—and the well-known combat photographer Tim Hetherington. Together and separately they visited the outpost 10 times, for stays of up to a month in duration." Photo: National Geographic Films / Tim Hetherington
Gutting Public Education: Neoliberalism and the Politics of Opportunism
Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Kevin Steele, fling93
Teach Media Literacy
Jarred Keller writes for The Atlantic: "In the Internet age of unlimited information, clear truths and facts are often in short supply, a problem frequently exacerbated by performers in the blogosphere and the 24-hour news cycle. Not only has the participatory net led to a surge of sites, aggregators, and blogs espousing different ideologies or values, but rampant competition among them to be your most trusted source in news. "
Obama Making BP Pay Is Good Government, and That's Why Republicans and the Corporate Media Are Freaking Out
Joshua Holland writes for AlterNet: "Last week, the nation witnessed an act of good governance when the Obama administration put the full-court press on oil giant BP to set aside $20 billion in assets to compensate the thousands of Americans whose livelihoods -- and in some cases, lives -- are being devastated by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. It was an example of exactly what government is supposed to do; whatever it can, within the limits of the law, to protect its citizens’ interests. "
Gulf Oil Spill's Wildlife Toll: Sharks Near Shore, Turtles Incinerated
Patrik Jonsson reports for The Christian Science Monitor: "A sunbathing family spots a beached baby dolphin covered in oil from the Gulf oil spill. The family tries to scrape off the oil until a wildlife officer, jaw hard-set, carries it to shore. On its way to a sea mammal rescue center in Panama City, the dolphin dies."
Documents Show Vast Cleanup of Plum Island Land
Photo: AP Photo/USDA-ARS
Save the Trees, Save the Planet
Joe Conason writes for Truthdig.com: "What would the wealthy nations of the West (and their rising rivals in the East) do if they actually wanted to prevent catastrophic warming? Here in Africa, the obvious answer is that they would find the ways and means to discourage deforestation—the ruinous practice of clear-cutting for timber, charcoal and arable land that accounts for at least 20 percent of the atmospheric carbon burden. Save the trees, and you might just save the planet."
100,000 Americans Die Each Year from Prescription Drugs, While Pharma Companies Get Rich
Daniela Perdomo reports for AlterNet: "How many people do you know who regularly use a prescription medication? If your social group is like most Americans', the answer is most. Sixty-five percent of the country takes a prescription drug these days. In 2005 alone, we spent $250 billion on them. I recently caught up with Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds, an in-depth look at the pharmaceutical companies that have taken the reins of our faltering health care system by cleverly hawking every kind of drug imaginable. We discussed how this powerful industry has our health in its hands."
Supreme Court on R-71: Names on Petitions Can Be Made Public
Chris Grygiel reports for the Seattle PI: "The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the names of people who signed petitions in an attempt to overturn a new gay rights law in Washington could be made public, a victory for state officials who said the case was a test of open government laws. Justices ruled 8-1 in a case called Doe V. Reed. Only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented. They heard oral arguments in Washington, D.C., April 28. The ruling dealt broadly with claims by foes of the new gay rights law that disclosing their names would violate their First Amendment rights. However the justices said the plaintiffs could go back to a lower court to try to get a specific exemption on other grounds - and the chief lawyer for people who signed the Referendum 71 petitions said he would do so.
Will President Obama Abandon the Open Internet?
holding closed-door meetings with Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Google that could pave the way for a corporate takeover of the Internet by curtailing our ability to speak online."
Internet 'Kill Switch' Approved By Senate Homeland Security Committee
Bianca Posker reports for the Huffington Post: "The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has approved a cybersecurity bill, Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (PCNAA), that would give the president far-reaching authority over the Internet in the case of emergency. As The Hill explains, the bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Tom Carper, would give the president "emergency authority to shut down private sector or government networks in the event of a cyber attack capable of causing massive damage or loss of life." The original bill granted the president the authority to "indefinitely" shut down networks, but an amendment to the PCNAA, approved yesterday, mandates that the president "get Congressional approval after controlling a network for 120 days."
Former Government Officials Hired to Lobby as Congress Looks to Rewrite Telecom Law
Paul Blumenthal writes for the Sunshine Foundation: "As leaders in Congress announced a series of hearings this June to tackle huge telecommunications issues with a focus on the Internet, the top phone and cable organizations that control the majority of the access to the Internet have hired 276 former government officials to lobby both the Congress and the executive branch. According to data obtained from lobbyist disclosure forms and the Center for Responsive Politics, seventy-two percent of the lobbyists hired by AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the US Telecom Association have previous government experience. These organizations combined to spend $20.6 million lobbying the federal government in the first quarter of 2010."
FCC Stops Comcast-NBCU Shot Clock Again
Rolling Stone McChrystal Profile: The End of Fly-on-the-Wall Reporting?
derogatory towel-snapping mockery that cost McChrystal his Afghan command was often depicted as less of a mistake than his naiveté in cooperating with a magazine profile-writer."
Who Is Attending These "Secret" FCC Net Neutrality Meetings?
Matthew Lasar writes for Ars Technica: "Anger and confusion remains high over these private "back door" meetings that the Federal Communications Commission has been holding with various "stakeholders" regarding its proposed open Internet rules. Reform groups are still up in arms over the Tuesday gatherings, which appear to have focused on a legislative solution to the problem. Congress, it should be noted, is exploring rewriting the Communications Act in response to the current FCC logjam on the issue."
Industry-Funded Study Wrong (Again) on Net Neutrality and Investment
Moira Vahey writes for Free Press: "This week an industry-funded study from New York Law School generated some misleading news about Network Neutrality and broadband investment. Though we have shown over and over again that Net Neutrality will boost innovation and economic growth and spark job creation, we know all too well that Telco lobbies and industry groups would have us believe that the FCC’s plan to bring Americans universal affordable broadband and protect the open Internet is somehow bad for business."