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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

29 January - feedly - Weekend Edition

From Gary Null`s website. 2762 followers on Facebook. Add 1. I just ignored Red Web of Trust warnings as another example of how `Political Correctness` has hijacked online browsing safety as a cover and scam. Suggestions for a replacement still run foul of fake blacklisting possibilities.
  1. Reinstate The Glass-Steagall Act.
  2. Ban trading in commodities that are necessary to life:  Food, land, and water.
  3. Stop trading in credit default swaps and derivatives.
  4. Stop the Federal Reserve from giving any more no-interest loans to banks and corporations.
  5. Declare a moratorium on home foreclosures.
  6. Create a national food program to see that the 16 million hungry children in the US are fed.
  7. De-ghettoize America’s program of food distribution, bypassing corporations and working directly with communities.
  8. Create a program of reforestation, employing the youth to plant trees and hedge rows, and using skilled workers to repair bridges, levies, waterways and gas mains.
  9. Forgive all student late fees and cap all interest on student loans at 1%.
  10. Repeal the laws that prevent student loan holders from declaring bankruptcy.
  11. Support senior citizens with free community hospital service and food coops.
  12. Offer small businesses zero-interest loans with no repayment for 2 years providing that for each $1 million up to $5 million earned, the business hire 5 employees at a living wage of at least $20/hour.
  13. Close and decommission all nuclear plants and shift investment to support geothermal, solar, and wind energy.
  14. Ban all private funding of any election – take corporate money out of politics.
  15. Demilitarize our forces around the world and close military bases.
  16. Cease gas hydrofracking and all offshore drilling.
  17. Audit the Federal Reserve, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the CIA, reducing their budgets to what is actually necessary to protect America.
  18. Allow all corporations that cannot be maintained to go through structured bankruptcy instead of a bailout.
  19. Eliminate the entire income tax system.  Increase taxes on corporations with one payment and no deductions.  Institute a separate sales tax that states and cities implement.
  20. Begin an independent audit of every bureaucracy in America.
  21. Stop using the State Department to force Monsanto’s genetically engineered foods on other nations that we currently threaten with harm for resisting.
  22. Ban lobbying from State and Federal offices.
  23. Create a national health prevention program.
  24. Include in every school curriculum in America a program on disease prevention.
  25. Open up tent cities and halfway houses/camps for returning veterans.
  26. Acknowledge the dangers of depleted uranium in all conflict zones where we use it, inform the public in those areas of danger, and begin a plan for its removal.
  27. Include single payer health coverage under Medicare for the 55 million Americans who would qualify.
  28. Disband the FDA, USDA, National Institutes of Health, CDC, National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  Replace them with independent groups of scientists and oversight by lay citizen groups where any drug or food must be proven safe prior to approval.
  29. Allow no money to come from any special interest groups into any Federal agency.
  30.  Examine our failed:
War on drugs
War on poverty
War on cancer
War on aids
War on obesity
War on terror
    31. Examine the overdiagnosing and drugging of our children.

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If you have not seen our latest documentary "Death by Medicine," Please do so. It is one of the most honored documentaries in the world in 2011. - see the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPNDL4M4qC4 

Study: The Brains of Storytellers And Their Listeners Actually Sync Up

You may be talking and I may be listening, but our brains look strikingly similar.
That’s the conclusion of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. After conducting brain scans of a woman telling a story off the cuff and then of 11 people listening to a recording of her, researchers Greg Stephens and Uri Hasson say they found that the same parts of the brains showed activation at the same time, suggesting a deep connection between talker and listener.
Graduate student Lauren Silbert was the team’s storytelling guinea pig. She recounted tales of high school, like deciding whom to take to prom, while undergoing an fMRI scan.
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Forget SOPA, Hollywood Already Had a Field Day with the Justice System

I Guess We Have Google’s Answer: Search Results Are No Longer Sacred

Hollywood is Dead. Long Live Hollywood.

Weekend Edition Feed your mind

Mitt Voted For Massachusetts Democrat
It could be the issue that decides the nomination! "GOP rivals make cases to Hispanics in Florida" January 28, 2012|By Glen JohnsonYesterday, Gingrich began running an ad in Florida criticizing Romney’s explanation during Thursday’s debate of his vote for Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary. Romney undercut his credibility when he tried to distance himself from that vote by
Eight Sea Lions Found Shot to Death in Washington
Someone is killing sea lions near Seattle -- though it's not the first time.
New Study Reveals How Aluminium Promotes Cancer Growth
Activist Post Andrew Puhanic, Contributing Writer Activist Post We are all unwillingly exposed to a range of cancer-causing chemicals and substances every day. One substance that the globalists and government don’t want you know about that could be causing you considerable harm and health problems is aluminium. The fact is most people are exposed to aluminium on a daily basis. Very little is publi


U.S. Defense Department can’t account for billions for Iraq, audit finds
CNN By Josh Levs The U.S. Defense Department cannot account for about $2 billion it was given to cover Iraq-related expenses and is not providing Iraq with a complete list of U.S.-funded reconstruction projects, according to two new government audits. The reports come from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The Iraqi government in 2004 gave the Department of Defen
Bill Gates Warns Countries Need To Embrace GMOs Or Citizens Will Starve
UK Progressive Entrenched in action and always on the front lines of saving the world and feeding the hungry, Bill Gates gets right to the “root” of solving the world’s food shortage by putting his money where his friends at the Rockefeller Foundation tell him to. This week, The Associated Press reported Bill Gates believes “Countries can embrace modern seed technology and genetic modification or


Day 9 – The “C” word
Damn, I'm like halfway out of the state. The Tread-Desk Diaries, Day 9 Miles walked – 7.3 Speed – 2.2 Incline – 3% Total miles – 43.8 OK, so I bumped my mileage goal up toe six a day this week, and I’ve been cracking seven the last couple of days. Here’s the thing. My daughter’s home, and she’s a delicate little princess who can’t stand the thermostat being down at 65, so she keeps turning it
At the risk of getting blogged down . . .
In my period costume Yesterday, I did the office tour, which brought up the treadmill desk thing again, which got me thinking. And not happy thoughts. See, the treadmill desk, when I first set that up, I was walking my ass off. Literally. Dropped close to twenty pounds in the first few months.  And then?  Shit happened, life intervened, inertia set in. For whatever reason, I got out of the habit.
A tour of the word factory
  The desk and The Writer Gym Guess there’s some kind of web meme going ’round, all us writer types are supposed to show off our offices.  John Hornor Jacobs started it. Yes, THE John Hornor Jacobs – author of the acclaimed SOUTHERN GODS, the soon-to-be-acclaimed THIS DARK EARTH,  an upcoming YA trilogy. The man has more book deals than Carters has liver pills. Don’t know what that means, exa
From little big man to big little man and the lessons learned
Over at Shotgun Honey, Thomas Pluck has a wrenching short vignette on bullying.  It’s short – go give it a read. I can wait . . . Great, huh? So here’s the deal. Tom’s coughing up five bucks to an anti-bullying organization for every comment you leave over at Shotgun Honey. Make him pay. I’ll tell you what. Leave a comment here and I’ll cough up five bucks, too. Thing is, I know bullying. I starte

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Citizens United: A Tsunami of Secret Corporate Campaign Cash is Drowning Our Democracy
http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.1326407570.html (Photo: JasonUnbound / Flickr) Truthout Saturday 21 January 2012 by: Isaiah J. Poole , Campaign for America’s Future | News Analysis Today is the two-year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. Since then, our democracy
Pawlenty Defends Unlimited Campaign Donations As Citizens United Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary
Think Progress-  By Scott Keyes and Travis Waldron  on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down longstanding restrictions on corporate money in American elections, paving the way for super PACs and major third party spending. Since January 21, 2009, the Citizens United case has had a major effect on money in politics. Already in this year’s Republican president

The EnvironmentaList
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Some Biofuels Are As Dirty As Tar Sands Oil, Shows Leaked EU Data
The Difficult Task of Distinguishing Good and Bad Biofuels Remains Essential
Feed 9 Billion People, Cut Out the Food Waste
Improving Food System Efficiency Shouldn’t be Hard
Obama Administration to Appeal WTO Decision Against Dolphins
Mexico Is Seeking to Overturn the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna
State of the Union Speech Poses Major Challenge to Fracking Opponents
Natural Gas Looks to Have Bi-Partisan Establishment Support
Long Beach Wetlands Survive a Proposed $320 Million Development Project
Developers’ Classic Jobs vs. Environment Argument Fails to Convince City Council
Risking Our Environment and Health to Burn a Few More Years of Natural Gas
US Energy Dept Cuts Marcellus Shale Gas Reserve Estimates by 66%

The Corbett Report
54 unread articles
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Beyond SOPA: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship
By James Corbett grtv.ca 29 January, 2012 When legislators in the US abandoned their support of SOPA and PIPA in the wake of mass popular protest earlier this month, many of those who had been mobilized by the legislation–which would have granted the US government almost total power to block access to foreign websites accused of so much as linking to copyrighted material–did not have long to enjoy
Episode 216 – Who’s Gaming Who?
Science-fiction fantasy is becoming mundane reality and video games are increasingly merging with 21st century combat. The DoD recruits youth through traveling arcade exhibitions and new recruits are just as likely to end up behind a keyboard as behind enemy lines. What does this mean for the future of our predictively programmed world, and should we be worried. Find out more in this week’s editio
Corbett Report Radio 059 – Solutions: Monetary Reform
In search of solutions to our economic woes, tonight we dip into the corbettreport.com archives for past interviews, episodes and videos of The Corbett Report featuring ideas for getting out of this economic mess. From the Cook plan to public banking, the gold standard and the demystification of sound/fiat money, tonight’s broadcast looks at competing answers to our money problems. Works Cited: Ho
Corbett Report Radio 058 – Presidential Assassinations and Food World Order
The Atlanta Jewish Times has published an op-ed suggesting that Netanyahu might have to order the Mossad to kill an “unfriendly” US President…so where’s the outcry? Find out on this episode of Corbett Report Radio as we run down the headlines and traverse the Food World Order with James Evan Pilato. Works Cited: Israeli Assassinations and American Presidents Copy of Atlanta Jewish Times op-ed Shoc
New World Next Week – 2012/01/26
Welcome to the 100th episode of http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story#1: Who Knew What When? The Fukushima Saga Continues http://ur1.ca/7spje Calgary Sun: Fukushima fallout hit home http://ur1.ca/7sx0o Story#2: Nine Dead, Hostages Saved – SEAL Team
Interview 456 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato
Welcome to the 100th episode of http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story#1: Who Knew What When? The Fukushima Saga Continues http://ur1.ca/7spje Calgary Sun: Fukushima fallout hit home http://ur1.ca/7sx0o Story#2: Nine Dead, Hostages Saved – SEAL Team


Transitions: Altmuslim joins Patheos
Brace yourself for some good change: altmuslim is joining the Patheos family. Before Illume, before Islamicity added news and essays to its site, before Beliefnet and later Patheos and Huffington Post Religion created robust Islam sections and/or expanded their coverage of Muslims, there was altmuslim, the cutting-edge website created by Halalfire Network founder Shahed Amanullah. The website was
Confronting extremism: Mind over jihad
The US has taken an initiative to spread the counter-extremist message across Pakistan to prevent the breeding of extremism and to deradicalize militants who were completely taken by the jihadist ideology, which is a tough battle because Pakistan is, perhaps, the only country where the state, with funding from U.S. and Saudi Arabia, financed and trained jihadis to fight Soviet Russia and did nothi
Remembering MLK: Why my daughter should have MLK day off
The fact that my daughter's Islamic school does not take MLK day off bothers me. All Islamic schools, except perhaps those established by African-American Muslims, have been built by Muslims who have immigrated to this country from abroad. They, even more than many African-Americans themselves, have benefited from the struggles of the civil rights movement. But for brave Americans like Dr. Martin
Social change in 2012: After the revolution
The temperatures plummeted to sub-zero in Anchorage, Alaska, in November 2011, but that did not deter the protesters who had gathered to occupy Town Square. They stayed, rotating shifts to ensure that their encampment was never left unoccupied. In the city of Fairbanks, members of the Occupy movement who stayed stalwart even as temperatures dipped to minus 40 insisted that they had to remain to sh

Green & White
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Food Connection Pakistan
I happened to be in Quetta on a business trip last month with no idea of where to dine alone. Being a typical Lahoriite, a die-hard food lover, it matters to me that I try the best food of the place I visit. So this is where FCPakistan came to my rescue. I simply logged in, typed in my desired specifications and got atleast 5 suggestions. The listing included their opening times, specific faciliti
FourQuants.com Jawwad Farid’s new venture
If you have any thing to do with entrepreneurship, its impossible you have not come across Jawwad Farid either in person or in virtual world of his blogs and judging different events realting to startups in Pakistan.  He is also the author of Reboot which we reviewed a while back. Jawwad has been writing on Finance, Risk and Treasury for some time now on learning corporate finance. I guess that h
OLX Pakistan Investing heavily in advertisement
OLX is a global online retailer and auction site. They have an impressive footprint in a little less than 100 countries, each with their own specific domain (like .pk for Pakistan and .in for India). In Pakistan they have been operating under olx.com.pk for some time with people using it to sell things online. Recently they have started advertising heavily on Television, a medium seldom used by on
TiE, All Asia Business Plan Competition
Round 1 of TiE is about to reach its completion on 22nd of Jan, 2012 at Marriott, Islamabad in which ten teams will participate. Four teams will be shortlisted for the level 2. I also had the opportunity to participate in TiE All Asia Business Plan Competition 2012 along with my team members in the first few stages of level 1. Although we didn’t have the chance to go beyond stage1 but just partici


“Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody,” by Joshua Landis
Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody Joshua Landis For Bitterlemons January 26, 2012 Edition 4 The Syrian regime headed by Bashar Assad is doomed in the long run, but is likely to last longer than most believe. In December, the leader of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood stated that President Assad would fall “in the next few months”, the US State Department proclaimed A
Analyzing the largest Syria crisis Facebook polls, by Camille Otrakji
Analyzing the largest Syria crisis Facebook polls, by Camille Otrakji Originally appeared on Creativesyria’s “The Syria Page” blog   Several Facebook polls on the Syrian crisis have been conducted over the past year, eliciting widespread responses among Syrian and Arab Facebook users. While sample sizes vary, many are much larger than regular online polls thereby ensuring representativeness of the
Syria Rejects Arab League Request that Assad Step Aside
Syria rejected an Arab League proposal calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down and advanced elections to form a “national unity government.” The Arab League plan results from the deep divisions within the Arab League about how to deal with Syria. Firm action is prevented by the split between the two main camps within the League. The Iraq, Algeria, and Lebanon camp does not want to see f
Zabadani Ceasefire Collapses, as fighting spreads
The cease fire in Zabadani has collapsed due to government strikes on the city, reports Brian Whitaker of the Guardian. Earlier the BBC announced that the Syrian army ‘agrees to ceasefire in Zabadani’, which had been reported by Radwan Ziadeh in the US. There was some excitement about the cease-fire development when it was first announced because it suggests that the Syrian military is overwhelmed

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AQ Khan and India at CEIP
A fun time was had by all yesterday morning at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, DC,  where I presented my research on AQ Khan and his fourth customer. (Well, perhaps there might have been a few stony faces out there.) George Perkovich moderated. I’m grateful for all of his compliments, starting with the invitation itself. There was an overflow crowd. It was a rare treat to see a classroom’s w
North Korea’s Leadership Transition and Proliferation
The journal Asia Policy has published a “book review roundtable” with essays about Jonathan Pollack’s excellent book No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security, followed by a response essay from Pollack The Elder.  I contributed one of the essays, as did  Toby Dalton, Sue Terry, and Sung-Yoon Lee. Both Toby and I raised a similar question about the possibility of politics in
Prime Ministers and Army Chiefs
Pakistani and Indian politics baffle me, even after two decades of watching. You can’t keep track of the players, even with a scorecard, because they change positions so often. In Pakistan, jockeying for power used to be a triangular affair among the Army Chief, Prime Minister and President. Now the Supreme Court, feeling its oats after hastening Pervez Musharraf’s exit, has become a fourth aspiri
Thérèse Delpech
Sad news today, as Bruno Tertrais has emailed me to say that Thérèse Delpech, doyenne of the French strategic studies community, has passed away. The last time I saw Thérèse, my wife and I were standing at the TGV station in Avignon, trying to figure out how to purchase a ticket with a North American credit card.  (We ended up stealing the short ride to Aix.) We found ourselves in Avignon after t
AQ Khan and India: So What?
In a postscript of sorts to a recent debate in Australia over the supply of uranium to India, blogger and political scientist NAJ Taylor approvingly cites my recent article on the A.Q. Khan network and its fourth customer, and draws a rather strong conclusion: In a large part, Pollack has assembled evidence that makes public what may already be known to investigators – although Pollack’s article w
Space Code of Conduct Advances
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement that the Obama administration will lend its support to international efforts to craft a Code of Conduct for responsible space-faring nations is welcome news. The fourth year of a presidential term is not the best time to announce an important diplomatic initiative, but the administration has had its hands full with nuclear negotiations and deadline

An Open Letter From A Black Woman
I hurt myself today. I was on Twitter talking about rape culture & this triggering victim blaming post at VSB. And it triggered the hell out of me so I’m just going to say up front that this is coming from that place. See, I said the things I needed to say, but now I have to say something else & it is too long for twitter. And although I am directing this specifically to black men, overal
I Will Believe That Piracy Hurts Hollywood When Hollywood Stops Making Bad Films
The reason the entertainment industry’s support of SOPA / PIPA and stance on piracy and the market angers and annoys me is that they are trying to sell us the idea that millions is being lost along with jobs. Have you ever seen the pre-movie commercials where the Best Boy Grip or the Stunt Coordinator try to convince us that pirates are stealing food from their babies mouths? Horrible, right? Thi
How To Write About Black Women
First, state your credentials. It’s okay to be a woman, but not a black woman. Their lived experiences are immaterial and can be dismissed as merely anecdotal. Make it clear that you are not racist or sexist, you are merely concerned about their plight. What plight? Well, pick one. Or several. Marriage, children, lack of the above, too much education, not enough education, welfare, whatever you t
Dear White Women Who Think You Mean Well,
I’m about to get in my feelings as a black mother about this bullshit unsolicited advice to Blue Ivy Carter. I freely admit that I do not give even a tiny bit of a fuck about whatever literary conceits are about to be defended as part of justifying it. Because this letter was not written in a vacuum. This letter was not written out f any genuine concern for her health or safety. This letter was l

The End of the Road: The Infrastructurist’s Last Post
It is with a heavy heart that we announce that The Infrastructurist has come to the end of the road and will cease to publish today. When we launched the site in 2009, we sought to train a spotlight on Read more ›
Rush-Hour Read: What’s the Outlook for Smart Buildings in 2012?
As companies and individuals become ever-more cognizant of energy costs as they try to save money and help the environment, The Infrastructurist recently spoke with Dave Bartlett, IBM’s vice president of its Smarter Buildings division to get his take on Read more ›
The Daily Dig: After a Good 2011, Will the U.S. Auto Sector Stay Strong in 2012?
• America’s big three automakers reported on Wednesday that their sales last year were the best since the financial crisis started, but they face increased challenges this year as more foreign competition enter the U.S. market. (NYT) (AP) • In Read more ›
The Daily Dig: Is California’s High-Speed Rail Project Financially Feasible?
• A state expert panel said in a report on Tuesday that it could not find funding sources to pay for California’s high-speed rail plan, estimated to cost $98.5 billion, and urged the state legislature to exercise caution in approving Read more ›

Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round-Up–I Was Going To Write More, But Decided To Go To Galveston Instead
Here is  the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas. Often I post some additional Texas related political or historical material with the round-up. However, I’m going to go to Galveston instead later this morning so that I can take walk along the sunn
As Houston Skyline Shows, No Conflict Exists Between Being Connected And Apart
In bright sunshine, objects are all under the same light while also standing quite distinctly from one another. Since metaphor gives form to solid things, this may be the case solely to show that we can acknowledge what we hold in common while existing quite clearly on our own. To hell with all that rugged individualist propaganda we are fed to help make the powerful even more powerful. As shown
Two Great Web Resources Of American History And Culture—Everybody Has The Ability To Learn And To Act
While much of what is on the web is junk, there are some great resources for folks who want to use their discretionary time effectively. C-SPAN has a full archive of all its programming over the years. One thing I find of value at the C-SPAN site is the Booknotes page. Booknotes was a weekly interview program that ran each week for a number of years. The most recent interview I listened to was one
USDA Map Reflects A Warmer Nation—Unless You Think The Weather Itself Is Part Of The Plot
The United States Department of Agriculture has updated the map it issues to help gardeners across the nation determine what they can plant. Because the nation is getting warmer, people are now able to plant various flowers and trees in parts of the country that before would have not been hospitable to such a wide range of plantings. Above you see the map. Here is the link to the USDA site that h
State Of The Union Another Reminder That It Is Up To Each Of Us To Act—You Can’t Just Sit And Watch Stuff
I just watched the State of the Union address. Here is a brief history of the State of the Union address from the website of the U.S. House of Representatives. (Above–1963 State of the Union. President Kennedy is addressing Congress. Behind Mr. Kennedy is Vice President Lyndon Johnson on the left and House Speaker John McCormack on the right. The Miller Center at the University of Virgina is a gr
Single Payer Health Care Advocacy Conference Being Held In Houston On Jan. 28
Here is an event relating to single payer health care that is being held in Houston later this week.  My comrade Perry Dorrell at the great Texas political blog Brains & Eggs has a list of a number of hopeful liberal and progressive events taking place in Houston over the next few days. Healthcare-NOW! National Single Payer Strategy Conference in Houston WHAT: Over 120 Representatives fro

Tear Gas, Flash Grenades, Rubber Bullets and Mass Arrests Used Against Occupy Oakland
UPDATE (11:05 PM PST): There is a report of approximately 300 arrests today in Oakland.INITIAL POST: I was out all day, and don't know how things got to this point. At the time of this post, 7:30 PM PST, the Oakland Police Department is in the process of arresting about 100 people that have been kettled in front of the YMCA building in the downtown area near Oscar Grant Plaza. Apparently, there
Franz Walsch Takes the Fall at firedoglake
As some of the longtime visitors to this blog know, I am a fan of the films of the 1970s and early 1980s German director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder aspired to show us the world as it is in order to encourage us to create a better one. He was personally inspired by his identification with the character of Franz Biberkopf in Alfred Doblin's 1920s novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Biberkopf
Franz B. Takes the Fall at firedoglake
As some of the longtime visitors to this blog know, I am a fan of the films of the 1970s and early 1980s German director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder aspired to show us the world as it is in order to encourage us to create a better one. He was personally inspired by his identification with the character of Franz Biberkopf in Alfred Doblin's 1920s novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz. Biberkopf
The 2012 Election and the Evolution of Political Protest
One of the most striking aspects of the 2012 electoral process is the fact that much of the public has realized that it has nothing to do with real issues of concern. It is now generally recognized as a form of social entertainment. It is, in short, a spectacle, one designed to give a facade of legitimacy to the governance of a country under the control of transnational elites. One pays attenti
War with Iran?
UPDATE: From a CNN report: The lives of ordinary Iranians have been deeply touched by the Western sanctions. Several spoke to CNN about how they are coping with staggering inflation and a plunging national currency, although none felt comfortable being fully identified, fearful of the Islamic Republic's long reach into private lives.Farhad, 47, was once comfortable, but things began sliding downhi
Ustreaming Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
Yesterday, Officer Ali of the San Francisco Police Department decided to club pfailblog, one of the ustreamers of the Occupy Wall Street West actions: This is not something that happens by accident, a consequence of the turbulent emotions associated with political protest in a contentious urban setting like San Francisco. As elsewhere, like New York City, for example, the police know the livestre


We must stay bound by the "shackles of the human rights court".
Despite the briefing it received in advance, David Cameron's speech to the Council of Europe on reforming the European Court of Human Rights was fairly tame stuff. With the exception of his promotion of a "sunset clause", which it has been rightly pointed out could result in a denial of justice, the exact thing the ECHR is meant to prevent, it certainly wasn't the "savaging" the Sun described it
Number crunching.
£963,000 - The bonus awarded to Stephen Hester, Royal Bank of Scotland's CEO37 - Under the government's proposed benefits cap of £26,000, the number of families his bonus could provide the whole amount for
Scum-watch: Promoting the lies of a "Walter Mitty" character.
The Sun, like most of the rest of the press, today notes the conviction of a certain Leonard Watters:A JOBLESS dance teacher has been sentenced to six months in jail for falsely accusing X Factor judge Louis Walsh of groping him in a nightclub.Leonard Watters, 24, admitted making two false reports to police that the music mogul sexually assaulted him in Dublin nightspot Krystle.Father-of-two Watte
Something must break - again.
Politics at the moment seems to be even more a mess of contradictions than it ordinarily is. Just take a look at the current opinion polls - by rights, the Conservatives ought to be in deep trouble. Today's GDP figures for the last quarter all but vindicate the position of Ed Balls and Labour, that cutting too far and too fast would choke off the recovery. With the cuts not really beginning in
Ever wondered what happened to Sarah Palin?
No.(Apologies as ever for the lack of proper blogging today.)

India behind Tibetan Insurgency
By Lt Col Zaheerul Hassan (R) Police in China shot dead more protesters on January 24 and 25 this year in Tibetan-inhabited regions as unrest spread to some other areas. China’s Sichuan province, which has big ethnic populations, has been rocked by violent clashes. The new spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhist monks and successor of Dalai Lama, Lobsang Sangay, head of the India-based Tibetan govern
India’s Military Adventure against China
By Sajjad Shaukat In the mid of October, 2011, as part of its second phase of military expansion against China, Indian government has given the go-ahead for the deployment of BrahMos cruise missiles in Arunachal Pradesh along the Chinese border. Although India and China agreed to avoid flare-ups along their border on January 17 this year, yet despite the 15 round of talks, the issue still remains
The Year of Balochistan
By Sajjad Shaukat Taking cognizance of the deteriorating situation of Pakistan’s largest province, Pakistan’s rulers and political leaders are focusing their attention on Balochistan as they expect elections this year. In this regard, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared 2012 the ‘Year of Balochistan.’ While in his address to a rally, Imran Khan apologized to the Baloch people for the na
New Era of Pak-Russia Relations
By Sajjad Shaukat There are no permanent friends and enemies in international politics because friendship and enmity change in accordance with the states’ interests which are of primary importance. There are no permanent friends and enemies in international politics because friendship and enmity change in accordance with the states’ interests which are of primary importance. In this regard, after
IS Pak Army A Necessary Evil?
  By Sajjad Shaukat It is in response to the article of Rabia Ahmed, published in ‘Pakistan Today’ on January 16, 2012 under the caption, Why this army? In her illogical criticism of Pakistan Army, Rabia Ahmed has also shown contradictory approach. At the same time, she has, in other words, realized that army should exist, but rejected its need. In this regard, in the article, while expressing vie
Yellow Journalism over Saleem Shahzad Murder
By Lt Col Zaheerul Hassan (R) Finally, on January 13, 2012  Ministry for Information and Broadcasting released the report of a judicial commission investigating the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad whose body was found last year on May 31 near Rasul Head works in Mandi Bahauddin, 80 miles south-east of Pakistan’s  capital Islamabad. In this connection some local media anchors toed the Western l



Saturday Morning Jump
Filed under: Eros, La Musica
Friday Night Feat
Filed under: Eros, La Musica
When Man Meets Mouse
University of Chicago scientists found that for rats “the value of freeing a trapped cagemate is on par with that of accessing chocolate chips”; Duke University’s Bilbo Lab found that ratlings who are intensively touched by their mothers are better able to resist morphine later in life. Mice genetically engineered to suffer cleft palates were genetically cured, mice bred into alcoholism for forty
To Be Born Again
Filed under: Into The Light, La Musica
Star Bound
This time something had told Tom to try going westward. West was a good direction, he figured. You head for the sunset, maybe you can walk right off the edge into the stars. —Robert Silverberg, Tom O’Bedlam Filed under: Into The Light, Wyrds
My arm is in a sling. It was my turn to beat Mrs. Drew and in my excitement I pulled a muscle in my forearm. I should make more of an effort to control my emotions. —Kenneth Patchen, The Journal of Albion Moonlight Even in the 19th Century too many Europeans persisted in the belief that kings and queens and such were somehow some higher order of human. Floating still as a derelict on the waters of


We Haven't Had a Photo In a While
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, looking more or less north (maybe northwest) from near Georgia O'Keeffe's house.
Bits and Pieces - January 26, 2012
Here's an article with some helpful information about those experiments on air-transmissible H5N1 influenza virus. Dr. Yoshiro Kawaoka, one of the two scientists whose laboratories produced the viruses, says that the virus his laboratory produced is not highly lethal. But I still don't agree that all the information should be freely available to everyone. I'm not worried so much about terrorists a
The Big Reveal
John Cole of Balloon Juice has posted a photo of himself.
Just Wondering
As I read Ronen Bergman's piece in the New York Times, the latest breathless exposition of why Israel's leaders want Armageddon, I'm wondering how much Mossad contributed to the breathless expectation of WMD in Iraq. That's q, not n.A rant on Bergman's useful idiocy and more links at Nuclear Diner.
( I noted Israeli comments hyping the WMD threat years ago - but wrote it off to ever increasing  media manipulation leaping bounds of mere nationhood )
Bits and Pieces - January 23, 2012
There was a gigantic solar flare a few days ago, and those who live further north are seeing some wonderful auroras. Here's a photo gallery. (h/t to RG)Once diseases have disappeared because of vaccines, it's all too easy to believe that the hazards are mainly in the vaccines. President Obama's proposed reorganization of business-oriented departments would remove the National Oceanic and Atmospher
Bits and Pieces - January 16, 2012
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