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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, June 24, 2012

24 June - Late Links

Week Ending June 22, 2012

Readers' Choice / Most Read Views...
  1. John Atcheson: Dark Ages Redux: American Politics and the End of the Enlightenment
  2. Robert Reich: Corporations Have Feelings (A Short Story by the GOP)
  3. George Monbiot: The Earth Cannot Be Saved by Hope and Billionaires
  4. Zoe Weil: An Open Thank You Letter to Teachers
  5. Chris Hedges: Occupy Will Be Back
  6. Nikolas Kozloff: Endgame for Assange? The Politics Behind Ecuador’s Asylum Offer
  7. Robert Scheer: In Health Care, Give the People What They Want: Medicare for All
  8. Richard Schiffman: The Most Anti-Environment Congress in History: Here's the Record
  9. Peter Edelman: Low-Wage Nation: Poverty and Inequality Are Threatening Our Democracy
  10. Joe Brewer: The REAL Reason Conservatives Always Win

 Readers' Choice / Most Read News...
Pelosi: We 'Could Have Arrested Karl Rove... But We Didn't' Pelosi charges House Oversight and Government Reform Committee with playing politics in vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Article here...
Obama Lifts Veil of Secrecy on US Wars in Yemen Obama openly described ‘direct action’ – military operations – in both Yemen and Somalia.
Article here...
Change.org Drops Michelle Rhee Group Under Pressure From Progressives The move comes after intense pressure from the labor movement and other progressive allies.
Article here...
Furious Greenpeace Moves to 'War Footing' at Rio+20 Kumi Naidoo: Negotiators at the Rio+20 sustainable development conference have watered down proposals to protect the world's oceans.
Article here...
Major Design Flaws Uncovered at Calif. Nuclear Plant Friends of the Earth and other watchdog groups petition for closure.
Article here...
Obama White House Rejects Request for Targeted Killing Docs The administration argued the information was "highly classified," despite the fact that details of the programs have been leaked to the media.
Article here...
Earth's Defenders Being Murdered at Increasingly Alarming Rate Environmentalists across the world being killed at rate of one per week, and growing.
Article here...
Israeli Soldier Holds Hunger Strike in Solidarity With Palestinians in Detention The soldier, Yaniv Mazor, is currently in military prison for refusing to serve in part of an "occupation army."
Article here...
Call for Ray Bradbury to be Honored with '451' Internet Censored Message A new status code to reflect internet censorship could be named after Ray Bradbury's most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451.
Article here...
High Court Produces a Politics Of, By and For Corporations The Constitution Accountability Center report finds that in every case before the court this term, the majority has found in favor of the position taken by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Article here...

Breaking News and Views for the Progressive Community.
Independent, non-profit newscenter since 1997.


During the lead up to the war against Iraq that began on 20 March 2003, Australian Prime Minister John Howard told the Australian people and the Australian Parliament that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. On the 18 March 2003 Howard told the Australian Parliament that these weapons were “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people” and, for this reason, Australia will be part of a coalition that will ‘disarm’ Saddam Hussein.[1]
Howard’s announcement that Australia would join the coalition to attack Iraq was the culmination of nearly 18 months of Western anti-Saddam propaganda and rhetoric that had begun soon after 9/11. During that entire period between 9/11 and prior to the announcement to the House of Representatives on the 18 March 2003, Howard had always denied that any decision had been made to join with the coalition in any attack on Iraq.
Howard’s decision to join the coalition to attack Iraq was, so Howard told the Australian people, based on the notion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This rhetoric was completely in line with the rhetoric of the other members of the coalition that also took part in or supported the attack against Iraq.
John Howard first mentioned Iraq just 10 days after the 9/11 attacks during an interview with Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW on 21 September 2001:

opit said...
"if they can’t, by diplomatic pressure and by the weight of world opinion" The Taleban had requested proper court documentation for extradition court including reason to believe Osmama bin Laden - a Saudi prince who had been instrumental in funding the fight to get the USSR out of Afghanistan in the CIA Charlie Wilson's War when mortars and missiles were supplied by the USA - involved and culpable in 9/11. The FBI has not listed him as responsible to this day. And of course, legal papers giving the Taleban cover for delivering into torture Saudi royalty who was an intimate of the Bush family were never supplied. The yellowcake peril was a hoax by Cheney's office that required the sacrifice of undercover operations of Brewster Jennings in the Middle East when CIA NOC Valerie Plame / Wilson ( wife of ambassador Joe Wilson sent on the ridiculous mission to Nigeria to establish if Saddam had been intent on purchasing yellowcake, which was abundant in Iraq ) was 'blown' by Scooter Libby ( he spent 2 years in jail for a death penalty offense ); presumably because threat evaluation was made up and she would not fake information. In the UK the Downing Street Papers exposed Blair's perfidity. Then there is the matter of framing nations such as Iran, which pursue nuclear disarmament, as 'the Real Threat'. That is a decades old ploy known as the NPT TRAP. http://www.leadingtowar.com/intro.php


Disqus Blog: The new DISQUS 2012: Elevating the Discussion. Get it now!

Link to Disqus: The Official Blog

Posted: 13 Jun 2012 05:09 AM PDT
The completely revamped Disqus 2012 is now available for your site! If you already use Disqus, it’s a one-click upgrade. If you’re new to Disqus, the new platform only takes minutes to install — try out the demo now at disqus.com.

Our team is incredibly excited about this release. The new Disqus 2012 is a full re-imagining of the core Disqus experience for both sites and commenters. We’ve been working on this for a while — and thinking about it for even longer. Today we’re happy to be sharing, with you, a glimpse into the future of Disqus.
The new Disqus embodies our experience with online communities from the last couple of years. Today, Disqus is the most widely-used discussion platform on the web — over 300 million people engage on Disqus every month. Disqus 2012 is all about building an experience that people care about when they’re across the millions of Disqus-enabled communities on the web.

Here’s what you’ll care about in the new Disqus

Frictionless Experience
Disqus 2012 is designed to be easy to use for both commenters and readers. Our goal is a clutter-free interface that helps the eyes focus on the discussion.

We’re really excited about this: the new Disqus is fully real-time, from top to bottom, and based on completely new architecture. Conversations stream in live, with sub-second updating — and this happens all within the right context.
Our goal is to strike to right balance between the allure of a fast-paced chat and still keep the depth of a structured discussion. Everything is dynamic: votes update in real-time and you’ll also be able to see when others are in the middle of typing a new comment.
Quality discussions
The new voting features are rooted in an overhaul of how we’re thinking about quality discussions within Disqus. New reputation-based algorithms mean that there’s less work for site admins because communities are enabled with more power to self-moderate.
With voting, the new Disqus encourages richer discussions to form by letting the community surface the best comments. By pairing this with a smarter scoring system, Disqus will help maintain quality discussions — but without silencing simply less popular opinions.
Serendipitous discovery
One of our biggest introductions in the new platform is discovery. Discovery isn’t one single feature. It’s a theme that’s tightly woven into the core experience of Disqus. We’re helping people explore new discussions and stories through Disqus — and, as a benefit, sites are able to receive more high quality traffic.

With the new Disqus 2012, we’ve even heard that Disqus has started showing up as a top traffic source. We’ve heard from sites that traffic driven by Disqus delivered more pages per visit and a higher visit duration than other traffic sources.
The brand new Community view is a way for people to get a snapshot of the entire site. Find top commenters and hot discussions on the site. Once people fall in love with the community of site, they’re going to want to explore it more.
Personalized for you
The all-new My Disqus is a new personal view for people to stay on top of their conversations wherever they are. This is integrated right into the platform itself, so people will never have to leave the current page.
We’ve rethought the user experience with Disqus 2012 so that both commenters and readers will be able to benefit from your site’s community.
Also, we’ve refined and added new features to make using Disqus a beautiful discussion experience for everyone.
  • Social sharing. Allow users to easily share any comment or discussion thread to their favorite social network. Sharing directs new referral traffic directly back to your site.
  • Reactions. Discussions around your content happens all over the web. Disqus finds these conversations from Twitter and pulls them into the discussion on your website.
  • Social tagging. With @mentions, easily include others in on your discussion. Mentioned people are notified and encouraged to join your community.

The start of a new Disqus

With the platform, we believe that we’re adding a new dimension to how people use Disqus. Beyond discussion, Disqus is about helping sites engage audiences in exciting ways. Check out a tour of all of the new features.
We’ve built the new Disqus in a way that will make it easier for us to innovate on new experiences, features, and layer in improvements. Today’s release is just the start of an evolving platform. We’re not even close to being done here — while we’re excited about the platform today, we’re even more excited about the ideas that we’re not yet ready to release.
The new Disqus 2012 began public testing over a month ago. With the help of thousands of brave beta-testers, we’ve been improving every step of the way. Thank you for being a part of our product design and development. We built this new Disqus with your feedback, criticisms, and guidance — and we appreciate every bit of it.
Our team hopes you enjoy the new Disqus. As always, let us know what you think in the discussion!

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