Thomas Paine

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

23 December - Blogs I'm Following

Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich (Photo credit: catherinecronin)
Richard Nixon tells the nation about the bombi...
Richard Nixon tells the nation about the bombings in Cambodia, April 30, 1969. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Maureen Dowd at Democratic Debate in Philadelp...
Maureen Dowd at Democratic Debate in Philadelphia, PA April 16, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
10:01 am MST

If it Leads, it Bleeds, So Let it Bleed

jurassicpork at Welcome Back to Pottersville - 3 minutes ago
(By *American Zen*'s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari) If one were to take Maureen Dowd's dry sarcasm literally (and I'm afraid many liberals do), then the NRA is wrongly anathematizing the MSM that she represents and that the 4th Estate is being used as a scapegoat, an innocent victim that's not actually accountable for the atmosphere of fear the NRA's Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre rightly pointed out at his Friday presser. Of course, LaPierre's brief, shining moment of lucidity in an otherwise surrealistically stupid press conference was the delineation of... more »

Untitled

New Orleans Ladder at New Orleans Ladder - 17 minutes ago
*Listen to Saints Radio online*

Parker and Douthat and Robinson oh my!

bob somerby at the daily howler - 27 minutes ago
*SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2012* *The sad state of pundit culture:* We were struck this morning by the sad state of pundit culture. In the Washington Post, Kathleen Parker’s column takes us back to an earlier, more innocent era. Parker falls back on two favorite old tales, one concerning Michael Dukakis, the other concerning Richard Nixon. Did Dukakis really lose the election because of his ride in that tank? As a candidate, was Nixon really “sweat-soaked?” Actually no. But for decades, treasured old stories like these have driven the work of our pundits. These treasured old stories a... more »

Stevie does Gangnam . . .

Edstock at The Galloping Beaver - 27 minutes ago
ACCORDING TO HUFFINGTON, the Air Farce has nailed it. Delightful!

Fiscal Cliff - Yeah, Baby!!!, Let's Do It.

2old2care at Because I Can - 34 minutes ago
I have been ready to go over the fiscal cliff for months now. I don’t fear it. As a matter of fact I look forward to it – I think it can be a moment of awakening for both parties. This morning on The Hill I saw this Conservatives urge GOP leaders to be bold, prepare to go over cliff And thought – oh shit, the GOP and I agree. But it is really a RepubliCON “bait and switch” if you read the whole article. The article is full of juicy little tidbits. My emphasis throughout Conservative activists who helped doom Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) fiscal Plan B say *Republicans must be p... more »

If harper Kills Chief Spence

thwap at thwap's schoolyard - 39 minutes ago
Is it possible? Is harper so debased that he'd actually let Chief Spence die rather than agree to a meeting between First Nations leaders, himself and the Crown? Personally, I don't think so (although the overall lack of media attention to this gripping story might try to make it possible for harper to get away with that). I think, while he's tweeting inanities and filling his mind with empty thoughts about Christmas, harper will let Spence starve until she requires hospitalization, perhaps suffers permanent organ damage, and then he'll agree to a meeting where nothing will be discu... more »

Doug Ross: The 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards...

Adrienne at Adrienne's Corner - 41 minutes ago
*announced.* I've collected my badge. Sigh. [image: Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards]

Stevie needs a reading . . .

Edstock at The Galloping Beaver - 46 minutes ago
THE HR GIGER TAROT SET. Awesome.

trials of a student librarian: readers' advisory, the library thing i love best

laura k at wmtc - 1 hour ago
Of all the aspects of librarianship that I know about, the piece I'm most excited about is readers' advisory. Readers' advisory is the library term for answering that important question... *"What to read next?"* Questions like, "Do you have any more books like this one?", "I'm tired of reading mysteries, I need something different," and "I loved this book, I want another just like it," are all about readers' advisory. I was surprised to learn that adult readers ask library staff for book recommendations all the time. In my own reading, I am guided by almost exclusively by book rev... more »

NHS Alexandra Hospital apologises to 38 families for appalling care that saw a patient starve to death

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 1 hour ago
An NHS hospital has apologised to 38 families after a patient starved to death and it left other dying people screaming in pain. Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is writing to 38 families after a massive legal action that exposed years of bad practice, ranging from nurses taunting patients to leaving an elderly woman unwashed for 11 weeks. In one of the worst cases, a man had starvation recorded as the cause of his death after being treated at the hospital for two months. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said last night that he was “disgusted and appalled” by what the families had ... more »

Israel backs Russia’s avowal that Syrian chemical arms are secure “for now”

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 1 hour ago
“At the moment, [Syria’s] chemical weapons are under control,” said senior Israeli defense official Amos Gilad Sunday, Dec. 23, echoing the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu then said enigmatically: “We are facing a near possibility of far-reaching changes in the Syrian regime with ramifications for the sensitive weaponry [chemical, biological] present there.” Li... more »

Behind The Numbers

Owen Gray at Northern Reflections - 1 hour ago
When Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a report two weeks ago, which documented the average annual salary of a federal employee as $114,100, there were howls from the usual critics. Andrew Jackson writes: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation was quick to jump on the report of the Parliamentary Budget Office on federal government pay and compensation, saying that it provided “shocking numbers on the overly generous compensation of federal government employees.” Echoing similarly-exaggerated claims by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and other employer gr... more »

Mysterious death prompts Person authorities to seize dog (Very strange)

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 1 hour ago
Questions surrounding a man's death over the weekend prompted Person County authorities to seize a pitbull. Deputies found the body of Eugene Cameron, 65, of Henderson, under a carport at 1189 Semora Road, west of Roxboro, late Saturday. Family members said he was checking on the house while his friend was out of town. Witnesses said that Cameron was found naked, with his clothes balled up beside him, and bloody dog paw prints surrounded him. He had a severe injury to his right arm that could have caused him to bleed out, and the injury was consistent with a dog bite, according to ... more »

American Dream Fades for Generation Y Professionals

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 2 hours ago
After being dismissed from her job as a Midtown Manhattan securities attorney in October 2009, Christina Tretter-Herriger hitched a used horse trailer to her Dodge Ram pickup and drove 1,628 miles to Texas. The 32-year-old lawyer sold skin-care products in Houston before finding work as the assistant general counsel of a futures-trading firm where an irate customer punctuated a recorded voice-mail message with gunfire. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-21/american-dream-fades-for-generation-y-professionals.html

A New Beginning is Here

Mark Daniels at GLOBAL POLITICAL AWAKENING - 2 hours ago
*Press For Truth* PressforTruth.ca Enter your email address to subscribe to our newsletter: Delivered by FeedBurner Be the Change! Share this using the tools below. Sharing on Reddit and Newsvine will help the most.

Welcome to Boehnerville

2old2care at Because I Can - 2 hours ago
Saw this on the TV this morning and had to chuckle. Hadn't seen it before - thought I'd share in case others had not seen it either.

The Hydrogen Sonata Forum: Iain M. Banks Replies

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson at Duck of Minerva - 2 hours ago
General Warning: this is emphatically not a spoiler-free Forum! Hence all of the text all of the contributions will be safely below the fold, and only the identifying information for the author of the contribution will be here for even causal browsers to see. Iain M. Banks is a celebrated author of both science fiction Continue reading

Sunday Globe Special: South African Zombies

Rocker at MSM Monitor - 2 hours ago
*I thought that was a Haitian thing. * * **‘‘The ARVs are called the ‘Lazarus drug’ because people rise up and walk’’ * "South Africa improves in fighting HIV-AIDS" by Carley Petesch | Associated Press, December 02, 2012 JOHANNESBURG — Stories of hope and progress are readily available on World AIDS Day 2012 in sub-Saharan Africa, where *deaths* from *AIDS-related causes* have declined by 32 percent from *1.8 million* in 2005 to *1.2 million* in 2011, according to the latest UNAIDS report.... * **An ongoing Holocaust. * Themba Lethu clinic, with government funding [from] the Unite... more »

A Life of Indentured Servitude for a Chance at a College Diploma: When the American Dream Goes Nightmare

Jim Horn at Schools Matter - 2 hours ago
Recently the NYTimes shows signs of coming out of its corporate cocoon to do real investigative reporting again. The recent story on WalMart corruption was terrific, and in this story, the Times looks at the deepening of the categorical inequality as it plays out in the higher education arena. The story is based in Galveston, TX, and the charts and graphs, alone, are worth the price of the Sunday paper. If democracy is to have a chance in the U. S., and if the American dream is to be anything other than a worn-out pipe dream, it will not be under the current crush of rapacious ... more »

Untitled

New Orleans Ladder at New Orleans Ladder - 2 hours ago
*New Orleans Saints fan photos ~WDSU * *Profit Island purchase could restart work on Comite Diversion Canal * *Farmers using new methods ~Sable Lefrere* *Happy Festivus fo'da rest of us!*

Boehner's Already Low Popularity Takes A Hit But Is He Vulnerable?

DownWithTyranny at DownWithTyranny! - 3 hours ago
Boehner knows he can count on Steve Israel for a free pass again The GOP smear machine went to work on Pelosi many years ago and systematically turned her into a symbol of loathing for the right-wing/Fox News/hate talk radio base. They did their worst to turn her into a divisive figure, an untrustworthy "other" and put millions and millions of campaign dollars into tying all their electoral targets to her. Democrats had done something similarly with Tom DeLay, the difference being that DeLay is a convicted criminal, a zealot for the interests of plutocrats and an unhinged extremist. ... more »

I Missed the AIDS Conference

Rocker at MSM Monitor - 3 hours ago
*I'm sorry, readers. I just didn't have time to attend.... * "US pledges $150m more to fight AIDS" by Lauran Neergaard | Associated Press, July 24, 2012 WASHINGTON — Science now has the tools to slash the spread of HIV even without a vaccine — and the *United States* is *donating an extra $150 million* to help poor countries put them in place, the Obama administration told the world’s largest AIDS conference Monday. * **Such chump change when you consider the trillions spent on wars and Wall Street. And not to be insensitive on the matter, but now Americans are being told to accep... more »

*SIGH* Miramar Hotel BOT Project gets conditional EIA approval

Michael Turton at The View from Taiwan - 3 hours ago
[image: Taitong] *A list of build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects in Taitung county. Following the developer credo: there is no place so beautiful that it can't use more concrete.* The Taipei Times reports: The controversial construction of Miramar Resort Village at Taitung County’s Shanyuan Bay (杉原灣) gained conditional approval from a seventh Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) meeting yesterday, despite heated debate over the legitimacy of the project and the EIA meeting. According to the Taipei Times, the project was created to get around the environmental impact assessment (... more »

tell stephen harper you support chief theresa spence and idle no more

laura k at wmtc - 3 hours ago
As Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence enters her twelfth day without food, solidarity actions with the IdleNoMore aboriginal movement are growing throughout Canada and around the globe. In Winnipeg, demonstrators blocked the Trans Canada Highway. In freezing weather in Edmonton, protesters filled downtown streets. At least 1,000 people came out in the snow in Ottawa. In Toronto, supporters filled Dundas Square with a flash-mob round dance. Hundreds protested in Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse. In Vancouver, Montreal, Saskatoon, and Sudbury, people took to the streets. Aborigina... more »

Post-Election Aftermath: Obama's Agenda

Rocker at MSM Monitor - 3 hours ago
*And who i$ influencing it*: "Obama seeks the seeds of solutions" by Brian MacQuarrie | Globe Staff, November 08, 2012 CHICAGO — America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, has not ended. The nuclear ambitions of Iran remain a threat. The economy is still struggling, the federal debt has not evaporated — and the bitter divisions that continue to hobble the country need to be bridged.... One day after the election, the business world showed its unease. The Standard & Poor’s index and Dow Jones industrial average each closed 2.4 percent lower on Wednesday.... * **Related: **Why Is Big B... more »

Why We Are Not Free

Len Hart at The Existentialist Cowboy - 3 hours ago
*by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy* While it may be true that all societies indulge a process called 'criminalization', it seems that in the U.S. the process has been to an even greater extent institutionalized. Both crime rates and the profits of the so-called "Prison Industrial Complex" (P.I.C.) depend upon the criminalization of various behaviors, most notably, the cultivation and/or use of marijuana, a so-called 'drug' which many believe and support is not only hamless and non-addictive, its many uses could be of tremendous benefit to society. 'Criminalization' is often 'r... more »

greenwald, ellsberg, and others launch freedom of press foundation to fight government censorship and secrecy

laura k at wmtc - 4 hours ago
An important and exciting column by Glenn Greenwald. See original for more links. New press freedom group is launched to block US government attacks Nothing is more vital than enabling true transparency and adversarial journalism, and preventing further assaults on them Several weeks ago, I wrote about the steps taken by the US government to pressure large corporations to choke off the finances and other means of support for WikiLeaks in retaliation for the group's exposure of substantial government deceit, wrongdoing and illegality. Because WikiLeaks has never been charged with, l... more »

EU Leader Calls For Global Governance With Russia

Mark Daniels at GLOBAL POLITICAL AWAKENING - 4 hours ago
In a recent EU-Russia summit Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European council has been outspoken about the cooperation between Russia and the EU further facilitating the push towards global and economic governance Enter your email address to subscribe to our newsletter: Delivered by FeedBurner Be the Change! Share this using the tools below. Sharing on Reddit and Newsvine will help the most.

Post-American Afghanistan: options, proposals

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 4 hours ago
Russia is interested in NATO’s strategy after 2014 for when the withdrawal of the coalition forces from Afghanistan is planned. Other countries which have interests in Afghanistan would also like to receive an answer to the question raised by the Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko in Brussels. As you know, Afghanistan is often called a crossroads between the East and the West. For the time being, Americans either remain undecided over the number of the remaining contingent or are unwilling to make this information public. According to The Wall Street Journal, the figure i... more »

The Infrastructure Cliff: Why the U.S. Desperately Needs a $2.5 Trillion Upgrade

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 4 hours ago
When officials in Denver started drafting a strategic traffic plan a few years back, they concluded that the city no longer had the money to expand its roads to meet the surging demands. They would have to make do with what they had. Denver's planners created a board game, Right of Way, that was scaled to the city's streets. It had cards that symbolized lanes for travel, parking, buses, bikes, mixed use, and medians. There were too many cards for the available space, so officials gathered community representatives to debate which sorts of lanes mattered most. To everyone's surprise,... more »

Morsi supporters and the opposition: Two different Egypts

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
With no apparent end to Egypt's constitution crisis, supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration and draft national charter are digging their heels in, further entrenching themselves in their respective camps. Morsi's Thursday night speech, the first since the outbreak of violence days earlier, was met with firm opposition both on the street and by a political elite allied in opposition umbrella group the National Salvation Front, which announced Friday its refusal to accept the president’s offer for dialogue. Behind these media statements and ... more »

Syria: Iraq 2.0, another false-flag invasion, rated XXX

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
The US and NATO are set to invade Syria, something many of us have been warning about for a while now. It has been obvious that they have been looking for a pretext and that pretext has already been injected into the public debate. That pretext: chemical weapons, revealed by Fox News and the Director of the CIA, the same two sources that brought us all of the Iraq invasion lies. Sadly no matter how questionable or fabricated the pretext is, it appears that there is nothing we can do except sit back and watch the US and its surrogates invade and decimate yet another nation. http://... more »

The Last Days on Earth

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago

Fear and Loathing in Paragould Arkansas

Mark Daniels at GLOBAL POLITICAL AWAKENING - 5 hours ago
Mark Daniels Global Political Awakening The novel *Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas* is based on two trips to Las Vegas, Nevada, that Hunter S. Thompson took with attorney and Chicano activist Oscar Zeta Acosta in March and April 1971. The first trip spawned from an exposé Thompson was writing for *Rolling Stone* magazine about the Mexican-American television journalist Rubén Salazar, whom officers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had shot and killed with a tear gas grenade fired at close range during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War in 197... more »

Obama gives medal to Drell, Gates, Mazur

Luboš Motl at The Reference Frame - 5 hours ago
I hate honors but this list is kind of interesting. Barack Obama gave the National Medal of Science to 12 scientists and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to 11 technologists and innovators: Obama names 23 scientists and innovators as medal winners (Cosmic Log) The scientists include Sidney Drell, an accomplished violinist, hadron collisions specialist, and arms control expert at SLAC who is also the father of Persis Drell, the current SLAC director. The generation that is not quite the youngest one knows Sidney Drell's name from one more context: we know him as a c... more »

What Fed Exit?

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
A decision by the Federal Reserve to expand its bond buying next week is likely to prompt policy makers to rewrite their 18-month-old blueprint for an exit from record monetary stimulus. Under the exit strategy, the Fed would start selling bonds in mid-2015 in a bid to return its holdings to pre-crisis proportions in two to three years. An accelerated buildup of assets would also mean a faster pace of sales when the time comes to exit -- increasing the risk that a jump in interest rates would crush the economic recovery. ... The bigger the balance sheet, “the riskier the exit become... more »

A Health Insurance Detective Story

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
I’VE had a long career as a business journalist, beginning at Forbes and including eight years as the editor of Money, a personal finance magazine. But I’ve never faced a more confounding reporting challenge than the one I’m engaged in now: What will I pay next year for the pill that controls my blood cancer? fter making more than 70 phone calls to 16 organizations over the past few weeks, I’m still not totally sure what I will owe for my Revlimid, a derivative of thalidomide that is keeping my multiple myeloma in check. The drug is extremely expensive — about $11,000 retail for a ... more »

China grabs Mideast oil as U.S. power dips Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/12/05/China-grabs-Mideast-oil-as-US-power-dips/UPI-79421354730140/#ixzz2FPBsci3I

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
China is muscling into Iraq's oil sector as Baghdad grapples with defections by international majors like Exxon Mobil and Chevron of the United States and France's Total. This is part of Beijing's drive to secure oil and natural gas resources in the Middle East and Africa as U.S. influences wanes. China's clout in Iraq, along with other parts of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, is bound to increase as the Americans' diminishes. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/12/05/China-grabs-Mideast-oil-as-US-power-dips/UPI-79421354730140/#ixzz2EbIu3Toh

Google sheltered almost $10bn in Bermuda last year

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 5 hours ago
The accounts, seen by Bloomberg, show that Google shifted $9.8bn in revenues in 2011 into a Bermuda-based company. The move, which is perfectly legal, meant the internet giant was able to slash its overall tax bill by almost 50pc, as the country doesn’t have a corporate income tax. The increase in Google’s revenues routed to Bermuda, disclosed in the November 21 filing by a subsidiary in the Netherlands, could fuel the outrage spreading over corporate tax avoidance. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9735012/Google-sheltered-almost-10bn-in-Bermuda-last-y... more »

GAIA PORTAL: Liftoff Has Begun

Obi-Wan Kabuki at AMERICAN KABUKI - 5 hours ago
* * * * *Liftoff Has Begun* by ÉirePort Attunements are finished for next phase. All is go for arrival of new solar energies. Gaia preparation is complete. Liftoff has begun. ÉirePort | December 23, 2012 at 10:15

HSBC to start selling £25bn of toxic US debt

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 6 hours ago
The bank is planning to sell four sub-prime loan portfolios worth a total of $2.7bn in the next year, with hedge funds already expressing an interest. The disposals will mark the first time HSBC has sold any of its holding of sub-prime debt since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and is intended to kick off the sale of the $44.2bn of toxic debt still held by the bank. HSBC was one of the first banks to recognise the problems in the US sub-prime housing market, where millions of Americans were given loans to buy properties they could not afford. http://www.telegraph.... more »

How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan's Attack on Pearl Harbor

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 6 hours ago
Many people are misled by formalities. They assume, for example, that the United States went to war against Germany and Japan only after its declarations of war against these nations in December 1941. In truth, the United States had been at war for a long time before making these declarations. Its war making took a variety of forms. For example, the U.S. navy conducted "shoot [Germans] on sight" convoys - convoys that might include British ships — in the North Atlantic along the greater part the shipping route from the United States to Great Britain, even though German U-boats had o... more »

Europe clings to scorched-earth ideology as depression deepens

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 6 hours ago
The strategy of triple-barrelled contraction across a string of inter-linked countries has been the greatest policy debacle since the early 1930s. The outcome over the last three years has been worse than forecast at every stage, and in every key respect. The eurozone has crashed back into double-dip recession. It will contract a further 0.3pc next year, according to a chastened European Central Bank. The ECB omitted mention of its own role in this fiasco by allowing all key measures of the money supply to stall in mid-2012, with the time-honoured consequences six months to a year l... more »

Dirty white gold

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 6 hours ago
The website of US-based biotech giant Monsanto boasts that the corporation qualifies as "a sustainable agriculture company". Given Monsanto's legacy as a producer of the lethal defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, Southeast Asian agriculture would presumably beg to differ with this characterisation. Sustainability is also not the first word that comes to mind when contemplating Monsanto's policy of sowing the earth with genetically modified seeds that destroy soil and are designed with nonrenewable traits so as to require constant repurchase as well as acquisition of a var... more »

NOT LANZA'S CAR

Anon at aangirfan - 8 hours ago
The above car is said by the police to have been driven by Adam Lanza to Sandy Hook School. Spitfire List - camo pants in Newtown. / Connecticut school gunman / Car driven by Connecticut school shooter Lanza According to the police audio record­ing (here at 30:20) the license plate of the shooter's vehi­cle is '872 YEO', and the car is reg­is­tered to Christo­pher A. Rodia. In July 2012, a Mr Christopher Rodia was charged with lar­ceny and pos­ses­sion of nar­cotics. Spitfire List - camo pants in Newtown. It is quite possible that Adam Lanza was made to disappear long before th... more »

RUSSIAN FORCES TAKE SYRIAN CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS UNDER CONTROL

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 10 hours ago
The chemical warfare threat looming over Syria’s civil war and its neighbors has taken an epic turn with the announcement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday, Dec. 22, that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.” He added that Russia, “which has military advisers training Syria’s military, has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal.” debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report: The Russian foreign minister’s statement was a message to Wash... more »

9/11 Propaganda, Sandy Hook Propaganda

John Friend at John Friend's Blog - 10 hours ago
It appears that both 9/11 and the recent Sandy Hook school "shooting" PYSOP were staged, Hollywood-style operations utilizing scripted actors, "witnesses", and reporters. Even many of the "victim" family members appear to be actors scripted to promote the official narrative and target the emotions of the gullible public. A few examples... *9/11* A federal district court in Manhattan yesterday entered a historic ruling that reveals new facts about Iran's support of al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels *ruled yesterday that Iran and Hezbollah ... more »

Organized religion on the decline? Growing number of Canadians ‘spiritual but not religious’

        AMERICAN KABUKI at AMERICAN KABUKI - 11 hours ago
From The National Post *Organized religion on the decline? Growing number of Canadians ‘spiritual but not religious’* Kathryn Blaze Carlson | Dec 21, 2012 9:46 PM ET | Last Updated: Dec 21, 2012 9:58 PM ET Rev. Juanita Austin realized her Salmon Arm, B.C., church’s advertising campaign resonated when a stranger at the grocery store interrupted her shopping and thanked the First United Church for putting out such a welcoming message. “Is there a church out there that gets being Spiritual but not Religious?” the ad asks. “Check us out.” The ad does not disguise the church’s ... more »

Out of the Woodwork Come the TruthTellers? (Barofsky Speaks First. . . Next . . . ?)

The title of his forthcoming book—Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street—sums up his worldview. “The further we dug into the way TARP was being administered, the more obvious it became that Treasury applied a consistent double standard,” Barofsky writes in the book. “When providing the largest financial institutions with bailout money,

The 'Craziest Man On Earth' - Best Headline Ever ...

leftdog at Buckdog - 11 hours ago
*.... however .... * *So while it’s easy for us Canadians to watch in horror as the NRA spouts nonsense, perhaps we should take note of the fact that the nonsense was carefully salted with phrases like “national media machine” and “the press and political class here in Washington.” That’s not accidental. The NRA is not even trying to fight reason with reason.* *The sales job goes like this: Never mind what the elites say. Never mind the studies, the differences among countries that suggest policy might matter. There’s no way to prevent or reduce violence so the only answer is to ... more »

The NRA - Some Favorite Candidates 2012

2old2care at Because I Can - 11 hours ago
Most of us are pretty familiar with campaign contributions that are made directly to candidates by organizations like the NRA. Did you know that the NRA also has to report to the FEC the amount of money they spend on mailings to their members in support or opposition of one particular candidate if the total exceed $2,000? It even amazes me what I find when I have time to snoop. FEC Form 76 SUMMARY OF COMMUNICATION COST *2 U.S.C. 441b allows “communications by a corporation to its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families or by a labor organization t... more »

No, you don't get a vacuum cleaner, but you do get holiday greetings from Finland

KenInNY at DownWithTyranny! - 12 hours ago
*by Ken* What with the crush of events the last couple of days, I haven't had a chance to pass on this fantabulous holiday greeting from one of our country's proud diplomatic servants. I wish to correct current of suspicion I'm aware of which claims that I lack "holiday spirit." This may or may not be related to the fact that I have very little holiday spirit, as witness the fact that this recent Roz Chast cartoon represents what I consider the *ne plus ultra* of holiday spirit. (You should be able to click on it to enlarge, but what do I know?) Anyway, we were talking holiday s... more »

The Academic-Policy Nexus (Or Lack Thereof)

jstacey at Duck of Minerva - 12 hours ago
In my first post after signing on with “Team Duck” I thought, before jumping into a series of weighty topics–rise of the east, end of the west, cratering of the middle east–it might be worth reflecting a little on my sojourn as a policymaker after beginning my career as a Political Scientist. As an IR Continue reading

Idle No More: Thousands round dance for Indigenous rights

brendanorrell@gmail.com at CENSORED NEWS - 12 hours ago
Saskatoon  Winnipeg 4,000 people at Polo Park! . Idle No More -Couchiching FN thru town of Fort Frances, On - Photo by, Sonny McGinnis Media Advisory Aamjiwnaang First Nation continues blockade of CN Rail, Mayor of Sarnia and city police ask for meeting When: 11 am, Sunday Dec. 23, 2012 Where: Aamjiwnaang First Nation Blockade (Williams Drive off Scott Road) Citizens of

It’s just a *massive* coincidence

Peter Cresswell at Not PC - 13 hours ago
Content is copyright PC.BlogSpot.Com © Please contact author for permission to republish: (organon at ihug.co.nz)

(Another) Ugly Underside of the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Laura Sjoberg at Duck of Minerva - 13 hours ago
Today, the Human Rights Campaign celebrated the two-year anniversary of President Obama signing the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a move that officially allowed lesbians, gays, and bisexuals to serve openly in the United States military. Soon after, I wrote a blog post suggesting that, while the policy was definitely an improvement on a Continue reading

The Reason for the Season

thwap at thwap's schoolyard - 13 hours ago
Howl-lay-lou-yah!

Sanity Comes to Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Jim Horn at Schools Matter - 13 hours ago
When Charlotte's former superintendent, Peter Gorman, was run out of town, he found work as another edu-henchman for Rupert Murdoch. Since then, Charlotte has hired someone who is willing to challenge the status quo of more high stakes testing. From the Charlotte Observer: Posted: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 By Ann Doss Helms ahelms@charlotteobserver.com The barrage of new state tests being rolled out this year is “an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars” that won’t help kids, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Heath Morrison said Thursday. He joins a band of superintendents across the... more »

Copahue volcano eruption puts Argentina and Chile on alert

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 13 hours ago
The authorities in Argentina and Chile have issued an alert over increased activity at the Copahue volcano, which has begun spewing smoke and gas. Many residents have already left the area as a precaution. An orange volcano alert, the second highest, has been issued in both countries. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20828832

Mount Rokatenda erupts, thousands evacuate, Indonesia

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 13 hours ago
Thousands of residents of the Palue Islands in Sikka, East Nusa Tenggara, have reportedly fled from their homes after their roofs and windows were rattled by erupting of Mount Rokatenda. Residents were evacuated to Maumere, Sikka, Ropa and Ende as the volcano sent debris and volcanic material cascading down its slopes. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/22/mt-rokatenda-erupts-thousands-evacuate.html

Egypt constitution approved in vote, say rival camps

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 14 hours ago
Egypt's new constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly, was approved by 64 percent of voters in a two-round referendum, an official in the Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday citing the group's unofficial tally. An official from Egypt's main opposition group, which campaigned against the constitution saying it would deepen divisions in Egypt, also said that its unofficial count indicated the document was approved. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/23/us-egypt-politics-idUSBRE8BL03X20121223

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake VANUATU - 23rd December 2012

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 14 hours ago
Magnitude 5.2 Date-Time Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 00:29:55 UTC Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 11:29:55 AM at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones Location 13.080°S, 167.113°E Depth 211 km (131.1 miles) Region VANUATU Distances 100 km (62 miles) NNW of Sola, Vanuatu

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake MOLUCCA SEA - 22nd December 2012

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 14 hours ago
Magnitude 4.3 Date-Time Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 22:32:42 UTC Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 06:32:42 AM at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones Location 1.576°N, 126.612°E Depth 37.5 km (23.3 miles) Region MOLUCCA SEA Distances 121 km (75 miles) NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

4.3 Magnitude Earthquake OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO - 22nd December 2012

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 14 hours ago
Magnitude 4.3 Date-Time Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 22:04:35 UTC Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 04:04:35 PM at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones Location 15.830°N, 98.318°W Depth 5.4 km (3.4 miles) (poorly constrained) Region OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO Distances 62 km (38 miles) SSW of Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, Mexico

Every school a killing field: Is the NRA's Wayne LaPierre the stupidest creature on the planet -- or just the most loathsome?

KenInNY at DownWithTyranny! - 15 hours ago
*UPDATE: The NY Post (yes, the NY Post!) today front-paged* *Blowhard Wayne (the "NRA loon") as "GUN NUT" -- see below* *Now that Brother Blowhard has made clear exactly who and what he is, surely he will be universally shunned, right?* *"[N]othing did more to discredit the merchants of weapons of death than their own chief advocate’s callous rant."* *-- from the New York *Daily News* editorial* "Gun-crazed maniac" *by Ken* So there I was, fulminating into my keyboard about the astonishing performance of National Rifle Association Exec VP Wayne LaPierre, who had broken the NRA's lon... more »

H-Asia: Library of Congress Map Website

Michael Turton at The View from Taiwan - 15 hours ago
H-ASIA December 22, 2012 Online maps of Asia in the Library of Congress **************************************** From: Richard J. Smith, Rice University Happy Holidays!! My "gift" for the period is to call attention to a vast, rich and surprisingly under-utilized scholarly resource: the online Map Collection(s) of the Library of Congress--the contents of which are all fully downloadable. The basic LOC website is http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/setlhome.html and the specific search URL is http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/setlmapquery.htm To find a general item, enter, say, “Chin... more »

Burning down the House

Libby Spencer at The Impolitic - 15 hours ago
Over at The Corner, HQ of the very serious cons, they're somewhat mystified by the Tea Party cons pushing Boehner overboard during their mutiny on Plan B. One false claim making the rounds about the House Republicans who defeated John Boehner’s “Plan B” last night is that they don’t understand that higher taxes are inevitable. A lot of them understand that point perfectly well. Some of them have been privately advising the Republican leaders to pursue a strategy that they know would lead to higher taxes than Plan B contained. Establishment GOPers should have thought of that when ... more »

Jutxaposition of the day

Libby Spencer at The Impolitic - 17 hours ago
At the checkout. Posted without comment. [via Athenae of First Draft]

NYT Editorial – on LaPierre's "deranged rant"

2old2care at Because I Can - 17 hours ago
We all know it was not a “press conference” – It was Wayne LaPierre telling the USA what to do and what to think - becausehethinkshecan. Anyway, the NY Times came back with an editorial that is pretty darn good. Here’s snips - about the creepy crawlies: *The N.R.A. Crawls From Its Hidey Hole* Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant. Mr. LaPierre looked wild-eyed at times as he said the killing was the fault of the media, songwriters and singers and the people who listen to them, movie and TV scriptwriters and the people who watch th... more »

Some Saturday cuteness and the mess in my office...

Adrienne at Adrienne's Corner - 17 hours ago
*is not my fault.* Really! I have a dust ruffle that needs to be shortened. I dumped it on my office floor with plans to fold it up until after Christmas. However, Erica, my kitteh, had other ideas. It is now one of her favorite places to snooze. Plans are afoot to remove it and replace it with a pillow while she is out terrorizing our numerous birds. Since she *is* a cat - I doubt she'll fall for it. We can hope... *She does look comfy... * * **Directly opposite her is Frankie, who is grateful she's stayed out of his bed lately. *

Friends

James C Morton at Morton's Musings - 17 hours ago

The apartheid state of Israel strikes again

Not a sheep at Not a sheep - 18 hours ago
http://www.israellycool.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/trees.jpg
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