Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mindless Journalism

If the current political situation in America doesn't give you a headache, you're not paying attention. Or perhaps, you're just not getting the news. This might be because most of the infotainment found these days in the main stream media is just not worth watching. There are a lot of politically important events occurring that you won't find much mention of even on PBS. Why? There are lots of reasons, but here's a suggestion. Turn off your TV. Cancel your newspaper subscriptions. Start looking for alternative news sources, like the internet, but be careful, there's a lot of crap out there as well. You might want to start with places like Glenn Greenwald's blog, where you will find a very thorough analysis of whats happening in the political world, as well as excellent insight into whats happening to journalism. Another high quality news source is Democracy Now!

History Lessons

Regarding the War:

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of ... . I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in ... . I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in ... . It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad ... into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of ... immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in ..., that we have been detrimental to the life of the ... people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways. In order to atone for our sins and errors in ..., we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war…read on

These are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. regarding the war in Vietnam. If he were alive today, he would be saying the same thing about Iraq. Its time to stop the madness.

Friday, April 4, 2008

80,000 Jobs Lost?

Last month, employers cut 80,000 jobs. Not really. They were just sort of relocated. For example, a few of them maybe went here:

The Ching Luh Nike plant has 21,000 employees, and they were "treated" to a $6 a month raise after a two-day strike. Inflation in Vietnam was 19% over the last year, and the $6 a month raise is a 10% increase - but they also get free lunch! Whoopee!

Do the math; their original salaries were $59 a month. Anyone wonder why American manufacturing has moved overseas?

Wow! $59 a month! That's almost like not having to pay them at all! Sort of like slave labor. And we're doing them such a favor. Plus we don't have to suffer from the pollution of all those factories. I guess everybody's real happy with that deal, except mayby the 80,000 who lost their jobs, and maybe a few of those working in the sweat shops in SE Asia and Mexico who have to go on strike to get a less that subsistence wage.

EPA Not Functioning According to Plan. Really?

The Washington Post reports that the chemical industry may be playing an inappropriate role in EPA decisions:
A congressional committee is investigating ties between the chemical industry and expert review panels hired by the Environmental Protection Agency to help it determine safe levels for a variety of chemical compounds.

Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, have demanded documents from the EPA and the American Chemistry Council to probe the roles of nine scientists who are serving on EPA panels or have done so in the past.

The lawmakers sent a letter to the chemical industry Wednesday, expanding a probe that began earlier this month.

"Americans count on sound science to ensure that consumer products are safe," Dingell said through a spokesman yesterday. "If industry has undue influence over this science, then the public's health is endangered."

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but there are a few other government agencies whose functions have been sabotaged over the last 8 years or so. This would include the EPA, FDA, FCC, FEMA, and of course the DOJ. As Darth Cheney would say, "So?". So what are you going to do about it? Do you still care?

War Crimes, Torture, Insanity

The current president and his staff have ordered torture of prisoners. Among other obvious questions (like, do we dare still call ourselves a civilized nation) is the question of how this will effect the future of our soldiers who become prisoners of war.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What did you say (misstate) Mr AG?

Has it become so common place for high government officials to lie to the public, that no one notices anymore? And when they are caught in a blatant lie, is all that they have to do is say "I misstated myself"? In the good ole days, there was something called "shame", that would have necessitated an immediate resignation.