“We shall all hang together,” quipped the savviest of our founders, Benjamin Franklin, “or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Unlike us, Franklin found unity against a single, outside, mortal danger to Founders – British retaliation. We aren’t so fortunate, as a myriad of ill-defined threats loom. That merits a new, updated Pledge of Allegiance that redefines a national commitment for a 21st Century super-power. Continue reading
I have been a pretty lonely voice over the last few weeks, talking about the clear and huge Public Health Dangers down-wind from the primitive burning going on at the site of the BP Gulf Disaster. A few good people have written or spoken about this danger,and provided much pertinent information. But there have been ZERO reports on the clear health hazards to residents down-wind from this burning in the corporate-owned U.S. national mainstream media. And surprisingly; considering the dangers, very little in the Independent Media, either: If there HAD been, I would not be writing this, and would be happy to work with those whose writing or organizing skills far exceed my own!
What we have seen, is chilling reports on local TV news, that HAVE NOT been picked up by the “parent” networks (including LA local EPA officials admitting poisons levels way above safe limits on days the wind blows from the burning site, and PROOFS of the “toxic rain” phenomena), and we are also seeing some reporting on the dangers to the workers (specifically by “MSNBC”). Although highly important as well, this only touches on the periphery regarding the health of the workers offshore… and does not mention the much wider danger to residents inland.
“You all are the house, you’re the bookie. [Your clients] are booking their bets with you. I don’t know why we need to dress it up. It’s a bet.”
– Senator Claire McCaskill, Senate Subcommittee investigating Goldman Sachs (Washington Post, April 27, 2010)
Ever since December 2008, the Federal Reserve has held short-term interest rates near zero. This was not only to try to stimulate the housing and credit markets but also to allow the federal government to increase its debt levels without increasing the interest tab picked up by the taxpayers. The total public U.S. debt increased by nearly 50% from 2006 to the end of 2009 (from about $8.5 trillion to $12.3 trillion), but the interest bill on the debt actually dropped (from $406 billion to $383 billion), because of this reduction in interest rates.
Here’s the Washington Post on the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, emphasis added:
Ever since the administration was blindsided by Israel’s March 9 announcement that it intends to build 1,600 housing units in a disputed area of Jerusalem, U.S. officials have pressed Israel to take actions to encourage Palestinians to attend indirect talks, including canceling the project, making concrete gestures such as a prisoner release and adding substantive rather than procedural issues to the agenda for talks. Some U.S. requests have not been made public.
by John Greyson
June 24, 2010
Writer/Director John Greyson is a Toronto artist and activist, whose feature films include Proteus, Un©ut, The Law of Enclosures, the AIDS musical Zero Patience, and Lilies, which won four Genies including Best Film, while The Making of Monsters and Urinal both previously won Teddies at the Berlin Film Festival. Currently teaching film at York University, he writes and lectures extensively, is the co-editor of the anthology Queer Looks, and is active in various media collectives and collaborations, including Rex Vs. Singh and the Olive Project. For more information see: http://yorku.ca/greyzone/figtrees/