Lately, I’ve been listening to folks like Rachel Maddow and Richard Holbrooke talk about the situation in Afghanistan. I’ve been hearing that the rate of illiteracy in that country runs in the area of 70 to 80%. The government is having a hard time enforcing the law because in cities like Kandahar, there are only 9 magistrates to hear court cases. I’ve also heard about the government, along with the military forces from NATO, have seemingly stopped cutting down Afghan poppy and marijuana fields so that farmers can stay afloat selling these crops.
by Philip A. Farruggio
24 July, 2010
Edward Bernays was called the ‘ Father of Public Relations ‘ ….. More appropriately, the ‘ Refiner of propaganda ‘ . So much so that Herr Goebbals, Hitler’s minister of manipulation, was an admirer and student of Bernay’s work. Bernays helped Woodrow Wilson sell United States’ entry into WW 1. He did the same for most of our country’s adventures into foreign lands AKA ‘ Police Actions ‘ . Even Eisenhower played Bernays’ skillful hand while President. What was the technique that made all this successful? As my friend Cheryl , a social scientist who specialized in polling , once told me: ‘ You give me the answer you want and I’ll create the polling questions . ‘
Tirades against Noam Chomsky never cease to amaze me. And I’m not talking about the kind of criticisms of the man that come from Alan Dershowitz and other apologists for Israeli crimes; I mean from critics of Israel who support Palestinian rights.
There are a number of common gripes about Professor Chomsky. The leading one is that he is actually a Zionist and “left gatekeeper” who, despite appearances, really seeks to limit debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Another, part and parcel of the first, is that he denies the power of the Israeli Lobby and wrongly believes that Israel is a strategic asset of the U.S. A third and more recent criticism is that he is opposes to a boycott against Israel and considers activists who support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BSD) campaign “hypocritical”.
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
July 23, 2010
Last month, Big Business interests shamelessly dealt our already depleted democracy a devastating blow by misleading California voters into approving Proposition 14, without their opponents being able to reach the people with rebuttals. This voter initiative provides that the November elections in that state for members of Congress and state elective offices are reserved only for the top two vote-garnering candidates in the June primary.
There are no longer any party primaries per se, only one open primary. Voters can vote for any candidate on the ballot for any office. Presidential candidates are still under the old system.
I just saw “Inception” — a great, highly imaginative movie about the alternate reality of dreams. And so I got to thinking. Suppose the barons of the Fed and Wall Street had been able to do just a bit more of their behind-the-scenes legerdemain (which, we continue to find out, goes on all the time) and postpone the September 15, 2008 Lehman Brothers meltdown until, let’s say, November 7, 2008. That would have been a couple of days after the 2008 election and, funnily enough, on the Gregorian calendar the 91st anniversary of the Russian Revolution. As it happened, McCain had overtaken Obama in the polls by mid-September 2008, when the bankruptcy did occur, with the subsequent collapse of the real estate bubble, the subsequent collapse of the economy, the Paulson/Bush first bank bailout, and so forth and so on.
But if the collapse had not occurred then, if it had somehow been postponed until after the election, if McCain had maintained the momentum that he had had in mid-September, Obama’s best rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding, the aging cancer survivor might actually have become President. (And guess who would have been Vice-President.) And so, let’s look at a list of what might have happened in that alternate reality of a McCain Presidency, comparing it to what has really happened under the Obama Presidency. Has to be a big difference, no? After all, the (remaining) Obama supporters and the Democratic Leadership Council (http://www.dlc.org/) tell us so.
By Sara Kennedy
July 23, 2010
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Through a chemical fingerprinting process, University of South Florida researchers have definitively linked clouds of underwater oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico to BP’s runaway Deepwater Horizon well — the first direct scientific link between the subsurface oil clouds commonly known as “plumes” and the BP oil spill, USF officials said Friday.
Until now, scientists had circumstantial evidence, but lacked that definitive scientific link.
The announcement came on the same day that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that its researchers have confirmed the existence of the subsea plumes at depths of 3,300 to 4,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf. NOAA said its detection equipment also implicated the BP well in the plumes’ creation.