Recent Writings, Oct. 20, 2010

I’ve been quite busy with Raw Story since the new publisher came to us by way of Alternet, leaving this ‘ere blog a bit neglected. Never fret, I’ve got my weekly info-dump right here. This is: What I’ve been working on since we last spoke

Oct. 11, 2010: Beck claims Feds paid to have cartoon mock him, apparently terrifying Mickey Mouse

Oct. 11, 2010: British media scrambles to prevent Murdoch takeover of Sky Broadcasting

Oct. 11, 2010: Scarborough retracts claim that doesn’t disclose donors

Oct. 11, 2010: Oregon county decriminalizes heroin, meth, cocaine and shoplifting, among others

Oct. 12, 2010: Paladino on Attorney General Eric Holder: ‘F*ck him’

Oct. 12, 2010: Jack Black’s new project: Lie about Obama to school children

Oct. 16, 2010: Researchers demonstrate portable, solar-powered water desalination system

(Much more after the jump) Continue reading


Recent Writings, Oct. 11, 2010

Or: What I’ve been working on since last we spoke…

Oct. 2, 2010: Breitbart disowns O’Keefe, demands apology for failed ‘love boat’ prank

Oct. 4, 2010: O’Donnell once claimed to have ‘classified’ info on Chinese plot to ‘take over America’

Oct. 4, 2010: Think US politics are absurd? Brazilians elect actual clown to Congress

Oct. 4, 2010: Outside groups’ spending on midterm elections dwarfs 2006 totals

Oct. 5, 2010: Woodward: Obama-Hillary ticket for 2012 ‘on the table’

Oct. 5, 2010: Sanchez apologizes to Stewart, apparently outraging Fox News

Oct. 5, 2010: asks DOJ to investigate Chamber’s funding

Oct. 9, 2010: Kucinich probes whether FBI informant triggered Kent State massacre

Oct. 9, 2010: Report: Ohio Republican played Nazi dress-up games, allegedly to bond with son

Oct. 10, 2010: Republicans’ ‘scary’ immigrant photo depicts Mexicans in Mexico, photographer reveals

Oct. 10, 2010: Obama approval doing better than Reagan, Clinton, according to poll data

The New World Order (TM)

I tend to laugh when people talk about “The New World Order” agenda.

Suddenly, half my readers take a deep breath.

The prepackaged fable of this whole ultra-powerful cabal allegedly made up of every big, bad boogyman stereotype the mind can conjure seems to me a stunning mis-characterization. It’s as if it were just another manufactured fairy tale: another link in the chain around the elephant’s leg.

You’ve probably heard that analogy: the elephant that’s been chained down since it was born and now, as an adult, it thinks it cannot break free so it never tries anymore.

That’s how I look at the truly progressive movements in America today: a powerful beast that’s been made docile by a chain that’s much weaker than it believes.

This “New World Order” — or as I’d describe it with a bit more nuance, the further alignment of transnational, non-democratic controls over the institutions of currency and global trade — is of course real and the cogs have been turning for generations.

You could even say that globalism is something hard-coded in the genes of this empire of thought we call America. Continue reading

Global Affairs, Oct. 1, 2010

PAKISTAN: Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf seeks return to power with ‘clean slate’ (The Times of India)

ECUADOR: President Correa vows to fight rebels after military rescues him from police ‘coup attempt’ (by Rory Carroll, The Guardian)

BRAZIL: Former guerrilla fighter Dilma Roussef to become world’s most powerful woman as Brazil’s president (by Hugh O’Shaughnessy, The Independent)

EUROPE: Right-wing populist parties grow amid fears of Muslims, discontent with status quo (Der Spiegel)

RUSSIA: Moscow calls for new defense agency to mirror America’s DARPA program (by Olga Razumovskaya, The St. Petersburgh Times)

IRELAND: Government’s planned bank bailouts sets of economic fears in Europe (by Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post)

FRANCE: 7.8 million struggle as national poverty rate hits 13 percent (The Connexion)

PALESTINE: Mentally-ill women given hysterectomies, to prevent family ’embarrassment’ (by Ali Waked, Y-Net)

ISRAEL: Tel Aviv orders deportation of Irish Nobel Laureate who sailed on Gaza freedom flotilla (by Jack Khoury, Haaretz) Continue reading

National News, Oct. 1, 2010

CALIFORNIA: Gov. Schwarznegger signs bill decriminalizing marijuana possession (by Patrick McGreevy, The Los Angeles Times)

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Sen. Leahy’s bill would permit censorship of Web sites with ‘no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose’ (by Mike Masnick, Tech Dirt)

DOMESTIC POLICY: A decade of federally funded abstinence-only sex education comes to an end (Associated Press)

MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: Mercenary group formerly known as Blackwater gets piece of a $10 billion State Dept. contract (by Spencer Ackerman, Wired)

FOREIGN POLICY: US to apologize for STD experiments on Guatamalans some 60 years ago (RAW STORY)

POLITICS: Fox News parent company gives $1 million to Republican-leaning business lobby (by Ben Smith, Politico)

BUSINESS: United Airlines, Continental complete merger, valued at $3.2 billion (by Mark Hardin, The Orlando Business Journal)

TEXAS: Four suicides at Fort Hood stun local residents (by Ann Gerhart, The Washington Post)

GULF COAST: Scientist finds high levels of cancer-causing carcinogens in Gulf of Mexico (by Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)

TELEVISION: Bill O’Reilly ‘took a beating’ during Fox News interview with Bill Maher (by John Easley, PoliticsUSA)

NUTS: GOP mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh talks new ‘civil war’ (Media Matters)

FUNNY: Leaving as Obama’s top aide, teary-eyed Rahm given a dead fish (by Jake Tapper, ABC News)

SCARY: US intelligence sources suspect Osama bin Laden played role in foiled Europe terror plot (CBS News/Associated Press)

Republican accidentally saves Net Neutrality

Borrowed from Ars Tecnica

For years, Republicans have objected to a little thing called “Net Neutrality”.

What is Net Neutrality? It’s an idea that governs much of the Internet today, that says all traffic, no matter what type or where it’s going or where it’s from, must be treated equally. It gives everyone on the ‘net an equal shot at competing for your attention, and prevents network owners from colluding to censor content or unfairly compete with smaller firms.

There’s a reason many have called it the “First Amendment of the Internet”.

You’d think, with a Democratic congress and a Democrat in the White House, something would be done to accomplish this. While there have been steps taken, namely President Obama’s selection of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, powerful Democrats in Congress appear to have conspired against the proposals their own party and constituents support.

Key to the passage and enforcement of Net Neutrality rules is a reclassification of broadband Internet, both wired and wireless, as “universal” services under Title II of the Communications Act. Both Obama and Genachowski are in favor of doing this, as are many House Democrats.

Enter Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who was pledging allegiance to Net Neutrality this time last year. Today he sings a different tune, putting forward legislative text under the banner of neutrality that would actually enshrine proposals by the telecom industry that block the government from enforcing neutrality rules.

You’d think this would be a no-nonsense ‘yes’ vote from Republicans — a vote to kill that pesky Net Neutrality issue until the end of 2012, potentially placing it beyond the reach of the Obama administration.

Yes, you’d think. — that’s not to say the GOP would too.

Continue reading