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General Interest

Items of interest to all.

Climate Change is Changing the Oceans

Bleached corals on coral reef on southern Great Barrier Reef

Ocean scientists find the effects of climate change in the world's oceans. From acidification and warming temperatures to sea-level rise and sea-ice loss, Ira Flatow and guests explore how the oceans are changing.
Source: Changing Climate Means Changing Oceans

Gareth Porter

Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist for IPS News. He discusses the acceptance of the false Iraq War narrative. He explains how the U.S. and Iran are essentially partners-in-meddling in Iraqi politics.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Gareth Porter, September 13, 2010

Riz Khan of Al Jazeera English questions the food distribution system

He asks with more than one billion people around the world considered overweight, why are so many others still starving and struggling to fill their plates?
Source: Riz Khan - Global food justice

Music includes Earth Anthem, The Maid Freed from the Gallows, Lonely Bull, We'll Meet Again

Play Program or Download(below the fold)

Obama’s Personal and Political Betrayal of ‘Brother’ Cornel West

(539 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Chris Hedges recently interviewed Cornel West in The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic about his personal and political experiences with Obama. West is described by Hedges as “the Class of 1943 University Professor of African American Studies and Religion at Princeton University.”

Hedges launches his West-Obama narrative as follows:

The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.

Perhaps there was never much of a struggle in Obama’s heart. Perhaps West only provided a moral veneer. Perhaps the dark heart of Emanuel was always the dark heart of Obama. Only Obama knows. But we know how the play ends. West is banished like honest Kent in “King Lear.” Emanuel and immoral mediocrities from Lawrence Summers to Timothy Geithner to Robert Gates—think of Goneril and Regan in the Shakespearean tragedy—take power. We lose. And Obama becomes an obedient servant of the corporate elite in exchange for the hollow trappings of authority.

Albert Brooks’ Novel Take On Our Future

Just got to enjoy Albert Brooks live and in person pitching his new futuristic novel, 2030, The Real Story of What Happens to America at an uptown B&N in NYC.

Brooks arrived at the bookstore just after an appearance on The Daily Show. He announced we were the first B&N stop on the tour, and that by the time he got to B&N in Tennessee he would have it down better if anyone wanted to trail him there.

There was a good turn out and if I hadn’t had the time wrong, it was 7:30pm not 7pm for his appearance, I would have missed hearing him and been relegated to the crestfallen people out of ear shot beyond the glass doors of the author conference room. Brooks upon arriving at the podium indicated those people behind the glass, “What ... they got diseases?”

The intrepid and hilarious Albert Brooks was a favorite of mine when he first started making Johnny Carson giggle uncontrollably decades ago. My favorite schtick was when he lined up six or so audience members and as a parody of the old Ed Sullivan Show spinning plates act, he declared that he could keep 6 people laughing simultaneously by running back and forth among them telling them jokes. Brooks confided that he didn’t often repeat his ideas. “Johnny just told me to show up and surprise him. So, I did.”

Would JSOC (Jay-sock) By Any Other Name -- Murder Inc., Death Terrorism Squad or US’ SS -- Smell as Mystiquely Sweet?

(547 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

What is JSOC? Joint Special Operations Command.

I got that it was some kind of secret U.S. SWAT-team-like paramilitary program, ever growing and being unleashed onto scores of nations. I can't begin to imagine the breathtaking “black budget” it must suck up both crippling the welfare of the US citizenry and enabling it to wreak horror among non-US populations.

JSOC. Frontline addressed JSOC somewhat tonight about capture/kill operations in Afghanistan but not critically enough by a long shot. (Is it me or is Frontline getting more and more “careful” in its explorations?) I decided to do some fast googling.

Jeremy Scahill writes of JSOC:

Col. W. Patrick Lang, a retired Special Forces officer with extensive operational experience throughout the Muslim world, described JSOC’s forces as “sort of like Murder, Incorporated.” He told The Nation: “Their business is killing Al Qaeda personnel. That’s their business. They’re not in the business of converting anybody to our goals or anything like that.” Shortly after the operation was made public, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey called JSOC’s operators the “most dangerous people on the face of the earth.”

'Now Is The Time For All Good Men and Women Not To Come To The Aid of Their Party'

(550 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Andrew Levine has a lot to say in his article “The Illogic of Lesser Evilism: The Obama Example”. A distillation of his advice for us liberals frustrated by Obama and the sell-out Dem Party Levine himself puts into the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, “Just say no!”

As a general rule, the worse the greater evil is, the more compelling lesser evil considerations become.  That was the case in 2004, when abhorrence of Bush and Cheney was the message many expressive voters wished to convey.  With the Tea Party making the GOP more dangerous than ever, the lesser evil argument is likely to seem irresistible again.  Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and every other Obama opponent in sight are living, breathing arguments for keeping Obama in the White House.  For Democratic Party cheerleaders, like Rachel Maddow and the other talking heads who populate the MSNBC evening lineup, that’s the whole story.  But they are wrong.  No matter how ridiculous – and therefore scary -- the alternative is, the case for supporting Obama, especially with the election more than a year and a half away, is far from conclusive; and scaring people into the Obama camp now is, to put it nicely, unhelpful.

"All Along the Watchtower" by the Sac State Jazz Singers

They're not Jimi Hendrix, but still good

Monterey Next Generation Festival performance - Sacramento State Jazz Singers.

April 11, 2010.

Arrangement by Ian Brekke.

The singers, from left to right: Valerie Dickinson, Ian Brekke, Casey Lipka, Natalie Geeter, Kalin Walling, Melissa Fulkerson, Karen Cacho, Tim Stephenson, Gaw Vang. Under the direction of Kerry Marsh.

Science Friday: Tahoe tsunami possible | Darwinopterus, the remarkable transitional pterosaur | Manul: the Cat that Time Forgot

The article below isn't new news --- but the earthquake threat causing one is

Underwater slide kicked up tsunami, geology shows

    By David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

    A giant underwater landslide that gouged the bottom of Lake Tahoe thousands of years ago sent a tsunami coursing across the lake and left huge ripples of rock that remain today, geologists have discovered.

Psy-Ops Hype re Bin Laden Execution or ‘Return to Jessica Lynchville’

The incident of Osama bin Laden’s execution by Navy Seals is one more litmus test for morality. It shows a disrespect for the sanctity of human life and the foundational principle of due process. Yes, even the sanctity of the human life of an Osama bin Laden. Obama counted on “vengeance” being accepted by us citizens, rather than real justice through the law.

As Chris Floyd has written:

... the question of whether the president could order an assassination was settled some time ago. They assert the right to keep prisoners in jail forever and kill American citizens, and nobody cares, so why in the world would there be any domestic blowback for ordering the death of the world's most wanted man?

The pack of lies that flooded forth upon the announcement of Bin Laden’s demise should also give us pause. They show a disrespect for us as citizens and for the truth.

How telling and depressing that the mendacious psy-ops framing of the raid and execution-style killing of Osama bin Laden seem so effectively eclipsed by the “historical accomplishment” of apprehending the mastermind of 9/11.

The end-justifies-the-means mentality is a seductive one, especially in this case.

Obama and Torture

Ted Rall
Jason Leopold
Will Durst

From the Peter B. Collins' Show
Jason Leopold on Obama’s contradictory positions on torture.
Peter B. Collins' memo to Obama.
Ted Rall talks about his new book, "The Anti-American Manifesto".
Will Durst on Democratic whiners.
Source: Obama’s Hypocritical Positions on Torture; PBC says “I’ll Stop Whining If….”; Ted Rall’s Anti-American Manifesto; Will Durst

Music includes Earth Anthem, How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, We'll Meet Again

Play Program or Download below the fold

Take-OUT not Take-down of OBL -- DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES!

(553 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Pepe Escobar of Asia Times suggests the motivation for the alleged take-OUT not take-down of Osama Bin Ladin:

The hero, fully equipped, pumped up, is face to face with the real Osama bin Laden, unarmed, just out of bed, trapped in a drab room. There's no possible escape; the whole compound is "secured". This is it - the moment America has been dreaming about since September 11, 2001.


Now the hero is face to face with the man who caused the "war on terror" itself to exist. And what does he do? Not a shot in the arm, leg or knee. Not even a casually tossed stun grenade. No extraordinary rendition - what is this good for anyway if it does not apply to public enemy number one?

The hero double-taps the fugitive - codename "Geronimo" (a native who defied the Empire; talk about defiling native-Americans once again). This is the way the biggest, costliest manhunt ever ends; not with a prolonged bang, but with two golden bullets. Good guy snuffs bad guy. Dirty Harry snuffs the punk.

Osama Bin Laden, Mere Cog in the Real Overlords’ Mighty Propaganda Machine

(554 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Multiple Choice 20 QUESTIONS About the War in Afghanistan

(554 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

1. What country does the vast majority of terrorists in Afghanistan come from?

a) Afghanistan

b) Other

c) USA

“The U.S. war in Afghanistan is a terrorist enterprise. By employing these tactics of terror, the Pentagon seeks to force Afghan peasants to end their resistance to foreign occupation. They are succeeding in creating oceans of suffering among people, most of who have never heard of the World Trade Center or the September 11 attacks. In fact, a 2010 survey conducted by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) showed that 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar provinces knew nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks in 2001.”(Brian Becker)

It’s All Relative or Gobsmackingly Mendacious: If Gaddafi Hitler-esque, Obama et al. Assume the Higher (Low) Moral Ground?

(556 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

Wow, I thought the biggest hit to social humanists was when the “two Americas” populists of John Edwards’ campaign had their call to a moral high ground silenced when their passionate and articulate for political ethics leader was found guilty of cheating on his cancer-stricken and dying wife.

That sucker punch to human and social rights advocates seems like nothing upon reading the breathtaking headlines about Gaddafi’s alleged capacity for evil -- mandating mass rape and supplying Viagara to his fighters. A veritable HITLER ... IF the story is true.

Protesting the US and NATO waging an illegitimate war with Libya certainly has become far more awkward for myself as a feminist and peace activist.

I don’t know a lot about Gaddafi. In the best reports he is a very troubling and dangerous-sounding man. But we are all relentlessly saturated with corporate media propaganda daily. Hard to figure it all out, and dig out reality in this say-anything post-Bush but still neocon powered Obamaworld of gamesmanship, not truth and honor.

Official Washington’s ‘SHOCK & AWE’ Over ‘GIVE PEACE A CHANCE’ in Libya

(557 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

The corporate-media-beloved and ever-present neolib and neocon war-hawk gamesters are tasting blood and lusting to “FINISH THE JOB” in Libya, a job that on the surface was supposed to be humanitarian in nature, to SAVE CIVILIANS. But, really folks, who doesn’t know the faux-humanitarian intervention “NO FLY ZONE” R2P was in reality just the first step on the American and cronies' slippery slope of high-handed non-humanitarian regime change and aggressive occupation for control of oil, other resources, finances and a punishment of uppity Libyan nationalistic and African-centric activities.

After two surreally grim and failing -- FAILING -- wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military, political and media architects and cheerleaders of these failures are still around to jump up and down heatedly and rue the word “STALEMATE” over the “No Fly Zone” result and INSIST ON STEAMROLLING DOWN THE SAME IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN DOOMING GARDEN PATH.