Tag Archive: United States


New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner James Risen said that he believes the U.S. government’s crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers is a direct result of President Barack Obama’s personal dislike for the press, the Morning Sentinel of Maine reported Sunday. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Jt – Michael’s Blog

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Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America’s “war on terror,” already 12 years old, would last at least another decade. At first, they injected these decrees only anonymously; in late 2012, The Washington Post – disclosing the administration’s secret creation of a “disposition matrix” to decide who should be killed, imprisoned without charges, or otherwise “disposed” of – reported these remarkable facts:

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.” [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Jr – Michael’s Blog

A member of the Colorado Board of Education said the United States ended slavery “voluntarily” while defending a revised, nationalistic history curriculum for AP students. Some conservative counties in the state have adopted the new curriculum to protest the current national Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Jh – Michael’s Blog

This is how to get Ebola: Come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is infected with the virus and already symptomatic. Ebola doesn’t travel through the air. A person in Washington, D.C., can’t catch Ebola from an Ebola-infected person in Dallas without going there and coming into direct contact with the patient’s bodily fluids.

Still, amid the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, in West Africa, the news of the first case diagnosed in the United States has prompted people to act as if they’re a half-breath away from catching the virus anyway.

America’s Patient Zero is in Texas. He’s in isolation, and the people who were in an apartment with him when he became sick are under quarantine. None of the people who potentially came into contact with the man while he was symptomatic have yet become sick with Ebola. Multiple potential U.S. cases elsewhere — from New York to Washington — have come up negative. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-J7 – Michael’s Blog

The Independent writes of Chomsky’s Masters of Mankind, “A revelation … This is a book woven through with hope and awe at all the people who slip beyond imperial control and establish real democracy … a treasure-trove.”

The following excerpt is the foreword to the Chomsky essays by activist and public intellectual Marcus Raskin:

Noam Chomsky’s political activities and his understanding of the nature of language capacity may be described metaphorically as an unbroken band labeled universality. But his universality is no mystification aimed at masking truths and marginalizing truthful inquiries, nor is it the belief that all of public life must be the same everywhere. One side of the Chomsky strip is innateness, which presents humanity with the gift of language and therefore communication. Follow that strip of universality; you will note that there is imprinted on the strip a capacity that allows for rationality and moral action that can catalyze humanity’s benign social purpose. We may even speculate that human nature contains a capacity for invariant empathy. We leap and conclude that humanity is more than a bunch of indivisible but empty monads unconnected except through their accidental collision; we further conclude that humankind is imprinted with an inexorable drive to create something better out of its raw material. We desire our shared knowledge to lead to love, and vice versa; we want power to be in service of both. Perhaps a humane world civilization might come into being in which universality does not assign a preferred place to any particular group, but in which all are joined in solidarity and mutual dignity with all others. However, when we look again we see that the strands of the strip are torn and they need repair. But how to repair them so that the band does not disintegrate? What are the tools we use to repair the tear? And who repairs the band of which we are an integral part? [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-J3 – Michael’s Blog

Sunday night President Obama made an appearance on 60 Minutes to talk about the ongoing efforts against ISIS. The quote that everyone is focusing on, of course, is Obama’s admission that they “underestimated ISIS.” The right is predictably working itself into a fine froth over this. Had we only carpet bombed everything back in 2013, the Middle East would now be a virtual utopia and nothing would ever go wrong in the region again. Personally, I don’t find the president’s admission to be a huge shock. Given that our last president had a bit of trouble thinking of a single mistake that he might have made, ever, it is refreshing to hear Obama utter words along these lines. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of the actions we have taken, as we try to correct for our underestimation, what with the unforeseen consequences crawling out of the woodwork, but still, it’s nice to hear some acknowledgement of our fallibility. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-I8 – Michael’s Blog

The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobbying group, is targeting a handful of Democrats in close Senate races with one of the most provocative — if not downright scary —  ads of the campaign season.

Let’s set the scene: A young mother puts to bed her infant child and receives a text, presumably from her husband, letting her know his plane landed.

“Love you. Good night,” she texts back.

Suddenly, an ominous shadow is outside a window and a figure busts into the front door. Cut to a scene with police tape outside the home, suggesting tragedy.

“It happens like that,” a narrator says. “The police can’t get there in time. How you defend yourself is up to you. It’s your choice. But Mary Landrieu voted to take away your gun rights.”

Replace Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and you get the ad running in Colorado.

How do we get from a vote in Congress to an intruder barreling through a poor woman’s front door? It’s far from a straight line. [Read more]

 

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http://wp.me/p4sUqu-HM – Michael’s Blog

In 1996 – as major U.S. news outlets disparaged the Nicaraguan Contra-cocaine story and destroyed the career of investigative reporter Gary Webb for reviving it – the CIA marveled at the success of its public-relations team guiding the mainstream media’s hostility toward both the story and Webb, according to a newly released internal report.

Entitled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story,” the six-page report describes the CIA’s damage control after Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series was published in the San Jose Mercury-News in August 1996. Webb had resurrected disclosures from the 1980s about the CIA-backed Contras collaborating with cocaine traffickers as the Reagan administration worked to conceal the crimes.

Although the CIA’s inspector general later corroborated the truth about the Contra-cocaine connection and the Reagan administration’s cover-up, the mainstream media’s counterattack in defense of the CIA in late summer and fall of 1996 proved so effective that the subsequent CIA confession made little dent in the conventional wisdom regarding either the Contra-cocaine scandal or Gary Webb. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-HG – Michael’s Blog

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas said this on the campaign trail a couple of days ago:

    There’s a palpable fear among Kansans all across this state that the America that we love and cherish and honor will not be the same America for our kids and grandkids….We have to change course because our country is heading for national socialism.

What do you think? Should we treat this charitably and assume Roberts is too dim to realize that national socialism is Nazism? I guess so. According to a piece today from WaPo’s Philip Rucker, Roberts explains that (a) President Obama is leading the country in the direction of a “European socialistic state,” and (b) “You can’t tell me anything that he has not tried to nationalize.” So there you have it. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Hx – Michael’s Blog

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.’s departure – or more precisely his replacement – is an issue with huge implications for the housing sector, and a former White House official bluntly explained why.

Jim Parrott, a former housing advisor in the Obama White House, cast much of the blame for today’s tight mortgage lending on the Justice Department’s aggressive enforcement actions in the wake of the housing bust, including the record multi-billion settlements reached with big banks in recent years.

It’s not so much the size or the number of the settlements, but rather the open-ended nature of the Justice Department’s agenda, and the sense that lenders are “just not sure what closure looks and feels like,” Parrott said at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s housing summit in Washington this month. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Hv – Michael’s Blog

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