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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
-– B. Lester

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 Rants: On Second Thought

OpinionBy: Rosemarie Jackowski

Public schools are important...

On second thought, government public schools teach an inaccurate view of world history. If it is unacceptable for FOX news to air inaccurate information, it is even more unacceptable for schools to do so with their captive audience of youthful minds. No one gets a free pass when it comes to propagandizing children. That leads to xenophobia, false patriotism, and war. Students need to have access to accurate information about US war crimes. Have you ever seen a text book that gave an honest view of USA and World History? In a very small percentage of classrooms, 'A People's History of the United States' by Howard Zinn is used.

Maybe education is too important to be left to the government. Maybe it would be better to have publicly funded private education that gives all families, rich and poor, a fair choice. The important question is: "Should government have the final say, or should families have the final say in the type of education for their children?"

A Single Payer Health care system will put the government in charge of everyone's health care and deprive patients of choice...

Not necessarily so. A Single Payer System can be designed any way that citizens want. The government's role should be limited to funding. The patient/doctor relationship should be unaffected. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, November 11 @ 21:22:35 EST (761 reads)
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 Rants: To Hell with the Democrats!:

Time to for Any Real Progressives in Congress to Bolt the Party and Start a New One

by: Dave Lindorff

Jeff Greenwald has just written that President Obama, by playing a leading role in pushing for cuts in Social Security benefits as part of the whole kabuki-theater drama over the debt ceiling, and the alleged crisis of America’s national debt, has cut out the “soul” of the Democratic Party.

Let’s start by saying that if the Democratic Party ever had a soul, it was sold long ago to the Evil Ones who run corporate America, and especially the horned legions on Wall Street. But the point Greenwald makes is a good one: Obama and his backers in the Democratic Party in Congress -- the power brokers like Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and the sell-outs like Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Mark Warner (D-VA), who are the Democratic half of the so-called Gang of Six currently putting forward a proposal to raise working class taxes while cutting taxes for the rich, and to slash $3 trillion from programs that are critically important for the poor and the sick -- have abandoned any commitment they and the party might once have had to working class America and to the poor and have gone over completely to a strategy of trying to compete with Republicans in currying the favor of the rich and the powerful.

There is at this point only one thing to do, and it’s not to encourage some liberal figure to run a quixotic primary campaign against Obama for the 2012 Democratic Presidential campaign.

It is to move forward with a strategy to develop a fully-competitive progressive Third Party to run races in every Congressional district and for every Senate seat up for grabs in 2012, and to run a candidate for President. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, July 21 @ 21:05:34 EDT (805 reads)
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 Rants: Back to Basics

Peaceby: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

In the first few shaky, panicky days after the attacks of September 11, I found myself driving through downtown Keene, New Hampshire. There on the green of a large traffic circled stood two people, not speaking, not moving, just holding signs. One said "Peace," and the other said "No War." When I returned a couple of months later, more people were there. Not many, not enough to start a basketball team, really, but there they were holding signs and making their quiet, vital point.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan accelerated toward becoming the bloodbaths so many of us knew they would be, these kinds of small protests began popping up in big cities and small towns all over the country. I traveled some 800,000 miles in the first half of the George W. Bush administration, hitting just about every one of the continental 48 states while speaking out against the war, and everywhere I went, I was invited to participate in these kinds of protests. Not large, not enough to make the news, but people would stand in the same spot in some town or city every single day, visible only to a small sliver of the society but making their point nonetheless.

Every so often, of course, these small dots of protesting humanity would swell into an ocean of outrage that broke in waves over Washington DC and the other great cities of this nation. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, December 10 @ 16:24:59 EST (1054 reads)
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 Rants: Thanksgiving

HolidaysFrom: Jane Newton

To the editor,

I find it hard to be thankful about anything except my friends and family during a Thanksgiving holiday when the world, through the madness of greed and power is being destroyed for our children.

Over half of our taxes, thanks to the military, are being used to kill people and cause unspeakable suffering all over the world, and, while our government considers spending less on food stamps and unemployment, most of what is left of our wealth, in the hands of the a tiny percentage of thoughtless people, sails off in 400 foot yachts.

The environment is turning into a toxic wasteland; the bankers get golden parachutes; the gap between rich and poor has reached shameful proportions; the drones, controlled by kids with computer games, grow in numbers and spread death into more and more countries; health care is making insurance companies rich while millions have no care at all, and the media, in the hands of a system that is losing its democracy and sliding into fascism, (democracy and empire cannot exist together), goes on faking it. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, November 24 @ 18:29:18 EST (785 reads)
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 Rants: Cowardice, American Style

OpinionBy Sherwood Ross

Too little has been written about the cowardice of CIA and Pentagon torturers and even less about the stoic courage of their victims. Irrespective of what they might have done, there can be no question that those suffering illegal and criminal tortures are, in fact, more courageous than their tormentors. After all, how much courage does it take to pummel a man tied to a chair or chained to a wall? Answer: a lot less than it takes to withstand the blows you know that are coming.

CIA interrogators don’t have even the “sporting” attitude of the schoolyard bully who attacks a weaker child. That might be called a “fair fight” as the weaker could put up a defense. But those five-man teams that torture the defenseless, by definition, have got to be the most cowardly thugs on the planet. Somehow, this perspective has eluded the “24” fiction writers at Fox television network who extol U.S. torturer Jack Bauer the way Goebbels once extolled the SS. It has also eluded President Barack Obama, a former employee of a CIA-front organization, who lavishly praised the CIA in a speech at its Langley, Va., headquarters last year.

According to one reliable published report, more than 100 prisoners have died in U.S. custody since President Bush launched his “War on Terror,” yet this figure may be a pale shadow of the ugly reality, for there are repeated tales of prisoners dragged from their cells in the dead of night and “disappeared”---men whose murders may not appear in any Pentagon or CIA box score. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, July 01 @ 22:29:38 EDT (852 reads)
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 Rants: Enough of This Crap

The Newsby: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Reports have been coming out of the Gulf for days about British Petroleum blocking access to beaches and animal-cleaning stations, in some instances using private Blackwater-style mercenaries to do so. Journalists as well as citizens have been thwarted in their attempts to see for themselves the extent of the damage being done by the runaway Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Know what I'd like to see happen? I would like to see a thousand people, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, just show the hell up down there and demand access. Citizens and reporters alike, just get down there, link arms, and walk to the beaches and the marshlands with digital cameras and cell phones for instantaneous blogging of what they see, hear and smell. Pile into as many rented, borrowed and begged boats as can be mustered and plow out there to the scene of the crime. Dare the gendarmes to stop us.

One of two things would happen: either the people would break through those unconscionable corporate barriers and show the world what is really going on in the Gulf, or the forces BP has arrayed against the truth would react with violence, which would tell us everything we need to know about what is happening, and would be enough to break that God damned criminal corporation finally and forever. Either way, there would be thousands of people down there to chronicle what is happening, a ready-made army of volunteers who can also pitch in as best they can and begin the epic process of trying to undo what has been done. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, June 15 @ 20:23:11 EDT (819 reads)
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 Rants: Killing Our World

Environmentby: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

"I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I'd never have," wrote Chuck Palahniuk in his novel,"'Fight Club." "Burn the Amazon rain forest. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn't afford to eat, and smother the French beaches. I wanted the whole world to hit bottom ... I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now."

This is our world now, indeed. All those terrible things Palahniuk's protagonist wanted to do, well, most of them are happening or have already happened. The Louvre is still there, for now, and neither the Marbles nor the "Mona Lisa" have been violated, but as for the rest of that rant ... yeah, they're pretty much fact.

Our world.

The Boston Globe web site put together a series of pictures detailing the inexorable advance of spilled petroleum in the Gulf, the slow dread of aftermath from the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon nearly a month ago. I've been staring at them for the last hour, and I'm beginning to believe I have lost the capacity to weep. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, May 18 @ 20:59:25 EDT (936 reads)
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 Rants: America, The Imperial

Artby Sherwood Ross

I write to you in my last hour
In the last hour of the night
The hour of fear before the light
The hour of persecution and execution
Of the headsman’s bloody institution
Of prisoners dragged from their cells
Hearts pounding, legs trembling
Piss-soaked with fright.

I write to you from the land of discredited dreams
Of delicate white petals spilled upon the floor
Like semen wasted in the fingers of a whore
Of American dreams twisted into nightmares
Of a president’s lying schemes
For which Christ has no parable, no metaphor.

I write to you when poets are beaten in the streets
When students are shot dead for protesting war
When men earn their bread making killing machines
And never question what their work is for. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, April 26 @ 13:00:42 EDT (1033 reads)
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 Rants: The Kids Are All Right

Opinionby Jennifer Doak

Being a young American today can be discouraging. Things don't look so good for us, even since Bush left office, leaving behind an awful lot of cleaning up for us “Millennials” to do.

BusinessWeek dubbed us a "lost generation," because 18 percent of us can't find work. Those who can are paid less than our counterparts were in earlier decades, and many college grads among us are saddled with thousands of dollars in loans. If the Obama administration’s proposal to federalize and reduce the student loan burden goes through (a big if), that’s a start. But with more than $50,000 in college debt (and that's on the low end), I can confirm it will be a while before I have the cash to buy a home, invest in a retirement fund, or even start a family. Heck, I can barely afford to go home for Christmas.

Our predecessors deregulated industry, thoughtfully ensuring that our food and water aren't as safe as they should be. Of course, in 2007, 13.2 million of us under 35 didn't have health care so there's little to be done if we get sick. Since the Baby Boomers and the oldest Generation Xers refused to seriously research alternative energy, we inherited a nasty oil addiction that led politicians to send thousands of my cohorts to fight an unwinnable war in Iraq. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, February 03 @ 20:07:46 EST (819 reads)
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 Rants: America, Inc. & ‘Jesus Guns’ - Is this a Horror Movie?

PoliticsHave I entered ‘The Twilight Zone’? No, its worse than that, this isn’t Sci-Fi, it’s Real!

By Sherlyn Meinz

On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of The United States of America decided that corporations have every right to buy our political process,[1]and this morning we awoke in America, Inc. The checks and balances are no longer there, none of the three branches of our government are functioning appropriately anymore. [2]

Vote for change? What a lie! I am not referring in particular to President Obama, or his campaign slogan, but to the reality that our two-party political system was already extremely compromised by private monies, but with the Supreme Court’s decision, all limits are gone! Even at the most local of levels, it will now be worth some companies’ bottom line to use their money to coerce or bash your representative and mine if they don't represent the corporate interest! Maybe it will be to get zoning approval for an expansion; or to a have blind eye turned to pollution or exposing employees to unreasonable dangers. It might even ensure that a nightmare like Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant is not shut down as planned, but will continue to operate while having have regular “accidents” and problems and lying about it![3] Meanwhile, the owners will indeed be allowed to skip out on the promised future clean-up. And the people, well we’re screwed! ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, January 22 @ 22:52:59 EST (875 reads)
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War NewsFrom: Ray Lemiere

For Shabby & Blue

A song taking on the war toy industry, from the sweatshops where they are made, to backyard toy funerals with color guards.

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, January 19 @ 23:14:22 EST (826 reads)
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 Rants: Discipline Israel, Negotiate with Iran. But first, Cast Aside Religion

InternationalBy John Stanton

Enough of the tail wagging the dog! This has been going on for too many years. The US must publicly keep a close hold on Israel as it openly works with Iran. We must not let Israel set policy for the USA.

It's time for US officials to tell the Israeli leadership and its US supporters at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in the White House, US Congress and various think tanks -- like the Iran Policy Committee (iranpolicy.org/index.php) -- to stop acting like preschoolers fighting and arguing in a playground or sandbox. For example, the Iran Policy Committee goes so far as to say that Al Qaeda and Iran threaten the security of California.

Ditch the demonization campaigns and silly rhetoric and feckless congressional resolutions that antagonize those we seek to cooperate with. Cease and desist from linking World War II era characters, like Hitler, and woeful events like the Holocaust from the 1930' and 40's with 2009. The world gets it.

The world knows that Holocaust deniers are fools, as are those who seek to use the Holocaust as a shield against criticism. The world also knows that many of its leaders are fools, yet they hold the reins of power.

The world also knows that if Israel were faced with existential termination, it would take the world with it by launching all of its 300 nuclear weapons in every direction. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, May 29 @ 21:35:11 EDT (959 reads)
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 Rants: Sorry, I Don't Think So!

ArtBy Ray Lemire, streamingoldies.com

If you plan an event based on the anniversary of something truly historic, it makes sense to actually celebrate that anniversary at the site where the event took place – doesn’t it?

You Can Never Go Home Again Anymore

Not so fast. The defining moment of the sixties generation may be gearing up for a 40th anniversary but one of the co-promoters of the 1969 event is thinking of celebrating it in a completely different location and most certainly without the same aura – but at least it would still be free ... Big Deal. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, March 27 @ 17:51:59 EDT (1501 reads)
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 Rants: The American People

Business Newsby: Rick Kepler, t r u t h o u t |Perspective

I am an American worker, and you are damn right I want the wealth to be shared and spread. I am talking about the wealth my hard work helped to create, but was taken from me by George Bush's base, the very rich, or as I know them, my corporate bosses. For the past eight years I have watched W.'s and McCain's (Country Club First) base grab the largest share of our country's wealth. Where did they take it from? They took it from my family's pocketbook, and my co-workers' families' pocketbooks. They stole the wealth that I was trying to build for me and my family when they stripped my pension plan from me and told me to invest in a 401k. Then they stole most of that 401k and other workers' 401k savings with this economic meltdown. This was a massive transfer of wealth from the workers' pockets into the already stuffed pockets of the rich. My retirement savings and my coworkers' savings all across America have been looted by the corporate bosses, who just got bailed out while we got left out. Again!

The American worker, whether black, brown, white, red, yellow, or rainbow color, has been fleeced over these past eight years. We are the ones who go to work every day. We don't own our places of work, nor do we help manage them. We just go in and do the job. And we must be doing one hell of a good job because we are told that we are the most productive workers in the world. We are working longer and harder, but our paychecks keep shrinking! Where are those productivity gains going then? Not into our pockets. Our standard of living has been going down these past eight years ($2,000 less in family income since W. took office) This is another damn transfer of wealth into the hands of the extremely rich. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, November 22 @ 19:17:51 EST (931 reads)
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 Rants: Bail-Out: NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! What part don’t they understand??

PoliticsKeep up the pressure!

By Sherlyn Meinz

I just don’t get it -- the people give a great big “No” to the bail-out, and it did get temporarily voted down by the House – but only to come back to haunt us with changes supposed to placate us into accepting it. The Senate votes tonight!

The market went down - then back up– without their bail-out! The recent individual corporate bail-outs only made things worse, seeming only to pave the way to push us into this massive rip-off of the American people. It is admitted in almost all circles, that there are no guarantees. In fact, many economists have stated that the bail-out is not needed. Nonetheless, our elected representatives are pushing hard for another huge transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich. These corporations and their executives are people who should be investigated, prosecuted and forced to return the huge sums they skimmed off the top of these companies before skipping out/allowing the companies to fail at the people of the United States and world’s expense.

Interesting that right after I heard it announced that the most recent meltdown was going to hurt the rich, suddenly we needed a massive bail-out! ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, October 01 @ 13:46:30 EDT (1595 reads)
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