Monday, December 28, 2009

White House's Ties to Health Care Industry Deeper Than Visitor Records Show

By Daniela Perdomo, AlterNet
Posted on November 26, 2009, Printed on December 28, 2009

In August, the Associated Press asked the Obama White House -- which has promised to be the most transparent administration 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has ever seen -- to release information on all communications between top staff and health care industry bigwigs. The call went unanswered, so in September the AP downgraded its request to a log of health care-related visits to those same top White House officials.

On Wednesday, the White House released records of 575 such visits since Jan. 20. It catalogs meetings with 22 top Obama aides including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior advisers Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Pete Rouse.

First Commercial 3D Bio-Printer Makes Human Tissues and Organs

Invetech, an innovator in new product development and custom automation for the biomedical, industrial and consumer markets, today announced that it has delivered the world's first production model 3D bio-printer to Organovo, developers of the proprietary NovoGen bioprinting technology. Organovo will supply the units to research institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.

One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists

By Chris Hedges 

December 28, 2009 "Truthdig" -- Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements—who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism—have discovered that his fate is their fate.

Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at or On Martin Luther King Day, this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Energy, Politics and the US Role in Uganda’s Culture War

Uganda's oil, and gay death penalty, may rival Saudi Arabia's

Posted Dec 24, 2009 by Ann Garrison

Reprinted with the author’s permission.

Oil reserves as large as Saudi Arabia's may soon embolden Ugandan officials who've been threatening to punish homosexuals with death, just as independently oil wealthy Saudi Arabia does.

U.S. Government

Oil reserves as large as Saudi Arabia's may soon embolden Ugandan officials who've been threatening to punish homosexuals with death, just as independently oil wealthy Saudi Arabia does.

In mid-December the U.S. State Department assured Americans outraged by Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009, a.k.a. Hang the Gays bill, that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had promised to veto it, if his Parliament passes it in January 2010. However, on 12.22.2009, Uganda's leading newspaper, the Daily Monitor, reported that the government is still undecided, and will remain opposed to homosexuality, no matter how great the international pressure.

And, a little known bill as draconian as the Anti-Homosexuality Act has also been proposed----the ill-named HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, which would criminalize HIV transmission, create mandatory testing and disclosure laws, and, according to Human Rights Watch, violate international law.

Homosexuality is already a crime in Uganda; the penalty is 14 years to life in prison. The Anti-Homosexuality Act would add seven "aggravated homosexuality" offenses, including gay sex while being HIV positive, gay sex with a disabled person, and serial homosexual convictions, all punishable by death. It would also add a long list of related offenses, like "aiding and abetting homosexuality" and "failure to disclose the offense," meaning failure to report gay sex or related offenses within 24 hours. And thus, it would create a politically convenient excuse to incarcerate most anyone, before Uganda's July 2011 elections or therafter.

Investigative journalist Jeff Sharlet reported that the U.S. fundamentalist elitist group known as "The Family" backed the bill both ideologically and financially, as culture wars born in the U.S.A. took the world stage.

After publishing "Globalizing the Culture Wars," Public Research Associates launched a campaign to demand that famously gay intolerant Pastor Rick Warren speak out against the Anti-Homosexuality Act, in Uganda, where he has so much influence, as a pastor, and, as a major player in PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Rick Warren twisted George Bush's arm, to propose PEPFAR, which Congress then funded at roughly $15 billion, from 2003 to 2008, then roughly $48 billion from 2008 to 2013. Both Uganda and Rwanda are among PEPFAR's 15 "focus countries"---U.S. allies receiving the most PEPFAR funds, often with little oversight.

Rick Warren finally did speak out against the bill, as did President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs Chair Russ Feingold, D-WI, and even Senators Grassley and Ensign, both of whom are members of "The Family." But, how much leverage will they, and all the other foreign nations and organizations who've spoken out against the bill continue to have?

"If Museveni wants the bill to pass, it will pass." ---Charles Langwa Bbaale

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986.

"If Museveni wants the bill to pass, it will pass," says Charles Langwa Bbaale, president of the Ugandan Ecological Party, affiliated with the Global Greens, and with the 2011 Coalition parties planning to field candidates in Uganda's July 2011 election. "But 50 percent of his budget comes from foreign donors, and he has to have those donations to keep employing all the people who keep him in power because he employs them, so he has to listen to the donors and they may pressure him to veto the bill."

"And, even if it doesn't pass, or only part of it passes," Bbaale adds, "it will have done what it's supposed to do if it distracts from other issues like poverty and hunger, and the lack of democracy."

Enormous oil wealth will soon strengthen Museveni's hand, already infamous for thirteen or more security organizations, answerable only to him, which persecute, abduct, disappear, torture, and execute opponents, and, harass media.

In December 2007, Africa surpassed the Middle East as a source of U.S. oil imports and, in January 2009, Heritage Oil announced what could be the largest onshore oil discovery in Sub Saharan Africa, in the Albertine Basin surrounding Lake Albert, which forms a part of the Uganda/Congo border.

Oil is already causing new disputes and skirmishes, on this border which has seen near constant conflict since 1996. Reserves are thus far reported to be on the Ugandan side, though the European colonists who created the border never drew it clearly.

On 06.02.2009, Edris Kisambira, quoted Ms. Sally Kornfeld, a senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy, in East Africa Business Week:

"You are blessed with amazing reservoirs. Your reservoirs are incredible. I am amazed by what I have seen, you might rival Saudi Arabia,' Kornfeld told a visiting delegation from Uganda in Washington DC."

University of Lumumbashi Professor Joseph Yav Katshung wrote, instead, of "The Curse of Oil in the Great Lakes of Africa," in the Pambazuka News, 10.03.2007, though he also argued for using resources as “tools for reconciliation and reconstruction."

How much of Uganda's oil wealth remains in Uganda, how it's distributed, the environmental costs, and, the outcome of further disputes between Uganda and D.R. Congo, will depend in part

Oil rich Lake Albert forms part of the Western Uganda, Eastern Congo border.

on whether or not Yoweri Museveni can hold onto the near absolute power he's held since 1986, with force and patronage.

And, on whether popular Ugandan opposition parties are able to mount a serious challenge in 2011 elections, against all odds; they'll first have to succeed at electoral reform.

Opposition parties were finally able to register, in 2005, after 19 years of rule by Museveni and his National Resistance Movement.

The use and abuse of Uganda's oil will also depend, of course, on the competition, collaboration, and, covert intervention, of world powers and oil companies now maneuvering to secure as much of Uganda's oil, and oil wealth, as possible. World powers including not only the UK, the US and their allies, but also of course, China, and, as recently reported, Italy and Libya.

Oil and human rights

Senator Russ Feingold issued a press release stating that the Anti-Homosexuality Act's passage would "hurt the close working relationship between our two countries, especially in the fight against HIV/AIDS," but, if Senator Feingold were serious about gay rights, human rights overall, and HIV, he'd be pushing to end the U.S.A.'s "close working relationship" with Yoweri Museveni, and citing Museveni's long list of human rights crimes, as recounted by London human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, in the Black Star News, 12.18.2009, with links to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports. Milton Allimadi reported, in the Black Star News, 08.11.2009, that Museveni's crimes include even the targeted use of rape, including male rape, and thus, HIV, in Northern Uganda and Eastern Congo.

Even as Senator Feingold issued his perfunctory press release objecting to Uganda's anti-gay death penalty, he was, pushing the LRA Disarmament Act of 2009, Senate Bill 1067----which will further arm and fund Yoweri Museveni, so long as he remains a U.S. ally in good standing. It will also make way for more U.S. weaponry and military "advisors," and, further militarize the Eastern Uganda/Northeastern Congo border, where big oil finds have already heightened longstanding conflict.

And, Yoweri Museveni may soon control so much oil that he can hang all the gay people, and whomever else, he wants, as freely as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and otherwise carry on his epic career as all around tyrant and human rights criminal.

Anyone hoping for a better outcome might ask how to encourage a free and fair election in Uganda, in July 2011, in accordance with the Human Rights Watch report, Preparing for the Polls.


Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in San Francisco. Look for a podcast interview with her on BAL in February.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Katy Perry’s Trailer Trash Talk…Again

Katy Perry First Offended the Lesbians, Then it was the Gays, Now it’s Time to Offend the Transgender Community.

Mmm-yeah. This bitc…um…person again. Katy Perry. Pop star, big breasts, plasticine features, bigot. What’s she done now? Well, click on the link above and find out for yourself just how trashy this white trash singer truly is.

I first heard of Katy Perry with the release of “Hot ‘n’ Cold”, which I thought was a cool song (I still do, actually). Then I looked her up using that ubiquitous tool of the Internet known as “Google”…and found that she is/was a fundamentalist evangelical who has since broken into the pop circuit. This “wholesome” “Christian” (well, except for those nude pics she took of herself in the bathroom…part of that whole Google search thing, just in case you were wondering) seems more and more to espouse everything that makes the Fred Phelps cult what it is, and it keeps becoming more and more apparent with each passing tweet.

Take your pouty lips and your over-mascara’d eyes to Iran, Katy. Your views and politics would blend right in…of course, you’d have to wear a burqa, but hey – since your views have been shining through your eyes for so long now, all of that ugliness has tainted your visage to the point that we wouldn’t mind seeing only black, featureless cloth.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cost Overruns at Lawrence Livermore National Lab

According to an internal US Department of Energy study, Managers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shifted costs to understate total spending on the controversial National Ignition Facility mega-laser, The previously secret document, leaked to Trivalley CAREs, a nuclear watchdog group in Livermore CA, pegs the current hidden costs of NIF at $80 million dollars annually.

My news story is in the NBCE Audio.

Read the Report here. (.pdf file)

Industrial Waste in my Mountain Dew?

No, the title of this blog entry isn’t alarmist, nor is it a conspiracy theory.

Let’s talk a moment about…FD&C Yellow #5. We’ve all heard of it, but what is it, really? And why is it that everywhere you turn, you find it in…something that you typically use, or would like to use?

FD&C (Federal Dye & Coloring) Yellow #5 is also known as tartrazinethis is a substance that is a coal-tar derivative. Yes, you read that right. Coal tar. In your food. Yum.

It’s used in everything from pudding to rice, soft drinks to prescription medication and beyond.

There’s just one problem

Friday, December 18, 2009

Arts Podcasts Here

Occasionally, I interview artists for my podcast series, Broadcaster At-Large. I have decided to place them on this page rather than to create an arts page. This is because the future, as I conceive it to be, eliminates working "for a living" and thus allows everyone to work at their calling,which is my definition of "right livelihood", and not at whatever some "market" will pay for today, even if it is poison (Bhopal), pollution (Cap & Trade), or NBCE Weapons (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Energy).

Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting in his life. His brother, Theo, supported him. What if Van Gogh had been an only child?

Why should we pay to live on the planet on which we were born?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed biz role revealed

Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

The whole story in Businessweek

Now does anybody wonder why I call Monsanto "Monsatan"?

House passes $636B defense bill; Obama says health costs poised to bankrupt the Fed Gov't.


The U.S. House passed a $636 billion defense spending bill that also would extend jobless benefits and healthcare for out-of-work Americans another few months. [Thrown in to attract votes to the military spending--K.R.]

The bill also would provide a 3.4 percent military pay increase but did not include funding to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as President Obama called for early this month. The price tag was estimated to be about $30 billion.

In an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson, President Obama said  that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an “unsustainable” trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, “the federal government will go bankrupt.”

In 2007, the latest figures I found, the Federal Government spent 370,806 billion dollars on Medicare and 196,624 on Medicaid-SCHIP (children's health insurance).

How come Obama never talks about the unsustainable trajectory of military spending and its power to bankrupt the government? How about TARP? The bankster bailouts are even bigger than 1 year's military outlays.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not Another Sports Show

As of today, Broadcaster At-Large welcomes "Not Another Sports Show" to its sports page. NASS is intended to be a weekly audio podcast produced by Damian, Neil, Lori and Caroline. The first episode is about college sports and school priorities. The second episode is about the NFL concussion problem and other health issues. 

These first two episodes are 70 minutes each. Please give them a listen when you can.

The End (of Dollar Hegemony) Is Near!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
21:35 Mecca time, 18:35 GMT
News Middle East
Gulf nations sign monetary pact

Two GCC members declined to ratify the pact despite Kuwait's optimism that it 'has come into effect' [EPA]
A Gulf monetary union pact has been agreed by four of the six nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council at a summit in Kuwait, the country's finance minister has said.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed and ratified the pact on Tuesday, which will see them work towards setting up a joint central bank and implementing a single currency.
The rest of the article…

ALBA alliance forgoes US dollar

The member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, ALBA, have decided to give up the US dollar in trading between them. They will instead use the sucre conventional monetary unit. The first international sucre transaction has already been made, with Cuba signing a contract with Venezuela on buying a consignment of rice. The agreement on a single system of regional payments is to be signed during an ALBA countries’ summit due in the Venezuelan city of Kumana next April. The financial mechanism will become operational next year to promote dollar-free cost-accounting. The ALBA alliance comprises the Latin American and Caribbean nations that seek to promote trade and cooperation among the participants and counteract the continually US-advanced free-trade areas. The ALBA alliance was initiated by Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro back in 2004.

Source: The Voice of Russia (I’ve seen it elsewhere, too).

Good! Two regions where the US exerts too much influence are throwing the monkey off their backs. But moreover, this form of “community currency” is a blow against one world currency and a tiny step toward the breakdown of a global financial system run by the banksters and privateers, most of whom are in the US. But above all, the breakdown of the global financial system is a necessary first to to the eventual abolition of money.

Why do we have to pay to live on the planet on which we were born?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why Are We Drugging Our Kids?


Why Are We Drugging Our Kids?

By Evelyn Pringle,
Posted on December 14, 2009, Printed on December 14, 2009
Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs increased 50 percent with children in the US, and 73 percent among adults, from 1996 to 2006, according to a study in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Health Affairs. Another study in the same issue of Health Affairs found spending for mental health care grew more than 30 percent over the same ten-year period, with almost all of the increase due to psychiatric drug costs.

On April 22, 2009, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that in 2006 more money was spent on treating mental disorders in children aged 0 to 17 than for any other medical condition, with a total of $8.9 billion. By comparison, the cost of treating trauma-related disorders, including fractures, sprains, burns, and other physical injuries, was only $6.1 billion.
In 2008, psychiatric drug makers had overall sales in the US of $14.6 billion from antipsychotics, $9.6 billion off antidepressants, $11.3 billion from antiseizure drugs and $4.8 billion in sales of ADHD drugs, for a grand total of $40.3 billion.

Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics

The New York Times


December 12, 2009

Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics


New federally financed drug research reveals a stark disparity: children covered by Medicaid are given powerful antipsychotic medicines at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have private insurance. And the Medicaid children are more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions than their middle-class counterparts, the data shows.

Those findings, by a team from Rutgers and Columbia, are almost certain to add fuel to a long-running debate. Do too many children from poor families receive powerful psychiatric drugs not because they actually need them — but because it is deemed the most efficient and cost-effective way to control problems that may be handled much differently for middle-class children?

The questions go beyond the psychological impact on Medicaid children, serious as that may be. Antipsychotic drugs can also have severe physical side effects, causing drastic weight gain and metabolic changes resulting in lifelong physical problems.

The rest of the article

Children and Antipsychotics: Graphical breakdowns by coverage type and diagnosis

End the Fed? Or End the Market Economy?

Original Content at OpEdNews

December 11, 2009
End the Fed? Or End the Market Economy?
By shamus cooke

When Republican Congressman Ron Paul recently introduced legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, diverse sections of the political spectrum applauded. And rightfully so. The Fed's role in the still-developing bank bailouts is one of utter secrecy; the total cost of which -- as estimated by the bailout's Special Inspector General, Neil Barofsky -- could cost taxpayers $23.7 trillion. The fact that legislation needed to be introduced to raise the question of the whereabouts of these funds points to a larger breakdown in U.S. democracy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Self-Sufficiency Fetish

No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
-- John Donne, Meditation XVII

Self-sufficiency, a.k.a. self-reliance or rugged individualism, is one of the great fetishes of American culture. To the self-sufficiency fetishists, being able to take care of oneself and pay one's own way is the opposite side of the coin of freedom. Sacrifice self-sufficiency and you have sacrificed freedom, they claim. Not to be able or willing to take care of yourself is to be an infant, whether your caretaker is a blood relative, a spouse, a paid caretaker or “Uncle Sam.”

The debate over health insurance reform has brought out the self-sufficiency fetishists in full force. They post comments all over the Internet decrying the idea of “socialized medicine.” They do not believe that health care is a human right but a “personal responsibility.” They are against any the government role in health care because people should take care of themselves. They see taxation to help other people to get health care as “confiscation” of their hard-earned money. (Strangely enough, they never see the ever-increasing premiums charged by private health insurance companies for ever-skimpier policies as “confiscation”).

There is one problem with this point of view.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rachel Maddow on “Curing” Homosexuality

Rachel Maddow takes on Richard Cohen, an alleged “ex-gay” who uses his self-professed “expertise” as a “sexual reorientation specialist” to promote the myth that homosexuality is a choice, and whose books touting a “cure” have been used as promotional material in the criminilization of homosexuality in Uganda.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

To this, I would just add the following excerpts from the website of the American Psychological Association:

  • What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

  • Is homosexuality a mental disorder?

No, lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder.

  • What about therapy intended to change sexual orientation from gay to straight?

All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.

Helpful responses of a therapist treating an individual who is troubled about her or his samesex attractions include helping that person actively cope with social prejudices against homosexuality, successfully resolve issues associated with and resulting from internal conflicts, and actively lead a happy and satisfying life. Mental health professional organizations call on their members to respect a person’s (client’s) right to selfdetermination; be sensitive to the client’s race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, language, and disability status when working with that client; and eliminate biases based on these factors.

Monday, December 7, 2009

American Atheists sue Hardesty, Oklahoma Public Schools and the Texas County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department.

American Atheists filed suit in federal court today on behalf of an Oklahoma family who say their civil rights were violated by the Hardesty, Oklahoma Public Schools and the Texas County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Department.

The daughter of Chester Smalkowski wanted to play basketball for the Hardesty Public Schools. She was forced from the team when she, an Atheist, refused to recite the Lord’s Prayer after a game as was required by the school. When the Smalkowski family complained about this unconstitutional practice, she was suspended. Further complaints resulted in criminal charges being brought against her father.

Chester Smalkowski refused to submit to a request from the District Attorney to move his family out of the County in exchange for the charges being dropped. His case went to trial last month, and he was acquitted of all charges by a jury. The Smalkowski children have been threatened and subjected to discrimination for the daughter’s refusal to participate in the prayer recitation.

The family is being represented in the civil lawsuit by Oklahoma City attorney Richard Rice, and by American Atheists National Legal Director Edwin Kagin of Kentucky who, together with attorney Tim Gungoll of Enid, Oklahoma successfully represented Chester Smalkowski in his criminal trial in Hardesty. Mr. Rice is a member of the Southern Baptist Church in Midwest City. Mr. Rice stated: “I have the right to pray, believe in God, attend church without fear of reprisal from any branch of any government here in America.” Co-counsel Edwin Kagin adds: “I have the right to NOT pray, to NOT believe in God, or to NOT attend church without fear of reprisal from any branch of any government here in America.” Both men, differing in their opinions in respect to theology, have teamed up to support the same legal and ideological position with regard to the First Amendment.


Atheists are not the only ones who would not want to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, traditional Native Americans, etc. would have problems with saying this prayer. Whoever made up that school policy might have felt that saying such a prayer after the game unifies the team. A common religion is a factor in social cohesion. But times have changed and even places like Hardesty, Oklahoma need to acknowledge that their community is more diverse than it was 50 years ago. And better to teach the young respect for civil rights and equality before the law regardless of belief, than to teach them to “go along to get along.”

If, in fact, the DA did ask the family to move in exchange for charges being dropped, he should be disbarred!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kucinich to Congress: War is a Threat to our National Security

(December 3, 2009) - Congressman Dennis Kucinich delivered an alternative approach to National Security in a speech to Congress - National Security starts at home in America. The war is a threat to our National Security.

Congressman Kucinich stated:

"America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan - it's here. We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up."

"The war is a threat to our National Security. We'll spend over $100 billion next year to bomb a nation of poor people while we reenergize the Taliban, destabilize Pakistan, deplete our army and put more of our soldiers' lives on the line. Meanwhile, back here is the USA, 15 million people are out of work. People are losing their jobs, their health care, their savings, their investments, and their retirement security. Trillions in bailouts for Wall Street, trillions for war; when are we going to start taking care of things here at home?"


That's telling 'em. DK! Doesn't anyone remember Reagan's strategy for destroying the Soviet Union? It was to increase our military spending so much that the Soviets would do likewise to counter the threat. Only their economy could not take that kind of useless-to-the-nation expenditure and the USSR imploded. The same thing is being done to our country by global corporatists whose only patriotism is to their bottom line. They, not the Taliban or Al-Q'aeda, are the biggest threats to our national security. And if we take care of ourselves instead of mucking around in other countries, the Taliban and Al-Q'aeda won't be a threat at all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bernie Sanders Blocks Bernanke Confirmation... With Bi-Partisan Support. The First Step in Ending the Monetary System?

Press Release: WASHINGTON, December 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today placed a hold on the nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. 

“The American people overwhelmingly voted last year for a change in our national priorities to put the interests of ordinary people ahead of the greed of Wall Street and the wealthy few,” Sanders said. “What the American people did not bargain for was another four years for one of the key architects of the Bush economy.”