Monday, October 29, 2012

A satirical take on the War on Terror (among other things)

An author, Mr. J.M. Porup, sent me an e-mail alerting I that he has a new book out - The United States of Air: A Satire that Mocks the War on Terror - which will be free until November 5. [I just purchased my free Kindle copy as I type this.] He described it as a "a vicious satiric smackdown of the War on Terror, War on Drugs, NSA spying, and above all American hypocrisy" inspired by the sort of civil liberties infringements that Glenn Greenwald blogs about regularly.

An interview with the author can be read, here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Update for the New American Newspeak Dictionary

Today's update to the New American Newspeak Dictionary is:

Disposition matrix: a secret process of deliberation to sort who the president wants to secretly kill, secretly rendition, or secretly put in prison indefinitely without charges.

Via the Washington Post (h/t Glenn Greenwald)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What he said

If I had written a post today, I would have wished it to be this one.

The reality is that people who work themselves into a lather over deficits while ignoring the very real problem of climate change don't care a whit about the fate of future generations. They're simply demagoguing a largely soluble non-issue to create an excuse for handing social insurance programs over to Wall Street, and for shredding what little is left of discretionary spending in order to ensure a cheap, desperate labor force with low tax rates for the wealthy.
It really is sad that between tepid, no-backbone Democrats and lunatic Republicans we've gone so far backwards on this issue.

For the first time since 1988, presidential candidates did not mention the issue of climate change during debates.

Even as the world has seen 331 consecutive months with global temperatures over the 20th century average, even as extreme weather gets more intense and expensive, even as the Arctic sees unprecedented melt of sea ice, and even as scientists issue dire warnings about an approaching climate “tipping point,” the issue got no mention at all within three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.
If you wish to familiarize yourself with the villains and fools who through a combination of greed, ideologically motivated ignorance, and intellectual dishonesty are determined to doom future generations to a planet less livable with less diversity of life, the Frontline episode "Climate of Doubt" is an excellent starting point.

(The biggest villian, to me, in that program is liar-for-hire Fred Singer, who looks the interviewer in the face and lies with a smirk. Over decades now he has been on the wrong side of the science of global warming, second hand cigarette smoke, Ozone layer depletion and cancer, and acid rain while he was taking money from institutions which profited from the deleterious effects their product had on the public and environment.)

If we didn't live in a Kabuki democracy in which a narrow set of issues is marginally debated by our political duopoly, the issue of climate change would have gotten national attention. But instead of allowing third party candidates have their voices heard, they are arrested and put in shackles.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What upsets Kirsten Powers (D-Fox News)

Kirsten Powers gets upset when a Democratic presidential campaign points out its Republican opposition is lying.

She seems less upset to provide legitimacy to the pretense that Fox News is objective ("fair and balanced") when in reality it is a network dedicated to conservative movement lies, propaganda, and conspiracy theory.

Update: From the Daily Howler: "The other side keeps saying things which are false. We refuse to say what is true. Result? That script will work again in 08. It will work due to people like Powers."

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Obama administration Words vs. Actions: transparency edition

The Words:

"I will also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness.... Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." - Barack Obama, Welcoming speech to Senior staff (Jan. 2009)

"This administration has been the most transparent ever." - White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew

The Actions:

"The Obama administration has charged more people (six) under the Espionage Act for the alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined." - Peter Van Buren

"As a candidate for President, Obama criticized the Bush administration for using the state secrets privilege more than any previous administration to shut down lawsuits alleging government misconduct. But in every state secrets case that it inherited from the Bush administration, Obama’s Justice Department has continued to assert the privilege. Can you explain why Obama now supports using the privilege in the very cases in which he ostensibly opposed its use previously?" - Elizabeth Goitein