Monday, January 22, 2007

If you ever wonder why so many people in an educated society

Believe global warming doesn't exist, this might help you understand why.

Like the tobacco industry that for decades denied a link between smoking and lung cancer, ExxonMobil has waged a "sophisticated and successful disinformation campaign" to mislead the public about global warming, according to a major new report by the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Among the most prominent recipients were the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), to which Exxon-Mobil has contributed more than 1.6 million dollars; the George C. Marshall Institute (630,000 dollars); and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has received more than two million dollars, more than any other beneficiary.

With often overlapping directors, advisors, and staff, the 43 groups, according to the report, have acted as an "echo chambre" that, with the help of right-wing media, such as the Wall Street Journal, and columnists, deliberately spread disinformation about climate change.

Indeed, according to the report, even some of same individuals involved in the tobacco industry's efforts contributed to ExxonMobil's campaign.

Steven Milloy, for example, whose Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (ASSC) was created by tobacco giant Philip Morris in 1993 to raise questions about the link between second-hand smoke and cancer, has served as a member of the Global Climate Science Team (GCST), which ExxonMobil helped create in 1998, and run the Free Enterprise Action Institute to which the company has contributed 130,000 dollars -- or almost two-thirds of the group's total expenses.
You can follow this link to get the full UCS report

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK Day- You won't hear this on television- 2.

I want to say to you as I move to my conclusion, as we talk about "Where do we go from here," that we honestly face the fact that the Movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?" And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I'm simply saying that more and more, we've got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life's market place. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, "Who owns the oil?" You begin to ask the question, "Who owns the iron ore?" You begin to ask the question, "Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two thirds water?" These are questions that must be asked.

Now, don't think that you have me in a "bind" today. I'm not talking about Communism.

What I'm saying to you this morning is that Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.

If you will let me be a preacher just a little bit - One night, a juror came to Jesus and he wanted to know what he could do to be saved. Jesus didn't get bogged down in the kind of isolated approach of what he shouldn't do. Jesus didn't say, "Now Nicodemus, you must stop lying." HE didn't say, "Nicodemus, you must stop cheating if you are doing that." He didn't say, "Nicodemus, you must not commit adultery." He didn't say, "Nicodemus, now you must stop drinking liquor if you are doing that excessively." He said something altogether different, because Jesus realized something basic - that if a man will lie, he will steal. And if a man will steal, he will kill. So instead of just getting bogged down in one thing, Jesus looked at him and said, "Nicodemus, you must be born again." He said, in other words, "Your whole structure must be changed." A nation that will keep people in slavery for 244 years will "thingify" them - make them things. Therefore they will exploit them, and poor people generally, economically. And a nation that will exploit economically will have to have foreign investments and everything else, and will have to use its military might to protect them. All of these problems are tied together. What I am saying today is that we must go from this convention and say, "America, you must be born again!"

-Martin Luther King, Jr., on revolution

MLK Day- You won't hear this on television- 1.

"When you think of the Civil Rights movement, the first thing you think of is Martin Luther King. King was an important figure. But he would have been the first to tell you, I'm sure, that he was riding the wave of activism, that people who were doing the work, who were in the lead in the Civil Rights movement, were young SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] workers, freedom riders, people out there in the streets every day getting beaten and sometimes killed, working constantly. They created the circumstances in which a Martin Luther King could come in and be a leader. His role was extremely important, I'm not denigrating it, it was very important to have done that. But the people who were really important are the ones whose names are forgotten. And that's true of every movement that ever existed." - Noam Chomsky

"King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation." - Federal Bureau of Investigation in a note to Dr. King

Thursday, January 11, 2007

20,000 new targets

If I pushed a soldier in front of a speeding locomotive, and he was killed, would I be charged with murder? What if I pushed 20,000 soldiers in front of 20,000 speeding locomotives? I think I'd deserve to be hanged.

Bush, as usual, displayed his hatred for democracy last night. This is typical of American rulers, but with Bush there's an extremism there that even more deeply centralizes his power into a few neoconservative radicals around him.

We live in a fake democracy where the elected (or appointed) leadership from the minority class of billionaires is occasionally forced to listen to the bottom 99%, the citizenry. Fortunately for willful submissives, in his seething hatred of democracy Bush is so far to the right, he has ignored the citizenry along with the Congress and decided to increase troop levels back to what they were last year. Even many members of that upper 1% have finally come around to see how terrible and stupid this whole war is.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Via Chomsky's site, a new book just released with a similar title to Zinn's Vietnam-era book I read last year (Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal), with a forward by Zinn.

I'm also interested in George McGovern's book released in October, Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now. Both should make more sense than the moderate ISG report.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

just curious

not sure if anyone reads this as there hasn't been a comment for over a year. Regardless of whether it's read or not, I keep it as a journal for the old reasons people used to keep journals: developing ideas, as a historical record, etc.

If you are reading it, I doubt you agree with me on everything, so speak up if you want.

Doggy Steps
Doggy Steps

According to the liberal NPR, there is no anti-war movement

*UPDATE - Massive "March on Washington" being planned by the nonexistent antiwar movement.

According to the NPR show Weekend America:

This week, with Democrats taking over Congress, anti-war activists have tried to spark momentum. It's what anti-war leader Cindy Sheehan calls a "peace surge." However, there is no mass movement to draw on. Weekend America's Michael May talks with Sheehan and others about how they hope to overcome the general malaise, and about the likelihood of their success.
I guess it doesn't happen if the mainstream media doesn't cover it. Reality, as usual, evades the media. Even if we only used mass demonstrations as a gauge, we can point to a HUGE, international antiwar movement, perhaps the largest that has ever occurred. We are talking about millions of people pouring into the streets, and being almost ignored by the mainstream press.

The Weekend America segment went on to compare today's antiwar movement with what went on during the 1960s with Vietnam. They had a guy on basically saying the reason there is no antiwar movement is that there is no draft. As Chomsky points out from this interview:

Opposition to the war in Iraq is far greater than the much worse war in Vietnam. Iraq is the first war I think in the history of European imperialism, including the U.S., where there was massive protest before the war was officially launched. In Vietnam it took four or five years before there was any visible protest. Protest was so slight that nobody even remembers or knows that Kennedy attacked South Vietnam in 1962. It was a serious attack. It was years later before protest finally developed.

And today, we have the internet. People exchange ideas and organize and promote their cause on the internet. Protests aren't the absolute measure of antiwar actions, but even if they were, the antiwar sentiment that exists today is unprecedented.