Saturday Catchup: Some stuff you may have missed

The 'Obama doctrine': Don't detain; kill! by Asim Qureshi (Guardian UK 2010-04-11). George Bush left a big problem in the shape of Guantánamo. The solution? Don't capture bad guys; use drones to assassinate them. As David Swanson put it, murder is the new torture.

Prompt Global Strike: World Military Superiority Without Nuclear Weapons by Rick Rozoff (StopNATO 2010-04-10). Only one country has the military and scientific capacity and has openly proclaimed its intention to be the world’s sole military superpower. One that aspires to remain the only state in history to wield full spectrum military dominance on land, in the air, on the seas and in space. To maintain and extend military bases and troops, aircraft carrier battle groups, jet fighters and strategic bombers on and to most every latitude and longitude. To do so with a post-World War II record war budget of $708 billion for next year.

“Looting Main Street”Matt Taibbi on How the Nation’s Biggest Banks Are Ripping Off American Cities with Predatory Deals. (Democracy Now! 2010-04-12). The Rolling Stone writer looks at the experience of one small Alabama town and its disastrous dealings with Wall Street: “The destruction of Jefferson County reveals the basic battle plan of these modern barbarians, the way that banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have systematically set out to pillage towns and cities from Pittsburgh to Athens.”Matt Taibbi is political reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. His latest article is Looting Main Street.

“Job Creation” – Stupid Is as Stupid Does by Richard C. Cook ( 2010-04-06). Many commentators have said, as a joke, that it would have been cheaper if the government had just printed the money and given it away. But such an approach would not be a joke at all. Compared to what actually happened, it would be enlightened public policy.

Brief musical interlude:

A Banana Republic With No Bananas by George Washington (Washington's Blog 2010-04-12). Experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve have said the U.S. has become a third world banana republic. Are they right?

How Financial Reporters Create Illusion to Cover Up Wall Street's Scams by Scott Thill (AlterNet 2010-04-13). The corporate media's job is to sell confidence on Wall Street's numbers, rather than tempered or even depressed expectations, no matter how realistic they may be.

The financial crisis: Story Pirates explain it all for you

In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis by Henry A. Giroux (truthout 2010-04-14) | Crucial to a functioning democracy, though "seldom accorded the status of intellectuals that they deserved, they remain the most important component in the learning process for students, while serving as a moral compass to gauge how seriously a society invests in its youth and in the future. Yet, teachers are being deskilled, unceremoniously removed from the process of school governance, largely reduced to technicians or subordinated to the authority of security guards."

How the FCC Can Protect the Internet from Pro-Corporate Judges and Greedy Telecoms (AlterNet 2010-04-15). Net neutrality ensures a fair Internet. The telecom industry has the money and power to make sure that doesn't happen -- but the people (and the FCC) can fight back.

"While the rest of the world spirals into economic degradation, environmental pestilence and complete systems failure of all of the old world models, Lady Gaga reigns above the flames. Pay attention to the lesson. Lady Gaga is the only person prospering in this cultural climate. Therefore she has done something right. She is the necessary evolutionary adaptation to our times and this is why she disturbs people: This is what we must all become. Indestructibly vacant." -- Jason Louv, Lady Gaga & the Dead Planet Grotesque (H+ 2010-03-16).

Here's a story about a remarkable farmer's market in Norfolk, Virginia that offers a blueprint for creating jobs and boosting a local economy:

Cow Tunnels and Manhattan by Nicola (Edible Geography 2010-04-12): Lost infrastructure or urban myth? Plus, I love this graphic:

Image: Subterranean New York City, as diagrammed by National Geographic (where a scale version and bibliography are also available).

Reclaiming Our Hope by Paul Rogat Loeb (The Nation 2010-04-06). "It's been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn."

I know I keep saying we have to reach out to the Tea Partiers because some of them, at least, are right about the problems we face if completely at a loss about solutions. Any thoughts of a possible alliance between rational people and the TPs goes out the window, however, when you witness what actually goes on at the parties:

Btw, fake teabaggers (sane/normal people) have begun infiltrating tea parties with their own signs. Here are the best signs from a rally on Boston Common.

To clear your head, here's Type O Negative doing Black No 1, their only hit, offered as an antidote to the loony Williams and, also, sadly, a farewell to Type O Neg's frontman Peter Steele who died of heart failure this week at 48.

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