A Shattered GOP Dithers on Direction

The coming “Republican Party” wants to be even more “conservative,” — if by ‘conservative’ you mean willfully ignorant, anti-science, anti-knowledge, racist, sexist and isolationist in a global culture. Good luck with that. Continue reading

Is Edward Snowden the Only American Who Remembers the Words of the 4th Amendment?

Edward Snowden

This week an unusual bipartisan effort from 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats almost succeeded in an attempt to cut off funding for the NSA’s collection of phone data by 205 “yes” to 217 “no” votes. But the movement to curb the NSA’s secret power over American citizens has now spread from the fringes, the wing nuts, of the Republican and Democratic parties to considerable mainstream support which the New York Times now calls “unstoppable.” Even backers of the NSA’s sweeping surveillance policies now admit that changes and more transparency are likely, as the politics of the issue are changing rapidly. Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there are serious meetings to find accommodations to widespread public misgivings … Continue reading

Climate Change – is it the Indigenous Peoples who have the answers?

Peoples who have lived in the same place for countless generations – the Amazon, perhaps, or the Arctic, or in la Sierra Nevada in Colombia – possess invaluable knowledge about living with climate change, and it is evolving all the time: SAO PAULO, 23 July – Climate change often seems to be seen as the preserve of scientists and environmental journalists. But what about the accumulated wisdom of traditional and indigenous peoples? A Brazilian anthropologist says they have an important contribution to make to knowledge about climate change, and it is about time they were heard. Manuela Carneiro da Cunha, emeritus professor of the Department of Anthropology at Chicago University and the University of São Paulo, says scientists should listen … Continue reading

How the Right Wing Media Discusses Race

I have a confession to make. I watch Fox News. A lot. I’m not really sure why since I’m not a suburban-dwelling middle to upper class retiree who anyone would describe as a conservative. I have absolutely no illusions that Fox is “news.” My working theory is that it’s something akin to the proverbial train wreck that you don’t necessarily want to see but simply can’t look away from. But like a masochistic moth attracted to a lamp of ignorance and misinformation, I keep returning to Ailes’ world. It was there that I first saw Bill O’Reilly’s rant about President Obama’s recent comments on the Trayvon Martin case and his own experience as a black man in America. The “Talking … Continue reading

The No-News Media Cover a Royal Birth

by Walter Brasch   Long after the American colonials broke away from the British monarchy, long after George Washington refused to take the title of “king,” Americans are still fascinated by anything British and royal. The media incessantly pumped out news and features about the royal birth. TV networks gave us several “special reports” when Kate Middleton checked into the hospital, and then even more reports when the birth was announced, and then when Middleton, Prince William, and their baby went home.  The 30-minute network evening news devoted as much as half of its time to the royal birth. There was live coverage. There was taped coverage. Radio gave us near-instant updates. Just about anyone in London with a cell … Continue reading

The Sick Voyeur at the Center of This (not Weiner, BTW)

WARNING: What follows is as disgusting as the story it covers and the author of that story. So, if you are squeamish, or under 18, please stop reading now. Now, at least you know who you’re in bed with. (I’d get checked for STDs ASAP if I were you.) Continue reading

Happy 44th Moon Day

Over the past several years of blogs, I have tried to keep some remembrance of our most profound anniversary, a future holiday perhaps, on a par with the discovery and taming of fire: the species’ first extraterrestrial landing. (See 2001: A Space Odyssey for more on this.) This is his vorpal sword’s 1700th post. Continue reading