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Supreme Court Ruling Rights Wrongs on Juvenile Lifers


By Linn Washington, Jr.

Anita Colon was crying when she received the telephone call, but the caller knew hers were tears of joy.

The caller was her brother dialing her from a prison in Pennsylvania, where he is one of 480 persons serving a life-without-parole sentence for a crime ending in homicide, committed while they were teens.

Drones of Love


By Gary Lindorff


Let us bomb your neighborhood,

Let us target your neighbor

Out of our love and concern –


Not you, not your children.

Drones of love!


Won’t you love us

After the dust settles?

After the evil has been exploded?

After the crater in the market-place

Has been filled in and paved

We will explode our way into your hearts!


We might miss our intended target;

Wimps, Rendell and Ruination


By Linn Washington, Jr.

A new book by former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell is another display of this man’s savvy proclivity for self-promotion.

However, irrespective of the monstrous ego of this man known in Philadelphia as "Fast Eddy," Rendell is on target with the alarmingly accurate title of that book: A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.

The Vietnam War and the Struggle For Truth


By John Grant

Vietnam, a story of virtually unmitigated disasters that we have inflicted on ourselves and even more on others.

           -Bernard Brodie, 1973

A.P. Scare Report: A 'Brutal' Socialist Future Facing France


By Dave Lindorff


Reading, watching and listening to the mainstream media in America, it gets harder and harder to tell the difference between journalism and rank propaganda. Consider the coverage of the French parliamentary election currently underway.


Most Americans who read newspapers probably learned about this via the Associated Press report that went out on the weekend for Monday’s papers (AP is the de facto “foreign correspondent” for almost every newspaper in America now that all but a few papers have eliminated their foreign reporting staffs). It stated that recently elected Socialist President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party “stands positioned to take control of the lower house of parliament.” 


Elmer in Dairyland


By Charles M. Young

Between college and graduate school, I worked for a year in a factory in Verona, Wisconsin, which is a few miles and a paradigm shift outside of Madison. It wasn’t the worst place to work. We had a union. We had benefits. We chopped, folded and riveted large sheets of metal and turned them into the air diffusers that you can see in the ceilings of theaters and other large buildings.

Facing Facts in Wisconsin: Progressives and Workers Were Sold Out by Obama and the Democratic Party


By Dave Lindorff


There will be all kinds of dancing around the issue of why progressives lost the recall campaign against union-busting Tea Party Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin on Tuesday, with the Obama campaign trying to claim that it was not a reflection on him or his popularity, the Democratic Party saying it was not their battle, and the labor movement, sadly, blaming it all on right-wing money. They’ll all be saying that it doesn’t matter, and that the important thing is to focus on helping Democrats win in November.


From the Land of No-Poetry


By Gary Lindorff


Welcome to the Land of No-poetry.

If I succeed in writing this poem

No one will understand me.

It will be like talking backwards.

It will be like autism.


There is no music here,

Except what you buy.


The weather is predictable.

Frogs are two-headed or one-legged

But it doesn’t mean anything.

Up means up, down means down.

A Killer In the White House


By John Grant

“No, Charlotte, I’m the jury now. I sentence you to death.”
The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte staggered back a step.
“How c-could you?” she gasped.
“It was easy.”
- Mickey Spillane, I, The Jury

Hot, Repressive and Locked in an Internet War: A Grim Vision of America’s and the World’s Future


By Dave Lindorff


My wife and I live on a 2.3-acre plot of forested land in a pre-Revolutionary house with a run-down old barn. When we first moved here, there was a rather large set of grassy areas, one in front of the house, another behind the kitchen, a large field in the back, behind the barn, a smaller lawn in front of the barn, and a hidden glen, as well as an island of grass in the middle of a circular gravel driveway. 


Hatfields & McCoys & Democrats & Republicans


By Charles M. Young

The History Channel mini-series “Hatfields & McCoys” reminded me of Clint Eastwood’s “The Unforgiven.” Both productions showed a lot of violence in all its fascination while making it squalid, absurd, arbitrary and devastating to the victims and everyone around the victims. Both productions take as their theme men creating theaters of heroism for themselves out of their own hatred and sense of honor. Both productions show the theaters crumbling in the end as the violence becomes too stupid and meaningless even for the prime agents to continue.

This Memorial Day Let’s Start Caring for Our Nation’s Veterans: No More Ducking the Real Cost of US Wars!


By Dave Lindorff

Whether he ever said it or not, I’m going to borrow from a quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln and alter it a bit to say: “American politicians must love war veterans -- they keep making so many more of them.”

Turnabout is Fair Play: Proud to Be an Extortionist!


By Yasmeen Ali

Lahore -- US Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ), the chair and ranking minority member respectively of the Senate Armed Services Committee, say the US must not pay $5000 per truck as demanded by Pakistan, for supplies being shipped through this country to American troops in Afghanistan. McCain went further, calling the Pakistni demand “extortion.”

Afghanistan Good Enough: When All Else Fails, Lower Your Standards


By John Grant


If all else fails, lower your standards.


This has been my philosophy for years. My wife likes to joke it’s how she picked me; instead of prince charming, I’m “prince somewhat-charming.” So you can imagine how delighted I am that the United States of America and its NATO military allies have decided to apply that philosophy to US foreign policy in Afghanistan.

They're calling their version “Afghanistan Good Enough.”

Planting Evidence to Sow Fear: Chicago Cops are the Terrorists


By Dave Lindorff


It seems pretty clear by now that the three young “domestic terrorists” arrested by Chicago police in a warrantless house invasion reminiscent of what US military forces are doing on a daily basis in Afghanistan, are the victims of planted evidence -- part of the police-state-style crackdown on anti-NATO protesters in Chicago last week. 


No Country for Young Men as Old Men Play for Time: The End in Afghanistan is Totally Predictable


By Dave Lindorff


John Kerry, back before he was a pompous windsurfing Senate apologist for American empire, back when he wore his hair long and was part of a movement of returned US military veterans speaking out against the continuation of the Vietnam War, famously asked the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing, “How do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?”


That was 1971, and the Vietnam War continued to drag on for two more years, with more Americans dying, and with many more Vietnamese being killed, until finally the last US combat troops were gone. But even then the fighting continued, with the Army of South Vietnam armed and financed by the United States, until April 30, 1975, when the last resistance ended and Vietnam was liberated and reunified and finally at peace.

Dropping Planes, Not Bombs: US Attack on Iran with F-22 Stealth Fighters would be Laughable


By Dave Lindorff


The Iranian military must be enjoying the latest spectacle of Pentagon waste and bungling.


Only a few weeks ago, the US attempted to ramp up the pressure on Iran by deploying to the Persian Gulf at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, just across the gulf from Iran, a squadron of the Air Force’s spanking new and never battle-tested supersonic F-22 stealth fighter-bombers.


White House & Dems Back Banks over Protests: Newly Discovered Homeland Security Files Show Feds Central to Occupy Crackdown


By Dave Lindorff


A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.


Americans Love a Good Killer



By John Grant


The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.
- D.H. Lawrence

The realist in murder writes of a world in which gangsters can rule nations … where a judge with a cellar full of bootleg liquor can send a man to jail for having a pint in his pocket … where no man can walk down a dark street in safety because law and order are things we talk about but refrain from practicing.
- Raymond Chandler
American pop culture is certainly not unique in having a love affair with killers. Since the first cave man cracked his neighbor’s head open to control a water hole, eliminating others has been top on the list of problem-solving techniques.

The ‘Subsidized’ Loan Charade: The US Government is Profiteering on Struggling Students

By Dave Lindorff

The Senate is currently deadlocked on taking action to prevent the interest on new Stafford guaranteed student loans from rising on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%, with Democrats saying they want to “pay for” keeping the current “lower” 3.4% rate by closing a loophole that allows some wealthy people to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, while Republicans want to “pay for” keeping the lower rate by eliminating a fund for preventative health care in the 2010 health care reform law.

But what is all this nonsense about “paying for” a supposedly “lower” interest rate of 3.4%?

Urgent Bulletin: There Is Still No Credible Information of an Imminent Attack by Islamo-Ass Bombers


By Charles M. Young


In journalism and in life, it is best to admit it when you’re wrong, and I was wrong last week. In my haste to write something timely about the triumphant return of Occupy Wall Street to the front lines of protest on May 1, I assumed that Fox Five New York and the NYPD were uniquely stupid as they colluded on a story about the possibility of Arab terrorists secreting bombs in their “cavities,” as the reporter referred to certain familiar orifices that are usually unmentioned on television. Fox Five led their 10:00 pm newscast with the story and I, in my cynicism, thought that only the minions of Rupert Murdoch could lead the news with an imaginary explosion of fecal matter and viscera on a day when Occupy Wall Street had tied up traffic all over Manhattan.

Boy, was I naive.

So then Who in the Hell Are We?


By Dan De Walt


“This is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for.” 

       -- Jeff Gearhart, Wall-Mart general counsel, on the firm’s Mexico bribery 


[Torture] “is not the norm.” 

       -- Mike Pannek, Abu Ghraib prison warden.


“This is not who we are.” 

       -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the US massacre of 16 Afghan villagers.


“This is not who we are.” 

'Human Rights Won’t Get in the Way': The Selling Out of a Chinese Dissident


By Dave Lindorff


There are two truths about the US that come clearly to the fore in the current diplomatic blow-up between the US and China over the case of people’s lawyer Chen Guangcheng, though neither is really getting stated in the corporate media coverage of the story.


The first is that the US does not, and has not really ever, cared about the issue of human rights abuses in China, and the second is that the Obama administration, including the supposedly “tough” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, doesn’t know squat about how to negotiate -- not when it comes to dealing with Republicans in Congress, and certainly not when it comes to China.


May Day and the Ass Bomber of Ray Kelly’s Dreams


By Charles M. Young

I got home at 10:00 pm on the nose, and the first thing I did was take off my shoes after 14 hours of May Day marching with 30-40,000 other conscientious objectors to capitalism. My feet hurt, okay? My second priority was turning on the local news, which happened to be Fox Five New York. According to my watch, it was 10:02. I didn’t see the first few seconds of the story, but it must have have been the lead. There was Ray Kelly, the chief of police, talking about...not Occupy Wall Street?, it was a video of him on some talk show, warning of the apparently imminent threat of Arab terrorists “implanting” bombs in their bodies and blowing up airplanes and buildings.

Real Politics Must be in the Streets: The Constitutional Crimes of Barack Obama


By Dave Lindorff


As we slog towards another vapid, largely meaningless exercise in pretend democracy with the selection of a new president and Congress this November, it is time to make it clear that the current president, elected four years ago by so many people with such inflated expectations four years ago (myself included, as I had hoped, vainly it turned out, that those who elected him would then press him to act in progressive ways), is not only a betrayer of those hopes, but is a serial violator of his oath of office. He is, in truth, a war criminal easily the equal of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and perhaps even of Bush’s regent, former Vice President Dick Cheney.


Let me count the ways:


US Double Standards: India's Ballistic Missile Test and Pakistan, the Whipping-Boy


By Yasmeen Ali


India’s successful test of a ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,000 km, was
was uncriticised by the US.

Contrast this lack of concern with the America’s obsessive concern about a suspected or potential nuclear program by Iran, or to US threats over the failed rocket launch by North Korea a few days earlier.

India has increased its military spending by 13% this fiscal year, to roughly US $38
billion, according to an April 20 article in The Independent (UK) titled, ”India’s nuclear
ambition must not be ignored”). Yet this has not raised US ire -- or even US eyebrows!

Occupy The Justice Department Challenges Obama Administration Integrity on Prosecutor Misconduct Issue


By Linn Washington, Jr.


One of the issues driving protesters participating in the April 24, 2012 Occupy The Justice Department demonstration is an issue that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder knows well: prosecutorial misconduct.

Holder knows this misconduct issue well because he has criticized it during congressional testimony, in fact as recently as March 2012 when he was commenting on a special prosecutor’s report castigating the wrongdoing of federal prosecutors.

That wrongdoing, Holder acknowledged, unlawfully tainted the corruption investigation and 2008 trial of the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, who was convicted of corruption in his home state of Alaska.

The Proof is in the 'Puddin': Plays, Prose and Connecting the Dots of Prejudice


By Joseph P. Blake


I believe that absolutely nothing happens in a vacuum.

There is always a connection between why things happen and the something (or someone) that made it happen. All too frequently that connection is not easily apparent, and that creates problems.

I’m convinced there is a connection between the contemporary television shows like “Axe Men,” “Ice Road Truckers”, “Swamp People”, “Hillbilly Noodling”, "Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and a play entitled, “Puddin’ Head.”

The Department of Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, staged that play – containing racist content – as its contribution to Black History Month this year.

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