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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 10/10/2010 - 10/17/2010
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, October 16, 2010

400,000 pages

anybody up for about 6 weeks of non-stop document sifting...?
On Monday, the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks will release nearly 400,000 pages worth of classified U.S. Army documents on the war in Iraq, making it the single largest military leak in U.S. history. The number of documents will dwarf the 77,000 pages of sensitive material on the war in Afghanistan that WikiLeaks released in July.

In preparation for the arrival of the as-yet-unspecified material, the US military has set up a 120-person task force to begin reviewing a cache of classified documents it believes might be found in what WikiLeaks' embattled founder, Julian Assange, will make public, the AFP reported.

i'm glad wikileaks is still on the job... there's nothing to be lost and everything to be gained by opening a window on what's been going on behind the curtain...

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Glenn has a melt-down about Obama meeting with Condi

and i'm totally in his corner... i'd be having a melt-down myself except for the fact that i've had so many over the past years that i just can't muster up another one, particularly not on a friday night...

go read glenn if you don't mind passing the evening with elevated blood pressure...

A Political Culture Free of Accountability

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

A moment of unity, joy and good will

michael white in the guardian...

Chilean Miners Rescue: This is a Rare Moment of Global Joy

i was watching a part of the rescue operation yesterday with my landlady... i couldn't help feeling the rush of emotion watching the men emerge from the tiny capsule one by one... my thoughts, however, always restless, began to contemplate what it would be like to experience such a moment of globally shared joy because peace in the incessant palestine-israeli conflict had finally been achieved or because all the factions now killing each other in afghanistan had finally yielded to a warm embrace and the common good of all... now, wouldn't THAT be loverly...?

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

About freakin' time...!

let's hope this is the end of it...
Judge Orders Injunction on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the U.S. military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say they are under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

oh, i'm sure the religious fundamentalists will be weeing in their pants over this one... let 'em...

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Glenn offers some sobering stats about the decline of the U.S. standing in the world

for those who have never had the opportunity to view their country from outside its borders, it's very easy to dismiss stats like these... sadly, it doesn't take too long getting used to the pace and rhythm of life in another country to understand that other people, other countries, other ways of life are often much more suited to health, sanity and peace of mind than that of the u.s... and, to be sure, there are some that considerably less so... but it's time that we in the u.s. wake up to the fact that we have some serious shortcomings that are eating us up from the inside out...

Collapsing empire watch

It's easy to say and easy to document, but quite difficult to really internalize, that the United States is in the process of imperial collapse. Every now and then, however, one encounters certain facts which compellingly and viscerally highlight how real that is. Here's the latest such fact, from a new study in Health Affairs by Columbia Health Policy Professors Peter A. Muennig and Sherry A. Glied (h/t):

In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands. The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world. As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.

Just to underscore the rapidity of the decline, as recently as 1999, the U.S. was ranked by the World Health Organization as 24th in life expectancy. It's now 49th. There are other similarly potent indicators. In 2009, the National Center for Health Statistics ranked the U.S. in 30th place in global infant mortality rates. Out of 20 "rich countries" measured by UNICEF, the U.S. ranks 19th in "child well-being." Out of 33 nations measured by the OECD, the U.S. ranks 27th for student math literacy and 22nd for student science literacy. In 2009, the World Economic Forum ranked 133 nations in terms of "soundness" of their banks, and the U.S. was ranked in 108th place, just behind Tanzania and just ahead of Venezuela.

There is, however, some good news: the U.S. is now in fifth place in total number of executions, behind only China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and comfortably ahead of Yemen and Sudan, while there are two categories in which the U.S. has been and remains the undisputed champion of the world -- this one and this one. And, of course, the U.S. is not just objectively the greatest country on the planet, but the greatest country ever to exist in all of human human history -- as Dave Roberts put it in response to these life expectancy numbers: "but we're No. 1 in bestness!" -- so we're every bit as exceptional as ever.

believe me, i'm no fan of news like this but i'll keep putting it out there as long as my fellow countrymen insist on living in denial...

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