Monday, January 30, 2017

 

Complicity of Amnesty

As UK Professor Tim Hayward notes in his op-ed at WKOG, he, like many former Amnesty International supporters, took AI at its word when alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Government of Syria. Reviewing the basis for such claims, Hayward easily discovered that AI had no evidence for them, and in so doing violated its own protocol to "collect evidence with our own staff on the ground," thus failing to ensure that "every aspect of our data collection is based on corroboration and cross-checking," as stated by Amnesty International's Secretary General.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

 

Year 16

As Glenn Greenwald writes, "Pretending that Trump is some grand aberration, some radical departure from U.S. history and values, is simply a deceitful way of whitewashing what we have collectively endorsed and allowed...Opposing Trump’s assault on basic liberties requires a clear understanding of the framework that gave rise to it."

Meanwhile, a federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction halting implementation of part of the executive order to deport travelers with valid visas. This, however, has not quelled the chaos the presidential order has created at Homeland Security.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

 

Les Enfant

Infants naturally depend on adults for instruction and protection, but infantile behavior in adults leaves them vulnerable to manipulation. Dependence on private equity media, vacuous Hollywood stars, or the corrupt non-profit industry for ideas means self-identified progressives will not be effective in fighting the fascist movement in the US. Habitually lazy, they will continue to protest and complain, but they will not make an organized effort to understand and attack the enemies of democracy, because that requires doing research, the results of which might challenge their habitual opinions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

 

Golden Dawn

The convergence of Christian religious fanatics and ethically-challenged opportunists embodied in the Trump Presidential Cabinet is disturbing, but the fascist tendencies of Speaker of the House Ryan offer an unprecedented monopoly of power at the dawn of an age of pandemic panic. With the recent news that lethal bacteria is now resistant to all antibiotics, an epidemic of untreatable disease will provide ample excuse for abridging civil liberties and establishing martial law. Like 9/11 under Bush, the coming plague in the US is viewed by the power elite as a golden opportunity to end democracy in America, and to consolidate the control of all aspects of civil life.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

 

The Princess of Darkness

As noted at The Intercept, Trump’s nominee as Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a Christian religious fanatic who sits on the board of an anti-Gay foundation. The sister of Erik Prince, owner of the Blackwater murder-for-hire corporation, DeVos rejects the separation of church and state. To progressives, she might be deemed ‘the princess of darkness’.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

 

Nightmare Scenario

Colistin--'our antibiotic of last resort'--has, like all other drugs, succumbed to bacterial resistance, caused in large part to human misuse of antibiotics in meat animal feed. As reported at The Atlantic, if a bacterium with resistance to all other antibiotics picks up the colistin-resistant gene, the result is a pan-resistant bacteria.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

 

Faking the News

Faking news is far from new; ironically, hyping the fake news phenomenon at the Washington Post and elsewhere in mainstream media is itself fake. As reported at The Intercept, the false and misleading reports of threats to Americans from foreign governments hacking electoral and electrical systems in the US are the result of reckless sensationalism — now practiced by mainstream media — that is all about generating revenue, not revelations.

Monday, January 02, 2017

 

A Troubling Moment

Civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson says his Equal Justice Initiative to commemorate the racial violence--that included 4,000 lynchings in 12 states of the American South between 1870 and 1950--is aimed at creating an awareness and appreciation of the history that led to millions of Black Americans fleeing to ghettos in the North as refugees of that terror. Living in Montgomery, where there are 59 markers and monuments to the Confederacy, Stevenson says there are none that acknowledge the horror of slavery. The mobilization of racial resentment by the incoming president, in order to gain political power, concerns Stevenson, saying,

I am most worried about the poor and vulnerable people who have had to endure lifetimes of bigotry and discrimination, and who are now going to have to continue meeting those challenges without the possibility of a Justice Department that will protect them. ...I certainly think it is a troubling moment in American history when someone can employ this rhetoric of hate and division and bigotry and become elected to the presidency of the United States.

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