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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,510

Journal Archives

Asian carp likely to be in Great Lakes





TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Asian carp have probably found their way into the Great Lakes, but there is time to stop the dreaded invaders from becoming established and unraveling food chains that support a $7 billion fishing industry and sensitive ecosystems, according to a report released Thursday.

Written by specialists who pioneered use of genetic data to search for the aggressive fish, the paper disagrees with government scientists who say many of the Asian carp DNA hits recorded in or near the lakes in recent years could have come from other sources, such as excrement from birds that fed on carp in distant rivers.

“The most plausible explanation is still that there are some carp out there,” said Christopher Jerde of the University of Notre Dame, the lead author. “We can be cautiously optimistic . . . that we’re not at the point where they’ll start reproducing, spreading further, and doing serious damage.”

The paper summarizes findings by Jerde and other scientists from Notre Dame, The Nature Conservancy, and Central Michigan University during two years of searching the Great Lakes basin for Asian carp. The fish have migrated northward in the Mississippi River and many tributaries since escaping from Deep South ponds in the 1970s. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://bostonglobe.com/news/science/2013/04/04/report-asian-carp-may-have-reached-great-lakes/Ox1Fm5gbJ5zWMRAYHx6xmM/story.html



Margaret Thatcher: the villain of political pop





Margaret Thatcher: the villain of political pop
Punk had sharpened its claws, and by the time Margaret Thatcher took power a generation of musicians was ready to pounce


(Guardian UK) Protest songs thrive on combat. Complicated policy details may cause the songwriter's pen to freeze but larger-than-life politicians who polarise opinion enable the ink to flow. It is striking that, despite all the frustration and ferment of the punk era, nobody wrote a memorable song about Jim Callaghan. But to musicians on the left Margaret Thatcher was an irresistible super-villain who threw all the conflicts of the time into sharp relief. Penny Rimbaud of anarcho-punk radicals Crass once told me: "I think Thatcher was an absolute fairy godmother. Christ, you're an anarchist band trying to complain about the workings of capitalist society and you get someone like Thatcher. What a joy!"

Never before had a British prime minister so explicitly identified certain sectors of society as enemies — trade unionists, socialists, liberals — and so diligently set out to crush them. Thatcher's infamous description of Arthur Scargill's miners as "the enemy within" (the Argentinian dictator General Galtieri being the enemy without) spoke volumes about her need for foes and this Manichean outlook cut both ways, as did the strength of her personality. The single word "Thatcher", said with appropriate contempt, handily encapsulated everything the 1980s left opposed.

Even before Thatcher entered Number 10 she was being personally singled out. "Maggi Tatcha on di go wid a racist show," intoned Linton Kwesi Johnson in 1978's It Dread Inna Inglan. Joe Strummer originally wanted to illustrate the Clash's The Cost of Living EP, released on election day 1979, with a collage including Thatcher's face and a swastika. Just a year into office and the Beat were singing Stand Down Margaret ("please," they added politely).

The reason is that bands that hated Thatcherism didn't need time to warm up. Steeled and educated by punk, they were already battle-ready. As Tracey Thorn writes in her memoir Bedsit Disco Queen, "politicisation seemed to be the norm, and would continue to do so well into the 1980s. Even as musical styles changed, and many of the old punk battles were left behind, for those of my age the ideals of the late 1970s remained a driving force." Contrary to the clip-show version of the 1980s, all yuppies, Princess Di haircuts and Duran Duran, it was the heyday of political pop, and the leftwing counterculture in general. They already had the values and now they had the villain. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-pop-rock-music



Angela Davis, Freedom and the Politics of Higher Education


Angela Davis, Freedom and the Politics of Higher Education

Tuesday, 09 April 2013 09:11
By Henry A Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed


[font size="1"]Angela Davis and Henry Giroux. (Photo courtesy of Henry Giroux)[/font]


At a time when higher education is under siege all over the globe by market mentalities and moralities, there is an urgent necessity on the part of the American public to reclaim the academy in its multiple forms as a site of critique and a public good, one that connects knowledge and power, scholarship and public life, and pedagogy and civic engagement. The current assault on higher education by the apostles of neoliberalism and religious fundamentalists makes clear that it should not be harnessed to cost-benefit analyses or the singular needs of corporations, which often leads to the loss of egalitarian and democratic pressures. Universities should be about more than developing work skills. They must also be about producing civic minded and critically engaged citizens - citizens who can engage in debate, dialogue and bear witness to a different and critical sense of remembering, agency, ethics and collective resistance. Universities are some of the few places left where a struggle for the commons, for public life, if not democracy itself, can be made visible through the medium of collective voices and social movements energized by the need for a politics and way of life counter to authoritarian capitalism.

We are living in a time in which democratic institutions and public spheres are being downsized, if not altogether disappearing. As these institutions vanish - from public schools to health care centers - there is also a serious erosion of the discourses of community, justice, equality, public values and the common good. We increasingly live in societies based on the vocabulary of 'choice' and a denial of reality - a denial of massive inequality, social disparities, the irresponsible concentration of power in relatively few hands, and a growing machinery of social and civil death. 1 More and more individuals and groups are becoming imaginary, others defined by a free-floating capitalist class that inscribes them as disposable, redundant and irrelevant. The American public increasingly inhabits zones of hardship, suffering and terminal exclusion. This is all the more reason for scholars to address important social issues and for the university to defend itself as a democratic public sphere.

We live in a world in which everything is now privatized, transformed into "spectacular spaces of consumption," and subject to the vicissitudes of the national security state. 2 One consequence is the emergence of what the late Tony Judt called an "eviscerated society"- one that is "stripped of the thick mesh of mutual obligations and social responsibilities to be found in" any viable democracy. 3 This grim reality has been called a "failed sociality" a failure in the power of the civic imagination, political will and open democracy. As the welfare state continues to be attacked and the punishing state increasingly criminalizes social issues, extending from homelessness and peaceful protest to dress code violations in public schools, academics and other cultural workers should not, under the guise of professionalism, remove themselves from ethical considerations and the power relations that impact them and the world. Nor should they claim disinterestedness at a time when the very concepts of justice, equality, freedom and democracy are actively traded for the forces of privatization, consumerism, unchecked individualism and "a political culture of hyper punitiveness."

.........(snip).........

What is invaluable about Angela Davis' work is that she does not limit her politics to issues removed from broader social considerations, but connects every aspect of her scholarship and public interventions to what the contours of a truly democratic society might look like. For her, democracy is not only a promise and ideal but also a practice. Angela Davis is a model for what it means to be a public and engaged intellectual dedicated to what she calls "protracted struggles (that refuse) the pitfalls of the particular version of democracy represented by U.S. capitalism." 9 I can think of no one who embodies the commitment to theoretical rigor, social justice, human dignity and collective resistance more so than Angela Davis. We have a lot to learn from her work, her struggles over the last few decades, her humility and bristling intelligence, and her insistence that pedagogy is the formative basis of not just dissent, but collective struggle. Angela Davis is the other America, the America waiting in the shadows to be born again, waiting once again to tip the scales of justice toward a new ethical horizon, waiting to address and take seriously the promise of a democracy to come. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15595-angela-davis-freedom-and-the-politics-of-higher-education



Ayn Rand Koolaid addict Stephen Moore gets his ass handed to him





Abolish the Minimum Wage? It’s No Fantasy


from truthdig:


Abolish the Minimum Wage? It’s No Fantasy

Posted on Apr 8, 2013
By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law


Free market advocates tried to convince an audience at Washington, D.C.‘s Burke Theater last week that the minimum wage should be abolished.

James Dorn of the Cato Institute and popular economist Russ Roberts faced Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Karen Kornbluh, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in an Oxford-style debate facilitated by the organization Intelligence Squared.

The premise—Abolish the Minimum Wage—is far from the current mainstream debate. Since its creation in 1938, the minimum wage has been venerated. For years, public discussion has focused on raising it, and although such increases are a constant point of contention between Democrats and Republicans, people have rarely questioned the rule’s existence.

But the deregulation of government over the past 15 years, now coupled with the rise of an unforgiving libertarianism on the right, has allowed lawmakers to re-examine programs and policies that haven’t been touched for decades—the Glass-Steagall Act separating banks and investment firms as well as federal welfare are gone. Now Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the minimum wage are threatened.

The slow bulldozing of these government protections lends a prescience to the debate on minimum wage. One day the United States, which two years ago could have never anticipated today’s proposed cuts, might have to confront the issue seriously. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/abolish_the_minimum_wage_its_no_fantasy_20130408/



Bob McChesney: "How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy"





Published on Apr 5, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org - Longtime media-reform advocate Robert McChesney looks at how the future of American politics could be largely determined by who controls the Internet in his newest book. "'Digital Disconnect' talks about the difference between the mythology of the Internet -- the hope would it empower people and make democracy triumphant -- versus the reality of large corporate monopolies and the government working together are taking away the promise of the Internet to suit their interests," says McChesney, the co-founder of Free Press and the National Conference for Media Reform. His book begins with a simple claim: "The ways capitalism works and does not work determine the role the Internet might play in society."



The Cajun Experience, Virginia Restaurant, Offers Gun Owner Discounts To Customers


A Cajun restaurant in Leesburg, Va., has become the latest eatery to offer discounts to gun owners.

The Cajun Experience, a downtown establishment with a menu heavy on crawfish and gumbo, started offering its special "Open Carry Wednesday" promotions several weeks ago, according to Leesburg Today.

Owner Bryan Crosswhite told the outlet that he was offering the 10 percent discount in an effort to promote the right to bear arms.

“I’ve seen what the restricting of freedom is all about,” Crosswhite said. “It’s our legal right to carry. I want it to be (my customers’) right to carry in our restaurant.” ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/cajun-experience-gun-owner-discount-virginia_n_3040375.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009



Margaret Thatcher: the villain of political pop





Margaret Thatcher: the villain of political pop
Punk had sharpened its claws, and by the time Margaret Thatcher took power a generation of musicians was ready to pounce


(Guardian UK) Protest songs thrive on combat. Complicated policy details may cause the songwriter's pen to freeze but larger-than-life politicians who polarise opinion enable the ink to flow. It is striking that, despite all the frustration and ferment of the punk era, nobody wrote a memorable song about Jim Callaghan. But to musicians on the left Margaret Thatcher was an irresistible super-villain who threw all the conflicts of the time into sharp relief. Penny Rimbaud of anarcho-punk radicals Crass once told me: "I think Thatcher was an absolute fairy godmother. Christ, you're an anarchist band trying to complain about the workings of capitalist society and you get someone like Thatcher. What a joy!"

Never before had a British prime minister so explicitly identified certain sectors of society as enemies — trade unionists, socialists, liberals — and so diligently set out to crush them. Thatcher's infamous description of Arthur Scargill's miners as "the enemy within" (the Argentinian dictator General Galtieri being the enemy without) spoke volumes about her need for foes and this Manichean outlook cut both ways, as did the strength of her personality. The single word "Thatcher", said with appropriate contempt, handily encapsulated everything the 1980s left opposed.

Even before Thatcher entered Number 10 she was being personally singled out. "Maggi Tatcha on di go wid a racist show," intoned Linton Kwesi Johnson in 1978's It Dread Inna Inglan. Joe Strummer originally wanted to illustrate the Clash's The Cost of Living EP, released on election day 1979, with a collage including Thatcher's face and a swastika. Just a year into office and the Beat were singing Stand Down Margaret ("please," they added politely).

The reason is that bands that hated Thatcherism didn't need time to warm up. Steeled and educated by punk, they were already battle-ready. As Tracey Thorn writes in her memoir Bedsit Disco Queen, "politicisation seemed to be the norm, and would continue to do so well into the 1980s. Even as musical styles changed, and many of the old punk battles were left behind, for those of my age the ideals of the late 1970s remained a driving force." Contrary to the clip-show version of the 1980s, all yuppies, Princess Di haircuts and Duran Duran, it was the heyday of political pop, and the leftwing counterculture in general. They already had the values and now they had the villain. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-pop-rock-music



Billy Bragg: Margaret Thatcher Made Me A Socialist





published on Apr 8, 2013

British rocker and activist Billy Bragg began his music career in the late 1970s in London when he formed the punk rock band Riff Raff. His 1984 album, "Brewing Up with Billy Bragg," included the song, "It Says Here," a critique of politics and tabloid newspapers that still rings true today in the wake of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. In 1998 and 2000, he participated in two well-known albums — Mermaid Avenue, Volumes 1 and 2 — that gave voice to another folk troubadour who sang about the poor and working class: Woody Guthrie. Bragg composed music for lyrics written by Guthrie and performed many of the songs alongside the album's other main contributor, Wilco. But to speak of Bragg simply as a singer-songwriter misses his passion for speaking out against injustice and fighting for many causes. In the 1980s, he called for support for the 1984 strike by the National Union of Mineworkers, one of the most significant chapters in Britain's trade union history. It was ultimately defeated under the watch of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Bragg went on to organize for the defeat of Thatcher and her Conservative government. He joins us for an extended interview and performance. He reflects on his long history of activism and sings several songs.


Write a blog post, go to jail?

NEW YORK -- The federal government on Thursday jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said. The HuffPost story, which was published April 1, charged the Federal Bureau of Prisons, citing documents McGowan had obtained, with transferring him to a high security prison unit in order to restrict his political speech during his incarceration.

Synan told HuffPost that she asked a BOP official why her husband had been re-imprisoned after his release to a halfway house in December. She said the official told her that the HuffPost article violated a term of his release that restricted him from interacting with the media.

Synan expects the BOP to keep her husband locked up until the official end of his seven-year sentence in June. His 38th birthday, she said, is next month. "We were thinking, 'Oh my God, first birthday home!'"

McGowan's attorney, Rachel Meeropol of the Center for Constitutional Rights, confirmed that McGowan was taken from a Brooklyn halfway house Thursday morning and brought to the Metropolitan Detention Center. She said she believed but had not yet confirmed that McGowan's jailing was connected to his recent blog post.

....(snip)....

UPDATE: Friday, April 5 -- Daniel McGowan has been returned to his halfway house after his lawyers confirmed that he had been jailed for his HuffPost blog. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/daniel-mcgowan-arrested_n_3016885.html



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