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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 71,637

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Raise $500 in donations, and you can race a canoe through water filled with mercury and gonorrhea

http://grist.org/list/raise-500-in-donations-and-you-can-race-a-canoe-through-water-filled-with-mercury-and-gonorrhea/


from Grist:


Raise $500 in donations, and you can race a canoe through water filled with mercury and gonorrhea
By Sarah Laskow


Get out your regatta flags and your best boating cap — this June 15, the Gowanus Dredgers will take on the Red Hook Boaters in the first Gowanus Challenge, the only boating race we’ve ever known to take place entirely in a polluted, smelly Superfund site.

The New York Daily News reports:

The 2 1/2-mile round-trip race will be similar to better-known regattas in England and Boston in concept only. In Brooklyn, intrepid kayakers will get a slug’s-eye view of a malodorous corpse of waterway once used as an industrial dumping ground.

Scientists have found mercury, lead, chromium and even gonorrhea in the canal nicknamed Lavender Lake.


And yet! People do boat in this disgusting waterway. (A very small number of people have lived in houseboats there, as well.) And this regatta will hopefully make the canal a little less disgusting; the race is a fundraiser for the Gowanus Dredgers’ Canoe Club, so canoe teams are being asked to raise $500 and kayakers $200. There’s no cash prize or anything; the awards banquet will feature “a specially designed Artisinal [sic] Superfund Pizzas produced in Brooklyn that feature exotic ingredients from around the world.” Superfund pizza. Mmm.

Also, you don’t have to wear a shirt, but pants are preferred. And really, you want to wear both. There’s gonorrhea in that water.


Will ExxonMobil get to weasel out of paying for the Arkansas disaster?


from Grist:



Good news, Arkansas: Tar-sands oil isn’t oil-oil
By Susie Cagle


So far, the thousands of barrels of tar-sands oil that spilled into a middle-class neighborhood in central Arkansas on Friday have driven 22 families from their homes and killed and injured a grip of local wildlife. So far, the oil hasn’t contaminated the local lake or drinking water supply, according to ExxonMobil. It’s a “major spill,” according to the EPA, and the cause is so far still under investigation.

But since it’s not oil-oil, ExxonMobil hasn’t paid into the government clean-up fund that would help bankroll the epic scrub-down necessary to rid poor unsuspecting Mayflower, Ark., of all that bitumen.

“A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund,” writes Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress. “Other conventional crude producers pay 8 cents a barrel to ensure the fund has resources to help clean up some of the 54,000 barrels of pipeline oil that spilled 364 times last year.” ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://grist.org/news/good-news-arkansas-tar-sands-oil-isnt-oil-oil/



Kobe Bryant: Magic's Support of Gay Son is awesome!


Kobe Bryant is awestruck by a former Lakers star who rivals him -- Magic Johnson ... telling TMZ Magic's support of his gay son is a lesson everyone, including pro athletes, should learn.

TMZ broke the story ... Magic and Cookie are 100% behind their son, EJ, who is openly gay. Kobe tells us ... "Of course Magic is supportive of and loves his son. Why should anyone be surprised?"

Kobe says, "What I can't tolerate is a lack of tolerance." ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tmz.com/2013/04/03/kobe-bryant-magic-johnson-gay-son-ej-earvin-johnson-lakers-pro-sports/#ixzz2PRys3pDM



Indiana Bill Would Require Armed Guards In Schools


The National Rifle Association on Tuesday released its long-awaited "National School Shield Report," a lengthy document that recommends that schools arm and train staff members who want to carry guns.

A few hours earlier, Indiana's House Education Committee advanced a similar measure -- but one that takes the NRA's logic even further.

While the NRA's model legislation would lift restrictions on guns in schools and require specific training for school employees who choose to carry guns, the Indiana amendment would make the state the nation's first to require all public schools to have an armed person with a loaded weapon in the building during school hours. After receiving a yet-to-be-determined training course, any school employee -- a teacher, principal, or janitor -- could become the school's guard, called "school protection officers." The amendment doesn't specify which firearms the "officers" must hold or whether the guns should be visible or concealed.

The Indiana amendment's sponsor, Rep. Jim Lucas (R), said he believes mass shootings like the one in Newtown could be prevented by more firearms. "The way they are right now, school is a gun-free zone. Tragically we see the tragic consequences of gun-free zones, defenseless zones like the Colorado theater, Columbine, and Virginia Tech," Lucas told The Huffington Post Wednesday. "We have to work to overcome the stigma that firearms are a bad thing." ....................................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/03/indiana-armed-guards-schools_n_3009778.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009



Bob McChesney: How Capitalism Conquered the Internet.....And how we can take it back


from In These Times:


How Capitalism Conquered the Internet
And how we can take it back.

BY Robert McChesney


In 1787, as the Constitution was being drafted in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson was ensconced in Paris as this young, undefined nation’s minister to France. From afar he corresponded on the matter of what was required for successful democratic governance. The formation of a free press was a central concern. Jefferson wrote:

The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.


For Jefferson, having the right to speak without government censorship is a necessary but insufficient condition for a free press and therefore democracy, which also demands that there be a literate public, a viable press system and easy access to this press by the people.

But why, exactly, was this such an obsession to Jefferson? In the same letter, he praised Native American societies for being largely classless and happy, and he criticizes European societies—like the France he was witnessing firsthand on the eve of its revolution—in no uncertain terms for being their opposite. Jefferson described the central role of the press in stark class terms when he described its role in preventing exploitation and domination of the poor by the rich:

Among (European societies), under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor.


In short, the press has the obligation to undermine the natural tendency of propertied classes to dominate politics, open the doors to corruption, reduce the masses to powerlessness and eventually terminate self-government. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/14708/how_capitalism_conquered_the_internet/



Noam Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive


AlterNet / By Noam Chomsky

Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive
Like many other oppressive countries, Israel's chief tools of control are through humiliation, degradation and terror.

April 2, 2013 |


Editor's Note: This article is adapted from the Edward W. Said lecture given by Noam Chomsky in London on March 18, 2013.


The Swedish novelist Henning Mankell tells of an experience in Mozambique during the civil war horrors there 25 years ago, when he saw a young man walking toward him in ragged clothes.

"I noticed something that I will never forget for as long as I live," Mankell says. "I looked at his feet. He had no shoes. Instead he had painted shoes on his feet. He had used the colors in the ground and in the roots to replace his shoes. He had come up with a way to keep his dignity."

Such scenes will evoke poignant memories among those who have witnessed cruelty and degradation, which are everywhere. One striking case, though only one of a great many, is Gaza, which I was able to visit for the first time last October.

There violence is met by the steady resistance of the "samidin" – those who endure, to borrow Raja Shehadeh's evocative term in "The Third Way," his memoir on Palestinians under occupation, 30 years ago. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/world/chomsky-cruelty-keeps-empires-alive



You can tell the tide is turning for marriage equality.......

One of my (soon-to-be-unfriended) Facebook friends posted this today. Seems that he and his ilk are feeling all picked on and ostracized these days:







How Capitalism Conquered the Internet.....And how we can take it back

from In These Times:


How Capitalism Conquered the Internet
And how we can take it back.

BY Robert McChesney


In 1787, as the Constitution was being drafted in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson was ensconced in Paris as this young, undefined nation’s minister to France. From afar he corresponded on the matter of what was required for successful democratic governance. The formation of a free press was a central concern. Jefferson wrote:

The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.


For Jefferson, having the right to speak without government censorship is a necessary but insufficient condition for a free press and therefore democracy, which also demands that there be a literate public, a viable press system and easy access to this press by the people.

But why, exactly, was this such an obsession to Jefferson? In the same letter, he praised Native American societies for being largely classless and happy, and he criticizes European societies—like the France he was witnessing firsthand on the eve of its revolution—in no uncertain terms for being their opposite. Jefferson described the central role of the press in stark class terms when he described its role in preventing exploitation and domination of the poor by the rich:

Among (European societies), under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe. Cherish therefore the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, judges and governors shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor.


In short, the press has the obligation to undermine the natural tendency of propertied classes to dominate politics, open the doors to corruption, reduce the masses to powerlessness and eventually terminate self-government. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/14708/how_capitalism_conquered_the_internet/



Noam Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive


AlterNet / By Noam Chomsky

Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive
Like many other oppressive countries, Israel's chief tools of control are through humiliation, degradation and terror.

April 2, 2013 |


Editor's Note: This article is adapted from the Edward W. Said lecture given by Noam Chomsky in London on March 18, 2013.


The Swedish novelist Henning Mankell tells of an experience in Mozambique during the civil war horrors there 25 years ago, when he saw a young man walking toward him in ragged clothes.

"I noticed something that I will never forget for as long as I live," Mankell says. "I looked at his feet. He had no shoes. Instead he had painted shoes on his feet. He had used the colors in the ground and in the roots to replace his shoes. He had come up with a way to keep his dignity."

Such scenes will evoke poignant memories among those who have witnessed cruelty and degradation, which are everywhere. One striking case, though only one of a great many, is Gaza, which I was able to visit for the first time last October.

There violence is met by the steady resistance of the "samidin" – those who endure, to borrow Raja Shehadeh's evocative term in "The Third Way," his memoir on Palestinians under occupation, 30 years ago. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/world/chomsky-cruelty-keeps-empires-alive



The Rise and Fall of Broadcasting as a Commons


from OnTheCommons.org:


The Rise and Fall of Broadcasting as a Commons
By US law, the airwaves belong to all of us. But there's no sign of that today

| by David Morris


It’s easy to forget that the broadcasting airwaves are—and once were treated as—a commons, owned by citizens, not powerful media companies.

At the dawn of the broadcasting era, the free market prevailed. The government set no rules. The 1912 Radio Act authorized the federal Commerce and Labor Department to issue radio station licenses to U.S. citizens upon request. Which it did, resulting in chaos. By 1922, 564 broadcasting stations were operating and their signals were often interfering with one another, which threatened to kill the budding industry in the cradle. Radio station owners asked the government to step in and fix the mess.

The question was how to do it. Several options were on the table. The U.S. Navy might have controlled all broadcasting, as it wanted to do. Frequencies could have been auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Or the U.S. could have created the equivalent of the British Broadcasting Company. The original British Broadcasting Company was founded in 1922 by a group of six private telecommunications companies. In late 1926 the British Broadcasting Company became the British Broadcasting Corporation with exclusive control of the airwaves under the terms of a Royal Charter. The Charter outlined the BBC’s public services: sustaining citizenship and civil society; promoting education and learning; stimulating creativity and cultural excellence. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/rise-and-fall-broadcasting-commons



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