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brain
dailymail.co.uk

Google and Adderall to the Rescue?

It’s not news that the planet is in trouble, that global food and energy supplies won’t last long at the current rate of consumption, and that we’ve basically got a big mess on our hands as the species most responsible for all of the above and more. What’s the human race to do? Why, the answer may lie in intelligence augmentation, according to The Atlantic’s Jamais Cascio.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Gates
pbs.org

Prof. Gates Tells His Side of the Story, Chastises Policeman

Looks like Harvard professor and race scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. won’t face criminal charges after last Thursday’s unfortunate confrontation with a Cambridge, Mass., police officer, but the incident definitely touched off some reactions well beyond Harvard Square. Meanwhile, Gates has given his account of what happened and has called for an apology from the officer in question.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


The 21st Century Color Line

As it moves into its second century, the NAACP is, unfortunately, as relevant as ever.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

On Race and Pat Buchanan

Rachel Maddow sets the record straight on reverse discrimination and corrects some of the “facts” Pat Buchanan spewed on her show in a heated debate the two had on affirmative action and race. Watch this clip from last night’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Fighting for the White Man

As a “recent black man,” Stephen Colbert reacts to President Obama’s speech to the NAACP and talks reverse discrimination with Geoffrey Canada, executive director of the Harlem Children’s Zone. He also holds forth on the plight of white men, the least victimized folks ever. Check out these two clips from last night’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
laalmanac.com

L.A. County Supervisors to Sue Calif. Lawmakers

Following the long-awaited agreement on closing the California budgetary gap, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to sue state lawmakers if they pursue their plans to use city highway and redevelopment taxes to cover the state deficit. The supervisors are also looking into the legality of some of the proposed cuts, which greatly affect those who need help the most.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Economic Decline May Have Slowed

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke presented a report Tuesday about the U.S. economy’s health. On the “bright side,” the economy appears to be declining at a slower rate than before, but home prices are still falling, credit is still very tight and, oh yeah, job losses are still rising. As a result of all the good news, the Fed intends to maintain “exceptionally low” interest rates for a while longer.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

U.N. Faces Nearly $5 Billion Shortfall in Aid

The United Nations is facing a $4.8 billion shortfall in funding for humanitarian aid to some of the world’s poorest peoples. At the top of that list are the inhabitants of Zimbabwe, Palestine and Kenya, which face increasingly dire financial needs. Although emergency relief donations have risen, the global credit crunch has made it harder for developed countries to keep pace with the need.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ECohen and White House / Eric Draper

The Bush Baby Boom

Yet another report confirms, as The Guardian explains, “that rates of teen pregnancy and STDs are, after more than a decade of decline, once again on the rise.” Thanks to President Bush’s abstinence-only sex education agenda, black, Hispanic and poor women are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Trust and Media Were One

The greatest sorrow in marking Walter Cronkite’s death is the necessity of acknowledging that we have replaced his work ethic and wisdom with puffery and ideological pontification.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Kiwi Flickr

California Cuts Budget Deal

Soon California can stop being the butt of jokes—although seriously, Alabama, let’s not point fingers. Party elders in Sacramento have reached an agreement that should balance the budget with $15.5 billion in cuts that will hurt students, the poor, children and the elderly. Republicans, who make up only about a third of the state Legislature, managed to thwart any new taxes.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


O'Reilly

O’Reilly Preferred Pre-Ideological Cronkite, Thank You Very Much

In case anyone wonders, Fox News’ own Bill O’Reilly spent some time in the media trenches working with Known Lefty Ideologue Dan Rather after the CBS anchor took over from Walter Cronkite, whom O’Reilly eulogizes in this clip ... or at least uses Cronkite’s memory to bash the liberal establishment.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Gates
Harvard Gazette / Justin Ide

Black-History Expert Arrested in His Home; Racism Alleged

One Sgt. James Crowley may have thought he was stopping a break-in when he showed up at a house near Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., last Thursday, but the man he eventually arrested there happened to be professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., chair of the Afro-American studies department and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University, who just happened to be in his own home.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter
cartercenter.org

Carter Breaks With Southern Baptists Over Gender Equality Issue

Former President Jimmy Carter has made human rights an ongoing focus of his life’s work, and his position on the issue recently compelled him to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after being affiliated with it for six decades. Carter, in a recent piece for The Observer, complains that higher-ups in the denomination haven’t changed their sexist ways.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Support Iran Protesters Without Meddling

In reality, the U.S. has very little ability to impact what has become a massive, spontaneous movement for change in Iran. And it shouldn’t.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Robert Gates
DoD / R. D. Ward

Army to Add 22,000 Soldiers

Those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are taking their toll. To cope with rising demand, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he will increase the size of the Army by 22,000 troops for a period of three years. That means there will be 569,000 active-duty soldiers, bringing America’s active-duty armed forces close to 1.5 million.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Khamenei
AP / Office of the Supreme Leader

Iranians Still Split Over Election

Although Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, aka Iran’s supreme leader, has called the recent protests over the contested election evidence of foreign powers meddling in his country’s affairs, his words didn’t seem to sway Iranian opponents, who on Monday proposed a referendum to sort out the issue.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Astronauts and Obama Have Different Worlds in Mind

The crew of Apollo 11, the NASA mission that 40 years ago Monday first put a man on the moon, marked the occasion with President Obama at the White House. The president hailed their accomplishments as a boon to the home planet. But astronauts of the Apollo series aren’t satisfied with such earthbound praise—they want a national commitment to send Americans to Mars.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Honduras
nytimes.com

EU Suspends Aid to Honduras

More than three weeks after the coup, the European Union has decided to halt aid to Honduras. The EU refused to give coup leaders $90 million in aid after the interim government rejected its demands that power be returned to ousted President Manuel Zelaya. That rejection caused EU-Honduran talks to break down.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


POPPY
msnbc.com

A New Type of Surge

U.S. government officials are conducting a new kind of “surge.” The DEA has started dispatching agents to Afghanistan to target opium trafficking networks that are believed to be funding the Taliban insurgency, a change from the Bush-era policy of poppy crop destruction.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Women Soldiers
rwor.org

Four Weddings and Four Funerals

The Nepalese government has stirred up a hornet’s nest of criticism with a plan to pay men to marry Nepalese women who were widowed in the country’s 10-year civil war. Women’s groups are calling the plan humiliating and contrary to human rights.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



ABR / Ricardo Stuckert

Honduras Talks Get Lost in Costa Rica

Honduras’ coup-empowered interim government refuses to discuss any deal that involves the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, pictured above, despite overwhelming international and regional pressure. But Costa Rica’s Nobel Prize-winning President Oscar Arias isn’t giving up for fear that failure could lead to civil war.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin R. Bond

Extreme Makeover: Bagram Prison Edition

The New York Times reports that a U.S. military review calls for “overhauling the troubled American-run prison [at Bagram Air Base] as well as the entire Afghan jail and judicial systems, a reaction to worries that abuses and militant recruiting within the prisons are helping to strengthen the Taliban.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Not All Scandals Are Equal

Bill Maher compares the letters of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who fell in love in Argentina, with the texts of former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who fell for congressional pages.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Taliban Releases Video of U.S. Captive

The Pentagon is condemning the Taliban for releasing a video of a U.S. soldier captured in Afghanistan, identified as 23-year-old Bowe Bergdahl.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


The Nightmare

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Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE    


Terrorvision

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Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE    



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Aces in the Hole

It was not the soaring rhetoric that is Barack Obama’s signature, but he recently offered the sound bite that may define his presidency: “Don’t bet against us.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Black America’s New Reality

A century ago, when the NAACP was founded, black America was under siege. Some critics have wondered whether there is still a role for an organization like the NAACP. President Obama says there is.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



© 2001 Reese Erlich

Opinions Walter Cronkite Never Aired

In the fall of 2002, Walter Cronkite agreed to be interviewed about the pending U.S. invasion of Iraq. That interview was never published. Looking back at the transcript seven years later, Walter’s views proved quite prescient. Here’s some of what he told me.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Change Machine

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Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE    


Dennis Kucinich
AP / Charlie Neibergall

Dennis vs. Goliath

Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks about winning a big victory for health care reform, grilling Hank Paulson over the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger, and the battle against crony capitalism.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Dennis Kucinich
AP / Charlie Neibergall

Dennis vs. Goliath

Rep. Dennis Kucinich talks about winning a big victory for health care reform, grilling Hank Paulson over the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch merger, and the battle against crony capitalism.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
fortunespawn.com

House Committee to Launch CIA Probe

Former Vice President Dick Cheney may have some ’splainin’ to do, and to the House Intelligence Committee at that, when the panel kicks off its investigation into claims that the CIA kept information about a covert counterterrorism program secret from Congress for eight years. Rep. Jan Schakowsky announced the probe Friday.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
whitehouse.gov/video/

Obama on Health Care: ‘We Are Going to Get This Done’

Despite rumblings from detractors on both sides of the aisle, President Barack Obama held his ground as he held forth about health care reform in a speech at the White House on Friday afternoon, declaring that he was “absolutely convinced” that substantial changes to the system will be made this year.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Harry Potter
Warner Brothers Pictures

Conservative Christians Give Harry Potter Their Blessing

Although the pope and other prominent Christians have registered their disapproval of the Harry Potter franchise in the past, the newest film in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” is getting glowing reviews from fellow members of their fold. It’s not quite on the level of WWHPD? but some are noting the teenage wand-wielder’s similarities to a certain other powerful young man from a very popular book.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Vetting Sotomayor, Sizing Up the GOP

This week’s show includes two Republicans filling in for Tony Blankley—Mike Murphy and John Henke—making this episode more like “Left, Right, Right & Center,” if you will. Robert Scheer joins them to weigh in about the Sotomayor hearings, the future of the GOP and what to do about the health care conundrum, among other lively topics.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Cronkite
AP / File

Walter Cronkite, TV’s First Anchor, Dies at 92

One of the news industry’s longest-living legends, Walter Cronkite, died of cerebrovascular disease Friday at the age of 92. Over the course of his storied career as the anchor of CBS News, Cronkite covered some of the biggest events of the 20th century. He himself coined his famous and often-quoted sign-off line: “And that’s the way it is. ... ”

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / aflcio2008

Democrats Gut Union Bill

Senate Democrats aren’t doing their friends in organized labor any favors. Lawmakers have decided to strip out the basic reform in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act that would make creating unions much easier—the whole point of the bill. But all may not be lost. ...

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



twitter.com/AKGovSarahPalin

Palin Promises to Loosen Her Tongue

The Alaska governor tells her Twitter followers “elected is replaceable;Ak WILL progress! + side benefit=10 dys til less politically correct twitters fly frm my fingertps outside State site.” Palin indicates in a more recent message that later this month she will launch a personal Twitter account for nonstate business and, presumably, more quotes on the nature of quitting.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Stewart

The Judgment Days of Sotomayor

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor avoided a “total meltdown” during her confirmation hearings, even as she underwent a grilling by the likes of Sen. Lindsey Graham, who trotted out a series of scathing anonymous evaluations of Sotomayor by unimpressed attorneys. Clearly, Sen. Graham hasn’t Googled himself lately.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Jobs
L.A. Times / Alana Semuels

California Unemployment on the Rise

More bad news on the economy front. California reported Friday that its statewide unemployment rate increased in June, leaving 11.6 percent of Californians without work while shedding 66,500 jobs in only 30 days.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Rueda
cnn.com

A Next Step in Mexico’s Drug War

In the next step of the continuing battle between the Mexican government and the country’s powerful drug cartels, 5,500 police and military personnel are being sent to the state of Michoacan, where recent drug-related violence has killed 20 government security agents.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Detainee
guardian.co.uk

Detainees vs. Bush

Finally someone is going after George W. Bush for his crimes against the world—it’s just a shame that it’s not the U.S. Congress. An Al-Jazeera journalist imprisoned for six years in Guantanamo is planning joint legal action against the former president.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Indonesia Ritz
krithikav.files.wordpress.com

Deadly Explosions Hit Two Indonesian Hotels

The Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta were the targets of two explosions on Friday in the first such attacks in four years. Nine people were killed and 50 injured in blasts that occurred within minutes of each other, according to the Associated Press. “There are indications of suicide bombs,” one official said.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Haldini

China Is Here

The planet’s already on the brink of resource exhaustion and climate catastrophe, and China is 17 times more populous than America was during our industrial era. If we just sit back and celebrate “miracles,” then there’s not going to be much of a world left.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges

The daunting problems Bush’s successor has inherited may prove all but insurmountable as he makes his way through a thicket of difficulties—the nuclear ambitions of authoritarian regimes, the quagmire of Mesopotamia and the persistent bloodletting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to name only the most prominent. A recent book by David E. Sanger, a longtime foreign affairs correspondent for The New York Times, offers a close-up look at the world Obama confronts.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Pedophiles, Witches and Kids

If we have reached the point in society where basic adult concern for children is mistaken for evil, we’re back in Salem, 1692.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009 READ MORE


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