Saturday, December 25, 2010

Osama bin Dead awhile

Osama bin Dead awhile
by Keith Johnson - 12/24/2010


The next time the CIA comes up with another Osama bin Laden videotape, you might want to compare their images of the alleged al-Qaeda leader to the photograph I've provided here. If he looks any healthier than that, then you're probably looking at an imposter.
Yeah, Osama has definitely seen better days. But give the guy a break, huh? You wouldn't look much better if you'd been dead for nine years.

Oh, by the way, in case you've just joined us? Osama bin Laden is dead.

He died in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan on December 13, 2001.

He was buried in an unmarked grave within 24 hours of his death. Case closed.

But don't just take my word for it.

Top terror experts, intelligence analysts, academics, government officials, and even major political figures around the globe tend to agree that, "All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden."

I know this is old news to most of you, but I think it's important to reiterate this fact. Why? Because Christmas season is upon us, and you know what that means: Terrorism!

That's right! "Tis the season to be frightened," and what 21st century Christmas would be complete without a holiday greeting from the man often credited with masterminding the attacks behind 9/11?
But wait—it's already Christmas Eve (at least it was at the time of this writing)—and although our government has been hyping the threat al-Qaeda poses to the American people, one central figure has been conspicuously absent from their conspiracy theories.

Could it be that our government has finally given up on trying to convince the American people that Osama bin Laden is still alive and kicking? There sure is plenty to suggest that their efforts have thus far failed to inspire the kind of fear they need to justify these unpopular wars abroad, and the even more unpopular war on the civil liberties of American citizens here at home.

A CNN poll conducted in September of this year reveals that 67% of Americans believe it is unlikely the U.S. will ever capture or kill Osama bin Laden. That's a dramatic increase since 2001, when only 20% believed that it would be unlikely that the government would catch him. One thing this poll does not address is why the American people believe it is unlikely that the U.S. will capture or kill Osama bin Laden. But you and I know the answer to that question, right? Right—because he's dead!

By the time this poll was conducted, the American people had already grown tired of the ad nauseam attempts by our government to breathe life into this long dead villain. Each new audio and videotape purporting to be that of Osama bin Laden failed to stand up to scrutiny. One of the more prominent critics of these tapes is Former U.S. foreign intelligence officer Angelo M. Codevilla, who is now a professor of international relations at Boston University.

In March of 2009, Codevilla wrote a damning critique of the countless recordings in an article for American Spectator Magazine.
According to Codevilla, Some videos show him [bin Laden]with a Semitic aquiline nose, while others show him with a shorter, broader one.

He also determined that none of the audio recordings match up either. Not only has voice recognition software found them to be not authentic, but even the secular language used by the "fake Osama" is inconsistent with the real bin Laden's strict Islamic Wahhabism. 
Codevilla also points out some of the finer discrepancies found in the videos. Like the fact that Bin Laden is left-handed, but uses his right hand to write with. He's also seen wearing gold rings that are decidedly un-Wahabbi.

But these criticisms did not dissuade `the powers that be' from releasing even more fake recordings.

However, they were obviously persuaded to play it safe by exclusively sticking to an audio format.
They managed to keep him alive for a while longer, but then totally `jumped the shark,' on January 29, 2010. That was the day that Osama bin Laden (the fake one, of course) scolded the U.S. for its failure to address climate change. It was a laugh riot, and quite possibly what drove that final nail into OBL's coffin once and for all.

We didn't hear much from Osama bin Laden after that. Then, less than a month after the CNN poll was conducted, three more audiotapes were released during the month of October. But these recordings generated about as much excitement as an Ashton Kutcher film.

So, do you think that our betters have finally decided to retire OBL's jersey? That would seem to be the case.

Yesterday, in an op-ed piece for the Washington Times, former White House aide Robert Weiner and national security analyst James Lewis floated the idea that Osama bin Laden is most likely dead.

"Is bin Laden dead or alive? Nobody seems to know for sure, or, if anybody does, he isn't saying. The White House's Afghanistan-Pakistan review this month didn't even mention him despite an ongoing, decade-long manhunt."

But then they put a peculiar spin on their piece by suggesting that it is al-Qaeda that is trying to conceal bin Laden's earthly departure.

"Al Qaeda wants America and the world to believe bin Laden is still alive. His image is a specter of the horrors of Sept. 11, helping build public support for everything from troop surges a globe away to warrantless wiretaps at home.

But the image of bin Laden is getting moldy, and there's little reason for his ghost to scare anyone anymore. If al Qaeda wants America to believe bin Laden is alive, it should put up or shut up."
This is not something you would expect to find in the Washington Times, which is a fanatical supporter of the`war on terror'and a mouthpiece for whatever propaganda is coming out of the Pentagon. But there you have it.

We may very well find our government putting closure to this whole Osama bin Laden affair in the very near future. I expect them to come up with a body. Maybe they'll dig him up out of the hills of Afghanistan, or claim that he was recently blown to bits following a bloody fire fight in Yemen. Whatever happens, you can sure that our government will declare, "Mission Accomplished" and finally have something to show for all those billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives it cost to get him.

But don't think that will put an exclamation point to this entire saga. No siree. They're just getting started, and they have a whole new bin Laden waiting in the wings.

Up till now, bin Laden has been our government's real life version of Emmanuel Goldstein. In case you don't know who that is, I recommend you read George Orwell's 1984.

In the novel, Goldstein was the Ministry of Truth's poster child for terrorism. Like bin Laden, he was elusive and seemed to be everywhere. But the only place he actually showed up was on the nation's telescreens. Each day, at 11:00am, images of Goldstein would be flashed before the eyes of Oceania's citizenry, as part of a daily ritual known as "Two Minutes Hate." It was a constant reminder to the people that the threat of terrorism was real and ever-present, and ensured that public support for the government's ongoing wars was continuous.

With bin Laden gone, they'll need a whole new Goldstein to take his place.

Anwar Al-awaki is that guy. He's another CIA creation that is being bumped up from the minor leagues. Al-awaki has a very impressive resume who has been linked to the 9/11 plotters, the Ft. Hood shooter, and both the Christmas Day and Times Square bombers. He's a big hit with the western intelligence crowd, and even dined with top-level Pentagon officials just months after 9/11.

And, just like bin Laden, he'll be just like the American Express Card: He's "everywhere you want to be!"

Remember when there was much chatter about a strike on Iran last summer? Osama bin Laden and his pet falcon just happened to be there, living it up in a guarded compound north of Tehran.

Or how about when the Pentagon was `testing the waters' to expand the Afghan war into Pakistan last October? Well, bin Laden was there too, "living comfortably" in a cozy little hideaway somewhere north of the Kurrum Valley.

And let's not forget how the U.S. has been salivating to break Yemen wide open. Well, wouldn't you know it? Last month, Osama bin Laden was believed to be shopping for new digs—somwhere near Hadramout—so he could be close to the rest of his al-Queda buddies, and finally have a chance to settle down, and start a brand new family with his latest child bride.

Now that's what I call one active senior citizen.

But I think you'll agree that Osama bin Laden is nearing the end of his run. At some point in time, you've got to switch out actors to breathe new life into the franchise.

I liked Roger Moore as James Bond, but everyone agreed that this 57-year-old had to go after "From a View to a Kill." You can only suspend so much disbelief when you see a guy— who can now get half price at Denny's—knocking down multiple assailants and bedding women young enough to be his granddaughter.

Same thing with Osama. He's too old and becoming increasingly irrelevant. It's time our government introduces a new villain to the franchise before they lose their audience altogether.

So expect someone new to emerge from the smokey clouds of the next false flag. He'll be young, tanned and ready to kick some infidel ass. He might even make a grand entrance like Pierce Brosnan did in the trailer to Golden Eye:

"My name is Al-awaki…Anwar Al awaki…Were you expecting someone else?"

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Senate Passes $4.3 Billion Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First Responders

Senate Passes $4.3 Billion Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First Responders
By Jonathan D. Salant and James Rowley -- Dec 22, 2010


The U.S. Congress approved legislation today to help rescuers and clean-up crews suffering from illnesses linked to the wreckage caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

The Senate passed the measure on a voice vote after Republicans ended their opposition to it when its costs were lowered and other changes were made...
Would it be asking too much to know just what other changes were made?
...The House then approved the bill, 206-60. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature into law.

"The Christmas miracle we've been looking for has arrived," Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrats, said in a statement after the Senate vote.
Christmas f#cking miracle. The miracle is that these truculent RepubeLickems haven't been visited by a plague of angry cops and fire-fighters carrying guns and hatchets.

The bill provides for $4.3 billion in additional aid over five years, with $1.5 billion for health-care benefits and $2.7 billion for compensation, said Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who had been blocking the bill. The House initially approved more than $7 billion and the Senate was considering a $6.2 billion bill.

Coburn said the legislation would close the victims' compensation fund in 2016 instead of 2031 and would include workers' compensation payments in determining benefits that victims would receive for injuries or ailments related to the destruction of the World Trade Center site in New York.

"Every American recognizes the heroism of the 9/11 first responders, but it is not compassionate to help one group while robbing future generations of opportunity," Coburn, a physician, said in a statement.
BURN IN HELL ASSHOLE COBURN!

Compensation Fund

Supporters sought to reopen the compensation fund created following the terrorist attacks. They argued that many of those affected by exposure to toxic dust didn't become ill until after the compensation program ended.

The bill establishes more permanent funding for government programs providing health care to those who responded to rescue and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center site and to others who were in the area on Sept. 11, 2001, turning them into benefits that don't have to be appropriated each year by Congress.

Since the attacks, lawmakers have provided almost $500 million for screening and treatment services to those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

The fund made 2,880 death and 2,680 injury awards totaling more than $7 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said.

Excise Tax

To pay for the health care costs, the bill includes a new 2 percent excise tax on goods or services purchased from federal contractors in countries such as China, India and Thailand that are outside the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement.
And these countries are outside the WTO's agreement on Government Procurement precisely because "the big corporations" wish it to be that way ... so they can exploit the lower labor costs and kill the workds in these countries faster than they can in the USofA


Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, objected to the tax, which was added to the bill this week to replace another tax proposal that business groups also opposed.
FUCK THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TOO ... wait, better yet .. UNFUCK THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE so those blood-sucking vampiric squid will stop breeding.
Cal Cohen, president of the Emergency Committee for American Trade, said he was "troubled" by the procurement tax because it "may be challenged" and is "inconsistent with our international obligations." The Washington-based group advocates policies aimed at making U.S. companies competitive in foreign markets.
Come on bumblef#ck Cal Cohenn, WHOSE international obligations are you talking about, and just which ones of these international obligations?

The legislation "affirms our nation's commitment to protecting those who protect us all," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "The events of that day were an attack on America by a foreign enemy, and addressing its health impacts is a national duty."
Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. You get it! And this piece of legislation alone may be enough to derail the Sarah Palin for President campaign ... and get Bloomberg elected instead.

The mayor, who is chairman of the foundation that will finance a Sept. 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero, is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net; James Rowley in Washington at jarowley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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Israeli Military Kills sheperd - but of course - shepherds don't shoot back

Israeli Military Kills Shepherd in Beit Lahya
24 December 2010
International Solidarity Movement, Gaza
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/israeli-military-kills-shepherd-in-beit-lahya/

Yesterday morning Salama Abu Hashish, 20 years, was herding his sheep and goats in Beit Lahya, in northern Gaza, when the Israeli Occupation Forces shot him without any warning. The bullet hit his back and went straight through one of his kidneys. He had surgery and was in the intensive care unit at Kamal Adwan Hospital, where he died at 5.30 pm. The IOF has not only taken a life away from the Abu Hashish family; it widowed a young woman and orphaned a baby that was only born the previous evening. Salama Abu Hashish had just become a father, but has not even been able to name his first born. Three more workers were injured in northern Gaza by Israeli bullets yesterday.

Yesterday's attacks come amidst an escalating Israeli assault on workers in the border area: in the past five weeks alone, 40 people have been injured in the buffer zone, an Israeli military-declared no-go zone that runs along the Gazan side of the border in a swathe 300 to 500 meters wide. However, according to the United Nations, the "high risk" zone stretches up to 1000-1500 meters. The total area amounts to 35% of Gaza's arable land. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, 84 workers have been injured and nine have been killed by the Israeli military since January 2010. Salama Abu Hashish is the tenth victim of Israel's war on the border area in this year alone.
Riad Abu Hashish, the victim's uncle, says that Salama regularly took his sheep and goats to the northern border area to graze. Yesterday, he was approximately 150 to 200 meters from the border when he was hit by an IOF sniper. As ambulances cannot reach the buffer zone without Israeli coordination, nearby scrap collectors carried Salama away on their donkey cart.

"This is all because of the occupation and the poverty it has brought to Gaza! He only risked going to the dangerous buffer zone, because there are no other possibilities for feeding his animals", said Riad Abu Hashish in shock.

ISM Gaza calls for an immediate end of the shooting of innocent civilians, driven to such work by the illegal blockade and urges the international community to pressure Israel to end these attacks.

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When this woman speak, we should listen VERY carefully

Don't Go, Don't Kill
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Cindy Sheehan


The recent repeal of the US military policy of "Don't ask, don't tell" is far from being the human rights advancement some are touting it to be. I find it intellectually dishonest, in fact, illogical on any level to associate human rights with any military, let alone one that is currently dehumanizing two populations as well as numerous other victims of it's clandestine "security" policies.

Placing this major contention aside, the enactment of the bill might be an institutional step forward in the fight for "equality"; however institutions rarely reflect reality.

Do we really think that the US congress vote to repeal the act and Obama signing the bill is going to stop the current systemic harassment of gays in the military?

While I am a staunch advocate for equality of marriage and same-sex partnership, I cannot – as a peace activist – rejoice in the fact that now homosexuals can openly serve next to heterosexuals in one of the least socially responsible organisations that currently exists on earth: The US military.

It is an organisation tainted with a history of intolerance towards anyone who isn't a Caucasian male from the Mid-West. Even then I'm sure plenty fitting that description have faced the terror and torment enshrined into an institution that transforms the pride and enthusiasm of youth into a narrow zeal for dominating power relations.

Wrong battle for equality
Well, of course; were we to fight the right battle for equality, there would be a major distribution of money around the globe

It is hard to separate this issue from the activities of the military. War might be a "racket", but it is also the most devastating act one can be involved in, whether you are the aggressor or a victimised civilian, no one can shake off the psychological scars of war. No one.

Its effects on the individual as well as collective human psyche are terminal. Championing equal rights is an issue of morality, war is immoral, and the US military is heading further and further down the path of immorality.

Even with the advent of WikiLeaks, transparency and accountability of US military activity has been sucked into a black hole of silence. Drone attacks, illegal cross-border interventions, extra-judicial assassinations all occur in the name of national interest. It is not in the interest of equal rights activists to support an institution that is intent on ignoring every protocol of human decency.

Face it, gays are now and have been in the military since before Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War.

The only difference being one can now admit their orientation without fear of official recrimination - a major boon for the equal rights movement! The capacity for increased carnage should not be celebrated as a victory!

I cannot help but think about those that are on the receiving end of US military aggression. So a minor change has occurred at the input juncture of the war machine, but the output remains the same: we dismantle systems of indigenous governance, support disingenuous often criminal overlords, commit endless acts of brutality, and worst of all leave entire nations rudderless, spiraling downwards into the same abyss that engulfs the US military's lack of accountability.
Say it sister. Testify to the highest mountains and the lowliest of valleys.

I wonder what the response towards don't ask, don't will be overseas? I wonder if mothers across the Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan are cheering the repeal of the act (most likely not), gathering in the streets to celebrate a victory in the global pursuit of human equality, only to be forced to take cover as yet another hellfire-laden drone appears on the horizon. Hell hath no fury, as a drone operated from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Don't equal human rights extend to those that the Empire has mislabeled as the "enemy"? Or do we now have to ignore the fact that innocent people are being slaughtered by the thousands?

Unjust binaries

We live in a world governed by binaries, straight or gay, them or us, freedom or tyranny. Until we break away from this norm, we shall forever be shackled to a narrow existence, manipulated by a political establishment that serves its own interests.

We should embrace complication, appreciate difference and most of all not be duped into accepting "victories" that clearly benefit an elite, that you and me (pardon the binary) will never be part of.

Some of us in the peace movement work really hard to keep our young people out of the hands of the war machine that preys on disadvantaged young people in inner cities and poor rural settings.

To see a demographic that is (without appearing to stereotypes) traditionally better educated, more politically progressive, and economically advantaged fight to join this killing machine is very disheartening
.

I can see how one could view the repeal as a step forward, framed in the context dictated by the political elites of the Washington beltway. I can imagine much displeasure amongst the military brass – but I cannot reiterate enough how this is not a progressive moment in the social history of the United States.

The US military is not a human rights organisation and nowhere near a healthy place to earn a living or raise a family. My email box is filled with stories of mostly straight soldiers and their families who were deeply harmed by life in the military.

Because of the callous and violent nature of the system, Post Traumatic Stress Disorderactive duty soldiers are skyrocketing.

Veterans still find it very difficult to access the services, benefits and bonuses that were promised to them by their recruiters. I cannot imagine the repealing of DADT significantly improving the material conditions experienced by gays during military service.

While the children of war profiteers and politicians are protected from any kind of sacrifice, this Empire preys on the rest of our youth – gay/straight; male/female – and spits their mangled or dead bodies onto the dung heap of history, without a qualm or a twinge of conscience.

Joining the US military should never be an option for the socially conscious while our troops are being used as corporate tools for profit, or hired assassins for imperial expansion. Soldiers are called: "Bullet sponges," by their superiors and "dumb animals" by Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state.

While soldiers are dehumanised and treated like dirt, they are taught to dehumanise "the other", and treat them as less than dirt. It is a vicious cycle, and the way to stop a vicious cycle is to denounce and reject it, not openly participate.

I want to bang my head against a wall when another young gay person commits suicide as a result despicable bullying, yet people within the same community have fought hard for the right to openly join the biggest bully ever! Don't go, don't kill!
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Even God Laughed - one of those e-mail things you get that really makes you smile

: Even God laughed
 
THROUGH A CHILD'S EYES...


















This is one of the better e-mails I have received in a long time! 
I hope you take the time to share it.
 

Islamic Chronology 1992 - 1997

Islamic Chronology 1961 - 1992

Islamic Chronology 1908 - 1961

Islamic Chronology 1839 - 1906

Islamic Chronology 1656 - 1836

Islamic Chronology 1328 - 1640

Islamic Chronology 1090's - 1359

Islamic Chronology 969 - 1027

Islamic Chronology 815 - 961

Islamic Chronology 685 - 815

Islamic Chronology 628 - 684

Islamic Chronology - Karen Armstrong: A History of Islam

Only America Can Destroy America - Commentary / Observation From the Canadian Ian Welsh - 2008


Friday, December 24, 2010

Wikileaks shows how White House actively sought to limit showings of Farenheit 9/11


Another WikiLeaks Cable from the Bush Administration About My Movies

by Michael Moore
Twice within four days, my name has popped up in the Bush-era secret cables uncovered by WikiLeaks. Lucky me. Though nowhere near as earth-shattering as the uncovering of American misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, these classified cables provide a stunning and bizarre peek into the paranoid minds of the Bush White House when it came to the subject of one Michael Francis Moore.

And considering how WikiLeaks has released only 1,826 cables of its planned drop of 251,287 -- and I've already played a starring role twice -- I can only say I await with bemused anticipation how the moi-storyline will play itself out.


The most recent secret cable revelation is in today's Guardian newspaper of London. It's entitled, "US Intervened in Michael Moore NZ Screening." Oh yeah, baby! New Zealand! That's where we'll stop Moore and his band of evildoers!

The date was July 30, 2004. 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was already a huge hit in the United States. Just to give you an idea how huge, it had hit #1 at the box office, the only documentary to have ever accomplished this feat, and had made more on its opening weekend than 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.'

But it was no easy path to get there. Disney (which owned Miramax) was apoplectic when they saw the final cut. So they pulled the film from its theatrical schedule. Then they put a permanent block on its release, insuring no one would see it. But then the New York Times, in a front page story, reported that the real reason Disney hated 'Fahrenheit' was they were worried about the tax breaks it got in Jeb Bush's Florida for Disney World. This caused some embarrassment, so Disney then sold 'Fahrenheit' to the Weinstein Bros., who said they'd spend their own money to distribute it.


The release of the film caused concern at the White House, as this was the re-election year. They hired a pollster who told them the film might tip the election. That was enough for them to swing into action. Much of July was a nonstop barrage of attacks on me and the movie. But that just resulted in more tickets being sold.
 Let us NEVER forget the power of art to trump politics.
Which brings us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. There are few nations on earth further away from us. A local chapter of the ruling Labor Party apparently had decided to do a fundraising screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' It was to be hosted by the Prime Minister's Cabinet Secretary for the Environment.

Well, when the U.S. Embassy in Wellington got word of this, it was like all heck broke loose. America was offended! Phone calls were made to the Prime Minister! Then to the Cabinet Secretary! We ... are ... not ... happy!

Apparently, the Kiwis backed down and the Cabinet Secretary withdrew as the host. A sigh of relief whiffed its way through the American embassy. Moore stopped! The cable back to Washington showed the embassy had no problem taking credit for putting the kabosh on yours truly:

"... it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls -- it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

So here's my question:

Really?

I mean, seriously -- really? This is how the Bush State Department was spending its time -- on a single screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' in freakin' New Zealand? Or maybe ... was this kind of interference happening just to New Zealand? Call me crazy, but I gotta feelin' it doesn't stop there. Just as a health insurance executive has now come forward as a whistleblower to reveal the millions spent to smear 'Sicko,' I can't help wait for that day when the whistleblower from the Bush White House comes forward to tell the fascinating tale of how the Bush team believed they had to do something -- anything -- to stop 'Fahrenheit.' Or worse (like the "Plan B" the health insurance companies discussed -- to "push Michael Moore off a cliff."). I didn't want to think about what the Bush Plan B would be. Just wasn't worth the crazy-making. So I ignored the things I'd hear, kept my head down and motored on.
But, it does make you wonder. And I ask you, is it fair to pose the question: If they were this focused on some insignificant screening in New Zealand, what else were they up to? And I don't mean in regards to me. I mean anyone who was on their enemies list ...

I can't wait to read more classified cables.
P.S. Of course, given the false claims the State Department made in the other "secret" cable about my movie 'Sicko,' I guess anything was possible.

P.P.S. Don't miss the REAL revelations from just the first batch of WikiLeaks cables. For instance, the Obama administration worked together with Republicans to kill an investigationdig up dirt on the Attorney General of Nigeria. Bush's ambassador to France planned to "retaliate" against the country for standing up to Monsanto. And we're less than 1% of the way through ... by Spain into Bush's torture. Pfizer hired a private investigator to

Michael Moore is an activist, author, and filmmaker.  See more of his work at his website MichaelMoore.com

Global Recession Turns Top-Tier Economies Upside Down

by Michelle Chen

This year, the big list of who's naughty and nice won't come from Santa. The International Labour Organization has published its Global Wage Report 2010/11. It's another reminder that workers should expect no glad tidings in the coming year as the recession continues to snowball around the globe
 
It wasn't all bad news. Wages are generally on an upward trendline. But in its analysis of national wage data sampled from 115 countries and territories, the ILO reports:
growth in average monthly wages slowed from 2.8 per cent in 2007, on the eve of the crisis, to 1.5 per cent in 2008 and 1.6 per cent in 2009. Excluding China from the aggregate, the global average wage growth drops to 0.8 in 2008 and 0.7 in 2009....
If we are to exclude China, then Chinese workers are doing much better ... hmm ...
In particular... since the mid-1990s the proportion of people on low pay – defined as less than two-thirds of median wage – has increased in more than two-thirds of countries with available data.
The range of countries that have seen a growth in low-paid workers span the spectrum of "development," including "Argentina, China, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Poland and Spain." Paradoxically this growth in the low-wage labor force will be met with Europe's onslaught of harsh austerity measures, which economists predict will not only shred the safety net but also deepen the overall economic contraction (meaning more misery for ordinary people).
Interesting how THAT works.

Some countries, however, might be getting smarter about rejiggering their economies with a combination of organized labor power and aggressive fiscal policy. For example, the ILO says, departing from policies tried by governments in response to earlier economic crises, half of the surveyed countries this time around "have adjusted their minimum wages either as part of the regular minimum wage review process or with the aim of protecting the purchasing power of the most vulnerable workers." Building on the baseline of economic security provided by government, the ILO finds, "Wages are better aligned with productivity in countries where collective bargaining covers more than 30 per cent of employees."

The United States saw a significant drop in real average weekly earnings from 2007 to 2008, followed by an uptick going into 2009, which the ILO attributes largely to falling consumer prices (increasing relative purchasing power). The U.S. sits near the top of the ILO's list of industrialized countries in terms of the portion of its workforce comprised of low-paid full-time workers (about a quarter of the U.S. labor force compared to six percent in Sweden, for instance).

On both sides of the Atlantic, the oft-maligned public sector again appears to be better shielded from recessionary woes. In most of the surveyed European nations, “nominal earnings in the public sector have risen faster – or fallen less – than earnings in the private sector." Earnings rose faster in the U.S. for state and municipal employees than for private sector employees from March 2008 to 2010.

But the budget axe looms over civil servants. The ILO says “this trend may be reversed in some of the countries that have implemented austerity measures to contain public debt and/or which have signed recent agreements with the IMF.”

In this recession, the bigger they come, the harder they fall. The “advanced" countries that helped drive markets over a cliff have spiraled downward while meeker economies have stayed afloat, according to the wage report. Though global average wages grew substantially over the past decade, the increase was unevenly concentrated:
while wage growth slowed but remained consistently positive in Asia and Latin America, other regions such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia experienced a dramatic fall. Advanced economies experienced a drop in the level of real wages which fell in 12 of 28 countries in 2008 and in seven in 2009.
For the "emerging economies," the psychological ramifications of feeling as though your nation is moving up as opposed to toppling over, are reflected in a new Gallup poll showing economic optimism clustered in less wealthy countries.

Yet the U.K. Guardian's analysis suggested that the global downturn could be a great leveler of sorts. On one hand, writes Vittorio Longhi, the recession will inevitably have an acute impact on the most impoverished, least educated, least politically empowered workers. Relegated to the "3D's" ("dirty, dangerous and demanding" jobs), these are often women, youth, ethnic minorities and members of otherwise marginalized communities.

Still, there's nothing like a crashing economy to concentrate officials' minds on designing a better safety net. Countering the EU's “austerity” mantra, the ILO identifies key areas where lawmakers can coordinate social and labor policies to boost recovery and reduce inequity.

The researchers recommend that on top of a government-mandated wage floor, "there must be a system of wage policies which benefits all workers, irrespective of wage levels, union membership or employment status." For workers higher on the economic ladder, that means stronger collective bargaining and organizing rights at work, especially in "non-standard" sectors like domestic workers. Wage supplements like tax credits need to work in tandem with minimum-wage guarantees to prevent employers from ruthlessly driving down wages.

The ILO report also notes that labor policies cannot be designed in a vacuum. While certain principles of decent work hold true universally, like the benefits of unionization, local patterns of racial, gender and ethnic discrimination must also be addressed to ensure a just recovery.

On that front, the U.S. remains a case study in the shameful entanglement of economic, racial and gender inequalities. Meanwhile a disillusioned underclass has spiraled into virulent jingoism and wingnutty theatrics amid increasing confusion over the root causes of the crisis. Once-privileged citizens of the U.S. and European economies will understandably feel dispirited during this holiday season. But the global wage report suggests it's possible to envision other ways overcoming the economic storm, as long as workers don't get mired in the politics of self-defeat.

Michelle Chen's work has appeared in AirAmerica, Women's International Perspective, Extra!, Colorlines and Alternet. She is a regular contributor to In These Times' workers' rights blog, Working In These Times. She also blogs at Racewire.org.

What WikiLeaks Revealed to the World in 2010

by Glenn Greenwald
Throughout this year I've devoted substantial attention to WikiLeaks, particularly in the last four weeks as calls for its destruction intensified.  To understand why I've done so, and to see what motivates the increasing devotion of the U.S. Government and those influecned by it to destroying that organization, it's well worth reviewing exactly what WikiLeaks exposed to the world just in the last year:  the breadth of the corruption, deceit, brutality and criminality on the part of the world's most powerful factions.

As revealing as the disclosures themselves are, the reactions to them have been equally revealingThe vast bulk of the outrage has been devoted not to the crimes that have been exposed but rather to those who exposed them:  WikiLeaks and (allegedly) Bradley ManningA consensus quickly emerged in the political and media class that they are Evil Villains who must be severely punished, while those responsible for the acts they revealed are guilty of nothing... 
In other words, a NARRATIVE
...That reaction has not been weakened at all even by the Pentagon's own admission that, in stark contrast to its own actions, there is no evidence -- zero -- that any of WikiLeaks' actions has caused even a single death... 
In other words, WIKILEAKS must die
...Meanwhile, the American establishment media -- even in the face of all these revelations -- continues to insist on the contradictory, Orwellian platitudes that (a) there is Nothing NewTM in anything disclosed by WikiLeaks and (b) WikiLeaks has done Grave Harm to American National SecurityTM through its disclosures.
In other words, WIKILEAKS must die 

Read the rest of the article here.

Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy.

The Under-Appreciated Heroes of 2010 - Johann Harari

The Under-Appreciated Heroes of 2010

The endless whirr of 24/7 corporate news ignores the people who actually make a difference

by Johann Hari

Who did we under-appreciate in 2010? In the endless whirr of 24/7 corporate news, the people who actually make a difference are often trampled in the stampede to the next forgettable news-nugget like Lady Gaga's meat-dress. So in the final moments of this year, let's look at a few people who deserved more of our attention.

Under-Appreciated Person One: Bradley Manning. While we were all fixated on Julian Assange, the story of the young American soldier who actually leaked the classified documents passed almost unnoticed. If Manning was mentioned at all, it was to be described as an impetuous, angry kid who downloaded the documents on to a CD and leaked them as a result of a "grudge" or "tantrum".

Here's what really happened. Manning signed up when he was just 18, believing he would be protecting and defending his country and the cause of freedom. He soon found himself sent to Iraq, where he was ordered to round up and hand over Iraqi civilians to America's new Iraqi allies, who he could see were then torturing them with electrical drills and other implements.

The only "crime" committed by many of these people was to write "scholarly critiques" of the occupation or the new people in charge. He knew torture was a crime under US, Iraqi and international law, so he went to his military supervisor and explained what was going on. He was told to shut up and get back to herding up Iraqis.

Manning had to choose between being complicit in these atrocities, or not. At the age of 21, he made a brave choice: to put human rights before his own interests. He found the classified military documents revealing that the US was covering up the deaths of 15,000 Iraqis and had a de facto policy of allowing the Iraqis they had installed in power to carry out torture – and he decided he had a moral obligation to show them to the American people.

To prevent the major crime of torturing and murdering innocents, he committed the minor crime of leaking the evidence. He has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement – a punishment that causes many prisoners to go mad, and which the US National Commission on Prisons called "torturous". He is expected to be sentenced to 80 years in jail at least. The people who allowed torture have faced no punishment at all. Manning's decision was no "tantrum" – it was one of the most admirable stands for justice and freedom of 2010.

Under-Appreciated Person Two: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The only African leader who appears with any regularity on our TV screens is the snarling psychopath Robert Mugabe, spreading his message of dysfunction and despair. We rarely hear about his polar opposite.

In 2005, the women of Liberia strapped their babies to their backs and moved en masse to elect Africa's first ever elected female President. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was a 62-year-old grandmother who had been thrown in prison by the country's dictators simply for demanding democracy. She emerged blinking into a country trashed by 14 years of civil war and pillaged by dictators – but she said she would, at last, ensure that the Liberian state obeyed the will of its people.

In the face of a chorus of cynics, she did it. She restored electricity for the first time since 1992. She got the number of children in school up by 40 per cent. She introduced prison terms for rapists for the first time. Now she is running for re-election in a fully open and contested ballot. I look at her and I think of all the women I have seen by the roadsides of Africa, carrying impossibly heavy loads on hunched backs – and I know what they will achieve when they are finally allowed to.

Under-appreciated Person Three: Senator Bernie Sanders. In 2010, the hijacking of American democracy by corporations and the super-rich became almost complete. Almost no politician in the US runs for office without begging and scrounging huge campaign funds from the rich – so when they are elected, they presumably feel they must serve their interests, not those of ordinary Americans.

You can see the results everywhere. In the middle of a recession, there was a massive tax cut for millionaires and billionaires – and a tax rise on the poorest Americans. Bill Gates pays less; a family living in a cold trailer-park with no health care pays more – with Obama stitching up the deal with Republicans.

But one American politician, more than any other, showed that there can still be a different, democratic way of doing politics in America.

Bernie Sanders was elected as the independent socialist senator for Vermont with 65 per cent of the vote in 2006, in a fight against the richest man in the state. He won by turning down Big Money and instead organising amongst ordinary citizens – by promising to defend their interests against the people ripping them off.

He won over even very conservative parts of his state to a self-described socialist agenda by telling them: "Conservative Republicans don't have healthcare. Conservative Republicans can't afford to send their kids to college. Conservative Republicans are being thrown out of their jobs as our good-paying jobs move to China. You need somebody to stand up to protect your economic well-being. Look, we're not going to agree on every issue, that's for sure. But don't vote against your own interest. I don't mind really if millionaires vote against me. They probably should. But for working people, we've got to come together."

In the place of the fake populism of the Tea Party, he offered real populism. In office, he kept his word. He has been demanding a real healthcare deal, trying to end the country's disastrous jihadi-creating wars, and captured America's imagination by standing for nine hours in the Senate trying to filibuster Obama's sell-out of his principles and his people. This is what democracy looks like.

Under-Appreciated People Four: The Saudi Arabian women who are fighting back. Women like Wajehaal-Huwaider are struggling against a tyranny that bans them from driving, showing their face in public, or even getting medical treatment without permission from their male "guardian". The streets are policed by black-clad men who enforce sharia law and whip women who express any free will.

Saudi women are being treated just as horrifically as Iranian women – but because their oppressors are our governments' allies, rather than our governments' enemies, you hear almost nothing about them. Huwaider points out that her sisters are fighting back and being beaten and whipped for it, and asks: "Why isn't the cry of these millions of women heard, and why isn't it answered by anyone, anywhere in the world?"
Under-Appreciated People Five: The real N'avi. The people of Kalahandi, India, saw the film Avatar and recognised it as their story. The land they had lived in peacefully for thousands of years – and considered sacred – was in their eyes being destroyed and pillaged by a Western bauxite mining corporation called Vedanta, whose majority owner lives in luxury in Mayfair.

The local protesters didn't give up. They appealed for international solidarity, so Vedanta meetings in London were besieged by people dressed as N'avi. The Indian government finally responded to co-ordinated global democratic pressure and agreed that the corporation had acted "in total contempt of the law". The real N'avi won. They saved their land.

In 2011 we could all benefit from turning off the tinny, shrill newszak and hearing more real news about people like this – so we can resolve to be a little more like them.

WikiLeaked Upon by the State Department

WikiLeaked Upon by the State Department

by Tom Engelhardt

[Note: This piece is, in fact, an introduction by Engelhardt at his website.  It had a piece of curious WikiLeaks news we thought it worth bringing your way.]

I have a friend who sends a note every year in December, pleading with me to pen one upbeat, hopeful piece before the next year rolls around.  Mind you, I consider myself an upbeat guy in a downbeat world and, for me, when it comes to pure upbeatness, you couldn't have beaten this week if you tried.  This was when my Oscar came in -- or the equivalent on the political Internet anyway.  

On December 7th, the State Department announced its brave decision to host UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day in 2011. ("[W]e are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information...")  Less than two weeks later, I learned that if you try to go to TomDispatch.com from a State Department computer, you can't get there.  The following message appears instead:
"Access Denied for Security Risk (policy_wikileaks)

"Your requested URL has been blocked to prevent classified information from being downloaded to OpenNet."

OpenNet is what the State Department calls its unclassified Web system.  Maybe it should now consider changing that name as it prepares for World Press Freedom Day. (Small tip to State Department officials: remember that TomDispatch is just as good a read at home as at work!)  I'm sure this is all part of the Obama administration's fabulous sunshine policy, that "new standard of openness" the president embraced on his first day in the Oval Office.  It's certainly part of the U.S. government's ridiculous attempt to bar its officials, contractors, and anyone else it can reach from the once-secret State Department documents that WikiLeaks is slowly releasing and that everyone else on Earth has access to.

As for me in this holiday season, I couldn't be happier.  Among those sites banned by the State Department, I'm sure in good company and, of course, you're not likely to be banned if no one's reading you in the first place.  And here's the holiday miracle: somehow TomDispatch made it onto The List without revealing a single secret document or even hosting one at the site, evidently on the basis of having commented in passing on the WikiLeaks affair.

So that's the news here at TD when it comes to upbeat.  As for hope, hey, I've learned from the Bush years.  As they privatized war, I've privatized hope, farming it out to Rebecca Solnit, who from her first appearance at TomDispatch has filled the endowed Hope Chair brilliantly.  It's now nothing short of a tradition at this site that she have the last word of the year.

So, as the eighth year of TomDispatch.com ends, it's up the chimney with me.  Enjoy the Solnitsian present I've left under the tree -- and to all a goodnight (until January 4th when TomDispatch returns).

A nation divided

Somersby is the most knowledgeable  person writing about education issues in the USofA.  Here is a must read portion of one of his recent columns.  You see, the "problem" we have with education in the USofA is that we have three different nations within one nation: white nation; hispanic nation; black nation. And the needs and accomplishments of those three nations are vastly different.
Special report: Mr. Potter’s minions!

PART 5—KRUGMAN AND MINION (permalink): It’s instructive to see the types of “reform” pursued by today’s “education reformers.” The editorial board at the Washington Post provided a recent example.

In fairness, these editors’ salaries are paid by proceeds from Kaplan Inc., an educational testing concern. With that in mind, we might forgive them if their preferences regarding “reform” run in a narrow direction. But last Saturday, the editors penned an editorial, “The Worst Schools,” discussing the recent “meltdown” at Washington’s Dunbar High. Soon, they were discussing various ways to intervene at the nation’s worst-performing schools:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (1/18/10): The meltdown at Dunbar comes amid new attention devoted to turnaround efforts at the nation's worst-performing schools. A report released this week by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute looked at more than 2,000 of the worst-performing district and charter schools in 10 states from 2003 through 2009 and found only about 1 percent making significant improvements. One reason for those disappointing results was the tendency of schools to make timid adjustments rather than take bold steps. That's why the Obama administration gets credit for sticking its neck out…to support places willing to make drastic changes such as replacing teaching staff and shutting down schools and reopening them as charters.
The editors favor “drastic changes” and “bold steps” as opposed to those “timid adjustments.” More suggestions followed:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (continuing directly): Education Secretary Arne Duncan is devoting an unprecedented $3.5 billion to a campaign to fix the country's lowest-performing schools. The department is encouraged by reports showing a willingness to make hard decisions. The Post's Nick Anderson, for example, recently reported on 150 schools where principals and at least half of the staff were replaced. Equally encouraging is that some of these efforts were undertaken without opposition from the teachers unions.
When it comes to “bold steps” and “hard decisions,” the editors’ ideas run the gamut! Their suggestions range all the way from firing half the staff at these schools to shutting these schools altogether.

Who will teach these struggling students then? The editors didn’t say.
If this weren’t such a serious matter, an observer would just have to laugh. Forty-five years after low-income schools came center stage in our public debate, this is the best our “reformers” can do; the only approach they can even imagine involves canning boatloads of teachers! It may well be that certain teachers should be fired at certain schools, of course; it may well be that those “teachers unions” may have been less than wise on occasion. But a stunning poverty is on display in this editorial—a poverty of imagination. Much like the gods of “reform” whom they endlessly pimp, the editors don’t have a word to say about instruction or curriculum—about the ways low-income kids fall further behind from their first days in school, about the ways such kids fall “behind” their middle-class peers before entering school at all.

But then, it’s just as well that these know-nothing droogs chose to say nothing about instruction. If they had, they would have said this: Plainly, we need higher standards!

Again and again, it seems true: People who pimp education “reform” seem to know nothing about education! One such person was Chris Matthews, bellowing, wailing and playing the fool as he spoke with Michelle Rhee last week (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/20/10). Matthews misstated various facts about international tests—and treated Rhee like a god of reform. Needless to say, he trashed America’s public school teachers, along with their infernal unions.

Before he was done, Matthews even managed to ask the dumbest question ever asked on cable TV. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/23/10. Prepare to avert your gaze.

That said, Matthews did ask one important question: Why don’t American students do better on international tests? Although Matthews overstated the problem, American students don’t score at the top of the world on such measures. Matthews referred to the newly-released scores from last year’s Program for International Student Assessment (the PISA), a program which tests 15-year-old students. Last year’s testing focused on reading literacy. Just to establish the lay of the land, these are the average scores attained by the 34 member nations of the sponsoring agency, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the OECD):
Average score, reading literacy, PISA, 2009:
Korea 539
Finland 536
Canada 524
New Zealand 521
Japan 520
Australia 515
Netherlands 508
Belgium 506
Norway 503
Estonia 501
Switzerland 501
Poland 500
Iceland 500
United States 500
Sweden 497
Germany 497
Ireland 496
France 496
Denmark 495
United Kingdom 494
Hungary 494
OECD average 493
Portugal 489
Italy 486
Slovenia 483
Greece 483
Spain 481
Czech Republic 478
Slovak Republic 477
Israel 474
Luxembourg 472
Austria 470
Turkey 464
Chile 449
Mexico 425
As you can see, the U.S. finished tied for 12th, “with Iceland and Poland,” among the 34 member nations. The U.S. outperformed such well-known nations as Germany, France, the U.K.

click here).

A quick note: For ourselves, we think it’s somewhat surprising that the U.S. scores this high in reading. Within the American student population, we have a rapidly growing number of deserving, delightful immigrant children. Many of these deserving kids come from low-literacy, low-income backgrounds; they may not even speak English, presenting an educational challenge for their American schools. Beyond that, we have a uniquely American situation based on our brutal racial history. Uh-oh! Among those 34 OECD nations, only the United States spent centuries aggressively trying to stamp out literacy among a major part of its population. The legacy of that benighted history lives with us today, although our “reformers” work very hard to avoid such painful discussions.

We’ve sometimes referred to the “Three Americas” in this context. (John Edwards miscounted when he said “two.” For an earlier discussion of this matter, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/4/10.) But only a nation in rapt denial would choose to avoid such discussions when answering Matthews’ question—the question which had him directing Big Major Fury at teachers. Why don’t American kids score at the top on international tests? Our brutal history is part of the answer, as is the immigration policy we maintain so people like Matthews can pay low wages to the people who care for their homes.

Why don’t Americans students score at the top? Here are the scores from that same reading test, broken down into demographics. Warning: When these test scores are rendered this way, we’re forced to look at the painful backwash of our brutal history:
Average score, reading literacy, PISA, 2009:
[United States, Asian students 541]
Korea 539
Finland 536
[United States, white students 525]
Canada 524
New Zealand 521
Japan 520
Australia 515
Netherlands 508
Belgium 506
Norway 503
Estonia 501
Switzerland 501
Poland 500
Iceland 500
United States (overall) 500
Sweden 497
Germany 497
Ireland 496
France 496
Denmark 495
United Kingdom 494
Hungary 494
OECD average 493
Portugal 489
Italy 486
Slovenia 483
Greece 483
Spain 481
Czech Republic 478
Slovak Republic 477
Israel 474
Luxembourg 472
Austria 470
[United States, Hispanic students 466]
Turkey 464
Chile 449
[United States, black students 441]
Mexico 425
Good God! Those test scores, broken down that way, depict a vast American tragedy. They also reflect some effects of recent immigration policy, however one may judge that policy overall.
Let’s summarize: If Asian-Americans students were viewed as a separate nation, they would outscore every OECD nation. (Somehow, those infernal unions haven’t screwed them up—yet!) White students trail only two nations—Korea and Finland, whose educational output suddenly doesn’t seem quite so miraculous. For the record, Korea and Finland didn’t spend centuries aggressively trying to stamp out literacy within one part of their populations. Neither nation has a significant immigrant population—a population of delightful, deserving kids who don’t even speak the language.
Those test scores represent a national tragedy. But so does the inane conversation between Matthews and Rhee last Wednesday. When you see those test scores rendered that way, it may perhaps get harder to think that America’s international standing is caused by a bunch of sleeping teachers, with their infernal unions. It becomes easier to see where the educational disaster is actually occurring—even after several decades during which test scores by black and Hispanic kids have risen, to a substantial degree.
Here at THE HOWLER, when we look at those painful scores, we think of all the beautiful kids who will show up for kindergarten next year, already “behind” their peers. And we think of the worthless talk which tends to fall from a famous ex-chancellor’s lips. This was the star “reformer’s” reply to history’s dumbest question:
MATTHEWS: So my daughter went to a very good Catholic school in Washington, Georgetown Visitation. She goes to the University of Pennsylvania and realized she’s ahead of the kids there, at a great Ivy League school. So how come the Catholic schools can do better than the public schools?
RHEE: Well, I mean, I wouldn’t just say it’s the Catholic schools. We have lots of public schools that do a great job too. We have lots of public charter schools that do a great job. So I don’t think it’s about the sector that the school is in. I think that it’s the ability to have a great principal, to have that principal have a great staff of teachers.
And if you talk to some the best schools, whether they’re private schools or charter schools or private schools, what they’ll tell you is that it is all about teacher quality.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Is [sic] the teachers unions of America, are they for education or for the teachers?
RHEE: Well, look, you know, people want to give teachers’ unions a hard time right now and the people are saying, “Well, why aren’t the unions coming along? Why don’t—why don’t we get them to change? Why can’t they embrace reform?”
But the bottom line is, the purpose of the teachers union is to protect their members. It’s to maximize the pay and the privileges of the teachers. So the teachers unions aren’t really the problem. They’re just doing their job and they’re doing an excellent job of that.
Rhee issued a sneering assessment of teachers unions, whose purpose is “to maximize the pay and the privileges of the teachers.” Beyond that, let’s be frank: This god of “reform” had nothing to say! Asked to explain our failing schools, she said we need better teachers!
A fifth-grade child could toss off such pap—if she were given fifteen seconds to dream up some sort of reply.
Why don’t American students score better? In large part, the answer is drawn from our brutal history, a history “reformers” don’t like to discuss. Beyond that, a brutal poverty stalks the land—a poverty of imagination and insight among our “reformers” and “journalists.” Few of them show the slightest sign of having set foot in a low-income school. (Rhee herself spent three years in such schools, then fled for Harvard and Gotham.) Few of them seem to have any ideas how to serve low-income kids from the first day they show up at kindergarten. Few of them discuss the need to intervene within low-income homes, long before these deserving children ever set foot in a school.
Their “solutions” run the gamut—all the way from firing half the teachers to shutting these ratty schools down!
This morning, Paul Krugman discusses the way our corporate elites spread their various humbugs around. How do their humbugs spread through the land? Krugman describes the process:
KRUGMAN (12/24/10): The answer is that there’s a well-developed right-wing media infrastructure in place to catapult the propaganda…to rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience where it becomes part of what “everyone knows.” (There’s nothing comparable on the left, which has fallen far behind in the humbug race.)
In our view, the left is rapidly catching up, but that’s another sad Christmas story. But at present, “everyone knows” a set of things a loud, ugly minion was pimping last week—a set of things about American schools. Here’s what everyone doesn’t know:
With all due respect, Michelle Rhee seems to be one the most clueless people on earth. She seems to have few ideas about low-income schools—much like the assortment of hustlers and fools who have taken to blaming those infernal unions for the brutal history they themselves are too lazy and dumb to address.
With that question about his daughter’s prep school, one minion reached a new level last week. But just look at that Washington Post editorial, then examine Rhee’s vapid answer.
Uh-oh! Today’s “reformers” have no real ideas—although they have a large group of minions willing to pimp their humbugs, along with their vast greatness.
Final note: “The left” will not discuss these topics. We quit on black kids long ago. Ceding the field to Matthews and Rhee, our grimy, disgraceful “intellectual leaders” refuse to discuss black children today.
Why are American test scores that low? When’s the last time a “liberal” asked?