Friday, November 16, 2007

friday reads

A cyclone that hit the coast of Bangladesh has devastated three towns, killing more than 500 people and injuring thousands more, government officials said today.

Tom Engelhardt - How Dry We Are: A Question No One Wants to Raise About Drought

Three young black men break into a white man's home in rural Northern California. The homeowner shoots two of them to death — but it's the surviving black man who is charged with murder.

A southern Georgia sheriff faces federal charges accusing him of billing inmates for room and board and interfering with an FBI investigation of local judges.

Fuck the Poor

Like the other Gulf Coast states battered by Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi was required by Congress to spend half of its billions in federal grant money to help low-income citizens trying to recover from the storm.

But so far, the state has spent $1.7 billion in federal money on programs that have mostly benefited relatively affluent residents and big businesses. The money has gone to compensate many middle- and upper-income homeowners, to aid utility companies whose equipment was damaged and to prop up the state’s insurance system.

Just $167 million, or about 10 percent of the federal money, has been spent on programs dedicated to helping the poor, mostly through a smaller grant program for lower-income homeowners.

And while that total will certainly increase, Mississippi has set aside just 23 percent of its $5.5 billion grant money — $1.25 billion — for these programs. About 37 percent of the residents of the state’s coast are low income, according to federal figures.

Paul Krugman: Played for a Sucker

Daily Show writer explains writers' strike -- if digital content isn't worth anything, how come Viacom is suing YouTube for $1 billion?

Dinosaur From Sahara Ate Like A 'Mesozoic Cow'

Thursday, November 15, 2007

thursday reads

U.S. has become haven for war criminals

Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

A super cyclone was bearing down rapidly on Bangladesh's southwest coastline, ripping off tin roofs from houses and uprooting trees, as tens of thousands of mainlanders were evacuated to shelters.

Lindsay Beyerstein - Rudy Guiliani: Criminal or Liar?

Police in the Netherlands have arrested a teenager suspected of stealing virtual objects inside a popular social networking site, it has emerged.

Cool. The War On Christmas Playset.

Scott Horton: The Cookie Crumbles

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Americans Announce They're Dropping Out Of Presidential Race

America's Finest News Source

Citing exhaustion, an overcrowded field of candidates, and little hope of making a difference in 2008, roughly 300 million Americans announced Tuesday that they will be leaving the presidential race behind.


Factors including intense media coverage of seemingly trivial issues, destructive partisan bickering, and the relentless exploitation of 9/11 only seemed to further discourage Americans from making it to Election Day.

"As the obvious underdogs, we knew that the chance of Americans winning in 2008 was slim to none," said Seattle native Paul Waverchuck, who claimed he was looking forward to spending more time with his family after giving up politics. "I guess there's just no room at the table for the vast majority of this country's citizens."

wednesday reads

Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.

The CIA has three video and audio recordings of interrogations of senior al Qaida captives but misled federal judges about the evidence during the case against terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, federal prosecutors revealed in a Nov. 9 court filing that was made public Tuesday.

Tomdispatch: Jonathan Schell, Pakistan, Bush, and the Bomb

U.S. Sets Record in Sexual Disease Cases

More than 1 million cases of chlamydia were reported in the United States last year — the most ever reported for a sexually transmitted disease, federal health officials said Tuesday.

"A new U.S. record," said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More bad news: Gonorrhea rates are jumping again after hitting a record low, and an increasing number of cases are caused by a "superbug" version resistant to common antibiotics, federal officials said Tuesday.

Syphilis is rising, too. The rate of congenital syphilis — which can deform or kill babies — rose for the first time in 15 years.

A never-before-seen military manual detailing the day-to-day operations of the U.S. military's Guantánamo Bay detention facility has been leaked to the web, affording a rare inside glimpse into the institution where the United States has imprisoned hundreds of suspected terrorists since 2002.

Bob Herbert: Righting Reagan's Wrongs?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

tuesday reads

A powerful explosion that ripped through one of the entrances to the Philippine house of representatives today, killing one person and injuring at least seven, has been confirmed as a bomb.

A prominent female activist and one of the monks who led anti-government protests in Burma during September have been arrested, it was reported today.

Fresh fighting erupts in Somalia as mass exodus continues

El Salvador's Patriot Act

A federal judge Monday ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails, a move that Bush administration lawyers had argued strongly against.

The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts' "hidden costs"-- including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.

Cory Doctorow: Warhol is turning in his grave

Liberals enjoy a broad range of music, while conservatives dislike most music genres.

Preznit bu$h vetoes health and education programs.

The Brad Blog: Hanging With Wingnuts In Their Well-Constructed Imaginary World

Monday, November 12, 2007

monday reads

Robert Dreyfuss asks: Who is the enemy? Who, exactly, are we fighting in Iraq? Why are we there? And what's our objective?

Two lives blurred together by a photo

Changing the definition of privacy

As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.

"Corrupt Bastards Club"

Glenn Greenwald: Dianne Feinstein -- Bush's key ally in the Senate -- to support telecom amnesty

Hundreds of football fans rioted in Italy yesterday, attacking a police barracks with stones and clubs, after a man was shot dead by a policeman during a clash between supporters.

Federal investigators began a criminal investigation into San Francisco Bay's worst oil spill in nearly two decades by questioning crew members of a container ship that struck the Bay Bridge, ripping a gash in its fuel tank.

The Boston chapter of a group called Veterans for Peace estimated 15 of its members and supporters were arrested Sunday at the event sponsored by the American Legion. Boston Police said several arrests were made, but did not have an exact number. The detainees were later released on bail.

Building a better leaf