Thursday, June 29, 2006

Media Start to "Get" Global Warming(Finally)

I had to do a double-take this morning when I saw that Parade magazine, normally a quasi-tabloid that comes with the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer, actually did a thoughtful piece on global warming. Between the numerous media stories covering the oil crisis and global warming, not to mention Al Gore's new film, it seems the public is finally waking up to what environmentalists and others on the Left have been warning us about for years.

Why is this? I would say largely due to Katrina, the current high oil prices, the Iraq war, and the latest floods that have hit the east coasts. People are starting to make the connections here. It isn't just chance that we have continuously had years with average temperatures that are in the top 10 in history. It isn't just chance that we have had huge floods and hurricanes. HUMANS ARE CAUSING THESE EVENTS!

Yesterday I went to a rally. Called "The Campaign For an Oil-Free Congress," it was a pretty good idea. Basically, people stood outside 300 gas stations outside the country and held signs and passed out fliers. Our fliers encouraged Philadelphians and residents of Lower Merion Township(where I live) to call their Congressman, who took OVER $10,000 in contributions from oil companies. It's worth noting that over 80% of oil company campaign dollars go the Republicans. Remember that when you will up next time! This is why I largely bike and use public transit.

Only time will tell if we actually come up with solutions to get out of this mess. Lord knows this administration won't do it on its own. But the public outcry is finally starting to get loud enough to affect poll numbers. It's about time.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Parenti Update; Quote of the Day

For the few people out there who care (Adrian, Duhalde, and Matt May, I'm looking in your direction...), the Parenti interview will not be up for another weak or two due to some technical problems. Apparently my recorder did not record the audio of our phone conversation at a loud enough volume, so it will take quite a while to transcribe.

In the meantime, I encourage you to munch on this cartoon:

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Forthcoming Interview with Christian Parenti of The Nation

That's right, yours truly interviewed journalist
Christian Parenti
on Friday. Parenti is a frequent contributor to The Nation (you can check out his work for them here), and he has also written for such publications as Mother Jones and London Review of Books. He has written three books. The first was Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis, which was published in 2000 by Verso. Next, he wrote The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America From Slavery to the War on Terror, published in 2004 by Basic Books.

His most recent book is an outstanding account of his time in occupied Iraq, put out by the New Press. Called The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq, the book is a gripping acount of every-day life in Iraq. With an engaging style to complement a keen intellect, Parenti gives one a true sense of what it is like to be in a war zone.

He provides very insightful analysis into the political and economic situation in the country, but always in a style that is very readable. It's so well-written that I really couldn't put it down. The Los Angeles Times put it best, calling it
"fast-paced and scenic like a good film script, steeped in the irony and horror of war."
It's quite a fast, engaging read for a book about such a weighty, often-depressing topic.

I was able to talk to Christian about his recent trips to Bolivia and Afghanistan as well as Iraq. Look for the full interview to be posted later this week, as I am currently working to transcribe the audio of our conversation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Surprise Visit to Baghdad: PATHETIC

So I just heard about the "surprise visit" to Baghdad on the radio. What a joke. Who does Dubya think he's surprising? Is it just me, or did Condi and Rummy also make "surprise visits" when the war was going poorly? Guess what: they didn't work then, and they won't work now. Morons.

This administration is incapable of changing its actions. It's actually painful and funny to watch. Get over it, neo-cons: this war is a failure, and it's time to move on and withdraw. You were wrong, the Left was right. I could have told you this would happen 3 years ago. In fact, I was marching on the streets in February of 2003, along with millions of others, saying exactly that.

Honestly, a 3-state solution in Iraq is probably the best option right now. My friend Christian Parenti over at The Nation mentioned this in his article on Kurdistan quite a few months ago(November, I believe). Peter Galbraith, among others, has said that there should be a Sunni state, a Shiite state, and a Kurd state. That may be the only option that will keep the whole region from imploding. More on this later...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Guess Who's In An Indy Media Photo?

Yes, for those keeping score at home, that would be me: the oafy looking white kid in the purple SEIU shirt, backing my boy Fabricio of Philadelphia Jobs With Justice

What does this flag mean?

If you know what this is, you earn a cookie and my eternal respect.

P.S.-I will be surprised if your name is not Adrian, David, Matt, or Lucas.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

On Democrats Losing Their Way

In conjunction with today's fine quote, I would like to very briefly point out how applicable it is. Even today, centuries later, parties are still swallowing their own lies. I'm a Democrat. Always have been, and probably always will be, unless third parties somehow manage to actually get a fair chance at getting on the ballot(which won't happen anytime soon!). Yet the Democrat Party continually embarasses me and every progressive who is worth a grain of salt.

Just as the quote says, parties die because they swallow their own lies. Today, fewer Americans identify with either of the two parties than at any other point in American history. I wish I had a poll to cite right now to back this up, but I don't. Yet I've read it in numerous sources and will dig up the link later.

There's a reason people don't trust political parties: their leaders are, by and large, liars and hypocrites. They care more about scratching each other's backs, getting nice perks, and getting re-elected than serving the people. BOTH PARTIES ARE GUILTY OF THIS! In fact, many foreign parties that I admire, such as the SDP in Germany(The Social Democratic Party), are guilty of this as well. I tend to think that this is an inherent problem with political parties in general, and that is not a peculiarly American problem. It is certainly more severe here than in many other countries, though.

What do you think?

Quote of the Day: On political parties

"All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies."-John Arbuthnot, writer and physician(1667-1775)