Every day but Monday, but if you need the reminding, then just FEED!
“In order to be respected, authority has got to be respectable.”
- Tom Robbins
Kim Thompson, journalist, writer, editor and co-publisher of Fantagraphics, has passed away. Here is a sweet remembrance Michael Netzer (the artist of the illo above) wrote just a few weeks ago. Gary Groth may have bloodied his knuckles on occasion, but I always gathered Kim was one of the very very very few comickers entirely free of detractors. Everyone who knew him even in passing liked him. This is a genuinely sad day.
In a nod to Shakespeare, and to that winter I spent without electricity, new studies suggest that dim lighting can spark creativity, reports Tom Jacobs. Which is good, as Les Leopold reports on how America is far from having the richest middle class in the world. Meanwhile, Steve Rosenfeld reports that over 70% of American workers feel emotionally detached from their labors. Employers take note: perhaps your employees should do their thing in the dark, to enliven their spirits. And think of the money saved on utility bills!
Save the sympathy however, as Paul Bedard reports that now, officially, Americans are at their fattest, with almost a third of the population qualifying as obese. And the director of the FBI has just admitted that drones have been and will continue to be used for spying on the American people. I really wanted to search engine a humorous philia to connect these two, but I honestly think that Symphorophilia fits the bill.
Irregardless, Will Durst writes a nicely funny bit on the NSA’a apparent self-view.
Perplexing silence from our leaders can be deadly, but as Richard Seymour reports, one man in Turkey is proving that silence can be a weapon for the other side as well.
Mark Karlin reports on evidence that the Obama administration does indeed have intentions of cyber-attacking domestically, as I’ve written about before. From the article:
As for assurances that Americans will not be the targets of cyber-attacks, Greenwald and his co-author are hardly optimistic:
The directive provides that any cyber-operations “intended or likely to produce cyber effects within the United States” require the approval of the president, except in the case of an “emergency cyber action”. When such an emergency arises, several departments, including the department of defense, are authorized to conduct such domestic operations without presidential approval.
So we have a president who has an assassination list and decides or delegates who shall live and who shall die; we have a president who has authorized the vast intelligence apparatus of the United States government to gather private data and communication records of American citizens; and now courtesy of the Guardian UK, we discover that we may be subject to cyber-attacks without even presidential approval when there is an “emergency.”
Who is to say that this won’t be used against environmentalists, whistleblowers, the Occupy Movement, journalists and any person or organization that advocates for changing the status quo.
Is the surveillance and cyber-attack state being built to protect the citizens of the United State or to protect the corporate/political ruling elite from the citizens of the United States?
William Rivers Pitt writes on the many character assassination attempts thrown against Edward Snowden by media and politicos alike. From his article:
I am not going to speak to Ritter’s guilt or innocence regarding these charges; he had a lawyer and a trial and a jury, and it is what it is. But the revelation in February 2003 effectively removed him, and our book, from the debate over the war a month before the war kicked off…and the book was right, he was right, we were right, and now a lot of people are dead even though we were right.
Scott Ritter’s personal failings doomed his message. The people who wanted to entomb him in crap to shut him up did not have to work hard to do so…but even with all that crap, there remains the pesky fact that he was 100% spot-on correct about the war, its aftermath and its eventual outcome.
People are currently attempting to entomb Snowden in crap because they don’t like his message, and no one has accused him of anything even remotely as serious as what Ritter was accused and eventually convicted of, yet so many have already decided he’s just another dirtbag to be ignored…and some of the people going after Snowden seem so deeply committed to tearing him down, which tells you something all by itself.
My point: separate the man from the message. Scott Ritter was a deeply flawed man according to the courts, but a lot of people would be alive if his message had been allowed to stand on its merits instead of getting dragged down and erased with him.
And John Hudson reports on yet another whistle-blower being bullied into silence by federal agents.
In local news, at the start of this year I held a seasonal job with a cattle farm for some weeks, where I completely demolished my right thumb in manually dismantling a 60+ year old barn. The massive blood-clot underneath the nail is now officially halfway grown out.
Protests have been erupting in São Paulo, Brasil over the impending World Cup festivities. Although the country is one of the founding members of the United Nations, poverty and corruption and crime run rampant, with dire needs for education and healthcare reforms. Suddenly, the government has the money for expensive new stadiums, while illiteracy rates are over 20% and children in some areas are dying from disease and gang violence and drugs. With the announcement of a new hike in busfare and the proposed cable car service as ways to cash in on the tourism boost, citizens took to the streets again on Monday to protest the deafness of their government. Because they know the money will not find its way to them, as evidenced by the similarly afflicted Portugal who are still paying the debt caused from expenditures of the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship finals, despite the millions of tourist monies that entered that country for the games. To make matters worse, there are growing numbers of stories where local authorities are literally evicting residents from their homes at gunpoint with no prior notice, for space to construct the stadiums and additional hotels, and these poor people are receiving absolutely nothing in compensation. This is global Capitalism forcefully shoving people into the streets, people who have already been let down time and again by their political leaders.
For a very human, very sober account of what’s transpiring, watch this short vid:
And if you’d care to know even more, please watch this short film on the matter: