The World TUrns

January 1, 2008

Die, Consumer! Unable to achieve what they are after, the big record companies are escalating their war against consumers. Now they are saying you can't copy your own CD onto your computer. You may have legally bought the CD, but you can't copy it onto your computer, according to the media dinosaurs and their lawyers. (See the Washington Post.) It apparently was not enough to go after people who share files, now they are going after people who have actually bought their products and paid for them. How intelligent is that? The lawyers have taken over and the marketing people seem to have left the scene. Whatever happened to making a product that attracts customers rather than trying to coerce them into paying you when they don't want to buy your product. The record companies want you to buy the same product over and over again.

They are struggling desperately to keep control of something that is uncontrollable, and they seem to be falling further behind in their efforts to keep society from changing under the influence of evolving technology. You can buy it, but you can't use it without paying them again. Who would think that once you have paid for a CD you can't listen to it on the equipment that people now use to listen to music? How backward can the record companies possibly be?

What would be the next step, to say that someone who walks down a street and hears a sound coming from someone's apartment window has stolen that sound? As Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA, points out, the record companies are only shooting themselves in the foot with their legal battle against consumers. Four years of a failed strategy has only "created a whole market of people who specifically look to buy independent goods so as not to deal with the big record companies," Beckerman says. "Every problem they're trying to solve is worse now than when they started."

In this case, a Scottsdale, Arizona, man who has loaded 2,000 CDs that he purchased onto his computer and is being sued for it by the record companies, is choosing to fight the case in court rather than settle to avoid legal fees. So this case will test the record company's claim. It's hard to imagine it holding up. It would have to employ some demented legal logic like Bush vs Gore. This could be the final straw for the record companies' absurd legal strategy.

January 3, 2008

Dying Business Model -- The Post newspapers in Cincinnati and Kentucky closed after 126 years in business, another sign of the times and the waning of the advertising-driven print publication model that has dominated periodical publishing for well over a century. (See Business Week) No paper is immune from the changes, even the New York Times has had to make large layoffs. It's a fascinating dynamic. We are so used to the advertising-driven model, we hardly imagine that there could be an alternative, but of course it was not always this way. In early America, newspapers were a message from their publishers to their readers, who were their customers. When advertising was introduced into the equation, the advertisers in effect subsidized the publisher, made it possible for him to sell at a lower cost and that drove the non-advertising media out of business for the most part. Eventually the formula became so effective that the reader tends to get lost in the equation, the integrity of the content is greatly compromised by its subservience to advertising. Print publications may not be very forthcoming about it to their readers, but they are very clear to their advertisers that the business they are in is not delivering content to their readers, but delivering affluent consumers to their advertisers, who are their real customers. Now that the Web makes it possible for publishers to put their message out to readers at a low enough cost that they can do without advertising, it is undermining the advertising-driven model. There are alternatives to the advertising contaminated messages that have dominated the culture. Now it's possible to get messages for their own sake again. No one can say where this ends, but it's interesting to watch. It's sad to see traditional newspapers going out of business, but it is refreshing to see the commercial -- overcommercialized -- model being challenged. Obstruction of Justice -- In a New York Times Op-Ed piece, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, who headed the 9/11 commission charge that "Those who knew about those [CIA Al Qaida interrogation] videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation." Since the London Times reported that there is mounting evidence that the decisions involving the tapes were made by the White House, we now have -- by connecting two dots -- allegations by the heads of the 9/11 Commission that the White House obstructed justice in the case of the 9/11 Commission. Hamilton and Kean write: "As a legal matter, it is not up to us to examine the C.I.A.’s failure to disclose the existence of these tapes. That is for others. What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the president, to investigate one the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction." There is little reason to believe that Bush and Cheney, who have never had to be accountable in the past will ever have to be in the future, but this flame is getting awfully close to their feet.
  • Give the People What They Want -- At a time when the supposedly elected leaders make not the slightest effort to acknowledge the will of the people, John Edwards is trying a novel approach, to actually pledge to do what the people want, in this case, to promise to remove virtually all U.S. forces from Iraq in 10 months if elected. New York Times

    January 4, 2008

    Goodbye to All That -- Jane Smiley bids the New York Times farewell. "Given my attachment to the Times over the years, I have to say that I even forgave them for Judith Miller, difficult as that was. But after the advent of Bill Kristol on the editorial page next week, that's it for the Times and me. I cannot imagine why the Times has hired Kristol. Kristol is not merely some rightwing loose cannon like David Brooks or even William Safire... Kristol is a war-monger and a hate-monger, and his lies have been exposed over and over in the last four years. If you think that the Iraq War is a crime, as I do, it is bad enough that he was one of the primary cheerleaders for it, even after every single one of the reasons that the Cheney/Bush/right wing gave for the attack was exposed. But he is worse than that. Until the NIE report, he was actively advocating bombing Iran, preferably with nuclear weapons, even though the civilians in Iran who would be bombed have nothing at all to do with whatever the Iranian government is doing, or as it turns out, not doing to develop nuclear weapons. In Iraq alone, Kristol has th e blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands. He is unrepentant and eager for more." Huffington Post
  • Michael Moore on the Primaries -- "Unlike the Kerrys and the Bidens who initially voted for authorization but later came to realize the folly of their decision, Mrs. Clinton continued to cast numerous votes for the war until last March -- four long years of pro-war votes, even after 70% of the American public had turned against the war. She has steadfastly refused to say that she was wrong about any of this, and she will not apologize for her culpability in America's worst-ever foreign policy disaster. All she can bring herself to say is that she was 'misled' by 'faulty intelligence.' Let's assume that's true. Do you want a President who is so easily misled? I wasn't "misled," and millions of others who took to the streets in February of 2003 weren't "misled" either. It was simply amazing that we knew the war was wrong when none of us had been briefed by the CIA, none of us were national security experts, and none of us had gone on a weapons inspection tour of Iraq. And yet... we knew we were being lied to!" Edwards? "A candidate who says things like this: 'I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy.' Whoa. We haven't heard anyone talk like that in a while, at least not anyone who is near the top of the polls. I suspect this is why Edwards is doing so well in Iowa, even though he has nowhere near the stash of cash the other two have. He won't take the big checks from the corporate PACs, and he is alone among the top three candidates in agreeing to limit his spending and be publicly funded. He has said, point-blank, that he's going after the drug companies and the oil companies and anyone else who is messing with the American worker. The media clearly find him to be a threat, probably because he will go after their monopolistic power, too. This is Roosevelt/Truman kind of talk. That's why it's resonating with people in Iowa."

    January 5, 2008

    Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton... Bill Clinton and Senior George Bush have been palling around for quite a while now, like old buddies, and though they ran against each other in 1992, they have a great deal in common. According to Robert Parry, one of the reporters who broke much of the Iran Contra scandal, Clinton's recent comment that his wife's "first thing" as President would be to send him and George H.W. Bush on a worldwide fence-mending tour "signals that a second Clinton administration would give a free pass to the second Bush administration on its abuses." It signals to the Bushies that they will not have to fear facing justice for their crimes. Just as Bill Clinton dropped any inquries into the crimes of Iran Contra, thus creating the opening for Bush II and the return of the Iran Contra operatives to power, Clinton II will protect the Bushies from having to be accountable for their many crimes. It's a sort of gentleman's club in which members of the elite ignore the transgressions of other members of the elite, and in turn they can expect the same. It's honor among thieves and it goes back to the Nixon administration when Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon for everything, stopped the processes that would have revealed the depths of the crimes, and let the criminals run free so that they can continue to plague us even today. The Clinton and Bush clans are too close. Where is the opposition party? See Democracy Now. Iowa Democrats rejected the inevitability proclaimed by the corporate media months ago. They showed that they are not satisfied with the pre-written script. So Hillary Clinton came in third.

    Oddly enough, the Republican side chose Mike Huckabee, who seems like such a much more congenial character than the Republican field, the mean lying Giuliani, the sell-out warmonger McCain, the shifty-eyed fake Romney. Huckabee talks very well, connects with audiences, has Reagan's moves down. But under the surface, this so-called Christian supports the aggressiveness of Bush, the war for lies in Iraq, calls Antonin Scalia his "hero" on the Supreme Court. It's these things, not the fact that he believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible as history, that make him a very dangerous man.

  • How Bush Took Us to the Dark Side --
  • A Major Realignment -- Brent Budowsky discusses what he calls "Obamism: The Politics of Hope in the Year of the Political Independent". Budowski: "The real America is back again, rising above the overwhelming negativities of the Bush years and the suffocating banalities of the chattering insider classes who were wrong, yet again, as usual, about Iowa because they are so wrapped up in their insider interests and cocoons that they miss what is happening in the real America. If there is one proposition I have argued for in my writings over the last two years and my private advice to senior Democrats and the occasional senior Republican, it is this: Americans will be astonished and amazed at the outpouring of idealism, inspiration, hope and good will that will flow like a mighty river when the Age of Bush is finally ended."
  • Andy Rosenthal and the Neocons -- Salon, The New York Observer
  • Changing the Rules -- Obama's victory shakes up many of the presumptions of the Democratic party. LA Times

    January 6, 2008

    Populism? or Not? David Sirota says the Iowa results show that populism is on the rise. See But many of the comments following the piece raise strong objections. Such as this one by RichM: "There’s not much to celebrate, here. In the short run, it’s nice that Hillary lost. And it’s true that Iowa voters expressed dissatisfaction with the more blatantly 'business as usual' candidates. Sirota is calling that 'populism,' but it’s only the wish — not at all a move towards fulfillment of that wish. (It’s like the Dems’ winning back Congress in ‘06. The public voted for change — and got no change.) In the larger view, what is happening is that the 2-party system is very successfully containing the tide of dissatisfaction. That’s just what it’s meant to do. Everyone is arguing about the virtues of 'their' preferred candidate. Already, Kucinich and Gravel have disappeared entirely, & Ron Paul is banned from debates. The 2-party framework, in other words, has already largely succeeded in winnowing out the few that had anything of substance to say. Obama is basically a slick marketing job with no substance. The US population faces a terribly real & ruthless enemy: the oligarchy that owns & runs the society. You can’t defeat them without fighting against them. Obama tries to make a virtue out of being non-confrontational. He doesn’t have a single tough word to say about Wall St or the US war machine. He wants to seduce the public into believing that 'we can all work together,' but it’s just not so. You can’t 'work with' Wall St or the war machine — you have to fight them. To believe that those malignant cancers can be managed without confrontation is a fatal mistake."
  • Supercapitalism vs Democracy -- Two thoughtful pieces on Robert Reich's book "Supercapitalism at

    January 7, 2008

    No Mr. Nice Guy -- In a video clip from the debate, John Edwards explains why loosening the choke hold of corporations on the government is going to be a fight, at
  • Bush Must Go -- Don't expect the pansies in Congress to pay any attention, but in the Washington Post George McGovern explains why Bush should be impeached. "As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president."
  • Leaving Politics in the Dust -- Kirk Johnson in the New York Times writes: "Look around today, Dr. Bunzl and other social theorists say, and it’s easy to see nothing but cynicism, apathy, polarization and political gridlock. But if you listen closely, you might hear something — a faint but persistent tapping at the window that economists, criminologists and biologists say is the sound of change arriving anyway. From capital punishment to global warming to homosexuality to abortion, many of the social issues that divide us are shifting and evolving — perhaps even in some instances into a new consensus, or at least, and no less profoundly, toward a reframing of the old debates. Politics might be stuck in the slow lane, but science, capitalism and American culture and society are decidedly not, and all are making creative end runs around the gridlock."

    January 8, 2008

    11th Hour -- Monday night, Hillary Clinton is looking desperate tonight on what could be the last night of hope for her campaign. The polls are showing Obama surging to a dozen points ahead of her in New Hampshire. All year long the media gave her the mantle of inevitability. Even Norman Mailer said she had earned it. It's her turn now, after Bush-Clinton-Bush. But that logic is dead. She says, "It's not enough to talk about change, I've been producing change for 35 years." Her pitch is based on having been in Washington long enough to know how the levers work and how to get her hands on them. But in positioning herself in a politically advantageous position over 35 years, she has compromised the most important issues for political expedience. Now people want real change and her pitch is not selling. Sure, she would be a change from Bush, but not enough. She supported his call for the authority to attack Iraq. She says she was misled. Sure he was lying, but she's not stupid. She wasn't born yesterday. If she has so much experience, and she obviously has intelligence, she had to know Bush and company are liars and frauds. She could not have been truly deceived. If so, that is no defense because there is no excuse for that kind of naivete. Especially since her big pitch is based on experience. It appears that she voted for the war because it was politically expedient. It was dangerous in that environment of fear for a woman who was positioning herself for a run for president to come off looking soft on the "terrists". She chose to give Bush his war and let him cook in his own disaster, which would set up her attack for her run in '08. But in that political game, nearly 4,000 soldiers have died, tens of thousands have been physically maimed and psychologically shattered, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died and their country destroyed. Now she is paying the price for her carefully calculated political positioning. It got her to the brink. It got her to the point of being declared the winner by the elite political media months before the first primary. But now she is experiencing the voters wrath. She has been one of the enablers of the Bush catastrophe. She's out. She blew it.

    Election Night
    January 8, 2008

    Alt Coverage -- For an alternative to the corporate media view of the New Hampshire primary check out Brave New Films Live Coverage of the New Hampshire primary hosted by Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks and Wes Clark, Jr.
  • Obama: The World Watches -- Already the world is enthralled with the rise of Barack Obama. According to Pierre Haski in Rue89 (translated from the French by Leslie Thatcher at, "The rest of the planet, including France, knows that the outcome of the American election will be heavy with consequence for the four corners of the world. First of all, because the legacy George Bush will leave behind him is quite simply disastrous, and not only because of the war in Iraq. The trip the present American president is making this week to the Middle East won't change that at all: he will leave behind a situation more dangerous than the one he found when he took the reins of the world's premier power seven years ago. The personality of his successor matters, since the president of the United States' decisions on war and peace in the world, on the global economy, and on global warming have enormous reach."

    January 9, 2008

    On to the Next Round -- So it's still very much in play. Obama did much better than predicted a few weeks ago, but not nearly as good as the polls showed these last few days. According to Kyle Hence, as posted on Mark Crispin Miller's website, "With 8% of the returns in, Clinton has 38% and Obama 35%. Zogby had Obama at 42% and Clinton at 29% today. All other numbers are matching up with exactly with candidates either right on with Zogby tracking numbers today or within 1-2%." See for some more discussion of this. According to Brad Friedman, the voting in New Hampshire is tallied "largely on Diebold optical-scan voting systems, wholly controlled and programmed by a very very bad company named LHS Associates. Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy." Furthermore, says Friedman, "pre-election pollster's numbers (NOTE: that's not Exit Polls, but Pre-Election Polls!) were dead-on, for the most part, on the Republican side, as well as on the Democratic side. Except in the do-or-die (for Hillary) Clinton v. Obama race. I'm watching MSNBC right now, and they all seem to agree that the results, for the moment, defy explanation... They were all not just wrong, but wildly wrong. But only for the Clinton/Obama race." Check out the site for the numbers. Friedman continues: "As you'll note, the numbers in Zogby's latest polls, for all but Clinton and Obama, seem to have been dead-on the money for both the Republicans and Democrats. Edwards, for example, was polled at 17% in Zogby's poll, and he received exactly 17% in the MSNB numbers, with 63% of precincts reporting. So are we to believe that only those voters who preferred Obama previously, decided to change to Hillary at the last minute? I suppose so."

    January 10, 2008

    What Happened with the Polls? John Zogby discusses what happened with the polling in New Hampshire. Why were they so far off? Huffington Post
  • How They Do It -- How the voting machines are used to rig elections. An important film. See Hacking Democracy
  • Paper vs Electronics -- In New Hampshire, in the districts that used paper, the results were better for Obama.

    January 11, 2008

    How Crazy Is He? Psychotherapist, John P. Briggs, M.D., and professor, JP Briggs II, Ph.D., write for Truthout about the very very strange psychology of George W. Bush and wonder how far he could go. As far as the country itself goes under Bush, Briggs and Briggs say, "A sort of thousand-mile stare has descended on the country. Frank Rich writes, 'We are a people in clinical depression' as a result of Bush's leadership. Perhaps, a more apt diagnosis would be 'dissociation.'" More chilling is a quote by Daniel Ellsberg, who revealed the Pentagon Papers and lived. Ellsberg says Bush has already created a "presidential coup" and "If there's another 9/11 under this regime, it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed." Read this, but not right before bedtime.
  • As Maine Goes -- Maine Congressman Michaud calls for impeachment of Cheney. bangornews

    January 12, 2008

    Much ado about the voting process in New Hampshire and the discrepancies between different sets of numbers, such as Diebold electronic vote processors, paper ballots, exit polls and pre-voting polls. It's appropriate that there be much concern because the voting machines have been demonstrated to be very unreliable in test after test. Until the creepy things are eradicated, the populace will have to be extremely vigilant about vote counts. Dennis Kucinich has asked for a vote count and he's going to pay for it. ( See? This is why the establishment doesn't want him in the race, doesn't want him on the ballot, doesn't want him in the "debates", doesn't want him on TV. He just causes trouble. Who ever heard of a candidate who can't possibly win from it, to still want to ensure integrity of the vote? It's so 20th century! But Kucinich is the man. He wants to check the vote for the people, for the democratic process itself, and God bless him for it. I don't even care if he said he saw and unidentified flying Cheney. He's still the man. Activity like that, active vigilance will help to keep any would-be crooks and snakes on their toes.

  • Means, motive, opportunity -- There's a message board discussion about the anomalous New Hampshire vote on Buzzflash. The grassroots people aren't so dumb, their voices just rarely surface in the mainstream (Corporate Controlled Conservative Media, as someone on this message board puts it.) Though any foul play with voting is dismissed as wild conspiracy theory by the right-thinking people of the nation, it's really not so mysterious and certainly not far out, not in these weird times. Hillary loses in polls against Republican candidates. But even if she wins, she supports permanent bases in Iraq, the apartheid wall in Israel, aggression against Iran, so the military economy is not threatened by her. Why not knock out any possible threats to the system immediately, nip them in the bud? We know the machines with their proprietary Republican-owned software can be and have been manipulated. A motive is not hard to divine.
  • Do the Math -- Dave Lindorff chimes in, "Could someone have messed with the vote in New Hampshire?... Polls taken as late as the day before the Tuesday vote showed Obama up by 10 to 15 points over Clinton, whom he had just beaten the week before in Iowa, but when the votes were counted, Clinton ended up beating Obama in New Hampshire 39.4 per cent to 36.8 per cent. In a replay of what happened in Ohio in 2004, exit polling reportedly also showed Obama to be winning the New Hampshire primary... In New Hampshire, 81 per cent of the voting was done in towns and cities that had purchased optical scan machines from the Diebold Election Systems... The machine tally was Clinton 39.6 per cent, Obama 36.3 per cent - fairly close to the final outcome. But the hand-counted ballot count broke significantly differently: Clinton 34.9 per cent, Obama 38.6 per cent... f all the votes cast had split the way the hand counts split, Obama would have won New Hampshire by over 10,000 votes, instead of losing to Clinton by about 5500 votes." Counterpunch
  • The Smell Test -- Mike Whitney in "The Winning Ticket: Hillary and Diebold in 2008" at Dandelion Salad, writes, "Something doesn’t ring true about Hillary’s 'upset' victory in the New Hampshire primary. It just doesn’t pass the smell test. All the exit polls showed Clinton trailing Obama by significant margins. In fact, in the Gallup Poll taken just days before the election, 'Crocodile tears' Hillary was down by a whopping 13 points. Her 'turnaround' was not only unexpected, but downright shocking. The results for the rest of the candidates–excluding Clinton and Obama—were all within the margin of error. Clinton was the only anomaly. Surprise, surprise. If this election had been conducted in any other country in the world, the Bush administration would have immediately dispatched an independent team of election observers and demanded a recount. But not in the good old USA, where stealing elections is replacing baseball as the national pastime. Would it surprise you to know that (according to Black Box Voting) the Marketing and Sales Director of the company that tallies the votes (LHS) 'was arrested, indicted, and pleaded guilty to "sale / CND" and sentenced to 12 months in the Rockingham County Correctional facility, and fined $2000.'?"
  • Military Rule -- Oh, and by the way, lest we forget as we get wrapped up in the the election circus, as Dave Lindorff pointed out last summer (see, the infrastructure for martial law is now well established, requiring only a triggering incident to activate it. "The Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress. The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim—improperly, but so what? —- that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called 'War' on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, 'since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he’d need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S.' The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program that is clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the administration’s political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised no objections to spying on potential terrorists. (And it, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government’s having a list now of some 325,000 suspected terrorists!) The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government-within-a-government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called “Continuity of Government” protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the government functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months. It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge—mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens—and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay."
  • -- The "U.S. corporate elite fear candidate Edwards" according to The Guardian. According to an Edwards' spokesman, "The lobbyists and special interests who abuse the system in Washington have good reason to fear John Edwards. Once he is president, the interests of middle class families will never again take a back seat to corporate greed in Washington." The article quotes a business lobbyist who asked not to be named, saying Edwards "has gone to this angry populist, anti-business rhetoric that borders on class warfare ... He focuses dislike of special interests, which is out there, on business." Another lobbyist, says the Guardian, "said an Edwards presidency would be 'a disaster' for his well-heeled industrialist clients."

    January 14, 2008

    When the Times Shines -- With its hiring of neocon liar Bill Kristol as a columnist, its letting wildwoman stooge Judith Miller go crazy with her pre-Iraq war misreporting or its holding the Bush illegal wiretapping story for a year till an election was over, the Times shows that its ownership keeps its editorial content under control to see that it is not threatening to certain established powers. So it can never live up to its slogan of "All the News that's fit to print." But in its news feature reporting it really shines and some reporting is just so good that it somehow gets past the screen. The feature that started on page one of the Sunday New York Times on January 13 was a powerful statement of the devastating effect of the Bush administration on America. Check out "War Torn: Part I", which is a series of articles about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have committed killings, or been charged with them, after coming home." A very very sad story.
  • Crush Them Into the Ground -- David Bacon of Writing for Truthout reports that "Mexican labor authorities seized on technicalities to order an end to the strike at the country's largest copper mine in Cananea, Sonora, on Friday. The Mexican press reports that over 700 heavily armed agents of the Sonora state police arrived in Cananea just hours before the decision was announced, and agents of the Federal Preventative Police were sent to this tiny mountain town as well. Strikers report that the streets were filled with rocks and teargas, and 20 miners have been injured - some seriously - in the ensuing conflict. The union says that five strikers are missing."

    Off to Brazil. Bye bye.

    January 15, 2008

    Supreme Court Reversal Abandons Voters, Again -- Voter ID requirements will cut out people who don't have driver's licenses. New York Times
  • Death in China -- A Chinese businessman who was trying to film a peasant demonstration on his cell phone was murdered by vigilantes. Truthout
  • Third World Election System -- Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers, says Clinton's stunning upset in New Hampshire may have reasonable explanations, but, "on the basis of what happened last week in New Hampshire and from other accounts around the country, we would be remiss as citizens if we didn't admit that eight years after the disaster that was the 2000 election process, we still don't have a reliable, secure voting system."

    -- David Cogswell

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