arctic melting
More essential reads from the past week.

The Politics of Victimization — Mel Gilles (via Mathew Gross via Jon Husband) reminds us that it’s OK to walk away from bullies and perpetrators of brutality of every kind. You’re not going to change them. “Even if you do everything right, theyíll hit you anyway. Look at the poor souls who voted for this nonsense. They are working for six dollars an hour if they are working at all, their children are dying overseas and suffering from lack of health care and a depleted environment and a shoddy education. And they donít even know they are being hit.” Reminder: Link to the Moving to Canada, eh? blog is on my right sidebar, with some new info.

Peace is not the Same as Justice — Znet (via Euan Semple) has the complete text of Arundhati Roy’s remarkable and long Sydney 2004 Peace Prize acceptance speech. As long as humanitarian workers strive merely for ‘human rights’ in the countries where they do their good work alongside military and political forces opposed to giving them justice, they will be viewed with suspicion and even executed as complicitous. Half a million children have lost their lives in Iraq in less than a generation, and the Western regimes that propped up Saddam for so long, and which supported and armed and financed the Shah and the Taliban and Osama bin Laden when it was convenient have just of much of their blood on their hands as the despots and terrorists themselves. “The fire and brimstone of the US election campaign was about who would make a better ‘Commander-in-Chief’ and a more effective manager of the American Empire. Democracy no longer offers voters real choice.” Roy describes the long-standing cozy relationship between Bechtel, Rumsfeld and Saddam, and the outrageous six billion dollar lawsuit GE and Bechtel have launched against the government of India when India refused to honour the fraudulent and despicable Enron ‘privatization’ contract with India (a contract GE and Bechtel have bought out). While corporatists sue Iraq for horrendous, crippling amounts ‘owed’ to them due to Saddam’s deals or Halliburton’s wildly overpriced ‘services’, the government politicos in their pockets go around lobbying for European governments to forgive Iraq’s debts to them, so that these inflated corporate accounts can be paid. Roy explains what peace means “in this savage, corporatized, militarized world” and concludes “The real tragedy is that most people in the world are trapped between the horror of a putative peace and the terror of war. Those are the two sheer cliffs we’re hemmed in by.” Riveting reading.

Live simpler, buy wisely, win a Prius — Center for a New American Dream offers great links to reducing consumption and waste and making more intelligent and conscientious consumer decisions. They also have a contest (open only to Americans, alas) to select a slogan for their campaign to convince car dealers to voluntarily improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, with the prize being a very energy-efficient Toyota Prius.

An Annotated Bibliography for Simpler Living — The Simple Living Network doesn’t try to condense the challenges of simple, conscientious living into a few articles or checklists. While there are some free resources on it, what it provides mainly is a comprehensive, indexed, annotated bibliography of all the books you should read and study to make this transition in your own life really happen. [Thanks to Doug Alder for the link]

Save the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — Grist’s Amanda Griscom Little (via Salon.com) reports that Bush is determined to push through his previously-stalled ‘energy bill’ to grant billions more in subsidies to his election contributors in the energy industry, and to ravage what little wilderness his administration hasn’t already destroyed.

Free the Exit Polls — Thus far, the major media continue to refuse to release the exit polls that showed (not just in the morning, but all day long) Kerry beating Bush by substantial margins in many states that Bush ended up winning. Statistician Steven Freeman at U.Penn (via Truthout) has worked with what is available — tapes of the exit polls shown on-screen by the major networks and CNN before they were ‘corrected’ to conform to the actual election results — and concluded that the chances of the exit polls being that wrong in so many states is 250 million to one. The authors say there are only two possible explanations: Gross incompetence and deliberate bias in conducting the exit polls, or massive election fraud. Until the media cough up the exit poll ‘uncorrected’ details, we won’t know which it is. [Thanks to R. Dale Asberry for the link]

The always-amazing Tim Dolighan drew the above cartoon, that appeared today in our community paper. The toque of the deceased, for those that can’t read the small print, says ‘Scientist’.

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  1. Another Dave says:

    Re. Exit Polls, there is also a group of scientists from UC Berkeley (found on Bob Harris’ blog – http://www.bobharris.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=206&Itemid=2 ) who have analysed the Florida election results compared to the exit polls. According to their study, which can be found herehttp://ucdata.berkeley.edu/(see Vote, 2004)the propability that the election result are correct in regard of the results of the Exit Polls is 1 to 1000 (which does not contradict, but support the U. Penn results, as they’ve looked at Florida only)- David M

  2. Rajiv says:

    On the moving to Canada issue — here is an interesting takeDon’t Move to Canada, Move to Iowa

  3. Dave Pollard says:

    David/Rajiv: Thanks for the links.

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