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How Does Their Garden Grow? The Bitter Fruits of The Iraq Invasion

Reading Time: < 1 minute Bet you haven’t heard how Iraqi agriculture has been destroyed since the invasion—and how US agribusiness benefits. That’s a huge story, and one you won’t see in the corporate-owned US media. It’s a sad story, a tragedy, something that provides infinite perspective on the purposes and consequences of unnecessary war, and begins to explain why Read More

The New Face of Big Brother?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Here’s an ominous development that is likely to pass almost unnoticed: a congressman requesting that the federal government identify to him everyone who has made a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The requester is Darrell Issa, the new head of the House Oversight Committee. He of course paints his initiative in benign terms—he Read More

State of the Onion

Reading Time: 4 minutes During the president’s speech, I kept my eyes and ears peeled for anything that a journalist might want to pursue. Here are some random thoughts: Obama and Congress paid tribute to Gabby Giffords, on the mend from the massacre in Tucson—but Obama said not a word about the explosion of guns into nearly every corner Read More

From the “Hell in a Handbasket” Department: Domestic Drones and Tainted Milk?

Reading Time: 3 minutes So have you heard? Any day, there will be these mini-drones, little unmanned planes, following you around. And no, you won’t have to be a member of the Taliban. Just an American who is suspected of something or other.  When you aren’t panicked about this new, inevitable expansion of the police state, you can at Read More

Covering The Assault On Working People

Reading Time: 4 minutes A common theme runs through a variety of news stories: there isn’t enough money around, and so working people must take a hit. But is that really the only solution? First, let’s look at the stories. There’s growing talk of letting state governments declare bankruptcy so they can get out of paying pension benefits to Read More

HOW NOT TO HONOR OUR TROOPS: Obama, Daley, Chase and the Military

Reading Time: 2 minutes This week, NBC News ran an important report about improprieties at a particularly well-connected bank. According to NBC, JP Morgan Chase has been forced by a lawsuit to admit that it has been overcharging thousands of military families for their mortgages—and had improperly foreclosed on more than a dozen such families. Now, news that a Read More

Roads Not Taken: John F. Kennedy, Patrice Lumumba and George H. W. Bush

Reading Time: 3 minutes Bravo to the The New York Times for publishing Adam Hochschild’s January 17 op-ed, An Assassination’s Long Shadow. The piece marked the 50th anniversary of an event long forgotten in the United States: the U.S.-sponsored removal and murder of a democratically elected leader in Africa. Three days after the murder, our own democratically elected leader—one Read More

Gun Roundup

Reading Time: < 1 minute A couple of gun items—both not new but relevant—that seem worth noting. In one, Bloomberg reported several days after the Tucson shootings how sales of Glock semi-automatic pistols doubled in Arizona right after the tragic events. In the other, the Dallas Morning News reported on how reporters in Texas are getting gun permits as way Read More

WikiYou: Who’s Watching Who?

Reading Time: < 1 minute Here’s an intriguing interview with the founder of the first “Leaks” site, Cryptome. (Click “Read the Rest” To See Video) A few excerpts: “Beware of the Internet, which is a large-scale spying machine” “Secrecy is the enemy of democracy; it’s way overdone.” “Sites like ours…are left in place to watch who comes there….The reason we Read More

This is Who? A Journalistic BooBoo

Reading Time: 2 minutes Did you hear this? Howard Kurtz, the longtime dean of mainstream journalists who critique other journalists’ standards and practices, made a huge booboo—then waited about forever before acknowledging it. It’s a doozy: he wrote up an interview with the new House investigations chief, Rep. Darrell Issa—but didn’t realize he was actually speaking with an Issa Read More

The Koch Brothers’ Climatologist

Reading Time: 4 minutes The other day, USA Today ran an article reporting that 2010 had tied 2005 as the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. That’s disturbing data, or course. But what really caught my eye was who they chose to question the significance of the news: a climatologist with….the Cato Institute. That’s a policy outfit heavily funded by the very companies whose emissions heat up the earth’s atmosphere.

Readers, Please Weigh In: K-GUN

Reading Time: < 1 minute The local ABC affiliate tv station in Tucson is KGUN. It is referred to as “K-GUN.” A man named H.U. Garrett chose those call letters when he bought the station in 1957. Wikipedia says this man sought to reflect his interest in Western lore, and in collecting guns. Now that, half a century later, the Read More

What We’d Do About….The Giffords Shooting Story

Reading Time: 2 minutes We’re going to occasionally list the types of reporting we would do, the sort of thinking we would apply, and the questions we would ask—were we already fully funded and able to mount our own investigative dig into more stories. Here are some initial issues worth pursuing regarding the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords—and potentially relevant Read More

Is This Photo Relevant?

Reading Time: < 1 minute Given Palin’s denunciations of efforts to restrict guns in America, and her website graphic (see blog post below) featuring crosshairs over members of congress, is it fair for news organizations to run a picture like this? Please weigh in with a comment-and please keep a civilized tone.

Readers, Please Weigh In: Palin And Giffords

Reading Time: 2 minutes A reader posted a comment on the item below—which features the graphic from Sarah Palin’s PAC, and “targets” various congressmembers, including Gabrielle Giffords. The reader writes, I come here for the truth, not ham handed partisan nonsense. If I wanted knee jerk corporate leftist dreck I know where to find it. Didn’t your years on Read More

The Meaning of Daley

Reading Time: 3 minutes A few days ago, the Obama Administration floated a trial balloon to see if there would be any opposition to the appointment of William Daley as the President’s Chief of Staff. There wasn’t, and so they’ve gone ahead and made it official. That they were concerned about a backlash is evident from the original reporting. Read More

Democracy=Corruption And Eggshells?

Reading Time: 2 minutes A recent Washington Post article reported on the not-so-coincidental timing of campaign contributions from corporate interests with votes on legislation affecting those interests. As thoughtful folks might say, “well DUH.” Who can be surprised by this? Certainly, the daily corruption of Congress must be covered, and I’m glad to see the Post writing: Numerous times Read More

Covering up: A tale of two autopsies

Reading Time: 4 minutes Here’s a fine piece of work that ran on the front page of The New York Times recently. The article, written by Ellen Barry, concerns a suspicious death, a cover-up and a commission’s inquiry into the death. See if you can guess where this incident took place (“spoiler” details have been removed from the excerpts Read More