While the media freaks out over black people who are (but aren’t really) racist, here is some of the actually important news you may have missed.
- Yo’ North Korean mama is so poo’ – North Korea now spends only $1 per person on health, the lowest in the world. Surgeons now routinely do operations without anesthesia according to Amnesty International. 45% of children are malnourished and 2 million died during the famine in the 1990s. Kim Jong Il is a bastard.
- Spying on America, Inc. – Having returned from a visit to Russia recently, I find this Washington Post expose disturbing. The national security state that has built up since 9/11 has grown beyond any sensible meaning. No one has any control over it or really knows how big the security apparatus is. Over 850,000 people have clearance to see secret information. What is the point of all this spending? Is this really about safety or about lining defense contractors pockets?
- What do Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, the Doors, John Lennon, John Kerry, and Howard Zinn all have in common? They were all spied on by the United States government for nonviolent protest of American policies. In our last era of big government spying, many unnecessary harms were done to people’s private lives in the name of security. Who are today’s heroes being spied upon?
- Does public education believe in public education? The University of California is a huge investor in ITT Tech, a for profit education chain while the Texas School Funded has decided to invest in charter schools.
- Suharto’s shadow – The Army has restored ties with the Indonesian military which is famous for its abuses of human rights. This is the same military that committed genocide against the people of East Timor for daring to vote for independence in 1999. Cooperation was ended during the Clinton Administration, but Secretary Gates thinks their record has improved enough to allow cooperation with the butcherers and torturers that oppressed Indonesia under the vicious dictatorship of General Suharto. Human rights groups are not happy. Locally, Freeport, Texas company McMoRan works in Indonesia and uses the army to kill protesters that oppose their massive pollution.
- Crooked capitalism has no shame – Life Insurance companies steal dead soldiers’ payments to widows and use it for their own businesses instead of putting them into a bank account.
- God Bless Texas – The newest State Senator from Waco voted TWICE in the 2004 elections. He claims to be a Texas resident but voted in Virginia and Texas which may make him ineligible to hold office. Down south, outgoing pol Tara Rio Ybarra’s dental office was raided for Medicaid fraud.
- A public health study of Fallujah finds that the 2004 bombing campaign has produced so much pollution it has more birth defects than Hiroshima . Meanwhile billions of dollars from Iraqi oil production STILL keeps disappearing in the corrupt free-for-all that is Iraqi reconstruction.
- A military analyst says why PFC Bradley Manning is his hero for leaking thousands of documents to Wikileaks.