UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 27, 2009

BREVITAS

OBAMALAND

Janet Napolitano has apologized to veterans for a report the HSA issued that suggested that returning troops from Iraq or Afghanistan might be recruits for right wing extremism. She has yet to apologize to supporters of key sections of the Bill of Rights (presumably most Americans) for suggesting that they also were susceptible.

Arstechica - the MPAA hosted its latest DC lobbying event, featuring a dinner at which Vice President Biden promised the group that it will like the person Obama will eventually pick for the administration's chief copyright policy position. The Obama administration's stance on copyright enforcement has already attracted an open letter in which a variety of public advocacy groups voiced concerns that there seemed to be a bias towards content owners in the initial round of appointments. . .

AF-PAK WAR

ZP Heller, Open Left - Andrew Bacevich, a retired colonel who served in Vietnam and is now professor of international relations and history at Boston University, has become one of the most vocal critics of the "long war," as defense secretary Robert Gates dubbed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Paraphrasing general Bruce Palmer's account of the Vietnam war, Bacevich said [in congressional testimony] that our country is once again "mired in a protracted war of an indeterminate nature, with no foreseeable end to the us commitment." the long war has become the second most expensive war in us history (second only to wwii). Now that we our facing trillions in debt, Bacevich urged congress to question the reasons for escalation in Afghanistan. "We just urgently need to ask ourselves whether or not the purposes of the long war are achievable, necessary, and affordable," Bacevich claimed.

ECO CLIPS

Azadeh Ansari CNN - the indigenous people of Alaska have stood firm against some of the most extreme weather conditions on earth for thousands of years. But now, flooding blamed on climate change is forcing at least one Eskimo village to move to safer ground. The community of the tiny coastal village of Newtok voted to relocate its 340 residents to new homes 9 miles away, up the Ninglick River. The village, home to indigenous Yup'ik Eskimos, is the first of possibly scores of threatened Alaskan communities that could be abandoned.

GREAT THOUGHTS OF THE AMERICAN RIGHT

Rep Joe Barton R-TX says that Americans will only drive hybrids when forced to do so by the government "backed by the army." Barton is apparently unaware that GM has a plant in his district that makes hybrid SUVs.

SUSTAIN YOURSELF

Life Hacker - Potatoes seem like the kind of plant you'd need a substantial garden for-the kind your grandparents had, right? Actually, tubers aren't all that picky, and you can harvest a whole lot from almost any yard. . . [here's] a great tip, courtesy of the Seattle Times, on how to grow a lot of potatoes in a rather small space. The Times' guide for building a potato growing box yields up to a 100 lbs. Of potatoes in a mere 4 square feet. By planting your potatoes in layers within a tall box, you're essentially building a potato growing high rise. You can wait until the fall for a full harvest or if you're getting antsy for some garden fresh potatoes you can pop a board off the bottom and steal some of the mature potatoes.

CRASH TALK

WCBS TV - for the two million people who visit the Bronx zoo each year, the view is about to change. A bunch of animals are getting fired. . . $15 million in budget cuts means the Bronx zoo's Formosan deer, Arabian onyx, bats, porcupines and all the animals in the famed "world of darkness" exhibit are going away. . . The zoo's South American guanaco survived the wild kingdom, but their future in this economy is less certain. They're among the animals at the zoo about to get a pink slip.

Media

Philip Weiss, Mondo Weiss - The front-page story in the Times on the Jane Harman allegations didn't say that she's Jewish. Neither does CQ, which broke the story. Chris Matthews didn't say she's Jewish in his report --though he's always talking about the Irish Catholics--and neither did Robert Siegel on NPR. Jane Harman's Jewish. There, I just said it. That's why we have the blogosphere. Any intelligent person discussing this story at dinner is going to mention that she's Jewish. . . There are plenty of American Jews who don't support Israel. Some anyway. But they don't get into congress for some reason. And they very rarely get published in the forward. . . Can you imagine if a leading evangelical politician was allegedly mixed up in a shady deal involving pressuring the White House on gay rights, and the papers didn't mention his religion? I can't. . .

POLICE BLOTTER

Yahoo - A judge in Stuttgart, Germany, is currently trying to decide on a lawsuit in which a man hired his neighbor to impregnate his wife. Demetrius Soupolos, 29, and his former beauty queen wife, Traute, were very keen to have a child together, but Demetrius was sterile so they began to seek out other possible options. The option the couple eventually decided on was to hire their neighbor Frank Maus, 34, to impregnate traute. Maus, who was already married with two children agreed to do the job for the fee of e2,000. For three evenings a week for the next six months, a total of 72 different times, Maus tried to impregnate Traute. When his own wife objected, Maus explained that he was "only doing it for the money." after the unsuccessful six-month period Soupolos insisted that Maus take a medical examination. The doctor concluded that Maus was also sterile, which forced his wife into admitting that their two children did not belong to him. Soupolos is now suing Maus in an effort to get his money back. Maus' argument is that he did not guarantee conception, only that he would try his hardest.

FURTHERMORE. . . .

Earth Times - Nepal's largest mobile phone service provider Nepal telecom announced plans to start services in the Mount Everest region enabling climbers to make phone calls from the top of the world's highest peak. "we plan to expand our service in Khumbu trekking area and to the top of the world by July," said Bishwonath Goyal, director Nepal telecom's of mobile service directorate. "This will also help climbers attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest to disseminate information about their success faster."

BBC - A police officer is being investigated after allegedly writing on a website that he was keen to "bash some long haired hippies" at the G20 protest. Pc Rob Ward apparently put the note on Facebook on the evening of 1 April, the first day of city of London protests. . . Ian Tomlinson, a 47-year-old newspaper vendor, died minutes after he was pushed over by a policeman during the demonstrations on 1 April.

2 Comments:

Anonymous robbie said...

"key sections" of the bill of rights? Oh, just say it straight-out, you're talking about the 2nd amendment that doesn't actually say what most people think it says

I'm more interested in the 10th

April 27, 2009 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Key' sections include 1-10.

April 28, 2009 8:00 AM  

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