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 22, 2009



As anyone who has been in the military can tell you, the duty to carry out legal orders includes the duty to refuse to carry out illegal ones. Torture is an illegal order. The whole question of legal and illegal orders presumes that persons in higher authority may give an illegal order; that's why military personnel are taught that they must refuse to carry out illegal ones. - John Gear

Ignoring for a moment the moral issue, there has to come a point where there is no point.

It's like the old Angola axiom about capital punishment," If you ain't got the capital you get the punishment".

Straw intervened to save Pinochet, Albright intervened to whitewash him, Adi Amin was allowed to live out his life in luxurious exile. The predators take care of their own. -Mairead


This tight-knit group of Teach for America alumni are launching an Ivy League class war against our nation's teachers who take the toughest jobs for lower-middle class pay. It's time we start hitting them back. Their approach goes back to Ms. Kopp's original notion, sitting on her Princeton perch, and without a day of teaching, she decided inexperienced teachers were better than experienced ones. Teachers are advocates for better education, not the enemies, as these corporate-embedded reformers argue - Jesse


"The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that an intoxicated man who started his car remotely and then sat behind the wheel without ever driving the vehicle can still be prosecuted from driving under the influence."

In some states you can be prosecuted for DUI while inebriated behind the driver's seat without the engine running. Also, for cutting your grass on a riding mower even if you never go off your own property. Next week's crime will consist of having a drink, and then discussing driving.


Currently, my credit union pays 1.4% on my IRA money. But they charge more than 9% on loans. That's a 600% disparity, charged by an institution that allegedly exists to serve the needs of its thousands of owner-members, not fill the pockets of a wealthy few. . . Interest rates should be bound together, incoming with outgoing. If a bank wants to pay only a pittance, then it should only be able to charge a pittance. A 300% disparity might be okay during 'difficult' times, but anything more is simple rapaciousness.

And it used to be true. The old joke was that banks worked on the 3-6-3 principle: Borrow at 3%, loan at 6% and be out on the golf course by 3.


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