Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who 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

July 16, 2009



Bloomberg -
President Barack Obama "strongly opposes" an effort in Congress to require General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to restore relationships shed during bankruptcy proceedings, while stopping short of a veto threat. The administration said today in a statement that "the decision by Chrysler and GM to rationalize their dealer networks was a critical part of their overall restructuring to achieve long-term viability in order to save jobs in the long run.". . . GM plans to shutter about 2,400 dealerships, said spokesman Greg Martin, Chrysler officials have said 789 dealerships were targeted for closing.


Truthout - The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh was mocked in March when he referred to Dick Cheney's secret squad of CIA assassins. Now, he talks to The Daily Beast about the next shoe to drop. . . "Congress has no oversight of it. It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on," Hersh said at the time. He added: "Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us.". . . Now, there are key differences between Hersh's reporting and the Times' latest piece. Hersh suggested that the assassination ring was conducted out of the Joint Special Operations Command rather than the CIA. Moreover, according to Hersh's sources the program was operational, leaving a trail of bodies, while The Times cited officials saying that the CIA hit squad never actually carried out a mission. The Times and Hersh could conceivably be reporting two distinct squads.


Governing - Lafayette IN has built a fast fiber-to-the-home Internet service. A municipal one. The project ran headlong into several lawsuits, but the dust has cleared on those. The network is built and sales to customers began early this year. Now, those who sign up for municipal Internet service will be able to communicate with others on the network at super-fast speeds. The cheapest plans offer a speed of 10 megabits per second. But users will be able to communicate 10 times faster with other Lafayette residents on the network because the speed will be "bursted" to 100 megabits per second within the city and county. For no extra cost. To put it in perspective, that's 10 times faster than already very fast Internet. And more than 100 times faster than the Internet "starter" plan that, for example, Verizon is offering.


Muzzle Watch -
Straight out of Avigdor Lieberman's Foreign Ministry: a new Internet fighting team. Israeli students and demobilized soldiers get paid to pretend they are just regular folks and leave pro-Israel comments on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites. The effort is meant to fight the "well-oiled machine" of "pro-Palestinian websites, with huge budgets. . . with content from the Hamas news agency." The approach was test-marketed during Israel's assault on Gaza, and by groups like Give Israel Your United Support, a controversial effort to use instant-access technology to crowd-source Israel advocates to fill in flash polls or vote up key articles on social networking sites.


Sarah Palin's PAC
raised nearly $733,000 in its first five months, including some $200,000 that came in after she announced she was deserting her post as governor of Alaska. It is not clear whether the latter funds came from grateful Alaskans or GOP contributors.


The Postal Service
is reconsidering its plan to remove the only collection mailbox in Otisfield, Maine, after an outpouring of support for the device. Reports the Sun Journal - "We were told it's a done deal. You can't do anything. Well, you don't tell that to Americans," said Town Clerk Sharon Matthews . . . Matthews said the 1,750 residents in town deserve to have their collection box, . . . have to drive to the Oxford Post Office. . . When she and others discovered a sign on the mailbox on June 30 saying the box would be picked up in 10 days, they went into action. Calls were made to state Sen. David Hastings, R-Oxford, and U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, along with a call to Mike Doyle, customer relations at the U.S. Postal Service in Portland. . . On Monday, the Postal Service sent a man to pick up the collection box, Matthews said. She and Administrative Assistant Marianne Izzo-Morin ran outside to secure the mailbox. "We were ready to chain ourselves to that," said Matthews, looking at a love seat that had been pulled over to the mailbox. "Marianne yelled, 'No! No!' as the pickup man tried to take the mailbox. Then television cameras arrived as if on cue, Matthews said. "Timing is everything." The pickup man made a phone call and drove off, Matthews said.


New Scientist
- The biggest glacier in the Arctic is on the verge of losing a chunk of ice the size of Manhattan. A group of scientists and climate change activists who are closely monitoring the Petermann glacier's ice tongue believe the rapid flow of ice is in part due to warm ocean currents moving up along the coast of Greenland, fuelled by global warming


Hot Air - Cecil D. Bykerk, President of the Society of Actuaries, sports seven (7) sets of initials after his name. He is, officially: Cecil D. Bykerk, FSA, MAAA, FCA, RHU, FLMI, BA, MS. By our tally, this puts him in the lead in the Society President Trailing Initials Competition.


Hutch News
- A woman, dressed in a medical uniform sporting cartoon characters, walked into the Central Kansas Credit Union branch at 328 N. Main St. in South Hutchinson around 4:30 p.m. and demanded money. "When the employee questioned her how much, the subject replied 'The entire contents of your drawer,' " South Hutchinson Police Chief Scott Jones said. Then, the teller asked if the woman had an active account at the credit union. The woman, described as white, in her mid-40s with brown hair and graying roots held in a ponytail, replied that she did not have an account. "The bank employee made it clear to the subject that the business could not help her with her wishes," Jones said. Unsatisfied, the woman decided on a different course of action. She "claimed she would contact her boyfriend and have him come back with a weapon," Jones said. Then she left.


Washington Post -
The National Children's Museum has teamed up with the Museum of Science in Boston in a project aimed at getting kids to observe the fireflies in their area and submit that data to a national research program. "There's not a lot known about fireflies," said Don Salvatore, a science educator at the Boston Museum of Science, especially when it comes to counting the insects. "We don't know if fireflies are disappearing. A lot of people think they are, and there's a lot of anecdotal evidence but no real scientific data.". . . Last year, Salvatore's museum and researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts created a program called Firefly Watch, which asks people to look at the fireflies in their own back yards and submit the data they gather. The program started with almost no publicity, but already 1,400 people are submitting their firefly observations from 36 states! People just love fireflies. To sign up


Independent, UK -
London Mayor Boris Johnson dismissed the L250,000-a-year he earns from a second job as "chicken feed". Mr Johnson also insisted it was "wholly reasonable" for him to write newspaper columns on the side because he did them "very fast". The comments risk infuriating millions of Londoners struggling to make ends meet amid the economic downturn. . . "I happen to write extremely fast. I don't see why on a Sunday morning I shouldn't knock off an article, if someone wants to pay me for that article then that's their lookout and of course I make a substantial donation to charity.

Evolution timeline


Anonymous m said...

Re: Muzzle Watch

Zionist propaganda is rife on the net. Crackers (not hackers) attack anyone who dares to imply that the Israeli genocide is not unique amongst crimes against humanity. Immediate attacks, both technical and smear, are often launched at the first sign that anyone is exposing the truth that 120 million people died in holocausts during the 20th Century alone. That the Israeli holocaust was not the first or last of the 1900s.

A genocide of 10-13 million ushered in the horrors of the 20th Century in the Congo, And more mass slaughters in the same region ushered out that Century. The Israeli holocaust was not the largest, or even the most depraved. While it is difficult to define the most horrible practices, surely the use of prepubescent children to select and execute victims has to be by far the most terrible of practices.

If these actors were so concerned about human life, they would want to explore holocausts by examining the causes for each and every holocaust. To pretend this human aberration is unique, and that the other holocausts didn't happen is not only a desecration of the victims, but a guarantee that we will have no end to future holocausts.

July 16, 2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

Superbly said, m.

The Ashkenazi Jews I knew when I was growing up seemed to me to be totally unlike those we see now representing Zionism and Israel. They were secular, strongly leftist, and fierce defenders of equal rights for all.

Today we seem to hear nothing but a narrative of exceptionalism, entitlement, and victimhood that justifies Nazi-like behavior toward others.

I felt positively stunned the other day to read an article advancing, apparently in all seriousness, the idea that shtetl inbreeding has made Ashkenazim more intelligent than the rest of us, and thus entitled to special privilege! Pity I was too exhausted and dopey to save the reference.

July 16, 2009 6:58 PM  

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