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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, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

November 11, 2009


Progressive Puppy - It seems like such a simple act of compassion - allowing the partners of committed same-sex couples to make funeral arrangements for their significant others. But according to Governor Donald L. Carcieri of Rhode Island, bestowing this small but vital legal right to gays and lesbians will somehow "degrade" traditional marriage. From the Providence Journal: "An opponent of same-sex marriage, Governor Carcieri has vetoed bill that would have added "domestic partners'' to the list of people authorized by law to make funeral arrangements for each other. In his veto message, Republican Carcieri said: "This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue." . . .

Djelloul Marbrook - In
an admirable model of breakthrough journalism CNN today recasts the West's conflict with militant Islam in a way that challenges our assumptions and points to a new dispensation. Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank report that out of a notorious Libyan prison a new jihadist code has emerged that renounces Al Qaeda's tactics, reinstating Islam's more traditional refusal to wage war on innocents. A 417-page document called Corrective Studies asserts that the true mission of jihadis is to expel non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine but not to attack the West. . . The Libyan code lays down the gauntlet to the West. Are we in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect ourselves or are we there in pursuit of neo-colonial ambitions? Are we there to defend ourselves or to feed our military-industrial machine?. . .

Rejecta Mathematica -
We are pleased to announce that the inaugural issue of Rejecta Mathematica is now available at To recap our mission, Rejecta Mathematica is an open access, online journal that publishes only papers that have been rejected from peer-reviewed journals in the mathematical sciences. In addition, every paper appearing in Rejecta Mathematica includes an open letter from its authors discussing the paper's original review process, disclosing any known flaws in the paper, and stating the case for the paper's value to the community.

Nation -
As Amy Sullivan of Time has observed, plenty of pro-life people likely have no idea whether their private health insurance plans include abortion services (in which case their premiums indirectly fund the procedure). The same goes for pro-life organizations. Sullivan did a bit of digging and found out that Focus on the Family provides its employees insurance through Principal, a company that - you guessed it - covers abortion procedures. "If health reform proposals have a fungibility problem, then Focus does as well," Sullivan notes. "And if they don't think they do have a fungibility problem, then it would be interesting to hear why they think the set-up proposed in health reform legislation is so untenable."

Tree Hugger - Just completed research shows that the current koala population is somewhere between 43,000-80,000 individuals, a decline from an estimated 100,000 in 2003, and without better conservation efforts they could all be extinct within 30 years. The main threat to koalas is two-fold: Habitat loss due to development . . . and malnutrition. Furthermore, large numbers have been killed by outbreaks of chlamydia.

ENN - Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning Professor Brian Stone is publishing a paper in the December edition of Environmental Science and Technology that suggests policymakers need to address the influence of global deforestation and urbanization on climate change, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions. . . "Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases," said Stone. "Most large U.S. cities, including Atlanta, are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole -- a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change. As a result, emissions reduction programs -- like the cap and trade program under consideration by the U.S. Congress -- may not sufficiently slow climate change in large cities where most people live and where land use change is the dominant driver of warming."

Washington sniper John Muhammad was executed on Tuesday by lethal injection over a series of 2002 shootings that left 10 people dead, a prison official said. . . Brad Blog: Well that'll certainly teach any future snipers from doing same. I guess Nidal Hasan and all the other mass shooters since 2002 didn't get the memo.

Think Progress
- On his 700 Club TV show, Pat Robertson claimed that Islam is "not a religion," but "a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination". . . "That is the ultimate aim. And they talk about infidels and all this, but the truth is that's what the game is. So you are dealing with not a religion. You're dealing with a political system. And I think we should treat it as such and treat its adherences as such as we would members of the Communist Party or members of some fascist group."

Salon -
The Mormon church supports a proposed pair of Salt Lake City ordinances that would make it illegal to discriminate against gays in housing and employment matters, a spokesman said Tuesday. . . If the ordinances are approved, the city would be the first in Utah to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The proposals make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender. The endorsement is not a shift in the church's position on gay rights and reinforces past statements on the issue, Otterson said. In August 2008, the church issued a statement saying it supports gay rights related to hospitalization, medical care, housing or probate as long as they "do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."

Arizona Central - A Phoenix ordinance banning charity dining halls in residential neighborhoods withstood a challenge by a north-central Phoenix church. Retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Robert Corcoran, serving as a hearing officer, ruled that feeding the homeless at a place of worship can be banned by city ordinance. The decision affects all Phoenix churches with underlying residential zoning.


Anonymous Moss said...

I agree with Pat. Islam is a poisonous, predatory, supremacist, totalitarian political ideology masquerading as a religion.

November 12, 2009 4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is your right-wing christian extremism, Moss.

November 12, 2009 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Pat Robertson knows nothing of Jesus Christ said...

Islamic fundamentalist milita
nts are the enemies of Israel and Western governments, right? Think again. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed reports.

November 12, 2009 4:48 PM  

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