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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 11, 2010

READER COMMENT EXCERPTS

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: MOVING ON WITHOUT OBAMA

Two notes: 1) Don't be afraid to work with groups that are very different from your ideas on an issue. The most obvious one to me is the anti-war movement. There's a strong opposition to these wars from a conservative point of view, but there seems to be zero cooperation between them and the left-orientated antiwar groups. This leads to silliness like there being 5 anti-war candidates in a winner-take-all presidential election (Paul, Kucinich, Barr, McKinney, Nader).

2) Organize locally, and organize yourself. Don't wait for leaders. Don't wait for someone to knock on your door. Any leader is susceptible to being bought off, and any existing organization is subject to being taken over and diverted. Your own grassroots local organizing is the answer to this.

MAKE YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD CLEANSERS

Boffin: There are some good suggestions here, but also some hazards. Just because a chemical is well-known, old fashioned, or widely available does not make it safer. Do not mix bleach with ammonia or acids. It will make poisonous gases.

ANALOG STUDIO BRINGS BACK CLASSIC SOUND

Music changed forever about five years ago when inexpensive computers became faster than the ear. Nowadays digital processing is superior in every objective way, such as noise, linearity, and lossless reproduction. Pace audiophiles!

The only remaining important piece of analog equipment is the microphone, due to near-field effects and complex feedback with the voice. And even that may disappear with the advent of semiconductor sensors which can pick up sound velocity at the same time as pressure.

I don't doubt there's a psychological effect of the equipment: the glowing tubes, mahogany cabinets, and so on. The best bet for this old-fashioned studio would be to build ultra-linear low-noise digital equipment into the old boxes, and generate the hum, distortion, and flutter in software. Of course, that may be what they did.

THE RESURRECTION OF HOWARD DEAN

Mike Flugennock - 2016? Hell, why wait? Why not challenge The One in the '12 primaries? Even if Dean loses, a lot of us out here will at least have the pleasure of watching the likes of Obama, Emmanuel, Reid and Pelosi piss themselves. Assuming, of course, that Dean's resurgence isn't just calculated to keep the Left from becoming totally fed up and deserting the Donkeycrats in '12 and staying home on election day -- which is what they should have been doing all along.

STUPID COUNTY JUDGE TRICKS

Robbie - Too many judges watched 'Boston Legal'

HOW WE MISREAD CAR FUEL CONSUMPTION

The article is correct if the objective is to reduce gross gas consumption. However, the argument is less powerful if the objective is to go as far as possible on a given amount of gasoline. This metric - how far you can go on a gallon - is quite important when there is rationing. And we should all expect rationing of some type eventually. So my 60 mile per gallon Honda Insight (old version) will get me to work while others look at their empty tanks.

MAJOR FOREIGN CROOK PAL OF CLINTONS ALLOWED BACK IN U.S.

"James Riady, an Indonesian tycoon and devout Christian". . . who copped to a plea of committing moral turpitude. Who admitted multiple frauds. Would we call a Buddhist who ate steak a devout Buddhist? Is an atheist who makes mass and confession devout? A Jew who partakes in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? Reputed Christian. Self-proclaimed (devout) Christian. Perhaps others. But starting with "devout Christian" is peremptory absolution.

TAXING HEALTH BENEFITS

Jeff - While I am opposed to any tax on union health benefits, it should be pointed out that had the unions looked beyond their own needs and pushed for universal health care all these years and kept the Democrats' feet to the fire on this critical issue, we might have had such a plan. But the union bureucracy is nothing more than a cornerstone of the Democratic party and is just as bankrupt while the politically unconscious and equally imnactive rank and file have only considered themselves to be working class, as opposed to "middle class" when pushed against the wall.

WHY IS COSTA RICA SO DAMN HAPPY?

Oasis of the Toucans - Because they don't live in a murderous empire full of brainwashed, over-medicated, screwballs ?

EXCELLENT SUMMARY OF THE POPULATION CRISIS

Pete Murphy -Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. I'm not talking about the obvious environmental and resource issues. I'm talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I am the author of a book titled "Five Short Blasts." To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don't have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management. Our policies that encourage high rates of population growth are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge.

ALLEGED TEEN AGED DRUGGIE FACES MORE TIME THAN MURDERER

Ed Forchion, the New Jersey Weed Man, commenting on why he dislikes cocaine and amphetamines, "There is absolutely nothing about me that wants to go fast".

FEETS TOO BIG?

I've noticed that there are more taller people over the past 3 decades. Taller people tend to have larger feet. Also as one ages, one's feet tend to get larger. With an aging population, and more taller young people, it's no wonder that shoes for larger feet are in demand. My brother has size 11 feet, but his son has size 15 feet. We have no idea how that happened, it's not like anyone else in the family has had size 15 feet. But there the poor kid is, only able to find sports shoes in his size, because he has a basket ball players sized feet.

A FEW QUESTIONS FOR BARACK OBAMA

Barbara - Other questions for Obama and the Democrats:

Why is rendition still being practiced?

Why does the US refuse to sign the anti-landmine treaty?

Why have drones killed an estimated 700 Pakistan civilians in the past year?

Why have US drones invaded Somalia?


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