The Execution of Private Slovik: War is a brutal business, and people are going to die. But to execute anyone, for simply not wanting to kill or be killed to me is outright murder. I could understand sending him to the stockades for a few months, but to out and out order his murder just to make an example is wrong on so many levels. Personally forcing anyone to kill or be killed is way more cowardly than what Eddie Slovik did. Slovik, at least as far as the way the movie presented him, while not being an angel, was a man of principals after he left the reformatory. He never lied about his intentions, all he wanted was a discharge. He was willing to spend time in the stockades and face contempt most likely when he got back to the states. I liked at the end of the movie after he was pronounced dead where Ned Beatty's charachter said "the bravest man here today was Eddie Slovik". War is a horrible thing that has been going on for around 5000 years, and probably will keep on for another 5000, if we as a people don't kill ourselves and our planet first.  
Robert Fisk: Unflinching, provocative, brilliantly written–a work of major importance for today’s world.  
Tickling the Body Politic: Swami Beyondananda   Swami's hilarious and pertinent live performance DVD, where he manages to touch the body politic -- appropriately -- in all its sensitive spots, and still leave 'em laughing. Perfect for in home parties for voter registration, education and inspiration - and it will still be funny long after Election Day.  
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, is a technology that uses computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items from a distance. And as this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother's short leash. Compiling massive amounts of research with firsthand knowledge, Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners' strategies to imbed these trackers on everything-from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves-and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent. It also urgently encourages consumers to take action now-to protect their privacy and civil liberties before it's too late.  
Part family comedy and part horrifying investigative reportage, Blue Vinyl can make one simultaneously laugh and shiver with fear in the same, deceptively low-key moments. Documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand, upset that her parents are re-siding their house with blue vinyl, sets out (with co-director Daniel B. Gold) to discover how vinyl is made and why, according to some scientists, it is the most hazardous of synthetic materials. Along the way, she meets industry representatives who tell her the key chemical ingredient in vinyl, chloride, is no more toxic than table salt. She also travels to Venice, Italy, to meet with families of vinyl factory workers dead or dying from chemical exposure, and she visits an intrepid, Louisiana attorney who has sued American vinyl manufacturers on behalf of severely injured former employees. The tale is grim, yet the often on-screen Helfand's approach is folksy and calm--less so when her skeptical parents reject, in several funny scenes, even empirical data about a product they find so convenient. --Tom Keogh  
The Boy with Green Hair. This movie should be seen by all, young and old, alike. Let There Be Peace!  
Fundamentalism has gotten America into a mess, but religion can once again help the country finds its soul. The Republican version of Jimmy Carter, former Missouri senator John Danforth, started an important national discussion when he criticized right-wing extremists in his party for their certainty that God was on their side. By adding his own voice to the discussion, Carter reminds us of a time when religion was tied to such virtues as humility and to such practices as soul-searching. He may not have been one of our best presidents, but he is undoubtedly one of our finest human beings.  
In their eye-opening, soul-prodding look at the excess of American society, the authors of Affluenza include two quotations that encapsulate much of the book: T.S. Eliot's line "We are the hollow men / We are the stuffed men," which opens one of this book's chapters, and a quote from a newspaper article that notes "We are a nation that shouts at a microwave oven to hurry up." If these observations make you grimace at your own ruthless consumption or sigh at the hurried pace of your life, you may already be ill. Read on.  
Although "the purchase of African Americans was outlawed many years ago," ayo writes, "black people are once again a valued and popular commodity." In her view, they appeal especially to whites who rely on their relationships with blacks as evidence of their own progressive politics or simply to inject some sorely needed "cool" into their lives. Ayo has in mind real-life versions of George Costanza, the "Seinfeld" sidekick who spent an entire episode in search of a black person whom he could pass off as his friend.  
"It is a fascinating story and a deeply moving one. And it is a story that should make people pause and think--think not only about the Germans, but also about themselves."--Ernest S. Pisko, Christian Science Monitor  
The most brilliant Action Figure ever! What better way to celebrate the man who is probably the most important thinker of the 20th century than with an action figure? Dressed for intense classroom action, this 5" tall, hard plastic Einstein Action Figure stands with a piece of chalk in his hand, poised to explain relativity or do battle with the forces of entropy. Some quality time with Albert might just inspire you and your other action figures to think a little bit more deeply. Features realistic disheveled hair.  
The basis of human nourishment is obvious: it is raw plant foods. And Nature presents this to us in abundance. Raw plant foods are simple, easy to find, fun to eat, enjoyable, contain thousands of health-giving nutrients, and conform to the biological design of the human digestive system. The sun is the source of all life and raw plant foods represent the purest form of transformed sun energy.  
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. Mark Twain Reality's Bitch, Doomsday's Child: Subscribe to Rb's Newsletter
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Good Germans & Good Americans: A Few Peas Short of a Pod   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

The Bush juggernaut continues on its rampage. How to explain this? One could point to a deficient mass-media, to the soporific drug of TV, to having to work so hard that for many there's no time for activism, to education aimed at taking tests and not how to think, to the residual fear-fallout from 9/11, to a penchant for fantasy over reality, to the timid and unimaginative Democratic leadership, to scandal-fatigue, etc. But I would suggest that even more disturbing answers can be found by examining recent history. To Busheviks, there is pure Evil and pure Good, and because we are pure Good, especially blessed by God, we can do anything in the service of God's plan, which only we understand. If you're not with us, you're against us; get on board or get out of the way.
Insane Clown Bushies Give Johnnies Their Guns   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

Joseph Bonham was an American soldier. He lost both of his arms and legs and all of his face to an artillery shell. He could not see or hear or speak. Other than that he was healthy and lucid. That was Joe's nightmare. He could be kept alive a long time. Joe remained an anonymous torso until his head tapping was recognized as Morse code. When his message was finally understood, it was assumed he'd gone insane. Joe asked to be put on exhibit so that children and parents and teachers and politicians and preachers and patriots of every stripe could have a close-up look at war's leavings. It was the only way he could give his nightmare meaning. Joseph Bonham's request was denied. It was not in the best interest of the country to foist him on an unsuspecting public. He died an "unknown soldier." Two days before her son launched the invasion, Barbara Bush appeared on Good Morning America. "Why should we hear about body bags and death and how many? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that."
Viced-Up Dick Drunk As a Skunk & Loaded for [Caged] Bear   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

Secret Service agents guarding Dick Cheney when he shot Harry Whittington say Cheney was "clearly inebriated" at the time of the shooting. Agents observed several members of the hunting party, including the Vice Resident, consuming alcohol before and during the hunting expedition, and Cheney exhibited "visible signs" of impairment, including slurred speech and erratic actions. Cheney was drunk when he gunned down his friend and the day-and-a-half delay in allowing law enforcement officials on the ranch where the shooting occurred gave the hunting party time to sober up. "This was a Texas hunt," says White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it." One agent at the scene has been placed on administrative leave and another requested reassignment. A memo written by one agent has been destroyed.
Americans Thankful for Steady Supply of Muslims to Kill & Maim   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

The US provides six times more military aid to the Middle East than it does economic aid, and arms sales are America's number one export to the region, strengthening militarization and weakening support for human needs. While threatening war at the mere possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons, the United States maintains close strategic ties to Israel, Pakistan, and India despite their already-existing nuclear arsenals. The US has categorically rejected calls for the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone and the US Navy brought tactical nuclear weapons into Middle Eastern waters. In a part of the world repeatedly conquered by outside powers over the centuries, the growing US military presence created an increasing amount of resentment. It is no accident that a region so heavily militarized would give rise to militant religious extremism.
Americans Thankful for Steady Supply of Muslims to Fear & Loathe   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

This outcry is phony from beginning to end, starting with the reasons for the alleged "security risk" involved in doing business with a company based in the Arab world. Yet it seems as if the security-conscious aren't against outsourcing when Israel is the beneficiary: Israeli companies, as well as input from the Israeli government, dominate the homeland security industry. The newly installed congressional phone system is franchised to an Israeli company, yet no one is making a stink about security. It wouldn't be the first time a corporate entity tried to take out the competition by raising a bogus threat to "national security." Led by a coalition of mindless opportunists, anti-Arab racists, and warmongering politicians, an effort to scare the public into making ruthless "entrepreneurs" obscenely rich by giving them a monopoly on America's port facilities shows every sign of apparent success. The victors will be laughing all the way to the bank.
America's War on Happiness: Put the Yayas Down & Step Off   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

Why is it that some would prevent others from enjoying their stay on this planet? Perhaps Mencken said it best with this quote: "It is the fundamental theory of recent American law that the average citizen is half-witted and not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts." We have been invaded by people who seem to believe that they know what is best for everyone else. They cannot stand the thought that every citizen has the same rights as the next. It is about control, plain and simple. It is hard to control the masses when everyone is off in so many directions pursuing happiness in their own way. They feel they must limit choices and definitions of happiness. They do this by demonizing behavior and creating boogie men out of those who know and live the true meaning of the pursuit of happiness.
America Goes to War to Defend State of Denial & Delusions of Grandeur   22nd FEBRUARY 2006

Will we ever put ourselves in a position to honestly evaluate facts, to confirm what we are told about the events that unfold before our very eyes? War only exists because we are so gullible.  We are blindly patriotic. Why did CNN begin airing a documentary about women in Afghanistan a month prior to 9-11? A war propaganda film? Why did CNN break its news of the events unfolding in New York immediately after 9-11 and take their audience to Kabul to report a leader trying to overthrow the Taliban had been killed? What link could there have possibly been between events in New York and Middle-Eastern terrorists on planes, who not only were not Afghani, but were not identified till days later? The FBI claims it didn’t know of these fellows.
Raggedy Ann Promotes GOP Rules, Traditions & Values   21st FEBRUARY 2006

When it comes to something as simple as voting, hard-core conservative pundit Ann Coulter is a tad confused. Palm Beach County records show Coulter voted last week in Palm Beach's council election. Problem is: She cast her ballot in a precinct 4 miles north of the precinct where she owns a home — and that could be a big no-no. Florida statutes make it a third-degree felony to vote knowingly in the wrong precinct. Lying on a voter's registration can cost up to $5,000 and five years behind bars. Neither Coulter, who made merciless fun of Palm Beach County voters in the 2000 presidential elections, nor her agents could be reached for comment.
Leave No Rumor Behind: Where Does the CIA Get Such Crazy Ideas   21st FEBRUARY 2006

It was the imminent publication of Risen's book that triggered the Times' decision to go ahead with his articles about the NSA's domestic wiretapping program, a story the paper sat on for a year at the request of the White House. But "State of War" is about more than supralegal surveillance. It's an agonizing litany of how mismanagement, political infighting -- with Cheney, Rumsfeld and their neo-con friends at the forefront, the resident frequently and purposely left out of the loop -- and good, old-fashioned pig ignorance led to a series of monstrous intelligence gaffes.
Try Not to Laugh: Bush Cares About Environment & Alternative Energy   21st FEBRUARY 2006

Two weeks ago, 32 workers, including eight researchers, were laid off at the Energy Department's Renewable Energy Laboratory. The lab helps develop the renewable energy technologies the resident is promoting. Then, just before Bush's planned visit to the lab, the government restored the jobs. His trip to the laboratory is part of a three-state trip to promote the energy proposals he outlined in his State of the Union address. President of the National Environmental Trust, said the decision restores only $5 million of the $28 million shortfall at the lab that forced the layoffs.
Trying Not to Laugh: the World's Greatest Athletes   21st FEBRUARY 2006

Comparing Gumbel to Limbaugh is like comparing apples to an obese drug addict. Gumbel is an award-winning journalist who has had a foot in the world of hard sports commentary for three decades. Limbaugh is a gaseous hop-head who once asked, "Why do all composite criminal photos look like Jesse Jackson?" and telling an African-American caller to his show - who somehow got through the screeners - to "Take the bone out of your nose." Gumbel hosts a critically lauded show. Limbaugh was hired by ESPN as a gimmick by their ownership group, Disney, as part of their mission to make America stupider.
Consumers Adjust to Change: Give Me Gas or I Will Kill You   21st FEBRUARY 2006

One hundred years ago, fundamentally defective economic theories led to two world wars with millions killed.  Today, the same defective economic theories are leading to a new generation of world wars with billions killed. America is wholly dependent upon oil-producing Muslim nations like Indonesia. It happened twenty-five years ago when OPEC quadrupled world oil prices and plunged America into "stagflation." Non-OPEC producers had a HUGE oil cushion to fall back on and simply pumped bankers out of their economic crisis. But that was 1973 -- the oil cushion is gone.  Muslim nations will soon control virtually all of the world’s oil exports.  Since neither capital nor labor can create energy, the next round of energy-shortage-induced stagflation will leave central bankers helpless and they will seek military solutions to their economic problems.
High Crimes & Treason Against the USA: Congress Is in Session   20th FEBRUARY 2006

Freedom has been on its deathbed for about five years, mortally-wounded in the post-9/11 frenzy that put political expediency above the Constitution and gave paranoia supremacy over what used to be guarantees of individual rights for all Americans. Freedom went on the endangered-species list following the 9/11 attacks when Bush turned to Ashcroft and said "take whatever steps you feel are necessary to make sure something like this never, ever, happens again." Ashcroft crafted his vision of a new America, ruled by a police state reporting to a totalitarian government, and called it the USA Patriot Act. It sailed through a shell-shocked Congress like a fraternity on a panty raid and gave Bush and his gang of thugs all they needed to create a Gestapo, detaining citizens without due course, spying without warrants and setting the country on a headlong rush to ruin.
Cheney & Friends Hunt from Bed in Jammies During Sleepover   20th FEBRUARY 2006

Unanswered questions remain about Cheney's hunting adventure, which seems to have been conducted from the comfort of luxury SUVs. Were these quail wild or pen-raised captives, which are reportedly much easier to hit? Pen-raised birds, according to some veteran Texas quail hunters, are essentially "sitting ducks" that don't have enough native sense to fly to cover when flushed. They fly off in all directions instead of maintaining discipline and seeking group shelter. Cheney is no stranger to canned hunts. In 2003 he went (via Humvee) to a shooting party in Pennsylvania at the Rolling Rock Club. Gamekeepers there released 500 pen-raised pheasants, and Cheney's party, which included former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) as well as several influential Republican fundraisers, shot 417 of them. Cheney himself got at least 70. Apparently that wasn't enough slaughter, because after lunch the group went after pen-raised sitting mallard ducks.
Medical Care No Longer Wasted on Poor and Elderly Parasites   20th FEBRUARY 2006

Faced with a $650 million shortfall for his state's Medicaid program, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen cut 191,000 low-income people from the struggling health plan. Tennessee is the only state that won't pay to cover a widely used class of anti-seizure medications for 560,000 poor adult Medicaid enrollees. Cuts continue to ripple through the state.
America Closing Up Shop: Going Out of Business Sale Now in Progress   20th FEBRUARY 2006

Wilkes was an obscure contractor and lobbyist until his name surfaced as one of two defense contractors alleged to have given $2.4 million in cash and other benefits in return for government business. One of Wilkes's companies received more than $80 million in Pentagon contracts from earmarks slipped into spending bills. Business was so good for Wilkes that he allegedly gave Cunningham $100,000 in 2000, according to the former congressman's recent plea agreement. The following year he expanded his business by setting up his own lobbying firm, Group W Advisors, in the Washington suburbs, to pursue earmarks.
More Chosen People Humbly Doing God's Work   20th FEBRUARY 2006

Israeli soldiers nearly killed a baby while throwing a grenade in a home. Then they forced the family out in the cold, demolished the house and arrested the father. Nineteen year old Ahmed Ibrahim Zaid was attacked and severely beaten by Israel's Occupation Forces. It is hard work attempting to disable the "terror infrastructure"...one wonders why the New York Times doesn't cover the daring exploits of the Israeli Occupation Forces which today included destroying Samir Abu Maria father's house and taking twenty-seven year old Hebron resident Samir away...and breaking into a northern Hebron house to take away Mohammed Salbi...and exploding the gates to Mousa Al Ferikh's house...hoping to bag a few terrorists. In order to continue their brutal siege, where Israel's "elite" forces killed two sixteen year old members of the "terrorist infrastructure," yesterday foreign UNRWA employees were asked to leave the camp immediately.


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