Consumerism's petty liberties have made us inhumanly passive. We've forgotten what freedom is, and how easily it is lost.
Grauniad: Labour has accused the government of using the centenary of the start of the first world war to "sow political division" after the education secretary, Michael Gove, tore into "leftwing academics" for peddling unpatriotic "myths" about the role of British soldiers and generals in the conflict. Gove's original article in the Daily Mail.
State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax. The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
"I want to encourage mainstream journalists to speak up when they discover their companies are misleading the people, doing PR for corporations and governments and disguising it as journalism."
Former CNN journalist Amber Lyon is speaking out against the network after it decided for "editorial reasons" not to air its documentary iRevolution on CNN International. Lyon worked on a 13-minute segment interviewing democratic activists in Bahrain, who risked their own safety to be heard. Glenn Greenwald reveals that at the same time, CNN was being paid by the Bahrain Economic Development Board to produce pro-state coverage as part of its "Eye On" series. A senior producer complained to Lyon about the nature of her coverage: "We are dealing with blowback from Bahrain govt on how we violated our mission, etc."
Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory to face that face. But who is the true anarchist?
The Chancellor of the UK coalition government has announced the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review, setting budgets for government departments to 2014/15. Total savings will be £18 billion. Local government funding will be cut 7% each year for the next four years. The Arts Council budget will be cut by 30%. 490,000 jobs are forecast to be lost over the period in the public sector. The average cuts for each government department will be 19%. The speech. HM Treasury Spending Review pages. Guardian summary. Independent article. Nick Robinson's blog for the BBC. Make your own cuts with the Guardian's interactive tool. Graphic showing 09/10 government spending (that is, before the cuts).
This madness has to stop, and the fastest way of doing that is to elect John Kerry, not because he will be different but because in most key areas - Iraq, the "war on drugs", Israel/Palestine, free trade, corporate taxes - he will be just as bad. An opinion piece by Naomi Klein in today's Guardian.
I feel like I have stepped through the looking glass.... first, we have the truly surprising but welcome sight of Michael Howard celebrating cultural diversity in Britain, then we have David Goodhart, editor of Prospect, apparently a magazine of the left, suggesting that perhaps we have quite enough immigrants in the UK for the moment, thank you. Goodhart's article is very provocative and very important, it's a debate that needs to be had and which has most certainly and entertainingly been joined by Trevor Phillips. I love a schism!
Trusting The Redcoats: How many independent-minded Americans actually rely on the BBC (specially the World Service) for accurate coverage of American politics? Not to mention The Guardian. Is it a strictly an elitist, liberal/left-wing phenomenon? What does it mean? What does it say about better-informed liberal newspapers and media of the U.S.? If so, why aren't like-minded Europeans just as cosmopolitan and, say, pay the same attention to news sources like The New York Times, NPR and others, rather than stolidly sticking to their own national staples?
Well, ha ha ha, and yah, boo said Christopher Hitchens to those who would oppose the war on November 14. At this time, of course it was assumed by Hitchens and his ilk that we had won, all that remained was to install "our sons of bitches", and rub the peacenicks faces in it. Now it seems very far from over and Hitchens and others with similar views have articulated their thoughts in the Guardian. It makes interesting reading. As does this article on how it is possible to love the U.S but not George Bush.
Limp Liberals - Aintchasickovem? A really fine left liberal answer to Berkely and all the faint hearts. And it fits right in with my own thinking. It's time we stood up and got counted for human rights against any "culture" or "religion" that denies them. Polly Tonybee writes an excellent and timely piece. Liberals too, should not "go wobbly" out of a plain cowardly "respect" for reactionary strains of Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What do you think?
Archer sentenced to 4 years... This may not mean much to those from outside the UK but there will be celebrations in much of England tonight as the 'Teflon Tory' finally takes fall. Sometimes justice is done, even to politicians with immense arrogance, money and no apparent morals. The scale of the web of deceit is fascinating and the ending quite poetic.
"You don't have to burn books now," says Thomas. "You just press the delete key." Two unabashedly partisan reports of the Bush administration's clandestine campaign to "tighten up" anything from online government sources dealing with the development of Alaskan mineral resources. We've done the debate on Alaska, but what about the ability to amend online records? The old administration's sites are meant to be preserved by law, but plenty appears to have been deleted in the name of "polishing": "We changed value-laden words like 'destroy' to 'impact.'" Newspeak in action? Should government-run sites be required to carry a Changelog?
'The deadliest threat facing democracy today?' Noreena Hertz thinks that governments' steady withdrawal from running their own countries' affairs and the concessions made to big business are leading to a society which has lost faith in the political process. I guess there are a few people in California at the moment who'd agree.
"the new director of the Environment Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, has proposed that the Florida ballots be sealed for 10 years. "
"the new director of the Environment Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, has proposed that the Florida ballots be sealed for 10 years. " Fuck the Christmas ceasefire. While the Anglo-Saxon world stuffs itself comatose, the forces of conservatism are busy mobilising. Yum.
"If Dubya steals the White House, American democracy will be a joke." A vehemently liberal polemic from the UK, which I don't necessarily agree with, but still: "President Dubya will be barren of legitimacy at home and devoid of moral authority abroad. The Saddam Husseins of the planet, every petty, vicious dictator around the world, will scoff in the face of America."
"Missing you already..." A great column from the Guardian on the Clinton legacy: "Today America is choosing between two half-Clintons. They can have a version of his smarts, in Al Gore, or a version of his warmth, in George W Bush. Clinton wants the voters to choose Gore, of course, to protect his legacy. But if America picks Bush, that will be a kind of compliment, too."