Category Archives: News
Harrowing predictions of climate scientists are coming true, as glaciers melt, forests burn, heat waves proliferate and freakish weather strikes in unexpected places. But the propagandists of global-warming denial have succeeded in silencing most politicians and the mainstream press. Written by Robert Parry
Something called a “derecho” – a fast-moving line of thunderstorms – strikes the Washington area knocking out power for days. Massive forest fires ravage Colorado. A record heat wave covers much of the country. The U.S. press treats these events as major stories, but two words are rarely mentioned: “global warming.”
What has become most striking about the growing evidence that climate change is a clear and present danger – indeed an emerging existential threat – is the simultaneous failure of the U.S. news media to deal seriously with the issue, another sign of how the Right can intimidate the mainstream into going silent.
Evan Vucci/AP In Pictures: Extreme weather 2012
We have seen this pattern before, as the Right sets the media agenda by bullying those who threaten its ideological interests. Before the Iraq War, anyone who dared raise questions about the Bush administration’s justifications could expect to be marginalized or worse. Just ask Phil Donahue, Scott Ritter and the Dixie Chicks.
During Ronald Reagan’s presidency, his hard-nosed propagandists dubbed this tactic “controversializing,” that is, anyone who got too much in the way could expect to be subjected to systematic smears and professional deconstruction. With so many right-wing voices willing to say almost anything, it wasn’t hard to intimidate people.
The smart career play was always to retreat when these forces were arrayed against you. Why risk your six- or seven-figure salary on some issue when there are so many other stories that you can work on without all the grief?
“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Mr. Obama said.
Long a proponent of civil unions, Mr. Obama said his views had changed in part because of prodding by friends who are gay and by conversations with his wife and daughters.
“I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient,” Mr. Obama said. “I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.”
Mr. Obama also invoked his Christian faith in explaining his decision.
“The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule — you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said. “And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president.”
Harrison gained a reputation for himself as ‘the quiet Beatle’, often preferring to leave the spotlight to his more vocal band mates. During this time, however, he was the songwriting master behind some of the most highly regarded songs of the band’s career including ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ and the cheeky stab at the tax department who were, at the time, taxing the band 95% because they found themselves in the top earners in the country, ‘Taxman’.
‘When you think about it, the four egos, it’s amazing they did anything because they’re all very strong people,’ producer George Martin said in a BBC Radio Documentary on Harrison.
‘He got a bit fed up because his own music wasn’t recognised, by me as well, I’m guilty. I took the two geniuses and ignored the third,’ he regretfully admitted.
Harrison didn’t start out writing such hugely influential numbers though. In 1958, when the band was known as The Quarrymen, he wrote the band’s very first original song with Paul McCartney (who would later split all of his songwriting royalties with John Lennon). The song ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’ was a Buddy Holly-inspired tune with Lennon on lead vocals.
George’s solo career started before the demise of The Beatles, with his first album ‘Wonderwall Music’, recorded partially in Bombay. It was the soundtrack to a 1968 film ‘Wonderwall’, directed by Harrison himself.
In 1969 he released the experimental album ‘Electronic Sound’, which was entirely composed on the Moog synthesiser, but it was in 1970 after the split of the Beatles when he began to use his solo career as a vehicle for his pop songs releasing the first triple album ever released by a solo artist: ‘All Things Must Pass’ which features some of his most iconic solo songs, including ‘All Things Must Pass’ and ‘My Sweet Lord’.
PORTLAND, OREGON — November 17, 2011 — A police officer deployed pepper spray at SW Yamhill, between the JP Morgan Chase bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square. The photo was taken from the southeast corner of the square, looking toward the intersection of 6th and Yamhill after a day of marching through downtown Portland, Ore., by Occupy Portland participants. People gathered on the east side of the Steel bridge earlier in the morning to demonstrate in support of the Occupy movement, on the day known as N17. Several people were arrested and the march continued over the lower span of the bridge into downtown, where a rally was planned. Later in the day people were arrested in a Wells Fargo branch downtown.
Dorli Rainey, an 84-year-old woman in Seattle, has become a face of the national Occupy Wall Street movement after she was hit with pepper spray during a march.
A graphic photo of the former teacher after she was hit with the chemical irritant went viral, becoming one of the most striking images from the protests that have taken place in cities across the globe.
“It’s a gruesome picture, I’m really not that bad looking,” Rainey said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.
The photograph shows Rainey, wearing a scarf and jacket, being helped by two people. One man is cradling her head in his arms as they walk away from the area.
What’s it like when your grandpa is the richest man in the world? For Nicole Buffett, it means forgoing cable TV and health insurance and making do on $40,000 a year. Here, she dishes on her upbringing and why her grandfather Warren Buffett disowned her.
Nicole Buffett is at home among the neo-hippies who shuffle along the laid-back, tree-lined streets of Berkeley, CA. At an elfin 5 feet tall, clad in a flowing peasant dress and sandals adorned with peace signs, her long hair cascading in ropy dreadlocks to her waist, the 32-year-old abstract painter is just another of the city’s free-thinking, granola-crunching denizens. And yet, she’s a walking oddity. “The first thing most people think of when they hear my last name is money,” she laughs.
Not just money — gobs of it. Nicole Buffett’s grandfather is the legendary investor Warren Buffett, whose $58 billion fortune made him the richest man on the planet, a mantle he seized from Bill Gates last fall. So deep are Buffett’s pockets that when the financial markets cratered in September, the so-called Oracle of Omaha single-handedly buoyed Wall Street (at least for a day) by plunking down $5 billion on troubled investment bank Goldman Sachs. (“Canonize Warren Buffett,” cried one headline on CNBC’s Website.) But there’s a bitter irony to Buffett’s beneficence. Wall Street’s white knight is also an unforgiving hardhead when it comes to his own granddaughter, whom he cut off two years ago after a falling-out. “For him to discard me like that was devastating,” Nicole says matter-of-factly. “It permanently divided our family.”
When Nicole was 4, her singer-songwriter mother married Warren Buffett’s youngest child, Peter, a composer for commercials and films. He later adopted Nicole and her identical twin sister, who were embraced as kin by the larger Buffett family — especially Susan, Warren’s first wife, an avid music lover and cabaret performer. “A lot of people don’t realize that my family is full of artists,” says Nicole. (Susan Buffett, who died in 2004, was an early buyer of Nicole’s art and named Nicole one of “my adored grandchildren” in her will.)