Daily Archives: August 16, 2013

Chomsky: The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You’ll Never Hear About It in Our ‘Free Press’

http://www.alternet.org/visions/chomsky-us-poses-number-threats-future-humanity-our-youll-never-hear-about-it-our-free-press

In a powerful speech, Chomsky lays out how the majority of US policies are practically opposite of what wide swathes of the public wants.   August 15, 2013 |

The following is a transcript of a recent speech delivered Noam Chomsky in Bonn, Germany, at DW Global Media Forum, Bonn, Germany. You can read more speeches by Chomsky here.

I’d like to comment on topics that I think should regularly be on the front pages but are not – and in many crucial cases are scarcely mentioned at all or are presented in ways that seem to me deceptive because they’re framed almost reflexively in terms of doctrines of the powerful.

In these comments I’ll focus primarily on the United States for several reasons: One, it’s the most important country in terms of its power and influence. Second, it’s the most advanced – not in its inherent character, but in the sense that because of its power, other societies tend to move in that direction. The third reason is just that I know it better. But I think what I say generalizes much more widely – at least to my knowledge, obviously there are some variations. So I’ll be concerned then with tendencies in American society and what they portend for the world, given American power.

American power is diminishing, as it has been in fact since its peak in 1945, but it’s still incomparable. And it’s dangerous. Obama’s remarkable global terror campaign and the limited, pathetic reaction to it in the West is one shocking example. And it is a campaign of international terrorism – by far the most extreme in the world. Those who harbor any doubts on that should read the report issued by Stanford University and New York University, and actually I’ll return to even more serious examples than international terrorism.

According to received doctrine, we live in capitalist democracies, which are the best possible system, despite some flaws. There’s been an interesting debate over the years about the relation between capitalism and democracy, for example, are they even compatible? I won’t be pursuing this because I’d like to discuss a different system – what we could call the “really existing capitalist democracy”, RECD for short, pronounced “wrecked” by accident. To begin with, how does RECD compare with democracy? Well that depends on what we mean by “democracy”. There are several versions of this. One, there is a kind of received version. It’s soaring rhetoric of the Obama variety, patriotic speeches, what children are taught in school, and so on. In the U.S. version, it’s government “of, by and for the people”. And it’s quite easy to compare that with RECD.

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Drought Forces Restrictions On Colorado River Water Releases

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/16/212527903/drought-forces-restrictions-on-colorado-river-water-releases

August 16, 2013 4:00 AM 3 min 56 sec

http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/me/2013/08/20130816_me_17.mp3

Relentless drought will force the government to cut back on water releases between Glen Canyon and Lake Mead. It’s the first time that’s happened since dams were built on the Colorado River. Reduction starts next year, and the announcement gives the 40 million water users in the Southwest time to plan.

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Why This Year’s Blueberry Bounty Has Growers Feeling Blue

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/08/16/210514759/why-this-years-blueberry-bounty-has-growers-feeling-blue
August 16, 2013 2:52 AM from 3 min 33 sec

Picker Erika Nicolas Garcia, 18, fills her pail at a blueberry farm near Hillsboro, Ore.

Anna King/Northwest Public Radio
The blueberries on your morning cereal are less expensive this year. That’s because farmers are harvesting a bumper crop this summer. It’s good news for berry lovers, but the bounty might wreck some blueberry growers.

In Richland, Wash., Genoa Blankenship pops open the lid on a box of blueberries. Her three young children struggle to stop wiggling. Blankenship loves the idea of healthy snacks that are easy to take along to soccer practice.

“We tend to eat blueberries at least twice a day. We start the day with blueberries at breakfast and then we end the day with blueberries and end with a bedtime snack of blueberries and oatmeal,” says Blankenship.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre130
Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120
Food-Matters http://Food-Matters.TV

Herzog Plumbs Guilt And Loss Wrought By Texting And Driving

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/08/16/212337606/herzog-plumbs-guilt-and-loss-wrought-by-texting-and-driving

by NPR Staff August 16, 2013 2:55 AM 4 min 52 sec

Reggie Shaw killed two men while he was texting on a Utah highway. He now speaks to groups about the dangers of texting and driving.

ShareATT/YouTube

For decades, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog has introduced audiences to subjects that stick in one’s mind long after the credits have rolled, from painted more than 30,000 years ago, to the … or a man who believed he had a .

His latest film is no less thought-provoking, but it’s a bit of a departure for Herzog — it’s a public service announcement. He created the haunting documentary, From One Second To The Next, after AT&T Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile approached him to make a film about the risks of texting and driving.

….(read more).

Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120