Citizen Radio discusses the Copenhagen protests. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested, beaten, and tear gassed by the police, who have also been using "kettling," i.e. penning protesters as a form of soft censorship. (http://trueslant.com/allisonkilkenny/2009/12/16/copenhagen-climate-activists-reclaim-power/)
These "penned protesters" sometimes lash out at police when they feel they have been marginalized, suppressed, and have no other means of communicating their distress to the world. Jamie talks about how this kind of police-made radicalization is similar to the radicalized Iraqis and Afghans, who fight against the occupying US forces.
Next, a discussion about Tariq Ali's wonderful speech on "President Obama's Afghan-Pak Syndrome":http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/12/7/tariq_ali_obamas_afghan_pak_syndrome. The two excuses for intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to protect Pakistan’s nukes, and women, from the Taliban. Citizen Radio explains why these excuses range from the disingenuous to the untrue.
Why do the terrorists hate us? In part, they may not approve of America's hypocritical nature and imperialist agenda. Example: "Gitmo North," a new "supermax" facility in Thomson, Illinois, that will be the new home of transferred prisoners Guantanamo. None of those moved to Thomson will receive a trial in a real American court, and some will not be charged with any crime at all. (http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/15/gitmo/index.html). Perhaps holding potentially innocent, Muslim men for years without trial pisses off the Iraqis and Afghans that have yet to be arrested.
If that doesn’t piss 'em off, this sure will: The Supreme Court has refused to hear a suit seeking accountability for Guantanamo torture. SCOTUS received an assist from the Obama White House, which had asked the court not to hear the case. (http://trueslant.com/allisonkilkenny/2009/12/15/supreme-court-rules-torture-is-a-foreseeable-consequence/) Instead of holding prisoners for years without trial in Cuba, the US will now do it in America's heartland. This looks (to put it mildly) bad to Muslims, and could result in catastrophic blowback.
A poll from American Progress shows that vast majorities of climate science skeptics are men. They are more likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view." Or as Digby describes them: Highly educated, wealthy, Randian Fox viewers. Citizen Radio discusses the Selfish Republican Syndrome, which emphasizes the role of the individual, selfishness, and paranoia, all thoroughly unnatural traits. A March issue of The New Yorker describes how primates, including humans, are highly social creatures that rely on each other for support, help, and love. (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/03/30/090330fa_fact_gawande)
Now for some good news: The D.C. Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage in the District, a key step in a process that could enable gay couples to marry in the nation's capital by the spring. We’ll have to see if the Catholic Church goes through with its promise to stop feeding homeless people as a form of anti-gay marriage protest. (http://trueslant.com/allisonkilkenny/2009/11/12/catholic-church-threatens-to-stop-feeding-homeless-over-gay-marriage/)
And in "This is so fucked we really don't need to comment on it news:" The U.S. gave up billions in tax money in a deal for Citigroup's bailout repayment. The federal government quietly agreed to allow Citigroup to retain billions of dollars in potential tax payments as part of the deal announced this week to wean the company from the massive taxpayer bailout that helped it survive the financial crisis.
Allison and Jamie discuss Citigroup's influence in the Obama White House as described by Matt Taibbi in his controversial new Rolling Stone feature: (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout/print)
The Washington Post reports that the surge of 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan could be accompanied by a surge of up to 56,000 contractors.
Lastly, Ben Bernanke is the Time Man of the Year. Seriously.
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