10 Hours of Noam Chomsky

No-Fly Zone = Airstrikes?

I’m very nervous about the airstrikes the US (and our trusty omnipresent but amorphous “coalition”) is launching on Libya. Aren’t airstrikes a different thing from enforcing a no-fly zone? This is not a rhetorical question; I want to know. (TPCQ: “Dad, do you even know what ‘rhetorical’ means?” “Do I know what rhetorical means!?”)

The Arab League supports the UN-resolved no-fly zone, but AL chief Amr Moussa has already spoken out against the airstrikes:

Protecting civilians does not need military operations. Protecting civilians needs suitable action such as a no-fly zone. This is what we asked for from the very beginning to avoid any additional developments.

Why do I feel like the only person who doesn’t like where this is headed? Why don’t I hear lots of other people complaining about an acute sense of deja vu? I just don’t trust US policy planners when they start talking about how much they love democracy and want to protect human rights.

Apparently Andrew Sullivan is also nervous, but for slightly different reasons. Matthew Rothschild also wrote an interesting piece recently. And — what a shock — Noam Chomsky has something to say about it. (And he gives a shout-out to Madison. Woo!)

TimeWaster™

Sometimes US foreign policy feels like a big ruse. (One of my students recently used that word, and of course it reminded me of this.)

Today I’m listening to: DemocracyNow!

Mines, Methane, and Mendacity

I’m really sick of this. Every time a mine disaster happens and fifteen poverty-stricken people — who work harder every single day of their lives than I will ever work in an entire week — die a slow death from gas or starvation or being crushed by rocks (instead of a much slower death from black lung), I immediately think: I wonder how many criminal fines and negligent safety violations the company was guilty of last year?

Well, in the case of Massey Energy in 2009, the answer was $382,000. And get this: The mine in Montcoal (I swear that’s really the name of the town) had been cited in years past for improper methane ventilation — which is probably what killed the 25 miners this time.

It’s a pathetic commentary on the criminal passivity of the American people — and the energy corporations who feed us — that we allow these mining companies to cut so many corners on safety, when the inevitable result is this kind of death and suffering and tragedy. When the free market leads over and over to this sort of bloodshed, it’s a broken system. Period.

We’re Bad Leftists

Tonight Diane and I are staying home instead of going to see Noam Chomsky live in concert. It feels silly to say that I’m just really tired, but dammit, I’m really tired! And there’s a very good chance that I will be able to either (A) predict with creepy accuracy or (B) find online most of what Prof. Chomsky will say in his talk.

“But the 9/11 conspiracy questions!” People are saying. “You won’t have to listen to him fend off the 9/11 conspiracy people!” Yeah, well, I can tune into WORT for that.

Facebook Killed the Blogging Star

I get a lot of spam comments on this blog. Seems like every day I get another email informing me that a comment has been made, and what do I want to do with it? Most of the time the comments are designed to look specific, but of course they could refer to anything at all: “This is a really good point you made, and I love how you worded it.”

So then I wonder why I’m not getting any real comments. I suppose it could be because I post so sporadically. Or maybe the WordPress system is more arduous than what I had on the old site. Or maybe people don’t know that I moved over (they subscribed to RSS and missed the post about moving)?

Then I thought about how I post most stuff to Facebook and it’s only when I have a political rant or something Sarah Palin-related that I write here at all. Also, I’m so often worn out from school that I don’t always have lots of energy for this ‘Napse of mine.

Oh, well. Here’s something Sarah Palin-related: JaySmooth from NilDoctrine talking about her.

And that’s not even the TimeWaster™!

TimeWaster™

Check out Pixels, an amazing blend of CG and real-life film. Just magnificent!


Today I’m listening to: SomaFM!