No, Putin Isn’t Following ‘Reagan Playbook’ in Ukraine–Thank God

Death squad victims, El Salvador (cc photo: John Hoagland)

When the Washington Post’s David Ignatius writes a column headlined “Putin Steals the CIA’s Playbook on Anti-Soviet Covert Operations,” is that supposed to be a criticism or a compliment?


Dubious Math in the Case for Amazon’s ‘Evil’

In AlterNet‘s article “Is Amazon Evil?” (12/8/10)–reprinted from the Boston Review (11-12/10)–the description of the economics of e-books is seriously dubious. Reporter Onnesha Roychoudhuri writes: If Amazon had asked publishers what they thought about locking in e-book prices at $9.99, it would have been subjected to a chorus of outrage. That’s because the math behind publishing is seldom in a publishers’ favor. The sale of a $20 hardcover nets a large publisher about $10. Royalties run the publisher about $3, and the costs of printing, binding, and paper are a further $2 (more for low-volume titles). Take $1.20 for distribution, […]


Bill Bennett, Please Leave Frederick Douglass Alone

William Bennett at the Values Voter Summit (AlterNet, 9/22/09): I don’t know why more of the African American leadership doesn’t talk about Frederick Douglass…. Probably because of his deep devotion to Lincoln, and his deep devotion to this country. Frederick Douglass at the dedication of the Freedman’s Monument in Memory of Abraham Lincoln (4/14/1876): It must be admitted, truth compels me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we have erected to his memory, Abraham Lincoln was not, in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model. In his interests, in his associations, […]


Some Conspiracy Theories More Equal Than Others

AlterNet‘s Liliana Segura has traced (7/28/09) the “nasty little rumor” that “Barack Hussein Obama is not a legitimate president because he is not really an American citizen” from “the early days of the presidential race” to its current status as “a full-blown conspiracy theory” that does “nonetheless enjoy increasingly high-profile political support, and media coverage ‘9/11 truthers’ could only dream of”: Last week the “birthers” became big news again, after a video emerged showing Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., confronted at a town hall meeting by a woman who angrily accused him of being complicit in the coverup of Obama’s true […]


Community Broadband Fight Continues in N.C.

Bringing us the news that “the North Carolina legislature just sent a bill to study committee (a.k.a shelved it at least until next year) that would have crippled municipal broadband projects in the state,” AlterNet‘s Tana Ganeva (5/6/09) tells “why that’s a really, really good (albeit temporary) thing”: According to a recent study, America ranks 15th in the world in broadband access. This is partly because we have a very large population spread over a very large amount of space. But it is also because private companies don’t care about poor people and refuse to build broadband infrastructure in rural […]