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nellie On December - 18 - 2009

800px-Stilleven_Le_Figaro_-_Cornelis_Winkel.JPGAll week long, we see important stories that the pundits and splashy news sites choose to ignore. Sometimes these stories are the most important of the week. Here’s where un(der)reported news gets noticed.

If you have stories from the week that you think have been buried and may have been missed by fellow Planetarians, here’s the place to post them!

Note to Planetarians
I’ve been gathering news for this Friday article on my own to see if the feature would be popular enough to run every week. After a few weeks, it seems Un(der)reported News has a shelf life. So if anyone sees articles during the week that they would like included in the Friday Edition, please email Un(der)reported News. Thank you bito for starting us off with some submissions this week!

Intelligence Improperly Collected on U.S. Citizens
In February, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence official wrote a “threat assessment” for the police in Wisconsin about a demonstration involving local pro- and anti-abortion rights groups …. That was just one of several cases in the last several years in which the department’s intelligence office improperly collected information about American citizens or lawful United States residents, the documents show.

Same-sex benefits advance, quietly
The bill would place partners of same-sex federal employees on the same footing as spouses when it comes to benefits including health insurance, dental and vision coverage, retirement and disability plans, workers’ compensation and life insurance.

Marijuana is cash crop in Humboldt County, Calif.
Humboldt County — and in particular the college town of Arcata — has become an epicenter for political and legal debate over the unintended consequences of Proposition 215, California’s “Compassionate Use Act” for marijuana.

Since passage of the act in 1996, medical marijuana users have streamed into this county, a liberal and libertarian bastion that decades ago began attracting pot growers.

Bush birth control policies helped fuel Africa’s baby boom
On a continent where fewer than one in five married women use modern contraception, an explosion of unplanned pregnancies is threatening to bury Adongo’s family and a generation of Africans under a mountain of poverty.

Can Obama Face the ‘Unspeakable’?
In this eloquent, remarkable book, longtime peace activist and theologian Jim Douglass uses Thomas Merton, a prominent Catholic monk, to elevate the study of Kennedy’s presidency to a spiritual as well as physical battle with the warmongers of his time.

‘When they come for us’
I wrote stories. That is what we do as we attempt to hold up a mirror in which those accorded the public’s trust may see themselves stripped of veneer. And when we succeed in laying one brick on the path toward a better world we have done our duty well. We are trained to see through a dispassionate lens.

NRDC Highlights Obama’s Environmental Record on Eve of Copenhagen Trip
President Obama heads to the climate summit in Copenhagen this week having already made substantial progress on environmental issues during his first year in office, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Wounded airman’s surgery holds hope for diabetes patients
In what medical officials say is a first, the bullet-scarred pancreas from a service member who was shot in Afghanistan was flown from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington to the University of Miami, where insulin-producing cells were salvaged from the organ and flown back to be dropped into the man’s liver.

‘You lie!’ makes Yale’s list of top quotes of 2009
The list is compiled by Fred Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at Yale Law School. His top quote: “Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” by a speaker at a town hall meeting in South Carolina in July. “That struck me as embodying the friction and polarization on the role of government,” Shapiro says.

Torture in Afghanistan: UK Court Orders Release of Evidence
The key to the pressure exerted by Reprieve is torture and, specifically, what the British government knew about the torture of both men while in US custody. Mohamed’s case is well-known, as he was rendered to Morocco by the CIA in July 2002, three months after his capture in Pakistan, where he was reportedly subjected to torture for 18 months.

SEIU: Obama Workplace Immigration Enforcement Flawed
The Department of Homeland Security has recently decided to escalate such audits of immigration status. But the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is pressing the department to reconsider, arguing that the audits are deeply flawed and ineffective.

What Happens When Your Country Drowns?
This is the Tuvalu Christian Church, the heart of a migrant community from what may be the first country to be rendered unlivable by global warming. Tuvalu is the fourth-smallest nation on Earth: six coral atolls and three reef islands flung across 500,000 square miles of ocean, about halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

The Bank Job
One of the biggest disconnects on Wall Street today is between the way Goldman Sachs sees itself (they’re the smartest) and the way everyone else sees Goldman (they’re the smartest, greediest, and most dangerous). Questioning C.E.O. Lloyd Blankfein, C.O.O. Gary Cohn, and C.F.O. David Viniar, among others, the author explores how their firm navigated the collapse of September 2008, why it has already set aside $16.7 billion for compensation this year, and which lines it’s accused of crossing.

Categories: Featured, News & Politics

47 Responses so far.

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    • bitohistory says:

      J’Avaz, Hey Girl. Hope all is good today.
      O’Really and Laura-- Who can pass the “Purity Test”?

      Saw this on Chairman Steele site:
      “The United Teabagger Liberation Front.”

      Are they planning to kidnap Patty Hearst ?

    • Scheherazade says:

      Yes I saw that too. It really just shows that those two will even turn against each other if given the chance. It doesn’t make much sense at first, but when you stop and consider the personalities of the two people involved it starts to make sense in ways. At least it makes as much sense as one can when you’re an extreme winger.

  1. bitohistory says:

    10. “You give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” Jesse Ventura, during a CNN interview May 11.

    Ole Jessie had some real gems on torture during that book tour.

  2. bitohistory says:

    Nellie, I look forward to this weekly post and once again you did an excellent job. If you take this away I will never speak to you. :-)

  3. Scheherazade says:

    Nellie, I just clicked “publish.” Should that take me to another step, or is that it?

  4. nellie says:

    For Scheherazade and anyone else who hasn’t posted an article yet, but would like to, AdLib has written a step by step FAQ at this link:


    Happy posting!

  5. javaz says:

    Powerful article about Jim Douglass and we will definitely look for that book at the library.

    This quote from the article is especially profound:

    “”Merton coined the term

    • nellie says:

      javaz — that was my top pick story. I think I’m going to have to read that book, too. It’s a pretty bleak view of what faces our incoming presidents, but something the public should know and keep in mind. And figure out some way to change it.

  6. Scheherazade says:

    Please forgive my manners, everyone.

    Good morning to you all! :)

    It’s wonderful to see people I’ve missed so much. I appreciate your warm and gracious welcome to me here.

    • nellie says:

      Good morning back!

      Scheherazade — you posted a long comment under Morning Blog (an email you sent) that might make a good article for the front page. Just a thought.

      Good to see you!

      • javaz says:

        I agree -- hint~hint -- that it would make a very good article.

        It’s wonderful to have yet another talented, thoughtful member on The Planet!

        • Scheherazade says:

          You’re far too kind. If anything I post is to your liking feel free to do with it as you please. :)

          Hopefully moveon.org can raise enough funds to make life for Joe Lieberman unpleasant since he is now taking it upon himself to hold the nation hostage.

      • Scheherazade says:

        Oh thank you kindly. :) Feel free to post it where you wish. Let’s just make sure that we tell Reid to put some serious pressure on Lieberman for a change. Letting him get away with this is just unacceptable.

        • nellie says:

          Should I post it on your behalf, then? Would you like to post it yourself? Don’t worry about putting in the photos.

          • Scheherazade says:

            I fear I do not know how. :( So if you wish it to be there then by all means. I can provide more text and eyecandy if you wish.

            • nellie says:

              Scheher — do you see where it says on the right side of the page “Click here to write a post”? It’s right above recent comments.

              The reason I’m gently pushing for you to post is that I have feeling you’ll have a lot of good stuff to say.

              If you click that, you’ll get a page that has a title bar and a text box. Just paste in what you want, and hit PUBLISH. The PPOV editors will take care of the rest. 😀

            • nellie says:

              Yes you can. When you want to edit, you go to the same link, but you hit “posts” (on the left side) and you’ll see a list of the posts. If you have any problem, just post a comment on any thread and someone will chime in to help.

              P.S There’s an FAQ! I totally forgot. Let me post the link at the top.

            • Scheherazade says:

              Oh! Okay… Can I edit it later after publishing?

  7. Emerald1943 says:

    Good morning, PlanetPeople!

    There is a most important and frightening story over at HP that bears bringing to everyone’s attention. It’s a little bit too long to simply copy and paste here, so I am including the link.


    This is about a subject that I have been screaming about for months since I first heard about the Supreme Court case, “corporate personhood” and “free speech” for corporations.

    This little-known and little-publicized case has been virtually buried under the deluge of Tiger Woods’ stories and the rest of the tabloid crap that we are fed on a daily basis by our mainstream media.

    I encourage all PPOV people to read the article and come back here to post about it. Most folks who read it are stunned and shocked at what is happening. It is one of the most frightening stories that I have ever read regarding our democracy in this country!

  8. KQuark says:

    Great job nellie I see this group of stories as an indispensable part of culture on the Planet now.

    I hope we do see immigration reform sooner than later though I know progress is slow on that front. Unfortunately a huge part of that debate will be how we enforce our current laws. While I hate the indiscriminate roundup of undocumented aliens the DHS, ICE and INS must show some competency in enforcement for any immigration bill to succeed.

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, K. Means a lot coming from you.

      • Scheherazade says:

        KQ is a good guy. I still have lots of text files where I’ve saved posts he’s made in the past. They were just so good I couldn’t let them go. Hehe. 😉

        • KQuark says:

          That is the ultimate compliment and I’m humble that someone would keep some of my chicken scratch. I keep good posts and links together all the time for future reference but it’s more likely my bad memory and compulsive need that makes me what to reference articles properly.

          • Scheherazade says:

            Here’s one I still have. :)

            Trolls defend these current realities in our healthcrap system.

            1. You private healthcare coverage can be dropped at anytime.

            2. When you get si ck they usually drop your private healthcare coverage if they can.

            3. When you lose your job you lose your private healthcare after COBRA is over.

            4. When you change jobs you need to change your healthcare insurance plan.

            5. Even if you have private healthcare coverage they refuse coverage and don’t reimburse you.

            6. You can’t get private healthcare coverage if you have a preexisting condition.

            7. The number of uninsured Americans has jumped from 47,000,000 to 52,000,000 since the recession started in Dec 2007.

            For comparison NONE of these problems exist in universal healthcare systems in the rest of the industrialized world. I know you will divert because you have no answers.

    • Scheherazade says:

      KQ :) Hello my dear friend. I’ve nearly sent you an email about a hundred times, but was afraid to bother you. I’ve missed you dearly! How have you been?

      check your email btw…

      • KQuark says:

        I’m still in hospital with only one complication to overcome left. But I’m always optimistic this time they will get it right.

        No body knows there is not a perfect more than what they call me a “no option” heart failure patient. But even on that front I hope stem cell research can help me down the road.

        Email me any time I would love to hear from you.

  9. Scheherazade says:


    Same-sex benefits advance, quietly
    The bill would place partners of same-sex federal employees on the same footing as spouses when it comes to benefits including health insurance, dental and vision coverage, retirement and disability plans, workers

    • KQuark says:

      I just want to say welcome because I missed your moniker before somehow.

      It’s very important to me and most of us that at least in some substantive way all couples are treated equally. Hopefully this will lead to legislation that spreads the equity.

      • Scheherazade says:

        Psst! You know me already 😛 silly boy

        and thank you for the kind words too :)

        I’ve just sent some email to your yahoo account. 😉

  10. javaz says:

    Thank you once again, Nellie, for an excellent compilation.

    About the Copenhagen summit, these words by President Obama disturb me:


    • KQuark says:

      The huge rift is between the East (mainly China) and Europe on this issue and less with the US. Our position has always been in the middle but now is closer to Europe’s, save for dealing with Congress. The president is reluctant to promise too much in this case because I think he’s come to the realization of how much conservadems in Congress will make any change more incremental.

    • nellie says:

      Good morning, javaz!

      My only push back would be, if we can’t get perfect, isn’t less than perfect our next best goal? Sometimes perfect is not possible. I think striving for the best we can get is the best we can do.

      Bush Jr. set the bar striving for what was the most destructive. I don’t think this president is following that example.

    • Scheherazade says:

      I realize that nothing can be perfect, but why is Obama asking us all to accept less-than-perfect instead of striving for the best that we can?

      You know I’ve been thinking that too. I expect he’s trying for some form of triangulation, but IMO that’s just not the way to go. Clinton tried that and we ended up with DOMA, DADT, and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. A more left-leaning agenda is what we need, and it needs to be pushed through Congress with boldness.

    • Scheherazade says:

      I’ve been hopeful about the summit. I’d like to think things still can turn out for the better here.

      Obama, Wen offer no new emissions cuts at summit

      I’d say we’ll be hearing from Senator Kerry today about the Cap & Trade legislation in light of these developments.

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