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Archive for November, 2007

Joseph McCarthy

Posted by karmalily on November 30, 2007

For today, a little history lesson. This was actually an assignment for my Turning Points in American History class.

Joe McCarthy was the Republican Senator from Wisconsin for ten years starting in 1947. He started out as a lawyer, but he wasn’t very successful. Originally a Democrat and a supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, he switched to the Republican Party in order to run in an election to become a Circuit Court Judge. He won due to his extremely dirty campaigning, including making accusations that his opponent, Edgar Werner, was senile and had been guilty of financial corruption.

During WWII, McCarthy joined the Marines and used this as a tool in his run for Senate upon his return. He claimed that he had been in thirty-two missions for the Marines, which was a lie. His habits hadn’t changed much since his campaign for circuit court judge. This campaign was just as dirty, but resulted in something much worse. Robert La Follette was accused of war profiteering, and even though it wasn’t true, McCarthy won the election and La Follette ended up committing suicide.

Right from the start McCarthy started to show his ruthlessness. He called for the drafting of striking miners, and said that if they did not agree to go they should be court-martialed and shot. At first McCarthy wasn’t having too much success; people had started to realize he had been lying to them. He consulted a Catholic priest named Edmund Walsh about strategies to help him keep his seat in the Senate, and Walsh suggested going after “communist subversives working in the Democratic administration.”

By setting up a system of information trading with reporter Jack Anderson, McCarthy obtained a list of 205 people he claimed were communists, including some he accused of trading secrets with the Russians. He argued in the Senate that these people were “loyalty risks.”

People were terrified of being accused of communist ties by Joseph McCarthy. People stopped accusing him of lying because he had shown that he could end their careers. The American people were being swept up in his tales of communist spies within the American government. Most people were scared of a communist invasion of the United States because of the Cold War. These accusations and anti-communism became known as “McCarthyism.”

He started to almost make a career out of ruining people’s lives. After accusing Harry Truman of being soft on communism, it was easier for Dwight Eisenhower to win the presidency. When McCarthy accused Johns Hopkins University professor Owen Lattimore of being a Russian spy (which was never proved), Lattimore moved to Europe.

The best example of how harsh McCarthy could be was his treatment of reporter Drew Pearson. Pearson has long been opposed to McCarthy, and wrote an article accusing McCarthy and Louis Budenz (who had been a witness to Lattimore’s suspected communism) of lying. McCarthy decided to retaliate, and said that Pearson was “the voice of international Communism.” Pearson’s radio sponsor pulled out and twelve newspapers cancelled contracts with him, which practically ended his career.

It was inevitable that McCarthy would go too far. After accusing the Secretary of the Army, President Eisenhower became angry. The Army passed revealing information to anti-McCarthy journalists, and the public learned of his true identity. All the power he had accumulated melted away, and in 1957 he died due to an illness related to excessive alcohol consumption.


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Help the environment: don’t eat meat

Posted by karmalily on November 30, 2007

Kathy Freston has an article on AlterNet about switching to a vegetarian diet to help fight global warming. This isn’t the first article AlterNet’s had on the subject, and I’m happy that people are starting to realize that eating meat is detrimental to the environment. And even though I’ll always promote a vegan diet (not just for the earth either – but for the animals!), you don’t have to stop eating meat altogether to help the environment. You can just eat less meat.

Eating Vegetarian is Taking Global Warming Personally

Posted in animal rights | Leave a Comment »

Thousands of injuries not counted by Pentagon

Posted by karmalily on November 29, 2007

At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries…

The data… show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon’s official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327.

20,000 troops not being listed as injuries from the war in Iraq is
huge. The number of injuries and deaths is already too high, but this just shows that US leadership doesn’t want us to know what the real number is. Their thinking is that if everything is going fine, we’ll want to stay there; it’s not working, but that’s what they think.

From USAToday

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Books not laptops

Posted by karmalily on November 29, 2007

One Laptop per Child is a campaign to “provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves” by distributing $100 laptops to kids in developing countries. The plan is to get people to buy laptops to send to places where education is lacking. When I first heard about this project, I thought it was interesting, but then I started thinking. Why go through all the trouble to give these kids laptops? After all, all of us know about computer problems. But what happens if the laptops break? They won’t last forever.

Although there are advantages such as learning to use a computer in an increasingly digital world, it seems to me that books would be a better gift. They last longer, they’re portable, probably more durable, and still offer education to kids that badly need it.

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The media’s roll in the presidency

Posted by karmalily on November 28, 2007

All Things Democrat has a great post on how the media is essentially choosing the president for us. It’s a little long but it’s a great read.

Are the Media Choosing the Next President?

They’re right on the point. They are choosing our next president. A lot of Americans trust the media to give them the truth, and they don’t think that maybe they should get a second opinion.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

What else would you expect?

Posted by karmalily on November 28, 2007

UnHolyWars has a post about how “Afghanistan is fast slipping back into the hands of the Taliban.”

Senior British and U.S. military commanders privately admit that the situation in the country is becoming from bad to worse.

That’s what happens when you start a second war in the middle of the first one. Afghanistan has been left behind in the dust of Iraqi oil shipments.

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Executed for international calls

Posted by karmalily on November 28, 2007

A North Korean factory boss accused of making international phone calls was executed by a firing squad in front of 150,000 people, it emerged today…

Its citizens are banned from communicating with the outside world, part of the regime’s authoritarian policies seeking to prevent any challenge to the iron-fisted rule of Kim Jong II…

The communist country insists it does not violate human rights…

Yikes! This is insane. It’s so hard for me, as an American, to imagine living in a country like this, where you have no freedom at all. Even though I think the threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on the West or South Korea is slim since it would enter them into a war they could not win, something major needs to be done for their human rights violations. Sanctions were placed on North Korea because of their nuclear weapons programs; I think it’s time they’re sanctioned for their harsh treatment of citizens.

Source: Daily Mail

Posted in asia, politics | Leave a Comment »

Why is China in the UN?

Posted by karmalily on November 27, 2007

Here is the a piece of the Charter of the United Nations:

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom


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A lesson from Slovenia’s hermit president

Posted by karmalily on November 26, 2007

After Slovenia’s president, Janez Drnovsel was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he became a hermit, moving to a mountain retreat and becoming a totally different person. Since this change, the Slovenian people see him as a great man. Here are a few bits from the Times Online article:

Drnovsek says that his conversion from conventional politician into “Slovenia’s Gandhi” – as one commentator has dubbed him – was gradual, and he adopted a low profile as he fought his illness. He abandoned conventional medicine because his doctors told him that they could not cure him. He dabbled with Indian and Chinese healers. He gave up meat, dairy products and alcohol in favour of organic vegetables and home-baked bread. he fasted for days at a time. He also sought to nourish his soul, leaving Ljubljana for a remote home set in beautiful beech forests south of the Slovenian capital. He lives there alone, reading and writing, without so much as a television for company since his dog died. He says modern man has lost contact with nature, but it is “very beneficial for health, for body but also for soul…Somehow we can purify ourselves of all negativities that are concentrated in towns and urban centres where there is all this activity and stress.”

And a quote that we should all be able to learn something from:

“When you are confronted with the perception of the end of your life, it’s an opportunity to look at things from a different point of view, to change priorities and establish a distance to this daily existence and all these material developments that you are taught are so important.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


Posted by karmalily on November 26, 2007

Giant Sea Scorpion Discovered; Was Bigger Than a Man
“The size of a large crocodile, the 390-million-year-old sea scorpion was the top predator of its day, slicing up fish and cannibalizing its own kind in coastal swamp waters, fossil experts say.”

First biological weapons: 3300 years ago

Trophy Hunting May Push Polar Bears to “Tipping Point”
Polar bear populations are already sinking due to global warming, but now they’re facing a new threat.

Climate change has quadrupled natural disasters in just 20 years! Study

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