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Friday, Oct 31st

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America the Illiterate

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.

The illiterate rarely vote, and when they do vote they do so without the ability to make decisions based on textual information.

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Robert Fisk: Obama has to pay for eight years of Bush's delusions

He will have to get out of Iraq, and he will have to tell Israel a few home truths

American lawyers defending six Algerians before a habeas corpus hearing in Washington this week learned some very odd things about US intelligence after 9/11. From among the millions of "raw" reports from American spies and their "assets" around the world came a CIA Middle East warning about a possible kamikaze-style air attack on a US navy base at a south Pacific island location. The only problem was that no such navy base existed on the island and no US Seventh Fleet warship had ever been there. In all seriousness, a US military investigation earlier reported that Osama bin Laden had been spotted shopping at a post office on a US military base in east Asia.

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Nader On Obama's Subservience To AIPAC

Uri Avnery described Obama's appearance before AIPAC as one that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning"...adding that Obama "is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests (to Zionism)."

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The monster years

Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.

What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

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Commentary: They’ve squandered lives, fortunes and our sacred honor

Here’s to the American people, the electorate, for finally coming to their senses and voting for something different, for someone different and for a chance to fix the multitude of man-made disasters that confront us.

By their votes, the Republican revolution and all it's wrought — an economic meltdown, two endless wars, class warfare that’s enriched the very rich and beggared everyone else and a treasury bulging only with IOU's — will be crushed.

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Hoping to Avoid Another GOP Disaster

If you believe that Sarah Palin is an exemplary product of what can be achieved with the GOP in charge of the nation's education, then --by all means --vote for McCain/Palin.

Considering Sarah Palin's educational achievements. Should she influence the progress of education in this country, your own daughter might come to believe that human beings walked beside dinosaurs only six thousand years ago.

It was on this day four years ago that George W. Bush 'won' a second term with a promise to help the 'democracies' of Afghanistan and Iraq 'grow in strength and freedom'. Only the gullible believed it then. How many believe it now?

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John Dean: Republican Rule Is Dangerous

Nixon’s former counsel has written a scathing review of conservative Republican politics and says the McCain-Palin ticket, which “scares the hell out of me,” fits the mold. How’s this for an endorsement?: “If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves.”

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