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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

Journal Archives

Cheers, best wishes, and farewell.

Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
To rock my soul

-- Robert Hunter

These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do ... Are you ready boots? Start walkin'!

-- Nancy Sinatra

It's been a fun 14 years, but I do believe my cork has popped.

Good luck, be well, much love.


They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change

(Photo: Los Angeles Smog via Shutterstock)

They Knew, They Lied: ExxonMobil and Climate Change
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 16 July 2015

Between 1956 and 1964, Bell Laboratories produced a number of television specials titled "The Bell Laboratories Science Series." The topics ranged from an examination of the Sun, to human blood, deep space, the mind, the nature of time and life itself. The programs were produced by Frank Capra, whose films include It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, so the production value of the series was notably superior. Even 30 years later, schools all across the US were still showing these Bell Labs films to students.

In 1958, a chapter in this series titled "The Unchained Goddess" was broadcast. The topic was the weather, and it starred Richard Carlson and a USC professor named Dr. Frank C. Baxter. At one point in the program, Carlson asked Dr. Baxter, "What would happen if we could change the course of the Gulf Stream, or the other great ocean currents, or warm up Hudson Bay with atomic furnaces?" The "atomic furnaces" bit is a quaint throwback to the atom-crazy 1950s, but the response given by Dr. Baxter is what makes this particular film notable.

"Extremely dangerous questions," replied Dr. Baxter, "because with our present knowledge we have no idea what would happen. Even now, Man may be unwittingly changing the world's climate through the waste products of his civilization. Due to our release, through factories and automobiles every year, of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide - which helps air absorb heat from the Sun - our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer. It's been calculated that a few degrees rise in the Earth's temperature would melt the polar ice caps, and if this happens, an inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water."


The ocean is coming. Many very smart people have been warning us of this for seven decades. As for the people who bent their shoulders to the task of denying this inexorable tidal truth for so many years that could have been spent checking and averting this looming disaster, well ... I hope their cash can act as a flotation device. They believe themselves to be so powerful, but the ocean brooks no challengers.

For the rest of us: the aftermath of lies. The tobacco companies tried this denial number, and it killed millions of people. The lies of ExxonMobil and the cohort of energy companies who paid through the nose to deny the damage they were doing may well have cashed the final check for life on Earth as we know it. They knew. They lied. How many will die for their profit margin? How many have died already?

Mind the tides. The brutal reality of consequences is coming up the beach.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31885-they-knew-they-lied-exxonmobil-and-climate-change

What I Think of George W. Bush

Regarding his wounded veterans fundraiser fee ...

(Photo: Muddy Waste via Shutterstock)

What I Think of George W. Bush
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 14 July 2015

I think of mud, but that doesn't work, because mud is just wet soil, and wet soil is fertile. Good things grow in mud, and so I apologize to mud for making the comparison, even though it was only in my head a scant moment.

I think of oil, of scum, viscous and stinking like a fetid scrim across a Northeastern pond that has literally been shat to death by geese who stay the year round because the idiots who live beside what once was bucolic splendor feed those geese throughout the winters, and so the geese never fly south in their iconic wedge formation, but instead stay, and eat balls of begged Wonder Bread, and defecate into blue goodness until it becomes a green and murky gloom.

I think of rot. Of deep odor. Of a smell so overwhelming it becomes a sound in itself, a buzzing, a roar, a perfect maelstrom of helpless vomit and swimming eyes, of shaking hands and splintered nerves, of sightless pupils staring up from the gyre of shredded bodies birthed by war, of viscera lying in the dust of the road beneath the pitiless sun next to the shrieking orphan, the howling widow, the fatherless boy who in his wrath collects the dropped rifle and holds it tight to his narrow chest in a perfect pledge of vengeance.

I think of mud, and scum, and rot, and death, of the deep wheel of rage and revenge that has been unleashed even as it turns, I think of the futility before it, and the greed behind, I think of malice aforethought, of punishments so richly deserved but as yet unlevied ... and in doing so, I think of George W. Bush.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31859-what-i-think-of-george-w-bush

Patriot Act. Iraq War. Keystone XL. Wall Street.


Freedom abrogated, unjust war, environmental destruction, economic justice.

Four of the most important issues of our time.

Candidate Clinton: wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

There's a thread here with people defending not only her vote in favor of the war, but the war itself.

I really don't know where I am any more.

The Business Is Death, and Business Is Good

A Navy Super Hornet aircraft refuels over Iraq. Over the holiday weekend, US forces launched
38 air attacks in both Iraq and Syria. Refugees are seeking an escape from those detonations.
(Photo: Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel, US Air Force; Edited: JR/TO)

The Business Is Death, and Business Is Good
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Wednesday 08 July 2015

An Iraqi fighter plane was returning to base on Monday after a sortie against ISIS militants when a large bomb it carried was deployed - cause yet undetermined - and obliterated several houses in an east Baghdad neighborhood. The latest butcher's bill tallies at least 12 killed in the explosion, including women and children, along with at least 25 more wounded.

Also on Monday, Iraqi forces endeavored to fight their way to the gates of Fallujah, a major city under the control of ISIS. Vast swaths of Anbar Province, which includes Fallujah, have been under the control of the militants for months in this ongoing multi-civil war our wars created, and this action represents the Iraqi Army's first attempt to retake the city and the territory at large since last year. Note well: Iraqi forces want to simply make it to the gates, not take the city. That attempt comes next, if they succeed in getting that far, in what is likely to involve horrific house-to-house urban warfare.


There are those who say, "These people in DC haven't learned a damned thing."

Sure they have. They learned how to destroy, displace and plunder - right on live TV - while frightening people into line as they simultaneously peddle globally the unimaginably lethal warfare hardware that guarantees the next round of cash-register bells will keep on ringing, and ringing, and ringing. This isn't a Republicans vs. Democrats thing. This is Welcome My Friends To The Show That Never Ends, and if some bodies bleed out into the sand or dust or mud, well, that's the price of doing business.

The business is death, and business is good.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31763-the-business-is-death-and-business-is-good

"Jared's Pants Dance Challenge" - yes, this is a thing

Yeah, so you may have heard that Jared Fogle - the Subway pitchman - has been sucked into a kiddie porn investigation, and had the authorities in his house pulling out boxes.

On the Subway website there is a "Kid's Section," and one game you can play in the Kid's Section is called "Jared's Pants Dance Challenge."

Seriously: http://www.subwaykids.com/kids/games/PantsDance/index.html

Yeah, they should probably take that down.

When the Night Erupts in Brilliance

(Photo: William Rivers Pitt)

When the Night Erupts in Brilliance
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Saturday 04 July 2015

There is a long stretch of dirt road in a corner of southwest New Hampshire that seems to be made of different time. Should you happen down its shaded way this time of year, you'll encounter an odd sign on a warped plywood board leaning against an ancient oak tree. "BUKOWSKI'S NORTH," it reads, an homage to the downtown Boston bar my friends and I shared while whittling our nights away over strong beers and stronger fellowship.

Every year, for years, I dust the winter off the face of that old sign and lean it against the tree, braced by a rock older than God. That sign reminds my visiting friends to slow down, to stop, and park either in the small cut-out or along the road itself. There is a driveway, but it is more of an air pocket than an entrance, a steep dive down to a small log cabin that sits on a lake. The pure blue beauty of the place - the porch, the ripples on the water, the wind, the scent of the trees and the quiet thunder within the soul evoked by the deep green all around - has a wonderful way of ... well, of doing what it does.


John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail regarding this day wrote, "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance." We have yet to be delivered, and we have such a long way to go. Yet all is not darkness, and reaching for the light is an effort that yields its own rewards. That road, such as it is, never ends.

In the meantime, I will be at my daughter's great-grandfather's cabin in the warm company of old friends this weekend. There's a guy on the other side of the lake with one of those floating docks that is anchored 30 feet out in the water. He fancies himself a fireworks expert, and has repeatedly proved it year after year, and every Fourth he stacks that dock with vivid pyrotechnics ... and then, just as the sun fades and the stars appear, he lights the fuse, and the night and the surface of the lake erupt in brilliance.

I can't wait to see what he has in store this year. Happy Fourth of July, all. Let freedom ring.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31712-when-the-night-erupts-in-brilliance

This guy ... this is the guy.

Samuel Whittemore joined the Revolution on April 19 1775 at the age of 80. Oiled his guns, muskets, sharpened his sword, and went to Concord ... where he was shot in the face by British regulars, stabbed with a bayonet, and beaten to the edge of death, but not before he killed three of the bastards.

He recovered, and lived another 18 years.

We make 'em tough up here in New England. Happy Fourth of July.

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