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Showing posts from April 1, 2007

Mahatma: Life of Ghandi 1869-1948

5-hour documentary. No, I haven't seen it. Made in 1968 by the Indian government, as far as I can tell. Probably not exactly "warts and all," but how many worrisome, significant warts did Ghandi have? I refer you to George Orwell for an excellent and perceptive essay (as per usual) on Ghandi, "warts" and all. The concluding sentence sums it up.

Shorter versions, and in different languages, available at the link below.

The blurb:
This is a 5 hrs. 10 min. documentary biography of Mohandas Mahatma Gandhi. All events and principles of Gandhi's life and thought are viewed as integrated parts of his truth-intoxicated life depicting permanent and universal values.The purpose of the film is to tell the present and the future generations "that such a man as Gandhi in flesh and blood walked upon this earth", to acquaint them with his life and work and to spread his message of peace and universal brotherhood to the war-weary and fear-stricken world. The film br…

Second IPCC Report

(PDF linked above.) The original document and press conference are good places to start, not the mainstream media.

Streaming video of press conference (WMV). 1 hour. Note that the reporters (AP, AFP) knew beforehand that severe pressure was brought to bear on the final document, which must pass through governmental filters. The Q&A period is very illuminating.

Some more information from IPS. More here, too. Most people don't even know about InterPress Service, so this will be a nice comparison to MSM.

FINANCE: Questions Linger About Bushes and BCCI

Analysis by Lucy Komisar*

NEW YORK, Apr 4 (IPS) - Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq war, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Critics dismissed that as an invention. They were wrong. There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist -- it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father.

BCCI was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a dirty offshore bank that then-president Ronald Reagan's Central Intelligence Agency used to run guns to Hussein, finance Osama bin Laden, move money in the illegal Iran-Contra operation and carry out other "agency" black ops. The Bushes also benefited privately; one of the bank's largest Saudi inv…

In Depth: Alexander Cockburn

Here's the link; 3 hours.

On Rupert Murdoch: "He's sort of a coagulated blob of prejudice and spleen." That's good stuff. There's a lot more: on Hitchens, Tom Friedman, and a lot of other fat-heads who deserve to be excoriated.

Interesting fact: Cockburn's father wrote the novel Beat the Devil, from which an excellent, underrated black comedy, which you can see right here for free. Truman Capote wrote the last scene, and nothing else, but got the credit. Typical. I can only imagine what Vidal would say.

John Huston directed; the usual team of Bogie, Lorre, and others are in it. Love it.

Cockburn's dead wrong about global warming; shocked to hear that he doubts it. A little blinkered to think it's all a front for the nuclear power industry.

"The Right Seeks to Rein In Presidential Power," by William Fisher | truthout interview

Or, "How To Distinguish a Conservative From A Fascist."

What's wrong with these ten points, which make up the "American Freedom Agenda"?
End the use of military commissions to prosecute crimes.
Prohibit the use of secret evidence or evidence obtained by torture.
Prohibit the detention of American citizens as enemy combatants without proof.
Restore habeas corpus for alleged alien combatants.
End National Security Agency warrantless wiretapping.
Challenge presidential signing statements.
Bar executive use of the state-secret privilege to deny justice.
Prohibit the president from collaborating with foreign governments to kidnap, detain or torture persons abroad.
Amend the Espionage Act to permit journalists to report on classified national security matters without threat of persecution.
Prohibit of the labeling of groups or individuals in the US as global terrorists based on secret evidence.Nothing, right? Only Ron Paul has signed a pledge supporting them, among cur…

"Beyond Vietnam," by Martin Luther King, Jr.: April 4, 1967

"Note: * = text within single asterisks absent from this audio."

This is taken from American Rhetoric. Don't ask me why the cuts were made, when, or by whom.

*Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.*I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I…

Some Thoughts on Nietzsche's Second Essay in The Genealogy of Morals

I thought I had read this book before, and maybe I did, but the full force of it never hit me as it has on this (re-)reading...

I re-read Ecce Homo, after seeing so many references to it in Kaufmann's Discoveringthe Mind. That was interesting, funny, and a bit sad in its megalomania, not all of which, I think, can be explained away.

But in the same volume (Kaufmann, of course), I started on Genealogy. The first essay was good: thick with thoughts. But the second, which I just finished, is one of the most brilliant, perceptive, fruitful essays I have ever read. I think that Nietzsche gets the broad outlines of guilt, gods, conscience, etc., right. I think he'd be horrified to hear that I, for one, saw a point of connection between his truly inspired association of guilt and debt, and his tracing of morality to economic exchange between classes (and individuals, to be sure), and of resentment, etc., with Marx and Engels. I'm sure Kaufmann would be horrified, too, but it strike…

More Inspiring Courage from Obama, Progressive Paladin

Having already outflanked some conservatives (I mean, conservatives, not the fascists in both parties) on the need to prevent Iran from getting nukes within 2 years -- well, a nuke...all right, more like 5 years...well, 10...OK, well, a cascade of centrifuges sufficient to...well, OK, any cascade of centrifuges, regardless of...uh, did I mention I was against the Iraq war in 2002? -- with no options off the table (this will be appearing soon in his Redbook spread: just Obama and silk boxers with that phrase across the bulge), this tireless defender of the downtrodden continues his transformation into a one-man Thermopylae, graphic-novel-style.

But first, a quick stop today, in the article linked above, to underscore the meaninglessness of the Giant Democratic Victory about “a date certain” (that is, November 4, 2008); then, have done with those ungrateful Mesopotamians (I mean, don't they appreciate all the bombs we've given them?). On to protect Western Civilization from the P…

US Social Forum Conference Call

US Social Forum 101
Informational Call in EnglishWednesday, April 11
3pm Eastern, 2pm Central,
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(888) 296-6500
access code: 387157#Got questions on the US Social Forum? Trying to figure out how to get plugged-in? Join us on the call Wednesday, April 11… To sign onto the call on, click here.

ZNet Commentary | Uniting the Movements: Atlanta, Ga. in Late June April 01, 2007

Commentaries are a premium sent to Sustainer Donors of Z/ZNet. To learn more folks can consult ZNet.By Ted Glick

How will we bring about significant change in the USA? There are a number of things that need to happen, but one bottom-line, essential requirement is the coming together of a critical mass of organizers and activists into a grassroots-based, politically independent, popular and progressive network, alliance and/or party. Given what we are up against here in the belly of empire, it's hard to see how we have any hope of change absent such a development.

Some of us got an idea of the impact such an alliance could have 20 years ago during the period from 1983 to 1989. During that time, because of the 1984 and 1988 Presidential campaigns of Rev. Jesse Jackson, a grassroots-based National Rainbow Coalition began to emerge. This African American-based and African American-led formation brought together leaders and groups from a mix of constituencies and movements-Latinos, labor…