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Showing posts from April 22, 2007

Parecon: Life After Capitalism, Michael Albert

Free online book; Verso: 2003. Excellent introduction to "parecon," or "participatory economics," or "democracy applied to the workplace and economy as a whole." In other words, a bad name for a great idea. Not socialism. Not capitalism. Not "the third way." Another option; one worth looking into.

For those who have the math (I don't) and want to delve deeper, here's a technical book, free, from Princeton U Press, 1991: The Political Economy of Participatory Economics.

And here's more than you'll ever read from parecon central at Znet.

Gore Vidal: Understanding America's Terrorist Crisis: What Should Be Done?

Apr 18th, 2002

The Independent Institute - Washington, D.C.

How did the United States come to be so hated? Could the horrific events of September 11th be setting in motion a chain of events far more significant than the terrorist attacks themselves? Held before a standing-room audience of 1,350, this powerful program features celebrated authors and scholars who examine the terrorist crisis and ask the all-important question: Why?

Filmed before a live audience, renowned author Gore Vidal rejects the blind “patriotism” expected by government officials and the mainstream media, and investigates U.S. foreign policy throughout recent history, showing how it has contributed to the terrorist crisis. With his famous wit and insight, Vidal also demonstrates the ways in which the “War on Terrorism” is being used to curtail civil liberties and shred the Bill of Rights.

Barton Bernstein, Professor of History, Stanford University, examines the definition of terrorism and cites U.S. military campaigns …

Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, 2/3/04

Feb 3rd, 2004

United Nations Correspondents Association - New York, NY

Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance

From the United Nations Correspondents Association in New York City, Noam Chomsky discusses the "Bush doctrine" and its implications. In particular, Professor Chomsky addresses the Bush administration's space policy and its overall efforts to expand U.S. influence and power. He also talks about the case of British whistleblower Katherine Gun, who leaked a memo stating that the NSA had been spying on UN Security Council members, and discusses the charges against the Cuban 5, who were convicted in the U.S. of espionage in 2001. On September 20, 2006, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking in front of the U.N. General Assembly, praised Professor Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival, and recommended that Americans read it.

Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, is the author of numerous books on U.S. foreign policy…

"Working for the Clampdown," The American Conservative

"What might the president do with his new power to declare martial law?"

Good question. What percentage of the American people know that this, and the next, president now has this power, which should be revoked yesterday?

The raving liberals at American Conservative -- James Bovard, that frothing lefty, in the case -- are right on the money here.

The Constitution: our common inheritance, currently being used as toilet paper in the White House.

"The Camp David II Negotiations: How Dennis Ross Proved the Palestinians Aborted the Peace Process," Norman Finkelstein

Journal of Palestine Studies, 142: Winter 2007.

By the way, Finkelstein's talk at Brandeis was good; Sara Roy's intro was excellent; the questions, and some yelping members of the audience, were embarrassing.

I've never seen an academic audience act like that...fall asleep, sure, but not be so wildly irrational. Yelling stuff out; well, I shouldn't be surprised. Actually, I had to tell a couple of wackazoids sitting next to me to "chill out" and "take it easy" after their second outburst. Poor Roy: people like that don't care about free speech or anything of the kind. She should have cut the first lunatic off, who gave five-minute speech, as he was not following the rules set out immediately before he started talking. Maybe she was taking the high road, but people like that are basically cowards (usually) and will back down if held to the rules. Of course, he proved Finkelstein's point by making ad hominem attacks -- anything but challenging t…

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Audio here; sorry, no video -- you'll have to swoon to Obama's mellifluous voice only. However, you may gaze upon his Doryphorian form as you listen.

Not bad, and I may end up voting for him if Kucinich isn't in the RI primary, or if he gets the nomination -- can't think of a Republican I would even dream of voting for.

However, I think it reads so well only because of the horror of the past 6 years, to say nothing of the hypocrisy of the Clinton admin before it. It's a pretty good liberal-Republican speech from pre-Reagan years. Some good stuff on the nearly 20-year-old proposal to buy up and lock down WMDs in the former Soviet Union. Good grasp of the interconnectedness of the world; but we had that after WWI. Hardly needed 9/11 to drive it home. Good on global warming, but again, pretty much in the mainstream on that.

I can do without the "we are the greatest" and "I still believe" bullshit that seems to pollute virtually every speech, and rings…

Tell Congress: Attorney General Carl Schmitt...I mean, Alberto Gonzales...Must Go

Sign it, and pass it on! Vidal recently pointed out that Gonzales talks like Capote. Great imitation; good point; equally craven and depraved ethics, including sucking up to fame and power.

Gore Vidal on Charlie Rose, 1998.

Starts at 2:37. Haven't watched it yet; not sure how annoying Rose will be. [Later:] Yeah, Rose is typically annoying. Asks the same five questions; won't let anyone answer them. Made a career of this. Ah, well. The Smithsonian Institution, a great novel, is discussed at least, when Rose can shut up. Great words of wisdom (do I need to say, from Vidal?) at 18:17.

Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against Cheney

The articles are here. About fucking time. Next step:
A message for today on why George Bush should be impeached, from Chris Hedges: George Bush has shredded, violated or absented America from its obligations under international law. He has refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, backed out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, tried to kill the International Criminal Court, walked out on negotiations on chemical and biological weapons and defied the Geneva Convention and human rights law in the treatment of detainees. Most egregiously, he launched an illegal war in Iraq based on fabricated evidence we now know had been discredited even before it was made public. This president is guilty, in short, of what in legal circles is known as the “crime of aggression.” And if we as citizens do not hold him accountable for these crimes, if we do not begin the process of impeachment, we will be complicit in the codification of a new world order, one that will have terrifying consequences. For a worl…

Information Clearing House needs your help!

Read on, Macduff:
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To all those who have helped in the past. Thank you. - Peace & Joy. Tom

Jonathan Miller's "Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief"

Unique, and apparently to air on PBS next month, as "A Brief History of Disbelief." One hour each. Show descriptions taken from the Information Clearing House RealPlayer pages, listed below.

From a press release:
A Brief History of Disbelief is a deeply intelligent and rational journey through the highly divisive topic. The series is presented by the Independent Production Fund, executive director Alvin Perlmutter.Written and narrated by acclaimed British intellectual Jonathan Miller — author, lecturer, TV producer/host, director of theater, opera and film, and neurologist — A Brief History of Disbelief originally aired on the BBC in the U.K. It was the first-ever historical look at the controversial topic on television. And contrary to what many Christian fundamentalists today consider America’s founding principles, the first presidents were actually skeptical of religion. A Brief History of Disbelief traces the history of the first unbelievers in ancient Greece through the …

All the Charlie Chaplin You Can Handle!

If you need a little cheering up, and have a spare quarter- or half-hour, click the title of this post for 62 free Chaplin flicks. It's all point-and-click; should work easily. Click the link of the movie you want to see on the search list, and then click the big, green play button superimposed on the screen. Should start automatically if you have Flash installed.

In case that doesn't work, just click on either the dialup or broadband connection under Stream on the left navigation. That should open a new page and start the film in QuickTime automatically.

If that doesn't work, download one of the versions under Play/Download -- the smaller, the faster, but the smaller, the smaller the screensize -- and save it to your desktop. Double-click the icon to play -- the icon will be either a RealPlayer one or a WindowsMedia one, depending on what your default media player is. If you default media player is QuickTime, you won't ever get to this point unless you skip the Stream o…

His Girl Friday

Classic fast-talkin' comedy with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, based on The Front Page. NB: the film's copyright date is 1939, not 1940.

Update: The Google Video version gets out of synch, which for this screwball verbal slapstick is worse than usual. Watch it by clicking the title to this post; download it to be sure to get synched a/v. - GOP's Cyber Election Hit Squad Exposed

As in, "Yes, Virginia, the 2004 election was stolen." Chalk up another one -- as though any more evidence were needed -- for those crazy, conspiracy-minded "sore losers." Can't wait for 2008.

Reportedly (I wasn't there), Kerry and especially his wife now concede that the election was stolen. This from a book-tour appearance at Harvard Square.

I've yet to get the reasons, second-hand, for Kerry's early concession from the conceder himself. I'm ready to concede that his concession might be explicable, but until I hear the reasons, I will, not unreasonably I think, refuse to concede that his early concession was anything but craven and irresponsible, his recent concession that the election was stolen notwithstanding.

"Eighteen Missing Inches," Excerpt from Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse

Nine and a half minutes on how the White House, FEMA, and the rest of the federal government really reacted to Katrina. (Dig the paperback edition, just out.) From Greg Palast's site ("The New Armed Madhouse Out Today"):
If you have ANY plan to grab a copy of my book, Armed Madhouse, I’m asking you, please: do it THIS WEEK.The new edition, in paperback, totally updated with two new chapters, is out today.Why get it this week? Because Karl Rove hopes you don’t.I can’t make this up: In a February 7 email subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee, the Rove gang boasts that in the USA, “no national press has picked up” the investigations in Armed Madhouse. There’s even an excerpt from Armed Madhouse attached to Rove’s rant.

Stop Postal Rate Hikes! -- Petition

Time Warner literally wrote up this hike for the Postal Service. It will destroy (as is intended) small publishers, including magazines as diverse as The Nation, The National Review, and The American Conservative, all of whom are fighting it along with many others:
The new postage rates that are being implemented by the US Post Office which could affect many small and independent publications in this country. Postal rates for smaller periodicals could increase by as much as 30 percent while some of the largest circulation magazines will face hikes of less than 10 percent. The advocacy group Free Press says the rate change was developed with no public involvement or Congressional oversight. They are calling for a congressional hearing on the changes. The Postal Service Board of Governors recently accepted the periodical rate recommendations of the Postal Regulatory Commission. According to a document outlining the Board’s decision, the Commission recommended “a rate structure proposed …

The Children of Húrin: One for the Ages

I'm done and am truly chilled. It has the horror of a Greek tragedy, and my opinion, if anything, is higher now than it was halfway through.

I don't recognize Tolkien in this story much -- it's orders of magnitude beyond his other fiction.

Well done. Go and read it!

Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Shot With Rubber Bullet by Israeli Military at Nonviolent Protest

Nice way to treat a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Of course, she deserves no better and no worse treatment than any other human being.

I see the IDF is going nuts again (i.e., still) in the OTs this weekend:
Israel Kills Eight Palestinians, Including 17-Year-Old Girl
In the West Bank, Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians over the past two days including a 17-year-old girl and a Palestinian police officer. Six of the Palestinians were killed on Saturday making it the deadliest day so far this year in the occupied territories. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas condemned the killings Ismael Haniyeh: "I express the condemnation of the government to the crimes of assassinations killings and liquidations conducted by the Israeli occupation forces. This is a new proof on the brutality of the occupation and the continued desire to shed Palestinian blood." The 17-year-old Palestinian girl, Bushra Barghish, was killed after being shot in the head while she stood at he…

The Children of Húrin, J.R.R. Tolkien

FWIW, I'm halfway through and I think it's his best work. Yes, including LOTR, which I've read maybe five times.

Much more mature, much more conflicted and realistic characters -- in essence, much closer to the Anglo-Saxon source material (i.e.,Beowulf, which I'd recently re-read in this prose translation). Dark, violent, moving, and even frightening. There's a confrontation scene between Morgoth/Melkor and Húrin that is so far my favorite, and quite chilling. Not quite Grand Inquisitor-level, but surprisingly effective.

Beautifully illustrated throughout; very happily surprised (thus far). Didn't think it'd be this good.

Dig it.