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Showing posts from August 19, 2007

A Short Introduction to Participatory Economics

In a very clever format...



Read up on this truly third way here. Since reading all of that will take you a lifetime, try reading either or both of the following, either online (below) or you can find 'em in treeware form:
This, if you want a non-technical explanation (Verso, 2003) [Treeware]
This (1991) and this (1990), if you want a math-filled technical explanation (both Princeton U. Press) [Treeware, '91; Treeware, '90]And, since I just learned how to make, as opposed to simply grab, a playlist on YouTube, here's one of a multipart lecture by Michael Albert on Parecon:



More, probably with some overlap:



Finally, David Graeber, anthropologist, on an allied topic, participatory democracy; see an ever broader perspective ("participatory society") here. These allied movements seem to me to be the logical outcome of eighteenth-century liberal thought -- the logical outcome, mind you, not the historical outcome thus far.



Graeber on Charlie Rose:


Bush, Iraq, and Vietnam: The Clod Will Have Blood

Ah, yes, the re-engineering of history, or, softening up the public for the strike on Iran. See Gareth Porter on DN!here; Robert Parry here; read Chomsky on the rise of the Khmer Rouge right here (from the online version of Necessary Illusions, 1989; make sure to click on the footnotes):
A propaganda model makes predictions at various levels. There are first-order predictions about how the media function. The model also makes second-order predictions about how media performance will be discussed and evaluated. And it makes third-order predictions about the reactions to studies of media performance. The general prediction, at each level, is that what enters the mainstream will support the needs of established power. The first-order predictions are those we have been concerned with throughout. The second-order prediction is that media debate will be bounded in a manner that satisfies these external needs, thus limited to the question of the alleged adversarial stance of the media; the po…

What Was That Noble Cause, Again?

I keep forgetting. From the article linked in the title above:
One of the more shocking photographs to emerge from the current Iraq war was taken last year in a rural farm town in the American Midwest. It’s a studio portrait by the New York photographer Nina Berman of a young Illinois couple on their wedding day. The bride, Renee Kline, 21, is dressed in a traditional white gown and holds a bouquet of scarlet flowers. The groom, Ty Ziegel, 24, a former Marine sergeant, wears his dress uniform, decorated with combat medals, including a Purple Heart. Her expression is unsmiling, maybe grave. His, as he looks toward her, is hard to read: his dead-white face is all but featureless, with no nose and no chin, as blank as a pullover mask. Two years earlier, while in Iraq as a Marine Corps reservist, Mr. Ziegel had been trapped in a burning truck after a suicide bomber’s attack. The heat melted the flesh from his face. At Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas he underwent 19 rounds of surgery. …

Chomsky in the Khaleej Times

Where he has a regular column. Imagine that! I know, I know, it's published in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, so it's something they publish. Ergo, it can be ignored, unlike the New York Times, which we publish, and we are infallibly good in our sunbeam-souls.

Update: Don't worry -- the Khaleej Times also features a column by Henry Kissinger. So, it's all good.

WP: White House Manual Details How to Deal With Protesters

No comment really necessary, is there? Just click the link above and read on. The actual PDF of the manual is on that page; here it is for those who want the primary before the secondary source. Be warned: most of it is redacted. Given what wasn't redacted...well, you do the math.

You can thank the ACLU for getting this out of the Bush-Cheney White House.

Manufacturing Consent: Exhibit n

From the Kucinich campaign website.... I added the links. You can watch the debate here.

Note that Gravel, who, despite his good offices re: the Pentagon Papers, is making a buffoon of himself (and thus of any truly liberal opposition to the other candidates), is allowed a lot of time to be laughed at and generally make an ass of himself.

Clearly, Kucinich is too serious a threat. Meanwhile, ABC is making sure that the American people don't get to make their own choice about Kucinich. That's called "democracy."


Kucinich campaign is awaiting ABC News explanations for its actions


The Kucinich campaign is still awaiting an official response from ABC News about the unexplained -- some have charged "inexplicable" -- way in which the network has handled its post-debate online coverage of Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich over the past few days.
Among the "outrages" that have energized tens of thousands of Kucinich suppor…

Rotating Photos/Easter Egg

My six readers have probably noticed that I've been rotating the photo backdrops to the blog title. Well, I've added the name of the person pictured. This name is a hotlink to some reputable online treatment of that person's life and thought, so feel free to click away!

There's no rotational schedule: I wing it. Feel free to suggest persons; remember that the title of the blog is "Free Expression," so err on the side of those who devoted themselves to that end.

Save Subprime Borrowers, Not Bloated Bankers, Dean Baker

Exactly right. Chance of this occurring? Zero.

Monday 20 August 2007 There is a simple and direct way in which the federal government can help out millions of moderate-income families struggling to keep their homes: They can simply change the rules on foreclosure to allow moderate-income homeowners the option to remain in their homes indefinitely as renters, paying the fair market rent. This proposal would immediately give moderate-income homeowners a guarantee they would not be thrown out of the street because they cannot meet the terms of a predatory mortgage. It accomplishes this goal without requiring any elaborate new bureaucracy and without requiring a single dollar from the taxpayers. And this plan does not bail out the bankers, hedge funds, and other financial industry types who were speculating in mortgage debt. Here's how the plan works: Currently, if a homeowner is not able to make their mortgage payments, the holder of the mortgage…

Science is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power: A Discussion With Tony Benn

Dig the video here.

Info on Tony Benn from the site linked above:
Benn, having spent a life-time as a leading politician closely associated with science and technology affairs informs us on how he went about taking advice from scientists on various major issues such as, nuclear power and weapons as well as the energy gap. He tells how he was lied to and badly advised about the safety and cost of nuclear power and why is he is now opposed to both nuclear weapons and civil nuclear power. How ‘Open Government’ is his answer to obtaining advice and freedom of information on scientific matters. He explains how he made his decisions on the funding of science and the real power of saying ‘No’ to force arguments on why some areas should be funded. Benn gives an insight into the influence that Civil Servants have on aims and decisions and the role of the Science Advisor to Government including the dismissal of Walter Marshall during his role as Minister. The difficulties of taking responsibility…

In Depth: Edward O. Wilson

Three hours with E.O. Wilson, not my favorite evolutionary biologist, but this should be interesting, if not also infuriating.

His more recent biodiversity-defender persona is much more agreeable than his previous sociobiology persona, but no matter how you slice it, he's an important and well-known evolutionary biologist.

Too bad Steve Gould isn't around for an In-Depth treatment...ah, well.

Ralph Nader on the Subprime Meltdown

Weekend Edition
August 18 / 19, 2007
Here Come the Corporate BailoutsGreed and Folly on Wall StreetBy RALPH NADERThe corporate capitalists' knees are shaking a bit. Their manipulation of the sub-prime housing market has led to a spreading credit crunch and liquidity crisis. So it is time for them to call on Uncle Sam -- the all purpose bailout man.Only don't call it a bailout yet. It is just an injection of over $200 billion in the past week to stabilize the heaving financial markets by the European Central Bank and our Federal Reserve. Governments to the rescue -- again.My father many years ago asked his children during dinner table conversation: "Why will capitalism always survive?" His answer: "Because socialism will always be used to save it." As a small businessman himself (a restaurateur), he was not referring to the little guys on Main Street. He was talking ab…