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Showing posts from October 21, 2007

The presidency is taking over the courts and Congress, Jim Hightower

[The Alternet reposting title is: Is a Presidential Coup Under Way? My problem is forming this as a question; it's a statement of fact, as anyone not sufficiently indoctrinated can see in a millisecond.]
By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown
Posted on October 23, 2007, Printed on October 27, 2007 Where is Congress? It's way past time for members to stand up. Historic matters are at stake. The Constitution is being trampled, the very form of our government is being perverted, and nothing less than American democracy itself is endangered -- a presidential coup is taking place. I think of Barbara Jordan, the late congresswoman from Houston. On July 25, 1974, this powerful thinker and member of the House Judiciary Committee took her turn to speak during the Nixon impeachment inquiry."My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total," she declared in her thundering voice. "And I am not going to sit here and be an idl…

Livni behind closed doors: Iranian nuclear arms pose little threat to Israel, Haaretz

No shit? So, will the US media pick up this huge story? I doubt it. We'll have to rely on David Horowitz and Ann Coulter to spread the word. I'm sure that the yahoos who periodically attack me for anti-Semitism will surely have the intellectual honesty to admit they have been bamboozled.

Or is Haaretz now anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and Holocaust-denying -- etc.?

I predict the latter reaction, which is what you have to expect from fanatics.

Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

Free online edition of the seminal book by the father of the PR industry. Very important reading; hideous human being, Bernays.

The "postmodernism" tag on this post is both ironic and literal. Ironic because even though I'm not a fan of postmodernism -- except in fiction -- I have to say that the constant assault of complete lies (i.e., marketing-driven ads, PR -- what used to be called "propaganda" in a more honest age) has done far, far more to efface the distinction between true and false than a few French-inspired academics writing in impenetrable prose. Literal because despite the disproportionate effect, postmodernism shares epistemological claims with propaganda/PR/et al, no matter what its fans will tell you.

Anyway, PR, et al, is a very serious problem, as information is the key to democracy.

Interestingly, accurate information is exactly what is to be avoided in ad-driven capitalism (but not capitalism per se -- a truly free market would ban all ads beyo…

HUGE Mark Twain sale!

Jump on this; info below. If I didn't already own most of this, I'd buy this right now. Also, the Library of America is a worthy institution: check out the site!

Over 270 stories, sketches, burlesques, hoaxes, tall tales, speeches, and satires in a deluxe boxed set Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays
Edited by Louis J. Budd
Two volumes (boxed set): 2,126 pages.
Retail value: $70.00
Special price: $35.00
Includes standard shipping and handling
Fast-ship options available for additional charge.

Arranged chronologically and containing many pieces never before collected, these two volumes are the most comprehensive collection ever published of Mark Twain's short writings. Here are Twain's hilarious takes on political bosses, jumping frogs, robber barons, cats, women's suffrage, temperance, petrified men, the bicycle, the Franco-Prussian War, the income tax, the insanity defense, injudicious swearing, and the advisability of political c…

UN Report on Global Environmental Crisis ("Geo4")

The page linked above leads to a ton of info, including the full report. Bottom line? If we all go on with business-as-usual capitalism, we are in for extreme deprivation. "We" means minus those who can buy their way out, as long as that is possible.

Not to see the gigantic train coming at us is an act of irrationality that may be terminal. Of course, we've all been ignoring nuclear weapons (aside from certain states at certain times -- pure hypocrisy) since 1945, so...yeah, this species is proving itself non-viable.

More good news here, and an hour-long interview with Tim Flannery on these issues from Democracy Now here.

The Spanish Civil War, 1983, Channel 4 (UK)

Looks like a great documentary; unfortunately unembeddable. So, I'm listing the parts below; click on the link and all videos for each part will play in a new window/tab on YouTube.
Part 1: Prelude to tragedy, 1931-1936Part 2: Revolution, counter-revolution and terrorPart 3: Battleground for idealistsPart 4: Franco and the NationalistsPart 5: Inside the revolutionPart 6: Victory and defeat

Billionaires up, America down

Some very sobering statistics in here, even for those in the know. Nah, no such thing as class warfare. Every American deserves his or her place in the natural hierarchy. Of course.

Meanwhile, Iraq is set to surpass Vietnam in dollar-adjusted cost by the end of the year. And we're headed to Iran...

Hmmm...extreme Keynesians, militarists, destroyers of civil liberties on "terror" pretexts, vicious and mendacious propagandizers, expert exploiters of little-known, little-used parliamentary tactics in order to destroy parliamentary procedure, devotees of a corporate-governmental nexus (way beyond outsourcing)...hmmm... Sounds more like fascists to me.

Yet the GOP portrays itself as "conservative." And I know bright people who really seem to believe it. Somewhere, Machiavelli is laughing.