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Showing posts from November 25, 2007

Bombs away? An Interview with Scott Ritter on Iran

Key quote:
MT: But it is now clearer than ever that our invasion of Iraq has been a disaster. How do you explain the lack of opposition?Ritter: It's difficult to explain. First of all you have to note, from the public side, that very few Americans actually function as citizens anymore. What I mean by that are people who invest themselves in this country, people who care, who give a damn. Americans are primarily consumers today, and so long as they continue to wrap themselves in the cocoon of comfort, and the system keeps them walking down a road to the perceived path of prosperity, they don't want to rock the boat. If it doesn't have a direct impact on their day-to-day existence, they simply don't care.There's a minority of people who do, but the majority of Americans don't. And if the people don't care — and remember, the people are the constituents — if the constituents don't care, then those they elect to higher office won't feel the pressure to c…

Venezuela's referendum: What's at stake?

The article linked above injects a little balance and reality into the get-Chavez media/administration/bipartisan frenzy. Which has nothing whatsoever to do with the lake of oil Venezuela sits on, nor with the different, albeit imperfect, socioeconomic model Chavez's Venezuela embodies, and which it is exporting all over Latin America, and perhaps beyond. That is, a non-neoliberal, non-neoconservative, anti-"Washington Consensus" model of development and government.

Nope, I'm not naive enough to worship everything Chavez says and does. I am, however, results-oriented, and Chavez's party still seems to be positioning itself to get yet more real results for the majority of its citizens. Do you see any such development in either of the two parties in this Greatest Democracy on the Face of the Earth? You know, the one that has cancelled habeas corpus and engages in unilateral wars of aggression, the supreme international crime?

Yes, it is always possible that Chavez wi…

Hands Off Iran, by Chris Hedges

[from the December 10, 2007 issue of The Nation] I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran--which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election--will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d'état that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic. Let us hope sanity prevails. But sanity is a rare commodity in a White House that has twisted Trotsky's concept of permanent revolution into a policy of permanent war with nefarious aims--to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to strip citizens of their constitutional rights. A war with …

Dennis Kucinich, by Gore Vidal in The Nation

[from the November 26, 2007 issue]If the Democratic presidential primary were held today in your state, whom would you support? Cast your vote in the Nation Poll. For the past two years I've been crisscrossing the United States speaking to crowds of people about our history and politics. At the same time, would-be Presidents of the greatest nation in the country, as silver-tongued Spiro Agnew used to say, have been crowding the trail, while TV journalists sadly shake their heads at how savage the politicos have become in their language. But then, it is the task of TV journalists to foment quarrels where often none properly exist. As I pass through the stage door of one auditorium after another, I now hear the ominous name of Darth Vader, as edgy audiences shudder at the horrible direction our political discourse has taken. Ever eager as I am to shed light, I sometimes drop the name of the least publicized applicant to the creaky throne of the West: Dennis Kucinich. It takes a m…

Foreclosures in Black and White

From the NYT; linked above:
As the newspaper headlines have made clear for some time, we are in a mortgage crisis and a foreclosure explosion.A recent Times editorial, “Subprime in Black and White,” dealt with evidence that during the housing boom, African-American and Hispanic borrowers were far more likely than other borrowers to be steered into high cost loans — even after controlling for factors like borrower income and loan size.The maps [to the right] illustrate the effects of such racial disparities in New York City. The first map shows the neighborhoods where subprime loans were concentrated. The second, nearly identical, map shows where foreclosures have occurred. Note those gray diagonal lines in the maps. They indicate areas where racial and ethnic groups that are minorities in society as a whole are local majorities. Those diagonal lines also overlap extraordinarily with where the high cost subprime loans were given out — and where the foreclosures are occurring.The foreclo…

Get to Know Dennis Kucinich...

Commonwealth Club of California
San Francisco, CA
Aug 10th, 2007

Get to Know the Candidate: 2008 U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich in a conversation with Joseph Epstein hosted by The Commonwealth Club of California.

Ohio Congressman Kucinich engages in a wide-ranging conversation about his political views and background.

ALL of Dennis Kucinich's replies @ 11-15-07 Dem. debate

“The End of America”: Feminist Social Critic Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Facism

"Slow"? I'd say we're pretty much there. Wolf is a little superficial in her analysis, but she's basically right.

Click the title of this post for the Democracy Now interview. Listen to the part about the no-fly list, and what's coming up in February. 20,000 American citizens added per day.

The American Freedom Campaign: sign the petition(s)!

Talk by Naomi Wolf:

A recent interview:

Article in The Guardian. The book:

Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

Some relevant history (one hour; launches in Real Player). Parsi's been on Democracy Now, too.

From the C-SPAN Book TV page:

About the ProgramTrita Parsi discusses the past and present relationship between the U.S., Iran and Israel. The talk was hosted by the World Affairs Council of Northern California. About the AuthorTrita Parsi is the co-founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Nation, The Wall Street Journal, The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post and other sources. For more, visit

Here's the info from the Yale University Press website on this book:
Click here to listen to an interview with the author on the Yale Press Podcast.Visit Trita Parsi's webpage featuring appearances, press events and interviews with the author. Listen in on the author's recent appearance and interview on The Diane Rehm Show. Downloand this segment using Real Audio or Windows Media Pl…