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Showing posts from 2008

Why I Am a Socialist, Chris Hedges

The corporate forces that are looting the Treasury and have plunged us into a depression will not be contained by the two main political parties. The Democratic and Republican parties have become little more than squalid clubs of privilege and wealth, whores to money and corporate interests, hostage to a massive arms industry, and so adept at deception and self-delusion they no longer know truth from lies. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism—one that will insist on massive government relief and work programs, the nationalization of electricity and gas companies, a universal, not-for-profit government health care program, the outlawing of hedge funds, a radical reduction of our bloated military budget and an end to imperial wars—or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite and shackled and chained by our surveillance state. The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide pros…

Updated Action Alert on Gaza: We Need "Sustained, Determined Political Action"

Updated Action Alert on Gaza:
We Need "Sustained, Determined Political Action"

December 29, 2008

As of this writing, a third consecutive day of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed an estimated 315 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400.According to the UN, at least 51 of the victims were civilians and 8 were children.Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has vowed ominously "a war to the bitter end."

Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip are being carried out with F16 fighter jets, Apache helicopters, and naval gunboats all given to Israel by the United States with our tax dollars.

From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16's and more than $100 million worth of helicopter spare parts for its fleet of Apaches. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and signed a contract to transfer an addition $1.9 billion worth of…

Gaza War Info, Information Clearing House

Slaughter In Gaza More Than 200 Killed As Israel Drops 100 Tons Of Bombs In Gaza City

The BBC Video Report

Israeli F-16 bombers have pounded targets across the Gaza Strip, killing more than 200 people, according to local medical workers. Click to view Israeli Attack on Gaza, Kills 205

Israeli warplanes have carried out a massive airstrike on the Gaza Strip
By Press TV [Iranian TV -- Doug]

Video footage showed the bodies of dead people including men, women and children on Gaza streets. Continue Eyewitness: Chaos in Gaza


We can see from our office here in Gaza, in the middle of Gaza City, ambulances are still evacuating the injured from buildings and school kids are trying to find secure places.Continue Hamas Press Conference After Israeli Attacks On Gaza


Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus." A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these thr…

The November 5th Movement: Single-Payer Healthcare

After a poll of its members, Nov5 has settled on this priority. Read on....
To Our Supporters, Several of us from the Nader for President 2008 campaign had decided to channel our efforts toward one big goal, but we lacked a major focus. Recently, results of a survey done by the campaign came back. Top issue? Adopt single payer health care. It's not the only issue people care about, obviously. But, to turn this country around it's clear that we need to address our own pain now. Our big goal for the next Congress will be to drive for national health insurance to cover privately-delivered healthcare for all Americans. We're far from alone in this. The array and scope of the groups and their allies supporting national health insurance is impressive. But we are not reinventing the wheel, either. As long as you want to build a lasting organization that will get Congress to focus on people's needs -- not those of big business -- November5 can be the place to do it. Here in the…

"The Great Slump of 1930," John Maynard Keynes

I. The world has been slow to realize that we are living this year in the shadow of one of the greatest economic catastrophes of modern history. But now that the man in the street has become aware of what is happening, he, not knowing the why and wherefore, is as full to-day of what may prove excessive fears as, previously, when the trouble was first coming on, he was lacking in what would have been a reasonable anxiety. He begins to doubt the future. Is he now awakening from a pleasant dream to face the darkness of facts? Or dropping off into a nightmare which will pass away? He need not be doubtful. The other was not a dream. This is a nightmare, which will pass away with the morning. For the resources of nature and men's devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life—high, I mean, compared with, say,…

Investigating the Investigators: A Critical Look at Pro Publica, Michael Barker, 29 February 2008, Spinwatch

Undoubtedly, our dying republic could use some well-funded investigative journalism. Unfortunately, newspapers -- if they were ever much help -- are dying off. Blogs won't take their place: they, including this one, are essentially analysis only. No real investigative journalism going on, with some excellent exceptions, such as Greg Palast's site -- whose journalism is, after all, partially funded by the BBC and the Guardian.
So, I was happy to find out about Pro Publica on today's Democracy Now. A little digging turned up this article, which is worth reading. There are three parts: click "Next" at the bottom of the referred page to see subsequent entries.

Satyajit Ray's The Postmaster (1961)


The Story is about Nanda, a young man who leaves Calcutta to work as a postmaster in an isolated malaria-infested village. The postmaster is looked after by a young orphan girl, Ratan. His only solace in the village is in teaching Ratan how to read and write. The postmaster is the first of three stories by Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. The stories in to one film titled Teen Kanya (Three Daughters). It's considered by many as one of Satyajit Ray's masterpieces.

Change You Can Really Believe In: Attend Obama House Parties on 12/13-14

A phenomenal idea of Medea Benjamin's: sign up at MyBarackObama, find Obama house parties near you, show up and help move the conversation left!

Yes, my first concern is that this will be another -- a safety valve with no grassroots power. (MoveOn rigged an election when the Demz wanted it; why I quit.) But worth going to anyway, especially since Obama reportedly ain't sharing his 10 million person e-mail list, and to see whether people are motivated by hero-worship or policies.

The site is trying to channel energies in predictable ways; no one has to listen to that, of course. I'll be very interested to see how independent the people at my event will be. MoveOn-ers were feisty. Ultimately got the knife in the back on war funding, but were feisty nonetheless.

David Sirota Nails It: The Mystifying Persistence of Dear Leader-ism

Finally, someone pushes this all-important point hard!

Published on ( The Mystifying Persistence of Dear Leader-ismBy David Sirota Created 12/05/2008 - 9:57am Back in October, I wrote a column[1] about how the economic pressure to compete against foreign autocracies was pushing our political system to subjugate democracy in favor of a kind of czarism - one justified by the need for quick action in international financial markets. That was the theory behind the bailout legislation giving Henry Paulson czar-ish power to spend taxpayer money as he sees fit - on a global stage where Saudi princes and Chinese communists can move trillions without so much as a press release, Paulson was arguing that congressional oversight or the incremental appropriations process (ie. the normal safeguards in a democracy) would slow decisions down too much in a fast-moving situation.Mix this czarist impulse with our usual religion of presidentialism[2] and a newfound zeal…

What I See in Obama's Eyes When He Waxes Lincolnian

Reading this piece (of what, I leave up to you) in the Guardianled me to the following 2005 article by Obama, which I have annotated. Obama's been milking Lincoln's persona for a decade now; I fear he might actually see himself as Lincoln. More's the pity for the rest of us. (I'm guessing the photo to the right is the one Obama's writing about.)
What I See in Lincoln's EyesMonday, June 27, 2005TIME MAGAZINE
By Barack Obama He never won Illinois' Senate seat. But in many ways, he paved the way for me.My favorite portrait of Lincoln comes from the end of his life. In it, Lincoln's face is as finely lined as a pressed flower. He appears frail, almost broken; his eyes, averted from the camera's lens, seem to contain a heartbreaking melancholy, as if he sees before him what the nation had so recently endured.It would be a sorrowful picture except for the fact that Lincoln's mouth is turned ever so slightly into a smile. The smile doesn't negate the…