01 March 2008
Video versions of the audio I posted a ways back:
Sponsored by the Academic Freedom Committee at DePaul University, Diskord Magazine (University of Chicago, RSO), and Verso Books (London).
Dr. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of The Heyman Center, Columbia University
Dr. Tony Judt, University Professor and Director of the Remarque Institute, New York University
Dr. John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago
Question and Answer period
Mr. Evan Lorendo, Academic Freedom Committee, DePaul University
Dr. Mehrene Larudee, International Studies Program, DePaul University
Dr. Neve Gordon, Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University
Dr. Norman Finkelstein, author of Image and Reality of the Israel Palestine Conflict, The Holocaust Industry and Beyond Chutzpah
29 February 2008
|1. The Tradition of Listening|
|2. The Tradition of the Family Table|
|3. The Tradition of Health|
|4. The Tradition of History|
|5. The Tradition of Scarcity|
|6. The Tradition of Sibling Equality|
|7. The Tradition of Education and Argument|
|8. The Tradition of Discipline|
|9. The Tradition of Simple Enjoyments|
|10. The Tradition of Reciprocity|
|11. The Tradition of Independent Thinking|
|12. The Tradition of Charity|
|13. The Tradition of Work|
|14. The Tradition of Business|
|15. The Tradition of Patriotism|
|16. The Tradition of Solitude|
|17. The Tradition of Civics|
Re-enacted. Not quite up to Obama-Clinton, of course -- no questions about diamonds vs. pearls -- but somewhat interesting, nonetheless:
- 1st Debate: Transcript | Video
- 2nd Debate: Transcript | Video
- 3rd Debate: Transcript | Video
- 4th Debate: Transcript | Video
- 5th Debate: Transcript | Video
- 6th Debate: Transcript | Video
- 7th Debate: Transcript | Video
- This morning, Ralph will appear on C-Span's Washington Journal from 8:00 to 8:30 EST (launches RealPlayer; this is really excellent).
- Matt and Ralph will be interviewed on KQED (RealPlayer) radio from 12 noon to 1 p.m. EST.
- And Ralph will appear Monday on the Lou Dobbs Radio Show from 3:10 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST
- Last night, Ralph and Matt appeared before a young and energetic crowd at George Washington University. C-Span taped that event and it will air on C-Span sometime soon.
The graphic is from the Kansas City Star.
The Three Trillion Dollar War: Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Economist Linda Bilmes on the True Cost of the US Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Click the title of this post for the 40-minute interview on Democracy Now. The guests are total morons, as you can see:
- Joseph Stiglitz, Winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics. He is a professor at Columbia University and the former chief economist at the World Bank. He is the co-author of the new book The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.
- Linda Bilmes, Professor of public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She is co-author of the new book The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.
Exactly. More by the author (follow-up) here. Good stuff, great analysis.
The DLC marches on: Obama's mentor was Lieberman. Most people who support Obama, I imagine, don't know this.
28 February 2008
A classic essay, and ultimately a very moving tribute to a dead friend. Vidal marshals his prodigious literary talent to evoke both the man and his last screenplay, never filmed, a poignant posthumous gift and act of artistic generosity.
The end of this essay is pure Welles; touchingly, and fittingly, Vidal puts his own persona aside and leaves the stage to the great magician.
I didn't even try to figure this one out, but I thought I'd post the puzzle, the solution, a very recent analysis of an error in the original puzzle, a fix to that, and an even more elegant solution to the fixed puzzle. I can barely follow the logic when it's in front of me -- I have to read it very, very slowly, and repeatedly!
But it's very interesting. Give it a try! If you solve it on your own, my hat is off to you.
Jeremy Scahill: Despite Anti-War Rhetoric, Clinton-Obama Plans Would Keep U.S. Mercenaries, Troops in Iraq for Years to Come
And The Nation article.
Policy matters, of course -- and "details" even more so.
This is example n in an infinite series of what "liberal" means when it comes to foreign policy.
You might need to let this load on pause for while: I got broadband (as defined in the US), and it takes a moment or six hundred. The third mini-episode, Citizen Kang, is the one I mean; all three are funny, of course.
Further, exactly how US and EU policies have set the stage for someone like Putin to become as popular and powerful as he is (without ignoring homegrown motivations) seems to go unanalyzed. For example, if Bush is actually serious about not threatening Russia, and not believing Russia to be a threat to peace, as he recently said, well, there's an easy solution: give them the anti-missile technology, too. In fact, give it to China as well. Then, everyone's happy and we can concentrate on the "evil doers."
No one is going to do that: not Obama, Hillary, McCain or anyone else the owners will let near the highest position in middle management in the country. Obviously, no one is really concerned about Iran launching nuclear missiles against anyone: they'd be completely wiped off the face of the earth by just about everyone else if that ever happened. No terrorist org would nuke anyone with missiles, fachrissakes. A child of ten can figure that one out: if anything, it'd be trucked in -- or "better" yet, floated in. These systems are directed at our real competitors: Russia, China -- even "old" Europe, defined as, "anyone on that continent who doesn't follow our orders."
What else is new? Soon spring will be here.
Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements is about to launch. Blurb; and pasted below. I'm the North American editor, and part of my job is to seduce the unwary into either writing for the journal, serving on the N.A. editorial board (i.e., we help each other edit, get submissions, shape the N.A. section, etc.), or even volunteering to be webmaster for the whole thing. We've got someone who's doing it now but who can't commit permanently.
Please contact me at email@example.com, and feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested. If you're not in North America but still want to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The development and increased visibility of social movements in the last few years, has made it clear just how much knowledge movements generate. This knowledge is generated across the globe, and in many contexts and a variety of ways.
We are activists from different movements and different countries, researchers working with movements, and progressive academics from various countries. We have been involved in many different projects to support and develop the recent knowledge generation processes around contemporary social movements. Through this work we have come to recognise how much we stand to learn from each other – from the specific experiences of movements, from the languages that have been developed within and around different movements, and from different places and times.
The purpose of this journal is to learn from each other's struggles:
* across movements and issues
* across continents and cultures
* across theoretical and disciplinary traditions.
The journal will be a space for abstraction from and translation between movements. It will seek to develop analysis and knowledge by both movement participants and academics who are developing movement-relevant theory and research. The journal seeks to include material that can be used in concrete ways by movements. The material may do this through its content, but also through its language, purpose and form. We hope this process will allow generic lessons to be learned from specific movement processes and experiences. We hope to translate knowledge across and between different movement contexts. Movements have always generated knowledge, both internally and in alliance with other movements.
We would like to continue the rich tradition already established by many activists, researchers and academics. It is the aim of this journal to add to and amplify the processes that already exist; the journal does not seek to substitute itself in any way for these already existing processes.
Our vision is for a practitioner journal where activist and academic peers will review each other's work as part of this process of translation. We will be seeking both formal research (qualitative and quantitative) and practically-grounded work on all aspects of social movements. We will be seeking work in a range of different formats, suited to the different voices speaking within the journal. These might range across (for example):
* conventional articles
* review essays
* facilitated discussions and interviews
* action notes
* teaching notes
* key documents and analysis
* book reviews
* ...and beyond.
Our focus in the editing process will be on bringing out and sharing the quality of each other's knowledge from one movement to another. We will seek to assist authors to find ways of expressing their understanding, so that we all can be heard across geographical, social and political distances.
The journal will be online, free, and multilingual, in order to make it as widely accessible as possible. Our hope is to have a number of semi-autonomous groups focussed in different regions of the world and on different languages. These groups would share a common vision and translate articles from and for each other, but with a wide degree of freedom in how they go about developing their own section of the journal.
Please join us
We are looking for activist researchers, whether in movement or academic contexts, who are engaged in developing knowledge from and for social movements and feel they might be interested in working with us to develop this project.
We are also looking for theorists, activists and academics who may not be interested in being this closely involved, but would be willing to sit on an editorial advisory board and review articles, suggest directions, etc.
We are working on building links with possible editorial groups beyond the one group already in existence, recruiting an advisory board and attracting funding for translation and technical support. All suggestions and help will be very gratefully received!
27 February 2008
26 February 2008
Couldn't have said it better myself; best part of the essay is the last few paragraphs. Exactly my concern. It's not the religiosity that bothers me -- though I think it's mostly vote-getting bullshit -- it's the Dear-Leader-worship that is truly scary.
Key quote, my emphasis below:
[Obama] also wrote that for Democrats to shun religiosity is "bad politics" adding: "When we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts ... others will fill the vacuum." Well, if there ever was such a vacuum, Barack Obama is filling it now. As he will certainly have anticipated, many erstwhile Republican voters are seduced by this form of rhetoric and have been indicating that they will vote for Obama. In fact, he has invented a word for these voters: he calls them "Obamicans".
It is interesting that this seems to have been an unmitigated benefit. Not only has Obama successfully made an appeal to Republicans who viewed other Democrats as godless, but the Left has, by and large, ignored its scruples and refused to criticise its candidate's studied use of specifically Christian language and imagery. As a result, Obama has got away with claims to metaphysical virtue which would have been denounced as medievally idiotic presumption, had they been uttered by a Republican candidate.
To Obama's credit, he does not follow the religious Right in denouncing his opponents as wicked. The worst you can say is that this is implicit in his message, rather than explicit. Nevertheless, there is an underlying strain of intolerance in Obama's message of unification. In his victory speech in Wisconsin last week, he made his usual attack on "special interests". "We must put aside the divisions in Washington. We must work for a higher purpose" – or perhaps that should be Higher Purpose. Yet to stigmatise "divisions in Washington" is just acceptable rhetoric for denouncing the workings of a complex pluralistic democracy. For "divisions" read "disagreement" – or "opposition". Obama, of course, is a democrat as well as a Democrat; but there is something in this form of rhetoric that has echoes of fascism, with its idea that the squabbling of mere politicians should be overthrown in favour of one man's uniquely wise interpretation of the National Will. Phrases such as "everything must be changed" were also the stock-in-trade of fascist orators, raising hopes which ended in the most dreadful disillusionment – and worse.
I think Barack Obama understands this risk. For all the fever of his rallies, his own oratorical style never descends into ranting, still less foam-flecked hysteria. Yet the frenzy he has engendered contains within it the seeds of bitter disappointment, or even tragedy. There is the question of his own physical safety. Less morbidly, what will be the reaction of his supporters if he should fail to be elected President? Perhaps most troubling of all, what will be their reaction if he is elected, but the celestial choirs fail to appear and the world refuses to be perfect?
From NF's site:
Topic: "How can we help the Palestinian cause?"
01.23.2008 | Indymedia UK
On Wednesday 23rd January, The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) hosted a workshop entitled "How can UK Residents Help the Palestinian Cause?" The guest speaker was Norman Finkelstein, and this audio is a record of the event. The first part consists of Finkelstein's Introductory remarks, and Part 2 is a recording of the workshop, and a short Q&A session.
1) Noam Chomsky - Fateful Triangle
2) Robert Fisk - Pity the Nation
3) Benny Morris - Righteous Victims ("good up until 1956")
4) Zeev Maoz - Defending the Holy Land
If you're thinking of reading them, try ordering them through your public library.
Link to the Hebron report referred to by Finkelstein:
Barack Obama and The Audacity of Deception: Reflections on the Manufacture of Progressive Illusion, Paul Street
Exactly right. If, of course, all evidence turns out to be wrong, and Obama becomes the paladin he claims to be, I'll be right there cheering. Otherwise, I'm expecting some variation on Townshend: "Meet the new boss: same as the old boss."
A classic work by Chomsky, free and online, courtesy of the Chomster and Z; click the title to read.
Not only is this of historical interest, but in the glare of a New Camelot, a new criminal war (the latest of many), and a new distracting conspiracy-theory industry (on 9/11), it helps to see how little changes among the self-described "liberal doves," and in American political culture in general.
Wow, you mean real life isn't like TV? But I thought 24 was a documentary? Lots could be said about what this guy has to say, and about interrogation procedures, etc. But one thing is clear: torture is not only unnecessary but also counterproductive. Not that such testimony as this, whatever else you may think of it, will stop commissars like Alan Dershowitz from spouting off, despite the fact that relevant representatives of his Holy State (I mean, Israel, not the US, his other Holy State) dismiss "ticking time bomb" as fulsome bullshit.
(Of course, he's now writing an opera, so he's a Renaissance man.)
How do you make a terrorist talk? Veteran FBI interrogator Jack Cloonan has broken some of al Qaeda’s toughest operatives. In this special interview with FP, he shares some of his methods for making a terrorist tell all.
From The Real News Network:
Aijaz Ahmad commentary: Western calls for sanctions against Iran ignore IAEA report
Tuesday February 26th, 2008Based in New Delhi, Aijaz Ahmad is The Real News Network Senior News Analyst, Senior Editorial Consultant, and political commentator for the Indian newsmagazine, Frontline. He has taught Political Science, and has written widely on South Asia and the Middle East.
For more accolades of Z, click the title or look at the first comment.
We live in an era of media concentration, vast efforts on many fronts (political, economic, military, ideological) to insulate state and private power from critical discussion or even popular awareness, and to reduce citizens to isolated atomized creatures restricted to satisfying personal 'created wants.' This massive and coordinated campaign has been partially successful, but only in a limited way.
The range and scope and dedication of popular activism has also increased, all over the world, reaching a level of international solidarity and mutual support that has never been seen before. The basic conflicts are very old, but they have taken quite dramatic and significant new forms, and the stakes are far higher than ever before. It is, regrettably, no exaggeration to say that the survival of the species is at risk -- and many others with it. We all know why.
The popular movements are the hope for a decent future. They of course have to have access to information and modes of interaction. In addition to alternative print and video, to a very large extent they have relied on the internet, which allows people to escape from the constraints of the doctrinal systems, to explore and investigate and discuss crucial issues with one another, to plan and organize.
Z Magazine and ZNet have played a crucial role in serving all of these functions. I see that every day. I travel and speak constantly, in the U.S. and abroad, and spend many hours a day just responding to inquiries and comments. I constantly discover that the people and organizations I come in contact with are relying very substantially on Z projects for information, discussion, and opportunities for interaction and organizing, to an extent that is quite remarkable.
Z is also an invaluable resource for me personally, in all of these respects, and also in my case for providing a forum for intense and very constructive discussion, the only one I regularly participate in. And for posting articles, interviews, commentaries, etc., of mine. I know that many others have very much the same experience.
It is of inestimable importance, in my judgment, that Z and ZNet, now composing the new ZCom with their various other projects such as their growing video efforts and incomparable summer school, arguably the most exciting and instructive I have ever encountered.
Again, I do not think it is possible to exaggerate the stakes. I hope that all of us who are committed to resisting and reversing the powerful currents of reaction and oppression and violence, and showing that another world is indeed possible, will contribute as best we can to ensure that the remarkable achievements of Z and ZNet will be carried forward.
Posted by Doug at 8:01 AM
Labels: Al Qaeda, Civil Liberties, Class Warfare, Democracy, Edwards, Fascism, Global Warming, Globalization, Going Green, Gore, Guantanamo Bay, Healthcare, Hillary, Impeachment, Infrastructure, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kucinich, Military-Industrial Complex, Nader, Neoliberalism, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, Palestine, Privatization, Propaganda, Spineless Democrats, Torture
25 February 2008
We had a great launch yesterday.
Ralph Nader appeared on Meet the Press with Tim Russert.
Major media outlets throughout the world ran headlines about Ralph’s historic challenge to the corporations that dominate our society.
And the names, the volunteers, the money started to flow.
Now, we’re starting to build a national organization to get Ralph on the ballot so that together we can challenge the corporate political parties in this momentous election year.
Ralph has been on major television news outlets already today. He’s scheduled to be on CNN’s Anderson Cooper tonight at 10 p.m.
We want to thank all of you for your encouragement and support.
See how you do.
The Nader Team
PS: Remember to forward this message to your friends. If you received this message from someone else, sign up here.
Starts with a great bit on "9/11 Truth"; goes from there....
The Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries ("CPLC;" made up of: Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, St. Thomas and Prince Islands, East Timor) must be a community of Peace and as such an example for the world. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet reached a time in which Peace can be guaranteed without the use of Peace-keeping police and military forces. Obviously, true Peace is beyond such strategies. It must be, above all, the result of a continued activism within the civic and cultural spheres. However, in order for such activism to be effective, it is fundamental to guarantee minimal conditions of security and stability.
The recent attempt to the lives of Ramos Horta and Xanana Gusmão in East Timor left it once more clear that there is an imperative need for a Peace-keeping police and military force that, under the auspices of the UN, may act with the resources of the CPLP and with the efficacy, impartiality, independence from the geo-political interests of regional and global superpowers and understanding of the local context and cultural reality that non-Portuguese-speaking forces naturally do not have. Such intervention should obviously not exclude a larger action in the civic and cultural fields, which must be reinforced.
The CPLP has nowadays a much more bureaucratic, formal and protocol-oriented status that that which should be expected from a body which promotes the cooperation, on an egalitarian basis, between Portuguese-speaking countries. It is our conviction that a Peace-keeping police and military force should be created within the structure of CPLP and of the member countries, in order to create a body that can quickly and effectively respond to any security-related emergency.
This Peace-keeping force should include, whenever and as much as possible, police units coming from all Portuguese-speaking countries, from
East Timorto , as well as naval units from Cape Verde and Brazil and Angolan, Brazilian and Portuguese special air forces. Given the multinational nature of this Peace-keeping force, there would be no space for “imperialist” tendencies, or its use for the promotion of specific economic interests, as it is often the case with missions carried out by NATO, Portugal or the Anglo-Saxon countries. Russia
This Peace-keeping police and military force could reinforce the institutional and political capacity of CPLP, as well as build a firmer ground for the integration of Brazil as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It can also prafigurate the formation, at a new scale, of a true Transnational Portuguese-speaking Community, as a space of peace and security for all the nations that destiny united in that “Ariadne thread” called the “Portuguese Language”.
If you agree with the creation of this Peace-keeping police and military force within the framework of CPLP, please sign this petition. You can access it by clicking on this link.
We hereby swear that we will present this petition to all concerning authorities, including CPLP.
MIL: MOVIMENTO INTERNACIONAL LUSÓFONO (International Movement for the Promotion of the language and culture of Portuguese-speaking countries), The Coordinating CommissionNote: MIL: MOVIMENTO INTERNACIONAL LUSÓFONO (International Movement for the Promotion of the language and culture of Portuguese-speaking countries) is a recently created cultural and civic movement created in association with the NOVA ÁGUIA magazine (novaaguia.blogspot.com). This movement and “Nova Águia” already has more than four hundred collaborators in all Portuguese-speaking countries and beyond.
The Coordinating Commission is presided by Prof. Paulo Borges (
, Philosophy Department), President of the Agostinho da Silva Association, where the headquarters of MIL is located. Universityof Lisbon
The list of members is public – you can access it in our blog (novaaguia.blogspot.com). It is composed by people with a wide range of political, religious and cultural inclinations, from within and beyond the Portuguese-speaking countries.
If you agree with this petition, we kindly ask you to diffuse it as widely as possible.If you want to become a member of MIL, you can send us an E-mail with your name, E-mail address and area of residence to the following address: email@example.com
So, given what we've done to the Kurds (among others, but let's talk Kurd now), do we have any reason to ask, "Why do they hate us?" if a Kurdish-backed terror attack occurs? C'mon, let's be adults about this shit, already.
22 February 2008 | Latest Iran Safeguards Report Delivered to IAEA Board.
Follow up here; primary sources!
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei today circulated his latest report on nuclear safeguards in Iran to the Agency´s Board of Governors, the 35-member policymaking body.
Here's Obama's senior foreign policy advisors, Samantha Power -- a perfect example of a liberal apologist:
- Samantha Power v. Jeremy Scahill: A Debate on U.S. Actions in the Balkans, the Independence of Kosovo, the Iraq Sanctions and Humanitarian Intervention
- Barack Obama’s Senior Foreign Policy Adviser Samantha Power on Obama’s Call to Increase the Pentagon’s Budget, Hugo Chavez, Funding the Iraq Occupation and Attacking Pakistan
Update: Here's a good piece on Power and power from Znet, and here's the Charlie Rose interview. I can't take the time to point out every false piece of "conventional wisdom" herein. It should be obvious; it's really disgusting:
Nothing to do with sex -- who cares about such trivial matters?
I'm talking corruption. You know, things that actually matter.
Click the following for DN! on this: Behind the John McCain Lobbying Scandal: A Look at How McCain Urged the Federal Communications Commission to Act on Behalf of Paxson Communications.
More here: new developments. And this:
In news on John McCain’s run for the White House, Newsweek has uncovered more information on the McCain lobbying scandal. Last week McCain issued a sweeping denial to rebut a New York Times story about his ties to a Washington lobbyist. According to the Times, McCain wrote two letters to the Federal Communications Commission regarding Paxson Communications,
a client of the lobbyist Vicki Iseman. At the time, McCain served as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. Last week, McCain said he never spoke to anybody from Paxson or the lobbying firm about the matter. But that claim seems to be contradicted by McCain’s own past statements. In 2002 McCain said “I was contacted by Mr. Lowell Paxson on this issue. He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business.” McCain’s quote appears in a sworn deposition from 2002 obtained by Newsweek.
Meanwhile, the McCain campaign suffered another setback Friday with the indictment of Republican Congressman Rick Renzi of Arizona. Renzi is co-chair of Senator McCain’s campaign in Arizona. He faces charges of extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. Justice Dept to Investigate 2002 Rulings on Waterboarding The Justice Department has revealed its internal ethics office is investigating the department’s decision to give the CIA legal approval to waterboard prisoners. Beginning in 2002 Justice Department attorneys issued a series of rulings authorizing the use of the interrogation practice that is widely considered a form of torture. One of the Justice Department documents declared that interrogation methods were not torture unless they produced pain equivalent to that produced by organ failure or death.