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Showing posts from October 26, 2008

McCain, Obama, and Rashid Khalidi: Straight-Up Racism, Plain and Simple

I mean, just add it to the ever-lengthening list.... First link to DN!; second, below, to Juan Cole. Khalidi is a leading scholar, of course. But he's one of "them," just like Barack Hussein Obama, so, you know. Not a real American. As Colbert put it, the only "Joe" McPalin are using as a mascot in this campaign is Joe the McCarthy. Total scumbags.
McCain Faults Obama for Ties to Professor He Once FundedOn the Republican side, Senator McCain has revived an old attack on Obama by bringing up his alleged ties to Palestinian American professor Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi teaches Arab Studies at Columbia University, where he also heads the Middle East Institute. The McCain campaign has cited few allegations against Khalidi aside from the fact that he is a Palestinian and supports Palestinians’ right to resist Israeli military occupation. Speaking last night on CNN’s Larry King Live, McCain criticized the LA Times for refusing to release a video of Obama appearing at a 2…

Recent Chomsky Interview

Sit tight: Chomsky speaks in English, as per usual. It starts at 6:25. The second part has some technical error at about five seconds: Chomsky starts by talking about Obama, but slides into something else (possibly about the EU or antiglobalization movement?). I e-mailed the interviewer to see whether this can be fixed.




Paulson's Swindle Revealed, William Greider, The Nation

October 29, 2008 The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public's money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return. These are dynamite facts that demand immediate action to halt the bailout deal and correct its giveaway terms. Stop payment on the Treasury checks before the bankers can cash them. Open an immediate Congressional investigation into how Paulson and his staff determined such a sweetheart deal for leading players in the financial sector and for …

Alex Kramer on Cello

Sergei Rachmaninoff's Cello Sonata in G-minor, 3d movement; Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata in D-Major Op. 102 #2; Zoltan Kodaly's Sonata for Cello and Piano; Bohuslav Martinu's Variations on a Slovak Theme.

Each video segment begins with a little visual fog; it clears up quickly:

The Vote Grab: Voting machines are unreliable and inaccurate, Peter Tatchell, The Independent

Great video embedded in this article: nice to watch how fucked up these machines really are.

Bottom line: not having an independent election commission is a bipartisan "gentleman's agreement" -- whoever can steal the most votes wins. Nice.

Let's see whether Obama pushes for an independent election commission that oversees all elections (federal, state, local); paper-trail voting; full public funding of elections. Anyone want to lay a bet?

What Do They Have to Do to Lose Your Vote? Matt Gonzalez

By MATT GONZALEZ, Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watching the Democrats in the final weeks of the presidential election has been a lesson in revisionist history. While they lament the terrible crimes perpetrated against the American people by George Bush and vow to keep fighting for our rights, they conveniently gloss over the fact that they have no standing to make such claims. Indeed, the Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama, have actually voted with President Bush’s agenda, making them complicit in his acts, not valiant opponents defending our liberties.

PELOSI’S PROMISE TO END THE WAR

Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said that if she became the speaker of the House of Representatives she would end the war in Iraq. Remember that? The Boston Globe noted, "Pelosi vows no ‘blank check’ on Iraq funds.” (1/8/07). In her own words: "If the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new to him, because up until now the Republican C…

Howard Zinn Voting for Nader

Not that you should care one way or the other -- I don't -- but the point is that Zinn, unlike Chomsky, didn't specify voting for Obama if and only if you're in a swing state in his widely quoted interview with Paul Jay of The Real News Network.

Apparently, he's set the record straight, which sounds right to me, as I was surprised not to hear that caveat from Zinn, of all people.

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Howard Zinn Voting for NaderDate: 29 Oct 2008 09:24:24 -0700From: The Nader Team org>Reply-To: The Nader Team org>To: tarnopol@cox.net

October 29, 2008
www.votenader.org
www.officialnaderstore.com


Howard Zinn now says he's voting for Nader.The famous historian lives in Massachusetts, where Obama is ahead by 20 points.Zinn created a stir earlier when he said he was voting for Obama.He legitimately took some heat for supporting the corporate Obama.But late last night, Zinn admitted in an e-mail to our campaign that he made a mistake and now…

The Least Worst Trap: Talking with Ralph Nader, Alison Kilkenny, HuffPo

On Sunday, the War on Terror spilled into Syria, and the only people more surprised than the Syrians are Americans. See, the war has already spilled into Pakistan. It's unclear where the United States will be heading next, but I hear Kazakhstan is hunkered down and braced for an attack at any moment. Sure, they're a member of NATO and the UN, and have nothing to do with any of this, but their funny-sounding name and population of foreigners is working against their innocence. All it will take to gain popular support for an air assault is the presence of American ignorance regarding Kazakhstan's people, policies, and culture. Bad news Kazakhstan: we have no idea who you are. Head for the hills!Even as the war expands, the definition of victory remains opaque. Though the Bush administration has no long-term vision of what a stable Middle East looks like (Bush has said something about an Iraqi 'Mickey D's being a 'sweet idea') several senior American officials…

Nader's Stubborn Idealism, William Greider, The Nation

Ralph Nader is a man of political substance trapped in an era of easy lies. He pierces the fog of propaganda with hard facts and reason, but the smoke rolls over him and he disappears from public view. A lesser man might go crazy or get the message and give it up. Nader instead runs for president again, as he is doing this year, campaigning in fifty states and addressing crowds wherever he finds them, smaller crowds this time but still eager to feed on his idealism. Ralph is not delusional. He knows the story. He is stubborn about the facts and honest with himself. "I believe in I.F. Stone's dictum that in all social justice movements, you've got to be ready to lose. And lose and lose and lose. It's not very pleasant, but you have to accept this if you believe in what you're doing," Nader explained. He was conducting a "newsmaker" press conference at the National Press Club in Washington on Friday before moving on to Massachussetts, where h…

Alexander Cockburn: Obama, the first-rate Republican

Is there anything the front-runner will not say to become President? No progressive cause would have a chance with him in chargeSunday, 26 October 2008As a left-winger I might be expected to be supporting Barack Obama. And indeed, in these last days I've been scraping around, trying to muster a single positive reason to encourage a vote for Obama. Please note my accent on the positive, since the candidate himself has couched his appeal in this idiom. Why vote for Obama-Biden, as opposed to against the McCain-Palin ticket? Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a "reform" candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America's problems without talking about the arms budget? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of the Second World War. In "real dollars" – an optimistic concept these days – the $635bn (£400bn) appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 per cent above the previous all-time high, reache…

John Pilger, "The diplomacy of lying"

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the truth and lies of great power as practised by British "diplomacy'', and the prospects for peace and order following the US presidential election on November 4.

In 1992, Mark Higson, the Foreign Office official responsible for Iraq, appeared before the Scott inquiry into the scandal of arms sold illegally to Saddam Hussein. He described a “culture of lying” at the heart of British foreign policymaking. I asked him how frequently ministers and officials lied to parliament.

“It’s systemic,” he said. “The draft letters I wrote for various ministers were saying that nothing had changed, the embargo on the sale of arms to Iraq was the same.”

“Was that true?” I asked.

“No, it wasn’t true.”

“And your superiors knew it wasn’t true?”

“Yes.”

“So how much truth did the public get?”

“The public got as much truth as we could squeeze out, given that we told downright lies.”

From British involvement with the genocidal Khmer Rou…