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22 November 2008

The Origins of Norms: The Place of Value in a World of Nature

Click the title for the unembeddable video. This roundtable occurred two days after this lecture by Daston.

Norman Finkelstein Lecture on the Relevance of Gandhi to the Palestinian Struggle

21 November 2008

Bank Eat Bank: Bailout Encourages Mergers

Another excellent report from American News Project:

An Hour with Bolivian President Evo Morales: “Neoliberalism Is No Solution for Humankind”

Two Views of the Future

Interesting both as a window on our likely/possible future and as a window into how defense types think:

  1. Ministry of Defence, UK: The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007 - 2036
  2. National Intelligence Council, US: 2025 Global Trends, Final Report

The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same, Ralph Nader

While the liberal intelligentsia was swooning over Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, I counseled “prepare to be disappointed.” His record as a Illinois state and U.S. Senator, together with the many progressive and long overdue courses of action he opposed during his campaign, rendered such a prediction unfortunate but obvious.

Now this same intelligentsia is beginning to howl over Obama’s transition team and early choices to run his Administration. Having defeated Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primaries, he now is busily installing Bill Clinton’s old guard. Thirty one out of forty seven people that he has named so far for transition or appointments have ties to the Clinton Administration, according to Politico. One Clintonite is quoted in the Washington Post as saying – “This isn’t lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time.”

Obama’s “foreign policy team is now dominated by the Hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990,” writes Jeremy Scahill. Obama’s transition team reviewing intelligence agencies and recommending appointments is headed by John Brennan and Jami Miscik, who worked under George Tenet when the CIA was involved in politicizing intelligence for, among other officials, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s erroneous address before the United Nations calling for war against Iraq.

Mr. Brennan, as a government official, supported warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition to torturing countries. National Public Radio reported that Obama’s reversal when he voted for the revised FISA this year relied on John Brennan’s advice.

For more detail on these two advisers and others recruited by Obama from the dark old days, see Democracy Now, November 17, 2008 [ed., see here and here] and Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet, Nov. 20, 2008 “This is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama’s White House.

The top choice as White House chief of staff is Rahm Emanuel—the ultimate hard-nosed corporate Democrat, military-foreign policy hawk and Clinton White House promoter of corporate globalization, as in NAFTA and the World Trade Organization.

Now, recall Obama’s words during the bucolic “hope and change” campaign months: “The American people…understand the real gamble is having the same old folks doing things over and over and over again and somehow expecting a different result.” Thunderous applause followed these remarks.

“This is more ‘Groundhog Day’ then a fresh start,” asserted Peter Wehner, a former Bush adviser who is now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

The signs are amassing that Barack Obama put a political con job over on the American people. He is now daily buying into the entrenched military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address.

With Robert Rubin on his side during his first photo opportunity after the election, he signaled to Wall Street that his vote for the $750 billion bailout of those speculators and crooks was no fluke (Rubin was Clinton’s financial deregulation architect in 1999 as Secretary of the Treasury before he became one of the hugely paid co-directors tanking Citigroup.)

Obama’s apologists say that his picks show he wants to get things done, so he wants people who know their way around Washington. Moreover, they say, the change comes only from the president who sets the priorities and the courses of action, not from his subordinates. This explanation assumes that a president’s appointments are not mirror images of the boss’s expected directions but only functionaries to carry out the Obama changes.

If you are inclined to believe this improbable scenario, perhaps you may wish to review Obama’s record compiled by Matt Gonzalez at Counterpunch.

Chomsky on Europe in World Affairs, Missile "Defense"

20 November 2008

Africa, Basil Davidson

1 - Different But Equal

2 - Mastering A Continent

3 - Caravans of Gold

4 - The King and the City

5 - The Bible and The Gun

Happy 80th Birthday, Noam

Click above for Chomsky Tribute (dot org), a special site for the Noamster's 80th (on December 7th).

19 November 2008

Pacifica Radio Archives’ Campus Campaign: Celebrating Chomsky’s 80th Birthday

We spend the hour with the internationally renowned American linguist, author, political commentator, and philosopher Noam Chomsky, whose decades of analysis and insight are preserved in the Pacifica Archives.

Noam Chomsky is a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is known in the academic and scientific community as the father of modern linguistics. Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as an anarchist-leaning political dissident, and libertarian socialist intellectual.

Beginning with his opposition to the Vietnam War Chomsky established himself as a prominent critic of US foreign and domestic policy. He expressed his opposition to the Vietnam war in his February 1967 essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals” which was published in The New York Review of Books. In 1968 he spoke at a Town hall meeting against the draft in New York City in a speech that was broadcast on Pacifica stations and is now preserved in the Archives. In 1969 he published a collection of essays called American Power and the New Mandarins, which put him on the political map.

His far-reaching criticisms of US foreign policy and his questioning of the legitimacy of US power have resulted in him being almost completely shunned by the American mainstream media in the United States – yet Chomsky is frequently sought out for his views by mainstream publications and news outlets worldwide.

Noam Chomsky turns 80 on December 7th 2008, and just weeks from his birthday today we present you with a chance to help disseminate his words into American high schools and college campuses through the Pacifica Archives’ Campus Campaign.

Call 1800-735-0230 to make a pledge, or visit www.supportPRA.org.

18 November 2008

The Silk Road, 1980, NHK (Japan) and CCTV (China)

Click title for background info.

01 Glories Of Ancient Chang An

02 A Thousand Kilometers Beyond The Yellow River

03 The Art Gallery in the Desert

04 The Dark Castle

05 In Search of the Kingdom of Lou-Lan

06 Across The Taklamakan Desert

07 Khotan-Oasis of Silk and Jade

08 A Heat Wave Called Turfan

09 Through the Tian Shan Mountains by Rail

10 Journey Into Music: South Through the Tian Shan Mountains

11 Where Horses Fly Like the Wind

12 Two Roads to the Pamirs

The Seven Wonders of the Muslim World

Various Documentaries on the Mongols

17 November 2008

The Mystery Of The Taj Mahal * ஆங்கிலம்

16 November 2008

The Story of India






BBC Documentary: In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Jimi Hendrix Live at Woodstock -- Complete