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Showing posts from May 3, 2009

Intelligent Design?

From a storyboard for a corporate online training module left on my doorstep yesterday:

Page 1

How You People Should Do Certain Things More Betterer

The Money-Goes-In-Here Data Entry System is, like, really important for all of you human resources out there to learn up on good. Here's a step-by-step method, laid out in steps:

1. Money is a means of exchanging goods and services. Press Ctrl + K to enter your sale. Only certain people can do this. Check with Legal.

b. Make sail with customer.

III. Enter amount of monies in the spot right there. The Federal Reserve System was set up in 1913.

[[[Voiceover Script: "Data processing is a very, very, very important part of the totality of things we do here at Felinity. On this page, we will all touch the stone on how best to effect the triggers for good behavior in the most empowering way for you that corresponds exactly to our diktat. Banks are named after the Italian word for benches. Felinity has many locations all over the world."…

"Where Is the World Headed?" Immanuel Wallerstein

As the world heads into the next decade, there are two arenas where we can anticipate great turbulence the geopolitical arena and the world economy, with the relative decline of US geopolitical power, now acknowledged by almost everyone and which even President Obama will be unable to reverse. We've moved into a truly multipolar world where the power of relatively weaker states is suddenly much greater. The Middle East in 2008 was but one example: Turkey brokered long dormant negotiations between Syria and Israel. Qatar brokered a negotiated truce between fiercely opposed factions in Lebanon. Egypt sought to broker negotiations between Hamas and Israel. The Palestinian Authority resumed negotiations with Hamas. And the Pakistani government entered into a de facto truce with the Taliban inside the zones bordering Afghanistan. What's significant about each of these actions is that the United States opposed all of these negotiations and was simply ignored without serious conse…

Obama's Violin: Populist rage and the uncertain containment of change, Paul Street, Z Magazine

By Paul Street
Street's ZSpace page As of this writing in late March, the Barack Obama administration and its allies in the Democratic-run Congress have been attempting to perform system-maintaining acts of co-optation and popular pacification that no Republican presidency or Congress could ever carry out. Lance Selfa reminds us in his recent book The Democrats: A Critical History (Haymarket, 2008) that corporate America would have no reason to embrace a two-party system if there were no significant differences between the two competing "subdivisions" of what Ferdinand Lundberg once aptly called "the Property Party." The business elite profits from a narrow-spectrum system in which one business party is always waiting in the wings to capture and control popular anger and energy when the other business party falls out of favor.But the two parties are not simply interchangeable. It is the Democrats' job to define and embody the constricted left-most parameters …

"Existential Threat"

This is yet another term of contemporary political-media discourse that rankles me to no end. It's a tarted up way of referring to a threat to the existence of x, usually Israel, but that's beside the point here.

In fact, Muslims are apparently the only ones who can bring on an existential threat -- Hillary noted the existence of such a threat to Pakistan yesterday, from other, non-domesticated, free-range Muslims.

So, I put on my thinking cap and came up with some examples of real existential threats:
Inauthenticity.Being turned into a beetle.Boulders that cannot be pushed up hills.Boulders that do not roll back down hills.Essence."Clean up your room or I will again describe in detail the mindless, all-consuming maw of eventual and unavoidable non-existence."ParsifalA three-hour black-and-white film shot in close-ups of two upper-middle-class Euro-Americans bemoaning the meaninglessness of a Godless universe in the comfort of their well-apportioned flat. After two hour…

The Image of Faith in America with Chris Hedges, April 2008

Author of the bestselling book War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges joins the Council to discuss his new book I Don't Believe in Atheists and offers his views of the extreme sides of the religious spectrum in the United States.

Hedges has spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, and has reported from more than fifty countries. He was part of the New York Times team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for the coverage of global terrorism.

He is also the recipient of the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism - World Affairs Council of Northern California

Buying Brand Obama, Chris Hedges

Posted on May 3, 2009By Chris HedgesBarack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.What, for all our faith and hope, has the Obama brand given us? His administration has spent, lent or guaranteed $12.8 trillion in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street and insolvent banks in a doomed effort to reinflate the bubble economy, a tactic that at best forestalls catastrophe and will leave us broke in a t…

Bruce Fein and Mark Danner on Bill Moyers: Torture

May 1, 2009

A new debate followed the release of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel memos approving extreme measures of interrogation under the Bush administration. Bill Moyers sits down with Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the American Freedom Agenda, and Mark Danner, who has been reporting on the US treatment and interrogation of detainees for the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. More about Fein and Danner and debate over torture tactics.