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Tribalism, Racism and Projection – Part 2

February 23rd, 2012

By Gilad Atzmon

Racism is a big word with some very bad connotations. Being accused of racism is one of the most hurtful and potentially damaging labels around. And yet, how many ‘racists’ really think in ‘biological determinist’ terms? How many ‘racists’ out there really think in terms of ‘genes,’ or even ‘skin colour’? I guess not that many.

While acknowledging that racism had a significant cultural, and politically lethal impact between the late 19th century and the middle of the last century, in today’s politics, the word ‘racism’ is often misused, mistakenly used, or in some cases, consciously used to mislead and even to silence.

Though discrimination against minority groups is unfortunately common and totally unacceptable, it is not necessarily always motivated by crude racism. Islamophobia, for instance, is commonly regarded as a contemporary manifestation of racism but I would challenge such an understanding. Islamophobia, I contend, is not driven by racism, but rather, it is actually a crude symptom of intolerance -- xenophobia manifested as hatred, bigotry and discrimination.

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Wrongheaded UN Vote on Syria

February 23rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

On February 4, Russia and China vetoed the Arab League's one-sided Syria resolution (SC/10536). It illegitimately called for Assad to step down.

Under international law, no nation or combination thereof, may interfere in the internal affairs of others, except in self-defense if attacked.

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Greece: The Epicenter of Global Pillage

February 22nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Predatory bankers make serial killers look good by comparison. Their business model creates crises to facilitate grand theft, financial terrorism, and debt entrapment.

They steal all material wealth and then some. They systematically rob investors and strip mine economies for self-enrichment.

They demand they get paid first. They hold nations hostage to assure it. They turn crises into catastrophes.

They leave mass impoverishment, high unemployment, neo-serfdom, and human wreckage in their wake.

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Virginia is for Misogynists

February 22nd, 2012

By Michael Collins

The Virginia legislature is about to enact a law that requires a transvaginal ultrasound procedure for all women who have abortions (except in the case of a medical emergency). Apparently, the legislators are unaware that the law violates existing sexual assault code or that Virginians oppose the law by a wide margin.

Here's the procedure.

"You will lie down on a table with your knees bent and feet in holders called stirrups. The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel. … The health care provider will move the probe within the area to see the pelvic organs." Medline Plus

This isn't an option. It's a requirement for an abortion in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The law is clear:

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The “Global Crises of Capitalism”; Whose Crises, Who Profits?

February 21st, 2012

James Petras

Introduction

From the Financial Times to the far left, tons of ink has been spilt writing about some variant of the “Crises of Global Capitalism”. While writers differ in the causes, consequences and cures, according to their ideological lights, there is a common agreement that “the crises” threatens to end the capitalist system as we know it.

There is no doubt that, between 2008-2009, the capitalist system in Europe and the United States suffered a severe shock that shook the foundations of its financial system and threatened to bankrupt its ‘leading sectors’.

However, I will argue the ‘crises of capitalism’ was turned into a ‘crises of labor’. Finance capital, the principle detonator of the crash and crises, recovered, the capitalist class as a whole was strengthened, and most important of all, it utilized the political, social, ideological conditions created as a result of “the crises” to further consolidate their dominance and exploitation over the rest of society.

In other words, the ‘crises of capital’ has been converted into a strategic advantage for furthering the most fundamental interests of capital: the enlargement of profits, the consolidation of capitalist rule, the greater concentration of ownership, the deepening of inequalities between capital and labor and the creation of huge reserves of labor to further augment their profits.

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How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

February 21st, 2012

by Ellen Brown

In an article titled “Still No End to ‘Too Big to Fail,’” William Greider wrote in The Nation on February 15th:

Financial market cynics have assumed all along that Dodd-Frank did not end “too big to fail” but instead created a charmed circle of protected banks labeled “systemically important” that will not be allowed to fail, no matter how badly they behave.

That may be, but there is one bit of bad behavior that Uncle Sam himself does not have the funds to underwrite: the $32 trillion market in credit default swaps (CDS). Thirty-two trillion dollars is more than twice the U.S. GDP and more than twice the national debt.

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Romney, Severely Awful

February 21st, 2012

Joel S. Hirschhorn

There are many, many reasons to have low regard for Mitt Romney. All but the totally delusional correctly see him as disingenuous, dishonest, devious and devoid of an authentic set of core beliefs. He is a shill for corporate and rich elites. He is the phony smiling, perfect hair poster jerk for the proverbial one percent. But I now clearly see that there is another, more important reason to feel like vomiting at the thought of President Romney.

As almost everyone knows by now, Romney has been a senior, influential member of the Mormon Church, which has been roundly criticized for being an inauthentic Christian religion and for various beliefs and practices made comical in the hugely successful Broadway show The Book of Mormon. But there is one particular Mormon practice that is so upsetting to most people who learn about it that deserves to become an issue in this presidential campaign.

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