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Remember Remember the Fourth of November

October 27th, 2008

Gabriele Zamparini

"Everything has to change so that nothing changes." - Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo

The color of money. Senator Barack Obama's campaign has now raised more than $600 million, almost equaling what all the candidates from both major parties collected in private donations in 2004.

Where do you think that awful lot of money comes from?

"Many of these large donors come from industries with interests in Washington. A New York Times analysis of donors who wrote checks of $25,000 or more to the candidates' main joint fund-raising committees found, for example, the biggest portion of money for both candidates came from the securities and investments industry, including executives at various firms embroiled in the recent financial crisis like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG. (...) More than 600 donors contributed $25,000 or more to [Obama] in September alone, roughly three times the number who did the same for Senator John McCain."

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Chomsky, Zinn, and Obama

October 26th, 2008

Mickey Z

"You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you're making progress." - Malcolm X

Another Election Day approaches and I’m reminded of something the late Pakistani dissident, Eqbal Ahmad said about Noam Chomsky in the book, Confronting Empire (2000): “He (Chomsky) has never wavered. He has never fallen into the trap of saying, ‘Clinton will do better.’ Or ‘Nixon was bad but Carter at least had a human rights presidency.’ There is a consistency of substance, of posture, of outlook in his work.”

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Shame And The 2008 Election

October 26th, 2008

Angie Riedel

The presidential election is only a matter of days away now. I wish I could say there is reason to be optimistic that it will bring an end to the reign of greed and destruction of the bush regime. The reality is that there is little to be optimistic about.

A new president will not herald the changes we want and so desperately need. There will be no more than a changing of faces that will still tell us lies. We will still have a king instead of a leader. He will still act as though the constitution is somewhere between optional and flat out objectionable.

We will still have a government that is separated from us, that asserts a right to be above us and to rule over us with two separate sets of laws. The laws for themselves forgive every felony and lie, and excuse every wrongful death, theft and trespass. The laws for us forgive nothing, excuse nothing, and mete out brutal punishments and imprisonment even before crimes have been committed. ― We will still be held hostage by, and held accountable for the mental midgetry of our disconnected elites. We will still have multimillionaire legislators and multimillionaire White House denizens who's services are already pre-purchased by people whose interests are in direct conflict with our own.

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Western Delusions: The Violent Folly of Humanitarian Interventionism

October 26th, 2008

Jean Bricmont

One can understand why some people might have sincerely thought that the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk". First, consider WW2 ; the US mercilessly bombed Germany and Japan, including their civilian populations, then occupied those countries militarily, imposing almost total control. Yet, today, Germany and Japan are among the world’s most faithful allies of the US. How deep this alliance really is and how long it will last remains to be seen, but for the moment it is a reality.

Now, consider the Cold War. Remember that, once upon a time, governments from Poland to Bulgaria were hostile to the US. Now, they want nothing more than integration into Nato, advanced US anti-missile shields and participation in the occupation of Iraq. Or consider, even more surprisingly, Vietnam, where US investors are now welcomed with open arms, while, in a not so distant past, the US was ferociously bombing Vietnam, killing millions of people and poisoning the environment. Even after the bombing of their little country in 1999, the Serbs behaved as desired, by voting out Milosevic and by accepting, at least for a while, pro-Western governments approving implicitely if not explicitely the bombing of their own country.

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The Anatomy of the State

October 25th, 2008

Murray N. Rothbard

What the State Is Not

The State is almost universally considered an institution of social service. Some theorists venerate the State as the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient, organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the "private sector" and often winning in this competition of resources. With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, "we are the government." The useful collective term "we" has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If "we are the government," then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also "voluntary" on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that "we owe it to ourselves"; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is "doing it to himself" and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have "committed suicide," since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree.

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This Time Is Different

October 25th, 2008

Stephen Lendman

Whatever we know about today's financial crisis. Think we know. Eventually will know in the fullness of time. This time is really different. In 1922, Henry Ford put it this way in his book titled "My Life and Work:"

"The (economy's) primary functions are agriculture, manufacture, and transportation. Community life is impossible without them. They hold the world together....The great delusion is that one may change the foundation. The foundations of society are the men and means to grow things, to make things, and to carry things." Real enterprise producing value. Tangible products. Not casino capitalism. Computerized gambling. The illusion of wealth. Disappearing once liquidity dries up. Or even now when it's abundant. With a keyboard click, or when investors fear an approaching economic storm.

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Don't be shocked by the defeat of America (God does not fix the work of the wicked)

October 25th, 2008

Khaled Al Sharif

[Translated by Kirsten Beck (Original article in Arabic)]

The financial crisis and economic destruction afflicting the United States of America is about to blow her away. It's natural that Bush's imperialistic policy resulted in plunging into crusade-like wars against the Arab and Islamic world--a policy that inflicted a heavy financial burden upon the extremist U.S. administration in order to finance unjustified wars of intolerance and hatred in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the others; a policy that cost the U.S. Treasury 60 trillion dollars and that, in spite of all the financing, caused a huge economic disaster, the extent of which, beyond the certain defeat of the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan, is unknown to anyone but God.

A recent preliminary strategy report confirmed that NATO and the United States will lose the war in Afghanistan, like what happened with the Soviet Union in the 80s of the last century and the British Empire in the 19th century. In a report by the strategic thinker Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, titled "Losing the Afghan-Pakistani War? The Rising Threat," Cordesman confirmed that the influence of the occupation forces is declining in Afghanistan, while the influence of Islamic resistance forces is increasing, providing proof and evidence backing up his findings.

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Now the Cost of War Really Matters

October 25th, 2008

By Kevin Zeese

The Finance Crisis Means the U.S. Can No Longer Continue Two War-Quagmires and Must Reconsider Military-Based Foreign Policy

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz predicts the Iraq war will cost the United States $3 trillion. Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted today’s financial crisis in 2006, predicts the U.S. will suffer its worst recession in 40 years, lasting up to two years with 9% unemployment and another 15% drop in housing prices. He predicts we are seeing only the first round of government injection of funds into the finance system.

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The Peter Principle Playoffs

October 24th, 2008

Sheila Samples

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men~~George Orwell So here we sit, our heads jerking back and forth so rapidly most of us are suffering severe whiplash. Will the US attack Iran? Will Israel attack Iran? Or will the two war-mongering bullies join forces and "bomb, bomb, bomb" that belligerent twit-nation into subservience?

It's a great game. A deadly game. The momentum to attack Iran has been building for so long that we're conditioned to watching it like some grotesque international tennis competition. It's the Peter Principle Playoffs, with neoconsters and ziomonsters out on the court milling around, working at their highest "levels of incompetence," feverishly plotting Iran's destruction. Foul lines mean nothing to them. There are no rules, no officials, no scores, no accountability.

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World Food Day: Global Crises’ Double Standards

October 24th, 2008

Ramzy Baroud

The 25th annual World Food Day, marked on 16 October, was an occasion whose arrival and passing received little media attention or governmental fanfare. Evidently, much of the world media and governments are consumed with an economic crisis of epic proportions, which is perceived in the US as the worst such upheaval since the Great Depression. In the rest of the world, it's depicted as the worst economic crisis in recent memory or, as the BBC termed it, "the most tumultuous times on record in the global financial markets."

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