(RussiaToday) – The last U.S. combat brigade has left Iraq two weeks ahead of their planned withdrawal at the end of the month. But a fifty thousand-strong American military contingent will remain in the country for support and training until the end of 2011. They’ll have the power to use their weapons in self-defense or at the request of the Iraqi government. Over seven years of being in Iraq, more than four thousand U.S. soldiers have died, according to the Pentagon. Continue reading
(GlobalResearch) – The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.
Over the years “the Agency” as it is known, has given U.S. presidents so much wrong information on so many critical issues, broken so many laws, subverted so many elections, overthrown so many governments, funded so many dictators, and killed and tortured so many innocent human beings that the pages of its official history could be written in blood, not ink. People the world over regard it as infamous, and that evaluation, sadly for the reputation of America, is largely accurate. Besides, since President Obama has half a dozen other major intelligence agencies to rely on for guidance, why does he need the CIA? In one swoop he could lop an estimated 27,000 employees off the Federal payroll, save taxpayers umpteen billions, and wipe the CIA stain from the American flag. Continue reading
(DemocarcyNow) – Vandana Shiva, is a philosopher, environmental activist, eco feminist and author of several books. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, is author of over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation:“Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory”.
Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, some of whose main participants were women, adopted the approach of forming human circles around trees to prevent their felling. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in the book Vedic Ecology (by Ranchor Prime) that draws upon India’s Vedic heritage. Continue reading
(DemocracyNow) – While Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to resolve a civil fraud lawsuit filed by the SEC, Goldman has not been held accountable for many of its other questionable investment practices. A new article in Harper’s Magazine examines the role Goldman played in the food crisis of 2008 when the ranks of the world’s hungry increased by 250 million. We speak to Harper’s contributing editor Frederick Kaufman. Video Link Here
(Investors) – When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.
Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.
“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.
Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive. Continue reading
“The People of Greece Are Fighting for the Whole of Europe”
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have approved a nearly $1 trillion package to stop Greece’s debt crisis from spilling beyond its borders into the rest of the eurozone. Stocks surged in Europe, Asia and the United States Monday after EU leaders agreed to a $960 billion package to contain Greece’s financial troubles. Meanwhile, the austerity measures demanded by the IMF and the European Union as a condition of their loan are continuing to exact their toll. Greece’s two main unions have continued to hold protests against the reforms. In a statement, one of the unions said, “The crisis should be paid by…all those who looted public finances.” Last week nearly 100,000 people participated in a mass demonstration and a twenty-four-hour general strike against the austerity measures. Video Link Here
(GlobalResearch) – British voters go to the polls on Thursday in a general election that promises to be historic – for all the wrong reasons.
Firstly, voter turnout threatens to hit a post-Second World War record low. Over the past six decades, the percentage of eligible Britons casting their vote has steadily fallen from 80-70 per cent to around 60 per cent. With public apathy and antipathy towards the three main political parties – the incumbent Labour government, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – running at all-time highs, there is a real prospect that the British general election of 2010 will see as many citizens forfeiting their democratic right as those turning out to vote. Continue reading
(OpEdNews) – A right-wing neocon organization called the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD)1 — which devotes itself to attacking religiously and socially progressive churches while supporting US imperial policies (going back to the Nicaraguan Contras funded illegally by the Reagan administration2 ) — has recently put out a press release attacking my next book, which is scheduled to be published this coming fall. Saying that I am “back with another outrageous book” in which I allege “new absurdities,” the IRD claims that I am “this time alleging that the Obama administration is attempting to undermine 9/11 Continue reading
(CounterPunch) – Yesterday, on the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the federal office building in Oklahoma City, former President Bill Clinton had an op-ed in the New York Times headlined: “Violence is Unacceptable in a Democracy.” The article settles any doubts about whether Clinton was one of the most talented demagogues of modern times. Continue reading
(GlobalResearch) – As the western world is thrown into debt bondage and the harsh reality of the draconian economic ‘reforms’ to follow, a social collapse seems increasingly inevitable. We will soon witness the collapse of western ‘civilization’. The middle classes of the west will dissolve into the lower labour class. The wealthy class, already nearly at par with the middle class in terms of total consumption, will become the only consuming class. Read More Here
(GlobalResearch) – The run-up to presidential elections is a time of heightened state-sponsored repression as Asia’s foremost ‘death squad democracy’ wages war on its progressive rural medical workers.
The notoriously violent and corrupt elections in the Philippines stand in sharp contrast with those in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia, where the ruling elites have secured their hegemony via economic prosperity, rising salaries, increased employment and extensive social services for their citizens. In these countries, the elite can abide by the results of a relatively ‘open’ election, whereas in the Philippines, any challenge to the closed, family-based ruling class is met with relentless terror. Continue reading
(PoliticalTheatrics) – Noam Chomsky, the leading leftwing intellectual, warned last week that fascism may be coming to the United States.
“I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” he said, “and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at home.
(DemocracyNow) – We speak with two journalists who have covered Gaza extensively about the dangers and difficulties of reporting from the Occupied Territories: Mohammed Omer, an award-winning Palestinian journalist who was interrogated and beaten by armed Israeli security guards on his way back home to Gaza after receiving the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in London in July of 2008, and Ayman Mohyeldin, the Gaza correspondent for Al Jazeera English, who was one of the only international journalists reporting from inside Gaza during the twenty-two-day Israeli assault last year. Continue reading
FLASHBACK – (DemocracyNow) – This ex-agent (John Perkins) recounts his missions as an economic hitman and explains the dynamics of the agency’s covert operations worldwide. Continue reading
(TPUC) – The general election – why are you electing a new general – a general over what you might ask? It is very simple. Maybe you are electing a new general over the legion(s). The truth is you are not electing anyone and it has all been sorted out in advance, because it would never be allowed to be down to just CHANCE!! The election is nothing more than a stage show to make you think you live in a democracy and you think by voting you are taking part. Sorry complete rubbish! Continue reading
Pentagon Papers Whistleblower on President Obama and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We are joined by a man who played a major role in efforts to end the Vietnam War in the 1970s. In 1971, the then-RAND Corporation analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked to the media what became known as the Pentagon Papers, a 7,000-page classified history outlining the true extent of US involvement in Vietnam. After avoiding a life sentence on espionage charges, Daniel Ellsberg has continued to speak out against US militarism until the present day – Video Link Here
(LondonTelegraph) – Is anyone else as baffled as I am by the crazy, crazy world of James Lovelock? (Hat tip: Ed West)
Here is the kindly, distinguished inventor of the Gaia hypothesis interviewed in the Guardian, when asked how humans will ever manage to tackle ‘climate change’.
We need a more authoritative world. We’ve become a sort of cheeky, egalitarian world where everyone can have their say. It’s all very well, but there are certain circumstances – a war is a typical example – where you can’t do that. You’ve got to have a few people with authority who you trust who are running it. And they should be very accountable too, of course.
But it can’t happen in a modern democracy. This is one of the problems. What’s the alternative to democracy? There isn’t one. But even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.
“It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.” Hmm. I’m sure he said it in a gentle, quavery, tentative voice, but even so, don’t phrases like that tend to make the blood run cold – especially when spoken by the man viewed by many of the world’s eco-loons as the ultimate environmental guru?
(LewRockwell) – New research in the journal American Behavioral Scientist (Sage publications, February 2010) addresses the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCAD). Professor Lance deHaven-Smith from Florida State University writes that SCADs involve high-level government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism (fabrication of evidence of a communist infiltration), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Johnson and Robert McNamara falsely claimed North Vietnam attacked a US ship), burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida’s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on WMDs to justify the Iraq War. Continue reading
(PoliticalTheatrics) – New research in the journal American Behavioral Scientist (Sage publications, February 2010) addresses the concept of “State Crimes Against Democracy” (SCAD). Professor Lance deHaven-Smith from Florida State University writes that SCADs involve highlevel government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism (fabrication of evidence of a communist infiltration), Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (President Johnson and Robert McNamara falsely claimed North Vietnam attacked a US ship), burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida’s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on WMDs to justify the Iraq War.1 Continue reading
(WashingtonsBlog) – Joseph Stiglitz – former head economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a nobel-prize winner – said yesterday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it is “corrupt” and undermines democracy. Continue reading
(Uruknet) – “The Haitian people ‘need democracy and self determination, said the U.S.-based Black is Back Coalition.”
Proud Haiti has been reduced to a de facto “protectorate” of the United States – a grotesque form of non-sovereignty in which the subjugated nation is “protected” by its worst enemy. Namibia under white-ruled South African administration comes to mind, although in Haiti’s case the United Nations does not even pretend to be on the side of the oppressed, acting instead as agent and enforcer for the superpower. Read More Here
(RussiaToday) – The United States is not giving up its request for tougher sanctions on Iran, after Iran has kept up their enrichment of uranium program. Is it simply fear about nuclear weapons that is fueling this fight or is there more to it? William Weddin says the United States has sought to undermine democracy in Iran and has pushed it to be a military dictatorship ever since the Iranian revolution. Continue reading
“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.” Jacques Ellul
On Super Bowl Sunday, the reason that I wrote my new book: Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution, literally hit home.
Since it was the Holy Day of Obligation for our national religion of Football, I headed for my health club because I have always been a heretic. I arrived there a little before kick off, so the club was still occupied, but after kick-off it was deserted. Continue reading
“In 93 percent of House of Representatives races and 94 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day Nov. 5, the candidate who spent the most money ended up winning…” Just soak that up for the time being. Continue reading
Jan. 21, 2010, will go down as a dark day in the history of U.S. democracy, and its decline.
On that day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government may not ban corporations from political spending on elections—a decision that profoundly affects government policy, both domestic and international. Continue reading
Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place. Continue reading
Yesterday’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that corporations already attempt to influence or bribe our political candidates through their political action committees (PACs), which solicit employees and shareholders for donations. Continue reading
On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that some are calling the Court’s biggest blunder since the Dred Scott Decision.
In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations may spend unlimited amounts of money at any time to influence elections. Continue reading
In a leap that Justice John Paul Stevens called “profoundly misguided” the US Supreme Court has written a decision that may well be the final undoing of American democracy. To see that, it is necessary to take on board the main trend in the distribution of wealth and power in this country. Today the spread between rich and poor is as broad as it has ever been. As of 2000, one percent of the people owned 40% of the nation’s wealth. That gap has been creeping up; probably as of 2010 one percent of the people now own more than half of the wealth. In addition to that, a goodly chunk is owned by foreigners. Thus the democratic base, meaning that 99% of the people may be net owners of little more than a third of our country’s wealth. Continue reading
(Rense) – The Executive Branch of our federal government has become a 500 pound tick that’s being fed by a 50 pound dog (the American people) due to presidential Executive Orders (EOs). Continue reading
(DemocracyNow) – We discuss the situation in Haiti following Tuesdays massive earthquake, as well as the history of Haiti, with two guests who have spent a lot of time there: Bill Quigley, the legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Continue reading
A landmark class action case is under way in a New York federal court, with victims of apartheid in South Africa suing corporations that they say helped the pre-1994 regime. Among the multinational corporations are IBM, Fujitsu, Ford, GM and banking giants UBS and Barclays. The lawsuit accuses the corporations of “knowing participation in and/or aiding and abetting of the crimes of apartheid; extrajudicial killing; torture; prolonged unlawful detention; and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” Attorneys are seeking up to $400 billion in damages. Continue reading
There is, for good reason, a lot of enthusiasm across the country as the groundswell against Stephen Harper’s cynical shuttering of Parliament continues to grow. The prime minister from hell has gotten away with so much — and the opposition is so weak that any indication of genuine public disgust at his continuing demonstration of contempt for democracy is a welcome sign. And everyone who cares about the country should be taking part in the new movement for democracy. Continue reading
(AlterNet) – Did America slip into a semiliterate, polarized, pre-fascist state over the past decade or so, allowing greedy oligarchs and corporate elites to run the government? Two books I recently read offer reasonably persuasive evidence and arguments that the country did, and a third suggests that dictatorial mindsets could besiege Americans, with an assist from the Internet, if they don’t come to their more deliberative senses. Each of the books offers an informed diagnosis of the dangers that widespread ignorance and ideological polarization pose for American democracy, though none offers a comprehensive treatment for the malaise. Continue reading
Congressman Kucinich Addresses Escalation in Afghanistan – MSNBC ‘s Ed Show -> Continue reading