Notice: Forums will be shutdown by June 2019

To focus on better serving our members, we've decided to shut down the POF forums.

While regular posting is now disabled, you can continue to view all threads until the end of June 2019. Event Hosts can still create and promote events while we work on a new and improved event creation service for you.

Thank you!


Show ALL Forums
Posted In Forum:

Home   login   MyForums  
 Author Thread: Rove Subpeona
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 23 (view)
Rove Subpeona
Posted: 7/18/2008 5:00:49 PM
Congress needs to file Inherent Contempt, not just contempt charges. Inherent Contempt allows Congress to circumvent the DoJ by dispatching the Sergeant-At-Arms (from either the Senate or the House) to physically arrest Rove and detain him within chambers.

Then watch him squeal like a pig -****Cheney and George W. Bush.

But what the hell am I talking about? The Democrats in Congress have no spine, and those that do, may be covering their own asses as well according to Glenn Greenwald. Apparently, Pelosi and crew knew about the illegal wiretapping program and were in on the secret meetings. Not to mention that Congressional computers may have been compromised revealing perhaps not so pretty things about Reid, Pelosi, Conyers, et. al.

So, with a Congress like this, who needs enemies?
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 8 (view)
terror watch list
Posted: 7/18/2008 4:47:19 PM
We live in a police state. The KGB would be proud.

"Bread, work, or lead!"
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 17 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 6:44:57 PM
I'm glad you cited World Socialist Web Site as do actually find them to be credible, however, your opinion that the French government's conclusion was the system itself rests on false premises.

The government led by both rightwing and socialist party governments (as rightly criticized by World Socialist Web Site was because of impending measures to privatize healthcare.

From the source:

By WSWS: In fact, criticism of health care for the elderly in France is not new. Opposition to government cutbacks also has a tradition. Between 1988, which saw one of the biggest strikes by hospital staff in post-war history, and 2003, there have been a series of strikes and demonstrations opposing budget cuts, hospital closures, cuts in services and medicine. The protests were aimed at the refusal by governments—both those led by the Socialist Party and those of the right—to invest in health and against their moves to privatise the health service.


The staff of many hospitals went on strike again in May and June of this year as part of a massive movement against attacks on pensions and to protest plans of the government to impose its new “hospital plan,” whose aim is hospital privatisation.

On June 18, the 16 professional organisations for homes for the elderly in France called for a day of protest against government policy. In a joint statement they explained their action: “Because we (the residents, families and directors) don’t want second class social insurance and we don’t want to wait any longer: social security (health insurance in France) has been created by our generation not only for the young, the rich and the ill, but also for the elderly, the poor and the handicapped ... because we want solidarity in society which doesn’t forget its elders in the old people’s homes...”

It looks, from the article, that the crisis can be attributed to the French holiday schedule and resultant expenses rising from such - again just tangentially linked to Universal Health Care. The case you make is a classic non-sequitur. That is that the French Health Care crisis wasn't as a result of the system itself, but as a result of other tangential issues, therefore, it doesn't follow that the system itself is corrupt.

More from the article:

by WSWS: The announcement sparked a wave of vocal opposition from the official left (the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and the Greens) and almost all the trade union organisations, many expressing disbelief at the government’s attitude. Others denounced its cynicism or made satiric comments. One Force Ouvrière local union branch proposed to celebrate Christmas once every four years, if the Medef decided that Christ was born on February 29. Many of these statements were made to pre-empt the deep public anger caused by the government’s actions.

The unions are not fundamentally opposed to these sorts of measures and are clearly quite ready to discuss attacks on pensions and health care with the government. In fact, this very measure had been discussed before the heat wave struck with at least one trade union, Force Ouvrière. According to Agence France Presse, FO leader Marc Blondel said, “The prime minister had already mentioned to him the ‘idea of working one day for nothing and to put the resulting bonus to the handicapped, an idea that was suggested to him by (Health Minister Jean-François) Mattei.’”

The crisis is far from over for the Chirac-Raffarin government. On September 2, Raffarin, visibly perplexed by the opposition which erupted during August and the battering taken by his health minister, announced he would postpone the “reform” of social security (the health insurance system) until October 2004.

This “reform” consists partly in the plan to open hospitals and old peoples homes to private capital along the lines of the “American model.” For that purpose, changes in structure and management of hospitals are supposed to be carried out, with the aim of running them according to market-based criteria. A burgeoning private health market has developed and is rapidly expanding—to the extent that some private health operators are now quoted on the Paris stock exchange.

Again, no system in the world is perfect, but I'll gladly take the French model over the American model any day of the week.

For more information on the French Health Care system, please see the following (From the French Embassy):
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 14 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 5:28:44 PM
Well said trubblmkr.

One thing though. Socialism is inherently demcratic (not to sidetrack the thread) but actual direct democracy (work place) and workers' councils is about as democratic as you can get. National referenda on issues concerning the population as a whole, is a socialist ideal.

Me being a socialist of the anarchist stripe, I'd do away with the nationalizing of anything and just make it international.

Otherwise, great post.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 13 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 4:29:21 PM
Mike72801 says:

It was just a few years ago that over 15,000 French died in a heat wave. Most of the medical personnel were on summer leave. The governmet reacted too slowly to organize medical assistance.

Please don't tell me that this is your case. That simply is not true. People die in every nation because of record heat waves. That the system itself was the cause is bordering on the absurd.

France's system isn't perfect, no system is, however, their system is far superior to the one we have here in the States.

Next time, please try and find some kind of case against the system itself.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 10 (view)
Wexler Wants Hearings Regarding Dick Cheney
Posted: 12/27/2007 4:23:43 PM
Mike72801 says

Crimes he may be involved in? LOL. Perhaps you should be prosecuted for crimes you MAY be involved in. The Bush Presidency has been investigated more than any in history and they have uncovered nada. Good luck with your witch hunt.

I was being generous. As a matter of fact, Bush actually admitted to one crime on national television. His reference to the NSA spy program without FISA warrants. I'm not going to go through the laundry lists of abuses of power and crimes that have been committed - that's just a waste of time since they'd just be dismissed outright. What I would actually like is for Congress it do its job and hold impeachment hearings to find the truth. If the evidence warrants it (which I have no doubt since I've been paying attention), then the House can vote to impeach and then it can go to the Senate for trial.

All of the "investigations" haven't been even exercised upon this president. His continued assertion of "Executive Privilige" have rendered investigations by Congress (a co-equal branch of government) null and void. Witness have been told not to show up for Congressional subpeonas (a crime in and of itself). The administration, operating under the Unitary Executive theory, has clearly thumbed its nose at Congress' ability to exercise oversight.

I don't favor party. I support the Constitution. The lawlessness with which this Executive has flaunted is absolutely frightening, that is if you value your liberties.

Let me put it this way. Would you want Hillary Clinton to enjoy the same abuse of powers that Bush/Cheney promote?

I sure as hell don't. This is a dangerous precedent. The only way to remedy the situation is to hold impeachment hearings if only to serve as warning to future administrations that this behavior will not be tolerated.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 11 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 4:03:49 PM
Meistro1 says:

Because it is what is being proposed?

No. That is not what is being proposed. Go back and re-read the opening post. If you need someone to help you with understanding it, I can't help you. You keep harping on this socialism meme as if that were the case. If you had an understanding of socialism, you'd know that Universal Health Care is not "socialism." By that standard, every Western industrialized nation would be socialist.

Meistro1 says:

I believe these two terms are contradictory - socialism is state ownership of the means of production, anarchy is the abolition of the state. Sort of like the Buddhist theory of reincarnation and their disbelief in the soul - if there is no soul, what is getting reincarnated?

What you "believe" and what is fact are clearly two different things. If you are talking about Marxist authoritarian type socialists, then you'd be somewhat right - to a degree. Having studied socialism/anarchism, I know the history. I understand that original socialists like Mikhail Bakunin were anarchists. That is Liberterian Socialists. They were thrown out of the International Workingmen's Association (traditionally known as the First International) because of their differences with Karl Marx regarding the state as a tool for revolution (which Marxists advocated). Anarchists did not believe in state legitimacy, instead opting for a grassroots spontaneous emancipation of the proletariet working in cooperation rooted in direct democracy. This included democratic control of the workplace and a federated sytem of governance with no hierarchy. Of course, there are a variety of anarchists ranging from collectivists, mutualists and individualists but that's another topic for another time.

In short, socialism is anarchism as we are socialists who don't believe in a vanguard party or state apparatus to achieve a socialist revolution.

Some notable socialists/anarchists (the term to us is redundant):

Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman, Leo Tolstoy, Lucy Parsons, Paris Communards, Ericco Malatesta, Pierre Joseph-Proudhon (the father of modern anarchism), Mikhail Bakunin, Murray Bookchin, Eugene V. Debs, Voltairine De Cleyre, Joseph DeJacque, Rudolph Rocker, Buenaventura Durruti, Abbie Hoffman, International Workers' Association, Industrial Workers of the World, Peter Kropotkin, Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo, The Zapatista Movement, EarthFirst Movement, etc.

You can learn a little about socialism/anarchism here:

Meistro1 says:

lol? This is absurd. When the government provides something for 'free' (obv. it is paid for by taxes) that is, I repeat, is socialism.

We pay taxes now. Is the US a socialist country? You still haven't read the opening post. UHC would be administered via a consortium. The people would be paying taxes as in every other nation with UHC but would not be burdened with the costs of the enormous overhead that currently exists in our for-profit system.

Further, the system in place now could adequately be described as socialism for the rich. That is that the Insurance Industry and Pharmaceutical Industry socializes the costs (by costs are absorbed from the public via government subsidies and research at public universities) and then privatizes the profit, none of which the pubic sees a dime of. That's what I term "socialism in reverse" (from the many to the few).

Meistro1 says:

Actually, France has a socialist health care system, and it's crumbling as we speak. I doubt it will last more than another 20 years.

I'm starting to form the conclusion that you know not of what you speak. In France the government actually fears the people. The system is doing quite well. My uncle is doing quite well. The people are healthier than Americans and they enjoy longer lifespans. The system is not in jeapardy. If you'd like, I can cite sources regarding France's healthcare system. Perhaps, you can cite a source for your assertion?

Meistro1 says:

Yes, all these things are socialist as well. (referring to fire departments, police departments, the military, etc.)
- paranthetical noted by tonylove2002

I don't know what to say. If by your standard this is socialism, there really isn't much room for debate. You've defined the parameters of what "socialism" is to be so narrow that whatever argument I make will be regarded as such.

That's clearly a silly statement. Either you are interested in a discussion about the merits of a UHC system or you will continue with the patent response that it is socialism. If it's the latter, I have other things to do with my time. I've heard your case, I am not compelled by it.

Meistro1 says:

Actually, yes you ARE arguing for socialism. You cannot propose something that is exactly socialism, and then just call it something else and say it isn't socialism. A rose by any other name is still going to prick you with it's thorns.

Not surprising that you would make such a statement. I infer from your previous responses that you don't know what socialism actually is. You can only come to the conclusion that I would refer to something that clearly is not socialistic as being socialist because you have a deficit in the knowledge of practical and theoretical socialism. Your argument is a bogeyman construct and not even a very good one since you are not even arguing from an informed position.

I hope you actually do read the opening post, comprehend and digest it. Then read the links concerning socialism. Compare and contrast. Then, hopefully, we can argue the merits of actual Universal Healthcare and dispense with the socialism strawman.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 7 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 1:59:23 PM
Meistro1 says:

Are you claiming that the government giving away health care for free to everyone is not socialism? That is not a very rational claim.

Not sure why you keep harping about "socialism." I am an anarchist/socialist. I know what socialism is and isn't. Universal Single Payer Health Care is not, I repeat, not socialism. It is a civilized thing to do. Have you seen France's healthcare system? They aren't socialists and they have one of the best systems in the world. My uncle is a Doctor in France. There is nothing "socialistic" about Universal Health Care anymore than your city's fire department, police department, the US military, and other community services.

Have you read the opening post at all? If you have, then I'm not sure why keep bringing up the "socialism" strawman. No one is arguing for socialism when they are talking about Universal Health Care. That is a rightwing meme.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 6 (view)
Wexler Wants Hearings Regarding Dick Cheney
Posted: 12/27/2007 1:10:39 PM
Be sure to let Nancy Pelosi know that you want her to put impeachment back on the table. She needs to quit enabling Bush/Cheney's assault on our Constitution.

Harry Reid needs to grow a pair as well.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 5 (view)
Wexler Wants Hearings Regarding Dick Cheney
Posted: 12/27/2007 10:50:05 AM
We're not talking about just manipulation of the intelligence but a whole slew of other alleged crimes that he may be involved in.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 3 (view)
Wexler Wants Hearings Regarding Dick Cheney
Posted: 12/27/2007 7:23:54 AM
You must be thinking of Dennis Kucinich's resolution which was buried by the Democratic leadership (Nancy Pelosi). However, I think it still remains in committee.

Wexler is gathering a petition to introduce another resolution.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 5 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/27/2007 5:30:26 AM
Meistro says:

The Case Against :

In the absence of a price structure, rational economic calculation is impossible. Socialism does not work - full stop. The solution to the American Health Care problem right now is to get government out of the picture, not to nationalize it. One of the unique problems with American and socialist health care is the health care market is gigantic in America - dwarfing places like Canada and France. As economies get larger and more complex, central economic planning is even more obviously flawed - government is less and less able to handle controlling it, or even a segment of it.

You're arguing a complete strawman (and a red herring).

Strawman: No one is advocating "centralization" or "nationalizing" anything. Had you bother to read the opening post, you would have understood this. Instead, your conditioned response when seeing the terms "Universal Healthcare" was to associate it with "socialism" or "centralization" - a knee-jerk reaction. In short, you are making up an argument that I have not put forth - the very definition of a strawman.

Red Herring: What the hell does the size of the healthcare market have to do with the price of tea in China?

Read the opening post and then make your case.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States
Posted: 12/26/2007 8:09:48 PM
The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States

Outline of Talk Given To The Association of State Green Parties, Moodus, Connecticut on June 4, 1999

By John R. Battista, M.D. and Justine McCabe, Ph.D.

Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care as a right of citizenship? The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship. 28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system like President Clinton proposed for the United States.

Myth One: The United States has the best health care system in the world.
Fact One: The United States ranks 23rd in infant mortality, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990

Fact Two: The United States ranks 20th in life expectancy for women down from 1st in 1945 and 13th in 1960

Fact Three: The United States ranks 21st in life expectancy for men down from 1st in 1945 and 17th in 1960.

Fact Four: The United States ranks between 50th and 100th in immunizations depending on the immunization. Overall US is 67th, right behind Botswana

Fact Five: Outcome studies on a variety of diseases, such as coronary artery disease, and renal failure show the United States to rank below Canada and a wide variety of industrialized nations.

Conclusion: The United States ranks poorly relative to other industrialized nations in health care despite having the best trained health care providers and the best medical infrastructure of any industrialized nation

Myth Two: Universal Health Care Would Be Too Expensive
Fact One: The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care

Fact Two: Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting office show that single payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.

Fact Three: State studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that single payer universal health care would save 1 to 2 Billion dollars per year from the total medical expenses in those states despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits

Fact Four: The costs of health care in Canada as a % of GNP, which were identical to the United States when Canada changed to a single payer, universal health care system in 1971, have increased at a rate much lower than the United States, despite the US economy being much stronger than Canada’s.

Conclusion: Single payer universal health care costs would be lower than the current US system due to lower administrative costs. The United States spends 50 to 100% more on administration than single payer systems. By lowering these administrative costs the United States would have the ability to provide universal health care, without managed care, increase benefits and still save money

Myth Three: Universal Health Care Would Deprive Citizens of Needed Services
Fact One: Studies reveal that citizens in universal health care systems have more doctor visits and more hospital days than in the US

Fact Two: Around 30% of Americans have problem accessing health care due to payment problems or access to care, far more than any other industrialized country. About 17% of our population is without health insurance. About 75% of ill uninsured people have trouble accessing/paying for health care.

Fact Three: Comparisons of Difficulties Accessing Care Are Shown To Be Greater In The US Than Canada (see graph)

Fact Four: Access to health care is directly related to income and race in the United States. As a result the poor and minorities have poorer health than the wealthy and the whites.

Fact Five: There would be no lines under a universal health care system in the United States because we have about a 30% oversupply of medical equipment and surgeons, whereas demand would increase about 15%

Conclusion: The US denies access to health care based on the ability to pay. Under a universal health care system all would access care. There would be no lines as in other industrialized countries due to the oversupply in our providers and infrastructure, and the willingness/ability of the United States to spend more on health care than other industrialized nations.

Myth Four: Universal Health Care Would Result In Government Control And Intrusion Into Health Care Resulting In Loss Of Freedom Of Choice

Fact One: There would be free choice of health care providers under a single payer universal health care system, unlike our current managed care system in which people are forced to see providers on the insurer’s panel to obtain medical benefits

Fact Two: There would be no management of care under a single payer, universal health care system unlike the current managed care system which mandates insurer preapproval for services thus undercutting patient confidentiality and taking health care decisions away from the health care provider and consumer

Fact Three: Although health care providers fees would be set as they are currently in 90% of cases, providers would have a means of negotiating fees unlike the current managed care system in which they are set in corporate board rooms with profits, not patient care, in mind

Fact Four: Taxes, fees and benefits would be decided by the insurer which would be under the control of a diverse board representing consumers, providers, business and government. It would not be a government controlled system, although the government would have to approve the taxes. The system would be run by a public trust, not the government.

Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care administered by a state public health system would be much more democratic and much less intrusive than our current system. Consumers and providers would have a voice in determining benefits, rates and taxes. Problems with free choice, confidentiality and medical decision making would be resolved

Myth Five: Universal Health Care Is Socialized Medicine And Would Be Unacceptable To The Public

Fact One: Single payer universal health care is not socialized medicine. It is health care payment system, not a health care delivery system. Health care providers would be in fee for service practice, and would not be employees of the government, which would be socialized medicine. Single payer health care is not socialized medicine, any more than the public funding of education is socialized education, or the public funding of the defense industry is socialized defense.

Fact Two: Repeated national and state polls have shown that between 60 and 75% of Americans would like a universal health care system (see The Harris Poll #78, October 20, 2005)

Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care is not socialized medicine and would be preferred by the majority of the citizens of this country

Myth Six: The Problems With The US Health Care System Are Being Solved and Are Best Solved By Private Corporate Managed Care Medicine because they are the most efficient

Fact One: Private for profit corporation are the lease efficient deliverer of health care. They spend between 20 and 30% of premiums on administration and profits. The public sector is the most efficient. Medicare spends 3% on administration.

Fact Two: The same procedure in the same hospital the year after conversion from not-for profit to for-profit costs in between 20 to 35% more

Fact Three: Health care costs in the United States grew more in the United States under managed care in 1990 to 1996 than any other industrialized nation with single payer universal health care

Fact Four: The quality of health care in the US has deteriorated under managed care. Access problems have increased. The number of uninsured has dramatically increased (increase of 10 million to 43.4 million from 1989 to 1996, increase of 2.4% from 1989 to 1996- 16% in 1996 and increasing each year).

Fact Five: The level of satisfaction with the US health care system is the lowest of any industrialized nation.

Fact Six: 80% of citizens and 71% of doctors believe that managed care has caused quality of care to be compromised

Conclusion: For profit, managed care can not solve the US health care problems because health care is not a commodity that people shop for, and quality of care must always be compromised when the motivating factor for corporations is to save money through denial of care and decreasing provider costs. In addition managed care has introduced problems of patient confidentiality and disrupted the continuity of care through having limited provider networks.

Overall Answer to the questions Why doesn’t the US have single payer universal health care when single payer universal health care is the most efficient, most democratic and most equitable means to deliver health care? Why does the United States remain wedded to an inefficient, autocratic and immoral system that makes health care accessible to the wealthy and not the poor when a vast majority of citizens want it to be a right of citizenship?

Conclusion: Corporations are able to buy politicians through our campaign finance system and control the media to convince people that corporate health care is democratic, represents freedom, and is the most efficient system for delivering health care
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
Wexler Wants Hearings Regarding Dick Cheney
Posted: 12/26/2007 8:04:14 PM
From: "Robert Wexler "
Subject: Rep. Wexler's Quarter Million Person Challenge / Blog Radio Announcement

We have already reached 100,000 supporters. Thank You.

Now We Need Each of You To Send an Email to Ten More People to Get 250,000 Signed Up at by the End of the Year.

I can guarantee that your 100,000 voices calling for impeachment hearings will now be heard in Congress. Together, through our new Quarter Million Person Challenge, let's now set a new goal of 250,000 Americans signing up to demand action.

It has been just 5 days since I called for impeachment hearings for Vice-President****Cheney and already over 100,000 people - including you - have answered that call by adding your name as an impeachment supporter at . This is a truly remarkable response that demonstrates the power that average, everyday Americans can have when we come together to pursue justice and accountability.

Never mind that the national media ignored my call and rejected an op-ed that I wrote along with my Judiciary Colleagues Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The Netroots and citizen activists like yourself are spreading our message and demanding action.

Quarter Million Person Challenge

Our movement continues to grow by the hour and the day. But, with the media blackout, I need your help to grow our effort. With 100,000 supporters already signed-up, if each of you e-mail ten of your friends (a "Chain-ey letter") about and the need for Cheney impeachment hearings we will reach over a million Americans and perhaps we can reach a new goal of 250,000 signers by the end of the year!!

Join Me Thursday Night on Blog Radio to Discuss Our Next Steps

On this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. (EST) and 6:00 (PST), please join me as I appear on live on the Internet to discuss my efforts to convince Congress to hold impeachment hearing.

Congressman Wexler Live on Blog Radio:

WHEN: Thursday, December 18, 9:00 pm (EST)/6:00 pm (PST)

WHERE: (a link will be posted at and )

WHO: Rep. Wexler will appear live on Florida Progressive Radio with host Kenneth Quinnell of the Florida Netroots Caucus, Bob Fertick of, as well as Dave Lindorf, author of "The Case for Impeachment," and David Swanson with

More on the Media Blackout

The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today, and Boston Globe have all rejected our op ed (though the Miami Herald just put an edited version in its "Letters to the Editor" section). We have heard from the editors of some of these publications and they are telling us that they are getting overwhelmed with phone calls and letters of complaint. (Well done everybody!)

In short - we need to keep the pressure on if this news will spread far beyond the Netroots community.

With warm regards,

Congressman Robert Wexler
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
Apocalypse Now?
Posted: 10/17/2007 5:38:46 PM
Apocalypse Now?
Stephen Holmes

Is there anything historically unprecedented about the Bush Administration's military adventurism, intense secrecy and fearmongering? This question is vexing, especially to those historians and political scientists who, however appalled by current US foreign policy, cannot be genuinely surprised by the most recent incarnation of an imperial presidency. But it remains a critical question, not least because the answer to it could shed light on what progressives can hope to achieve after Bush.

Chalmers Johnson, a former Navy man, cold war consultant to the CIA and emeritus professor at the University of California, San Diego, helps us unravel this mystery by breathing new life into an old myth. In ancient Greece, Nemesis was the goddess of divine retribution for acts of hubris. Transgressions would never go unpunished; balance and proportion would inevitably be restored. The contemporary incarnation of Nemesis is "blowback," a notion apparently coined by the CIA and commonly used to explain the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 as a form of delayed revenge for the American-orchestrated overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh's democratically elected government in 1953. Admonitory aphorisms about self-defeating aggression--malefactors reap what they sow--also provide the best general framework for understanding the origins of 9/11, or so Johnson would have us believe in Nemesis, the third volume of "an inadvertent trilogy" that includes Blowback (2000) and The Sorrows of Empire (2004).

Johnson has no patience for those who attribute 9/11-style terrorism to a clash of civilizations or an unchanging "Salafi radicalism" and its irredeemably wicked adherents. He argues that anti-American rage, rather than emerging fully formed from a highly malleable religious tradition, has been triggered by decades of immoral and illegal behavior by American officials and proxies abroad. It is unavoidable that some of these "secret U.S. government operations and acts in distant lands would come back to haunt us," Johnson writes. He is thinking of covert actions well-known to Iranians and Guatemalans and Chileans (not to mention the US agents who carried them out) but that have barely penetrated the consciousness of most American citizens.

Identifying blowback as the root cause of 9/11, Johnson also argues that Bush's excessively violent and lawless reaction to the attack, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, will provoke blowback of its own. Significantly, because Johnson inaugurated his three-part series before the Bush Administration had begun to inflict its impulsiveness and inexperience on the world in earnest, he presents Bush's militarized response to 9/11 less as a sharp departure from the military policies of preceding administrations than as a predictable continuation of them, stressing, for instance, that "the United States has been continuously engaged in or mobilized for war since 1941."

Extrapolating freely from the documented history of blowback, Johnson speculates that we have already entered the "last days" of the Republic. America's post-World War II "imperialism," he predicts, will soon put an end to self-government in the United States: "I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and in the end produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent." The destruction of the American Republic may even illustrate a profound historical regularity, he implies: "Over any fairly lengthy period of time, successful imperialism requires that a domestic republic or a domestic democracy change into a domestic tyranny." He even thinks that the American military is now "ripe" for "a Julius Caesar"--that is, for "a revolutionary, military populist with little interest in republican niceties so long as some form of emperorship lies at the end of his rocky path."


"Roman history suggests that the short, happy life of the American republic may be coming to its end," Johnson writes, adding that "Bush has unleashed a political crisis comparable to the one Julius Caesar posed for the Roman constitution," threatening to subvert the traditional constitutional order and put dictatorship in its place. Rather than relying on a standing army and a Praetorian Guard, our cardboard Caesar from Crawford is backed by the Pentagon and its affiliated weapons contractors, not to mention the CIA: "The United States today, like the Roman Republic in the first century, BC, is threatened by an out-of-control military-industrial complex and a huge secret government controlled exclusively by the president." Imperial republics, Johnson suggests, are destined to be destroyed by an inner contradiction.

One reason for Johnson's end-of-days gloom is that he can identify no power center capable of resisting the forces that currently drive American foreign policy. He claims that because of the costliness of re-election campaigns and the insidious influence of Congressional lobbyists, "the legislative branch of our government is broken." An elected body that owes its incumbency partly to military contractors (who, in turn, provide not only campaign funding but also jobs for voters in swing districts) cannot reasonably be expected to swivel around and eliminate the corruption that nourishes it. In Johnson's words, "our political system may no longer be capable of saving the United States as we know it, since it is hard to imagine any president or Congress standing up to the powerful vested interests of the Pentagon, the secret intelligence agencies, and the military-industrial complex."

(snipped ... please see link below for more)
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
Costly Trade With China
Posted: 9/11/2007 7:03:52 AM
Costly Trade With China
Millions of U.S. jobs displaced with net job loss in every state

by Robert E. Scott

See media kit

Contrary to the predictions of its supporters, China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) has failed to reduce its trade surplus with the United States or increase overall U.S. employment. The rise in the U.S. trade deficit with China between 1997 and 2006 has displaced production that could have supported 2,166,000 U.S. jobs. Most of these jobs (1.8 million) have been lost since China entered the WTO in 2001. Between 1997 and 2001, growing trade deficits displaced an average of 101,000 jobs per year, or slightly more than the total employment in Manchester, New Hampshire. Since China entered the WTO in 2001, job losses increased to an average of 441,000 per year—more than the total employment in greater Dayton, Ohio. Between 2001 and 2006, jobs were displaced in every state and the District of Columbia. Nearly three-quarters of the jobs displaced were in manufacturing industries. Simply put, the promised benefits of trade liberalization with China have been unfulfilled.

As a matter of policy, China tightly pegs its currency's value to that of the dollar at a rate that encourages a large bilateral surplus with the United States. Maintaining this peg required the purchase of about $200 billion in U.S. Treasury Bills and other securities in 2006 alone.1 This intervention makes the yuan artificially cheap and provides an effective subsidy on Chinese exports; best estimates are that the rate of this effective subsidy is roughly 40%. China also engages in extensive suppression of labor rights; it has been estimated that wages in China would be 47% to 85% higher in the absence of labor repression. China has also been accused of massive direct subsidization of export production. Finally, it maintains strict, non-tariff barriers to imports. As a result, China's exports to the United States of $288 billion in 2006 were six times greater than U.S. exports to China, which were only $52 billion (Table 1). China's trade surplus was responsible for 42.6% of the United States' total, non-oil trade deficit. This is by far the United States' most imbalanced trading relationship. Unless and until China revalues (raises) the yuan and eliminates these other trade distortions, the U.S. trade deficit and job losses will continue to grow rapidly in the future.

Major findings of this study:

The 1.8 million jobs opportunities lost nationwide since 2001 are distributed among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with the biggest losers, in numeric terms: California (-269,300), Texas (-136,900), New York (-105,900), Illinois (-79,900), Pennsylvania (-78,200), North Carolina (-77,200), Florida (-71,900), Ohio (-66,100), Georgia (-60,400), and Massachusetts (-59,300) (Table 2A).

The 10 hardest-hit states, as a share of total state employment, are: New Hampshire (-13,000, -2.1%), North Carolina (-77,200, -2.0%), California (-269,300, -1.8%), Massachusetts (-59,300, -1.8%), Rhode Island (-8,400, -1.8%), South Carolina (-29,200, -1.6%), Vermont (-4,900, -1.6%), Oregon (-25,700, -1.6%), Indiana (-45,200, -1.5%), and Georgia (-60,400, -1.5%) (Table 2B).
China's entry into the WTO was supposed to bring it into compliance with an enforceable, rules-based regime, which would require that it open its markets to imports from the United States and other nations. The United States also negotiated a series of special safeguard measures designed to limit the disruptive effects of surging Chinese imports on domestic producers. However, the core of the agreement failed to include any protections to maintain or improve labor or environmental standards. As a result, China's entry into the WTO has further tilted the international economic playing field against domestic workers and firms, and in favor of multinational companies (MNCs) from the United States and other countries, and state- and privately-owned exporters in China. This has increased the global "race to the bottom" in wages and environmental quality and caused the closing of thousands of U.S. factories, decimating employment in a wide range of communities, states, and entire regions of the United States.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 27 (view)
Tossing the Salad
Posted: 8/21/2007 8:34:07 AM
I love to give and receive salad tossing. Nothing wrong with that.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 23 (view)
Compliments vs. Complements
Posted: 6/28/2007 1:57:48 PM

posted by lonestardaddy
I must admit that I'm far more visual than the impeccable master of the English language, but I just read the profile of a very attractive woman ...who seemed to have a professional air about herself, and found myself cringing before caring to send her an email to let her know of my interest. Compliments are not a bad thing to offer when they are sincere, but when "complements" was what implied in the context of her written sentence, I had to wonder for just how professional ...and truly competent the woman might be in her position.

Am I being too critcal and/or prejudicial to feel that more 'professional' people who go on-line looking for whatever it is that they are ISO w/ others, should realize the need for knowing their language better? I accept that many of us slept through English class many years ago I really didn't and still don't care about "Moby('s)****, but do you not feel that genuine communication among adults starts w/ at least both parties making the effort since adolescence and the 'Age of Kewl' to finally learn what's considered proper?

There were quite a few grammatical errors in your post, lonestardaddy, though I do know what you are talking about and it bugs the living hell out of me. I just don't understand the disdain for the English language anymore.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 3 (view)
On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank
Posted: 6/26/2007 2:26:27 PM

posted by planotodd I don't know the accuracy of this particular case, but Wikipedia isn't a reliable source. If you cite that thing even in a high school paper you should fail.

Actually, Wikipedia was tested against Encyclopedia Brittanica in over 40 subject matters and averaged only one more error than EB.

Conclusion: Wikipedia is quite reliable and on par with Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank
Posted: 6/22/2007 3:59:45 PM
On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank
Noam Chomsky interviewed by Dennis Ott
ZNet, April 2, 2007

Dennis Ott: In a recent interview you quoted Thorstein Veblen, who contrasted “substantial people” and “underlying population.”[1] At a shareholder’s meeting of Allianz AG, major shareholder Hans-Martin Buhlmannn expressed the view that there is only one limit to the increase of the dividend: “The inferiors must not be bled so much that they can no longer consume. They must survive as consumers.”[2] Is this the guiding principle of our economic system? And if so, is there any substance to the notion of a “social market economy”?
Noam Chomsky: Those are traditional questions in economics. It’s part of Marx’s reasoning about why there’s going to be a continuing crisis of capitalism: that owners are going to try to squeeze the work force as much as possible, but they can’t go too far, it’ll be nobody to purchase what they buy. And it’s been dealt with over and over again in one or another way during the history of capitalism; there’s an inherent problem.

So for example, Henry Ford famously tried to pay his workers a higher wage than the going wage, because partly on this reasoning – he was not a theoretical economist, but partly on the grounds that if he doesn’t pay his workers enough and other people won’t pay their workers enough, there’s going to be nobody around to buy his model-T Fords. Actually that issue came to court in the United States, around 1916 or so, and led to a fundamental principle of Anglo-American corporate law, which is part of the reason why the Anglo-American system is slightly different from the European social market system. There was a famous case called “Dodge v. Ford.” Some of the stockholders of the Ford motor company, the Dodge brothers, brought Henry Ford to court, claiming that by paying the workers a higher wage, and by making cars better than they had to be made, he was depriving them of their profits – because it’s true: dividends would be lower. They went to the courts, and they won.

The courts decided that the management of the corporation has the legal responsibility to maximize the yield of the profit to its stockholders, that’s its job. The corporations had already been granted the right of persons, and this basically says they have to be a certain type of pathological person, a person that does nothing except try to maximize his own gain – that’s the legal requirement on a corporation, and that’s a core principle of Anglo-American corporate law. So when, say, Milton Friedman points out that corporations just have to have one interest in life, maximizing profit and market share, he is legally correct, that is what the law says. The reason the Dodge brothers wanted it was because they wanted to start their own car company, and that ended up being Dodge, Chrysler, Daimler-Chrysler and so on. And that remains a core principle of corporate law.

Now, there were modifying traditional decisions, which said that a corporation is permitted legally – that means, the management is permitted legally – to carry out benevolent activities, like to join the Millennium Fund or something, but only if it improves their humanitarian image and therefore increases their profit. So a drug company can give away cheap drugs to the poor, but as long as the television cameras are on; then it’s still legal. And in fact, there’s an important decision by an American court, which is quite intriguing. It urges corporations to carry out benevolent activities; it says – and I’m quoting it now – or else “an aroused public” may figure out what corporations are up to, and take away their privileges – because after all, they’re just granted by the government, there’s nothing in the constitution, there’s no legal basis for them, it’s a radical violation of classical liberal principles and free market principles. They’re just granted by powerful institutions, and “an aroused public” might see through it and take it away. So you should have things like the Gleneagles conference once in a while, which is mostly fake, but looks good, and this is basically the court decision.

How does the social market system differ? There’s no principle of economics or anything else that says – first of all that even says that corporations should exist, but granting that they exist – that they should be concerned only with the maximization of gain for their stockholders instead of what’s sometimes called “stakeholders”: the community, the work force, everything else. As far as economics is concerned, it’s just another way of running things. And the European system to an extent has stakeholder interest. So, say, Germany has a theoretical form of co-determination – mostly theoretical, but some degree of worker participation in management, acceptance of unions, that’s been a partial move towards stakeholder interest. And the governmental social democratic programs are other examples of it.

The United States happens to be pretty much at the extreme of keeping to the principle that the corporate system must be pathological, and that the government is allowed to and glad to intervene to uphold that principle. The European system is somewhat different, the British system is somewhat in between, and they all vary.

Like during the New Deal period in the United States and during the 1960s, the United States veered somewhat towards a social market system. That’s why the Bush administration, who are of extreme reactionary sort, are trying to dismantle the few elements where the social market exists. Why are they trying to destroy social security, for example? I mean, there’s no serious economic problem, it’s all fraud. It’s in as good fiscal health as it’s ever been in its history, but it is a system which benefits the general population. It is of no use at all to the wealthy. Like, I get social security when I retire, but I’ve been a professor at MIT for fifty years, so I got a big pension and so on and so forth, I wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t get social security. But a very large part of the population, maybe 60% or something like that, actually survive on it. So therefore it’s a system that obviously has to be destroyed. It’s useless for the wealthy, it’s useless for privilege, it contributes nothing to profit. It has other bad features, like it’s based on the principle that you should care about somebody else, like you should care whether a disabled widow has food to eat. And that’s hopelessly immoral by the moral principles of power and privilege, so you’ve got to knock that idea out of people’s heads, and therefore you want to get rid of the system.

And in fact a lot of what’s called – ridiculously – “conservatism” is just pathological fanaticism, based on maximization of power and wealth in accord with principles that do have a legal basis.

But to get back to your original question, these are just choices. I mean, there are choices as to whether corporations should even exist, or why they’re even legitimate. They’re just tyrannies. Why should tyrannies exist? They are not supposed to exist in the political realm, there’s no reason why they should exist in the economic realm. But if they do, they could be imagined in all sorts of different ways, and there’s constant class struggle and pressures that lead to one or another outcome.

I mean the European system developed out of its complex historical background. I’m sure you know the original welfare states were basically Germany in the Bismarckian period – not because Bismarck was a big radical. And in fact to an extent, the European systems reflect the fact that they grew out of a feudal system. A feudal system is non-capitalist. In a feudal system everyone has a place – maybe a rotten place, but some place. So the serf has some place in the feudal system, they have some rights within that place in the system.

In a capitalist system, you don’t have any rights. And in fact when modern capitalism developed in the early 19th century – this is post-Adam Smith or anything like that, but Ricardo and Malthus and so on – their principle was pretty simple: you don’t have any rights. The only rights a person has are what they can gain in the labor market. And beyond that, you’ve no right to live, you’ve no right to survive. If you can’t make out on the labor market, go somewhere else. And in fact they could go somewhere else, they could come here and exterminate the population and settle here. But in Europe, you couldn’t do that, so some remnants of the whole feudal system and conservative structures and so on did lead to – after all, Europe had huge labor movements, the German social democratic party grew out of very powerful movements, and they just forced the development of what became social market systems.

After World War II, it was a very complex situation; the Second World War had a highly radicalizing effect, and the anti-fascist resistance had plenty of prestige. It was pretty radical; it was calling for quite radical democracy – it’s sometimes called communism, but it often had nothing to do with that. It’s just very radical democracy, worker’s control and so on and so forth, and it was so wide-spread, some kind of settlement had to be made with it.

If anyone were to write an honest history of post-WWII period, the first chapter would be devoted to how the British and American forces liberating Europe, one of the first things they did was to destroy the resistance, and to undermine the labor movement, and to try to beat back the efforts to create radical democratic programs. It varied in different countries but happened everywhere. Like in Italy, it started happening in 1943, since they moved in. By the time, the British and American forces reached Northern Italy, it had been pretty well liberated by the resistance, they had driven out the Germans mostly, and they had established their own institutions: worker-managed industrial systems, cooperatives, and so on. The British and Americans were totally appalled, they had to dismantle the whole thing and restore the rights of owners, meaning restore the traditional fascist system. An in fact, in the case of Italy, it’s particularly interesting. It continued at least into the 1970s. Italy was the main center of CIA subversion, well into the 1970s, but it happened everywhere else, too. In Greece, there was a war to destroy the resistance; they killed about a 150,000 people, and ended up restoring something like the traditional fascist structure.

Not long after the United States strongly supported the first restoration of actual fascism in Europe, and continued to support it, it was overthrown by the Greeks. And elsewhere it took different forms. In England and the United States, there were similar things happening. The population was also radicalized, and there had to be some adaptation to them, so you get the welfare state periods. But this is just the constant flux of struggle and conflict internal to hierarchic societies. There’s no right answer to it.

DO: In a commentary on ZNet, John Feffer praised the EU for being “more democratic, more economically fair-minded, more environmentally conscious, and more diplomatically sensitive” than the U.S.[3] However, many European dissidents criticize the project as an attack on democracy, and as pushing forward militarization and the dismantling of the welfare state in the member countries; in similar spirit, you described it as “a central banker system.”[4] What is your view – from the American perspective – on the emerging superpower Europe?
NC: There’s no particular American perspective… I mean, there is an American elite perspective, which is not mine. The general idea of European unity is a good idea. I think the world should be federalized in some sense, and the erosion of the nation-state system is a good thing. Nation-state systems basically arose in Europe in their modern sense, and they’re extremely unnatural social organizations. They had to be imposed on the populations by violence, extreme violence. Just look at the history of modern Europe, it’s a history of savage wars and destruction going back centuries. In the 17th century and the Thirty Years War, probably forty percent of the population of Germany was wiped out.

And the only reason it stopped in 1945 is because of a common realization that you just can’t do it anymore; the next war is going to destroy everything, we developed means of savagery that are too great to be employed. So therefore we have what’s called a democratic peace by political scientists. Probably the main factor in it is just that the means of destruction are so enormous that powerful states can’t go to war with each other, the war is the end.

And then you get steps towards integration. Some of it is healthy, some of it is unhealthy; it’s a mixture. So, the role of the Central Bank in Europe, which you mentioned, is very reactionary. In fact, even American conservatives criticize them, as granting far too much authority to a wholly undemocratic institution; it’s just not answerable to the public. That’s a form of autocracy that doesn’t exist in the United States; there’s the Federal Reserve, but it has nothing like the power of the European Central Bank. In principle at least, it’s under some form of democratic control – limited, for all sorts of reasons, but some form. And, in fact, it’s commonly argued by economists that part of the reason for the sluggishness – it’s exaggerated, but the partial sluggishness – of the European economy is just that the Central Bank decisions tend to discourage growth, and they’re not under public control.

Well, that’s a negative aspect. A positive aspect is that there’s some erosion of the extremely dangerous nation-state system. In fact, one of the consequences which – in my view at least – is a healthy one is a degree of regionalization throughout much of Europe. That is, a revival of a degree of local autonomy, of regional cultures, of regional languages, and so on. So like in Spain, there’s a fair amount of autonomy in the Catalan area, the Basque area, there’s similarly in others a revival of the languages… A lot of it is, I think, an extremely healthy development.

So for example, I happened to visit Barcelona, shortly after the Franco period, and then ten years later. And the differences were remarkable. For one thing, you heard Catalan in the streets, which you hadn’t heard before. And for another thing, there was just a revival of cultural practices and so on. You know, people flocking to the main cathedral on Sunday morning, with dancing and traditional singing and so on. That’s all fine, you know. It revives or gives some significance to life. And it has its negative aspects, too. It means harsh discrimination against Spanish workers who happen to be working in Catalonia. I mean, life’s a complicated affair.

But all of these things are happening, and some of them are healthy and should be encouraged, others not. I think, say, the French vote on the European constitution was basically a class vote. I mean, working people and peasants could see perfectly well that the constitution was an instrument of class warfare which is going to harm them by imposing neo-liberal conditions and undermining the social market from which they benefit.

There were also other elements; there were racist elements. The opposition in continental Europe to bring in Turkey – you can hide it in all sorts of nice terminology, but it’s fundamentally racist. I mean, Germans don’t want to have Turks lurking around in the streets. Europe has quite a tradition of racism, no need to talk about it.

So it’s a complex web of concerns. In general, I think that moves towards European integration are a good idea. Extending the Union to the East is again a complicated matter. US elites are strongly in favor of it. But that’s because they’ve always been concerned that Europe might move off into the wrong direction, out of US control. That’s been a big concern since the Second World War. Europe’s economy is at least on a par with the United States, it’s an educated population, a larger population. Except in the military dimension, it’s a counterpart or even superior to the United States, and so it could move off on its own. And bringing in the peripheral states, the former East European satellites, tends to dilute the strength of the core of the European commercial-industrial economic center, namely France and Germany, and to bring in countries that are more subject to US influence. So it might undermine moves towards European independence.

A lot of the things that are going on in the world are similar. Like, take the Iraq war. I’m sure that a large part of the purpose of the Iraq war is with an eye on Europe and North East Asia. I mean, if the United States can control the world’s energy resources, then it has what George Kennan 50 years ago called “veto power” over what competitors can do. And the more astute political analysts have pointed that out pretty openly, like Zbigniew Brzezinski. He wasn’t particularly in favor of the war, but he said that it will give the United States “critical leverage” over European and Asian competitors. That’s part of the things that happen in the world.

In fact, it’s not too well known, but the expansion of NATO to the East by Clinton was an explicit violation of promises, formal promises made to Gorbachev in, I think, 1990 by George Bush Nr. One. Gorbachev agreed to the unification of Germany on condition that NATO not expand to the East. For Russia to agree to German unification is a very hazardous step. I don’t have to run through it, but the history of the past century explains why. But they did agree on the condition that NATO not expand to the East. Clinton quickly backed off on that commitment and did expand NATO to the East, which is a tremendous strategic threat to the Soviet Union. And it caused the Russians to change their military doctrines. Russia had previously adopted the NATO doctrine of first strike with nuclear forces, even against non-nuclear states. But in the early nineties, they dropped it. But once NATO was expanded to the East, they reinstated it. So now we have superpowers facing each other with first-strike strategic options and missiles on hair-trigger alert – practically a recipe for global disaster.

So lots of things are involved in these decisions.

DO: Last year’s appointment of Paul Wolfowitz as President of the World Bank caused angry reactions all over the world, even some irritations in the Western countries. Is there any detectable change in the World Bank's policy since Wolfowitz has taken office, and what is the signal the Bush administration has sent to the world by appointing this controversial figure to the institution's head?
NC: Unlike most of my friends, I was in favor of that appointment. The reason is pretty simple: I think he can do much less damage in the World Bank than in the Pentagon. So getting him out of the Pentagon almost anywhere is a good decision. In the World Bank, I suppose he’ll be a bureaucrat, like other bureaucrats.

I mean, the only record he has that’s relevant is his record in Indonesia, which, in fact, his supporters bring up. They say, you know, he has an experience with development, look at his role in Indonesia, and so on…

What was his role in Indonesia? He was one of the strongest and most vocal supporters of one of the worst murderers and tyrants of the late 20th century. Human-rights activists in Indonesia can’t even remember a case where he said a word about human rights, or about democracy. He was just a strong supporter of the murderous, brutal tyrant and aggressor Suharto. And in fact he remained so, even after the Indonesians had finally thrown him out.

They claim that his task in the World Bank is supposed to be to root out corruption – that’s the prime task that’s been assigned to him. Suharto was the most corrupt dictator of the late 20th century. I mean, there is a monitor of corruption, Transparency International, a British-based institution. About two years ago, they ranked regimes in terms of corruption: Suharto was far in the lead, way beyond Mobutu and others way below. And that’s Wolfowitz’s favorite. So, based on those credentials – delight with corruption, concentration of wealth, tyranny, human-rights violations, destruction of democracy – he’s the candidate for the World Bank.

Will he do any worse than anyone else? My guess is: probably not; he’ll be a bureaucrat like other bureaucrats. So far, there’s no indication of any shift in World Bank policy that I’ve seen, and I wouldn’t particularly expect any.


[1] “Fight the Power,” Noam Chomsky interviewed by Ian Rappel, Socialist Review (online), July 2005.

[2] Quoted in Arne Daniels, Stefan Schmitz, and Marcus Vogel, “Wir alle sind Heuschrecken,” stern 20/2005, p. 24 (interviewer’s translation).

[3] John Feffer, “Europe as Number One?”, ZNet (online), May 26, 2005.

[4] Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian, Propaganda and the Public Mind, Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press, 2001, p. 51.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 142 (view)
is iran considerd an enemy
Posted: 6/21/2007 5:31:53 PM

Posted by bob0colo The House of Bush and the House of Saud are very close. Whats a few body bags.....

The fact that the US selling Stinger missiles to Afgans, who in turn took out a lot of Soviet Helio's
and changed the face of that war, are we seeing the same now?????

We rely on air transport because the roads dont exsist in Iraq. If we lose on a week we will not stay.

The group boosting of the shoulder fired China made missiles was Bathist (sic)

This was interesting to me......We have dumped on Iran every time we could. They held candle lite vigles 9-11 and rounded up any Bi Lauden's for us.

If Isreal is an issue Why. Iran or Bush and the GOP.

Very well said. By the way, you should google The Redirection by Seymour Hersh. It goes into indepth detail about the Saudi's worry about the rising Shi'a crescent and how we are funding and training radical (extremist) Sunni groups in Lebanon and elsewhere to counter this threat. In the article, according sources, some of these groups have links with al Qaida.

Kind of reminiscent of our arming of the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan to counter the "Soviet threat," eh? Of course, it wasn't released until 1997, by non other than Z Brezinski himself, that we goaded the Soviets to invade Afghanistan by facilitating terror attacks on Russian interests.

My, what tangled webs we weave, eh?
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 58 (view)
Will Al Gore run in 2008?
Posted: 6/21/2007 3:56:08 PM

I'm wondering that too. I don't think "electable" should be the basis of our decision. We thought Kerry was electable and look where it got us. But I think Gore's got a good personality, he's become more charismatic, and I have no doubt that he'd make a great president (which is really the most important thing). He's got tremendous support from the progressive community even though it's anyone's guess if he'll actually run.

Feingold would be a good candidate, but I'd really like to see Gore in the White House.

Feingold has already said that he wouldn't run but I would love it if he did. A Gore/Feingold ticket would be pretty unbeatable.

If Gore decides to run and Feingold still wants to stay out of the race (and I think it's too late for Feingold to throw his pot in, of course, Gore could pick him as his running mate at anytime), I would definitely support an Al Gore/Wesley Clark ticket. That would definitely take the wind out of the pandering centrism of Hillary Clinton.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 27 (view)
The right to hate
Posted: 6/21/2007 3:47:05 PM

by ir0n The liberal lefties have become experts at playing the hate card. If you don't agree with a certain point of theirs, they label you a racist, sexist etc. They know it makes people back off, because we have all become afraid to be labelled a hater.

Nice generalization, pal. I'm a leftist and I don't make that a practice. You're entitled to your beliefs, however, I have the right to criticize or comment on them as I see fit. Usually, my arguments are based on solid reasoning. They are not based on the flimsy race cards or red herrings.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 26 (view)
The right to hate
Posted: 6/21/2007 3:38:34 PM

by taurusI just got something in my email from a concerned pastor friend of mine about two bills being considered.House bill H.R. 1592 and Senate bill S. 1105 to be exact which would,according to the article sent to me,"Make it a crime for pastors and other church members to denounce homosexuality as sin or otherwise make any negative comments about homosexuality or homosexuals."

Now I personally have nothing against gays and could really care less what people do behind closed doors,but at the same time I don't believe the government has the right to tell people what to believe,preach or teach in their own privately owned and funded churches.

Do people have the right to believe what they want?Do people have the right to like or dislike who and what they want?I always thought that was one of the cornerstones behind this country.Now if a church or anyone that preaches against homosexuality actively engages in a crime against a person or persons,then the issue can be dealt with according to already existing laws,why do we need legislation to tell people what they are allowed to say or believe?What's next?Thought crimes?

I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think anyone ignorant enough to demean people based on their gender, ethnicity, race, religion or sexual preference should have the absolute right to say what they think and look like an absolute moron.

That's why I don't agree with the anti-hate speech laws in Europe - one of the few things that progressive Europeans got wrong. The problem with these laws is it drives the Neo-Nazi movement underground and out of sight. Furthermore, restricting right to speech, however repugnant, is one of the elements of fascism. It would, seems to me, be rather futile to fight fascism with fascism.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 124 (view)
Barack Obama The Audacity of Hope
Posted: 6/21/2007 3:27:02 PM
I'm not so sure yet. I held out hope for him when he was an up and coming rising star, but I fear that that the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) is molding him for policies that I can't agree with, ex., neo-liberal exploitation of workers on foreign soil and more exportation of jobs overseas - for the benefit of the almighty corporation.

Maybe I'm wrong and I certainly hope so ... but there have been moments where I've seen that he may be going that route.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 29 (view)
As if
Posted: 6/21/2007 3:23:15 PM
It's time we become a member of the community of nations again. Empires don't last forever.

I think the time has come where we as a nation must decide between empire (and I'm talking economic colonialism, as well) or democracy.

We cannot have both.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 24 (view)
Sexual acceptability!
Posted: 6/7/2007 2:23:30 PM
A) Giving oral sex......................................(1)

B) Receiving oral sex.................................(1)

C) Anal sex................................................(1) (giving)

D) A woman swallows................................(1)

E) Fisting...................................................(1) (if that's her thing)

F) First date sex.........................................(1)

G) Size of penis..........................................(1) (if she accept the size of my penis)

H) A partners willingness to experiment....(1)

I) Use of pornography...............................(5) (I don't really care ... but most of my ex's like to use porn, so ...)

J) Multiple partners...................................(1)
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 28 (view)
Hey Dipstick,
Posted: 6/5/2007 7:02:54 PM

by sisl:

The USA has saved the world from despotism SEVERAL TIMES, and continues to be the great hope of mankind. Other people want to come here, you nimrod.

You are a true-believer, go someplace where yuor foolishness will be taken seriously, like Cuba or N. Korea. You sicken me.

This is what you could come up with as a rejoinder? Not very creative. I've heard the "go somewhere else" retort as a means to stifle discussion.

My, how Stalinesque, and you wish me off to N. Korea? Perhaps a gulag?
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 27 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 6/5/2007 6:26:46 PM

By Montreal Guy -

Think of what both Bin Laden and Bush have in common.

1) Both men who grew up in incredibly rich families, with great political influence.

2) Both men with very powerful fathers, that they had to live under the shadow of .

3) Both men who were not initially religious (in any deep sense) , but changed later in life. Their families were not religious either. Both now see themselves as following the will of their God, which ( in the worst irony) is the same one.

4) Both families actually intertwined in business together.

5) Both men the product of very well known schools.

6) Both men having this image of a much simpler past as their vision of the future. They are both trapped in a false nostalgia.

7) Both men have used fear of each other as a primary tool in their rise to power.

Excellent points.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 4 (view)
Eugene V. Debs and the Idea of Socialism by Howard Zinn
Posted: 6/4/2007 9:26:56 AM
Socialism such as that of the Paris Commune and that of Spain before the civil war has worked. The Soviet Union was not a socialist state. Under Lenin's NEP and Stalin's purges, the workers were divorced from the profits of their labor. The USSR became a state capitalist nation. Trotsky tried to refer to it as a degenerated workers' state, but by then any semblance of socialism was crushed.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
Eugene V. Debs and the Idea of Socialism by Howard Zinn
Posted: 6/1/2007 1:03:53 PM
Eugene V. Debs
and the Idea of Socialism
by Howard Zinn
The Progressive magazine, January 1999

We are always in need of radicals who are also lovable, and so we would do well to remember Eugene Victor Debs. Ninety years ago, at the time The Progressive was born, Debs was nationally famous as leader of the Socialist Party, and the poet James Whitcomb Riley wrote of him:
"As warm a heart as ever beat
Betwixt here and the Judgment Seat."
Debs was what every socialist or anarchist or radical should be: fierce in his convictions, kind and compassionate in his personal relations. Sam Moore, a fellow inmate of the Atlanta penitentiary, where Debs was imprisoned for opposing the First World War, remembered how he felt as Debs was about to be released on Christmas Day, 1921: "As miserable as I was, I would defy fate with all its cruelty as long as Debs held my hand, and I was the most miserably happiest man on Earth when I knew he was going home Christmas."
Debs had won the hearts of his fellow prisoners in Atlanta. He had fought for them in a hundred ways and refused any special privileges for himself. On the day of his release, the warden ignored prison regulations and opened every cell-block to allow more than 2,000 inmates to gather in front of the main jail building to say good-bye to Eugene Debs. As he started down the walkway from the prison, a roar went up and he turned, tears streaming down his face, and stretched out his arms to the other prisoners.
This was not his first prison experience. In 1894, not yet a socialist but an organizer for the American Railway Union, he had led a nationwide boycott of the railroads in support of the striking workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company. They tied up the railroad system, burned hundreds of railway cars, and were met with the full force of the capitalist state: Attorney General Richard Olney, a former railroad lawyer, got a court injunction to prohibit blocking trains. President Cleveland called out the army, which used bayonets and rifle fire on a crowd of 5,000 strike sympathizers in Chicago. Seven hundred were arrested. Thirteen were shot to death.
Debs was jailed for violating an injunction prohibiting him from doing or saying anything to carry on the strike. In court, he denied he was a socialist, but during his six months in prison he read socialist literature, and the events of the strike took on a deeper meaning. He wrote later: "I was to be baptized in socialism in the roar of conflict.... In the gleam of every bayonet and the flash of every rifle the class struggle was revealed."
From then on, Debs devoted his life to the cause of working people and the dream of a socialist society. He stood on the platform with Mother Jones and Big Bill Haywood in 1905 at the founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was a magnificent speaker, his long body leaning forward from the podium, his arm raised dramatically. Thousands came to hear him talk all over the country.
With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 and the build-up of war fever against Germany, some socialists succumbed to the talk of "preparedness," but Debs was adamantly opposed. When President Wilson and Congress brought the nation into the war in 1917, speech was no longer free. The Espionage Act made it a crime to say anything that would discourage enlistment in the armed forces.
Soon, close to 1,000 people were in prison for protesting the war. The producer of a movie called The Spirit of '76, about the American revolution, was sentenced to ten years in prison for promoting anti-British feeling at a time when England and the United States were allies. The case was officially labeled The US. v. The Spirit of '76.
Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio, in support of the men and women in jail for opposing the war. He told his listeners: "Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder.... And that is war, in a nutshell. The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles." He was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in prison by a judge who denounced those "who would strike the sword from the hand of this nation while she is engaged in defending herself against a foreign and brutal power."
In court, Debs refused to call any witnesses, declaring: "I have been accused of obstructing the war. I admit it. I abhor war. I would oppose war if I stood alone." Before sentencing, Debs spoke to judge and jury, uttering perhaps his most famous words. I was in his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, recently, among 200 people gathered to honor his memory, and we began the evening by reciting those words-words that moved me deeply when I first read them and move me deeply still: "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
The "liberal" Oliver Wendell Holmes, speaking for a unanimous Supreme Court, upheld the verdict, on the ground that Debs's speech was intended to obstruct military recruiting. When the war was over, the "liberal" Woodrow Wilson turned down his Attorney General's recommendation that Debs be released, even though he was sixty-five and in poor health. Debs was in prison for thirty-two months. Finally, in 1921, the Republican Warren Harding ordered him freed on Christmas Day.
Today, when capitalism, "the free market," and "private enterprise" are being hailed as triumphant in the world, it is a good time to remember Debs and to rekindle the idea of socialism.
To see the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a sign of the failure of socialism is to mistake the monstrous tyranny created by Stalin for the vision of an egalitarian and democratic society that has inspired enormous numbers of people all over the world. Indeed, the removal of the Soviet Union as the false surrogate for the idea of socialism creates a great opportunity. We can now reintroduce genuine socialism to a world feeling the sickness of capitalism- its nationalist hatreds, its perpetual warfare, riches for a small number of people in a small number of countries, and hunger, homelessness, insecurity for everyone else.
Here in the United States we should recall that enthusiasm for socialism-production for use instead of profit, economic and social equality, solidarity with our brothers and sisters all over the world- was at its height before the Soviet Union came into being.
In the era of Debs, the first seventeen years of the twentieth century-until war created an opportunity to crush the movement-millions of Americans declared their adherence to the principles of socialism. Those were years of bitter labor struggles, the great walkouts of women garment workers in New York, the victorious multiethnic strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the unbelievable courage of coal miners in Colorado, defying the power and wealth of the Rockefellers. The I.W.W. was born-revolutionary, militant, demanding "one big union" for everyone, skilled and unskilled, black and white, men and women, native-born and foreign-born.
More than a million people read Appeal to Reason and other socialist newspapers. In proportion to population, it would be as if today more than three million Americans read a socialist press. The party had 100,000 members, and 1,200 office-holders in 340 municipalities. Socialism was especially strong in the Southwest, among tenant farmers, railroad workers, coal miners, lumberjacks. Oklahoma had 12,000 dues-paying members in 1914 and more than 100 socialists in local offices. It was the home of the fiery Kate Richards O'Hare. Jailed for opposing the war, she once hurled a book through a skylight to bring fresh air into the foul-smelling jail block, bringing cheers from her fellow inmates.
The point of recalling all this is to remind us of the powerful appeal of the socialist idea to people alienated from the political system and aware of the growing stark disparities in income and wealth-as so many Americans are today. The word itself-"socialism"-may still carry the distortions of recent experience in bad places usurping the name. But anyone who goes around the country, or reads carefully the public opinion surveys over the past decade, can see that huge numbers of Americans agree on what should be the fundamental elements of a decent society: guaranteed food, housing, medical care for everyone; bread and butter as better guarantees of "national security" than guns and bombs; democratic control of corporate power; equal rights for all races, genders, and sexual orientations; a recognition of the rights of immigrants as the unrecognized counterparts of our parents and grandparents; the rejection of war and violence as solutions for tyranny and injustice.
There are people fearful of the word, all along the political spectrum. What is important, I think, is not the word, but a determination to hold up before a troubled public those ideas that are both bold and inviting-the more bold, the more inviting. That's what remembering Debs and the socialist idea can do for use.

Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 22 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/28/2007 2:49:35 PM

by baddb0y

Can't say that I disagree with much of your post.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 19 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/9/2007 11:45:49 PM
Thanks for the support.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 70 (view)
Impeachment is imperative ...
Posted: 2/2/2007 6:27:59 PM

Does anybody have an idea why the soviet union invaded Afghanistan back in the 80's

They invaded because the Mujahadeen, which we supported, was destabilizing the leftist government (there were factions here as well).

In short, we provoked the Soviets into invading Afghanistan to give them their Vietnam.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 12 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/2/2007 9:52:35 AM

Also watch the movie, "Paradise Lost" about two young palestinians recruited to be suicide bombers....and while you are watching think about gang violence in the US....because these guys are using the same tactics to recruit bombers as gangs do here....the young men who believe they have no future, who can't find a decent job, who live in poverty or are trying to get a name for themselves are recruited....

I saw that movie. Fantastic film. Without giving it away, it explores both Palestinian's mindsets and how they arrive to their different conclusions. Fascinating.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 7 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/1/2007 6:55:18 PM

we are one nation with our head in the sand.. one nation that doesn't see the threat...

if we dont address the issue of the rising tide of islamic nationalism now we will be fighting a much more painful and bigger war later on. but i guess someone will have to invade poland again in order for us to realize that there is a problem. i mean, pearl harbour has already been bombed....


I agree that we are one nation with our head in the sand. I just see a different enemy. One where fear and propaganda are used to consolidate powers into the Executive Branch - the same branch that has deals with the so called ruthless governments in the Middle East, namely Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

But, unlike you, I'm not willing to castigate a whole people for the actions of a few. I'm also not willing to look the other way while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has us by the balls while supporting the various Sunni extremists that you claim to want to eliminate.

The situation is quite more complex than the usual rhetorical ploy of "we go to fight them now or there will be some huge battle in the future."

That's exactly what the fused government and military/industrial complex want.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 65 (view)
Impeachment is imperative ...
Posted: 2/1/2007 6:21:29 PM

Larissan04:what grounds do the nazi-liberal loons have for impeaching him? really, i want to hear it becase it will probably make me laugh... this is such jingosim it is beyond the pale...

Your ad hominem attack aside, you may try reading the thread or perhaps the links in the opening post for your answer.

Just a thought.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 6 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/1/2007 4:00:16 PM

Montreal_Guy's entire post.

Well said, and a hearty thank you from this American.

You forgot to mention that in World War II, it was you folks who entered the war against fascism well ahead of us. Once we decided which side of our bread would be better buttered (try saying that three times real fast), we finally entered on the side of the allies.

Cheers to my friends in the Great White North!
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 11 (view)
34 Democrats who voted to take away your freedom
Posted: 2/1/2007 2:11:33 PM

So, to clarify, that was 34 democrats, and 219 republicans. Yep. They sure do care about individual liberties, alright. I can feel the love from here. (continuing to vote independent...)

You can always vote for Bernie Sanders, the only Socialist in the US Senate. He cares about individual liberties. He means what he says and says what he does.

Great Senator. Wish he was my senator.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 4 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/1/2007 1:37:16 PM
Damn! One more time. I wish there was an edit capability or a preview. Here is my response yet again with the quotes in the correct places.

Moderators, please delete the previous two posts. Thanks.


We are a country of wealth and prosperity, even if not fairly distributed. We love life. Our enemies, the Islamic terrorists, love death and martyrdom. Remember what Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, said, "Killing the infidels is our religion, slaughtering them is our religion, until they convert to Islam or pay us tribute."

Let’s take a look at your first premise. “We are a country of wealth and prosperity …” Indeed, we are, as an aggregate very wealthy. What is dismissed or often overlooked is that the wealth is distributed and concentrated in the hands of a few. Millions of Americans live below poverty level. Millions more have no health insurance. So your premise is not only a non-sequitur, it is also false.

Second, regarding those who love death and martyrdom. I’d like to offer two points.

1) Those numbers are negligible at best. Those are the ideologues that thrive on instability, chaos and disorder. Firebrands such as Zarqawi and Bin Laden exploit situations where injustice is practiced, in fact, they state it openly. The National Intelligence Estimate released in October of last year confirmed that the war in Iraq actually increased terrorism – and that’s just terrorism emanating from the other side. Of course, we’d never call dropping bunker busters on villages with huge civilian casualties “terrorism.” In our parlance, it’s termed “collateral damage.” That goes to the extensive collective brainwashing to look at actual human beings as “collateral damage” as if we had just been in a national fender bender of sorts. What we tend to forget is that these are real people, with real family members – some of whom may want retribution. It’s no different here when I go into a bar and I hear near unanimity in just “nuking the Arabs.” It’s a mindset. It’s unhealthy at the national level and it is counter-productive to continue to wage war on an idea when it actually helps the enemy you claim to be fighting.
2) It’s a bit of stretch to extrapolate a few extremists who recruit for a cause and make blanket statements regarding about 1/6th of the planet. One billion Muslims live among many different nations. Are we so quick to condemn “them Christians” whenever an abortion clinic is bombed by a zealot? What of Timothy McVeigh? Are we to cast a shroud over Christians who love death? It’s inappropriate and serves no other purpose but to demonize people so that it is easier to wage war on them. The folks at Fox News or even CNN are culpable in acting as the propaganda arm of an Executive Branch that would love nothing more that for you to repeat their misrepresentations, obfuscations, distortions and misinformation. The media is supposed to be the Fourth Check, the Fourth Estate – in which it is to probe government policy and to facilitate transparency. It has failed to do this for too long.

Remember their reward when they carry out that command? They are immediately lifted to heaven at the side of God, and are provided the services of 72 virgins. Can we in the Judeo-Christian Western world compete? Our reward is not so clearly spelled out by our biblical teachings and in such detail. We know there is a heaven and a hell, and heaven is far better.

This is another non-sequitur. Is this the only motive for carrying out terrorism? Absolutely not. I would remind you that fundamentalism of any kind, whether Islamic, Christian, or Jewish, is extremely dangerous and inherently unstable. We are not bombing Timothy McVeigh’s hometown because of his terrorist attacks in Oklahoma City, are we?

Islamic terrorists are willing to wait the years needed to overcome our forces. They know they have the support of those Americans, British, Spaniards and French and others who wish to surrender to the terrorists' threats and get out of Iraq. Because of the threats, some countries have never gone into Iraq. Others have already withdrawn from Iraq and still others threaten to do so. Our army in Iraq, according to our former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, is "about broken." Lt. General David Petraeus, who has just been confirmed to head our surge of forces in Iraq, has said our situation in Iraq is "dire."

Irrespective of whether or not we should have gone into Iraq in the first place (my emphasis), and I believe we were right to do so because of CIA director George Tenet's statement that WMD in Iraq was a "slam dunk," it is surely a fact that today Iraq is a center of terrorism. While Shia and Sunni hate one another and are embroiled in a civil war, they are united in their hate of America and the culture of the Western world and were we to leave Iraq, they will seek to follow us across the sea in their endeavor to kill us, unless we convert or pay tribute.

You wish to dismiss the very premise of my very argument (the part I bolded) and then carry on as if that premise is true. That’s not only disingenuous but it indicates and unwillingness to even debate the actual issue – one that I brought up in my opening post. That is that we invaded a country (and became a world pariah in doing so) out of fear, unhealthy, unwarranted, and irrational fear and we are about to make the same mistake again about going into Iran. Your point regarding our Army being broken is irrelevant at this stage. If an invasion of Iran is the policy this administration wishes to engage in, it will happen with our Navy and Air Force and Special Operations units on the ground. That still doesn’t preclude us from receiving any type of backlash that Iran may engage in in her defense.

So, what options do we have? The President has offered one, the "surge." I hope it works, but I doubt it. Then there is the option of telling our allies, regional and NATO, that after the surge is tried and if it fails, we are withdrawing unless they come in and stand with us shoulder-to-shoulder. If they do not and we leave Iraq, I believe their borders -- Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, the Gulf states -- will be overrun by fleeing Sunni followed by the guns and swords of the Shia majority, and terrorists who will pretend to be refugees.

Other strategies were offered. The Baker-Hamilton a.k.a Iraq Study Group said that engaging in direct negotiations with the Iranians and Syrians to help stabilize the region would be our best bet. A redeployment of our troops in the surrounding states would help contain any spill over that is sure to occur. No one said it was going to be easy but this is what we are given. Instead, the President wants to surge more troops to their deaths in an adventure that near consensus, both military and civilian has said is sure to fail. How can you explain this? Bush is the decider? Why doesn’t his twin daughters volunteer? This is pure insanity. It’s not going to make the situation better. It will make it much worse. Iran is a whole other kettle of fish to fry. They have an advanced army, missile defense, size, terrain and Russia, India and China as allies. Hardly a cake walk while we are still stranded in Iraq.

When these regional allies contemplate that future event, they may conclude having us remain is a better alternative. We should try it. I believe it will work. If it doesn't, we should get out.

Nations will do what is in their best interests. The US is not going to be the world’s superpower for much longer and in fact, we are accelerating our fall from grace. It is with this thinking that we should re-engage as a responsible nation among nations and work to resolve our disputes in a civilized manner. I mean, after all, that is what we expect of others, is it not?
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 61 (view)
Impeachment is imperative ...
Posted: 2/1/2007 6:38:52 AM
I hate to burst your bubble but there are multiple crimes to impeach Bush and Cheney on. They admitted to breaking the law when they said they had the right to spy on Americans without a FISA warrant.

Have you looked at the Downing Street Memos? The cooked intelligence to persuade Congress and the UN to go to war?

There's plenty to try and convict. They need to be sent to the Hague so we can show the world that we are a nation of laws and that we abide by them.

**** political expediency. The electorate will not mind impeachment proceedings once they find out what this misadministration has been up to.

It's time to be "We The People" again.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 8 (view)
34 Democrats who voted to take away your freedom
Posted: 2/1/2007 6:31:37 AM
Those who voted for it are all traitors, if you ask me.

As a leftist, I'm angered by the failure of the Democrats to stand up to this nightmare regime (unitary executive - what, is this a dictatorship now?).

I expect this stuff from many conservatives (not all of them though).

I'm glad you posted this, rightwingguy. Something this leftist really agrees with you on.

Habeus Corpus; it's not just a good idea, it's what ended the dark ages.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
One Nation Under Fear
Posted: 2/1/2007 6:27:53 AM
On Nation Under Fear

When did this happen? Was there some set date in the history of the Union where the masses automatically succumbed to fear and along with it the acquiescence of power?

Look people, it's time to quit being stupid. You've been had and not necessarily by this administration but past administrations, too. Wake up. 9/11? Blowback for shit that was happening in 1979. Yes, shit that was going on in Iran and Afghanistan (and that's just one region) by our consent - even the covert operations are our fault because we fail to agitate for more open and less secretive government. We've been ****ing countries over (think Nicaragua) since time immemorial and then we have the chutzpah to whine and carry on about them hating us? We even ask, "Why do they hate us?" Now, this debacle in Iraq has blowback written all over it, some of which we'll see in 10-15-20 years.

The president goes on ...

So he's planning on invading Iran according to all credible reports. Sure Bush says he's willing to negotiate diplomatically but where have I heard that before? Besides, we don't even have bilateral talks with Iran, how the hell are we going to negotiate with them? Why are we sending three Carrier Strike Groups (two of which are there) if we are going to negotiate with the Iranians?

People, don't you understand that war makes companies like Halliburton, KB&R, Lockheed Martin and others very, very rich? Wouldn't it follow that since things are kind of stagnated in Iraq, what with our troops being killed and all, that those who stand to profit agitate for war with Iran?

Stop living in fear with these stupid terror threats. There are terrorist attrocities everyday in almost every country. Most committed by us. People live with it because they fail to reign in their governments (cough, cough) when said governments don't play nicely with others in the neighborhood. You don't see Sweden or Norway being attacked, do you? Why?

So Bush yells at Iran, Iran yells back and both sides are quite happy to escalate this. The Iranian nutjob they call a president would like nothing better than to rally the most extremist of his people into a deathcult ready to kill as many unbelievers as he can. Our Dear Leader would like nothing better than to kill a bunch of Iranians so as to kill as many brown people as he can and show the world that we aren't to be trifled with - in other words, that we are to continue to **** the world in the ass unabated. Any other country that wants to build a little deterrence to this is going to get a swift bunker buster up the wazzzooo. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Venezuela! We're already being propagandized to hate you as much as we do the Arabs and the Persians. Your leftist movement is a threat to us and our "national interests." We don't like threats.

So we're already being frightened. When we are frightened, look what happens. When Bush is cornered, cities die.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. You have reason to. We don't.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 22 (view)
The meaning of Anarchy, and whatever else comes up.
Posted: 12/19/2006 3:17:08 PM
Actually, anarchy has been tried successfully before in 1930s Spain. You can also look to the Communists in France (I forget which period). You can also refer to the various Native American tribes for anarchism in practice.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 21 (view)
The meaning of Anarchy, and whatever else comes up.
Posted: 12/19/2006 3:15:06 PM
I am an anarchist.

Anarchy means whatever it wants to mean to the individual.

To me, it means a truly egalitarian classless society with limited government (or government with no hierarchical structure). Essentially, as written in our Declaration of Independence, if the government becomes too tyrannical, it ought to be abolished.

Of course, there are different variety of anarchists. Different currents within the different prevailing anarchist theories and practices. Some are socialist inspired while there are also anarcho-capitalists.

Really, anarchy can't be defined according to one definition. Anarchism is fluid and it also ranges from reformists to revolutionaries (that being each current).
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 32 (view)
is iran considered an enemy
Posted: 12/19/2006 3:11:07 PM

Personally? I believe the US and Israel should act quickly, and unilateraly to negate the threat posed by Iran in this instance. If they won't obey international law, they must feel the repercussions right to their marrow.

They are abiding by International Law. They have broken no treaties. So far two of the belligerent Western nations to be violating International law are Israel and the US.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 6 (view)
Do you think dropping two atomic bombs on Japan was necessary?
Posted: 12/19/2006 3:05:12 PM
Leaving out the issue if whether or not the US actually goaded the Japanese into war, let's make sure the premise regarding the necessity to bomb civilian targets, that is targets of no strategic military value is valid - which if one critically examines the facts, should come to the conclusion that it was not necessary in ending the war in the Pacific.

Those who argue that the bombings were unnecessary on military grounds hold that Japan was already essentially defeated and ready to surrender.
One of the most notable individuals with this opinion was then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower. He wrote in his memoir The White House Years:
"In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives."
Other U.S. military officers who disagreed with the necessity of the bombings include General Douglas MacArthur (the highest-ranking officer in the Pacific Theater), Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (the Chief of Staff to the President), General Carl Spaatz (commander of the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific), and Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military intelligence officer who prepared intercepted Japanese cables for U.S. officials), and Admiral Ernest King, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard, and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.
"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan." Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
"The use of at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender." Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman.
The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, after interviewing hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, reported:
"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."
The survey assumed that continued conventional bombing attacks on Japan—with additional direct and indirect casualties—would be needed to force surrender by the November or December dates mentioned.
Many, including General MacArthur, have contended that Japan would have surrendered before the bombings if the U.S. had notified Japan that it would accept a surrender that allowed Emperor Hirohito to keep his position as titular leader of Japan, a condition the U.S. did in fact allow after Japan surrendered. U.S. leadership knew this, through intercepts of encoded Japanese messages, but refused to clarify Washington's willingness to accept this condition. Before the bombings, the position of the Japanese leadership with regards to surrender was divided. Several diplomats favored surrender, while the leaders of the Japanese military voiced a commitment to fighting a "decisive battle" on Ky?sh?, hoping that they could negotiate better terms for an armistice afterward. The Japanese government did not decide what terms, beyond preservation of an imperial system, they would have accepted to end the war; as late as August 9, the Supreme War Council was still split, with the hard-liners insisting Japan should demobilize its own forces, no war crimes trials would be conducted, and no occupation of Japan would be allowed. Only the direct intervention of the emperor ended the dispute, and even then a military coup was attempted to prevent the surrender.
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
Do you think dropping two atomic bombs on Japan was necessary?
Posted: 12/19/2006 7:22:49 AM
I say no.

"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan."

-Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 3 (view)
Manufacturing Consent: A free movie about thought control in a democracy.
Posted: 12/17/2006 2:31:53 PM

I just watched a movie about Howard Zinn which was excellent also. I only have dial up so I don't do the youtube thing. If there is anything about Zinn on there it's also worth watching. Chomsky is in the Zinn movie.

Chomsky and Zinn are both great Americans.

One of Zinn's quotes:

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
Joined: 12/8/2006
Msg: 1 (view)
“Six Brutal Truths about Iraq,” By Gen. Odom
Posted: 12/15/2006 6:17:35 AM
Six Brutal Truths about Iraq

General William Odom, one of the earliest advocates of an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, attacks some of the mythologies that are interfering with an honest debate about how to proceed in the Middle East and says the media have failed to recognize dramatic changes in the region.

By William E. Odom

Mythologies about the war in Iraq are endangering our republic, our rights, and our responsibilities before the world. The longer we fail to dispel them, the higher price we will pay. The following six truths, while perhaps not self-evident to the American public, are nevertheless conspicuously obvious to much the rest of the world.

Truth No. 1: No "deal" of any kind can be made among the warring parties in Iraq that will bring stability and order, even temporarily.

Ever since the war began to go badly in the summer of 2003, a mythology has arisen that a deal among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds could bring peace and stability to Iraq. First, the parliamentary elections were expected to be such a breakthrough. When peace and stability did not follow, the referendum on a constitution was proclaimed the panacea. When that failed, it was asserted that we just had not yet found the proper prime minister. Even today, the Iraq Study Group is searching for this holy grail. It doesn't exist.

Truth No. 2: There was no way to have "done it right" in Iraq so that U.S. war aims could have been achieved.

Virtually every new book published on the war, especially Cobra II, Fiasco, and State of Denial, reinforce the myth – the illusion – that we could have won the war; we just did not plan properly and fight the war the right way. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and most other major newspapers have consistently filled their opinion pages with arguments and testimonials to support that myth. (Professor Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University offers the most recent conspicuous reinforcement of this myth in the Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2006.)

The fragmentation of the country, civil war, and the rise of outside influence from Iran, Syria, and other countries – all of these things might have been postponed for a time by different war plans and occupation polices. But failure would have eventually raised its ugly head. Possibly, some of the variables would be a bit different. For example, if the Iraqi military had not been dissolved and if most of the Baathist Party cadres not been disenfranchised, the Sunni factions, instead of the Shiites, probably would have owned the ministry of interior, the police, and several unofficial militias. The Shiites, in that event, would have been the insurgents, abundantly supplied by Iran, indiscriminately killing Sunni civilians, fighting the U.S. military forces, blowing up the power grid, and so on.

A different U.S. occupation plan might have changed the course Iraq has taken to civil war and fragmentation, but it could have not prevented that outcome.


More at this link:
Show ALL Forums