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18 years Ago

Britain Legalizes Pot…

Published by marco on

…world crashes into sun. Mark Morford of the SF Gate announced in Britain Gets Quietly Stoned… that Britain has indeed joined most of the rest of Europe in that they will no longer “waste all that time and all those resources and moneys on busting casual potheads for no reason”. Of course, his immediate take on it is that it just points up the increasingly puritan, wrongheaded drug policies of the U.S.

The U.S. drug war has more and more the markings of something that the administration is... [More]

Don’t Mess with Texas

Published by marco on

Bush acting as imperial president on SeattlePI is an editorial from Helen Thomas, one of the most experienced members of the White House Press Corps. This is the reaction of someone who’s seen a lot of Presidents and senators come and go and she’s scared by the direction we’re headed. It’s not just one thing, but the combination of policies that express an evil intent that isn’t what the U.S. should be. Most of the power in the U.S. is consolidating in the executive branch and “[t]he imperial... [More]”

Election 2000 continues

Published by marco on

The Great Florida Ex-Con Game… by Gregory Palast, originally published in Harper’s Magazine, reopens the supposedly settled and recounted case of the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. With all of the talk of President Bush’s financial history and his run-ins with the SEC, which he deems “old news” (Bush: It’s Old News… in the New York Newsday), perhaps this examination of some of the tactics used in Florida will also be consigned to history. There are some interesting bits in here, though,... [More]

International Court Rejected (Again)

Published by marco on

US To UN: We Won’t See You In Court on Plastic mentions recent U.S. moves to pull out of U.N. peacekeeping missions if their soldiers are not granted immunity from prosecution. The expressed reason is to avoid “politically motivated prosecutions of its officials or soldiers.” The real reason is probably the oft-mentioned ‘sometimes war just isn’t pretty’ mantra.

The express purpose of the ICC is a noble enough goal:

“…to help put an end to the past century’s cycle of impunity for the most... [More]”

Satire Segues to Rage

Published by marco on

SleazyIt becomes increasingly obvious that the current state of the U.S. economy is so bad largely because the sensibilities of the average U.S. citizen, though previously thought infinitely malleable, have finally been stretched to the breaking point. Even satire and comedic places of refuge that ordinarily hide their opinions behind jokes are applying a thinner veneer to their feelings these days.

Two articles by some oft-quoted (at least here) satire sites come extremely close to simply... [More]

FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)

Published by marco on

There’s a lot of it about these days, as top administrations officials fall, predictably, under the mildly scrutinous eye of a vaguely interested press. There’s plenty of it from two different directions: one is spreading it around about attacking Iraq, which is apparently a gateway to Hell, and the other is spreading more rumors of terrorist attacks that never happen and/or are completely made up, with no facts to support them, but which a pretty large part of the American populace still lends... [More]

Food Aid and Famines

Published by kavorka on

I just read “True Cause of World Hunger”, an interview with Anuradha Mittal of Food First. http://www.foodfirst.org/media/interviews/2002/amittalsun.html

Why do people go hungry? Because they don’t have food. Why don’t they have food? Because they cant afford it. “Hunger is a social disease linked to poverty, and thus any discussion of hunger is incomplete without a discussion of economics.” It is estimated that 830 million go hungry. Yet, the world food supply produces an adundant and more... [More]

AIDS pandemic

Published by marco on

AIDS Will Cut Life Expectancy Below 40 In 11 African Countries is a discussion on Plastic about the article Africans ‘faced with extinction’… on the National Post (Canada). One comment in the discussion, But How Many Of Them Actually Have AIDS??? points out that the World Health Organization’s definition of AIDS is the “Bangui definition”, which can often diagnose AIDS where it is probably, in fact, Dysentary, Turburculosis, Malaria, generalized Kaposi sarcoma or cryptococcal meningitis.
... [More]

Bolivian Mercenaries

Published by marco on

Chris Floyd, on Counterpunch, recently wrote Global Eye — Jungle Fever that the “Bush Regime is paying — lock, stock and barrel — for a band of local mercenaries taking part in Bolivia’s campaign to eradicate coca production in the jungle region of Chapare”. This was reported in the Washington Post in US Role in Coca War Draws Fire at the end of June.

This “Expeditionary Task Force” is just another feature of the last unending war the U.S. engaged in, the Drug War. The Drug War started in... [More]

Corporate American Scum

Published by marco on

Another blow for corporate America on the Christian Science Monitor has an overview of the recent explosion of bad accounting and fraud in large American corporations.

“More broadly, it threatens to undermine the fragile economic recovery and is further eroding public confidence in corporate America. It is calling into question some of the most sacred principles of American capitalism. If last decade was the Roaring ‘90s, this one is starting out as the Odious OOs.”

Worldcom is only the latest... [More]

Religious Nation

Published by marco on

AlterNet has an article about religious fundamentalism right here in the good ‘ol US of A called Pledging Allegiance To Fundamentalism about the recent Pledge of Allegiance uproar. The pledge has been used as a fundamentalist ploy before, when the words ‘under God’:

“… were added in 1954, when Congress, reacting to a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, inserted those two words and turned the pledge into a public prayer of sorts. (The point was to contrast the godly United States of America... [More]”

Goodbye Pledge of Allegiance

Published by marco on

When I was younger and still in middle school, as it’s called these days, I began to wonder about the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t have well-worked out ideological reasoning for disliking it, it just rubbed my rebellious nature the wrong way. What was this pledge I was forced to take every day in a supposedly free nation? It smacked of a fanatic level of control, though that too was only vaguely expressed or felt at the time, to be honest. Regardless of the vague and unsubstantiated nature of... [More]

Irony of Bush’s call for democracy

Published by marco on

Common Dreams has a very ironic article by Rahul Mahajan called Arafat Calls for Democratic Elections in the United States. In it, he notes that “Arafat, who was elected with 87% of the vote in 1996 elections…[which were] declared to be free and fair by international observers” actually has far more of a mandate than a President elected by a “majority of the Supreme Court”.

This is in response to U.S. President Bush’s speech on Monday in which he called for the Palestinian people to have new... [More]

Facts and Fiction

Published by marco on

Rhetoric Distorts Realities… by Robert Jensen on Common Dreams takes Bush to task on recent statements he’s made, many of which contradict the facts of history. Whether they do so through ignorance (which is inexcusable in a leader with that much power) or through deception is still at issue. The truth about U.S. history would certainly not serve the administration (the current one or any recent one, for that matter) well.

Ignoring the truth lets Bush say, “Targeting innocent civilians for... [More]”

Big, Bad Budgets

Published by marco on

Ben Cohen has published Enemy Wanted on AlterNet which talks about more government obfuscation, this time with a specific example involving the U.S. military. The Pentagon’s budget next year is expected to top $400 Billion. The money is being spent solely to fund defense contracting companies. All of the hardware provided can’t possibly help in the war on terrorism. Seriously, why does the U.S. need more submarines?

“Even Lawrence Korb, a top defense official under Ronald Reagan, says we’re... [More]”

Human being or patriot?

Published by marco on

The New York Newsday published a letter to the editor today in response to an article by Robert Jensen, published on May 29, 2002, called Journalism Should Never Yield to ‘Patriotism’ (reprinted here at Common Dreams). The letter is excerpted below:

“To be an American is the height of being a human being. This does not mean we are better than other people, it does not mean we have no humility. It means that we have led the way. Through our economic system, we have shown others how to live free... [More]”

Attacking Iraq

Published by marco on

The New York Newsday today had a headline on their front page which noted “Bush Expands Order To Topple Hussein”. On pages 2 and 3, the article Bush: Get Saddam… had more details of a planned U.S. coup attempt. Under that article was another, In Congress, Support for the President, which dispelled any notions that this coup attempt was just the unsanctioned idea of the President and his administration, bent on revenge.

So, here we have a very blatant example of the complicity of the U.S. media... [More]

U.S. Ministry of Peace Proposal

Published by marco on

The Register has published Dubya calls for US Gestapo, covering Bush’s speech late last week. He called for a new cabinet-level position to be created, effectively legitimizing the Office of Homeland Security. “The stated purpose here is to provide a second layer of insurance against the intelligence and communications failures affecting both the CIA and FBI, which Congress is now investigating.” But, the proposal calls for the CIA and FBI to create reports of information and hand it over to the... [More]

Full Speed Ahead on Global Warming

Published by marco on

U.S. Is Icing Our Warming Report from the New York Newsday talks about a recent report issued by the U.S. federal government about its stance on global warming, the Climate Action Report 2002. In it, the U.S. government finally admits “what every other important institution in the world has long insisted: that global warming will wreak massive damage on every corner of the planet.”

However, the logic of the U.S. empire being what it is, this does not lead to a call for curtailing of activity... [More]

Pogroms in Gujarat

Published by marco on

Democracy − Who is she when she’s at home? on ZNet by Arundhati Roy from April 28 is a long article about recent racist riots in India’s state of Gujarat between Hindus and Muslims. Ever since “Muslim ‘terrorists’ who burned alive 58 Hindu passengers on the Sabarmati Express in Godhra…”, though no claim to the terror has been laid or evidence shown, Muslims have been persecuted in the Gujarat.

“Officially the number of dead is 800. Independent reports put the figure at well over 2,000. More... [More]”

U.S. Information Vacuum

Published by marco on

Just recently, I had the pleasure of hearing a discussion laced with mystification at the rest of the world’s displeasure with the wonderful United States. These opinions are espoused in an information vacuum lovingly prepared by U.S. media and a will to believe. I was able to offer that “they hate us for our freedoms”, which was swallowed whole and agreed with enthusiastically. There is no individual effort to determine whether there may be reason behind the mystifying dissatisfaction with the... [More]

Depressed?

Published by marco on

The Washington Post published Against Depression, a Sugar Pill Is Hard to Beat recently, covering an “…analysis [of] the majority of trials conducted by drug companies in recent decades…”. It seems positive thinking, or believing that you’re taking a pill to make you feel better, is more likely to cure your depression than actually taking an anti-depressant, many of which have terrible side-effects.

“… new research suggests that the placebo may play an extraordinary role in the treatment of... [More]”

The Second War on Terrorism

Published by marco on

ZNet published Chomsky’s Dýyarbikar Speech on March 25th. He discusses several interesting topics, mostly giving a fascinating history and framework on which to hang U.S. and British behavior in the last century (and into this one). In all cases, he goes out of his way to mention that the U.S. is simply behaving like any other empire would and the repression and conquering outside its borders should be lamented, but not come as a surprise.

The history runs from British terrorism in the... [More]

Californians Unite!

Published by marco on

Wil Wheaton published Now I’m Pissed, a raw response from a Californian to Enron. It seems Enron was responsible for the collapse of California’s energy market. And deliberately so. They exploited every loophole they could find, with cute-sounding strategies like “Death Star” and “Get Shorty”. Recent memos found in Enron documents, are a “smoking gun”. The SFGate’s article Enron memo describes how traders drove up state’s power prices says:

“Referring to a strategy called “Death Star” by Enron... [More]”

Chomsky on the Middle East

Published by marco on

Noam Chomsky has been interviewed several times over the last 2 months with regard to the unfolding situation in Israel. The situation has garnered a lot of attention in both the U.S. and World press, but anyone with a good amount of familiarity with the situation there would fail to see any new developments. The level of violence has escalated, but not to previously unseen levels, and certainly there have been no ideological shifts on the part of any of the major players.

In an interview, Noam... [More]

Jimmy Carter Turns Communist

Published by marco on

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is visiting Cuba over the next five days and has been heartily welcomed by Cuban President Fidel Castro. The Newsday reports in Like Old Friends… that his visit is ostensibly to talk privately about Cuba’s human-rights record, but is also being interpreted in the usual rhetoric from all sides of the political spectrum. Of particular interest to many is the lifting of the almost 50 year old economic U.S.-led Western embargo of Cuba.

Recent statements by the... [More]

19 years Ago

Tax Time

Published by marco on

FloI was referred by Plastic from Time To Pay The Piper to this amusing parable by William F. Buckley on the National Review called A Parable: The Tenth Man. In it, he poses the current tax situation and relative tax burdens of various members of society as a group of ten men eating dinner. Each man represents a tenth of society. It’s supposed to educate you about last year’s tax cut. I’ll reproduce it here for you:

“Every night, ten men met at a restaurant for dinner. At the end of the meal, the... [More]”

Shouting Down Dissent

Published by marco on

With the President still enjoying huge ratings in most polls, others are feeling much more confident in taking the “with us, or against us” message to new fronts. Former Secretary of Education, William Bennet, has founded Americans for Victory over Terrorism. The aim of the organization is to “take to task those groups and individuals who fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the war we are facing”, or basically, to educate America’s citizens about their wrong-headed liberal views. It’s principles... [More]

War on Terror Rolls On

Published by marco on

Iraq is due to be rolled on next. It’s been almost ten years since all-out war there. Bombings are still going on there now (“…in 1999/2000, according to the Pentagon, the US flew 24,000 “combat missions” over Iraq”). What have the sanctions been like there? John Pilger published this article on March 21st, 2002 about the state of Iraq today, after over a decade of sanctions. He discusses the supreme irony of the U.S. and Britain, two powers with plenty of blood on their hands, imposing... [More]

Space Wars

Published by marco on

Wired Magazine’s April issue has Peace Is War which covers in detail the degree to which the U.S. military stranglehold exists.The author, Bruce Sterling, attributes much of the power to not just an immense arsenal, but also to multifarious space-based military capabilities. In fact, he’s christened the Persian Gulf War as Space War I and the Yugoslavian carpet-bombing as the Second Space War. Space War III is in its final stages right now and was exacted upon Afghanistan.

Secretary of Defense... [More]