Saturday, November 29, 2008

US Media covers Chávez victory and calls it "a defeat"! BBC just ignores it

Allies of President Hugo Chavez's won a strong majority in Venezuela's local elections on Sunday, winning 17 of 22 state governorships and 265 of 327 mayoral races. The opposition made important gains, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and two of the most populous states.

The Real News Network spoke to Latin American Studies Professor Miguel Tinker Salas who says, the fact that the opposition was able to make modest gains means it's a victory for Venezuelan democracy, and the Venezuelan political process, and the maturity of the Venezuelan population who participated—over 65 percent in this regional election process

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ex-CIA Spy, Boris Korczak, speaks some home truths on World Events

Deepak Chopra: 'War on Terrorism' is an Oxymoron Asia, 26 November 2008

"It's interesting how it takes someone from a poor country, at the other end of the stick, [who] finds it so easy to describe the world exactly as it is, and yet we who hold the stick find his statement of the obvious "extraordinarily enlightening", as if it were cloaked in some kind of impenetrable mystery."


Chopra: I think Mr. Obama has a real opportunity here, but a challenging opportunity, a creative opportunity.

Get rid of the phrase "war on terrorism." Ask for a creative solution in which we all participate.

King: Is it because the war on terrorism really can never be won because the terrorists (inaudible)?

Chopra: Because it's an oxymoron. It's an oxymoron, Larry, a war on war, a war on terrorism.

You know, terrorists call mechanized death from 35,000 feet above sea level with a press of a button also terror. We don't call it that, because our soldiers are wearing uniforms. They don't see what is happening, and innocent people are being killed. So, you know, terror is a term that you apply to the other.

King: Thanks, Deepak Chopra, as always, extraordinarily enlightening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fugitive Rice makes narrow escape in Auckland
Indymedia, 30 Jul 2008 16:50 GMT

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a narrow escape from justice, with the assistance of the New Zealand Police, in Auckland on Saturday 26 July. The police can now consider themselves accessories to war crimes. Rice met with government leaders in Auckland but was chased by 150 protesters spurred on by a bounty of $10,000. They called for her arrest, under the Geneva Convention, for war crimes and for her role in authorising the use of torture.

There was chanting, speeches and an impressive US flag burning outside Government House where Rice was meeting with prime minister Helen Clark and foreign affairs minister Winston Peters. The speeches focused on Rice's support for the illegal and immoral war in Iraq, as well as the wider and more nonsensical 'War on Terror'; her sanctioning of torture and instrumental role in setting up Guantanamo Bay; and on what a bad idea a free trade agreement with the US would be. Then the crowd relocated to the Langham Hotel, where Rice met with leader of the parliamentary opposition, John Key.

Auckland University Students Association had to withdraw the bounty it placed on the head of Condoleezza Rice two days earlier, under threat of legal action. However, the students association at Victoria University in Wellington doubled the price, offering $10,000 for a successful citizen's arrest. Although several people turned up to the demo with handcuffs, the chance to nab Rice didn't present itself. Police refused to cooperate in the arrest of this war criminal, giving the irrelevant excuse that she is a visiting dignitary.

Police had planned to limit protest at the Langham hotel by keeping protesters on the opposite side of the road, behind shiny new barricades that had obviously been bought specially for the occasion. What they hadn't planned for was a busload of protesters being dropped off at the bus stop outside the hotel. After fifteen minutes of chanting and yelling by protestors, the police claimed that standing on the public footpath outside the hotel, was a 'safety risk.' When protesters refused to leave, the police violently forced them off the sidewalk and out onto the road. Protesters were shoved, punched and thrown to the street and pain compliance holds used on several protesters to get them to move. Several were punched in the face, including veteran activist John Minto who was shoved to the ground by several officers, smashing and breaking the megaphone he was chanting through. Two protesters were arrested and one man was left bleeding from the neck and wrist.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Agents of war: How British papers did Bush's dirty work
Posted on MEDIALENS, November 22, 2008

Morning Star 21/11

SOLOMON HUGHES investigates how British papers did Bush's dirty work.

IF YOU or I told the editors of the Times, Telegraph or Sun that their coverage of the "war on terror" was just a lot of US Department of Defence propaganda, I am sure that they would say that we were crass and crude and conspiracy theorists to boot.

The intelligent and well-educated journalists on those newspapers would be proud to say that they swallowed all the lies about weapons of mass destruction and failed to see the truth of secret US torture camps entirely of their own accord.

Well, actually, it turns out that they were helped to these rotten conclusions over drinks and dinners in smart London clubs and the US Department of Defence picked up the tab.

Since 2003, the nominally private Policy Forum on International Affairs has invited British journalists to meet top US politicians in London clubs and restaurants.

However, the organisation, which introduced British editors and columnists to mostly neoconservative politicians who were arguing for the "war on terror," was actually funded by the US Department of Defence.

The Policy Forum is a British-based company with two directors - low-profile London multimillionaire Zac Gertler and high-profile New York rightwinger Devon Gaffney Cross.

They say that they wanted to counteract the way that "American foreign policy and its goals and motivations in undertaking the war on terror were increasingly subject to caricature and worse in the European media."

The organisation, "based in London," says that it "began hosting a series of roundtable discussions, often off-the-record, with key American policy-makers and leading columnists, editors, writers and producers from the UK."

People like James Woolsey and Paul Wolfowitz were introduced to British journalists at posh clubs and restaurants. The Forum says that "editors of The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The London Times, The Economist, The Sun and The Spectator have all participated in our discussions" as well as "leading columnists."

Gertler and Gaffney Cross are independently very wealthy, but they didn't pay for the dinners after all. At the end of last year, the US Department of Defence paid the Policy Forum around $80,000 for "consulting services for public liaison and media outreach services in support of the diplomacy mission, including addressing and informing European and Middle Eastern audiences on the challenges facing US national security policies."

Three months later, the Policy Forum officially dissolved itself. It seems that the Department of Defence was actually paying for the previous five years of private diplomacy aimed at British journalists.

The forum looks like yet another way that the Bush administration ran foreign policy outside official structures. As a private organisation, the forum could invite speakers mostly from the neocons rather than represent the whole of the US leadership to all British papers. However, the initiative was ultimately funded by the US government, although, as with other Bush schemes, through the Department of Defence rather than the State Department.

Obama's election presumably means the end of this kind of clandestine diplomacy.

Devon Gaffney Cross's brother Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan official, wrote in the press that Obama's election would lead to "global theocratic rule under shariah and the end of our constitutional, democratic government." His sister Devon may not have made similar comments, but it is hard to imagine her being invited to run secret lobbying of the British press for president Obama.

The dinners-with-neocons scheme also shows yet again how London was central to Washington's propaganda effort over Iraq and the war on terror.

The US government liked placing stories in the British press to pass its dubious stories out to Europe and the Middle East and back to the US.

Placing lies in the US newspapers was too obvious. Tall tales about terrorism in the US media look like US propaganda. However, if the same stories are "confirmed" in supposedly independent British papers, the propaganda is sanitised.

Our newspapers acted as a laundering scheme to wash the US government fingerprints from official lies. If we ever get a real inquiry into the Iraq deception, that inquiry should concentrate on what was written in British newspapers as well as by British officials.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A revolutionary reworking for Marx's 'Kapital'

Treatise on capitalism to be turned into manga comic 140 years after publication

Karl Marx, the German revolutionary who predicted that capitalism would crumble under the weight of its own contradictions, is making a comeback – in the form of a comic.

More than 140 years after Marx's Das Kapital was released on an initially baffled world, its dense exploration of political economy and alienation is to be splashed across speech bubbles on the pages of a Japanese manga.

Set for release next month, the comic is expected to be a bestseller. A string of publications have found success capitalising on Japan's growing inequalities and economic insecurity.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dick Cheney indicted by Texas Grand Jury

A grand jury in Texas indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Not for war crimes as we might hope but on corruption charges, at least...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Top judge: US and UK acted as 'vigilantes' in Iraq invasion
Former senior law lord condemns 'serious violation of international law'

One of Britain's most authoritative judicial figures last night delivered a blistering attack on the invasion of Iraq, describing it as a serious violation of international law, and accusing Britain and the US of acting like a "world vigilante".


Monday, November 17, 2008

US Veterans for Peace occupy US National Archives

Veterans for Peace have occupied the National Archives in Washington DC since yesterday morning.

They released a banner - pictures at the link below.

More info, a list of participants and videos:

Live Video streaming by Ustream

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama Needs a Protest Movement

Sometimes, encouraged by electoral shifts and campaign promises, the ordinary people who are typically given short shrift in political calculation become volatile and unruly, impatient with the same old promises and ruses, and they refuse to cooperate in the institutional routines that depend on their cooperation. When that happens, their issues acquire a white-hot urgency, and politicians have to respond, because they are politicians. In other words, the disorder, stoppages and institutional breakdowns generated by this sort of collective action threaten politicians. These periods of mass defiance are unnerving, and many authoritative voices are even now pointing to the dangers of pushing the Obama administration too hard and too far. Yet these are also the moments when ordinary people enter into the political life of the country and authentic bottom-up reform becomes possible.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Totally New Green Energy Source on a par With Nuclear Power

We often hear that solar and wind power are the future of renewable energy, and of course they're important. Important, though, is not enough.

We live in a 24/7 society, but neither wind nor solar are 24/7 sources. If you've ever used your computer or turned on a light on a windless night, whether you're aware of it or not, the power is coming from a conventional power plant, fired either by fossil fuels, hydroelectric, or by nuclear power.

That's the reality we're facing no matter how much we invest in solar and wind. The technologies simply don't work when the wind and sun are down. While that's obvious to anyone who's ever been outdoors, policymakers and those who have huge amounts of money at stake would prefer that the issue remain unaddressed. You simply can't turn up the sun or wind with demand.

They have another problem as well. If you've ever seen a wind farm or a commercial solar system, you know they take huge tracts of land, necessary because the energy source they're tapping is not very dense. At best, it takes a whole lot of real estate to gather enough power to make a difference - assuming, of course, that the source of the needed energy happens to be available at that moment.

Hydrothermal Vents are the solution ...


Friday, November 14, 2008

For the Earth to Live, Capitalism must Die

This is the Day of Reckoning. This is the Time of Purification. This is the end of the “world”, the end of the city-state, the end of city life, of “Civilization.” The early Christians called it the “apocalypse,” the unveiling. Now, at last, the truth of what we have been presents itself unclothed. There is nowhere to hide. It is upon us. Like a cancer, capitalism, industrialism- truly the most advanced stage of civilization – “advanced” the way that a cancer is called “advanced” - has ravaged the body of the Earth. Life on Earth is disappearing. Nothing that can be done- or that will be done – under the system of global death called capitalism will save Life on Earth.

The capitalist, as Karl Marx rightly noted, is “the soul of capital personified.” – a soul unable to see beyond the limits of its own immediate perception of “gain.” The capitalists as a whole – as a white imperial world-ruling class - understand the depth of the emerging crisis as well as we do. But they advance nothing more than schemes to sustain markets and profits, while life itself is allowed to perish in a holocaust in the making, one whose end is as certain as a nuclear winter.


Massaging Capitalism rather than Managing the Crisis

UK Premier, Gordon Brown, is proposing tax cuts in order to avoid making tough decisions about the economy. We should demand more honesty from our leaders.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart
Why Americans Shouldn't Go Home
By Tom Engelhardt

Political Washington is a conspiracy -- in the original sense of the word: "to breathe the same air." In that sense, there is no air in Washington that isn't stale enough to choke a president. Send Obama there alone, give him that "breathing space," don't start demanding the quick ending of wars or anything else, and you're not doing him, or the American people, any favors. Quite the opposite, you're consigning him to suffocation.

Leave Obama to them and he'll break your heart. If you do, then blame yourself, not him; but better than blaming anyone, pitch your own tent on the public commons and make some noise. Let him know that Washington's isn't the only consensus around, that Americans really do want our troops to come home, that we actually are looking for "change we can believe in," which would include a less weaponized, less imperial American world, based on a reinvigorated idea of defense, not aggression, and on the Constitution, not leftover Rumsfeld rules or a bogus Global War on Terror.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The day that we remember the victims of those who profit from war: Remembering that War is a Racket on Remembrance Day

A day too late to have been published on Remembrance Day but better late than never. Yesterday I was unable to bring myself to comment on Remembrance Day, so profound is my feeling of disgust for the manner in which our rulers continue to sanctify the meaningless slaughter of humanity in their selfish, imperialist wars.

Chycho's article says it all and I commend it to my readers ...


Beware of the Obama hype. What 'change' in America really means

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger writes that the lauding of Barack Obama has a history and that 'historical moments' ought to be less about their symbolism and accompanying histrionics than what they really mean. The question is: what is Obama's true relation to unchanging American myths about the imposition of its notorious power?


America the Illiterate

We live in two Americas. One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth. The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system.


Britain's Big Brother: Government black boxes will 'collect every email'

Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government database

Internet "black boxes" will be used to collect every email and web visit in the UK under the Government's plans for a giant "big brother" database, The Independent has learnt.

Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and telecommunications industries that the "black box" technology could automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring it to a giant central database controlled by the Government.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who are the Architects of Economic Collapse?

Most Serious Economic Crisis in Modern History

The October 2008 financial meltdown is not the result of a cyclical economic phenomenon. It is the deliberate result of US government policy instrumented through the Treasury and the US Federal Reserve Board.

This is the most serious economic crisis in World history.

more ...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nader speaks on an Obama Presidency

Now go to

Obama Wins

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

American Election: An Illusion Of Democracy

Once again, as it has been happening every four years, the American people are suckered into surrendering their necks to a different yoke of slavery through the process of so-called “democratic election” of their president. Little they know that this president, and his administration, is but a tool used by the power elite – international financiers, military industrialists, energy companies and corporatocracy – to control resources, transfer wealth upwards, keep the populace in check, enslave them, suppress their dissent, and conscribe them into wars of greed against their human neighbors. This power elite, with its handful financial institutions, had dominated most of the natural resources of the world through its control of the money needed to acquire these resources. A natural resources monopoly system was, thus, created in the US, and many parts of the world, based solely on capital gain and profit rather than the well being of human life.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sarah Palin pranked by Canadian Radio Duo

A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the interview, which lasts about six minutes, Palin and the pranksters discuss politics, pundits, and the dangers of hunting with current vice-president Dick Cheney.

Beyond the Triple Crisis: A Green New Deal

An imaginative and radical set of policies is needed to address the triple crunch of debt, peak oil and climate change ...