Monday, February 28, 2005

Period of Calm

Here's what a period of calm is in Palestine according to the US press:

from "(January 15, the day the new Palestinian president assumed office, to February 25), no less than 31 Palestinian civilians, among them 11 children, had been killed by the Israeli army; that hundreds more Palestinians had been wounded; that the construction of a wall that tore into Palestinian land continued unabated; that the shelling of Palestinian areas by the Israeli army was still taking place just as it did before 'the truce'; that the houses of Palestinian civilians were still being demolished by the Israeli army just as they did before the period of quiet had set in; that land belonging to Palestinians had been officially confiscated right after 'the truce' was announced; and so on and so forth."

The "truce" was then shattered with an attack on civilians in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian suicide bomber. The reaction in the US press. Front page outrage in all the major papers and lead stories on all the networks, cable and network. What should we conclude?

"(1) The press of the United States had engaged in a deliberate, coordinated, and massive campaign of lies and distortions, or (2) The press of the United States, as a matter of common course, simply did not assign 'calm' and 'truce' the same meaning one would usually assign to a situation where two sides are enjoying such a 'calm' and are engaged in such a 'truce'."

Check out this article by Ahmed Bouzid on this issue.

US Power

US power is not just expressed through military means. Institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Security Council, the US State Department ususally are able to influence nations in profound ways without firing a shot. This is because of US economic power and its willingness to invade other nations in any part of the globe.
For instance, Syria is now cooperating with the US. Why? Because the invasion of Iraq show's what will happen if you don't cooperate.

Friday, February 25, 2005

And the Settlements Continue

With all the talk in the US of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza what seems to go unnoticed is 1) the wall that expands the state of Israel and 2) the unabated settlement expansion planned by the the Labor and Likud goverment. It's not that the Gaza prison withdrawal is insignificant but as Chairman Mao said one step forward two steps back. Or in the Israeli case 20 steps forward one step back.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hunter S. Going Out With a Bang

Hunter S. Thompson's ashes are to fired from a cannon at his memorial service according to his family. I'm sure he would approve!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Megalomaniac Pope Identifies Where We Went Wrong: The Enlightenment!

Among the many idiotic statements over the years from this celibate anti-communist this one is a doozy. On the top of the list are the comments on the enlightenment. His comments on divine intervention when it comes to the assasination are a hoot. I'll try to get the entire text.

Ward Churchill

Robert Jensen on why Ward Churchill's ideas should be defended. Which one's? read the article. Very well reasoned and stated.

Hunter S. on Nixon

"Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning."

Thompson's obit of Nixon. Very funny, and true!

What's Behind the Rise in Malpractice Insurance?

Business flaks and their lackeys like Bush love to whine about the high cost of insurance premiums for malpractice and such. The latest legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President that switched jurisdiction from state to federal courts for most cases, a clear violation of federalism as they preach it, will probably do very little to change the costs. Here's why: the reason for the increase is not malpractice suits. It's more likely the losses that insurance companies are taking in the markets and their need to maintain super profits.

Privatization and its Discontents

The last few years have seen a dramatic reversal for neo-liberal programs throughout Latin America. The left has been talking about it for awhile but finally the imperial press has taken notice. And of course on the business page.

Of particular interest is who is taking the lead on resisting privatizing the natural resources of one's land, indigenous people. In Bolivia in particular native people have overthrown governments over the idea of selling resources like water and natural gas to large multi-nationals. We could learn a thing or two from these folks to say the least.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's the Teachers Fault

A common refrain heard here in Milwaukee is how we are overpaid and lazy, blah, blah, blah... Here's an amazing statistic to point to ONE of the reasons we might have a few problems in the school system.

"The proportion of metropolitan Milwaukee blacks living in high poverty neighborhoods rose from 8.4% in 1970 to 46.7% in 1990. By 1990, metro Milwaukee had the highest proportion of blacks living in high poverty neighborhoods of any metropolitan area in the Frostbelt."

Here's the source.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Counterpunch Quoting the NY Times Quoting Counterpunch on Howard Dean

Lefties from Vermont critique Howard Dean. What is left?

New Feature

I was speaking on a panel at UW-Madison yesterday for students thinking about or just graduating from the Latin American Studies program. I was surrounded by bankers and a flak from the Smithsonian so I was throwing lots of bombs, biting the hand that feeds? One thing a number of students were looking for was recommendations on classics in Latin American history, economics, etc... So today begins a Latin American feature in the margin. I guess I will call it Latin America. If anyone has a more specific question they can email me at

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Cannibalism and Censorship

Here's a post of mine about censorship and cannibalism.


Nigeria is considered one of the most pious nations in the world. Here's how they treat transvestites.

Monday, February 14, 2005


We ran out of room for the discussion on the Democrats and the media/war/strategy/Rush, etc... I wrote a comment to the last F Stone comment. Go to February 1, 2005 in the archives if you want to read the response.



Take the social justice quiz.

Ward Churchill Revisited

I caught a Ward Churchill speech on C-SPAN this weekend. Assholishness does not begin to describe the approach of this guy. He cut people off, pounded his chest, was as arrogant a speaker as I have ever seen, his rhetoric was so outlandish and psuedo-intellectual that I cringed numerous times. He has every right to speak and I defend it, but O'Reilly and company know exactly what they are doing. This cat is surely going to set back the far left for years to come, single handedly!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Cricket Yes, Chess No, says Bearded One Sistani

Patrick Cockburn on the most powerful man in Iraq.

Intolerable Cruelty

Four new books on slavery and the slave trade reviewed by Daniel Lazare. Brilliant.

Why Arthur Miller Was Sooo Good

Beyond his plays AM was a brilliant political writer. Here's an article that he wrote about Fidel last year that's hilarious and incredibly insightful.

Hemp Chewing Banned for Cows in Liechtenstein

Hemp feed banned.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Bush Conservative?

A line of reasoning that hopefully has come across on this site is the very un conservative nature of the Bush program. Reagan too, I might add. Military adventurism, government involvement in all aspects of peoples lives and incredibly excessive spending. The latest outrage on the spending front are the new numbers for the prescription drug bill. The Times article and editorial on this moondogle are good sources for evidence for the outright lying that goes on by this administration with barely a peep from so called conservatives.

I personally advocated a government run health care system. A system that would be far more efficient and cost effective than the current system in which 60 million go without insurance and we, on the whole, live shorter lives and pay more.

The bill in principle does a laudable thing, it tries to cover prescription drugs for seniors. The problem with this is that pharmaceutical companies can charge just about anything they want for their highly marketed miracle cures and the tax payer is now going to fit the bill. If there ever was a welfare program this is it. Corporate welfare that is.

Trade Deficit Hits New Record

How long can this go on? I would have thought that we would not have sustained it this long.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

NATO United says Rice. This is a good thing?

Condi crows about Western unity. Watch out Iran! A split in NATO is good for the world. Th US elite is split on this issue. Radical nationalists like Bush and Co. say go it alone and others will follow. Nice imperialists like Kerry and Bush I say lets have allies when we clobber other countries. By the way Clinton policies agreed more with Bush II.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Ahistorical Pundits

Many of you may have seen the article, a 1967 piece from the NY Times on the elections in Vietnam, but what is its significance? Here's one view, the Iraq elections are a similar sham, or is it? I agree that the elections are a method to unite the West and install a pliant regime but for me the question is does the Iraqi resistance have the unity and ideology to rally the masses and defeat the illegal occupation?

Defend Ward Churchill Against the Enemies of Liberty

Cockburn on the levels of thinkable thought.

Democracy From Above

Here's an idea that many over look:

"the Iraqi elections were designed not so much to preserve the unity of Iraq but to re-establish the unity of the West."

Tariq Ali on the election in Iraq and imperial hubris. How does the US spread its influence? Do they like to invade and occupy? This article takes on many of the issues discussed in our debate about the Democrats below.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Those Wacky College Kids

The College Republicans at Marquette University are having a fundraiser that has been banned by the administration. It's called Adopt a Sniper. By the way I think they should be able to adopt however they want, after all the administration advocates cannabilism.

Rice: US Won't Attack Iran, Today

Again, one of those Onion like stories. This is how low things have sunk, the US now has to announce who they are not attacking. And this is news.

Max Schmelling Dead at 99

Boxer Max Schmelling dead at 99. I would have thought he died in the 40's. Amazing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Glitch in the Matrix and other laughs

Check out this site for very funny parodies of the Matrix, Star Wars and others. Thanks to Scott for the link.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Scorcese, another name for sellout?

Finally somone with balls pans The Aviator . This film is WAY overated. I thought Spanglish was a better film.

PDA or Socialism?

The Progressive Democrats of America have formed. The question that I have grappled with for around the last 15 years is are the Democrats worth it? I have answered no consistantly since my brush with the Matt Flynn for Senate campaign back in the late 1980's.
The party for me reperesents everything that is timid in this country. They lose not because they stand for nothing, which many of their candidates consistantly put forward as a program, not the Republicans, but because of what they do stand for. The Democratic Party stands for war, inequality, and an economic system that is ravaging the world like a tsunami. They get money from the same bankers, war industries, medical companies and other ill gotten gainers that call the USA headquarters. The Carter and Clinton administrations in program was Thatcherism and Reaganism; deregulation, expansion of US power, austerity, etc..., but somehow we are supposed to believe that just because they were Democrats we lived in a golden age. It ain't so. And if people continue to support the likes of Carter, Clinton and Kerry we will end up without any Social Security, pensions, and labor unions.
We need to advicate what we believe in not some luke warm neo-Republican program. Let's start with card check for organizing unions, a national pension and health care system, a foreign policy that supports like minded progressives around the world not torturers and plutocrats, a truely green approach to organizing our space that encourages city living and planning not endless sprawl, political reform that takes all money out of campaigns and ends the concentration of power in the Senate and the Supreme Court.
Now there's a program I'll get behind, I wonder if the PDA's will? I doubt it.