Friday, August 31, 2007


Sarkozy Urges French to Play ‘the Game of Globalization’

PARIS, Aug. 30 — In a country that has long resisted globalization, President Nicolas Sarkozy bluntly told France on Thursday to stop kidding itself and face up to it — but in a French way.

  • to adopt business-friendly policies to allow French companies to compete better in the world,
  • even if the changes upset those clinging to France’s generous welfare system
  • (and those clinging to) strong job protection.

But he also echoed themes sounded by predecessors, saying
  • but, the free market (is) an illusion
  • the government (has to) defend French interests from foreign marauders.
  • play the game of globalization collectively,” “
  • to defend our interests when all the others are defending theirs?”

he chose the campus of a business school and a business audience to outline his economic program. France’s political class has preferred to be seen with philosophers and intellectuals.

  • among the business leaders, ... “he was one of us.”
  • Labor unions and leftist opposition politicians, ... appeared to concur. “He is the president of the CAC 40,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a Socialist senator, referring to the French stock market index.
  • push for additional cuts in payroll taxes and ways to
  • encourage people to work beyond the statutory 35-hour workweek.
  • cut the maximum tax burden to 50 percent of personal income and
  • scrap taxes on overtime pay.
  • changes to the labor code, easing rules that make it cumbersome for companies to fire people.
  • to ease the restrictions on firing while still providing some protections for workers.


"I am not gay, I have never been gay"

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Can We Win the Ideological War?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

The question arises in the war on terror: we know who the main enemy is, al-Qaeda, the men and movement responsible for 9/11, but what are they fighting for? What is their war all about?

...President Bush, (said)... “The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation—the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism—the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.” (the neo-liberals)

In his declaration of war on the United States, bin Laden listed three goals:
  1. expel U.S. forces from the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia,
  2. stop the persecution of innocent Iraqis through U.S.-UN sanctions, and
  3. end the Israeli repression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.

our enemy has captured the flag of nationalism:
  • We fight to get your troops off our land!
  • We fight to get your hooks out of our government!
  • Leave us to rule ourselves!

More importantly, our enemy has rooted his cause in
  • a 1,400-year-old religion that has
  • 1.2 billion adherents,
  • has survived crusades, invasions and occupations, and is
  • growing again in militancy and converts

As for the tactics the enemy uses, decent Muslims the world over are said to be growing disgusted with the slaughter by suicide bombers of men, women, and children.

But are these not the tactics the
  • French maquis and Italian and Yugoslav partisans used on the Nazis and their collaborators?
  • Was this not the way Israelis expelled the British
  • the Algerians expelled the French,
  • the Afghans expelled the Soviets,
  • the ANC overthrew apartheid, and
  • Hezbollah drove the IDF out of Lebanon?

Clausewitz would understand: terrorism is the extension of Islamist politics by other means.

what exactly are we fighting for?

we are fighting for the right of Islamic peoples “to speak, and worship, and live in liberty.”

In free elections in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Iran, Islamists made gains or racked up victories. In Turkey, a moderate Islamic party just won national power.

It is Western secularism that is in retreat. It is our friends in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, the Gulf states, and Israel who seem most apprehensive about any more elections among the Arab masses. The Islamists seem to welcome them—and to succeed in them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


In the September/October issue of FP, architectural historian Jane Loeffler—who knows more about U.S. embassy design than just about anybody—gives readers a taste (sub req'd) of just what kind of embassy $1 billion buys these days:

Located in Baghdad’s 4-square-mile Green Zone, the embassy will occupy 104 acres. It will be six times larger than the U.N. complex in New York and more than 10 times the size of the new U.S. Embassy being built in Beijing.... The Baghdad compound will be entirely self-sufficient, with no need to rely on the Iraqis for services of any kind. The embassy has its own electricity plant, fresh water and sewage treatment facilities, storage warehouses, and maintenance shops. The embassy is composed of more than 20 buildings, including six apartment complexes with 619 one-bedroom units. Two office blocks will accommodate about 1,000 employees.... Once inside the compound, Americans will have almost no reason to leave. It will have a shopping market, food court, movie theater, beauty salon, gymnasium, swimming pool, tennis courts, a school, and an American Club for social gatherings."

But what, Loeffler asks, does an embassy this large and this costly say about the nation that built it?

If architecture reflects the society that creates it, the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad makes a devastating comment about America’s global outlook. Although the U.S. government regularly proclaims confidence in Iraq’s democratic future, the United States has designed an embassy that conveys no confidence in Iraqis and little hope for their future. Instead, the United States has built a fortress capable of sustaining a massive, long-term presence in the face of continued violence."


TEHRAN, August 28 (RIA Novosti)

  • "I am officially declaring that the Iranian 'nuclear dossier' is, from our point of view, closed," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.
  • He added that President Vladimir Putin assured him at a recent meeting of the Shanghai security organization that the Bushehr facility being built by Russia will be completed as contracted.
  • He said that despite repeated threats from Washington, U.S. forces are over-stretched and the country's political will flagging, making an attack unlikely.

"Washington's threats of a military solution [of the Iranian nuclear question] are largely propaganda," he said.

"All of Iran's nuclear activities conform to norms set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and international legal standards," he said. "Iran seeks nothing more than its due under international law."

He repeated Iran's long-standing position that Tehran does not seek nuclear weapons, despite Western suspicions.

The UN nuclear watchdog corroborated the Iranian announcement, stating on its Web site Tuesday that it was satisfied with Iran's compliance.

The document, entitled "Understandings of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA on the Modalities of Resolution of the Outstanding Issues," said that during a meeting in Iran with IAEA representatives, "Iran provided clarifications to the agency that helped to explain the remaining questions."


... subtle measures being instituted by the Putin regime to enhance national - and, even more, nationalist - pride.

Two examples: the creation of a patriotic youth movement, and the not-too-subtle rewriting of Russia's school history books. The youth movement called "Nashi" (it translates as "ours") is growing fast, encouraged by government ... to buttress Putin's regime against domestic critics.

The policies that Nashi advocates are eclectic. ... and a detestation of foreigners; ... who threaten the Russian way of life.

Right now, Nashi is training tens of thousands of young diligents; .. they ... discuss "proper" and "corrupt" politics, and receive the necessary education for the struggles to come. ... Nashi is training 60,000 "leaders" to monitor voting and conduct exit polls in elections this coming December and March.

a new manual for high school history teachers that seeks to instill a renewed pride in teenagers of their country's past and encourage national solidarity.

... teaches that "entry into the club of democratic nations involves surrendering part of your national sovereignty to the U.S."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007



the National Security Council has instead named Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdimukhammedov interim president.

home of the world's fifth-largest natural gas supply. Currently, its existing infrastructure is Soviet-era and creaking and it sends nearly all of its natural gas exports -- about 67 billion cubic meters per year -- north and west to Russia. Without those shipments, Russian state energy firm Gazprom would find it impossible to both satisfy domestic Russian natural gas demand and fulfill its export contracts with Europe and Turkey.

Turkmenistan's natural gas fields -- the ones that are currently being exploited and those that have never been touched -- are often pointed to as sources for potential energy infrastructure projects that could send natural gas to South Asia via Afghanistan, or to Europe via a sub-sea Caspian pipeline.

Russia must have Turkmen natural gas to keep its policy of using energy as a foreign policy hammer going; replacing Turkmen supplies would take a decade and tens of billions of dollars in cash that Gazprom simply does not have. This policy is the foundation of Russia's grand strategy, and there is little Moscow would not do to ensure that it gets its way.

For Iran, Historically, invasions of Persia have come from two directions: west and north. Iranian policy vis-à-vis Iraq to the west has masterminded events to turn Iraq into a quagmire for the United States. To secure its north, the majority of Turkmenistan's 5 million people live within a few miles of the Iranian border. An invasion would be logistically simple, strategically sound and impossible for any power to counter.

The United States has a handful of troops outside of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, about 1,000 miles away, and its forces in Afghanistan cannot even think of being redeployed. It has tried to secure base rights in Turkmenistan to support its Afghan operations only to be rebuffed by Niyazov himself.

For the past two years, the geopolitical strategies of these two countries -- to tie down the Americans -- have been relatively in sync. But now there is a prize that both desperately want, and one that cannot be easily shared.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov -- are all de facto despots who have gutted the opposition and, as of yet, have not fashioned a clear line of succession. The battle to follow Niyazov's death is just the beginning.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I'm talking, of course about Ayad Allawi, longtime C.I.A. asset and former interim prime minister of Iraq. He's making quite the PR push to get his old job back, penning an op-ed for the Washington Post, hooking up with Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition on Sunday, and even putting the high-powered GOP lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers on a $300,000 retainer.

It says everything you need to know about who the true power holders in Iraq are that Allawi, who has a "six-point plan" for Iraq that involves replacing the current Prime Minister, is campaigning in Washington -- not Baghdad. He clearly knows that despite Bush's bathetic paeans to Iraqi sovereignty, the real deciders in Iraq are not the Iraqi people, but a few dozen folks in the White House and the Pentagon. They are Allawi's true constituency.

Could the White House be seeing in the blame-Maliki-for-the-disaster-in-Iraq meme an opportunity replace the sputtering "give the surge a chance" plan with a "give Allawi a chance" plan?

  • "six points call for a full partnership with the United States"
  • "objective is to develop a plan to save Iraq and to save American lives,
  • of course, Iraqi lives, and
  • to save the American mission in Iraq."

  • "If we talk around the region of two to two-and-a-half years," "I think we are in the right direction."
  • Who needs Petraeus when the Allawi coup can buy them another two-and-a-half years?

  • -- he's already memorized the playbook.
  • "As soon as the Iraqi forces are able to stand on their feet and provide security for the Iraqis I think the draw-down should start."

who is paying for the $300,000 Barbour Griffith & Rogers lobbying contract, Allawi wouldn't say


Second West-East Pipeline Project had been approved by the Chinese government, and that CNPC would be the sole investor.

to go on-stream in 2010. Construction will start in 2008

the Second West-East Pipeline will start at Horgas in Xinjiang and end at Guangzhou in the south and Shanghai in the east

The pipeline will pump natural gas from Central Asia, mainly from gas-rich Turkmenistan.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.. CNPC and Turkmenistan's national gas company Turkmengaz signed a purchase and sale agreement on natural gas supplies.

Under the deal, the ex-Soviet country will supply 30 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually.


the public is basically irrational. It is ultimately pointless to worry about Bush and global warming and fascism and the rest, because they will always win. It has to be this way, because people are fully in the grip of fantasies they would rather die to preserve than become aware of factual reality. Those who do have some sense use it to manipulate the public mind for the benefit of the exploitative systems. We are doomed.

I could make a lot more money writing ju-ju channeling flak for some neo-con outfit -- but I hate those kind of people. Still, they'll win, because ju-ju is better than sex. Global warming?, no problem, buy coal-burning SUVs to extinction; loss of Constitutional rights?, no problem we're beating Islamofascism; no health insurance?, no problem, ESPN [sports] on plasma TVs is getting cheaper; no education? no problem, it's free from the Army; it all doesn't make sense? no problem, embrace the ju-ju!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


CARACAS 08 01 07

Venezuela's oil company PDVSA said Tuesday, it will begin with Cuba's CUPET a jointly exploring effort to discover oil in Cuban waters in the first such venture between the two nations.

PDVSA, added in a statement that the project between PDVSA CVP and CUPET covers 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) and is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

The companies expect to discover light crude after conducting a seismic study, PDVSA said.

"Ascertaining the presence of deposits of light crude oil in volumes able to keep a high production potential is expected," said PDVSA.

Petroleumworld 31 07 07

Copyright© 2007 Petroleumworld. All rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


That’s because elites don't make justice because we ask them to nicely and appealingly. They do it when the alternative to justice is worse.

I think that what lies at the root of that lack of confidence is that we’re told over and over again that progressive ideas have already been tried and failed. We hear it so much that we accepted it. So our alternatives are posed tentatively, almost apologetically. “Is another world possible?” we ask.

“There is no alternative,” said Thatcher. “History has ended,” said Fukuyama. The Washington Consensus: the thinking has already been done, the consensus is there. Now, the premise of all these proclamations was that capitalism, extreme capitalism, was conquering every corner of the globe because all other ideas had proven themselves disastrous.

...what was failing was not Scandinavian social democracy, which was thriving, or a Canadian-style welfare state

...It wasn't the so-called Asian miracle that had been discredited, which in the ’80s and ’90s built the Asian “tiger” economies

These policies did not create explosive growth concentrated at the very top, as we see today. But record levels of profit and a rapidly expanding middle class, that is what has been attacked in these past thirty years.

What was collapsing was centralized state communism, authoritarian, anti-democratic, repressive

very savvy people, many of them in this country, seized on that moment to declare victory not only against communism, but against all ideas but their own.

Fukuyama ... in his famous 1989 speech, ... not that we were reaching an end of ideology, ... or a convergence between capitalism and socialism, as Gorbachev was suggesting, it was not that ideology had ended, but that history as such had ended.

He argued that deregulated markets in the economic sphere combined with liberal democracy in the political sphere represented the endpoint of mankind's ideological evolution and the final form of human government.

two streams: you had democracy, which you can use to vote for your leaders, and then you had a single economic model. Now, the catch was that you couldn't use your vote, you couldn't use your democracy to reshape your economy,

redefining democracy to include the economy: deep democracy, participatory democracy. And it was a challenge to this idea that these two streams could not intersect. The right to land as a form of democracy, the right to biodiversity, to independent media.

September 11th in this country. ... was harnessed by leaders in this country and their allies around the world to abruptly end the discussion of global justice that was exploding around the world.

...used the dislocation of 9/11 to pursue the very same pre-9/11 radical capitalist project, now with a furious vengeance, under the cover of war and natural disasters. So forget negotiating trade deals at the World Trade Organization. When the US invaded Iraq, Bush sent in Paul Bremer to seize new markets on the battlefields of his preemptive war. He didn’t have to negotiate with anyone. which everything from waging wars to reconstructing from those wars to disaster response became an entirely for-profit venture. This was a bold evolution of market logic. Rather than the ’90s approach of selling off existing public companies, like water and electricity, the Bush team was creating a whole new framework for its actions. That framework was and is the war on terror, which was built to be private, privately managed from the start. The Bush administration played the role of a kind of a venture capitalist for the startup security companies, and they created an economic boom on par with the dotcom boom of the 1990s.

...using 9/11, of course, to radically increase the surveillance and security powers of the state, concentrated in the executive branch, but at the same time to take those powers and outsource them to a web of private companies, whether Blackwater, Boeing, AT&T, Halliburton, Bechtel, the Carlyle Group

...great ironies of the war on terror, is that it proved such an effective weapon to furthering the corporate agenda precisely because it denied that it has, and continues to deny that it has, a corporate agenda at all.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"You Tube en complot con la oposición mediática venezolana

In an interview in VTV , former Minister of Education Aristóbulo Izturiz put it very clearly: "this shows that the campaign around RCTV is not about freedom of expression, but the freedom of the owners of capital to control the media and the contents".

(with material from Aporrea and Rebelion )

see interview with Luigino Bracci and Aristóbulo Asturiz (in Spanish):


From the makers of the Hands Off Venezuela film 'Solidarity', and the Sanitarios Maracay short film series, comes 'No Volverán - The Venezuelan Revolution Now', an exciting feature length documentary about the Venezuelan Revolution. In this in-depth investigation the film makers take us on a journey through the fervor of the Presidential Elections in December 2006, traveling deep into the shanty towns (barrios), and to several factories under workers' control, to find out why there is a movement to over-through Capitalism, what Socialism of the 21st Century is, and how it is changing people's lives. Community activists show us around their neighborhoods in the barrios to see first hand how difficult life is for the urban poor


Putins leaves Kennebunkport pissed, and then Kissinger...

Kissinger-led U.S. group attends closed debate at Putin home

July 13, 2007

When asked whether U.S. unilateral interventionism was on the agenda, Kissinger said that "nuclear proliferation" and "nuclear threats," rather than U.S. policies, are the biggest danger to world peace.

"I do not think that [U.S.] expansion is a problem of the period. The problem of the period is how to avoid nuclear conflict and in this case we believe that Russia and America should have common objectives."

Apart from Kissinger, the U.S. team includes former Secretary of State George Schultz; former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; former Special Representative for Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr.; former Senator Sam Nunn; and Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David O'Reilly.

Apart from Primakov, the Russian team includes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; former Ambassador to the U.S. Yuly Vorontsov; Deputy Board Chairman of UES Russia Leonid Drachevsky; UC Rusal Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Livshits, and former Soviet Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mikhail Moiseyev.


July 4, 2007

Sergei Ivanov (currently first deputy prime minister,and probably next president), warned that Russia would deploy missiles in its westerly exclave, Kaliningrad, if the US did not go along with a Russian proposal to cooperate on a missile defence system in Azerbaijan and southern Russia.

The proposal was made by President Putin at Kennebunkport,

The idea is that instead of putting an anti-missile radar station in the Czech Republic and Poland, Nato and Russia should cooperate in building an anti-missile system in the Gabala radar station that Russia leases from Azerbaijan, and in a unspecified site in southern Russia.

The Russians do not accept US insistence that the Czech and Polish sites are intended as an umbrella for Europe and the US from the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles. Instead, they see the digging of missile silos so close to the Russian border as blatantly aimed neutralising Russia's own nuclear deterrent. If the threat really comes from Iran, Moscow is saying, why not put the counter-measures on the Iranian border?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


..from Latin American Review

Justin Delacour said...

I think the proper strategy on the question of RCTV is to challenge the assumptions upon which the critics' arguments rest.

Rather than focusing on whether cases of real censorship are being ignored (in China, Pakistan, etc.), the more pertinent question is whether unfettered corporate control of the public airwaves constitutes "freedom of expression." It clearly does not.

In other words, we need to deconstruct the arguments of bourgeois analysts. What does "freedom of expression" mean to them? What's wrong with their underlying assumptions?

Those who rant and rave about the RCTV case have extreme difficulty contending with any questions about their underlying assumptions.

I'm gonna point you to three short articles that I think you should read. Each is written by a scholar, and each makes very cogent arguments about the problems with conventional bourgeois conceptions of the "freedom of expression."

The first short article, written by the communications scholar Christian Christiansen, is entitled "'Why Can't Foreign Lefties Learn to Be Objective Like Us?'"

The second short article, written by the communications scholar Robert McChesney and the economist Mark Weisbrot, is entitled "Venezuela and the Media: Fact and Fiction."

The third short article, written by the sociologist Greg Wilpert, is entitled "RCTV and Freedom of Speech in Venezuela."

MEDIA-LATIN AMERICA: Easy to See the Speck in the Other's Eye
By Diana Cariboni*

Monday, August 20, 2007



Derailing Chávez's power grab
Posted on Sun, Aug. 19, 2007


Chávez, ... announced last week that he will ask (the) National Assembly to change the constitution and
  • extend the presidential term from six to seven years and
  • allow him to run indefinitely.
  • to end the autonomy of the Central Bank, and to
  • create a ``popular militia.''
  • reduce the workday to six hours --

(this) will go to the National Assembly, where it is likely to be approved by a near-unanimous vote and must be later ratified in a national referendum.

Here's what should be done:

• The Venezuelan opposition should not repeat its mistake of the 2005 congressional elections, when it boycotted the vote citing Chávez's curtailment of campaigning freedoms,

Chávez has
  • more powers to use state resources,
  • will control virtually all mass media -- especially after his recent de facto takeover of the independent RCTV television network -- and
  • will use the army and public employees to get out the vote in the referendum.

But mounting a campaign ... help Venezuela's opposition stay alive,

.. Chávez's escalating narcissism-Leninism is beginning to irk some of his own supporters.

• The 34-country Organization of American States, the Carter Center and other international election monitoring groups should not repeat ...

This time, they should demand to monitor the process starting several months in advance, and certify that the elections are free, rather than simply certifying the Election Day vote counting.

• Brazil and Paraguay, ... have yet to ratify Venezuela's entry into South America's Mercosur trade union, ... allowing Chávez in now would amount to a tacit green light for others -- like Bolivia and Ecuador -- to impose ''constitutional'' dictatorships.

• The United States ... is spending $34 billion a year on oil imports from Venezuela.

The White House should
  • impose a $2 a gallon tax on U.S. gasoline imports from petro dictatorships around the world,
  • or a 50 percent tax on Hummers and other needlessly gigantic SUVs,
  • or demand Detroit carmakers double the fuel efficiency of American cars.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Dragunov, a long-barreled, semi-automatic design with an optical sight. It is derived in part from the much more widely circulated Kalashnikov assault rifle.

... the Dragunov and its clones have become one of the most lethal and effective weapons against American troops and their allies in Iraq.

Venezuela has about 34,000 soldiers in its army and 23,000 in its national guard, according to estimates by Jane's Information Group, which analyzes military forces and regional risks.

...that a purchase of thousands of sniper rifles would fit with the ongoing defense reorganization in Venezuela under Chávez.

The changes emphasize large civilian reserve forces, which bypass the traditional military chain of command and report directly to Chávez, and which could form the core of a domestic guerrilla force if Venezuela were invaded.

"Obviously, what he has in mind is some sort of urban, guerrilla war against an invading force, and the model for that is Iraq," Joyce said.

Washington, which has expressed worry that Chávez's government was buying more weapons than it needed, and could distribute weapons to South American guerrillas or terrorists.

Joyce noted that Venezuela has long been accused of providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a large and heavily equipped Marxist group that the State Department classifies as a foreign terrorist organization



An extreme traveler, Pepe's nose for news has taken him to all parts of the Pepe Escobar globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination (Masoud: From warrior to statesman , Sep 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, ATol published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else ... (Aug 30, 2001). Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban's retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


All of these are the logos of youth movements in different countries that have either removed, or are working towards removing, governments undesirable to Washington. All have been organized and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, the Freedom House, and other CIA organizations. Washington was instrumental in strengthening and supporting these groups, as well as similar groups in the Ukraine, Belarus, and others. The objective is to co-opt popular youth movements against a controversial government in order to open the country to Washington’s neoliberal interests. They have succeeded in many places, and though we have no evidence of CIA backing of the youth movement in Venezuela, we can see now that they are here in Venezuela as well.

Here is a CIA venezuelan site

Here are some responses for the CIA graphics


where you can take a test that places you on a grid based on the degree to which you are "left" or "right" on the economic scale as well as how socially libertarian or authoritarian you are.


The corporate capitalists’ knees are shaking a bit. Their manipulation of the sub-prime housing market has led to a spreading credit crunch and liquidity crisis. So it is time for them to call on Uncle Sam – the all purpose bailout man.

...He was talking about the Big Boys. Today, we call these self-paying CEOs “corporate capitalists.”

More and more, corporate capitalists inside and beyond the financial markets do not want to behave as capitalists—willing to take the losses along with the profits. They want Washington, D.C., meaning you the taxpayers, to pay for their facilities (as with big time sports stadiums) or take on their losses because they believe that they are too big to be allowed to fail (as with large banks or industrial companies).

These corporate capitalists should be exposed when they always say that government is the problem whenever it moves to help the little guys with health and safety regulations, for example, but government is wonderful when the bureaucrats are summoned to perform missions to rescue them

Thursday, August 16, 2007


There must be a name for it. That phenomenon when one thing occurs in many places at the same time. Today, in my daily perusal I find these words being quoted in many places.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

I finally had to break down and look up the context and here it is. It was written in 1920 and I read that for the anti-democratic Yeats, 'the best' referred to the
traditional ruling classes of Europe, however, the places that I see these lines quoted are not anti-democratic but I don't think I will bother with trying to figure those implications. Like everyone else, I read this in my youth, but I forgot the arresting imagery.

The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

“The Second Coming”
is fast becoming the official poem of the Iraq war.


Only mega-successful levitation would force the Pentagon to get rid of its must-list of four "enduring bases" (whatever the costs) in Iraq:
  • al-Asad Air Base in Anbar province;
  • sprawling Balad Air Base, with attached Camp Anaconda in the Sunni belt;
  • Tallil Air Base in the south; and
  • Camp Qayyaragh near Irbil, Kurdistan.

And we're not even talking of the three Baghdad bases -
  • Camp Victory (adjacent to Baghdad, formerly Saddam Hussein International Airport);
  • Camp Taji (25 kilometers north); and of course
  • the 10-square-kilometer, hit-every-day-by-mortars Green Zone, which is a base in itself containing the Vatican-sized, 40-hectare, biggest embassy in the world.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


In “coming to terms” with answers to the grave problems that he has gathered and presented, Mr. Gore suggests that the solutions lie in Capitalist Light production and techno-fixes. “Just look at Toyota’s growth and lead in the market, and they make small cars”,...He is more anxious about saving face on behalf of capitalism and the liberal/republican state than he is about “saving the planet”....Gory Al also talks about war and missiles - how many, again, was it that you and Clinton the Self-centred fired at Iraq, before Bush declared it, once again, a “real” war?...

The media is dependant on advertising money from the big companies and they are dependant on consent to their profit missions, so they don’t spend money on a paper that also publishes anti-capitalist or socialist, or even just soft-socially conscious stuff. They want a clean, “level” playing field, where they can do what they want. That’s why one can say that Gore is manufacturing and then domestication, paralysing, discontent, for he denies the intricate relations between the particular economic system or mode of production that we general call capitalism, but which “they” call the “free” market - a system which has been called into question with regards to social and environmental destruction for as long as it has existed:

it confuses the viewer who is left with clear messages that all that is needed to save the planet is different shopping patterns, Japanese cars (well, really what he wants is or the U.S. producers of cars to improve the fuel mileage) and energy saving light bulbs. That’s it, nada mas!

this film demands no real change in the world, just asks for people to shop differently and to write letters to their representatives. AS a matter of fact, one only needs about 40% of the film, the rest is wanking in public and misleading viewers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Bolivian President Evo Morales, visiting Venezuela on Sunday, had some strong things to say about U.S. aid.

He complained that it is always conditioned on "the privatization of our natural resources, the privatization of state resources, or finally they ask us to fight terrorism … but there is no terrorism."

He added, "The terrorists ask us to fight terrorism in order to give aid. For them, the terrorists are the social movements.

How can we accept conditioned aid?"

HERE, and

Monday, August 13, 2007


Cuba: Continuing Revolution and Contemporary Contradictions

James Petras and Robin Eastman-Abaya

Special to Canadian Dimension, August 12, 2007

The Cuban revolution with its socialist economy has demonstrated tremendous resilience in the face of enormous political obstacles and challenges.
  • It successfully defied a US orchestrated invasion,
  • naval blockade,
  • hundreds of terrorists’ attacks and
  • half-century boycott.(1)
  • Cuba was able to withstand the fallout from the collapse of the USSR,
  • the Eastern European collectivist regimes,
  • China and Indo-China’s transit to capitalism
  • and to construct a new development model.

As many scholars and political leaders – including adversaries – have noted, Cuba has developed a very advanced and functioning social welfare program:
  • free, universal, quality health coverage and
  • free education from kindergarten through advanced university education.(2)

In foreign, as well as domestic, policy Cuba has successfully developed economic and diplomatic relations with the entire globe, despite US boycotts and pressures. (3)

In questions of national and personal security, Cuba is a world leader.
  • Crime rates are low and
  • violent offenses are rare.
  • Terrorist threats and acts, (most emanating from the US and its Cuban exile proxies), have declined and
  • are less a danger to the Cuban population than to the US or Europe.

* * * * *

All this and:
  • Hugo Chavez, Venezuela
  • Evo Morales, Bolivia
  • Rafael Correa, Ecuador
  • Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua