Sunday, December 30, 2007


The Balkanization of Pakistan

The plan to topple Pakistan's military?

Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters' Maps


On August 18, 1955, Seeger was subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) where he refused to name personal and political associations stating it would violate his First Amendment rights...

(Witness consulted with counsel.)

MR. SEEGER: Again, I say I will be glad to tell what songs I have ever sung, because singing is my business.

MR. TAVENNER: I am going to ask you.

MR. SEEGER: But I decline to say who has ever listened to them, who has written them, or other people who have sung them.

MR. TAVENNER: Did you sing this song, to which we have referred, "Now Is the Time," at Wingdale Lodge on the weekend of July Fourth?

MR. SEEGER: I don't know any song by that name, and I know a song with a similar name. It is called "Wasn't That a Time." Is that the song?

CHAIRMAN WALTER: Did you sing that song?

MR. SEEGER: I can sing it. I don't know how well I can do it without my banjo.


MR. SEEGER: "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this."


MR. SEEGER: I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody. That is the only answer I can give along that line.

Pete Seeger rewrote the old hymn "How Can I Keep from Singing" to which he added these words:

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,

I'm sure that this is one of the songs he had in mind when he offered to sing for the HUAC.

Here was a man who knew how to "testify"

Saturday, December 29, 2007


My life goes on in endless song
above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

Above the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness 'round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble sick with fear
and hear their death knell ringing,
when friends rejoice both far and near
how can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?

My life goes on in endless song
above earth's lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
How can I keep from singing?

How can I keep from singing? x2

**In prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging,
when friends by shame are undefiled
how can I keep from singing?


Wade through the twelve readings in my critical list in the green box at the start of this review, and you will find many diagnoses of human nature and the human condition, and prescriptions for turning our nature and our talents to create a Future State better than the desperate and desolate one in which we live today. All of these prescriptions call for some kind of collective awareness, collective understanding, and hence collective action. Gray would have us believe that belief in the possibility of such collective phenomena is absurd, unwarranted, unsubstantiable, even insane

Quoting EO Wilson

"Darwin's dice have rolled badly for Earth"

"The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialization, Western civilization, or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate."

Our species' time on this planet is coming quickly and inexorably to a most unpleasant end

We are living witnesses of the degrading of the biosphere to the point that it can no longer sustain us

We are witnessing already the early signs of the next great and inevitable extinction of life on our planet.

Homo rapiens is only one of very many species, and not obviously worth preserving. Later or sooner, it will become extinct. When it is gone Earth will recover.

nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea.




"Our foreign policy had relied on her presence as a stabilizing force," Specter said, emotionally describing her death as "a real, real, real shock."
... And now, without her, we have to regroup."

After learning she was dead, Specter, Kennedy, and Anne Patterson, the US ambassador to Pakistan, laid flowers under Bhutto's photograph at her campaign headquarters in what they described as an unsettling atmosphere.

"Our concerns are about what is happening here, the stability; what's happening with the supreme court; what's happening with our fight against terrorism, our efforts to capture Osama bin Laden; and what is happening to the very substantial funding the United States has put in here; what the prospects were for the election," Specter told MSNBC.

"And we were looking forward to talking to her to get to her evaluation on whether the elections would be honest and open, and to get her sense of the situation."

Representative Patrick Kennedy and Senator Arlen Specter (flanking poster) paid their respects yesterday in Islamabad. (Chris Bradish/Senator Arlen Specter's office via Associated Press)

She had met with Karzai that morning of the assassination and was on her way to meet with these two.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I thought there could be no greater fun than watching Charles Krauthammer and Fred Barnes of Fox News on the verge of hysteria at the rising terror from Arkansas, bemoaning a Hucklebee running amok in the party they hijacked, a veritable Frankenstein who cannot be relied on to take the orders necessary to execute Neo-con world domination schemes, but I was wrong.

Watching the entire CNN/MSNBC/FOX corp of blathering corporate pundits gnashing their teeth and pulling their hair over the death of the only hope for Pakistan/USA, the death of a world class kleptocrat in a hermes scarf, is a true measure of the level of desperation of the neo-liberal global power elites.

The corporate punditacracy bemoaning the "death of democracy" are full of shit. The disruption of a rigged election stage-managed from Washington has nothing to do with democracy. The attempt to turn Bhutto into a martyr for democracy is preposterous.

She was parachuted in by the Neo-cons to a country where just about every power group hated her. The question is not who killed her, but who got the first opportunity to succeed.

In a rare moment of truth, the WaPo quotes Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and National Security Council staff member saying of Negroponte who closed the deal, “He basically delivered a message to Musharraf that we would stand by him, but he needed a democratic facade on the government".

That's what democracy is, a facade. A "face" for home grown elites and a "face" granted to foreign elites abroad. Bhutto agreed to be a Washington-controlled prime minister as the figurehead for a military-dominated regime aligned with the Bush administration in a country where 70 percent of the population is hostile to US policy in the region. A ratio that Bush and his Democratic controlled congress is accustomed to dealing with. The 70%, both in the US and Pakistan, are given the shaft but its called a "facade".

I think its reasonable to conclude that the 70% in Pakistan are not interested in the "facade".

The second big spin: "Americans were conniving to keep Musharraf in power"

The Neo-cons were always skeptical of Musharraf, whose balancing of various factions, including the Islamists, led the Neo-cons to think he was weak in fighting the ‘war on terror’, in other words, weak in assisting the Neo-cons in killing Muslims. The failure of the US and its allies in Afghanistan could be neatly laid at the feet of Musharraf.

Bhutto, who would do anything for money, was the perfect Neo-con replacement, and the deal was already in place that she would allow American troops to enter the Pakistan border regions to fight those friendly to the Taliban (in stark contrast to her support for the Taliban when she was in power, and something which would have split the country apart, not a bad side-effect from the Neocon point of view).

The best thing about it is that the American plans have yet again been defeated by local resistance with the added bonus: 1) Pakistan won’t have to put up with the future plunder of Bhutto; 2) no break-up of the country caused by the presence of American troops

Pakistan on the edge of turmoil

Princess Ferragamo at the Barricades: The Push for “Regime Change” in Pakistan


...the 3rd world's elite tends to be Westernised and Mammonised as well. They send their children to be educated in Harvard, their army officers to Fort Benning, and get dependent on foreign aid which they siphon off while indebting their own people, who they look down on or at best treat as kulacks or plantation workers.
They also have this inferiority complex, much fostered by the west, so no wonder they all have bolt holes there, in case they need to escape the avenging mobs, and kiss, with such passion, western ass.


This article is a brief description of the murder rampage that Benazir Bhutto was hired to unleash after her "assured" election this coming January.

Musharraf was being dumped because he is in some ways an "ally" of the Taliban. He signed a peace treaty with them a year ago where he turned North Waziristan over to them giving them a secure redoubt from which to launch raids into Afghanistan. He has basically been "gaming" Bush for the billions since the beginning.

The first thing to note is that this article is describing a "school of america's" type counter-insurgency operations where war is waged more on the civilian population than on the insurgents.

The article is a sanitized version so you need to translate some code words, such as:

vastly expand = several 100 thousands women and children will be slaughtered
indigenous and clandestine = death squads
Taliban = ethnic Pashtuns, the overwhelming majority in the NW terrr., etc.
paramilitary ops = death squad ops against civilian populations
Pentagon/frustrated = Musharaff is refusing to cooperate, replace with Bhutto (who had signed on)
Frontier Corps = death squads

This anticipated Pakistan operation is an expansion of another modified "school of america's" type operation that has been going on the Iraq since last April and is often referred to as "awakening groups" or "concerned local citizens" groups which is described here.

In this article, Iran = not only Iran, but any Shia that is opposed to the US project. This would include Muqtada al Sadr and elements of the Maliki government. The US also has plans to expand the "awakening groups" model to south Iraqi Shias in order to peel off and organize paramilitary Shias to fight al Sadr and and other anti US Shia elements.

While the jury is still out, the US thinks that this Iraqi operation is a success and they were going to put Bhutto in power and expand it to Pakistan.

Pro-US military experts like this guy

and this guy

say it will not work in Pakistan. Now the neocons have lost Bhutto and in a military garrisoned city. No matter who did the deed, they could not have possibly done it without the complicity of the military. I don't think the neocons have anyone with which to substitute for Bhutto.

That leaves Nawaz Sharif as the top opposition figure. Sharif was "put in play" at the same time that the neo-cons put Bhutto in play - in what appeared to be a counter move. I don't know about now, but in the past, Sharif has attempted to appeal to Islamic militants, arguing that Pakistan needs to pare down its cooperation with the US.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Bhutto asserted to David Frost less than two months ago that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh, whom the Sunday Times once described as "no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan's military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles" of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. (Watch video starting at 6:10 for mentioned part.)

Crimes of the State

Profile: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)

"The two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentleman's agreement' of non-recognition, no matter how we vote ... May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either the Republican or the Democratic Parties." -- W.E.B. DuBois (1922)


Face to face she could appear somewhat haughty, not unlike her role model Margaret Thatcher.

In Pakistan she was often far less popular than her foreign press made out.

To her opponents she was more English than Pakistani, more Western than Eastern. Her Urdu, although fluent, was ungrammatic, while her Sindhi, her family’s mother tongue, was almost non-existent.

After her ineffective first premiership, many forget that her second tenure (in 1993)was almost Thatcherite:

Her tight monetary policy produced a dramatic reduction in the budget deficit, pulling the country’s economy back from the brink of collapse, and earning it a clean bill of health from the IMF and World Bank.

The massive inflow of foreign investment gave rise to expectations of a new era of economic development for Pakistan. Her offer of lucrative packages for foreign investors garnered contracts for infrastructure projects worth many billions of dollars. And her privatisation programme was commended for its transparency and broad ownership approach.

Sunday, December 09, 2007



Crimes Against Humanity: A Shocking History of U.S. Crimes Since 1776

In this incisive book, Chaitanya Davé fearlessly takes you where few dare to tread……..

According to Davé, few Americans realize how the United States operates globally. In its greed, hubris and lust driven march towards the world domination, it has trampled upon, crushed and killed millions of innocent and poor people in this country during the early period and around the globe later; in the process, destroying the aspirations and livelihoods of millions more……..

Davé asserts with irrefutable logic and overwhelming evidence that the real purpose of U.S. global agenda is to make the world safer for exploitation by the U.S. corporations. This entails destroying the peoples’ popular movements in other countries and replacing them with puppet military dictatorships or compliant governments that do their bidding, opening up their countries for exploitation by the U.S. corporate interests……

This devastating critique of U.S. foreign policy lays out in vivid details the utter folly of this ignoble policy of constant wars, interventions, treachery, bribery, deceptions and even assassinations in other nations; thus planting the seeds of future disasters for the people of the United States…….

Only the awakened public in America and the rest of the world can stop this intoxicated superpower from its nefarious path of hegemony and control over other nations.

Press Release

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Henry Kravis, founding partner in the private equity company KKR, made $450 million last year--that's $1.3 million per day, or $51,369 per hour. He did it largely by borrowing money to take over public companies, then selling off the company's assets to pay the debt, laying off thousands of workers, and slashing benefits for those who remained.

private equity is described as a firm that takes over “public companies using primarily borrowed money.”

“To pay off this debt,” the film says, “they then sell off assets of the companies, fire thousands of workers and radically cut benefits of the remaining employees. It is the same product, in the same building, with the same customers as before.”

For more on Henry Kravis and other borrow-and-buyout corporations, check out the FACTS page.

The War on Greed hits the New York Times! "A Movie and Protesters Single Out Henry Kravis" and director Robert Greenwald discusses issues raised in the film on CNBC's "Closing Bell".

War on Greed premiere in New York City, outside of Henry Kravis' house:


Monday, December 03, 2007


From the WaPo

And some student groups have received funding for workshops from the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to documents made available to The Washington Post on Saturday.

The U.S. documents, obtained through a freedom of information request filed by a researcher for the National Security Archive at George Washington University, show that $216,000 was provided from 2003 through this year to unnamed student groups at several universities for
  • "conflict resolution,"
  • "democracy promotion"
  • and other programs.

A spokeswoman at the American Embassy in Caracas, Jennifer Rahimi, said that the United States supports
  • "nonpartisan civil society activity"
but that there is no funding for the opposition movement. "There is no conspiracy to affect the outcome of the constitutional referendum," she said.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


It shows:

  • Those who said Venezuela under Chavez is not a democracy are liars.

  • It shows those who were preparing a violent response at a loss, how to properly behave in a democracy ... majority vote is majority vote. Learn to live with it, if you claim to love democracy.


Making Sense of Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform
December 1st 2007, by Gregory Wilpert –

Chavez's constitutional reform project deepens policies in five main areas:

Deepening Participatory Democracy

  • ...introduces a new level of government, the "popular power" (art. 136 of the reform proposal)
  • ...the place where democracy is direct, that is, unmediated by elected representatives.
  • ...those who are elected are not representatives, but are delegates of the community, who are to execute the community's decisions.
  • ...communal councils.
  • ...groups that are organized in accordance with the constitution and the law as being part of the popular power.
  • provide more democratic and more consistent channels for citizen involvement in their self-governance.
  • ...power is to be devolved from municipal, state, and national governments to the popular power (art. 168, 184, 264, 265, 279, 295).
  • ...consistent channels for the use of this power must be established,
  • ...involved in the co-management of businesses (art. 184)
  • ...municipalities ... popular power in their activities (art. 168),
  • ...nomination of members of the judicial, electoral, and citizen branches of government (art. 264, 265, 279, 295),
  • ...receive at least 5% of the national budget (art. 167) for their community projects.

Deepening Social and Political Inclusion

  • giving all citizens the right to equal access to city resources ("right to the city," art. 18),
  • prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and health condition (art. 21),
  • including young people in the political process by lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years (art. 64),
  • requiring gender parity in candidacies for elected office (art. 64),
  • protecting people from having their primary home expropriated due to bankruptcy (art. 82),
  • introducing a social security fund for self- and informally employed Venezuelans (art. 87),

  • guaranteeing free university education (art. 103),[6]
  • recognizing and promoting the culture Venezuelans of African descent (art. 100), and
  • giving university students parity in the election of university authorities (art. 109).

Deepening Non-Capitalist (Socialist?) Economic Development

  • central bank, which is normally under the sway of international financial institutions, would no longer be independent (art. 318, 320, 321)

  • turn food producing and distributing businesses over to public or collective control in order to guarantee food security (art. 305).

  • the state oil company PDVSA will face stronger restrictions against privatization (art. 303). PDVSA is a holding company that consists only of subsidiaries, The reform would prohibit the privatization of any national components of PDVSA
  • land reform is made more effective by allowing its beneficiaries (mostly cooperatives) to occupy land they have been granted before court challenges to the land redistribution are settled in court (art. 115). (land owners who would tie up the reform in court for many years, while the land would remain idle.)
  • Reducing the workweek from 44 to 36 hours per week would give workers more power, vis-à-vis employers (art. 90).[8]
  • the reform opens the possibility for greater workplace self-management, via worker councils (art. 70, 136) and
  • directives that publicly owned enterprises should involve greater self-management (184 no. 2).Also,
  • eliminating intellectual property while maintaining authors' rights to their creations, makes it more difficult for companies to profit from the creative work of others, while still protecting authors' rights over their productions (art. 98).
  • strengthen the position of domestic business relative to international business because it removes the requirement that foreign companies be treated the same as national companies (art. 301).
  • introduces a variety of new forms of property that move the notion or property away from purely individualistic conceptions (art. 115).
  • These new forms are collective, social, and public property.
  • opens up the possibility for the creation of socialist production enterprises, as the state has planned.

Developing a "New Geometry of Power"

  • the president may designate a variety of new politico-geographic areas, such as federal territories, federal municipalities, federal cities, and "functional districts," and may name the respective authorities, without defining the power of these authorities or the function of these new territorial divisions (art. 16)
  • [it does not]means that these new territorial divisions or the respective authorities would take power away from elected representatives if the reformed constitution does not say that their powers would be diminished in any way
  • to allow the president to designate national resources and presidential powers to particular areas.
  • to concentrate national attention and resources on specific areas, regardless of their existing politico-geographic boundaries, that are in need of such attention because of their poverty or their unused human or physical resources.
  • reform implies that communal councils can form governing structures at the city-wide level, thereby moving power down to the communities, rather than up to the president.[11]
  • More importantly, though, for the reform and for a new geometry of power, is the president's and the National Assembly's new ability to re-organize municipal boundaries (art. 156 no. 11, 236 no. 3).
  • to have the authority to re-organize the municipalities within the individual states

Strengthening Of the Presidency and the National Government

**Important discussion of these points in the article.**

  • removal of the two-term limit on serving as president (art. 230)
  • extending the presidential term from six to seven years (art. 230)
  • the right to being informed would be suspended during a state of emergency, which implies that censorship may be used in such situations (art. 337)
  • the state of emergency still includes the right to defense, to a trial, to communication, and not to be tortured.
  • the president is being strengthened is in his ability to promote all military officers, not just high-ranking ones, as was previously the case (art. 236 no. 8)
  • the president may name as many vice-presidents (including regional ones) as he or she chooses (art. 236 no. 5).
  • the reform makes citizen-initiated referenda more difficult by substantially increasing (by up to 100%) the signature requirements for launching such referenda (art. 71-74).

**Leftists take note**

  • The strengthening of the president's office continues the slightly contradictory trajectory of the Chavez years, where greater democracy and greater citizen participation is introduced from the top, by the president. Strengthening the presidency thus, in this process, is also supposed to mean strengthening participatory democracy.
  • if socialism means true equality of opportunity, then it ought to include a woman's right to an abortion.
  • if socialism means real self-determination, then the reform should include much stronger provisions for self-management in all workplaces, both public and private.
  • if citizen participation is a key feature of 21st century socialism, then the power of communal councils should be extended to regional and even national levels, not just city-wide levels, to either compete with or displace representative democracy on these levels.
  • if 21st century socialism means assuring a fair and sustainable production and distribution of goods and services that go beyond the distribution mechanisms of the market and of the state, then new forms of distribution and production need to be invented.

Saturday, December 01, 2007




Today Sunday (December 2, 2007) the day of the election we are broadcasting 24 hours live from the streets of Caracas! Bringing you the latest news and analysis all day long. We will be broadcasting in various languages, mainly english but also spanish, french and portuguese. So stay tuned and listen to RADIO VENEZUELA EN VIVO!


Radio Mission Statement

Venezuela En Vivo is a live web-streaming internet radio based in Caracas, Venezuela, and broadcast in English, French and Portuguese by a group of Venezuelan and international journalists, academics and activists living and working in Venezuela. The radio will report on the latest breaking news in and around the day of Venezuela´s December 2nd Constitutional Reform Referendum; cover the destabilization attempts against the democratic electoral process; put the events in to context with interviews and analytical content; and act as an alternative source of news to the mainstream media, which has proven time and again unable to report independently and unbiased on Venezuela.



President Hugo Chavez told over 500,000 supporters at the final campaign rally
  • [if the] Venezuelan oligarchy, playing the [U.S.] empire's game, comes with their little stories of fraud," he will suspend all oil shipments to the U.S immediately
  • Chavez also warned private media against promoting violence and destabilization after the referendum.

Chavez told his supporters that
  • the reforms which would reduce the work week to 36 hours,
  • allow for presidential reelection,
  • recognize new forms of property, and
  • give more power to grass roots communal councils,
will "open the path to socialism."

Chavez said and called on his supporters to stay mobilized in the streets after the referendum in order to prevent opposition inspired disturbances.

"They say they will only recognize the results if they win ... and they will take to the streets," Chavez told the rally. "Fine. We'll see you in the streets then, we are not afraid."

Chavez said, "My life belongs the the Venezuelan people. I am a soldier, and if I have to pick up a rifle to defend Venezuela, then I will."

If the opposition private TV channel Globovision, "takes part in the game of imperialism" and if they violate Venezuelan law by publishing premature or false election results before polls close, they will be taken off air immediately,

And he made very clear what being with the revolution means -- it means going against the oligarchs, against Uribe, against the American imperialists, against the King of Spain, against the European imperialists, and being in solidarity with progressive and revolutionary forces throughout the world in general and with Fidel in particular.