Last Stop on the Road to Nowhere

End of the Road to Moronity
by Rand Clifford
I
s Moronity a place, or a condition? Since America is our focus, and since America seems a fine example of something at once both place and condition, let’s consider Moronity to be both. A prime indicator that we’ve reached Moronity is how we regard evidence. Take 9/11 for example, WTC 7 in particular. When the essentially undamaged massive steel building collapsed into its own footprint at nearly free fall speed, that was irrefutable evidence of controlled demolition. Such precision demolition takes a lot of preparation; days or even weeks of placing charges, and wiring them in perfect sequence. So the evidence clearly shows that WTC 7 was rigged for demolition well in advance of 9/11, which means that 9/11 was no surprise.

That simple bit of the obvious is enough to destroy any credibility of the official story of the "surprise terrorist attack". But there’s so much more. Clear evidence of 9/11 being false flag terror, an "inside job"—it glares from virtually everything that happened, everything related both on 9/11, before 9/11, and after 9/11. However, it seems that about half of Americans still believe the abjectly anti-evidence official story. When you disregard evidence in favor of what you are told by authority, especially if what you are told is what you would really rather believe...sounds like Moronity.

Black Friday in Moronity, 11/28/08. Stampeding pre-dawn shoppers break down a Wal-Mart door and trample an employee to death, then become irate over requests that they suspend their shopping. At a Toys"R"Us, two men shoot and kill each other over a scuffle between two women at checkout...
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Dear Mr. President: I Am An American Prisoner of Conscience

Prisoner of Conscience Robin Long's Letter to Obama        
by Robin Long, prisoner of conscience
Dear President-elect Obama; my name is Robin Long. I am currently serving a 15-month sentence at a Naval brig in California. I am locked up for refusing to participate in the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, a military action I felt was wrong and an action condemned by most of the international community. It was illegal and immoral.

My sentence also includes dishonorable discharge. I was no doubt made an example, because not only did I refuse to deploy by going AWOL but I spoke out. I spoke out about the atrocities that are going on over there and also the extensive web of lies the Bush administration told us and Congress, to go over there. I did all of this very openly while AWOL in Canada, where I was making a life for myself.
 
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Gaza's Untold Story

Gaza: The Untold Story
by Ramzy Baroud
I
t’s incomprehensible that a region such as the Gaza Strip, so rich with history, so saturated with defiance, can be reduced to a few blurbs, sound bites and reductionist assumptions, convenient but deceptive, vacant of any relevant meaning, or even true analytical value. The fact is that there is more to the Gaza Strip than 1.5 million hungry Palestinians, who are supposedly paying the price for Hamas’s militancy, or Israel’s ‘collective punishment’, which ever way the media decide to brand the problem.

More importantly, Gaza’s existence since time immemorial must not be juxtaposed by its proximity to Israel,  failure or success in ‘providing’ a tiny Israeli town – itself built on conquered land that was seen only 60 years ago as part of the Gaza Province – with its need for security. It’s this very expectation that made the killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza a price worth paying, in the callous eyes of many.
 
These unrealistic expectations and disregard of important history will continue to be costly, and will only serve the purpose of those interested in swift generalizations. Yes, Gaza might be economically dead, but its current struggles and tribulations are consistent with a legacy of conquerors, colonialism and foreign occupations, and more, its peoples collective triumph in rising above the tyranny of those invaders.




  
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British Columbia's Internationally Successful Forest Practices Greenwash Campaign

WORLD PRECEPTION OF BC LOGGING
by Richard Boyce
I
just returned home from a journey that has given me a new perspective of international perceptions of forestry in British Columbia.  I traveled to Sweden where I was interviewed for a job to shoot a documentary film, deep in the rainforest of Africa.

The Swedish director will spend 4 months filming Pygmies in the tropical rainforest of Congo. I won’t be joining her for a variety of reasons.  However, I learned how persuasive and effective the international green-wash campaign, launched by the BC government along with international logging corporations, has been at convincing the world that logging in BC is wonderful.
 
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Academe and America's Lemming Culture

The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff
by Chris Hedges
T
he multiple failures that beset the country, from our mismanaged economy to our shredded constitutional rights to our lack of universal health care to our imperial debacles in the Middle East, can be laid at the feet of our elite universities. Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford, along with most other elite schools, do a poor job educating students to think. They focus instead, through the filter of standardized tests, enrichment activities, advanced placement classes, high-priced tutors, swanky private schools and blind deference to all authority, on creating hordes of competent systems managers. The collapse of the country runs in a direct line from the manicured quadrangles and halls in places like Cambridge, Princeton and New Haven to the financial and political centers of power.  

The nation’s elite universities disdain honest intellectual inquiry, which is by its nature distrustful of authority, fiercely independent and often subversive. They organize learning around minutely specialized disciplines, narrow answers and rigid structures that are designed to produce certain answers. The established corporate hierarchies these institutions service—economic, political and social—come with clear parameters, such as the primacy of an unfettered free market, and with a highly specialized vocabulary. This vocabulary, a sign of the “specialist” and of course the elitist, thwarts universal understanding. It keeps the uninitiated from asking unpleasant questions. It destroys the search for the common good. It dices disciplines, faculty, students and finally experts into tiny, specialized fragments. It allows students and faculty to retreat into these self-imposed fiefdoms and neglect the most pressing moral, political and cultural questions. Those who defy the system—people like Ralph Nader—are branded as irrational and irrelevant.
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Cut Out the Banks and Finance American Innovation

Let's Cut Out the Banks and Finance American Innovation
by Sander Hicks
Then the U.S. government can be an investor instead of a reluctant donor. Just this morning, I heard that my favorite union printing press had closed its doors. Last night, I heard that Olsson's, the great book/music place in Washington, D.C., closed all five of its stores last month. There are times when I work at my Vox Pop café in Manhattan and wait one hour for a single customer to walk in. Consumer spending is going steadily down. Unemployment is around 6.5 percent, and that's just the "official" rate.
 
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I don't want to lose my company. I've worked so hard to build it over five years. I've been an entrepreneur since I started my first company at age 25. Along the way, I've seen how companies can grow, change the world, have an effect. I have seen how value is created.
 
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On Reading in an Age of Depression

The Axe, the Book, and the Ad: On Reading in an Age of Depression
by Tom Engelhardt
W
orlds shudder and collapse all the time. There's no news in that. Just ask the Assyrians, the last emperor of the Han Dynasty, the final Romanoff, Napoleon, or that Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff. But when it seems to be happening to your world, well, that's a different kettle of fish. When you get the word, the call, the notice that you're a goner, or when your little world shudders, that's something else again.

Even if the call's not for you, but for a friend, an acquaintance, someone close enough so you can feel the ripples, that can do the trick. It did for me two weeks ago, when a close friend in my niche world of book publishing (at whose edge I've been perched these last 30-odd years) called to tell me that an editor we both admire had been perp-walked out of his office and summarily dismissed by the publisher he worked for. That's what now passes for politeness in the once "gentlemanly" world of books.

His fault, the sap, was doing good books. The sort of books that might actually make a modest difference in the universe, but will be read by no less modest audiences -- too modest for flailing, failing publishing conglomerates. If you were talking in terms of cars, his books would have been the equivalent of those tiny "smart cars" you see in increasing numbers, tucked into previously nonexistent parking spots on city streets, rather than the SUVs and pick-ups of the Big Three.
 
It may be part of the future, but who cares? Not now -- and too bad for him.
 
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The Market Has Failed

London Banker: "The market has failed, and officialdom is perpetuating that failure."
by Mike Whitney
E
ver since the two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted 17 months ago triggering a global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has been busy putting out one fire after another. Fed chief Ben Bernanke has slashed interest rates to .25 percent, handed out billions in emergency funding to teetering insurance companies and mortgage lenders, and provided $8.3 trillion in loan guarantees to keep the financial system from collapsing.
 
Unfortunately, nothing the Fed has done has either stabilized the markets or stopped the contagion from spreading to the broader economy where consumer spending has fallen sharply, unemployment has skyrocketed, manufacturing has slipped to a 30 year low, and housing prices have plummeted. Bernanke, the Princeton academic who is an expert on the Great Depression, is limited in his understanding of the crisis by his "monetarist" bias. He believes that the only way to fight credit contraction is by flooding the financial system with liquidity ("quantitative easing"). But this remedy focuses more on reducing the symptoms rather than curing the disease.
 
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Danny "Chavez" Williams Gets It

Danny "Chavez" Williams Gets It
by C. L. Cook
As corporations stand bag in hand waiting for governments on both sides of the 49th to deliver tax dollars into their coffers, at least one leader in Canada is calling 'Poor Pilgarlic's' bluff.
 
Newfoundland premier, Danny Williams responded to timber and resource giant, AbitibiBowater's decision to shut down their Grand Falls-Windsor mill throwing hundreds out of work by introducing legislation to reclaim resource rights granted to the operators of the mill.
 
More than a century ago, the Grand Falls mill was the price for access to timber and hydro-electric water resources. After changing owners several times over the decades, AbitibiBowater Inc. bought the mill operation and inherited with it the rights granted the original holder. When AbitibiBowater, who are shutting down many of their mill holdings across North America, announced they would shut down Grand Falls too, Williams wasted no time repatriating the resource leases, saying:
"These resources belong to the people of my province and they're going back to the people of my province."
Imagine that, a government official who remembers the forgotten factor in the democracy equation: The People!
 
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Counting Gulls

Counting Sea Gulls
by Mickey Z.
I
t’s early November. I’m checking my mail when I decide to stand in front of my apartment building for a little air: Astoria, Queens, New York City, USA air. I notice five sea gulls flying overhead—north to south—well above the buildings, asphalt, and internal combustion engines. No more than a few seconds later, another eight gulls pass so I decide to count. Why not? In no time, I’m over 50.
 
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To my right, in the beautifully symmetrical little tree that graces my block, the sparrows are chirping up a storm. Proud parents zip in and out of the branches—still covered with green leaves—to feed their young. The result is a symphony of cheeps, peeps, and tweets.
 
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Ready to Make Nice?

The Hypocrisy of "Happy Holidays"
by Shelley Bluejay Pierce
O
ver many years, I have dealt with intense sadness, confusion and dismay about the “Happy Holidays” commentary that intrudes upon every waking moment in the U.S. culture.  The “happy” comments begin right before Thanksgiving and continue on until after New Year’s Day.  Our lives are assaulted in every form imaginable as the celebratory events unfold and the mass marketing of every trinket, widget and wonder-toy bombards us.
 
I am not writing this to wage war upon religions and their choices. I am not writing this to discuss the pros and cons of using “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry Christmas” either, though that topic has certainly garnered a great deal of controversy in the main stream media lately. Quite simply, I am stating my own opinions about the use of this “Happy….” preface to an extended holiday season that causes a period of deep mourning in the Native culture.
 
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It's the Economists, Stupid!

Theory vs. Reality: Why Market Absolutism Fails
by Ernest Partridge
T
he collapse of market fundamentalism in economies everywhere is putting the Chicago School theology on trial. Its big lie has been exposed by facts on two levels. The Chicago Boys' claim that helping the rich will also help the poor is not only exposed as not true, it turns out that market fundamentalism hurts not only the poor and the powerless; it hurts everyone, rich and poor, albeit in different ways... The fruits of Friedman test are in - and they are all rotten."
Henry Liu
 
An economist and his guide, while hunting in Africa, fall into an elephant trap: twenty feet deep with vertical walls.

“That does it,” says the guide, “we’re done for. No escape, no food, no chance of being found in time.”

“Nonsense,” said the economist, “I can get us out of here.”

“And how do you propose to do that?,” the guide asks.

The economist replies: “Well, first we posit a ladder.”
 
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