Created on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 18:42
Written by Kent Welton
Jesus Uber Alles â€“ Christianity as Fascism
by Kent Welton
Getting a little tired of this holier-than-thou political season? We might ask here when does "faithâ€™ become fascism?
Read more: Jesus Christ Uber Alles: From Fervor to Fascism
would say that it is when you claim your prophet is the only one, the only son of God. Mind you, this is a God youâ€™ve never seen or heard and one that you imagine you are somehow separated from, even though there is no such thing as discreteness in this energy-laden universe.
Indeed, we are all interpenetrated by the same waves of energy as everyone else. Separation from the universe, from these energies of life - i.e., from "God" - is then impossible in the very nature of things. Only the counterproductive mind energies of belief act to separate us.
Yet it is separation from heaven and God that is religionâ€™s very old business. By creating a belief of separation from existence you create a guilt and admission-to-heaven business. You create sin and charge for its redemption. You create fear, even terror of "hell" and not going to heaven, and you can get people to do anything... even believe six impossible things before breakfast.
Created on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 17:47
Written by Tom Engelhardt
Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is Now
the Greatest Threat to the American Republic
by Chalmers Johnson
he military adventurers of the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups of men thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room," the title of Alex Gibney's prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron.
The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.
[six minute video clip of Johnson speaking on American imperial bankruptcy and "military Keynesianism" mounted at the Tomdispatch site. Feel free to direct readers to it. http://www.tomdispatch.com/p/chalmers_video]
As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay -- or repudiate.
Read more: The Greatest Threat to the American Republic
Created on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 00:45
Written by Juan Cole
Israeli Atrocity on Gaza Civilians
by Juan Cole
t is a perfect time for the Israeli government to commit a war crime on the miserable civilians of the Gaza Strip. The US primary season has created a news blackout on US television about foreign news (apparently the public of the world's sole superpower is not estimated by corporate news executives to be able to handle more than one story).
So most Americans will never even know that the Israelis have cut off fuel to Gaza's power plant, depriving tens of thousands of people of electricity.
I sympathize with Israeli civilians who have been subjected to illegal bombardment by Hamas. (That bombardment has not recently resulted in loss of life, but it is traumatizing, especially for children.) But one has to ask whether the Olmert government has behaved toward Gazans in such a way as to try to achieve peace. (The unilateral withdrawal of colonists has been followed by frequent bombardments and incursions and arrests, political meddling and a placing of the whole Strip in a kind of geo-penitentiary.)
Read more: Atrocity on Gaza
Created on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 00:15
Crime Without Punishment: A News Roundup
by Chris Floyd
here are many stories out there that I would like to be writing about in greater detail, but for the moment, time and circumstances are still telling against me.
So here's a brief look at some important pieces. Check them out for yourself.
Patrick Cockburn on the recent emergence of opium-growing in Iraq, where warlords and militias in the pay of the United States and the oh-so-sovereign Iraqi "government" are turning Diyala province into a mini-narcostate, with the attendant murder, corruption, and violence. Isn't it very, very strange that America's oh-so-humanitarian interventions seem to spawn vast expansions in the drug trade, as in Vietnam and southeast Asia, Latin America, Afghanistan and now Iraq?
Read more: Crime Without Arrest
Created on Sunday, 20 January 2008 22:42
Written by Mickey Z
Pigeons, People & Perceptions
by Mickey Z.
ew York City Councilman Simcha Felder is sick and tired of some Big Apple residents "doing whatever they do all over the city without anyone trying to stop it."
Is he talking about trigger-happy cops, double parked cab drivers, omnipresent terror suspects, loud cell phone users, or maybe corporate lawyers?
Nope. Felder has his legislative eye on Columba livia, a.k.a. Rock Pigeon (The bird formerly known as Rock Dove).
Read more: Pigeons, People & Perceptions
Created on Sunday, 20 January 2008 21:57
Written by Agence Global
The Endless Greed of Private Equity
by Ignacio Ramonet
hile critics of the economic horrors of globalisation argue, a new and even more brutal form of capitalism is in action. The new vultures are private equity companies: predatory investment funds with vast amounts of capital at their disposal and an enormous appetite for more.
Their names -- among them the Carlyle Group, KKR, the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital, Apollo Management, Cerberus Partners, Starwood Capital, Texas Pacific Group, Wendel, Euraze -- are still not widely known. And while still a secret they are getting their hands on the global economy.
Between 2002 and 2006, the capital raised by these funds from banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and the assets of the super-rich rose from $135bn to $515bn. Their financial power is phenomenal, more than $1,600bn, and they cannot be stopped.
Read more: Endless Greed and the Rise of Private Equity
Created on Sunday, 20 January 2008 21:12
Written by Press Release
Democracy Watch Seeks Pro Bono Lawyer to Help Challenge
Commissioner's Decision and Calls on Parliamentarians to Restore
"Apparent Conflict of Interest" Rule
by Democracy Watch
Read more: Mulroney-Schreiber Affair: Of Foxes and Henhouses
oday, Democracy Watch called on lawyers from across Canada to help it challenge the precedent-setting ruling issued Monday [January 7, 2008] by the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson which concluded that, even when the Prime Minister's and Cabinet ministers' own actions and the actions of one of their close associates are in question, it is fine for them: to choose whether a judicial inquiry will take place; to set the scope of the inquiry; to choose the inquiry commissioner(s) who will judge them, and; to control a legal proceeding against another person who has made allegations about them.
Democracy Watch has written back to the Ethics Commissioner pointing out legal errors and requesting a reconsideration of her ruling, and questioning her lack of enforcement actions since she was appointed. If the Ethics Commissioner does not reconsider and correct the legal errors in her ruling by issuing an amended ruling, Democracy Watch plans to challenge her ruling in court and is seeking pro bono legal assistance to do so.
Created on Sunday, 20 January 2008 17:25
Written by David Swanson
A Letter from the Lurch
by David Swanson
heck out this letter I just received by Email:
The lurch was first mentioned in Dante's "Purgatorio," and I had always wanted to go there. What can I say? I'm an adventurer. That's one reason I joined the military in the first place. Well, that and all the lies about money and college and not having to serve in Iraq.
When I'd completed my third tour in Iraq and they stop-lossed me, it felt at least as bad as a ticket to purgatory. How could I stay still longer in this real world hell?
I'd hear about how supposedly if Congress were to cut off the funding for occupying Iraq it would be abandoning the troops and leaving us in the lurch, and I'd say to my buddies: "Wherever the lurch is, send me there now!"
Read more: Iraq: Letter from the Lurch