And the rest.
The most important thing to understand about the present economic crisis is that it was not necessary technologically, politically or fiscally. Government at the state, local and federal levels are strapped for funds – but only because the natural source of taxation, land rent and monopoly rent and the user fees from public enterprise have been financialized. That is, whereas property taxes used to finance about three-quarters of state and local budgets back in 1930, today they supply only about a sixth. The shrinkage has not been passed on to homeowners and renters or commercial users. Prices for homes and office buildings are set by the marketplace. The rise in market price has been pledged to bankers as mortgage interest. The financial sector thus has replaced government as recipient of the economic surplus – leaving the public sector starved of cash.
The financial sector also has replaced the government as economic planner. This role has followed from its monopoly in credit creation, which turns out to be the key to resource allocation.
Bank credit is created freely. Governments could do the same. Indeed, this is what the U.S. Treasury did during America’s Civil War, when it issued greenback credit.
If today’s looming economic depression is a manmade (that is, lobbyist-financed) phenomenon, then what policy is needed as a remedy?
January 31, 2009
But unlike the elite before them this new elite have kind hearts. Their philanthropic, they'll protect the fisheries and save the polar bears. They'll save the planet alright but at what cost? Oh. Yes. There is always a price and this new elite are out in the open about taking liberties away. Freedom of movement? That's sooo 19th century. This is the crisis-age, if you move more then you produce more CO2, which means you'll be taxed more. Do you see the rationalization? CO2 causes global warming and you are a walking CO2 emissionary so you cause global warming. You, your SUV and your hot dog. You caused this climate hell on Earth, and you're going to pay for it! You think living on this planet is free? Think again. Want a child? Cough up some dough. Want to travel and see the world? Pay a new CO2 tax to the state. But don't worry, please, your money will go towards saving the planet. Your doing a good thing, you're contributing to your species survival. You're an honorary citizen for paying your taxes. But the rest of you living under the radar--you're sucking at the system, you are not paying your fair share, you are law-breakers, not freedom lovers. You are evil. You need to excluded from society. Go, live in your hut, we have you cornered and we will use our weaponary if we have to. You think you can live sustainably and self-sufficiently without the help of the state? How dare you. Who do you think you are? You NEED us. Without us, you will DIE. So come and join our flock you black sheeps, you devious little satans. You rebels. Do you know what we do with rebels? You don't wanna know so don't piss us off and be good little citizens, join the global community. All is well here.
As for the elite? Well, the science on private jets emitting CO2 is not conclusive, so, uh,.. yeah.
Below is a small excerpt from an enlightening article by Patrick Hayes:
See the rest.
The British Library’s first discussion of the New Year Taking Liberties series was entitled ‘Can we save the planet yet keep our freedoms?’, but showed scant appreciation of the ‘struggle for Britain’s freedoms and rights. Rather than ‘hinting’ the process of people advancing their freedoms is currently being reversed - as observed by Mick Hume in his review of the Taking Liberties exhibition (1) - the discussion was instead a showcase for individuals actively advocating the restriction of people’s freedoms. Where there was any debate, it was about not about protect liberties, but how best to take them away.
Of course you don’t actually say ‘restrict freedoms’, as panellist Ken Livingstone pointed out - referring in his introduction to the congestion charge when he was mayor of London – you need to spin it differently by claiming something like, ‘we will introduce a pricing mechanism’. That way you can apparently get people as far to the right as Milton Friedman to agree with your proposals.
It was obvious from the outset this was no debate about ‘Freedom v Environmentalism?’ as billed: it had already been decided that freedoms had to go. The chair, writer and broadcaster Dr Gabriel Walker, nailed her colours to the mast from the beginning. It used to be fashionable, Dr Walker tells us, for the environmentalist movement to claim we need to, ‘live back in the Stone Age and destroy capitalism’. Now, however, it’s more fashionable expect new technology to allow us to ‘stay as we are.’ The ‘truth’, Walker tells us before even introducing the speakers, is ‘somewhere in-between’. So maybe a small regression to the Middle Ages?!
Livingstone was not the only one who appeared bitter he was no longer enjoying endless media coverage. As Dr Walker pointed out, until the credit crunch started stealing them away last September, climate change was in the headlines ‘all the time’. She was eager to point out that climate change is no minor flash-in-the-pan fear-mongering stunt. Unlike the Y2K bug, it’s ‘not going away’. And if you think the credit crunch is bad, then just wait for the impending ‘climate crunch’. According to Livingstone, the ‘emergency’ is so great, if we don’t act there will only be a few million humans eking out a ‘marginal existence’ by the end of the century.
The reaction of governments to the current economic crisis was a source of optimism to some of the panellists. As Simon Retallack, Associate Director and Head of the Climate Change Team at the Institute for Public Policy Research, pointed out, if governments can throw trillions at the financial markets, then they can also do it come the climate crunch. This, Retallack told us, is about ensuring the planet remains habitable. As a result, ‘if there was ever a case for restricting liberties, it would be precisely on these circumstances to ensure the survival of the human race’.
January 28, 2009
January 26, 2009
January 25, 2009
With all that out of the way, I like to draw you to the split within socialism, between marxism and libertarian socialism. One favors the use of the state, while the other believes the state is and always will be a corrupting institution because it is an illegitimate power. I'm in the second camp, but I'm never completely sure of my position, thus I'm rarely sure on these matters. I have no political experience or any extended knowledge of socialism and anarchism and their benefits so I am always willing to learn and take everything in. But sometimes that is not always the wisest approach to pursue because of you take everything in then you're likely to swallow alot of bullshit. But my stomach is intolerant of bullshit and I throw all that up within a 24 hour period. So if I say something stupid today then please believe that it will be out of my system tomorrow.
Below is a brief passage from an essay by the historian Eric Hobsbawm called "Bolshevism and the Anarchists", written in 1969. I copied it from his book "Revolutionaries."
The theoretical attitude with which bolshevism approached anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movements after 1917, was quite clear. Marx, Engels and Lenin had all written on the subject, and in general there seemed to be no ambiguity or mutual inconsistency about their views, which may be summarized as follows:
(a) There is no difference between the ultimate objects of marxists and anarchists, i.e. a libertarian communism in which exploitation, classes, and the state will have ceased to exist.
(b) Marxists believe that this ultimate stage will be seperated from the overthrow of bourgeois power through proletarian revolution, by a more or less protracted interval characterized by the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' and other transitional arrangements, in which state power would play some part. There was room for some argument about the precise meaning of the classical marxist writings on these problems of transition, but not ambiguity at all about the marxist view that the proletarian revolution would not give rise immediately to communism, and that the state could not be abolished, but would 'wither away'. On this point the conflict with anarchist was total and clearly defined.
(c) In addition to the characteristic readiness of marxists to see the pwoer of a revolutionary state used fo revolutionary purposes, marxism was actively committed to a firm belief in the superiority of centralization to decentralization or federalism and (especially in the leninst version), to a belief in the indispensability of leadership, organization and discipline and the inadeuqacy of any movement based on mere 'spontaneity'.
(d) Where participation in the formal processes of politics was possible, marxists took it for granted that socialist and communist movements would engage in it as much as in any other activities which would contribute to advance the overthrow of capitalism.
(e) While some marxists developed critiques of the actual or potential authoritarian and/or bureaucratic tendencies of parties based on the classical marxist tradition, none of these critics abandoned their characteristic lack of sympathy for anarchist movements, so long as they considered themselves to be marxists.
In addition, read the following statements from the 19th century French anarchist Ernest Lesigne which appeared in Le Radical and were translated by Benjamin Tucker. Below is a small excerpt, you can read the entire passage at Shawn Wilbur's blog In the Libertarian Labyrinth. I first became aware of Mr. Wilbur's post through Check Your Premises blog.
There are two Socialisms.Read the rest.
One is communistic, the other solidaritarian.
One is dictatorial, the other libertarian.
One is metaphysical, the other positive.
One is dogmatic, the other scientific.
One is emotional, the other reflective.
One is destructive, the other constructive.
Both are in pursuit of the greatest possible welfare for all.
One aims to establish happiness for all, the other to enable each to be happy in his own way.
The first regards the State as a society sui generis, of an especial essence, the product of a sort of divine right outside of and above all society, with special rights and able to exact special obediences; the second considers the State as an association like any other, generally managed worse than others.
The first proclaims the sovereignty of the State, the second recognizes no sort of sovereign.
One wishes all monopolies to be held by the State; the other wishes the abolition of all monopolies.
One wishes the governed class to become the governing class; the other wishes the disappearance of classes.
Both declare that the existing state of things cannot last.
Below are littlehorn's comments:
Warner's point about how it will end in tears is correct; but I find the reference to abortions odd. What's that kind of politics doing on this blog :-pAnd here is my response to them, a repost of the same response in this post:
And why didn't you respond last time I mentioned Immortal Technique ? Didn't you ask me to hang around ? Did I do something wrong ?
I agree, I do not accept Warner's point on abortion but everybody has their politics and their opinion.
I will try to express a whole range of politics on this blog. I do not endorse or believe wholeheartedly in everything that I write myself or what others write. I may express a sentiment that I have today and express tomorrow a whole new sentiment. This is a learning process for me, and will be until the day I die. The title of my blog is 'disquiet reservations' and I have doubts and despair about every issue, including abortion. I see the pro-life's point of view. I can stand on their side of the fence without losing my conscience.
And you are right. I should be far more appreciate of you and to my readership in general if I have any (lol). And I am aware of Immortal Technique, I have been since 2003. He is currently Hip Hop's revolutionary force and he has great power and potential to be something truly special.
And you did nothing wrong. I did, by not being fully dedicated to my blog posts and the comments left on them. I am still unsure about this undertaking. I don't know what I kind of blog I want to create. I don't want to be a journalist, or a mere blogger, or a writer who post other people's articles. I have views and opinions of my own but I am unsure how to express them genuinely and coherently yet. I want to be an author one day, and see myself as a poet in the making. I'm doing a lot of reading and expanding my philosophy and that is taking up all my time right now, along with school work of course. I don't know what direction to take this blog. I hope you will be patient and see my way through and be there to encourage and offer suggestions.
I am grateful for you, and regard you as a friend. I said in my earlier posts that I only write for one person; myself. But then I took Emerson's advice and now I write for two; me and the unknown friend, whoever and wherever she/he may reside.
In the future, I will respond to all your opinions and comments and I will be very grateful for your further advice.
Thank you littlehorn.
January 22, 2009
Check out a very good article on Obama and the cult of personality.
Here is a brief passage:
The pervasive nature of President Obama’s image is something new and quite different in American presidential politics. When President George W Bush came to office you could maybe get a mug, a commemorative coin or a button, but even his most ardent supporters did not adorn themselves with his image. True, some did sport Stetsons, but that was about the extent of the personality cult around the previous occupant of the White House.
In contrast, today our new president’s image is everywhere and yet no one seems to find this strange or creepy. During the Cold War, American politicians used to vilify communist countries for the cult of personality that surrounded their leaders. But Maoist China and Stalin’s Russia have nothing on Obama’s America when it comes to the cult now surrounding the new US president.
January 21, 2009
Were in for tough times. There's a bad moon rising. But we will endure, we will prevail, the empire will crash and burn and the fake leaders will be unmasked for the frauds and liars they all are. This is indeed the dawn of a new age; a new age of truth, compassion, and liberty. There is no room for the military industrial complex in this new age. No room for republicans and democrats. No room for a police state. Change will come, but it won't be clean. We'll have to get our hands dirty.
I'll write more on change in the following weeks to come.
Gearld Warner writes some impressive stuff on the Obama inauguration in the Telegraph:
This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence - la trahison des clercs - in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.Read the rest.
January 20, 2009
Now that the Democrats will exercise the levers of power -- in both the executive and legislative branches, let us emphasize -- the justifications will spew forth from the same liberals and progressives who condemned identical actions taken by those who committed the unforgivable sin of not belonging to "their" side. If you are looking for a principled approach to these questions, I suggest you avoid those who regard the achievement and exercise of political power as the means to the improvement of humanity.Floyd:
What would happen if we simply treated all of these greasy pole climbers as ordinary human beings -- "poor, bare, forked animals" like the rest of us -- instead of turning them into fantasy figures imbued with embodiment and magic and goodness? The only extraordinary thing about them -- their craving for dominion over others -- is the very thing that should most repulse us, and make us wary, not draw us to them with awe, loyalty and affection. In all else, they share our common imperfections. Why then not judge them by what they actually do -- not by what they embody, not by how wiggly it makes us feel to surrender our minds and wills and judgments to a fantasy -- and hold them accountable for their actions in the real world?Raimondo:
When Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated, he sought to dismantle the evolving Federalist tradition of pomp and circumstance. In a ceremonial sense, royalism seemed to have been restored, or so it appeared to him. As this blogger put it, "Dressed in simple attire, Jefferson walked over to the Capitol with a phalanx of riflemen, friends, and fellow citizens from his home state of Virginia."
In these last days of the American Empire, such austere republicanism would be considered impossibly quaint. Having long ago morphed into Jefferson's worst nightmare, the closer we get to the end, the more glamorous our inaugurals become. The poorer we are, the more millions we'll throw at a ceremony that is really the crowning of a monarch – and not just any old king, but an emperor bestriding the globe.
Appearances must be kept up. Like a bankrupt living on a palatial estate – one step away from foreclosure – we bask in imperial splendor even as the repo man comes knocking at the door.
At a time such as ours, the spectacle of jeweled and gowned courtiers feasting on inaugural canapés is beyond tacky. The Bourbons partied, too, right up to the eve of the French Revolution. Amid all the sounding of trumpets and the hailing of the chief, however, there is something hollow about all this unseemly extravagance.
January 12, 2009
The public debate about the Gaza attack engages in the absurd pretense that it is Israel, not the Palestinians, whose security and dignity are being threatened. This blind defense of Israeli brutality toward the Palestinians betrays the memory of those killed in other genocides, from the Holocaust to Cambodia to Rwanda to Bosnia. The lesson of the Holocaust is not that Jews are special. It is not that Jews are unique. It is not that Jews are eternal victims. The lesson of the Holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt genocide, and you do not—no matter who carries out that genocide or who it is directed against—you are culpable. And we are very culpable. The F-16 jet fighters, the Apache attack helicopters, the 250-pound “smart” GBU-39 bombs are all part of the annual $2.4 billion in military aid the U.S. gives to Israel. Palestinians are being slaughtered with American-made weapons. They are being slaughtered by an Israeli military we lavishly bankroll. But perhaps our callous indifference to human suffering is to be expected. We, after all, kill women and children on an even vaster scale in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bloody hands of Israel mirror our own.
Read the rest.
January 11, 2009
These options were not used -- and probably not considered -- because police are no longer trained to protect. They are trained in military fashion to suppress and to control -- and nothing, nothing is so controlled as a dead body. That is zero-tolerance suppression. Indeed, one of the main reasons civil libertarians argue against conflating the police and the military is because the two serve totally different functions...or, at least, they should. The police should address crimes against person and property, they should defuse situations and protect people; they are public 'servants'. By contrast, the military views the public it confronts as "the enemy" from which it protects itself, often through lefhal force. The military is trained to kill and not to protect, to view the population as 'hostiles' not as equals. And, now, so are the police and all other agents who are part of Homeland Security.The entire article is here.
He raises some important points about the corruption of the police system and how it always protects itself in these type of scandals. A tiny minority, maybe even more, of cops are psychopaths who put themselves above the law and are willing to justify murder of an innocent, unarmed man.
January 10, 2009
And yet, I'm not that pessimistic. It is extremely crucial to realize that there is a difference this time. In the 1930s, technological limits put severe restrictions on information delivery. Government propaganda easily dominated the culture. All of that has changed. Despite everything, people simply do not trust the government as they once did. Obama will enjoy a short honeymoon but it will be over by summer.
What is missing today so far is the critical thing: a culture-wide love of liberty that is capable of intimidating and beating back the rogue regime. The conditions are right for this to actually happen, and to reverse the direction of politics today. But it will require all our efforts. Fortunately everyone has the opportunity today to make a difference.
Some citizens in New Orleans protested in front of the NOPD police station.
But who knew that the money issue would finally crawl its way back to American politics? Much discussion and debate about our banking system is needed. There has never been a better time in history; as the economy collapses many Americans will be asking questions and it is during this crisis that those on the progressive left and those on the libertarian right should come together and shut down the Fed and establish a public banking system once and for all. I'm thinking 2013, the hundred anniversary of the Fed's creation, to be the year when the Fed will wither away. Hopefully it will go with a whimper and not a bang but the current inflationary policies of the Fed suggests that is not likely. A total collapse of the system may be the only thing to trigger a mass awakening. Throughout this crisis the media will be exposed and its propaganda will no longer be believed in. The forces of the internet and alternative media are just too strong for the tide of history not to be in the people's favor.
Also, it's good to see Mr. Kucinich join Ron Paul as the only two premier congressmen of our day to speak out against the Fed. Both Paul and Kucinich are outspoken on United States foreign policy and the policies of the Fed. A new coalition between the right and the left on these two issues seems to be emerging. The battle against the Empire has begun!
January 9, 2009
Here is the live video of Gaza.
A few young men rightly called the act "a modern day lynching."
Davey D explains why the rallies and protests are taking place.
January 8, 2009
January 7, 2009
President Nixon's Secretary of State, the aging Henry Kissinger, recently told CNBC that he believes the current world economic crisis is a "great opportunity" for President-elect Obama to help create a "new world order."Watch the video of the interview here.
"What do you think the most important thing is for Barack Obama?" Kissinger was asked. "... If you had to say, this is going to be the country, or the conflict, or the place that will define the Obama administration, what would it be?"
Kissinger replied: "The President-elect is coming into office at a moment when there are upheavals in many part of the world simultaneously. You have India-Pakistan. You have, ah, a jihadist movement."
"But," continued Kissinger, "he can give new imputus to American foreign policy, partly because the ascension of him is so extraordinary and admirable.
"I think that his task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a "New World Order" can be created. It's a great opportunity. It isn't such a crisis."
And see this piece that I wrote three days ago called Obama: NWO with a Human Face.
January 5, 2009
The United States is walking on quicksand. It is dependent on foreigners for the funding to conduct the day-to-day operations of its government. Its economy is a hollow shell reduced to dependence on a financial sector that is discredited worldwide. America’s government believes that its foreign wars of aggression are more important than any domestic needs, including the health care of its population.
Now that its supply route to feed its war of aggression in Afghanistan is threatened, the American government has the delusion that it will be able to supply its army in Afghanistan through thousands of miles of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. Only a government totally oblivious to reality would imagine that Russia’s Putin, whose nose is rubbed in excrement every day by the US government, will permit America to transit Russian territory to resupply US imperial legions in Afghanistan.
What we are witnessing is a once great power engaging in fantasy to disguise from itself that it is a failed state.
Read the rest.
January 4, 2009
It is irrational for the Israeli leaders to imagine that the Palestinians will understand this particular point of view--will understand why Jews might find it appropriate, let us say, to retaliate for the death of one Jew by killing a hundred Palestinians. If a Palestinian killed a hundred Jews to retaliate for the killing of one Palestinian--for that matter, if a Thai killed a hundred Cambodians to retaliate for the killing of one Thai--which, from the point of view of the Israeli leaders, would of course be unjust, that would be racist, as if one Palestinian or one Thai were worth a hundred Israelis or a hundred Cambodians. But if a Jew does it, it's not unjust and it's not racist, because it's part of an eternal struggle in which the Jews have lost and lost and lost--they've already lost more people than there are Palestinians. Well, it's not surprising that certain Jews would feel this way, but no Palestinian will ever share that feeling or be willing to accept it. What the Palestinians see is an implacable and heartless enemy, one that considers itself un-bound by any rules or principles, an enemy that can't be reasoned with but can only be feared, hated and, if possible, killed.Read the rest.
From day one writer Arthur Silber has highlighted the underlining truths about what Obama stands for and his signifance to the empire. Below is a passage from an article he wrote in early december. The article is called Clinging to the Wreckage (I): Murder, Inc. -- The Continuing Obscenity of U.S. Foreign Policy:
Barack Obama repeatedly insists that the greatest task before us, the task to which he tells us again and again he himself is fully committed and to which he asks all of us to dedicate ourselves as well, is "change." To change a policy of any significance requires that one first identify honestly and in detail the nature of the policy one wishes to alter. As is true of every other national politician of prominence, Obama resolutely refuses to name the actual nature and meaning of U.S. foreign policy today and for the last several decades."Truth is treason in the empire of lies," as Ron Paul said, and those who dare to speak it will be labeled 'terrorist' and 'extremist.' Those who choose to think are called 'conspiracy theorists' and it will not just be neoconservatives and the Christian right who will attack oppopents of the empire but also so-called progressives and 'global citizens.' Men of conscious from both sides of the political spectrum will have to resist the insanity that is currently opearting under Obama. Libertarian, conservative, liberal; these labels no longer matter. There are enlightened liberals and duped liberals, and the same is true with conservatives. The duped ones will decry the free men of conscious as extremist and radical and terrorist and dismiss them to the margins. As Silber writes:
Obama's own statements, together with his selection of individuals for major foreign policy and defense positions in his administration, make unarguably clear that he will change nothing of any importance in America's conduct of foreign policy. When Obama tells us he is committed to "change," he is lying, just as he has lied on a lengthy series of issues of great importance. As I noted in "Obama's Whitewash": "Truth is the enemy; truth is to be destroyed. ... This is how we live today: lies are the staple of our diet. Without them, we would die, certainly in psychological terms."
This, too, is where we are: to state the truth, the full truth without equivocation or avoidance, is "extreme."If you think nationalism is dead then think again. Real hard this time. When Obama says "There is no red state America; there is no blue state of America; there is the United States of America," then we should worry. Big time. What if New Hampshire decides to break away from the most violent and racist empire in the world? What will Obama do about that? And will the progressive dupes label all who choose to secede from the empire as racist conservatives? If you voted democrat last fall then ponder the words of Silber:
For several years, I have repeatedly made the point that the Democrats have no objection to endless U.S. interventions or to wars of aggression, nor are they repulsed in the smallest degree by unjustified slaughter. The Democrats only want U.S. murders to be managed "well" and accomplished "competently." For empires, "neatness" is a great virtue. Bloodstains on the plush carpets of the corridors of power are distressingly unpleasant, don't you know.If you are a democrat then you are an imperialist who wants to continue the American empire. For how longer will ignorance be used as an excuse? How many more examples do you need? How many more statements by Obama do you need to read before you are convinced that he wants to extend the imperialist project? And if you are a liberal and decry any mention of the term 'new world order' then I can point you to countless academics who have acknowledged its existence as a geopolitical term, as well as numerous presidents and state officials who have called for a 'new world order'. It is not a conspiracy theory because your small mind is only fit for a small world so any outside information can't get in. Let me point you to a Time magazine article called Obama's New World Order. Here is a brief excerpt:
As for the future, both Obama and Gates share a belief that there should be less emphasis on military power and more on using diplomacy and foreign aid to bend other nations toward U.S. interests.That's Obama for ya! He's gonna sweet-talk other countries about the advantages of being under America's wing. Who needs the military's hand when you got the emperor's tongue?
Anyways, enough ranting for the day. If you must know, I am an optimist. Robert Anton Wilson said he writes from anger and optimism and I do too.
Here's a fantastic video posted by Claytrainor at youtube.
January 3, 2009
Some were troubled by pictures of children and women among the casualties, others voiced trepidation about a ground invasion, but the overwhelming view among Israelis on the streets of Jerusalem yesterday was that their government was right to attack Gaza and the offensive should go on for as long as it takes.
Israel's relentless air strikes on the Palestinian enclave may be drawing strong criticism and calls for a ceasefire in much of the rest of the world, but a common reaction of Israelis is that outsiders simply don't understand what they have been going through.
Domestic opposition has been much more muted than in some past wars, and even in those areas deemed to be Jerusalem's most liberal, the mood was generally uncompromising.
Read the rest from The Independent here.
Miri Scheinfeld, a photographer, was in favour of accepting a proposal put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for a brief "humanitarian" ceasefire. "My mother said the other day that we'll always have war in this country, and that is a very depressing thought. I know that most of the people in the outside world don't like what Israel is doing, but what is happening here is complicated. I am a secular person and I have always hoped the differences between us and the Arabs can be solved. I have gone and worked in Arab villages and will do so again in the future.
"But we had no choice over Gaza, they had been firing rockets at us for over eight years and I am glad we are hitting back at last. I think Hamas wants to destroy Israel. But we have nowhere else to go, so we must fight, although sometimes we use our strength in a wrong way."
Is there ever a right way to use force? And you do have a choice: occupy and suffer the consequences or lift the siege and bring in humanitarian aid. Hamas does not want to destroy Israel, you have just been fed government propaganda. And what is happening in your part of the world Mr. Scheinfeld is not complicated at all.
I'm not exactly sure how to begin this post. I have always written for an audience of one: me.The reality that some people may come across this little blog of mine was always far off, and I treated this site as a diary and a record of where my mind was at a certain time, so I can look back years from now and see how much I've grown intellectually. (That is, if the internet is still free and open in the future, and just the fact that I have this doubt is a sign of the times we are living in; nothing is out of quesiton). I've lived in a state of paranoia and anxiety for much of my conscious life. I will turn 20 at the end of the month, and for the first time in my life I have a sense that I am an adult. I feel I have to say this to you because its important people know what kind of person I am before they start reading a sentence I write. I want to be a serious political writer, but my university studies are not in either political studies or journalism. But that doesn't matter. This blog is my biggest hobby. I love writing. It's one of the few skills that I know I can develop if I write every week for the next few years. I will approach this site as the playground for my mind, and nothing is off-topic. I will still write for an audience of one, okay, maybe I'll turn it up a notch and write for an audience of two. Emerson in 1848 said "happy is he who writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts, and who writes always to the unknown friend." I want to write for myself and especially for the unknown friend, whatever age and in whatever place he/she lives.
Okay, now to more serious business.
Amir Oren in Haaretz calls for Israel to prepare to attack Iran:
On the 14th story in the IDF headquarters in the Kirya in Tel Aviv, where the defense minister and the chief of staff have their bureaus, there is concern about an even more serious problem than rockets in Ashdod and Be'er Sheva. Barak, especially, has been concerned that the IDF will be drawn into Gaza, even if not in all its brigades and divisions, but certainly with the attention of the commanders and with a burden on the air force.Attacking Iran will push the crumbling economies of the world further into chaos. Gas will shoot up. Violence in Iraq will intensify, and death and devastation will be imprinted onto the sands of the Middle East for an entire generation. I've been reading Arthur Silber's essays about the implications of an attack on Iran in the last couple of days. In August 2007, in The Worsening Nightmare, Silber had this to say:
Therefore, the IDF must move quickly to disengage, in order to free its attention for the paramount task of preparing a military blow to Iran, if diplomacy and deterrence fail. As long as the great threat of Iranian power is hovering, the smaller threats of Hezbollah and Hamas that derive from it will not be dispelled. Cast lead, heavy as it may be, is still easier to digest than enriched uranium.
Perhaps Israel is attacked. Again, the calls for retribution would be universal, and not a single major voice would be raised in opposition. Probably the government of Pakistan is toppled; that is close to happening even today. And then we would need to worry about actual nukes getting into the hands of those who might genuinely wish to attack us. The possibilities are many, but they all lead to the same end: widening war, war, and more war.I have no quarrels in documenting our world's "route to hell" and if people think hell is not where the Middle East is headed, see this. But I am not going to document the "cruelty, murder, barbarism, and sadism for their own sake." I am not alarmist, the alarm bells have already been sounded off by writers much more knowledgeable than me. I see my task as writing about and supporting the cause of revolution, in the Middle East as well as in America. The regimes of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia must go if the people in that part of the world are to be free and prosperous in this century. And for those regimes to go, the current Tsarist regime in America must go. And the regime in Iran must also go. But the bankruptcy of the Washington government will undoubtedly inhibit its influence in the Middle East and once the regime scales back its foreign appetite and brings the troops home its gaze will turn inward. One of the events I will write about in this coming year will be the economic and social collapse of the United States. If you still can't believe it, see Detriot.
And now it is too late. The kind of educational campaign I recommended as essential might have had a chance six months ago; it has no chance at all today, even if someone were prepared to undertake it -- and no one is. I see only one possibility that might stop these events: a massive demonstration or series of demonstrations in Washington, probably accompanied by a massive sit-in in the offices of Congress. Nothing short of that has a chance in hell.
But that's not going to happen. So we proceed on our path to a still worse and deepening nightmare. Our destination was set a long time ago. The intention to provoke a wider war has been announced repeatedly. No one believed it could happen, or wanted to believe it could happen. Such resistance and denial are common before all catastrophes of this kind. The warning signs are all around us and have been for years. Almost no one paid attention. No one acted to prevent what was obviously coming.
And still, no one will act to prevent it. So I see no point in documenting the further steps on this route to hell, for the same reason I avoid a certain kind of horror film: it is the contemplation of cruelty, murder, barbarism and sadism for their own sake. Such exercises in psychopathology have no interest to me, and I will leave the dreadful task to others.
I don't want to focus all on the bad news. I think the collapse of the United States is a healthy sign. There are many great things happening in the underground of American culture, many positive movements such as SlowFood USA, and these developments will grow livelier in the new America. I for one welcome the depression, the collapse, the breakdown. Richard Heinberg says the Party's Over, I say lets go to the after party. But that does not mean we should be self-indulgent and party privately while the world outside burns. We may be free in our private lives but if we do not have political freedoms then we will let down our predecessors and our children's dreams of liberty. The day may come when it will be a risk to our lives to protest and make our voices in public heard. The herd will stay inside, watching movies, going to parties, sleeping in, but the enlightened and brave few must take it on themselves and defend liberty once and for all. The America of Jefferson and Paine is not our America. But it can be as long we keep the romantic notions of liberty and justice alive.
Arthur Silber in his new piece writes:
The unending procession of oppression, barbarity and widescale murder throughout human history is not inevitable. There have always been those rare individuals who, when confronted with the horrors of their time and asked to render support for them in any form and to any degree, will declare, simply and with no claim to heroism: No. Such individuals teach us that another mode of consciousness and a radically different manner of conduct exist and can be ours.Ron Paul is the hero of our day, he has stood his ground in the Congress for liberty and he made me realize that such men of moral courage are still alive today and that history is not hogging all the great men. Henry David Thoreau in his essay Civil Disobedience said:
"No man with a genius for legislation has appeared in America. They are rare in the history of the world. There are orators, politicians, and eloquent men, by the thousand; but the speaker has not yet opened his mouth to speak who is capable of settling the muchvexed questions of the day. We love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire."Ron Paul has a genius for legisation and he appeared in our day. We must not ever forget that. They are rare and that is why their light shine so bright. Obama is an orator, and not all that eloquent. He doesn't even write his own speeches, unlike the great statesmen of the past. The American public in 2008 proved, by electing Obama, Thoreau's assertion that "we love eloquence for its own sake, and not for any truth which it may utter, or any heroism it may inspire." Obama had a million people at his feet and he did not use that occasion to speak the truth about American military power or about the plight of the people in Gaza. He is not a pragmatist, he is a coward. It is Ron Paul who will inspire the heroism in our day, and it will be Ron Paul who historians will look back on as the only presidential candidate in 2008, aside from Kucinich and McKinney, who told the sad truths about America.
The other day I wrote a piece called 'Truth Tellers, New Rebels' and I left out one name that shouldn't be left out on any list concerning the sad truths of our day and that name is Arthur Silber. As I said I've read many of his pieces and they all left me with a sudden urgency to act. Right now, I don't know how to act so I write. I will not attend a protest as I believe they are useless, unless they take place in Parliament, Congress, and in the newsrooms across America. If the protests do not have a direct mission then what is the point? If I want to go out for a walk I would much rather go out alone, all by my lonesome, than in a group. But if the mission is to upend the corridors of power then count me in. I do think we are a culture in a state of paralysis. We are unmoved by horrific events like the ones taking place in Gaza right now. We either try to rationalize them or we simply yell in our heads and I am one of them. I think deep down the wrath of Americans is so huge that they are unsure what is the right avenue for releasing their anger. I'm afraid that energy may be released in unconscious violence and the anger will be misused. And I count Canada in this too, although we suffer a far more mild form of it. If the wrath of Americans is not directed and controlled, then the elite and their police state will have their way with Americans. If you're unfamiliar or unpersuaded with what I'm trying to get across, here's Silber in his piece Living Under the Guillotine's Blade who says it much more eloquently than I:
This is how we live in America today. The final destruction of liberty, and of life itself, could begin at any moment. Yet we act like the man with his head resting on the block. We seem to believe there is nothing especially unusual in our circumstances, nothing that requires us to take action. Life goes on as it always did. Like the man under the blade, we could choose to alter our fate. We will not. We believe, as perhaps the man under the blade believes, that our situation isn't that bad; we'll be able to get through this, just as we always have. We forget all those who have gone before us, all those who have died bloody and painful deaths. But, we may tell ourselves, we are different from all those others. Their fate will not be ours, because we are special and unique. We forget that all the earlier victims thought the same.In another piece he wrote in December 2007 he describes our current predicament as The Imminent, but Not-Yet, Not-Quite Dictatorship:
And almost no one speaks of the incomprehensible catastrophes that lie in wait. Almost no one takes action to prevent even one of them. Our lives proceed as if nothing at all unusual is transpiring in our world, either abroad or at home. Occasionally, a few people shout warnings. They are almost entirely ignored.
The blade is suspended above us. With every moment that passes, the rope that holds it back frays and weakens still more.
Death hangs in the air.
We exist in a netherworld, where the few remaining fragments of light slowly vanish: freedom no longer exists, and we wait to see what will replace it and just how oppressive it will be. Except for today's usual suspects -- those who are Arab or Muslim, those who are designated terrorists whether they are or not, "illegal" immigrants, many of those who are not male, white and affluent -- the state has yet to tell us who the specific victims will be. If there should be another major terrorist attack in America, these questions may well be answered more quickly than we would wish.Now that I finally consider myself an adult, I know what I must do: support the resistance to the tyranny of my day in any way I can. Thoreau in Civil Disobedience wrote:
So what does an adult of conscience do, confronted by the specter of The Imminent, but Not-Yet, Not-Quite Dictatorship?
If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.A tax rebellion is in order. On a scale that will surpise us and the whole world. Maybe then Americans will realize the real power they wield in their country.
But once we resist tyranny it's grip will be more fierce and open. When that day comes, we shall again listen to the wise words of Thoreau:
But even suppose blood should flow. Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man's real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.And if you think this type of reaction is too extreme, then I must ask you, what do you call the government's action? How shall we respond? The tyranny in our day is transnational but its headquarters are in America, thus, it will be Americans who will have to defend liberty. Not in the sands of Iraq, but in the sands of Nevada. The hour of active rebellion could not come soon enough, we must rise in solidarity with the people in Gaza who are living in hell as I write. And by active rebellion I do not mean a violent one. I want to make clear that non-violent action, in the tradition of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mandela, is the most effective action we can take. But it has to be active resistance, not passive. By this I mean not just protests but boycotts as well. Tax rebellions, worker strikes, marches on Capitol Hill, etc, etc.. JFK wrote "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
Here's one last Thoreau quote:
All men recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable. But almost all say that such is not the case now. But such was the case, they think, in the Revolution of '75.I will leave you with one final passage by Silber in a piece he wrote nearly two years ago. Its called Dispatch from Germany, Summer of 1939 (III): Building an Effective Resistance:
For many of you reading this, your involvement in and knowledge about politics is a great luxury, one you often take for granted. But I would suggest that, along with that luxury, comes greatly increased responsibility. You know more, you are able to spend more time on these subjects, and so more can rightfully be expected of you.
Yes, this is a monumental battle. Yes, the odds are not in our favor. But the stakes are the greatest ones in the world -- peace, and freedom. In different ways, many of you have indicated this was the kind of battle you wanted. Many of you have said this was why you got involved in politics in the first place.
We cannot choose the moment in history during which we happen to spend our lives. But we can choose what we do about it, and how we try to affect the course of events, to the extent we can. We are living during an especially critical time, one that is filled with terrible dangers -- and one that might change the world and our country for the rest of our lives. We may not have chosen this battle, but it is here whether we want it or not. So I hope some of you will choose to join it, on the side of peace, liberty and the infinitely precious value of a single human life.
And I hope some of you start, or continue with renewed dedication, today.
Ibrahim Zabidat, who led the rally, said during his speech, "The Israeli killing machine must stop. I call from here to the people in Gaza and say: Don't be afraid, don't give up, block them with your blood in order to build the state of Palestine, whose capital is Jerusalem. We, the people of Palestine, will continue to defend it through battle with our soul and blood and in peace."There was a deluge of support for Gaza across Europe as well. 25,000 people protested in Paris.
January 1, 2009
While 100 of millions are happily celebrating the New Years Eve with their loved ones, 100s of innocent Palestinian civilians & Hamas Freedom Fighters have been bombed by F-16s indiscriminately. 1000s of seriously injured Palestinians are desperately waiting for blood, medicine & doctors. 100,000s are trying to find a shelter to hide and protect their loved ones, food to eat and water to drink. More than 2,000,000 are hoping for an end to all misery inflicted on them during the past 60 years. Yet with all those numbers, the headlines of CNN as well as other major media corporations focus on the less than 10 injured Israelis and 2 dead Israelis. - Omran Al SharhanRead the rest here.