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marmar

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Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 71,317

Journal Archives

The Winter Hustle





Fran Lebowitz: When Giuliani was mayor an unarmed black man was shot every 5 minutes

During the panel discussion on Real Time last night, Bill Maher spoke with public intellectual Fran Lebowitz, director Rob Reiner, and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” about the rationale behind former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about Obama not loving America.

Lebowitz said that when Giuliani ran for mayor of New York City in 1993, his ads said “vote for me and it’ll be 1952 again. He is just soaked in nostalgia. That’s what he meant when he said Obama doesn’t love the country the way we love the county.”

“What does it mean,” Maher asked, “that Republicans want to go back to an era, the Fifties, where America was run by socialism?”

“You mean economic policy,” Lebowitz replied. “The New Deal. That’s not the part they miss. They miss — you know, what is behind Giuliani’s comments, and we’re not allowed to say this, but it’s racism. We now live in a society where it’s worse to call someone a racist than to be one.”

“And yet they say the most racist things,” Maher said. “Ben Stein, last year, said ‘Obama is the most racist president we’ve ever had.’ And I thought, even more than the eleven who actually owned slaves?” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/fran-lebotwitz-when-giuliani-was-mayor-an-unarmed-black-man-was-killed-every-5-minutes/



Why Are Intelligence Agencies So Unintelligent?





Posted on Feb 20, 2015


Robert Scheer, Leslie Cockburn and Juan Cole discuss how intelligence agencies have failed when it comes to the Middle East, terrorism and other areas.

This clip is from Truthdig’s December event, “Monsters of Our Own Creation: America’s Role in the Middle East.”

Bedrock supporters of Truthdig have access to exclusive content from and discounted access to Truthdig events.

Check back for more clips from this fascinating panel discussion.


Noam Chomsky: Republicans & Democrats Have Shifted to the Right, and the GOP Is ‘Off the Spectrum’





Posted on Feb 21, 2015

Commenting on the current state of American politics, renowned linguist Noam Chomsky highlights just how conservative U.S. political parties have gotten.


Richard Wolff: Class, Change and Revolution


Class, Change and Revolution

Monday, 16 February 2015 11:05
By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | News Analysis


The winds of change are blowing harder. The crisis since 2007 has renewed criticism of capitalism, but pressure for change has built far longer than that. So it is time to draw some lessons from the major social changes of the past and apply them now. One of the most important lessons concerns class. How activists see and act on today's class system can make social movements more effective now than in the past - as a brief historical review can show.

The overcoming of slavery, in the US Civil War, but also at other times and places across the globe, was a revolutionary change always accompanied by passionate promises. Most of emancipation's supporters spoke of human freedom, liberation, progress and social harmony if slavery were abolished. Opponents claimed that ex-slaves would be less protected and worse off than had they continued as slaves. Masters and slaves saw the world, their class structure and the future differently.

Overcoming feudalism, at the end of medieval Europe, but also in other times and places across the globe, was likewise celebrated and condemned. For one side, freeing serfs from their feudal ties to the land would bring a new dawn of human freedom. "Liberty, equality and fraternity" were core goals, not merely slogans, of Paris' 1789 revolutionaries. On the other side, skeptics warned that feudalism's end would plunge society into brutish chaos that the world would regret. Landlords and serfs viewed their class structure and a post-feudal world differently.

In the 20th century, most socialists before and after the revolutions in Russia, China and beyond passionately affirmed their project as aimed at nothing less than emancipating capitalism's working-class majorities. Critics countered that workers were or would be worse off economically and politically once socialism displaced capitalism. Socialism's advocates and those who preferred capitalism viewed class and the world in fundamentally different ways. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29030-class-change-and-revolution



John Nichols: Will Rahm Emanuel Buy Another Term as Mayor of Chicago?


from The Nation:


Will Rahm Emanuel Buy Another Term as Mayor of Chicago?
John Nichols on February 19, 2015 - 11:12 AM ET


In Chicago, the democracy equation is “50-plus-1.”

If Rahm Emanuel wins the majority of the vote in a five-way mayoral contest on February 24, the Democrat who always seems to be at odds with his party’s base will secure a second term as mayor of the nation’s third-most-populous city. That, in turn, would position the corporate-friendly Emanuel—“Mayor 1%”—an even more influential figure in the “Not Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party.”

To avoid an April 7 general election race with the second-place finisher in the multi-candidate field, Emanuel needs his “50-plus-one”: a total vote that is at least one above the 50 percent line. The same goes for city council races, where labor unions and progressive groups are challenging Emanuel’s allies.

It is expected that a number of council races will go to April 7 runoffs—and the competition could be intense, as Emanuel and his allies seek to knock off members of the council’s Progressive Caucus, while labor groups such as the Chicago Teachers Union and National Nurses United make the case for electing more progressives. National groups such as Democracy for America have weighed in on behalf of progressive alders such as John Arena, with DFA national chair Jim Dean declaring, “Each successfully re-elected progressive Alderman will send a strong message to Rahm Emanuel and leaders across America that progressives reject the agenda of privatization, public school closings, and stagnant wages for working families. We will demonstrate that progressives are ready to fight for an economy that works for everyone—and that we will defend those elected officials who stand with us.” .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thenation.com/blog/198561/will-rahm-emanuel-buy-another-term-mayor-chicago



Pablo Iglesias Takes Podemos’s Bottom-Up, Anti-Austerity Politics to New York


from In These Times:


Pablo Iglesias Takes Podemos’s Bottom-Up, Anti-Austerity Politics to New York
The general secretary of the leftist Spanish party paid homage to American radicals while denouncing “the party of Wall Street.”

BY ALEXANDROS ORPHANIDES


Politics, Pablo Iglesias tells us, is the struggle for the meaning of words.

At a time when “democracy and the very viability of Europe are at a stake,” Iglesias said Tuesday, “(we) must tell the defenders of dogmatism that they are responsible.”

Listening to Iglesias, the 36-year-old Secretary General of the relatively new leftist Spanish political party Podemos, speak, one hears about the haves and the have-nots, of financial elites and of everybody else, of creditor countries and debtor countries, of democratic politics as an instrument for the common people to better their lives.

Podemos (“we can” in Spanish) was born in the wake of the 2011 anti-austerity protests and the Indignados movement, widely considered a precursor to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Their rapid rise has them poised to break Spain’s two-party deadlock.

With Spanish polls indicating that Podemos is garnering almost 25% of the public support in Spain—3 percentage points ahead of the conservative, Christian democratic ruling People’s Party (PP)—Iglesias is seen by many as a viable political leader. The pony-tailed political science professor-turned-politician represents the hope of an escape from politics as usual and crushing austerity imposed by the European Union. Podemos is the party that brought more than 100,000 people to the streets of Madrid last month in a massive political rally. To his detractors, he is a dangerous populist with no real plan, opportunistically riding a wave of anti-austerity popularity. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/17655/pablo_iglesias_new_york



Corporate Welfare Queens – Shocking “Development Program” Failure Rate in North Carolina


Corporate Welfare Queens – Shocking “Development Program” Failure Rate in North Carolina
Posted on February 20, 2015 by Yves Smith

Yves here. Bear in mind that development programs are a form of socialism for the capital-owning classes. Quite often they reward companies for thing they were going to do regardless.


By Kenneth Thomas. Originally published at Middle Class Political Economist

@sandymaxey points me to a new report from the North Carolina Justice Center that is making my head spin. Picking Losers shows that the state’s flagship development program, the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG), has seen 62 of its 102 projects fail in the period from its inception in 2002 until 2013. That is, 60% of the projects failed to meet either their job, investment, or wage goals, and had to have their awards canceled.

60%! This isn’t baseball, where a .400 batting average is outstanding, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Ted Williams in 1941. Let me tell you about a different failure rate: Investment Quebec takes equity stakes in a number of tech start-ups and other new companies. When I interviewed the director in Montreal in 2007, their failure rate was only 20%, a figure he considered needed to be reduced. In North Carolina, we are talking about a failure rate three times as high, despite giving the awards to firms that should not be nearly so risky.

One such firm was Dell Computers. In 2004, the company conducted a bidding war for a new computer manufacturing plant between Virginia and North Carolina. But North Carolina’s analysis of the project was so out of whack that in nominal dollars it offered almost $300 million ($174 million present value) compared to Virginia’s offer of $37 million. The plant shut down completely in 2010. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/corporate-welfare-queens-shocking-development-program-failure-rate-north-carolina.html



Sardines Swim Into Northern Waters to Keep Cool


LONDON—Several important fish species that for centuries have been part of the staple diet of people in the Mediterranean region are abandoning sub-tropical seas because the water is too warm and are heading north.

Sardines, which for generations have been the most abundant commercial fish species in Portugal, are moving away. They are now established in the North Sea, and are being caught in the Baltic—a sea that until recently was normally frozen over in the winter.

Sardines, anchovies and mackerel—three fish species that are important in the diet of many southern European and North African countries—have been studied by scientists trying to discover how climate change and warming seas are affecting their distribution.

Fishing industry

As well as the affect on the fishing industry, the abundance or disappearance of these species is crucial for many other marine species that rely on them for food.

A pioneering study, published in Global Change Biology, analysed 57,000 fish censuses conducted over 40 years, and has tracked the movement of these fish during this period. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/sardines_swim_into_northern_waters_to_keep_cool_20150220



Oklahoma educators fear high school history bill will have 'devastating' impact


(Guardian UK) The battle over how US history is taught in classrooms across the American south is coming to a head and may even fall apart in Oklahoma, pitting a sea of students and educators against a conservative lawmaker who believes the advanced placement course in its current form teaches only what’s “bad about America”.

Oklahoma Representative Dan Fisher proposed an “emergency” bill this month that would cut funding to the history course, joining culture conservatives in several other states who believe the revised framework undermines “American exceptionalism” and isn’t patriotic enough.

But as the row over the legislation got it sent back for just as urgent revisions late this week, students and teachers across the nation insisted it was overwhelmingly beneficial to be exposed to a range of views on American history.

“I don’t believe that the government should be censoring what’s taught in history because you want strong leaders, and the future presidents of tomorrow are probably currently in AP US history – or will take it at some point – and you want to emphasize the negative parts [of history] so they know what to fix,” said Moin Nadeem, a junior at Jenks High School in Jenks, Oklahoma, speaking to The Guardian during his fifth period. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/20/oklahoma-ap-history-bill-devastating-dan-fisher



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