NIETZSCHE: THOUGHTS & PERSPECTIVES, VOLUME THREE Reply

Troy Southgate

FRIEDRICH Nietzsche, despite being one of the world’s most brilliant and influential philosophers, is still grossly misrepresented by political theoreticians and court academics alike. His ideas, which are notoriously hard-hitting and uncompromising, have often been used to justify or legitimise anything from capitalist exploitation and social-darwinism right through to psychopathic behaviour and totalitarianism. The articles contained in this new study examine his thought in relation to Morality, the Soul, Dionysianism, Judeo-Christianity, and Nietzschean-Darwinian Pseudosynthesis. The text also takes a look at how Nietzsche’s vision can be applied in the twenty-first century and outlines the development of his life and work in general. Contributors include Troy Southgate, Michael Walker, K.R. Bolton, Keith Preston, Gwendolyn Toynton, Mariella Shearer, Mike Kleen and Thomas Dalton.
Signed copies of NIETZSCHE: THOUGHTS & PERSPECTIVES, VOLUME THREE are now available to preorder. The book is over 300 pages in length and costs just £24 (UK), £26 (Europe) & £27 (America/Rest of World). All prices include postage and the Paypal address is: blackfrontpress@yahoo.co.uk

Book review: Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870—1940 Reply

Review by Wayne Price.
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It is widely believed on the radical left that anarchism has been solely a movement of Europe and North America. Marxists and liberals state that anarchism has never had anything to offer the majority of humanity in the oppressed and impoverished nations (the so-called “Third World”)—unlike Marxism or pro-Western liberalism. This is not just a historical argument. Today there is a great expansion of international anarchism. The assertion of anarchism’s supposed irrelevance to the exploited nations in the past is an assertion that anarchism cannot be relevant to most of the world today. The contrary claim that anarchism as a movement was once significant for colonized peoples is a claim that it may be significant now and in the future.

That claim is made by the papers in Hirsch and van der Walt’s book. It covers the period from the last quarter of the 19th century up to World War II, although some chapters only include shorter periods (such as up to the 1920s). Within this timespan, the papers cover the historical impact of anarchism in several countries throughout the regions of the earth.

For Eastern Asia, chapters discuss anarchism in China and in Korea. For Latin America, it covers Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Brazil. For the Arab East, it has a paper on Egypt. Subsahara Africa is represented in a paper on South Africa. There is a chapter on Ukraine. This is a brilliant, brief, summary of the Ukrainian movement led by Nestor Makhno during the time of the Russian Revolution.

The only Western European country discussed is Ireland, which was a colony of Britain. Ireland did not have much of an explicitly anarchist movement, but it had a significant syndicalist movement (radical unionism, which overlaps with anarchism).

The writers do not deny that anarchism and syndicalism began in Western Europe. Capitalism and industrialism began there and, therefore, so did the reactions to them: liberalism, nationalism, Marxism, as well as anarchism.These ideologies then spread over the world, interacting with and merging with local conditions.

In particular, anarchism was spread by the international circulation of workers and others. Many Spanish-speaking anarchist workers went to the Western hemisphere. They went mainly to make a living but they spread anarchism and built syndicalist unions in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S.A. Italian anarchists worked in Egypt, and spread their ideas to Egyptians and workers of other countries. Chinese and Korean workers and young intellectuals traveled to Japan, to learn from Japanese anarchists, as well as a few going as far as Paris, to bring back radical ideas. European workers settled in South Africa and spread anarchist ideas to the Africans. International networks of anarchists were central to the spread of anarchism.

Throughout the world, class-struggle anarchist ideas merged with ideas of the IWW and with Marxist syndicalism (such as DeLeonism), as well as with “native” traditions of struggle against oppression. Anarchist-influenced syndicalist unions were built throughout the oppressed nations, even more than in Western Europe.

Chris Hedges on corporate liberalism 1

From Roderick Long’s blog. This is what I’ve been saying for years: That the Left has sold out to the state-corporate-military power elite in exchange for establishment support for the Left’s social agenda.
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The pillars of the liberal establishment – the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party – all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. …

By extolling the power of the state as an agent of change, as well as measuring human progress through the advances of science, technology and consumption, liberals abetted the cult of the self and the ascendancy of the corporate state. …

Of what import are brief, nameless lives ... to Galactus?

The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements – the communists, socialists and anarchists – has left liberals without a source of new ideas. …

The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. Liberalism, cut off from the radical roots of creative and bold thought, merged completely with the corporate power elite. The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself. And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the primary function of Barack Obama ….

To accept that Obama is, as West said, a mascot for Wall Street means having to challenge some frightening monoliths of power and give up the comfortable illusion that the Democratic Party or liberal institutions can be instruments for genuine reform. It means having to step outside the mainstream. It means a new radicalism. It means recognizing that there is no hope for a correction or a reversal within the formal systems of power. It means defying traditional systems of power. And liberals, who have become courtiers to the corporate state, must attempt to silence all those who condemn the ruthlessness and mendacity of these systems of destruction. …

The Sky Really Is Falling 3

Article by Chris Hedges. What do our eco-inclined readers make of this?
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The rapid and terrifying acceleration of global warming, which is disfiguring the ecosystem at a swifter pace than even the gloomiest scientific studies predicted a few years ago, has been confronted by the power elite with two kinds of self-delusion. There are those, many of whom hold elected office, who dismiss the science and empirical evidence as false. There are others who accept the science surrounding global warming but insist that the human species can adapt. Our only salvation—the rapid dismantling of the fossil fuel industry—is ignored by both groups. And we will be led, unless we build popular resistance movements and carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience, toward collective self-annihilation by dimwitted pied pipers and fools.

Those who concede that the planet is warming but insist we can learn to live with it are perhaps more dangerous than the buffoons who decide to shut their eyes. It is horrifying enough that the House of Representatives voted 240-184 this spring to defeat a resolution that said that “climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.” But it is not much of an alternative to trust those who insist we can cope with the effects while continuing to burn fossil fuels.

Horticulturalists are busy planting swamp oaks and sweet gum trees all over Chicago to prepare for weather that will soon resemble that of Baton Rouge. That would be fine if there was a limit to global warming in sight. But without plans to rapidly dismantle the fossil fuel industry, something no one in our corporate state is contemplating, the heat waves of Baton Rouge will be a starting point for a descent that will ultimately make cities like Chicago unlivable. The false promise of human adaptability to global warming is peddled by the polluters’ major front group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which informed the Environmental Protection Agency that “populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations.” This bizarre theory of adaptability has been embraced by the Obama administration as it prepares to exploit the natural resources in the Arctic. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced recently that melting of sea ice “will result in more shipping, fishing and tourism, and the possibility to develop newly accessible oil and gas reserves.” Now that’s something to look forward to.

How America Screws Its Soldiers Reply

Article by Andrew Bacevich.
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Everyone claims to “Support Our Troops.” But as Andrew J. Bacevich explains, telling the military it can do whatever it wants works for everyone—except for the soldiers themselves.

Riders on Boston subways and trolleys are accustomed to seeing placards that advertise research being conducted at the city’s many teaching hospitals. One that recently caught my eye, announcing an experimental “behavioral treatment,” posed this question to potential subjects: “Are you in the U.S. military or a veteran disturbed by terrible things you have experienced?”

Just below the question, someone had scrawled this riposte in blue ink: “Thank God for these Men and Women. USA all the way.”

Article - Bacevich Memorial Day Troops United States Marines place a colleague wounded in an IED strike into a waiting medevac helicopter in Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, Friday, May 13, 2011. (Kevin Frayer / AP Photo)

Here on a 30 x 36 inch piece of cardboard was the distilled essence of the present-day relationship between the American people and their military. In the eyes of citizens, the American soldier has a dual identity: as hero but also as victim. As victims—Wounded Warriors —soldiers deserve the best care money can buy; hence, the emphasis being paid to issues like PTSD. As heroes, those who serve and sacrifice embody the virtues that underwrite American greatness. They therefore merit unstinting admiration.

Whatever practical meaning the slogan “support the troops” may possess, it lays here: in praise expressed for those choosing to wear the uniform, and in assistance made available to those who suffer as a consequence of that choice.

The 12-Step Plan to Restore American Femininity 2

Article by Gavin McInnes.
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Like firing a fetus from a slingshot, feminism catapulted women out of the kitchen and onto the streets, where they were invited to do anything a man can do—but better. This was a blessing for the few women meant to lead a man’s life, but for the vast majority of womankind, it was like that human cannonball from the Isle of Man who died after being catapulted across the sky and right through his safety net.

As this fascinating article by the Daily Mail‘s Liz Jones explains, feminism hasn’t relieved women of any female obligations; it’s only added male obligations to their burden. The kitchen may have been a prison, but it was a hell of a lot easier than staying at the office all night to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for the Clifford account, especially when you have to make the kid’s lunches the next day. Women now get the worst of both worlds.

The girls I grew up banging had rooms that were light years filthier than mine, and I was quite a sloppy lad. I’d say less than half of my female peers can cook, and big loud walrus belches have become the modern lady’s version of, “Charmed, I’m sure.” After graduating from this androgynous youth, women are invited to join the workforce and either bust their ass doing physical labor or get a desk job sifting through numbers without the testosterone to be able to crunch them. (The president of Harvard lost his job for broaching the subject, but “Exposure to testosterone in the womb is said to promote development of areas of the brain often associated with spatial and mathematical skills.”)

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target 3

From the New York Times.
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A fat sheaf of F.B.I. reports meticulously details the surveillance that counterterrorism agents directed at the one-story house in East Austin. For at least three years, they traced the license plates of cars parked out front, recorded the comings and goings of residents and guests and, in one case, speculated about a suspicious flat object spread out across the driveway.

“The content could not be determined from the street,” an agent observing from his car reported one day in 2005. “It had a large number of multi-colored blocks, with figures and/or lettering,” the report said, and “may be a sign that is to be used in an upcoming protest.”

Actually, the item in question was more mundane.

“It was a quilt,” said Scott Crow, marveling over the papers at the dining table of his ramshackle home, where he lives with his wife, a housemate and a backyard menagerie that includes two goats, a dozen chickens and a turkey. “For a kids’ after-school program.”

Mr. Crow, 44, a self-described anarchist and veteran organizer of anticorporate demonstrations, is among dozens of political activists across the country known to have come under scrutiny from the F.B.I.’s increased counterterrorism operations since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Other targets of bureau surveillance, which has been criticized by civil liberties groups and mildly faulted by the Justice Department’s inspector general, have included antiwar activists in Pittsburgh, animal rights advocates in Virginia and liberal Roman Catholics in Nebraska. When such investigations produce no criminal charges, their methods rarely come to light publicly.

But Mr. Crow, a lanky Texas native who works at a recycling center, is one of several Austin activists who asked the F.B.I. for their files, citing the Freedom of Information Act. The 440 heavily-redacted pages he received, many bearing the rubric “Domestic Terrorism,” provide a revealing window on the efforts of the bureau, backed by other federal, state and local police agencies, to keep an eye on people it deems dangerous.

In the case of Mr. Crow, who has been arrested a dozen times during demonstrations but has never been convicted of anything more serious than trespassing, the bureau wielded an impressive array of tools, the documents show.

Democratic Dawn—or Darkness? Reply

Article by Pat Buchanan.
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With the end of the Cold War in 1991, it seemed the world was moving toward unity. The post-Cold War era saw the expansion of the European Union, NAFTA and GATT, the creation of a World Trade Organization, the Rome Treaty for the prosecution of war crimes, the Kyoto Protocol, and the G-7 expand to the G-8 and then to the G-20.

Nations seemed to be coming together to solve global problems.

Today, nations seem everywhere to be coming apart.

Is the future more likely to bring deepening global integration, or continued disintegration, as we saw with the collapse and breakup of Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia into 24 nations, separated along the lines of ethnicity, culture and faith?

What America has on offer to the world is democratic pluralism.

Unlike the Founding Fathers and every generation before 1960, all of which sought to keep us European and Christian, we declare to the world that diversity—religious, racial, ethnic, cultural, the more the better—is now the American ideal.

In 1960, 97 percent of all Americans spoke English. Today, we take pride in the fact that Americans speak hundreds of languages.

China, the emergent rival power, fears diversity, as it portends inevitable division. It thus represses religious and ethnic minorities—Christian and Falun Gong, Uighurs, Tibetans and Mongolians. China offers the world another face, the face of the ethno-national state of Han Chinese. Like Korea, Japan and the other Asian nations, China is closed to immigrants.

Looking to the Middle East today, half a year into the Arab Spring that began in Tunisia, we see Libyan tribes standing by Moammar Gadhafi against Benghazi and the east, and Muslims attacking Christians in Egypt.

In Syria, the Alawite Shia minority, to which President Bashar Assad belongs, speaks with terror of a seizure of power by Sunni, whose slogan is, “Christians to Beirut and Alawites to the coffin.”

‘Bibi’ Votes Republican Reply

Article by Pat Buchanan.
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Not since Nikita Khrushchev berated Dwight Eisenhower over Gary Powers’ U-2 spy flight over Russia only weeks earlier has an American president been subjected to a dressing down like the one Barack Obama received from Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.

With this crucial difference. Khrushchev ranted behind closed doors, and when Ike refused to apologize, blew up the Paris summit hosted by President de Gaulle.

Obama, however, was lectured like some schoolboy in the Oval Office in front of the national press and a worldwide TV audience.

And two days later, he trooped over to the Israeli lobby AIPAC to walk back what he had said that had so infuriated Netanyahu.

“Bibi” then purred that he was “pleased” with the clarification.

Diplomatic oil is now being poured over the troubled waters, but this humiliation will not be forgotten.

What did Obama do to draw this public rebuke? In his Thursday speech on the Arab Spring and Middle East peace, Obama declared:

“We believe the borders of Israel should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. … Israel must be able to defend itself—by itself—against any threat.”

“Moreover, Jewish contributions, by some estimates, may make up half of all the contributions to the Democratic Party.”

Ignoring Obama’s call for “mutually agreed swaps” of land to guarantee secure and defensible borders for Israel, Netanyahu, warning the president against a peace “based on illusions,” acted as though Obama had called for an Israel withdrawal to the armistice line of 1967.

This was absurd. All Obama was saying was what three Israeli prime ministers—Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert—have all recognized.

To get Palestinian and international recognition for a united Jerusalem and Israel’s annexation of the settlements around the city, Israel will have to trade land for land.

Obama was not saying the 1967 borders were to be the end of negotiations but the starting point. Indeed, where else would one begin land negotiations if not from the last recognized map?

Europe: The Rise of the Extreme Right Reply

Article from Newsweek.
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weden has revealed the future direction of Europe, and not for the first time. For decades, Sweden led the way in defining the mixed model of free trade and social solidarity that became the European ideal. Not anymore. In the election this month Swedish voters joined their less successful EU neighbors in turning their backs on traditional politics, in which the pendulum swung between parties advocating more free trade and parties on the center left advocating more solidarity—but no further. Now even the solid Swedes have ushered in to Parliament a block of single-issue politicians obsessed with the perceived loss of national identity and angry about immigrants and other outsiders who supposedly threaten their Swedishness.

Thus the arrival of a new politics in Europe. A decade ago extremist politics was confined to fringes and street protests. It has now arrived as a parliamentary force and is beginning to change how other parties behave and speak. The binary politics between a Christian democratic right and social democratic left, with a small space for classic liberal parties, is now over. The world’s biggest democratic region, the 46 nation-states grouped in the Council of Europe, is now giving birth to a centrifugal politics with identity replacing class alignment. No single party or political formation can win control of the state and govern on the basis of a manifesto with majority support from voters. Even Britain requires a coalition to have a majority in the House of Commons. Belgium and the Netherlands still have not formed governments months after elections produced inconclusive results.

Postwar Europe had one great foe and one great friend to produce unity of political purpose, even if big parties battled over priorities. Social and Christian democrats were united against sovietism and Moscow’s proxy parties on the communist left. The United States allied itself to the moderate right and left to create NATO, support the suppression of nationalisms with the creation of the European Union, and wean Europeans away from protectionist economics in favor of open trade and competitive markets.

Now Europe no longer faces an agreed common threat, despite the best efforts of an Islamaphobe right to present Muslims as an alien invading force that must be confronted and contained. Nor is the United States an inspiration any longer. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have been quagmired in their respective wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from which most Europeans recoil with dismay. The recession and banking crisis are blamed on unregulated American free markets. Even the business minister for David Cameron’s new Conservative government, Vince Cable, was heard lashing out at the evils of capitalism and the “murky world” of corporate behavior at his party conference this month in Liverpool.

The Patriot Act and bipartisanship Reply

Article by Glenn Greenwald.
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Several days ago I noted that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell had agreed to a four-year extension of the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act — a bill Democrats everywhere once claimed to revile — without a single reform (despite the long and documented history of its abuse and despite Obama’s previously claimed desire to reform it).  Tonight, a cloture vote was taken in the Senate on the four-year extension and it passed by a vote of 74-8.  The law that was once the symbolic shorthand for evil Bush/Cheney post-9/11 radicalism just received a vote in favor of its four-year, reform-free extension by a vote of 74-8: only resolutions to support Israel command more lopsided majorities.

As I’ve noted several times, I once thought that the greatest American political myth was “The Liberal Media,” but I realized some time ago that it’s actually the claim that “there is very little bipartisanship.”  Washington is driven by overwhelming amounts of bipartisanship, as today’s vote (and the Reid/McConnell agreement that preceded it) yet again demonstrates.  The 8 Senators voting against cloture were Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrats Jeff Merkley, Mark Begich, Max Baucus, and John Tester, and GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, and Dean Heller (GOP Sen. Mike Lee announced he’d vote NO but missed the vote due to inclement weather).  Sen. Paul, along with Sen. Tester, took the lead in speaking out against the excesses and abuses of the Patriot Act and the vital need for reforms.

But what’s most notable isn’t the vote itself, but the comments made afterward.  Sen. Paul announced that he was considering using delaying tactics to hold up passage of the bill in order to extract some reforms (including ones he is co-sponsoring with the Democrats’ Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Leahy, who — despite voicing “concerns” about the bill — voted for cloture).  Paul’s announcement of his delaying intentions provoked this fear-mongering, Terrorism-exploiting, bullying threat from the Democrats’ Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, Dianne Feinstein:

 

“I think it would be a huge mistake,” Feinstein told reporters. “If somebody wants to take on their shoulders not having provisions in place which are necessary to protect the United States at this time, that’s a big, big weight to bear.”

In other words:  Paul and the other dissenting Senators better give up their objections and submit to quick Patriot Act passage or else they’ll have blood on their hands from the Terrorist attack they will cause.  That, of course, was the classic Bush/Cheney tactic for years to pressure Democrats into supporting every civil-liberties-destroying measure the Bush White House demanded (including, of course, the original Patriot Act itself), and now we have the Democrats — ensconced in power — using it just as brazenly and shamelessly (recall how Bush’s DNI, Michael McConnell, warned Congressional Democrats in 2007 that unless they quickly passed without changes the new FISA bill the Bush White House was demanding, a Terrorist attack would likely occur at the Congress in a matter of “days, not weeks”; McConnell then told The New Yorker: “If we don’t update FISA, the nation is significantly at risk”). Feinstein learned well.

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor Reply

From Cracked.Com

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Being poor is like a game of poker where if you lose, the other players get to fuck you. And if you win, the dealer fucks you.

A bunch of you reading this are among the 45 million “working poor” in America, and if you’re not, you know somebody who is. Like me.

I’m not blaming anybody but myself for getting into this situation (I was drunk for two straight decades) and I’m not asking for anybody’s sympathy. What I am saying is that people are quick to tell you to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and just stop being poor. What they don’t understand is the series of intricate financial traps that makes that incredibly difficult.

If you’re not poor, that’s awesome. I’m not mad at you, or jealous. Hopefully you’ll never find out that …

Patriot Act Extension Signed By Obama Reply

Article by Jim Abrams.
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Minutes before a midnight deadline, President Barack Obama signed into law a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists.

“It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat,” Obama said Friday after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

With Obama in France, the White House said the president used an autopen machine that holds a pen and signs his actual signature. It is only used with proper authorization of the president.

Congress sent the bill to the president with only hours to go on Thursday before the provisions expired at midnight. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused.

The Senate voted 72-23 for the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities. The House passed the measure 250-153 on an evening vote.

A short-term expiration would not have interrupted ongoing operations but would have barred the government from seeking warrants for new investigations.

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince’s Private Army of “Christian Crusaders” in the UAE 3

Interview with Jeremy Scahill. It’s the likes of Blackwater we will have to fight in the streets when the Revolution comes.
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The United Arab Emirates has confirmed hiring a company headed by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of the military firm Blackwater. According to the New York Times, the UAE secretly signed a $529 million contract with Prince’s new company, Reflex Responses, to put together an 800-member battalion of foreign mercenaries. The troops could be deployed if foreign guest workers stage revolts in labor camps, or if the UAE regime were challenged by pro-democracy protests like those sweeping the Arab world. Prince has one rule about the new force: no Muslims. We speak to investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill and Samer Muscati of Human Rights Watch.

The American Class War to Come Reply

So says Ronald Reagan’s former budget director. See Part One and Part Two
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Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us “live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore,” while at home “high-value jobs in goods production … trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million.”

As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder “that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans — paid mainly from the Wall Street casino — received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% — mainly dependent on Main Street’s shrinking economy — got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.”

Get it? The decaying fruit of the GOP’s bad economic policies is destroying our economy.

Brace yourself for the summer of 'sluts' 26

This “sluts’ rights” stuff is getting pretty intense.
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The summer of sluts was kicked off this week when msnbc cable host Ed Schultz, perhaps channeling Dan Aykroyd in his old “Saturday Night Live” debates with Jane Curtin (“Jane, you ignorant slut!”) called conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut” on his syndicated radio program . Schultz apologized, but was suspended from his cable show for a week.

The incident provided an unexpected publicity boost to “Slut Walk” protests planned for cities all over North America. Chicago and Los Angeles will see parades of of self-proclaimed “sluts” June 4, followed by San Diego on June 11, with 70 or so walks in Seattle, Portland, New York and other cities through the summer.

The walks, which began in April after a Toronto police officer advised women in a York University audience not to dress like a “slut” to avoid sexual assault, are not only attempting to raise awareness about sexual violence, but to redefine the meaning of “slut.”

“We have taken up the word slut … to claim that a slut does not have to remain a pejorative and demeaning epithet,” Toronto Slut Walk organizer Heather Jarvis told me. “A slut can be someone who is in control and unashamed of their sexuality…. A slut can be someone who is unafraid to enjoy consensual sex. A slut can be someone who refuses to believe…that enjoying sex or owning one’s sexuality is an invitation of violence.”

In other words, activists are attempting to do for “slut” what was done for “queer.”

The American Power Elite 3

Glenn Greenwald on David Brooks. Hat tip to David Heleniak.
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It has long been the supreme fantasy of establishment guardians in general, and David Brooks in particular, that American politics would be dominated by an incestuous, culturally homogeneous, superior elite “who live in [Washington] and who have often known each other since prep school.” And while these establishment guardians love to endlessly masquerade as spokespeople for the Ordinary American, what they most loathe is the interference by the dirty rabble in what should be their exclusive, harmonious club of political stewardship, where conflicts are amicably resolved by ladies and gentlemen of the highest breeding without any messy public conflict.

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, Brooks fondly recollected that “once, there was a financial elite in this country” — “middle-aged men with names like Mellon and McCloy led Wall Street firms, corporate boards and white-shoe law firms and occasionally emerged to serve in government” — but that glorious “cohesive financial elite began to fall apart” in the 1960s. The 2008 financial crisis, celebrated Brooks, would lead to a rejuvenation of political power of “the sort that used to be wielded by the Mellons and Rockefellers and other rich men in private clubs” — “unlimited authority to a small coterie of policy makers” that “does not rely on any system of checks and balances, but on the wisdom and public spiritedness of those in charge.” This would usher in “an era of the educated establishment.” “A new center and a new establishment is emerging,” he gushed, one that will be disliked by liberals and conservatives alike; in other words, once you get rid of the commoners and the rambunctious ideologues, the somber, Serious elites will impose, with top-down magnanimity, true centrist wisdom (which just coincidentally happens to match the specific centrist-right views of David Brooks).

He survived Iraq, but was gunned down by the PIGS… Reply

Iraq veteran killed by the S.W.A.T.
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A U.S. Marine who died in a flurry of bullets during a drug raid near Tucson never fired on the SWAT team that stormed his house, a report by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department shows.

The revelation was contained in an internal investigation released by the department Thursday.

Jose Guerena died May 5 after a SWAT team descended on his home in a Tucson suburb with a search warrant. His home was one of four believed to be associated with a drug smuggling operation in the area.

A video released Thursday by the sheriff’s department shows the uniformed SWAT team pulling up outside his house, sounding their sirens, banging on the front door — before kicking it in — and opening fire shortly after entering the home.

Reflexive Patriotism, Last Refuge of a Scoundrel Nation Reply

Article by Kirkpatrick Sale.
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Thinking about the hold of this sickness I began to reflect why it was that the movement, though obviously getting stamped on the national consciousness in the last few years and drawing enthusiasm in a number of quarters, has not made more inroads than it has. Why, in particular, has it not drawn more attention on college campuses, where fringe ideas with good intellectual credentials are often picked up and supported, at least by the politically-minded minority of students and the more adventurous of the faculty. Why, for example, has there never been a single faculty member of Middlebury College or (with one exception) UVM to come forth to join the Second Vermont Republic or any of its sister causes? Why haven’t there been academic studies n Vermont supporting secession by showing how the state would be better off economically if it were free of Federal taxes and regulations?

And it dawned on me that actually the American academia would be the last place in the world that would be critical of the American empire, much less interested in breaking it up. It is a creature of that empire, it gets funding in the billions from it, its research is heavily directed toward its needs, its faculties are intertwined with Federal agencies, and insofar as academia may be said to have a philosophy it would follow more or less the liberal support for big government, and the bigger the better.

So how could I expect any enthusiasm for secession from that quarter?

The American university system is enormous and it plays an enormous role in making the nation what it is – it is not too much to say, in fact, that it is an equal partner in the military-industrial-academic complex that essentially runs the country. And it continues to expand its role and power every year, getting added money in tuition and fees every year ($37,000 annually for Harvard) despite a tight economy, and getting added Federal money every year (now about $60 billion, including student grants).

I would argue that this is a bubble that will eventually burst, because it is more and more obvious that just having an expensive college education doesn’t guarantee a job, even less a job that will pay enough to pay off that expense. But while it lasts, there’s no sign that academia is in danger of loosing its comfortable place in the national pantheon of imperial power.

And here’s the kicker: while it lasts it will obviously continue its role of conditioning and indoctrinating the young minds in its care to have a deep and abiding belief in the singular virtues of the American republic, indivisible even at 310 million people, and its legitimate business of imperial domination, regardless of party or faction. They wouldn’t call it patriotism, the liberal faculties, and they wouldn’t call it knee-jerk reflective, but that is what it is. And it ill becomes institutions that once were in the tradition of skeptical criticism.