The Origins of Political Correctness Reply

Bill Lind’s classic.

Doesn’t this sound just like the anti-ATS chorus?

The most deadly aspect of Cultural Marxism/Totalitarian Humanism is that it identifies broad categories of human beings that are undefined as evil by virtue of their mere existence as the principal enemy, as opposed to attacking specific individual actions or institutional policies and structures that are dysfunctional or undesirable. Instead, it creates a dualism where some arbitrary categories of people are considered good and virtuous, but oppressed and deserving of sympathy no matter what their individual circumstances or what they personally do (unless they exhibit ideological non-conformity).  Out of this dualism emerges an apocalyptic outlook where the success of the virtuous is predicated on the complete elimination of the evil.

Modern totalitarian ideologies like Communism, National Socialism, or Totalitarian Humanism are simply secularized versions of the ideas found in classical monotheist religions where the virtuous chosen inherit some reconstructed utopian new world after the flawed old world has been destroyed and the sinners cast into the lake of fire. Concentration camps and gulags are merely a secularized version of eternal damnation with the only exception being that human beings take it upon themselves to create Heaven and Hell on earth rather than sitting around praying and waiting for it to happen in some fantasy netherworld.

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Where does all this stuff that you’ve heard about this morning – the victim feminism, the gay rights movement, the invented statistics, the rewritten history, the lies, the demands, all the rest of it – where does it come from? For the first time in our history, Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic.

We have seen other countries, particularly in this century, where this has been the case. And we have always regarded them with a mixture of pity, and to be truthful, some amusement, because it has struck us as so strange that people would allow a situation to develop where they would be afraid of what words they used. But we now have this situation in this country. We have it primarily on college campuses, but it is spreading throughout the whole society. Were does it come from? What is it?

We call it “Political Correctness.” The name originated as something of a joke, literally in a comic strip, and we tend still to think of it as only half-serious. In fact, it’s deadly serious. It is the great disease of our century, the disease that has left tens of millions of people dead in Europe, in Russia, in China, indeed around the world. It is the disease of ideology. PC is not funny. PC is deadly serious.

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The Stark Truth: Interview with John Médaille Reply

All about Distributivism.

It’s always seemed to me that the appropriate economic paradigm for anarcho-pluralism/pan-secessionism would be a synthesis of distributivist ideas like John promotes and the ideas of classical libertarian socialism of the kind Larry Gambone has described in detail incorporated into a broader ideological framework of libertarian anti-state in the way Kevin Carson has written about. It beats the hell out of the Left’s “More taxes! More welfare! More regulation!” positions.

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Robert interviews John Médaille. Topics include:

  • Flaws of current monopoly based economic situtation;
  • Introduction to distributism;
  • Distributist success stories;
  • Distributist solutions to government, taxes, & healthcare.
  • Implementing & promoting distributism.

John Médaille is a retired businessman who teaches in the Theology and Business departments at the University of Dallas, and is a senior scholar with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, a former city councilman, and the author of two books, “The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace” (2007) and “Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective.” John is the father of five children and grandfather of three.

 

The Problem With Occupy Reply

Article by Larry Gambone.

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I see Occupy’s situation today as analogous to that of the Civil Rights Movement. As long as they stayed in the South Northern liberals loved them. But when the movement went North and started confronting racism there, it became “Dr. King, you are going too far!” Perhaps without intending to, the Civil Rights Movement exposed the limits of liberalism and of the socio-economic system of the United States.

Occupy has gotten a lot of back patting and verbal support from political moderates. However, now that the time has come to turn those kind words into taking a real stand with the Occupy Movement, the story becomes, “No, we can’t do that, and you have been here too long anyway. Please pack up your tents and go!” There has to be more to this rejection than just fear of slobbering rightwingers.

One of the most appealing aspects for the public – when they know about it – has been Occupy’s list of demands. So moderate, so reasonable, probably three quarters of Canadians would agree. Yet, I think these sorts of demands are the very thing that upsets our corporate masters and their ideologues the most. If Occupy was demanding the implementation of anarchist communism next week, the movement could be laughed off, but demands that the average person can get behind are dangerous to the greedy and powerful.

Occupys sweet little list of demands is slam-bang up against the dominant ideology – corporatism, also known as neo-liberalism. To paraphrase the Godfather of corporatism, one Benito Mussolini, corporatism is best seen as “Everything by the corporation, everything for the corporation, nothing against the corporation.” A contemporary corporatist, Margaret Thatcher, now dying of brain rot (karma) put it rather cold bloodedly, TINA – There Is No Alternative (to corporate domination)

The age of reforms was supposed to be over. Through their control of the state apparatus, the corporatist ideologues began eliminating the reforms thousands of working people had died struggling for. The neoliberal utopia was one without trade unions, minimum wage laws, laws regulating work hours and even child labour laws. Heaven for the wealthy and powerful, hell for the rest of us.

They beat the drum of corporatist ideology so long and so loud, that it became virtually economic “common sense.” (This is known as hegemony) The mainstream left adopted the ideology but in a smiley face form. They are like someone who says beating you with a broom handle is an improvement over beating you with a chunk of two by four, yet dismissesnot being beaten as utopian foolishness that you must outgrow.

Occupy, thus to adapt a quaint phrase of Lyndon Johnson’s, is guilty of pissing on the corporatist barbecue. Millions of people now want to reverse the neoliberal depredations and push for new reforms. This was not supposed to be in the script!

Getting back to the otherwise friendly politicians – for them to take a concerted stand with Occupy would brand them as enemies in the eyes of our corporate masters and their hacks and ideologues. I wouldn’t be too judgmental if I were you. Few of us are heroic, and often those who are, have nothing to lose anyway. Ultimately, Occupy has exposed the limits of conventional politics.

Newt Gingrich: Scummy as Ever Reply

Article by Alex Pareene.

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Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich  (Credit: AP)

The thing reporters always loved about Newt Gingrich — and the thing that led many of them to mistake his free-associative rambling for intellect — is that he will just babble, at length, on any given topic, to any reporter who’ll listen. So Yahoo’s Chris Moody chatted with the unlikely GOP nomination front-runner at a Books-a-Million in Florida, and Moody got Gingrich to go on for a while about drugs, for some reason, which I’m guessing is not at the top of the Gingrich campaign’s list of issues to hit in interviews. (At the top of that list is actually “The Battle of the Crater,” a powerful Civil War historical novel by Gingrich and William F. Forstchen, available now at fine booksellers everywhere.)

Here are Newt Gingrich’s nuanced, compassionate drug policy ideas: Constant drug testing for everyone (especially poor people) and stiff “economic penalties” for use. (Yes, obviously, what poor people need are more ways to incur economic penalties and more barriers to either aid or employment. Newt Gingrich has so many IDEAS.) Also, the U.S. should be more like Singapore, where people carrying enough drugs to qualify for “trafficking” charges are put to death.

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Protecting the Welfare State Is More Important than Ending Mass Murder Reply

So says a liberal writer from Salon. Com. 

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Ron Paul

Ron Paul, phony populist (Credit: AP)

To me, the epiphany of the most dreadful presidential campaign in history took place in Keene, New Hampshire, last week, when a Ron Paul town meeting was interrupted by some Occupy Wall Street hecklers.

“Let me address that for a minute,” the Republican presidential candidate said, “because if you listen carefully, I’m very much involved with the 99. I’ve been condemning that 1 percent because they’ve been ripping us off –” He was interrupted again, this time by cheers, almost drowning him out.

After the usual chants of “We are the 99 percent” and “There are criminals on Wall Street who walk free,” Paul quickly took back the audience, not that he had ever lost it. “Do you feel better?” he asked, to laughter.

“We need to sort that out, but the people on Wall Street got the bailouts, and you guys got stuck with the bills, and I think that’s where the problem is.”

It was a masterful performance. Ron Paul — fraudulent populist, friend of the oligarchy, sworn enemy of every social program since Theodore Roosevelt — had won the day, again.


Levin-McCain bill would create a presidential dictatorship Reply

Article by Justin Raimondo.

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Buried in the annual defense appropriations bill is a provision that would give the President the power to use the military to intern anyone – including American citizens– indefinitely, and hold them without charges or trial, anywhere in the world,including on American soil. The provision essentially repeals the longstanding Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in law enforcement on US territory – the greatest fear of the Founders. Approved by a Senate subcommittee in secret hearings, the provisions open the road to a military dictatorship in this country – and for that we can thank Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, who introduced the measure. Both the FBI and the Pentagon came out against the Levin-McCain monstrosity, and Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) introduced an amendment striking the provision: the amendment was defeated in the Senate, 37-61.

The mind reels. As the ACLU’s Chris Anders puts it:

“I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?”

Why now, indeed – and the answer is not hard to fathom. With the US banking system making very loud creaking noises as the eurozone descends into the economic abyss, and a total meltdown staring us in the face, the Powers That Be want to make sure they have their hands on the reins of power – and on the whip they won’t hesitate to use.

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Two Cheers for The Story of Stuff Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

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If you haven’t watched Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff,” I suggest you do. These videos include detailed examinations of the waste economy, subsidized inefficiency and planned obsolescence.

A recent installment, “The Story of Broke,” itemizes wasteful government spending on things like the military and enormous subsidies to prop up the well-named “dinosaur economy.” But this is only a preface for Leonard’s argument that the government really isn’t broke: If it stopped wasting money on bad stuff, it would have more than enough for “building a better future.”

Her laundry list of good things the government should spend money on includes energy efficiency projects, retrofitting homes, subsidies to alternative energy and green technology, and millions of college scholarships. But her vision of a “better future” reflects the internal contradictions of progressivism.

On one hand, we have the mid-20th century, conventional liberal vision of government intervention to build giant blockbuster infrastructure projects, spur creation of new industries, and “create jobs.”

On the other, we have the green, “small is beautiful” sensibility which emerged in the hippie era, of eliminating waste and mass consumerism.

The two just don’t go together.

When Rachel Maddow stands in front of a giant hydroelectric dam, or talks about the Interstate Highway System, as examples of doing “great things,” she channels the mid-20th century managerialist liberalism that made Galbraith’s heart go pitty-pat. That vision really isn’t compatible with the “green” and “small is beautiful” stuff that progressives also talk about.

You simply can’t have a capital-intensive economy based on large-scale, centralized infrastructures, unless you can guarantee a revenue stream to service all those overhead costs.  Which brings us to the Galbraith’s dark side: Creating social mechanisms to guarantee the output of industry will be absorbed so that the wheels of industry don’t get clogged up with unsold inventory. It was precisely that imperative that gave us subsidized waste, sprawl, the car culture, and all the rest of it in the first place.

The “progressive” capitalism model of Gates and Warren Buffett is a greenwashed version of Leonard’s dinosaur economy. There’s an inherent contradiction in her dismissal of that archaic economy, while calling for government policies to provide “good jobs.”

Expansionist government activity to utilize industrial capacity and keep everyone working full-time is the old 20th century model. But it requires an ever-diminishing amount of capital and labor to produce a given standard of living. If we eliminate the portion of industrial capacity and labor that goes to waste production, we wind up with lots of abandoned mass-production factories, and lots of people working fifteen hour weeks and buying stuff from relocalized garage factories close to where they live. And that’s not the sort of thing Gates and Buffett like, because they can’t make money off it.

Another problem is Leonard’s prescription: “Who has the real power? We do.”

Really? Barack Obama is the most progressive Democrat in at least two generations. He garnered the largest Democratic majority since LBJ defeated Goldwater, entering office with an apparent mandate from the financial collapse. Congressional Democrats picked up a super-majority. If “we” didn’t have the power to do these things with this once-in-a-lifetime alignment of the political stars, it’s safe to say it will never happen.

A government powerful enough to “build a better future” will almost certainly — on the principle that power is drawn to power — use that power benefit the few, the rich and the powerful. A continent-sized representative government, by its nature, is not amenable to control by a majority of millions of people. That’s why we had all those “dinosaur economy” subsidies in the first place.

If we want to build a better future, contesting the corporate oligarchy’s control of the government is probably not the best way to go about it. Fortunately, there are millions of people out there who really are building a better future, and they’re doing it by treating big business and big government both as obstacles to be routed around.

They’re building a new society within the decaying old society of dinosaur capitalism and its pet government, ready to replace it with something better when it collapses under its own weight.

They include Wikileaks, the file-sharing and free-culture movements, and Occupy Wall Street.

They include Linux developers, micromanufacturers in projects like Open Source Ecology and Hackerspaces, permaculturists, and community-supported agriculture.

They include the builders of encrypted currencies, barter systems, encrypted routers, and darknets.

And they’re not waiting for a government to give them permission.

Cockroach Sam Brownback Scuttles Under Fridge Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

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First it was Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis police, whose fast draw with the pepper spray relegated him to a lifetime of knowing everyone he interacts with secretly regards him as lower than a tapeworm in Satan’s colon. His nationally viewed thuggery, and subsequent transformation into a national icon of E-vill, was a wakeup call for the entire police culture — probably the first lesson to really sink in deep that things are different now.

Now it’s Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. His little walk of shame began when Emma Sullivan, a Kansas City high school senior, tweeted disparaging remarks about him during his appearance at the Youth in Government program. Brownback’s communications director, Sherienne Jones-Sontag, found the tweet in a vanity search for Brownback’s name, and whined to the folks at Youth in Government. Youth in Government, in turn, whined to the principal of Emma’s high school.

Her principal, like bureaucrats everywhere allergic to controversy — especially when it offends the people who control their funding — went ballistic. After chewing her out, he ordered Emma to write a letter of apology. He even provided talking points.

Even if the story stopped right here, this would be a perfect illustration of the narcissism and sense of entitlement of people in authority. Here’s a guy in a powerful office, surrounded by bootlicking sycophants and yes men who themselves wield enormous power, who makes more money than God. And when a high school girl taunts him, he goes running in tears to sob his little heart out about it — like a little Sunday School girl in Mary Janes who’d just seen some hobo expose his private parts at the park. Oh, you poor, poor man!

In the old days, it would have stopped there. Nobody but Emma and her immediate circle would have known, and she’d probably have wound up writing the letter.

But it didn’t stop there. Her story hit the blogs, wire services and news aggregators like a tsunami, and her Twitter account went from thirty to (as I write) 14,220 followers. A couple of days ago, it was just 5,000. The story broke over the long Thanksgiving weekend before her apology was due. Encouraged by the explosion of public support, and with the proud backing of her mother, Emma refused to apologize. “I would do it again.” That’s the difference between a weasel politician and a brave young woman.

Now Brownback, in the face of all the ridicule, is stumbling all over himself trying to walk it back. As is typical of his ilk, he reacted like a cockroach scuttling under the refrigerator when the kitchen light got turned on. But, weasel to the end, he’s apologizing — not for himself — but for “his staff,” who “overreacted.” Hoo, boy! I wouldn’t eat any food my staff brought me, if I were him. But if this is the way he normally treats people, he’s probably been unknowingly consuming bodily fluids for years.

The Little Eichmanns in the local school district, no doubt resting securely in the belief they’d uneventfully moved l’Affaire Sullivan from in-box to out-box and kept the machinery of state in smooth operation, got a nasty surprise. And like bureaucrats everywhere, they launched into full damage control mode. Here’s their official statement:

“The district has not censored Miss Sullivan nor infringed upon her freedom of speech. She is not required to write a letter of apology to the governor.”

Um, you mean now that you got caught, right?

Jones-Sontag, in subsequent comments to the KC Daily Star, said this was a “teachable moment” for students about use of social media. It was important, she said, for students to learn “the power of social media,” because the stuff stays out there forever.

It was a teachable moment, all right, but not the kind she thinks. For students, it was a teachable moment that conveyed the direct opposite of the lesson Human Resources Processing Factories have been trying to impart all these years: They learned “the power of social media” to expose wickedness in high places. They learned that such exposure is a big freaking club they can pick up and beat powerful institutions over the head with, to even things up a bit.  And the fact that social media “is lasting … on the Internet” was more a lesson for public officials than for students: We’re watching you, and there’s no place to hide.

The Cost of Israel to Americans Reply

From Veterans Today.

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Our uniquely massive support for Israel has cost trillions of dollars and multitudes of lives. It has diminished our moral standing in the world, lessened our domestic freedoms, and exposed us to unnecessary and growing peril.

The majority of Americans – as well as our diplomatic and military experts – oppose this unique relationship. Yet, the lobby for Israel continues to foment policies that are disastrous for our nation and tragic for the region.

If we are to have Middle East policies that serve the national interest, that represent the highest values of our founders and our citizens, and that work to sustain a nation of honor, decency, security, and prosperity, then it is essential that all Americans become active and informed. Below are the facts:

American taxpayers give Israel over $8 million per day

(See report from Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress):

This to a nation, at its peak, of 7.4 million people – smaller than New Jersey. Israel has received more American money than any other nation on earth. It is more than we give to all the starving countries of Africa put together.

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Justice at Last 1

Article by Fred Reed.

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Justice at Last

by dumpdc

Count’em

by Fred Reed

(Editor’s Note: Here is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek article about how legislation really works. This is the law of unintended consequences…blowback.)

The Look Like America bill, originally H.R. 1533, seemed a perfectly ordinary piece of feel-good legislation when proposed by Barack Osama Obama. “Our diversity is our strength,” he said. “We must increase the representation of minorities in our institutions to reflect our diverse population and ensure the fairness for which America stands.” Congress passed the bill without reading it. It was the sort of thing one passed. Besides, there was no money involved, and the bill was not obviously anti-Semitic.

Not obviously. But then one of the obscure policy shops that abound in Washington, the Committee for Ethnic Piety, filed suit against Harvard for noncompliance. The proximate cause was an article in the Harvard Crimson, the school newspaper, about a course called Math 55, the hardest math course at the univrsity and thus, Harvard liked to think, in America. The students in Math 55, reported the Crimson, were 45 percent Jewish, 18 percent Asian, and 100 percent male. The class didn’t, said the Committee for Ethnic Piety, look like America.

It certainly didn’t.

Harvard, ever sensitive to questions of justice, which it conflated with federal funding, agreed to make the class Look Like America. The administration asserted that only through inadvertence had it failed to notice the clear racism, sexism, and continent-ism occurring under its nose. It established a committee of reform, which set to work.

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Lieberman Wants 'Terrorism' Flag on Google Sites Reply

The neocons’ favorite Democrat makes an ass of himself again.

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Senator Joe Lieberman’s latest battle is making sure that more things can be branded as terrorism on the Internet. Talking Points Memo obtained a letter written by Lieberman to Google CEO Larry Page requesting that Google implement a system where as people can flag material as “terrorism” on their Blogger servers. But Lieberman doesn’t have evidence that a system that would allow users to flag content deemed as terrorism will actually do anything to actually prevent terrorism.

How to apply Social Credit locally Reply

Article by Francois de Siebenthal. 

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The following is a lecture given by Mr. François de Siebenthal — an economist and Consul General of the Philippines in Switzerland — at our headquarters in Rougemont, Quebec, Canada, on March 2005. Mr. de Siebenthal demonstrated to those present how easy it is to open a local bank with just the use of simple cards. Mr. de Siebenthal has gone to several countries to explain this system to various interested audiences. In fact, Social Credit is no longer only a theory, but is put into practice in these countries, with local debt-free banks multiplying.

In an age where the use of the microchip is becoming a real threat, this is certainly a way in which one could exchange goods and services without having to bow down to the use of this microchip. Why not read and study what Mr. de Siebenthal has on this subject. It could prove to be very useful in the future!

A simple bank

I will now just to teach you how to open a local bank using Social Credit principles. It is very easy to do and everyone can do it.

Already in past history, small, local banks in Switzerland were established by farmers. The banker is a farmer, the bank is in a farm house, the customers are farmers, and the owners of the bank were and are farmers. These little banks, put together in Switzerland, make up the third largest Swiss bank actually in operation with the best ratio and the best management because the costs are very low. Since the banks are very small and in small houses, and because you do not need big armoured cars and security personal, these banks are very efficient. These little banks can also be found in Austria and some other countries.

The tragedy of debt money

You know that money is created in the form of debts with interest rates, and you know that the theory of Social Credit is true, and that interest kills. The statistics of the International Labor Organization in Geneva state that every day you have 5,000 people dying in work places. That makes more every day than the people who died in the Twin Towers. Every day! That means that because of capitalism and because of exaggeration in productivity, you have every day 5,000 people dying on the work place. And I do not count all the stress, all the psychological problems, suicides, alcoholism, drugs, children at home without the parents because the father and the mother are both working.

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Political Society v. Civil Society Reply

Article by Charles Coulombe.

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The latest flap over a Benetton ad campaign is far from the first in that notoriously tasteless company’s history. Obama is shown kissing the President of China, French chief of State Nicolas Sarkozy liplocks with German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel, and the pope swaps spit with some imam (though the latter image was dropped after legal threats—one wonders whether Netanyahu and, say, the President of Iran were considered, but never mind). Each couple is accompanied by the word “unhate”—which my Microsoft Word program keeps redlining.

Benneton’s Mad Men are no strangers to annoying or disturbing images. The fact that such stuff continues to sell rags says as much about the purchasers as the purveyors. Whenever I see these sorts of images, I begin to speculate as to what might shock the modern sensibilities—as I do when contemplating offerings such as Piss Christ. A picture of Anne Frank smeared with dung? A photo of a grinning smoker in a cancer ward surrounded by the dying? A stuffed baby harp seal? It is hard to figure, because without a sense of the sacred in a society, it is difficult to drop below merely disgusting to blasphemous.

“Those on what is called the ‘left’ favor the state, those on the alleged ‘right’ pander to the market, and both ensure the political class retains its power.”

The Black Friday Brawls 1

Article by Jim Goad.

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This has been the Year of the Vermin. With the Arab Spring, the black flash mobs, the London riots, and the OWS camper babies, we’ve had an eyeful of what “the people” really look like. It ain’t pretty. They don’t look nearly as glamorous in real life as they do in the revolutionary paintings.

America’s annual post-Thanksgiving Fatso Stampede known as Black Friday was more chaotic and violent than usual this holiday season, which doesn’t speak well for the notion that the nation’s huddled masses are wallowing in abject poverty. These weren’t food riots. They were toy riots. This wasn’t Wall Street. It was Main Street.

And for the most part, Walmart is the only store left on Main Street. Though there were no reported fatalities to match the Long Island Walmart employee who got trampled to death during a Black Friday mob crush in 2008, Walmarts this year were bursting with fracases, frenzies, fisticuffs, and imbroglios from coast to coast.

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Forget the Occupy Movement: Why I’m Joining the One Percent Reply

Article by Brian Foley.

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I marched with Occupy Oakland last Saturday, but I’ve had a change of heart. I’m joining the One Percent.

The One Percent have fun. They have jobs and money.  Or just money, because when you have a lot of money, you don’t need to work. They live in houses, not tents.

The One Percent have a government that actually  listens to them.  Lockheed needs a war to sell goods and services? Coming right up! Former Homeland Security Head Michael Chertoff wants to sell some porno-scanners? Get in (a very short) line –  or no line at all if you’ve bought that exemption from TSA screening!  Taxes too high? The One Percent’s government will lower them for the rich. Too many 99 Percenters declaring bankruptcy? The One Percent’s government will just make it harder for them.  Bought toxic, mortgage-backed derivatives? Don’t worry, your government will bail you out if you’re in the One Percent.  Bought a toxic mortgage? It’s your “responsibility,” if you’re in the 99 Percent.

Another reason to join the One Percent is that the One Percent have their own media mouthpiece — more like a bullhorn.  The One Percent funded those meager Tea Party protests, and the One-Percent-owned Media covered them religiously.  And I mean religiously: the media proclaim stuff about the movement that defies reality, such as how The Tea Party was a really big, grass roots, populist movement, and that it wasn’t racist.  The Tea Party hate Obama for his “socialist” policies, not his skin color.

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The “Left” and Libya Reply

Article by Alexander Cockburn.

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The last time we met Michael Bérubé on this site was back in 2007, and he was up to his neck in a rubbish dump, where I’d placed him, in the company of other promoters of the 2003 war on Iraq: where, I asked, are those parlor warriors now? Had any of them reconsidered their illusions…

“… that all it would take was a brisk invasion and a new constitution, to put Iraq to rights? Have any of them, from Makiya through Hitchens to Berman and Bérubé had dark nights, asking themselves just how much responsibility they have for the heaps of dead in Iraq, for a plundered nation, for the American soldiers who died or were crippled in Iraq at their urging ? Sometimes I dream of them… like characters in a Beckett play, buried up to their necks in a rubbish dump on the edge of Baghdad, reciting their columns to each other as the local women turn over the corpses to see if one of them is her husband or her son.”

Who’s this Bérubé, you ask. Well, for starters he’s the Paterno FamilyProfessor in Literature and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University. Penn State’s website informs us that “named professorships provide support for a focused area and are funded by gifts from individual donors,” which means that Bérubé has long been on  Joe Paterno’s payroll – as things have turned out an ironic status for someone who’s spent a fair slice of his time  barking and snapping his jaws at “the left”  for innumerable failures stemming from moral equivocation and blindness to reality. Now that famed football coach Joe Paterno has been fired from Penn State for protecting one of his assistants, Jerry Sandusky,  suspected of raping a ten-year old boy, amidst many other suspected assaults on youths under Sandusky’s supervision, we must await Bérubé’s assessment of how it feels to have been the kept man of this fallen idol. Does the title  “Paterno Family Professor” remain ensconced on Bérubé’s  formal letterhead?

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Just Another Goldman-Sachs Takeover Reply

Article by Paul Craig Roberts.

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On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private banks that hold the troubled sovereign debt from Greece, Italy, and Spain must accept part of the cost of their bailout by writing off some of the debt. The private banks want to avoid any losses, either by forcing the Greek, Italian, and Spanish governments to make good on the bonds by imposing extreme austerity on their citizens, or by having the European Central Bank print euros with which to buy the sovereign debt from the private banks. Printing money to make good on debt is contrary to the ECB’s charter and especially frightens Germans, because of the Weimar experience with hyperinflation.

Obviously, the German government got the message from the orchestrated failed bond auction. As I wrote at the time, there is no reason for Germany, with its relatively low debt to GDP ratio compared to the troubled countries, not to be able to sell its bonds.  If Germany’s creditworthiness is in doubt, how can Germany be expected to bail out other countries?  Evidence that Germany’s failed bond auction was orchestrated is provided by troubled Italy’s successful bond auction two days later.

Strange, isn’t it. Italy, the largest EU country that requires a bailout of its debt, can still sell its bonds, but Germany, which requires no bailout and which is expected to bear a disproportionate cost of Italy’s, Greece’s and Spain’s bailout, could not sell its bonds.

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The Real Lesson of Iraq Reply

From The New York Times.

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Parallels between Iraq’s former nuclear weapons program and the Iranian nuclear program have shaped policy debates for nearly a decade. We are still paying the costs of failing in Iraq. Israel now seems determined to make similar mistakes in Iran.

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The Price of Empire Reply

Article by Justin Raimondo.

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Is there a single region of the world where the United States government isn’t scheming to grab more control, more influence, and have more of a military presence?

In Pakistan, a memo has been unearthed from “President” Zardari to Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the joint chiefs of staff, proposing a coup d’etat in which the military and intelligence chiefs would be replaced – with US “political and military support” – in favor of individuals more compliant with the American agenda. Also in Pakistan: an outright attack by US and Afghan forces on a Pakistani military base, a “mistake” in which 28 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

Is the United States government actively trying to destabilize Pakistan – in order to be able to pull off a “coup” and move in with US troops in support of “democracy”? Are we, in effect, at war with Pakistan? Sure seems like it.

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