Happy Happy Merry Merry and Don’t Forget to smash the state.
Little Red Schoolhouse
NEA Wants Your Help in Turning Kids Into National Chauvinists:
Essay Contest: Being An American
Explore the Values that Unite Us
Beneficiary: High School Students, High School Teachers.
Grant Type: Student Skill Development
Deadline: Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Students in grades 9-12 are invited to write an essay on the topic “Being an American: Explore the Values that Unite Us” and fully answer the question:
What civic value do you believe is most important to being an American? Trace the enduring importance of this value throughout the American story by discussing: a Founding document that reflects this value; a figure from American history who embodies this value; and examples of how you have and/or could put this value into practice.
Tens of thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded to students and teachers. First prize student winners in each of the nine contest regions will receive $5,000. Submitting teachers will receive matching prizes.
To enter, teachers of eligible students must log on to the Being an American web site and submit the essay. http://www.nea.org/grants/awards/41380.htm
What values unite Americans? Well, today we can say that our core civic values are shopping, narcissism, racism, sheer ignorance, hysteria, nationalism, alienation, forgettinghistory, loyalty and obedience to our masters, arrogance, hubris, mysticism, worship of demagogues (look! a celebrity!), vacillation, adulation of the rich or famous, passive approval of capitalism as normalcy and willingness to fight to preserve inequality, belief in the unity of all social classes as well as the people and the government and the members and union bosses, official fear ofsexuality matched by our personal perversions, cowardice, nothing like a spectacle! Fireworks!, tell us what to do and we will do it, you can watch our every move and breath because it is for our own good, we know there is no relationship between cause and effect, we will legally obtain whatever space you may be in via what we know is defensive action and then we will show you that you are in that spot illegally but you can stay and work (but don’t have kids!) until the harvest is done and then you must leave but don’t forget to come back in the spring when we will like you again, we prefer not to see real pain or casualties (videos are another thing altogether) so we use our advanced sciences to hide that from ourselves and offer death from high-tech drones above, even so we also know it is untoward to mention the wars unless we are watching really super flyovers at football games or singing God Bless America at the ballgame or giving a shout-out to “Support the Troops!” (what homeless?); we love a good foreign dictator unless he annoys us and we have a good laugh when he has a plane accident; money measures our every worth and future, we really do care, like totally, about the environment but not the boring analysis of why it is being destroyed, we love our pets but not the homeless, we are anti-communist–when we can remember what we were told that is– and dedicated to fully institutionalized warfare, forever. Omg! We cannot shop! Be very afraid. Our other core value, uniting us, is fear. We fear yesterday, today and tomorrow because we abuse each other. And you all should be afraid of what we might just do.
NEA Boss Dennis Van Roekel, Michelle Obamagogue, and Arne Duncen
Part Two, Sample Essay: On the other hand, NEA dues eaters, we know that things change, this country was born in revolution, that people really are created equal, that equality, solidarity, freedom and justice are only won through sacrifice and struggle, that the working class and the bosses’ class have only contradiction in common, that a new world really can be born out of the ashes of the old, we believe we can connect reason to the power of millions of people, and since your tops who make, in some cases, $686,949 a year, are unlikely to change course--but as there are always more of us than you, and since we are wising up, if slowly, you will not only lose, but you will be judged, for you are what you do. The last batch of official fascists didn’t do so well over time. Harsh measures ahead? What does that founding document say?
Here: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness’
What, NEA bosses, do you think should happen to, say, Tories?
“This book offers new readings of the theory, politics, policy, and practice of radical adult education and learning where people’s lives are understood as complex and interrelated matters. Brookfield and Holst’s poetics and deeply human prose sound rebellious; the authors confront some of the main radical trends in the field of adult education including critical theory, transformative learning, and popular education.”
—Shahrzad Mojab, Professor, Department of Adult Education and Counseling Psychology, Ontario Institute
Fascism Emerges as a Mass, Muti-tentacled Popular Movement
“Bourgeoisie democracy BREEDS fascism…The more workers place theirtrust in legalism, in constitutionalism, in bourgeois democracy, the more they make sacrifices to save the existing regime, as the “lesser evil’ against the “menace” of fascism, the heavier become the fascist attacks and the more rapid the advance to capitalism. To preach confidence in legalism, in constitutionalism, in the capitalist state, means to invite and guarantee the victory of fascism.” R. Palme Dutt, Fascism and Social Revolution, 1935.p49
The Greatest Short Con in the Long Great Game: Idiot Imperialists Pay Off the Wrong Man! For months, the secret talks unfolding between Taliban and Afghan leaders to end the war appeared to be showing promise, if only because of the appearance of a certain insurgent leader at one end of the table: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, one of the most senior commanders in the Taliban movement.But now, it turns out, Mr. Mansour was apparently not Mr. Mansour at all. In an episode that could have been lifted from a spy novel, United States and Afghan officials now say the Afghan man was an impostor, and high-level discussions conducted with the assistance of NATO appear to have achieved little.“It’s not him,” said a Western diplomat in Kabul intimately involved in the discussions. “And we gave him a lot of money.”
Others say the man may have been a Taliban agent. “The Taliban are cleverer than the Americans and our own intelligence service,” said a senior Afghan official who is familiar with the case. “They are playing games.”Others suspect that the fake Taliban leader, whose identity is not known, may have been dispatched by the Pakistani intelligence service
It’s Not Good When the Taliban and Puppet Karzai Laugh at The Obamagogue–or is it? The Taliban scoffed Sunday at NATO plans to hand over most security responsibilities to Afghan forces in the coming three years while retaining an option to keepinternational troops in the country beyond that time if necessary.In a statement issued the day after the alliance wrapped up a summit in Lisbon, the Islamist movement also denounced the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, saying it had no legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan people.
“In the past nine years, the invaders could not establish any system of governance in Kabul, and they will never be able to do so in the future,” said the Taliban statement, which was e-mailed to journalists and posted on the group’s website….Afghan election officials struggled to clarify the results of parliamentary elections that took place more than two months ago. An oversight panel disqualified 19 candidates who had previously been declared winners in the vote, which was marked by widespread fraud. Thousands of complaints of voting irregularities are still being investigated.
China, India, and the New Great Game: Despite their smiles and professions of good will, China’s leaders believe that the United States is threatened by their country’s rise and ultimately seeks to thwart it. Given the fact that the United States Navy dominates the world’s oceans, a growing dependence on seaborne energy imports represents a potentially deadly vulnerability in Chinese eyes.Beijing has responded in two ways: first by beginning to build up its own naval power, and second by seeking alternative supply routes that are less susceptible to interdiction by the United States or other hostile powers. Included among these are overland pipelines to contiguous energy sources in Central Asia and a variety of ambitious engineering projects (including a new port at Gwadar in Pakistan, other ports and pipelines in Myanmar, and a possible canal across the isthmus of Thailand) that could shorten the route from Persian Gulf suppliers to Chinese consumers.The pursuit of energy, Kaplan explains, has thus caused China to become much more active and visible in an area that a fast-growing India regards as its own backyard. In response, despite continuing worries over internal stability and the perpetual problem of a hostile Pakistan, Indian planners have begun to broaden their strategic horizons. New Delhi now seeks to compete with Beijing for influence in Myanmar and to counter its initiatives around the Bay of Bengal by strengthening ties with Vietnam and Indonesia in the South China Sea. A bigger navy will give India the means with which to defend its own expanding energy imports and perhaps to exert leverage in a future confrontation by threatening China’s. Finally, over the past decade, India has entered into a quasi-alliance relationship with the United States.
Good Plan! Scare China! Boo! The carrier – with 6,000 sailors and aviators and 75 warplanes – has another audience: China. Exasperated with a lack of help from Beijing on the Korean Peninsula, the Obama administration is trying to pressure China to constrain North Korea.
Pointedly, the Obama administration is sending the George Washington, four companion ships and at least one high-tech attack submarine into the Yellow Sea, off China’s coast – the same sea where the administration decided not to hold exercises in July because of boisterous Chinese protests.
Corporate profits have been growing for seven consecutive quarters, too, even as the unemployment rate has been stuck around 10 percent. The chart below shows annualized corporate profits, both before and after taxes (blue versus pink), since 1947:
Corporate profits represented 11.2 percent of G.D.P. last quarter, a figure that has also been growing for seven consecutive quarters. That is the highest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2006:
Congress Rewards Banksters, Dumps on JoblessMcClatchy 11-2001
The Main Barrier to Capital is Capital Itself (Marx). The Big Freeze. Bailed Out Banks Won’t Loan. Fake Stocks Boom. Big Profits/No Jobs: Some 142 non-financial companies in the S&P 500 had improvements in operating margins of three percentage points or more from the final three months of 2007, when the previous expansion peaked, compared with the most recent quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of yesterday….
“We’ve seen remarkable productivity gains in the last year or so in the U.S. economy,” Bernanke told Congress’s Joint Economic Committee on April 14. “We don’t anticipate productivity growth will continue at that rate going forward, but if it does, then that may reduce the number of workers that firms need to bring back in order to meet demand.”
Bernanke and fellow Fed policy makers launched a $600- billion second round of Treasury bond purchases November 3 to boost growth and lower unemployment, which has remained above 9 percent throughout the recovery. The jobless rate held at 9.6 percent in October, a sign that companies still have little need to absorb workers who need a job.
PIGS and Dominoes–The Next Great Fear. Panic Early!: Contagion once again emerged in Europe as investors turned from Ireland’s debt crisis and set their sights on Portugal and Spain.
Both Spanish and Portuguese bond prices fell sharply Tuesday, and the yields above German bunds rose to records. The euro slid below $1.34 for the first time in two months, though part of the weakness came as investors turned to the safe-haven status of the U.S. dollar after North Korean artillery attacks on South Korea. “People that are betting on contagion are probably making the right bet here,” said David Gilmore, a strategist at Foreign Exchange Analytics. “There’s not really anything to stop the markets from pushing the next domino over.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730304575632871537850124.html
Of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) Spain is the Scariest: any bailout of Spain — with an economy twice the size of the other three combined — could severely stress the ability of Europe’s stronger countries to help the financially weaker ones, and spell deep trouble for the euro, Europe’s common currency. Even though Spain, like Ireland, has adopted an austerity plan to help it avoid the need for a bailout, it still could need aid if its banking system proves frailer than the government thinks it is, as was the case in Ireland.This troubling possibility has unnerved lenders, with Spain’s borrowing costs rising even though Madrid has cut its deficit and the country’s banks maintain they have sufficient strength to absorb their bad real estate loans. “Europe can afford the collapse of Ireland, even perhaps that of Portugal, but not that of Spain, so Spain’s ultimate line of defense is in fact this knowledge that it’s too big to fail and that it represents a systemic risk for the euro,” said Pablo Vázquez, an economist at the Fundación de Estudios de Economía Aplicada, a research institute here.
Police officers were seriously injured today (11-25)as angry demonstrators protesting against the hike in tuition fees again brought chaos to the streets.Around 10,000 students and protesters flooded London for a new demonstration just a fortnight after anarchists unleashed mayhem at the Tory Party headquarters. More than 25,000 students in total are believed to have taken part in protests acrossthe country today.Scotland Yard, determined not to be caught on the hop a second time, ensured hundreds of officers were on duty and quickly reinforced numbers as flashpoints developed.
Video and Photos from International Day to Emancipate Education:http://emancipating-education-for-all.org/nov17_updates
National Nurses United, the largest nurses union in the country, has helped organize strikes or threatened them this year at hospitals in California, Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota. The Oakland, Calif.-based union has tapped into concerns of registered nurses worried about losing jobs at a time when hospitals and health-care organizations are under enormous pressure to cut costs.
“They have been very aggressive in legislative lobbying efforts, influencing public policy through informational picketing, and willingness to get out there and strike,” said Joanne Spetz, an economist who specializes in nursing workforce issues at the University of California in San Francisco. “Love them or hate them, you have to respect their success.”
…NNU’s biggest display of muscle took place in Minneapolis when 12,000 nurses from 14 Twin Cities hospitals, wearing red T-shirts, staged a one-day strike in June, the largest nurses’ strike in U.S. history, the union said.
A former University of Colorado professor who compared some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi has lost an appeal challenging his firing.The Colorado Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling rejecting Churchill’s claim that the firing was politically motivated. A three-judge panel agreed that the university is entitled to “quasi-judicial immunity.”Churchill wrote an essay after the 2001 terrorist attacks calling the World Trade Center victims “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who orchestrated the Holocaust.
Save Those Aluminum Foil Hats! The CIA is notorious for its Cold War-era experiments with LSD and other chemicals on unwitting citizens and soldiers. Details have emerged in books and articles beginning more than 30 years ago.But if military veterans have their way in a California law suit, the spy agency’s quest to turn humans into robot-like assassins via electrodes planted in their brains will get far more exposure than the drugs the CIA tested on subjects ranging from soldiers to unwitting bar patrons and the clients of prostitutes.It’s not just science fiction — or the imaginings of the mentally ill.In 1961, a top CIA scientist reported in an internal memo that “the feasibility of remote control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated…Special investigations and evaluations will be conducted toward the application of selected elements of these techniques to man,” according to “The CIA and the Search for the Manchurian Candidate,” a 1979 book by former State Department intelligence officer John Marks.“[T]his cold-blooded project,” Marks wrote, “was designed … for the delivery of chemical and biological agents or for ‘executive action-type operations,’ according to a document. ‘Executive action’ was the CIA’s euphemism for assassination.”
The CIA pursued such experiments because it was convinced the Soviets were doing the same.
Victims have sought justice for years, in vain. Now, almost 40 years later, a federal magistrate has ordered the CIA to produce records and witnesses about the LSD and other experiments “allegedly conducted on thousands of soldiers from 1950 through 1975,” according to news accounts….
“We believe that one of our plaintiffs was given a septal implant at [Edgewood Arsenal] (www.edgewoodtestvets.org),” he said, based on an MRI he has “showing a ‘foreign body’ on the border between the septum and the frontal lobe.”“A lot of this work was done out of Tulane University using a local state hospital and funding from a cut-out (front) organization called the Commonwealth Fund,” he continued, again drawing on the research papers.
The Air Force has launched a new classified spy satellite.An un-manned Delta 4-Heavy rocket blasted off From Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday at 5:58 p.m.It carried a satellite that was described in a news release from the National Reconnaissance Office as “the largest satellite in the world.”The mission is classified, so no other details are available.The 23-story rocket took off after several delays over the past few months because of technical glitches, including a problem during fueling for a launch on Friday. Weather concerns on Sunday cleared shortly before launch time. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/11/21/us/AP-US-Rocket-Launch.html?hp
Facebook Made Him Do It! Fox Loves This Dude! A pastor who said Facebook was a “portal to infidelity” and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign once testified that he had a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/20/AR2010112001935.html?hpid=moreheadlines
Worst Thing in the History of the World
Bradley Birkenfield is Still in Jail!
Traditionally, in the spirit of the holiday season the President pardons a turkey. This holiday season I am asking the President to do something more meaningful – grant my son’s clemency petition.It is still hard for me to believe that my son’s honesty cost him his freedom. It is unjust that he has served more time in prison than the 19,000 tax evaders combined. My son is the only one who had the guts to stand up to one of the biggest banks in the world. All the other bankers sat by and watched as billions of dollars were stolen from taxpayers, yet he is the only one in prison. http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_advancedtags&view=tag&id=83&Itemid=108
Whose Junk is too Good to Touch? here was no waiting for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the identification-checking agents, the metal detectors and the body scanners, and whisked directly to the gate.
The Republican leader, who will become the second person in line to assume the presidency after the new Congress convenes in January, took great pride after the midterm elections in declaring his man-of-the-people plans to travel home as other Americans do. In a time of economic difficulty, it was a not-so-subtle dig at Ms. Pelosi, who has access to a military jet large enough to avoid refueling for her flights home to San Francisco.
Punk Gang Member Convicted: Former House majority leader Tom DeLay, the Texan architect of Republican power in Congress, was convicted Wednesday of illegally plotting to funnel corporate contributions to home-state legislative candidates in 2002.
Best Thing in the History of the World
Stan the Man at 90
Proof the Government is an Executive Committee and Armed Weapon of the Rich: President Obama to award George H.W. Bush the Presidential Medal of Freedom President Obama dropped a bipartisan bombshell today, announcing he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom next year to ex-President George H.W. Bush.The magnanimous gesture of bestowing the nation’s highest civilian honor to the 41st U.S. President came a day after ex-President George W. Bush gave a respectful nod to Obama at the groundbreaking of his library in Dallas.
So Long Chalmers Johnson (Died November 20, Saturday, San Diego):
“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance.”
Johnson was always an anti-communist, which he equated with Soviet and Chinese communism (he quickly identified the latter as little more than peasant nationalism, rightly so).
Probably recruited by Hannah Arendt as a CIA asset, Johnson targeted the east, Japan (“US puppets”) and China. With the implosion of Soviet social fascism, Johnson expected a peace dividend which never materialized.
Turning his eyes on the US empire of bases (800 plus), he foretold 9/11/2001 in “Blowback,” then built a trilogy with the later “Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis.”
In print and in person, he repeatedly said the US is now a fascist state, one of the few truly reputable scholars with the courage to do so. In “Nemesis,” he said bankruptcy would be the key to the end of the US empire–but warned it would not die with a whimper.
He had two suggestions for citizens. The first, take your cat and go to Vancouver. Later, he suggested the US just dissolve its own might, as he said the Brits did.
The US, however, does not have the US to hide behind.
Johnson’s almost reflexive rejection of a Marxist analysis of imperialism (born almost simultaneously with capitalism, a relentless quest for cheap labor, raw materials, markets, regional control–empire) led him to view imperialism as hubris plus militarism–meaning a change of mind could upend the vampire’s desires. It cannot.
Nevertheless, Johnson’s incredible prescience creates a field of land-mines for any of his critics. His research methods should be studied by everyone serious about social change. His book on Revolution, opposing it, inspires those who are for it. Finally, his insider knowledge coupled with a razor wit made encounters with Chalmers Johnson a challenge. He never backed down. So long, and “adios” (his habitual farewell) Chalmers. What you did counted.
Thanks to the Susans, Greg and Katie, Amber, Donna, Sandy and Van, Bob, Wayne, Perry, Steve, Doug, Adam and Gina, the Joes, Terry Schaefer, Dave Patton, Ricky C, Dennis B, Sue H, Perry, Kathryn, Carol O, Elvira and Tony, Mr J and Mr Z, and that press person who knows who he is….