BARACK OBAMA: HYPOCRISY IN HEALTH CARE | By BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
Since his days in the Illinois state legislature Barack Obama's position on health care has consistently devolved. Once a bold champion of medical care as a human right, Senator and presidential candidate Obama has become a timid advocate of failed "market-based" health care solutions, taking his lead from the private health insurance industry... [READ MORE]
Shape Up Democrats, Anybody But Bush Will Not Do | BY PAUL A. DONOVAN
With the 2008 election approaching fast, I find myself with the same unsettled feeling I had in the last presidential race to the bottom. Perhaps it is because I feel that the age-old maxim, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” is as true for today as it was in 2004. Fact is, if we do not wake up quick, and start pressing the current Democratic Party front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, to be more leftist, or in other words to be more like Presidential candidate Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), then we can hope for little substantive change in the next administration. [READ MORE]
Global Ruling Class:
Billionaires and How They “Made It” |
By James Petras
While the number of the world’s billionaires grew from 793 in 2006 to 946 this year, major mass uprisings became commonplace occurrences in China and India. In India, which has the highest number of billionaires (36) in Asia with total wealth of $191 billion USD, Prime Minister Singh declared that the greatest single threat to ‘India’s security’ were the Maoist led guerrilla armies and mass movements in the poorest parts of the country. [READ MORE]
DARK OF HEARTNESS: A Journey Into
The (Reputed) Soul of Conservatism |
By David Michael Green | I spend a lot of hours thinking about what goes on in the hearts and souls of the regressive right.
Probably you're already thinking, "Boy, what a waste of your time". Or maybe, "What hearts? What souls?"
Far be it from me to disagree. But I have been haunted this last quarter-century, and especially this last decade, by the darkness that has descended over the American political landscape, a long shadow unlike any I remember from the first half of my life.
THE FAKE FIGHT OVER THE IRAQ WAR /
That Was an Antiwar Vote?|
By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Has the end of America's war on Iraq been brought closer by the recent vote in the House of Representatives? On March 23, the full House voted 218 to 212 to set a timeline on the withdrawal of US troops, with September 1, 2008, as the putative date after which war funding might be restricted to withdrawal purposes only.
A REFLECTION ON THE PROTESTS IN COLOMBIA
By Maryscott O'Connor
"I imagine Colombians wouldn't give a shit about an American president's party affiliation because they, unlike most Americans, more fully understand how very little difference there is between the two parties when it comes to things that affect them (Colombians). We sure as hell haven't seen much of a difference between the two parties in the past several years..."
UNHITCHING OUR WAGONS | By Charles Sullivan
Working class people, especially progressives, must come to understand that our interests are not being served by hitching our political wagons to either the Democratic or the Republican Party. The Republicrats represent a capitalist system that has given rise to class division, the unequal distribution of wealth, private ownership, and a system of wage slavery that does not serve democracy, but plutocracy. It condemns workers to being the property of their employers. Capitalism is the opposite of Democracy. We are only deceiving ourselves—falling into an old trap—by casting our votes in a system that not only excludes the majority of us, but also treats us with utter contempt. [READ MORE]
THE BUSHES' RULING CLASS —A candid look at the unelected mob that really runs this nation. |By COMMON CAUSE
Who would give $100,000 --- the average American's five-year earnings and 100 times the legal limit -- to help elect the president? "Most who give in that range are giving with some political self-interest," says Thomas McBride, associate special Watergate prosecutor whose campaign finance task force won conviction of several corporate Nixon donors. "They're hoping for an ambassadorial or government appointment, hoping they'll be fondly remembered for White House social events, hoping for access to high decision-making counsels. Or it's even more directly related to some pending matter in the government."
EAT THE RICH (STARTING WITH BILL GATES) | By Ethan Heitner
Conservative morality has enshrined the billionaire philanthropist as the ideal model of do-gooding. The Gilded Age robber barons who built our public libraries and universities are held up as the reason why we do not need government social welfare programs (or to continue funding those libraries): merely enforce private property rights and let Christian piety take care of the poor. When the rich get super-rich, and they've bought all the gold-plated cocaine straws they can use, they'll start donating their excess bags of gold coins to the less fortunate. Well, the L.A. Times has just torn that well-worn cliche a new one with it's lengthy, scandalous expose on the robber baron of the 21st century, Bill Gates.
CLASH OF THE ELITES | By John Walsh
A titanic power struggle is being waged within the policy elite or power
elite, or more simply the U.S. ruling class. The clash is taking place over
the war on Iraq, U.S. policy toward Israel--and ultimately over the best way
to run the U.S. empire. The war on Iraq is shaping up as such a disaster for
the empire that it can no longer be tolerated by our rulers in its present
form. The struggle is as plain as the nose on your face; nevertheless it
draws little comment. One reason is that we are taught to view matters
political through the prism of Democrat versus Republican, whereas this
struggle among our rulers cuts across party lines
GEORGE W. BUSH—SYMPTOM OF THE DISEASE | By Charles Sullivan
The fact that such a misfit could ascend to the presidency is testimony to the effectiveness of the capital system. Under capitalism, political power is not derived from the people, as would be the case in a democracy; nor does it not flow from the bottom up—it matriculates from the top down.
WHAT THE FORTUNE TELLER'S PARROT TOLD ME | By Alexander Cockburn
Both Clinton and McCain advocate early NATO membership for Ukraine, and have expressed strong hostility to the Putin administration in Russia. On Iraq, they differ mostly over the degree to which Clinton --naturally -- has been far more critical of the Bush record so far. But both oppose early or unconditional withdrawal. On the latest Middle East crisis their words might as well have been drafted by the same speechwriter.
SEN. JIM WEBB ON CLASS STRUGGLE IN AMERICA | By Jim Webb
The most important-and unfortunately the least debated-issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country.
THE REAL FACE OF WAR | By Patrice Greanville
War has been romanticized in innumerable books and movies, and made fortunes for those who exploited the subject well. (Clint Eastwood is still at it, among others, with his latest opus, Flags of Our Fathers). In most movies—at least until recently—soldiers died "beautifully"—no hideous wounds, no real gasping fear in their eyes, they even got to say a few noble words for posterity, proof of a charitable destiny that, despite assigning them death, did not deny them their fifteen seconds of centerstage.[READ MORE]
SMEDLEY BUTLER ON INTERVENTIONISM | By Maj. Gen. Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.
[Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933.]
America has a long and honorable history of candid statements by some of its military leaders, a tradition now increasingly under siege by the corporatization of the American armed forces. In his final address to the nation in 1961, Eisenhower himself warned the public about the encroaching peril of the "military-industrial complex". Ike's words resonate today, but it is Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler's words which are forever inscribed in a class of their own for their candor, accuracy, and courage. In telling it like it is, Gen. Butler is a credit to the U.S. military. We are happy to reproduce his statements here as their relevancy, far from vanishing, has actually grown since he first uttered them.
DEFYING THE SANCTIONS: A Flight to Iraq | By MICHAEL PARENTI (2000)
Now that Saddam is gone, judicially lynched by dint of American intrigues, it's useful to remember some of the not-so-ancient facts about who he was, how he rose to power, and why he was eventually toppled from it.
DEMOCRATS: END THIS WAR NOW ! | By Maryscott O'Connor
The tragedy of this essay, for me, is that I so desperately wish I could have written it about another nation. Or about extreme world poverty. The list is longer than my arm, of crises on which we ought to be demanding immediate action from those who sit in power, those who hold in their grasp the power to change these wretched realities. To be forced to choose, it's such a horror. [READ MORE]
The Zapatistas, by John Ross |
Reviewed by Stephen Lendman
Ross has written eight books of fiction and non-fiction and is one of the few surviving Beat poets with nine chapbooks of poetry in and out of print, the latest of which is due out soon called Bomba. He's also been called a new John Reed (who wrote the classic 10 Days that Shook the World on the Russian Revolution) covering a new Mexican revolution playing out around the country from its most indigenous, impoverished South in Chiapas and Oaxaca to the streets of its capital in Mexico City. [READ MORE]
PROPAGANDA IN "FREE SOCIETIES" | By Edward Bernays
Excerpts from classical text that literaly fired up one of this civilization's most morally dubious professions: public relations. Bernays, the father of the discipline, saw his utility to the ruling orders as a consigliere in matters of political and consumer manipulation. He's quite upfront with it, too. <CF: see also BOURGEOIS DEMOCRACY: In their own words>
THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS SHAM |
By Michael Alton Gottlieb
Lou Dobbs' alarm at the plight of the middle class isn't because he cares about your kids, but because he cares about himself. This isn't about jobs, or American egalitarianism or the economy directly. The truth is the middle class acts as a moat around the Castle Elite and protects the oppressors from the wrath of those who have nothing to lose and are willing to sacrifice themselves for the hope of a better future for their children.
MARX'S TWITCH By John Thornhill
-Thornhill doesn't seem to know whether to praise or damn Marx—a common ailment among bourgeois writers who can't shale the fascination of Marx's philosophy.
OBAMA'S AUDACIOUS DEFERENCE TO POWER | By Paul Street | Recommended by Black Agenda Report | Barack Obama's latest book reveals the presidential aspirant to be a rank racial accommodationist and political opportunist. The Illinois Senator urges empathy for those in power, labels critics on the Left cranks and zealots, and whitewashes America's past and present crimes. [READ MORE]
SOROS AND MEDIA HEAVYWEIGHTS
Attack Pro-Israel Lobby's
Influence on U.S. Policy |
By Nathan Guttman
Washington - The simmering debate over American policy toward Israel and the role of the Jewish community in shaping it exploded with near-nuclear force this week. Several of the nation's best-known international affairs commentators fired salvos at pro-Israel lobbyists and defenders of Israel fired back with unprecedented fury. [READ MORE]