Kucinich debates O’Reilly

Dandelion Salad

on current


In a spirited back-and-forth about Sen. Barack Obama’s Presidential win, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Bill O’Reilly of Fox News toss around ideas, priorities, and possibilities about the economy and other issues.

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more about “Kucinich debates O’Reilly“, posted with vodpod



The November 5th Movement Starts Right Now!

With Ralph Nader on Election Night + Nader speaks on an Obama presidency

WIBDI: What If Bush Did It? A Prism for the New Paradigm by Chris Floyd

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech Nov. 4, 2008


The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Mosaic News – 11/4/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

“Kenyans Prepare for Obama,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“The World Reacts to US Elections,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Israelis Split Over US Presidential Elections,” IBA TV, Israel
“Major Challenges Waiting for Next US President,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“US Elections a Hot Topic of Debate in Iran,” Press TV, Iran
“Oil Producing Countries Wary of US Elections,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Iran Celebrates 29th Anniversary of the Storming of the US Embassy,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Pakistan Demands an End to US Attacks,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani

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Mass Media & Mass Politics – Conservative, Liberal & Marxist Perspectives

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. James Petras
Global Research, November 5, 2008


The role of the mass media (MM) in influencing mass and class behavior has been a central concern among critical writers, especially since the turn of the Twentieth century. Debates and studies on the MM have focused on its political bias, ownership and links to big business, relationships and ties to the state, relative openness and diversity, promotion of wars and corporate interests among other major issues affecting the relations of power, wealth and empire. Of particular interest to writers opposing and supporting the role of the MM is the impact of the MM in influencing mass outlook, opinions and behaviors. Essays, monographs and empirical studies have been published as to the extent of MM influence, the time frame in which it retains control, the ‘depth’ of loyalty to MM inculcated opinions, and the ‘place’ in which MM messages have the greatest influence in inducing mass opinion in conformity with ruling class interests.

An understanding of the role and power of the MM in contemporary capitalist society requires us to organize the debate according to three major schools – conservative, liberal and Marxist – before proceeding to a critical analysis and finally presenting notes towards setting alternatives to elite-controlled communications networks.

Competing Paradigms: Conservative, Liberal and Marxist

There are three paradigms on the role, power and relation of the mass media to mass opinion and action: the conservative, liberal and Marxist.

The Conservative, or ‘pluralist’ paradigm, propagated largely by US and European social scientists emphasizes the multiple voices, competing networks and outlets and diversity of opinions. The conservative – ‘pluralists’, contend that even if the ownership of the mass media is concentrated and its message biased in favor of the status quo, the mass media are simply one ‘resource’, countered by other ‘resources’ such as ‘large numbers’ of low income voters. Though conceding the unequal access to the mass media between labor and capital, pro-war regimes and anti-war opposition, they argue the opposition does have some outlets, numerous writers and publicists: Control over the mass media is ‘unequal but dispersed’. Moreover, they argue, that with the growth of the internet, there are multiple sources of information, and the mass media monopoly has been severely diluted, in effect ‘democratizing’ the ‘communication system’. The more astute pluralist ideologues cite empirical studies, which show that most individuals’ views are shaped by their family, friends and neighbors – face-to-face relations, much more so than the ‘impersonal media’. In summary, the conservative argue there is no all powerful mass media power elite, and to the extent that it exists, it is counterbalanced by alternative media, local opinion and its own tolerance of diverse and competing opinions.

The Liberal Paradigm of the Mass Media

The liberal paradigm describes the MM as the key instrument of ruling class domination in a liberal democracy. Beginning with a historical account of the concentration of ownership in the hands of a small number of corporations interlocked with business and the state, the MM is seen as an essential component in the ‘system of control’ which perpetuates the ruling class and empire-building by its control and indoctrination of mass opinion. The majority are converted into a malleable mass, induced to conformity to the interests and policies of the ruling class, thus preventing change and perpetuating the rule by the corporate elite. For the liberals the top-down control by the mass media explains the ‘paradox’ of a highly unequal, military-driven empire in the context of a free and democratic political system. The principle role of the academics is to convince other academics to unmask the media, to expose its fabrications, deceptions and hypocrisy, by emphasizing the ‘contradictions’ between ‘our’ democratic values and the lies of the powerful. The more radical version of the ‘liberal’ view of the mass media attributes the high degree of consensus between elite and masses in the United States to the omnipresence and omniscience of the mass media.

Marxist Critique

The Marxist approach to the mass media begins necessarily with a critique of the conservative and liberal perspectives. Against the conservative critique, it points out that ‘power’ is not a disembodied resource but a relationship in which the owners of wealth and power can multiply and accumulate political and economic assets. The presumption that ‘everyone’ or all groups can have some influence overlooks the fact that ownership of the means of communication is linked to other powerful economic groups, which wield power over banks, investment, trust funds, and these, in turn, influence political leaders and parties controlling legislation, candidate selection and government spending and agendas: this undermines the foundations and validity of the pluralist paradigm. On all the major events of our time, the mass media loyally echoed the political line of the capitalist state, justifying the invasion of Iraq, the demonizing of Iran and echoing the state line on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s blockade of Palestine and invasion of Lebanon and the bailout of Wall Street. In all the major events, a unified mass media played a leading role in propagating the message of the ruling class, among the masses, with varying degrees of success.

The liberal paradigm of ‘mass media determinism’ appears to have more credibility as its diagnosis of the structure of power and ownership of the MM corresponds to reality, as does its role in propagandizing the lies of the state on war and the economy. However, when we turn to the liberals’ image of MM control over mass opinion and attitudes, the assertions of all-powerful, all-controlling mass media successfully manipulating the public, these assumptions are questionable.

Historically, monopoly-oligopoly control of the mass media has been unsuccessful in shaping mass attitudes and action in a number of important political contexts. This is true even in the United States. For example, despite unanimous MM support for the privatization of the Federal Social Security Program, the huge public bailout of Wall Street, the continuation of the military occupation of Iraq and military escalation in Afghanistan and the current private for profit health system, the great majority of the US public is strongly opposed to the MM line. Despite the fact that the leaders and the majorities of both ruling political parties do not reflect mass opinion, a majority of Americans have consistently backed a national, universal public health care, the withdrawal of US troops and they have vehemently opposed the Congressional support for Wall Street and the big finance industry. An analysis reveals that the MM are influential in shaping mass opinion in line with ruling class and state policies on foreign policies, particularly the war policy, at the start of a war, aggression or militarist posture before the economic and human costs are brought home to US citizens in their everyday lives. The MM is relatively ineffective when it supports domestic measures, which adversely affect the everyday socio-economic life of the mass of the American people. The MM operate most successfully when they dominate the flow and access of information, as in foreign policy, where they can fabricate, distort and emotionally charge what is heard and seen by the public. In contrast, MM ruling class propaganda is severely weakened by the evidence of empirical experience, which Americans live in relation to their health, pensions, wages and employment. Marxists would argue that particular economic conditions create a class awareness, which counterbalances the power of the MM.

The weakness of the liberal view of the dominance of the mass media is found in its failure to take account of the impact of class contexts, the constraints of economic crises , the costs of war, the impact of downward mobility and the importance of basic social security in measuring or describing the operations of the mass media. Most liberal theory of the mass media is based on a selective view of contexts, issues, time and places to back their theory. For example, mass media and mass conformity ‘fits’ with the period of an expanding economy, upward social mobility, relative peace or less costly military interventions, particularly with regard to foreign policy issues. The MM’s long term backing for capitalism or the ‘free market’ dominates mass opinion up to the collapse of capitalism: With the crises and breakdown of the financial system and especially the loss by millions of people of their pensions, even some propagandists in the MM realize that position is indefensible. The liberal view of MM omnipotence and dominance of mass opinion is deeply flawed and fails to account for political-economic changes resulting from mass opinion which strongly deviates from MM propaganda.

The Marxist Perspective on the Mass Media

The Marxist perspective relativizes the influence of the MM making its power over the mass contingent on the degree to which the working and allied classes depend exclusively on the MM for information and for defining their political interests and social action. Marxists argue that the MM exercises maximum influence where there is little or no class organization or class struggle (like in the US). In contrast, where there is or was class organization, as in Venezuela or Bolivia, Chile in the 1970’s, and Central America in the 1980’s, the mass media have a far weaker impact on mass public opinion. Marxists argue that where there is a history and culture of working class, peasant, Indian or other class-based movements and class solidarity the ruling class/state propaganda promoted by the MM has only a weak effect. The masses have a preexistent framework, communication network and local opinion leaders, which filter out messages/propaganda that violate social/class/ethnic/national solidarity.

For example, in Chile during the Presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-73), the vast majority of the print and broadcast media were violently opposed to the Democratic Socialist President-yet President Allende won the election, the left increased its vote in subsequent municipal and congressional elections based on overwhelming support from the workers, poor peasants, Indians and unemployed shanty town residents.

More recently in Venezuela, the vast majority of MM has opposed President Chavez (1998-2008) in every congressional and municipal election, yet he has won massive electoral victories. In both cases, socio-economic programs (vast increases in health and education, programs, land distribution, upward mobility, progressive income programs, nationalization of basic resources), strong class based organized support and mass mobilizations creating class consciousness undermined the effectiveness of the mass media.

Throughout Latin America during the first decade of the new millennium, powerful popular movements grew in membership and organization despite the intense demonizing by all the major MM. In Brazil, the Landless Rural Workers expanded its membership and support for land occupations despite the criminalization of its activity by the MM. The same was true of the miners, workers, peasant and Indian movements in Bolivia – leading to the overthrow of MM-backed neo-liberal presidents. Similar mass uprisings overthrowing MM-backed Presidents took place in Argentina (2001) and Ecuador (2000 and 2005).

These cases illustrate the contingent and circumstantial conditions, which influence MM dominance of mass opinion. There are several common conditions in all these cases:

1. History, cultural, community and family linkages may create a ‘block’or ‘filter’ on MM propaganda, especially on socio-economic issues affecting workplace, neighborhood and living standards.

2. Class struggle creates horizontal class bonds, especially in response to state and ruling class repression, declining living standards, concentration of wealth and mass evictions and displacement. Class struggle creates positive responses to messages reinforcing the struggle and a negative rejection to messages from publicly identified media taking the side of the ruling class.

3. Class organizations provide an alternative framework for understanding events, and for defining mass interests in class terms which resonate with their everyday experience and provide information and interpretation that counters the MM. The higher the degree of class organization, the greater class solidarity and struggle the weaker the MM impact on mass opinion. The converse is also true. Whereas in the US, trade unions are run by officials drawing $300,000 dollars or more a year, who emphasize collaboration with the bosses (and publicly reject class struggle politics) and fail to organize 93% of the private workforce, the MM have an easier time influencing mass opinion.

4. The stronger the alternative class networks of opinion formation, the weaker the influence of the MM. Where social movements develop local cadre, opinion leaders and community rooted activists, the less likely the masses will take their ‘cues’ on events from the formal, distant MM. In many cases the masses selectively tune into the MM for entertainment (sports, soap operas, comedies) while rejecting their news reports and editorials. Multi-generational families living in close proximity, located in homogenous occupational neighborhoods, with strong histories of class-based construction of communities generate class solidarity and social messages which come in conflict with the ruling class messages which promote ‘private initiative’ and ‘successful micro-capitalism’ or the criminalization of collective class action. Both liberal and conservative views of the MM fail to account for the class context of media receptivity and power; the pluralists understate its capacity to dominate in times of weak class organization; the liberals overstate the power of the MM by ignoring the countervailing power of class-based organization, class struggle, culture, history and family traditions and solidarity that link individuals to their class and undermine receptivity to the ruling class message of the MM.

© Copyright James Petras, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10823


The Century Of The Self By Adam Curtis (2002; must-see)

The November 5th Movement Starts Right Now! (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad


The election is over and we must begin turning our country around now, or the opportunity may not come again. By quickly organizing ourselves in each of the 435 congressional districts, over the next 100 days, we can make single-payer healthcare, a living wage, and a less militaristic society our long-term reality. We must do this because the founders of these United States gave us the power to do it. Please watch the video and sign up today.

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The Revolutionary Vote

Posted with permission from

Socialist Standard

From the World Socialist Party of the United States website

Nov. 4, 2008

The vote is a gain, a potential class weapon, a potential “instrument of emancipation” as Marx put it. Despite Lenin’s distortions , Marx and Engels always held that the bourgeois democratic republic was the best political framework for the development and triumph of the socialist movement. This is another pre-1914 socialist position we see no reason to abandon.

Certainly, political democracy under capitalism is not all that it is purported to be by many supporters of the system and it is severely limited, from the point of view of democratic theory, by the very nature of capitalism as an unequal, class-divided society. Certainly, “democracy” has become an ideology used to give capitalist rule a spurious legitimacy . But it is still sufficient to allow the working class to organise politically and economically without too much state interference and also, we would argue, to allow a future socialist majority to gain control of political power.

In a vote between lesser of two evils , ”Vote Cholera or Vote for Typhoid”, (btw, someone once said, “Those who choose the lesser of two evils soon forget that what they chose is an evil”) Not voting at all is valid, but casting blank ballots or some other form of actively announcing not voting is better. One or two spoilers/blank voters can be ignored, tens of thousands or even millions could not be – especially if backed by a vocal movement explaining the situation. (see the Argentinian example).

In Britain, Canada and most of America, etc I don’t think we’ve any fundamental objection to the electoral system; the provisions for voter registration, nomination of candidates, counting of votes, declaration of result,etc can be inherited by socialism and, with modifications, continue to be used. We also think, of course, that the present electoral mechanisms can be used to express and count, more or less fairly and accurately, a majority desire for socialism. So we’ve no interest in running down the system as such. The way to show that you accept the electoral system but reject the sham choice is to go and use it but not vote for any of the candidates.

There is nothing inherently elitist about the electoral approach. It is how you use that approach that makes it elitist. The World Socialist Movement is not asking people to vote for them so they can solve the problems the electorate have to contend with. The WSM it is saying quite clearly that workers need to understand and support socialism themselves in order for it to come about It cannot be imposed from above.

Furthermore, we constantly makes the point to workers in elections that if they dont understand or support socialism then they should not vote for the WSM. The WSM does not propose to come “into office”, ie to form a government and so does not propose “to vote itself into office”. Nor to we propose that other people should “vote us into office” either. What we do propose is that people should, amongst other things, use the vote in the course of the social revolution from capitalism to socialism; that they should, if you like, vote capitalism out of office. To do this they will need to stand recallable mandated delegates at elections but these will be just this: messenger boys and girls, not leaders or would-be government ministers, sent to formally take over and dismantle “the central State”. The situation we envisage in which a majority vote in socialist delegates is one where the revolution ,in respect of socialist ideas has already begun to accelerate.The vote is merely the legitimate stamp which will allow for the dismantling of the repressive apparatus of the States and the end of bourgeois democracy and the establishment of real democracy.It is the Achilles heel of capitalism and makes a non-violent revolution possible.What matters is a conscious socialist majority outside parliament, ready and organised to take over and run industry and society; electing a socialist majority in parliament is essentially just a reflection of this. It is not parliament that establishes socialism, but the socialist working-class majority outside parliament and they do this, not by their votes, but by their active participating beyond this in the transformation of society.

Basically, there are only three ways of winning control of the State: (a) armed insurrection; (b) more or less peaceful mass demonstrations and strikes; (c) using the electoral system.

The early, pre-WWI members of the WSM adopted, in the light of then existing political conditions, for (c), but without ruling out (b) or even (a) should these conditions change (or in other parts of the world where conditions were different).But this was never understood as simply putting an “X” on a ballot paper and letting the Socialist Party and its MPs establish Socialism for workers. The assumption always was that there would be a “conscious” and active Socialist majority outside Parliament, democratically organised both in a mass Socialist political party and, at work, in ex-trade union type organisations ready to keep production going during and immediately after the winning of political control.Having adopted (c), various other options follow. Obviously, if there’s a Socialist candidate people who want Socialism are urged to vote for thatcandidate. But what if there’s no Socialist candidate? Voting for any other candidate is against the principles. So what to do? The basic choice is/was between abstention and spoiling the ballot paper (by writing “Socialism” across it). The policy adopted and confirmed ever since was the latter, ie a sort of write-in vote for Socialism.

The first step towards taking over the means of production, therefore, must be to take over control of the state, and the easiest way to do this is via elections. But elections are merely a technique, a method. The most important precondition to taking political control out of the hands of the owning class is that the useful majority are no longer prepared to be ruled and exploited by a minority; they must withdraw their consent to capitalism and class rule-they must want and understand a socialist society of common ownership and democratic control.We need to organise politically, into a political party, a socialist party. We don’t suffer from delusions of grandeur so we don’t necessary claim that we are that party. What we are talking about is not a small educational and propagandist groupsuch as ourselves , but a mass party that has yet to emerge. It is such a party that will take political control via the ballot box, but since it will in effect be the useful majority organised democratically and politically for socialism it is the useful majority, not the party as such as something separate from that majority, that carries out the socialist transformation of society.

They will neutralise the state and its repressive forces and as stated there is no question of forming a government , and then proceed to take over the means of production for which they will also have organised themselves at their places of work. This done, the repressive state is disbanded and its remaining administrative and service features, reorganised on a democratic basis, are merged with the organisations which the useful majority will have formed to take over and run production, to form the democratic administrative structure of the stateless society of common ownership that socialism will be.

This is perhaps a less romantic idea of the socialist revolution but a thousand times more realistic. Which is why we think this is the way it will happen. When the time comes the socialist majority will use the ballot box since it will be the obvious thing to do, and nobody will be able to prevent them or persuade them not to. At that time it will be the anti-electoralists who will be irrelevant. A real democracy is fundamentally incompatible with the idea of leadership. It is about all of us having a direct say in the decisions that affect us. Leadership means handing over the right to make those decisions to someone else. We have at our disposal today the very means, in the form of modern telecommunications, that could enable us to resuscitate the ancient model of Athenian democracy on a truly global level.


Voting “Third” Party is modern Civil Disobedience

Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA Nominee on C-Span


What is Socialism? (archive of posts)

With Ralph Nader on Election Night + Nader speaks on an Obama presidency

Dandelion Salad

Just in from the Nader campaign:

NEWS FLASH: Ralph has a cameo appearance on Conan O’Brien tonight. Check the Late Night website or your local listings for air time information.

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Bush on the results of the election

Dandelion Salad

It starts with a caller who doesn’t know what Socialism is, then goes on to Bush’s talk.



November 05, 2008 C-SPAN

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more about “Bush on the results of the election“, posted with vodpod



WIBDI: What If Bush Did It? A Prism for the New Paradigm by Chris Floyd

A Day Of Rejoicing For The Empire By Gaither Stewart

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech Nov. 4, 2008

Election Returns (links) + Obama wins + McCain Concession Speech


What is Socialism? (archive of posts)

WIBDI: What If Bush Did It? A Prism for the New Paradigm by Chris Floyd

by Chris Floyd
Empire Burlesque
Nov. 5, 2008

As the United States enters a new and unprecedented political era — or, as killjoy cynics would have it, as the American empire gets a new set of temporary managers — the fate of the “dissident” movement that arose under the Bush Regime seems greatly occluded. So many of those who set out their stalls as bold outsiders “speaking truth to power” now find themselves on the inside, enthralled by power, speaking for power, as it is personified by President-elect Barack Obama — who, ironically, has consistently repudiated many of the tenets and principles that provoked the dissidents’ outrage in the first place.

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I Will Never Concede Defeat by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Nov 5, 2008

“I have fought the good fight, I have run the good race, I have kept the faith.” — St. Paul in 2Timothy

I kept on saying to my supporters, staff, interns, volunteers and myself, that no matter what happened on November 4th that we could hold our heads up high and be very proud of our campaign. Until yesterday, I wasn’t sure that what I said would be true, but I feel an incredibly sense of peace and pride in our accomplishments. There were so many victories over the last year that the American paradigm of “winner-take all” just doesn’t fit.

We moved into San Francisco a little over a year ago with less than nothing. We used savings and credit cards to open our office and sometimes to keep it open. We transformed a former “sex shop” to a fully functioning and vibrant campaign office. Our “natural base” never materialized, so we had to build a foundation in less than a few months.

In August, we historically gained ballot access as only the 6th independent campaign in California history to do so. Our platform based on humane economics was in place long before the recent collapses and resultant bailouts. Our labor platform was hailed all over the world, while unions here in SF supported the corporate “rescuer” Nancy Pelosi.

Cindy for Congress never once sold out our solid principles and issues based campaign and would never sell out the voters of San Francisco like Nancy Pelosi has. Nancy Pelosi never ran a campaign here, but she did run from my campaign and our demands to debate. Yet we persevered and did so amazingly well after a near total media black out and several attempts at political intimidation.

We got to the end of this stage with a barrel full of integrity and a boatload of dedication and love. Dozens of activists came from all over the country to be here to help us spread our progressive, peace based message and thousands donated to help keep our campaign afloat.

We have moved right through November 4th because this is a movement for peace and against corporate control of our political system. Movements can’t stop: we must keep moving.

The way we do elections in this country must be reformed because clearly the campaigns with the most money won all over the country. If we never level the playing field to allow the people’s voice and message to be heard, the tyranny of incumbency and the obscene amount of money spent on these circuses will continue and true progressive change will never happen. Long voting lines and the fact that election day is not a holiday or on Sunday give a clear disadvantage to the working class that need campaigns like mine and elected officials like me to improve their lives.

We will still have to fight the establishment with everything we have and this campaign has proven that we do have a lot of clout if we are persistent and devoted. Yesterday, at about 10, we were traveling around the district and receiving huge amounts of support and were dismayed to see an article from the AP saying that Nancy Pelosi had already defeated me. Our exit polling (from every area in the district) showed me receiving between 35-60% of the vote. We were very optimistic that we would do much better than we ultimately ended up doing.

However, Cindy for Congress got almost twice as many votes as anyone who has ever run against Pelosi since she eked out a primary victory in 1987 over Harry Britt, who was also the most progressive candidate. We raised a decent amount of money and are honored by the support we have gotten from all over this nation.

This is not the time to give up and give in to the politics of blinding amounts of money shrouded in “hope.”

On November 5th, we still have millions of people sleeping on our streets and without jobs and health care. We still have our troops mired in two unconscionable wars that Obama has not promised to end. Our economy is still on a very precarious footing and oil, the lifeblood of the elite, is running out. There are many people in this world, and yes, even this nation that are food insecure and the next resource wars may be over water.

Despite all this, I slept like a baby last night for the first time in months. I feel like a new person today and am holding my head up high. I dedicated my campaign to my son, Casey, and his comrades who have tragically fallen and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that our government have devastated. We need to continue to make their deaths count for something noble. I dedicate the next steps to them, also.

There are still many “fights” and “races” ahead. Take a few days to celebrate or mourn and reflect and then jump back in with both feet into the struggle for peace and justice.


Cindy Sheehan “debates” Nancy Pelosi at KQED

The Party’s Over? by Cindy Sheehan

A Day Of Rejoicing For The Empire By Gaither Stewart

Gaither Stewart
by Gaither Stewart
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

Nov 5, 2008

(Paris: November 5, 2008)

“Today we’re all Americans.” As after 9/11 those same incredible words echoed from the pages of France’s Le Monde this morning. Today, the day after, media of France and Italy (and assuredly of the rest of the world except Israel and a couple client dictatorships) competed with each other in praise of American democracy where “anything is possible”. The race barrier has fallen. Honor to the USA. For many non-Americans, the French press writes, Obama’s victory reflects what America has long meant for the rest of the world. Obama President is a return to America’s origins. The renewal of a promise.

In a 16-page Libération Edition Spéciale of the morning after, Laurent Joffren began his editorial with these words: “Finally hope! Please, for one hour, for one day, let’s don’t act blasés, prudent sceptical. After this already historic November 4 let’s admit that we were all taken with a sense of happiness. For one hour or one day let’s allow enthusiasm speak, that which is spreading across the planet…. It suffices to imagine for a moment the opposite outcome: a stiff, conservative Senator flanked by an ignorant mystic taking over for four years the brutal policies of George W. Bush. A moral nightmare, a political horror film.”

For Europe it’s the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream and the burial of the Reagan era. For European media in general the fact that a Black can become President of the USA makes that nation again great.

And above all it is a sense of relief.

Pravda writes: Only Satan would have been worse than the Bush regime. Eight years of hell are over after the great American soap opera … the most scandalous, dramatic unpredictable and the most expensive electoral campaign in US history.

On election day I realized I personally had heard no European who favored John McCain. No one. Paris’s Libération, a leftwing daily, predicted in advance that American whites would vote Democrat as never before. In Italy only Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his cronies and supporters are disappointed, and certainly disillusioned.

Obama fascinates both Left and Right in France. Le Monde described Obama as a “brilliant candidate, intelligent, elegant, handsome, sincere and never aggressive,” qualities French admire. A political analysts from Sarkozy’s UMP (Union For A Popular Movement – Union Pour un Mouvement Populaire) concentrated his attention on Obama “the brilliant actor” who understands that the secret is to make of politics a spectacle, a show. “Obama’s organization is almost military. Political analysts in Paris refer in admiration of Obama’s trademark, his brand name, and a prerequisite for success in modern politics.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s staff labels Obama’s electoral campaign an “inspiration.” With the President’s popularity falling and next elections in 2012 already in mind, has been studying Obama’s electoral campaign as the model for French conservatives.

Soaring European stock markets on election eve reflected the elation and expectations pervading Europe, pervading the empire. Already on the day after cold realities returned as markets fell back. Europeans note that the economic and financial crisis riddling America imposes profound change. Just as Americans, Europeans realize that life in a paper economy must end. Laissez-faire and eternal debt have reached the limit. Socio-economic life without limits is beyond the realm of reason and possibility.

Though the election of an African-American to the White House marks a social change, a welcome message to the rest of the world, it also unlocks and throws open the door to discussion of the question of the future of capitalism as we know it.

Gaither Stewart, a Senior Contributing Editor and European Correspondent for Cyrano’s Journal, is a veteran reporter, raconteur, and essayist on historical and cultural topics. His observations, often controversial, are published on many venues across the web. His collections of fiction, Icy Current Compulsive Course, To Be A Stranger and Once In Berlin are published by Wind River Press. (www.windriverpress.com). His recent novel, Asheville, is published by Wastelandrunes, (www.wastelandrunes.com). He resides in Rome, with his wife Milena.


Barack Obama Acceptance Speech Nov. 4, 2008

Election Returns (links) + Obama wins + McCain Concession Speech

Between Hope and Reality – An Open Letter to Barack Obama By Ralph Nader

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse


David Ray Griffin Debunks Popular Mechanics in Osaka + Yumi Kikuchi @ 9/11 Truth Conference

Dandelion Salad


David Ray Griffin talks about Popular Mechanics’ 9/11 debunking at a 9/11 Truth Conference in Osaka, Japan on November 1, 2008.

For more information on the conference, please visit the homepage at:


To listen to David Ray Griffin’s full speech, please visit The Corbett Report:


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9/11 Truth Hits Japan

2nd International 9/11 Truth Conference comes to Japan, features Griffin, Fujita, Fulford and others

James Corbett
The Corbett Report
03 November, 2008

The 2nd International 9/11 Truth Conference came to Japan this week, with sessions in Akita, Kobe, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. The Corbett Report was in Osaka to report from the event and has obtained audio and video of the keynote speech by David Ray Griffin, as well as interviews with the conference organizer and attendees.

An interview with Yumi Kikuchi, organizer of the conference, is now available on The Corbett Report’s YouTube channel.


via 9/11 Truth Hits Japan | The Corbett Report



The Killing Fields of South Africa: Eco-Wars, Species Apartheid, and Total Liberation [1]

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Dr. Steven Best

“Animals are those unfortunate slaves and victims of the most brutal part of mankind.” John Stuart Mill

In South Africa, the elephant has emerged at the center of heated political debates and culture wars, as the government and national park system maneuvers to return to the practice of “culling”—a hideous euphemism for mass murder of elephants.[2] Culling advocates—including government officials, park service bureaucrats, ecologists, “conservationists,” large environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, farmers, and villagers—argue that elephants have had deleterious effects on habitat and biodiversity and their herds need to be “managed” and reduced. Farmers and villagers complain that elephants are breaking reserve fences, destroying their crops, competing with their livestock for food, endangering physical safety and sometimes attacking and killing humans. The consensus among these parties is that biodiversity, ecological balance, and human interests trump the lives and interests of elephants, and that the most efficient solution to the “elephant problem” is the final solution of culling thousands of lives.

Opponents of culling include animal activists in South Africa and the world at large, ecologists, and thousands of Western tourists fond of elephants and the desire to see them in their natural habitat. In addition to the moral argument that elephants have intrinsic value and the right to exist—quite independent of their utility for humans—critics dismiss the claim that elephants threaten habitats and biodiversity. They emphasize that numerous alternatives to controlling elephant populations other than gunning them down exist, such as contraceptives and creating corridors between parks to allow more even population distribution. Against hunters and villagers alike, many culling opponents argue that elephants are worth much more alive than dead, and that elephants and humans alike win by developing the potential of ecotourism. The ethically and scientifically correct policies are not being adopted, critics argue, because government and “conservationists” are allied with the gaming, hunting, and ivory industries, and all favor a “quick fix” over a real solution. Animal advocates worry that the resumption of culling will reopen the global trade of ivory and argue that the ivory industry is driving this policy change.

This essay supports the rights of elephants to live and thrive in suitable natural environments and opposes all justifications for culling elephants and exploiting African wildlife in general.[3] My purview is much broader than elephants, hunting, and the ivory trade, however, as I see the human-elephant “conflict” as a microcosm of the global social and ecological crisis that involves phenomena such as transnational corporate power, state totalitarianism, militarism, chronic conflict and warfare, terrorism, global warming, species extinction, air and water pollution, and resource scarcity. The approach of the South African government and people toward the “elephant problem” has global significance and is an indicator of whether or not humankind as a whole can steer itself away from immanent disaster and learn to harmonize its existence with the natural world.

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