A crew of all women are driving in a 200 vehicle convoy from the UK to Gaza. They aim to reach Gaza on December 27th 2009 with donations of humanitarian aid, ambulances, wheelchairs and more. Following the Israeli bombing in December 2008, Gaza has been suffering and this convoy hopes to give some hope. More on http://swanseapalestine.org/
The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus 535-475 BC said that “character is destiny.” He might have added that “personality is decisive.” Where is Barack Obama in this framework?
The venerable historian, James MacGregor Burns, in his book “Transforming Leadership,” drew an important distinction between “transforming and transactional leadership,” and calling Franklin Delano Roosevelt a reflection of the former genre.
Given all the burgeoning crises in the United States and the world, the only global military and economic superpower (albeit in serious deficit straits) needs a transforming leader, when, at best, it has a transactional leader in the White House.
We speak with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez about climate change, the Copenhagen summit and President Obama. Chavez accuses calls the COP15 summit undemocratic and accuses world leaders of only seeking a face-saving agreement. “We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet,” Chavez says. “That requires a change in the economic model: we must go from capitalism to socialism.”
It seems the ruling classes of the most powerful capitalist states just don’t learn any lessons from the past. It’s as if they wipe the slate clean every time they get us all in a jam and we have to relearn everything all over again! Why do we tolerate such bullshit from the gangster class that controls us?
And as sure as the Sun rises, the USUK has put all the blame on those ‘inscrutable’ Chinese for the ever-so predictable failure of COP15, “Energy Secretary Ed Miliband called it a “chaotic process”, singling out China for vetoing an agreement on emissions.” (‘Climate Summit held to Ransom’, BBC News, 21 December, 2009)
Fact: One-third of China’s industrial output is for export to the US (this is the one-third that used to be manufactured in the US).
The BBC however is very clear about the way forward, it’s called ‘green capitalism’: Continue reading →
Cycles of atrocities, Cycles of Shame & Regret, and Cycles of more atrocities…
This recent article by Time Magazine on Agent Orange in Vietnam opened up a floodgate of emotions I had thought I had gotten over with a year ago, after my own personal first-hand experiences there. The article was fairly well-written, that is, considering the publication. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading →
With a census of slightly over 300 million in a world of almost seven billion people, the U.S. accounts for over 40 percent of officially acknowledged worldwide government military spending with a population that is only 4 percent of that of the earth’s. A 10-1 disparity.
In addition to its 1,445,000 active duty service members, the Pentagon can and does call upon 1.2 million National Guard and other reserve components. As many as 30% of troops that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq are mobilized reservists. The Army National Guard has activated over 400,000 soldiers since the war in Afghanistan began and in March of 2009 approximately 125,000 National Guard and other reserve personnel were on active duty.
Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald broke the news on Saturday that 12 prisoners have been released from Guantánamo. The news followed hints in the Washington Post on Friday that six Yemenis and four Afghans were set to leave, but Rosenberg — and the East African media — reported that the men had already been freed and that two Somalis were also released. I’ll be writing soon about the Afghans and the Yemenis, but for now I’d like to focus on the stories of the two Somalis: Mohammed Sulaymon Barre and Ismail Mahmoud Muhammad (identified as Ismael Arale).
Ralph Nader’s new novel, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us,” is a window into the world the consumer advocate and independent presidential candidate wishes he could create. It is a world where the corporate state is dismantled, citizens are restored to power and the inequities and injustices meted out to the poor and the working classes are reversed. Nader describes his book as a “practical utopia.”
WASHINGTON — The Senate early Monday voted 60 to 40 to cut off extended debate on the Democratic-authored health care overhaul bill, the first major step toward passing the measure later this week.
The vote, which saw all 58 Democrats and two independents vote to end the latest debate while all 40 Republicans opposed the maneuver, ended at 1:19 a.m. and capped a day of debate that turned partisan and often angry.
The vote, the first of three planned this week aimed at cutting off different debates, found Democrats marching united and determined toward anticipated passage of historic health care legislation late Wednesday or Thursday. If that happens, the Senate bill will have to be reconciled with the version the House of Representatives passed last month.