These days it’s just annoying when a person is referred to as an “intellectual.” Most are pseudo-smarties with predictable and usually still-born thoughts regurgitated from some other pseudo-smarty. But if we had to name just one guy worthy of the honorific, it would be Noam Chomsky. Ever since he re-invented linguistics and moved onto bigger social-justice concerns, he’s been a political agitator nonpareil—an itchy thorn in the hoof of all things imperial. Chomsky’s the kind of guy who blows your mind when you’re in high school, and then does it all over again when you’re in your mid-forties—and looking back you wonder what else you’d been reading all that time and who else you’d been listening to. VBS’s Kate Albright-Hannah tracked him down in Belfast, Ireland, and this is what came of it.
After a year of concerted effort to push through a major health care reform in the United States, it seems that the bill currently under consideration will not pass. But Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) says that the current problems are just part of the legislative process and while the end may be near for this particular bill, health care reform is essential.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision to open the floodgates and allow corporate funds to be used in federal elections will further strengthen the influence of the military-industrial complex. We talked to U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-08) about his efforts to push back against the influence of war contractors and other corporations in our elections.
Myth America II: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution
Since Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution was published, our situation has not improved. In Myth America II, I detail these fresh assaults on Peace, Justice and the Environment and (even more importantly) give fresh solutions on what we can and must to do survive the crimes of the Robber Class!
If you pre-ordered Myth America II online or at an event, you should have the book in your inbox today–if you don’t, check your spam filter, and if you still didn’t receive it, please email me at: CindysSoapbox@gmail.com–we are on the honor system here, so I will take your word for it!
The dictionary describes perseverance as “dogged determination”. If there is anyone that has followed my political writings, they would know that my core issue with the way our government is structured is campaign finance reform. I once wrote that it was the “the reform that enabled all other reforms”.
It is my contention that if elections can be bought, they will be. Corporations, lobbyists, banks and insurance companies are going to have a field day. This is a quirk in our form of government. You can take 5 corporately co-opted judges and watch them rule in their favor. The four other “liberal” judges dissented and made their points. Still, even with the split vote, the Supreme Court decided to turn the political machines over to moneyed interests.
Yesterday’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process. It is outrageous that corporations already attempt to influence or bribe our political candidates through their political action committees PACs, which solicit employees and shareholders for donations.
With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars. Without approval from their shareholders, corporations can reward or intimidate people running for office at the local, state, and national levels.
2010 is proceeding in a manner more befitting the third month of the year, named after the Roman god of war, than the first, its name derived from a pacific deity.
On January 13 the Associated Press reported that the White House would submit its Quadrennial Defense Review to Congress on February 1 and request a record-high $708 billion for the Pentagon. That figure is the highest in absolute and in inflation-adjusted, constant (for any year) dollars since 1946, the year after the Second World War ended. Adding non-Pentagon defense-related spending, the total may exceed $1 trillion.
The $708 billion includes for the first time monies for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which in prior years were in part funded by periodic supplemental requests, but excludes what the above-mentioned report adds is the first in the new administration’s emergency requests for the same purpose: A purported $33 billion.
THE RING of mighty warships off the coast of Port-au-Prince is a stark symbol of the true intentions of the U.S. government in its “humanitarian” mission following Haiti’s devastating earthquake.
The Navy and Coast Guard vessels aren’t there with food or water or rescue teams. They’re on patrol to make sure that Haitians don’t escape the disaster and try to get to the United States.
A week and a half after the earthquake hit–with hundreds of thousands dead and as many as 3 million made homeless–even mainstream news reports admit that relief efforts organized by the U.S. aren’t getting food and water to many people.
That strange sound you hear if you listen closely is Senator Ted Kennedy spinning in his grave. Could he have possibly imagined a worse consequence of his departure from the Senate when health care reform was so close? Absolutely not. When he was alive he probably was not even aware of Massachusetts state senator Scott Brown. Though Kennedy deserved a better outcome, Democrats richly deserved the Republican win in Massachusetts.
The main reason is that Democrats in Congress and President Obama have shown nothing but disdain for the overwhelming national desire for an end to the self-serving corruption that is revealed through never-ending sweetheart deals for corporate interests, even as a large fraction of Americans suffer in this Great Recession caused by corporate greed, incompetence and criminality that go unpunished.
The new restraints on bank lending for speculation proposed yesterday by President Barack Obama follow the advice of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker but will be much more credible if the president now fires Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers.
What President Obama is calling the “Volcker Rule” would take us back in the direction of the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act which kept commercial and investment banking separate for 67 years, until 1999 when it was foolishly repealed by President Bill Clinton. Then-Treasury Secretary Summers strongly supported the repeal.
Following GOP wins in NJ and VA, the Mass. senate surprise completes a trifecta, enshrined with full-throated chorus by the fickle Audacity of Nope crowd. Nope, nope, and nope – that’s one lesson learned when, in Mass. alone, two million Democrats stayed home.
What! – a voting minority from Main Street fed up with “change lobbyists can believe in” or “yes, we can” get ripped off twice by iniquitous bankers, first taking us to the cleaner, risking depression, then insisting we pay for the clean-up and bonuses? No wonder special election voters are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.” Whatever “it” means.