“If you control the metaphor through which people see the world, then you control the world itself.” — Mike Daisey
I recently attended a matinee of Mike Daisey’s the “Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” at the Public Theatre in New York City. It’s a powerful, thought provoking tale and Daisey’s a masterful storyteller. Until Daisey stepped onto the stage before the performance began and told us briefly about his experience on the NPR radio show, “This American Life,” I didn’t realize the controversy surrounding the piece. He basically said he stands behind his work and anything false he’d removed from the script.
Stetson J. Bradford III met up with his fellow CEO F. Reginald Lawless for a brow-to-brow lunch at the Penthouse Reverie Room high above Wall and Broad Streets in New York. As charter members of the 40-year Corporate Supremes Club, they had serious business to discuss before Thanksgiving weekend in 2011.
The topic numero uno was: Is the Occupy Wall Street movement and its around the country the precursor to the giant peoples upheaval that they and their brethren have feared ever since Wall Street collapsed the American economy in 2008 and sent the bill to the taxpayers?
Far from reducing risk, derivatives increase risk, often with catastrophic results. — Derivatives expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money (2011)
The “toxic culture of greed” on Wall Street was highlighted again last week, when Greg Smith went public with his resignation from Goldman Sachs in a scathing oped published in the New York Times. Continue reading →
Bahrain’s disgraceful show trial of medical staff is set to continue, with news this week that 20 doctors and nurses are to be retried in a civilian court on trumped-up charges of subversion against the US-backed regime.
The medics were already sentenced by a military tribunal (a military tribunal!) to up to 15 years in prison after months of being held in illegal detention, denied legal counsel and subjected to torture.
One fellow who works at the Beirut US Embassy tells the story of how, each year around the time of the vernal equinox, since 2005, when Jeffrey Feltman became the American Ambassador—(given Jeff’s domination of US Middle East Policy, he is still essentially US Ambassador to Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf, and much of the region, although other names appear from time to time on the local US Embassy doorplates)—the now multi-hatted US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs would perform a sort of ritual.
Small business owners and working people constitute the core of the American electorate. They share the same origins and have far more in common than the major political parties would have them believe. Their shared political, social and family needs are being ignored by both parties, as they are cynically played one against the other.
Global Tamil Forum (GTF) commends the passing of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka, at the current Human Rights Council (HRC) session in Geneva, as a crucial first step towards accountability and justice for victims on the island. Tamils all over the world are thankful to the United States for spearheading the initiative and to all those who have made this first meaningful step possible.
To get a preview of Obama’s strategies for winning a second term, we just need to read the liberal press. They are giving lip-service praise to the current protests while trying to steer them in a direction that serves the Democratic Party. Seeking to restore the fading illusion that the Democrats work in the interests of the 99%, they imply that if Obama is given a second term, his true nature will emerge and he’ll crack down on the greed and corruption of the 1% and lead the country in a progressive direction. They conveniently ignore that he’s done the opposite during his three years in office.
More controversy this week surrounding the practice of fracking. The US Department of Agriculture has dropped the plan to require an extensive environmental review before handing mortgages to people that plan to use the land for oil and gas drilling. This has outraged opponents of hydraulic fracturing, who say it eases up rules on the drilling method. To talk more about this Greg Palast, an author and investigative journalist, joins RT’s Liz Wahl.
The sage Israeli commentator and activist Uri Avnery recently published an excellent analysis of the Israel/Iran situation on The Planetary Movement (1). Mr. Avnery presents the full list of strategic reasons why it is highly unlikely that Netanyahu will launch such an attack. It would result in: the immediate closing of the Strait of Hormuz and thus cut off the flow of about 40% of the world’s oil; an immediate all-out Iranian missile assault on the Israeli cities with some missiles getting through and wreaking much destruction no matter how good the Israel/US “missile shield” is; unknown to most US citizens (including an unknown number of their political leaders, especially on the Right) anyway, Iran is very large country, “larger than Germany, France, Spain and Italy combined,” Mr. Avnery tells us; Continue reading →