Monday, June 22, 2009

some links which are largely unrelated.

Lenin's Tomb has had more to say on Iran and Solidarity. This is something he has written in response to a previous poster on his shared site, but it would seem to have applicability to a wider audience, and does cut through a number of misconceptions I've seen thrown around about this topic of late.

This post discusses the future of my parents' generation in the United States, given the recent and ongoing wealth upheavals. (Among a number of other juicy bits, the author explains that grandparents will be competing with their own grandchildren for jobs, and their Medicare benefits will place them at an advantage when they do so.

Finally, it seems folk are 'running out' of unemployment. In large numbers. (Quote from the first part: "Rather, they are leaving because they have exhausted their benefits.... They are now unemployed AND broke. That is hardly a green shoot."

Why NPR refuses to call torture 'torture.' Very instructive. (Note that the NYT does the same thing for basically the same reason. Note as well that this is just the sort of hypocrisy that Chomsky's propaganda theory of the media predicts. Quite brazen.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thoughts on Iran

Excerpts from American Leftist

... I have always been insistent that the Iranians should decide their destiny in the absence of American intervention. As readers of this blog know, I am generally negative about the policies of the Obama administration, but, on this one, Obama has gotten it right. Through past actions, and present day threats, the US government has figuratively cut out its tongue when it comes to making statements about Iran. A country that refuses to disavow the possibility of launching airstrikes against an imaginary nuclear weapons program, airstrikes that could even involve nuclear weapons, while imposing economic sanctions, has nothing to say about what is transpiring there. At most, it can say this: the future of Iran is something to be decided by Iranians, hopefully in the most non-violent way possible.

... Finally, as an anarchist as opposed to a Marxist-Leninist, it is hard for me to oppose a movement directed against religious forms of social control. One of the central tenets of anarchism is a condemnation of the feudal powers assumed by religion over everyday life.

Richard here has articulated what I haven't been able to since first hearing details about what was going on in Iran.

Normally, politics just makes me really angry. This situation makes me very nervous, but also cautiously hopeful. (And angry about past American interventionism there and elsewhere.)

Wallstreet with excessive political influence, the heck you say!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bailout Nation Chart

A powerful graphic from Bailout Nation, recently featured on Boing Boing.

Note the size of the New Deal, on the bottom, to the right of center.

The historical numbers are inflation-adjusted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bill Moyers-- Discussion of US's military commitments.

More Bill Moyers, on the media

Jay Rosen is quite insightful, and Brooke Gladstone has a few good points even if she doesn't quite get it.

Jay Rosen is basically calling our modern political class the walking dead. They're dead, they just don't know it yet. This fits in well with what Bruce Sterling has been saying for some time in his commentary on 'the dead media beat,' etc.