“To oppose the policies of a government does not mean you are against the country or the people that the government supposedly represents. Such opposition should be called what it really is: democracy, or democratic dissent, or having a critical perspective about what your leaders are doing. Either we have the right to democratic dissent and criticism of these policies or we all lie down and let the leader, the Fuhrer, do what is best, while we follow uncritically, and obey whatever he commands. That’s just what the Germans did with Hitler, and look where it got them.”—Michael Parenti (via retropolitics)
Stephen Harper, Feb. 21. “Well, I think a lot of people in the past have been suggesting that, you know, victory is the complete defeat of the insurgency and the replacement of a failed state in Afghanistan with a modern liberal democracy. I don’t think that’s realistic. I think what we should be aiming for in Afghanistan is a viable state that respects, you know, obviously some democratic norms, but I think ultimately the insurgency will last a long time. Afghanistan, through most of its history has been an untamed country. So I think the idea we’re going to wipe out an insurgency is completely unrealistic.”
Stephen Harper, Mar. 1. “We’re not going to win this war just by staying. We’re not going to — in fact, my own judgment, Fareed, is, quite frankly, we are not going to ever defeat the insurgency. Afghanistan has probably had — my reading of Afghanistan history, it’s probably had an insurgency forever, of some kind. What has to happen in Afghanistan is, we have to have an Afghan government that is capable of managing that insurgency and improving its own governance.”
Barack Obama, today. “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: we will defeat you … to defeat an enemy that heeds no borders or laws of war, we must recognize the fundamental connection between the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan … There is an uncompromising core of the Taliban. They must be met with force, and they must be defeated … we will use all elements of our national power to defeat al Qaeda, and to defend America, our allies, and all who seek a better future.”
This is a bit of an oversimplification as a direct comparison, and Obama, I guess, sort of has to use retarded language like this to placate the masses (he’s a fixer, bringing people together, you see), but when Harper makes more sense than his American counterpart on an issue as big as this, we are truly and completely fucked.
A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds the public agreeing with the Obama administration that it has inherited the problems it has to deal with. Only 26% of Americans think the Obama administration deserves blame for the current economic problems, compared to 80% who blame banks and businesses, 70% who blame the Bush administration, and 72% who blame consumers. President Obama’s approval rating remains high at 66%, with 60% approval on the economy specifically.
vruz: Well… I would have lost my faith in mankind if Americans blamed Obama for the economy, or anything really. I don’t know if I should be shocked about that 26% of whackos. So why the fuck the medias are paying so much attention to the Limbaugh spats ? Why do we see Boehner on TV attempting to mock the president with a Republican Road to Ridiculousness ? It’s a great relief most of the people are starting to get it, but the medias really deserve to be replaced as much as the Republicans do.
“If you want to feel encouraged about our economic near future — not this damned decade but the one to come — ignore the stock traders and go talk to some venture capitalists. They aren’t quite giddy (after the ’80s and ’90s and ’00s, beware all giddiness), but they are optimistic about an imminent tide of innovations in technology, energy and transportation. Recall, please, the national mood in the mid-’70s: after the 1960s party, we found ourselves in a slough of despondency, with an oil crisis, a terrible recession, a kind of Weimarish embrace of decadence, national malaise — and at that very dispirited moment, Microsoft and Apple were founded. The next transformative, moneymaking technologies and businesses are no doubt coming soon to a garage near you.”—The End of Excess: Is This Crisis Good for America? - TIME (via fred-wilson)
SCOTLAND YARD is to deploy officers armed with 50,000-volt Taser stun guns to deal with violent demonstrators planning to disrupt this week’s G20 summit in London.
The centrepiece of the security plan will be hundreds of officers from the Metropolitan police territorial support group, who are routinely armed with speedcuffs, extended batons and CS gas spray.
The Met confirmed yesterday that they will be supported by officers equipped with Tasers on stand-by should trouble break out.
“There will be an armed response vehicle element to this operation and [those officers] will be carrying Tasers,” said a spokeswoman.
The Met’s admission that Tasers could be used for the first time in the UK during riots came as protest groups claimed police had contacted them to warn that a day of protest in the City on Wednesday would be “very violent”.
[SEE ALSO my earlier post on the willingness of the British state to use lethal force to protect the interests of global capital]
vruz: so… this would be a preemptive “Summer of Discontent”, a good pretext just so all the machinery is in place by the time things really get ugly…
“Political speech is largely the defence of the indefensible… Villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification… Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.”—George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (via leftworks)
A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said. The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.
Simple and effective idea for impacting our local economies. (via Seth Godin)
vruz: well I’ve been doing this for years it’s really a no-brainer, but it’s great Godin is a great communicator and hopefully people will start paying attention and realise they’re killing their own neighbours when they buy from the big markets.
Godin should have this published on Rolling Stone.
“Optimists seem to be sprinkled with fairy dust. They suffer less and recover quicker. They’re healthier and better-liked and have stronger marriages and more fun. It’s enough to make the rest of us gloomy—except that psychologists believe that a lot of these qualities stem from cognitive habits that can be learned. More than any other major personality trait, optimism is a matter of practice.”—
Communities across America are suffering through a crisis that could leave a dramatically diminished version of democracy in its wake. It is not the economic meltdown, although the crisis is related to the broader day of reckoning that appears to have arrived. The crisis of which we speak involves more than mere economics. Journalism is collapsing, and with it comes the most serious threat in our lifetimes to self-government and the rule of law as it has been understood here in the United States.
“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.”—Prof. Edward W. Said (1935-2003)
a trip down memory lane of memories that never were. what a shame, and what i wouldn’t do to get my hands on the GBA predcessor even if it’s sluggish and obsolote. come on nintendo, where’s the creativity you once had like back in the good ol’ days!
None of the antioxidant waters, which are very popular, have shown any health benefits, despite their indirect marketing pitches. Essentially, what one is buying is expensive water with sweeteners and some flavorings and supplements added.
“I would even go so far as to suggest that our moral decadence is partly responsible for the wrath we’ve incurred from Muslim extremists. Without in any way condoning their violence, one of the main reasons they see America as “the great Satan” is because of how we’re influencing the rest of the world with our debauchery. It’s undeniable that wherever American influence is evidenced, sexual morals loosen. They disdain our “freedom” because to them it’s inseparably wrapped up with freedom to have sex outside of marriage. When they hear George Bush announce that we’re going to expand “freedom” around the globe, what many hear is Satan announcing he’s going to spread debauchery around the globe.”—
I recently bought the novel “Nobel Lectures: From the The Literature Laureates, 1986 - 2006”, a book containing the speeches of various winners of the Nobel Prize for literature, and it is one incredibly captivating and inspiring read. The Nobel Prize is argueably one of the most presitgious awards a person can be awarded and i understand the aura and atmosphere surrounding the award is one of scholars and academia, but i find it inappropriate how the laureates go unnoticed and unmentioned in the media. Below is a link of the list of Nobel Prize winners from wikipedia, and i highly suggest you take a closer look at these individuals who have dedicated their life to what they love and elevated their respective areas of study to become symbols of genius, hardwork and inspiration.