24 June 2006


White House, GOP Leaders Plan All-Out Assault on Federal Protections... meanwhile, it looks like ballot-box apartheid is back in season, too. What's happening, in my humble opinion, is that America is regressing. Capitalist political economy has progressed as far as it can go; perhaps it will eventually produce the United States as a sort of Byzantine Empire, a social form that has outlived its heyday but which lives on because no countervailing force is strong enough to challenge its hegemony.

23 June 2006


I don't know what Frances Moore Lappe is doing with a title like Capitalism that works for all... her piece is really about co-operatives...

22 June 2006


here, the Democrats can't agree on a timetable. The reason this is important is that, in 2008, we can expect another John Kerry clone to get the Democrat nomination again. And things will just keep getting worse, especially with the household debt situation...only a realignment will change things...

21 June 2006


In fact, public opinion hardly matters anymore to the plutocrats and their media lapdogs, as the war is escalated...

this time in South Central Los Angeles, selling out 350 farming families for the private profits of Ralph Horowitz and Jan Perry.

This fun book review, quoted here... of course, there is nothing here about changing the overall form of society. But I like the dramatization:
How much will sea level rise with five degrees of global warming? Here too, our best information comes from the Earth's history. The last time that the Earth was five degrees warmer was three million years ago, when sea level was about eighty feet higher.

Eighty feet! In that case, the United States would lose most East Coast cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Miami; indeed, practically the entire state of Florida would be under water. Fifty million people in the US live below that sea level. Other places would fare worse. China would have 250 million displaced persons. Bangladesh would produce 120 million refugees, practically the entire nation. India would lose the land of 150 million people.
And this is what we get for all those traffic jams on the morning commute, all that carbon dioxide coming out of all those tailpipes!

see here:

What Staying the Course Means

Let me now admit to having second thoughts on this matter. I no longer am convinced that the U.S. adventure in Iraq is lost. There is no guarantee that the Bush administration cannot succeed in its goals there. The only certain thing is that success -- what the president calls "victory in Iraq" -- will come at the expense of thousands more American deaths, tens of thousands more Iraqi deaths, and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Indeed, this war would have to be sustained not only by this administration, but by the next one and probably the one after that as well. For over three years, the United States has supported a massive military presence on the ground in Iraq, while taking steady casualties. It may be no less capable of doing so for the next two-and-a-half years, until the end of Bush's second term -- and during the next administration's reign, too, whether the president is named John McCain or Hillary Clinton. At least theoretically, a force of more than 100,000 U.S. soldiers could wage a brutal war of attrition against the resistance in Iraq for years to come. Last week, in a leak to the New York Times, the White House announced its intention to leave at least 50,000 troops in Iraq for many years to come. Last week, too, the son of the president of Iraq (a Kurd) revealed that representatives of the Kurdish region are in negotiations with the United States to create a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq's north.

Meanwhile, President Bush and his Rasputin, Karl Rove, took the occasion of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to reiterate their unalterable commitment to victory in Iraq, whatever the cost. There is no reason not to take Bush at his word. And there is no reason not to believe that Rove will orchestrate a withering offensive against Democrats who question the president's goal of victory.

The frightening thing about last week's House and Senate debates over Iraq was that the mainstream opposition to the Bush administration -- ranging from moderate Democrats to realist, if pro-military, moderate Republicans -- never challenges the goal of victory in Iraq. Yes, a hardy band of antiwar members of Congress (including Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee of California, and others, joined by John Murtha of Pennsylvania) support the unconditional withdrawal of American troops. But the bulk of the Democrats, including the 42 Democrats who last week voted in favor of the bloodthirsty Republican war resolution, don't question the importance of victory in Iraq. They just question the Bush administration's tactics.
I have to wonder how long the planet can take all of this. Do all of America's military men and women want to stay in Iraq for all that time? Will the rest of the world prop up the US dollar for the next decade at least, so that the US government borrow the money necessary to finance all this? What happens when they decide they've had enough?

20 June 2006


I saw this piece through a column on Grist -- well, you know, we can't change capitalism, and we can't stop voting for the Two-Party system, and we can't stop consuming the planet to death, and we can't stop thinking outside the box when it comes to social change... let's build an escape pod. Even the brightest of scientists can succumb to despair without any vision.

19 June 2006


Yeah, I know, this is gossip... what's hilarious about Rich's diagnosis is that it's all too common amongst "progressives" to talk this way, as if both political parties were morally bankrupt, yet soooo few of them can quit the career ladders offered by the Two Party System. The result is that, like Hillary, they will end up believing in nothing but themselves. They will tell themselves, "gee, if I can get enough power within the system, I will be able to accomplish something for America," when all they will achieve is selling out.

Greg Palast portrays No Child Left Behind act as another attempt at class warfare. Please read.

This article confirms my suspicions of the complete bankruptcy of "liberalism" in this era. When McGovern was running for President I was ten years old, and I passed the hat at a family potluck in August or September of 1972 to get a bunch of money for a friend of the family who was a broke McGovern campaign worker. Then, McGovern's populist Keynesianism seemed like the right choice. Today, neoliberalism has greatly deepened the imbalances of global capitalism, and so our generation faces a much starker choice -- and ecosocialism stands today as the only alternative to the bankrupt Washington Consensus. McGovern seems to think that "union leaders who still see American businesses as the enemy must update that vision," but, really, workers still need to control businesses so they can retool America and the world for a global sustainable society. It has little to do with "more." We might live in "a global and far more competitive economy" than in 1972, but I don't see any businesses lining up to offer me anything resembling a future. Eh?

Meanwhile, Al Franken is now Mr. Prowar, as the Democrats can't seem to pull out...