Archive for November, 2011

Harper’s Orwellian “nationalism”

What does the Grey Cup football game have to do with the Canadian military? Not much, you say. True enough. But chalk up another public-relations triumph for the governing Conservatives. They turned the opening ceremonies of our annual sports classic into a military glorification exercise. For our part in the NATO Libya campaign, the Defence Minister took bows on the field. A Canadian flag was spread over 40 yards. Cannons boomed.

The blending of sport and the military, with the government as the marching band, is part of the new nationalism the Conservatives are trying to instill. It is another example of how the state, under Stephen Harper’s governance, is becoming all-intrusive. Conservatism, as defined by Ronald Reagan, was about getting government off the backs of the people. Conservatism, as practised by team Harper, is more akin to an Orwellian opposite. State controls are now at a highpoint in our modern history. There is every indication they will extend further.

The propaganda machine has become mammoth and unrelenting. The parliamentary newspaper The Hill Times recently found there are now no fewer than 1,500 communications staffers on the governing payroll. In the days of the King and St. Laurent governments, there were hardly any. In recent decades, the numbers shot up, but Mr. Harper is outdoing all others, a primary example being his institution and maintenance of a master control system wherein virtually every government communication is filtered through central command.



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It’s not unprecedented for an inventor to voice regrets when a creation turns out to have harmful uses. It is widely believed the Swedish industrialist, Alfred Nobel, created the Peace Prize bearing his name in response to feelings of guilt around his invention of dynamite and ballistite, both of which were used in violent acts during his lifetime. The famed physicist, Albert Einstein, was said to be greatly distressed for unintentionally advancing the development of the atomic bomb through his work. Today in the aftermath of the crackdown on Occupy Wall Street protesters nationwide, there is a new name to add to the list, Kamran Loghman. In the 80’s Loghman was the expert responsible with the FBI in developing weapons grade pepper spray. He also collaborated with police departments to develop guidelines for pepper spray’s use. But now after seeing footage of police using pepper spray on non-violent Occupy Wall Street protesters nationwide, including students at UC Davis, protesters with the Occupy movement in New York and 84 year old protester Dora Lee Rainey in Seattle, Kamran Loghman is speaking out against what he calls the most inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents he has ever seen.

“It is becoming more and more fashionable this day and age to use chemical on people who have an opinion and that, to me, is a complete lack of leadership both in the police department and other people who cannot really deal with the root of the problem and they want to spray people to quiet them down and it is really not supposed to be that. It is not a thing that solves any problem, nor is it something that quiets people down.”

Watch here

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DATELINE: MONTREAL– Members of the Syrian community in Montreal on Tuesday organized a mass rally to express condemnation of the Arab League (AL) against Syria, voicing full support to the comprehensive reform program in Syria. The participants raised the Syrian flag and banners condemning the AL which has become a tool in the hand of the US administration and the Western countries. They strongly denounced the acts of killing and sabotage perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups which only serve the interests of the Israeli enemy.

DATELINE: BEIRUT– Participants in the Arab International Forum against Zionist Apartheid held in Beirut on Sunday affirmed their rejection of the Arab League decisions against Syria, saying that the conspiracy against Syria is due to its central role and support of resistance.

DATELINE: AMMAN– The ‘Youths against Foreign Interference in Syria and Arab Countries’ Movement on Saturday staged a sit-in in front of the US Embassy in Amman to express rejection of the US-western interference attempts in the Syrian internal affairs[…] Mansour Morad, member of the Jordanian Popular Front to Support Syria against the conspiracy, said that the plot aims at fragmenting Syria, liquidation of the Palestinian cause, targeting Jordan and Lebanon and undermining the Arab resistance […] Hassan Abu Ras, member of the Jordanian Popular Front, said “The Arab League is serving the imperialism and Zionism through undermining Syria and the resistance at a time when the AL is ignoring the current siege imposed on Gaza Strip.”

DATELINE: MOSCOW– The Communist Party of Russia condemned the foreign interference in Syria’s internal affairs and the media war launched against it under claims of human rights protection and democracy.  In a statement issued on Thursday, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia, Gennady Zyuganov, said “Syria faces a ferocious media campaign and that the U.S. and its allies flagrantly interfere in its internal affairs.

DATELINE: DAMASCUS– The Syrian Arab Defense Committee in Lebanon on Sunday held a festival of solidarity with Syria at the October War Panorama in Damascus. The event is titled ‘Loyalty Oath to Syria’, held in rejection of foreign interference in Syria’s affairs and in condemnation of the Arab League decisions. Ali Na’ouf, Secretary-General of the Committee, said “We came today to stand with Syria in the face of the plots.”

DATELINE: CANBERRA– President of Friends of Syria Group Fiona Hill criticized the sanctions imposed by the Arab League against Syria, indicating to the popular Arab anger over the AL decisions.

DATELINE: BRASILIA– Members of the Arab community in Brazil strongly condemned the Arab League resolutions against Syria, showing support to the Syrian people and the comprehensive reform program led by President Bashar al-Assad.

DATELINE: ANKARA– The Syrian-Turkish Forum dubbed “Cause and Stance” on Sunday stressed that the interests of the Syrian and Turkish peoples lie in establishing the best relations between the two countries. In a closing statement issued at the end of the three-day Forum which was held in Ankara, the participants said that the blatant interference of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (JDP) in Syria’s internal affairs represented in supporting terrorists and the attempts to undermine Syria’s sovereignty […] They added that Syria is facing a fierce armed conspiracy funded by foreign bodies and the evidence on that is the statements of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

DATELINE: RIYADH– Members of the Syrian community in Saudi Arabia stressed complete readiness to defend their homeland in face of any foreign interference and to sacrifice everything for the sake of Syria and its glorious history of resistance and struggle. During their third sit-in in the same week which was held at the courtyard of the Syrian Embassy in Riyadh, members of the community expressed anger at the decision of Arab League (AL).

DATELINE: MELBOURNE-“Australians for Syria” Group has organized a solidarity rally in the Australian city of Melbourne with the participation of thousands of the Syrian community members in condemnation of the Arab League (AL) decision on suspending Syria’s membership. The rally, organized in cooperation with the National Union of Syrian Students, roamed some of Melbourne neighborhoods before reaching the Australian Parliament in Victoria State where the participants raised the Syrian flag and the photos of President Bashar al-Assad.

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 ‘…the Jewish lobby, the pro-Israeli lobby in Canada and the U.S., has this power to really make magazines like us pay a price for speaking back.’

When the Occupy Wall Street protests began to attract attention in the fall, everyone wanted to know where the idea to set up a permanent protest at the heart of Manhattan’s financial district came from.  The answer was the mind of Kalle Lasn, the co-editor (along with Micah White) of the anti-consumerist “culture jamming” magazine Adbusters.  It was Adbusters, calling for an American “Tahrir moment,” that originally put out the call to occupy Wall Street on September 17.

But not all the attention Lasn and his magazine received was positive, though.  It was the New York Times coverage of Adbusters and Lasn’s role in the Occupy movement that caused him the most grief by smearing them as anti-Semitic.


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The New Spirit of Economics

Full of magic, mystery, and animal spirits once again.

Economics wasn’t always the science it now claims to be. In fact, not so long ago what now is called big E economics was once magical, mysterious and altogether profound. John Maynard Keynes, the architect of America’s recovery from the Great Depression and champion of the welfare state, believed that at its core, economics is ruled by “animal spirits.” That is to say that the free, equal and rational mind of consumers in the Locke/Smith economic paradigm does not sufficiently explain human action in the market place; that economies operate more according to Freudian animal heritage, or esoteric and emotional impulses, than reason. Other thinkers from this formative economic era, like Joseph Schumpeter, sensed that a violent, warlike impulse of “creative destruction” lurked at the heart of capitalism. And Karl Marx, the great dreamer, proposed that economic theory, rather than empowering and rewarding the selfish gene, could instead create a better social realm in which every person gave according to his abilities and received according to his needs […]

Today, as Gregory Mankiw’s widely used first year university economics textbook, Principles of Economics, shows, the “common weal” discipline has been reduced to a dry, boring, amoral and inhuman study full of pseudo formulas and cumbersome equations with little connection to ethical questions or social desirability. Graph upon graph on page after page of Principles of Economics reveal just how far economics has drifted from the poetry and prose of its roots – that often misread bible of global finance, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations – to the purposely obtuse and elite math of today.



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The United States has used tactical nuclear weapons in its military campaign against Iraq and Afghanistan, a Middle East expert told Press TV.

“Tactical nuclear weapons were used, at least one in Iraq and several were used in Afghanistan –in the Tora Bora mountains,” Peter Eyre, a Middle East consultant, said.

Eyre pointed out that the atomic bomb dropped on Afghanistan’s Tora Bora region was so powerful that it actually created an earthquake there.

The analyst went on to say that the use of such lethal weapons by US military, which is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention, has been sanctioned by the US presidents; thus they should be prosecuted for war crimes.

“In America, the ultimate commander in chief is the president,” Eyre said, adding that the President has the final say in using such weapons.

The US is the first country in the world to develop nuclear weapons and the only one to use them.

Thousands of people were killed in August 1945, when the US bombers dropped atomic bombs on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of toppling the Taliban regime, claiming that the militants have refused to hand over Osama bin Laden.

The US also invaded Iraq in 2003 under the excuse of destroying alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) belonging to former dictator Saddam Hussein.

Many civilians, including women and children, have been killed as a result of these wars.

The US-led war in Afghanistan, with civilian and military casualties at record highs, has become the longest war in the US history.


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The Green Star and New Resistance, along with revolutionaries world-wide, mourn the death of Comrade Kishenji.  Kishenji, one of the leaders of the Maoist CPI, was murdered in cold blood  by Indian state agents in a “fake encounter”.

A common technique used by the capitalist’s guard dogs in India a “fake encounter” is when a  militant is arrested, killed and a fake scene constructed to give the impression they died in combat rather than in detention.


from The Hindu newspaper:

Thousands of mourners, including friends, admirers and family members bid a tearful goodbye to CPI (Maoist) polit bureau member Mallojula Koteshwara Rao alias Kishenji, who was killed in an “encounter” in West Bengal, in his home town of Peddapalli in Karimnagar district on Sunday, amid unprecedented deployment of police in the town.

After the body of the naxalite leader was brought to his house in Brahmanaveedhi here early in the day, hordes of people from various walks of life arrived there and paid respects to Kishenji by forming serpentine queues. Amid slogans of “Lal Salaam – Lal Salaam”, “Kishenji Amar hai,” people paid their floral tributes.

Gaddar sings

Prominent among those who visited the house and paid respects to the departed naxal leader included balladeer Gaddar, Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao, Virasam leader Chalasani Prasad, Kalyan Rao, Peddapalli MP G. Vivekanand, TRS floor leader in the Assembly Etala Rajender, TRS legislator Koppula Eshwar, TRS legislator Odelu, MLC N Laxman Rao, CPI legislator G Mallesham, TDP local MLA, Ch. Vijayaramana Rao, MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga, Vimalakka and several others.

When Gaddar rendered songs hailing the supreme sacrifice of Kishenji, people started wailing and recollected the sacrifices made by him for the sake of society by living underground. The funeral procession, which started from the residence of the Maoist leader, reached the burial ground after over three hours, passing through the entire town amid tributes by the residents.

It was the last sight of her son for the mother of Kishenji, Madhuramma. She wailed inconsolably on seeing her son’s dead body after 33 years. People climbed the roof-tops of buildings and came out of their house to have a last glimpse of the naxalite leader’s body, which was wrapped in a red flag and placed on top of vehicle in the procession. The funeral pyre was lit by Kishenji’s brother, Anjaneyulu, and his family members along with Varavara Rao, Gaddar and others amid slogans by people such as “Amar rahe Kishenji”, “Johar Amarajeevi Kishenji” and “Lal Salaam.” The district police had made unprecedented security arrangements by deploying additional police force in the town to avoid untoward incidents. They thoroughly screened visitors to the town at bus stations, railway stations and all entry points into the town.

Telangana bandh

Meanwhile, alleging that Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter, the Maoists called for two-day bandh in Telangana region on December 1 and 2. The Maoists’ central committee spokesperson Abhay’s statement was read out by Varavara Rao at the residence of Kishenji. Varavara Rao charged that the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal was acting in a fascist way and resorting to encounters and even forcing doctors to say that the encounter of Kishenji was a ‘real one’. Appealing to the police personnel to act according to the Constitution, he found fault with them for acting according to the diktats of governments and encouraging killing of naxalites in fake encounters.


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