Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday, 18 July 2010



Russia Today's Anastasia Churkina interviews Eric Garris of Antiwar.com.(I don't know if he's right about Americans not connecting the wars of the past decade with potential collapse. Sometimes a dearth of polling data on a topic may mean the pollsters just aren't interested in the question, or aren't getting the results their clients want.)

Also from Antiwar.com, "The Rot from Within: Character Disorders of the Republic" in which Robert Logan reviews
In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by Dr. George Simon

...one of the key insights from the literature on personality disorders is that they know best themselves exactly what they are doing. What is missing is the moral compass. You are wasting your time arguing with them, "informing" them, or trying to change them. The same has been true with my political experience and all the futile ancillary efforts.

Obama has not only tolerated the criminal gangsterism of the Bush Administration before him, but he has both extended it and made their innovations permanent. The person who commits a crime is not as great a threat as he who sanctions it and makes it a permanent part of our national character.


David Spero, Dissident Voice,

"Don’t Fear the Right, They Are Potential Class Allies"




John Vidal, Guardian: June 2010 was the hottest June since international recordkeeping began(in 1880).


Two from Helena Cobban,

The 'oddity' of American mainstream discourse

The dumbing down of (paper) 'Foreign Policy'

The latest issue-- the "Bad Guys Issue"-- is almost completely sophomoric. reducing the complexity of international relations to a question of "bad guys" is really inane. And the whole of the piece by Ghanaian citizen George B.N. Ayittey titled, "The Worst of the Worst: Bad dude dictators and general coconut heads" follows along completely with the childish, content-less name-calling of the title.

U.S. citizens live in a large country that-- along with China-- is the only one that is big enough that even in today's world a dream of autarky, isolationism, and provincialism can still seems plausible. And in the U.S. one big result of this has been that many otherwise involved citizens are deeply ignorant about the rest of the world. A publication like Foreign Policy should set out to help educate them (us)-- at least, not simply to mindlessly perpetuate old myths to the effect that most of the world's problems are due to "the bad guys", the "coconut heads", etc.

What a tragedy to see what the paper edition of the FP has become.

Luckily, several parts of the fairly independently run website are a whole lot better.


Frederick Kaufman in Harper's, "The food bubble How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it"

I generally like the writings of Sam Smith of The Progressive Review, but he has a very puzzling op-ed up, "How progressives and liberals are different", which I have to take issue with.

Smith's basic position is, "progressives good, liberals bad." I don't know who appointed him the head of the English language. My more humble impression is the definitions are very much in flux. (Actually, I was thinking of this article when I responded to a recent comment by Bob from Pacifica, writing that as far as I can see "progressive" has come to mean somebody who's perceived as liberal but is desperately trying to shake the label. I guess I foolishly expected Bob to read my mind and be aware of the context. As far as I know he doesn't do this.)


CNN on recent Army suicides



Chris Floyd discusses Jundullah, a terror group that attacks Iranian civilians, and which is believed to receive US sponsorship.



Also by Floyd: "Extreme Measures: Arming the Zealotocracy, Serving the Elite"

One of the most significant developments in the modern world -- history may find it to be a decisive one -- has been the deliberate cultivation of religious extremism by ruling elites trying to sustain and expand their power.

Avedon Carol notes that there is a blog called Economists for firing Larry Summers.


Bloomberg:`Capitalism' Not So Sacred to Americans as Mood Sours

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2 Comments:

At July 18, 2010 1:21 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

I read that column by Sam Smith and I have to agree with you. Obama refers to himself as a progressive so what does that mean? He’s a progressive murderer? I think Smith is trying to define the difference between an older idea of being liberal with what it means today and his choice of terms were just perhaps not well chosen. For myself, ever since I was a kid I have been against wars especially the one where they tried to draft me. Today liberals don’t seem to have a problem with war unless they are losing one and they tell me I’m crazy. I think they are the ones who are crazy. There definitely seems to be a new kind of liberal or progressive or whatever, I don’t care for them much.

 
At July 19, 2010 5:13 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

I don't like either "liberal" or "progressive." I think the meanings--nebulous as they were before--of both have been distorted beyond all sense. I just call myself a "pacifist."

 

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