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Interested in alternative viewpoints of our current financial crisis Nov. 23rd, 2008 @ 09:06 pm
capthek
All of the tv talking heads and print analysis tends to repeat some variation of the standard Neoclassical or even Keynesian logics behind what has gone wrong, what can be done to perhaps "fix" the crisis and what is predicted to come later. I am curious about any more radical interpretations or ideas. You can skim the below article for ideas. I agree that this is probably not "THE" crisis of capitalism, but it is a transformative point possibly leading to larger worker progress, yet also with the potential to just make things worse for workers. Feel free to include what the new American administrations effects could be. I see some neo-Keynesian and/or post-Keynesian new synthesis with investment in longer term infrastructure that could strengthen unions, workers, wages, living standards and even a more social form of capitalism. But, I also admit to spurts of self delusion. Thoughts?

Four Crises of the Contemporary World Capitalist System
William K. Tabb
http://www.monthlyreview.org/081006tabb.php
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alternative thanksgiving Nov. 19th, 2008 @ 01:11 pm
kshea333
does anyone know of alternative ways to spend thanksgiving?

i'm at the point now where i don't want to celebrate thanksgiving anymore because of the history of genocide, oppression, and colonization connected to it, and i'm trying to find alternative ways of spending that day/holiday season. i searched online but there don't seem to be many sources out there for it, and while i realize i could just ignore it and not recognize it as a holiday (which i may do), i didn't know if it would be more productive to spend it in a way either trying to give back to the american indian community, to raise awareness for the genocide that took place, etc.

what do people think?

note: i'm not trying to start an argument about whether or not a genocide really happened or not or whether the actions of the explorers/colonists can be justified. i'm just looking for productive/alternative ideas on how to spend the holiday.

x-posted in human_rights and politicsforum

Just a little something to think about... Nov. 10th, 2008 @ 03:10 pm
capthek
Could Just 4% of the Wall Street Bailout End World Hunger?
World hunger seems like one of those grand unsolvable problems – the perennial favorite wish of beauty pageant queens. The truth is, it's not unsolvable at all.
http://www.ecosalon.com/title/Could_Just_4_of_the_Wall_Street_Bailout_End_World_Hunger
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that it would only take $30 billion a year to launch the necessary agricultural programs to completely solve global food insecurity. (Severe hunger afflicts 862 million people annually.)

$30 billion sounds like a lot of money, but considering we've just bailed out Wall Street to the tune of nearly a trillion, it's trifling. After I did a little digging, all I could think was...really? $30 billion is all we need to end world hunger? That's it? I thought such a major goal would require some unreachable, vast sum. Here are six things I learned we're doing with that money instead.

Global military and arms trade expenditures hit high at about $1 trillion annually. Approximately $540 billion is spent by the United States alone. (I don't mean to single out defense here, but...wow!)

The United States Department of Energy spends $23.4 billion yearly just to develop and maintain nuclear warheads.
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The conservative media keep on trying to say we are a center-right nation... Nov. 6th, 2008 @ 01:30 pm
capthek
Most Americans are not conservative
Don't believe the mainstream media:

According to the Pew Center's extensive national survey, released well before this endless election got under way, roughly 70 percent of respondents believe that the government has a responsibility "to take care of people who can't take care of themselves." Two-thirds (66 percent)--including most of those who say they would prefer a smaller government (57 percent)--support government-funded health insurance for all citizens. Most also regard the nation's corporations as too powerful, while nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say corporate profits are too high--about the same number who say "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person" (68 percent). When it comes to the environment, a large majority (83 percent) back stricter laws and regulations, while 69 percent agree "we should put more emphasis on fuel conservation than on developing new oil supplies" and 60 percent say they would "be willing to pay higher prices in order to protect the environment."

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081117/alterman

Usually if people are asked if they are liberal or conservative they will say conservative a majority of the time because the word liberal has come to mean someone who is all permissive or anything. I prefer the term progressive because it indicates the believe that those who have more should also convey a greater support for our nation with a progressive tax system, but it also appeals to my inner technophile who is a great believer in technological progress and funding the sciences.

What do you think? Should we try to rehabilitate the term liberal towards its 60s definition, or should we leave that to that generation and stick with the newly popular "progressive" term to label those on the left?

straight out geekyness below:
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Interesting, Bush gives praise to fertility clinics who create numerous embryos just to be destroyed Nov. 29th, 2007 @ 04:06 pm
capthek
Yet in the same speech criticizes the use of embryos for stem cell research, somehow its better just to toss them into the trash? Can anyone explain this logic to me?

Why Science Can't Save the GOP
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 By MICHAEL KINSLEY
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Other entries
» looks like somebody finally read the polls saying dem support was pissed!
(but does it have a ghost of a chance of passing?)

Liberal Dems back party's war bill
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071114/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq;_ylt=Ar5CDFDCsUAja1ggHoIjs9ms0NUE
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 8 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Three leading House anti-war Democrats said they now back a $50 billion bill that funds the war but calls for most troops to come home by December 2008. Their support paves the way for the bill's passage Wednesday.
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» (No Subject)
With a keyboard on loan from God, I am the Independent Blogger of the Office of the Independent Blogger. Allow me to introduce you to my site if you haven't heard of it before. I do hope you visit and stay -- add it to a Feed, bookmark it.

My latest post is a satire of Mitt Romney, who is more Elmer Fudd than John Wayne, more Michael Dukakis than George H.W. Bush. It's a look at his -- and his state's -- Looney Toon Politics.

Earlier today, I wrote about Disney recognizing gay relationships, which is good news, and Florida law forbidding people from feeding homeless people, which makes even a sane man wish himself Libertarian!

A couple of days ago I looked at Newt Gingrich's comments about bilingual education and the whole ugly matter of textbooks being censored or neglecting portions of history.

For those of you interested in Congressional politics, I looked at portions of the Democratic agenda and outline the potential pitfalls and my own opinions on these ideas. A small excerpt, in response to Price's warning of the price Democrats might pay for going too far with certain things: "I’ll buy that. If the Democrats, say, pass a bill legalizing gay marriage and pledge to give money to terrorists, they’d be homosexual Ronald Reagans — and out of work come 2008." And then I took a serious look at their agenda. The Democratic Agenda.

Here I chide Bush's chief policy strategist in 2004 for now saying Bush is wrong. (Of course he's wrong -- my argument is that Dowd is not someone to appreciate in any sense of the term because his whole behavior suggests he's an idiot.)

Here, at OkayStupid, I Got It! we've got a look at Online Politics and the recent announcement that Barack Obama raised more money than Hillary did...on the Internet, and the dishonest, ridiculous manner the whole situation was covered in by the media and on the Internets. (And here we've got a deep apology to Barack Obama's intern...who I told that I was a Republican because I can't possibly donate to his campaign on principal or prudence.)</a> (And here, on a final note on the matter, we've got a better look at the media's coverage of Obama/Clinton and a casual look at billionaires v. government when it comes to newspapers.)

A short post here, pithy, that would be longer in summary than whole!

Small post here, too, about Thompson's Presidential announcement. An excerpt:

I didn’t know that the Department of Health and Human Services was a launchpad for Presidential ambitions, but I suppose it is now with Tommy Thompson’s announcement that he’s running for President. I, for one, am not sure what to make of it. He’s angling himself as a reliable Conservative but that’s what Senator Brownback is in the race for. Perhaps he’ll catch fire if Brownback’s big mouth catches up to him, but otherwise I don’t think he’s got much of a chance to make waves.

Of course, there are hundreds of posts beyond that, and I update daily. I'd like to think I have a good idea what I'm talking about and an excellent sense of humor, but I'll leave that up to you, and I hope you agree to stay at the Office of the Independent Blogger, open daily for business!
» (No Subject)
I am the Independent Blogger of the Office of the Independent Blogger. I took a hiatus of about a week and a half and returned to blogging today. I thought I'd refer you all to my blog, and sample it for you as well.

As I gloated in my latest political entry, I called the Rumsfeld resignation on October first and I called it for either today or January. To quote,

On October first, I wrote,

The more I read of the new Woodward book, State of Denial, the more apparent it becomes to me that Donald Rumsfeld will finally lose his job. Either the day after the Midterm Elections, or in January. That’s how George Walker works. He won’t want to give anything up to the Defeatocrats before the Elections, but I reckon Rumsfeld’s done for.

A few times I’ve waivered slightly, wondering if Bush just might really be dumb enough to allow Rumsfeld’s further presence at the Department of Defense, but I always believed that the writing was on the wall and I do believe myself a Boy who can read the President, whoever it may be. Needless to say, Rumsfeld has stepped down, and now it’s up to a new man to try and wipe Baghdad clean, something that I think is all too possible. Wars don’t end overnight and however dramatic losses may be (and Iraq’s aren’t that bad, in perspective) there is always prospect for Victory. If this new man means that George Bush is serious about changing course in Iraq (which it seems he is, in a roundabout, Bushian way, as he said today, to that same question, “Well, there’s certainly going to be new leadership at the Pentagon”) then that is nothing but a good thing.

The President’s committment, and vision, remains dubious, however. Bush has defeated Rumsfeld; now can he defeat their collective mistakes of the last four years? This is the sort of change that gives old supporters of the War new hope — cautious, tempered hope, but hope all the same.


Yes, I am, as an old but hesitant supporter of the Iraq War, take new hope from this event but I genuinely fear that it's far too little too late.

Here, on this page, titled Inevitabilities are Inevitable, I write about Tuesday's election results,

Today’s Chicago Tribune led off with the headline, Democrats’ Day! but I feel that the New York Times did the public one better when they wrote, a Loud Message for Bush. The truth is that yesterday’s election was a message to Bush rather than a reaffirmation of Liberalism, and it is also a Finally Election, meaning that it’s The One that Shouldn’t Have Gotten Away Like the Others Did. That is, 2002 should’ve been a good year to be a Democrat and 2004 was not an election that Bush should’ve won. This year was similar in circumstance and for once, the Democratic Party was able to capitalize without ruining its own prospects, and the credit should go, as far as organizing the rout, to Chuck Schumer in the Senate and Rahm Emmanuel in the House for not Shrumming up a sure thing.

All through the year I was sure of three things: the Republicans would lose seats, Rick Santorum would be handily defeated and Rod Blagojevich would be re-elected Governor of Illinois. Whether or not the Democrats would take the House was something I was leaning Yes on but wasn’t confident enough to declare because of the Mathematics of Redistricting. I’m glad, enough, that the Democrats have taken the House and might still take the Senate, but I must say I feel bad for the President.

King George can’t govern with a Republican Congress. Imagine how he’ll fail with a Divided Government!


and here, I noted the irony of the GOP defeat being fueled by Iraq.

Check it out and read it often. It's updated daily, and it's updated quite well, I must say in my unbiased and wholly independent way.
» (No Subject)
Hello everyone, I am the Independent Blogger of the Office of the Independent Blogger. Before we talk politics, I've got a new section on my website that I'd like to quickly plug: the Office of the Independent Poet. You'll find a bunch of the poems I've written on there, and it's all in good fun, I say. Now, to politics, which.....aren't.

In regard to political analysis, there's this, where I talk about Joe Lieberman's recent defeat, and I stand up for him, more or less, because I believe he deserves to be stood up for. Similarly, there's this, about Hillary Clinton's chances to run/not run in 2008.

An Excerpt.Collapse )

Additionally, there is criticism of the Lebanese Invasion and the Bush Administration's treatment of it. On the subject of War, we have my thoughts here, specifically about the recent statements made by Generals in the military about Iraq. In response to an embarrassing story about George Bush's lack of knowledge preceding the Invasion, I write this: "I’d like to know what type of deal George Bush made with the Devil to give him the Presidency, but so far, Antonin Scalia won’t answer my phone calls, and William Rehnquist is dead!"

You can read the criticisms here, as well as a look at the Ukraine's recent politics. I love Eastern Europe.
Here, we have a look at Cuba and War Profiteers, and here we have one of my favorite posts, an entry looking at the "inevitability" of War with Iran, in which I look at past "inevitable conflicts." It's a good read, but then again, I believe everything on my site is, as, excuse my lack of humility, I believe that my blog is the best under-the-radar look at politics online. While I'm sure there's disagreement with that notion, my blog is very good, and I'm proud of it.

Finally, on an International and more traditionally Liberal note, there's this: Cold as Ice, where we have a post about the savage beating of Seals, as well as a silly anecdote about an old project of mine involving Seal E., seal claps and Arctic Ice City. Given that we're talking about ice, let's talk about global warming.

Read through, and bookmark it, please!
» (No Subject)
Hi, I'm new to this community, so just a little bit about myself first. My name's Dan and I live in NSW. I'm from a very working class family and so, am naturally adorned to left-wing politics. I'm 18 and have bipolar disorder which makes me very interested in the parties' views on mental illness and think the "beyond-blue" initiative is a bit of a joke, and feel much umbrage to john howard (I refuse to capitalize his name) for some statements he made in regards to depression a couple of years ago. Well anyway, onto my rants, please comment.

Previously posted on my journal.

OK, The first thing I want to rant about, seem's my lj has become a bit of a political blog but if you keep up with the state of politics in Australia, and you know the particular circumstanstances of me (my dad is pretty much self employed (i mean he has an employer but has to manage his own super and stuff, ie. he is a sub-contractor) this is 100% because of the GST introduced in 1999 by the current totatitarian (and anyone who disagree's with my term just come live the life of my dad for a day) liberal government.) yet het only earns $20 000AU a year (roughly $13 000 US a year).) Because he has little to no education The new Industrial relations laws (in Australia known as the workchoices (I refuse to capitalise them) regime) benefit him greatly. If you can't tell I'm being sarcastic. I'd say the only reason my dad hasn't been sacked for some 17 year old being paid in petrol vouchers which he must use on the taxi are because a) he knows too much about his bosses running of the taxi (ie taking some tax "breaks") and b) he is best mates with his boss. 

Now for those of you who don't know the new ir (not to be mistaken with infra-red which is actually useful and fair) laws pretty much lower the unfair dismissal threshold to 100 workers in a company, allows the company to require an employee to sign what is known as an awa (Australian workplace agreement) which is pretty much a new term for an unfair contract (there are many stories of people, including my brother losing about $200 dollars a week, they are not allowed to be part of the union, they lose all their entitlements such as paid sick and maternal leave), give the federal and thus liberal government the control of the employee relations comission taking it from the labour (union) controlled states. 

Next on my political rant is the war, particularly on Iraq, Iran and North Korea. These three states, to the best of my knowledge have or are planning to build, what are popularly known as weapons of mass destruction, with the exception of Iraq. Now wait just an oil-pumpin' minute. Iraq is the only one of those we've invaded, and we found no evidence of WoMD's. Yet the other two country's proudly talk up their nuclear programs. Now with the rogue leader of North Korea (lord, please let me get this right) Kim Jung Ill, tickling the united states funny bone in a way they haven't been tickled since a certain superpower known as the USSR did back in 1962. Let me set the scene for you, Cuba 18th October, 1962. The world stood on the brink of a nuclear war. All because of one thing. The Soviet's placing longish range missiles right on the US's doorstep, the socialist Cuba. This would enable the Kremlin to launch a nuclear attack on the US with nuclear warheads, this was well before the US's Star Wars antimissle system, so an attack was well on JFK's mind. Now alot of people think it was the US's bargaining power which led to the withdrawl of the launch pad's from Cuba, but a little known fact is that the US removed a certain launching base of long-range ballistic missiles, from Poland, well within striking distance from the Soviets. Now I ask you, how long has it been since a nuclear weapon was used on an enemy, well the answer is World War 2, August 9, 1945, which coincidently is the last time the US won a war. 

Now I'm not one to praise the Soviet's for placing such tension on the world, but in reality weren't all they were doing was levelling the playing field in the chance of a nuclear war against the United Stated and it allies. I feel pretty lucky that the current President, George dubbya wasn't in power cause dipolmacy and facts seem to be the last thing on his regimes mind. And I'm sure the world would've been destroyed that grey October morn. Well anyway getting back to the North Korean/Iran issue, these countries maybe just be trying to settle the playing field with the US, who under the terms of the UN Nuclear non-proliferation treaty are allowed to posses, along with France, Russia, UK and China Nuclear weapons. No other country in the world, under te terms of the treaty are allowed to possess weapons. Now wait a minute, those countries are also the core members of the UN, the Security Council. Don't tell me there's not a little bias here. And also don't quote to me the terms of the treaty, I speak of course of the clause in which a member who has signed the treaty agree's not to fire on another state unless fire upon BY NUCLEAR WEAPONS first (ie a nuclear retaliatory strike). Because this wouldn't be the first time the US broke the terms the treaty, another clause in the treaty says that no Security State (ie one who is allowed to hold the bomb) can give a nuclear weapon to another nation however the US has been doing this for the greater part of a half-century. So maybe Iran/North Korea are merely trying to level the playing field however even I, the socialist of all socialists find this laughable, maybe the US and other UN nations need to take a little more off their own plates before condemning these nations. 

Moving onto my next topic, the UN. Now the UN is suppossed to be a world council, saying yes or no to several matters concerning the world's security. Now a little history on the UN. It was founded shortly after world war 2, and it's first major act was to declare Israel a state. Well nuff said on the UN's judgement. This is still laughable. In more recent history though the security council sat several times to discuss what the US wanted, a war against Iraq. Based on "you've gotta trust us" facts the UN Security Council declined to move in on Iraq, in hindsight quite rightfully. The US and Great Britian moved in anyway and have slaughtered over one THOUSAND civilians. Now this is genocide of the Iraqi people on a mass scale, and the UN has done nothing. These war crimes have not been punished and the despite the pessimist in me I doubt if they ever will be. Ladies and gentlemen, under internation law (and I'm not the only one saying this) George Bush, Tony Blair, the Italian leaders and John Howard are war criminals and should face trial in an international court. The US seems to be in control of the UN and I beg of the remaining members of the UN to do something. Fine the US and Great Britian for disobeying a direct order. I don't mean a monetary sum, I mean kick them off the security council. If a rogue state like the US wishes to play the UN for chumps they shouldn't be part of it. Now for one well known fact about the initial funding of the UN, it's headquarters live in New York, the initial sum was funded by an American politician.

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