(no subject)

There are so many depths and sub-avenues of the way that the government manipulated and lied to us on the subject of Iraq, that it would take all day for me to go through them all. Things like the way that foreigners were demonised as anti-patriotic, the media bias, the powerful sense of nationalism. In particular, the way the French were made out to look like the bad guys, regardless of how true that was. If you remember, the French said they would vote against the war only if it were to proceed before the weapons inspectors were finished their work. Not, as is the perception, that they would have veto-ed the war regardless. Of course, if they had held on for the French in the UN, they wouldn't have got it, because if the weapons inspectors had finished their work, they would have said that Saddam had nothing and we wouldn't have been able to have that lovely war.

I want to focus on two points, not the propaganda on the build up to the war, but the lasting perception in people's minds that it has left.

1. As a message to Middle Eastern governments:
People say it's important to find WMDs, but it isn't. Not finding WMDs wouldn't particularly have harmed the President's support (let's go with Bush, because Blair has no support left to lose*) at home if it wasn't for the lingering war, the occupation and the continuing death toll. In fact, not finding WMDs would send a very clear message to the rest of the Middle East. If America wanted to send the message that they're a dangerous rouge state, attacking for resources and didn't need any reason to do so, then they couldn't have done better. If they wanted to intimidate, let's say, Syria, then a very clear message has been sent.

2. To alter the minds of the country:
This is my main point. Because of this war, governments have somehow used the excuse of a pre-emptive war, based on WMDs as a supposedly justifiable reason to destroy a country and plunge it into chaos. Now Iran, North Korea and a host of other countries could be in our sights, and all our governments have to do for public approval is prove they have weapons. It doesn't matter if they pose no threat to us, or have no intention whatsoever to hurt us... they have weapons. It doesn't matter that this concept is highly illegal and Tony Blair and George Bush would have been hung under Nuremburg law because... they have weapons.

Let's go back to 1945 in Germany. This is what was read out to Nazi soldiers before they were hung:

"To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the acumilated evil of the whole"

To think that we're any different from the Nazis because we're under a mythical pretension of rightousness would be stupid. Hitler and the Germans also proclaimed this. They proclaimed they they were Christians. They manipulated the media to extordinary lengths to convince the nationals that they were on the right side.

And, more importantly and more relivantly, the early invasions of neighbouring countries prepared the psychological landscape for the massacre that was to come.

Famously, George Orwell once wrote:

"Who controls the present controls the past, who controls past controls the future"

We are forgetting the past and allowing ourselves to be decieved again. Educated people like us should be able to to snap out of our willing ignorance. Pre-emptive war isn't a new idea, it's existed for a long time and just because the BBC says that everybody hates us, doesn't mean that everybody is going to attack us. A tense peace is better than an intense war. Our need for resources shouldn't be the cause of the end of the world. Yes, they have weapons, but so do we. And there's only one side being aggressive.

*except Hilary Armstrong

Open Source National Law Project (x-post)

Hi, I'm going to Oglethorpe University, and one of my 4 courses is Business Law I.

Well, as I do have a long-lasting interest in politics, as well as in computer technology, this particular class has inspired me to concoct this particular idea that combines law and open source in a potentially earth-shaking manner. This is what I was writing just a few minutes ago:

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What do you think?
the cramps

(no subject)

‘No nukes, no war!’: Global convergence at UN demands end to nuclear weapons
Author: Dan Margolis
People's Weekly World Newspaper, 04/28/05 13:44

NEW YORK — The worldwide movement to end nuclear weapons, energized and united with the antiwar movement, is converging here for a month of actions. Kicking it off is a May 1 mass “No Nukes! No Wars!” march. On May 2, the United Nations opens a review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which aims to curb and eventually eliminate these weapons of mass destruction.

In addition to UN events, numerous activities, sponsored by a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations from more than 90 countries, will fill the month of May. Hibakusha — Japanese survivors of the U.S. atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 — will be touring the country and meeting with local community organizations.

“They have seen the horror of nuclear war, and want to guarantee it never happens again,” said Judith Le Blanc, co-chair of United for Peace and Justice.

A Mayors for Peace delegation, representing 105 cities in 25 countries, will rally for its “vision campaign” to eliminate all nuclear arsenals by the year 2020.

Other public events include forums on depleted uranium, the Iraq war and a nuclear-free Middle East. Abolition Now and UFPJ, two of the sponsoring organizations, are helping to coordinate the participation of the many peace, disarmament, women’s, trade union and youth groups coming from around the world.

The global call is to abolish all nations’ nuclear weapons. However, the United States — in particular the Bush administration — has been singled out as the main roadblock to abolition.
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the cramps

(no subject)

Lifelines of the Rich and Famous: How Capitalism Stays Afloat
by Wadi'h Halabi

Abstract: In the US economic downturn that began in mid-2000, job losses were devastating, especially in manufacturing; households’ incomes fell; and corporate profits plummeted. But US GDP barely declined, consumer spending actually rose, and monopolies’ profits quickly rebounded. This article explores how US capitalism pulled through the crisis. China’s continued rapid growth stabilizes the global economy, as its purchases from capitalist economies keep the circulation process moving. Wall Street dominance of world markets facilitates pushing off losses onto smaller competitors. The US war in Iraq, by driving up oil prices, cheapens labor, destroys or limits unused productive capital, and flushes massive amounts of capital into the US. This capital has been recirculated as loans to households, deepening their debts but allowing consumers to continue buying in the face of low wages and lost benefits. Wall Street’s solutions thus set the stage for deeper crises.

The four years since July 2000 have arguably been the most difficult for US workers since the 1930s. Well over 60 million people lost their jobs, through layoffs, firings, corporate bankruptcies and just plain "job churning." Industrial workers and their unions – the heart of the US working class – suffered tremendous blows.

Most of the 60 million eventually found other jobs. But the US economy recorded three million net job losses in 40 months, before upticks in the spring of 2004. And even one day of unemployment is highly stressful, economically, socially and personally. New jobs typically pay less and come with fewer or no benefits. Many unemployed find jobs only by opening their own businesses, which commonly spells six- and seven-day workweeks, lower pay, no vacations or benefits.

Tens of millions of workers have suffered significant losses in retirement benefits. Retired steel and airline workers, and employees of bankrupt corporations, live with brutal cuts in pensions and health care. Cuts in health benefits can bankrupt overnight. The cost of housing, energy and transport has soared in recent years, translating into lower wages.

Two of those years have not been pretty for corporations, either. Beginning in July 2000, manufacturing suffered 16 consecutive months of decline in output. Business investment dried up. Exports plummeted. There were unparalleled bankruptcies – Enron, WorldCom, KMart and United Airlines, to name some. There were crises worldwide, including in Argentina and Turkey. And the profits of US monopolies took a pummeling in 2001 and 2002.

And yet, the US recession of 2001, as measured mainly by GDP, was exceptionally mild. GDP declined only in three quarters of 2001. Consumer spending rose through the period, instead of falling, as might be expected considering the drop in jobs, wages and benefits. And the profits of the largest US monopolies, the Fortune 500, rebounded in 2003 back to their 2000 heights.

How could this be?
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consumer price index

this is the percent change of prices on selected items. the change is from 1990 goods/services to 2003 goods services.

college tuition and other fees.....+150.7%
elementary and high school tuition and fees.....+149%
hospital services, nursing homes and aldult day care.....+141.4%
educational books and supplies.....+104.6%
dental services.....+98.5%
housing at school, exluding board.....+96.3%
prescription drugs and medical supplies.....+90.8%
motor vehicle insurance.....+85.2%
fees for lessons and instructions.....+82.4%
public transportations within city.....+62.1%
motor vehicle maintenance and repair.....+55%
rent of primary residence.....+53.2%
gasoline(all types).....+51%
motor oil, coolant and fluids.....+46.4%
eye glasses and eye care.....+36.6%
nonprescription medical equipment and supplies.....+32.8%
over the counter drugs.....+28.1%
housekeeping supplies.....+27%
vehicle parts and equipment other than tires.....+7.6%

but, there is good news

mens foot wear.....-1.7%

theirs an act called the american jobs creation act, h.r. 4520. more information about that later, but what i do understand is that this act will decrease federal revenue by 4 billion 2005, 8 billion by 2006, and 4 billion by 2007. the deficit will also increase.
Crazy Sexy Me


Well its good to see that people still post on this as one of the creators i am suprised but pleased. I have been away for a while at Army basic and i was talking to someone the other day that didnt even know who Che was... i was like "Do you live under a rock!" oh well ... long live the revolution!
the cramps

(no subject)

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dead
75-year-old, both revered and reviled, succumbs in Paris

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 6:45 a.m. ET Nov. 11, 2004

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Yasser Arafat, the guerrilla leader turned Nobel Peace Prize winner who forced his people’s plight into the world spotlight, died Thursday at age 75.

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