Uncommon Thought Journal: October 2009 Archives

October 2009 Archives

By Tom Burghardt of Antifascist Calling

In "Mind Your Tweets: CIA and European Union Building Social Networking Surveillance System," Antifascist Calling explored the trend by security agencies in Europe and the United States to build political dossiers on dissidents by data mining their electronic communications.

By Naomi Spencer. Republished with permission from WSWS

Lack of health insurance may have caused or directly contributed to the deaths of nearly 17,000 children in the United States over the past two decades, a new study has found.

By Sherwood Ross

In order to convert the sleepy, Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia into a dominating military base, the U.S. forcibly transported its 2,000 Chagossian inhabitants into exile and gassed their dogs.

Duane Elgin's "The Living Universe"


Carolyn Baker reviews Duane Elgin's "The Living Universe."

A critical step in this supercharged setting is to imagine together the world of our vision. All current signs point to a future of catastrophe and ruin, and it is easy to envision many such scenarios but much harder to visualize a future of opportunity and renewal. The latter is still a vague and unformed possibility in our collective imagination. The bigger the challenges, Elgin implies, the larger the vision required to transform conflict into cooperation and thereby facilitate a more promising future. Not only must we hold an expansive vision, but that vision must be informed by a commitment to a larger story of humanity than civilization has provided.

Article Reprinted from TRANSITION TIMES (COLORADO EDITION)

By Tom Burghardt of Antifascist Calling

That social networking sites and applications such as Facebook, Twitter and their competitors can facilitate communication and information sharing amongst diverse groups and individuals is by now a cliché.

A Two Class World? Get Used To It.


By Rowan Wolf

Economists state that "Higher unemployment might become the norm as result of (the) recession." The problem is that this is not simply a "recession," but the collapse of the heavily skewed global economic system. The follies of monopoly capitalism, combined with the funny money financial schemes, have hit the world hard. However, they have hit the United States particularly hard, and may have permanently damaged the economic dominance of the United States.

Chomsky Receives Highest Pentagon "Honor"


By Sherwood Ross. Republished with permission.

The Pentagon has paid anti-war activist Noam Chomsky the highest honor any totalitarian entity can bestow upon an author: they've banned his book "Interventions" at Guantanamo Bay prison.

Washington pushes Pakistan to the brink


By Keith Jones. Republished with permission from WSWS

Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, Pakistan is now waging all-out war in South Waziristan. Since last Saturday, 28,000 Pakistani troops, supported by F-16 fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships, have mounted a three-pronged offensive in the Pashtun-speaking tribal agency.

War, Negation and Muslim Identity Revisited


By Ramzy Baroud

A Muslim writer begins an article with, 'who says the campaign for animal rights was started in the West ..' She goes on to argue that Islam provided the original treatise on the humane treatment of animals. Her case was poorly constructed, inadequately executed, although the essence of her idea was to a degree, accurate. Islamic tradition has indeed laid a foundation, with clear boundaries regarding the humane treatment of animals.

By Jon Spencer. Republished with permission from World Socialist Web Site

The downturn in the capitalist economy is not news to the people of Portland, Salem, Medford, and the rural areas of Oregon, which saw high unemployment and underemployment during both the dot.com boom and the alleged Bush "recovery."

Money, the Root of All Evil


By Richard Backus

All recent financial 'bubbles' including the current one in real estate have had two (avoidable) causes. One was the result of tax policies instituted under President Reagan, the other was one of the unfortunate consequences of Globalization. The politics of greed, the basis of these actions, has place the entire middle- and working-classes at risk of becoming the 'second nation' warned of by John Edwards in his bid for the presidency. Both policies have lead to unchecked asset inflation worldwide. The ultimate consequence of this worldwide will be societies of rich and poor, with no middle class, similar to most poor countries today. The poor will be outbid in trying to obtain access to any of the activities or privileges currently enjoyed by our elites and a slowly-dwindling middle class. In trying to participate in any public event the average citizen will simply have not the funds.

A World of Abbreviated Criterions


By Mathew Maavak of Panoptic World

The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US President Barrack Obama is another revelatory instance of our shortening standards. We are not governed by reason but by acronyms. In fact, our self-worth is set by them.

How do you describe a leader who vowed to condemn the 1915 Armenian genocide once in office and makes a U-turn soon after? What if that leader spurns a meeting with a Buddhist monk to avoid provoking a dictatorship that actively undermines his nation?

By Sherwood Ross. Republished with permission from The intelligence Daily

Since taking office, President Obama has sanctioned at least 41 Central Intelligence Agency(C.I.A.) drone strikes in Pakistan that have killed between 326 and 538 people, many of them, critics say, "innocent bystanders, including children," according to reliable reports. The drone is a remotely controlled, unmanned aircraft.

Waziristan-The Battle Begins


By Anwaar Hussain of TruthSpring

Finally, the battle on the one-time protégés begins-the battle that was first promised in June and for which troops had been gathering on Waziristan's horizons for the past four months. The critical delay not only enabled the militants to overcome the reverses they had suffered in the Malakand region earlier during the summer but to also hit back at the government with added venom. Though the beginning of the battle is indeed hastened by the bewildering tempo at which the godmen have struck at targets across the country during the last couple of weeks, it has begun.

By Tom Burghardt of Antifascist Calling

The bipartisan consensus that encourages unaccountable secret state agencies to illegally spy on the American people under color of a limitless, and highly profitable, "war on terror" was dealt a (minor) blow October 13.

By Ramzy Baroud

As Israeli bombs fell on the Gaza Strip during its one-sided war between December 27, 2008 and January 18, 2009, millions around the world took to the streets in complete and uncompromising outrage. The level of barbarity in that war, especially as it was conducted against a poor, defenseless and physically trapped nation, united people of every color, race and religion. But among those who seemed utterly unmoved, unreservedly cold were some Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

By Tom Burghardt of Antifascist Calling

As social networking becomes a dominant feature of daily life, the secret state is increasingly surveilling electronic media for what it euphemistically calls "actionable intelligence."

Constitutional Hypocrisy


By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Millions of Americans are politically informed, smart, active and angry. They see many wrongs in our political and government system. They are fed up with politics as usual, meaning corrosive corruption of politicians by corporate and other special interests. They see little good in either the Democrat or Republican parties. And they almost always share a common bond: They love and honor the US Constitution, even though they may see some flaws in it. Yet they are also constitutional hypocrites.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Decision Points


By Rowan Wolf

Obama is meeting with various advisers at length to determine a strategy for Afghanistan. However, this is truly a complex question with far reaching effects. The realities are grim, and seem counter-intuitive to any strategy whatsoever. Unfortunately Obama committed early on to Afghanistan as "the good war." A bad choice in my opinion, but that campaign rhetoric commitment is part of the anchor which now is likely to hold him to certain constraints.

By Richard Bakus

It was most amusing for me to see Alan Greenspan explaining on the BBC to an otherwise trusting viewing audience that the world economies would experience severe economic crises every few years as a matter of course, and this was quite 'normal' and inevitable. Although the economies of the world will experience many ups and downs over the years, they are not at all 'normal' but usually the consequence of central bank and government screw-ups. If the government would try to support their average middle- and working-class individuals and not just their rich 'sponsors', future economic crises could be avoided. The government simply must accept the basic realities and paradoxes of capitalism and abstain from following those 'voodoo' economic theories proven time-and-time-again not to have worked as advertised ( but profitable to the rich). If they would simply regulate the economy in accordance with sound economic principles the consequence and extent of future crises would be significantly reduced and workers worldwide could experience the high standard of living that they deserve.

By Carolyn Baker of Speaking Truth to Power

For one who has perception, A mere sign is enough. For one who does not heed, A thousand explanations Are not enough Hajji Bektash Wali ~13th Century Persian Mystic

During the past twelve months, it has been reassuring to see vast numbers of individuals in the United States awaken to the reality that life on this planet has profoundly shifted and will never be the same. Many have radically altered their career goals, spending and saving patterns, and their long-term priorities. When I witness such changes in human behavior, I am encouraged, and I become cautiously optimistic about our ability to read the signals and respond wisely.

Premature peace


By Jim Miles

When I first saw the headline, in Rob Kall's OpEd News, I thought "This is a joke." However on further checking the joke on the web - through sites as diverse as al-Jazeera, the Globe and Mail, the Christian Science Monitor, Reuters and others - it became obvious that this was not a joke, but a farce. I do not think there is much a I can really add to what has already been said about the prize going to Obama as many commentators have reflected my sentiments quite accurately, but I could not resist doing something to get my personal bewilderment about this farce out of my system by writing about it.

By Rowan Wolf

How bad is the economy? Pretty bad for many. This article is from the Lexington Kentucky Courier-Journal "10,000 apply for 90 factory jobs" from 10/08/09.

By Ramzy Baroud

Latin America stands at the threshold of a new era: one that promises a return to political uncertainty, violence and chaos or one of political stability and economic prosperity. Honduras is a crucial indicator.

Beck Manipulating the Masses


By Rowan Wolf

Such sincerity, such angst, such passion - that is the attraction of Glenn Beck. But is it real? This video would seem to indicate it is not.

or at YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4I2f0ZO6g

World Habitat Day - Monday October 5th


Visit Habitat for Humanity's World Habitat Day Page for more information and links.

Let's stand up on World Habitat Day and let it be known that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere--in our communities, in our towns, in our country, in our world.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday each October as
World Habitat Day.

This year on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. and around the world, please join Habitat for Humanity in support of this global observance as we come together and declare that the lack of decent, affordable housing is unacceptable.

Will Obama Have Veto Courage?


By Joel S. Hirschhorn

Odds are pretty good that after some tortuous meetings and awful compromises by House and Senate bigwigs whatever health reform law is passed by Congress will not be close to what most thoughtful people want. Especially not what progressives and liberals wanted from a Democrat controlled Congress. Will President Obama act with integrity?

By Ramzy Baroud

World events have taken an interesting turn recently, with the Goldstone report, which wreaked havoc in the beginning of the week being nearly completely overshadowed by Iran's revelation of another nuclear facility, according to diplomats in Vienna on September 25.

Take Action for One Life


If you are a MoveOn.org member you may have already seen this. However, if you have not acted I encourage you to do so. Imagine a letter with a million signatures to CIGNA. This is for one person, but it could be for any of us. Please help Dawn Smith.

This is from Dawn Smith

'm at the end of my rope. What CIGNA is doing to me is--well, it's outrageous.

I have a brain tumor. Doctors are ready to help me. But CIGNA has been blocking me from getting testing and treatment for two years, while almost doubling my premiums.

Then, this week was the kicker. CIGNA's pharmacy called to say that the co-pay on the medicine that helps control my debilitating head pain is skyrocketing from $10 to $1,115. That's not a typo. They're making me pay one hundred times what I'm paying now, in addition to my $753/month premium.

Urgent Need in the Philippines


From Claire OIiveros and Christian Aniciete

On Saturday September 26th, Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) struck the Philippines with the heaviest rainfall recorded, followed by the worst flooding, in 40 years. As of this writing, there are at least 246 people dead or missing and 435,000 victims who are homeless, injured or have lost all of their belongings. There are still as least 1 million people without electricity. Scenes are eerily similar to "Hurricane Katrina" and the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy has only just begun.

From Michael Moore 

The screening is free to those who are jobless, or lost their homes in 10 cities, so share this information widely.

Friends,

We're just one day away from the widest opening I've ever had for any of my movies. Tomorrow, Friday, October 2nd, "Capitalism: A Love Story" opens on over a thousand screens across the United States, a record for an independent documentary.

Extreme Wealth in Perspective


By Rowan Wolf

The Guardian informs us that 314 of Forbes richest 400 people in the US lost $300 billion in the past year. I guess a takeaway might be that everybody has gotten hurt in the economic collapse. We could also say, "Gosh! Look how much money the richest folks have lost." Well, don't start taking donations for these poverty stricken billionaires yet.

Please Help w/ Rowan's Ongoing Transplant Costs

Your assistance in helping me raise funds for the ongoing expenses from my double-lung transplant are greatly needed and appreciated. For example, the co-pays on my medications are greater than $500 a month. To make a tax deductible monetary contribution, please go to My page at HelpHopeLive (formerly NTAF). To help via volunteering, please email Rebecca Carr at HHL/NTAF [email protected]. THANK YOU!!!

Social Net

 

Featured Resources

- Documentary Tube - free documentary collection
- BP Gulf of Mexico Final Report (multi-part)
- Europeana Digital Library
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- Final Agreement on the Withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Iraq. Passed by the Iraqi Parliament 11/27/2008.
- PorBlogs - Blogs from Portland, Oregon!
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- BlueWashingtonTV
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Veterans For Peace
Iraq Veterans Against the War - IVAW
Acinetobater Baumanni
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-Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice
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-Speaking Truth to Power
-Stephen Lendman's Blog
-Surviving Peak Oil
-Truth Spring
-WatchBlog
-WildWolff by Robert Wolff
-Worldwide Hippies
-Carry Onward
-Anti-War WebRing
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