Robert Hormats, a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs, has a new book out – The Price of Liberty – on the history of America’s war financing. From the time of Alexander Hamilton, this country has always financed its wars when they occurred – until the current war in Iraq. “One central, constant theme emerges: sound national finances have proved to be indispensable to the country’s military strength” (and long-term national security). Obviously, our finances have never been more unsound. So where are we headed this time?
Prez GW Bush (Will Farrell) on Global Warming:
On October 3 1957, San Francisco Municipal Court Judge Clayton Horn ruled Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” was NOT obscene, despite lines like “who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy.” A full fifty years later WBAI still feels it legally risky to broadcast the poem, so instead offers it in an online-only special at Pacifica.org. “Howl Against Censorship” includes intervus w/ poets Lawrence Ferlingetti and Bob Holman (1:32:08 mp3):
Military crackdown on protestors in Rangoon, journalist shot:
Photos by Scott Carrier, music by Burmese band Iron Cross:
This week’s HV cast is in support of Burmese demonstraters: The popular Burmese rock band Iron Cross is using music to challenge the nation’s infamously repressive regime. In the great tradition of rock and roll, Iron Cross is taking on Burma’s military government with song. A story by Scott Carrier, “Iron Cross Battles Burmese Repression” (7:39 mp3):
“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.”
From September’s Wired: Hackers Take Down the Most Wired Country in Europe.
The ramifications of an attack such as this are reasonably severe — and yet this is the first I’d seen or read any news on the subject, even considering the number of tech.-related publications I regularly peruse.
This week’s HV cast: Great literature allows us to learn to empathize with the experiences of others. So how is it a man now on trial for crimes against humanity is an avid reader of fiction? Might he simple be reading the wrong books? A trip to The Hague to hand-deliver the ‘right’ books to Slobodan Milosevic. A story by Ben Walker, “Remedial Theory” (13:29 mp3):
“America: Host or Parasite?”
Interview with economist, Dr. Michael Hudson. Dr. Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of “Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire”. We discuss the US balance of payments trade deficit which creates US credit to finance the US national debt and war abroad; Russian economic shock therapy as the final stage of the cold war; the real estate bubble; permanent war and the inevitable collapse of the current US dominated global economic system. Visit his website at www.michael-hudson.com.
The House on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The 357-72 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting. The outcome was never in doubt, unlike a fight two years ago when Republicans tried but failed to slash public broadcasting subsidies.
Polls of Presidential voters are remarkably accurate. The day before the 2000 Iowa Democratic Primary, the MSM News folk were still reporting Dean as the frontrunner he’d been for months, despite the several polls that showed a last-minute turn towards Kerry. The news was wrong, the polls right; Kerry won.
Then in November the Voter News Service was criticized for picking Al Gore the winner of the 2000 election. But it turned out (years later) Gore did win. Again, the polls proved correct, even when the margins were so slim.
Most media folk, including myself, are notoriously pitiful at prognostication (hell, we’re not even any good at evaluating the present), so you really shouldn’t pay us any mind when we mindlessly try to predict wuz gonna happen. But do pay attention to those polls we pay for, cuz when several say the same thing, it’s likely an accurate reflection of reality.
All a long way of saying, check: RealClearPolitics – Polls. It’s an up-to-date listing of the major Election 2008 polls, averaged and listed individually. Then click their National Head-to-Head Polls and see who’d beat who if the prez were picked today. (Answer: Hillary’s kickin’ ass.)
Been thinking about that catch-phrase and have decided…
Speaking Truth to Power wastes you breath:
1) Power doesn’t listen.
2) Power doesn’t matter
(“If man chooses oblivion, he can go right on leaving his fate to his political leaders.” –Bucky Fuller
“Don’t follow leaders; watch the parking meters.” –Bob Dylan
“Laurel and Hardy, that’s John and Yoko. And we stand a better chance under that guise because all the serious people like Martin Luther King and Kennedy and Gandhi got shot.” –John Lennon)
SF Chronicle columnist reports “Bush Pardons Entire GOP:”
Prez “pre-emptively” saves all Repubs from becoming “prison bitches.”
Dems: “Can he do that?”
Could you pass the U.S. citizenship test?; July 4 Special at MSNBC.com. An online quiz of twenty questions from the civics test the Citizenship and Immigration Services (INS) during the naturalization interview.
Inspired by Josef’s comment, here’s Schoolhouse Rock on “How a Bill Becomes a Law”:
In some martial arts, there is an emphasis places on exploiting pressure points. Political activists trying to get China to review its cozy relationship with Sudan over Darfur finally found one in the 2008 Olympics. Apparently, it is really a chain of pressure points since Mia Farrow, in an editorial warned Steven Spielberg that he could “go down in history as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games,” for his role in helping promote them. He, in turn, wrote a letter to China’s president, Hu Jintao, decrying China’s support of Sudan’s government.
Perhaps the new logo for the 2008 games should look like this:
(or maybe a picture of Hu Jintao wincing)
I always tell people: I’m never unrewarded for watching C-Span. Proving the point was yesterday’s Valerie Plame Speaks Before Congress. The testimony turned to live theatre as the audience flashed signs in front of the cameras. The funniest was a guy (I think) dressed in pink as a woman, with a t-shirt that read: “Impeach Bush”:
But forget politics, I like C-Span for its raw undedited information. After Ms. Plame came Bill Leonard, National Archives director of Security. He gave clear, concise testimony on how a document gets classified, and how long it stays classified, and how it gets declassified — procedures I and, I’d guess, most folk never knew. Edifying and entertaining — who sez C-Span is boring?BTW, I read a conjecture that Pink Man above might be Code Pink. Or maybe he’s Pink Bloque; Jonathan Menjivar and I did a story on them a while back.