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Showing posts from September, 2009

Democrats Don't Deliver Healthcare Reform... Again, By Adam Howard, The Nation, September 29, 2009

For weeks now it's seemed more and more evident that instead of significant, meaningful healthcare reform, we are--if we're lucky--going to wind up with something akin to health insurance reform. These reforms will be pretty unassailable (who could oppose making it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against pre-existing conditions, for instance?) but a far cry from what just a couple months ago seemed not just possible but probable--reform that included a robust, affordable public option accessible to all Americans.

Why has the healthcare reform battle disintegrated so rapidly? Certainly the seemingly endless barrage of right wing lies and downright insanity over the summer didn't help. Neither did the White House's lackadaisical approach to countering it. But at the end of the day, real reform--the public option, considered today by the Finance Committee--should have had the votes it needed to pass. Instead it failed by fifteen votes to eight, with five De…

Obama, backed by Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened tough sanctions against Iran ,Scott Ritter ,, 25 September 2009

It was very much a moment of high drama. Barack Obama, fresh from his history-making stint hosting the UN security council, took a break from his duties at the G20 economic summit in Pittsburgh to announce the existence of a secret, undeclared nuclear facility in Iran which was inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear programme, underscoring the president's conclusion that "Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow".

Obama, backed by Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened tough sanctions against Iran if it did not fully comply with its obligations concerning the international monitoring of its nuclear programme, which at the present time is being defined by the US, Britain and France as requiring an immediate suspension of all nuclear-enrichment activity.

The facility in question, said to be located on a secret Iranian military installation outside of the holy city of Qom and capable of housing up to 3,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium, had been monitored …

ECONOMIC RECOVERY? FOR WHOM? By Sam Hammond, October 1-15, 2009, issue of People's Voice

(The following article is from the October 1-15, 2009, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 133 Herkimer St., Unit 502, Hamilton, ON, L8P 2H3.)

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It used to be in earlier society that a cobbler made shoes. After the rise of capitalism with its class exploitation, relations of production and market competition, the manufacture of shoes occupies thousands of people.

This is because capital, in its drive to cheapen production costs and dominate markets, accelerates a division of labour into smaller and smaller units, each with lesser but more specialized skills. In turn, this accelerates the competition of labour, the competition between workers, …

Op-Ed: Obama and the US far-Right collide : the Class-forces divided over how best to enhance US imperialist power, by Andy Taylor, Sep 29, 09

which Camp will predominate in the US Ruling Class? When will the State unite to assert common imperial interests?

The US demonstrates its power through various methods but a very important means is its perceived ability to successfully dominate defiant or contested nations.

The Pentagon needs sales promotions, displays and showcases as much as any corporation. The US can not continue to dominate the globe if they are perceived as weak/beatable.This was the great lesson of their Defeat by Vietnam. For a decade after the final Vietnam evacuation in 1975 the US state was restricted in its ability to boldly and brazenly create crises and wars etc. For the Pentagon and US Intelligence The Church Commission investigation of CIA criminality is still considered a humiliating debacle. For the present governing elite, the Watergate Hearings were terrifying. Both US parties know that such lustrations or cleansings of government must be stopped in their tracks.

Worse even than international percept…

The Hexaemeron: Homily VII, Big Fish Eats the Little Fish, by St. Basil of Caesarea (C.E. 330-379) Andrew Taylor, Sep 28, 09


The food of fish differs according to their species. Some feed on mud; others eat sea weed; others content themselves with the herbs that grow in water.

But the greater part devour each other, and the smaller is food for the larger, and if one which has possessed itself of a fish weaker than itself becomes a prey to another, the conqueror and the conquered are both swallowed up in the belly of the last.

And we mortals, do we act otherwise when we oppress our inferiors?

What difference is there between the last fish and the man who, impelled by devouring greed, swallows the weak in the folds of his insatiable avarice?

See the man who stole the goods of the poor; you caught him and made him a part of your wealth.

You have shown yourself more unjust than the unjust, and more miserly than the miser.

Look to it lest you end like the fish, by hook, by trap, or by net.

Surely we too, when we have done the deeds of the wicked, shall not escape p…

An Epistle to For the Rich and The Reds, (Letter of James, Ch 5) Andrew Taylor, Sep 28, 09

Last Judgment, by Raphael Coxcie (1540-1616)

Chapter 5

1 Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your coming miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you defrauded from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.

Honduras restricts liberties, breaks relations with Brazil, By DPA, From Monsters and, Sep 28, 2009

Tegucigalpa - Honduras' de facto government overnight announced a decree restricting liberties in response to a call by ousted president Manuel Zelaya, who urged his supporters to march to the capital Tegucigalpa, local media reported Monday.

Zelaya made the call from the Brazilian embassy, where he took refuge on returning secretly to the Central American country a week ago.

Zelaya called on his supporters to stage a 'final offensive' to help him recover power and to march to the capital on Monday. That day marks three months from the June 28 coup that drove Zelaya into exile.

The de facto government headed by former congress speaker Roberto Micheletti said relations with Brazil were 'broken' in reciprocity at Brazil having closed the Honduran embassy there.

De facto Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez Contreras said Honduras was giving Brazil 10 days to hand Zelaya over or to grant him asylum.

The government decree, which was approved Saturday and made public late Sunday in…

White House and Gordon Brown deny special relationship is in trouble, Steve Bell, Manchester Guardian, Sep 27, 09

Jack plays with fire? and we may all get burned, By Volume: 29, Number: 3 By Alice Klein, NOW Magazine, Sep 27, 09

September 15, 2009

Many of us are shaking our heads at the ironies that have boiled up this week in the federal arena.

Tomorrow (September 18), for the sake of the home reno tax credit, the “separatists” will save Harper’s bacon by supporting a budget-related confidence motion. In the following weeks, the “socialist” NDP is signalling it might keep the Tory government on the cooker in exchange for EI changes, after an unbroken string of 79 no-ways in a row. Let’s hope Jack Layton’s jump into the Tory fry-up is just the overheated appetizer before a strong non-confidence main course.

This country urgently needs an election, and despite the pundits who say Canadians don’t want one, there is a truly mammoth base of non-Tories who are in fact anxious to head to the polls before the winter.

Looking at the latest EKOS poll, EKOS prez Frank Graves writes, “Interestingly, there is a substantial number of Canadians – perhaps on the order of 10 million of them – who favour an early election notwit…

German Elections: The Left Party Advances; the Grand Coalition Ends, mrzine, Sep 27, 2009

On the Web site of Die Linke (The Left):

A Great Success: The Left Is a Social Force -- in the Bundestag, in the State Parliaments, in Society

Die Linke has won double-digit representation in the new Bundestag. For the first time since 1945, a party to the left of the SPD has succeeded. We have made good on the trust of the voters that we received in 2005. Now, we have received greater trust, so that we can systematically address the issues of social justice, labor, health, education, peace, putting them on the political agenda. The voters were of the opinion: The stronger The Left, the more social the country.

Die Linke

Der Spiegel, taking note of the worst showing for the SPD in post-war history (down from 34.2% in the 2005 federal elections), the best showing for the FDP in its history (up from 9.8% in the 2005 elections), and the double-digit results for the Left (up from 8.7% in 2005) and the Greens (up from 8.1% in 2005), observes:

If the predictions based on exit…

Iranians Favor Diplomatic Relations With US But Have Little Trust in Obama,, Tues. Sept 22, 2009

Questionnaire with Findings, Methodology

A new poll of Iranians finds that six in 10 favor restoration of diplomatic relations between their country and the United States, a stance that is directly at odds with the position the Iranian government has held for three decades. A similar number favor direct talks.

However, Iranians do not appear to share the international infatuation with Barack Obama. Only 16 percent say that have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs. This is lower than any of the 20 countries polled by WPO on this question in the spring. Despite his recent speech in Cairo, where Obama stressed that he respects Islam, only a quarter of Iranians are convinced he does. And three in four (77%) continue to have an unfavorable view of the United States government.

"While the majority of Iranian people are ready to do business with Obama, they show little trust in him," says Steven Kull, director of WPO.

At the same time, there …

Ousted leader calls for final Offensive in Honduras, , 27 September 2009

Manuel Zelaya

TEGUCIGALPA : The stakes rose in Honduras Sunday after ousted leader Manuel Zelaya, holed up at Brazil's embassy in Tegucigalpa, called on his supporters for a final offensive -- and coup leaders respond by giving Brazil a harsh warning.

Zelaya, who has been in the embassy since he made a surprise return almost one week ago, called on his supporters to converge on the capital on Monday, exactly three months after the coup.

"We're making a patriotic ... call to resistance across all national territory," Zelaya said Saturday in a statement handed to an AFP photographer inside the embassy.

He called on his supporters to peacefully march to the capital for a "final offensive against the de facto government."

Shortly after, the regime gave Brazil up to 10 days to define Zelaya's status in a statement read on national television.

It urged "that Mr. Zelaya immediately stop using the protection that Brazil's diplomatic mission gives him to inst…

Moammar Gaddafi Lambastes Big Powers at U.N General Assembly Speech, by YASEEN CH, Sep 24, 2009 in Pakistanic,

Moammar Ghaddafi who is gaddafivisiting United States first time in his 40 years of power ,addressed the United Nations general assembly and in over 90 minutes speech lambasted the big powers and said”U.N general assembly should be called Terror assembly“. Here is complete transcript of what he said ,

Distinguished members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the name of the African Union, I would like to welcome you. This gathering will be an historic one in the world and the history of the world.

And in the name of the General Assembly that is presided by Libya now, in the name of the African Union, and in the name of 1,000 traditional African kingdoms in your own name, I would like to seize this opportunity to present congratulations to our son, Obama, because this is the first time that he’s attending the General Assembly in this capacity as the president of the United States, and we greet him because it is the hosting country of this gathering.

This meeting comes at the…