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Some Choice Morsels, Past and Present
- “I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq” (Paul Wolfowitz, 2003—Note: These words have inspired the Iraqi resistance in their efforts to oust the “coalition.” Wolfowitz of course assumes that the coalition members are not foreigners, as they are U.S. citizens and folks approved by us, therefore possessing a Godfather’s right to be at home anywhere within his domains).
- “He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors” (Colin Powell, February 2001, before the propaganda line was firm).
- “We are able to keep his arms from him [Saddam Hussein]. His military forces have not been rebuilt” (Condoleeza Rice in April 2001, also before the party line hardened).
- “No one can now doubt the word of America” (George Bush, Jan. 20, 2004—meaning that his team may lie without restraint, and violate our “word” and legal obligation to adhere to international law, but the world does not doubt that the Bushies will carry out threats to commit violence against defenseless targets).
- “No cause can justify the loss of innocent lives” (Colin Powell in August 2003, commenting on innocent lives lost after an Al Qaeda attack; he would no doubt qualify this to take account of “tragic errors”).
- “According to Livy, the Romans conquered the world in their own defense” (Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ).
- “Just because we’re Democrats, I don’t think we have to come up with an alternative point of view if we think he is right” (Democratic Party Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, agreeing with the Bush team’s skepticism about the work of the UN weapons inspection team, that was not finding those WMD that Bush and Daschle knew were there and that threatened our national security).
- “‘We haven’t given up on the United Nations process,’ one administration official said” (January 2003—“UN process” as used here means getting the UN to do exactly what we want, which if not successful, and we are forced to “give up,” would mean simply ignoring the UN and UN Charter).
- “In times of peace, the war party insists on making preparation for war. As soon as prepared for war, it insists on making war. If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another, possibly more effective, pretext, after the war is on” (Senator Bob La Follette, Sr., June 1917)
- “Lord Robertson said NATO had a ‘moral obligation’ to support a U.S.-led war on Iraq, adding any decision to take military action against Iraq ‘will be taken by [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein’” ( Financial Times , December 28, 2002).
- "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country” (Hermann Goering, Hitler’s number two person).
- “In the light of Operation Northwoods documents, it is clear that deceiving the public and trumping up wars for Americans to fight and die in was standard, approved policy at the highest levels of the Pentagon” (James Bamford—Northwoods was an official plan to provoke a war with Cuba by killing U.S. civilians and blaming it on Cuba, and though it was never carried out, it “had the support of every single member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…”).
- “Shortly before Saddam invaded Kuwait, the good senator [Alan Simpson, who later called reporter Peter Arnett a “traitor”] met the Butcher of Baghdad and told him: ‘I enjoy meeting candid and open people.... I believe that your problems lie with the Western media and not with the U.S. government [and surely not with any deficiencies in Saddam]…. It is a haughty and pampered press; they all consider themselves geniuses…they are very cynical—what I advise is that you invite them to come here and see for themselves” (Miron Ruzen).
- “We won the mid-terms; this [the proposed regressive tax cuts] is our due” (Vice President Dick Cheney in November 2002, answering O’Neill’s argument that such tax cuts were not justified. The key word “our” obviously does not refer to the U.S. citizenry in general, but rather to the tiny corporate elite—of which Cheney, Rumsfeld, and many of the rest of the gang are longstanding members—which funds Bush and benefits disproportionately from his tax cuts and other policies).
- “Profit seeking…is the unexcelled protector of the consumer.” Government regulation represents “force and fraud” as a means of protecting the consumer. The market system is a “superlatively moral system that the welfare statists propose to improve upon by means of preventive law, snooping bureaucrats, and the chronic goad of fear” (Alan Greenspan, writing in a 1966 book edited by Ayn Rand).
- “It has become increasingly difficult for policy-makers who wish to practice, as they put it, a more ‘caring’ capitalism, to realize the full potential of their economies” (Alan Greenspan, in April 1998).
- In his congressional testimony of July 1997 Alan Greenspan explained that inflation was not rising despite the lowering unemployment rate because of “a heightened sense of job insecurity,” which he described elsewhere as the case of the “traumatized worker,” helpful in keeping wages down. He didn’t suggest that job insecurity or traumatization of workers was a “goad of fear” or had any negative implications for welfare. In his book Contours of Descent, Robert Pollin shows that mainstream economists were very slow to recognize greater job insecurity as a key factor altering the unemployment/inflation relationship, but that when they did recognize it this did not trouble them.
- Liberal economist Janet Yellen, co-author with Alan Blinder of a book on the 1990s entitled The Fabulous Decade , told the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee in 1996 that “while the labor market is tight, job insecurity is alive and well. Real wage aspirations seem modest, and the bargaining power of workers is surprisingly low.” Pollin notes that Yellen and Blinder didn’t let this interfere with their conclusion that the 1990s were “fabulous.” Apparently these economists, like Clinton, don’t “feel pain” as long as only workers suffer.
- They are also a throwback to 17th and 18th century mercantilist analysts, who argued, that “high wages would prove destructive of national well-being because they would reduce England’s competing power by raising production costs. The prevalent doctrine held that wages should be kept at the level of the cost of physical subsistence. Hence the apparent anomaly of the laborer’s position: whereas his theoretical social importance was large, his actual economic reward was miserably small.... [Under mercantilism] the dominant class will attempt to bind the burdens upon the shoulders of those groups whose political power is too slight to defend them from exploitation and will find justification for its policies in the plea of national necessity” (Edgar S. Furniss, Position of the Laborer in a System of Nationalism , 1920).
- “In my L’ami des hommes, I considered matters from the point of view of humanity. I now consider them more particularly from the perspective of economics [i.e., productivity versus support of peasant proprietors]” (L’Abbe Mirabeau, an 18th century French economist-intellectual).
- “The economy is doing fine, but the people aren’t” (Brazilian head-of-state, General Emilio Medici, in 1971).
- “Chile is an economic miracle…. Chile is an even more amazing political miracle. A military regime has supported reforms that sharply reduce the role of the state and replace control from the top with control from the bottom” (Milton Friedman, January 1982—by control from the “bottom” Friedman means control by private companies, not workers or ordinary citizens deprived of a vote, freedom of speech, and freedom of organization in the admirable dictatorship; these latter losses do not compromise the “political miracle” for this freedom-lover).
- “Pinochet is tough. He is in charge…. He speaks his mind. His aides and ministries, mostly civilian professionals, flinch.… Peace. Tranquility. Order. Pinochet has brought Chile those things” (Shirley Christian, Miami Herald , Nov. 16, 1980—Shirley Christian was soon recruited to cover Chile for the NYTimes ).
- Peter Munk, CEO of the Canadian transnational, Horsham Corp., explained that Pinochet “had created a model that…has generated more profit per capita in a Latin American forgotten country than in any other comparable period.” As to people in jail, Munk contends that the end justified the means “because it brought wealth to an enormous number of people. I mean in my terms. If you ask somebody who is in jail he’ll say no. But that’s the wonderful thing about our world: we can have the freedom to disagree” ( Globe & Mail , May 10, 1996).
- “Ideas, knowledge, science, hospitality, travel—these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national…. The policy of increased national self-sufficiency is to be considered, not as an ideal in itself, but as directed to the creation of an environment in which other ideals can be safely and conveniently pursued…. We all need to be as free as possible from interference from economic changes elsewhere, in order to make our own favorite experiments towards the ideal social republic of the future” (John Maynard Keynes, 1933).
- “Conor Cruise O’Brien’s rationale for opposing the academic boycott of South Africa is as weak as Hitchens’ defense of Noam Chomsky” (Alan Wolfe, 1988—perhaps the champion of hit-and-run smears of Chomsky, although the competition is keen).
- There has been “no serious loss of life” resulting from the Bush bombing of Afghanistan because the Administration has followed “an almost pedantic policy of avoiding ‘collateral damage’” (Christopher Hitchens, The Nation , Dec. 17, 2001—the loss of life from the bombing easily exceeded that of the 9/11 attack, but these were Afghans. Hitchens’s confidence in the civilian-protective concern of Bush bombing policy comes from faith in the truthfulness of those who have lied frequently in the past, but are now “valiantly” fighting Islamic fascism).
- “They hate us because they’re losers and we’re winners” (Dan Rather).
- “[Dan] Rather could be seen on the satellite going through the motions of a bombing. He practiced describing how it was not known how many casualties were caused by the bombing” (Rather was caught rehearsing coverage of an Iraq bombing run, including his apologetics for civilian casualties, the rehearsal mistakenly beamed to TV affiliates via satellite).
- “George Bush is the president, he makes the decisions and, you know, as just one American, he wants me to line up, just tell me where” (Dan Rather on the “David Letterman Show,” Sept. 18, 2001—Rather did line up where Bush would want him to, as CBS anchor-conduit).
- “A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself” (Joseph Pulitzer, 1904).
- “Mexico is a country of a modest, very fucked class, which will never stop being fucked…. Television has the obligation to bring diversion to these people and remove them from their sad reality and difficult future” (Emilio Azcarraga, late Mexican media mogul, 1991).
imagination is continually led to the brink of vice by a system
of terror and denunciations, people fling themselves over the
precipice from the mere dread of falling” (William Hazlitt,
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.