Shackles and Chains: Detroit as a Template for Democracy's Destruction

Written by Chris Floyd 18 November 2013 5013 Hits

Glen Ford brings the heat, and the truth, about one of the most important -- and unreported -- stories of our day: the shackling of Detroit. Over the past year, we have seen the citizens of a major American city openly, 'legally' stripped of the right to govern themselves and forced into a form of indentured servitude in order to enrich a small predatory elite whose own machinations had driven the city to ruin. It is an extraordinary -- and sickening -- spectacle. Detroit is now under the control of an unelected "Emergency Financial Manager," Kevyn Jones, forcibly imposed by the state governor, with all real power -- the power of the purse -- placed in his hands. And Jones is wielding this power with ruthless efficiency. As Ford notes, Detroit is being looted and disenfranchised without...

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Ashes to Ashes: The Downward Arc of the American Dream

Written by Chris Floyd 03 November 2013 5346 Hits

This is my latest column for the print version of CounterPunch, published last month.***I flew into Washington the day the government shut down. I had come back to America to scatter my mother's ashes in the sea. It was her last request: to put her to rest in the Atlantic Ocean, off Myrtle Beach, where she had spent some happy times more than half a century ago.I made my way to Tennessee, where her ashes were waiting in a black plastic box on the mantlepiece in our family home. All along the line, facilities and services were shutting down from a dispute over a corporate boondoggle -- "Obamacare" -- based on a conservative Republican template drawn up to enrich the rapacious insurance-healthcare complex, whose heavy, grinding gears had harrowed both my sick and aged parents to their gra...

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Choosing Murder: The True Nature of the System Laid Bare

Written by Chris Floyd 28 October 2013 4904 Hits

Just a reminder: this is the true nature of the bipartisan, militarized "security state" now headed by the progressive Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. When you support the Laureate -- however "savvily" and "critically" -- when you support the system -- hoping to "reform" it from within -- this is what you are supporting. From the Guardian:

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From Dissident Gold to Imperial Dross: The Neutering of the NSA Archives

Written by Chris Floyd 20 October 2013 6434 Hits

1. Clancy Lives!Take heart, you fans of slam-bang super-spy adventure stories! Tom Clancy is not dead; he lives on in the pages of the Washington Post, channeled through the airport-thriller prose of Barton Gellman -- one of the small coterie of media custodians doling out dollops from the huge archive of secret NSA documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Drawing on that archive of what should be shocking, empire-undermining revelations, Gellman and his co-authors last week penned a story that is, in almost every respect, a glorification of state-ordered murder: a rousing tale of secret ops in exotic lands, awesome high-tech spy gear, flying missiles, deadly explosions, and dogged agents doing the grim but noble work of keeping us safe. No doubt Hollywood is already on the horn:...

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Dead Zone: The Deeper Poison Beyond the NSA Revelations

Written by Chris Floyd 01 October 2013 5108 Hits

"Thanks for a nation of finks" -- William BurroughsAs the days and weeks go crawling by, bringing now and then another little drib, another little drab of revelations from the storehouse of secrets that Edward Snowden pried loose from the National Security Agency, the story turns slowly but surely from one of scandal and outrage bidding fair to trouble the well-cushioned bottoms on the seat of power to a dimmed, drained subject of "debate" amongst powerful insiders.Indeed, we are now told by the dolers of the dribs that "debate" was the sole purpose of the exercise in the first place. Snowden was driven into permanent exile, his life and liberty put at constant risk, solely to provoke a "debate" in the national power structure, a conversation among the cognoscenti of political and media...

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Ham and Iron: America's Middle East Policies in Action

Written by Chris Floyd 20 September 2013 5315 Hits

1.As I've said many times before, anyone who wants trenchant insights into the realities of the Middle East -- including its ever-fraught interactions with the Potomac Imperium --  should be reading "the Angry Arab," As'ad AbuKhalil. Just today, AbuKhalil provides two telling examples of the Imperium's arrogance, indifference and -- in the case of John Kerry -- murderous ignorance in its ham-handed and iron-fisted attempts to bend the region and its peoples to the Domination Agenda of our American elites.First, AbuKhalil passes along a report from a correspondent on the latest manifestation of our noble Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's attempts to foster democracy and freedom in Bahrain. As you might recall, the noble laureate's noble allies, the democratic, freedom-loving, head-chopping, w...

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The Dreams: Hidden Reefs and Sounding Brass

Written by Chris Floyd 16 September 2013 4506 Hits

An old, old story, and fresh as the day's news: "I knew a precious thing had cracked, and could not be put right": Sounding Brass.Also, in light of the recent outpouring of NSA revelations, a reprise of a Cassandraish prevision penned some time ago:We know your number/We read your mail/From outer space/We can follow your trail/But don't you worry/Don't you fret/Our social networks/Ain't hurt nobody yet....

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Requiem for a Whistleblower

Written by Chris Floyd 09 September 2013 5080 Hits

Here is my latest, slightly expanded column for the print version of CounterPunch, which came out last month.A former colleague of mine died recently, although I didn't know he had been my colleague until I read his obituary in the New York Times last month -- six months after his obscure and unmarked death in the small East Tennessee town where I'd worked as a reporter.Charles Varnadore and I worked together for five years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, part of the vast research complex that midwifed the atom bomb. Curiously enough, my grandfather had helped build Oak Ridge. A sharecropper turned carpenter, my grandfather Lon been recruited, like thousands of other workers and artisans, to construct the "secret city" in the midst of World War II. He wasn't allowed to tell his family...

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