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An Urgent Call for Humanitarian Intervention

Worrying news this week from the Middle East, as Jason Ditz reports: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today blasted calls for Sunnis to consider a secessionist movement in the nation’s west, insisting that any effort to form an autonomous region or to secede outright would lead to bloodshed. “If it happens, people will fight each other and blood will reach to the knee,” insisted Maliki. Wait a minute! Is this a national leader using extreme rhetoric to threaten condign punishment against those who rebel against his government? Isn’t that what Moamar Gadafy was accused of doing? Wasn’t this indeed the

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Justice, Yearning, Bread and Sex: Come and Get It

A few readers have been kind enough to inquire if any of the tunes occasionally featured on this site are for sale. Well, now they are. A four-song sampler EP, “Just One Plank,” is now available for download right here. I’m not exactly au fait with the technology, and there seems to be a bit of delay with the cover art at the site, but the songs themselves are up there and ready to go. Check it out, if you take a notion. We’ll be back to regular service here in just a bit. Thanks for your patience. (Photo from

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One Plank in This Platform: I’m For the Poor

No dogma, no doctrine, no parties, no political poltroonery; just one plank in this platform: I’m for the poor.   Just One Plank by Chris Floyd Just One Plank There’s lots of politiciansPhilosophers and moreThey’ll tell you how to run the worldAnd what your life is forI ain’t no politicianBut I’ve seen life from shore to shoreYou want to know my program?I’m for the poor I’m for the poor, yeah, I’m for the poorThe sick and hungry who can’t take no more A lot of folks are savvyThey’re serious and smartThey’ll tell you why the rich should ruleThey’ve got it

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Occupational Therapy: The Psychosis of Exceptionalism

I wanted to write about Barack Obama’s recent speech announcing the alleged partial withdrawal of some of the tens of thousands of troops he has added to the decade-long American occupation of Afghanistan during his three Bush-like “surges” of that conflict. Events – and a deep reluctance to “waste my beautiful mind” on such a self-evident assemblage of murderous mendacity – stayed my hand. But this was, as it turned out, all good, as the saying goes, for now I find that Arthur Silber has, to paraphrase the Bard, named my very deed of rage. You should read the whole

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Massaging the Monolith: Confusing Signals from the Persian Devils

Oh my gosh! Apparently Iran is not a monolithic monster whose entire energies are united in destroy all that’s good and holy and can be sold at Wal-Mart. It looks like there are serious and deepening divisions in the ruling elite there, with the Ayatollah Khamenei slowly tightening the noose around the neck of President Ahmadinejad. How confusing this all is! For one thing, whom are we supposed to demonize in the usual cartoonish rendering of reality favored by our own noble leaders and our leading organs of information, where there must be, always, everywhere, “good guys” and “bad guys”

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Markets, Murder and Trash: The Real New World Order Emerges in Juarez

Do you want to know what the future looks like? Ed Vulliamy can show you. Just follow him down to Ciudad Juarez, where the witless, heedless, heartless machinery of “market fundamentalism” (or “late capitalism,” or whatever other name you’d like to give to the unrestrained greed of our elites) has come to its logical, horrific culmination. Vulliamy notes, rightly, that the vast profits which the “upperworld” of the financial and political elite earns from the murderous drug trade is at the core of the nihilistic hellmouth that has opened up in Mexico. This same upperworld is also adamant in continuing

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No-Life Zone: Deeper and Deeper Into the Mire

Obviously, there was a typo in the UN resolution approving NATO’s operations in Libya. It was widely reported that the resolution authorized the establishment of a “no-fly” zone in Libya to protect civilians from being killed by military attack. However, it’s clear now that what the international body really greenlighted was a “no-life” zone, designed to, er, kill people with, er, military attacks. It’s an easy mistake to make, really, transposing the “f” and “l” like that; a UN transcriptionist probably misheard the original intention, then mentally “corrected” it with the “y” to make it read in the more accustomed

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A Dozen Beasts Slouching: Long View of a Dark Age

I wrote the lines below more than 25 years ago; but when I finally got around to putting them to music some months ago, what had seemed allusive and metaphorical – both the public overview and the personal intimations of mortality – had become all too real. It’s like the passage toward the end of Doctor Zhivago, when two survivors of revolution, famine, purge, camps and war are looking back: “This has happened several times in the course of history. A thing which had been conceived in a lofty, ideal manner becomes coarse and material. Thus Rome came out of

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Visible Means of Support: Backing Brutality in Bahrain

Last week, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate met with the crown prince of Bahrain and “reaffirmed” the United States’ “strong commitment” to the regime of unelected autocrats. The Peace Laureate — who in his acceptance of the Prize wrapped himself in the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi — also “expressed strong support” for the regime’s “ongoing efforts to initiate national dialogue … [and] forge a just future for all Bahrainis.” President Obama had dropped in a meeting the prince was having with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who likewise extolled the autocrats for their “national dialogue”

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