Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

The Disaffected Lib: The Madness of King Stephen

As excuses for war go, claiming a conflict to be “noble” is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.  It’s something you resort to when there’s simply nothing left to pull out of your ass.  ”Squires, attend your Lords.  Summon the Heralds. To the jousts! Ah, there’s a noble scent to the air.”Perhaps Harper had to call our adventure in Iraq noble because the default option would have been “insane.”  Insane in the popular sense of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  It’s that sort of insane.

Over at Foreign (Read more…)

drive-by planet: USA #1 when it comes to ‘violence and preparations for violence’

Interesting article on Stop the War coalition site this week entitled Yes it’s true, the United States really is the greatest country in the world – but in what? 

The article includes stats and links to demonstrate that when it comes to “violence and preparations for violence” the USA is indeed the undisputed global leader.

In 2013, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the U.S. government accounted for 37 percent of world military expenditures, putting it far ahead of all other nations. (The two closest competitors, China and Russia, accounted for 11 percent (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Some Recent History in the Middle East – ISIS and US.

Fascinating reading about some of the circular nature of events that are playing out in the Middle East as of late. This excerpt from the Counterpunch article titled Once More, Into the Quagmire.

 

The Middle East Needs Our Military Might

One can hear, in the reverberating noise of mainstream justifications, a series of claims. Among them is the idea that the Middle East is united in opposition to ISIS. Indeed it is, if you confine your poll to the rotten monarchies of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. Adding Jordan to (Read more…)

Left Over: The US Declares Permanent War in Arab Winter

How ISIS and Syria drove a stake through the Arab Spring The rise of ISIS is a setback for reform in a region that is crying out for it

By Nahlah Ayed, CBC News Posted: Oct 03, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 03, 2014 5:00 AM ET

The fact is that like it or not, the Brotherhood won the democratic election in Egypt fair and square. The West’s response? Well, uh, democracy is fine for the rest of us, but obviously, Egypt ‘doesn’t get it’ and we can’t have a fundamentalist high-jacking our attempts to ‘democratize’ Egypt..so we’ll (Read more…)

drive-by planet: New US-led Middle East war repeats old mistakes: fuels the cycle of violence

Airstrikes and rockets targeting sites in Syria and Iraq this week marks an escalation in the early stages of a war stamped with the trademark Made-in-the-USA. This misguided war is a continuation of earlier interventions and strategic errors that have fanned the flames of jihadist resistance around the globe.

The American hand is all over the current crisis. The disastrous fall-out from the US invasion of Iraq and Washington’s covert involvement in the Syrian conflict are key factors behind the creation of ISIS and like-minded groups – links ignored by Obama as he worked with the regions monarchs and autocrats (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Washington’s war to ‘destroy’ ISIL: what is ISIL and who is the real security threat?

In recent weeks Western media has been sounding the alarm over the speedy territorial gains made by the Islamic State – also known as ISIL and ISIS – with warnings of the threat it poses to the West. In some of the more alarmist commentary you would think  ISIL had arisen like a desert djinn and magically metastasized into an evil contagion threatening the so-called “civilized” world. The creation and progress of ISIL is far from a recent development. It arose on the back of the chaos in Iraq in the years following the US invasion – fertile soil for (Read more…)

Left Over: Shakedown in Yankeeland

ANALYSIS

American shakedown: Police won’t charge you, but they’ll grab your money U.S. police are operating a co-ordinated scheme to seize as much of the public’s cash as they can

By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 11, 2014 5:00 AM ET

I know I shouldn’t be gobsmacked, but I am

I grew up in the States, and, yes, back in the day this is the sort of thing one expected from the Southern States, where everybody (to those of us on the West Coast) was a hillbilly slacker, the cops were (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Obama’s Estonia claim that ‘Russia trying to reclaim lands lost in the 19th century’ funny and wrong

Since the crisis in Ukraine made the headlines Russia has been cast as the villain with predictable stereotypes and misconceptions about things Russian showing up on MSM. From a Russian perspective a lot of it must seem clueless, tiresome or outright offensive but such “insights” add to a tabloid narrative that gets very little critical scrutiny. The tendency to caricature Russia isn’t just a tabloid pastime, it shows up in the commentary of politicians in sometimes surprising ways.

Obama and his speech writers could use some remedial assistance when it comes to Russian history.

During a brief stop-over in Estonia (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Fidel Castro compares NATO with Hitler’s SS: says US/Israel responsible for the creation of ISIS

 Below: Demo in Poland protesting this weeks NATO summit in Wales

In an article published in Cuban state media iconic revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, calls out NATO and imperialist war mongering. He compares statements by NATO representatives with Nazi SS talk.

Castro: “Many people are astonished when they hear the statements made by some European spokesmen for NATO when they speak with the style and face of the Nazi SS.”

Castro’s NATO remarks are timely given the summit currently underway in Wales that aims to increase troops and armaments in Eastern Europe in response to what NATO views as (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: London Has Denounced It. So Has Washington. Why the Complicit Silence from Canada?

Israel has just taken another massive bite out of the Palestinian West Bank homeland.  Britain has condemned the land grab, so has Washington.

As for Canada, “what land grab?”  As Harper reminds us, we don’t practice sociology.  It took Mulcair and Trudeau to demonstrate that we don’t do integrity either, not when we’re suckholing for votes.

The Disaffected Lib: Could America Break Its Own Bank on a Russian Anvil?

The sanctions being plastered on Russia by the US and her allies are already having a rebound effect, especially in Europe.  Russia is not only the major supplier of the natural gas the Europeans will need to get through this winter, it’s also a key market for their exports.  In these matters the EU and US are in different boats.  Another key difference is that American sanctions are more heavily weighted on depriving Russia of access to credit – loans.

Here’s the rub.  International finance is generally conducted in US dollars, the global reserve currency.  Throughout the post-WWII era that’s (Read more…)

bastard.logic: “You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at his or her chest”

Afghanistan War veteran Paul Szoldra:

In Afghanistan, we patrolled in big, armored trucks. We wore uniforms that conveyed the message, “We are a military force, and we are in control right now.” Many Afghans saw us as occupiers.

And now we see some of our police officers in this same way. “The militarization of law enforcement is counter-productive to domestic policing and needs to stop,” tweeted Andrew Exum, a former Army infantry officer.

If there’s one thing I learned in Afghanistan, it’s this: You can’t win a person’s heart and mind when you are pointing a rifle at (Read more…)

bastard.logic: Afro-Punk (AKA The Story of My Life)

Pretty much sums up my adolescence/early adulthood/current state of existence (I’m so old I remember when being black and playing rock/punk/metal was a radical, disruptive act, etc):

Bonus: Interview w/ James Spooner, director of Afro-Punk: The Movie:

Also, too: Live performances (because AGGRO):

 

Filed under: music, Uncategorized Tagged: Afro-Punk, music, punk, race, racial issues, racism, US, video

bastard.logic: The Murder of #MichaelBrown And Why ‘Black Rage’ Is Entirely Justified

MSNBC, quoting Dorian Johnson, eyewitness to the shooting by Ferguson, MO police of Michael Brown:

“There are two crowds. An older crowd that wants justice but there’s anger. Then it’s the younger crowd that wants revenge but there’s anger there, too… . What do you expect when something is steadily occurring and its hurting the community and nobody is speaking out or doing anything about it. I feel their anger, I feel their disgust.”

Brittany Cooper:

Mike Brown is dead. He is dead for no reason. He is dead because a police officer saw a 6-foot-4, 300-plus-pound black kid, (Read more…)

Left Over: Telling It Like It Is……

When I served, the Israeli military was the most moral in the world. No more

Once there was widespread Israeli outrage over the bombing of homes in Gaza. Now there is just indifference

Yuli Novak, former Israeli air force officer The Guardian, Monday 28 July 2014 18.34 BST I have been waiting along time to read something like this..and of course, comments were closed by the time I found it..still, absolutely worth reading. Here is a woman who could, with a certain moral force, speak the opposite of what we read here, and be supported in (Read more…)

Left Over: Corporate Bullies, Then and Now……

ANALYSIS

Big box bullies: Discount pricing squeezes small suppliers: Dianne Buckner Selling to big chains like Target, Wal-Mart a mixed blessing when they demand a discount

By Dianne Buckner, CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 25, 2014 5:00 AM ET

Nothing new here, folks…you can move on…

As a child, I was handed over to my father on weekends, like many others. One of the things that sometimes happened was that, on the way to his home, we would stop in at small machine shops that did contract work with the big aerospace companies (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: More People Chase Fewer Jobs

Further to Angella’s excellent analysis:

Statistics Canada reported today that unemployment jumped by 25,700 in June because of shrinking employment and a growing labour force. Canada’s labour force expanded because of population growth, even though the participation rate did not increase. The combination of less employment and a larger working-age population depressed the employment rate to 61.4% – its lowest level since January 2010.

The Harper government has long trumpeted having a stronger job market than the US. In June, the unemployment rate rose in Canada but fell in the US. Statistics Canada reports that it is now (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: John Pilger – A World War is Beckoning

I’m frightened for the wrong reasons.

 

If I listened and believed what I was supposed to believe I would be afraid that the Russians are provoking the West into military conflict in Ukraine. The problem is that I’m more of afraid of what We are doing to destabilize the situation. John Pilger is with me on this one.

“Washington’s role in Ukraine is ­different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is ­threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Tabacco Farming – Child Labour in the USA

The news: If you’re a 7-year-old in the U.S., you are by law too young to buy a cigarette at the counter — but you are old enough to work in the tobacco fields as a day laborer.

Human Rights Watched released a disturbing report Wednesday on child labor in America’s tobacco farms. The four states that grow 90% of U.S. tobacco — North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia — allow children as young as 7 to work in these farms for minimum wage. And it’s completely legal.

That’s right: Elementary school-age children are harvesting tobacco (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Is The US Trying to Kick The ‘Cold War’ Back Into Play?

Dead Wild Roses: Death Panels. Stupid Ideas Conservatives Dream Up.

Reactionary commentators are famous for making up bullshit ideas designed to scare ignorant people. The American right has the trademark on this particular ploy as they fight to remain the last industrialized country without Universal Health care.

I bet they have contests to see how many poor people they can bamboozle to fight against their own best interests…

This snippet gleaned from the Raw Story comment section illustrates what happens when someone calls conservative/reactionary commentators on their babblative bullshit.

“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: You want to see a death panel, Mr. Halperin?

I’ll show you (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Death Panels. Stupid Ideas Conservatives Dream Up.

Reactionary commentators are famous for making up bullshit ideas designed to scare ignorant people. The American right has the trademark on this particular ploy as they fight to remain the last industrialized country without Universal Health care.

I bet they have contests to see how many poor people they can bamboozle to fight against their own best interests…

This snippet gleaned from the Raw Story comment section illustrates what happens when someone calls conservative/reactionary commentators on their babblative bullshit.

“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: You want to see a death panel, Mr. Halperin?

I’ll show you (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: From pulp and paper to magazines to progessive politics

Harold Innis wrote the history of Canada around its succession of staple exports, first to Europe and then to the US. He then wrote the history of empires and civilizations around the succession of media of communications. One of the bridges between these two phases of his work was the study of newsprint as a Canadian staple which supplied the input for the American press, with its vast consequences for public opinion and human consciousness.

The best selling American historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has made a signal contribution to this way of thinking in her most recent book The Bully (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Massive turnout in Crimea: 96.77 vote for integration with Russia: jubilant crowds capture the mood

There was a massive turnout in the Crimea referendum, with 81.3 percent of eligible voters participating. When the final tally was in 96.77 percent voted “yes” to integration with the Russian Federation. The way it breaks down in terms of numbers is 1,233,002 votes for integration out of a total of 1,274,096 ballots cast.

The head of the monitors’ commission, Polish MP Mateusz Piskorski, told RT: “The referendum has been organized professionally, considering there was very little time for all the institutions to prepare, all the staff for polling stations, for electoral commission… So when it comes (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Crimea votes: ‘CrossTalk’ discussion with George Galloway, Michael Hughes and Dmitry Babich