"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nemesis Rising

Just a short post today. I feel this is a good time to introduce the work of one of America's most important scholars. Chalmers Johnson is a retired professor of Asian Studies at the University of California San Diego, and served from 1968 to 1972 as a consultant to the Office of National Estimates of the CIA.

Dr. Johnson has just completed the third work of his trilogy on American Empire which began in 2000 with Blowback, followed shortly by The Sorrows of Empire. His latest book, Nemesis: Last Days of the American Empire, gets a preview at TomDispatch.com. So without further ado...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Firm Opposition

Looks like things are pretty much working out the way I figured they would now that the Democrats are in charge. I can detect no perceptible reduction in speed as our country hurdles towards the cliff. I still find myself in conversation with people gushing over the new congress and how the Dems are going to put a stop to the maddness in Iraq--all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Now I just smile and nod.

Dennis Perrin over at the Red State Son blog posts on this unwarranted enthusiasm among progressives in his critique of Virginia Democratic Senate nominee James Webb's speech last night and, depressingly, the fawning reaction to it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

To The Victor Go The Spoils

Recently over at the Second City Cop blog I found myself in the midst of a flame war over, you guessed it, the Team Bush war crimes in Iraq. In this instance the point of contention was whether or not the US occupation of Iraq is imperial in nature. Remarkably there are still at this late stage people who cling to belief that US designs on Iraq were not exploitative from the outset. No evidence appears strong enough to convince these die-hards otherwise.

I know it's useless presenting yet more evidence but I'll make the effort anyway. The following article was written by Antonia Juhasz, visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and chronicles the clear planning and foresight that went into the Team Bush decision to invade Iraq. Juhasz's investigation reveals that the popular perception of the Bush adminstration having occupied Iraq without a plausible plan for success is quite mistaken. Many of the neo-con wet-dreams are rapidly nearing fruition in the region. For example, the Middle East Free Trade Agreement is on fast track and, far more ominously, the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that allows for the virtual theft of Iraq's critical oil resources is firmly in place. I trust you will find The Spoils of War a fascinating read.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


So it has officially begun. Soon everywhere you turn Barackomania will overwhelm your senses. Any day now "liberals" will swear that Senator and now presidential candidate Barack Obama has a secret cure for cancer.

Our disfunctional republic has long embraced the useful fiction of a two party political system. Completely ignored by those who adhere to this belief is the voluminous record of bipartisan support for the most reactionary, corporate-friendly policies of this and previous administrations from welfare "reform" to "free-trade" agreements to our current depredations in Iraq. As I've stated here and elsewhere, there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican parties on fundimental issues. Check the record.

Obama is but the latest in a long line of hustlers distracting the public from the fact that neither party remotely supports its positions on critical issues, as polls have long revealed. A quick perusal of the polling links on this site will make this plain.

Paul Street has a proud record of pointing this stuff out as he did late last year when the first rumblings of an Obama run for the White House began. In his latest post, Street revisits this theme with some added comments on mainstream liberals in general. Read on.