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Smirking Towards Washington

Biden, Obama and The Blood-Dimmed Tide        
by Chris Floyd     
I've been away for seven days, without access to email or the internet, in a country where I couldn't speak the language, in a place with no newspapers in English anywhere to be found. It was a blissful detoxification from the media echo chamber -- and from the even more deadly poisons of politics and power that the chamber so confusingly and cacophonously presents.

Only once, briefly, did I find myself in a room where CNN was blaring on a tiny television set. As it happened, it was the exact moment when Joe Biden was being anointed as Barack Obama's running mate. It was a live feed: Biden was at the podium, giving a strangely stilted speech in a fake Southern accent. (Perhaps he was trying to channel Bill Clinton -- or maybe Sam Nunn.)
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Kucinich Addresses the Party: "Wake Up, America!"

Kucinich Addresses the Party
by Dennis Kucinich
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Russia Is On "The Agenda"

War With Russia Is On The Agenda
by Paul Craig Roberts
Thinking about the massive failure of the US media to report truthfully is sobering.  The United States, bristling with nuclear weapons and pursuing a policy of world hegemony, has a population that is kept in the dark--indeed brainwashed--about the most important and most dangerous events of our time.
The power of the Israel Lobby is an important component of keeping Americans in the dark. Recently I watched a documentary that demonstrates the control that the Israel Lobby exercises over Americans’ view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The documentary is available here.    
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Caging the Dream

Caging the Dream: Dems Wrap Freedom in Razor Wire        
by Chris Floyd     
Here's an historic speech by a noted African-American leader on August 28, 1963: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

....This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
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Orleans Three Years Later

Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Three Years Later
by Bill Quigley
0. Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant — compared to 116,708 homeowners.
0. Number of apartments currently being built to replace the 963 public housing apartments formerly occupied and now demolished at the St. Bernard Housing Development.

0. Amount of data available to evaluate performance of publicly financed privately run charter schools in New Orleans in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

.008. Percentage of the rental homes that were supposed to be repaired and occupied by August 2008 which were actually completed and occupied — a total of 82 finished out of 10,000 projected.
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Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture

Join the Fall 2008 ,Caravan to End Canadian Involvement in Torture Southwestern Ontario, October 17-22, 2008
by Homes Not Bombs
Join a nonviolent community on wheels for part or all of our journey as we travel through dozens of communities in a large triangular area (Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo to London, then through Tillsonburg, Simcoe and Welland, up through Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Hamilton and Mississauga) October 17-22.

The Caravan intends to expose and challenge the many ways in which the Canadian government is increasingly involved, both directly and indirectly, in policies and practices that result in the torture of human beings. While it is possible that a federal election may be underway during our caravan, we see this as a good opportunity to challenge all parties to commit to ending ALL forms of Canadian complicity in torture.

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Nuclear Chicken

Nuclear Chicken in Poland: Putin Can't Afford to Back Down                  
by Mike Whitney
If the Bush administration proceeds with its plan to deploy its Missile Defense System in Poland, Russian Prime Minister Putin will be forced to remove it militarily. He has no other option. The proposed system integrates the the entire US nuclear arsenal into one operational-unit a mere 115 miles from the Russian border.
It's no different than Khrushchev's plan to deploy nuclear missiles in Cuba in the 1960s.

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View From the Gallows

A View From the Gallows
by Antony Black
I don’t believe in capital punishment - as a rule. But I’m willing to make a few exceptions for our fearless leaders, indeed all the fearless leaders, who have so willingly prosecuted the totally bogus ‘war on terror’; who have, under the banner of peace, democracy and civilization, waged a ruthless campaign of war, terror and barbarism.
Now, truth to tell, I would likely give a moments pause before the gallows floor gaped open - on general humanitarian grounds you understand - though the obscene roll-call of their crimes would, I suspect, soon seal the court’s resolve.

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Popular Myths in the Presidential Race

YOU MUST BE HIGH: Popular Myths in the Presidential Race
by Jack Random
A friend of mine keeps me honest when, in my passion for politics, I go over the top in criticism of candidates or praise for independent allies. He listens to my point of view, rolls it over in his mind, and pronounces his conclusion:  You must be high!  

In general, I am compelled to reconsider my analysis.  

In my observations of the unfolding race for the White House, I am often reminded of my friend’s pronouncement. If you think Barack Obama is a closet Muslim with a secret plan to destroy America from within, you must be high. If you believe Obama is the most liberal member of the United States Senate you must be high.
Wherever he ranks on the liberal scale, it is behind Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Barbara Boxer of California and fair trade champion Sherrod Brown of Ohio.  

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After the Ruin: Five Years Later

The Past Destroyed: Five Years Later
by Chalmers Johnson
On April 11, 12, 13, and 14, 2003, the United States Army and United States Marine Corps disgraced themselves and the country they represent in Baghdad, Iraq's capital city.
image by mykeru
Having invaded Iraq and accepted the status of a military occupying power, they sat in their tanks and Humvees, watching as unarmed civilians looted the Iraqi National Museum and burned down the Iraqi National Library and Archives as well as the Library of Korans of the Ministry of Religious Endowments. Their behavior was in violation of their orders, international law, and the civilized values of the United States. Far from apologizing for these atrocities or attempting to make amends, the United States government has in the past five years added insult to injury.

Donald Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense and the official responsible for the actions of the troops, repeatedly attempted to trivialize what had occurred with inane public statements like "democracy is messy" and "stuff happens."

On December 2, 2004, President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, to General Tommy Franks, the overall military commander in Iraq at that time, for his meritorious service to the country. (He gave the same award to L. Paul Bremer III, the highest ranking civilian official in Iraq, and to George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which had provided false information about Saddam Hussein and Iraq to Congress and the people.)

In the five years since the initial looting and pillaging of the Iraqi capital, thieves have stolen at least 32,000 items from some 12,000 archaeological sites across Iraq with no interference whatsoever from the occupying power. No funds have been appropriated by the American or Iraqi governments to protect the most valuable and vulnerable historical sites on Earth, even though experience has shown that just a daily helicopter overflight usually scares off looters. In 2006, the World Monuments Fund took the unprecedented step of putting the entire country of Iraq on its list of the most endangered sites. All of this occurred on George W. Bush's watch and impugned any moral authority he might have claimed.

The United States government seems never to have understood that, when it began the occupation of Iraq on March 19, 2003, it became legally responsible for what happened to the country's cultural inheritance. After all, the only legal justification for its presence in Iraq is U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 of May 22, 2003. Both the United States and the United Kingdom voted for this resolution in which they formally acknowledged their status and obligations as occupying powers in Iraq.
Among those obligations, specified in the Preamble to the resolution, was: "The need for respect for the archaeological, historical, cultural, and religious heritage of Iraq, and for the continued protection of archaeological, historical, cultural, and religious sites, museums, libraries, and monuments." Every politically sentient observer on Earth is aware of the Bush administration's contempt for international law and its routine scofflaw behavior since it came to power, but this clause remains an ironclad obligation that will stand up in an international or a domestic U.S. court. On this issue, the United States is an outlaw, waiting to be brought to justice.

In 1258 AD the Mongols descended on Baghdad and pillaged its magnificent libraries. A well-known adage states that the Tigris River ran black from the ink of the countless texts the Mongols trashed, while the streets ran red with the blood of the city's slaughtered inhabitants. The world has never forgotten that medieval act of barbarism, just as it will never forget what the U.S. military unleashed on the defenseless city in 2003 and in subsequent years. There is simply no excuse for what has happened in Baghdad at the hands of the Americans.
- Chalmers Johnson, August, 2008

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Tory Deathwish in Ontario: Party Bosses Cutting Grassroots

Do The Tories Have A Death Wish?
by Charles W. Conn
The federal riding of Halton lies west of Toronto. The city of Milton is in the centre and corners of Oakville and Burlington lie on its southern border. The rest is farm, estate and small village country. It's a natural Tory stronghold and the Tories are doing everything they can to hand it over to the Liberals.

It's Garth Turner's riding. He was a staunch Tory until he offended some sensitive person(s) in the PMO and the Party threw him out. Now he's a staunch Liberal.
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