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Graham E. Fuller – Turning Change into Chaos

A renowned Arab religious scholar in the Fourteenth Century, ibn Taymiyya, is sometimes quoted as saying,  Al-zulm afdal ‘ala al-fawda — “oppression is to be favored over anarchy.” Although ibn Taiymiyya was no establishment figure in his time, this perspective was welcomed by all rulers since it provided explicit religious justification in support of arbitrary and often oppressive authority.Maybe there’s …

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Project Censored – 12.15.15

David Talbot’s latest book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, examines the post-WWII U.S. intelligence sector and the power it wields, by following the career of Wall Street lawyer, diplomat and spymaster Allen Dulles. Talbot discussed his new book with fellow author Peter Dale Scott, in a public event at the Mechanics’ Institute Library in San Francisco on December 2, 2015. Talbot says he believes CIA assassins were responsible for the death of John F. Kennedy.

David Talbot founded the website Salon.com He was an editor at Mother Jones magazine, and he’s written for Rolling Stone, the New Yorker and other publications. His earlier books include Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.

Peter Dale Scott is a retired Canadian diplomat, professor emeritus of English at UC Berkeley, and a prolific author. His most recent book is The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy. He writes extensively about the “deep state,” a de facto government that exists beneath the elected one.

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POLLY JONES – The Empire Strikes Back: the Return of the WTO

The last time the World Trade Organisation met was in December 2013. Back then neither the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) nor the campaign to stop TTIP had even started. Trade seemed to be off the agenda and after years of stalled negotiations the WTO was expected to slowly become irrelevant. The WTO is meeting again this week …

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Norman Pollack – Dark Forebodings: America at the Cross-Roads

No, neither the Hebrew prophet Amos nor Priam’s daughter Cassandra inspires these thoughts, but the actual condition, ideological/psychological, of the contemporary American mindset, and its material foundations, an overly-ripened stage of capitalist development needing a constant infusion of power abroad, inner certitude at home, to maintain an acceptable rate of economic growth and the conviction that its military strength is …

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 10.20.15

Dr. Gareth Porter is an award-winning historian, an independent investigative journalist and policy analyst who specializes in US geopolitics and national security issues. During the Vietnam war, he was Dispatch News Services Bureau Chief in Saigon and later a co-director for the Indochina Resource Center. In addition to being a specialist in Vietnamese and Cambodian affairs, he has been reporting on the Middle East, including the chemical gas attacks reported in Syria, for the past decade. His numerous articles can found in Foreign Affairs, Al-Jazeera, Huffington, Counterpunch, Truthout, The Nation and others. For the past 9 years he has been investigating US and Israeli tensions with Iran and US intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gareth has an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in Southeast Asian Studies from Cornell University. He has published five major books dealing with Vietnam and Cambodia. His most recent is “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare” published last year, which debunks the myths regarding Iran as a nuclear threat.

Prof. Stephen Zunes (Zoo-ness) is a Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies. He is recognized as one the country’s leading scholars of U.S. Middle East policy and of strategic nonviolent action, Professor Zunes received his PhD. from Cornell University and previously served on the faculty of Ithaca College, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitman College. He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, a contributing editor of Tikkun, and chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Among his publications, the most recent is “Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution” and earlier “Tinderbox: US Foreign Policy and the Roots of Terrorism” co-written with Richard Falk. His website is StephenZunes.org which has over 400 of his articles.

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Leid Stories – 08.11.15

Past Is Present: 50 Years After the Watts Rebellion, Ferguson’s Crisis Confirms Delusions of ‘Progress’ and ‘Change’

Fifty years ago today, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, a tinderbox smoldering for decades under the yoke of poverty, disfranchisement, governmental indifference, and militarized police oppression, exploded in a cathartic rage. The heavy-handed arrest of a black motorist by white cops for drunk driving was the spark that set Watts aflame for six days and transformed it into a war zone—claiming 34 lives; causing more than $40 million in property damage; adding 4,000 National Guards, 934 city cops and 71 sheriffs to the city’s police force; causing about 3,500 arrests.

Half a century later, Ferguson, Missouri, is under its second state of emergency as the mostly black town of 21,000 observes the anniversary of the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by former police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 last year.

Mainstream media, until yesterday, were touting headlines and news stories about “change.” But our guest, Dr. Gerald Horne, a diplomatic scholar, historian, attorney and prolific author, draws stark parallels between Watts and Ferguson.

Horne is the John J. and Rebecca Moores chair of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. He has written more than 30 books, and more than 100 scholarly papers and reviews, on struggles against imperialism, colonialism, fascism and racism. Pertinent to our discussion today is his authoritative account and analysis of the Watts Rebellion, Fire This Time, The Watts Uprising and the 1960s.

American Journalism’s Ideology: Why the ‘Liberal’ Media Is Fundamentalist – Robert Jensen

Note: The memo below is my response to an editor at a U.S. news organization who was soliciting feedback for a review of the organization’s coverage of environmental news. From a conservative point of view, this newsroom is part of the “liberal media.” My goal in the memo was to step back from that superficial, diversionary label and evaluate the …

beatles-yestarday

Yearning for the Past: Is Human Society Regressing?

“Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away Now it looks as though they’re here to stay Oh, I believe in yesterday”—The Beatles 1965 In the 1970s, I had a staunch conservative colleague, a political science professor, who was the only professor I ever met who openly used his classroom as a bully pulpit for his political views. Once, in …