• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 1 november 2008

Studs Terkel Gestorven

Een van de grootste journalisten van onze tijd is niet meer. Studs Terkel is gestorven.
Studs Terkel, Listener to Americans, Dies at 96
Saturday 01 November 2008
by: William Grimes, The New York Times
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel dies at the age of 96.(Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)
Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose searching interviews with ordinary Americans helped establish oral history as a serious genre, and who for decades was the voluble host of a popular radio show in Chicago, died Friday at his home there. He was 96.
His death was confirmed by Lois Baum, a friend and longtime colleague at the radio station WFMT.
In his oral histories, which he called guerrilla journalism, Mr. Terkel relied on his enthusiastic but gentle interviewing style to elicit, in rich detail, the experiences and thoughts of his fellow citizens. Over the decades, he developed a continuous narrative of great historic moments sounded by an American chorus in the native vernacular.
"Division Street: America" (1966), his first best seller and the first in a triptych of tape- recorded works, explored the urban conflicts of the 1960s. Its success led to "Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression" (1970) and "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (1974).
Mr. Terkel's book " 'The Good War': An Oral History of World War II" won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
In "Talking to Myself: A Memoir of My Times" (1977), Mr. Terkel turned the microphone on himself to produce an engaging memoir. In "Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession" (1992) and "Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who've Lived It" (1995), he reached for his ever-present tape recorder for interviews on race relations in the United States and the experience of growing old.
Although detractors derided him as a sentimental populist whose views were simplistic and occasionally maudlin, Mr. Terkel was widely credited with transforming oral history into a popular literary form. In 1985 a reviewer for The Financial Times of London characterized his books as "completely free of sociological claptrap, armchair revisionism and academic moralizing."
The elfin, amiable Mr. Terkel was a gifted and seemingly tireless interviewer who elicited provocative insights and colorful, detailed personal histories from a broad mix of people. "The thing I'm able to do, I guess, is break down walls," he once told an interviewer. "If they think you're listening, they'll talk. It's more of a conversation than an interview."
Mr. Terkel succeeded as an interviewer in part because he believed most people had something to say worth hearing. "The average American has an indigenous intelligence, a native wit," he said. "It's only a question of piquing that intelligence." In "American Dreams: Lost and Found" (1980), he interviewed police officers and convicts, nurses and loggers, former slaves and former Ku Klux Klansmen - a typical crowd for Mr. Terkel.
Readers of his books could only guess at Mr. Terkel's interview style. Listeners to his daily radio show, which was first broadcast on WFMT in 1958, got the full Terkel flavor as the host, with breathy eagerness and a tough-guy Chicago accent, went after the straight dope from guests like Sir Georg Solti, Toni Morrison and Gloria Steinem.
"It isn't an inquisition; it's an exploration, usually an exploration into the past," he once said, explaining his approach. "So I think the gentlest question is the best one, and the gentlest is, 'And what happened then?' "
Studs Terkel was born in the Bronx on May 16, 1912, the third son of Samuel Terkel, a tailor, and the former Anna Finkel, who had emigrated from Bialystok, Poland. In 1923 the family moved to Chicago. In the late 1930s, while acting in the theater, Mr. Terkel dropped his given name, Louis, and adopted the name Studs, from another colorful Chicagoan, James T. Farrell's fictional Studs Lonigan.
His childhood was unhappy. His father was an invalid who suffered from heart disease. His mother was volatile and impetuous, given to unpredictable rages that kept the household on edge. "What nobody got from her was warmth and love, or at least not a display of it," Mr. Terkel said.'

Jawel!

Kijk nu eens wat ik gewonnen heb:

'Mrs. M. Schuurman. [bmwpark@libero.it]

Dear Winner,
The BMW Automobile Company, Congratulate you as one of our Ten(10) Star Prize Winner. You won (£7,000,000.00 GBP) Seven million Great British Pounds and a new BMW 2008 X6 xDrive 35 Car. The BMW (IAP) held on 30Th October 2008, in London.
Contact him with:Full name/Contact address/Sex/Tel/Occupation/Age/Country.
Mr. Michael Gordon
E-mail: michaelgordon12@sify.com
Phone: +44 701 112 8491
Fax : +44 7005-964-945
Thanks. Mrs. M. Schuurman.
Online coordinator for BMW Automobile Company
www.bmwparklane.com'


Ik ben bereid het geld te delen met u. Maar alleen als u het nodig heeft! Anders echt niet.

Martien Pennings in de Volkskrant 4


reageerde: Vrije-wereldburger met: 'Deze praatjesmaker van een Pennings pleit met zijn redenering over Gilo in feite voor de terugkeer van de vele verdrevenen, grondeigenaren, van 1948, maar hij en zijn krantje zijn zelfs te stom om dit in te zien.'

En dit is nu precies ook het punt: de logica van reactionairen geldt per definitie nooit voor de ander. In dit geval, het van de Palestijnen gestolen land hoeft van rechts niet aan de rechtmatige eigenaren te worden teruggegeven, maar wel moeten 'de aloude wettige landaankopen' van de joden worden gerespecteerd. En dan op zo'n manier dat het gebied, in strijd met het internationaal recht, door Israel kan worden gestolen. Misschien wel het allergekste is dat dit soort malloten niet doorhebben hoe onlogisch hun beweringen zijn. En vervolgens publiceren de idioten bij de Volkskrant dit soort nonsens vet gedrukt, zodat het niemand kan ontgaan.

Martien Pennings in de Volkskrant 3


Wie is die Martien Pennings, wiens nonsens vetgedrukt in de Volkskrant van vandaag staat? Ik weet het niet. Wel berichtte het toen nog christelijke dagblad Trouw op 8 oktober 1994: 'Martien Pennings is vrijgevestigd denker te Amsterdam. De vragen zijn afkomstig uit 'Dagboek 1966-1971' van Max Frisch; als 'Lastige vragen' in een aparte editie verschenen bij uitg. Meulenhoff.'

Gelijk in het begin zei Martien - die toen 'tegen de vijftig' liep - op de vraag: 'Wie zou u liever nooit zijn tegengekomen?' het volgende: 'Een zekere jonge vrouw. Ik heb haar besmet met herpes genitalis... Ik hoop in de loop van dit gesprek, mijnheer Frisch, nog even van u de gelegenheid te krijgen uit te leggen wat dat is, herpes genitalis.'
En ja hoor, wanneer de vraag opduikt 'wat staat uw geluk in de weg' antwoordt Pennings gretig: 'Dank u wel voor de gelegenheid. Het antwoord moet luiden: herpes genitalis. Dat is een virusziekte en die heb ik, dus. Het is ongeneeslijk, besmettelijk als de pest, en manifesteert zich periodiek in, soms pijnlijke, blaasjes en zweertjes. Je kan het krijgen op alle slijmvliezen: eikel en voorhuid van de penis, schaamlippen, anus, mond en lippen, neusgaten, ogen. Sommige lijders hebben slechts een paar per jaar een aanval, anderen veel vaker. Ik heb het gelukkig alleen op mijn penis, maar wel vrij vaak. De verneukeratieve rottigheid is, dat, als je geen echte aanval hebt, je toch onzichtbare miniblaasjes kunt hebben en een ander besmetten. Na enig inlevend nadenken, mijnheer Frisch, begrijpt u dat een en ander het liefdesspel enigszins bemoeilijkt en belast. En aangezien sexualiteit voor mij altijd een bevestiging van mijn vitaliteit en een overwinning op de dood betekende, staat die herpes mijn geluk danig in de weg.' Dat weten we nu ook weer.

Misschien wel door die herpes was Martien geobsedeerd geraakt door zijn mannelijkheid en de seksualiteit, want eigenhandig kiest hij de vraag: 'Wat beschouwt u als mannelijk?' Pennings antwoordt met tongue in cheek: ''Mag ik ter beantwoording van deze vraag citeren uit de Oikoia? ('Huiselijkheden', een pas ontdekt geheim dagboek van Homerus.): “Met geërecteerde penis, die staat te trillen, zo, zoals - wanneer een sterke boer zijn spade diep in de weerbarstige aarde heeft gestoken, en hij wrikt onder de brandende zon het nuttige ijzer in de harde klei - zoals de spadeschacht dan soms zwiepend ontsnapt aan zijn zwetende handen, en vibrerend in de vruchtbare aarde staat, zo, met zo een geërecteerde penis, dan, een vrouw benaderen - en uit haar ogen spreken ontzag en begeerte, want ze ziet dat het menens is - dat vind ik nou mannelijk.”

Nogmaals, van zo iemand wil je graag zijn mening horen over van alles en nog wat en dan allereerst in de Volkskrant en zeker zodra het gaat over 'de waarheid over Israel'.

Martien Pennings in de Volkskrant 2


Martien Pennings die zoveel ruimte krijgt in de Volkskrant om aantoonbare nonsens te verspreiden, is iemand die dit soort proza schrijft:

'Nahed !! Wereldwijf !!!
Dit komt wel uit mijn tenen, want ik ben een man, ook érg hetero en zo. Maar ik heb zelden zo'n helder, voortreffelijk en tegelijk onpretentieus betoog gezien. Brok troost. Vooral omdat ik al héél lang geleden schreef over de vrouw in boerka: "Die wijven weten van hun eigen gezond niet. Dit moet je scharen onder de categorie van meisjes die zichzelf 'snijden' of anderszins psychiatrisch hulpbehoevend zijn." Nu heb jij die oorspronkelijk toch weer mannelijke gedachte gedienstig en braaf uitgewerkt.(Ah! Wij Bevruchters!) Mooie aanvulling op Jolanda Withuis, jouw stuk, Nahed. Ik (61) zat bij lezing te grommen en op de vraag van mijn elfjarige dochter zei ik: "Papa leest een prachtig stuk." Ze antwoordde: "Je kijkt niet blij." Waarop ik: "De vreugde zit diep van binnen." Grote Filosofen Met Piemel zouden hier jaloers op kunnen worden. Goddomme, Nahed, meid, dit is wel castrerend hoor! Al moet ik aan de andere kant zeggen: ik kan hier ook best een stijve van krijgen. Niks verkrachtends bedoeld, overigens. Ik ben geen Arabier of Zuid-Afrikaanse neger! Nou ja, ik ben dus heel ambivalent: tussen een assertieve erectie (geen zwarte, zo groot is-i niet) en geïntimideerd verschrompelen in, dus. Mooi hoor. Je bent een vrouw voor een goed gesprek, Nahed. En dan heel langzaam aftasten . . . . God, wat zit ik literair mijn best te doen! Zou ik dan tóch homo zijn? Temeer daar jouw kalender aan mijn keukenmuur hangt. "Mijn keukenmuur", dat schreef ik echt totaal gedachtenloos op . . . Geloof je me? Dag schatje.
Martien Pennings.'
Zie: http://hoeiboei.web-log.nl/hoeiboei/2007/06/vorige_maand_an.html
Echt iemand die je prominent in je krant wil hebben.

Obama 19

De Volkskrant kan in de toekomst kijken, en dat is bijzonder knap voor een journalistiek medium. Niemand anders kan dat. Op pagina 9 van deze krant staat boven het Commentaar van vandaag: 'Wereld is beter af met overwinning Obama.' Jawel, en we hebben het hier over de hele wereld, niemand uitgezonderd. Hoe weet de Volkskrant dit zo zeker? Nou ja, dat is zo omdat de Volkskrant dit gewoon beweert.

Nu de werkelijkheid. Het Parool berichtte gisteren:

'RIJSWIJK- Hoewel de meeste Nederlanders het liefst de Democraat Barack Obama als volgende bewoner van het Witte Huis zouden zien, blijken ze maar matig op de hoogte te zijn van zijn standpunten. Uit donderdag gepubliceerd onderzoek van actualiteitenrubriek EénVandaag en dagblad De Pers blijkt dat de meeste Nederlanders Obama opvattingen toedichten die hij niet heeft.Tegen homohuwelijk, voor wapenbezit en doodstrafVolgens 78 procent van de 21.000 respondenten is Obama tegen de doodstraf en 62 procent meent dat de Democratische presidentskandidaat voor het homohuwelijk is. Ook denkt 56 procent dat hij tegen particulier wapenbezit is. In werkelijkheid is Obama voor de doodstraf en het recht op wapenbezit, en tegen het homohuwelijk. Over de vraag of Obama voor of tegen de invasie van Irak was, bestaat verwarring. Van de ondervraagden had 46 procent het bij het juiste einde: hij was voorstander van ingrijpen. Obama zat toen overigens nog niet in de senaat. De meerderheid van de ondervraagden bleek wel op de hoogte van Obama's standpunten over kwesties die volop in de campagne aan bod zijn geweest, zoals het verbeteren van de gezondheidszorg, het terugdraaien van Bush' belastingverlagingen voor de hogere inkomens en terugtrekking van het leger uit Irak. John McCain wordt door het Nederlandse publiek vooral gezien als te oud, oncharismatisch en een kandidaat die opkomt voor de rijken, aldus EénVandaag en De Pers. (ANP)'
Enige tijd geleden plaatste ik dit bericht op mijn weblog: Obama vows backing for Israel Barack Obama vows that Jerusalem must ‘remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided’ in his first major speech since clinching the U.S. presidential nomination.” Welnu Salomon Bouman, hetgeen deze Democraat stelt, is volledig in strijd met internationaal recht dat verordonneert dat je andermans land niet mag stelen. Oost-Jeruzalem is van de Palestijnen, en zal dat voor de Arabische wereld, inclusief de machtige islamitische olielanden, altijd blijven. Met andere woorden: de uitspraak van Obama getuigt niet alleen van minachting voor het recht, maar tevens dat hij niet volledig de consequenties van zijn woorden begrijpt. En hier zijn we nu precies beland bij een zaak die ook jij niet begrijpt, om de simpele reden dat jij je nooit echt verdiept hebt in de Arabische wereld, en daar nooit uitgebreid doorheen bent gereisd, zoals ik.'
Ondanks deze feiten beweert de Volkskrant nu dat de 'wereld beter af [is] met overwinning Obama.' Wat zegt dit nu eigenlijk? Niets, en tegelijkertijd alles. In het zwart/wit wereldbeeld van de Volkskrant betekent dit in concreto: 'het zou lichtelijk absurd zijn om op deze plek een stemadvies te geven... maar we hoeven er ook geen geheim van te maken dat onze voorkeur in sterke mate uitgaat naar Barack Obama,' die dus voor de doodstraf is, voor het schenden van het internationaal recht, tegen het homo-huwelijk, voor het recht op wapenbezit van burgers, en voor de illegale inval in Irak. En desondanks 'gaat onze voorkeur in sterke mate uit' naar deze rechtse presidentskandidaat. Juist ja.
Gezien de negatieve reactie van rechts in Nederland op de benoeming van de heer Aboutaleb tot burgemeester van Rotterdam, ben ik zeer benieuwd wat het commentaar van de Volkskrant zou zijn als een Surinaamse Nederlanders de nieuwe premier van Nederland zou worden. Ik zeg met nadruk 'zou worden' want zover is Nederland nog lang niet. Dat zal nog wel een eeuw duren. Maar goed, ondertussen voelen vele Nederlanders zich wel progressief en tolerant.

Martien Pennings in de Volkskrant

Vandaag publiceert de Volkskrant een in vetgedrukte letters opgemaakt artikel van een meneer die aangekondigd wordt als een 'historicus.' Zijn naam is Martien Pennings, en zover ik kan nagaan is hij een rechtse activist die zijn mening op talloze reactionaire sites verkondigt. Boven zijn artikel staat 'Schrijf de waarheid over Israel', een prijzenswaardige oproep in een krant die veelal propaganda bedrijft over 'de joodse natie', zoals ik meermaals op deze weblog gedocumenteerd probeer aan te tonen.
Maar nu, auteur Pennings schrijft in vetgedrukte letters, zodat zijn boodschap geen enkele Volkskrantlezer kan ontgaan, het volgende: 'Correspondent Alex Burghoorn schrijft: "Een 20-jarige Palestijn heeft donderdagh een 86-jarige voorbijganger doodgestoken in de Joodse nederzetting Gilo, nadat hij al een politieagent ernstig had verwond. Israli's beschouwen Gilo als een zuidelijke buitenwijk van Jeruzalem, maar het ligt op Palestijns grondgebied dat Israel in 1967 heeft bezet." (Buitenland, 24 oktober) De laatste woorden van deze alinea zijn een voorbeeld van een standaardjargon dat consequent de waarheid geweld aandoet als het over Israel gaat. HonestReporting, een website die dit soort terloopse perverteringen van de waarheid bestrijdt, schrijft: 'Het grootste deel van Gilo is land dat rechtmatig is gekocht door Joden voor 1948. In de oorlog van 1948 is het Joodse land in Gilo bezet en geconfisqueerd door de Jordaanse regering. Van 1948 tot 1967 hebben de Joodse eigenaren hun bezit niet opgegeven en toen Israel het land terugveroverde in de Zesdaagse Oorlog werd Gilo gebouwd, niet vanwege de overwinning in de oorlog, maar vanwege aloude wettige landaankopen."

Alsjeblieft. En nu de vraag: Waarom wordt deze vet gedrukte nonsens, er is geen ander woord voor, door de Volkskrant gepubliceerd, en waarom worden artikelen die deze nonsens weerleggen niet vet afgedrukt door de Volkskrant, als ze uberhaupt al worden afgedrukt, wat veelal niet het geval is? Het antwoord hierop is simpel: omdat de pro-Israel lobby binnen de Volkskrant zich dood ergert aan feiten zodra het om Israel gaat, zoals ik weet van een Volkskrant-collega.

Nu de weerlegging: Stel nu eens dat de pro-Israel organisatie HonestReporting gelijk zou hebben dat 'het grootste deel van Gilo... door Joden voor 1948' is gekocht, klopt dan de rest van de redenering? Nee, natuurlijk. Ik geef een voorbeeld: stel dat joods-Israeli's stukken land in Nederland hadden gekocht. Zouden deze 'aloude wettige landaankopen' dit land tot Israelisch grondgebied hebben gemaakt? Geen sprake van! Zelfs niet nadat Israel met veel geweld Nederland had bezet. Stel dat Martien Pennings, die zich afficheert als historicus, een huisje en een stukje land in Frankrijk koopt, dan nog wordt dit terrein niet Nederlands grondgebied. Dat weet ieder mens, behalve Martien en de Volkskrant-redactie. Waarom weten die dit niet? Omdat zowel de betrokken Volkskrant-redacteur als Martien Pennings propaganda willen bedrijven en daardoor niet in staat zijn de werkelijkheid te zien. Het feit dat het artikel van Pennings vet wordt afgedrukt, verhoogt niet de waarheid van zijn stelling, maar toont aan hoe propagandistisch de Volkskrant te werk gaat. Nu 'de waarheid over Israel': In 1947 heeft de Verenigde Naties ongeveer 47 procent van het vooroorlogse mandaatsgebied Palestina aan de Palestijnen gegeven. In 1948 verdreven zionistische troepen met veel geweld en terreur tenminste 750.000 Palestijnse burgers van hun land, de helft van hen nog voordat Arabische troepen de Palestijnen te hulp schoten. Het gevolg was dat in 1948 Israel 78 procent van het aloude Palestina veroverde, en dus meer dan de helft van het door de VN aan de Palestijnen toegewezen land stalen. In 1967 veroverde Israel de resterende 22 procent, en heeft daarvan ongeveer de helft in beslag genomen. Het gevolg is dat de Palestijnen nu minder dan een kwart van hun volgens de VN rechtmatige gebied overhouden.
Met andere woorden: Gilo ligt op grondgebied dat door de wereldgemeenschap bij monde van de VN aan de Palestijnen is gegeven en dat weigert Israel te erkennen. Extremistische zionisten gaan ervan uit dat het recht uit de loop van een geweer komt. Dat is een levensgevaarlijke houding, waarvoor ook het Westen een hoge prijs zal betalen. De geschiedenis wijst uit dat onrecht net zolang duurt tot het niet meer geaccepteerd wordt. Maar ja, dat interesseert de Volkskrant kennelijk niet. De pro-Israel lobby bij deze krant gebruiken malloten als Martien Pennings om hun propaganda te bedrijven.
Wedden dat de Volkskrant dit artikeltje niet zal afdrukken. Ik stuur het ze op. De redactie hoeft het niet vet af te drukken. De 'waarheid over Israel' kan in gewone letters worden gepresenteerd, de feiten zijn al overtuigend genoeg, nietwaar.

Michael Zeeman

Michael Zeeman schreef weer eens een prachtstuk in de Volkskrant:

'Er komt een dag waarop wij die Wilders nog dankbaarheid zullen moeten betuigen, omdat hij met zijn unieke combinatie van onbesuisdheid en botheid de opgewonden breedsprakigheid van het multiculturele drama om zeep heeft geholpen.

Toronto,

Hoe zou het toch met ‘De vrienden van Ayaan’ gaan? Je hoort zó weinig meer van ze, dat de opiniepagina’s en babbelprogramma’s er haast iets verweesds van hebben gekregen.
Nooit meer een flinke oproep aan de regering om een paar miljoen euro uit te geven, op een toon waaruit blijkt dat de oproeper zelf daar zijn hand niet voor zou omdraaien als het om zijn eigen belang ging. Nooit meer een koddig stuk dat met ‘wij, het volk!’ begint omdat de opsteller ervan even meende dat hij de rol van ‘founding father’ wel kon spelen in zijn eigen pathetische boulevardstuk.Ja, zelfs nooit meer een openbare brief in de stijl van een aartsvader, met een pastiche op een genealogische litanie erin, ‘ik ben de dochter van die, die de zoon was van die en die, die weer de zoon was van zus en zo...’Geen aanhankelijkheidsbetuigingen meer, geen liefdesverklaringen, ‘eisen’ noch ‘dringende beroepen’, ja, zelfs nooit meer een mafkees die doodgemoedereerd verkondigt dat wij hier met de moderne Spinoza van doen hebben – of met Voltaire of Beccaria of iemand anders van wie onderwerp noch mafkees ooit ook maar één letter gelezen heeft.Ze zullen toch niet allemaal beteuterd hebben afgehaakt na lezing van Adan & Eva? Of zouden ze stiekem een leesclub hebben gevormd en nu al hun beschouwelijke talenten nodig hebben voor een spreekbeurt over Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s kinderboek, pardon, dat van haar nègre?ProfessorenEn wat doen al die professoren nu, die zich indertijd maar wat graag een paar maanden over haar ontfermden om haar in het openbaar al die dingen te laten zeggen die zij zelf nooit hadden durven zeggen, anders dan in de kroeg of de vriendenclub? Ze zullen toch, behalve onwaarachtig en huichelachtig, niet ook nog eens trouweloos en laaghartig zijn?Het loont de moeite het lijstje van destijds nog eens te googlen – en vast te stellen hoe al deze mannen en die enkele vrouw aan hun kuiten getrokken hebben. Eén voor één Simon Petrus achterna, ‘Ich kenne des Menschen nicht!’ En het eigenaardige is dat er geen haan naar kraait.Ik heb het wel vaker geschreven: behalve de enigszins pathetische figuur Ayaan Hirsi Ali, een vrouw met een verdrietige persoonlijke geschiedenis en een bewonderenswaardig mimisch talent, was er indertijd sprake van het project ‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali’.
Zelfde naam, zelfde gezicht, dus dat er wat mensen van in verwarring raakten was onvermijdelijk.Maar zodra de operatie ‘Ayaan Hirsi Ali’ voltooid was, had de persoon het nakijken. Wanneer schrijft iemand eens op hoe het écht gegaan is – en wordt in één moeite door de huidige zwijgzaamheid van die goeie vrienden verklaard? Speeltje verveelt, iets anders te doen.'

Ooit_zullen_wij_Wilders_dankbaar_zijn

vrijdag 31 oktober 2008

This is Hell!



'Tomorrow, Saturday, November 1st, This is Hell! broadcasts a live, unedited, completely uninterrupted, yet abbreviated, one hour show beginning at 9 AM (US central) on WNUR 89.3 FM, and streaming online at http://www.wnur.org/.

The new play by This is Hell! irregular correspondent Jeff Dorchen and Danny Thompson, "The Trojan Candidate,"
is being performed at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 North Ashland.
For reservations call 773-347-1041.
For more information, visit http://www.theateroobleck.com/
Our last monthly meet-n-greet for 2008 has been scheduled for Saturday, November 29th, at the official listening center of This is Hell!, Cary's Lounge, 2251 West Devon. Drop by four weeks from tomorrow for your last chance at watching your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz get lit with other members of the TiH! crew.
Our guests tomorrow are:
* Andrew Bacevich, author of the new book, "The Limits of Power:
The End of American Exceptionalism". Andrew is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. He retired from the US Army with the rank of colonel.
* investigative reporter and author Greg Palast returns to tell you how to "Steal Back Your Vote!" Greg's recent writing with Robert F.
Kennedy Jr. includes the Rolling Stone article, "Block the Vote," and the Huffington Post story, "Drinking the ACORN Kool-Aid: How Cries of Voter Fraud Cover Up GOP Elections Theft."
If you have any questions for this week's guests, suggestions for future guests, comments on our show, issues or stories you would like to hear discussed, or events that you would like us to list, and possibly mention on the air, send them to thisishell@wnur.org
You can email us at anytime but, if you'd like, you can also contact us during our live broadcast Saturday mornings by calling 847-866-9687 or instant messaging us via AOL at wnurdj.
Brave enough to be live, dumb enough to be goofy, stupid enough to think that we can be a regular part of your Saturday morning hangover
- This is Hell!
"Really enjoyed it. Particularly
glad to hear that there is a voice
of sanity on talk radio. I don't hear
talk radio much, but when I do,
it's pretty appalling."
- Noam Chomsky
"I have always welcomed the
opportunity to be interviewed by
Chuck Mertz on his radio program.
He is unabashedly partisan on
matters of peace and justice, and
gives his interviewees the opportunity
to express themselves as boldly as
they like. He upholds the best
standards of independent media --
honesty, courage, refusal to play
"the game". I hope he will continue
to get the support he needs."
- Howard Zinn
"I really enjoyed this program.
The questions and comments were
exceptionally provocative and
stimulating, which made for an
unusually interesting interview."
- Dan Ellsberg
"Chuck's a very smart interviewer."
- Tom Hayden
"Mertz's hate is pure, and funny."
- Alexander Cockburn
"Chuck should be syndicated. He
has the greatest guests. I do endless
interviews on C-SPAN, and it's so much
fun on Chuck's show. It's like a vacation.
But he also does heavy stuff, so I feel like I'm getting more information than with the other outlets."
- Greg Palast
"This is Hell is genius. The questions Chuck 'hates to ask' are the questions everyone should be asking. But they aren't, its just Chuck. Thank you for doing what you do, in the insightful and courageous way that you do it in."
- Fatima Bhutto, the late Benazir's niece
"WNUR is freedom of the press personified.
If Tom Paine has a radio in heaven, he listens to "This is Hell"!
- John Perkins, author of "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman"
"Chuck Mertz's program supplies important information to the public. Mertz cares about the truth and is an alternative to the propaganda ministries that masquerade as news organizations."
- Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan administration
"I do a good bit of radio. Often it is a challenge just to discern if the interviewer is up to speed on what's important and what is worth exploring. No such wasted time with Chuck Mertz. Don't know how he keeps up, but he does. And his occasional light touch is a big help in navigating so much of what Dick Cheney calls the 'dark side.'"
- Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst
"Chuck is one of the more knowledgeable hosts I know about the occupation of Iraq. Being a guest on his show is always amusing and entertaining, but most importantly, he always gets information to people that they cannot get in the corporate media."
- Dahr Jamail, author of "Beyond The Green Zone:
Dispatches From An Unembedded Journalist In Occupied Iraq."
"Chuck is one of the best prepared hosts I've ever encountered and he asks extremely perceptive questions -- not just one or two, but almost every single question. And I must say that having 30 to 40 minutes for an interview really makes a big difference. The guests can answer questions with some nuance. I'm extremely impressed."
- Mohamad Bazzi,
Middle East Bureau Chief for Newsday
"This is Hell is the perfect radio environment for those who want to make sense of the world. The show is chock-a-block with intelligence, sincere commitment and humor, a rare combination in a dumbed-down media universe."
- Glen Ford, BlackCommentator.com
"I applaud Chuck's professionalism, his incisive wit, his keen sense of the moment. He is one of the most important social commentators on the American scene. I only wish I could remember appearing on his program."
- Matt Taibbi, RollingStone.com
"I do a lot of talk-radio, and This is Hell is my favorite gig. Usually, you either get dry depth, or shallow fun. But Chuck's not only the best prepared interviewer I've come across, he also manages to have a good time while exploring complex issues with the seriousness they deserve. I've always done the show by phone, but never thought for a moment that I could just 'phone it in.' You have to be on your toes -- the Question from Hell is always aptly named."
-Joshua Holland, AlterNet
"Not your usual nonsense"
- Dan Forbes, Salon.com
"... the marvellous Chicago-based radio show This Is Hell with its intelligent political discussions and perky factoids ..."
- The Sunday Times of London
"One of the best radio programs in the country."
- Ben Dangl, UpsideDownWorld.com
"Brilliant and witty"
- Jorn Barger, Robotwisdom.com
"Past the cutting edge"
- San Diego Radio Net
"Irreverent, spontaneous"
- Chicago Reader
"Hard-edged"
- Chicago Sun-Times
"Truth in media"
- Chicago Ink
"Funny and brilliant"
- Illinois Entertainer
"Best New Chicago Radio Personality"
- New City Readers' Poll 2001
"Best Chicago Radio Show"
- New City Readers' Poll 2000
"Well-informed and wisecracking"
- Punk Planet
"(Chuck has) tongue like bull: strong and hard to control."
- Chuck's dental hygienist
"You have to have the Northwestern quote on there at the end...a little paranoid...I always look for it, it's so damn funny..."
- Richard from the Onion
"A little paranoid"
- Daily Northwestern'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 283


'Melting Down and Sinking into Debt

An analysis of the financial crisis by Dr. Juliet Schor
With the financial system in a meltdown, the underlying economy in recession (or worse), the American Dream is in even more in jeopardy than usual. Millions of Americans are wondering who caused this disaster, what does it say about the role of government in the economy, how much is due to “greed” as the simplistic political discourse suggests, and whose greed? Individuals who wanted homes? Bankers and Wall Streeters whose obsession with money grew to mythic proportions? How much is this a morality tale? A political saga? Growing pains for a global economy? Business as usual?
The process of assigning blame for the financial meltdown is in its early stages, and it will take economists and other analysts time to sort out exactly what has happened and how things unraveled to such an extent. But some dimensions of the crisis are already clear. The first, which has been widely reported, is that financial markets began creating it with complex new types of mortgages, and other exotic “assets that were impossible to value. That in turn led the Federal Reserve and government regulators to turn a blind eye to the growing levels of risk and lack of transparency in the system.
They shouldn’t have. Both the private and public sector actors forgot the lessons of history. Unregulated financial markets have always been wildly unstable, and financial panics like the one we’re living through were regular events. The Great Depression was so severe that it led to regulation designed to prevent economy wide crashes like the one we’re in.
But recently, Wall Street has used its expanding influence to amass record profits and flexed their might to craft regulatory policy and legislation to their liking. They have been exercising a dangerous level of control over government agencies whose job is to police these companies in the name of the public.
Another dimension of the story is that financial interests have been gaining power relative to other businesses for 25 years. They used their expanding influence to get massive profits and craft regulatory policy and legislation to their liking. (Remember the retrograde bankruptcy bill that the credit card companies got through in 2005?)
What about ordinary citizens? Isn’t the downturn due to people being irresponsible and taking on too much debt, especially in the housing market? While there are always some abusers of any system, pinning this crisis on poor people who wanted to buy houses, or even people of means who took on multiple mortgages, or excessive debt, looks at the problem backwards, and puts far too much causal stress on the proximate cause (the sub-prime meltdown of months ago). We have a system that has been constructed to operate on debt—the health of financial institutions depends on it. When competition heats up they have to lend more aggressively to keep pace. Industry looked to keep siphoning from a well of unsustainable loans, sold with tricks such as adjustable rates, teaser rates, lack of income verification and other methods to milk more money from consumers. Individuals have been the focus of a big social push for home ownership, which started out as a cornerstone of the American Dream.
The government gives enormous financial incentives for home ownership, while renters occupy a kind of second class citizenship. Mortgage brokers and other financiers understood that the social pressures to buy a home are strong, and found a way to capitalize on Americans’ dreams. National policy has stacked the financial deck against renters—to then moralize about irresponsible financial decisions in pursuit of home ownership is short-sighted.
Perhaps the most important numbers to remember in today’s situation are those registering the extreme skewness of income. According to recent analyses, in 2005, 10% of households now receive 48.5% of all income, and the top 1% has grabbed a staggering 21.8%. These numbers are approaching their 1929 peak values, extremes which many economists believe were important in prolonging the Great Depression of the 1930s.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 282

Nu we toch ter zake zijn:

'Gap between rich, poor grows in wealthy nations October 22, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading
newspaper)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/22/MNS213LJU5.DTL

Economic inequality is growing in the world's richest countries, particularly in the United States. The gap between rich and poor has widened over the last 20 years in nearly all the countries studied, even as trade and technological advances have spurred rapid growth in their economies. With job losses and home foreclosures skyrocketing and many of these countries now facing recession, policymakers must act quickly ... the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said."What will happen if the next decade is not one of world growth but of world recession? If a rising tide didn't lift all boats, how will they be affected by an ebbing tide?" Oxford University economist Anthony Atkinson said at a conference at the organization's Paris headquarters. In a 20-year study of its member countries, the group found inequality had increased in 27 of its 30 members as top earners' incomes soared while others' stagnated. The United States has the highest inequality and poverty rates in the organization after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said. France, meanwhile, has seen inequalities fall in the past 20 years as poorer workers are better paid. Rising inequality threatens social mobility ... which is lower in countries like the United States, Great Britain and Italy, where inequality is high, than countries with less inequality such as Denmark, Sweden and Australia, the report said. Wealthy households are not only widening the gap with the poor, but in countries such as the United States, Canada and Germany, they are also leaving middle-income earners further behind.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 281

En dan bedoel ik echt ter zake. Net als elk ander geloof is het neoliberale geloof bijzonder duur.

'No curbs on Wall Street pay despite meltdown October 24, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/10/24/national/a143651D98.DTL

Despite the Wall Street meltdown, the nation's biggest banks are preparing to pay their workers as much as last year or more, including bonuses tied to personal and company performance. So far this year, nine of the largest U.S. banks, including some that have cut thousands of jobs, have seen total costs for salaries, benefits and bonuses grow by an average of 3 percent from a year ago, according to an Associated Press review. "Taxpayers have lost their life savings, and now they are being asked to bail out corporations," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said of the AP findings. "It's adding insult to injury to continue to pay outsized bonuses and exorbitant compensation." That there is a rise in pay, or at least not a pronounced dropoff, from
2007 is surprising because many of the same companies were doing some of their best business ever, at least in the first half of last year.
In 2008, each quarter has been weaker than the last. "There are, of course, expectations that the payouts should be going down," David Schmidt, a senior compensation consultant at James F. Reda & Associates. "But we haven't seen that show up yet." Some banks are setting aside large amounts. At Citigroup, which has cut 23,000 jobs this year amid the crisis, pay expenses for the first nine months of this year came to $25.9 billion, 4 percent more than the same period last year. Typically, about 60 percent of Wall Street pay goes to salary and benefits, while about 40 percent goes to end-of-the-year cash and stock bonuses that hinge on performance, both for the individual and the company.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 280


Nu even ter zake:

So When Will Banks Give Loans?
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/25/business/25nocera.html
"Chase recently received $25 billion in federal funding. What effect will that have on the business side and will it change our strategic lending policy?" It was Oct. 17, just four days after JPMorgan Chase's chief executive, Jamie Dimon, agreed to take a $25 billion capital injection courtesy of the United States government, when a JPMorgan employee asked that question [during] an employee-only conference call. The JPMorgan executive who was moderating the employee conference call didn't hesitate to answer. "What we ... think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way." Read that answer as many times as you want -- you are not going to find a single word in there about making loans to help the American economy. On the contrary: It is starting to appear as if one of Treasury's key rationales for the recapitalization program -- namely, that it will cause banks to start lending again -- is a fig leaf, Treasury's version of the weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, Treasury wants banks to acquire each other and is using its power to inject capital to force a new and wrenching round of bank consolidation. Treasury would even funnel some of the bailout money to help banks buy other banks. And, in an almost unnoticed move, it recently put in place a new tax break, worth billions to the banking industry, that has only one purpose: to encourage bank mergers. As a tax expert, Robert Willens, put it: "It couldn't be clearer if they had taken out an ad."

De Bush Bende 51



The Bush gang's parting gift: a final, frantic looting of public wealth The US bail-out amounts to a strings-free, public-funded windfall for big business. Welcome to no-risk capitalism
*
o Naomi Klein
o The Guardian,
o Friday October 31 2008

In the final days of the election many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But don't be fooled: that doesn't mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700bn bail-out out the door. At a recent Senate banking committee hearing, the Republican Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind:
inauguration. "How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?" Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bail-out.
When European colonialists realised that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.
Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as "distressed asset" auctions and the "equity purchase program". But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese - a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.
How else to make sense of the bizarre decisions that have governed the allocation of the bail-out money? When the Bush administration announced it would be injecting $250bn into US banks in exchange for equity, the plan was widely referred to as "partial nationalisation" - a radical measure required to get banks lending again. Henry Paulson, the treasury secretary, had seen the light, we were told, and was following the lead of Gordon Brown.
In fact, there has been no nationalisation, partial or otherwise. American taxpayers have gained no meaningful control over the banks, which is why the banks are free to spend the new money as they wish. At Morgan Stanley, it looks as if much of the windfall will cover this year's bonuses.
Citigroup has been hinting it will use its $25bn buying other banks, while John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch, told analysts: "At least for the next quarter, it's just going to be a cushion." The US government, meanwhile, is reduced to pleading with the banks that they at least spend a portion of the taxpayer windfall for loans - officially, the reason for the entire programme.
What, then, is the real purpose of the bail-out? My fear is this rush of dealmaking is something much more ambitious than a one-off gift to big
business: that the Bush version of "partial nationalisation" is rigged to turn the US treasury into a bottomless cash machine for the banks for years to come. Remember, the main concern among the big market players, particularly banks, is not the lack of credit but their battered share prices. Investors have lost confidence in the honesty of the big financial players, and with good reason.
This is where the treasury's equity pays off big time. By purchasing stakes in these financial institutions, the treasury is sending a signal to the market that they are a safe bet. Why safe? Not because their level of risk has been accurately assessed at last. Not because they have renounced the kind of exotic instruments and outrageous leverage rates that created the crisis. But because the market will now be banking on the fact that the US government won't let these particular companies fail. If they get themselves into trouble, investors will now assume that the government will keep finding more cash to bail them out, since allowing them to go down would mean losing the initial equity investments, many of them in the billions. (Just look at the insurance giant AIG, which has already gone back to taxpayers for a top-up, and seems likely to ask for a third.)
This tethering of the public interest to private companies is the real purpose of the bail-out plan: Paulson is handing all the companies admitted to the programme - a number potentially in the thousands - an implicit treasury department guarantee. To skittish investors looking for safe places to park their money, these equity deals will be even more comforting than a triple-A from Moody's rating agency.
Insurance like that is priceless. But for the banks, the best part is that the government is paying them to accept its seal of approval. For taxpayers, on the other hand, this entire plan is extremely risky, and may well cost significantly more than Paulson's original idea of buying up $700bn in toxic debts. Now taxpayers aren't just on the hook for the debts but, arguably, for the fate of every corporation that sells them equity.
Interestingly, mortgage fund giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both enjoyed this kind of unspoken guarantee before they were nationalised at the start of this crisis. For decades the market understood that, since these private players were enmeshed with the government, Uncle Sam could be counted on to always save the day. It was, as many have pointed out, the worst of all worlds. Not only were profits privatised while risks were socialised, but the implicit government backing created powerful incentives for reckless business practices.
With the new equity purchase programme Paulson has taken the discredited Fannie and Freddie model and applied it to a huge swath of the private banking industry. Again, there is no reason to shy away from risky bets, especially since the treasury has made no such demands of the banks (apparently it doesn't want to "micromanage".)
To further boost market confidence, the federal government has also unveiled unlimited public guarantees for many bank deposit accounts. Oh, and as if this were not enough, the treasury has been encouraging the banks to merge, ensuring that the only institutions left will be "too big to fail", thereby guaranteed a bail-out. In three ways, the market is being told loud and clear that Washington will not allow the financial institutions to bear the consequences of their behaviour. This may be Bush's most creative innovation: no-risk capitalism.
There is a glimmer of hope. In answer to Senator Corker's question, the treasury is indeed having trouble dispersing the bail-out funds. So far it has requested about $350bn of the $700bn, but most of this hasn't yet made it out the door. Meanwhile, every day it becomes clearer that the bail-out was sold to the public on false pretences. Clearly, it was never really about getting loans flowing. It was always about doing what it is doing:
turning the state into a giant insurance agency for Wall Street, a safety net for the people who need it least, subsidised by the people who will most need state protections in the economic storms ahead.
This duplicity is a political opportunity. Whoever wins on November 4 will have enormous moral authority. It should be used to call for a freeze on the dispersal of bail-out funds, not after the inauguration but right away.
All deals should be renegotiated, this time with the public getting the guarantees.
It is risky, of course, to interrupt the bail-out process. Nothing could be riskier, however, than allowing the Bush gang their parting gift to big business - the gift that will keep on taking.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/31/useconomy-banking

De Israelische Terreur 459


Van mijn joods-Israelische vrienden van Zochrot:

'Learning the Nakba as a condition for peace and reconciliation
Norma Musih
The Jewish people in Israel, or at least most of them, live in complete ignorance or even denial of the Palestinian disaster that took place in 1948, the Nakba. The Nakba has no place in the language, the landscape, the environment, and the memory of the Jewish collective in Israel.
Traveling in Israel, one may find signposts, landmarks and memorials that create and sustain the Jewish-Israeli narrative. Jewish-Israeli events that took place more than 2,000 years ago are celebrated through these memorials while Palestinian memorials are nowhere to be seen. Moreover, there is an attempt to erase this memory from the collective consciousness and from the landscape. We, the Israelis, study in our schools that the Jews came to Israel to transform the desert into a blooming country, because we were a “people without a land” returning to a “land without a people.”
Zochrot is an NGO whose goal is to introduce the Palestinian Nakba to the Israeli-Jewish public, to express the Nakba in Hebrew, to enable a place for the Nakba in the language and in the environment. This is in order to promote an alternative memory to the hegemonic Zionist memory. The Nakba is the disaster of the Palestinian people: the destruction of the villages and cities, the killing, the expulsion, the erasure of Palestinian culture. But the Nakba, I believe, is also our story, the story of the Jews who live in Israel, who enjoy the privileges of being the ‘winners.’
Zochrot was founded in early 2002 and its main goal is to bring knowledge of the Palestinian Nakba to Jewish-Israeli people. One of the basic assumptions of our work is that the Nakba is the ‘ground zero’ of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Awareness and recognition of the Nakba by Jewish-Israeli people, and taking responsibility for this tragedy, are essential to ending the struggle and starting a process of reconciliation between the people of Palestine-Israel.
Zochrot acts in many ways to advance this goal. Of all its actions, the most unique and outstanding activity is the organization of tours for Jews and Arabs to Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948. During these tours we post signs that commemorate the different sites in the destroyed villages and give more details about each of them. Knowledge of village history is provided by refugees and their families and an attempt is made to expose as much of the ruined village as possible. It is through these stories that participants can get an idea of what the village actually looked like, and what it was like to live in it. The event is also important in establishing the historical/collective memory of the land.
The tour has a different meaning for Palestinians and Jews. For Palestinians this event is a journey back in time to the place where they used to live. For Jews, the tour and the commemoration of sites reveals memories that are hidden from view. The memories revealed often compete with the common, Zionist memory of the place. Another unique activity is to produce a special booklet, in Hebrew and Arabic, for each tour. These booklets reflect Zochrot’s process of learning. They feature testimonies by refugees, photographs of the village, and historical background from different sources.
It is Zochrot’s ambition to recreate the Nakba in Hebrew — in other words, to enable a space where the Nakba can be spoken of or written about in the Hebrew language. For this purpose, a website was created that includes a database of all the Palestinian villages that were destroyed since 1948 and the names of the Israeli localities that were built on their lands. There are also specific maps of the destroyed villages and different details about each of them. The site also presents the different activities of Zochrot. The importance of this site is that it places the Palestinian Nakba in the virtual space of Hebrew speakers who surf the web.
Another way that we reach the Israeli public is by hosting workshops and lectures with different groups of students, teachers, social activists, and so on, who want to learn about the Nakba. These meetings give rise to many different needs of the participants: the need for accurate information, anger at their own ignorance, denial, and misunderstanding. Difficult questions are raised at these encounters that challenge the participants’ prior knowledge and values. We have also organized encounters between Palestinian refugees and the Israelis who live on their lands. During the encounters, the different narratives of 1948 are shared and there is an attempt to discuss opportunities for creating a space that would enable the needs of both sides to be met.
Zochrot has an unusual name, which in Hebrew means “remembering” in the feminine form. We are often asked why Zochrot and not the masculine, Zochrim. The masculine form of remembering, as presented in the Zionist discourse, is violent and nationalistic. Zochrot aims to promote another form of remembering, an alternative form that will enable the expression of other memories that are often kept silent. In addition, Zochrot makes an effort to create a space for the memory of women in the Palestinian Nakba. The name “Zochrot” insinuates to all of these.
Learning the Nakba is an important step for Jews living in Israel. It often reflects a genuine interest to know and understand. But learning is not enough. The Nakba is not the story of another people that took place somewhere else — it is a story that we, as Israeli Jews, are responsible for. Learning, without taking responsibility, is to me not enough.
What do I mean by taking responsibility? I mean the acknowledgment and deep understanding of the tragedy that took place, and taking responsibility of our part in this tragedy. Acknowledging the personal and collective right of return for every refugee that was expelled, and hoping for the implementation of this right, either by returning the lands, paying compensation or implementing actual return. These make learning the Nakba a viable stepping stone to reconciliation.
This position is complicated for Israeli Jews. It is hard for us to give up the image of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, an image that would be endangered should we choose to allow the right of return. Allowing the right of return will change the demographic balance in Israel and the Israeli state would not continue to exist in its current form. I believe that in this new state life would be better for both Palestinians and Israelis living in this land. '

Iran 239


De wetenschapper Trita Parsi e-mailde me net dit:

'How to stop an Iranian bomb
By Trita Parsi and Andreas Persbo
October 31, 2008
The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/31/iran-weaponstechnology

Ever since Iran publicised its nuclear fuel cycle plans in 2003, western experts have tried to downplay its rate of progress in nuclear engineering. The Iranian scientific community is often viewed as technologically inept. Relatively minor obstacles have been portrayed as next to insurmountable. These arguments are now growing increasingly false – Tehran is adding centrifuges faster than the UN security council can step up the pressure. Time is not working in the favour of the west.
Iran is making good progress in many key areas of nuclear engineering. Presently, it has some 4,000 operational centrifuges at its facility in Natanz. This means that it is learning about the intricate art of connecting a large number of centrifuges with a vast amount of pipework while maintaining everything under vacuum. Getting centrifuges to run is not difficult; getting them to run as a single entity is the challenge.
Iran's increasing capabilities also mean that it can produce some 3.2 metric tons of low-enriched uranium (LEU) per year. This is about a tenth of the annual fuel load of a typical light water reactor. However, the technology can have other uses too. If Iran decides to re-enrich this product, it can theoretically produce some 115kg of weapons-grade uranium per year. It can have a bomb's worth of material in less than three months.
This does not mean, however, that Iran is producing weapons-grade material. Neither does it mean that it intends to. Indeed, capabilities and intentions are two different things. The IAEA is still insisting it has no evidence of any ongoing Iranian weapons programme. Some states therefore worry about what Iran could do if it builds enough capacity to go down the weapons route. In particular, many worry about what Iran could do with its LEU stockpile.
Many things need to happen before Iran can convert its low-enriched uranium stockpile to weapons-usable material. It would first need to get enough LEU in its warehouses. The international community would know when this happened, as long as all Iranian enrichment capacity is safeguarded by the IAEA.
Furthermore, the Natanz facility is set up to produce LEU only. Iran must therefore disconnect many miles of pipework and reconnect them to make it suitable for weapons-grade enrichment. Unless the Iranian floor managers are notorious gamblers, they would want at least a month to do this. Getting the centrifuges back on stream without testing the new configuration could cause severe damage to the sensitive rotors.
This provides the international community with a clear trigger to take decisive action against any Iranian weaponisation: once the inspectors are ejected, the clock is ticking. Current divisions within the security council on how to deal with Iran would probably be overcome. In fact, an agreement can be reached beforehand on how to deal with any Iranian move towards re-enrichment.
The bottom line is that inspections are instrumental in preventing Iranian weaponisation and much can be done to prevent Iranian enrichment from equating with an Iranian bomb.
Instead of investing further in a security council track focused on the losing proposition of stopping Iranian enrichment altogether, resources should be diverted towards making it as unattractive as possible for Iran to make the choice of re-enriching the LEU. This would require boosting inspections of Iranian facilities while defining the steps the security council will take in case Iran seeks to re-enrich. This could be spelled out in a security council resolution.
According to former weapons inspector David Kay, the west must also take measures now in regard to regional security to make any potential failure to stop an Iranian bomb an irrelevant development.
Nuclear weapons have little military utility, and their deterrent value has never been proven. In the Middle East, however, wihout a new security architecture, the spread of nuclear weapons is likely to be a game changer.
Unless the west redefines the game and makes the nuclear stand-off with Iran about bomb-making and not enrichment, and devotes resources to create disincentives for Iran to weaponise, time will continue to be on the side of Iran.
Trita Parsi is the author of Treacherous Alliance – The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US, a silver medal recipient of the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Book Award. Andreas Persbo is a senior researcher at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 279

Eindelijk wordt een aantal mensen wakker. Dat is niet gunstig voor minister Bos, die tot nu toe de rol van held speelde.

De NRC bericht:

'''We zijn gepiepeld door Bos en Wellink’'
Gepubliceerd: 31 oktober 2008 15:12 Gewijzigd: 31 oktober 2008 15:23
Door onze redacteur Melle Garschagen

Duizenden Nederlanders spaarden bij Icesave, enkele honderden zelfs voor meer dan 100.000 euro. Zij maken nu plannen om hun geld terug te krijgen. Zeist, 31 okt. Ik was volledig in paniek, zegt Emmy Koets, lerares op een basisschool in Den Haag. „Ik ben vijf jaar geleden gescheiden en dat was ellendig. Ik was er net weer bovenop. Wat doen ze me nu weer aan, dacht ik”, zegt Koets, een vijftiger in een donkerblauwe wollen trui en pareloorbellen. Ik ben maar gewoon naar mijn werk gegaan, zegt ze. „Anders had ik mezelf misschien iets aangedaan.”
Koets beschrijft wat ze deed en dacht op dinsdag 7 oktober. Een dag eerder had ze 150.000 euro bij de IJslandse bank Icesave ondergebracht, en nu was moederbedrijf Landsbanki bezweken onder de kredietcrisis en kon Koets niet meer bij haar geld.
Koets is geen rijkaard die het geld kan missen. 50.000 euro was de overwaarde van het huis dat ze verkocht na haar scheiding. Het was het studiepotje voor haar dochters. 100.000 euro kwam van de dokterspraktijk die zij vroeger had met haar man. Dat geld was bestemd voor de Belastingdienst.
'Ga mij niet vertellen dat Bos van niets wist'
In Nederland zijn er 469 spaarders als Koets: mensen die meer dan 100.000 euro bij Icesave op de rekening hadden staan en nog niet weten hoeveel ze terugkrijgen – de eerste 100.000 euro is gegarandeerd door Nederland en IJsland. Gisteren kwamen 75 gedupeerden bijeen in restaurant First in Zeist. Ze zochten steun bij elkaar, wisselden verhalen uit en smeedden een plan om in IJsland hun geld, 40 miljoen euro, terug te halen.
De groep is vooral boos. Boos op minister Bos (Financiën, PvdA), boos op Nout Wellink, president van De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) en boos op de onbekwame bankiers van Landsbanki. „Ik voel mij gepiepeld en beetgenomen”, zegt Miriam Bouwens. Ze had, samen met haar partner Gerard van Vliet, een huis verkocht. Ze hielden er 420.000 euro aan over. Met het geld wilden ze ontwikkelingsprojecten doen in Kenia. „Simpeler leven, dat was het doel”, zegt Bouwens, die werkte als telefonisch hulpverlener. „Wellink wist dat Landsbanki in de problemen zat, maar wilde niks zeggen om een run on the bank te voorkomen”, zegt Bouwens. „Wie moet hij nou beschermen, Nederlandse spaarders of IJslandse bankiers? Hij had moeten zeggen dat Icesave risicovol was. En ga mij niet vertellen dat Bos van niets wist.”'

We_zijn_gepiepeld_door_Bos_en_Wellink

Ryszard Kapuscinski 2

In De Ander schreef de Poolse journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski: 'Het feit dat Europa eeuwenlang zijn slechtste, weerzinwekkendste vertegenwoordigers uitzond voor een ontmoeting met de Anderen, nota bene ook voor de allereerste ontmoeting, zou een trieste schaduw werpen op onze relaties met de Anderen; het zou de gangbare opvatttingen over hen doen onstaan, het zou ervoor zorgen dat stereotypen, vooroordelen en fobieen zich in onze breinen nestelden, die in een of andere vorm tot op de dag van vandaag voortleven.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 278

Paulson's Swindle Revealed
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21125.htm
By William Greider
October 30, 2008 "The Nation"

The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public's money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.
These are dynamite facts that demand immediate action to halt the bailout deal and correct its giveaway terms. Stop payment on the Treasury checks before the bankers can cash them. Open an immediate Congressional investigation into how Paulson and his staff determined such a sweetheart deal for leading players in the financial sector and for their own former employer. Paulson's bailout staff is heavily populated with Goldman Sachs veterans and individuals from other Wall Street firms. Yet we do not know whether these financiers have fully divested their own Wall Street holdings. Were they perhaps enriching themselves as they engineered this generous distribution of public wealth to embattled private banks and their shareholders?
Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, raised these explosive questions in a stinging letter sent to Paulson this week. The union did what any private investor would do. Its finance experts vetted the terms of the bailout investment and calculated the real value of what Treasury bought with the public's money. In the case of Goldman Sachs, the analysis could conveniently rely on a comparable sale twenty days earlier.
Billionaire Warren Buffett invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and bought the same types of securities--preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock in the future. Only Buffett's preferred shares pay a 10 percent dividend, while the public gets only 5 percent. Dollar for dollar, Buffett "received at least seven and perhaps up to 14 times more warrants than Treasury did and his warrants have more favorable terms," Gerard pointed out.
"I am sure that someone at Treasury saw the terms of Buffett's investment,"
the union president wrote. "In fact, my suspicion is that you studied it pretty closely and knew exactly what you were doing. The 50-50 deal--50 percent invested and 50 percent as a gift--is quite consistent with the Republican version of spread-the-wealth-around philosophy."
The Steelworkers' close analysis was done by Ron W. Bloom, director of the union's corporate research and a Wall Street veteran himself who worked at Larzard Freres, the investment house. Bloom applied standard valuation techniques to establish the market price Buffett paid per share compared to Treasury's price. "The analysis is based on the assumption that Warren Buffett is an intelligent third party investor who paid no more for his investment than he had to," Bloom's report explained. "It also assumes that Gold Sachs' job is to protect its existing shareholders so that it extracted from Mr. Buffett the most that it could.... Further, it is assumed that Henry Paulson is likewise an intelligent man and that if he paid any more than Mr. Buffett--if he paid $1 for something for which Mr.
Buffett would have paid 50 cents--that the difference is a gift from the taxpayers of the United States to the shareholders of Goldman Sachs."
The implications are staggering. Leo Gerard told Paulson: "If the result of our analysis is applied to the deals that you made at the other eight institutions--which on average most would view as being less well positioned than Goldman and therefore requiring an even greater rate of return--you paid a$125 billion for securities for which a disinterested party would have paid $62.5 billion. That means you gifted the other $62.5 billion to the shareholders of these nine institutions."
If the same rule of thumb is applied to Paulson's grand $700 billion bailout fund, Gerard said this will constitute a gift of $350 billion from the American taxpayers "to reward the institutions that have driven our nation and it now appears the whole world into its most serious economic crisis in 75 years."
Is anyone angry? Will anyone look into these very serious accusations?
Congress is off campaigning. The financiers at Treasury probably assume any public outrage will be lost in the election returns. I hope they are mistaken.
About William Greider
National affairs correspondent William Greider has been a political journalist for more than thirty-five years. A former Rolling Stone and Washington Post editor, he is the author of the national bestsellers One World, Ready or Not, Secrets of the Temple, Who Will Tell The People, The Soul of Capitalism (Simon & Schuster) and--due out in February from Rodale--Come Home, America.'

Alex Burghoorn van de Volkskrant 4


'Schrijver David Grossman zei dit jaar in een gesprek met Volkskrant-correspondent Alex Burghoorn dat ''wij Joden een verhaal [zijn] dat groter is dan het leven zelf''. Dat is hun tragiek, maar ook die van de Palestijnen, die ook hun verhaal hebben. Het maakt het moeilijk een uitweg te vinden uit de banaliteit van geweld en vernedering.' Dit schreef adjunct-hoofdredacteur van de Volkskrant, Arie Elshout, nadat hij en zijn metgezel 'amper een dag in Israël [zijn] of een VN-man laat ons in zijn verduisterde kantoor iets zien waardoor we volledig uit het veld geslagen worden.'

Opmerkelijk aan de uitspraken van de adjunct-hoofdrecteur is dat na al die jaren berichtgeving van de Volkskrant-correspondenten in Israel, hij niet in staat is geweest zich een beeld van de werkelijkheid te vormen, een beeld van de werkelijkheid dat hij en zijn metgezel 'amper een dag in Israel' wel kregen van 'een VN-man' en een beeld 'waardoor we volledig uit het veld geslagen worden.' Een beter bewijs dat bijvoorbeeld Alex Burghoorn propaganda bedrijft, is nauwelijks denkbaar. Dat feit benadrukt Elshout nog eens aan de hand van het citaat van Grossman, door erop te wijzen dat onder andere de Palestijnen van deze gekte het slachtoffer zijn, een feit dat Burghoorn heeft verzuimd duidelijk te maken, anders zou Elshout er niet op hoeven te wijzen.

Maar om te voorkomen dat wij Nederlanders een consequentie gaan verbinden aan de Israelische terreur zet de adjunct-hoofdredacteur van de Volkskrant er dit bij: 'Het maakt het moeilijk een uitweg te vinden uit de banaliteit van geweld en vernedering.' Ik zou zeggen, Arie, de uitweg is simpel, dwing Israel te stoppen met het bezetten en stelen van Palestijns land. Inmiddels heeft de 'joodse natie' meer dan driekwart van het aan de Palestijnen toegewezen land geconfisqueerd. Daardoor kan er inderdaad geen levensvatbare Palestijnse staat worden gesticht. Na al die jaren ben ook jij daar nu van overtuigd. Wanneer je wilt dat de joods-Israeli's zich aan het internationaal recht houden, en als je werkelijk wilt dat er een Palestijnse staat mogelijk wordt, laat dan om te beginnen je correspondent berichten vanuit de context dat het Palestijnse volk al decennialang een groot onrecht wordt aangedaan. Op die manier worden de politici gedwongen de werkelijkheid onder ogen te zien. Met andere woorden, vervang Alex Burghoorn door een onafhankelijke journalist, zodat niet iemand die door de 'pro-zionistische lobbygroep' het CIDI wordt ingehuurd de berichtgeving vanuit Israel voor jouw krant verzorgt. Je hebt nu kunnen zien hoeveel hij verzwijgt. Althans, dat maak ik op uit jouw eigen tekst.

Hogere Belangen dan de Waarheid 16

Feiten:

'As the 2000 election nears, a
rising chorus demands an increase in
U.S. military spending from the
current 2.9 percent of Gross Domestic
Product to at least 4 percent. How-
ever, these observers don't mention a
critical piece of the picture: how
much that increase would cost in
dollars, not percentage points.
According to the latest figures from the Office of
Management and Budget, spending at least 4 percent
of GDP on defense in the next six years would result in
nearly doubling the Pentagon's current budget by
2007. That level of spending would dwarf the buildup
overseen by President Ronald Reagan.'


Nu de vraag: Hoe komt het dat nog voor de aanslagen van 2001 en na de Koude Oorlog het Amerikaanse defensiebudget bijna verdubbelde? De Russen waren geen vijanden meer, en Bin Laden was nog niet de megavijand.

Marion von Tilzer


Op uitnodiging van een goede vriend woonde ik gisteravond een optreden bij van een gezelschap onder leiding van Marion von Tilzer, die schitterende composities en arrangementen heeft gemaakt en die nu op de CD Kirvani Revisited te besluisteren zijn. Muziek met westerse en oosterse invloeden. Beluister ze als u de kans krijgt. Werkelijk schitterend.

Ewout Irrgang 13


Beste Ewout Irrgang,
Als volksvertegenwoordiger van de Socialistische Partij, en economische expert, zal het je zijn opgevallen dat minister Wouter Bos van de PVDA het volgende heeft beweerd: 'Niemand, ook ’s werelds grootste experts niet, had anderhalf jaar geleden zicht op de precieze waardering van dit type producten. Dat is het dominante kenmerk van deze hele financiële crisis.' De lezers van deze weblog weten dat dit een aantoonbare leugen is. Zoals Django elders schrijft: 'Zie o.a. deze column van Paul Krugman (oktober 2007):
''So, once again, why was nothing done to head off this disaster? The answer is ideology.….In fact, both borrowers and investors got scammed.
I’ve written before about the way investors in securities backed by subprime loans were assured that they were buying AAA assets, only to suddenly find that what they really owned were junk bonds. This shock has produced a crisis of confidence in financial markets, which poses a serious threat to the economy.''
Een jaar geleden dus. Paul Krugman was ook niet de enige econoom die regelmatig waarschuwde voor een crisis. De Amerikaanse regering heeft bewust weggekeken, maar de politici in Den Haag zaten ook te slapen. Als dit allemaal te complex was voor Wouter Bos, dient hij onmiddelijk op te stappen. En ik heb ook toen geen kamervragen van Irrgang gehoord.
Django 31.10.08 10:54'
Zie: http://sptransparant.blogsome.com/2008/10/30/irrgang-weigert-vragen-van-journalist-te-beantwoorden/#comments
Daarom Ewout Irrgang, stel als volksvertegenwoordiger van de oppositie, namens ons minister Bos de vraag waarom hij de volksvertegenwoordiging heeft voorgelogen. Leg hem de uitspraken van onder andere de Nobelprijswinnaar Paul Krugman voor! Leg publiekelijk de uitspraak van minister Bos naast de uitspraak van een Nobelprijswinnaar. En laat iets van je horen. Je zit er toch niet om de graaicultuur van het kapitalisme te verdedigen! Als je niets van je laat horen, ben je onderdeel geworden van dit systeem. Waarom zwijg je toch de hele tijd? Welk belang behartig je? Niet die van de gewone kiezers! Maar van wie dan wel? Vertel het ons.

Het Neoliberale Geloof 277

Eens kijken hoe lang de populariteit van minister Bos blijft voortduren, nu duidelijk wordt dat de sociaal-democraat de samenleving in het moeras van de financiele crisis heeft gestort. De Volkskrant opent op de voorpagina met 'Fortis wil staat laten opdraaien voor claims. Bank vindt dat alleen Nederlandse staat schuldig is aan schade aandeelhouders. Klanten van Fortis haalden tientallen miljarden weg. Het is de schuld van premier Balkenende, minister Bos van Financien en centrale bankpresident Wellink dat alle Fortis-aandelen nagenoeg waardeloos zijn geworden. Wat Fortis betreft moeten aandeelhouders hun schadeclaim bij de Nederlandse staat indienen. De schade is ''niet het gevolg van beleid van Fortis''. De bank-verzekeraar is ''slachtoffer geworden van extreme externe omstandigheden''. Dat stelt Fortis in een verklaring die het vandaag inbrengt bij het gerechtshof in Amsterdam.'
Lees verder: http://www.volkskrant.nl/economie/article1084589.ece/
Fortis_wil_staat_laten_opdraaien_voor_claims

Dat krijgt men nu als de politiek in de prive-sector ingrijpt, dan worden de belastingbetalers automastisch verantwoordelijk voor het reilen en zeilen van, in dit geval, een genationaliseerde bank. Wie anders zouden de claims moeten betalen dan de eigenaars, dus de belastingbetalers? De concierge van het bankgebouw, de koffiejuffrouw en de directeur hebben niet genoeg geld om die miljardenclaims te betalen!

Ik was als kind nogal impulsief en mijn moeder zei altijd wanneer ik me weer eens in de nesten had gewerkt: eerst denken, dan doen. Dat een regering dat niet gedaan heeft is natuurlijk onvergeeflijk stupide. Het gaat immers om belastinggeld. En het feit dat mijn collega's dit allemaal hebben toegejuicht, maakt het zeker niet acceptabel. Het toont alleen aan hoe onnozel ze zijn. Alleen politici die eerst alles hebben gedereguleerd zodat de overheid geen enkele greep meer op de vrije markt had zijn zo stom om vervolgens miljarden in de bodemloze put te storten die dankzij de door politici verzonnen deregulering onvermijdelijk moest ontstaan. Ik zou dus nooit op die domoren stemmen. Nu afwachten hoeveel kiezers nog op de PVDA gaan stemmen en het CDA en de Christen Unie. God zij met ons.

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

The Empire 364



'UN General Assembly demands U.S. lift embargo on Cuba
21:34 29/ 10/ 2008

NEW YORK, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - The UN General Assembly adopted on Wednesday a resolution demanding the U.S. lift an economic, trade and financial embargo against Cuba.
The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of votes in the 192-member world body with 185 states in favor, three against (the United States, Israel and Palau) with Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstaining.
The draft resolution was introduced by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque who said before the vote that the U.S. sanctions had been imposed in violation of the international law and became a major obstacle in the socio-economic development of Cuba.
Cuban authorities earlier stated that two-thirds of its current population had been born under the blockade, which causes hardship to all the island's social programs such as health, education, culture, science, transport and municipal services. The Cuban government estimates that the blockade has resulted in financial losses of around $86 billion.
The UN General Assembly has been adopting resolutions urging the United States to lift economic embargo against Cuba annually since 1991.
However, Washington, which does not have diplomatic relations with Havana and considers Cuba to be a state-sponsor of terrorism, has consistently refused to abolish the sanctions against the country.
The United States first introduced an arms embargo in the late 1950s, during internal conflict between Cuban rebels and the Batista government.
In 1960, the then U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced a partial economic embargo, and since then a succession of presidents have reinforced the blockade policy. In 1992, the U.S. introduced the Helms-Burton Act, which penalized foreign companies trading with Cuba.'

Lees verder: http://en.rian.ru/world/20081029/118023606.html

Obama 18


Obama is een hype, een bijzonder knappe hype. Hij verkoopt geen boodschap, maar een beeld. Niemand weet precies wat zijn programma is, wat hij politiek gaat doen, maar velen denken toch dat zodra deze man aan de macht is alles beter zal gaan, dat hij de hoop op een goede toekomst is. Obama is op een geweldig slimme manier aan de man gebracht. Hij heeft ook de financiele macht aan zijn kant, hij beschikt over twee keer zoveel geld om reclame voor zichzelf te maken als McCain. Het feit dat iemand als Obama door de werkelijke macht naar voren is geschoven is tekenend voor de ernst van de crisis waarin het kapialistische systeem verkeert. We mogen hopen dat hij een soort Franklin Delano Roosevelt zal zijn. Zo niet, dan zal de illusie onvoorstelbaar zijn.
Edward Bernays: 'The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. . . .. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.'
Sonja maakte me attent op dit: 'Shots Heard Round the World

By David Glenn Cox October 28, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse"

When 90-year-old Addie Polk put the gun to her chest and pulled the trigger she was seeking an escape from foreclosure. The first shot failed to do the job so the elderly widow pulled the trigger a second time as Sheriff’s deputies waited on the porch to serve her with an eviction notice. She was rescued by her neighbor, Robert Dillion, who grabbed a ladder and climbed in a back window. Sheriff’s deputies were kind enough to radio for paramedics.Mrs. Addie Polk and her husband Robert had moved into the home in 1970. Mr. Polk had a union job with Goodrich Tire Company and they lived within their means in their small home. In 1995 her husband passed away, leaving 77-year-old Addie all alone. In 2004 Mrs. Polk took out a mortgage from Country Wide for $45,620 on a home with an appraised value of $32,230. No one knows what the money was used for or where it all went, but considering her age, fast cars, gambling or stock speculation are not the likely answers. The most common reason seniors get into financial trouble is medical bills.Mrs. Polk’s solution to her social insecurity was to attempt to take her own life. We, as Americans, should hear the sound of that gunshot resonating in all of our ears. It should wake us up from a dead sleep because Mrs. Polk's situation is all of our situations. Yesterday it was announced that under the terms of the bankruptcy agreement Lehman Brothers was discontinuing the severance payments that management had promised to its employees for the next three months. Too bad, so sad!Conservatives proclaim this as freedom; we must let the free market work. Mrs. Polk should have married a richer man and she shouldn’t have gotten so old; it was her own fault really. The Lehman employees should have saved more and invested wisely and after being paid annual bonuses in Lehman Brothers stock they should have sold it and bought gold and buried it in the back yard. Radio talk show host and mental midget Neil Boortz was discussing price gouging going on here in Atlanta during our gas shortage and announced that he’s all for it! The Governor’s office had begun an investigation but Boortz feels they should do the opposite. Let them charge all that the market will bear, and then all these people doing unnecessary driving will stay home and the fuel shortage will take care of itself.It must be wonderful to live in such a simplistic world, a world where others don’t matter. Where the elderly don’t need to get to doctors appointments. Where people don’t need to get to work, where the health and well being of your neighbors just doesn’t matter when compared to the greater good of the free market! Not to even give a thought that what you say might affect the sponsors of your own radio show. I seriously doubt that Lincoln Mercury dealers are in favor of fuel price gouging.But it gets even worse than an ersatz Rush Limbaugh bellowing to the non-critical thinkers of the world. Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who voted against the Wall Street bailout package twice for philosophical reasons said, "If the American people have to foot the bill for Wall Street greed and the Administration feels this is the most prudent way forward, then every Federal agency should be compelled to do their part and reduce what they are spending." It’s Blackburn’s assertion that the VA, Medicare and Medicaid, the elderly, and children with disabilities should help pay for this bailout. Representing an Army base in her district, she is in lockstep with John McCain that we should remain in Iraq as long as necessary, even if it takes 100 years. She's proud of the additional $159.8 million she brought to Fort Campbell in 2007 and I wonder how she would feel about that funding being cut. Like Boortz she looks at the world through the keyhole of a privileged lifestyle, out into reality. Those poor people should just take responsibility for themselves and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.In Los Angeles a man, despondent over his financial dealings, shot and killed his wife, then his three children and then his mother-in-law before turning the gun on himself. The man, once a financial planner for Price Waterhouse, had lost everything in the stock market collapse.'