Radical media, politics and culture.


"Falling in Love Again"

Jamal Mecklai

Life’s a funny business. At any point in time, you have a group of family, friends, associates who define your life and really, to quote Garcia Marquez quoting Julius Caesar in The Ides of March, “In the end, it is impossible not to become what others believe you are.”

And, if, at that same point, you gaze backwards, you see a (usually) different group – family, of course, but different friends and associates and so on. And you sometimes think, My God, look at so and so – I can’t believe we ever really shared so much.

And then, sometimes, if you are lucky, you realize that you were wrong and you recapture – in essence if not in practice – what it was that you felt, enjoyed, even loved.

Advice From Dr. Laura

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to
people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an
observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to
Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The
following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast
resident, which was posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do
some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific
laws and how to follow them:

Nabat writes:

"Much-Too-Late Capitalism and Its Discontents"

When the voracious appetite of capital is whetted, it searches for its primitive accumulation.(1) The state-capitalist regimes of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union in particular, mocked the corpses of Marx and Engels in order for their states to conform to the ruling bureaucrats’ real needs, which were the same needs as any newly industrializing (read: capitalist) nation: to colonize a people or class as primitive accumulation (in this particular historical example, primitive “socialist” accumulation).

The Russian peasantry, especially under Stalin but even during the rein of Lenin and Trotsky, made a good candidate for this process of brutal usurpation and forced collectivization. The labor of the peasantry and working class are usurped by the bureaucratic caste in power, whose class interests are both disguised by and personified in the figure of the Commissar or Chairman. As the whole illusory community is wrapped up in the fairytale of resolving the contradictions of capitalism – what cannot be resolved (class society) by even the most clever or capable, is strengthened beyond the wildest dreams of the players involved.

State power by its very nature is not based on transparency – relationships of domination, authority, and submission are not real, human relations. The official line of the state-capitalist regime is that of a “united people” still warding off the remnants of reaction. In reality, this is just a rallying cry for the continual maintenance of a society based on misery and alienation, a pseudo-community. It differs in no essential respects from American jingoism, a veritable “Support Our Troops” sticker forever branded on the national psyche.

duckdaotsu writes:

"No Thanksgiving at My House:
Remembering Wesley BadHeartBull"
Duck Dao Tsu

Hot Springs, South Dakota is a small town located in the southernmost tip of the Black Hills. Wesley BadHeartBull started the sixth grade at Hot Springs Junior High School; he died just outside of town at the hands of a couple of cowboys — stabbed to death because he had the audacity to ask for drink at the bar. He was 22 years old.

Dan Clore writes:

"Three Years in Guantanamo for a Joke"

Dan Clore, Smygo

"Special Counsel Fitzgerald's investigation and ongoing legal proceedings are serious, and now the proceedings — the process moves into a new phase. In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial..." — George W. Bush

"In our system of government an accused person is presumed innocent until a contrary finding is made by a jury after an opportunity to answer the charges and a full airing of the facts. Mr. Libby is entitled to that opportunity..." — Dick Cheney

Writers Jailed in 2002 for Political Satire

James Rupert, Newsday

After three years at Guantanamo, Afghan writers found to be no threat to United States

Pehawar, Pakistan — Badr Zaman Badr and his brother Abdurrahim Muslim Dost relish writing a good joke that jabs a corrupt politician or distills the sufferings of fellow Afghans. Badr admires the political satires in "The Canterbury Tales" and "Gulliver's Travels," and Dost wrote some wicked lampoons in the 1990s, accusing Afghan mullahs of growing rich while preaching and organizing jihad. So in 2002, when the U.S. military shackled the writers and flew them to Guantanamo among prisoners whom Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared "the worst of the worst" violent terrorists, the brothers found life imitating farce.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

"Bushspeak: Dark and Garbled Words"

John Chuckman

The following quotes are from Bush's speech about the War on Terror, as given October 6, 2005, and largely repeated October 28. It was a speech especially dense with Bushspeak, a dialect which never means what it seems to say. Perspective and the occasional translation follow the quotes.

"All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness; innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train, or worked in the wrong building, or checked into the wrong hotel. Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane. "

You might ask how is it possible to choose victims more indiscriminately than by
bombing cities? The Pentagon doesn't even attempt to count Iraq's dead, civilian or military. Two serious efforts have been made to count the civilian toll of the barbarism called "Shock and Awe." One, an effort to count bodies all over the country in morgues, hospitals, and other likely places, came up with more than 25,000 killed. Another scientific study of Iraq's national mortality tables, published in the British medical journal Lancet, came up with about a 100,000.

"In the Long Run…

…We Will All Be Indian"

Jamal Mecklai

Keynes was wrong. Darwin was right.

Keynes famously said, “In the long run, we will all be dead.” Of course, he was speaking just of himself and people around him. I am speaking of all humankind. Darwin, too, was speaking of the species of man, and he famously recognized that diversity is the basis for sustainability – something that environmentalists have been trying to sell the world’s populist leaders on.

Last week, I met an interesting gentlefella – American, venture capitalist with Sand Hill Road pedigree and investments in many diverse parts of the globe. His first time in India, though, and he was curious about several (to me) very obvious elements of the culture. Being men – all right, boys – we, of course, talked about women. He told me that he was amazed that when he (and his wife) had asked an Indian woman to take their photograph, the woman took his camera and handed it to the man with her, who, smiled at them and took the photograph. In America, he said, any woman would have taken the photograph thinking nothing of it. Even in China, where he had spent a lot of time, this would not have been an issue. He was surprised and curious, and wanted to know more about the difference between the sexes in India and whether it was different in the case of Hindus or Muslims and so on.

Fired Up in Texas writes:

You Make Me Join The Minutemen

You people are supporters of terrorism... I wouldn't support you if you held a gun to my head!

You should be ashamed of yourselves. Have you ever heard of entering this country legally? You have just compelled this household to join the Minutemen.


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