vonnegutHere are five amazing articles, all from great writers and/or great investigative reporters:

George Soros on The Bubble of American Supremacy — Soros argues that “the supremacist ideology of the Bush Administration stands in opposition to the principles of an open society” and is hence doomed to spectacular and devastating failure. Thanks to Gary Lawrence Murphy for the link. Teaser:

The Bush doctrine, first enunciated in a presidential speech at West Point in June of 2002, and incorporated into the National Security Strategy three months later, is built on two pillars: the United States will do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy; and the United States arrogates the right to pre-emptive action. In effect, the doctrine establishes two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligations; and the sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to the will of the United States. This is reminiscent of George Orwell’s Animal Farm: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

To be sure, the Bush doctrine is not stated so starkly; it is shrouded in doublespeak. The doublespeak is needed because of the contradiction between the Bush Administration’s concept of freedom and democracy and the actual principles and requirements of freedom and democracy. Talk of spreading democracy looms large in the National Security Strategy. But when President Bush says, as he does frequently, that freedom will prevail, he means that America will prevail. In a free and open society, people are supposed to decide for themselves what they mean by freedom and democracy, and not simply follow America’s lead…It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in the world should have fallen into the hands of people who ignore the first principles of open society.

Kurt Vonnegut on Cold Turkey — The guy who declared Bush II certifiably psychopathic a year ago (and no one refuted his argument) is frothing over America’s addiction to oil, and to power. Thanks to Gary for this link too. Teaser:

Power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.

[Bush] and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you’ll be asked to repay. Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press (which, having been embedded, has forsaken the First Amendment) and We the People.

Seymour Hersh on The Gray Zone — The much-cited article that clearly links Rumsfeld, and hence Bush, to direction and foreknowledge of the torture and atrocities at Abu Ghraib. This guy has done as much to show the dangers, lies and fraud of the Bush Regime as Daniel Ellsberg revealed in the Pentagon Papers, which led to the end of Richard Nixon, the last American Tyrant President. My bet is that Hersh will be either arrested or assassinated before November.

James Grant on Low Rates, High Expectations — An explanation of why low interest rates suck for all but the very rich, and how they seduce us even more into the dangerous spiral of greater and greater consumption, greater and greater debt. Teaser:

The Fed will raise its rate, though grudgingly and gradually. It will act in this fashion not only out of conviction but also, perhaps, out of a guilty conscience. It knows that its 1 percent rate drove many risk-averse people into stocks and bonds because they could no longer afford to live on the meager returns of their savings. That is at one pole of the spectrum of financial sophistication. At the other, hedge funds borrowed at ultra-low rates to speculate in everything from gold to lead. Just the prospect of a slightly higher borrowing rate has brought about disturbances in the temples of high finance.

The Fed has another reason to be conscience-stricken. It knows, or should know, that by trying to make the dollar cheaper, it has precipitated even more borrowing in an economy heavily encumbered. The greater the debt, the more deflation-prone the economy. And the more deflation-prone the economy, the more the Fed is apt to try to cheapen the dollar. The truth is that the central bank of the United States is chasing its tail.

Brian Bergstein and Randy Herschaft on Seisint’s ‘Matrix’ Terrorism Quotient Database — This duo did some digging into the abominable and unethical tactics that Seisint, a company founded by a reputed millionaire drug smuggler, used to arbitrarily and libellously finger 120,000 people as ‘possible terrorists’, some of whom were arrested as a result, and which gave the corporation an exclusive bid on a $12 million defense department contract — even though the database methodology was shown to be bogus and the database was ordered scrapped (the ACLU says there is no evidence it has in fact been scrapped). Teaser:

A records request by the AP in Florida turned up “briefing points,” dated January 2003, for a presentation on Matrix to Vice President Dick Cheney and other top federal officials delivered jointly by Seisint, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida’s top police official. One of the items on Seisint’s agenda: “Demonstrate HTF with mapping.” Matrix meeting minutes from February 2003 say Cheney was briefed along with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

In May 2003, the Justice Department approved Seisint as sole data contractor on the project, citing the company’s “technical qualifications,” including software “applying the ‘terrorism quotient’ in all cases.”

“The quotient identifies a set of criteria which accurately singled out characteristics related to the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks and other terrorist events,” said a memo from an Office of Justice Programs policy adviser, Bruce Edwards. “This process produced a scoring mechanism (that), when applied to the general criminal population, yields other people that may have similar motives.”

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  1. Uccella says:

    Has Wesley Clark’s piece, “Broken Engagement”, in the Washington Montly, been mentioned somewhere along the line?

  2. Jon Husband says:

    Boy o boy – so much crap, in so many areas. Thank goodness that you are out to save the world.Interesting little story at dailyKos (the blog) today on Tommy Douglas and the NDP, recounting Tommy’s famous story called “Mouseland” – mice lecting fat cats to govern, and why they alwyas do so.

  3. Denny says:

    Nobody “tells the truth” the way Vonnegut does.I’m so glad he still cares enough to write. Always refreshing, we should enjoy him fully now, because we won’t have him much longer.

  4. Dave Pollard says:

    Uccella: Excellent link, thank you. Gen. Clark’s key message: “If the events of the last year tell us anything, it is that democracy in the Middle East is unlikely to come at the point of a gun.”

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