Review: Occupy: Reflections on Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity

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Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Noam Chomsky

5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive Opening, Less Satisfying Conclusion, January 5, 2014

The book explodes on page one: no bankers arrested — none, zip, nada, rein — 7,762 Occupiers arrested from the first 80 in NYC on 24 September 2001 to the two arrested in SF on 15 June 2013. Talk about GRIFTOPIA — the police work for the thieves and arrest the owners!

There are a number of key insights within this book, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wishes to pulse the state of the union — Chomsky, who eulogizes Howard Zinn throughout, brackets our current situation with two trenchant observations early on:

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Jan 5

Journal: Get America Working–A Conversation Part II

Original Post with William Drayton, Alexandere Carpenter, and Robert Steele:  Journal: Get America Working–A Conversation

Part II–Alexander Carpenter (AC), the Founding Fathers, and Modern Seers

Journal: Get America Working-A Conversation

If you do nothing else, please consider reviewing the many contributions by Tom Atlee via the first line in Part IV: Related Recommended Reading,

Atlee at Phi Beta Iota

AC: And add this from Charles Hugh Smith to the list:

Charles Hugh Smith America’s Job-Creation Machinery Is Hollowed Out

Dave Cohen on Job Prospects in the Bubble Economy, looking for a technological driver:

And this for those still trying to believe in the “enlightenment model,” some lowest-common-denominator and somewhat overstated evolutionary psychology:

Ian Charles, Conscious Robots: How We Make a Decision

And add this about computer gaming:

How Videogames Are Changing the Economy

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Jan 3

Journal: Chomsky on Mid-Term Elections

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Richard Wright

I have rather mixed opinions of Chomsky, but think he is on the mark in this OpEd.

The US Elections: Outrage, Misguided

truthout

17 November 2010

Noam Chomsky

The U.S. midterm elections register a level of anger, fear and disillusionment in the country like nothing I can recall in my lifetime. Since the Democrats are in power, they bear the brunt of the revulsion over our current socioeconomic and political situation.

More than half the “mainstream Americans” in a Rasmussen poll last month said they view the Tea Party movement favorably – a reflection of the spirit of disenchantment.

Noam Chomsky

The grievances are legitimate. For more than 30 years, real incomes for the majority of the population have stagnated or declined while work hours and insecurity have increased, along with debt. Wealth has accumulated, but in very few pockets, leading to unprecedented inequality.

These consequences mainly spring from the financialization of the economy since the 1970s and the corresponding hollowing-out of domestic production. Spurring the process is the deregulation mania favored by Wall Street and supported by economists mesmerized by efficient-market myths.

Read full article…

Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added above.  The chapter on “Legitimate Grievances” in ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (EIN, 2008) comes in two parts–domestic grievances warranting state nullification of federal abuse, and state consideration of secession if the legitimate Constitutionally-derived Republic cannot be restored; and global grievances occasioned by a century of unilateral militarism, virtual colonialism, and predatory capitalism working in unison to loot the commonwealths of all nations–our elite corrupted the other elites, and between them they have come very close to destroying what should be a prosperous world at peace.

Structured Reading on Reality:

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

See Also by Chomsky:

Journal: Up to 90 percent of US paper money [in large cities] contains traces of cocaine

Review: What We Say Goes

Review: Interventions

Review: Failed States–The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy (American Empire Project)

Review: Imperial Ambitions–Conversations on the Post-9/11 World (American Empire Project)

Review: Hegemony or Survival–America’s Quest for Global Dominance (The American Empire Project)

Review: The Umbrella of U.S. Power–The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Contradictions of U.S. Policy

Review: Profit Over People–Neoliberalism & Global Order

Review: 9-11

Review: Acts of Aggression

Review: Manufacturing Consent–The Political Economy of the Mass Media

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Nov 17

Journal: Up to 90 percent of US paper money [in large cities] contains traces of cocaine

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Traces of cocaine exist in up to 90 percent of banknotes in many large US cities, a new study reports. Credit: The American Chemical Society

Traces of cocaine exist in up to 90 percent of banknotes in many large US cities, a new study reports. Credit: The American Chemical Society

Reports are glossing over the fact that this pertains to notes from large cities, not all across America, but it is none-the-less an interesting signal of “contamination.”  Noam Chomsky would say this is another indicator that the USA is moving toward “failed state” status.

We draw two different conclusions: 1) that Canada is as much if not more of a threat to the USA because of its extraordinarily ineffective policing of its borders and its illegal alien and underground criminal populations, both Arab and Asian; and 2) the cross-contamination of bills is probably as much an indicator of increasing sophistication of money-laundering by gangs, to include increasing use of halawa and other “off-banking” means of international transfer.

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Aug 17

Review: What We Say Goes

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Amazon Page

Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Dick Cheney Pulls Noam Chomsky to the Center (Relatively Speaking)
October 18, 2007
Noam Chomsky
Edit of 15 Jun 09 to correct factual error in original review (nuclear deal with Iran under Gerald Ford, not Ronald Reagan, in 1974).

Chomsky is actually starting to win over the balanced middle with his common sense. I have long respected him, but it took Dick Cheney and his merry band of nakedly amoral and obliviously delusional henchmen to really bring home to America how much his straight talk and logical thinking can help us.

There is virtually no repetition from past works. This series of interviews took place in 2006 and early 2007, and I found a great deal here worth noting.

* In 70 New York Times editorials on Iraq, not once did they mention international law or the United Nations Charter. He uses this and several other examples to show how pallid, how myopic, how unprofessional our mainstream media has become.

* A wonderful section talks about how civil *obedience* of immoral and illegal orders is our biggest challenge in this era, and I agree. The “failure of generalship” in the Pentagon resulted from a well-meaning but profoundly misdirected confusion of loyalty to the civilian chain of command, however lunatic, with the integrity that each of our senior swore to the Constitution and to We the People in their Oath of Office.

* His knowledge of Lebanon, a country I have come to love as representative of all that is good in the Middle East, is most helpful. His many remarks, all documented, make it clear that Israel has been abducting people for decades, and that the Lebanese have quite properly come to equate US “freedom” with the “kiss of death.” I am especially impressed with his discussion of Hezbollah as having legitimacy based on providing social services to those ignored by past governments, and as having a significant strategic value to Iran as a flank on Israel. His observations on how the US consistently refuses to recognize honest elections that do not go as the policymakers (not the US public) wish, are valid.

* He reminds us that the US made an enormous strategic mistake in using Saudi Arabian extremist Islam as a counterpoint to Nasser’s natural Arab nationalism. As Robert Baer puts it, we see no evil and slept with the devil like a common whore lusting for oil.

* His comments on China and the Shi’ites who sit on most of the reserves (including Saudi reserves in one corner of that country, are provocative. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the USA needs to cede the oil to China and execute a Manhattan Project to leverage solar power from space, tidal power, air power, and–for storage–hydrogen power made with renewable resources.

* Chomsky’s comments on Chavez track with my own understanding. Chavez is a serious and well-off revolutionary who is sharing energy with his Latin American brethren, and leading the independence of Latin America from the overbearing and often hypocritical and predatory US government and US multinational corporations.

* He offers compelling thoughts on how India is sacrificing hundreds of thousands of poor rural people who now commit suicide or migrate to cities after losing their lands, for the sake of the high technology investments. I wonder why India is not doing more to teach the poor “one cell call at a time.”

* His observations on US electoral fraud are brilliant. He points out that the fact that elections are stolen is much less important than the fact that the entire electoral process in the US is fraudulent, without substance, only posturing and platitudes.

* He discusses how the US public is completely divorced from the policy choices of the dual tyranny of the US (political) government and the US corporate sector.

* At every turn Chomsky offers common sense observations, for instance, Pakistan, not Iran, is vastly more likely to leak nuclear capabilities to jihadists. In passing, he points out that it was the US that gave the Shah of Iran an entire MIT nuclear program and substantive assistance that is now being harvested by Iran, in 1975. Kissinger, Cheney,Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz as well as Gerald Ford are mentioned by name.

* He observes that Israeli influence is vastly larger than the lobbying effort, because the entire US intellectual network has “bought into” the Israeli myths and lies. The American fascists (see American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America), the Christian fundamentalists, are actually anti-Semitic, but support Israel because of their belief in the apocalypse.

* The Internet is having a pernicious effect on dialog and debate and compromise, because it creates little cul-de-sacs for lunatics of like mind to find and reinforce one another, divorced from larger realities.

* Avian flu (and our lack of preparation for it) is vastly more dangerous than a nuclear event. (See my review of the DVD Pandemic).

* Missile “defense” is actually code for allowing a first strike by the US on Russia or China, as a means to moderating their counter-strike. This is the first time I have heard it put this way, and I agree. All Americans should oppose “missile defense.”

* State secrecy is about keeping our own citizens ignorant of the crimes being done “in our name” not about keeping secrets from the enemies we a re covertly screwing over time and again.

* Darfur is being dumbed down, at the same time that the *millions* being genocided in the Congo are being ignored.

* He ends on two good notes. Like Thomas Jefferson (A Nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry”) he says that “educating the American people is the main thing to be done,” and love of the people is fundamental.

Great book, completely fresh and absolutely worth reading for the mainstream that might have in the past written Chomsky off as a perennial leftist, which he is not. Chomsky is what we must all seek to be: an educated engaged citizen.

See also:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic (The American Empire Project)
Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions
State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III
Bush’s Brain
Why We Fight

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Oct 18