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How not to manufacture patriotism

by TJS George

Was anyone patriotically inspired by this year's Republic Day speeches? Or any year's for that matter. Or by any of the Independence Day speeches over the years. These have become mere rituals. Rituals do not inspire.

This is not necessarily the fault of our leaders. Speeches that lift the souls of listeners have been heard only rarely in history. The occasion, the mood, the speaker's personality and convictions are all decisive in giving a speech lasting impact.

As Macaulay's children know, Edmund Burke made many a memorable speech. But none of them acquired the stamp of greatness that a short speech by Abraham Lincoln did _ the Gettysburg address. Pre-independence India bristled with great scholars, orators and visionaries. None made the impact Vivekananda did at the Parliament of Religions with the opening words, "Sisters and brothers of America .... I thank you in the name of the mother of religions.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan could hold audiences …

Federal Johns hire hookers

President Bush has told subordinates to stop seducing phony "journalists" with cash.

What's depressing is that he needed to: depressing that government officials would sink so low and more depressing that people who pretend to be journalists would sink even lower.

The feds have armies of PR people on the payroll. They hire even more. And every administration has thousands of loyal political appointees sprinkled through the bureaucracy to pitch the president's line.

That massive PR firepower wasn't enough for some Bush officials. They also wanted spokesmen who appeared to be independent and honest - who appeared to be working for their readers and viewers, not for paying politicians.

These officials created phony "news" programs that pushed administration policies. They sent these programs to TV stations dim enough, desperate enough or dishonest enough to air them.

Other officials made outright cash payments to corruptible opinion mongers. The most egreg…

More American Crap!

America, America, America!
Have a fuckin heart!





"There was a time, when the sun was shining bright
So I went down to the beach to catch me a tan.
Then the next thing I knew, a wave 20 feet high
Came and washed your whole country away.
And all at once, you can hear the screaming chinks.
And no one was saved from the wave.
There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away.
You can hear God laughing, 'Swim you bitches swim.'

[Chorus]
"So now you're screwed. It's the tsunami,
You better run and kiss your ass away. Go find your mommy.
I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head.
And now your children will be sold. Child slavery."


US radio staff suspended over tsunami song

Stephen Brook
Thursday January 27, 2005


Only days after Rodney Marsh was sacked by Sky Sports over a tsumani joke, the entire staff of a New York radio programme have been suspended indefinitely after thousands of listeners complained about a bad taste tsunami song.The…

Where the People Voted Against Fear

by Eduardo Galeano

A few days before the election of the President of the planet in North America, in South America elections and a plebiscite were held in a little-known, almost secret country called Uruguay. In these elections, for the first time in the country's history, the left won. And in the plebiscite, for the first time in world history, the privatization of water was rejected by popular vote, asserting that water is the right of all people.
* * *
The movement headed by President-elect Tabare Vazquez ended the monopoly of the two traditional parties--the Blanco and the Colorado parties--which governed Uruguay since the creation of the universe.

And after each election you would hear this exclamation: ''I thought that we Blancos won but it turns out we Colorados did"--or the other way around. Out of opportunism, yes, but also because after so many years of ruling together, the two parties had fused into one, disguised as two.

Tired of being cheated, this time the p…

Decorporatising Jawaharlal Nehru University campus

Dear friends,

Kindly mail the text that follows to these email addresses:

studentsolidarity@rediffmail.com; gkchadha@mail.jnu.ac.in; rghosh@mail.jnu.ac.in; ghosh_r@vsnl.com; rohanxdsouza@yahoo.co.in; rnmenon@mail.jnu.ac.in; jnusu_campaigns@yahoo.co.in; ahmar_bluez@yahoo.com

+++++++++++++ snip +++++++++

I support Students' Solidarity and the larger collective, Forum Against Corporatisation, in their fight to reclaim their campus space from big corporations like Nestle and to hand it over to more deserving local entrepreneurs.

Previously local entrepreneurs and those from the socially deprived sections of the society were given preferential access to campus space, but increasingly small businesses are being driven out, and larger corporations welcomed in. Nestle is only one particularly bad example: the company has violated workers' rights and supported the violent suppression of workers' unions in countries like Colombia, Philippines and Thailand; acquired cocoa for its cho…

The Granda Kidnapping Explodes

The US / Colombia Plot Against VenezuelaBy JAMES PETRASA major diplomatic and political conflict has exploded between Colombia and Venezuela after the revelation of a Colombian government covert operation in Venezuela, involving the recruitment of Venezuelan military and security officers in the kidnapping of a Colombian leftist leader. Following an investigation by the Venezuelan Ministry of Interior and reports and testimony from journalists and other knowledgeable political observers it was determined that the highest echelons of the Colombian government, including President Uribe, planned and executed this onslaught on Venezuelan sovereignty.Once direct Colombian involvement was established, the Venezuelan government demanded a public apology from the Colombian government while seeking a diplomatic solution by blaming Colombian Presidential advisers. The Colombian regime took the offensive, l…

An Oligarch climbs up the political tree

Yulia Tymoshenko, the 44-year-old Oligarch, has finally made it to the top of the political tree in Ukraine - which was once the land of the soviets.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, another prominent Oligarch, did not hide his ambitions in Russia - and had to pay the price for it. He is languishing in a Russian prison.

It is quite absurd to even think that the politicians of EU are of a superior moral quality. I wouldn't be shocked if EU leaders line up to embrace Tymoshenko. Her rise to power has a direct link with her ability to manage capital (albeit stolen public money) - and facilitate the growth of big corporations.

The creation of a few billionaires and their prosperity at the expense of a billion poor people is what Capitalism is all about. That was exactly what Feudalism was all about. Russians and Ukraninans are not too young enough or even old enough to forget the hardship during the times of Czar.

Wealth has never been generated in this world. I just cannot believe Europe (or w…

Khodorkovsky - The Dubious Martyr

-- Eric Kraus It is difficult not to feel sympathy for a man confined to Russia's grim prison system, yet the letter by Mikhail Khodorkovsky printed by Vedomosti and The Moscow Times in December was neither a plea for leniency nor an acknowledgement of past errors. Instead, Khodorkovsky's letter constitutes a broad-brush condemnation of the political direction of Russia, by implication justifying the disastrous abuses of and by the Russian state during the late Yeltsin years when Khodorkovsky and his ilk held absolute power. Memories can be short, and a reply is called for. Khodorkovsky rails against the rapacious bureaucracy, predicting that the angry mob will soon be baying for its promised bread and circus. Well, perhaps, but wouldn't it be odd if a nation that quietly suffered the indignities of 1998 -- left hungry, cold and utterly destitute following the collapse of the pyramid erected by the oligarchs -- should rise up in protest now? To use his …

Interview with Mikhail Gorbachev

HARDtalk's Tim Sebastian interviewed former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. Here is the full transcript of the interview, broadcast on 15 September 2000

Tim Sebastian: How much do you share the concern of many people in Russia about how the loss of the Kursk submarine was handled by the authorities?

Mikhail Gorbachev: August was really tough - you could say we went through a kind of crisis. The explosion in the underpass in Moscow, then the nuclear submarine catastrophe, and the fire in the Ostankino television tower - all this put the spotlight on some poor media management.

Tim Sebastian: So the information was handled badly, the information handed down to the public?

Mikhail Gorbachev: I think the authorities initially - in all cases, but particularly with the submarine - well actually, things were pretty clear straight away with the blast in Moscow - the authorities didn't give out the full information. I even felt that the president himself didn't get all the facts…

US: Washington Post retracts story on Saddam era torture

2003 story told of Iraqi heroin who said she was imprisoned for eloping with Indian man


Thursday, January 20, 2005

WASHINGTON: The Washington Post on Thursday retracted a 2003 story about an Iraqi woman who claimed to have been arrested, sexually assaulted and made to watch soldiers of the Saddam regime mutilating her husband's body.

"Fresh examination of her statement," shows that Jumana Michael Hanna, had "made false claims about her past," the Post said.

Hanna's story was used, among others, by US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz in congressional testimony to justify the invasion of Iraq.

In the July 2003 story, Hanna was quoted as saying that she was imprisoned after she had eloped with her husband, Haitam Jamil Anwar, whom she said was of Indian origin. The marriage, she said, was not valid under Iraqi law because she had not received the proper permission to marry a foreign national.

She said she had gone to the Iraqi Olympic Committee building…