He was in good company that day. Other guests on the show were the"other" Scott Horton from Harper's Magazine and Juan Cole. Those of you have not listened to Horton's radio show at antiwar.com are missing out.
It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke,"Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child."It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
"I wanted to prove it wasn't torture," Mancow said."They cut off our heads, we put water on their face...I got voted to do this but I really thought 'I'm going to laugh this off.'"
So far, only two defenders of Bush's foreign policy, Christopher Hitchens and Mancow, have been waterboarded. The experience led both to reluctantly admit that it is torture. Apparently, this is the only way to convince pro-war conservatives, or their fellow travelers, that waterboarding is torture. Another strategy is to recommend that advocates of torture devote an hour this week to reading what Lord Acton said about power instead of watching the next episode of"24."
What is happening to property owners in Montgomery? Jimmy McCall would like to know. Last year, the city government went back on an agreement and used a “blight” law and demolished his house, then under construction. “It was my dream house,” he laments, “and the city tore it down. . . . It reminds me of how they used to mistreat black people in the Old South.”
McCall, like thousands of other Americans, is on the receiving end of eminent domain through the back door. In contrast to the standard eminent-domain process, property owners do not have any right to compensation. Minorities are typically the first victims. Ironically, the hometown of Rosa Parks appears to be one of the areas targeted for this form of blatant property-rights abuse. For more on the Montgomery situation, see here.
Alabama has gained national notoriety for eminent-domain abuses in the past, most notably in the Alabaster case heavily publicized by nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Neal Boortz.
On April 29, Alabamans who have similar stories of property-rights abuse are urged to come to a community forum of the State Advisory Committee (which I chair) of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, “Civil Rights Implications of Eminent Domain Policies and Practices in Alabama.” The forum (see agenda here) will be from 9AM to 5PM on April 29 at the Montgomery Campus of Troy University in the Gold Room of the Whitley Conference Hall. The street address is 231 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, AL 36104.
What is happening in the cradle of the modern civil rights movement? Jimmy McCall would like to know. 'It was more my dream house,' he laments, 'and the city tore it down ... It reminds me of how they used to mistreat black people in the Old South.' In 1955, Rosa Parks took on the whole system of Jim Crow by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery bus. Today, McCall is waging a lonely battle against the same city government for another civil right: the freedom to build a home on his own land.
Though McCall's ambitions are modest, he is exceptionally determined. For years, he has scraped together a living by salvaging rare materials from historic homes and then selling them to private builders. Sometimes months went by before he had a client. Finally, he had put aside enough to purchase two acres in Montgomery and started to build. He did the work himself using materials accumulated in his business including a supply of sturdy and extremely rare longleaf pine.
McCall only earns enough money to build in incremental stages, but eventually his dream home took shape. According to a news story by Benjamin Solomon, the structure had 'the high slanted ceilings, the exposed beams of dark, antique wood. It looks like a charming, spacious home in the making.'
But from the outset, the city showed unremitting hostility. He has almost lost count of the roadblocks it threw up including a citation for keeping the necessary building materials on his own land during the construction process.
The latest ratings of presidential greatness tells us more about the priorities of historians than it does about the presidents. The following were rated as the greatest presidents: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman.
There is merit to the high rating for Washington. As to the others, they include a president who did nothing to stop lynching, needlessly prolonged the Great Depression, sent a ship of Jewish refugees back to their doom in Germany; another president, who fried thousands of Japanese babies (thus violating all the dominant theories of just war); yet another president who shredded the ancient constitutional right of habeas corpus; and finally a president who openly defended war and imperialism.
Between them, they brought the United States into three major wars which resulted in over a million American deaths.
Rated by the historians in the"worst" category, by contrast, is, you guessed it, Warren G. Harding: a president who successfully promoted economic prosperity, cut taxes, balanced the budget, reduced the national debt, released all of his predecessor's political prisoners, supported anti-lynching legislation, and instituted the most substantial naval arms reduction agreement in world history. Go figure.
For a sample of Harding's comparative good sense, listen to this audio of his best known speech.
Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better. Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better. Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not.
The first review has already appeared of my new book, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard's Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power. I hope that this is the beginning of a trend. In the latest issue of Reason, Damon Root writes the following:
No single individual brought down the South’s Jim Crow regime, but there were a few dozen who played essential parts. Black Maverick convincingly elevates Howard to that rank. It also provocatively links Howard’s success to the controversial ideas of the 19th-century African-American leader Booker T. Washington, who had famously prioritized black economic independence over political liberty. In his celebrated “Atlanta Compromise” speech of 1895, Washington declared, “No race that has anything to contribute to the markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized. It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges. The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera-house.” Howard’s life at least partially vindicates Washington’s much-criticized approach, showing, as the authors write, “that the growth of voluntary associations, self-help, business investment, and property ownership was the best precondition for civil rights.”
Indeed, one of the book’s most significant achievements is to highlight the indispensable role that black entrepreneurs and professionals played in the crucial early phase of the modern civil rights struggle. Several years before the appearance of Martin Luther King’s clergy dominated Montgomery Improvement Association, Howard’s RCNL relied primarily on the support of “undertakers, entrepreneurs, professionals, doctors, druggists, and owners of small farms.” These men used both their financial resources and their professional networks to support some of the earliest economic and legal challenges to Jim Crow. For Howard, this focus on economic independence remained constant throughout his career. As the authors note, “although Howard’s speeches resembled those of a Baptist preacher both in style and content, he had always emphasized business and the professions, not the church, as the vanguards of future success.”
Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.
“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”...
Sounding more like Barry Goldwater than the former head of the KGB, Putin said, “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”
Putin also echoed the words of conservative maverick Ron Paul when he said, “we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”
I don't think so but this is certainly the message communicated by the recent cartoons on the main page of the HAW website.
In this audio of an interview with Scott Horton, Chalmers Johnson discussion the intersection between military Keynesianism and empire. It was Johnson who first popularized the term"blowback." He also deplores Obama's"insane" policy in Afghanistan.
More than a century ago, the preeminent black leader of his time made a prophecy that has come to pass. When blacks had little hope, Booker T. Washington stood alone in predicting that one day a black man would be president of the United States. Almost all Americans at the time would have considered this an absurd impossibility. Yet history has proved Washington right.
In many ways, Barack Obama would find a kindred soul in the president of Tuskegee, the largest black college of its time. Like Obama, Washington came from mixed parentage and grew up in modest circumstances. Washington had a white father (who he never knew) while Obama’s black father more or less abandoned him. Both were raised almost entirely by women who had a tremendous influence on their work ethic and life goals.
The media and others have shamelessly taken Limbaugh's statement that he wants Obama to fail (see above) out of context. Rush may be a defender of perpetual war and an enemy of civil liberties but on this issue he is right.
His essential point was that he hopes Obama will fail in his policy goal to expand governmental control over the economy. To interpret this, as some have done, as claiming that Limbaugh wants the" country" to fail is simply wrong.