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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
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AlienLove: Interviews

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 War News: Pacifist Terms Obama "Force For Destruction"

InterviewsBy Sherwood Ross

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. --- Overall, President Obama has been “a force for destruction” who has “advanced inequality, wealth concentration, deportations, imprisonments, and the de-funding of basic services in order to fund banks, billionaires, and bombers,” distinguished peace activist David Swanson says.

In an exclusive interview with this reporter, Swanson, a former staff aide to Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaigns, said Obama has done nothing to better the lot of the nation’s poor, including Americans in the ghettos, apart from reducing “the disparity in crack-powder cocaine sentencing.”

Noting that Obama has attempted to identify himself with the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Swanson was asked if he saw any resemblance. His reply was “Two eyes and two ears and two feet and in Obama’s case two mouths. He got a Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything for peace,” Swanson said. “So did King, and King followed through and retroactively earned it. Perhaps that led to the ludicrous bestowing of the prize on Obama, who proceeded to give a pro-war acceptance speech in which he insultingly and arrogantly denounced King’s approach to world change.”

Asked if either Obama or his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might carry out their threat to make a nuclear attack on Iran, Swanson said, “I think they are willing to and would find joy in it. Watch the video of Clinton laughing over the killing of (Libya’s ruler Muammar} Gaddafi. Watch the video of her talking about ‘obliterating’ Iran. She takes obvious pleasure in such talk, as does Obama. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, June 04 @ 20:19:13 EDT (1683 reads)
(Read More... | 5918 bytes more | Comments? | War News | Score: 0)

 Art News: Who Stole the American Dream in Broad Daylight?

Interviewsby: Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

Opening in New York City on March 3 at the Quad City Cinema, "Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?" is a feature documentary about the emergence of plutocratic control of the US government. But the film is not meant to raise the white flag to accumulated wealth. In fact, it concludes that, "There are only two kinds of power in America: organized money and organized people." "Heist" was directed and produced by Donald Goldmacher and Frances Causey and narrated by Thom Hartmann. It was completed in partnership with Public Interest Pictures, headed by activist and producer Earl Katz. You can view the trailer for "Heist" here.

Mark Karlin: What role did the book "Global Class War" (2006) play in your formulation of the film?

Donald Goldmacher:
Though our initial focus was on undocumented workers, the book gave us a much broader understanding of how big corporations were using low-paid workers, by either outsourcing manufacturing jobs to low-wage countries, or in-sourcing low-paid workers into the United States, to undermine good-paying jobs held by unionmembers. It was also instrumental in helping us to understand that the phenomenon of globalization that began in the 1970s, accelerated during the 1980s by Ronald Reagan and George Bush senior, was also unequivocally embraced by Bill Clinton and his economic team, which included Professor Alan Blinder, Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs and Larry Summers, all of whom believed in free trade and free markets. They revealed their true colors when they pushed through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) agreements, concocted during the Reagan administration, screwing workers in all three countries. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, February 29 @ 17:57:59 EST (699 reads)
(Read More... | 19704 bytes more | Comments? | Art News | Score: 0)

 Peace News: Interview With Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Interviewsby: Maya Schenwar, Executive Director, t r u t h o u t
Truthout Exclusive | Interview

Almost nine years into longest war in US history, at a time when the US spends more on its military budget than the rest of the world combined and endless war seems a frighteningly realistic possibility, I spoke with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a long-time advocate for peace. Kucinich reminds us that there is another way: that through unity, persistence and a deeply necessary change in mindset, we can move toward a world in which mutual respect and global connections shape foreign policy, and the self-fulfilling prophecy of war loses its tragic momentum. He challenges us to imagine a world in which "peace is inevitable."

Maya Schenwar: Since the end of formal combat operations in Iraq, you've been speaking out against the continuing presence of US troops and increasing presence of American mercenaries there. How do you respond to those who say the continued presence is necessary for security reasons?

Dennis Kucinich: America's invasion of Iraq has made us less secure. Before the entire world we invaded a country that did not attack us - that had no intention or capability of attacking us - and that, famously, did not have weapons of mass destruction. The subsequent occupation has fueled an insurgency, and as long as we have troops there, the insurgency will remain quite alive. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, September 20 @ 22:01:25 EDT (771 reads)
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 Business/Economy: Michael Perelman, on Market Myths, Past and Present

Interviewsby: Seth Sandronsky, t r u t h o u t | Interview

Seth Sandronsky: There has been one stimulus package each from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. In the meantime, local and state government budget deficits are growing. What is going on here?

Michael Perelman: First of all, when the economy slows down, tax revenues decline for federal, state and local governments. Second, government expenditures increase because people who experience sudden drops in income need to rely more on the social safety net. Third, the federal government stimulus has been largely directed toward the financial sector.

Unlike the New Deal, when the government put people to work producing valuable projects that people can readily appreciate while walking around cities today, this stimulus is largely directed toward prettying up corporate balance sheets.

This strategy creates two problems. First, finance does not produce many jobs. Spending $1 million on infrastructure creates many more jobs than an equivalent expenditure propping up financial businesses. Second, one of the strategies for rescuing finance is to subsidize consolidations, such as Bank of America taking over Countrywide Financial Corp. (former titan of subprime mortgage lending). These consolidations result in job cuts, besides making future regulation more difficult - in part because of the concentration of corporate power.

The "rescue" of the automobile industry illustrates the problem of emphasizing balance sheets. A key part of the strategy to make the company successful will be to produce more automobiles abroad.

The combination of tax declines, job losses and increased public responsibilities is catastrophic. In California, the approach is to cut public employment, which makes the job problem worse and to abdicate responsibility for those in need. But cutting employment - including public employment - is just the opposite of a stimulus. Declining state and local expenditures will offset any potential benefits of the stimulus. A similar anti-stimulus phenomenon also undid much of the effect of the New Deal. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, July 07 @ 20:49:50 EDT (1057 reads)
(Read More... | 15331 bytes more | Comments? | Business/Economy | Score: 0)

 Politics: “Class is a dirty word”

InterviewsMichael Parenti interviewed by Jason Miller

“Class is a dirty word in that it gets close to the truth about who governs and for whose benefit.”-Michael Parenti

In the land of those who think they’re free and the home of savage capitalism, class is indeed a dirty word. Remember, we’re a nation of Joe the Plumbers. If we just work hard enough and fend off those socialist vampires who want to suck us dry by redistributing our hard-earned wealth, we can all be financial successes. And if you’re a faux-progressive presidential candidate—like Obama, you’re doomed to political perdition unless you sign a blood oath disavowing your ties to socialism.

Yet there are a few political analysts and academics who dare to blaspheme against capitalism, which is the “God” this benighted land truly worships—despite the disgustingly hypocritical veneer of faux Christianity. Remember that Michael Parenti has one of the filthiest mouths you’ll ever hear. He dares to repeatedly spew profane diatribes against capitalism, the sacrosanct basis for our precious American Way of Life. Parenti has the chutzpah to derisively attack our system, which we all know is the best that’s ever been (or will be), by asserting that there are divisions amongst US Americans based on socioeconomic standing. And worst of all? He uses the “C” word! Somebody needs to give his mouth a good cleansing with a bar of Dial!

Parenti recently answered a few questions Jason Miller threw his way. Let’s see how much further he traveled on the road to perdition. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, December 30 @ 17:12:58 EST (1006 reads)
(Read More... | 9051 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 0)

 International: Afghanistan: A Way Forward

Interviewsby: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t | Interview

An interview with Stephen Kinzer.

Last week, with President-elect Obama's blessing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the beginning of a troop "surge" in Afghanistan. As the US embarks on a slow redeployment of troops away from the widely condemned occupation of Iraq - though that occupation is not by any means ending - it is easy to frame Afghanistan as a milder war, a war that can even, perhaps, be "won." However, sending more American forces to Afghanistan is a peculiar first project for a supposedly peacemaking president-elect, according to Stephen Kinzer, a former New York Times correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents, and has written extensively on US interventionism around the world. In the following interview, Kinzer puts forth a new approach to Afghanistan. He calls for a framework that acknowledges cultural differences, considers Afghanistan in its geographical context and confronts the Taliban - and the poppy trade - in a realistic way. As Obama gears up to assume his role as commander in chief, Kinzer challenges him to ponder what "real change" might actually mean when it comes to Afghanistan.

Maya Schenwar: Afghanistan tends to be viewed as the "Good War," in comparison with Iraq. What's behind that image? ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, December 17 @ 20:17:31 EST (987 reads)
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 Truth To Power: Stolen Elections And Media Blackouts

InterviewsCarolyn Baker Interviews Mark Crispin Miller,
A Truth To Power exclusive



Burlington, Vermont Shortly before a public lecture presented at Champlain College, I sat down with Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies at New York University, to ask him a number of questions regarding stolen elections-a subject Miller has researched and written about extensively. Greg Palast, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Bev Harris, Steve Rosenfeld, Bob Fitrakis, and Lynne Landes, have provided monumental contributions to the subject of election fraud, each with their own unique styles and methods of targeting the issue. Mark Crispin Miller's 2005 book Fooled Again, impeccably documents the stealing of the 2004 election, and Loser Take All, a 2008 collection of essays on stolen elections incorporates the research of other investigators of election fraud such as Robert Kennedy, Jr; Bob Fitrakis, and Steve Rosenfeld.

Generously, Professor Miller gave me both time and disturbing insights regarding the upcoming election of 2008. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, October 27 @ 20:18:41 EDT (1029 reads)
(Read More... | 18971 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 Truth To Power: Eugene, Oregon: Community & Personal Collapse Preparation, Part I

InterviewsBy Carolyn Baker

Exclusive interview with Dan Armstrong, writer, activist, and owner of MUD CITY PRESS.

CB: I'm going to ask you about your book "Prairie Fire", but first I'd like to find out a little bit about your background. Tell us about your roots, how you came to settle in the Eugene area, and your passion for writing.

DA: My background is that of a middle-class suburbanite baby boomer. My father was an officer in the Navy (as was my grandfather) and as a youth, I lived either in a suburb near a Navy base on the east or west coast or within a short-commute to the Pentagon.

I grew up in the belly of the beast.

I entered Princeton University as a freshman in 1968 to study Aerospace Engineering, headed to a career in the defense industry. As a junior in 1971, I did an independent research project on the effects of greenhouse gases. To my surprise, I found that we were already well into a positive feedback loop of warming. This project, along with my involvement in student demonstrations against the Vietnam War, began what would be a lifelong questioning of the American way of life. Instead of taking a job in the weapons industry, I went to graduate school at the University of Oregon in Eugene to study journalism and the theory of mass communication. Street life in Eugene in the early 1970s, however, proved far more interesting and meaningful to me at age twenty-three than graduate school, and before the year was out I'd said good-bye to the establishment and hello to counterculture. By 1974, I was nothing more or less than a Eugene hippie trying to live the simplest life I could. The beast had burped me up and spit me out. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, February 22 @ 19:45:53 EST (1106 reads)
(Read More... | 25959 bytes more | Comments? | Truth To Power | Score: 5)

 Truth To Power: Sherlyn Meinz Interviews Carolyn Baker

Interviews

SpoxTalk Exclusive!

Professor and author, Carolyn Baker recently visited Spoxtalk.com studios during her trip to Vermont!

Don’t miss this interview, discussing the collapse of society as we know it, her upcoming book: “The Spirituality of Collapse: Restoring Life On A Dying Planet”; her website: Carolynbaker.net and so much more…


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, January 05 @ 19:52:39 EST (2086 reads)
(Read More... | 1174 bytes more | 1 comment | Truth To Power | Score: 0)

 Politics: The Ron Paul Revolution

Interviews

SpoxTalk Exclusive!

Check out Spoxtalk.com to hear Shabby interview Christine Smith about Ron Paul and “The Ron Paul Revolution”!

Ron Paul is making an impression on America despite mainstream media’s attempts to ignore him. Hear what a Libertarian thinks about this Republican Candidate. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, January 03 @ 20:18:31 EST (1759 reads)
(Read More... | 754 bytes more | 2 comments | Politics | Score: 5)

 Environment: Leonardo DiCaprio's Hour

InterviewsBy Kelpie Wilson
Truthout | Interview

As a celebrated actor, Leonardo DiCaprio has had many hours in the media sun, but mere celebrity does not seem to be enough for him. He also wants to change the world, and he has created a new documentary called "The 11th Hour" with that revolutionary purpose in mind. Concerned with global warming and environmental catastrophe, the film has its own action web site at www.11thhouraction.com.

The film is not about DiCaprio, but about all of us, for we are all actors in the drama of planetary survival. That is made clear by the banner streaming across the film's web site: "We are the generation that gets to change the world forever. Let's begin."

"The 11th Hour" is opening on August 17 in New York and Los Angeles. DiCaprio made the film with the help of two sisters - Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners. Nadia agreed to answer a few questions for Truthout readers. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, August 23 @ 22:08:51 EDT (1148 reads)
(Read More... | 10733 bytes more | Comments? | Environment | Score: 0)

 Environment: Climate Change Despair and Empowerment

InterviewsBy Kelpie Wilson
t r u t h o u t | Interview

An interview with Australian climate change and rainforest protection activist Ruth Rosenhek.

In Australia a few weeks ago I had hoped to connect with my old friend John Seed, but learned that he would be traveling in the US doing a road show on climate change despair and empowerment until May 20. His tour schedule is here.

I first met John in the 1980s when he was touring around the US doing a road show on rainforest destruction and species extinction. I would miss seeing John at his home, but he connected me with his partner, Ruth Rosenhek, who was doing their workshop tour in Australia. Ruth met me at a café in the small town of Nimbin in the beautiful hinterlands of northeast New South Wales where we were surrounded by rainforests, macadamia nut orchards and permaculture gardens. What follows is my interview with Ruth about her climate change workshop...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, May 21 @ 10:36:33 EDT (1192 reads)
(Read More... | 18964 bytes more | Comments? | Environment | Score: 5)

 Politics: USA: Cornering the Market on Morality

InterviewsWilliam Blum interviewed by Jason Miller
(including satirical commentary by Miller)

“We have morality on our side....” ---William Blum

Ironic words flowing from the pen of a man who has devoted forty years of his life to hard-core dissent against the United States, the most moral nation in the history of civilization. We are a nation founded upon bedrock principles of Christianity.

Would Christ not have approved of chattel slavery, the Native American genocide, and the millions of “savages” we have slaughtered to expand our borders and to maintain “Pax Americana?” Those who have died to sustain our peace and prosperity were but martyrs for a cause greater than themselves. In a sense, each one of them was a little Jesus.

Jesus certainly would have approved of American Capitalism. He was a fisher of men. Our bourgeois are fishers of men’s wealth. Those who reach the apex of our system’s hierarchy enable Christianity to flourish. By clawing their way to the top (driven by the greed and selfishness which our cynical culture rewards), they provide a criminal ruling class for us to bestow our compassion upon. More importantly, by condemning a large percentage of the population to economic struggle or poverty, they present us with an endless supply of hungry, broken people to whom we can minister and tend...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, April 22 @ 21:38:02 EDT (1481 reads)
(Read More... | 12474 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)

 Politics: The Right Seeks to Rein In Presidential Power

InterviewsBy William Fisher
t r u t h o u t | Interview

Leading voices in the conservative movement are demanding that the Democrat-controlled Congress restore checks and balances within the government and rein in the power of President George W. Bush.

But their point of view is consistently being drowned out by the "Ann Coulter wing" of the Republican Party, fed by the "ignorance of members of Congress about the principles of a constitutional democracy."

This is the view expressed by Bruce Fein in an exclusive Truthout interview. Fein served as associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and is a founder of a conservative movement known as the Liberty Coalition. The Coalition has launched a new initiative, known as the American Freedom Agenda. The AFA's ten-point action program calls on Congress to:

 End the use of military commissions to prosecute crimes.
 Prohibit the use of secret evidence or evidence obtained by torture.
 Prohibit the detention of American citizens as enemy combatants without proof.
 Restore habeas corpus for alleged alien combatants. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, April 05 @ 21:46:19 EDT (1046 reads)
(Read More... | 11362 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)

 Politics: How About a Little Democracy for a Change?

Interviews"Revolution is the Solution"

Joel Hirschhorn interviewed by Jason Miller

For several days I had been bedeviled by the recurring memory of a jingle from an out-dated television commercial. My recollection of the product they were promoting lay tantalizingly close to the edge of my consciousness, but remained stubbornly out of my reach.

So my “mind’s ear” was left listening to, “It’s time for a new beginning…” ad nauseam with no tangible context. (If I had had that, I would at least have known which company to despise for etching such an inane little tune into my brain).

“Beautifully harmonized” by a group of sickeningly enthusiastic twenty somethings accompanied by music undoubtedly composed during the “Age of Aquarius”, this little ditty molested my mind with more frequency than I care to recall.

At last I had an epiphany. Sometimes frustrated subconscious minds of Gen-Xers recovering from television addiction transmit their contents into our consciousness in markedly bizarre ways during our waking hours. Or to put it another way, if we ignore our dreams long enough, bad television forces its way into your unsuspecting brains. My hat goes off to Madison Avenue, Viacom, Fox, and the rest of the masters of the agitprop universe for their immense success in embedding their tripe deep within the human psyches of many of us...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, March 17 @ 21:34:29 EDT (1146 reads)
(Read More... | 21219 bytes more | Comments? | Politics | Score: 5)


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