Letters from our readers
13 September 2011
On “9/11, ten years on”
True. The endless “commemorations” on every single channel, newspaper and online news are pure propaganda, to keep up the fear quotient. The government is using the deaths of these victims by subtextually saying: We aren’t creating jobs, the Forever War rages—draining any money from human services—and national debt is in the trillions but look—see? We’re keeping you safe. Thwarted another 9/11, right? Nonsense. Another boo-scare.
12 September 2011
Just a simple analysis of the nature of this so-called jobs program. Obama proposes $100 billion for infrastructure which will create some jobs, after profits are deducted. He then proposes $175 billion in temporary payroll tax reductions, which will create virtually no jobs, is poorly targeted in that while giving more money to workers in includes those who don’t really need it, and will boost profits for businesses with no guarantee that they will use that money to hire anyone. No wonder the government used the same day as this speech to talk up the latest terrorist threat. Anything to deflect attention from our dire economic situation and the lack of government action to address it in a manner that will help the working class.
9 September 2011
How does someone making $14/hr afford a new car? I would not recommend to anyone the stock of a company whose employees could not afford the products it produces. This is equivalent to someone working at AT&T not being able to afford a telephone or someone at Trader Joe’s going hungry. Also, why should they worry about selling cars when 0 percent loans are offered to them at every turn by the White House?
8 September 2011
An interesting analysis; however, some aspects of it need to be closely examined:
If Russia felt (rightly) that her considerable economic and strategic interests would be endangered by the looming US/NATO invasion, why then did she opt for a weak-minded abstention? Everything there seemed to point for the defence of these interests with a veto, unless, of course some deal was cooked up behind closed doors to preserve them. In any case, even if Gazprom is allowed to stay, Russia has lost a lot of prestige, especially amongst the African states who were largely against the ouster of Gaddafi, and also China, which feels somewhat isolated in the face of American belligerence and provocations. With majority of Russians against this assault, the support for Medvedev has suffered, leading to more instability in Russia. Of course, China would also lose its Libyan interests, and keep an eye for more US provocations!
From Washington’s point of view, it’s all win-win: a “success” here gives Africom a welcome boost, “humanitarian intervention” is back on the imperialist calendar, the promise of an “Arab Spring” receding rapidly, along with hopes of some of the most repressed and immiserated populations in Africa. There is no doubt that Obama can now act with more confidence to advance its goal of hegemony in Africa and the Middle East. It would seem that the US is on a roll, despite its economic problems: next, Syria or Somalia, then Yemen and perhaps Lebanon. The way is wide open now, it’s like they won a poker hand with two jacks against a full house!
Anyway, the deed is done, “civilians are being protected” by bombing them, the infrastructure of the country is systematically pulverised, and sovereign funds are being appropriated by NATO-led invaders, all in the name of freedom and democracy. Where have I heard that before?
9 September 2011
On science and social planning
Yesterday evening, I attended a monthly lecture sponsored by the people from the Effelsberg radio telescope (a project of the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, Germany). The talk was on the development of various kinds of telescope through the 20th century up to now, as well as telescopes envisaged for the immediate future.
Radio telescopes of today can take us to the other end of the universe. That is, it is already possible to retrieve data from billions of light-years away. The technological progress which has brought us to this stage of human understanding is astounding. But it is also a sheer fact, and a fact that has implications reaching far beyond this one particular sphere of science.
If it is possible to gather the infinitesimal units of data that bring us knowledge of the outer-limits of the universe, if computer technology has advanced so far that we can gather, store and analyse the most remote, intricate and complexly organised information about the objective existence of such material ... then why can’t we apply similar methods of scientific enquiry to an understanding of the necessities of human consumption, and the organisation of human forces of production to satisfy them?
If there can be sciences of astronomy and biology and quantum physics etc., then why not a science specifically devoted to the fulfilment of all the basic needs of the people on planet Earth?
The answer is, of course, that the only thing stopping us from doing this is the caveman mentality of the capitalist world’s ruling classes. They will never make available the resources required to support such a science, because it would mean the beginning of the end of class society and the privileges they cling to.
8 September 2011