Rick Perry’s Army of God

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman recently interviewed Forrest Wilder, author of an exposé in the Texas Observer revealing the close ties between radical Christian evangelicals and U.S. presidential hopeful Rick Perry, the Republican governor of Texas.

A particularly eye-opening interlude occurs around minute 6.40 of the interview and stars self-declared prophet Cindy Jacobs, who explains that the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy may be the cause of mass bird deaths in Arkansas.

United States: John Pilger film and visit banned

In early June, ZCommunications received the following open letter from independent filmmaker and journalist John Pilger to Noam Chomsky and the general public. Pilger was to speak on 15 June at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe. See Patrick Lannan’s subsequent explanation for the cancellation here.

* * *

Dear Noam…

I am writing to you and a number of other friends mostly in the US to alert you to the extraordinary banning of my film on war and media, ‘The War You Don’t See’, and the abrupt cancellation of a major event at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe in which David Barsamian and I were to discuss free speech, US foreign policy and censorship in the media.

Lannan invited me and David over a year ago and welcomed my proposal that they also host the US premiere of ‘The War You Don’t See’, in which US and British broadcasters describe the often hidden part played by the media in the promotion of war, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film has been widely acclaimed in the UK and Australia; the trailer and reviews are on my website www.johnpilger.com.

The banning and cancellation, which have shocked David and me, are on the personal orders of Patrick Lannan, whose wealth funds the Lannan Foundation as a liberal centre of discussion of politics and the arts. Some of you will have been there and will know the Lannan Foundation as a valuable supporter of liberal causes. Indeed, I was invited in 2002 to present a Lannan award to the broadcaster Amy Goodman.

Continue reading “United States: John Pilger film and visit banned”

Information Wars

Part I of this episode of Al Jazeera’s Empire is available here.

Information is power and in the age of the information revolution, cyber and satellite communication is transforming our lives, reinventing the relationship between people and power. How will governments deal with the information revolution?

Social networks, social revolution

Al Jazeera Empire: Youtube, Facebook and Twitter have become the new weapons of mass mobilisation. Are social networks triggering social revolution? And where will the next domino fall?

Learning From Latin American Social Movements: Introduction to Dancing with Dynamite Book

The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Benjamin Dangl’s new book Dancing with Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America, (October, 2010, AK Press), recommended by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman:

Ben Dangl breaks the sound barrier, exploding many myths about Latin America that are all-too-often amplified by the corporate media in the United States.  Read this much-needed book.”

***

The motorcycle thundered off the highway onto a jungle road of loose red dirt framed by trees, families lounging in front of their farmhouses, and small herds of disinterested cows. We pulled up to a dusty store to buy food for our stay in the rural community of Oñondivepá, Paraguay, and asked the woman behind the counter what was available. She nodded her head, picked up a saw, and began hacking away at a large slab of beef. We strapped the meat and a box of beer on to the back of the motorcycle and roared off down the road.

A volleyball game was going on when we arrived in the area where landless activist Pedro Caballero lived. His wife offered us fresh oranges while his children ran around in the dirt, playing with some wide-eyed kittens. The sun had set, so Caballero’s wife lifted a light bulb attached to a metal wire onto an exposed electric line above the house, casting light on our small gathering of neighbors. Suddenly, the dogs jumped to action, joining in a barking chorus, and lunged toward the edge of the woods. They had found a poisonous snake, a common cause of death in this small community far from hospitals.

Continue reading “Learning From Latin American Social Movements: Introduction to Dancing with Dynamite Book”

G20, the Financial Crisis and Neoliberalism

An in-depth interview with Professor David Harvey, the famous Marxist geographer and one of the most compelling critics of the neoliberal architecture of the global economy. His brilliant book A Brief History of Neoliberalism is key to understanding the complex historical and ideological origins of the present economic crisis and the global consolidation of the political project of neoliberalism since the late 1970s.

David Harvey

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think is the—what is being proposed by the G20 leaders? And what needs to be done in this country?

DAVID HARVEY: I think Tony Benn was exactly right in the earlier segment, and it’s a great pleasure to be here after him. I was always an admirer of his.

What they’re trying to do is to reinvent the same system. And I think this is a collective concern, and

there’s a lot of squabbling on the details, as it were. But the fundamental argument they are making is, how can we actually reconstitute the same sort of capitalism we had and have had over the last thirty years in a slightly more regulated, benevolent form, but don’t challenge the fundamentals? And I think it’s time we challenge the fundamentals.

AMY GOODMAN: What are those fundamentals?

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