Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2006

Noam Chomsky

Love him or loathe him , Noam Chomsky , the political commentator discusses his new book in an interview with Z-Net . It is called Perilous Power, co-authored by Gilbert Achcar and written in the form of a dialogue between them, and is all about the United States diplomatic manouverings in the Middle East . Chomsky certainly understands the motives of competing nations when it comes to foreign policies and their raison d'etre.

"Shalom:.. a lot of people in the antiwar movement were sort of cheering on France and Germany and Russia, and other governments that opposed the war. How reliable are these governments in their antiwar stances?
Chomsky: Their reliability is approximately zero. Sensible antiwar activists don't ally themselves with governments... Tomorrow they'll do the opposite, because they're acting out of pure cynicism -- power interests -- anyway"

And later:-

" Rulers like Chirac, Putin, or Schr√∂der should definitely not be regarded as allies by th…

Free and Impartial and Balanced

...the US has said.

A US military statement said ...

It said...

...the statement said.

The US soldiers say...

... the statement said

It said...

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Salas said ...

Yup , it is nice to see some independent reporting from the BBC News in Iraq when it comes to investigating the slaughter of one man and five girls by American Marines tanks .
The youngest dead girl was just six-months-old and the eldest was aged only 10 -years- old .

One World , One People , One Solution

Pakistan , they claim , like many other Asian countries , is having a boom time . Growth has soared, foreign debt has been cut, and the nation's consumers have gone on one of history's greatest shopping sprees, splashing out in record numbers on anything from fridges and flats, to luxury cars. The World Bank has given the programme a big thumb's up, and foreign investors show signs of renewed interest.

But reported by the BBC , Kaiser Bengali , a Professor of economics at Szabist University, says many have gained nothing from all the reforms. Pakistan's Government insist the poor have gained under the new economic regime, but Professor Bengali does not agree .

Instead, he says, there has been an alarming growth in inequality.

"Try to imagine," he says, "a man who sees the expensive cars in the street, but comes home unable to feed his children, because he can't find work. He is angry."

"Or an educated man who cannot support his own parents. He …

Howard Zinn Interview

Although we in the Socialist Party may have our differences with Howard Zinn , we aren't that sectarian that we do not find many of his observations and views insightful and educational . His book A Peoples History of the United States can be found on the book shelves of many members .

Here he is in a recent interview that can be seen on the radical news outlet Democracy News .

"...Well, do you get the feeling sometime that you’re living in an occupied country? Very often that’s a feeling I get when I wake up in the morning. I think, “I’m living in an occupied country. A small group of aliens have taken over the country and are trying to do with it what they will, you know, and really are.” I mean, they are alien to me. I mean, those people who are coming across the border from Mexico, they are not alien to me, you see. You know, Muslims who come to this country to live, they are not alien to me, you see. These demonstrations, these wonderful demonstrations that we have seen ve…

Rich benefactors and Poor benefactors!

SCOTLAND'S wealthiest man has pledged to give away his personal fortune of more than £600m to deserving causes.
Irvine Laidlaw, 63, the multi-millionaire businessman, philanthropist and the man who effectively finances the Scottish Conservatives single-handedly, made the promise as he was honoured at an awards ceremony for his lifetime of achievement in business.

Anyone who has attempted to save to be a millionaire, using the calculator in our article,
‘Think you are going to be a millionaire’ will surely agree with us this wealthy man didn’t save £600m; I think it’s undisputable, the working class, the creators of wealth, get a raw deal.
Will the working class be a deserving cause? I don’t think so. The money will be used for budding entrepreneurs who can continue the exploitation.
The accumulation of capital out of the profits produced by those who operate the means of production is what capitalism is all about. You can get rid of philanthropists, capitalist and worker varieties, b…

Think you are going to be a millionaire ??

So you think you can save enough and become a millionaire in your life-time , do you ?

Then why not take the test .

This calculator will show you how long it will take you to become a millionaire.

Fill in the boxes and click Calculate to see how rich you'll be in the future and what you need to save to reach millionaire status.

Which , of course , all depends on your future . No redundancy . No ill health .

And , of course , the other economic factors . Mortgage increases . And any possible inflation . So what if you are a millionaire if it has worthless purchasing value .

Orwellian Newspeak

For the first time, the US Department of Agriculture's report on Americans' access to food, published last week, has omitted the word "hunger" in describing the condition of 11 million people who at times cannot afford to feed themselves in the US.

These people, among a group of 35 million who had trouble keeping food on the table at least part of last year, shall heretofore, according to the government, be described as experiencing "very low food security".

Justifying this shameless terminological sophistry , Mark Nord, a department sociologist and the lead author of the report, repeated this week that "hunger" is not a scientifically quantifiable term.

Representative Jim McGovern (Democrat, Massachusetts) , co-chairman of the Congressional Hunger Caucus - "hunger is a political condition".

And don't we Socialists damn well know it !!

George Galloway and Memories

For my first blog in Socialist Courier i would like to dedicate this song and video to that so-called socialist , George Galloway , the ex-Labour Party and now Respect MP , who said this :-"... If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union , yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life..."Read here and also here for our answer to Galloway's mis-placed and mis-guided regrets .

SPRAWLING PRAWNS

Sunday Mail 2006-11-20
Elaine C Smith asks, “Why are prawns caught by our fishermen on our shores flown across the world to Thailand for shelling then brought back here to be packaged?”

It’s a good question and I believe the answer could be in the contractual nature of the global capitalist system. The boss contracts the workers to do a job that makes him a profit, if the boss can sub the work out to someone else who thinks he can get workers to do the job even cheaper, well the boss does just that, no need to employ so many and still increase his profits. The sub-contractor makes a profit as well. That’s how the system works.

It reminded me of a firm I was working with in East Kilbride called Sakura Auto Parts
They were buying a lot of goods from China and packaging them in EK. They found it more profitable to get the goods packaged in China and of course that is just what was done. Who knows, maybe the Chinese bosses will contract out work just like the American bosses and British bosse…

TIMESERVERS

The news that Scotland has now one of the highest prison populations in Europe, with 7,000 people locked up which is almost double what it was 20 years ago, caused a flurry of verbal activity amongst members of the Scottish Parliament. The SSP leader Colin Fox raised the question of new measures to deal with the problem at First Minister's Questions. The Labour leader Jack McConnell hit back at the SSP by pointing out that Rosie Kane of the SSP had served 7 days in nick because she wouldn't pay her fine just like her colleagues Carolyn Leckie and Tommy Sheridan. “If members of the Scottish Socialist Party would pay their fines, we would have had three less people who have been in prison in Scotland over the past few years”, Mr McConnell said. (Metro, 10 November) What neither the Scottish Socialist Party nor the Labour Party will ever state amidst their political mud-slinging is that a private property society must inevitably lead to crime and prisons. As supporters of the buy…

The Madness of Capitalism

...plans by Young's Seafood to ship hundreds of tonnes of langoustines caught in UK waters to a facility 6000 miles away in Thailand where they will be peeled by hand before going back to Annan in Dumfries and Galloway to be made into breaded scampi...
...It is estimated that shipping the scampi on a return journey to Thailand could stack up to as much as 50,000 tonnes a year more carbon dioxide emissions... .
....Young's Seafood's factory at Annan is the largest breaded scampi facility in the UK, employing around 250 workers.
The process of shelling langoustine has been mechanised since the 1980s but scampi will now be peeled by hand at Young's sister company Findus in Thailand.
It will result in 120 redundancies in Annan and will mean that the scampi will make a 12,000-mile round trip before it goes on sale in in Scotland...
...In September, Dawnfresh , of Uddingston Lanarkshire, said it would begin sending its scampi to a processing plant in China. Around 70 Scot…

Oil keep going well , breaking heads till you break the spell

Green Oil Friendly BP
BP's US arm,after its tie-up with Amoco, is becoming America's most accident-prone business. Federal regulators have accused BP of price gouging. Its corroded pipelines have been leaking in Alaska. A BP oil spill has polluted the coast of California. Civil rights activists are picketing its petrol stations.Not only this, but aftershocking safety lapses that caused its Texas City oil refinery to explode last year, killing 15 people BP's yellow sunburst logo and its eco-friendly "Beyond Petroleum" slogan, which once won cautious admiration even from the green lobby, now leave a sour taste in the mouths of many Americans. BP's public image is at rock bottom and the company is seen by some as a rogue foreign interloper.Meanwhile in Ireland Shelling out the violence:

The Gardaí do what cops do worldwide in the service of the capitalist class and start breaking heads.


A sit-down protest by environmental activists trying to stop Shell build…

Xmas every day for some!

Usually afterXmas, the problems of debt are the subject of discussion and advice in the newspapers. This year, result of the Farepak collapse, the discussion and advice is much earlier.

Scotland on Sunday report, that organisations such as Farepak are odious. They offer commission to someone in difficult circumstances, who then signs up all her friends, relatives and neighbours. They join because they know she needs the money.


The pressure for some to withdraw their money is resisted,
‘People like the idea that their money is ring-fenced
‘People living on a very tight budget, perhaps who are disabled or have a disabled child, find it helps them to put away just a small amount each week for Christmas, and know they can't touch it. Otherwise when money gets tight, they say they would dip into it.’

They had entrusted small weekly amounts to some 25,000 agents around Britain, who were often relatives, neighbours and friends. This collapse has left 150,000 families facing a miserable festi…

No Capitalism, No Debt!

Debt
Debt, a big problem? One could be deceived by the East Kilbride Mail November 1st
Which ran a heading, As town’s debt tops £6M; £6M doesn’t look a lot of debt for a town the size of EK, however, the Citizens Advice Bureau ( CAB) identified Greenhills as an area with money problems and won funding from the government to launch a debt service.

CAB manager for EK, Michelle Campbell: "As elsewhere in Scotland, consumer debt is now the biggest single issue we deal with at East Kilbride CAB.
"Debt is not just a question of people being feckless. Often we find that people can afford debt when they first take it on. "But then perhaps six months later they lose their job, fall pregnant or their relationship breaks down, disrupting their finances.
Poverty is also a major factor.
"If you're on a low income, you can often only access credit on the most expensive terms. A seemingly modest loan amount can soon spiral into an unmanageable debt.
"We are dealing with nearly …

Breaking News

Oh what a lovely war

Abu Ghraib Offender Heads Back to Iraq

Torture indispensible.

--A military dog handler convicted for his role in the prisoner abuse scandal has been ordered back to help train the country's police. 02 Nov 2006 One of the men [Sgt. Santos Cardona] implicated in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal is returning to the scene of the crime. The U.S. military tells TIME that one of the soldiers convicted for his role in Abu Ghraib, having served his sentence, has just been sent back to serve in Iraq. His 23rd MP Company has been selected to train [!?!] Iraqi police.

Lest it be thought that we are singling out this individual who has been brutalised in the service of his masters,let us be clear what our position is on this state of armed intervention,whether it is a war in any conventional sense of the word. The Declaration of Principles of the Socialist Party state that the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists to cons…

Affordable Homes and Carbon emissions

East Kilbride Mail November 1st 2006
Buy new and save thousands on energy bills.
The last week in October was Energy Savings Week and to mark this event, Bryant Homes compared the fuel costs of similar sized brand new and second hand properties.
To shorten things, this resulted in savings of £776 a year, the average stay in any one property is eight years, so we are told, therefore a staggering £6,208 is saved.

I checked the cost of this new house, which was a detached family house, four bedrooms, double-glazing, cavity wall insulation and energy efficient appliances as standard. The range was from 350K to 400K. the interest per month would be between £1.896 and £2,166 if a figure of 6.5 per cent is used.
Well above what some workers could afford.

Cutting carbon emissions are urged on us as a means of saving the planet. People are concerned at the forecasted effects of global warming on “our planet”. We are urged to fill our kettle with just the water we need, not to leave TVs on standby an…