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Who Owns the World? Noam Chomsky on US-Fueled Dangers From Climate Change to Nuclear War pts 1-3









Published on Oct 26, 2012 by democracynow


Visit http://www.democracynow.org to watch more reports on Democracy Now!, an independent, global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,100+ TV and radio stations. Visit to read the complete transcript, watch additional reports on this topic, and more information on award-winning journalist Amy Goodman.

In the week when President Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney debated issues of foreign policy and the economy, we turn to world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and MIT Professor, Noam Chomsky. In a recent speech, Chomsky examined topics largely ignored or glossed over during the campaign: China, the Arab Spring, global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the military threat posed by Israel and the U.S. versus Iran. He reflects on the Cuban missile crisis, which took place 50 years ago this week, and is still referred to as "the most dangerous moment in human history." He delivered this talk last month at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, at an event sponsored by the Center for Popular Economics. Chomsky's talk was entitled, "Who Owns the World?"


Chomsky: America Acts Like It Owns the World, While Endangering the Planet from Nuclear War and ....


from Democracy Now!, via AlterNet:



Chomsky: America Acts Like It Owns the World, While Endangering the Planet from Nuclear War and Climate Change
Inability to face the truth about ourselves in this country is all too common a feature across American society.


n a recent speech, Professor Noam Chomsky examined topics largely ignored or glossed over during the campaign, from China to the Arab Spring, to global warming and the nuclear threat posed by Israel versus Iran. He spoke last month at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst at any event sponsored by the Center for Popular Economics. His talk was entitled "Who Owns the World?" Democracy Now! transcribed Chomsky's talk.



When I was thinking about these remarks, I had two topics in mind, couldn’t decide between them—actually pretty obvious ones. One topic is, what are the most important issues that we face? The second topic is, what issues are not being treated seriously—or at all—in the quadrennial frenzy now underway called an election? But I realized that there’s no problem; it’s not a hard choice: they’re the same topic. And there are reasons for it, which are very significant in themselves. I’d like to return to that in a moment. But first a few words on the background, beginning with the announced title, "Who Owns the World?"

Actually, a good answer to this was given years ago by Adam Smith, someone we’re supposed to worship but not read. He was—a little subversive when you read him sometimes. He was referring to the most powerful country in the world in his day and, of course, the country that interested him, namely, England. And he pointed out that in England the principal architects of policy are those who own the country: the merchants and manufacturers in his day. And he said they make sure to design policy so that their own interests are most peculiarly attended to. Their interests are served by policy, however grievous the impact on others, including the people of England.

But he was an old-fashioned conservative with moral principles, so he added the victims of England, the victims of the—what he called the "savage injustice of the Europeans," particularly in India. Well, he had no illusions about the owners, so, to quote him again, "All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." It was true then; it’s true now.

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history. Britain could only aspire to be its junior partner as the British foreign office ruefully recognized. At that point, 1945, the United States had literally half the world’s wealth, incredible security, controlled the entire Western Hemisphere, both oceans, the opposite sides of both oceans. There’s nothing—there hasn’t ever been anything like that in history. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/world/chomsky-america-acts-it-owns-world-while-endangering-planet-nuclear-war-and-climate-change




‘Frankenstorm’ May Cut Electricity, Ground Airlines for Days


(Bloomberg) The superstorm expected to develop from Hurricane Sandy probably will mean that millions of people lose power for a week as airplanes are grounded and coastal areas are flooded by tidal surge and rain.

The system, dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the National Weather Service, will grow out of Sandy and two other storms rushing eastward across the U.S., said Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

As many as 45,000 National Guard and Air Force personnel in seven states have been alerted that they may be called to duty, according to George Little, a spokesman for the Defense Department in Washington.

“Because of the large size of the system and the slow motion, it’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impacts for a lot of people,” said James Franklin, branch chief at the National Hurricane Center. “The kinds of things we are looking at ultimately would be wind damage, widespread power outages, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and again, somebody is going to get a significant surge event out of this.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-26/widespread-power-outages-likely-as-sandy-slams-into-east.html



How Billionaires Are Trying to Destroy Schools and Silence the Public in California


http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-billionaires-are-trying-destroy-schools-and-silence-public-california


How Billionaires Are Trying to Destroy Schools and Silence the Public in California
Bradley Whitford of "The West Wing" and Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign explain what's really going on with CA Props. 30 and 32.

October 26, 2012 |


Attention California voters! If you're looking for information on how to vote on the myriad ballot initiatives, here's some crucial information from the Courage Campaign. You can also see how California's progressive organizations are weighing in on all the ballot initiatitves here .

Check out the video below:




Chomsky: America Acts Like It Owns the World, While Endangering the Planet from Nuclear War and ....

from Democracy Now!, via AlterNet:



Chomsky: America Acts Like It Owns the World, While Endangering the Planet from Nuclear War and Climate Change
Inability to face the truth about ourselves in this country is all too common a feature across American society.


n a recent speech, Professor Noam Chomsky examined topics largely ignored or glossed over during the campaign, from China to the Arab Spring, to global warming and the nuclear threat posed by Israel versus Iran. He spoke last month at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst at any event sponsored by the Center for Popular Economics. His talk was entitled "Who Owns the World?" Democracy Now! transcribed Chomsky's talk.



When I was thinking about these remarks, I had two topics in mind, couldn’t decide between them—actually pretty obvious ones. One topic is, what are the most important issues that we face? The second topic is, what issues are not being treated seriously—or at all—in the quadrennial frenzy now underway called an election? But I realized that there’s no problem; it’s not a hard choice: they’re the same topic. And there are reasons for it, which are very significant in themselves. I’d like to return to that in a moment. But first a few words on the background, beginning with the announced title, "Who Owns the World?"

Actually, a good answer to this was given years ago by Adam Smith, someone we’re supposed to worship but not read. He was—a little subversive when you read him sometimes. He was referring to the most powerful country in the world in his day and, of course, the country that interested him, namely, England. And he pointed out that in England the principal architects of policy are those who own the country: the merchants and manufacturers in his day. And he said they make sure to design policy so that their own interests are most peculiarly attended to. Their interests are served by policy, however grievous the impact on others, including the people of England.

But he was an old-fashioned conservative with moral principles, so he added the victims of England, the victims of the—what he called the "savage injustice of the Europeans," particularly in India. Well, he had no illusions about the owners, so, to quote him again, "All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." It was true then; it’s true now.

Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history. Britain could only aspire to be its junior partner as the British foreign office ruefully recognized. At that point, 1945, the United States had literally half the world’s wealth, incredible security, controlled the entire Western Hemisphere, both oceans, the opposite sides of both oceans. There’s nothing—there hasn’t ever been anything like that in history. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/world/chomsky-america-acts-it-owns-world-while-endangering-planet-nuclear-war-and-climate-change



UBS Said to Plan 10,000 Job Cuts as Investment Bank Shrinks


(Bloomberg) UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s largest bank, will cut as many as 10,000 jobs across the firm as the trading business shrinks, a person with knowledge of the plan said.

Many of the reductions will come in the trading businesses overseen by investment-bank co-head Carsten Kengeter and are likely to occur over several quarters, said the person, who requested anonymity because the plans haven’t been publicly detailed. An announcement may come when UBS reports third- quarter earnings Oct. 30.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti, 52, is overhauling the bank as Swiss regulators pressure UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG to boost capital and scale back trading and investment- banking operations. UBS is in the process of cutting risk- weighted assets at the investment bank by more than half from September 2011 levels, mostly in fixed income.

UBS had about 63,250 employees as of June 30, according to the firm’s most-recent financial report. On that basis, the reductions might amount to about 16 percent of its workforce. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-26/ubs-said-to-plan-10-000-job-cuts-amid-investment-bank-shrinkage.html



How Student's Gray-Market Textbook Scheme Landed in Supreme Court


(Bloomberg) A graduate student’s money-making idea has led to a commercial showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court, with ramifications for publishers, retailers, entertainment companies, manufacturers and consumers.

The court will hear arguments on Oct. 29 in the case of Supap Kirtsaeng, who was ordered to pay John Wiley & Sons Inc. (JW/A) $600,000 for importing the publisher’s copyrighted textbooks from his native Thailand and selling them in the U.S. for a profit. At stake is the future of the so-called gray market, the annual trade in tens of billions of dollars in goods outside their official distribution channels.

The case pits business against business. Retailers that offer gray-market products, led by EBay Inc. (EBAY) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), are joining libraries and second-hand stores in backing Kirtsaeng. The motion picture, music, software and publishing industries are supporting Wiley, arguing that the practice illegally undercuts their U.S. sales.

“This is fundamental to the creative industries,” said Charles Sims, a Washington lawyer who filed a brief on behalf of the Association of American Publishers. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-26/how-supap-kirtsaeng-s-textbooks-idea-led-to-supreme-court.html



Repugs pour money into Wisconsin and Virginia


(Bloomberg) The Republican National Committee sent more than $14 million this month to its affiliates in 28 states led by Wisconsin and Virginia, both key states in the Nov. 6 presidential and U.S. Senate elections.

The RNC sent more than $3.3 million to Wisconsin, according to a filing to the Federal Election Commission that listed donations and expenditures for the first 17 days of October.

Wisconsin, the home state of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, is one of about nine states that will decide the White House race. Republicans are helping former Gov. Tommy Thompson in a Senate race against Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin that polls show is close.

The RNC sent more than $2.8 million to Virginia, another presidential swing state where Republican George Allen, a former governor and senator, is running against Democrat Tim Kaine, a former governor, for the Senate seat of retiring Democrat Jim Webb. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2012-10-26/wisconsin-virginia-most-rnc/



Right-wing drama queens




AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Right Wing Pitches Fit Over "Girls" Star Lena Dunham's Funny Obama Ad
Dunham's ad contains mild innuendo. Cue GOP freakout in 3, 2, 1...

October 26, 2012 |


A tame but amusing Obama ad featuring "Girls" star Lena Dunham offering some mildly innuendo-laden commentary about making one's "first time" voting memorable and being sure it's with the right man has unsurprisingly caused the moral scolds on the Right Wing to go apoplectic because... Sex!

At the New Civil Rights movement , bloggers grabbed a screencap of conservatives on Twitter immediately crying out in shock and horror, calling it the "height of vulgarity." Seriously. Eric Erickson even cited the ad as evidence that we live in a "fallen and depraved world destined for the fire."



Okay then.

But the Right Wing is also upset because... Vladimir Putin! Yes, you see a n ad for Putin once used a similar joke . Maybe this revelation is an incredibly damning moment for the Obama campaign, or actually not. Perhaps the similarity in ads arises because, Dunham's charming delivery aside, the "first time" joke is an incredibly obvious joke to make--at least for those of us who are "destined for the fire" anyway. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/right-wing-pitches-fit-over-girls-star-lena-dunhams-funny-obama-ad



Same-sex Marriage Pits Laymen Against Religious Hierarchy


from Bloomberg BusinessWeek:



At a Seattle synagogue, volunteers are running a phone bank urging voters to uphold Washington’s same-sex marriage law. In Maryland, Catholics are poised to preach from the pulpit opposing a similar initiative.

Voters in those states as well as Maine are less than two weeks from deciding whether to hand ballot-box victory to same- sex marriage proponents for the first time after more than a decade of defeat. Campaigns on both sides are targeting religious communities, where leaders holding on to centuries of opposition to homosexuality are often pitted against their congregants’ evolving attitudes toward gay nuptials.

“There has been some movement in recent years toward greater acceptance of same-sex marriage,” said David Masci, a researcher with the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington. “But the largest religious groups and the biggest churches remain opposed.”

Opposition to same-sex marriage from religious groups has helped block it at the polls. In 2008, Mormon and Catholic forces mobilized voters in California to halt court-sanctioned gay unions. Since then, six states have granted same-sex couples the right to wed, Barack Obama became the first sitting president to endorse the practice and some denominations have warmed to the idea. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-10-26/gay-marriage-pits-laymen-against-religious-hierarchy



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