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Americas (South & North)

Climate Politics: an answer to Cockburn, Rancourt, Noble

I just published this answer to Cockburn, Rancourt, and Noble on ZNet. I hope it helps some people think about these things and sift the useful contributions from these writers from the very poor things they are doing in their writing on climate.

Climate change denial, in thin leftist wrapping paper

I just read (briefly) an interview with Denis Rancourt, a professor at the University of Ottawa who claims climate change is not happening and that talk of climate change serves oil companies. My quick reaction is that this is like Michael Deibert on Haiti or Irshad Manji on Israel/Palestine and terror - reactionary politics wrapped up in some thin progressive language to either dupe or confuse leftists who would otherwise be the most solid advocates of progress (or decent survival).

Two more books (with good titles)

"American Fascists" by Chris Hedges. A couple of little things annoyed me - like his tossing Hamas in with other fascist groups. But overall a very good and very scary book, whose title is descriptive. A good sequel to "what's the matter with kansas" by Thomas Frank, and things have advanced since then. The main thing that I like is that he doesn't advocate dialogue and recognizes that these people have to be fought. They have contempt for us, and there's nothing to be gained by tolerating them.

The Thermopylae Psyop

First, I admit I loved the movie. Compelling characters, spectacular visuals, impressive choreography, good dialogue - including lots from the historical record. But it's the kind of movie where the better the movie, the worse it is. But this isn't a review of the movie 300. It's not a take on its historical inaccuracies, which was beautifully done by a classics professor at the University of Toronto - with a very clever title ("Sparta? No. This is madness")

Ephraim Lytle notes the following, worth reproducing in detail:

The coming robot and counterinsurgency armies

Hello from Alberta. I'm here giving a few talks with En Camino, a collective I belong to that works principally on Colombia solidarity. I have a series of talks that I've given in over the past few months that might be worth writing out and posting, I may do that as a series here.

The Children of Men

Watched "Children of Men" tonight. For those who don't know, it's one of those British dystopia movies - I think 28 Days Later and V for Vendetta fall into the category. It's set in 2027, in a kind of business-as-usual bleak scenario, with an ongoing insurgency and an authoritarian government, but with the twist that no babies have been born in 18-some years. When a girl is found to be pregnant and is in the hands of the resistance, the protagonist has to try to get her to safety from the various groups that would do her harm or use her. I thought it was okay.

Did the Americans kill the Ecuadorian Defense Minister?

Too early to know, but not too early to suspect foul play for Ecuador's new Defense Minister for a left government that was planning a different relationship between Ecuador's military and the United States, whose helicopter crashed very close to the US Manta Air Force Base, which the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa promised to close upon coming to power. Remember Guadalupe Larriva, and may her death, whether it was an accidental tragedy or a planned atrocity, hasten the removal of the air force base from that country.

After Socialism?

http://www.zcommunications.org/after-socialism-by-justin-podur

Review of Gabriel Kolko?s ?After Socialism: Reconstructing critical social thought?. Routledge, UK. 2006.

From Oaxaca

I'm reproducing here a communique from my friend Pablo Leal, who is in Oaxaca now and has been based there for about three years - at least... I worked closely with him for a few years starting in early 2001, but I am glad that the movements in Mexico have been able to benefit from his commitment and his insights. The point of this introduction isn't to praise Pablo but to provide a preface that you're hearing the words of someone who is both informed and committted.

México, December 6, 2006

Dear friends and compañeros,

Borat might be the worst movie I've ever seen

Now, I can't honestly say that "Borat" was the worst movie ever because, well, I didn't get through the entire movie. By the 40th intolerable minute of it, I walked out.

Let me say up front - I am no prude. And while I am sensitive to racism and sexism in pop culture, I am not so sensitive that I can't enjoy it. I enjoyed the South Park movie and laughed very, very hard through many of the songs. I thought 'Team America: World Police' was funny, including the final monologue. I think Eminem is talented.

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