'The highest-ranking US general in Iraq authorised the use of interrogation techniques that included sleep manipulation, stress positions and the use of dogs to "exploit Arab fears" of them, it emerged today.

A memo signed by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez authorised 29 interrogation techniques, including 12 that exceeded limits in the army's own field manual and four that it admitted risked falling foul of international law, the Geneva conventions or accepted standards on the humane treatment of prisoners.'


gandhi murdered, jesus murdered, reagan wounded...


"The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided [as they have been until now]. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are ... essential to survival."

"The driving force of modern industrialized civilization has been individual material gain. It has long been understood that a society based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, [and] is an infinite garbage can.

"At this stage of history, one of two things is possible: Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others, or alternativ ely there will be no destiny to control.

"As long as some specialized class is in position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interest it serves. But, the conditions of survival and justice require rational, special planning in the interest of the community of the whole (and by now that means the global community).

"The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely to impose NECESSARY ILLUSIONS to manipulate and deceive [whom THEY believe are] the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. "The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may be essential to survival."


'Me Decade' Celebrates 35th Year

The "Me Decade," a period beginning in 1970 and marked by self-awareness and self-fulfillment, celebrated its 35th year Monday. "With careerism, materialism, and general self-involvement as popular as they were decades ago, the Me Decade may well go on for another 35 years," said historian and Columbia University professor Dr. Vera Conklin. "It's been the longest-running decade in American history, beating the selfless 'Greatest Generation' of the '40s by a good 15 years. Selfishness, it seems, is here to stay." Author Tom Wolfe, who coined the term in his essay "The Me Decade And The Third Great Awakening," was unavailable for comment, as he is working on his memoirs.
Jesse, remember my interviewing job? well here are some of the results of the research ...

The third way's dirtiest secret
Ministers have tried to cover up their dependence on forced labour
, Felicity Lawrence, Thursday February 3, 2005, The Guardian

A year ago this Saturday, 23 Chinese cocklepickers died at Morecambe Bay. A major new report that uncovers the scale of forced labour in Britain and makes recommendations on curbing this new form of slavery might be thought a fitting memorial to those who died. Instead, the government has tried to block its publication until after the election, as our front-page story reveals.
Interviews with migrants record the violence, threats, debt-bondage, dangerous conditions and enforced long hours to which they are exposed. They also lead to the inescapable conclusion that the deregulated economy has created the conditions for this exploitation to flourish under Labour.

The report was commissioned at the beginning of last year by the International Labour Organisation - the UN body that works with government, unions and industry - and the TUC, and was completed last summer by academics at Oxford and Sussex universities. Yet it is only now seeing the light of day. It will finally be published this week by the TUC, but minus its ILO and Department for Work and Pensions backers. What is a Labour government that champions social justice so frightened of? And why has it taken the unions so long to defy its efforts at censorship?

The original title of the report was Free Market and Forced Labour. For it looks not just at the extent to which coercive employment takes place - and the answer is far more than anyone has acknowledged - but also at the nature of economic demand that drives migration and forced labour. And herein lies the real horror.

It is not just the sex industry that traffics and exploits migrants, but our key sectors - food and agriculture, contract cleaning, hotels and catering, construction and care homes. Moreover, the state uses migrants' forced labour in many cases - when it outsources local authority care to the private sector, when it uses agencies to recruit NHS nurses who end up living on £5 a week, when it uses contract cleaners provided by the cheapest bidder for its offices, or when subcontracted migrant labour is used on private finance initiative construction.

The UK has Europe's most flexible labour force; it lives in fear and squalor, is paid a pittance and is bussed round the country to work in the shadows of the night shift.

Article for the TUC written by the authours of the research
Guardian article cited above
More from the Guardian


Angry Young Men, Veiled Young Women: Constructing a New Population Threat

Current public and policy debates about "terrorism", particularly in the United States and Britain, often setup a sharp divide between East and West. On the one side lies Islamic "fundamentalism" and a supposed Arab "envy" of US "wealth and freedom", on the other the liberating force of the US and its allies. There is "no neutral ground in the fight between civilization and terror," declared President George W. Bush in a March 2004 White House address, "because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death." On this view, terrorism emanates from the "Third World", with the history and politics of the West forming no part of the story.

Increasingly contributing to this tidy divide is a discipline known as "strategic demography", which uses population characteristics such as age, ethnicity, geographic location and numbers to help locate terrorist or criminal threats. Strategic demography's statistics both lend legitimacy to, and derive meaning from, the alarmist images and narratives that are today so often used to describe enemy "others", particularly in the Islamic South.

One example is so-called "youth bulge" theory, which refers to the large proportion of the world's population aged 27 years old and under, the majority of whom live in the South. In the eyes of many Western demographers, military analysts and intellectuals, this "youth bulge" -- now 50 per cent of the world's people -- has a double aspect. In countries that provide formal education and employment for large proportions of their young people, the youth bulge is a "demographic bonus". In the South, on the other hand, it often spells a "political hazard" and a threat to social and economic stability and security.

This briefing sets out a short history and critique of youth bulge theory in the context of the attack on New York's World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 and the subsequent growth of US militarism at home and abroad. It aims not only to call attention to how the theory reflects, and is reflected in, racial, gender and age discrimination, but also to suggest how it is being contested.