Category: Nov 2010

North Korea’s Consistent Message to the U.S.

BY JIMMY CARTER – No one can completely understand the motivations of the North Koreans, but it is entirely possible that their recent revelation of their uranium enrichment centrifuges and Pyongyang’s shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday are designed to remind the world that they deserve respect in negotiations that will shape their future. Ultimately, the choice for the United States may be between diplomatic niceties and avoiding a catastrophic confrontation.

“War Does This to Your Mind”

KATHY KELLY – Kabul– Khamad Jan, age 22, remembers that, as a youngster, he was a good student who enjoyed studying. “Now, I can’t seem to think,” he said sadly, looking at the ground. There was a long pause. “War does this to your mind.”

Let’s Expand Our Definition of Defense

CRAIG CLINE – There appear to be no easy ways out of the financial difficulties we face. We have “money messes” at our local, state, and federal levels. There is one big thing that can help us though, and I propose that all of us get behind the following objective, with all the political and financial power we can muster, starting right here in Salem-Keizer.

Obama Wooing “Economic Royalists”

NORMAN SOLOMON – In his first term, President Franklin Roosevelt denounced “the economic royalists.” He drew the line against the heartless rich: “They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” What a different Democratic president we have today.

Restoring Sanity with a New Story

WINSLOW MYERS – After the silly season of the mid-term elections, where left and right each proclaimed imminent apocalypse if the other side prevailed, it can be a relief to turn to measured voices and larger views. No voice is more measured nor view larger than that of the late Thomas Berry, a historian of cultures who called himself a “geologian,” because the ruler by which he measured current events was no less than the 13.7 billion year story of the universe itself.

Shocking Election Facts

PUBLIC CITIZEN – Stunning Statistics of the Week:
* $97: The amount per vote spent by Nevada Republican Sharron Angle and Connecticut Republican Linda McMahon – a record.
* $69: The amount per vote spent by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).
* $33: The average cost of a vote in the midterms.

Congress: Laws to Pass Before the Republicans Take Over

MICHAEL MOORE – Welcome back to our nation’s capital, Congressional Democrats, for your one final session of the 111th Congress. Come January, the Republicans will take over the House while the Democrats will retain control of the Senate. But Dems – here’s something I don’t understand: Why do you look all sullen and depressed? Clearly you’re not aware of one very important fact: you are still completely, totally, legally in charge!

Small Community Banks Promote Radical Vision

ZACH CARTER – One response to our out-of-control and crashing economic system is to take charge of it at the local level, shouldering the big, irresponsible banks out of the picture. The concept of the Common Good Bank is a way to move toward that goal in a sensible manner. This article explains the concept. For more information on the Oregon version of the Common Good Bank, contact Salem resident Randy Jones at jonesbug@Q.com. – Editor

The Prison Boom Comes Home to Roost

JAMES CARROLL – Will the fiscal collapse that has laid bare gross inequalities in the U.S. economic system lead to meaningful reforms toward a more just society? One answer is suggested by the bursting of what might be called the “other housing bubble,” for these two years have also brought to crisis the three-decade-long frenzy of mass imprisonment. If there was a bailout for bankers, can there be one for inmates?

Are Cruel Years Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

WILLIAM LOREN KATZ – In 2010, with the blessing of a five-to-four Supreme Court, unlimited money from anonymous corporate sources was allowed to select candidates and call the political tune. It is hardly surprising the party best able to tap these funds scored major gains. While suspicious of repentant witches, the public fell for a heroic narrative of capitalist individualism gallantly charging into the 20th century bearing gifts for all. Rand Paul, the clearest voice of the victorious Republican Party, championed the tried and true values of American individualism, freedom and capitalism of this earlier time.

The Independent Private Contractor Military is Now in Control

MARTI HIKEN AND LUKE HIKEN – A funny thing happened on the way to the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The U.S. military became privatized. Private contractors, i.e. mercenaries, are now the predominant military force comprising the armamentarium of the United States. In effect, private contractors supplanted the U.S. military as the primary decision-makers and fighting force of the U.S. government.

Path for Vote on New START Treaty this Year Goes Through Kyl

JOSH ROGIN – According to top officials the administration is working hard to secure a floor vote for the New START nuclear reductions treaty with Russia during Congress’s post-election lame duck session. “We are looking to pursue a final vote on the floor before the end of the year and we think it’s very important to continue working very hard in that direction,” said Rose Gottemoeller, the treaty’s lead negotiator and Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. “Every day that goes by is another day we do not have inspectors on the ground in the Russian Federation… We’re going to continue to do everything we can over the coming weeks to see it ratified and entered into force this year.”

Learning from the Tea Party

TED GLICK – Polling and pundits tell us that tonight we will see a significant political incursion from the right wing, if not, indeed, a complete power takeover. We may not appreciate the Tea Party, but we had better learn a few lessons from them, as this article suggests. Business as usual is not serving us well and if we let it continue to run our nation’s business, we will be increasingly unhappy with the results. – Editor