Posted by: quiscus | May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012

1. “Imperialism didn’t end. These days it’s known as international law

The bid for power, oil and spheres of influence that Bush and Blair launched in Mesopotamia, using the traditional camouflage of the civilising mission; the colonial war still being fought in Afghanistan, 199 years after the Great Game began; the global policing functions the great powers have arrogated to themselves; the one-sided justice dispensed by international law. All these suggest that imperialism never ended, but merely mutated into new forms. The virtual empire knows no boundaries. Until we begin to recognise and confront it, all of us, black and white, will remain its subjects.”

2. “The Crisis of Student Debt in America

It was to become even worse with the passing of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, which stated that student loans could no longer be forgiven under bankruptcy. Thus, if one found themselves in bankruptcy, but had student loans, they would be in debt bondage until the loans were paid. In such a situation, the only possible out is to default on one’s student loans, however, that would not only worsen your credit but your entire financial life can potentially be destroyed as if you default

Your entire loan balance will be due in full, immediately.
Collection fees can be added to your outstanding balance.
Up to 15% of your paychecks can be taken.
Your Social Security, disability income, and state and federal tax refunds can be seized.
You will lose eligibility for federal aid, including Pell grants.
You will lose deferment or forbearance options.
Outstanding fees and unpaid interest can be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance. [11]

Thus, by the very circumstances, a situation of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ is created and students are put into de facto debt slavery.”

3. “NBC News’ top hagiographer

The role of Brian Williams is to glorify political and military leaders, but he really outdid himself last night

In essence, the entire show was devoted to uncritical veneration of our national political and military leaders. It was as vapid as it was propagandistic.

The coolness of American military gadgetry was constantly on display (the SitRoom has multiple digital clocks for different time zones, one of which always shows the time where the President is located, as well as some really big and flat TV screens!).

There was no dissent, no critical scrutiny of claims, no raising of difficult questions, no facts revealed. It was all reverent praise and uncritical amplification of official government claims. In sum, it was consummate American establishment journalism. Even if you’re someone who entirely approves of the raid and sees it as a rare American success over the last decade, uncritically bostering feel-good triumphalism about American political and military leaders is not the role of journalism (in theory, that is), and nobody should want it to perform that function.”


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