ASSORTED OUTRAGES AND RAMBLINGS
- Two days ago more than 100,000 people turned out in Seoul, South Korea to call for the resignation of right-wing President Park, the daughter of a former US puppet and brutal dictator. The South Koreans have had it with their corporate dominated government that has drowned their democracy and they are non-violently pushing back. We have so much to learn from the South Korean movements.
- Over Christmas we had one of our dear local friends and her children share the holiday with us. The single mother and her girls lived here at the Addams-Melman House for a couple of years and she still considers herself a lifetime member. While here she was using my computer to try to figure out her unfair and bizarre college debt repayment schedule. Like so many other students across the nation she is saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student loans that must be repaid. If Congress would just cancel one weapon system they could then forgive all student debt and give the next generation half a chance of getting out from under this indentured servitude.
- The US government and its media, enthusiastic in their support for regime change in the Ukraine, has ignored information about the makeup and character of the demonstrations against the government. US and NATO officials have participated in the demos, including US Asst Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Murphy (D-CT). In fact, the demonstrators include racists, anti-Semites, and neo-Nazis. The leader of the“Fatherland” coalition in the absence of jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, “as a Christian and a Greek Catholic," rants against gay marriage. A major contributor to the demonstrations is the far right “Freedom” party, which this year the World Jewish Congress - and many others - described as neo-Nazi. Another smaller component is the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, established by the former Nazi collaborator émigré group, the war time Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUM ) which assisted in the extermination of Ukrainian and other Jews. Still another is the Ukrainian National Assembly/Self Defense, which maintains a close relationship with the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany. There are many other elements in the demonstrations, some of which appear to be non-violent and more democratic but you can count on the fact that the US is encouraging the right-wing elements to take charge and funneling big money their way.
Sometime early next year, Boeing will make one state very happy and more than a dozen others very sad. It will select the location for a new manufacturing plant to build its 777X airliner, gifting what it promises will be thousands of good-paying jobs to the winner.
Those jobs are shaping up to be one of the most sought-after economic development prizes of 2014. Every state that covets them is, at Boeing’s urging, preparing a package of tax breaks and other government incentives, reaching into the billions of dollars. It’s the latest example of a decade-long trend: As good jobs have become harder to find, states have approved bigger economic handouts to attract or keep individual companies.
- I did a live interview on Iranian TV this morning about US military base expansion in Okinawa. (75% of US military bases in Japan are located on Okinawa.) I expanded the interview to talk more broadly about the Obama "pivot" of 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific in order to control China. I mentioned that other islands, like Okinawa, in places like Jeju Island, Guam, Philippines, Hawaii and more are being overwhelmed with Pentagon demands for more bases, barracks, ports and airfields. Why won't mainstream media in the US ever cover this issue? They are usually owned by the same corporate interests who run the war machine.
- A late Xmas card from a friend here in Maine arrived with the wonderful hand-written words: "May your roots going down deeper than evil can reach keep your joy alive." A true blessing.