The Serfdom Times

The Serfdom Times

The chronicles of a modern day serf.

serf
(sûrf) n. A member of the lowest feudal class, attached to the land owned by a lord and required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights.

A person in bondage or servitude.


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Serfdom Times believes the following two books are the most important books on bookshelves today. If you can read, do read and wonder why the world is as it is, and perhaps wonder where it might be going... read these books. (ST makes no money linking to or endorsing these excellent tomes.)
Healing Our World - In an Age of Aggression
The State vs. The People - The rise of the American Police State

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Friday, August 25, 2006
 
Saner words, I have not read in a long time. Of course, the entire article is brillant and well-worth your time, but this passage moves me.

Appeasement and War on Iran
by Michael S. Rozeff
Meeting with Iranians and Ahmadinejad has many immediate benefits. We gain information about what Iranians want. We gain information about their divisions and the strength of their preferences. We delay hostilities. We learn more about Dr. Ahmadinejad. We raise our moral stature. We have a chance to change some of their minds. The two sides might actually agree on a few further steps that lead away from war. What do we lose? Iran gains time to pursue its nuclear ventures. There is little we can do to stop that anyway, short of war. Sooner or later, if Iran wants nuclear weapons, it will get them. If starting a war with Iran is as bad as I think it is, with very negative long-term consequences, then meeting with Iranians is a very good investment.

The neocons simply want to ratchet up the level of violence to remake the Middle East. Their argument is that if we do not, we’ll be destroyed by Iran or by some pan-Islamic combine. This is ridiculous. The U.S. nuclear arsenal deterred the Soviet Union. It can deter Iran. The neocon answer to this is that Iran is led by hate-filled fanatics who will not face a reality like seeing their country effaced from the earth by hydrogen bombs. How credible is that assumption? Should U.S. policy be based upon such an assumption? Not all Iranians are impervious to realities. Many Iranian leaders have a definite political agenda. Not all are expecting the imminent return of the Mahdi. Iranian goals run up against American ambitions in the Middle East, and this is a basic source of conflict, not an abstract desire to destroy Western civilization and be destroyed in the process. Churchill said "A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject." If we rely on the extreme beliefs of our homegrown neocon fanatics, whose own ideas are impervious to change and who can’t propose any course of action except war, then we shall ourselves destroy our own civilization.



Or this, from Antiwar.dom:
Cost of Iraq War So Far: $1,075 Per American

Wonder why paying your bills is so hard?


Monday, August 21, 2006
 
It isn't often said as well, but...


The Pain of Government Regulations

by Michael Tennant
Freedom implies that humans are willing to accept risks in exchange for the ability to make decisions for themselves – and then suffer the consequences if they end up on the wrong end of those risks. Too many people, it seems, prefer the illusion of safety via government regulation to the "dangers" of freedom, even when the regulations make their lives more difficult or even dangerous. Think about it: All those extra, unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office surely result in car accidents that need not have occurred if people were free to go directly to the drug store and buy what they want.


Thursday, August 17, 2006
 
911 Investigative Journalist Beaten At His Home By Undercover Cops
By Christopher Bollyn
As they pummeled me, my wife was pleading for me and my daughter was crying. I really wanted my brother, my neighbors, and my son to come help me but before even one minute had passed there were dozens of cops and firemen in my front yard.

Where did they all come from so quickly? How were so many police in my neighborhood at the same time? This is most unusual, as Hoffman Estates is spread out all over northwest Cook County, but there were at least 5 squad cars and at least 10 officers in my front yard within one minute of my being beaten up on my lawn.

...

I can read the writing on the wall.

Investigative journalists are not safe in Iraq ­ or the United States.



Gullible Americans

By Paul Craig Roberts
I was in China when a July Harris Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when Bush invaded that country, and that 64 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links with Al Qaeda.

The Chinese leaders and intellectuals with whom I was meeting were incredulous. How could a majority of the population in an allegedly free country with an allegedly free press be so totally misinformed?

The only answer I could give the Chinese is that Americans would have been the perfect population for Mao and the Gang of Four, because Americans believe anything their government tells them.

Americans never check any facts. Who do you know, for example, who has even read the Report of the 9/11 Commission, much less checked the alleged facts reported in that document. I can answer for you. You don't know anyone who has read the report or checked the facts.

The two co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission Report, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, have just released a new book, "Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission." Kean and Hamilton reveal that the commission suppressed the fact that Muslim ire toward the US is due to US support for Israel's persecution and dispossession of the Palestinians, not to our "freedom and democracy" as Bush propagandistically claims. Kean and Hamilton also reveal that the US military committed perjury and lied about its failure to intercept the hijacked airliners. The commission even debated referring the military's lies to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. Why should we assume that these admissions are the only coverups and lies in the 9/11 Commission Report?




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