Short reads for a Sunday

Random selections.

Latin America. Mark Weisbrot, economist and co-director at the US CEPR, had a recent post at AlJazeera, Obama must normalize relations with all of Latin America.

Weisbrot recommends that the US President be more mature, más maduro, in US policy toward Latin America, and Venezuela in particular. However, not quite factored in is the reality of US politics, where there must be an enemy, some enemy, any enemy. So, if Cuba was to be off the ludicrous list of ‘enemies’ of the US, then why not Venezuela against which such destabilising actions were still being directed – demonstration of US toughness, as the impoverished Yemen is learning. With that ploy, the other corporate party is deprived of a ‘hot button’ issue, ‘Who lost Latin America’. If after all these years, the US President is yet to mature in international affairs, the country might as well let policy wonk, Gwyneth Paltrow have a go it? She had done so well at understanding (‘simulating’?) living in poverty.

World War II Remembrance. Analyst Ray McGovern is more to the point, with his insight into personality shortcoming. At Common Dreams is his post on the disgraceful failure of the US to show respect to the country, which had sacrificed between 25 – 27 million of its citizens to weaken and demoralise the near invincible German War Machine, Obama’s Petulant WWII Snub of Russia.

As with that foolish declaration of Venezuela as ‘unusual and extraordinary threat’ to the US, so too is this failure to show respect by not attending or have some representation at the ceremony will be highlighted among the significant, yet avoidable, failures of a US President from whom so much had been expected.

The Other USA. Ralph Nader is withering in his critique of US politicians and their supportive corporate media that suddenly discovered social and economic privation and oppression in the ‘other USA’, that ‘best kept’ secret that suddenly refused to be either ‘best kept’ or secret, Suddenly, Baltimore – Wonder Why? He exposes the hypocrisy, as he did years before of the exclusionary duopoly of the US corporate political parties.

Those Scots. Prof William K. Black is not amused by a headline on the recent UK elections from The Economist, The Economist’s Racist Headline Must be Retracted Immediately.

It is merely the customary racism that is difficult to keep under control. That brings immediately to mind an article that references The Economist’s reporting on the Irish in those grim days of the potato famine. The good thing is Prof Black reads the weekly magazine so that others do not have to suffer through its often fierce capitalist, imperial bent.

Greece and Varoufakis. Prof Wren-Lewis gives a quick look at the Greece situation, The IMF, Greece and economic reality. One thing many jaded folk had learned is that once the campaign to demonise Yanis Varoufakis was launched, that was confirmation of his intellectual and negotiating power. Then, again, not wearing a tie must imply some revolutionary, antisocial, anti-European ideas? Then, that matter of austerity, which that normally voiceless group pays for with its stoic, patriotic poverty or indigence.


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