Monday, January 07, 2008

AMERICA NOT NO. 1and M.C. Belly

To begin here's a couple of videos from Canadian performer M.C. Belly:

History of Violence- M.C.Belly The Truth

Belly Folloe Me from The Album THE REVOLUTION
Added: October 21, 2007

Anyway what Americans have to come to terms with in this an election year is the fact that the United States is no longer the rich and powerful and democratic nation it once was. As we have seen since 9/11 there has been a steady erosion of democratic institutions and principles in America . The American public has been in a state of shock and fear which the Bush administration has skillfully used to pursue its own neoconservative agenda. Less than 30% of Americans have confidence in Bush or the Republicans .From Katrina to Iraq the Bush regime has shown itself incompetent . The world is not a safer place since Bush began the War on Terror , if anything it is less safe. Blunders like Iraq and Gitmo and abu Ghriab have diminished America's reputation and have helped recruitment to Terrorist organization like Al Qaeda .Bush's support of a dictator like Musharraf of Pakistan has also hurt America's reputation . It seems to many outside the United States that Bush & CO. are more interested in pushing their agenda then in helping the People of Pakistan move towards a more democratic state.

Most Americans believe the Iraq War was either a mistake to begin with or that it has been so badly managed that they believe the US should withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible . The death of some 700,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqis is now a tragedy since the war has had no real positive gains. Except for some rich oil companies who are making out like bandits and has been a lucrative boondoggle for other corporations like Halliburton amidst all the chaos The private contractors such as Blackwater and other mercenaries working for the American government have found a way to make war quite profitable.

We can only hope that the American public or electorate has a more positive and democratic vision of America than that of George W. Bush and CO. As Sen. Obama and Edwards both argue Americans have to restore American ideals as found in their constitution and Bill of Rights . Americans have to insist that their votes and support are no longer for sale to the various elites and corporate lobbyists.

So here are a couple of articles as examples of how America's prowess is slipping & has taken on some of the aspects and characteristics of a second rate power or even of a Third World country:


The Star.Com:Welcome to Third World, U.S.A. By Arthur Donner & Doug Peters

01/01/07 "The Star" -- -- In the mid-1990s, the Wall Street Journal delivered the classic insult to this nation when it called Canada an honorary Third World country.

"What we're seeing (in the U.S.) isn't the rise of a fairly broad class of knowledge workers. Instead, we're seeing the rise of a narrow oligarchy: Income and wealth are becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small, privileged elite ... It's time to face up to the fact that rising inequality is driven by the giant income gains of a tiny elite, not the modest gains of college graduates." – Paul Krugman, New York Times, Feb. 27, 2006.

Now, however, the trade and fiscal deficits situation has been turned on its head, with the United States incurring huge fiscal deficits and borrowing enormous amounts of foreign capital to balance its hefty international trade deficit. In fact, in a relatively short time span, the U.S. has become the largest debtor nation in the world.

And as Paul Krugman and many other economists have pointed out, U.S. income disparity is obscenely large and increasing, while higher education is not overcoming the polarization of income and the shrinking of the middle class.

... there is a strong predilection in most Western countries to level the economic playing field as much as possible. This seems not to be the case in the United States.

The United Nations publishes a Human Development Index that ranks countries in terms of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living. The latest published data were based on 2005 statistics. The U.S., despite its vast wealth and power, placed only in the 12th position among industrial countries. The top four countries were Iceland, Norway, Australia and Canada. These top four countries still pay some lip service to income distribution as an important economic and social goal.

The United States can be characterized as a Third World Country by the numbers of the poor but also by :
" lack of democratic institutions, controlling oligarchies and the unequal distribution of income and wealth. In other words, the few enjoy a rich lifestyle while the many share subpar incomes and poverty."

and..." that a major portion of their fiscal expenditures is allocated to the military. In many Third World countries, the military is controlled by an elite or a small collection of the wealthy."

and " that leadership is passed from one generation to the next, often via a close relative." ie Bush , Clinton dynasties

From hyperpower to new world disorder By David Olive 01/01/08 "Toronto Star "

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, America isn’t alone on top. What’s replacing the unipolar world of the 1990s? A gang of five superpowers: China, Russia, India, the Eurozone and the U.S.

...The news came home to Americans on Main St. from tainted Chinese products to the fact that practically every toy sold in America comes from Red China. Boston seniors on group tours of the great capitals of Europe were humbled to discover that their greenbacks had shriveled in value to 60 per cent of the local currency. And New Yorkers were taken aback that the credit crisis arising from cascading defaults on U.S. subprime mortgages had so weakened the balance sheets of leading financial institutions in the Big Apple that the likes of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch had sought bailouts from state-owned investment funds in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Canadians felt it, too, in a 15 per cent gain against the greenback.

... Mandarins in Brussels now passed judgment on merger proposals between American companies, not hesitating to block them on antitrust grounds. Chinese oil interests in Sudan made Beijing intransigent about Western meddling in Darfur. Russia wouldn't abide Washington's sanctions on Iran. India insisted upon, and received, U.S. support of its nuclear arms program despite predictable outrage from Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the pursuit of Al Qaeda. It was either that or have New Dehli turn to the Russians. To an unprecedented degree, decisions affecting America were being made elsewhere. A mere 16 years after attaining its lone-superpower status, the crown had slipped, and America's destiny is now shaped by a new world disorder of five superpowers.

All five members of this new quintet are nuclear powers. All but one, India, have veto power at the United Nations. Collectively, the four non-U.S. superpowers have 10 times the population of the U.S. The European economy has eclipsed that of the U.S., and those of China and India will do so by mid-century. The imperial legacy of many EU members and of Russia provide them a lingering influence from Indonesia to Zaire to Brazil that the U.S., whose experiences with colonizing have been reluctant and short-lived, cannot match.

The euro has been the world's strongest currency since 2005. But not until this year did everyone from OPEC to the People's Bank of China to rock stars flirt with abandoning the U.S dollar – the world's undisputed reserve currency since the end of World War II – in favour of a euro that has soared to a current $1.48 (U.S.)

It was a year of new boondoggles coming to light in the U.S. occupation of Iraq; and of U.S. diplomatic setbacks in Pakistan, China, Turkey, Burma, the Middle East – almost everywhere the U.S. has tried to exert influence. But then, America's deficient military and intelligence capabilities have removed the big stick behind diplomatic threats.

America now is the world's largest borrower, and China the biggest creditor nation.

As everyone but the White House acknowledges, it's difficult to have much impact in pressuring China on its under-valued currency, its military buildup and its human-rights record when that country is also your biggest banker.

World leaders have been putting distance between themselves and Washington ever since the U.S. occupation of Iraq, embarked upon with a theological righteousness that alienated the secular Europeans...

But this year, world leaders lost their reticence and subjected Washington to a parade of embarrassments. Kevin Rudd, the new Australian PM, isolated the U.S. on global warming by embracing a Kyoto Protocol that incoming U.S. president George W. Bush trashed in 2001. Gordon Brown, the new British PM, used the occasion of his first state visit to Washington to state that Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the central front in the battle against Islamic extremists. Bush watched in stony silence as America's staunchest ally in the Iraq invasion bluntly repudiated an assertion the U.S. president has been making for five years.

...The factors undermining its prosperity and global influence are almost all self-inflicted. There is more at stake here than even the current crop of presidential candidates seem to realize. They all talk of restoring America's respect in the world, with no apparent sense that a big part of the problem is that the world is increasingly less inclined to regard America as "the shining city on the hill" that Ronald Reagan invoked.

Even in a world without budding rivals, the American superpower would still be jeopardized by its "unsustainable" disregard for tackling rundown schools and inner-city neighbourhoods, a yawning gap between rich and poor, and a route to citizenship for the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

take care,

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