The first ever Nobel Prize for glamor

Nolan Chart
by BS Kalafut


Neither the past omissions nor the weaker or more ephemeral awards put the Nobel Committee’s bona fides in categorical doubt. Each recipient won the award for some clear extraordinary substantiative accomplishment, had brought about at least temporary progress toward peace, international cooperation, or the securing of basic human rights. In contrast, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Barack Obama, received the award for insubstantial and profoundly ordinary acts, if he can be said to have won the award for any acts at all...

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Christine Smith's Blog
by Christine Smith


Listening to numerous discussions on various talk radio shows across the nation about Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, I was struck by the observation that not one caller or host I heard ever mentioned what is to me the single most important (and obvious) objection to it: Obama is a warmonger. He has blood on his hands. The death toll his presidency is responsible for just keeps increasing. Rather than focus on the incongruity of awarding any prize with the term ‘peace’ in it to such a person, those who disagreed with it simply repeated phrases such as ‘It’s too soon,’ or ‘Not yet.’ Such comments imply there would be a time when it would be appropriate to consider giving Obama the prize, it’s just that ‘he hasn’t earned it yet’...

Long wars and peace prizes

by Jeff Huber


A ’senior military official’ says McChrystal is concerned that some of Obama’s advisers are telling him the Taliban are not a threat to the United States. That would be tantamount to Obama’s advisers telling him the sun doesn’t rise in the West. The Taliban want us to leave their country, that’s all. They may or may not get back control of Afghanistan if we leave it, but why should we care? Afghans have been controlling their own affairs for thousands of years, and not once have they invaded Poland or France. The Times quotes the senior military official (he insisted on anonymity because he’s a sanctioned leaker) as saying, ‘The real question is, do you want the Taliban to be in power in Afghanistan? If you don’t, then they have to be addressed through a counterinsurgency campaign’...

American ignorance and Afghanistan

The American Prospect
by Courtney E. Martin


As President Barack Obama and his team deliberate about the best way forward in Afghanistan, they are compelled to incorporate a variety of voices on the subject. Military leaders advocate for an increase in troops — 40,000 strong — to continue the work that was started there nearly eight years ago. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, argues, ‘The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort.’ Peace activists argue passionately for the opposite, citing the variety of costs — economic, ethical, in human lives. Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, writes, ‘It will take the women of the world to rise up and say militarism is not working’...

People say the strangest things

by Paul J. Balles


Some people say the strangest things. At a town hall meeting in Arizona, President Obama said, about the war in Afghanistan: ‘We must never forget this is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity.’ Aren’t all wars those of necessity? What’s the necessity? Obama says: ‘If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.’ Of course, if Americans remain in Afghanistan, the Taliban insurgency can be counted on to plot to kill Americans there just as they once plotted, with American help, to kill Russians when they were there. Doesn’t anyone in the administration ever ask why al-Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans? Why would anybody?

Partisan politics, a fool’s game for the masses

Liberty & Power
by Robert Higgs


Because I despise politics in general, and the two major parties in this country in particular, I go through life constantly bemused by all the weight that people put on partisan political loyalties and on adherence to the normative demarcations the parties promote. Henry Adams observed that ‘politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.’ This marshalling of hatreds is not the whole of politics, to be sure, but it is an essential element. Thus, Democrats encourage people to hate big corporations, and Republicans encourage people to hate welfare recipients. Of course, it’s all a fraud, designed to distract people from the overriding reality of political life, which is that the state and its principal supporters are constantly screwing the rest of us, regardless of which party happens to control the presidency and the Congress...

Your dollars are just Monopoly money

MSN Money Central
by Bill Fleckenstein


The likely outcome as we proceed down the road is liable to be more and more fear about what a dollar is actually worth (i.e., nothing). When Main Street psychology turns against the faith-based currency we call the dollar, it will be nearly impossible to get that genie back in the bottle. Of course, this is part and parcel of the funding crisis, though the dollar’s meltdown could start before all of this dawns on Main Street, as it appears already to be dawning on America’s creditors. So, if you’re not in the habit of thinking about the dollar and the effect its depreciation is having (and will have) on you, consider this: Basically, you are the frog that’s slowly being boiled in water, and at some point you’re liable to face a similar demise, financially...

Obama’s tax on the middle class

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman


President Obama has no intention of keeping his campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. Hiding this will take some clever moves, but maybe, now that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize, he’s trying for an Olympic gold medal in mental gymnastics. The tax increase for the middle class will come as part of his effort to overhaul the 15 percent of the economy devoted to medical care. This became clear when the Senate Finance Committee bill’s price tag was disclosed...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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