Wednesday, December 07, 2005



Ned notes Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn's "The Lost John Lennon Interview (1971)" (CounterPunch):

Editors' Note: It was twenty-five years ago today that John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota building on Central Park West in New York City. We doubt many CounterPunchers have read the following 1971 interview with Lennon done by CounterPunchers Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn. It's a lot more interesting that the interminable Q and A with Lennon done by Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner. Tariq and Robin allowed Lennon to talk and spurred him on when he showed signs of flagging. Lennon recounts about how he and George Harrison bucked their handlers and went on record against the Vietnam War, discusses class politics in an engaging manner, defends country and western music and the blues, suggests Dylan's best songs stem from revolutionary Irish and Scottish ballads and dissects his three versions of "Revolution". The interview ran in The Red Mole, a Trotskyist sheet put out by the British arm of the Fourth International. As you'll see, those were different days. The interview is included in Tariq Ali's Streetfighting Years, recently published by Verso. AC / JSC
Tariq Ali: Your latest record and your recent public statements, especially the interviews in Rolling Stone magazine, suggest that your views are becoming increasingly radical and political. When did this start to happen?
John Lennon: I've always been politically minded, you know, and against the status quo. It's pretty basic when you're brought up, like I was, to hate and fear the police as a natural enemy and to despise the army as something that takes everybody away and leaves them dead somewhere.
I mean, it's just a basic working class thing, though it begins to wear off when you get older, get a family and get swallowed up in the system.
In my case I've never not been political, though religion tended to overshadow it in my acid days; that would be around '65 or '66. And that religion was directly the result of all that superstar sh*t--religion was an outlet for my repression. I thought, 'Well, there's something else to life, isn't there? This isn't it, surely?'

Street Fighting Years is a book worth reading. If you're not familiar with it, you can refer to
"One Book, Ten Minutes " (The Third Estate Sunday Review) which discusses the book.

Brandon e-mails to note Robert Fisk's "U.S. Coming Around To The Truth" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer via Common Dreams):

Watching the pathetic, old, lie-on-its-back frightened Labrador of the American media changing overnight into a vicious Rottweiler is one of the enduring pleasures of society in the United States. I have been experiencing this phenomenon over the past two weeks, as both victim and beneficiary.
In New York and Los Angeles, my condemnation of the U.S. presidency and Israel's continued settlement-building in the West Bank was originally treated with the disdain all great papers reserve for those who dare to question proud and democratic projects of state. In The New York Times, that ancient luminary Ethan Bronner chided me for attacking American journalists who -- he quoted my own words -- "report in so craven a fashion from the Middle East -- so fearful of Israeli criticism that they turn Israeli murder into 'targeted attacks' and illegal settlements into 'Jewish neighborhoods.' "
It was remarkable Bronner should be so out of touch with his readers that he did not know that craven is the word so many Americans apply to their groveling newspapers.
But the moment a respected Democratic congressman and Vietnam war veteran in Washington dared to suggest the war in Iraq was lost, that U.S. troops should be brought home now -- and when the Republican response was so brutal it had to be disowned -- the old media dog sniffed the air, realized that power was moving away from the White House and began to drool.

Molly notes Rita J. King's "New Voting Machines" (The Ruminations on America Project):

Brian Bergstein of the Associated Press reported today that the potential perils of electronic voting systems are bedeviling state officials as a Jan. 1 deadline approaches for complying with standards for the machines' reliability.
"Across the country, officials are trying multiple methods to ensure that touch-screen voting machines can record and count votes without falling prey to software bugs, hackers, malicious insiders or other ills.
These are not theoretical problems - in some states they have led to lost or miscounted votes.
One of the biggest concerns - the frequent inability of computerized ballots to produce a written receipt of a vote - has been addressed or is being tackled in most states."

And that's it for tonight. I was working on an entry but Rebecca phoned and wanted input on her latest. She's saved it to draft (and I don't think she was planning on writing anything else tonight, but I could be wrong). I ended up doing the same with mine.

My apologies.

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