Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here you have a present for all you Ant's Meat people...
Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SAVE SEBBY: SaveOurSelves

"My name is Sebastian Moustirats and I’m 18 months old. I was born with a rare immune deficiency syndrome known as Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS). My only chance of survival is to receive a marrow transplant and that’s where you can help!

The classic form of WAS is characterized by an increased tendency to bleed caused by a reduced number of platelets, recurrent bacterial, viral and fungal infections and eczema of the skin. I am receiving the best care possible at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, California, but at the moment I do not have a perfect marrow donor match. Myself and the many other children here at Lucille’s need kind people like you to join the National Marrow Registry and donate blood and platelets to help us fight this battle for our lives."

Please become a bone marrow donor.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations America, WE ALL WON!!

Zorionak Mr. President Barack Hussein Obama,
Zorionak Mr. Vice-President Joe Biden


Friday, October 24, 2008

The Average American Jane and Joe

John McCain and Sarah Palin love (yes, they do!) the average (pro-America, I must say) Joe and particularly unlicensed plumbers and hockey moms who live in small-town pro-America. Oh yes, Republicans love the average pro-America Joe (they keep forgetting about Jane; this concerns me).
Here you have some numbers about the “average America” to illustrate their love for Our Amerika:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, the average American, age 25 or older, made roughly $32,000 per year (in 2005), does not have a college degree (as of 2003), has been, is, or will be married as well as divorced at least once during his or her lifetime, lives in his or her own home in a suburban setting, and holds a white collar office job. Based on data from 2005, the average four-person family income as of 2008 is over $67,000.
  • The Iraq War has cost the average American family over $16,000 since the war began.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 2.2 million and the unemployment rate has risen by 1.4 percentage points.”
  • As of June 2008 both the rate of new home foreclosures and late payments were the highest on record going back to 1979.

So, what the Republicans do about the deep socio-economic and financial recession that we are facing, well, they go shopping!!!

“Since her selection as John McCain's running mate, the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothing and make-up for Gov. Sarah Palin” and her entire family, Politico.com reported.

Let’s see what Mr. McCain used to think about banal campaign spending not too long ago:

The Huffington Post stated, “It was revealed that Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were the cost of health care for 15 or so people.”

I cannot wait for another fours years of failed policies and brutal wars, right!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Proposal for NABO: The Basque Country is a nation and has the right to be independent

Ants’ Meat as a group of individuals with different political and national backgrounds has decided to pursue our proposal for the North American Basque Organizations (NABO) to discuss and hopefully approve in their next business meeting that it will take place in Reno, Nevada on November 8, 2008.

Consequently, we call for the different clubs associated to NABO to help us to sponsor our motion:

“The Basque Country or Euskal Herria, a nation constituted by the provinces of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Nafarroa, Nafarroa Beherea, and Zuberoa, has the same right to become a united and independent state as any other nation. The North American Basque Organizations will consequently work actively to promote the right of the Basque people to achieve the goal of independence if this is the will of the majority of the population of Euskal Herria.”

Basque homeland newspapers (e.g., Basque Nationalist Party’s (PNV) paper, Deia) are already aware of NABO’s involvement in their political affairs by favoring a PNV agenda. It is too late for NABO to play innocent stating that they are apolitical and non-partisan according to their statutes of incorporation. It is too late for that. It is time for NABO to be a leader and stop following the dictates of the PNV and the Basque Government.

Ants’ Meat respectfully requests that NABO recognize the Basque Country as a historical nation and the right of its people to seek an independent state, constituted by seven provinces, if this is their wish. That's all we ask for. The Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities (FEVA) did it 53 years ago. It is about time that NABO does the same.

Is NABO less committed to the Basque Country than FEVA?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Internet and the Death of Rovian Politics

The Internet and the Death of Rovian Politics by Arianna Huffington

Age has finally become an issue for John McCain. But the problem isn't the candidate's 72 years; it's the antediluvian approach of his campaign.
McCain is running a textbook Rovian race: fear-based, smear-based, anything goes. But it isn't working. The glitch in the well-oiled machine? The Internet.

"We are witnessing the end of Rovian politics," Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google told me. And YouTube, which Google bought in 2006 for $1.65 billion, is one of the causes of its demise.

Thanks to YouTube -- and blogging and instant fact-checking and viral emails -- it is getting harder and harder to get away with repeating brazen lies without paying a price, or to run under-the-radar smear campaigns without being exposed.

But the McCain campaign hasn't gotten the message, hence the blizzard of racist, alarmist, xenophobic, innuendo-laden accusations being splattered at Obama.

And it seems that the worse McCain is doing in the polls, the more his team is relying on the same gutter tactics. So over the next 15 days, look for the McCain campaign to become even uglier. That's what happens when following Rovian politics is your only strategy -- and Rovian politics isn't working.

McCain has stockpiled his campaign with Rove henchmen, including not one but three of the people responsible for the political mugging inflicted on him in 2000.

Just last week he brought on Warren Tompkins in an "unofficial" capacity to see how receptive North Carolina would be to some Rovian slime. After all, it's right next door to South Carolina, where in 2000 Tomkins and his buddies in the Bush campaign spread race-baiting rumors about McCain having an illegitimate black daughter (referring to McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget).

And those disgraceful robo-calls that McCain is running? They were done with the help of Jeff Larson and his firm FLS-Connect -- the same firm that created the robo-calls smearing McCain in 2000.

At the time, McCain's reaction to the attacks on him was: "I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like these."

His reaction now? I have a special place in my campaign for people like these!

So the Karl Rove specials keep coming. Obama and Ayers. Obama the Socialist. Obama and ACORN "destroying the fabric of democracy." Palin (herself the manifestation of Rovian decision-making) delineating which parts of "this great nation of ours" are "pro-American." (Interestingly, the sites of the 9/11 attacks didn't make the list.)

And, did you hear, Obama is also... black! And he wants to give your money to all the poor black people! McCain didn't come right out and say that, but it's surely what he insinuated in his radio address this weekend: "Barack Obama's tax plan would convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency." Somewhere, Karl Rove is smiling, Richard Nixon's southern strategy is waxing nostalgic, and John McCain's missing moral compass is getting steamed about John Lewis' evocation of the civil rights struggle.

But there is a diamond amidst all this dung: the lack of traction this Rovian politics is getting. It's as if Rove and his political arsonists keep lighting fires, only to see them doused by the powerful information spray the Internet has made possible.

The Internet has enabled the public to get to know candidates in a much fuller and more intimate way than in the old days (i.e. four years ago), when voters got to know them largely through 30-second campaign ads and quick sound bites chosen by TV news producers.

Compare that to the way over 6 million viewers (on YouTube alone) were able to watch the entirety of Obama's 37-minute speech on race -- or the thousands of other videos posted by the campaign and its supporters.

Back in the Dark Ages of 2004, when YouTube (and HuffPost, for that matter) didn't exist, a campaign could tell a brazen lie, and the media might call them on it. But if they kept repeating the lie again and again and again, the media would eventually let it go (see the Swiftboating of John Kerry). Traditional media like moving on to the next shiny thing. But bloggers love revisiting a story. So when Palin kept repeating her bridge to nowhere lie, bloggers kept calling her on it. Andrew Sullivan, for one, has made a cottage industry of calling Palin on her lies. And eventually, the truth filtered up and cost McCain credibility with his true base: journalists.

The Internet may make it easier to disseminate character smears, but it also makes it much less likely that these smears will stick.

As a result, the McCain campaign's insinuation-laden "Who is Barack Obama?" was rendered more comical than spooky. Who is Barack Obama? The guy we've been watching over and over and over during the last two years. We've seen him. We know him. And we can remind ourselves about him with a quick Google search and a mouse click.

Obama "has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day," and "over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters." Those are the words of David Brooks, who has gotten to know Obama just like the rest of us.

Four years ago, McCain's Rovian race-based appeals to our darker demons might have worked. This year, they are blowing up in McCain's face. And in the face of the entire GOP.

Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama as "a transformational figure" was powerful. But even more powerful was his withering indictment of the state of the Republican Party and the cancer of Rovian politics.
It was similar to the diagnosis of Christopher Buckley following his endorsement of Obama: "To paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan, I haven't left the Republican Party. It left me."

There are many other anti-Rove Republicans abandoning their party. I've had several Republican friends tell me privately what Powell and Buckley told the world publicly: that they're voting for Obama. Most of them not because they like Obama, but because they can't stand what Bush, Rove and now McCain and Palin have done to their party.

Rovian politics may or may not end up destroying the GOP. But, thanks to the Internet, with a bit of luck it will no longer have the power to befoul our democracy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Grumpy Old Man: Mr. McMean

As we saw last night during the final debate between Senator Barack Hussein Obama and Senator John McCain, (aka Mr. McMean), there is no doubt that race is becoming a huge factor for some radical elements of the Republican Party. Just ask any of your friends about why they aren’t going to vote for Obama: “He is black,” or “he has a funny name,” or “he is a Muslim,” are some of the recurrent answers. We wouldn’t have this discussion if Mr. Obama’s, the next President of the United States of America, name is Joe Wurzelbacher, for instance. To us and many others, Thank God, race should not be a factor but for radical McMean it is…To us, a huge factor is the age of Mr. McMean. He already stated that he would only run for one term. Thanks but no thanks! No term is better than one term, for sure.

Mr. McMean was agitated and angry throughout the entire debate. He acted as a grumpy old man off his meds. Some of his pills didn’t seem to reach some of his neurons and his lack of “eloquence” was a trademark of his sermons.

Mr. McMean kept talking about how “change is coming” like if it was a biblical prophecy. But, he failed to explain his own plans on health, education, taxes and finance. Seriously, who really cares about people losing their jobs, homes, and retirement plans? For McMean there are more serious issues such as… (We are still waiting, “my friend”).

Like a grumpy old preacher who blasts the unfaithful for not believing on the “fact” that “change is coming,” he spoke to his unconditional believers with great passion. “Forget about the rest of the nation, and let’s focus on the guys who listen to me,” was his motto. Obviously, Joe “The Plumber” became the personification of his America; what about Jane “The “Plumber” or Jane “The Doctor,” or Jane “The General”? “Well, women are just playing silly pretending to be unhealthy so they can perform abortions at will?” Is that right Mr. McMean?

Senator John McCain, you were cruel to women (see related post).

“Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He’s health for the mother. You know, that’s been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything. That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, ‘health.’”

In response, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, issued the following statement regarding Mr. McMean’s cruel remarks:

"Last night, John McCain showed he doesn't care about women's health when he described protecting 'the health of the woman' as 'extreme.' John McCain doesn't seem to understand that women's health matters. He blatantly showed that he doesn't trust women to decide what is in the best interest of their own health. Barack Obama, on the other hand, stood up for women's health."

Monday, October 13, 2008

For the Independence of the Basque Country-Euskal Herria

The North American Basque Organizations (NABO) was incorporated in 1973 “to promote, preserve and advance the historical, cultural, civic, social and fraternal interests and activities of the Basque people” (Article II, Section I). Article II, Section III, clearly states that “nothing herein contained shall be construed an authorizing or empowering the Corporation to promote, encourage, aid or advance any political ideology, movement, cause, party or activity, wherever located.” However, NABO is becoming increasingly involved in homeland partisan politics. It is about time that NABO becomes politically active regarding the present and future of the Basque Country.

The Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities’ (FEVA) Article III (1955) states, “[FEVA] will attempt to unite Basque and Basque-Argentinean associations to better recognize Euskadi or Euskalherria, constituted by Araba, Benabarra, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Navarra, and Zuberoa. As well as the defense of the imprescriptible rights of the Basque people, that they have as the ultimate goal the instauration of greater of self-determination, until accomplishing the unity of Euskalherria as an independent state.”

Following FEVA’s example regarding its political commitment towards the Basque Country, the Ants’ Meat Team would like to propose to NABO the approval of the following statement:

“The Basque Country or Euskal Herria, a nation constituted by the provinces of Araba, Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Lapurdi, Nafarroa, Nafarroa Beherea, and Zuberoa, has the same right to become a united and independent state as any other nation. The North American Basque Organizations will consequently work actively to promote the right of the Basque people to achieve the goal of independence if this is the will of the majority of the population of Euskal Herria.”

Ants’ Meat is seeking your support regarding the proposal. Please voice your opinions and distribute this post.

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain’s Dishonorable and "Violent" Campaign

Senator Obama is being depicted as a terrorist, a socialist, and a traitor to his own country among many other things. Both Senator McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are carrying out a campaign based on false accusations while infusing hatred and fear to their most radical constituencies.

Where are the ethical boundaries of the Republican Party? Do McCain and Palin fully comprehend the dangers of making Senator Obama a target of their rhetorical apocalyptic arguments?


Questioner: I'm mad. I'm really mad. And what's gonna surprise you, it's not the economy. It's the socialists taking over our country. [applause] Sit down, I'm not done! Thank you. Let me finish, please. [laughter]

McCain: Excuse me. [laughter]

Questioner: Thank you. I think its so important in today's country to see what we are missing and what's really going on. When you have an Obama, Pelosi, and the rest of the hooligans up there gonna run this country, we gotta have our head examined. It's time that you two are representing us, and we are mad! So go get em! [applause, chants of USA!]

McCain: Well, I think I got the message. [laughter] Could I just say, the gentleman is right.

Ants’ Meat would like to remember Martin Luther King’s last speech. It seems that not much has changed for the last forty years.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sarah and Todd Palin: The Alaskan Secessionists

Ask yourself the following questions before thinking to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket:

Who is the real Sarah Palin?

Do you really believe that a person who has endorsed the beliefs and goals of the Alaska Independence Party—i.e., to break away from the United States of America by any means—can be in charge of our nation?

Would you leave your future on the hands of a person who hates America and desperately wants to secede from it?

The answer is simple: NO!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am also "That One"

Dear Senator McCain,

After watching you last night debating Senator Barack Hussein Obama, now I am more convinced than ever that you are not going to win the elections. You sounded pathetic and looked tired. You are becoming a lonely and sad caricature of yourself on the hands of your campaign advisors and your second in command, Governor Palin, whose intellect and manners cannot be compared to any living creature on this planet.

You and Palin are becoming more show than substance, simple cartoon characters as part of The Original Mavericks (see related post) spoof that you two are so thrilled with. Just keep talking about invading countries, while thousands of Americans are losing their jobs and homes. Just keep insulting “that one.” Just keep labeling “that one” as a terrorist who hates America. Thank God that you wanted to carry out a clean and honorable campaign; thank God for that.

Of course, you and your surrogate don’t like to talk about the past, but you keep insisting on talking about your years in confinement; “my friends…my friends…my friends…my friends…” Well, news for you “my friend” I am NOT your friend!!! Enough about capitalizing on your years of service! Thanks for your time but ENOUGH!

You don’t like to talk about the disastrous past eight years of the Republican mandate. It was your party the one that has gotten us in deep financial and economic crisis. It was your party, “my friend.” But you like to keep talking about being a bi-partisan and how that’s the way ahead for the future of the country. News for you “my friend,” if you are truly unhappy about the system, leave the Republican Party and start your own party. Please, don’t preach us about how traditional parties don’t work or about how corrupt is Washington or Wall Street, particularly since you are part of the system that you hate so much. Do something about it, but you won’t because for the last thirty years you failed to do so.

There is no room for people like you in our Amerika. You represent the worst of Amerika. Retirement is waiting for you “my friend.” Palin can always find a job selling cosmetic products on a mall, “you betcha.” (Note: Ants’ Meat would like to apologize for this remark to all those who sell cosmetic products across Amerika. I am sure that Palin would let you down also.)

We are all “that one;” we are all Barack HUSSEIN Obama, and we are very proud of it. Obama is not “that one,” but The One. Shame on you Senator McCain!

Monday, September 29, 2008

To Basque Amerika

The North American Basque Organizations, Inc. (NABO), the federation of Basque institutions for the promotion of Basque culture in North America (38 organizations in the U.S. and 1 in Canada), passed a declaration in favor of the homeland-October 25th plebiscite (see related post) during its last convention (Chino, California; August 29-September 1, 2008). The declaration had previously been approved by NABO’s counterpart in Argentina, the Federation of Basque-Argentinean Entities (FEVA).

The Ant’s Meat team would like to congratulate NABO for its increasing awareness of homeland (political) affairs. We believe that it’s a step forward in the normalization of our relationship with the Basque Country and its public institutions. However, we are extremely concerned about NABO’s political participation in this particular campaign supporting the right for a plebiscite. NABO should know by now the difference between political activities and legislative activities. Since the 1990s, NABO has become extremely closed to the political postulates of the main governing party of the Basque Autonomous Community, the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV-EAJ).

Representatives of the Basque government as well as of the PNV participated in NABO’s meeting where the declaration was (though not unanimously) passed, which by all means coerced the freedom of expression of some of the delegates. Miren Artiach and Gloria Totoricagüena, the delegates of the Cenarrusa Foundation for Basque Culture (Boise, Idaho), fiercely defended the declaration. Two years ago, Totoricagüena shared her "disgust" with NABO’s delegates for their lack of political commitment towards the homeland and their ignorance on homeland affairs. Sadly, on the hands of self-proclaimed experts on the Basque diaspora, the Cenarrusa Foundation has become a pro-PNV group, a lobby group within NABO, which is not looking after NABO’s interests whatsoever. Pete Cenarrusa, former Secretary of State of Idaho, must regain control of his own foundation before it is too late.

As soon as we get rid of people whose maximum goal is self-preservation and self-promotion the better for all of us who still believe in NABO as the federation of all for all. We cannot afford to have a self-interest group within NABO.

If NABO’s role if going to be political from now on, we cannot reduce our perspective to only one side of the spectrum. So, when is NABO going to sign a declaration in favor of the repatriation of Basque political prisoners and exiles? When is NABO going to sign a declaration against banning Basque political parties? When is NABO going to sign a declaration against the practice of torture in Spain?

As usual, we would love to hear your voices on the matter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Original Mavericks: Nationalizing Wall Street

The action of GOP’s new movie, The Original Mavericks: Nationalizing Wall Street, takes place in a near-future Amerika. Aspiring actress Sarah Palin (Pit-bull-lipstick-soccer-mommy) and veteran actor John McCain (The Deregulator) team together in this "science-fiction" movie to save Planet Amerika threaten by liberals and celebrities under the leadership of Big Spender (played by Barack Obama). The Original Mavericks (McCain-Palin) will summon lobbyists and special-interest groups to defeat The Liberals in their evil-campaign to socialize medicine and cut taxes for the working people. The only solution left for the Mavericks is to nationalize Wall Street and save the day for the super-rich-class of the country. The best sequence of the movie takes place in the Oval Office: CEOs, lobbyists and The Original Mavericks and alike hold hands and sing “Oh Government won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?...Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends…”
For those who love happy ends, well, Pit-bull-lipstick-soccer-mommy and The Deregulator did not get married…or did they?

“I bet you $1.1 trillion of our tax money that the GOP producers are working on a second part; I hear something about The Original Mavericks: Drilling Alaska...” one of the GOP studios’ janitors commented. However, our source believes that the sequel will be only for adults…That's a shame.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sleeping pills for a Republican nightmare

Sorry for not being able to post any message since we went to Black Rock City. We needed to rest...It is hard to come back to "reality."

We would like to say a couple of things:

1. Governor Sarah Palin is not going to distract us from the nightmare that we are all suffering thanks to a horrible Republican administration. She is the new Republican sedative ready to be prescribed by the Republicans and right-wing extremists alike if McCain gets elected. Palin might well be the remedy for McCain's presidential campaing, but Our Amerika cannot afford another four years of plain bullshit and sedatives. We don't need sleeping pills.

2. We need Obama and Biden. We need people like them to awake us from the long eigth-year Republican nightmare. Please say NO to more sedatives; say NO to McCain-Palin...

Embrace life, wake up people!!! if you want to keep dreaming the American Dream, wake up to reality...


Ants' Meat Team (thanks for the photo Jeff)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Burning Man!!!

Dear Ants' Meat friends,
Our team is leaving this planet as we know it for the Playa. Please keep in touch and love your neighbour, even she is a hardcore Republican...

We'll be posting from Black Rock Desert (hope...if we remember...if we don't forget...)


/ \

Friday, August 15, 2008

Freedom for Ossetia, NOW

As of today, Russia and Georgia have signed a cease-fire. Good news for everybody!

However—well, yeah! there is always a “however”—the Ants’ Team would like to address the understanding of democracy by the different parties involved in this conflict: Georgians, Russians and Ossetians.
As you know by now, none of the big “world leaders” have expressed their support for the independence of South Ossetia. I guess that the self-determination of the Ossetians (at least of those from South Ossetia) is not a democratic right!

Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili has not stopped talking about the right of Georgians to be freed from any foreign power (i.e., Russia) and how democratic they are…But President Saakashvili has never referred even once about the right of South Ossetians (and Abkhazia) to be freed of them if that’s their desire. What is Georgia afraid of?

So, it’s OK for the democratically elected government of Georgia to invade their neighbors. Hitler was also elected democratically, just in case we forgot.

Why the U.S. doesn’t encourage the growth of democracy in the region by allowing those minorities to express their desire for self-determination?

The Bush administration cannot ignore the fact that by defending Georgia is intrinsically negating the future for Ossetians or Abkhazians. The Bush administration has publicly condemned the Russians for invading Georgia, but it has kept silent about Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia. Are the South Ossetians less human than the Georgians? Don’t they all deserve to be treated equally? Doesn’t the Bush administration understand that the whole world is learning what hypocrisy is all about by just looking at them?
Now, Bush can rest assure that the world is safe again…and will resume his most-well deserved vacations in Texas…In the mean time, the South Ossetians will buried their love ones and began reconstructing their homes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ossetia for the Ossetians!

Is it crazy to believe that only Russians, Georgians, Americans…have the right to establish their own independent states?

Is it crazy to believe that the Ossetians, north and south have the right to establish their own independent state?

It amazes me how on the 08.08.08 the Russians attacked the Georgians and the Georgians invaded South Ossetia. Then the Russians invaded South Ossetia. It was a theatrical nightmarish spectacle rivaling only with the Beijing Olympic opening ceremony. Both were tributes to outdated patriotism and militaristic narcissism. Obviously, the Caucasian conflict caused over 2,000 deaths in a matter of days and over 150,000 people have been displaced…the Chinese Communist regime endorsed the hypocritical sympathy of the planet, while forgetting that minorities such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans are brutally repressed as we speak.

It amazes me even more that while President Bush was enjoying the Olympic Games, he had the decency to express to Mr. Putin his feelings about the whole conflict. “Sorry dude, it is OK for us to invade any country that we please but it is wrong for you...By the way, have you seen the volleyball beach gals…I was so tempted, so tempted…?” (Not actual words, just a dramatization of the events).
Mr. Putin's reply was: “Oh, yes, I get it ;)...nice girrrls” (Not actual words, just a dramatization of the events).

As of today, Russia is invading Georgia.

Mr. Bush holding a U.S. flag. Is this a distressed call?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Olympic Human Rights: Not a Game

As all of you know by now, Beijing is hosting the Olympic Games. President Bush is telling us how disgusted he is about China's human right violations...obviously, he doesn't want to hear about his own administration's well-documented human rights violations...

When on 08.08.08 you tune the TV to watch the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, please take into account that indirectly you are helping the Chinese Communist Regime to violate human rights.

Be informed and take action:
Amnesty International
Reporters Without Borders

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

El regreso del amigo americano

Queridos amig@s,
Si la semana pasada nos centramos en un discurso pronunciado por Francis Fukuyama, hoy me gustaría destacar un artículo de opinión escrito por Javier Valenzuela para el periódico Español El País.

La intención de Ants’ Meat es la de alcanzar a cuantas más personas mejor, y desde luego no nos queremos olvidar de todos aquellos que comparten uno de los idiomas más hablados en Estados Unidos.

Esperemos que el artículo de Valenzuela les haga reflexionar sobre el papel que Our Amerika ha de jugar en el mundo en los próximos años. Hay que mirar al futuro, siempre adelante.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is America Ready for a Post-American World?

The following is an excerpt of a commencement address by Francis Fukuyama, delivered at the Pardee Rand Graduate School, Santa Monica, CA, June 21, 2008. For a full transcript please see The American Interest.

“Now, the subject that I want to address today, is how the world has changed […] Today, we are evidently entering a very different kind of world. The Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria has labeled this a “post-American world”. I’m not sure he’s right about this, but I do get a very strong sense that as we speak, conditions in the global economy are changing in very dramatic ways, and I don’t think that the assumptions that undergirded either the cold war world, or this extended period of American hegemony, are going to be sufficient to guide us in the world that is emerging […] The first obviously has to do with the emergence of a multi-polar world. This is not a story about American decline. The United States remains the dominant power in the world, but what is happening is the rest of the world is catching up. The power shift in terms of economic earnings is very dramatic. Russia, China, India, the states of the Persian Gulf are all growing while America is sinking into a recession; something that underlines the stark differences in a way the rest of the world has become decoupled from the American economy.

In the Clinton years and in the Bush years, the United States was used to lecturing the rest of the world about how to get it’s economic house in order, but it seems to me that those kinds of lectures tend to ring a bit more hollow now that we have suffered the kind of financial crisis that we’ve experienced in the past year. The most dramatic evidence of this shift in power is the simple facts about the endebtedness of the United States, and the accumulating reserves on the part of a lot of countries in the rest of the world. The People’s Republic of China has something like one and a half trillion dollars in reserves; Russia $550 billion, Korea $260 billion, Thailand $110 billion, Algeria $120 billion. The little states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, collectively have about 300 billion in reserves. Saudi Arabia just by itself is saving money at the rate of approximately 15 billion dollars every single month, as a result of energy exports.

[…] One particularly worrying trend is the growing reluctance of foreign students to study in American Universities due to the obstacles we ourselves have put up to their coming here […] over the past few years, students from around the world have been finding other alternatives than going to American universities.

[…] If you look at the part of the world that extends from North Africa through the Middle East into the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, all the way to the borders of the Indian sub-continent, you are dealing with a world that I think is quite different from the classical world that is taught in international relations theory courses, or that characterized the world of the 20th century. That world was dominated by strong, centralized states, and international politics was the story about the interaction of these strong, centralized states—Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, and the like. What is different about today’s international world is that it is dominated not by strong states, but by weak and sometimes failing states where the usual instruments of power, in particular, hard military power, don’t work that well […] Why does this weak state world exist? I think it has to do with a lot of different factors. It has to do with the fact that around the world as development occurs, we have the mobilization of new social actors and groups that were formally excluded from power, like the Shiites in Lebanon, but, it extends to our continent as well. We’ve had tremendous turmoil in the Andean region of Latin America because of the fact you have indigenous peoples in places like Bolivia and Ecuador who were largely cut out of power, and who are now demanding their share of it, and are consequently destabilizing the democratic institutions that are in place there.

There is furthermore a dark side to globalization. We have gotten used to celebrating globalization as a source of international trade, investment, and therefore, economic growth. Countries like China and India have benefited enormously from globalization. But globalization means a reduction in the barriers to things crossing international borders, and sometimes those things are bad things—they can be things like drugs or international gangs. They can be laundered money, they can be blood diamonds, or they can be militias and political parties that act fluidly across international boundaries using the Internet. We have a big trade in international gangs between Los Angeles and Central America.

[…] This weak state world has a lot of implications for American power. We need to consider this very perplexing fact: The United States spends as much on its military as virtually, the entire rest of the world combined, and yet, when you look at Iraq, a country of some 24 million people, it is now five years and counting since the United States invaded and occupied that country, and to this day we have not succeeded in pacifying it fully. And the reasons for that I think really have to do with the nature of power itself, because we are trying to use an instrument—hard military power—that we used in the 20th century world of great powers and centralized states in a weak state world, and that instrument does not work as well. You cannot use hard power to create legitimate institutions to build nations, to consolidate politics and all of the other things that are necessary for political stability in this part of the world.

There are other things afoot in international politics because of American dominance over the last two decades: other countries are mobilizing against the United States. You have alliances like the Shanghai Cooperation Council that had organized themselves to push the United States out of Asia, after our post September 11 entry into that region. We cannot call on our democratic allies to the extent that we used to be able to. This was obviously true in Iraq, but even in a country like Afghanistan, where our allies in principle agree with the legitimacy of the intervention, we have had tremendous difficulties in getting them to pony up the necessary resources, troops and support. Even a country like Korea that has been a traditional American ally has been convulsed with anti-American demonstrations over the past couple of months because of the controversy over imports of American beef.

And so, we face a world in which we need a very different set of skills. We need to be able to deploy and use hard power, but there are a lot of other aspects of projecting American values and institutions that need to underlie a continuing leadership role for the United States in the world. Let me give you one illustration. Back in the early 1990s, my colleague at Johns Hopkins, Michael Mandelbaum, wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs. It was a critique of American foreign policy as social work, in particular of the Clinton administration’s efforts in the Balkans and Somalia and Haiti to do nation building. His message was that real men and real foreign policy professionals don’t do this kind of nation building or deploy soft power, but rather deal with hard power with military force.

But in fact, American foreign policy has to be preoccupied with a certain kind of social work today. If you look at the opponents of American power around the world, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hammas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Mr. Ahmadinejad in Iran, as well as populist leaders in Latin America like Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, or Evo Morales, all of them have succeeded in coming to power because they can offer social services directly to poor people in their countries. The United States, by contrast, has really had relatively little to offer in this regard over the past generation. We can offer free trade, and we can offer democracy, these are very good and important things, the basis for growth and political order. But they tend not to appeal to poor populations that are the real constituents of this struggle for power and influence in the world.

So the requirements of an American leadership role are quite different and the question that arises; “Is America really ready to deal with a world in which it cannot assume its own hegemony?” Now, I want to make one thing very clear at the outset. I do not believe in inevitable American decline, and this is not going to be a talk about how we are declining. The United States has enormous assets in technology, in competitiveness, in entrepreneurship, flexible labor markets, and financial institutions that are in principle strong (laughter), but are having a little bit of difficulty at the present moment.

I think one of America’s greatest advantages is its ability to absorb people from other countries and cultures. Virtually all developed countries are experiencing the severe demographic crisis. They are getting smaller with every passing year, because of falling birthrates of native-born people. Any successful developed country in the future is going to have to accommodate immigrants and people from different cultures, and I believe the United States is unique in its ability to do so.

I think that the problems that the United States faces are really ones that are of our own creating. None of the problems and challenges that the United States faces are insoluble. The problems are really political and institutional ones.

[…] I would identify three particular areas of weakness that we must remedy if we are to get through this particular set of challenges. These three are, first, the diminishing capacity of our public sector; secondly, a certain complacency on the part of Americans about understanding the world from a perspective other than that of the United States; and third, our polarized political system that is incapable of even discussing solutions to these problems.

[…] We have seen in the past few years a depressing number of policy failures due to the inability of our public officials to actually carry out, plan and implement policies that we agree on. The most obvious case of this was the failure to adequately plan for the occupation and subsequent counter-insurgency war that broke out in Iraq […] Indeed, it took President Bush longer to find a good general, General Patraeus, than it took Lincoln to find Grant in the Civil War […] The Department of Homeland Security was supposed to enable the United States to respond to major urban disasters, and yet, the response to Hurricane Katrina was a total fiasco.

[…] The second issue has to do with complacency about the outside world. After Sputnik in the late 1950s, the United States responded to the Soviet challenge by making massive investments in basic science and technology. This proved to be a very successful set of investments that reaffirmed American technological leadership. After September 11th, we could have reacted in a similar way, by making large investments in our ability to understand complex parts of the world that we did not understand very well like the Middle East. It is a scandal that in this monstrous new embassy we’ve created in Baghdad, we only have a handful of fluent Arabic speakers. As I was driving to work the other morning, I was listening to an NPR radio program in which they were praising their own coverage of the Beijing Olympics, and of China in general. They said “We have a reporter on staff in Beijing, and he actually can speak Chinese!” I’ve heard that there are some reporters in the Chinese press agency Xinhua in Washington who can in fact speak English.

The final issue I think really has to do with the political deadlock that we face with our political system […] It is not possible to talk about raising taxes to pay for badly needed public goods on the Right. It is not possible to talk about issues like privatizing social security, or raising the retirement age on the Left. Neither the Left nor the Right has had the political courage to suggest raising energy taxes, which has been the obvious way of dealing with foreign energy dependency and encouraging alternative sources of energy. And so the political culture that we have created as a result of this kind of politics is incapable of making the decisions that we need.

[…] I don’t think that anyone around the world will benefit from an America that is inward looking, incapable of executing policies, and too divided to make important decisions. That hurts not just Americans, but, I think, the rest of the world as well.

Thank you very much.”

Randy Pausch (1960-2008)

The Ants' Meat team would like to express our deepest sympathy to Randy Pausch's family, friends, colleagues and students. Randy passed away on July 25, 2008.

What a great example to all of us! Eskerrik asko!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Networked War

Yes, you were right, as we are approaching the Democratic National Convention (August 25-28, 2008, Denver) and the Republican National Convention (September 1-4, 2008), McCain's campaing is turning nastier and nastier. A sing of desperation, you might conclude, particularly within the context of Senator Obama's succesfull tour de world.

McCain now blames Obama for the high prices of oil in the country and for becoming a celebrity. So mature!!

Just a very simple question for McCain: Are you also going to blame Senator Obama for your admired colleague Senator Ted Stevens' corruption charges?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Education and faith: a matter of life

Four years ago a dear friend of mine told me that she could not vote for any presidential candidate that was not pro-life and against homosexuality. She has been an elementary school teacher for nearly four decades, and she was appalled about the deterioration of the education in the country and the administration’s foreign policy. However, she voted for Bush... At the end, she followed her Christian beliefs, which is fine, and decided to vote for another four years of calamities.

We had many discussions about those and many other issues. In one occasion I asked her whether her strong religious values also extended to countries such as Iraq where innocent people were murdered as a result of an unlawful U.S. Army led-invasion. She looked at me, “Well dear, children are children no matter where they live, and it is awful that innocent children are being killed. Perhaps, it is the only way to protect America. These children are being sacrificed in order to save the lives of our children.”

I believe that this life and death issue would become once again a decisive factor in this year’s presidential campaign. To my dear friend and to all of those people that in good faith believe in God, if you are thinking to vote for a candidate with a great pro-life record, please also think about the children of millions of Iraqis who also deserve a chance to live a prosperous, healthy and peaceful life.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Depleting our planet

As far as I know, there is only one planet that can sustain life as we know it. Perhaps, there is a parallel universe reserved to millionaires and alike, but until we all become rich by impoverishing others, we have to deal with our globalized Planet Earth.

I know that Americans are finding out what Europeans have suffered for years...yes, that's right the price of gas at the pumps are increasing by the second, and obviously the Bush administration is telling us that there is very little that we can do about it, but that doesn't sound right to me. Well, the administration is telling us that the only solution is to keep drilling for more oil...It is like a poor junkie begging for more of the same...
Mr. John McBush is not far behind and his dream is to build as many nuclear power plants as backyards in the country.

Here you have some alternative viable plans and some interesting facts. As always, Ants' Meat wants to hear from you and what you are doing to save the planet.

Who killed the electric car?

From Consevation to Population, New York Times

Human use exhausts Earth, BBC

Friday, July 11, 2008

October 25, 2008

On October 25, 2008 the citizens of the Basque Autonomous Community of Euskadi will be asked the following two questions:

  • "Do you agree to support a negotiated end to violence, if ETA declares unequivocally its wish to put an end to violence once and for all?"
  • "Do you agree to the initiation by all Basque political parties, without exclusions, of a negotiation process to reach a Democratic Agreement on the right of the Basque People to decide their own future, and to the holding of a Referendum on the aforementioned Agreement before the end of 2010?"

The Spanish Government has already expressed their rejection to any referendum. They are afraid!!! But of what?

Clearly, the Spanish Governemnt doesn't believe in asking people about their own future. I guess they have never heard anything about participatory democracy. Too bad!! Another great example of what kind of democracy exists in Spain.

Ants' Meat hopes that the October 25, 2008 plebiscite would take place. However, if this isn't the case Ants' Meat would love to hear from diaspora Basques in the U.S. and elsewhere about what they are going to do. Be imaginative, be active, be part of Ants' Meat.

Gora Euskal Herria Askatuta!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Utah Phillips (1935-2008)

Utah Phillips passed away on May 23, 2008. Ants' Meat would like to express our deepest sympathy to their family, friends and fans.

under the ground

There is always a need for more people, ideas and money.
That's why Ants' Meat first post is about to declare its support for Barack Obama for President.
Why? Because, we are tired to be stepped on by the Bush administration. We cannot afford to live in these conditions for another four years if John McCain becomes the next President.
Planet Earth cannot survive under another extremist right-wing U.S. President.
It is time to raise up and voice your opinions and concerns.
Be active, be part of Ants' Meat.