Bomb Thrower?

June 1st, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Investigative journalist Greg Palast makes it a habit of getting people to think and perhaps get a little annoyed at the same time. Somebody at PeakOil.com posted a Palast article that made it look like he had become a peak oil denier.
Nevertheless, like believers undaunted by the failure of alien spaceships to take them to Mars on the date predicted, Peak enthusiasts keep moving the date of the oil apocalypse further into the future. In the new, revisionist models of Hubbert’s prediction, the high point in the curve of discoverable oil on our planet will come in a decade or so. Though we have a reprieve, goes the new theory, still, we’re running out of crude, dude!
I figured that Palast had too much of a common-sensical streak to believe all of the anti-PO arguments and figured he had just engaged in a bit of rabble-rousing, so I wrote this quickly in his defense:
I think it rather smart for Palast to come up with this bombshell of sorts. You have to remember that progressives know how to deal with this kind of “wedge” issue. Liberals and progressives always deal with uncertainty and shades of gray. Now of course I don’t agree with what Palast thinks about this in a long-term, strategic sense, but in a tactical, short-term sense, I think he can make some headway. The headway comes because he can open up the discussion and expose some gaping holes in the ‘minionist ranks. Imagine when the Cheney’s of the world start attacking Palast and forget to protect their soft-white underbelly and all the maggots start crawling out. “Errr, Hubbert was right, … no, strike that, he was wrong”. Really, all that matters is getting the power mongers of the world to show their cards.

On the other hand somebody like Corsi becomes an open-sore to those in the conservative ranks. They do not allow dissension and these kinds of wedge issues drive their flock absolutely insane. A significant fraction will either all move to Corsi or move to some other POV. In the end, the conservatives will split, and you will see this happening with a host of issues, from ethanol to the rise of China as an energy consumer.

Think about it, do you really believe the questionable utility of ethanol and its rather poor EROEI has the liberals up in arms? No, because it serves as a rallying point. The shades of gray in the ethanol debate attract progressives, whereas it completely alienates the conservatives, and they go wingnut crazy over these issues.

Progressives => open to dissension, tolerate wedge issues
Conservatives => closed to dissension, sensitive to wedge issues

More power to Palast for being a bomb-thrower. He’s going to rattle a few cages and stir the vermin out of their hiding holes.
Based on some of his recent articles and appearances, I had a feeling that Palast would bring a peak-oil denying argument up because of our problems in distinguishing between (1) peak oil as a convenient excuse for raising prices and (2) controlling oil-rich regions as a means to set prices.

In this “offensive” article, Palast essentially adds a needed viewpoint to the mix. I had read some of his recent articles on using the Iraq conflict as a controlling mechanism. He had to write the peak oil article to clearly demonstrate the schism. He might have gone too far in his zealousness but it certainly left a mark.

But hold on, I almost go punk’t.

He had also written as a companion piece, this article, Why Palast is wrong : And why the oil companies don’t want you to know it, as an excerpt from his recent book “The Armed Madhouse”. So all his talk of a Hubbert Peak scam in the previous article turned into a clever strawman and devil’s advocacy for the payoff article.
A closing note of caution: I fear that some may take my noting the super-abundance of oil remaining on the planet as approval for our using it. Far from it-getting off the oil habit is an urgent working- class issue. First, because cheap, good air and water are in limited supply. We can’t keep pooping combustion contaminants into the sky unless expect we expect our children to grow gills that will metabolize sulfur. There’s lots of arsenic on the planet. Don’t eat it. There’s lots of oil. Don’t burn it.

Second, massive oil use is like any other addiction-it sickens the user and only enriches the pusher; in the case of oil, that would be ExxonMobil, OPEC and Vladimir Putin. Get the petroleum needle out of our veins and we get the extra bonus of watching Citibank go through agonizing petro-dollar withdrawal.
Go to GregPalast.com for his latest rants, and to see how he set up the strawman that fooled more than a few people into really getting PO’d.


Greg Interviewed on Flashpoints with Dennis Bernstein - Discusses Armed Madhouse

June 1st, 2006

Greg discusses his new book, Armed Madhouse, with Dennis Bernstein on Flashpoints - KPFA / Pacifica radio.

Click here for the podcast


Tour Dates

June 1st, 2006
ARMED MADHOUSE
From Baghdad to New Orleans
Sordid Secrets & Strange Tales of a White House GONE WILD

CHICAGO, IL
Date: Saturday, April 21
Event: CHICAGO GREEN FESTIVAL
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: McCormick Place / Lakeside 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive

MADISON, WI
Date: Sunday, April 22
Event: WORT-FM RADIO
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Barrymore Theatre 2090 Atwood Avenue
More Info: LIVE with Air America host Laura Flanders

PORTLAND, OR
Date: Tuesday, April 24
Event: KBOO-FM/PORTLAND ALLIANCE
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church 12th Street at Salmon

EUGENE, OR
Date: Wednesday, April 25
Event: University of Oregon Cultural Forum
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: University of Oregon PLC-180 (14th & Kincaid Streets)
More Info: KOPT Vocal Majority’s Brian Shaw to host; Radio Host Alan Siporin to introduce.

OAKLAND, CA
Date: Thursday, April 26
Event: FLASHPOINTS / MEDIA ALLIANCE / GLOBAL EXCHANGE
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM 6:30 PM screening
Location: Grand Lake Theater 3200 Grand Avenue
More Info: Flashpoint’s Dennis Bernstein to host with Jeff Perlstein of Media Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Date: Friday, April 27
Event: NEW LIVING EXPO
Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Location: Concourse Exhibition Center, Rm 2 635 8th Street at Brannan, San Francisco, CA

SAN JOSE, CA
Date: Friday, April 27
Event: SOUTH BAY MOBILIZATION
Time: 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Location: First Christian Church 80 South Fifth Street

LOS ANGELES, CA
Date: Saturday, April 28
Event: LOS ANGELES TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS
Time: 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Location: UCLA Ackerman Ballroom, Westwood, CA
More Info: Greg will be on a panel, “State of the Union” with other special guests

LOS ANGELES, CA
Date: Saturday, April 28
Event: KPFK-FM/PACIFICA RADIO
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Immanuel Presbyterian Church 3300 Wilshire Blvd.

SANTA FE, NM
Date: Sunday, April 29
Event: SIMPLE CHANGE, KSFR-FM and COLLECTED WORKS BOOK STORE
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: The Lensic, Santa Fe’s Performing Arts Center 211 West San Francisco Street
NEW YORK, NY
Date: Tuesday, May 1
Event: WBAI PACIFICA RADIO/PALAST FUND
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Location: Community Church of New York 40 East 35th Street

NEW YORK, NY
Date: Wednesday, May 2
Event: BORDER’S BOOKS & MUSIC
Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Location: 10 Columbus Circle New York, NY
More Info: Border’s Columbus Circle, 212-823-9775

WASHINGTON DC
Thursday, May 3
WPFW PACIFICA RADIO (tentative venue)
7:30 – 9:30 PM New York Avenue Presbyterian Church
1313 New York Avenue
Dr. Wilmer Leon to host

MONTPELIER, VT
Friday, May 4
Event: GREG PALAST WITH BEN COHEN, TRUE MAJORITY
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Unitarian Church of Montpelier 130 Main Street
More Info: WGDR’s Jim Hogue to host

Screenings featuring:
Palast’s film Big Easy to Big Empty —The True Story of the Drowning of New Orleans


Continue to Gregpalast.com

June 1st, 2006


Armed Madhouse

June 1st, 2006

For the past two years, I’ve nearly disappeared from BBC Television screens and from newspapers so my team could focus on our most important investigation yet. I’ve put it in a book: Armed Madhouse. The book travels from Beijing to New Orleans to Caracas to Baghdad to New Mexico … a five-part investigation of global economic piggery so deep, dark and devious you just have to scream or cry — or laugh.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that ‘Armed Madhouse’ is entertaining — this is my most serious reporting yet — connecting oil panic, Hurricane Katrina, Chinese currency, Venezuela’s petrodollars, disappearing ballots, Thomas Friedman, more oil, and the murder of General Motors. These are dispatches from the front lines of the class war.

Here is our new world of militarized greed, where America’s panic over lunatics with box-cutters has metastasized into a billion-dollar fear industry; where Republicans sucking on Super-sized Slurpies® are hunting dark-skinned voters to eliminate their rights; where James Baker’s fixer in alligator boots sets up the grab for Iraq’s oil on her way to the rodeo; where miners are suffocated by the same investment bankers who are siphoning off auto workers’ pensions. I add 50 illustrations, including those intriguing ones marked ’secret’ by the State Department and the World Bank, plus a brilliant recipe for shrimp curry — and Dick Cheney.

Asia Times says, “Greg Palast, the man widely considered as the top investigative journalist in the United States, is persona non grata in his own country’s media.” But it’s not ME that’s ‘non-grata’ — it’s the information about the Washington regime that is shut out of the mainstream press in the USA.


I’m writing to ask you to order the book right NOW for delivery the week of its release, June 6. Here’s why. These early sales are crucial to convincing mainstream media that America really wants to know what the hell is going on. My last book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, helped open the forbidden topic of vote theft in America. Now, we need break the media’s omerta, the silencing of talk of class war.

I’m asked again and again, What can we DO? The answer is, we can’t do anything until we’re INFORMED. We can’t prevent the theft of the ‘08 election until you know the crazy details of the theft of ‘04. We can’t stop the coming war in Venezuela until we learn the weird story of how Big Oil mapped out Iraq’s petroleum destiny. We can’t shield ourselves from economic onslaught until we have the hard, if hidden, facts of class conflict from the Sino-dollar panic to the privatization of hurricane planning. That’s why I wrote this book.

And if you’re of a mind to buy it, please do so now here, via local or ‘Net bookstore or through our website.

Like to support our work? We don’t charge Democracy Now or the Pacifica Network or non-profit websites for our work. So we can only investigate and report if you help. Donate $100 to our non-profit foundation and I’ll send you a personally signed hardbound, illustrated copy of Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, No Child’s Behind Left and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. I take no salary: 100% of the funds go to keep our staff alive.

AND SIGN UP TO SPONSOR THE 20-CITY ARMED MADHOUSE TOUR. Your national or local organization can join Project Censored, Code Pink, Activist San Diego, Global Exchange, Austin Vote Rescue, Ohio Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, Pacifica Radio affiliates, as a sponsor of the Armed Madhouse tour. Contact: sponsors(AT)GregPalast.com

And a note to MEDIA PEOPLE reading this missive: If you wish to book an interview with me [the schedule's tight, so please book now], or need a review copy — or want to publish an excerpt — contact interviews(AT)gregpalast.com

And soon you can download Jim Hightower, Larry David, Randi Rhodes, Amy Goodman and other friends reading from Armed Madhouse at www.GregPalast.com

When the inmates are running the asylum, arm yourself with the facts.

Greg Palast & Team
New York | London


Armed Madhouse Review by Kam Williams

May 31st, 2006

Armed Madhouse
By Greg Palast
Dutton
Hardcover, $25.95
384 pages
ISBN: 0-525-94968-2

Book Review by Kam Williams

Before you enter these pages, I should warn you: I am not a nice man. Ask Alan Colmes, Fox’s house liberal. He once said to me, “Greg, you have no respect for the office of the President.” No, I don’t. Not one iota.

You want something heartwarming, Alan? Buy a puppy. But if you want just the facts, ma’am — facts rarely cuddly or cute here’s your book.”
-Excerpted from the Introduction

The mainstream media prefers to keep the American people in the dark when it comes to the truth about controversial questions like: why the Katrina evacuation and rescue really were botched, how the last two Presidential elections were fixed, and whether Republican tax cuts, downsizing, outsourcing, and undocumented worker programs represent an undeclared class war. Fortunately, intrepid journalist Greg Palast has been one to leave no stone unturned in quest of answers, researching deeply into such stories long after the rest of the press has chosen to parrot the White House talking points or big business¡¦ party line.

Palast, an expatriate from Los Angeles who now makes his home in England, has been deemed the most important investigative reporter of our time in Britain, where he appears regularly on the BBC and writes revealing exposes for the Guardian newspapers. His previous book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, among other things, detailed the vote fraud in Florida which tainted the 2000 presidential race, putting Bush undeservedly in office.

In Armed Madhouse, Palast uncovers additional election irregularities, not only from 2000 and 2004, but the Republican plan already afoot to rig the results in 2008. Plus, he addresses such other underreported stories as the ¡§plan to drown New Orleans, the CIA plot to assassinate of Hugo Chavez, and the fact that the No Child Left Behind Act is actually designed to fail our kids.

Because Palast is shedding light on subjects either totally ignored in the U.S. or routinely dismissed as the talk of crackpot conspiracy theorists, his conclusions are likely to sound like the ravings of a paranoid nut at first blush. But because he has gone to great pains to document his every assertion, the evidence adds up to quite a convincing case by the end of this relentlessly compelling opus.

For instance, when revisiting the 2004 election, he states that the BBC revealed the massive attack planned against black voters a week before the election. Moreover, this impending disenfranchisement of African-Americans turned out to be ¡§the most-watched story around the globe at the time, precisely because of this nation’s long legacy of lynching, beating, hosing and siccing dogs on blacks attempting to exercise their right to vote.

Yet, in the U.S., only one network, ABC, even bothered to mention the alleged scheme, and that was to dismiss the damning BBC coverage as entirely incorrect. So, while much of the rest of the world was calling for the stationing of UN observers at polls all across this country to protect the democratic process, the domestic press was disinterested in the array of racist measures being implemented by the Republican Party’s to purge hundreds of thousands of blacks from the voting rolls and to discard the ballots of thousands more who might manage to vote. Welcome to Jim Crow, 21st Century-style.

Kudos to Greg Palast for this sobering wake-up call which could serve as the catalyst for the sort of wholesale social changes which America must make if the republic is to be saved.


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May 29th, 2006

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Order the Book

May 29th, 2006

Brand New Paperback Edition - Available for Pre-Order Now

Get the book from:



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for a $50 Donation! from:
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Sponsors

May 29th, 2006

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Get Involved

May 29th, 2006
Sponsorship and Fundraising Opportunities

Dismantle the walls of this Armed Madhouse by arming yourself with information for action, framing the issues and generating visibility for your group/ organization and its goals.*JOIN OTHERS IN SPONSORING THE 20 CITY TOUR: Your national or local organization can join Project Censored, Code Pink, Operation PUSH/Rainbow Coalition, Activist San Diego, Global Exchange, Austin Vote Rescue, Ohio Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, Pacifica Radio affiliates, Working Assets and others as a sponsor of the Armed Madhouse tour.

You SPREAD THE WORD about Armed Madhouse: Through your membership, networks and media about speaking events and the book’s relevance to your group’s issues. Specifically, if your organization is able to send out a notice to your membership via email lists or newsletters about Armed Madhouse, as well as mention it on your website ( we can provide banner ads & links) it is greatly appreciated.

We SPREAD THE Word about YOUR ORGANIZATION and it’s goals in return for your efforts; Opportunities include– sponsors receive free posters, a comp review book for their website/newsletter and recognition at local events, placement on GregPalast.com of your organization’s logo and link to your organization’s website, literature and information about your group at tour events in each city, mention of your group in Greg’s podcasts.

*FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITIES: PRE-ORDER Copies of Armed Madhouse. If your group or organization orders 24 books or more BEFORE June 4th, 2006 when the tour officially kicks off, Greg Palast will donate back $$$ to your group. You must order the books from Greg Palast’s site, http://www.gregpalast.com/armedmadhouse/preorder.html and sign up with sponsors(At)gregpalast.com We also have some free autographed copies we can donate to your group for giveaways.

“Everyone must read this book” -Jesse Jackson, Operation Push (Tour Sponsor)

“No one has uncovered more about the Bush Dynasty and lived to write about it” - Baltimore Chronicle

Contact and Further information:

To see the 20-City Book tour schedule: go to ARMED MADHOUSE TOUR

To Pre-order Copies of Armed Madhouse: go to http://www.GregPalast.com

For more detailed information on the tour schedule and to make arrangements Email:
sponsors(AT)GregPalast.com