Autoplectic | 1 Oct 04:09 2005
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the FSC case at WTO redux

[Full report of the case  <at> 
<http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news_e.htm#panel_108>]

<http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9077-1805764,00.html>

The Times  	October 01, 2005

WTO rules that US tax concession breaks law
From Rory Watson in Brussels

THE European Union has been given a major boost in its battle with the
United States over subsidies to giant aircraft manufacturer Boeing
after the World Trade Organisation declared America's export tax
exemption scheme illegal.

Six years after the trade body first ruled against the concession,
then known as the Foreign Sales Corporation, it confirmed yesterday
that, despite some changes, its successor, the American Jobs Creation
Act introduced last year, also violated international rules.

In its judgment, the WTO panel stated that the US continued to fail
"to withdraw the prohibited subsidies and bring its measures into
conformity" with earlier rulings. It noted that while Congress had
repealed the original FSC tax scheme, its support for a transition
period and the permanent grandfathering of existing contracts had
continued the subsidies.

The system allows American exporters to exclude from tax on their
gross income that portion of their receipts that relates to foreign
trade. The European Commission has argued that thousands of US
(Continue reading)

Mark Lause | 1 Oct 04:43 2005
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RE: Bill Bennett racism

The funniest thing about this--if there's anything funny about having
had such a malevolent nitwit as head of Education--is that Bennett
clearly doesn't "get" why people are so angry and offended.

He corrects people that he was NOT advocating aborting all black
fetuses...just pointing out that it would lower the crime rate.

I remember an interview with Tom Lehrer, the songwriter-satirist in
which he was asked why he had stopped producing records.  Referring to
the Reagan team, he said he didn't know how to spoof what was already a
spoof....

Solidarity!
Mark L.

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soula avramidis | 1 Oct 08:39 2005
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take your cue from the Near East

With the investigation into Hariri's murder progressing, the situation in the whole of the Near East is becoming more tense. Syria is trying to sell out completely, give up on the Palestinian radical movements, Hizbollah and collaborate fully on Iraq in a low tone clandestine matter. But it seems at least for the time being that it is not allowed the Quadafi option because the US wants a fundemaentalist power in Syria. The US wants to theocratise the whole region. A despotic/obscurantist Saudi like rule everywhere is the ultimate victory for capital. So a Syria that is eager to surrender will also be no good at war. Syria could always threaten that it holds a huge pool of terrorists so to speak, but this time around the Americans and the Israelis are calling its bluff, which means that the whole Sykes-Picot division after WWI could come undone. The plight of the whole liberation movem ent is coming under a lot of pressure.



 

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Louis Proyect | 1 Oct 16:13 2005
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John Hammond

For background on an article on jazz and the left, I am reading John 
Hammond’s memoir “On Record” that was written in 1977. Hammond, a scion of 
the Vanderbilt family who was born in 1910 and died in 1987, was a Columbia 
Records executive with sympathies for the left who “discovered” Billie 
Holiday, Bob Dylan and many other major talents of the 20th century. He 
wrote for the Nation Magazine in the 1930s and was on the board of the 
NAACP for decades. He was sympathetic to the CPUSA, but­according to the 
memoir­never a member. In fact he made sure that when the New Masses (the 
CP journal) sponsored the legendary “Spirituals to Swing” Carnegie Hall 
concerts in 1938-1939, he made sure that the concert would not look like it 
had any connections to the party. He also apparently was alienated by some 
typical moves of the party, like turning on a dime around certain Stalin 
initiatives like the peace treaty with Hitler, etc.

While the book is replete with fascinating information about the cultural 
scene of the 1930s, the main thing that comes across is Hammond’s 
insensitive personality. To start with, “On Record” consistently refers to 
Black people as “Negroes”. This is 1977 we are talking about, not 1957. 
This is obviously connected to a certain paternalism that Hammond expressed 
from an early age. His hatred of racism, while commendable, was always bred 
from a certain kind of “do-goodism” found in wealthy white circles. This 
often leads to some really striking “wrong notes” that are odds with his 
finely honed musical tastes. For example, in explaining how the Spirituals 
to Swing concert was conceived, he says that he wanted to present the 
entire gamut of “Negro music” from the sophisticated arrangements of Count 
Basie to the most “primitive” blues singers. If I ever had the opportunity 
to speak with John Hammond after reading this, I would have tried to 
explain that there was nothing “primitive” about the blues. As somebody who 
was bent on including Robert Johnson in the Carnegie Hall concert (the 
musician had been murdered a few months earlier) and who introduced 
Johnson’s recordings to the young Bob Dylan, he probably knew this. It was 
just a poor choice of words and reflected a certain class bias.

More alarming, however, was Hammond’s decision to allow class loyalties to 
get in the way of his relationship with Billie Holiday:

“I couldn't wait to bring Billie Holiday to Cafe Society. It was the 
perfect place for her to sing to a new audience with the kind of jazz 
players who brought out her best. Unfortunately, her appearances were not 
the success they could have been, and they proved to be the end of my 
association with Billie’s career. She was heavily involved with narcotics, 
and she had hired as her manager a woman from a distinguished family I knew 
well. I was concerned that she and her family might be hurt by unsavory 
gossip, or even blackmailed by the gangsters and dope pushers Billie knew.

“It was one of the few times in my life when I felt compelled to interfere 
in a personal relationship which was none of my business. I told the 
manager's family what I knew and what I feared. Soon afterward the manager 
and Billie broke up, and Billie never worked at Cafe Society again. I think 
she never forgave me for what she suspected was my part in the breakup, but 
the woman who managed her is still my friend and I think she realizes now 
the complications which could have arisen.”

The idea of sacrificing Holiday’s career at the altar of a “distinguished 
family” stinks, to put it mildly. One supposes that this was the Vanderbilt 
in him at work. Oddly enough, his mother and father looked benignly on his 
civil rights activism, but neither they nor he could ever descend from 
their Olympian heights to actually become part of the social milieu that 
they were championing.

If one visits East 91st street in Manhattan, the street where I live 
actually, you can see visible evidence of how the Hammond family lived. On 
9 East 91st Street, you will find the Russian Embassy. That building was 
where John Hammond was born. It has a formal ballroom that can seat 250 
people! In 1935, Hammond held a concert party where Benny Goodman played 
Mozart with a string quartet. You can get an idea of the size of this joint 
and how the invited Black musicians might have felt from this anecdote 
whose bitter irony I suspect Hammond did not fully appreciate:

“After the concert the audience was invited to a reception on the fifth 
floor. The front elevator of the house held only half a dozen passengers; I 
rode up with Fletcher [Henderson], Benny [Goodman], and three other guests. 
Benny, relieved to have the performance over, appointed Fletcher the 
elevator operator, a common occupation for Negroes in New York department 
stores in those days. As Fletcher opened the elevator doors at each floor, 
Goodman would announce, ‘Fourth floor, men's and boy's clothes. Fifth 
floor, women's ready-to-wear.’”

As students of jazz history probably know, Henderson was Goodman’s arranger 
and responsible for the distinctive sound that propelled Goodman into 
stardom. But Henderson himself felt cheated. He felt that racism interfered 
with his ability to fully exploit his talents. Indeed, the classic 
anthology of Henderson recordings is titled “Studies in Frustration”, 
produced by John Hammond himself.

Some of Hammond’s memoir is unintentionally funny. For example, here’s how 
he describes the family move from East 91st Street in 1949. “Mother and 
father had sold the 91st Street house and moved into a modest, sixteen-room 
apartment which occupied an entire floor of 778 Park Avenue. Mother had 
never lived in an apartment, but she managed.” This reminds me of the 
famous but apocryphal exchange between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest 
Hemingway. Fitzgerald: “The rich are different than you and me.” Hemingway: 
“Yes, they have more money.”

Carrol Cox | 1 Oct 16:41 2005

Re: John Hammond, Fitzgerald/Hemingway, & Huck

Louis Proyect wrote:
> This reminds me of the
> famous but apocryphal exchange between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest
> Hemingway. Fitzgerald: “The rich are different than you and me.” Hemingway:
> “Yes, they have more money.”

Hemingway was wrong. The rich are different in that they can _know_ the
facts and shrug them off with something like, "If they can stand it, we
can." That is the attitude which creates the sour notes Lou notes in
Hammond's memoir. I can't remember the episode now, it's been a long
time since I reread Huck Finn, but I think someone gets killed and Huck
remarks something like, "If he could stand it, I could."

Carrol

michael perelman | 1 Oct 19:45 2005

Re: take your cue from the Near East

Why would the US want a fundamentalist Syria, which would surely oppose
both the US & Israel?

soula avramidis wrote:

> With the investigation into Hariri's murder progressing, the situation
> in the whole of the Near East is becoming more tense. Syria is trying
> to sell out completely, give up on the Palestinian radical movements,
> Hizbollah and collaborate fully on Iraq in a low tone clandestine
> matter. But it seems at least for the time being that it is not
> allowed the Quadafi option because the US wants a fundemaentalist
> power in Syria. The US wants to theocratise the whole region. A
> despotic/obscurantist Saudi like rule everywhere is the ultimate
> victory for capital. So a Syria that is eager to surrender will also
> be no good at war. Syria could always threaten that it holds a huge
> pool of terrorists so to speak, but this time around the Americans and
> the Israelis are calling its bluff, which means that the whole
> Sykes-Picot division after WWI could come undone. The plight of the
> whole liberation movement is coming under a lot of pressure.
>

--

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
530-898-5321
fax 530-898-5901

jeff sommers | 1 Oct 20:45 2005
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US/EU economic growth

Greetings,

1) Can anyone tell me roughly what percentage of US economic growth over EU
growth merely reflects added US population growth from both births and
immigration?  A rough figure will do.  A data source would be great.

2) Also, if there are any other factors privileging US econ. growth over the
EU unrelated to the "real" economy, would appreciate that too.

Thanks,

Jeff

--Jeff Sommers jsommers@...
(m) 414 324 1748

--Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga)
Visiting Professor and Director of World Affairs Series
www.sseriga.edu.lv
--Silk Roads Project, Co-Director
www.worldaffairs.sseriga.edu.lv/silkroads/
--Center for European & Transition Studies,
University of Latvia, Fellow
www.lu.lv/cets
--Institute for Globalization Studies, Moscow, Fellow
www.iprog.ru/en

Yoshie Furuhashi | 2 Oct 00:53 2005
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Michael Perelman, "Flexibility for Whom?" (from Manufacturing Discontent)

You all ought to be buying Michael Perelman's new book Manufacturing
Discontent, sight unseen, but here's another taste of the book:

"Flexibility for Whom?"
<http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/perelman011005.html>

It's from a section focused on the subject of "flexibility" of work
time.

Yoshie Furuhashi
<http://montages.blogspot.com>
<http://monthlyreview.org>
<http://mrzine.org>
* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/mahmoud-
ahmadinejads-face.html>;  <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/chvez-
congratulates-ahmadinejad.html>; <http://montages.blogspot.com/
2005/06/iranian-working-class-rejects.html>

Doug Henwood | 2 Oct 03:22 2005
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Re: US/EU economic growth

jeff sommers wrote:

>1) Can anyone tell me roughly what percentage of US economic growth over EU
>growth merely reflects added US population growth from both births and
>immigration?  A rough figure will do.  A data source would be great.

Roughly 1%. EU pop growth is about 0%, and US pop growth is about 1%.
The US also has a larger share of the pop working longer hours, but
that's not what you asked, right?

Doug

soula avramidis | 2 Oct 06:06 2005
Picon

Re: take your cue from the Near East

It is a double wammy, a fundementalist regime can have divine rights and make unqueqstionable concessions on all sorts of national rights including historical rights; and a theocrqtic regime would allow for social regress and the despotism needed for stabilisation. both of the latter would go to undermine working class achievements everywhere including <us and europe

michael perelman <michael-sYjwn8sAPsttEM8vVZu3cLg7sE8m1Ewp@public.gmane.org> wrote:
Why would the US want a fundamentalist Syria, which would surely oppose
both the US & Israel?

soula avramidis wrote:

> With the investigation into Hariri's murder progressing, the situation
> in the whole of the Near East is becoming more tense. Syria is trying
> to sell out completely, give up on the Palestinian radical movements,
> Hizbollah and collaborate fully on Iraq in a low tone clandestine
> matter. But it seems at least for the time being that it is not
> allowed the Quadafi option because the US wants a fundemaentalist
> power in Syria. The US wants to theocratise the whole region. A
> despotic/obscurantist Saudi like rule everywhere is the ultimate
> victory for capital. So a Syria that is eager to surrend er will also
> be no good at war. Syria could always threaten that it holds a huge
> pool of terrorists so to speak, but this time around the Americans and
> the Israelis are calling its bluff, which means that the whole
> Sykes-Picot division after WWI could come undone. The plight of the
> whole liberation movement is coming under a lot of pressure.
>


--

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
530-898-5321
fax 530-898-5901

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Click here to donate to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Gmane