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In God We Trust by Eduardo Galeano

Presidents of the United States tend to speak in God's name, although none of them has let on if He communicates by letter, fax, telephone or telepathy. With or without His approval, in 2006 God was proclaimed chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. That said, the All Powerful, who is even on the dollar bill, was a shining absence at the time of independence. The constitution did not mention Him. At the Constitutional Convention, when a prayer was suggested, Alexander Hamilton responded: "We don't need foreign aid." On his deathbed, George Washington wanted no prayers or priest or anything. Benjamin Franklin said divine revelation was nothing but poppycock. "My mind is my own church," affirmed Thomas Paine, and President John Adams believed that "this world would be the best of all worlds, if there were no religion in it." According to Thomas Jefferson, Catholic priests and Protestant ministers were "soothsayers and necromancers" who divided humanity, making "one half fools and the other half hypocrites." -Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015) RIP

Eduardo Galeano on students and their enthusiasm: keeping the Gods inside

Via Adbusters and AcampadaBCN: Eduardo Galeano interviewed in Plaza Catalunya, Madrid, in the midst of the student protests in Spain: I was in El Sol, and here I am seeing a reecounter.The same energy of dignity and the same enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is a Vitamin E, "E" for enthusiasm, which comes from a little Greek word whose hidden meaning is: "keeping the Gods inside". And every time I see that the gods are inside, inside one person or more, in things, in nature, in mountains and rivers, I realize that's what was waiting to convince me that life is worth living. So I am very happy to be here, as I was in El Sol, because this is a testament that life is worth living. That living is much, much more than political pettiness, who wins or loses. And it's much more than one's personal life too, than what you can lose or win. That all matters very little in this other world that awaits you, this other world that is possible. It's in this world's belly. This is a pretty rotten world. The world we're born in is not very hopeful, but there is another world in this one's belly that is waiting. It's a different world, and the labour will be hard. It's not easy for it to be born. But one thing is sure, it's beating in this world we have here. There's another world beating inside this present one. I see it in these spontaneous demonstrations. Here in Plaza Catalunya and in El Sol in Madrid, which I've fortunately been able to follow. I know that there are many more and they are a testimony. Some ask me: "Well, what's going to happen? And how will all this end up?" I simply answer what comes from my own experience and say "Well, nothing." I don't know what will happen, and I don't really care. I'm concerned about what's happening now. I'm concerned with present time. And what this present time tells us of another possible time yet to come. But what that will be in the end, I don't know. It's as if I were to ask myself that every time I fall in love, when I experience a deep, true love. When I feel I am alive and wouldn't care if I died while it's happening. So, well, love is like this. It's infinite while it lasts! It's important that it be infinite while it lasts. Not to plan everything as if one were part of a bank budget. Let's see, how much is the balance, the total… What is he expecting?! Probabilities. Let's ask the statistic gods… There's "Standard & Poors," which has a pretty eloquent name, because it means "Average and Poor." Let's see what awaits us, "average or poor"? And what the hell do I care what awaits us?

Soccer offsides rule is agreement not to score behind your opponent’s back

The US pretends the International Criminal Court doesn't have jurisdiction over its war crimes, and thinks the same immunity should shield us from FIFA referees I guess.   The USA-Algeria match today was hard fought, admittedly team USA displayed an offensive edge. Rooting for Team Weasel Empire doesn't automatically make you a Nazi, but I'll be curious to hear firsthand accounts of the hostility our compatriots faced in the stands. The silver lining to a US victory is that eventually our sportscasters will have to apologize to American TV viewers about the constant booing whenever USA gets the ball. Vuvuzelas may turn out to be a fortuitous annoyance for Western broadcasters. They mask the dynamics of how the spectators are really responding. I was slow to realize what I was hearing during the USA-Algeria match, a consistent switch from boos to cheers whenever the ball changed hands. I'm surprised I didn't see more commentary about it. Honestly, the TV talking heads spoke of the US supporter presence being "huge," and didn't bat an eye at the eruption of disapproval when Landon Donovan scored the last minute goal to net a USA victory. The next match pits the US against Ghana, which sets up a plausible excuse for why the entire stadium will be cheering against the USA. Much as I'd like to see an African team advance, I hope the Americans survive, because the more American stateside see our athletes jeered and booed, the sooner our sorry imperialist swagger can face abrupt self-reflection. Eduardo Galeano's SOCCER IN SUN AND SHADOW offers a great explanation of the Offsides Rule. Simply put, it reflects the gentleman's agreement not to go behind your adversary's back. What sport is there to kicking at an unprotected goal?

Hugo Chavez has message for Obama

Hugo Chavez met Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas, and presented this gift to the American president: "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. At the United Nations General Assembly in 2006, Chavez held aloft Noam Chomsky's "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance," encouraging everyone to read it. Is there a common theme to the dark-skinned Chavez's book recommendations? Chavez' critics from the Venezuelan upper middle class think he's no brighter than a monkey. His message, educate yourselves. Eduardo Galeano was interviewed by Amy Goodman on the day Barack Obama learned he had won the election. Galeano had this hope for the first US President of color: that he never forget that the White House, his new home, had been built by black slaves. By the way, Galeano's classic, with which Hugo Chavez hopes to bring Obama up to speed, was published in 1971. When Obama won the 2008 election, Eduardo Galeano wrote this essay: I HOPE. 10 November 2008 Will Obama prove, at the helm of government, that his threats of war against Iran and Pakistan were only words, broadcast to seduce difficult ears during the election campaign? I hope. And I hope he will not fall, even for a moment, for the temptation to repeat the exploits of George W. Bush. After all, Obama had the dignity to vote against the Iraq war, while the Democratic and Republican parties were applauding the announcement of this carnage. In his campaign, the word most often repeated in his speeches was leadership. In his administration, will he continue to believe that his country has been chosen to save the world, a toxic idea that he shares with almost all his colleagues? Will he insist on the United States’ global leadership and its messianic mission to take command? I hope the current crisis, which is shaking the imperial foundations, will serve at least to give the new administration a bath of realism and humility. Will Obama accept that racism is normal when it is used against the countries that his country invades? Isn’t it racism to count the deaths of invaders in Iraq, one by one, and arrogantly ignore the many dead among the invaded population? Isn’t this world racist, where there are first-, second-, and third-class citizens, and the first-. second-, and third-class dead? Obama’s victory was universally hailed as a battle won against racism. I hope he will assume, in his acts of government, this great responsibility. Will the Obama government confirm, once again, that the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are two names of the same party? I hope the desire for change, which these elections have established, will be more than a promise and more than a hope. I hope the new government has the courage to break with the tradition of the one and only party, disguised as two parties which at the moment of truth do more or less the same thing while

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