Your Search Results

Index October 2008

Comments Off

New Lifeline for Ailing Giants

Comments Off

DEVELOPMENT: Bretton Woods II

Published on IPS, Analysis by John Vandaele, Oct. 28, 2008.

… Europe, by way of the hyperactive French President Nicolas Sarkozy, demands a Bretton Woods II, that is, a major shake-up of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This is as much a rescue operation for two organisations that have lost muscle as a call for a new financial architecture.

Up until mid-October 2008 the IMF, the world’s most important financial institution, did not play a role in the unfolding credit crisis. The G7 (the seven industrialised nations, the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan) had given the task to make recommendations to the Financial Stability Forum dominated by the G7 countries, effectively bypassing the Fund …

Continue Reading…

Misrepresenting the Financial Crisis

Comments Off

It Is Not Lack of Liquidit, It Is Insolvency and Lack of Trust

Published on MRzine, by Ismael Hossein-zadeh, Oct. 26, 2008.

… The bailout scheme imposed by the United States government misrepresents the ongoing credit crunch as a problem of illiquidity, i.e. lack of cash.  In reality, the problem is a lack of trust due to widespread insolvency in the financial market.  In such an environment of widespread insolvency and lack of trust, owners of cash rush to safety: buying treasury bills, investing abroad, or hoarding their cash, thus creating something akin to a black hole for cash – a “liquidity trap” – as explained by John Maynard Keynes.

The “lack-of-cash” premise has been successfully promoted to justify extraction of more than a trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money in the vain hope that it will free the banks from “troubled assets” and create liquidity in the financial markets, thereby triggering a much-needed wave of lending, borrowing, and expansion.

The fact that we now have a perfect case of a liquidity trap is explained (among others) by Professor Peter Morici of the University of Maryland: …

… So, the undisclosed, tightly-kept-secret mountains of toxic assets simply cannot be bailed out.  Not only will the efforts to do so fail, they are also bound to drain public finance, accumulate national debt, weaken national currency, and prolong an economic crisis.

By contrast, the homeowner-centered alternative would have a number of advantages.  First, and foremost, it would help citizens facing the specter of homelessness stay in their homes by allowing them to pay affordable mortgage installments based on reduced or realistic home prices.

Not only will this method of asset evaluation (called mark-to-market assessment) rescue the vulnerable homeowners, it will also cost taxpayers much less money than bailing out the enormous amounts of the Wall Street gamblers’ phony assets.

Furthermore, this solution would also allow the government to gradually recover the market-based home prices it would be paying the failed commercial mortgage holders in order to replace them as the new mortgage holder.

By cleansing the market of the dead weight of tons of junk assets, and allowing threatened homeowners to pay affordable mortgage installments, this bottom-up solution would also help restore faith and trust in the financial system and the credit market — thereby also mitigating the liquidity crisis. (full long text).

(Ismael Hossein-zadeh, author of the recently published The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism, teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa).

New African Resistance to Global Finance

Comments Off

Linked with Patrick Bond – South Africa, and with School of Development Studies.

Published on MRzine, by Patrick Bond, Oct. 25, 2008.

… Africa has always suffered a disproportionate share of pressure from the world economy, especially in the sphere of debt and financial outflows.  But, for those African countries which made themselves excessively vulnerable to global financial flows during the neoliberal era, the meltdown had a severe, adverse impact.

In Africa’s largest national economy, for example, South African finance minister Trevor Manuel had presided over steady erosion of exchange controls (with 26 consecutive relaxations from 1995-2008, according to the Reserve Bank) and the emergence of a massive current account deficit: -9% in 2008, second worst in the world …

Continue Reading…

STOLEN ELECTIONS AND MEDIA BLACKOUTS

Comments Off

CAROLYN BAKER INTERVIEWS MARK CRISPIN MILLER

(Here an exception, FIRST here the Links: Election Fraud News.com, and The Twelve Step Program, on YES! Online – Election 2008: 12 Ways You Can Safeguard the Vote, by Fran Korten; Download the pdf-text.)

Published on Carolyn Baker.net, by Carolyn Baker, October 26, 2008.

(Some excerpts of a long interview): … I sat down with Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies at New York University, to ask him a number of questions regarding stolen elections-a subject Miller has researched and written about extensively. Greg Palast, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Bev Harris, Steve Rosenfeld, Bob Fitrakis, and Lynne Landes, have provided monumental contributions to the subject of election fraud, each with their own unique styles and methods of targeting the issue. Mark Crispin Miller’s 2005 book Fooled Again, impeccably documents the stealing of the 2004 election, and Loser Take All, a 2008 collection of essays on stolen elections incorporates the research of other investigators of election fraud such as Robert Kennedy, Jr; Bob Fitrakis, and Steve Rosenfeld.

Generously, Professor Miller gave me both time and disturbing insights regarding the upcoming election of 2008 …

Continue Reading…

The Food Crisis – La Crise Alimentaire

Comments Off

Linked with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland, with Rome’s food summit, with Suffering Hunger, with Crise alimentaire, with World Food Day: Global Crises’ Double Standards, and with World Food Summit on Food Security.

Watch these videos:

Why You Cannot Afford to Ignore China

Comments Off

Published on Contrarian Profits, by Irwin Greenstein, Oct 22, 2008.

… Have there been recent bankruptcies in China? Yes.

Has the workforce shifted from a shortage to a surplus? Yes.

Are commodities prices lower because China is slowing down? Yes.

But the fact remains that China is still perhaps the most robust economy anywhere – especially with rogue petro-fascist states like Venezuela, Iran and Russia suddenly finding themselves nose-diving into a deficit with shrinking oil prices.

Continue Reading…

Democracy and militarism

Comments Off

Linked with Howard Zinn – USA.

Published on RealNewsNetwork, by Howard Zinn, October 26, 2008.

See this video: Paul Jay interviews Howard Zinn: Democracy and militarism, the financial and war crisis have created an opportunity for real change (Pt5/5), 9.45 min.

In the final segment of our interview with Howard Zinn we explore the idea of the United States as a source of freedom and democracy in the world. Prof. Zinn outlines the long history in the US of linking military pursuits with the cause of freedom and democracy, a marriage which Prof.

Zinn believes is still used due to inappropriate historical education. Prof. Zinn believes that it is time to drop war altogether as a practice and begin the hard but fruitful transition to an economy based on domestic improvement rather than military dominance. He finishes by adding that education is most effective when coinciding with a changing reality and that the combination of the financial crisis and the military crisis are creating such a scenario … (full text).

Link – see also:

Who is Behind the Financial Meltdown? Market Manipulation and the Institutional Speculator, by Michel Chossudovsky, on Global Research, October 11, 2008.

Brazil – Nazi graveyard discovered deep in the Amazon rainforest

Comments Off

… an article with 8 photos

Published on MailOnline, by Alan Hall, October 24, 2008.

… A graveyard of former Nazis bent on creating a ‘foreign Fatherland’ in the Amazonian rainforests from which to spread Hitler’s maniacal beliefs has been discovered in Brazil.

The relics betray a madcap plan back in the 1930s to create a master race thousands of miles from Germany.

The graveyard and other ruins that fanatical Nazis left behind are chronicled in a new book.

Entitled ’The Guayana-Projekt. A German Adventure on the Amazon’ it says die-hard Nazis believed they were destined to settle the world like pioneers of the wild west in America …

Continue Reading…

Land to the tillers

Comments Off

Linked with Krishnammal Jagannaathan – India, and with Land for Tillers Freedom LAFTI.

Published on OneWorldSouthAsia, by Aditya Malaviya, Aug. 04, 2008.

For Sarvodaya activist Krishnammal Jagannathan land represents freedom. A lifelong Gandhian committed to the philosophy of self-reliance, 85-year-old Krishnammal and her 95-year-old husband S Jagannathan began a movement in 1968 called LAFTI-Land for the tillers’ freedom.

LAFTI started in Tamil Nadu in southern India as a non-violent movement to get land from landlords and distribute it to landless peasants. In two decades it has succeeded in redistributing thousands of acres of land to poor and low-caste families.

“The villagers tell Krishnammal how much land is available and where, and who the owner is. Then LAFTI negotiates with the landlord, usually demanding a rate that’s less than the market price.”

Continue Reading…

World Food Day: Global Crises’ Double Standards

Comments Off

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Ramzy Baroud, 24 October, 2008.

… It’s rather ironic that those who cried foul every time a Third World government dared intervene in their national economy – even if to guarantee the welfare of the poorest segments of society – said nothing as the US, the UK and others defied every rule of the free market economy long championed by neoliberal economists. Even leading US Republicans who chastised “Big Government” at every turn (especially to block welfare programmes that mostly benefit the poor) cheered the government on as it moved to bail out the rich who, as usual, are likely to remain unaccountable for risking the retirement funds and life savings of millions of Americans.

A dominant argument to justify government behaviour is, yet again, the trickle down effect: a term coined by a Ronald Reagan speechwriter that simply means that what is good for the rich is, eventually, good for the poor. While elites in every society eagerly infuse such “Reaganomics” at every turn, the world’s poor is yet to feel the trickles, which poses an interesting question: Why the unprecedented and historic urgency to bailout the rich (for the sake of the poor, at an imaginary point in the future), while the poor can easily be saved without such roundabouts plans?

Continue Reading…

World Food Summit on Food Security

Comments Off

FAO Director-General underlines the need to convene a World Food Summit on Food Security

Received by mail:

From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 24/10/2008

Food and Agriculture Organization FAO Press release:

24 October 2008, New York/Rome – Former US President Bill Clinton urged the international community to stop using the global financial crisis “as an excuse” to avoid dealing with escalating hunger, adding that over the long term, only agricultural self-sufficiency could take a significant bite out of world hunger and stave off future financial woes.

President Clinton made the remarks during his keynote speech at a World Food Day commemoration at UN Headquarters, marking the 63rd anniversary of the foundation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

“Food is not a commodity like others,” said Clinton, who heads an international non-governmental organization bearing his name.

Continue Reading…

Bailout costs approach $5 TRILLION

Comments Off

Biggest robbery of the public in world history

Published on Axis of Logic, by Les Blough (Axis of Logic) and Steve Watson (Infowars), Oct 15, 2008.

In article below, Steve Watson discusses the cost of the bailout to the tax payer. He ends his analysis, writing about “derivatives worldwide” to the tune of “$1 to $2 quadrillion”.

BIG NUMBERS: What is a quintillion?

  • Quintillion is: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
  • (A Billion of Billions)
  • Quadrillion is: 1,000,000,000,000,000 (A thousand of billions)
  • Trillion is: 1,000,000,000,000 (A million of millions)
  • Billion is: 1,000,000,000 (A thousand of millions)
  • Million is: 1,000,000 (One thousand thousands)

There can be no doubt. The so-called “Bailout”, led by Henry Paulson, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is by far, the biggest robbery of the public in any nation in world history. (See the figures provided in the Infowars chart … (full long text).

A politics of crisis: low-energy cosmopolitanism

Comments Off

Published on openDemocracy, by Andrew Dobson and David Hayes, oct. 22, 2008.

There are signs that the global financial crisis is giving some solace to forces of the political left. No wonder, for the left has been delivered a plausible story that also goes with the grain of much common-sense wisdom.

It runs like this. The collapse of major banks and investment houses reveals the speculative house-of-cards on which neo-liberal capitalist economics has been built; the actions of governments around the world in bailing out and directly investing in these institutions show that an active state is essential to financial stability. The condition of the political right in the two major states most imbued with the market dogma of the age (the United States and Britain) suggests that an epochal shift may be underway – in which the balance between “private” and “public” is moving back in favour of collective, social and more inclusive (even egalitarian) solutions …

Continue Reading…

The Great Unmasking

Comments Off

Linked with Linda Burnham – USA, and with The Women of Color Resource Center.

Published on CommonDreams.org, by Linda Burnham, October 22, 2008.

Capitalism in crisis is a sight to behold. Most of the time the system seems to hum along quite nicely. Oh, maybe a passel of people loses their jobs when some big-headed suit at the top decides to up and move on to a cheaper labor market. And maybe a city or two, or even a whole region, goes bankrupt and destitute, shops boarded up, ghosts in the street. Maybe a generation of young people ends up poorly educated because nobody could figure out how to turn a decent profit schooling ten-year-olds, so it slid down to the bottom of the priority list. Maybe there’s an aberration here or there, like the positive incentive to filling up prisons. But overall, the thing has the reputation of the proverbial well-oiled machine, humming along and delivering the greatest good to the greatest number. And besides, it’s the only machine in town.

But then it breaks down. Spectacularly.

Continue Reading…

Going to Extremes in America

Comments Off

Published on TomDispatch.com, by Nick Turse, October 19, 2008.

… The fallout from the current subprime mortgage debacle and the economic one that followed has thrown lives into turmoil across the country. In recent days, the Associated Press, ABC News, and others have begun to address the burgeoning body count, especially suicides attributed to the financial crisis. (Note that, months ago, Barbara Ehrenreich raised the issue in the Nation.)

Suicide is, however, just one type of extreme act for which the financial meltdown has seemingly been the catalyst. Since the beginning of the year, stories of resistance to eviction, armed self-defense, canicide, arson, self-inflicted injury, murder, as well as suicide, especially in response to the foreclosure crisis, have bubbled up into the local news, although most reports have gone unnoticed nationally — as has any pattern to these events.

While it’s impossible to know what factors, including deeply personal ones, contribute to such extreme acts, violent or otherwise, many do seem undeniably linked to the present crisis. This is hardly surprising. Rates of stress, depression, and suicide invariably climb in times of economic turmoil. As Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Stress Institute in Atlanta, told USA Today’s Stephanie Armour earlier this year, “Suicides are very much tied to the economy” …

Continue Reading…

Chomsky says pick the lesser of two evils

Comments Off

Published on RealNewsNetwwork, by Noam Chomsky, October 20, 2008.

Listen to this video of 11.16 min. Noam Chomsky says, people should vote against McCain and for Obama – but without illusions.

Chomsky says while it’s true that the two parties are essentially like factions of one party – the party of business – the differences do matter to ordinary people. If you are living in a swing state, there is nothing wrong with picking the lesser of two evils.

What would a scientific economics look like?

Comments Off

Linked with Post-autistic economics.

Published on post-autistic economics network PAECON, by Peter Dorman, Evergreen State College, USA, RER, issue no. 47 /fall 2008, Copyright: Peter Dorman, 2008, 7 pages.

Abstract:

Sciences are loosely characterized by an agenda to describe the mechanisms by which observable outcomes are brought about and the privileging of propositions that have been demonstrated to have negligible risk of Type I error.

Economics, despite its pretensions, does neither of these and should not be regarded as scientific in its current form. Its subject matter, however, is no more recalcitrant to scientific procedures than that of many other fields, like geology and biology. The benefit of bringing economics into greater conformity with other sciences in its content and method would be twofold: we would be spared the embarrassment of unfounded dogma, and over time economics could assemble an ever larger body of knowledge capable of being accepted at a high level of confidence.

A scientific economics would take Type I error far more seriously, would study mechanisms rather than a succession of states, would be more experimental and would attach greater value to primary data collection.

Download the 7 pages text.

Professor David Held Interviewed by Naked Punch

Comments Off

Linked with naked punch.

Published on Nacked Punch Blog, July 28, 2008.

Watch the video, 11.41 min – In ‘Global Covenant’ David Held argues for a ‘global social democracy’.

He proposes this as an alternative to neoliberalism – which, he states, ’simply perpetuates existing economic and political systems and offers no substantial policies to deal with the problems of market failure’. As well as an alternative to radical anti-globalist positions – which, ‘appear deeply naive about the potential for locally based action to resolve, or engage with, the governance agenda generated by the forces of globalization’.

In an appendix he summaries the ‘direction’ that a global social democracy could take – this then would form the ‘global covenant’.  We reproduced from the book some of these points below as they set the background for the interview: … (full long text).

Grassroots Movements, Global Elites And Political Economy In Times Of Panic

Comments Off

Linked with Pablo Ouziel – Spain.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Pablo Ouziel, 04 October, 2008.

… Yes, it is true that those at the top are enjoying the ride, or we could say were enjoying the ride – it now seems to be a little more bumpy. Yet the very fact that they haven’t been held accountable by the rest of us is a reflection of collective guilt, and all who cry today are doing so because of our past general indifference. So what can one do?

Perhaps the first thing we must all do is acknowledge that the financial panic we are facing is a lot deeper than what is presented through the media, and understand that the problem is systemic. The sooner we come to terms with this, the sooner we will be able to find real solutions. Developed countries are living way over their means and no matter how we try to prop it up, sooner or later the deck of cards is going to collapse. From my humble opinion, the sooner that happens the better, because with everyday that passes, the eventual landing gets much more painful.

Continue Reading…

Alasdair MacIntyre and Holistic Marxism

Comments Off

Linked with Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre – England (will appear on oct. 18).

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Thomas Riggins, 06 October, 2008.

One of the more interesting establishment philosophers, MacIntyre has recently had two volumes of his essays and articles published: “The Tasks of Philosophy” and “Ethics and Politics.” These observations are based on Constantine Sandis’ review of these volumes (”Torn away from sureness”) in the TLS of August 15, 2008. Some of MacIntyre’s work has relevance to Marxist thought. He says for instance, as Sandis points out, that the concepts that are used to delineate an ideology (and this includes Marxism) cannot be understood free of their original contexts from which they derive their meaning. Treating them outside of this context makes them appear unwarranted or nonsensical. If we, for example, decide to adopt Marxism as a guiding light but lack the requisite background contextual knowledge regarding the origin of its concepts and doctrines, we run the risk of mixing up the ideological statements of Marxism with the ideological statements of other points of view (Liberalism,Buddhism, etc.)and we could end up with an incoherent mishmash of different points of views which will prevent us from having a proper understanding of reality.

It is the job of philosophy to prevent this from happening. We must, as Sandis says, engage “in socio-linguistic palaeontology aimed at unearthing previously hidden meanings and connections” …

Continue Reading…

The American People Tsunami Against A Wall Street Bailout

Comments Off

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Partha Banerjee, 04 October, 2008.

… To us the laypersons, it is indeed a difficult-to-understand development; especially when those pundits portray the historic nay vote as un-American, destructive. A lot of people are clueless why the conservative Republicans voted together with left-leaning Democrats. Big media do not tell the whole story. Even after the Senate vote, they don’t tell us who voted for the bill, what their corporate connections are, and who voted against with what type of voting record.

Let us try to understand the very rapidly unfolding scenario.

The upcoming November elections include both the presidential race as well as Congressional races. As of today, all the polls indicate that Barack Obama is inching ahead to become the next president of the United States, and John McCain’s fortunes are plummeting. The surveys are also pointing toward a Democratic Congressional landslide. Republican incumbents are scrambling to hold their seats: they now smell that American voters are sick and tired of their pro-rich agenda.

Continue Reading…

Rejoinder: Philosophical underpinning of “economic freedom” laid bare

Comments Off

Published on real-world economics review, issue no. 47, by Jim Stanford, Canadian Auto Workers, fall 2008.

In their response to critiques of their measurement of economic “freedom”, Joshua C. Hall, Robert Lawson, and Will Luther have done us a favour in laying bare the extreme libertarian philosophies which underpin their work.

The Economic Freedom of the World project (an international initiative coordinated by Canada’s right-wing Fraser Institute) attempts to quantify a highly neoclassical conception of freedom: namely, the extent to which economic agents (investors, entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers) are free from interference or constraint from government regulations, taxes, collective bargaining, or other intrusions. As Hall et al. explain, this conception is a nominally neutral conception of “negative liberty”: that is, it measures the extent to which individual agents are not interfered with. But it captures no positive rights which individuals may claim in the economic sphere – such as the right to employment, the right to a basic standard of living, or the right to organize a union and bargain collectively …

Continue Reading…

Economic freedom is negative liberty

Comments Off

Published on real-world economics review, issue no. 47, by Joshua C. Hall, Robert A. Lawson and Will Luther

(Beloit College, Auburn University and George Mason University, USA), fall 2008.

Two recent articles in this journal by Jim Stanford and the late Margaret Legum strongly condemn the measurements of economic freedom published by the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation. As researchers associated with the Frasier Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index we feel that it is necessary to address some issues raised by their commentaries as they relate to the EFW index. …

… Legum and Stanford also argue that advocates of economic freedom believe this freedom is the only thing that matters. They point out correctly that there are other things that people find important besides economic freedom. We agree, in part, on this point. There is much to life besides economic freedom. Countries with higher degrees of economic freedom are given higher scores, but it does not follow directly that these countries are somehow better. Whether one should prefer more or less economic freedom is indeed a normative judgment. However, for those who make their normative judgments on consequentialist grounds, the existence of this measurement makes it possible to test long-standing claims, and counterclaims, that economic freedom enhances prosperity and other social goals.

Continue Reading…

Sen’s economic philosophy

Comments Off

Capabilities and human development in the revival of economics as a moral science

Linked with Post-autistic economics.

Published on post-autistic economics network PAECON,  by L.A. Duhs, University of Queensland, Australia, real-world economics review, issue no. 47 /fall 2008, Copyright: L. A. Duhs, 2008, 19 pdf paes.

Abstract:

Sen joins a line of economists – including Cropsey, Schumacher, Myrdal, Ward, Higgins and Etzioni – who have objected to the implicit political philosophy within orthodox neo-classical economics. He argues that the good or just society requires policies to remove all forms of “unfreedoms”, and policies to equalise the extent of capability deprivation.

This capabilities approach calls for a rejection of utilitarianism, libertarianism and Rawlsianism in favour of the conception of justice provided by his putatively Smithian/Aristotelian approach.

In taking the expansion of freedom to be both the principal end and the principal means of development, however, Sen ignores other philosophical positions which lead to quite different conclusions. Accordingly, his argument remains incomplete and unpersuasive, and the most fundamental questions remain to be resolved.

1. Introduction: … (download the full text 19 pages).

Le compteur de la dette américaine est trop petit

Comments Off

Publié dans Le Figaro, par Samuel Laurent, 09/10/2008.

Signe des difficultés qu’entraîne la crise financière outre-Atlantique, le compteur de la dette nationale affiché près de Times Square à New-York, ne suffit plus à afficher le montant de ce que doivent les USA.

10.149.644.933.872, un chiffre qui ne veut plus dire grand-chose. En lettres, cela donnerait dix mille cent quarante neuf milliards six cent quarante-quatre millions neuf cent trente trois mille huit cent soixante-douze dollars. C’est le montant de la dette américaine jeudi 8 octobre. Un montant désormais trop important pour être affiché sur la «national debt clock», le compteur de la dette nationale installé à New-York …

Comme le souligne Fox News sur cette vidéo de 35 sec,  il faudra aussi bientôt rallonger le montant dû par chaque foyer américain, qui est aujourd’hui de 86′017 dollars.

Who Got Us into This Mess and What are the Real Political Options?

Comments Off

An Interview with Michael Hudson

Pulished on Counterpunch, by Mike Whiney, September 8, 2008.

… What do you think the positive effects would be of taxing property rather than income and industrial profit?

Hudson: It would have two major positive effects. First, it would free labor and industry from the tax burden. And by the same token, it would require the economic rent currently used to pay interest and depreciation to be paid instead as a property rent tax. This would free an equivalent sum from having to be raised in the form of income and sales tax. That was the classical idea of free markets.

As matters stand today, the tax subsidy for real estate and finance leaves more net rental income to be capitalized into bank loans. This is a travesty of the “free markets” that lobbyists for the banks and the wealthy in general claim to advocate …

Continue Reading…

Who Wins and Who Loses

Comments Off

Wall Street Bailout Threatens World’s Poor

Published on just foreign policy, as a recent action alert.

Largely missing from debate over the Bush Administration’s proposed bailout of Wall Street has been the impact of this plan on U.S. government spending on human needs in the next Administration. And there has been almost no mention at all of the impact on our global commitments to help eradicate illiteracy and address easily preventable disease …

… Take Action. (full text).

Royal Society to be called to account for creationist view

Comments Off

Published on TIMES online, by Mark Henderson, Sept. 16, 2008.

Britain’s national academy of science is to be asked to explain its views on creationism in classrooms by a senior MP “horrified” at the reported views of its education director.

Professor Michael Reiss, of the Royal Society, suggested that science teachers should treat creationist beliefs “not as a misconception but as a world-view”. His comments have alarmed Phil Willis, the chairman of the Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee.

“I am at the Royal Society on Wednesday and I will be raising this very issue,” he told The Times yesterday. “I was horrified to hear these views and I reject them totally. They are a step too far and they fly in the face of what science is about. I think if his [Professor Reiss's] views are as mentioned they may be incompatible with his position” …

Continue Reading…

It’s Time For A Crucifixion

Comments Off

One Nation Under Capitalism

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Jason Miller, 06 October, 2008.

Proudly surveying our kingdom from atop the capitalist pyramid, we US Americans have deluded ourselves into believing we are at the pinnacle of cultural, social, political, and economic evolution. We fancy ourselves to be so exceptional that we are entitled to a perpetual blessing from “our” Christian God.

Break out the Haldol!

We have afflicted the globe with the fatal contagions of the American Way and corporatism. And all of us, to varying degrees, are culpable. From bicycle-peddling vegans to limo riding corporados, we are each complicit in perpetuating American capitalism, a system so rotten that were it a piece of decaying meat, starving maggots would reject it …

… How about no? How about we do nothing?

Most of those who stand to benefit from a ‘bailout’ of any dollar amount are all about the ‘free market’ and ‘law of the jungle’ capitalism. It’s sad how quickly those in the moneyed class cast aside their ‘principles’ when adversity slaps them in the face.

Continue Reading…

More videos on the Financial Crisis

Comments Off

Linked with Paul Jay – Canada.

The Iraq war hits Wall Street, 9.13 min, with Pepe Escobar. October 7, 2008.
At almost $1 trillion, and counting, the Wall Street bailout will cost taxpayers as much as the Iraq war;

Fallout on Main Street, Part One: Greenwich, CT, October 8, 2008.
ANP: Where Wall St cash isolates from common man’s troubles, those who depend on rich start to feel pain;

The financial crisis at the local level, 10.51 min, October 8, 2008.
Leo Panitch: As property values tank, so do state and municipal budgets;

The financial crisis and the real economy, 8.50 min, October 7, 2008.
Leo Panitch: The death of the US trade union and Great Society have left the real economy vulnerable;

‘Free markets’ depend on state intervention, 9.05 min, October 6, 2008.
Leo Panitch: US state plays role of defending global financial system; it had to act in this crisis.

Conservatives better for economy? Canada’s liberals beg to differ

Comments Off

Published on Agence France Press, by AFP, September 26, 2008.

OTTAWA (AFP) — Canada’s liberal leader invoked socially progressive icons Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and others Friday to try to debunk a notion that conservatives are better at managing the economy.

“Some Canadians think that at times of economic difficulties you need to elect a right-wing government,” Liberal leader Stephane Dion said while campaigning ahead of an October 14 vote.

“Right-wing governments are supposed to be good managers of the economy – in their minds,” he said. “But it’s not true” …

… Whenever conservatives are in power, Dion lamented, the economy falters. “Tory times are tough times, he said.

Harper countered that his government had so far accumulated a first-quarter surplus of 2.9 billion dollars this fiscal year, and said his Conservatives were the only ones in this election proposing “credible economic plans. (full text).

L’ARGENT-DETTE – UNE VIDEO POUR COMPRENDRE

Comments Off

Publié sur Alambic Up, ou la nouvelle alchimie citoyenne, le oct. 4, 2008. La dette des gouvernements, des entreprises et des ménages a atteint des proportions astronomiques et enfle de plus en plus démesurément de jour en jour. Voyez la vidéo de 52.18 min. Yous apprendrez:

  • D’ou vient tout cet argent?
  • Comment peut-il y avoir TANT d’argent à preter?
  • La réponse est… qu’il n’y en a pas.
  • De nos jours, L’ARGENT S’EST FAIT DETTE.
  • S’il n’y avait PAS DE DETTE
  • Il n’y aurait PAS D’ARGENT
  • Si tout ceci vous laisse perplexe, rassurez-vous, vous n’etes pas le seul ou la seule.
  • Très peu de gens comprennent ce système, meme si nous sommes tous touchés.

Links:

Et pour mémoire:

We Had Alternatives

Comments Off

Linked with Dennis John Kucinich – USA.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Dennis Kucinich, 04 October, 2008.

(The following statement was presented on the floor of The House of Representatives after Congressman Kucinich voted against the Wall Street bail out plan, H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008):

… Unfortunately, there has been no discussion of the underlying debt-based economy and the role of our monetary system in facilitating the redistribution of wealth upwards.

It is not as though we had no choice but to pass the bill before us. We could have done this differently. We could have demanded language in the legislation that would have empowered the Treasury to compel mortgage servicers to rework the terms of mortgage loans so homeowners could avoid foreclosure. We could have put regulatory structures in place to protect investors. We could have stopped the speculators.

Continue Reading…

Bail Out The Homeowners!

Comments Off

Linked with Paul Craig Roberts – USA.

Published on Counterpunch, by Paul Craig Roberts, 04 October, 2008.

Is the Paulson bailout itself as big a fraud as the leveraged subprime mortgages?

Yesterday, here on CounterPunch,  I discussed the bailout as proposed and noted that the proposal cannot succeed if it impairs the US Treasury’s credit standing and/or the combination of mark-to-market and short-selling permits short-sellers to prosper by driving more financial institutions into bankruptcy.

A reader’s comment and an article by Yale professors Jonathan Kopell and William Goetzmann  raise precisely this question of the fraudulence of the Paulson package.

As one reader put it,“We have debt at three different levels: personal household debt, financial sector debt and public debt.  The first has swamped the second and now the second is being made to swamp the third.  The attitude of our leaders is to do nothing about the first level of debt and to pretend that the third level of debt doesn’t matter at all.”

Continue Reading…

The Fleecing Of America

Comments Off

Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA and his blog. His e-mail.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, 06 October, 2008.

Over 200 years ago, Thomas Paine wrote a treatise on government in which he said “a republic is supposed to be directed by certain fundamental principles of right and justice, from which there cannot, because there ought not to, be any deviation. (It) is executed by a select number of persons, who act as representatives, and in behalf of the whole, and who are supposed to (govern) as the people would do were they all assembled together …

… A menu of changes were enacted, including a “consensus package” to fix the problem by raising payroll taxes on incomes but exempting the rich beyond a maximum level. It also raised the retirement age in incremental steps. The result:

  • working Americans bare the brunt of this unfair regressive tax;
  • the rich barely feel it;
  • low income earners pay more payroll than income tax; and
  • the working poor have an enormous unaffordable burden; many earn too little to pay income taxes; yet they’re not exempt from paying 6.2% of their wages for Social Security and another 1.45% for Medicare; employers match them with equal amounts, but it’s not surprising that they pass on these costs through lower pay and benefits; an effective and unfair 15.3% of income burden for wage earners.

Continue Reading…

Just East of Eden: Iran, images and reflections

Comments Off

Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA.

Published on Online Journal, by Gaither Stewart, Oct. 30, 2007.

… The Iranian Revolution was a severe blow to US power in the Middle East from which the world power has never recovered. The miscalculations, misjudgments and blindness to reality concerning Iran of 29 years ago have led the USA down erroneous paths ever since.

The subsequent history is well known. In January of 1979, the Shah fled to Egypt. In February, Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to become the leader of the emerging Islamic Republic of Iran where he was regarded as a semi-God.

Islam had invaded politics.

In February, Iranian students occupied the US Embassy in Tehran and its personnel became hostages, forcing the Ayatollah to side with the ferociously anti-American students. This was Iran’s sweet revenge for the US-organized coup d’état that overthrew Premier Moussadeq in 1953 for his nationalization of Iran’s oil (read Iran, stop and always think oil!) and re-installed the amenable Shah on the throne.

Continue Reading…

The Greatest Bank Robbery of the Century, Part I

Comments Off

Published on Pravda.ru, by William H. Helbig, 03.10.2008.

The Federal Reserve System’s building on Constitution Avenue was completed in 1935 for a total cost of $750,000. The Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors purchased the land from the federal government. A deed, secured from the Treasury Department, relinquished “all the right and title and interest of the United States of America.” At the time, Representative Wright Patman of Texas correctly noted that the federal government did not own the building. Privately owned commercial banks and twelve Reserve Banks owned The Federal Reserve System. Therefore, the building was not tax-exempt from local property taxes …

… When you boil away all of the legalese, the Federal Reserve is (from government) an independent department. The tax collector reasoned that if the Fed were a part of government, why would the government sell land to itself? After several years, the tax collector sent a notice of delinquent taxes to the fed. It took several more years of legal wrangling until the Federal Reserve System semi-officially became a part of the federal government. Although many politicians believe the Fed is a part of federal government when it wants to be, and vice versa, clearly independent in its decision-making. The Fed can manipulate the money supply as it sees fit to stimulate, stabilize, or slow the economy when needed.

Continue Reading…

JAMMU AND KASHMIR – DISTURBED SITUATION

Comments Off

Report for the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, NINTH SESSION, GENEVA, 08-26 SEPTEMBER 2008

Linked with Paul Beersmans – Belgium, and with the Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK.

Published on THE BELGIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH JAMMU AND KASHMIR (J&K), by Paul Beersmans, Septembre 2008.

REPORT ON THE STUDY TOUR OF BEERSMANS PAUL, PRESIDENT OF  TO INDIA AND THE INDIAN J&K STATE FROM 02 TO 30 AUGUST 2008, 19 pdf-pages.

Excerpt: … (part of the)

4. CONCLUSIONS

a. J&K, as it was before partition in 1947, is at present under the rule of three countries:

  • (1) China: Aksai Chin and a territory of 5.180 km2 ceded by Pakistan to China;
  • (2) India: J&K State comprising Jammu-region, the Kashmir-Valley and Ladakh;
  • (3) Pakistan: Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas).

The population of these specific regions is totally different from each other: culture, history, traditions, language, religion, etc. In J&K State, this is also the case for the three regions: Jammu-region, the Kashmir-Valley and Ladakh region.

Continue Reading…

US Vice Presidential debate

Comments Off

… and more

Published on RealNewsNetwork, October 3, 2008, the following videos concerning the tonight’s Vice Presidential debate:

The banality of it all, 9.27 min.
Paul Jay and Pepe Escobar search for meaning in the VP debate;

The significance of the pitch, 9.25 min.
Foreign policy expert Phyllis Bennis analyzes the importance of the language used by the VP hopefuls;

Breaking down the VP debate, 11.40 min.
Matt Welch: In the hour of chaos Americans want to hear about policies, not fearless leaders;

Who will the independents vote for? 8.11 min.
Ellen Ratner: While Palin refused to answer questions, Biden won the undecided with his substance.

*****

Further you may watch the two following videos speaking on actual US’ concerns:

America pays the piper, big time part 1, 3.44 min.
Robert Parry: After 28 years of drunken optimism and blind nationalism the US wakes up to a grim future

Tax-wealthy to pay for bailout, 18.17 min. – Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes amendment to make the wealthiest in US shoulder the costs of the bailout:

Continue Reading…