Your Search Results

Index December 2008

Comments Off

The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008

Comments Off

Published on Counterpunch.org, by ROBERT WEISSMAN, Dec. 29, 2008.

What a year for corporate criminality and malfeasance! As we compiled the Multinational Monitor list of the 10 Worst Corporations of 2008, it would have been easy to restrict the awardees to Wall Street firms. But the rest of the corporate sector was not on good behavior during 2008 either, and we didn’t want them to escape justified scrutiny. So, in keeping with our tradition of highlighting diverse forms of corporate wrongdoing, we included only one financial company on the 10 Worst list. Here, presented in alphabetical order, are the 10 Worst Corporations of 2008:
1. AIG: Money for Nothing: … / 2. Cargill: Food Profiteers: … / 3. Chevron: We can’t let little countries screw around with big companies: … / 4. Constellation Energy: Nuclear Operators: … / 5. CNPC: Fueling Violence in Darfur: … / 6. Dole: The Sour Taste of Pineapple: … / 7. General Electric: Creative Accounting: … / 8. Imperial Sugar: 14 Dead: … / 9. Philip Morris International: Unshackled …

… and 10. Roche – (a big plant in Switzerland/Basel producing medicaments): “Saving lives is not our business”: The Swiss company Roche makes a range of HIV-related drugs. One of them is enfuvirtid, sold under the brand-name Fuzeon. Fuzeon brought in $266 million to Roche in 2007, though sales are declining.

Roche charges $25,000 a year for Fuzeon. It does not offer a discount price for developing countries.

Like most industrialized countries, Korea maintains a form of price controls – the national health insurance program sets prices for medicines. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs listed Fuzeon at $18,000 a year. Korea’s per capita income is roughly half that of the United States. Instead of providing Fuzeon, for a profit, at Korea’s listed level, Roche refuses to make the drug available in Korea.

Korean activists report that the head of Roche Korea told them, “We are not in business to save lives, but to make money. Saving lives is not our business” (full text).

(Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor and director of Essential Action).

Democracy and militarism

Comments Off

Linked with Howard Zinn – USA.

Find two videos on The Real News Network:

The current crisis and Obama’s Clintonomics team, 7.38 min, December 25, 2008: Bill, like Barack, was elected on a platform of populist economics, then adopted Wall St ideology;

Democracy and militarism, 9.48 min, October 26, 2008: Howard Zinn explains, how the financial and the war crisis have created an opportunity for real change (Pt5/5).

On vend des pays – Se venden países

Comments Off

Linked with Michel Collon – Belgium.

Article originalement écrit en espagnol par Pascual Serrano- Spain *,  premièrement publiée sur rebellion.org, traduit par Manuel Colinas – France, ** … publié en français sur le site de Michel Collon. *** … et finalement trouvée sur le site Mondialisation.ca, 21 decembre 2008.

Les chiffres sont éloquents; en voici quelque exemples: une société norvégienne a acquis 38 000 hectares au Ghana, achetés à un chef tribal; la société coréenne Daewoo loue, avec un bail de 99 ans, un million d’hectares à Madagascar et, au Laos, entre deux et trois millions de terres agricoles sont désormais la propriété de sociétés étrangères. Il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir fait de savantes études pour comprendre que ces achats vont entraîner le contrôle encore plus grand de l’alimentation par les grandes sociétés des pays riches et rendre plus difficile encore l’accès à la nourriture dans les pays du Sud qui ne seront même plus propriétaires de leurs terres. La FAO n’hésite pas une seconde et parle d’une nouvelle forme de colonialisme …

… Ces impressionnantes ventes de terres agricoles du Sud à des sociétés étrangères dévoilent la face la plus insultante du marché et du modèle économique actuel. Avec ces opérations, les processus de décolonisation que nous avons connus au siècle dernier deviennent une ridicule caricature. A quoi leur sert leur indépendance politique à ces pays africains ou asiatiques si leurs terres, leurs territoires sont, au final, achetés par une entreprise européenne?

Continue Reading…

Somalia: ends and beginnings

Comments Off

Published on openDemocracy, by Georg-Sebastian Holzer, Dec. 18, 2008.

Much of the flurry of international media reporting on Somalia remains fixated on piracy-related stories. A previous article in openDemocracy argued that the root of the piracy problem lay in the collapse of Somali institutions as a result of war and ill-judged foreign intervention, and thus belonged to the land rather than the ocean (see Somalia: piracy and politics, 24 November 2008) …

… Through the fire:

The major dependent variable in these three scenarios is the cohesion of the al-Shabab movement. The burden of governing will surely be different from the burden of fighting. It was internal power-struggles and conflicting ambitions that led to the downfall of the ICU in 2006, and today’s al-Shabab inherits much of these fissures (as recent internecine recent fighting in southern Mogadishu indicates). But two years of fighting against Ethiopians and the experience of continuous missile-strikes have forged a new schism between the movement’s military wing of hardened fighters and its political wing led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, sitting in the Eritrean capital of Asmara. It is not clear at present how this rift will play out if and when a formal Islamist takeover follows Ethiopia’s withdrawal.

Continue Reading…

Humanitarian Tragedy In Sri Lanka

Comments Off

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Chandi Sinnathurai, 24 December, 2008.

Sri Lankan President Rajapaksha has said that the Government has created a humanitarian corridor for some 280,000 Tamils sandwiched between the two conflicting sides. The un-told suffering of the Tamil civilians is sadly some thing that hardly ever grabs the headline of the world news …

… For the Tamils fleeing through this so-called humanitarian corridor would be suicidal. Its like asking Moses and the Hebrew slaves to be trusting Pharaoh to cross the Red sea! On the other hand, the neighbouring India and the Western Governments are silent when this terrible genocidal madness is taking place in this little island. The Tamils world over are wondering what in the world is happening.

As a humanitarian gesture, what on earth is stopping Rajapaksha to stop the war machinery in order for the Tamils – “citizens of this country”, to walk safely through this so-called humanitarian corridor. The government has the moral responsibilty.

By doing so, the President is honouring the fact that the Tamils are human and they need a safe place from the bombs, guns and terror of the state. All else will be just empty rhetoric and President Rajapaksha might come out of it all smelling like roses. Bloody joke! (full text).

Acceptable Deaths!

Comments Off

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Aditi Munot, 24 December, 2008.

There is always a lot of hue and cry about any terrorist attack anywhere in the world. Be it The Twin Towers in US or the bombings in Britain or the recent terror attacks in Mumbai….. these incidents get a whole lot of public attention and criticism, media footage, global attention.

There is no denial that these attacks are a question on the sovereignty of any country. Such hideous crimes are unacceptable and actions must be taken to prevent them. These macabre incidents deserve to be condemned and are worthy of public ire …

… Over a million people have been killed in Iraq and hundreds of thousands in Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Chile and the likes. All these deaths…. Or murders to be precise have been committed in the name of war or dictatorship. But the obvious reason- draconian economic policies is conveniently ignored. These detestable deaths have not received global ire.

From Union Carbide in the Bhopal Gas tragedy to Pacific Gas and Electric in US to De Beers blood diamonds to any and all such gory acts committed by big corporations resulting in thousands of deaths…. None have touched the heart of the common man. The general public has not registered these terrible incidents as acts of terror against humanity. Most are not even aware of these atrocities. Far more people have been killed in these incidents than any or all terrorist attacks put together.

The question is why are we not angered and hurt to the same extent by all these brutal episodes as we are by terrorist attacks? Millions of people are murdered on the economic altar of governments and big corporations every year but we just don’t seem to take notice. Why does our heart not bleed for these murdered and why don’t we put are foot down on these issues? Why are certain forms of killings more acceptable and others not? (full text).

The illegal green tree

Comments Off

Christmas trees didn’t come to the English speaking world until the 19th century. The tradition started in Germany and eastern Europe in the 16th century. There’s another “green tree” we might think about today. One that could feed and clothe billions of the world’s poor and increase the standard of living for everyone. One problem: It’s been made illegal. Details on Brasscheck TV.

The illegal green tree, 10.54 min. Why? Why is the massively valuable and versatile hemp plant illegal in the United States?

Three reasons for making hemo illegal:

  • 1. Provides make-work for a vast army of “law enforcers” who then are available to be used for other social control work
  • 2. Protects the market share of numerous well organized lobbies: alcohol makers, plastics and chemical manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and cotton growers (still a powerful economic force in America 200 + years after the Civil War.)
  • 3. Gives fascist minded politicians yet another way to control the population

France’s socialist crack-up

Comments Off

Published on openDemocracy, by Patrice de Beer, Dec. 17, 2008.

The efforts of France’s hyperactive president Nicolas Sarkozy to become an indispensable and omnipresent global actor continue to be aided by the disarray of his domestic political opposition.  The internecine war for the control of the principal leftist movement, the Parti Socialiste (Socialist Party / PS), is emblematic of “Sarko’s” luck. While the world’s economic and social situation enters into ever-deeper crisis, denting incomes and threatening millions of jobs, the socialist leaders’ dispute has offered a bathetic contrast. Indeed, coincidence of the G20 summit in Washington and the PS’s gathering in Rheims gave the French media ample opportunity to contrast the grand scale of global challenges with the petty partisan warfare into which the congress descended …

… After the elephants:

The elephants’ confident rampage convinced them that Ségolène Royal would lose decisively. In the event, she actually won the first round of voting with 29% of the votes. This provoked a quick rearrangement of tactics in which the old guard tried to unite the three other factions – represented 71% of the votes – against her. Indeed, these managed to go as far as adopting a common platform, but failed to agree on a common candidate before finally rallying behind Martine Aubry. This did not stop “Ségo” winning again in the initial direct contest with her main rival, before they were virtually tied with 50% each (which meant that Aubry’s vote had declined from 71% to just over 50% between the two rounds). The more Royal was attacked, the more she gained support – and she remains the favourite to be the left’s presidential candidate in 2012.

Continue Reading…

India’s options after Mumbai

Comments Off

Published on openDemocracy, by Bibhu Prasad Routray, 17 Dec 2008.

Despite all the evidence that investigators claim links the Mumbai attacks to groups and individuals in Pakistan, India’s options vis-à-vis its hostile neighbour are severely limited.

It has so far been established that Pakistani nationals, described as “stateless actors” by Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, were indeed involved in the attack on 26 November that led to the death of 163 people and injured more than three hundred in Mumbai. The lone terrorist taken alive during the attack, Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman (alias Kasab), is a Pakistani citizen …

Continue Reading…

To reach an audience in the millions

Comments Off

… by the Real News Network

Received by mail: From: IWT-The Real News Network
Date: 22/12/2008

As the economic crisis deepens, climate change approaches critical levels, and global tensions increase, the need to break the monopoly on television daily news has never been greater. We must know why the crisis is happening and what we can do to defend ourselves. Corporate TV news won’t ask the real questions, let alone provide answers …  // … The Real News Network is at a critical juncture.  New distribution deals put us on the verge of an audience in the millions. Yet, this comes at a time when the financial crisis has knocked out some of our expected seed funding. We need thousands of new donor/members now if we are to continue.  We have to move to a primarily small donor model now …

Here a selection of their latest videos:

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan, 5.21 min, December 20, 2008; ;

Congress ignored critical bailout oversight, 6.10 min, December 20, 2008;

From Nixon to 9/11, 11.51 min, December 21, 2008;

The media, Blagojevich and systemic corruption, 7.17 min, December 21, 2008;

… and three videos on the destabilization of Congo:

.

This World Order Is Not Just Murderous, It Is Absurd

Comments Off

Linked with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland.

Published on STWR.org (Share The World Resources), Jean Ziegler interviewed by Cathy Ceiba of l’Humanité, Dec. 4, 2008.

Former UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler is now a member of the advisory committee of the board of Human Rights of the United Nations. His latest book, ‘Hatred of the West’ (Albin Michel)[1], is a merciless indictment against “globalized capitalism and the cannibalized order it imposes on the planet” …

… Jean Ziegler: “When the rich lose weight, the poor die,” says a proverb. World hunger is increasing at a breathtaking rate. Every five seconds a child under ten dies of hunger in the world and 100 000 people die every day from hunger or its immediate after-effects. 923 million people, more than one in six, are permanently severely malnourished. The daily massacre of hunger is increasing. At the same time, President Nicolas Sarkozy has massively reduced public aid to development. In Africa, projects are suspended. The United Nations has identified eight priority tragedies to be eliminated. These are the objectives of this millenary that are to be achieved by 2015: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring all school-age children a basic education, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of  women; reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating AIDS, malaria and other epidemics; ensuring the protection of the environment, establishing a global pact for development. The cost of these objectives has been set at 82 billion dollars annually over five years. Since 2000, the West said there was no money. However, on October 12, at the Élysée Palace [2], in three and a half hours, the 27 EU countries released €1 700 billion for credit to be used between banks and to raise the floor of pure capital for the banks from 3 % to 5%. 1% of these €1 700 billion would suffice to eliminate the eight tragedies afflicting the Third World countries. This world order is not only mortal, it is absurd … (full interview text).

Wir werden schamlos irregeführt

Comments Off

Kundenrezensionen publiziert bei Amazon.de. zum Buch Wir werden schamlos irregeführt, vom 11. September zum Irak-Krieg, von Gerhoch Reisegger, Oesterreich, 2003 und 2004, ISBN 3-89180-068-1

Es sind zwei Rezensionen veöffentlicht, eine positive und eine negative (mein Kommentar: ob es freut oder ärgert, das Denken wird sicher angeregt):

Continue Reading…

Moving Beyond More Aid and Fair Trade

Comments Off

Ending Poverty

Published on STWR.org (Share The World Resources), by Davinder Kaur, Nov. 18, 2008.

As the United Nations seeks increased financial assistance from donor countries to help meet the flagging Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the inadequacy of international aid and fairer trade agreements has never been so clear …

… Securing Basic Human Needs:

The current economic system, based on ever-increasing economic growth as the overarching solution to fighting poverty, is both ineffective and unsustainable.  The key to tackling poverty and inequality must come from a change in principles and priorities from which practical steps can be taken to put long-term structures in place. One such solution would be to define and redistribute essential resources in order to immediately secure basic human needs.  The universal right to a life of dignity and survival has long been enshrined in article 25 of the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services.”

Continue Reading…

Will Obama privatize public assets to pay for economic recovery?

Comments Off

Published on Dissident Voice, by Bruce Dixon, December 17, 2008.

Dr. Michael Hudson is an economist, a professor at the University of Kansas, and a really smart guy. During the presidential campaign he was chief economic advisor to Democrat Dennis Kucinich. By April of this year, Hudson was predicting an imminent financial meltdown.

Foreign banks, he said, were beginning to wake up to the fact that the balance sheets of their US counterparts were full of wholly imaginary earnings, wildly overvalued assets and unpayable loans. Before summer Hudson claimed that US banks had ceased daily reconciliation of their interbank transfers at the end of each day because they lacked the cash to pay them. Months in advance, Hudson forecasted with reasonable accuracy the character of the bipartisan bailout — that some institutions would go under, but that government would try to rescue investors and shareholders while leaving homeowners and consumer creditors — ordinary people — under a mountain of unpayable debt. Foreign bankers, he predicted, would gradually begin to withdraw from funding the US economy …

Continue Reading…

Obama to tighten screws on Mugabe?

Comments Off

Published on worldpress.org, by Charles Rukuni, December 13, 2008.

Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was one of the sponsors of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act ZIDERA *, the law that enabled the United States to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe, President Mugabe and his top lieutenants as well as companies owned by people reported to be propping up his adminstration.

Zimbabwe has blamed its present woes on the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union soon after its fast-track land reform programme, under which it compulsorily acquired land from mostly white farmers and redistributed it to peasant farmers as well as new commercial farmers …

… More than 600 people have died in the past few weeks following an outbreak of cholera because the country cannot afford to buy drugs and chemicals to treat drinking water.

Continue Reading…

Staggering fraud

Comments Off

Received by mail:

From: Brasscheck TV
Date: 14/12/2008

You probably heard the news about the $50 BILLION Wall Street investment manager rip off. $50 billion may not sound like a lot of money any more, but it’s actually real money. Look at it this way…

GM and Chrysler were only asking for $30 billion to save the entire US auto industry. You gotta love the Internet. Not only do we have the news on the $50 BILLION Bernard Madoff stock market rip off…

We’ve got video of Madoff spinning his award winning BS just one year ago which you can watch on Brasscheck. Here’s the scary thing. Madoff sounds like every other market “professional” you’ve ever heard. House of cards … coming down.

Watch the two videos:

  • Just another Wall Street superstar, 3.01 min;
  • and: What $50 billion in bullshit sounds like, 33.57 min.

Bernard Madoff: Working the room: … (full text).

Creating an Arc of Crisis

Comments Off

Destabilization of the Middle East and Central Asia

Published on Global Research.ca, by Andrew G. Marshall, December 7, 2008.

(Two excerpts of a long article): … The Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT): It is important to identify what the LeT is and how it has operated historically. The group operates out of the disputed territories between India and Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir. It has close ties with the Pakistani ISI, and is largely known for its use of suicide attacks. However, aside from its links to the ISI, it is also closely allied with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The LeT is even referred to as the “most visible manifestation” of Al-Qaeda in India. It has branches across much of India, Pakistan, and in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, South East Asia, and the United Kingdom. It primarily gets its funding from Pakistani businessmen, the ISI and Saudi Arabia. The LeT also took part in the Bosnian campaign against the Serbs in the 1990s.

All the above-mentioned connections make the LeT the most desirable outfit to blame for the Mumbai attacks, as its Al-Qaeda connections, international presence and historical precedents of terror attacks set it up as the perfect target. Much like with Al-Qaeda, the LeT’s international scope could serve as a basis for taking a “war against LeT” to the steps of many countries, thus further serving the interests of the Anglo-American “War on Terror.”

Continue Reading…

Stronger than cement – and six times lighter

Comments Off

Linked with Six videos on alternative energy, and with The car of the future – blocked.

Received by mail:

From: Brasscheck TV
Date: 08/12/2008

How would like like a building material that is stronger than cement yet SIX TIMES lighter? Better yet, one of its key ingredients is the waste product of a plant that literally grows like a weed and is 100% environmentally safe and friendly. Well, Big Brother says you can’t have it – because it’s “dangerous to society.”

Watch the video: Stronger than cement – and lighter too, 1.24 min.

More banned technology: … (full text).

Youth Participation in Poverty Reduction Strategies

Comments Off

E-Consultation with young people on their experiences

FINAL REPORT, by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), 19 WORD-pages, December 2006. (URL available only as html).

CONCLUSION:

  • The E-Consultation shows that very few of the participants were involved in consultation and development processes of their country’s PRSP or other National Development Strategies. It also created an opportunity to identify young people who have been involved in the development of their PRSPs to come and present their experience at the workshop in January 2007.
  • Furthermore, only few participants had deep knowledge of PRSPs prior to joining the E-Consultation and the dialogue created awareness of these processes and the important role of young people. The E-Consultation also provided the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those who have been involved in PRSPs or other national and local development strategies. The major thematic issues relevant to youth covered in the discussion are education, heath, employment and youth participation.
  • The E-Consultation opened up opportunities for young people to share experiences on participating in PRSPs and National Development Strategies. As the summaries above show, participants proposed several ideas on how to move forward. One idea we would like to emphasize in this conclusion is the idea on advocacy campaigns to governments on including young people in the consultation process of PRSPs and National Development Strategies as well as integrating young people’s issues in these processes. They also suggested that these processes should be supported by monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to assess progress made and that the advocacy campaigns should be initiated by young people and youth organizations together with the UN and other international and national groups.
  • The outcome of this E-Consultation also indicates that young people are a creative and energetic resource that everyone must cultivate and nourish from. They are leaders of today and tomorrow and need to be given greater attention in order to eliminate poverty and make our world a better one to live in.

(full long text).

Breaking News from The Orion Project

Comments Off

Linked with Steven M. Greer – USA, with The Orion Project, with Redefining Alternative Energy, with the Disclosure Project, and with The last 5 newslettres from the Orion Project.

Received by mail:
From: The Orion Project
Date: 11/12/2008

The Orion Project has been awarded the Stan Meyer materials and is completing final negotiations with the owners. The hope is that The Orion Project will have the materials in its possession by the end of the year.

Tune in to the World Puja Network this Friday to hear a detailed interview with Dr. Steven Greer and Dr. Ted Loder on the implications and the exciting next steps in development.

You can read the background of our efforts to acquire these materials here, here, and here. Thanks to all our supporters who helped make this a reality!

Please contribute to The Orion Project generously so we can acquire, study and bring out to the world the potential of this amazing new technology!

Links to articles about replacing oil:

Watch these videos:

The real-world economics review

Comments Off

Formerly the post-autistic economics review, Issue no. 48, 6 December 2008

download the whole issue as a pdf document, 96 pdf pages;

or download articles individually by clicking on their pdf link:

How should the collapse of the world financial system affect economics? – Part I:

  • After 1929 economics changed: Will economists wake up in 2009? Geoffrey M. Hodgson – download pdf
  • The economics of collapsing markets, Frank Ackerman – download pdf
  • Economics needs a scientific revolution, JP Bouchaud – download pdf

The financial crisis – Part III:

  • Reforming the world’s international money, Paul Davidson – download pdf
  • How to deal with the US financial crisis, Claude Hillinger – download pdf
  • The crrisis and what to do about it, George Soros – download pdf

On being “competitive”: the evolution of a word, David George – download pdf
The state of China’s economy 2009, James Angresano – download pdf
Hedonic man: The new economics and the pursuit of happiness, Allen Wolfe – download pdf

Subscribe for free to this journal.

Merchants of misery

Comments Off

Published on Brasscheck.TV:

The World Bank helps poor countries, right? Not quite.

As this two part video shows, World Banks loans come with “conditions.”

Not only that, but they seem to be designed not to strengthen the borrowing countries, but to make it easier to extract – you guessed it – oil and other resources from these countries.

Watch the two videos: Oil companies and the World Bank:

  • First:   9.01 min,
  • Second: 14.4 min.

Link: as a sub-category in Brassscheck’s video catalog:
Money Madness (29 videos).

Solidarity pours in for Chicago workers occupying factory

Comments Off

Obama says demands are absolutely right

Published on People’s Weekly World Newspaper PWW, by John Bachtell, Dec. 07, 2008.

CHICAGO (Updated) – Solidarity is pouring in for 250 workers who have been sitting-in for three days at Republic Windows and Doors, including from President-elect Barack Obama. The company closed abruptly Dec. 5 because Bank of America, its chief investor, refused to extend a $5 million line of credit. BA recently received a $25 billion bailout from the federal government …

… Meanwhile many of the workers, who are represented by United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), feel the company has ulterior motives for shutting the plant down. Ron Bender, a second shift worker noted Republic held “monthly town hall meetings to communicate with the workers. These ended in August and then they started removing equipment and materials from the factory.”

“A few weeks ago the removed an entire production line. Today it’s in storage in a lot on the south side. We want to know why they did this,” said Bender.

The workers are determined to stay until they get everything owed to them. Donald White said, “With all the publicity, we hope it’s a wake up call to all the companies. We need to give workers more power and maybe we can keep our jobs.” (full text).

The futures of Iraq

Comments Off

Linked with Fred Halliday – Ireland.

Published on openDemocracy, by Fred Halliday, Dec. 4, 2008.

What will happen in Iraq between 2008 and 2012? The agreement between the United States and the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki government in Baghdad on a plan for the withdrawal of United States forces by the end of 2011 is the context for this question to be posed rather than a definitive answer. The prospects remain open …

… The Washington-Baghdad link:

The first priority of United States policy now is to become more realistic about the situation inside Iraq. The considered and bipartisan Iraq Study Group (or Baker-Hamilton) report presented to George W Bush on 7 December 2006 had no evident impact on the administration’s policy or thinking. During the election campaign, Barack Obama and John McCain alike gave no public sign that they understood the evolving situation, and in particular the degree to which political and military developments inside Iraq had an autonomous existence – and were not simply a resultant of US policy and shifting priorities.

Continue Reading…

Six videos on alternative energy

Comments Off

Linked with The car of the future – blocked, with Air cars – Here, there. everywhere.

Published on Brasscheck.TV, on its following different pages:

When it really matters, information in the US is censored. Hopefully, you’ve seen all the videos in this series: … (full text) … watch the two videos:

  • 1) How PBS and Chevron got together to kill the alternative fuel movement, 6.34 min;
  • 2) You are not innocent any more … , 2.11 min;

*****

Oil really is the root of all evil: … (full text) … watch this video:

  • 3) The Great Amnesia, How we became slaves to oil, 5.57 min;

*****

Science for sale: … (full text) … watch this three videos:

  • 4) Oil industry math, How fake science “proved” that alcohol is an impractical fuel, 8.59 min;
  • 5) Deeper down the rabbit hole: Plants grown for fuel take care of the excess carbon problem, 9.53 min;
  • 6) Bonus: “Survival of the fittest” is not science, 10.00 min;

Links:

Alcohol can be a gas;

Permaculture.

US Recession May Be Worst Since World War II

Comments Off

Published on Huffington Post, by Nicholas Graham, Dec. 7, 2008.

The U.S. economy may be headed for its deepest and longest recession since World War II as mounting job losses take their toll on consumer confidence and spending.

Employers cut payrolls last month at the fastest pace in 34 years as the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest level since 1993. The 533,000 drop brought cumulative job losses this year to 1.91 million, the Labor Department said yesterday in Washington …

… Today’s employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September – for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months – begs the question of whether the meltdown we’re experiencing should be called a Depression.

We are falling off a cliff. To put these numbers into some perspective, the November losses alone are the worst in 34 years. A significant percentage of Americans are now jobless or underemployed – far higher than the official rate of 6.7 percent. Simply in order to keep up with population growth, employment needs to increase by 125,000 jobs per month.

When FDR took office in 1933, one out of four American workers was jobless. We’re not there yet, but we’re trending in that direction. (full text).

More articles:

Continue Reading…

About New World Order …

Comments Off

Two videos:

New World Order is begin thaught in schools! 4.13 min, by Julian December 15, 2008;

How to stop the New World Order, 8.51 min, by Julian December 15, 2008;

and many more videos (in nederlands and english) on We Are Change Holland.

Air cars – Here, there. everywhere

Comments Off

Published on Brasscheck.TV: this video, 8.26 min.

Ready for market now:

The BBC reported on the French version of this technology. This report from Australia goes into more depth and also covers an Australian version. How many billions of dollars in research and development funds would the big auto makers claim they need to get this far? Yet, the technology is here now, ready to exploit – and it is not being used. What’s the hang up?

Why are we still:

  • allowing ourselves to be dependent on whacked out foreign countries for our energy?
  • spending billions to transport and refine a highly toxic material?
  • polluting our air thereby sickening and killing people, especially children, with toxic fumes?
  • putting a massive, daily “transportation tax” on everyone who drives a car?

The car of the future – blocked

Comments Off

Received by mail:

From: Brasscheck TV
Date: 04/12/2008

Congressional hearings on bailing out the auto industry took up a lot of TV time today. One statistic not brought up: General Motors spends $17 million a year on Viagra. I kid you not …

The health care the big car makers provide its employees and retirees runs into the many billions of dollars a year. Right now, one third of all medical expenditures in the US go to insurance companies, a huge amount that could be eliminated if the US had – (gasp!) – a “socialized” medical system.

Here’s another untouchable topic that should have been raised during today’s hearings, but was not. Even with the desperate need the auto makers have to come up with a dramatic plan to save themselves, they won’t acknowledge that cars can run – right now – gasoline-free on compressed air … the kind you can get from the machines that put air in tires.

See the following video: Cars can be run on air – right now, 1.42 min.

More: published on Brasscheck.TV, 04/12/2008.

Continue Reading…

Court Upholds $156 Million Judgment Against Hamas Supporters

Comments Off

Published on IPT news, by staff, December 3, 2008.

An appellate court has upheld a $156 million judgment against two organizations found to have provided financial support to Hamas and sent the claim against a third back to district court for a new trial. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Wednesday that eliminated the distinction between supporting the violent and social wings of a terrorist group.

“If you give money to an organization that you know to be engaged in terrorism, the fact that you earmark it for the organization’s nonterrorist activities does not get you off the liability hook,” Judge Richard Posner wrote for the majority.

Continue Reading…

The Truth behind the Citigroup Bank Nationalization

Comments Off

The Colossal Financial Collapse

Published on Global Research.ca, by F. William Engdahl, November 24, 2008.

The clumsy way in which US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, himself not a banker but a Wall Street ‘investment banker’, whose experience has been in the quite different world of buying and selling stocks or bonds or underwriting and selling same, has handled the unfolding crisis has been worse than incompetent. It has made a grave situation into a globally alarming one …

… The real truth behind Citigroup bailout

What neither Paulson nor anyone in Washington is willing to reveal is the real truth behind the Citigroup bailout. By his and the Republican Bush Administration’s adamant earlier refusal to take an initial resolute action to immediately nationalize the nine or so largest troubled banks, he has created the present debacle. By refusing on ideological grounds to instead reorganize the banks’ assets into some form of ‘good bank’ and ‘bad bank,’ similar to what the Government of Sweden did with what it called Securum, during its banking crisis in the early 1990’s, Paulson and company have created a global financial structure on the brink.

Continue Reading…

Every trick in the book

Comments Off

Published on Online Journal, by Mike Whitney, Dec. 2, 2008.

Without any public debate or authorization from Congress, the Federal Reserve has embarked on the most expensive and radical financial intervention in history.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is trying to avert another Great Depression by flooding the financial system with liquidity in an attempt to mitigate the effects of tightening credit and a sharp decline in consumer spending. So far, the Fed has committed over $7 trillion, which is being used to backstop every part of the financial system, including money markets, bank deposits, commercial paper (CP) investment banks, insurance companies, and hundreds of billions of structured debt-instruments (MBS, CDOs). America’s free market system is now entirely dependent on state resources …

… Does that mean we should revive the failed system?

Continue Reading…

The Gallic Peace Corps in the footsteps of Zoe’s Ark?

Comments Off

Linked with Zoe’s Ark, with Eric Breteau – France, with Children do not belong to their parents, with Chad’s children, with Mes réactions concernant les enfants du Tchad, (yes, last year I still believed what mass-medias told us), with Marc Garmirian – Lebanon and France, and with the betrayal on Darfour’s children.

Published on Romania – for export only, not authored, 6 August 2008.

Thanks to Abandon & Adoption it is easy to follow what is happening on the French adoption front.

Going through the many comments on the French initiative to send in the troops of young volunteers to find adoptable children for French couples, Zoe’s Ark re-appeared.

Who doesn’t remember the French humanitarians who tried to save 100 ‘orphans’who appeared not to be orphans after all. This link is interesting reading to refresh the memory: Untangling The Zoe’s Ark Affair.

At the time politiciens and adoption experts alike were clear that this kind of rescue missions were not done.

Continue Reading…

Iceland: A portent of the future

Comments Off

Published in WSWS, by Chris Marsden, 29 November 2008.

Iceland is facing a social and economic catastrophe. Its 300,000 people have suffered the worst and most immediate impact of the worldwide financial crisis of any advanced country.

For that reason, the events in Iceland offer a portent of developments that must inevitably unfold in much larger nations and on the international arena.

Iceland’s banking system has collapsed, plunging its entire economy into an accelerating decline. In the space of seven days in October, its three major banks became insolvent and the government was forced to step in and take them over. The Brown Labour government in Britain used anti-terror laws in an effort to force the return of hundreds of millions invested there by individuals, company’s pension schemes, local councils, charities and police forces – much of which will not be retrieved.

Continue Reading…