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Index January 2009

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Graines de Paix – Offre de stage programme Education

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Reçu par e-mail:
Date: 30/01/2009

Cher membres et sympathisants de Graines de Paix,
Nous sommes sur le point de conclure un  partenariat avec le Centre pour l’Action Non-Violente CENAC.

Par ce partenariat, Graines de paix va prendre le relais pour diffuser l’exposition pédagogique sur la non-violence, intitulée « Ni hérisson, ni paillasson », destinée (principalement mais pas exclusivement) aux écoles de Suisse Romande et France voisine..

Le principe est le suivant : les écoles louent l’exposition pour une semaine, et nous leur proposons avec cet outil pédagogique des animations effectuées par nous : discussions autour des panneaux et petits jeux coopératifs.

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Bailout This! The Stabilization of the Financial Sector

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The Holy Grail of Economic Salvation

Published on Global, by Andrew Hughes, January 27, 2009.

Idiocy is usually described as “endlessly repeating the same process, hoping for a different result”. Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden et al are straining at the leash to get the Bailout Ball rolling once again. The stabilization of the financial sector, as elusive as it has been so far, has become the Holy Grail of Economic salvation. That makes $8.5 Trillion worth of trying and $0 of result. The Knights of the Oval Table are gathered to plan their mission as their beleaguered subjects are trying to batter down the castle gates.  It’s no small wonder that Geithner wants to get the money out the door as soon as the end of this week.

The most recent report from the Comptroller of the Currency seems to have gone unnoticed in Washington and the press. If banks are not lending because of increased capital requirements in the face of Credit Default Swaps, other derivatives and loan defaults then the report goes a long way in describing exactly why …

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Bloody Monday: 74,000 layoffs announced in one day

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Published on WSWS, by Tom Eley, 27 January 2009.

On Monday, employers in the US and internationally announced tens of thousands of layoffs in an indication that the economic crisis is accelerating and spreading throughout the American and world economy—and far outpacing governmental measures to respond. Among the major layoffs: …

… The new layoffs and production suspensions aim to “align production with market demand,” GM said. Analysts anticipate a further contraction in the market for new cars to 10.5 million vehicles from the already abysmal 13.2 million units sold in 2008.

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Map of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan

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Linked with K.N. Pandita’s blog Kashmir and IDPs.

Below the map of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan where Osama bin Laden is said to be hiding and where battles between the US-NATO-Pakistani troops against Al Qaeda and Taliban are going on for a long time. If at all a world war is to begin, it may begin from here, in this region …


Please find this same map also as a pdf file:


The paradox of Basra

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Linked with Mary Kaldor – England.

Published on openDemocracy, by Mary Kaldor, Jan. 13, 2009.

When I arrived in Basra on a Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, my bags were searched. I had been reading Patrick Cockburn’s book on Muqtada al-Sadr on the plane. The glossy cover with Muqtada’s picture and English writing was greeted with excitement by the customs officers, probably themselves poor Shi’a. One of them kissed the picture of Muqtada and asked if he could keep the cover. Thus, right at the outset of my visit, I was reminded of the continuing appeal of Sadrist ideology …

… In contrast to downtown Basra, the slums in the suburbs, districts like Hayyaniya or Gzeiza, are as poor as any third world shanty town. Some 70 to 80 percent of the whole population of Basra is unemployed. Half-built or half destroyed dwellings, open sewers, mud and trash everywhere litter the grey and brown landscape. The army guards the entrance to these districts. We drove around the outskirts but my guide refused to enter the districts fearing, he said, for his life, and not just for mine. While I was in Basra, a British military vehicle was stoned in Hayyaniya. There were, of course, signs of reconstruction – new water plants and police stations paid for by the British. But they are, as of yet, drops in an ocean of deprivation.

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Declassified on NSA

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Linked with the National Security Archive NSA, and with NSA – President Obama embraces openness.

Find the latest declassified Archive Web Publications on NSA:

(and more) …

ECOSOC for AEHRF and the NGO world

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we have a new blog telling our maraton for ECOSOC status … since 2002

The blog will be updated continuously, today you find a new post with 6 new UN’s questions, to be answered to satisfy the ECOSOC Committe. If you are interested, you may find all under the link below.

ECOSOC for AEHRF and the NGO world

National Security Archive – President Obama embraces openness

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… on day one as urged by the National Security Archive and a coalition of more than 60 organizations

Linked with National Security Archive NSA.

Published on NSA, January 21, 2009.

(New president says era of secrecy in Washington is over, pledges “new era of openness in our country”. For more information contact: Meredith Fuchs/Tom Blanton – 202/994-7000)

Washington, D.C., January 21, 2009 – On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda heralding what he called a “new era of openness.” Announcing a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act to reestablish a presumption of disclosure for information requested under FOIA, President Obama said that “every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known.”

The FOIA Memorandum articulates a presumption of disclosure for government records and a hostility to the use of secrecy laws to cover up embarrassing information. It directs the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing FOIA and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to improve information dissemination to the public … (full text).

some Middle East views on Barack Obama

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Published on BBCnews, by by Huw Williams and Hamada Abu Qammar, Jan. 21, 2009.

Amid all the excitement in the United States about Barack Obama’s inauguration as the country’s first black president, Israelis and Palestinians share hopes, fears and priorities for the new US administration

Falasteen Kilani, student, Ramallah, West Bank, says: We actually don’t expect anything from any American president, but deep inside I think that Obama will make a difference. He comes from a different background to other American presidents. The fact that he’s half black, half immigrant and half Muslim and he made it to the presidency – that is very good and I really respect that he did that for himself.

What I expect from him is to be at least fair, to us, to listen to us and be a little bit different than the other presidents …

… and other testimonies from Raffi Kaplan, Shai Schticks, Nasser Abdul Hadi, Fadi Halteh, Neta Levy, Judy Kramer, and Fadil Ahmad al-Sultan … (full text).


Africa Must Produce or Perish

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Linked with Philip Emeagwali – Nigeria and USA;

Published on the Liberian Dialogue, by Philip Emeagwali, January 15, 2009.

… Africa will perish if it continues to consume what it does not produce, and produce what it does not consume. The result will be a depressing cycle of increasing consumption, decreasing production, and increasing poverty. We are missing a golden opportunity by not using the trillion dollars earned by exporting natural resources to break Africa ’s cycle of poverty.

We are at a crossroads where one signpost reads “Produce” and another reads “Perish.” We risk becoming like the driver who stops at an intersection and asks a pedestrian, “Where does this road lead?”

And the pedestrian replies, “Where do you want to go?”

“I don’t know,” the driver replies.

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Lawyer and human rights activist Stanislav Markelov murdered in Moscow

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Published on WSWS, by Vladimir Volkov, 23 January 2009.

On January 19, Stanislav Markelov was shot in the head and killed in central Moscow by a masked man using a silencer. The assassination took place in broad daylight not far from the Kremlin. The 34-year-old lawyer and human rights activist was president of the Institute for the Supremacy of Law.

Anastasia Baburova, a 25-year-old student in the journalism department at Moscow State University and correspondent for the liberal opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta (New Gazette), tried to shield Markelov from the killer but was also shot in the head. Later that evening, she died in the hospital.

The specific reason for the murder of Markelov and who ordered it have not yet been established. But it is clear that this savage and cold-blooded killing is bound up with efforts to eliminate those who, regardless of their views and political connections, have sought to shed light on the many murky aspects of the actions of the Russian authorities in the Caucasus and in Russia itself. Both victims of this assassination were open opponents of the Russian nationalists …

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Global development: Barack Obama’s agenda

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Published on openDemocracy, by Simon Maxwell, Jan 20, 2009.

… The agenda in many policy areas areas is huge and daunting. This is certainly true of the global development challenge, where a host of issues will demand attention and leadership from the Obama administration. Among them are global governance and cooperation in key international institutions, including the United Nations amid an emerging new balance of global power; agreement on a Doha-round trade deal; a new framework for carbon-reduction on the scale needed to limit global warming; and an increase and improvement in aid flows to address the problems of poverty and inequality.

Even a determined and focused US administration cannot ensure progress on any or all of these issues on its own; it will require international cooperation, and that is a challenge of its own. But the real risk may be that the United States, like some other donors preoccupied with the global financial crisis, becomes focused entirely on domestic problems and turns away from the development “project” …

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Tuvan’s khoomei or throat singing

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Linked with Sainkho Namtchylak – Russia / Siberia.

Tuva is a part of Russia, inhabited by a Turkic people related to the nearby Mongolians. Tuvans are known abroad for khoomei (xöömej), a kind of throat singing. Traditionally music from Tuva was only a solo effort. The musician’s intention was usually to emphasize timbre and harmonics over rhythm. The performances were often in places of natural acoustics such as caves, cliffs, rivers, and so on. The performer would often take long pauses to allow nature its own chance to converse back. The modern music found today is often composed of ensembles of musicians playing multiple instruments and often is much more pulsatile than its traditional uses … (full text).

Some video-exemples:

Igil solo, singing in xoomei & kargyraa styles – Alash, 04.59 min, Oct 31, 2007.

Sainkho Namchylak at Seedcamp-Festival, 1.54, May 02, 2007;

Performances (Sainkho Namtchylak, Tuva), 3.14 min, April 20, 2007;

Tuvan Throat Singing, 1.19 min, October 09, 2006;

Amazing Grace using throat singing overtones, 0.50 min, February 04, 2007;

#1 Sainkho Namtchylak @ Xin Hao Yun 2007-7-27, 9.56 min, July 27, 2007;

#2 Sainkho Namtchylak @ Xin Hao Yun, BJ 2007-7-27, 8.01 min, July 28, 2007;

Sainkho+Dickson live in Shenzhen, 1.02, August 10, 2007;

Mongolian Song – Ode to Altai (阿尔泰颂), 3.40 min, October 25, 2007;

Tuvan Throat Singing, 1.44 min, March 21, 2008;

Kargyraa, 2.23 min, April 29, 2007;

Sainkho Namtchylak (live 2002), 5.43, January 24, 2007;

Sainkho Namtchylak, 3.58 min, November 09, 2007;

Tuva throat singing – on amazon.

If winter comes, can spring be far behind?

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… Ask the peace caravan

Published on, by Jawed Naqvi, 19 January 2009.

It’s curious that while millions of Indians have to produce a dozen proofs to get a passport or a driving licence, and brace the ordeal of getting elusive police certificates, gazetted officers’ signatures and the neighbourhood politician’s goodwill, Pakistanis who are caught on the wrong side of law in India are readily identified by the wrapper of the chewing gum found in their pockets, or a matchbox made in Karachi, or a cigarette packet from Lahore.

There is of course the ubiquitous SIM card and occasionally a telephone diary found conveniently in his shirt pockets if the Pakistani happens to be declared a terrorist who was shot dead in an encounter. The media gave up the practice of using alleged, suspected and so on long ago, which helps widen the eligibility gap between Indians and Pakistanis for official recognition and identification. I believe Indian passport seekers must demand parity with their Pakistani counterparts to ease the peculiar identity crisis they otherwise face.

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Invoking India’s Fuhrer

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Linked with Ram Puniyani – India.

Published on, by Ram Puniyani, 19 January, 2009.

During the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment summit (December 2008), the top industrialists cheered their fellow captains of industries calling for Narendra bhai to be next Prime Minister. It is claimed by the organizers of this glittering function that it could solicit an investment of 12 Lakh Crores in Gujarat. It is another matter that the analysts point out that this data is a make believe fiction. A Right to Information, RTI, filed to find the actual investment in Gujarat shows that out of the committed investment of previous summit only 23% materialized, and the current data has been fudged to include the existing ongoing projects and some projects which fall in the kitty of central Government. While some investment has taken place and some has been committed a deliberate hype has been created in the figures to create an image of Gujarat as being number one state of India due to the leadership of Modi …

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Bush leaves, Obama arrives

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Brasscheck TV wrote in its e-mail: All over the world, people are celebrating the leave-taking of one of the most appalling human beings ever to occupy the White House. That being said we might just be exchanging one puppet for another, but that shouldn’t stop a good party.

So first, celebrate with this video with Ray Charles dedicated to Bush: Hit the Road Jack, 2.19 min.

See the today (european) afternoon’s 553 Google search-results for Bush leaves Obama comes.

About the State, the State-owned and the Non-state Owned Cultural Sector in Bulgaria

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Linked with David Cerny – Czech Republic, and with Entropa: art of politics, heart of a nation.

Published on Bulgaria online, by Dessy Gavrilova, 2002.

Drawing a line between “state” and “non-state” cultural organisations may be viewed by many as a rather artificial and formalistic exercise. As far as audiences are concerned, the only meaningful division is the one between good and bad theatres, popular and not so crowded galleries, virtuoso and not so virtuoso orchestras… Every time we talk about cultural policy in Bulgaria however, we are forced to think along the “state” – “non-state” axis. The reason is that when deciding upon financing cultural organisations, politicians in Bulgaria view them in exactly that way – the type of property of the organisation turns out to be the crucial factor.

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Interrogating the Great Depression

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Published by dissentMagazine, by David Brody, December 19, 2008.

… The great majority of newly unionized workers do not, in fact, get collective bargaining through NLRB elections. The law also allows for voluntary recognition, in which an employer enters collective bargaining directly on being provided with proof (via signed cards) of a union’s majority. “Voluntary” is not quite the right word, because rare is the employer who takes this route except under duress. And that’s where the corporate campaign, so-called, comes in. The master practitioner, SEIU’s Andy Stern, likes to speak of “the power of persuasion and the persuasion of power.” Using a bit of both, SEIU has expanded to nearly 2 million members. If the Employee Free Choice Act succeeds, SEIU will dispense with corporate campaigns: the NLRB representation process will have been reopened. If it fails, organized labor will have no other path than Andy Stern’s, and we can anticipate the revival of a bastardized version of the economic warfare that once engulfed this country. In these worst of times, the Employee Free Choice Act will then indeed be a source of instability—only in answer to a question no one seems to have asked: Not the question “What happens if the bill passes?” but “What happens if it doesn’t?”

At the moment, the incoming administration is not showing its cards. As Senator, Barack Obama co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act, he spoke for it during the campaign, and he owes a lot to the unions. But where the labor law stands on his agenda is unclear. So here’s one last historical nugget from the Great Depression. The National Labor Relations Act wasn’t high on the New Deal’s agenda either. FDR was, in fact, cool to it because he was busy currying business support for his cartelist NRA program. The labor law’s champion was not FDR but, from first to last, one of the great unsung heroes of American liberalism, Senator Robert F. Wagner. By the time Wagner’s bill came up in 1935, after being sidetracked the previous session, the New Deal had gone from its corporatist to its Keynesian phase, and collective bargaining became a priority on FDR’s agenda.

This time around, we can hope for a similar dynamic in quick time. Conservative commentators have been congratulating themselves on Obama’s centrist economic team, who know, says Bush’s first economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey, that unionization “will make the economy less competitive and delay recovery.” Not so fast. Lindsey’s counterpart on the Obama team, Larry Summers, regards the galloping income gap of recent vintage to be “the defining issue of our times.” To return to where we were in the late 1970s, says Summers, every household in the upper 1 percent would have to hand back $800,000 and every household in the bottom 80 percent receive a $10,000 check from the proceeds. That sounds outlandish, but it wouldn’t be so outlandish—and a lot healthier for all concerned—if we got the Employee Free Choice Act and gave working Americans the power to wrest back that $10,000 at the bargaining table. (full text).

Saving the economy, one furnace at a time

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Published on online journal, by Paul Rogat Loeb, Jan 16, 2009.

… My new furnace saves energy and fights climate change. It promotes American jobs, and pays back its costs in a reasonable time frame. It points toward how to genuinely renew America’s economy instead of encouraging the same consumption for consumption’s sake that has helped create our current problems.

Let’s look at what my $5,000 purchased. It supported Trane’s factory workers in New Jersey and in their main plant in Tyler, Texas, supported local Seattle installers, and supported beleaguered New Jersey, Texas, and Washington state and city governments through the sales tax I paid and the taxes paid by the companies involved. In my personal economy, it meant I’ll save more than a third of my yearly gas bill and a commensurate amount of my C02 emissions. My old furnace was a 13-year-old 70 percent efficient model that was down to barely 60 percent because single-cycle furnaces lose 1 percent a year as their burners corrode and heat exchangers get less efficient. The new one is 97 percent efficient and will maintain far more efficiency because its variable speed motor is much easier on its components.

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Mass uprising of Greece’s youth

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… bailouts for the banks, bullets for the people

Published on le MondeDiplo, by Valia Kaimaki, January 2009.

Why did Greek youth take to the streets? For the first time since the second world war young people have no hope of a better life than their parents. But there is also a failure of trust in politicians and all state institutions, particularly the police.

The veteran Greek politician Leonidas Kyrkos, now in his eighties, is an iconic figure of the Greek left. He told me what he’d like to say to the young people out on the streets: “Welcome to social struggle, my friends. Now you must take care of yourself and your struggle” …

… World turned upside down:

A second invention of the government and media is the claim that “angry citizens” have taken the law into their own hands to chase off rioters. On the contrary: they have often tried to chase off the riot police. Small shopkeepers shout at them to get lost; passers-by wade in to try and rescue students they’ve arrested. Having understood they cannot keep their children at home, parents and grandparents join them on the streets in order to look after them. A world turned upside down.

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The Great Dragon Awakens: China Challenges American Hegemony

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Published on Global, by José Miguel Alonso Trabanco, January 6, 2009.

Nowadays, most International Relations analysts acknowledge China’s potential to achieve superpower status over the course of the next decades due to its impressive economic growth, which was triggered by Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms program (inspired by theorists like Friedrich List).

Chinese power has also increased considerably in military, geopolitical, trade and financial affairs. Some experts have even contemplated the possibility of China becoming the world’s greatest power, overtaking the US. For instance, Goldman Sachs has predicted that China’s GDP will surpass America’s sometime circa 2050.

However, one must always bear in mind that if Beijing indeed succeeds in becoming the ‘first among equals’, it would not be the first time such event takes place. The ‘Middle Kingdom’ was already a mighty empire thousands of years before the US was even founded. Thus, China (both as a State and as a civilization) has flourished for centuries and has outlived the Roman, Persian, Arabian, Turkish, Mongol, and British empires, which is by no means an easy accomplishment …

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Germany: Temporary workers are first victims of recession

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Published on, by Ludwig Niethammer, 12 January 2009.

First dismiss temporary workers, then implement short-time work, finally push through mass redundancies. This is the plan adopted by many German companies, above all in the auto industry, as their response to the developing recession …

… The chief economist of Deutsche Bank, Norbert Walter, has an even grimmer assessment. He does not rule out a complete crash of the German economy. “The situation has worsened in the last six weeks,” Walter wrote recently. According to Walter, German gross domestic product could shrink in the coming year by 4 percent, because important trading partners such as the European countries, Japan and states that export raw materials are suffering at the moment more severely than Germany.

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CHINA/US: Wealth of Nations Redefined

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Published on IPSnews, by Antoaneta Bezlova, January 12, 2009.

BEIJING , Jan 7 (IPS) – Chinese and United States leaders have hailed the 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries as one of the most defining bilateral ties of the 20th century, but Beijing and Washington are celebrating the anniversary in subdued mood …

… “As America’s largest creditor, China will expect the U.S. to exhaust every means to protect the safety of its investments,” Zha Xiaogang wrote.

”Otherwise, the Chinese public will voice their objection loudly and exert great pressure on Beijing to reverse the policy.”

But, as they gather to celebrate the anniversary, Chinese officials are also fully aware that the two economies are so interlinked that the U.S. needs a helping hand from Chinese capital as much as China needs the U.S. market.

With Americans consuming less, the knock-off on the Chinese economy with its export-driven growth model has become obvious in recent months. About one-third of Chinese exports, including re-exports from Hong Kong, are destined for the U.S. market.

With the collapse of trade, factory closures and layoffs have been spreading rapidly in the country’s export-manufacturing hubs.

Some of the workers have rioted to protests closures and claim unpaid wages. Chinese leaders are terrified that the economic crisis might herald a wave of social unrest for the country, endangering their own grip on power.

Having allowed the yuan to rise a little after 2005, Chinese leaders are now under intense domestic pressure to reverse course and depreciate it. As bankruptcies have multiplied, unemployment has risen rapidly.

Some economists argue that the appreciation of the yuan, urged by the U.S. and other western trading partners, has hurt China’s exports more than the slump in demand caused by the economic recession.

“Since 2005 the value of the yuan has risen nearly 30 percent against the US dollar,” says Zeng Xiangquan, an expert on labour issues at China’s Renmin University. “We would have had to deal with its negative impact on our labour situation even if there was no global recession.” (full text).

The battle for your mind

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Watch this video published on BrasscheckTV: Edward Bernays and the Assassination of Democracy, 7.27 min.

Received by mail: What did the Nazis and 20th century American captains of industry have in common? They employed the same public relations experts. (Note that I didn’t say they employed the same public relations techniques … they employed and learned from the same exact people).

Here’s the story of Edward Bernays who participated in bloody coups in Central America for the United Fruit, marketed all kinds of disastrous habits like smoking and was Joseph Goebbels’ favorite public relations theorist. See Details on this Brasscheck-page.

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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA, and with RESISTANCE.

By Gaither Steward

C’est la lutte finale
Groupons nous et demain
Sera le genre humain.

(The Internationale in its French version)

(Paris) The great tower stands like a beacon over Europe. From the top one can see the Chartres Cathedral seventy kilometers away, on a rare clear day. Evenings from my bedroom window I watch the magnificent tower illuminate. Gradually. Gracefully. As day ends the searchlight at the top at 1000 feet altitude begins sweeping the sky. During last year’s French EU Presidency, as daylight departed and night fell, the gigantic iron structure progressively turned blue, bit by bit, nearly unnoticeable. At first it was a faint, very faint, shade of blue, before, when winter night arrived, it assumed its luxuriant cobalt sheen.

A magic moment for prescient dreamers fascinated by towers and overviews. Nostalgic views, too, which might also end in illusion, in mirage and chimera.

Or in pipe dreams.

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Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

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Published on, by Peter Dale Scott, January 8, 2009.

Paulson’s Financial Bailout: It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.

The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed …

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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA, and his blog: The daily scare.

By Gaither Stewart

(Buenos Aires) A book by the dean of Argentine writers, the 96-year old Ernesto Sabato, bears the title, La Resistencia, though the word Resistance itself is used sparingly in his 150-page book-essay. Yet, his message is clear: man must resist against injustice. I began this essay from that point.

Resistance begins in doubt. Then it grows into the adolescence of skepticism and matures into defiance, confrontation and struggle. Resistance is above all the determination to say, no. No! to euphemism and deceit. No! to falsehood and lie. No! to promises of comfort and ease and assurances that ours is the right way of life.

Resistance is real life as opposed to virtual life. Resistance is the precise opposite of acceptance of what society offers and the resulting retreat into comfort and ease, into the assurances that your lifestyle is the right one, that your way of life is the right way of life. Resistance is the rejection of Power’s version of life. It is rejection of wide-eyed acquiescence to Power’s lure.

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Global systemic crisis – New tipping-point in March 2009

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(in english, français, deutsch, espanol).

Published on, newsletter GEAP no. 30, December 16, 2008 (its english homepage).

When the world becomes aware that this crisis is worse than the 1930s crisis

LEAP/E2020 anticipates than the unfolding global systemic crisis will experience in March 2009 a new tipping point of similar magnitude to the September 2008 one. According to our team, at that period of the year, the general public will become aware of three major destabilizing processes at work in the global economy, i.e.:

  • the length of the crisis
  • the explosion of unemployment worldwide
  • the risk of sudden collapse of all capital-based pension systems

A whole range of psychological factors will contribute to this tipping point: general awareness in Europe, America and Asia that the crisis has escaped from the control of every public authority, whether national or international; that it is severely affecting all regions of the world, even if some are more affected than others (see GEAB N°28); that it is directly hitting hundreds of millions of people in the “developed” world; and that it is only worsening as its consequences reveal throughout the real economy. National governments and international institutions only have three months left to prepare themselves to the next blow, one that could go along severe risks of social chaos. The countries which are not properly equipped to cope with a surge in unemployment and major risks on pensions will be seriously destabilized by this new public awareness … (full long text).

Do The Health Infrastructure In Madhya Pradesh Ensuring Safe Deliveries?

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Published on, by Seema Jain, 07 January, 2009.

Safe Motherhood is the right of all women. But unfortunately safe childbirth is still a hallucination for the rural & tribal folk in Madhya Pradesh. The trends in institutional deliveries age giving a grim picture of safe deliveries in the state. Madhya Pradesh lies in the category of bigger state in the country but the health infrastructure & services proves to be very small to promote safe institutional deliveries to curb high rates of maternal & neonatal mortality in the state. The state has IMR in the country at 72 per thousand live births. Safe Mother & safe child birth emerged as foremost target of RCH-II in Madhya Pradesh but it still lacks prudence in the establishment of health services in the state. This sore truth about safe motherhood has been confirmed by the District Level household Survey (DLHS-III) report for 2007-08 released by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, revealing the big gap on the front of safe deliveries in the state …

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What to Expect from Obama – I

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Published on Brasscheck TV (including the list of all awailable videos).

Watch the video: Part One  – The Economy, 10.19 min.

Watch the cabinet picks: Researched, written and produced by Goodman Green for Brasscheck TV. Anyone who paid attention to George Bush’s cabinet picks could easily predict the trajectory of his administration. Obama’s picks are in. Here’s what we can expect. To be followed …

Response: TARP, Full Employment and Other Sticky Details

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(TARP is an abbreviation for the Troubled Assets Relief Program which is the largest part of the United States’ so-called $700 billion bailout plan) … (full text).

Linked (on January 13, 2009) with John Case alias Jim and Carolyn Hougan – USA.

Published on political affairs pa, by John Case, Jan. 5, 2009.

In an otherwise excellent article debunking Bush as a phony socialist [as he is being dubbed on right-wing talk radio], Joel Wendland writes the following theses that I think deserve “a deeper look.”

“A socialist program for resolving the crisis in the banking industry would possibly have begun by using the TARP funds to gain public ownership and oversight of the banks. It would not have been a handout.

Further, the socialist approach would have originated with the interest of working families. If indeed the TARP project had been a socialist one, it would have been embedded in, controlled by, and enacted with working people’s interests at its center. The guiding principle would be the socialization of benefits and profit.”

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Race to the finish in Afghanistan

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Linked with Eric Walberg – Canada, and with Ahmed Rashid – Pakistan.

Published on Online Journal, by Eric Walberg, Jan 1, 2009.

The war in Afghanistan is spreading its tentacles around the world. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai are now being explained as a plot by Lashkar-e-Taiba to divert the Pakistani military away from the Afghan border areas, a replay of the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.

Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: The Story of the Afghan Warlords, says, “Nobody could touch the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Afghans and others for the next four years” …

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The Digital Divide

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Linked with Kalinga Seneviratne – Sri Lanka. with Financial Meltdown Decolonising Asian Minds, and with MEDIA-PHILIPPINES: Community Radio – Balm in Troubled Areas, .

The term digital divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those without. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen. In other words, it is the unequal access by some members of society to information and communications technology, and the unequal acquisition of related skills. The digital divide may be classified based on gender, income, and race groups, and by locations. The term global digital divide refers to differences in technology access between countries or large regions of the world … (full long text on wikipedia).

Some involved Civil Societies on the web:

And some blogs working on Digital Divide:

Some Articles in the News:

A few (older) Google download books:

Also: FIND FOR DIGITAL DIVIDE – on Google results: about geographical digital divide; about economic digital divide; about causes of the digital divide; about impact of the digital divide; about digital divide in Africa; about digital divide (by) fear of technology; … and with Google searches: on Google Image results; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

And look for books on amazon.

The Real Significance of The Fed’s Zero-Interest-Rate Policy ZIRP

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The Shadow Money Lenders: The Battle To Save The Fiat Money System Has Begun

Linked with Matthias Chang – Malaysia.

Published on Global, by Matthias Chang, December 26, 2008.

The disinformation by the global financial dailies in the last twelve months as to the cause of the global financial tsunami, serve the same purpose as the global mass media when they perpetuated the lies that lulled the people to support the war criminals Bush, Blair and Howard to launch the barbaric war against Iraq and Afghanistan which resulted in the genocide of millions, the mutilation of hundreds of thousands, physically and psychologically, and the devastation of an entire nation …


To prove the point, let me use a simple analogy.

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Rethinking renewable energy strategies – the orion project

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Linked with 2008-09-13: The Orion Project – follow up, and 2008-11-13: The last 5 newslettres from the Orion Project.

Received by newsletter-mail:
From: The Orion Project
Date: 23/12/2008

The United Nations recently held its annual conference on Climate Change. During the sessions, it was revealed that world climate change experts are losing faith in the ability of conventional renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar to solve the increasing problems associated with global climate change.

The U.N’s acknowledgment of a need for alternatives to these technologies is a step in the right direction. What needs to happen now is for people to spread the word that these alternative technologies actually exist today, but have been systematically suppressed for decades by powerful interests within the fossil fuels industry. The Orion Project was created to help get these new technologies into the hands of the masses.

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PORTUGAL: Mega Solar Power Plant Begins to Operate

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Pulished on IPSnews, by Mario de Queiroz, December 31, 2008.

AMARELEJA, Portugal – The most ambitious and innovative solar power project in the world kicked off Monday in this white-walled village in the southern Portuguese municipality of Moura, one of the most impoverished areas in the European Union.

The Acciona Energy S.A. company has put into service the Amareleja photovoltaic power plant, located 150 km south of Lisbon, which is capable of producing enough energy to supply 30,000 households in the south-central region of Alentejo.

Almost simultaneously, the mayor of Moura, José María Prazeres Pós-de-Mina, was selected as one of the ten finalists for the prestigious 2008 People of the Year award granted by OneWorld, a non-governmental news network that is one of the most highly-respected international organisations devoted to raising environmental awareness and promoting change …

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