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Index February 2009

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Unionization Would Boost Economy

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Published on political affairs.net pa, by Joel Wendland, Feb 24, 2009.

Joining a labor union provides the most direct path to improving a worker’s standard of living. If done on a large enough scale, unionization could help revive the entire US economy, a chorus of voices have argued recently.

In a recent telephone conference to discuss the economic benefits of unionization with reporters last week, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich said, “One big reason we’re in the crisis that we’re in is that consumers have run out of money.”

Median wages dropped over the course of the past decade, making the period after the 2001 recession the first time ever that working-class wages have fallen during a an economic recovery, Reich noted …

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Black Sea: Pentagon’s Gateway to Three Continents and the Middle East

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Rick Rozoff, February 22, 2009.

The Black Sea region connects Europe with Asia and the Eurasian land mass to the Middle East through Turkey on its southern rim, which borders Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The northern Balkans lie on its western shores and the Caucasus on its eastern end, the latter a land bridge to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia.

Ukraine, Russia and the strategic Sea of Azov are on its northern perimeter …

… By September of last year Russian concerns over the escalating US military buildup in the Black Sea had not abated and in citing the Pentagon’s new bases in Bulgaria and Romania as well as its missile shield plans and ongoing NATO expansion to its borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “Parity as the basis of the strategic balance in the world has been violated.”(Itar-Tass, September 29, 2008).

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Mortgage mess sinks Interamerican Development Bank

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Published on IFIwatchnet, by Toby Sterling / Matt Apuzzo (Associated Press Writers), not dated.

WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank, the largest lender for projects including roads and power plants in Latin America, lost $1.9 billion on mortgages and other securities as part of an unusually aggressive investment strategy, according to internal bank documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The bank is funded by donations from wealthy countries such as the United States. It downplayed the losses even as an independent auditor blamed bank managers and called for a review of the investment strategy.

A decade ago, the bank kept its money almost exclusively in goverment bonds and bank accounts. By 2006, investments in asset-backed securities such as mortgages, credit card debt and home equity credit lines represented 60 percent of the bank’s portfolio, according to the audit.

Auditors determined the bank got in over its head …

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Biofuel production: a crime against humanity

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again, because it is so important … now more than ever …

Linked with Jean Ziegler – Switzerland.

Published on Canada.com, by AFP, April 14, 2008.

Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food, many observers warn. Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programmes aimed at debt reduction. Agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensured the survival of local populations, he said …

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Swiss Maddened By American Treatment of UBS

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Published on Tremendous News, by blog owner, Feb 22, 2009.

The Swiss are pissed. Who would have thought that would actually happen. Usually, the Swiss are known for being nice, neutral. If you talked trash about their moms they would say, “I see your point and it’s valid.  Let’s all be merry and eat peppermint scones, shall we?” And then they would prance away into a magical forest.

Not anymore.

Members of the SVP, the largest political party in Switzerland (my comment: exactly it’s our right wing populist party), are pissed at how the US is treating their darling bank, UBS. They don’t like the fact that American federal authorities are pressuring UBS to release names of their customers.

So, in retaliation, they propose that Switzerland:

  • Not take any prisoners from the soon-to-be-shut Guantanamo Bay Prison;
  • Not help the US in diplomatic situations where the country is uninvited;
  • Ban the sales of US funds through Swiss banks;
  • Not give the Americans any of their delicious chocolate or watches or those stupid knives that nobody really needs unless you’re a woodsman.

Are you a woodsman? No. No, you’re not.  So why do you need a knife that expands into seventy-eight other knives? … (full text).

(My next comment: no, as a not-SVP Swiss I am not angry that someone is able to educate our banks).

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Historian with a global vision

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Linked with Victor Kiernan – England (1913 – 2009).

Published on The Hindu, by Eric Hobsbawm, Feb 19, 2009.

Victor Kiernan, who has died aged 95, was a man of unselfconscious charm and staggeringly wide range of learning. He was also one of the last survivors of the generation of British Marxist historians of the 1930s and 1940s. If this generation has been seen by the leading German scholar H.U. Wehler as the main factor behind “the global impact of English historiography since the 1960s,” it was largely due to Victor’s influence. He brought to the debates of the Communist Party historians’ group between 1946 and 1956 a persistent, if always courteous, determination to think out problems of class culture and tradition for himself, whatever the orthodox position. He continued to remain loyal to the flexible, open-minded Marxism of the group to which he had contributed so much.

Most influential through his works on the imperialist era, he was also, almost certainly, the only historian who also translated 20th-century Urdu poets and wrote a book on the Latin poet Horace. The latter’s works he, like the distinguished Polish Marxist historian Witold Kula, carried with him on his travels. Like several of his contemporaries among the Marxist historians, including Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton and Edward Thompson, he came from a nonconformist background. In his case it was a lower-middle-class, actively congregationalist family in Ashton-on-Mersey, though in his time as a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, he used his Irish name as an excuse to justify a lack of zeal for the British monarchy …

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What does economic recovery mean on an extreme weather planet?

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Published on TomDispatch.com, by Tom Engelhardt, February 17, 2009.

It turns out that you don’t want to be a former city dweller in rural parts of southernmost Australia, a stalk of wheat in China or Iraq, a soybean in Argentina, an almond or grape in northern California, a cow in Texas, or almost anything in parts of east Africa right now. Let me explain …

… Burning Questions

Right now, the global economic meltdown has massively depressed fuel prices (key to farming, processing, and transporting most crops to market) and commodity prices have generally fallen as well, including food prices. Whatever the future economic weather, however, that is not likely to last.

So here’s a burning question on my mind:

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The Ten Principles Of Apocalyptic Financing

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Published on Countercurrents.org, by Peter Goodchild, 18 February, 2009.

It’s just not possible for trillions of dollars to disappear. Money does not disappear. The amount of money is fixed, more or less. Yes, it’s possible for dishonest governments to churn out more bills, but in major industrial countries that only happens to a limited extent, because it reduces the purchasing power of each dollar of savings, and rich people don’t like that.

The money didn’t just evaporate. It went to government pension funds, to the Pentagon, to the arms dealers, to the bank executives as bonuses for the record numbers of fraudulent loans handed out by their underlings, to the owners of sweatshops in distant lands, and above all it went to the rentiers, the ultimate lenders of money. Lending is far better than working for a living – that’s why if you buy a house for $300,000, you’re expected to pay that money back to the bank, along with $600,000 in interest. The only people for whom money “disappeared” were the middle class.

In the meantime, there must be survival strategies for those of us who believe every word that comes out of the TV set, for those of us whose income has half the spending power of our parents’, for those of us who bleed ourselves dry trying to educate children who will be climbing over garbage dumps in later decades.

The ten principles are: … (full text).

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

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The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that declares “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The meaning and scope of this right has been described as among the most contested of the rights codified in the Bill of Rights … (full long text on wikipedia – with Text, Background, Adoption, Case Law, Presidential administrations, References, See also, External links).

Some few links:

The 2nd amendment also on The Constitution of the United States of America; on USConstitution.net – Site Index /Constitutional Topic; on Second Amendment Research Center; on FindLaw; on Second Amendment Foundation online; on Cornell University, on Law School; on UCLA law; by this video: Suzanna Gratia-Hupp: What the Second Amendment is REALLY For, 5.23 min, 1 oct. 2003, and this video: Suzanna Gratia Hupp explains meaning of 2nd Amendment, 9.22 min, August 27, 2008; also on Google NEWS-search; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search; on GunCite.com; on Second Amendment; on SecondAmendment.net; on MarathonUSA; and on amazon (with 180 results).

Food for 12 Billion. So Why Did 854 Million Go Without?

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Published on JPS.org, by Christi van der Westhuizen, February 19, 2009.

GENEVA, Jun 29 (IPS) – “As you are suffering from over-consumption, I am suffering from under-consumption. We need to strike a balance,” said Mary Wahu Kaara from the Kenya Debt Relief Network with reference to the North and the South.

Her words were echoed by Hilkka Pietila, honorary president of the World Federation of United Nations Associations: We are wasting food in the North. We are eating too much, burning grain as fuel, and growing grain to feed pigs to slaughter for ham …

… Jean Ziegler, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food, alerted the more than 500 delegates that while 854 million people went without food in the world last year, enough food was produced to feed 12 billion people. “This is why a child that dies from famine is murder,” Ziegler said.

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Financial Bailout, America’s Own Kleptocracy

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The largest transformation of America’s Financial System since the Great Depression

Linked with Michael Hudson – USA.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Michael Hudson, September 20, 2008.

… Hardly by surprise, this giveaway of public money is being handled by the same group that warned the country so piously about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Pres. Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson have piously announced that this is no time for partisan disagreements over this shift of public policy to favor creditors rather than debtors. There is no time to make the biggest bailout in election history an election issue. Not an appropriate time to debate whether it is a good thing to re-inflate housing prices to a level that will continue to oblige new home buyers to go so deeply into debt that they must pay some 40 percent of their take-home pay on housing.

Remember when President Bush and Alan Greenspan informed the American people that there was no money left to pay Social Security (not to mention Medicare) because at some future date (a decade from now? 20 years? 40 years?) the system might run a deficit of what now seems to be merely a trivial trillion dollars spread over many, many years. The moral was that if we can’t figure out how to pay, let’s plow the program under right now.

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Afghanistan: chaos central

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Published on the english leMondeDiplo, by Chris Sands, February 2009.

A correspondent looks back at the deterioration across the country over the past four years: the resurgence of both the Taliban and the old corrupt elites, the failure of the occupation forces, and the worsening conditions of life for everybody else:

As the summer of 2005 began its slow fade into autumn, a piece of newspaper wrapped around a kebab said Osama bin Laden had moved to Iraq. It seemed everyone had forgotten there was a war on here. American soldiers used those remaining days of sunshine to buy carpets in Kabul’s Chicken Street bazaar, not caring when they were charged over the odds. Elsewhere, mercenaries downed cheap Russian vodka in phoney restaurants before wandering up a few stairs to sleep with Chinese prostitutes whose pimps bribed local government officials. The brothels were often in the same neighbourhoods as the mansions that militia commanders were building themselves with CIA funds and drug money …

… Everything is screwed up:

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USA: weapons programs re-branded as jobs programs

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Published on TheRealNewsNetwork.

Watch these videos:

A Short History Of US Government Handouts

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Linked with Stephen Lendman, USA and his blog.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Stephen Lendman, 13 February, 2009

Global economies are withering while Washington conceives “Financial Recovery Plan(s) from Hell,” according to economist Michael Hudson in his latest February 11 article. Bankers demand more trillions, “or (they’ll) plunge the economy into financial crisis.” What they want they’ll get, and here’s where things now stand …

… Woodrow Wilson, for example. He based his 1912 campaign on individualism. A new freedom against corporate wealth controlling government. As a Jeffersonianism heir, “he decried paternalism of every kind.” But look at the laws enacted under him:

  • the Federal Reserve Act subverting the Constitution by giving a private banking cartel the right to print money, control its supply and price, and charge government interest on what it would not have to pay if it printed its own;
  • the Federal income tax to service the federal debt owed to bankers;
  • the trainmen’s law virtually fixing wages on interstate railways for certain classes of employees;
  • the shipping board law that put the government in the shipping business and let it regulate rates;
  • the Farm Loan Act that established 12 regional Farm Loan Banks to serve members of Farm Loan Associations;
  • federal aid for highway construction;
  • the Alaskan railway;
  • the Water Power Act that created a Federal Power Commission with extensive authority over waterways and the construction and use of water power projects; and
  • various other acts belying the notion of “the less government the better” so increasingly more of it for business became the law of the land.

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GLASNOST IN LONDON – WAR FEVER IN WASHINGTON

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Linked with Eric Margolis – USA and Canada.

Published on eric margolis.com, by Eric Margolis, February 02, 2009.

… The financial district around CanaryWharf is beginning to look like a ghost town, as offices close and whole floors of financial drones are fired. Gloom pervades just about everywhere. Meanwhile, two senior British officials have created a sensation by finally speaking some hard truths that contradict all the lies spewed out by Washington and London about the bogus `war on terror.’

Lord West, the security minister of Britain’s Labor government (equivalent to the US Homeland Security chief), dropped a bombshell last week by declaring that his nation’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan had actually fuelled global radicalism against Britain and the US as well as domestic `terrorism’ in the United Kingdom …

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Alternative Energy – precursor engineering links

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Linked with Steven M. Greer – USA, Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA, with Breaking News from The Orion Project, with the WorldPuja.org, (and the World Puja Network’s homepage), Brasscheck TV with Six videos on alternative energy, with Air cars – Here, there. everywhere, with The car of the future – blocked, and with Solar powered electric car.

Received by mail: From: The Orion Project: several newsletters, to find them go to The Orion Project /Latest News, find there interesting informations.

Precursor engineers:

1): Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger, Ausstralia (1887 – 1961) on wikipedia and: Schrödinger’s cat on wikipedia and: his Nobel Prize in Physics;

2): Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac (1902 – 1984) on wikipedia and his Nobel Prize in Physics;

3): Thomas E. Bearden (Retired Col.) on wikipedia and: the Tom Bearden Website, and: the VIRTUAL TIMES, Tom Bearden (and more articles), and: the Motionless Electromagnetic Generator MEG, oct 06, 2000;

4): Stanley Meyer’s Google web-search leads to Google Video results for Stanley Meyer with his car, shown already on the Orion Project, Stanley Meyer’s water fuel cell on wikipedia (last modified on 7 February 2009, at 11:49).

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What Women want: RESPECT !

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Linked with Mary Liston Liepold – USA, with National Science Teachers Association, and with The World-Uniting Force of a New American President.

Published on Week X Week, by the owner of this blog, February 11, 2009.

If my husband is reading this: Honey, don’t skimp on the chocolate. Flowers are fine too. Valentines Day only comes once a year, and I confess to a certain fondness for the tried and true.

Tradition can be a beautiful thing. It can also be a shackle. So while we in the West go in for hearts and flowers, women around the world are asking for the same thing they ask for every day: R E S P E C T (Thank you, Aretha). And sisters, we are getting it …

… The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (which states that the 180-day statute of limitations for pay discrimination resets with each new discriminatory paycheck, was signed into U.S. law on January 29, 2009, by U.S. President Barack Obama, see on wikipedia), the first piece of legislation Barack Obama signed as President, honors a woman who demanded respect in the form of wages equal to those of men. Lilly will reap no financial benefit from this legislation, but she declares herself satisfied because other women will.

I count myself blessed because I don’t have to ask for respect at work or at home. If they could only remember to put the toilet seat down, the men in my life would be practically perfect. I hope, wherever you are, that you are similarly blessed. That frees our energy to stand with our sisters and make sure that all people everywhere get the respect they desire and deserve.

I’ll just take mine with chocolate on the side. (full text).

Two years recession, or ten years of hell?

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Linked with Frederick William Engdahl – Germany and USA.

Published on RealNewsNetwork

Watch these videos with F.W. Engdahl:

And this announcement, received by mail:
From: IWT-The Real News / (website/Homepage)
Date: 10/02/2009

The Davies Forum Spring 2009, Hosted by Professor Dorothy Kidd, University of San Francisco, Department of Media Studies: The Davies Forum hosts Paul Jay, The Real News: A Global Model for Change, February 19, 7-9pm Pacific standard time, Maraschi (Fromm Hall), 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080, (map).

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The Gigantic Casino

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Published on LeftWordBooks (bookshop in Delhi, India), by the book-seller, on 2009.

… Ten years before the financial crisis broke out in late 2008, Fidel Castro had said: “There has been an accelerated and unbelievable growth in so-called hedge funds and the derivatives market. It is an additional system of speculative gambling, where the players bet anything and everything, based on sophisticated risk calculations generated by computers, high-level programmers and economic experts.

They exploit insecurity and use the money in the banks’ savings accounts. They have practically no restrictions, make huge profits and can provoke disasters.

“The fact that the current economic order is unsustainable is evidenced by the very vulnerability and weakness of the system, which has turned the planet into a gigantic casino, and turned millions of citizens and sometimes even entire societies into gamblers, adulterating the function of money and of investments, given that they pursue neither the production nor the growth of the world’s wealth, but rather a means to make money with money. Such a deformation will inevitably lead the world economy towards disaster.”

Every word uttered by Fidel Castro came true … (full text).

Karzai urges Taliban reconciliation

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Published on Al Jazeera, by Source Agencies, Feb 8, 2009.

(First my comment: the following text down – in italic – shows that thinkers and commentators in political affairs are only able to think TACTICs, not HUMAN CONCERNs. And as long as THIS mentality prevails, their influence will remain noxious … and they would better shut-up … as, even IF Karzai thinks in tactics, the HUMAN CONCERN remains more important. But could it be that human concerns are not as sexy as war, crime and tactics and make flow less testosterone in men’s body?)

Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has called for a process of reconciliation with Taliban fighters who are not linked with al-Qaeda.

“We will invite all those Taliban who are not part of al-Qaeda, who are not part of terrorist networks, who want to return to their country … to come back to their country,” he said at a security conference in the German city of Munich on Sunday.

“I would request the international community to back us in this, fully, and be of one view on this, not of divided views,” he said.

“There is no way that we can succeed in the way we want to, in the right time, without some form of reconciliation” …

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Made in America

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Linked with Stanford R. Ovshinsky – USA.

Published on BrasscheckTVAmerica the beautiful … Let’s not forget:

In spite of the right wing psychos, the criminal politicians and their clients in corporate America, and the utterly corrupt news media, there still is a “genius for humanity” in America.

Here is one of the people who represents the highest ideal of what it means to be an American: Stan Ovshinsky. Take the time to learn about this man and please share this with others – Watch this video:

Alternative Energy and the Americas, by Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Center for Latin American Studies, 88.36 min,  April 8, 2008.

Economic crisis undermines social policy and social stability

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(HREA offers an e-learning course on The United Nations Human Rights System.
Application deadline is 15 February 2009
).

Received by mail:
From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 05/02/2009

As governments scramble to shore up failing financial institutions and inject stimulus packages into deteriorating economies, the impact on the most vulnerable groups in all societies is going unnoticed, a United Nations commission warned today.

Concrete policy recommendations promoting a more equitable society for people living in poverty, older persons, youth, and migrants and their families – some of those most affected by the current economic meltdown – will be high on the agenda of the Commission for Social Development as it opened its annual meeting.

“With the global financial and economic crisis we already have indications of the growing number of working poor, rising unemployment and growing social unrest,” said Ambassador Kirsti Lintonen of Finland.

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Russia welcomes Biden’s offer to “reset” ties

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Published on Reuters.com, by Noah Barkin and David Brunnstrom, Feb 8, 2009.

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Russia welcomed on Sunday an offer by the United States “to press the reset button” on relations with Moscow and suggested the two sides could jointly review the contentious issue of missile defense …

… Ivanov also reaffirmed that if Washington scrapped the proposed missile shield, Russia would not proceed with the threatened deployment of nuclear missiles near the Polish border.

But, asked whether Russia would take concrete steps to signal its readiness to work with the United States, Ivanov said: “It is not an oriental bazaar and we do not trade the way people do in a bazaar.”

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India: The 498A Survival Kit – A Guide To Surviving IPC 498A

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Linked with Indira Jaising – India.

Published on ipc498a.wordpress.com, by Actors Entangled In 498A And DV Act, July 1, 2007.

Indian Penal Code – Section 498A, IPC – Introduced in the Penal Code by Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act of 1983 (Act No. 46 of 1983)

498A: HUSBAND OR RELATIVE OF HUSBAND OF A WOMAN SUBJECTING HER TO CRUELTY: Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, is a criminal offence. It is a cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable offence.

The lines above give the definition of the law known as section 498A Of the Indian Penal Code or IPC498A for short.

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Every Last Drop

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Linked with Frank R. Rijsberman – Netherlands, and with the International Water Management Institute IWMI.

Published on Boston Review, by Frank R. Rijsberman, SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2008. (Same text, as a 7 pages article, on AlterNet, January 21, 2009).

Sri Lanka’s celebrated twelfth-century king Parakramabahu reportedly said, “not a single drop of water received from rain should be allowed to escape into the sea without being utilized for human benefit.”

The concern to ensure a steady water supply was pervasive throughout South Asia in his time. Thousands of small dams created cascades of connected lakes (locally called “tanks”) that made irrigation possible all year round, despite the vagaries of the monsoon climate. Comparable inventiveness produced aqueducts in Rome, elaborate systems of underground tunnels (qanats) in the Middle East and Northern Africa, and King Nebuchadnezzar II’s irrigation systems for the hanging gardens of Babylon. The Babylonian irrigation worked, but Mesopotamian society apparently failed to control the slow build-up of salt in the soil, faced a water crisis, and ultimately collapsed …

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Let banks fail

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says Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz

Published on Telegraph.co.uk, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Davos, 02 Feb 2009.

(First my comment: this is not only a question of courage, but also a question of HOW MUCH the normal elite is linked into this mess of curruption and betrayal. By wanting safe the banks, they show that they do not care about the people, but only want safe their belongings from the effects of their own curruption).

The Government should allow every distressed bank to go bankrupt and set up a fresh banking system under temporary state control rather than cripple the country by propping up a corrupt edifice, according to Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist.  Continue Reading…

Islamic banking in India: Challenges and prospects

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Linked with Asghar Ali Engineer – India, the Two Circles.net, and with Madrasa education myth and reality.

Published on Two circles.net, by Syed Burhanur Rahman, 30 January 2009.

CONCLUSION

Islamic banking is at an incipient stage. The existing legal framework does not permit Islamic Banking. Only selective activities like equity investment is possible, while trade finance aspects like taking title to goods is not possible. A lot of amendments need to be carried out in the prevalent legal set up. Appropriate models need to be selected and implemented to suit society’s diverse financial needs. Islamic Bank of Britain, Islamic banks of Thailand, Singapore and USA may be glaring models for Indian bankers. The reputed domestic and international banks along with the collaboration of RBI should be involved in the process of determining and implementing Islamic Banking products.

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JAMMU AND KASHMIR – A SUCCESS STORY

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Legislative Assembly Elections 2008

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

Received by mail:
From: Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu And Kashmir
Date: 03/02/2009

Their newest report on the latest study tour through Jammu and Kashmir State and on the monitoring mission of the Legislative Assembly Elections 2008, from 04 – 26 December 2008: JAMMU AND KASHMIR – LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS 2008 – A SUCCESS STORY, 25 word-pages (next published on their website).

an excerpt:
1. INTRODUCTION

  • a. This study tour was combined with monitoring the Legislative Assembly elections in J&K State.
  • b. In Par 2. you find the results of this monitoring mission.
  • c. Being once more in J&K State, I took the occasion to meet the common man in the street, representatives of the J&K State Government, of political parties, of separatist leaders, of different organisations, of social, religious and educational institutions, of the press, etc. in the Valley and in Jammu Region.  I also had the opportunity to interact by telephone with people from Ladakh (Districts Kargil and Leh).  You find the “highlights” of these meetings in Par. 3.
  • d. In Par. 4, you find the conclusions of our Association.
  • e. Visit our photo-gallery with unique photographs on this study tour: http://basjak.org
  • g. For reports on previous study tours, monitoring mission and photographs: see our website http://basjak.org
  • h. I thank all those who helped me to make this study tour possible.  All my friends of the Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir gave me a valuable and much appreciated moral support throughout this very important study tour (the third one in 2008) and monitoring mission.  As usual, they also gave practical and material help where needed.

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Stay Put – produce the note

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Watch this video on Brasscheck TV: produce the note, 3.55 min.

and by the way, just this other video: Why Eliot Spitzer was assassinated – The predatory lending industry had a partner in the White House, 7.32 min.

Brasscheck TV writes Follow the law:

Wall Street and its co-conspirators on Main Street had a great plan.

  • Step 1: Ram predatory loans down the market with fraud and deceptive marketing.
  • Step 2: Some of the loans will blow up, but in the aggregate it will all work out and besides, the loans will be bundled and sold off to investors (spreading the toxic waste), so who cares?

Great plan, but it had a few problems:

  • Problem #1: It destroyed the world financial system (minor detail)
  • Problem #2 (And here’s where it get VERY interesting …) For a loan to be valid, the lender needs to be able to produce the paperwork.

Guess what?

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Tax Solution To Wretched Greed

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Linked with Joel S. Hirschhorn – USA.

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Joel S. Hirschhorn, 31 January, 2009.

By now most Americans have experienced extreme disgust upon hearing about the nearly $20 billion in bonuses given to people in New York City’s financial sector at the end of 2008. After sending the nation into the current economic black hole there is no way of comprehending the audacity of financial company executives in giving themselves and their colleagues shameful rewards for abysmal and disgraceful performance. Other than screaming and moaning about all this dishonorable behavior what should the Obama administration and Congress do?

Here is the solution that the overwhelming majority of Americans should demand: A law should be immediately passed that imposes a new special federal income tax of 99 percent on all income in excess of $500,000 annually for single taxpayers and $1 million for couples, starting for 2008 income. Call it a greed tax. Call it justice. Call it getting even for too many years of uncontrolled greed that has given the nation nothing but economic injustice and inequality, and given capitalism a very bad name. Call it a sensible way to raise federal revenues to help offset the cancerous national debt.

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The American Economy Is Not Coming Back

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Linked with Dave Lindorff – USA.

Published on Counterpunch, by Dave Lindorff, 31 January, 2009.

President Barack Obama and his economic team are being careful to couch all their talk about economic stimulus programs and bank bailout programs in warnings that the economic downturn is serious and that it will take considerable time to bounce back …

… It would be better if the new administration would be honest about this, because with honesty, we could have a recovery program that would actually address the real critical issues facing the country—the decline of our educational system, the irrationality of official promotion of home ownership that has led to the proliferation not just of suburbs but of exurbs, the over-reliance on the automobile for transportation, the unprecedented waste of resources, the pillaging of the environment, not to mention the decimation of the retirement system and the creation of a vast medical-industrial complex that is sucking the life-blood out of families and businesses alike.

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Is it time to bail out of the US?

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Linked with Paul Craig Roberts – USA.

Published on Online Journal, by Paul Craig Roberts, Jan 30, 2009.

California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.

Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to the disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.

California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke …

… Americans who have seen their retirement savings devastated by complicity of government regulators and lawmakers with financial gangsters should not have to pay any income tax when they draw on their pensions.

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