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Index May 2009

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The Bilderberg Plan for 2009: Remaking the Global Political Economy

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Andrew G. Marshall, May 26, 2009.

From May 14-17, the global elite met in secret in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg conference, amid scattered and limited global media attention. Roughly 130 of the world’s most powerful individuals came together to discuss the pressing issues of today, and to chart a course for the next year. The main topic of discussion at this years meeting was the global financial crisis, which is no surprise, considering the list of conference attendees includes many of the primary architects of the crisis, as well as those poised to “solve” it.

The Agenda: The Restructuring of the Global Political Economy: …

Conclusion:    Continue Reading…

La Chine commence à s’écarter du dollar

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Publié dans Voltairenet.org, Mai 22, 2009.

L’accord monétaire tacite entre Washington et Pékin est désormais rompu. Au cours des dernières années, la banque Goldman Sachs avait joué les bons offices pour convaincre le gouvernement US d’accepter la sous-évaluation du yuan, et pour convaincre en échange le gouvernement chinois d’investir en bons du Trésor US. Dés le début de la crise économique aux États-Unis, le directeur de Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson, avait été nommé par le président Bush secrétaire au Trésor avec toute latitude pour maintenir cet accord.

Plus récemment, le président Obama a nommé le lobbyiste pro-Chinois Gary Locke secrétaire au Commerce afin de poursuivre coûte que coûte cette coopération. Pourtant: … (texte entier).

Links:

Obama tente de convaincre le patronat US que le Protocole de Kyoto est bon pour la reprise économique, Mai 22, 2009;

Bernard Kouchner organise la fuite du criminel de guerre Agim Çeku, Mai 13, 2009;

Dick Cheney aurait commandité l’assassinat de Rafic Hariri, Mai 7, 2009.

Economic crisis conference to be postponed?

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Linked with IFIs.Choike.org, and with Civil society wants substance, not procedural delays at UN conference on crisis.

Published on IFIwatchNet.org, by TWN, May 25, 2009.

The United Nations conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development, which is scheduled to be held on 1-3 June, is now likely to be postponed to 24-26 June.

A meeting was convened by the General Assembly President, Ambassador Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, in New York last Friday to discuss the postponement, which had been proposed by Brockmann.

At the meeting, almost all countries and regional groupings, including the United States, had agreed to the postponement to 24-26 June. However, in a surprise move, the European Union said that its member states required more time for consultation and for checking with their capitals.  Continue Reading…

Civil society wants substance, not procedural delays at UN conference on crisis

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A statement calling upon governments not to take procedural arguments as an excuse to further delaying the substantive negotiations on the urgently needed global policy responses to the current crisis is being circulated to negotiators at the UN

Linked with IFIs.Choike.org, and with Economic crisis conference to be postponed?

Published on Choike.org, May 15, 2009.

1. We are facing a global systemic crisis, which originated in the rich countries of the North, their unsustainable consumption and production patterns and the irresponsible economic behavior of their dominant social actors. The crisis affects billions of people all over the world, pushing many millions of them into unemployment and poverty, and violating their economic, social and cultural rights.

2. The response of the G20 was not sufficient to address the root causes of these multiple crises of food, climate, financial markets and sustainable development.    Continue Reading…

Intellectual Monopoly is an Unnecessary Evil

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Published on the Blog of the Luswig von Mises Institute, by Art Carden, May 25, 2009.

In a rush to stimulate the economy, the Obama administration is touting various “visionary” plans to make the American economy more progressive, more innovative, and more forward-looking by subsidizing politically-motivated projects like “green” technology. These hands-on policies will be ineffective. Recent research suggests that a much more effective way to accomplish the same goals would be to eliminate intellectual monopoly and to reduce the regulatory burdens on innovators.

According to conventional wisdom in economics, temporary monopoly rights – patents – are necessary to give people incentives to come up with newer, better ideas. After all, if people who came up with new ideas could see those new ideas copied without cost by competitors, why bother spending the time and energy? Hence, we have patents.  Continue Reading…

Towards a world war of interest rates

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aimed at capturing global savings

Published on LEAP2020.eu, the newsletter of the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin GEAB (in de, en, es, fr), 26 Mai 2009.

… What central banks following the Fed’s policy are basically trying to do is to make solvent economic players who are not and who cannot be anymore because the economic model they were based on has collapsed. Their hope is that the longer their fictitious solvency lasts (thanks to the input of large amount of liquidities) the greater the chance that the economy recovers, burying the trick.

It is smart but you don’t cheat history and the current crisis is of historic dimension. Its duration for many countries (including the US) could be similar to the duration of the 1873-1896 crisis, while its socio-economic impact will resemble that of the 1929 crisis but on the scale of the planet (9).  Continue Reading…

NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY

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by Gary Allen, 1971

Published on Kamron’s Guide, (Originally published by Concord Press, P.O. BOX 2686, Seal Beach, Calif. 9074, USA).

Excerpts: … This act (the Federal Reserve Act), establishes the most gigantic trust on Earth … When the President signs this act, the invisible government by the money power, proven to exist by the Money Trust Investigation, will be legalized … The new law will create inflation whenever the trusts want inflation … “, Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., December, 1913 …

… Have you ever had the experience of walking into a mystery movie two-thirds  of the way through? Confusing, was’nt it? All the evidence made it look as though the butler were the murderer, but in the final scenes you find out that,  surprisingly,  it was  the man’s  wife all along. You have to stay and see the beginning  of the film. Then, as all the pieces fall into place, the story makes sense.  Continue Reading…

Africa: forty-six years on, the continent can be optimistic about the future

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(Opinion)

Published on allAfrica.com, by Stephen Asiimwe, 24 May 2009.

Kampala — Today, May 25, is the African Liberation Day. I congratulate all Africans on the continent and in the diaspora for celebrating this historical moment.

The day honours the 1963 signing of the charter establishing the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU). It pledges solidarity for the liberation of Africa …

… Soon after that, the OAU emerged as the most important trade union of “dictators” backed by their personal armies and militia. Consequently, the organisation was unable to sanction any of its members like the late Idi Amin, chairman of the OAU 1975, and Mobutu Seseko of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was because oppression of the African people by their governments became internal affairs in which dictatorships had “sovereignty”.   Continue Reading…

Tanzania: President Jakaya Kikwete meets Obama on Africa’s Conflicts

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Published on allAfrica.com, by Katy Gabel, 22 May 2009.

President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania became the first African head of state to visit the Obama White House Thursday, where he discussed issues including Africa’s most pressing conflicts with President Barack Obama …

… Earlier in the week, President Kikwete visited California’s Silicon Valley, where he met with executives at technology giants Cisco, IBM and Google. The three companies “agreed to help” Tanzania, the government-owned Daily News reported.

The newspaper said that at Cisco, Kikwete discussed the “various steps Tanzania was taking in embracing ICT fully, including that of the laying of a fibre-optic [cable] and the establishment of an IT college at the University of Dodoma.”   Continue Reading…

Restoring National Sovereignty with A Truly National Banking System

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Linked with Stephen Lendman – USA.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Stephen Lendman, May 23, 2009.

One serving everyone, not powerful moneychangers alone, the so-called Money Trust cartel of Wall Street bankers looting the national wealth for themselves and heading the country for bankruptcy, tyranny and ruin. Stopping them is Job One, and only mass activist outrage can do it.

At the Chicago Democratic National Convention, William Jennings Bryan won the nomination saying:

“(W)e believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government .. I stand with Jefferson (and say), as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that banks should go out of the governing business….(W)hen we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and .. until that is done there is no reform that can be accomplished.”  Continue Reading…

Toxic Textbooks

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real-world economics review / post-autistic economics review

Received by mail:
From: real-world economics review
Date: 18/05/2009

Dear 11,000 subscribers of the real-world economics review, A new movement (its manifesto is at the bottom of this message) is being launched to encourage universities and schools to use economics textbooks that engage honestly with the real world.

Recently several prominent economists, including Hodgson and Keen, have publicly called for worldwide student protest to help bring about serious change in academic economics, especially in teaching. Although the circumstances for this have never been so favourable, the problem is how to get protest started up to the point where it becomes self-sustaining and nationally and internationally contagious. Continue Reading…

Political Poisonings: A Continuing American Tradition?

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Published on Cleveland Indymedia.org, by Deborah Baker, May 09, 2009.

I am an American seeking asylum in Europe because I have been poisoned, apparently for political reasons. It seems the US government has experience with this punishment for political opponents, but worse things may be in store for the masses.

Are you aware that there are concentration camps meant to incarcerate and kill Americans in the US? If not, check it out. For example, youtube.com has had videos of these camps including the most infamous one in Beech Grove, Indiana. Ted Gunderson, former chief of the FBI office in LA, says he got one list of people to be killed in such camps from someone in the CIA, and his name was on it! If you aren’t already tangled up in the current mess that exists in the US, you will be! But let me first tell you my story. Maybe we can come up with an alternative.  Continue Reading…

Where is all FED’s money gone …

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Watch this video: REP. ALAN GRAYSON SLAMS FEDERAL RESERVE INSPECTOR GENERAL ELIZABETH COLEMAN, 5.26 min, added 12 May 2009: Rep. Alan Grayson asks the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent or spent by the Federal Reserve and where it went, and the trillions of off balance sheet obligation. Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman responds that the IG does not know and is not tracking where this money is.

My question: and what happens in Europe? Could Europeans have the same troubles and if, would we be able to react?

Links:

Federal Reserve Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman Doesnt Have A Clue What Happend to Trillions of Your Dollars … If this makes you angry then I suggest you contact your congressman and demand answers;

Federal Reserve Cannot Account for $9 Trillion;

Other Voices: It’s time to make the Federal Reserve accountable to the people;

… and specially this publication;

Bilderberg Group orders destruction of US Dollar? May 21, 2009;

FRB: OIG Bio.

Treasurys up before Fed buyback, minutes

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Published on Market Watch, by Deborah Levine, May 20, 2009.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasury prices posted slight gains early Wednesday before the Federal Reserve’s next purchase of U.S. debt and the central bank policy makers reveal more about their outlook for the economy and bond purchasing program.

“We look to generally bond-friend spins” in the Fed minutes, said strategists at RBS Securities … Continue Reading…

ADB Signs Financing Agreements

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… with Eight Viet Nam Banks to Boost Trade

Published on Asian Development Bank ADB,  May 20, 2009.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is signing financing agreements with eight Vietnamese banks aimed at bolstering trade.

At a ceremony in Ha Noi, Viet Nam today, ADB signed pacts with Asia Commercial Bank, Military Bank, Saigon Thuong Tin Bank, Techcombank, Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade, Vietnam Export Import Bank, and Vietnam International Bank. ADB is expecting to sign similar agreements with two more Vietnamese banks shortly, taking the total number of participating Vietnamese banks to 10 …  Continue Reading…

The A H1N1 Pandemic: Pig to Human Transmission of the Swine Flu?

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Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, May 15, 2009.

The initial outbreak of the H1N1 swine virus is said to have occurred in Mexico. The emphasis, at the political level, has been on tracking the spread of the Mexican swine flu virus as well controlling and monitoring the movement of people in and out of Mexico. A global campaign of fear and insecurity was unleashed following the WHO April 28 announcement of a phase 5 pandemic. The decision of the WHO, which was taken after consultations with Washington and Brussels, was based on unconfirmed and incomplete data regarding the spread of the swine flu and the numbers of cases.

What proves that Mexico was the epicentre of the WHO’s global swine flu pandemic?

There are several important issues underlying this question: …    Continue Reading…

Borrowing into submission?

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Published on The Real News Network:

Watch this video, 13.18 min, May 15, 2009. Bankrupt governments are finding the IMF an unfit lender, but alternatives may be developing.

Link: What non-profits and start-ups can learn from the Obama campaign, May 2009.

Here’s how Israel would destroy Iran’s nuclear program

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Linked with The Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS.

Published on HAARETZ.com, by Reuven Pedatzur, May 16, 2009.

Israeli government ministers and Knesset members who will help make the decision about whether to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities do not have to wait any longer for a preparatory briefing by the Israel Air Force.

They can read about all the possible scenarios for a strike on Iran, and about the potential risks and chances of success, in a study by Abdullah Toukan and Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in WashingtonContinue Reading…

Obama, Netanyahu, and the Future of U.S.-Israeli Relations

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The Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS.

Published on Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS.org, by Anthony H. Cordesman, May 15, 2009;

… The Arab-Israeli Peace Challenge:

One needs to be very careful about assuming that Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot be persuaded to accept a meaningful peace and equally careful about assuming that a meaningful peace is possible as long as the Palestinian movement remains divided and major elements challenge Israel’s right to exist. This, however, does not mean that President Obama is not right in promising a far more active and consistent effort to create such a peace, in focusing on the two-state solution, and in seeing clear U.S. leadership in seeking a final settlement as critical to dealing with the broader threat of terrorism and Arab anger against the United States …
Continue Reading…

Amazonia, to die for – Offer R$ 1 million for your life

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Linked with Amazonia.org.br.

Published on Amazonia.org.br/english (first on Amazonia.org.br/portugues), April 4, 2008.

With no control or law, Amazonia is fast becoming a ‘no man’s land’, a situation that has grown worse these last few years. “In the state of Pará alone, 800 people have been murdered in land conflicts and over environmental issues these last few decades”, says José Batista Gonçalves Afonso, legal advisor to the CPT (Pastoral Land Commission) in Marabá.

According to the CPT, some 20 people are currently on hit lists and require police protection. “Amazonia is an extremely large and complex region. We track rural issues and we observe that an aggression against people in the region is at a critical point”. He also said that high soy, steel and beef prices on the international markets, in addition to biofuels, have led to expanded monoculture farming and mining activities in the Amazon Region, causing not only environmental but social problems as well. “Large holders expand their holdings, expropriating indigenous, riverbank, maroon and other populations”.  Continue Reading…

NATO exercises provoke Russia

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Linked with Frederick William Engdahl – Germany and USA.

Published on RealNewsNetwork, by Frederick William Engdahl, May 13, 2009:

Please watch this video: NATO exercises provoke Russia, 12.12 min. Engdahl says: NATO exercises in Georgia are a provocative move against Russia by the Pentagon.

More recent articles from F.W. Engdahl:

Flu scare: fake or real? by Frederick William Engdahl, May 6, 2009.

US-Banken greifen zu Tricks, um die realen Verluste zu verschleiern, 14. Mai 2009.

Link: Unser Geld ist nichts wert, denn es wird aus Schulden erzeugt. Geld wird durch Vergabe von Krediten geschaffen, also durch Schulden. In Wahrheit verleiht die Bank nur Luft, ein paar Zahlen auf dem Bildschirm, von Michael Grandt.

Bilderberger: Im Paradies der Globalisten

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Veröffentlich via Rundbrief des KOPP-Verlages, sowie auf dessen Website, von Gerhard Wisnewski, 14. Mai 2009.

Reisen – dorthin, wo es der Globalist gemütlich findet: Vom 14. bis 17. Mai 2009 tagt die geheime Bilderberger-Konferenz im griechischen Vougliameni bei Athen. Über 100 Top-Politiker, Finanz- und Wirtschaftskapitäne lassen es sich unter Führung von David Rockefeller und Henry Kissinger hier drei Tage lang so richtig gut gehen und sagen sich, was sie sich schon immer mal sagen wollten – unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit, versteht sich. Für Normalsterbliche bleibt da nur ein Blick durchs Schlüsselloch.

Irgendwas ist mit der Bucht von Vougliameni bei Athen ganz und gar nicht in Ordnung. Während am sonnenbeschienenen Strand fröhliche Teenager plantschen, schwirrt oben auf der Uferstraße ein Polizeifahrzeug nach dem anderen vorbei, als hätte jemand in ein Wespennest gestochen. Folgt man dem umtriebigen Schwarm mit dem Taxi, gelangt man an den höher am Ende der Uferstraße gelegenen Hotelkomplex Nafsik Astir …   Continue Reading…

Misunderstanding Marx: Brad Delong and the Collapse of Neoliberalism

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Published on political affairs,net pa, by Thomas Riggins, May 01, 2009.

The blogosphere has lately witnessed some interest in a lecture, “Understanding Marxism” posted by Professor Brad Delong of the University of California and a former Clinton administration official. Delong calls himself a neoliberal economist and his lecture is such a confused jumble of misrepresentations and misunderstandings of even the most elementary rudiments of Marxism that its refutation will serve the two fold purpose of clarifying some elementary ideas of basic Marxism 101 and of exposing the absolute insipidity of neoliberal thinkin …

… Delong thinks Marx was a great thinker, almost as great as he himself, (remember the Three Goods) and now wants to figure out how he could have arrived at the Three Bads (which we have seen are really just another Three Goods, for a total of Six Goods.) All Marx’s mistakes, Delong says, ultimately derive from two sources: Hegel and Engels.   Continue Reading…

How Much is Enough?

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The U.S. Navy and Finite Deterrence

Linked with the National Security Archive NSA.

Published on National Security Archive NSA, Electronic Briefing Book No. 275, by William Bur, May 1, 2009.

(A Moment in Cold War History when the Fundamentals of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Were at Stake – For more information contact: William Burr- 202/994-7000)

Washington, DC, May 1, 2009 – President Obama’s recent call for a “world without nuclear weapons” immediately raised questions of how do you get there, what does deterrence actually require before you get there, and how many nuclear weapons would that involve at each step. Exactly these questions of “how much is enough” were raised fifty years ago in secret debate within the U.S. government, when Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke argued that a small force of mainly nuclear missile-launching Polaris submarines was enough for deterrence …   Continue Reading…

CRISE FINANCIERE – L’ETERNEL RETOUR, OU L’ETERNEL POUVOIR DERRIERE LE TRÔNE!

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Lié avec LES ENFANTS DU NOUVEL ORDRE SOCIAL.

Publié dans MAVERICK, par Gilles de Gramont, 5 Mai 2009.

… Soit nos reporters ne connaissent pas l’Histoire, soit ils n’en tiennent pas compte, soit, en l’occurrence, ils ont reçu l’ordre de ne pas y faire référence …

… Dans un communiqué de presse, au lendemain du sommet du G20 de 2009, un projet de remplacement du dollar américain, en tant qu’unité de réserve monétaire mondiale, était annoncé.

Le point 19 du communiqué précise: Nous nous sommes mis d’accord pour recommander l’ injection de quelque 250 milliards dans l’économie mondiale afin d’en augmenter les liquidités.

L’apport se fera sous la forme d’une unité monétaire synthétique appelée SDR (Special Drawing Rights – Droit de retrait spécial) émis par le Fonds Monétaire International.

A ce même propos, le journal britannique Telegraph CO UK, précisait:  Continue Reading…

The Longest Way.com – a long walk through China

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Christoph Rehage’s China trip …

His homepage; his contact;

go to his videos on YouTube, click (above right on ‘a piece of it‘, and then) on ‘the longest way‘, you will find 4646 km made in 3.25 min. The rest time up to 5.18 min is let for thinking;

see his photo gallery: on picasa and on panoramino;

But much better: download Google earth, when installed make sure that roads and also panoramino photos are shown;

Then go to Beijing/China and zoom near to the ground, down to 20 km (bottom line at right showing Altitude 20 km). From this place follow the road, the south way along the red line you may find on this page of his website … until to the Kazakhstan frontier …

… then watch all the photos on panoramino along this road, and have a look to the real China, on all its roads, constructions, deserts, plantations … and humans.

Christoph Rehage tells – in his YouTube-video above – having walked for 4646 km.

Afghanistan: Heroin-ravaged State

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Peter Dale Scott, May 8, 2009.

Why one should think of Afghanistan, not as a “failed state,” but as a heroin-ravaged state:

One of the most frustrating features of observing American foreign policy is to see the gap between the encapsulated thinking of the national security bureaucracy and the sensible unfettered observations of the experts outside. In the case of Afghanistan, outside commentators have called for terminating current specific American policies and tactics – many reminiscent of the US in Vietnam.

Observers decry the use of air strikes to decapitate the Taliban and al Qaeda, usually resulting in the death of other civilians. They counsel against the insertion of more and more US and other foreign troops, in an effort to secure the safety and allegiance of the population. And they regret the on-going interference in the fragile Afghan political process, in order to secure outcomes desired in Washington.[1] Continue Reading…

DISARMAMENT: Mayors Gather at U.N. to Lobby Against Nukes

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Published on Inter Press Service IPS, by Matthew Berger, May 9, 2009.

UNITED NATIONS, May 6 (IPS) – The issue of nuclear disarmament being discussed with new vigour in the halls of the U.N. as the third and final preparatory committee leading up to the 2010 review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meets over the next two weeks.

Mayors for Peace, an international network of local officials, held an event Tuesday as part of the NPT preparatory sessions to promote its 2020 Vision Campaign calling for the abolition of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020.

They are just one voice of many calling for concrete, time-based disarmament, but they hold the unique position of representing the world’s cities – the potential targets of nuclear attacks …  Continue Reading…

The Crisis & What to Do About It

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Published on NYbooks, by George Soros, Volume 55, Number 19, December 4, 2008.

… The cat-and-mouse game between regulators and market participants is already ongoing, but its true nature has not yet been acknowledged. Alan Greenspan was a past master of manipulation with his Delphic utterances, but instead of acknowledging what he was doing he pretended that he was merely a passive observer of the facts. Reflexivity remained a state secret. That is why the super-bubble could develop so far during his tenure.

Since money and credit do not move in lockstep and asset bubbles cannot be controlled purely by monetary means, additional tools must be employed, or more accurately reactivated, since they were in active use in the 1950s and 1960s. I refer to variable margin requirements and minimal capital requirements, which are meant to control the amount of leverage market participants can employ. Central banks even used to issue guidance to banks about how they should allocate loans to specific sectors of the economy. Such directives may be preferable to the blunt instruments of monetary policy in combating “irrational exuberance” in particular sectors, such as information technology or real estate.  Continue Reading…

Müssen die Siegermächte auf alle Ewigkeit die Welt beherrschen?

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(Auszug zu einem Artikel, der im Newsletter vom 8. Mai 2009 des KOPP-Verlages erwähnt wird):

In einem Interview, das vor Kurzem im Nachrichtenmagazin Der Spiegel (Ausgabe 16/2009, S. 91–96) veröffentlicht wurde, enthüllte der iranische Präsident die heuchlerische Politik der USA und Europas. Er sprach dabei vieles aus, was bei uns als politisch unkorrekt gilt (von Michael Grandt):  Continue Reading…

Stress-test results raise questions: Here are answers

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Published on USA today, by Kathy Chu, May 8, 2009.

Regulators’ ambitious stress tests of the nation’s 19 largest bank holding companies are finally finished. But the results, while addressing some concerns about the industry’s health, are reviving old questions. And they’re raising new questions.

Q: What’s the significance of the stress tests?

  • A: The stress tests measure banks’ and the industry’s financial health if the economy severely worsens. The results — showing that 10 of the nation’s largest banks will need to raise capital, while nine will not — “will help replace the cloud of uncertainty hanging over our banking system,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday.
  • Regulators hope that the more information investors have about banks’ financial conditions, the easier it will be for the industry to raise private capital. This, in turn, will allow banks to resume lending to consumers and small businesses, easing the credit crunch that has afflicted the nation.
  • (STRESS-TEST RESULTS: 10 big banks need $75 billion).

Q: Were the tests strenuous enough? … (full text on USA today).

World Future Council’s Newsletter, Issue April 2009

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Received by mail:
From: World Future Council /Newsletter
Date: 05/05/2009

Excerpt: … Commission Briefs … Future Finance: On April 17th, GLS Bank hosted a round table discussion on the topic of ‘future finance’ in Bochum, Germany. Several European ethical banks participated and learned more about the Future Finance Expert Commission and its current projects and perspectives. An evening event was held for the WFC to present itself to GLS clients. More than 80 people turned up for the presentation and to discuss the WFC’s finance work.

At the annual conference of the international social finance association (INAISE) from April 22nd to 25th in Luxembourg, Commission Coordinator Stefan Biskamp had the opportunity to present the Future Finance Commission’s proposals to leading social banks. Members of the sector fully support the WFC approach focusing on eliminating perverse incentives in the financial system. This will decrease speculation without creating monster bureaucracies controlling the financial industry. Concerning customer education, mandatory warnings should be attached to speculative, risky or dangerous bank products. Taking heed from the food and tobacco industry, products should be classified transparently. As with the Fair Trade system, decent and fair financial products and investments should be labeled accordingly. You can see Stefan Biskamp’s presentation here and the Future Finance position paper by Jakob von Uexkull here.

Climate and Energy: …

Helping developing countries during the financial crisis

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All links below picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation and its Newsletter.

Excerpt of page 3/6 of the UN-NGLS Bulletin (not dated), 6 pdf-pages:

Stiglitz Commission Releases Interim Recommendations: The Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System – also known as the ‘Stiglitz Commission’ – was established by the GA President and is providing recommendations on international financial structures and practices as part of broad-based inputs into the preparations for the Conference and beyond. They released a series of interim recommendations in mid-March which were discussed at the General Assembly from 25-27 March. It is expected that these recommendations will provide at least some of the informal basis for negotiating an outcome document at the June Conference.

The recommendations in the report focused mainly around proposals for new policy actions to be undertaken by governments and international institutions and for the establishment of new institutions and mechanism. The recommendations included:  Continue Reading…

Eliminating World Poverty

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Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation and its Newsletter.

A consultation document published by the Department for International Development DFID (see DFID.gov.uk/about).

Introduction; Downloads of papers;

DFID is producing a new White Paper looking at the challenges facing the world and the global solutions we need to develop together to address the economic downturn, climate change and conflict and security:

  • The Public Consultation Document will be on this website for 12 weeks from 5 March 2009;
  • The public consultation process closes on Wednesday 27 May 2009;
  • You can make comments on the document itself http://consultation.dfid.gov.uk/1-building-our-common-future/emerging-challenges/
  • or you can send your comments directly by e-mail; mailto:whitepaper@dfid.gov.uk
  • We are also consulting with a range of partners such as other government departments, overseas partners, civil society organisations, faith based organisations, trade unions and others to feed into the draft;
  • The White Paper will be published in summer 2009.

DFID (UK Department for International Development) is working on a new White Paper that will be published in July 2009. You can join regional consultation events to share your ideas. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and debate a focus topic. There are 12 events being held around the UK between now and 18 May. (Source: DFID).

Wikipedia: experts are us

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Published on MondeDiplo online, by Mathieu O’Neil, May 2009.

Wikipedia’s egalitarian ethic and cooperative process have led to accusations that ‘verifiability’ is replacing accuracy. But expertise is alive and well on the online encyclopaedia – as long as you know where to look.

The internet was invented by “hackers” – computer engineers and students influenced by the counter-culture, and therefore resistant to traditional forms of authority and hierarchy …

… ‘Ruthless precision in thinking’:

The Wikipedia development model, defined as “commons-based peer production” by Yochai Benkler, requires a high degree of autonomy of participants, who self-attribute their tasks. Some participants may deceive others, or deceive themselves, as to their true level of competence; but Benkler reckons that peer review or the law of statistical averages (provided the number of participants is high enough) will be sufficient to regulate flawed self-assessments (3).  Continue Reading…

An Even Worse Bybee Memo

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Published on AfterDowningStreet.org, by David Swanson of ImpeachBybee.org, May 04, 2009.

Jay Bybee wrote another memo that nobody has noticed, one purporting to authorize crimes far worse than torture, the same crimes the torture was itself intended to create false justifications for. On October 23, 2002, Assistant Attorney General Bybee signed a 48-page memo to the “counsel to the president” (Alberto Gonzales) titled “Authority of the President Under Domestic and International Law to Use Military Force Against Iraq.” This was another secret law, but instead of authorizing particular uses of torture (which in reality were far exceeded, engaged in prior to the memos, etc.), this one authorized any president to single-handedly commit what Nuremberg called “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” And while the torture memos extensively and grotesquely limited the days of sleep deprivation and the hours of waterboarding, the aggressive war memo included only a single paragraph at the bottom of page 47 requiring that:

“Were the President to determine that the use of force in self-defense is necessary to counter the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD program, such force should be proportional; in other words, it should be limited to that which is needed to eliminate the threat posed by Iraq” … (full text).

La Haine de l’Occident

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Publié dans DailyMotion.com, regardez cette vidéo avec Jean Ziegler: La haine de l’Occident, 21 min.

More videos:
UN rapporteur talks about the global food crisis, 7.20 min, 28 Apr 08;

JEAN ZIEGLER sur la mort, consécutif à la faim, 1.14 min.

Links:

Jean Ziegler, Switzerland, sur notre World People’s Blog et ses links;

Entretien avec Jean Ziegler: Cet ordre du monde n’est pas seulement meurtrier, il est absurde, 14 novembre 2008;

Jean Ziegler on the english wikipedia;

his Bio: on the Swiss Parliament;

his articles on OHCHR.

Defend pensions, jobs, and wages! No concessions!

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Auto workers need a socialist strategy

Published on WSWS.org, by a statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 23 April 2009.

Thousands of auto workers—retired, laid-off, and working—will rally with working people from all sections of the economy at the Ontario Legislature today to protest the provincial Liberal government’s reneging on a three decade-old guarantee to partially protect the pensions of retired workers should their former employer go bankrupt.

While Premier Dalton McGuinty claims that his government has no money to honour the Pension Guarantee Fund’s obligations, his Liberals slashed corporate taxes to record lows in last month’s provincial budget … Continue Reading…

Bullets meant for bankers could kill the welfare state

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Published on Times online, by Anatole Kaletsky, April 27, 2009.

My first reaction to Wednesday’s Budget was to focus on the increase in the top tax rate, rather than the explosion in public borrowing that horrified other commentators.

On examining the Budget documents in greater detail, I am more confident than ever that the tax rise was Alistair Darling’s biggest blunder; but I have to concede that some other decisions and numbers hidden in the small print were far worse than I first thought.  Continue Reading…