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Index July 2009

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The Worldwide H1N1 Flu Vaccination Program

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Martial Law and the Militarization of Public Health

Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada, with Global Research.ca, and with Flu is not the Biggest Danger, it’s the Vaccine.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, July 26, 2009.

… War without borders, a great depression, a military adventure in the Middle East, a massive concentration of wealth resulting from the restructuring of the global financial system:

  • The unfolding economic and social dislocations are far-reaching.
  • People’s lives are destroyed.
  • The World is at the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.
  • Bankruptcies, mass unemployment, the collapse of social programs, are the untold consequences.

But public opinion must remain ignorant of the causes of the global crisis.   Continue Reading…

The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans

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Linked with Frederick William Engdahl – Germany and USA, and with Global Research.ca.

Published on Global Research.ca, by F. William Engdahl, 2009-07-29.

One of the great mysteries surrounding the spread of GMO plants around the world since the first commercial crops were released in the early 1990’s in the USA and Argentina has been the absence of independent scientific studies of possible long-term effects of a diet of GMO plants on humans or even rats. Now it has come to light the real reason. The GMO agribusiness companies like Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer, Syngenta and others prohibit independent research …  Continue Reading…

US’ health care again

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The Daily Show: Bill Kristol admits the government can provide first-class health care + Dems may drop public option

Published on Dandelion Salad, by blog owner:

Watch this video: Bill Kristol Extended Interview, 15.55 min, July 27, 2009.

Bill Kristol bets that Sarah Palin will come on The Daily Show and admits the government can provide first-class health care.

China’s exit strategy hinges on US recovery: Zhou

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Published on AFP, by Veronica Smith, July 28, 2009.

WASHINGTON – China’s exit strategy from emergency stimulus measures will hinge on the United States’ economic recovery and its successful end to pump-priming, China’s central bank chief said Tuesday.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said that the Chinese and US delegates at high-level talks in Washington had discussed measures both sides had taken and would need to take to tackle the worst global economic crisis in decades.

“We will see how the United States is doing in overcoming the financial crisis,” Zhou said in translated comments to reporters on the sidelines of the final session of the two-day US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.  Continue Reading…

Lonesome Hobo Economics – On the Road at the CoC

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Published on political affairs pa, by John Case, July 27, 2009.

The Committees of Correspondence CoC for Socialism and Democracy has just concluded its 6th National Convention in San Francisco, CA. The CoC was founded in 1994 as a coalition of socialist-oriented groupings from a number of organizations, including a large section from the Communist Party following a split in that organization after the collapse of the USSR. It was a gathering of color! Multi-racial and multinational. There were guests from Germany, El Salvador, South Africa, France, Venezuela and Vietnam. There were gays and straights. 200 Men and women very active in a wide range of social, political and labor constituencies …

… While it is difficult to leave behind some long-standing left-wing political categories, and plow fresh ground for a new generation of socialist renewal, the CoC made important progress. Carl Davidson calls this process “imagining 21st Century socialism.” Most important, in this writer’s view, was the focus on defining and and elaborating the principles and programs upon which progressive majorities can be built in all arenas of politics: local, state and national. For the left to think in terms of majorities is the single greatest improvement arising from the defeat of the reactionary “Reagan coalition” of which George W. Bush was only the latest and most sordid chapter.   Continue Reading…

The One World Trade and Poverty Guide

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updated January 2009

Linked with The One World Net – Published on OneWorld.net.

The unprecedented rate of growth in international trade over the last 15 years has not been accompanied by a commensurate fall in extreme poverty. Revision of the rules of world trade, especially the rules for agriculture, could distribute its benefits more widely. However, the refusal of the US and EU to contemplate unconditional removal of their farm subsidies has caused the collapse of the so-called “Doha development agenda”. In promising to introduce social and environmental issues into trade negotiations, the Obama administration has added a new layer of complexity to the impasse …   Continue Reading…

nature for sale

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Linked with Friends of the Earth International.

Download: the impacts of privatizing water and biodiversity, 64 pdf-pages.

The Happy Planet Index HPI 2.0

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UK only 74th, but Costa Rica tops ‘Happy Planet Index’

Linked with Share The World’s Resources STWR, with the New Economics Foundation nef, and with their publication, The price of power (2006).

Published on STWR (share the world resources), on June 9, 2009.

… the second global ranking of the ecological efficiency with which the world’s nations deliver long and happy lives for the people who live there – the ‘Happy Planet Index’ – reveals a surprising picture of the relative wealth and progress of nations:

  • Latin America tops the Index with Costa Rica the ‘greenest and happiest’ country.  Nine of the ten highest-scoring nations are Latin American
  • The USA, China and India were all ‘greener and happier’ twenty years ago than today
  • The World’s richest plummet from 1960s to late 1970s, with scores still lower today than 1961
  • The UK comes 74th, USA 114th out of 143 nations surveyed …   Continue Reading…

Surreal Honduras

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Published on Counterpunch, by CLIFTON ROSS, July 24-26, 2009.

… There’s a significant difference between El Salvador under the FMLN where power in the media is actively being contested, and Honduras where there is a blackout of the opposition perspective. Another difference is that the ARENA party has lost control of the military and has to rely on “maras” to do its dirty work while in Honduras the government hasn’t yet had to consider recruiting “civilian contractors” from the 100,000 or so “maras” operating in Central America. Thus far the military has been quite happy to do the job of eliminating or terrorizing opponents under the “golpista” Honduran government (coup government) of Micheletti. On July 5, for example, the military fired with machine guns on a crowd numbering in the thousands. This is the unofficial story, of course. The papers, including El Heraldo, claimed that the military had fired on the crowd with rubber bullets. Officially, also, only one person died. Protestors say that there were eight or nine victims who died on the way to the hospital, and whose bodies were disappeared. Given the machine gun fire, it’s only surprising that more didn’t die.  Continue Reading…

California’s green dream

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Hi-tech solutions or the simple life?

Published on Le MondeDiplo, by Agnès Sinai, July 2009.

America is waking up to the reality of peak oil and climate change. In California there are very different responses to the crisis: some pin their hopes on new technology, while others advocate a radical change of lifestyle …

… Environmental amnesia:

Sapphire Energy, a competitor of Solazyme, hopes to use this process to produce 455m litres of “green crude” algae fuel a year by 2018. Sapphire – which is supported by Bill Gates and the Rockefeller family – boasts that its fuel can replace oil in existing refinement and distribution infrastructure. The production facility it is building in Las Cruces, New Mexico, will be the first commercial plant producing algae fuel. The only problem is that it could end up costing a billion dollars to produce a quantity of fuel that is tiny in comparison with domestic demand.   Continue Reading…

Trade Adjustments and Stimulus Packages in the Global Recession and Recovery

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Published on ZNet, by Mark Weisbrot, July 25, 2009.

Global trade flows and the economic stimulus policies of individual national economies will play an important role in the recovery from the current global recession. This is especially true of the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China.

The U.S. economy was running an annualized trade deficit of $697 billion, or 5 percent of GDP, when our recession began in the last quarter of 2007. By the first quarter of this year, it had fallen by more than half to $327 billion, or 2.3 percent of GDP.

Partly this is due to the arithmetic of going into a world recession with a large trade deficit. If imports and exports decline by the same percentage, then the trade deficit will shrink, because the imports are bigger in absolute size. It so happens that our imports have declined even faster than our exports in percentage terms too, partly due to falling oil prices – which are also a product of the world recession.  Continue Reading…

The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

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book by Michel Chossudovsky, published in 13 languages

Linked with Michel Chossudovsky – Canada.

Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, July 26, 2009.

… the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty … (full text).  Continue Reading…

Union Now, the U.N. and World Government

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Published on Online Journal, by Ken Craggs, July 24, 2009.

In my previous article ‘Brave new world for reticent fools,’ I mentioned that the book ‘Union Now’ by Clarence K. Streit, was published in 1939, as a proposal to unite the world’s leading democratic nations into a federal union. A concise edition of ‘Union Now’ was published in 1940. And in 1961, the book Freedom’s Frontier – Atlantic Union Now by Clarence K. Streit was published, in the light of the world changes since 1939 – Chapter 10 is entitled, ‘Union Now, the U.N. and World Government.’

The book ‘Union Now’ is where the Bretton Woods Conference, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Union and a whole host of other initiatives seem to have sprung from. This begs the question, how many leading lights in politics, commerce, economics, finance, military, media, and science can be linked to the Streit Council and the plans for world government proposed by Clarence Streit?  Continue Reading…

Virginity tests are inhuman and demeaning

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Published on OneWorld South Asia, 23 July 2009. http://southasia.oneworld.net/opinioncomment/virginity-tests-are-inhuman-and-demeaning

In Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India, about 150 dalit and tribal women were subjected to virginity tests during a government-sponsored mass marriage recently. Kamayani Bali Mahabal takes a look at the outrage it has caused among feminists and other social activists.

Virginity testing is always discriminatory, highly invasive and often involuntary, as it was in the Madhya Pradesh case. It has been at the centre of a great deal of controversy and debate the world over, especially in places like Turkey and in several African countries …   Continue Reading…

The IMF: Resurgent but unchanged

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Published on IFIwatchnet, by Bhumika Mucchala of Third World Network TWN, not dated (but told at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund IMF and World Bank held in Washington, DC on 25-26 April).

At a time when a devastating financial and economic crisis is calling into question the governance and policies of all the major institutions that constitute the existing international financial order, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appears to have escaped any such major reevaluation. While a meeting of developing countries held on the eve of the April spring meeting of the Fund has highlighted the need for reforms, the IMF, now financially reinvigorated with a fresh infusion of funds, is still pursuing some of its discredited policies. None more so, as Bhumika Muchhala shows in the analysis below, than the policy conditions it imposes on countries seeking its loans.  Continue Reading…

Manpower export plummets by 50 pc

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… recruiters’ see change of situation by end of 2009

Published on The New Nation, Bangladesch, by Syful Islam, July 19, 2009.

Manpower export plummeted by 50 per cent in the recent months as many of the countries have stopped recruiting Bangladeshi labourers and sending back a huge number of them.

In the latest Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island state, has decided to send back 6,000 Bangladeshi workers by the end of this year, citing the effect of global recession. Of them 4,000 labours are working in readymade garment industry.

On Friday Malaysia was scheduled to lift the ban on recruiting 55,000 Bangladeshi workers but a meeting chaired by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin failed to come to a decision. Members of the cabinet committee on foreign workers recruitment opposed the move citing protection of interest of local workers.  Continue Reading…

Global Power and Global Government: Evolution and Revolution of the Central Banking System – Part 1

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Andrew Gavin Marshall, July 21, 2009.

Introduction:

Humanity is on the verge of entering into the most tumultuous period in our history. The prospects of a global depression, the likes of which have never been seen before; a truly global war, on a scale never before imagined; and societal collapse, for which nations of the world are building totalitarian police states to control populations; are increasing by the day. The major global trend forecasters are sounding the alarms on economic depression, war, a return to fascism and a total reorganization of society.   Through crisis, we are seeing the reorganization of the global political economy, and the transformation of capitalism into a totalitarian capitalist world government. Capitalism has never stayed the same through its history; it has always changed and will continue to do so.     Continue Reading…

The class issues in the US health care debate

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Published on WSWS, by Kate Randall and Barry Grey, July 22, 2009.

The Obama administration’s push for health care “reform” has exposed the class realities that dominate American politics and the social interests which Obama defends …

… One should consider the meaning of “needless.” How is this to be determined in advance? The only way to determine with certainty whether a procedure or test is “needed” is if, having been denied a more expensive method of treatment, the patient fails to recover or dies!

The editorial continues, reinforcing the same point: “Medicare should also be allowed to use the results of comparative effectiveness research to set reimbursement policies favoring the best treatments.”  Continue Reading…

Obama Talk Health Care Reform

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(CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric interviewed President Obama at the White House on July 21, 2009).

Published on CBStv, by Katie Couric, July 22, 2009.

… President Obama: We did. And they acknowledged that we made progress. You know, my working principle has been, number one, let’s make sure that this package provides more choices to the American people, gives them more security, if they’ve got a preexisting condition, or they lose their job, or they’re changing jobs.

It’s got to be deficit neutral. It can’t add to our deficits. And it’s got to bring long term costs down. And I think, rightly, a number of these so called Blue Dog Democrats – more conservative Democrats – were concerned that not enough had been done on reducing costs.

It’s the same concern that I shared. And we talked today with Henry Waxman, the chairman of the committee that was relevant. And I think that we’re moving in the direction where, at the end of the day, by the time we have a bill on the floor, we will be able to say, unequivocally, that this is going to bend to the cost curve so that health care inflation is reduced. That’s going to be good for American families. That’s going to reduce their costs and make the system work better for everybody … (full text).

Plugging the gap

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California’s lawmakers finally reach a deal to close the state’s gaping budget deficit

Published on The Economist, by staff, July 21, 2009.

… Municipal leaders were more animated in their criticism of the budget deal, which will temporarily take away almost $5 billion of the cash usually doled out to cities and counties. Some of this will be repaid later with interest, but many say that all the money is needed now. Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, said this was “a moment of shame” for the state. Zev Yaroslavsky, an effusive Los Angeles county supervisor, thundered that the agreement “stinks” and that it would “hurt a lot of people that don’t deserve to be hurt”.   Continue Reading…

Unwelcome attention

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Congress threatens the central bank’s independence

Published on The Economist, by staff, July 16, 2009.

… Since 2008 the Fed has lent to firms previously ineligible for its credit and bought up government bonds with newly printed money. Although almost certainly saving the economy from an even worse mess than it is now in, those actions have reawakened a long-dormant streak of scepticism towards the central bank. Americans and Congress are upset about reckless bankers, failed regulators and bail-outs. The Fed makes a proxy for all three.  Continue Reading…

Peer to Peer Economies and the Revolution in Values

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Contribution to the Reimagining Society Project hosted by ZCommunications

Published on ZNet, by Michel Bauwens, July 20, 2009.

I: The Economics of P2P:

Peer-to-peer social processes are bottom-up processes whereby agents in a distributed network can freely engage in common pursuits, without external coercion, i.e. ‘permissionlessly’ undertake actions and relations. This requires not just ‘decentralized’ systems, but ‘distributed’ systems, through which individuals can cooperate. Distributed networks do have constraints, forms of internal coercion, that are the conditions for the group to operate, and these may be embedded in the technical infrastructure, the social norms, or legal rules. Despite these caveats, we have a remarkable social dynamic here, one that is based on voluntary participation in the creation of common goods, which are made universally available to all.  Continue Reading…

a video with Hillary Clinton

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Published on Global Report.ca, by David Kramer, July 19, 2009.

Listen the video: Hillary Clinton admits that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) runs the Government, 69.02 min.

Klima-Kassandra – fehlt nur noch der Nobelpreis

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Aus dem Newsletter vom Kopp-Verlag vom Freitag, 17.07.2009: geschrieben von Gerhard Wisnewski am 11. Mai 2009.

Klimaforscher verstecken sich ja gern hinter Formeln, Kurven und Berechnungen. Und wer will da schon mitargumentieren. Aber jetzt hat ein Klimaforscher für jeden offensichtlich gezeigt, um welche Scharlatanerie es sich bei der sogenannten Klima-(Katastrophen-) Forschung handelt: Der bekannte Kassandrarufer und Metorologe Mojib Latif.

Erst kürzlich hat die offizielle Panikmache einen herben Rückschlag erlitten, nachdem Meeresforscher in der Antarktis ein Sinken der Meerestemperatur und eine Zunahme des Eises festgestellt hatten. Und zwar nicht irgendeine Zunahme, sondern »die höchste Ausdehnung von Meereis im antarktischen Sommer seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen« (Alfred-Wegener-Institut).   Continue Reading…

Obama’s first steps

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Published on The Monde Diplo, by Serge Halimi, July 2009.

To deal with the legacy he inherited from his predecessors, Barack Obama has rejected several of their ideas. True, the new US president has been in no hurry to withdraw US forces from Iraq and he has committed more troops to the murderous, hopeless deadlock in Afghanistan. On the home front, his policy vis-à-vis the automobile industry, the banks and the pay-packets of top executives shows no sign of breaking with the diehard neo-liberalism which allows the public to share company losses but not their profits.  Continue Reading…

Palin’s Cap-and-Trade Is Alaska’s Bait-and-Switch

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Published on OpEdNews.com, by Shannyn Moore, July 18, 2009.

In her op-ed in the Washington Post this week, Sarah Palin, while still governor, took up the sword for corporate interests; a position directly opposing what is best for Alaska.

The flip-flop to anyone who watched the vice presidential debate was obvious. When Gwen Ifill asked, “Do you support capping carbon emissions?” Palin responded, “I do. I do.”

What or whom changed Sarah Palin’s mind about cap-and-trade?

In both her resignation speech and her op-ed, Palin touted AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. It was widely supported and passed with a vote of 58-1. “This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence,” she said on July 3. In her piece, she railed Obama’s plan for cap-and-trade. She mentioned AGIA again and how we are “progressing” the 3,000-mile project …  Continue Reading…

Workers rebel

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Published on Iraq Oil Report, by Ben Lando, 17 July 2009.

The leadership of Iraq’s most prominent oil union says the government should not as quickly turn to foreign firms in developing fields already producing oil, blaming politicians for stalling progress in Iraq’s oil fields.

Signing international oil companies to produce oil in undeveloped fields is nominally OK by the unions – including the second bid round for 11 fields – but not those that Iraqi workers and state oil company is already pumping from.

And there are warnings from the workers that the BP-Chinese National Petroleum Corp. award for the giant Rumaila field could face physical resistance.   Continue Reading…

Chevron owes more to Richmond

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Published on SFGate, by Antonia Juhasz, July 17, 2009.

This week, Fortune magazine released its list of the 500 largest corporations in the world. With a nearly 25 percent increase in its revenues from 2007, Chevron Corp. moved from the sixth to the fifth largest corporation in the world. Only 36 countries on the planet had GDPs larger than Chevron’s $263 billion in 2008 revenues.

By revenue, Chevron is the largest corporation in California, the second-largest U.S. oil corporation and the third-largest corporation in the nation. Chevron’s nearly $24 billion in profits for 2008 were its largest on record and the fourth-highest profits of any corporation in the world. Chevron’s profits have increased every year since 2002, increasing by an astounding 2,100 percent.  Continue Reading…

Dismantling Pakistan, a Quagmire of Imperial Slavery

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Published on Axis of Logic, by Talha Mujaddidi in Pakistan, July 16, 2009.

Talha Mujaddidi analyzes the “Quagmire of Imperial Slavery” for Axis of Logic from inside Pakistan: In January, 2005, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, former Pakistan High Commissioner to the U.K. wrote the following alert and warning:

“When it was over, I realised that everything had happened ‘according to the plan’. This brings out of me the apprehension: are our military rulers working on an a similar agenda or something that has been laid out for them in the various assessment reports over the years by the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in joint collaboration with CIA. It was poor Miraj Khalid who as interim prime minister in early 1997 had dared to confide to the Pakistanis that CIA had forecast Pakistan’s denouement by the year 2015. … the NIC report cast a dark shadow on Pakistan’s future five years ago …   Continue Reading…

Labor, doctors and small business owners back health reform

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Published on PWW, by Joel Wendland, July 16, 2009.

Health care reform gained new momentum this week. Wednesday, July 15, the Senate HELP committee passed a version of the bill that closely fits President Obama’s main principles for reform. The same day, House Democrats announced the introduction of their own health reform and its referral to three major committees who finalize the bill …

… Public option:

Now that the health reform bill has entered House committees for debate and amendment, a clearer picture of how the public option will work is emerging. According to information provided on the House Labor and Education Committee’s website, the public insurance program would be part of an insurance exchange that also would include a variety of private plans.   Continue Reading…

Washington behind the Honduras coup

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… here is the evidence, repression intensifies

Published on Global Research.ca, by Eva Golinger, July 15, 2009.

The US Department of State had prior knowledge of the coup. The Department of State and the US Congress funded and advised the actors and organisations in Honduras that participated in the coup. The Pentagon trained, schooled, commanded, funded and armed the Honduran armed forces that perpetrated the coup and that continue to repress the people of Honduras by force …

… Negroponte and Reich, again:

Many analysts and specialists on Latin American have speculated on the role of former ambassador to Honduras John Negroponte, who directed the paramilitary forces and death squads known as the “Contra” against leftist movements in Central America during the 1980s. Negroponte held various high level positions during the Bush administration, including US Ambassador to Iraq, US Ambassador to the United Nations, National Director of Intelligence and lastly, subsecretary of state, second only to Condoleezza Rice.  Continue Reading…

The Keynesian Revolution and the Neo-liberal Counter-revolution

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Dr. Eric Toussaint, July 15, 2009.

As a result of the depression of the 1920s and 1930s, a new wave of critics tackled the neo-classical creed on a largely pragmatic basis. This new wave was international and involved political leaders and economists from differing belonging to various currents backgrounds: enlightened bourgeois thinkers, socialists and Marxists. In a context of mass unemployment and depression, proposals came forward for major public works, for anti-cyclical injections of public money, and even for bank expropriations. Such proposals came from a wide variety of sources: Germany’s Doctor Schacht; the Belgian socialist Deman; the founders of the Stockholm School, backed by the Swedish social democrats; Fabian socialists and J.M. Keynes in Britain; J. Tinbergen in the Netherlands; Frisch in Norway; the Groupe X-crise in France; Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas (1935-1940); adepts of Peronism in the Argentina of the 1930s; US president Roosevelt (elected in November 1932) and his New Deal.    Continue Reading…

Behind Chinese walls

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The detention of Rio Tinto employees in China has worrying implications

Published on The Economist.com, Shanghai, July 13, 2009.

THE detention of four executives of Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining giant, has transformed an industrial spat to a big test of how China intends to pursue its economic objectives. It has also sent a shudder through Chinese employees of Western companies in any area that is deemed important to the country’s welfare.

News only began to emerge on Tuesday July 7th though the government picked up Rio’s employees two days beforehand. After nearly a week details still remain sketchy. Despite the government’s being barraged by inquiries, there has yet to be any official comment … Continue Reading…

The Rich Can Relax …

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… We Just Need The Poor World To Cut Emissions. By 125%

Linked with George Monbiot – England.

Published on Countercurrents (first on Moniot.com), by Georges Monbiot, July 14, 2009.

Well, at least that clears up the mystery. Over the past year I’ve been fretting over an intractable contradiction. The government has promised spectacular cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It is also pushing through new roads and runways, approving coal-burning power stations, bailing out car manufacturers and ditching regulations for low-carbon homes. How can these policies be reconciled? …

… Please bear with me on this: the point is an important one. There are some figures involved, but I’ll use only the most basic arithmetic, which anyone with a calculator can reproduce.   Continue Reading…

Washington is Playing a Deeper Game with China

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Published on Global Research.ca, by F. William Engdahl, July 11, 2009.

After the tragic events of July 5 in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, it would be useful to look more closely into the actual role of the US Government’s ”independent“ NGO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). All indications are that the US Government, once more acting through its “private” Non-Governmental Organization, the NED, is massively intervening into the internal politics of China.

The reasons for Washington’s intervention into Xinjiang affairs seems to have little to do with concerns over alleged human rights abuses by Beijing authorities against Uyghur people. It seems rather to have very much to do with the strategic geopolitical location of Xinjiang on the Eurasian landmass and its strategic importance for China’s future economic and energy cooperation with Russia, Kazakhastan and other Central Asia states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Continue Reading…

Afghanistan’s twisting path

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(the The Delhi-Kabul twist)

Published on open Democracy, Paul Rogers, July 9, 2009.

A process of cooperation between the military leaders of India and Afghanistan comes at a bad time for the American and British war effort in Helmand province.

In the first week of July 2009, seven British soldiers were killed and over fifty injured (many of them seriously) in intensive combat in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The accumulation of casualties has had considerable media attention, though the rising death-toll has yet to cause major political controversy. Continue Reading…

The Continued Fleecing Of America

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… And Its Citizens By The Financial Elites

Published on Countercurrents.org, by Emily Spence, July 11, 2009.

3 excerpts: Many people are raised with an orientation, indeed an imperative sense, that puts compassion and ethics – ones values and principles – as central to their dealings with others. This foundation becomes part of their identities and shapes the directions that their lives take.

One does not have to look only at charitable institutions to find this to be the case. One can see it in the teacher who works day after day against daunting odds to uplift materially disadvantaged children living in extreme slums. Further, the Girl Scouts, who devise a special project at a senior center, exemplify this mind set when they earnestly strive to bring joy to the elderly of whom many are on their last legs. Likewise, the social workers tirelessly toiling to help families whose homes have been foreclosed and the countless volunteers who gather supplies for victims of disasters typify this focus … Continue Reading…

India’s Maoist dilemma: the case of Lalgarh

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Published on openDemocracy, by Aaradhana Jhunjhunwala, July 8, 2009.

The ongoing security crisis in West Bengal exposes the cracks in Indian democracy, stemming from a volatile mix of poor governance, petty politics, and a fundamental breakdown in credibility
A battle rages on in the Indian state of West Bengal, between Maoist guerillas called the Naxalites (Naxalbari is the name of a village in West Bengal where the movement was born in 1967) and national and paramilitary forces. The Naxalites, a banned outfit deemed as “a terrorist organization” by the central government, had proclaimed the Lalgarh area of West Midnapore district in Bengal, with its 44 villages, a “liberated zone” on 16 June 2009 …

… Playing politics with the Maoists:    Continue Reading…

China and the dollar – Yuan small step

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Published on the Economist.com, (from HongKong), July 9, 2009.

The dollar’s role as the world’s main reserve currency is being challenged.

THE Chinese used to call dollars mei jin, which means “American gold”. Buying black-market dollars was considered the safest way to protect one’s savings. Yet in June when Tim Geithner, America’s treasury secretary, told students at Peking University that China’s official holdings of Treasury bonds were safe, the audience laughed. Faith in the greenback is waning. Continue Reading…