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Index November 2009

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*****

See also our pages:

Further find on the blog History – Past and Present:
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 1;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 2;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 3;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 4;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 5;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 6;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 7;
Baharistan-i-Shahi – Chapter 8.

Climate Change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. Christopher Booker, November 28, 2009.

… The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC’s scientific elite, including not just the “Hockey Team”, such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC’s 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore’s ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.   Continue Reading…

Who’s to blame for Climategate?

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The publication of damning emails about climate change could literally change the world, Gordon Rayner reports.

Published on Telegraph.co.uk, by Gordon Rayner, 27 Nov 2009.

… A little over a week ago, hundreds of internal emails written by scientists working at the CRU were obtained by a hacker and posted on the internet, some of which appeared to show that researchers had deliberately faked evidence of global warming by manipulating statistics.

At first, the fallout was restricted to a row between climate change experts, played out in scientific journals and specialist internet blogs, but in the past few days, as the ripples have spread around the globe, “Climategate” has become a white hot political issue which has been seized upon by global warming sceptics and now threatens to overshadow next month’s crucial climate change conference in Copenhagen.  Continue Reading…

In economic crisis, ordinary people create solutions

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Published on People’s World, by Michael Robert Langdon, November 25 2009.

McKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – It’s widely understood that we are all living in a serious economic depression, and at last people are coming together to battle this monster. In this economic battlefield, communities are setting up local human resource networks around the country.

Humboldt County, in Northern California, has a longstanding reputation as a highly progressive area. Our network includes food banks, community gardens, mobile medical clinics, resource telephone hotlines, and a centrally located community collaborative office. It is basically a one-stop clearinghouse of what human services are available in the area. The community collaborative not only provides information referrals, it also provides free-of-cost clothing, books, small appliances, bags of food, and family holiday meal packages. At the collaborative, Barbara – a most excellent and caring lady – has always stepped up to assist my advocacy work in getting vital necessities to the low-income working people I help …  Continue Reading…

Lessons from Brazil, China and India

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fighting poverty in emerging markets – the gloves go on

Published on The Economist, November 26, 2009.

AT THE recent food summit in Rome, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva donned a pair of bright-red boxing gloves labelled “Hunger Free” and waved to the cameras. They were his prize—if that is the right term—for Brazil’s success in topping a league table drawn up by ActionAid, a British charity, of countries that have done most to reduce hunger*. The occasion was a stunt, of course, but had a serious purpose: to show that even the poorest places can mitigate poverty and hunger. (Brazil is not in that category, but Ghana, Vietnam and Malawi—which came third, fourth and fifth—are.) Continue Reading…

Minnesota experience may offer solution for jobless recovery

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Published on People’s World, by Barb Kucera, November 27 2009.

MINNEAPOLIS (PAI) – When Democratic President Barack Obama convenes a White House forum Dec. 3 to consider ways to create jobs, he should ponder a program that worked successfully for Minnesota in the 1980s, a noted labor economist says.

The Minnesota Emergency Employment Development program, known by its acronym, MEED, was in place from 1983-1989. About 45,000 people enrolled in the program, which provided a wage subsidy of up to $4 per hour ($10 in 2008 dollars) for employers to hire new workers, many of whom were low-skilled or among the long-term unemployed.

Following their MEED experience, more than 20,000 of those workers succeeded in staying on with their employer or finding other permanent, unsubsidized employment, according to a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development …

… By the 10th year of the program, MEED actually makes money for the government, Bartik added. “This program keeps on increasing employment year after year,” Bartik said. “The bottom line argument for this program is that it works.”

Jim Glowacki couldn’t agree more. Twenty-five years ago, he was struggling to start his own business on the recession-wracked Iron Range in far northern Minnesota. With the help of MEED, he hired his first employee. Today JPG Communications has several offices and employs 20 fulltime staff. “From an employer’s perspective, the program helped share the risk,” Glowacki said. “Today I would strongly support the program.” Two Minnesota state Democratic legislators want to resurrect MEED.

For a program like MEED to succeed on a national scale, the federal government would need to spend $30 billion to create 1 million job slots with a wage subsidy of $10 per hour, Bartik said. If continued for 10 years, nearly 2.3 million jobs would be created in the final year, with the cost dropping from $33,541 per job to $13,056.

Bartik said he did not know if Obama will consider wage subsidy programs when making job creation proposals to Congress. “Now is the time for people to make the case” for programs like MEED, he said. (full text).

Chinese diners eat live fish in YouTube video

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Published on YouTube: this video, 0.58 min.

My comment: what is the hidden question behind such a behavior – HOW THESE PEOPLE ARE TREATING THEIR FELLOWS? All the ones NOT sharing their political-cultural opinion, identity or social status …

… or, how they treat their wife at home?

How big is the difference between animals and humans when suffering means nothing to them … and how much suffering can these guys stand themselves? (Their explanation: a suffering animal produces much more adrenalin which changes the meat’s smell = this means: they produce this suffering for their gustatory pleasure).

Honduras veut plus que la démocratie

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les Honduriens veulent une nouvelle république – La population se radicalise dans l’opposition au coup d’État pro-US
(same text in english: The Honduran People Want More Than a Democracy: They Demand a New Republic,
et en espanol: Más que una democracia, los Hondureños quieren une nueva República).

Publié sur Voltairenet.org, par Arnold August, 17 novembre 2009.

Plus de trois mois après le coup d’État militaire, le président du Honduras, manuel Zelaya, n’a toujours pas été rétabli dans ses fonctions. Ayant organisé le putsch en sous-main, l’administration Obama poursuit en façade un discours lénifiant. Surtout, elle s’applique à ne pas qualifier le coup de « militaire » pour ne pas avoir à rompre avec le régime ainsi que l’exigerait alors la loi états-unienne. Washington tente d’organiser de nouvelles élections pour donner une apparence démocratique au nouveau régime, mais la population et les principaux leaders politiques rejettent un scrutin factice encadré par les putschistes.   Continue Reading…

Le renversement de la place de la victime: un paradigme de la modernité

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Publié dans Voltairenet.org, par Jean-Claude Paye et Tülay Umay, 16 Novembre 2009.

Au cours des dernières années, les sociétés occidentales ont sacralisé les victimes. Depuis le 11-Septembre, ce phénomène a été instrumenté par les promoteurs de la guerre des civilisations pour développer la théorie du complot islamo-gauchiste, selon laquelle l’Occident devrait non seulement affronter le péril islamique, mais aussi une cinquième colonne intérieure. Cette rhétorique élaborée aux USA par Daniel Pipes et développée en France par les intellectuels et journalistes membres du Cercle de l’Oratoire vient d’être reprise au mot-à-mot en Belgique par le sénateur libéral Alain Destexhe et le journaliste de gauche Claude Demelenne. Mais comment fonctionne donc ce discours délirant? … //  Continue Reading…

UN Recruits Men to Help End Violence Against Women

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Published on truthout, by Liza Jansen of Inter Press Service, 25 November 2009.

United Nations – Marking the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 25, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a Network of Men Leaders to battle violence against women and girls here Tuesday.

“These men will add their voices to the growing global chorus for action,” Ban said.   Continue Reading…

Close down the casino economy

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also in french and in german – Published on Attac International.

“Disarm the markets!” When Attac was founded in 1998, this slogan evolved against the background of the financial crash in East Asia … // … Attac demands:

  • A refusal to the socialization of the losses and to the privatization of the profits
  • – Speculators pays principles
  • – Strengthening of a public and cooperative banking sector
  • A revision of the international monetary and financial system within a global reform by the United Stations
  • – Taxations of all kinds of financial transfers including currency transactions
  • – A progressive taxation of capital income
  • – To close down tax heavens
  • – To put an end to all destabilising and unsustainable instruments of the financial system
  • (full text).

ECAs explained

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ECAs /Export Credit Agencies – the newer, bigger, badder banks.

Linked on our blogs with International NGO Campaign on Export Credit Agencies – ECA Watch.

What they are, how they impact development, the environment and human rights, and what the international reform campaign is doing about it.

… Export Credit Agencies and Investment Insurance Agencies, commonly known as ECAs, are public agencies that provide government-backed loans, guarantees, credits and insurance to private corporations from their home country to do business abroad, particularly in the financially and politically risky developing world. Most industrialized nations have at least one ECA, which is usually an official or quasi-official branch of their government.   Continue Reading…

Federal aid urgently needed to avoid state budget catastrophes

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Published on People’s World, by John Bachtell, November 24, 2009.

CHICAGO—Looming behind the 17 million jobless tsunami hitting the country is another disaster: over $180 billion in accumulated budget deficits set to devastate state governments, according to a new study by the Pew Center for the States.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says in addition, city and town governments are expected to have deficits of $100 billion over the next two years.

This threatens a calamity like the one playing out in California. Many states face horrendous cuts to education, health care, mass transit and other human service programs, skyrocketing taxes and fees that will severely slow any economic recovery … //

… The Institute for Taxation and Policy suggests combining both Quinn’s original proposal and Hynes super rich tax surcharge as the path to a progressive tax system. They also argue that taxing working families will remove additional purchasing power from the state economy, slowing the economic recovery.

If HB 174 passes it would raise about $6 billion in revenues, still leaving a gap of nearly $8 billion.

On Nov. 17, the AFL-CIO and major civil rights organizations announced a five-point plan to pull the country out of the economic crisis. In addition to calling for the government to fund the creation of 2 million public sector jobs, the plan calls for extending more federal aid to the states.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act granted $144 billion in aid to the states mainly through payments to cover Medicaid and education. This is widely regarded as one of the most effective uses of the economic stimulus money. Illinois has been able to pay Medicaid reimbursements to health providers only because it received $2.9 billion in short term aid from the Act.

The EPI calls for extending federal relief from the Act for $150 billion to state and local governments over the next 18 months.

A path out of the economic and state budget crises is needed that doesn’t place additional burdens on working families and moves in the direction of redistributing social wealth more equitably. It will take the massive might of the labor-led people’s movement, small and medium businesses, along with state, city and town governments to win. (full text).

2009-11-25: Manifest für eine radikale Steuerwende in der Schweiz;

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Per e-Rundbrief erhalten: Von: Infoliste von ATTAC-Schweiz, Datum: 19/11/2009

Medienmitteilung: Lausanne/Zürich, 19. November 2009 – Manifest für eine radikale Steuerwende in der Schweiz

Die Erklärung von Bern, Attac de / fr / it und das Denknetz lancieren gemeinsam mit engagierten Personen die Deklaration „Steuerwende“, die von über 100 Erstunterzeichnenden aus Politik, Wissenschaft und Kultur unterstützt wird. Diese fordern unter anderem ein sofortiges Ende der Unterscheidung zwischen Steuerhinterziehung und Steuerbetrug sowie den automatischen Informationsaustausch mit ausländischen Steuerbehörden. Auf Steuerwende.ch werden dafür ab heute Unterschriften gesammelt. Damit wird der Schweiz eine Stimme verliehen, die sich für eine gerechtere Steuerpolitik einsetzt. Continue Reading…

Red Alert: The Second Wave of The Financial Tsunami

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The Wave Is gathering force & could hit between the first & second quarter of 2010

Linked on our blogs with Matthias Chang – Malaysia. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Matthias Chang, Bovember 22, 2009, and linked on this blog with Red Alert: The Second Wave of The Financial Tsunami (to compare and think about mutual influence).

The Irreconcilable Differences:

Some two decades ago, it was decided by the global financial elites that the framework for the global economy shall consist of:

  • 1) A global derivative-based financial system, controlled by the US Federal Reserve Bank and its associate global banks in the developed countries.
  • 2) The re-location from the West to the East in the production of goods, principally to China and India to “feed” the developed economies.  Continue Reading…

Former Soviet States: Battleground For Global Domination

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Linked on this blog with today’s Red Alert: The Second Wave of The Financial Tsunami (to compare and think about mutual influence).  – Published on Global Research.ca, by Rick Rozoff, Nov 23, 2009.

An Europe united under the EU and especially NATO is to be strong enough to contain, isolate and increasingly confront Russia as the central component of U.S. plans for control of Eurasia and the world, but cannot be allowed to conduct an independent foreign policy, particularly in regard to Russia and the Middle East. European NATO allies are to assist Washington in preventing the emergence of “the most dangerous scenario…a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran” such as has been adumbrated since in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Four years after the publication of The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski’s recommended chess move was made: The U.S. and NATO invaded Afghanistan and expanded into Central Asia where Russian, Chinese and Iranian interests converge and where the basis for their regional cooperation existed, and Western military bases were established in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, where they remain for the indefinite future.  Continue Reading…

Chinese repression a brake on US recovery

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Published on ZNet, by Roger Bybee, November 23, 2009.

“We cannot go back,” President Barack Obama said in September, “to an era where the Chinese…just are selling everything to us, we’re taking out a bunch of credit-card debt or home equity loans, but we’re not selling anything to them.”

If only that were true …

… REPRESSION:  While China has kept any Tiananmen Square-sized demonstrations from breaking out, it has continued to suppress independent unionism with firings and arrests. Moreover, it has used its-U.S. assisted technological prowess to convert China into the society with the heaviest surveillance via closed-circuit video cameras and Internet monitoring designed to quash dissent, as Naomi Klein recounted just before the generally positive gush of publicity about the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Continue Reading…

Are they predicting a V or a W?

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Edward Fullbrook, November 19, 2009.

Over the past six months we hare repeatedly reminded ourselves, as well as non-economists, that although recessions/depressions are usually V-shaped, sometimes they are W-shaped (double-dipped). Time has now come for high-profile economists to give us their predictions as to the shape of the one we are living through.

Yesterday Robert Reich did just that. In a short piece well-worth reading, The Great Disconnect Between Stocks and Jobs, he predicts a W. He writes:

The result, overall, is an asset-based recovery, not a Main Street recovery. Yes, the economy is growing again, but the surge in productivity is a mirage. Worker output per hour is skyrocketing because companies are generating almost as much output with fewer workers and fewer hours. The Fed, meanwhile, has become an enabler to all this, making it as cheap as possible for companies to axe their employees.  Continue Reading…

Towards an Alternative to Globalization

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Sergey A. Stroev, November 21, 2009, (read the original in Russian – on Civilization Alternative – translated by Helen V. Shelestiuk).

This text will be presented at the Third All-Russia Anti-Global Forum, Moscow, December 2009

1. Economy for man, not man for economy:

The logic of modern civilization, which represents global capitalism in the final stage of capital concentration and expansion of markets of raw materials, labor and sales, is profit maximization as the basic task of production. This approach appears to be a form of fetishism, a kind of religious ministry to a deified material idol. It breeds widespread poverty and actual purposeful genocide of the “economically unjustified” populations of entire regions of the world, escalation of class and ethnic conflicts, extremely wasteful and historically irresponsible squandering of nonrenewable natural resources, destruction of traditional cultures and moral standards, imposing standards of consumer thinking and behavior that lead to cultural and intellectual degradation of mankind, denaturalization of consumer goods, leading to an increase in the number of diseases, including the genetic degradation of the human species … //   Continue Reading…

Can Somali pirates be defeated?

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Published on BBC, 20 November 2009.

… The Dutch frigate Evertsen is a reassuring sight for the civilian ships dotted around the horizon as she ploughs steadily through the calm, glittering waters of the Gulf of Aden.

But all the bristling firepower of the EU’s anti-piracy task force has not been enough to remove the threat of piracy from the seas around Somalia.

Why has it been so difficult for the world’s most advanced navies to defeat pirates who are armed with just Kalashnikovs and rocket- propelled grenades? …   Continue Reading…

The AEFJN Trade Policy

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Linked on our blogs with the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network. – Published on old.manifesto2009, as a 7 pages pdf.

… (page 2/7) – AEFJN advocates trade policies towards African countries that allow for:

  • An economic and trade system that creates justice between and among countries and communities, and offers opportunities to all.
  • Fairer conditions of trade between the European Union and the African countries.
  • Allow for the necessary policy space and support for ACP countries to pursue their own development strategies.
  • Protection for African producers in domestic and regional markets.
  • The fostering of agricultural production for small-scale farmers as well as of industrialisation and employment creation.
  • Respect for the Food Sovereignty of each African country, allowing for local production in a sustainable way.
  • Rules governing investments, services and trade in goods, that respect the sovereignty of the state, and allows development policies and the protection of its nascent industry, for the benefit of its population.
  • The freedom and right to choose the trade and development policies for poverty eradication.
  • The freedom not to be forced into liberalisation and privatisation.
  • Protection and fulfilment of all human and social rights.
  • Develop regional integration and foster inter-regional trade.
  • The principle of non-reciprocity, as instituted in the Generalized System of Preferences and special and differential treatment in the WTO.  Continue Reading…

The Soviet Origins of Helmut Kohl’s 10 Points

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Published on The National Security Archive, by Svetlana Savranskaya, Thomas Blanton, November 18, 2009.

Washington, D.C., November 18, 2009 – Secret messages from senior Soviet officials to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl after the fall of the Berlin Wall led directly to Kohl’s famous “10 Points” speech on German unification, but the speech produced shock in both Moscow and Washington, according to documents from Soviet, German and American files posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Published for the first time in English in the Archive’s forthcoming book, “Masterpieces of History,” the documents include highest-level conversations between President George H.W. Bush and Kohl; the text of the letter Kohl had delivered to Bush just as he announced the “10 Points” to the Bundestag on November 28, 1989; excerpts on Germany from the transcript of the Malta summit between Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; Gorbachev’s own incendiary meeting with the German foreign minister after Kohl’s speech; and more.  Continue Reading…

Worst-Case Debt Scenario

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Société Générale Tells Clients how to Prepare for Potential Global Collapse

Published on Global Research.ca, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, November 19, 2009.

Société Générale has advised clients to be ready for a possible “global economic collapse” over the next two years, mapping a strategy of defensive investments to avoid wealth destruction.

In a report entitled “Worst-case debt scenario”, the bank’s asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems.  Continue Reading…

Let’s get fiscal

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More stimulus, more government jobs programs, more debt relief – Linked on our blogs with Mike Whitney – USA (the American writer).

Published on Online Journal, by Mike Whiteney, November 19, 2009.

… There’s no reason why a sharp-witted politico like Barack Obama can’t survey the wreckage around him and draw the same conclusions as FDR …

… Uh, now who exactly is telling Obama that trimming the deficits (which involves raising taxes or cutting spending) in the middle of a severe economic downturn is a good idea? Summers, perhaps?

This excerpt from Politico just highlights the yawning chasm between blabber and policy. If Obama decides to cut the deficits and jettison the jobs programs, the economy will slide right back into recession. Is that what he wants, or is he just an unwitting victim of Summer’s crummy advice?  Continue Reading…

Revival of old practice comes handy in times of drought

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Published on OneWorld South Asia (first on Down to Earth), by Aparna Palla, November 18, 2009.

By reviving an old farm practice of pata, women in this western Indian district are ensuring food security in times of drought by growing vegetables, fruits, sorghum and pigeon peas. Traditionally, pata signifies a woman’s space in agriculture, which had lost its significance after Green Revolution and commercialisation.

Whenever I went missing as a child, my mother would come looking for me in the pata, Lalitabai Meshram said, laughing out loud. “My friends and I would play in the tangled vines for hours, making dolls of corn husk and hair, eating groundnuts, beans and waluk melon. Sometimes I would fall asleep there,” recalled Meshram, now 50-plus.   Continue Reading…

Huge contradictions behind China’s stimulus-driven recovery

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Published on WSWS, by John Chan, November 19, 2009.

… While still strong compared to most other countries, China’s slowing growth points to the limits of the government’s 4 trillion yuan ($US586 billion) stimulus package and loose lending policy since last November. Industrial production rose by 16.1 percent in October year-on-year, the fastest pace since March 2008, but exports continued to slide by 13.8 percent.

Even before the global financial crisis, there were huge overcapacities in industry resulting in low profitability. As a result, the flood of state bank credit unleashed last year has not gone into productive investment, but has fuelled rampant and unsustainable speculation in the stock and real estate markets. New bank loans in the first 10 months of 2009 reached $1.3 trillion—a surge of 144 percent over the same period last year. Property sales jumped by 82 percent in October year-on-year.

The Financial Times warned recently that China was heading for a “Japan-style bubble” like that of the late 1980s, which burst with a spectacular collapse of Japanese share and property values, leading to prolonged economic stagnation … Continue Reading…

The Criminalization of War

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Watch this video, published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky, November 17, 2009: The Long War, from the Truman Doctrine to the Neo-Conservatives, the Implications of the US Military Agenda, 36.32 min.(Michel Chossudovsky’s Address at the Opening Session, Perdana Global Peace Forum to Criminalize War, Kuala Lumpur, 5-7 February 2007).

Letter to IMF managing director from 60 NGOs

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Civil society demands IMF consider financial transaction tax, open study process

Published on IFIwatchnet, November 11, 2009. – Read the 3 pages pdf (with signing NGOs): the 11 November 2009 letter sent to IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, urging him open up the process for producing a report on how banks can repay governments for the bailouts and demanding strong consideration of a financial transaction tax in the report.

Brazil takes off

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Published on The Economist, November 2, 2009.

… National champions and national handicaps:

There are new problems on the horizon, just beyond those oil platforms offshore. The real has gained almost 50% against the dollar since early December. That boosts Brazilians’ living standards by making imports cheaper. But it makes life hard for exporters. The government last month imposed a tax on short-term capital inflows. But that is unlikely to stop the currency’s appreciation, especially once the oil starts pumping.

Lula’s instinctive response to this dilemma is industrial policy. The government will require oil-industry supplies—from pipes to ships—to be produced locally. It is bossing Vale into building a big new steelworks. It is true that public policy helped to create Brazil’s industrial base. But privatisation and openness whipped this into shape.  Continue Reading…

Start-up nations

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Published on The Economist, November 17, 2009.

… Encouragingly, over the past decade most OECD countries have greatly reduced impediments to entrepreneurship (by making regulations clearer and reducing the bureaucracy involved in starting a business). Britain is particularly nurturing. As for people’s interest in becoming entrepreneurs (or at least the OECD’s proxy, their enthusiasm for self-employment), America still does better than the European Union, with Belgium at the bottom of the pile.

Most countries have a positive view of entrepreneurs as job creators, though opinions differ more on whether the wealth they create is of benefit to all (the Czechs are especially sceptical). Iceland has the most positive view of entrepreneurs—but the OECD data on this is from 2007, before its economy imploded. It will be interesting to see in next year’s report how the crash has affected Icelanders’ opinions.   Continue Reading…

Weg von der Wall Street

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Wie US-Bundesstaaten den wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung selbst finanzieren können

Von Ellen Brown im Kopp-Verlag publiziert, am 11.11.2009.

Das viele Geld, das in das private Bankensystem gepumpt worden ist, hat die Wirtschaft für die Banker und für die Reichen vielleicht wieder in Ordnung gebracht; an der besorgniserregenden Arbeitslosigkeit oder an der Schuldenfalle, in der so viele Amerikaner stecken, hat es jedoch nichts ändern können.

Ein einsamer heller Stern leuchtet jedoch an diesem düsteren Himmel. Der einzige Staat, der einen Arbeitsplatzzuwachs zu verzeichnen hat, ist North Dakota, ein eigentlich eher unwahrscheinlicher Kandidat für eine solche Auszeichnung. North Dakota ist auch einer von lediglich zwei US-Bundesstaaten, die 2010 voraussichtlich einen ausgeglichenen Haushalt aufweisen werden. Continue Reading…

The Fed’s Policy of Near Zero Interest Rates

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Bob Chapman, November 16, 2009.

… Instead of upsetting the economy it has been suggested that excess reserves be drained form the banking system so that business and the investors do not understand what is going on. A bit of slight of hand. Then perhaps the program of the Fed monetizing CDOs, Agencies and Treasuries be ended. Such a move would send the economy plummeting into oblivion. Borrowing by government would screech to a halt and again deflation would reign.

These programs are supposed to be over, or in the case of CDOs and MBS, they are supposed to end next March. This is why the Fed cannot face an audit.  They have for some time been secretly buying or arranging to have been bought all of these debt obligations illegally. The CDO, MBS program cannot be stopped. Otherwise the big banks could never clear their balance sheets and the result would be bankruptcy. Thus, until those banks, brokerage houses and insurance companies are rid of their problem assets the program cannot end. If the program ends they all go under.  The toxic assets being bought by the taxpayer via the Fed will have to be worked off over the next 30 years with grievous losses.   Continue Reading…

70 years ago, November 1939

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Seventy years since the outbreak of World War II: Causes, Consequences and Lessons

Published on WSWS, by David North, 29 October 2009.

… Thus, in the final analysis, the cause of the war was not to be found in the actions of one or another state that precipitated the shooting. The causes lay in the essential nature of the imperialist system, in the logic of the struggle of powerful capitalist national states to maintain—or achieve, depending on the circumstances—a dominant position in an increasingly integrated global economic order.

The Marxist analysis:  Continue Reading…

America and China: Pleased to meet you

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Published on The Economist, Nov 16th 2009.

MUTUAL suspicion and mutual attraction are powerful and competing forces in the relationship between China and America. President Barack Obama hopes his first visit to China, which began on Sunday November 15th, will enable the two countries to work more closely on global problems, from climate change to the economy. His hosts appear to agree, but misgivings are still abundant … //

… In his answers to politely put questions from an audience carefully selected by Chinese officials, Mr Obama avoided direct criticism of China’s government. He spoke at some length about the merits of internet freedom and spoke of how the internet could change China’s “status quo”. But he made no mention of China’s denial since July of internet access to millions of its citizens in the strife-torn far western region of Xinjiang.    Continue Reading…

The humble tuna

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Published on Online Journal, by Aetius Romulous, November 13, 2009.

… The winners write history, and law.

The ancient trade of Fish Monger is a simple case in point. Fish, and other bounty of the sea, lakes, and streams, is an essential foodstuff powerful with calories and proteins. Fish, along with loaves, were the classic staples of the burgeoning human food chain. An early problem was, however, that fishing was capital intensive. You needed a boat, a net, and a sea stocked with fish. Trading these things with folks without them for the grains and meats your sea didn’t provide gave rise to the fish trader, who transferred the produce from one geography to the other. Better diets all around gave rise to larger populations, each one of whom represented additional demand for fish and loaves each way. Traders made out like bandits, as did all members of the process of producing and investing for return – including bandits.  Continue Reading…

Unraveling Women’s Fair Trade

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Selling beautiful crafts to support the artisans who create them makes everyone feel good. But are these businesses truly sustainable?

Published on WorldPulse, by Whitney Joiner, October 28, 2009.

One day, halfway into a trip to Uganda, Colorado psychologist Torkin Wakefield took an afternoon walk with her daughter and a family friend. They stopped to talk with a local woman who was sitting by the road crafting necklaces. The woman told them that to support herself she crushed rocks by hand in a quarry nearby for a dollar a day; in her spare time, she and her friends made necklaces by rolling brightly colored paper—trash that they’d recovered—into beads and stringing the beads into necklaces. “Why aren’t you selling these?” Wakefield asked, after convincing the woman to let her buy a handful. “There’s no market for them,” the woman answered.

Back in the US, after countless friends admired their necklaces, the three women wondered, ‘Is there really no market, or is it simply that the women haven’t found the right one yet?’ “We started thinking about how we could sell the beads in a way that wasn’t about retail, but was about women to women,” explains Wakefield.“We knew people would be interested in stories of resilient, hardworking women who were taking trash paper and turning it into something beautiful—something that could give them hope.”   Continue Reading…

A Zero Growth Economy? What Would It Mean for Us All?

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about the Zero Growth Economy Conference, on Sept. 26, 2009 – Published on Quakers in Britain, not dated.

Linked on our blogs with the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre.

Speakers were: Miriam Kennet – Green Economics Institute; Richard Douthwaite – economist and author of “the Growth Illusion”; Duncan Green – head of reseach, Oxfam; Alastair McIntosh – social activist and author of “Soil and Soul” and “Hell and High Water”. The one-day conference was chaired by Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Conference papers: … full list with links to all papers on Quakers.org.

Links – same item: on Share The World Resources STWR; on Quakernomics; on Woodbrooke quaker study centre;

A birth dearth

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The tricky politics of population in the former Yugoslavia

Published on The Economist, November 12, 2009.

OUTSIDE a hospital in Belgrade, two parking spots are reserved for parents with babies. A placard shows a stork delivering a baby that is then driven off in a car. What is telling is that there are only two spaces. Serbia’s population is shrinking …

… In Bosnia, demography is high politics. In the last Yugoslav census in 1991, Bosnia had a population of 4.3m. Now it is estimated at only 3.8m, thanks to emigration and some 100,000 war dead. But nobody really knows, and time is running out to prepare a census in 2011. In October Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Croats voted down legislation to get ready for the census. Milorad Dodik, prime minister of the Republika Srpska, the Serb bit of Bosnia, says he will accept a census only if people are asked about their ethnicity. Bosniak leaders fear that Mr Dodik wants to show how few non-Serbs live in Republika Srpska, giving him more reason to ask why a Bosnian state exists.   Continue Reading…

Here comes the citizen co-producer

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Published on openDemocracy, by Kim Andersen, Nov. 12, 2009.

Author: Victor Pestoff – Summary: The austere public budgets that will come out of the financial crisis offer, as a silver lining, a renaissance in cooperative citizen engagement in the supply of welfare services. Many countries in Europe are searching for new ways to involve citizens and the third sector in the provision and governance of social services. At a general level, the reasons are similar throughout Europe. They include the challenge of an aging population, the growing democracy deficit at all levels, local, regional, national and European, and the semi-permanent austerity in public finances, prior to the recent worldwide financial melt-down. While the impact of this last is yet to be seen on public services, there is a silver lining: now may be the time for expanding the role of civil society and cooperative production of welfare services.  Continue Reading…

Strategies and Tactics at the World Trade Organization WTO

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Umberto Mazzei, November 13, 2009.

Geneva – The WTO is an important multilateral forum because it attempts to negotiate the future. The unacknowledged purpose of creating the WTO was to perpetuate, through international agreements, the pattern of trade imbalances in the international economy. The ploy is to convene a forum to negotiate an equitable amendment. The tactic is to wear down the resistance with an apparently repetitive immobility. Therefore, the Doha Round, labelled Development Round and intended to phase out farm subsidies – which have increased – is now only about market opening and the word development is totally absent.

The irony of the negotiations is that all countries claim to seek greater market opening, while all of them call for “flexibility” to keep them closed.   Continue Reading…