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Index Oktober 2010

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2010-10-01: real-world economics review;
2010-10-02: The Neoliberal Experiment and Europe’s anti-Austerity Strikes: Governments must Lower Wages or Suffer Financial Blackmail;
2010-10-03: Did she ask for it?
2010-10-04: New wave of agricultural land-grabs reaches Canada;
2010-10-05: One Nation March to Pressure Obama Admin;
2010-10-06: What Classless Society?
2010-10-07: Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire;
2010-10-08: Premature Virtue;
2010-10-09: Cognitive dissonance: the Global Financial Crisis and the discipline of economics;
2010-10-10: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: militarily stronger, politically less stable;
2010-10-11: A Surprise Boost for Euro from China;
2010-10-12: The Broker Who Called the Crisis and Was Ignored;
2010-10-13: A step too far for banks?
2010-10-14: The Ecuadorian Coup: Its Larger Meaning;
2010-10-15: The Barclay’s Octopus – who controls Big Money in the USA BEFORE the crash in 2007?
2010-10-16: Currency Chaos;
2010-10-17: Only the Weak Survive;
2010-10-18: Turkey and Russia: Cleaning up the Mess in the Middle East;
2010-10-19: The Parasitic Nature of the current Monetary System;
2010-10-20: Death and profits: The utility protection racket;
2010-10-21: Wall Street, White House blame homeowners in foreclosure crisis;
2010-10-22: Fraudclosures and Unemployment in America;
2010-10-23: Sovereign Governments Versus The Lords of Finance;
2010-10-24: THE IRAQ WAR, PART III: Shaping the Debate;
2010-10-25: US monetary easing may start at $500 bn: Fed;
2010-10-26: Thought for the day: Neoclassical economics is specific not only in scientific but also in ideological terms;
2010-10-27: Question of the week: Is special money starting to drive out universal money?
2010-10-28: Clampdown on tax havens: Where does the International Finance Corporation stand?
2010-10-29: Neoliberal solution to poverty?
2010-10-30: Seven million without shelter months after Pakistan floods;
2010-10-31: The Financial Puzzle Behind 9/11.

The Financial Puzzle Behind 9/11

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During the 1980s and early ’90s, the CIA worked in partnership with BCCI in what was, at the time, the agency’s largest covert operation ever, pumping an estimated $10 billion into funding the Afghan mujahedeen. Through this operation, Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network was formed. Bin Laden had accounts in BCCI and ran CIA/BCCI-funded camps

Published on Consortiumnews, by David DeGraw, October 22, 2010.

… Increasing OPEC output up to 50 MBD from the current level of 30 MBD is simply not possible, in fact it’s absurd to even consider that as a possibility. Once you disregard that, as the report states, “A severe energy crunch is inevitable.”  Continue Reading…

Seven million without shelter months after Pakistan floods

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Published on WSWS, by Sampath Perera, 23 October 2010.

Seven of the 21 million Pakistanis affected by this summer’s floods are still without shelter, the United Nation’s Pakistan Office reported this week. And an estimated 14 million continue to need urgent humanitarian assistance.

These figures are an indictment of the Pakistan ruling elite’s incompetently organized and poorly funded flood relief effort. They also are an indictment of the imperialist powers. Under conditions where Pakistan has faced what the UN has repeatedly described as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in decades, the agency has repeatedly had to plead for the “international community” to come to assist Pakistan … //  Continue Reading…

Neoliberal solution to poverty?

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Linked with Eric Toussaint – Belgium. – Published on Socialist Worker, from a speech of Eric Toussaint, Oct. 12, 2010.

I. Despite the fact that the millennium goals are exceedingly modest, they will not even be achieved … //

… VI. Concrete alternatives or recommendations that can be implemented either by the international community or by sovereign states:   Continue Reading…

Clampdown on tax havens: Where does the International Finance Corporation stand?

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Published on Eurodad, by Nuria Molina, Oct. 21, 2010.

What does the World Bank IFC (International Finance Corporation) say on the use of tax havens?

In October 2009 European NGOs prompted their Executive Directors at the World Bank to request strong action to stop investing in companies that are registered in tax havens. In response to the NGO request, the Executive Board took swift action and issued, on April 2010, a public position on “Off-shore financial centers and tax evasion in World Bank operations.” In this note, the World Bank Group states its commitment to “the integrity and transparency of global financial markets” and expresses concerns on the “the issue of offshore financial centers (OFCs) and about the potential risk of tax abuse and the threat to good governance that they present.”  Continue Reading…

Question of the week: Is special money starting to drive out universal money?

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Published on the Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Merijn Knibbe, October 22, 2010.

To me the remarkable thing is that the USA stops being ‘the land of the free’ as soon as it comes to the poor. One of the remarkable things about money is that, once you have it, you are free to spend it on whatever you like. People getting food stamps are not given this freedom: they get ‘special purpose money’ – which only buys food. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s not. But it does run counter to the ‘it’s a free country’ idea … (full text).

Link: Money and other spiritual stuff, on Feels True, March 18, 2010.

Thought for the day: Neoclassical economics is specific not only in scientific but also in ideological terms

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by Peter Söderbaum, Oct. 20, 2010.

Mainstream neoclassical economics is a standardized language that claims to be helpful in understanding the world. Standardized or not; each language points in specific directions concerning relevant objects, relationships, processes etc. to focus upon. The language is socially constructed for specific purposes, for instance to deal with specific problems in specific ways. Continue Reading…

US monetary easing may start at $500 bn: Fed

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Published on News Center, October 23, 2010.

Federal Reserve officials are considering easing that could start with USD 500 billion and progress in increments as high as USD 250 billion, but worry how such a move would be perceived, a top adviser for the St Louis Federal Reserve said on Friday.

“There’s a lot of momentum and support to do something,” Christopher Waller, director of research at the St. Louis Fed, told Reuters in an interview.

US monetary easing may start at $500 bn: Fed

“It’s just how huge, and is it going to be time-dependent or state-dependent. … The likelihood we do something is probably pretty high,” he said.

The Fed, which cut rates to near zero and bought USD 1.7 trillion in securities, is widely expected to renew an easing program at its November 2-3 meeting. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that high unemployment and low inflation appear to meet requirements for further Fed action.

Waller’s comments, in a rare on-the-record interview with an aide who is present at discussions of the US central bank’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, suggest a lively debate in the Fed on the scope of easing, with discussion encompassing options as extensive as USD 1.5 trillion over a year tempered by worry a too-aggressive strategy could backfire if investors believed the US central bank was monetizing the national debt.

Many market participants had been expecting easing of about USD 500 billion … //

… Policy-makers take as a rough estimate that USD 100 billion in Treasury purchases would reduce the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note by about one-tenth of a%age point, Waller said.

“There’s a lot of credibility to it that if we were going to (move) the fed funds rate 25 basis points meeting to meeting … that’s kind of like a USD 250 billion purchase intermeeting,” Waller said. “The only thing that’s tempering that number back for us is we’re worried about the optics of that in terms of monetizing the deficit.”

One possibility would be to launch the Fed’s first move with a larger purchase and scale back the increments after that, he said.

“You could make the argument for the first meeting you may want to go bigger than that, which would be the equivalent of a 50 basis point cut, that would be USD 500 billion,” Waller said. “And then after that, you do smaller increments.”

However, Fed officials worry that with purchases that could range in the neighborhood of USD 1.5 trillion over the next year, it would look like the central bank is printing money to pay for the US budget deficit.

“That scares people,” Waller said. (full text).

THE IRAQ WAR, PART III: Shaping the Debate

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U.S. and British Documents Show Transatlantic Propaganda Cooperation

Published on The National Security Archive, Electronic Briefing Book No. 330, Joint Drafting & Editing of White Papers “Fixed the Facts”, Edited by John Prados and Christopher Ames, October 4, 2010. (For more information contact: John Prados – 202/994-7000).

Washington, D.C., October 4, 2010 – For nearly a year before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the British government of Prime Minister Tony Blair collaborated closely with the George W. Bush administration to produce a far starker picture of the threat from Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) than was justified by intelligence at the time, according to British and American government documents posted today by the National Security Archive.   Continue Reading…

Sovereign Governments Versus The Lords of Finance

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Challenging the Bankers Who Operate the Global Casino – Published on Global Research.ca, by Hazel Henderson, Oct. 22, 2010.

The world has reached a new stage. If governments don’t get together and face down the bankers who operate the global casino, the dominoes will start falling, one by one.

Sovereign governments must heed the lessons of past financial crises described by Liaquat Ahamed in Lords of Finance (2009); Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan (2008); Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff in This Time Is Different (2009); Ellen Brown in Web of Debt (2008); Nomi Prins in It Takes a Pillage (2009); Gillian Tett in Fool’s Gold (2009); and Yves Smith in ECONNED (2010) … //  Continue Reading…

Fraudclosures and Unemployment in America

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Danny Schechter, Oct. 18, 2010.

… What should be done? Webster Tarpley speaks for many in calling for a national moratorium on foreclosures, a course of action rejected by the White House.

“The current chaos in home foreclosures is once again the direct responsibility of the zombie bankers themselves, who have neglected all traditional legal and accounting standards concerning the necessary paper trails in their frenzied desire to securitize mortgage loans and make them into toxic derivatives in the form of asset-backed securities and mortgage backed securities. The zombie bankers, already the recipients of $24 trillion of public largess in the form of the various bailouts, have turned out to be incompetent even in the technical aspects of their own thieving racket.  Continue Reading…

Wall Street, White House blame homeowners in foreclosure crisis

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Tom Eley, Oct. 18, 2010.

… The mortgage foreclosure scandal continues to deepen and spread, implicating the government as well as the banks.

Federal agencies tasked with monitoring the bank mortgage industry, including the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision, did nothing to stop the abuses, even though these were clearly not isolated, but systemic problems.

“[T]here’s no sign these agencies did anything to stop any of these institutions from treating the country’s courts so contemptuously,” notes Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil. “Perhaps the regulators were clueless. Or maybe they knew there was a problem and decided to let the banks run wild in the interest of keeping their foreclosure mills humming.” Continue Reading…

Death and profits: The utility protection racket

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Linked with Michael Parenti Michael Parenti – USA. – Published on Online Journal, by Michaeel Parenti, Oct. 18, 2010.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is a multi-billion-dollar privately owned, publicly regulated utility whose main function is to make enormous profits for its shareholders at great cost to ratepayers. I know this to be true; I’m one of the ratepayers.

Better than Bernard:

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permits PG&E to charge rates that are 30 percent higher than the national average … //

… Pressed on the matter, they might admit as much. Steel magnate David Roderick once said that his company “is not in the business of making steel. We’re in the business of making profits.” The social uses of the product and its effects upon human well-being and the natural environment win consideration in capitalist production, if at all, only to the extent that they do not violate the profit goals of the corporation.

Better things to do:

Rather than spend money on replacing aging pipelines, PG&E — just three months before the San Bruno catastrophe — poured $46 million of ratepayer money (ten times the amount needed for repairing the San Bruno pipeline) into the electoral campaign for Proposition 16. This initiative was designed to make it neigh impossible for local governments to purchase energy from alternative sources, impossible to get out from under PG&E’s monopoly grip. The proposition was miraculously defeated despite the company’s immense campaign outlay.

With thousands of miles of aging pipes to inspect and perhaps replace, PG&E continues to find other things to do. Through most of 2010, it was busy putting “smart meters” into people’s homes. The new meters do not need to be read by an employee out in the field. Instead data from residences and businesses are transmitted by a mesh network of radio signals.

Critics argue that the smart meters are too smart. They often inflate electric bills. Worse still, they may be harmful to our health. There is evidence that radio-frequency exposure is linked to cancer and other diseases. A number of ratepayers already complain of being sickened by the heavy doses from smart meters. PG&E gives reassurances that the frequencies pose no great danger but it continues to face community resistance and skeptical questions from independent investigators.

Smart meters cut labor costs. Lower labor costs do not bring lower rates for ratepayers but higher profits for managers and stockholders. Never accuse PG&E of neglect or stupidity. The company knows what it is doing. In keeping with the essence of the corporate capitalist system, PG&E exists not to serve the public but to serve itself. (full text).

(Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (forthcoming March 2011). For further information about his work, visit his website Michael Parenti political archive).

The Parasitic Nature of the current Monetary System

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Amanda Morales, Oct. 18, 2010.

… Ethical considerations about the inherent parasitism of usury would be certainly appropriate at this stage: money holders lend money to those who lack it, who in turn become their slaves. But usury also presents a practical mathematical problem: banks create only the principal but not the interest necessary to pay back their loans. This results in a chronic scarcity of money that affects all the players in the system, as the money to pay back the interest on all the loans does not exist. As a result, we all must compete in a zero-sum game to earn something that simply does not exist. Money is earned by some at the detriment of others who are left without, in what increasingly feels like a cut-throat competition that greatly amplifies social conflict and wealth imbalances.  Continue Reading…

Turkey and Russia: Cleaning up the Mess in the Middle East

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Linked on our blogs with Eric Walberg – Canada. – Published on Middle East Online, by Eric Walberg, Sept. 30, 2010.

The neocon plan to transform the Middle East and Central Asia into a pliant client of the US empire and its only-democracy-in-the-Middle-East is now facing a very different playing field. Not only are the wars against the Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis floundering, but they have set in motion unforeseen moves by all the regional players … //

… There has been no magic hand guiding Turkey and Russia as they form the axis of a new political formation. Rather it is the resilience of Islam in the face of Western onslaught, plus – surprisingly – a page from the history of Soviet secular national self-determination. Continue Reading…

Only the Weak Survive

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Published on Project Syndicate, by Nouriel Roubini, of Roubin.com, Oct. 14, 2010.

TOKYO – The risk of global currency and trade wars is rising, with most economies now engaged in competitive devaluations. All are playing a game that some must lose.

Today’s tensions are rooted in paralysis on global rebalancing. Over-spending countries – such as the United States and other “Anglo-Saxon” economies – that were over-leveraged and running current-account deficits now must save more and spend less on domestic demand. To maintain growth, they need a nominal and real depreciation of their currency to reduce their trade deficits. But over-saving countries – such as China, Japan, and Germany – that were running current-account surpluses are resisting their currencies’ nominal appreciation. A higher exchange rate would reduce their current-account surpluses, because they are unable or unwilling to reduce their savings and sustain growth through higher spending on domestic consumption.    Continue Reading…

Currency Chaos

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Published on Project-Syndicate, by Jean Pisany-Ferry, Oct. 14, 2010.

BRUSSELS – Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister, aptly captured the current monetary Zeitgeist  when he spoke of a looming “currency war.” What had seemed a bilateral dispute between the United States and China over the renminbi’s exchange rate has mutated into a general controversy over capital flows and currencies.

Today, every country seems to want to depreciate its currency. Japan has resumed foreign-exchange intervention, and the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are preparing another large-scale purchase of government bonds – a measure called “quantitative easing,” which lowers long-term interest rates and indirectly weakens the currency.   Continue Reading…

The Barclay’s Octopus – who controls Big Money in the USA BEFORE the crash in 2007?

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Linked with Matthias Chang – Malaysia. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Matthias Chang, October 11, 2010.

If we know who controls big money, then it becomes obvious that the bailout of Big Money is essentially a bailout of the financial puppet masters behind the Big Money – Q.E.D.

I am sure that you are more than surprised that the Barclays Octopus was a major shareholder of so many big money banks before the crash of 2007.

Read on!  Continue Reading…

The Ecuadorian Coup: Its Larger Meaning

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Linked with James Petras – USA. – Published on Global Research.ca, by James Petras, October 10, 2010.

… The Facts about the Coup: The police did not simply “protest” against economic polices, they seized the National Assembly and attempted to occupy public buildings and media outlets.  The air force – or at least those sectors collaborating with the police – seized the airport in Quito, concerted actions seizing and blocked strategic transport networks..  President Correa was assaulted and seized and kept hostage under police guard by scores of heavily armed police, who violently resisted the Special Forces who eventually freed the president resulting in scores of wounded and ten deaths.  Clearly the leaders of the police uprising had more in mind that a simple “protest” over cancelled bonuses – they sought to overthrow the president and were willing to use their firepower to carry it off.  The initial economic demands of public sector employees were used by the coup leaders as a springboard to oust the regime.  Continue Reading…

A step too far for banks?

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Published on Business Spectator, by Stephen Bartholomeusz, Oct. 11, 2010.

There is an interesting and important question that re-emerged in the wake of the IMF and World Bank meetings at the weekend. How will the world’s bigger banks and their shareholders respond to the myriad of new capital and liquidity requirements?

The banks’ international lobby group reiterated at the weekend that the banking reforms would have a deleterious effect on economic recovery, saying they would reduce global growth by more than three per cent over the next five years despite the protracted timetable for their introduction.   Continue Reading…

The Broker Who Called the Crisis and Was Ignored

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Watch this video, published on the Real News Network, 9.46 min, last updated: October 10, 2010:
Michael Blomquist: From 2003 I wrote letters, made calls, even filed a lawsuit but nobody listened.

WASHINGTON — Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other top government officials have said they didn’t notice the dangers that Michael Blomquist saw in the runaway California housing market until five years after he did … //

… Over the next four years, Blomquist futilely tried to dissuade clients and friends from putting their life savings into pricey homes. He wrote letters warning federal regulators and members of Congress that mortgage fraud was creating “a perfect storm” in the housing industry.  Continue Reading…

A Surprise Boost for Euro from China

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Linked with Frederick William Engdahl – Germany and USA. – Published on Voltairenet.org, by F. William Engdahl, Oct. 6, 2010.

The embattled Euro has gotten a surprise boost from an unexpected quarter―China. The country with the world’s largest foreign exchange currency reserves, China, has pledged to support Greek debt as well as the Euro in what is clearly a geopolitical decision. In doing so, China has signaled it seeks to prevent the US financial warfare attack on Europe and to play the EU off against the USA in a geopolitical chess game of a fascinating dimension … //

… Asia Crisis and British Pound EMU crisis:     Continue Reading…

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: militarily stronger, politically less stable

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Published on Voltairenet.org, by ,  Sept. 30, 2010.

From 9 to 25 September 2010, Kazakhstan hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO annual military exercise. All member states were present, with the exception of Uzbekistan … //

… While the drill displayed the increasing level of effective coordination between Russian and Chinese forces, it also revealed the disorganization prevailing within the Russian armies. They are very cumbersome and slow to transport, as was witnessed during the coup in Kirghizistan. On that occasion, Moscow decided not to intervene simply because it wasn’t able to do so.  Continue Reading…

Cognitive dissonance, the Global Financial Crisis and the discipline of economics

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Published on Real-World Economics Review, by Adam Kessler [Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA, Copyright: Adam Kessler, 2010], Issue no. 54, 27 September 2010.

… Abstract: The global financial and economic crisis has produced a powerful shock to the worldview of an influential group of economists whom I call believers in laissez faire (BLF). I provide evidence which suggests that the BLF responded to this shock in a manner that can best be described as irrational, ill-considered and clearly erroneous. I consider the social-psychological concept cognitive dissonance as the best explanatory framework for understanding this response.  Continue Reading…

Premature Virtue

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Published on Project Syndicate, by George Soros, Oct. 5, 2010.

NEW YORK – The Obama administration’s insistence on fiscal rectitude is dictated not by financial necessity, but by political considerations. The United States is not one of Europe’s heavily indebted countries, which must pay hefty premiums over the price at which Germany can borrow. Interest rates on US government bonds have been falling and are near record lows, which means that financial markets anticipate deflation, not inflation.

Nevertheless, Obama is under political pressure. The US public is deeply troubled by the accumulation of public debt, and the Republican opposition has been extremely successful in blaming the Crash of 2008 – and the subsequent recession and high unemployment – on government ineptitude, as well as in claiming that the stimulus package was largely wasted.  Continue Reading…

Yemen: The Covert Apparatus of the American Empire

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Andrew Gavin Marshall, October 5, 2010.

… Pushing for a Proxy War With Iran:

Government officials in Yemen had been declaring that the greatest threat to Yemen’s security comes not from al-Qaeda, but Iran, as they blame Iran “for fermenting the Shia rebellion,” and the chairman of Yemen’s national security agency stated that, “there are indeed signs, proof of Iranian interference.” While these allegations are made without any proof, “Western diplomats claim it is probable that Iran is providing money or materiel to the group, as it has to Hizbollah in Lebanon.”[80]   Continue Reading…

What Classless Society?

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The Growing Rich-poor Gap in Classless America, Top 10% controls 96% of the wealth – Published on Global Research.ca, by Jack A. Smith, October 3, 2010.

The so-called growing rich-poor gap in “classless” America is a euphemism for the existence of an accelerated class struggle against American workers and the poor by a relatively small minority that possesses or has access to great wealth and power … //

… Differences in income are acknowledged — but it is claimed that since upward mobility and attainment of the American Dream are available to everyone if they work hard enough, there is only one class despite gradations in wealth. It’s called the middle class, presumably with statistical subsections for the very rich and very poor. But the “Dream” and upward mobility have never been available to everyone, and over the last three decades have been substantially reduced for many new generations of working families.  Continue Reading…

One Nation March to Pressure Obama Admin

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Linked with Progressive Democrats of America PDA, and with Paul Jay – Canada.

Watch these two videos and read the texts, published on the Real News Network, by Paul Jay, October 3, 2010:

New wave of agricultural land-grabs reaches Canada

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Published on Farmland Grab.org, by Amy Miller, 27 September 2010.

MONTREAL—In an age of escalating food insecurity and financial uncertainty, large corporations, investors, and even nations states have been stalking the globe in pursuit of an age-old and certain commodity: farmland. Bought up on a large scale to secure food for cropstarved countries or to make a safe investment, farmland is becoming the lucrative prize of a new resource frontier. The sweep of agricultural land grabs has stripped small farmers in Africa, Latin America and Asia of control over vital tracts of fertile land. And quietly, these modern-day land marauders are coming to Canada—undermining family farms, compromising local food sovereignty, and harming the environment.

This past July the National Farmers Union (NFU) sounded the alarm. In a report entitled
Losing Our Grip: How a Corporate Farmland Buy-up, Rising Farm Debt, and Agribusiness Financing of Inputs Threaten Family Farms and Food Sovereignty,” the union documents how foreign ownership of farmland in Canada is no longer a theoretical fear. It’s happening.

Investor group Walton International is buying up farmland across Alberta and has now moved into Ontario, converting farmland into “development-ready property”—what critics say is a euphemism for development geared towards urban sprawl. According to its website, Walton “manages approximately 36,000 acres on behalf of over 35,000 investors worldwide” … //

… Michael Hoffort is a spokesperson from the agency and spoke with The Dominion regarding the NFU report.

“I wouldn’t say we are seeing a large amount of foreign investment coming towards farmland in Canada,” Hoffort said. “Often when it is a foreign investor, it is a farmer who is looking to immigrate into Canada, buy a farm and be a member of the community.”

But Farm Credit Canada has been very friendly to the largest Canadian farmland investment company Assiniboia, offering generous grants. The company has grown rapidly over the last two years, tripling its holdings to its current 100,000 acres.

Assiniboia’s primary source of capital is the taxpayer-owned Farm Credit Canada. In 2009, the company signed a mortgage agreement package that will see it receive an additional $9 million in borrowing capacity at “very low long-term rates,” according to an Assiniboia report.

When asked what data Farm Credit Canada has collected to compare how much foreign investment has been carried out over the last few years, Hoffort couldn’t give any figures.

“We haven’t done the analysis of crunching the numbers to find out how much farmland has been purchased domestically or by foreign buyers,” he said.

Hoffort explained that Farm Credit Canada only provides loans to applicants with a Canadian backer in the package, but he did not disclose what the percentage of the holding had to be Canadian.

“We lend to farms of all sizes,” he said. “The vast majority are family managed, and they come in many shapes and sizes. Farms in general have been growing in size for years—it is just part of the economy.”

Hoffort did have words to reassure the public. “Our focus is very much on agriculture, agricultural producers and the majority of those are by and large family farms. It has been in the past that way, and I can assure you that it will be that way in the future.”

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates there are currently over a billion people on the planet who suffer from hunger. The number continues to grow.  Continue Reading…

Did she ask for it?

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Published on Online Journal, by Pubali Ray Chaudhuri, Oct. 1, 2010. l

The spectacle of women being assaulted in public is nothing new in India. So when the Hindutva “moral police” party Ram Sene, headed by Pramod Muthalik, sent some thugs to beat up women in a Mangalore pub, the whole incident might have blown over in a few days — if it had not been for Nisha Susan.

Susan, a young journalist from Bangalore, started an online Facebook group called “A Consortium of Pubgoing Loose and Forward Women,” that urged members to send loads of pink chaddis (“chaddi” is Hindi for underpants) to Muthalik’s party office in Hubli as an ostensibly humorous, but really rather scathing, response to his attempt at moral policing. Susan’s group has since swelled to over 55,000 members from all over the globe, and its current activities are still available on Facebook.  Continue Reading…

Turkey and Russia Defy America’s Imperial Design in the Middle East and Central Asia

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Linked with Eric Walberg – Canada. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Eric Walberg, October 1, 2010.

… There are other reasons to see Russia as a possible Middle East powerbroker. The millions of Russian Jews who moved to Israel are not necessarily a Lieberman-like Achilles Heel for Russia. A third of them are scornfully dismissed as not sufficiently kosher and could be a serious problem for a state that is founded solely on racial purity. Many have returned to Russia or managed to move on to greener pastures. Already, such prominent rightwing politicians as Moshe Arens, political patron of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are considering a one-state solution. Perhaps these Russian immigrants will produce a Frederik de Klerk to re-enact the dismantling of South African apartheid.  Continue Reading…

The Neoliberal Experiment and Europe’s anti-Austerity Strikes: Governments must Lower Wages or Suffer Financial Blackmail

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Michael Hudson, Sept. 30, 2010.

(First my comment: that’s the moment when Unions should produce much more than only strikes: they/we all have to re-think the whole system … yes, since Adam and Eve! … since the real beginning. If not, we will fail).

(3 excerpts): While Labor Unions celebrate Anti-Austerity Day in Europe, the European Neoliberals raise the ante:

Most of the press has described Wednesday’s European-wide labor demonstrations and strikes across in terms of the familiar exercise by transport workers irritating travelers with work slowdowns, and large throngs letting off steam by setting fires.  Continue Reading…

real-world economics review

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Formerly the post-autistic economics review

Download latest Issue no 54, 109 pdf pages, 27.Sept. 2010;

Real-World Economics Review BLOG;

PAE movement – post-autistic economics network: sanity, humanity and science.