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Index March 2011

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2011-03-01: Pitting Private And Public Sector Workers Against Each Other;
2011-03-02: The Perfidy of Government: How we Lost our Economy, the Constitution and our Civil Liberties;
2011-03-03: A great way to kick off 2011 for the Robin Hood Tax;
2011-03-04: The West’s Punch Bowl Monetary Policy;
2011-03-05: Manuel Castells on The Great Disconnect;
2011-03-05: Le serpent de mer du code de la famille;
2011-03-06: NATO’s Inevitable War: The Flood of Lies regarding Libya;
2011-03-07: Lies and truth in Wisconsin;
2011-03-08: Why is the Middle East Backward?
2011-03-09: Oil, gold, silver, the economy and other nonsense;
2011-03-09: La LOPPSI 2, un Patriot Act français;
2011-03-10: The historical narrative that lies beneath the Gaddafi rebellion;
2011-03-11: Private Bradley Manning: A victim of the military empire?
2011-03-11: Les femmes sénégalaises cinquante années après: Champs et obstacles d’une longue traversée;
2011-03-12: The Financial Consequences of the Middle East Protest Movement?
2011-03-13: Debt, Growth and Hypocrisy;
2011-03-14: The End of the Washington Consensus;
2011-03-15: The economist as social engineer;
2011-03-16: The deficit-reducing potential of a financial speculation tax;
2011-03-17: Our hearts are torn apart between two human-made disasters: One in Japan, the Other in Libya;
2011-03-18: As Time Runs Out – Libyan Options;
2011-03-19: Wisconsin’s lessons for the working class;
2011-03-20: US coalition lobbies Congress on currency, trade matters;
2011-03-21: Secretive Plan For a Global Currency;
2011-03-21: Quelques propositions relatives à l’Assemblée constituante;
2011-03-22: INDIA: Engaging Africa With Software and Soft Power;
2011-03-23: Philanthropy and Social Change;
2011-03-23: A côté de l’UNICEF contre la mutilation génitale;
2011-03-24: The Great Financial Circle Jerk;
2011-03-25: The Shame and Blame Game: fighting city street harassment;
2011-03-26: The global economy: Another year of living dangerously;
2011-03-27: FAQs: Japan nuclear concerns /current risk;
2011-03-28: Food security: Support price mechanism takes toll on poor;
2011-03-29: GOP Files FOIA Request for UW Madison Professor William Cronon’s Emails;
2011-03-29: Agitez le peuple avant de vous en servir;
2011-03-30: Virus-eater’ discovered in Antarctic lake;
2011-03-31: The birth of an Obama doctrine;
2011-03-31: Kosovo’s Mafia: How the US and Allies Ignore Organized Crime, Part 1.
See also our pages:

Kosovo’s Mafia: How the US and Allies Ignore Organized Crime Part 1

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Published on Global, by Matt McAllester and Jovo Martinovic, March 30, 2011.

… Protected by the United States?

One of the most frustrating examples of American power in the capital Pristina, say current and former U.N. officials and Western diplomats, was the influence American diplomats exerted over the supposedly independent U.N. prosecutor’s office in Kosovo.

“There was interference by the U.S. mission [to Kosovo] preventing effective investigation and prosecution of senior Kosovo officials,” said a U.N. official, who is in a position to know about the details of the United Nations’ law enforcement efforts during the time that it administered Kosovo, from 2000 to 2008.  Continue Reading…

The birth of an Obama doctrine

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Published on The Economist, by Lexington, March 28, 2011.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.

THUS President Barack Obama tonight, speaking to the American people directly for the first time since launching Operation Odyssey Dawn and unleashing American missiles in Libya. He had received a great deal of criticism—for “dithering”, for failing to consult Congress, for going too far and doing too little. Now he has answered back—and provided, at the same time, the clearest explanation so far of an “Obama doctrine” of humanitarian military intervention. Continue Reading…

Virus-eater’ discovered in Antarctic lake

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Published on nature news, by Virginia Gewin, March 28, 2011.

First of the parasitic parasites to be discovered in a natural environment points to hidden diversity.

A genomic survey of the microbial life in an Antarctic lake has revealed a new virophage — a virus that attacks viruses. The discovery suggests that these life forms are more common, and have a larger role in the environment, than was once thought.

An Australian research team found the virophage while surveying the extremely salty Organic Lake in eastern Antarctica. While sequencing the collective genome of microbes living in the surface waters, they discovered the virus, which they dubbed the Organic Lake Virophage (OLV) … //  Continue Reading…

Agitez le peuple avant de vous en servir

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Publié sur Maverick, par GdG, 28 mars 2011.

Le Nouvel ordre mondial à l’assaut de l’Islam, un article exhaustif de Pierre Hillard, historien et docteur en sciences politiques , apporte un éclairage singulier aux récents soulèvements en Afrique du Nord. En voici une courte analyse:

A première vue, ces manifestations ne peuvent que réjouir les nations occidentales.
Qui de bonne foi pourrait s’élever contre la démocratie, des élections libres, les droits de l’homme et les autres avantages de la société civile .

Cependant, rappelle l’auteur, cet épanouissement doit être vu sous un angle politique. Et comme nous le montre l’histoire, les grands événements proviennent toujours des actions d’une élite.

Maintes fois évoqué dans les articles du présent blogue, le partage du globe en plusieurs blocs qu’il suffirait de réunir sous une gouvernance mondiale, est maintenant bien en route … //

… Pourquoi de tels changements maintenant?

Face à la montée en puissance du monde asiatique (et surtout chinois), il s’agit pour Londres et Washington de s’assurer le contrôle complet des hydrocarbures produits par les pays sud méditerranéens et ceux du Proche Orient de sorte qu’ils échappent au gouvernement de Pékin.

Pierre Hillard relève qu’en priorité il s’agit d’intégrer Israël à l’architecture politique, économique et militaire euro atlantique. L’Etat hébreu doit donc constituer un pilier du judaïsme avec les deux autres piliers que sont les judaïsmes européens et américains.

Du chaos résultant de la déstructuration d’une zone géographique allant du Maroc à l’Afghanistan, devrait émerger «un islam des lumières  qui puisse s’intégrer aux dogmes du gouvernement mondial.


Les élites occultes qui s’imaginent refaire le monde opèrent en réalité sur des vecteurs totalement inversés. Pratiquement au bout du rouleau, ils n’ont toujours pas compris que les gens aspirent aujourd’hui à une liberté qui n’est pas uniquement matérielle.

En citant les fameux vers de L’apprenti sorcier de Goethe, Pierre Hillard remet les choses dans leur véritable contexte: Les esprits que j’ai réveillés ne veulent plus m’écouter. Et c’est tant mieux!

(texte entier).

GOP Files FOIA Request for UW Madison Professor William Cronon’s Emails

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Published at HNN (Source: David A. Walsh, associate editor of HNN), March 25, 2011.

The Wisconsin Republican Party is filing legal documents to gain access to the personal emails of William Cronon, Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and president-elect of the American Historical Association, in response to a March 15 blog post where he outlined the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in drafting conservative legislation in states around the country … //  Continue Reading…

Food security: Support price mechanism takes toll on poor

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Published on The International News, by Amir Zia, March 27, 2011.

Finally the World Food Programme WFP has raised a red-flag over the abnormally high food prices in Pakistan, which is making life tough and bitter for majority of ordinary Pakistanis. Wolfgang Herbinger, WFP’s director in Pakistan, painted a grim picture about the food security situation in the country, where malnutrition levels are on the rise despite good agricultural crops.

One of the key reasons for the food-inflation remains the government’s decision to increase the wheat support price by more than 120 percent that indeed benefited big landowners, but proved a blow for the majority of people, especially belonging to the poor and fixed income groups.  Continue Reading…

FAQs: Japan nuclear concerns /current risk

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Published on WHO (World Health Org), March 25, 2011.

Q.: What is the current risk of radiation-related health problems in Japan for those residing near the reactor in comparison to those in other parts of Japan?

  • A.: Radiation-related health consequences will depend on exposure, which is dependant on several things, including: the amount and type of radiation released from the reactor; weather conditions, such as wind and rain; a person’s proximity to the plant; and the amount of time spent in irradiated areas.
  • The Government of Japan’s recent actions in response to events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are in line with the existing recommendations for radiation exposure. The Government has evacuated individuals who were living within a 20-kilometre radius around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Those living between 20 km and 30 km from the plant are being asked to shelter indoors. People living farther away are at lower risk than those who live nearby.
  • As and if the situation changes, the Government of Japan may change their advice to the public; WHO is following the situation closely.   Continue Reading…

The global economy: Another year of living dangerously

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Published on The Economist, March 24, 2011.

The year without crisis is not to be. First, Arabian upheaval put oil markets on edge. Then earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear accident clobbered the world’s third-largest economy. How much of a setback to growth do these twin crises represent? And how should economic policymakers react to them?

Japan’s share of world output has been shrinking for decades, but at 9% it remains large enough for the hit to the country’s growth to subtract noticeably from global output. Then there are the ripple effects on the rest of the world. Japan is a large—in some cases the sole—supplier of intermediate goods to the world’s electronics and automotive industries, from the hardened glass on Apple’s iPad to gearboxes in Volkswagens.  Continue Reading…

The Shame and Blame Game: fighting city street harassment

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Linked with Gender Across Borders. – Published on Gender Across Borders, by Alison Hamm, March 20, 2011.

First see on the page this Cartooon – two policemen: … yes … but … when you run, your behind makes movements that are … how do you say… obscene! woman: well, then don’t look at my ass!

One morning, as I was rushing to meet my friends at our neighborhood coffee shop, I had to walk past a small group of men.

As I passed, these men—who all appeared old enough to be my father—started whistling and licking their lips. I narrowed my eyes and continued to walk as fast as possible. One of the men started following me down the block, yelling behind me, “Shake it girl,” and some other obscenities I’d rather not repeat, as his friends continued to whistle and laugh … //

… But what makes it less funny is when you tell someone else about these situations, and a variation of the following questions are asked, or statements are made:  Continue Reading…

The Great Financial Circle Jerk

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Published on Economic, by Robert Oak, March 22, 2011.

Yes the title is crass, vulgar. Yet the never ending trading of mortgage backed securities, previously titled toxic assets in some game of musical chairs justifies the analogy. Take just this latest revolving door as an example. Did you know a former New York Federal Reserve Official, in charge of overseeing AIG now works for AIG?

The insurance giant has also brought on board Charlie Shamieh as chief actuary; Mark Scully to oversee actuarial functions at its main property and casualty division, Chartis; Sid Sankaran as chief risk officer; and former Federal Reserve official Brian Peters to also help manage risk in an executive position.

Naked Capitalism comments on this little gem in Sleaze WatchContinue Reading…

A côté de l’UNICEF contre la mutilation génitale

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Publié dans UNICEF, le 14 Mar 2011.

La Situation: Depuis 1993, la mutilation génitale des petites filles et des femmes est considérée officiellement comme une violation des droits humains. C’est un acte discriminatoire qui entraîne des séquelles physiques et psychiques à vie pour les personnes concernées. A l’échelle de la planète, on estime à 130 millions le nombre de filles et de femmes excisées. Chaque année, 3 millions de petites filles subissent cette pratique. Dans de nombreux pays d’Afrique centrale et d’Afrique de l’Ouest, du Moyen-Orient et d’Asie de l’Est, la mutilation génitale féminine continue d’être très répandue. Car les parents désireux de préserver leurs filles les exposent à ne pas pouvoir se marier.   Continue Reading…

Philanthropy and Social Change

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Published on Social Edge, by Parag Gupta, March 2011.

The Benefits of Philanthropy: It is estimated global philanthropy to developing countries totaled $53 billion in 2008 (CGP, 2008). The question is – can philanthropy tackle our current challenges and those that have yet to arise? Does it hold the key to unlocking social and environmental innovation? Or is it losing its relevance on a dynamic global stage?

As someone who has worked in and around the foundation world for the past nine years as program staff, grantee and consultant, it strikes me that there are three broad buckets of giving in ‘Realphilanthropik’ terms defined by intent and outcome. Continue Reading…

INDIA: Engaging Africa With Software and Soft Power

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Linked on our blogs with Global Geopolitics and Political Economy.

Published on  Global Geopolitics and Political Economy, by Ranjit Devraj (with additional reporting by Wambi Michael in Uganda), March 20, 2011.

NEW DELHI, Mar 18, 2011 (IPS) – India cannot match China’s massive investments in Africa, but it is using its information technology capabilities and its affordable university courses to stay relevant on the continent.

“How do you matter to Africa? India cannot obviously compete with either China or the United States, but it was this country which inspired the anti- colonial struggles of the last century and took a stand against apartheid,” says Ajay Kumar Dubey of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s department for Africa studies.  Continue Reading…

Quelques propositions relatives à l’Assemblée constituante

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Publié sur, par Bechir Chourou*, Mars 21, 2011.

Le 24 juillet prochain, les Tunisiens seront appelés aux urnes pour élire une Assemblée constituante, et ce au suffrage universel et selon un code électoral spécifique qui sera promulgué par décret présidentiel avant fin mars. Ce sera là le premier véritable exercice pratique de démocratie sur lequel les Tunisiens auront à plancher, et son enjeu est énorme, car l’avenir de la démocratie en Tunisie dépendra en grande partie des résultats de ce premier test … //

… Les propositions que je voudrais soumettre supposent l’existence d’un consensus préalable sur certains points qui me paraissent essentiels. Le premier concerne les tâches que la Constituante sera appelée à accomplir et qui, à mon avis, sont au nombre de trois.  Continue Reading…

Secretive Plan For a Global Currency

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Excerpt from “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century” – Published on Global, by Ellen Brown, March 17, 2011.

… Towards a New Global Currency?

Is the Group of Twenty Countries (G20) envisaging the creation of a Global Central bank? Who or what would serve as this global central bank, cloaked with the power to issue the global currency and police monetary policy for all humanity? When the world’s central bankers met in Washington in September 2008 at the height of the financial meltdown, they discussed what body might be in a position to serve in that awesome and fearful role. A former governor of the Bank of England stated:  Continue Reading…

US coalition lobbies Congress on currency, trade matters

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Linked on our blogs with Coalition for a Prosperous America CPA. – Published on TradeReform, by Laura Miller, March 16, 2011.

A coalition of US steelmakers, manufacturers, agricultural and labor concerns was in Washington last week lobbying Congress for the development of a national trade strategy, quick passage of a currency manipulation bill, and in opposition to the free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea … //

… In addition to asking Congress to pass the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to address foreign currency manipulation, CPA members want the government to address “massive foreign tariffs” in the form of value-added taxes that harm trade competitiveness.  Continue Reading…

Wisconsin’s lessons for the working class

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Horace Campbell, March 17, 2011.

Following protests by thousands of Wisconsin workers and their supporters in response to new legislation that bans collective bargaining by public sector workers, Horace Campbell places the struggles in the state in the wider social and political struggles in the US … //


Wisconsin is one of the many states in the USA that had blossomed in the post-war period when US capitalism expanded and the workers were able to live at a comfortable standard of living. However, since 1970 Wisconsin has become one of the former rustbelt states that suffered the effects of deindustrialisation. As stated above, it inherited two strong traditions of US society, the conservatism of settler colonial ideas and the radicalism of populist working class struggles.   Continue Reading…

As Time Runs Out – Libyan Options

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Published on The Money Party, by Brian Downing, March 16, 2011.

The Libyan uprising once seemed sure to follow the pattern in Tunisia and Egypt where longstanding autocrats stepped down after large popular demonstrations. Colonel Kadafi, however, has rallied his forces and is quashing the opposition. This has put policymakers in the region and around the world in a dilemma between their preference for democracy and their reluctance to intervene. There are a few actions that can be embarked upon, but which is optimal and who if anyone will take the lead? … //

… Whose Army?   Continue Reading…

Our hearts are torn apart between two human-made disasters: One in Japan, the Other in Libya

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Published on 4th Media, Beijing, by Dr. Kiyul Chung, March 16, 2011.

The 4th Media’s words of sincere condolences to all those yet fully-unknown number of victims in Japan’s worst disaster.

Peoples’ hearts and minds on the whole globe are torn apart in great dismay, shock and sorrow upon hearing the devastating news from Japan’s most disastrous tragedy by far, starting with first 9.0-magnitude earthquake, together with tsunami, and then even with daily horrifying tales of (yet fully-unknown or much too early to predict) imminent nuclear catastrophes in Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants.   Continue Reading…

The deficit-reducing potential of a financial speculation tax

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Published on real-world economics review, issue no. 56, by Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research, USA, March 2011, 6 pdf-pages.

While a number of commissions and organizations around Washington have produced plans for reducing the projected deficit in the decades ahead, most have not included a financial speculation tax (FST) in the mix.1 This seems peculiar since an FST has several features that could make it attractive as a revenue source.

First, it would help reduce the economic rents earned by the financial sector. A tax on the turnover of stocks, options, credit default swaps and other financial instruments would make it less profitable to trade these assets. To a large extent current trading patterns reflect rent-seeking behavior with little or no economic benefit.  Continue Reading…

The economist as social engineer

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Maxi-max decision, utopia and the need for professional economic ethics – Published on real-world economics review, issue no. 56, by George DeMartino, University of Denver, USA, March 2011, 1 pdf-pages.

Introduction: The economics profession has attracted a good bit of attention lately due to revelations regarding the failure of influential economists to disclose potential conflicts of interest when serving in the role of public intellectual. For this we are indebted to filmmaker Charles Ferguson, whose film “Inside Job” ought to serve as a wake-up call to a profession that has suppressed its ethical obligations for over a century. Even worse, the film makes clear that the economists it exposes have never given the matter of disclosure a moment’s thought prior to being grilled on camera by Mr. Ferguson. The film spawned several studies that further documented a failure to disclose among leading economists, and pressure from the business press on the AEA to explain just why it has no general rules or guidelines that speak to this issue (Epstein and Carrick-Hagenbarth 2010; Flitter, Cooke and da Costa 2010). In response, the AEA established a committee “to consider the Association’s existing disclosure and other ethical standards and potential extensions to those standards.” Continue Reading…

The End of the Washington Consensus

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Published on the Real-Worldn Economics Review Blog (firsts in The Guardian UK), by Kevin P. Gallagher, March 12, 2011.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos sent shockwaves through Washington when he told the Financial Times that his nation is holding negotiations with China to build a multibillion dollar “dry canal” that would compete with the Panama Canal. After all, Santos said, China is “the new motor of the world economy”.

This deal is charged with politics. Colombia is trying to get the US to pass a long-stalled trade deal. And let us not forget that the original canal was to be the result of an agreement between the US and Colombia. When the Colombians didn’t like the deal the US had on offer and threatened to squelch it, Washington supported Panamanian separatist movements and got itself a new country to build a canal with … //   Continue Reading…

Debt, Growth and Hypocrisy

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Published on Duncan’s Economic Blog, by by duncanseconomicblog, March 7, 2011.

… So there we go – if the Government runs a deficit then that’s reckless, if they run a surplus they are ‘raising taxes without delivering service improvements’.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise – I can’t imagine any situation in which a democratically elected government could continue to run a surplus over the medium term. The clamor for more spending from the left or tax cuts from the right would quickly become unbearable.

Now I imagine many commentators are about to graffiti this post with supposedly insightful comments such as ‘This proves Keynes wrong, he said you should run a surplus in the good times and you say the government can’t’.  Continue Reading…

The Financial Consequences of the Middle East Protest Movement?

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Published on Global, by Bob Chapman, March 11, 2011.

… We believe any major disruption in Saudi Arabia would not only be met by local troops, but by US forces as well. Saudi pumps more than 8 million barrels of oil a day and the west cannot stand such a disruption. The region produces almost 17 million barrels a day, or almost 23% of total world production or 56% of OPEC production. Political upheaval should not last more than 3 to 6 months. The result will be turmoil for some time to come; a social and political situation that neutralizes any opposition to the regional aims of the US and Israel. It won’t take long for Mr. Gaddafi to be deposed and sent on his way and it could be with the help of US troops. Western oil interests would like that very much.

Many experts believe the surviving regimes will be anti-west and anti-capitalist, but we think that will not be necessarily so. These countries will want to pump oil and pump it as fast as possible, because generally speaking they have no other source of income. There will be lost oil production, but if Saudi Arabia is not involved in upheaval they can make up most of the lost production. Presently the only obvious problem is with Libya. Continue Reading…

Les femmes sénégalaises cinquante années après: Champs et obstacles d’une longue traversée

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Publié dans Walf, par Amadou NDIAYE, mars 2011.

La lutte pour l’émancipation de la femme africaine en général, et sénégalaise en particulier, a suivi un processus ponctué par l’implication de plusieurs générations de femmes. Cinquante ans après, elles sont invitées à jeter un regard rétrospectif sur leurs parcours, loin du folklore et de l’euphorie.

Le combat pour l’émancipation de la femme a toujours cherché les voies et moyens pour décrier et, éventuellement, éliminer les différentes formes de discriminations subies par les femmes à travers le déroulement de l’histoire de l’humanité. Au plan mondial, les consciences ont été fouettées par des conférences historiques sur la condition féminine. C’est le cas à Mexico en 1975, à Copenhague en 1980, Nairobi et Beijing en 1995. Des événements qui ont eu en commun de créer un tilt sur la conscience du monde. Désormais, les femmes sont vues sous un autre œil. Au plan africain, les réalités religieuses, culturelles et sociologiques qui réduisent la femme en sa plus simple expression, c’est-à-dire gérer le foyer et procréer, font que, depuis les indépendances, les avancées sont timides … //  Continue Reading…

Private Bradley Manning: A victim of the military empire?

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Linked on our blogs with The Rutherford Institute, with Bradley Manning Support Network, and with Bradley Manning: Telling the Truth in a Time of Lies. – Published on Intrepid Report, by John W. Whitehead, March 10, 2011.

It is indispensable to our success in this war that those we ask to fight it know that in the discharge of their dangerous responsibilities to their country they are never expected to forget that they are Americans, and the valiant defenders of a sacred idea of how nations should govern their own affairs and their relations with others—even our enemies.”—John McCain, “Torture’s Terrible Toll

Depending on your view of the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and America’s role in them, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the 23-year-old Army soldier who is accused of “aiding the enemy” by leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks, is either a courageous whistleblower or a traitorous snitch. Manning is alleged to have leaked over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables, as well as footage of an American Apache helicopter airstrike in Baghdad from July 12, 2007, in which 18 people were killed, many of them civilians. Two of those killed were Reuters journalists. If convicted, Manning could face the death penalty … //  Continue Reading…

The threat over Lybia’s people

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What the hell has to occur until the main governments help the Lybian people against their dictator and his few fellows? Help them before all are killed?

It has to occur:

  • that all these govs become honest, means look for peoples and not for their money, oil and mutual powerplay groups;
  • that all these govs stop excuses which are: 1): no real military help possible, 2): people itself do not know what they want;
  • that some govs decide to give their own people free access to information, exchange with the rest of the world (China etc.).

In reality no main gov is eager to let Lybian people be successful. They know exactly, such a success would open the lock and suggest: if even a Kaddhafi can be removed, then every submitted people can get its chance.


At the end there will be definitively no other way.

The historical narrative that lies beneath the Gaddafi rebellion

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Published on The Independent, by Robert Fisk, March 3, 2011.

Poor old Libyans. After 42 years of Gaddafi, the spirit of resistance did not burn so strongly. The intellectual heart of Libya had fled abroad.

Libyans have always opposed foreign occupiers just as the Algerians and the Egyptians and the Yemenis have done – but their Beloved Leader has always presented himself as a fellow resister rather than a dictator. Hence in his long self-parody of a speech in Tripoli yesterday, he invoked Omar Mukhtar – hanged by Mussolini’s colonial army – rather than the patronising tone of a Mubarak or a Ben Ali. Continue Reading…

La LOPPSI 2, un Patriot Act français

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(La Loi d’Orientation et de Programmation pour la Sécurité Intérieure: copie du Patriot Act états-unien) – Publié dans, par Jean-Claude Paye, Mars 2, 2011.

Le Parlement français vient d’adopter une nouvelle loi fourre-tout qui transcrit en droit français diverses mesures du Patriot Act états-unien. Pour le sociologue Jean-Claude Paye, l’inefficacité du vaste système de surveillance progressivement mis en place atteste que sa finalité réelle est autre que le but annoncé. Les sociétés occidentales évoluent vers un modèle infantilisant où seul le fait de se placer sous le regard enveloppant du pouvoir génère un sentiment de sécurité … //

… Big Mother:   Continue Reading…

Oil, gold, silver, the economy and other nonsense

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Published on Trading, eh?, by blog owner tradingeh, March 7, 2011.

… Next I would like to address the notion of high oil prices being detrimental to the economy. It is certainly true – however people (mostly Americans) assume ‘the economy’ means the American economy. High oil prices are so detrimental because they effectively reduce consumption worldwide, hence demand worldwide and also increase the input costs of things like… food. No one cared about the 41 million Americans on food stamps before this Libya mess, or the massive fraud in the housing markets, or that housing is still overvalued, or that unemployment isn’t coming down fast even with statistics wizardry, or the unsustainable level of government spending – but thats nothing to stop a rally in equities right? But god forbid we have $100 oil.  Continue Reading…

Why is the Middle East Backward?

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Published on NYTimes’ The Opinion Page /Blog: On the Ground, by Nicholas Kristof, March 5, 2011.

… Many Westerners think the basic problem is Islam’s inherent incompatibility with capitalism. And many Arabs and other Muslims think the basic problem is Western colonialism and exploitation. I argue, based on a fascinating new book and the research it discusses, that the best answer is: none of the above. And I hope the upheavals in the Middle East will be able to move beyond this paralyzing debate. Instead of just talking about why development hasn’t happened, let’s see if we can make it happen.  Continue Reading…

Lies and truth in Wisconsin

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Published on Intrepid Report, (former Online Journal), by Walter Brasch, March 4, 2011.

Historian Thomas Carlyle said “a lie cannot live.” However, Mark Twain casually remarked, “It shows that he did not know how to tell them.”

More than a century later, newly-elected Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-dominated Wisconsin legislature have proven themselves to be “quick studies,” having learned how to tell whoppers about the working class and unions. Here are just a few.

LIE: The public workers’ pensions are what caused much of the financial crisis not just in Wisconsin but throughout the country. Gov. Walker has repeatedly said, “We’re broke … We don’t have any money.”  Continue Reading…

NATO’s Inevitable War: The Flood of Lies regarding Libya

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Linked on my blogs with Real Rainmakers and co. – Published on Global, by Fidel Castro Ruz, March 4, 2011.

In contrast with what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies the first spot on the Human Development Index for Africa and it has the highest life expectancy on the continent. Education and health receive special attention from the State. The cultural level of its population is without a doubt the highest. Its problems are of a different sort. The population wasn’t lacking food and essential social services. The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.  Continue Reading…

Le serpent de mer du code de la famille

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Le nouveau code favorisant l’égalité des sexes au Mali n’a pas vu le jour. Sous la pression religieuse, le président a fait machine arrière et un nouveau texte sera présenté aux députés en avril.

Publié sur Slate Afrique, par Awa Ba, le  mars 2011.

La révision du code des personnes et de la famille en vigueur depuis des décennies déchire le Mali, pays musulman à plus de 90%. Y toucher fâche une partie de la population pour laquelle l’égalité hommes-femmes n’a pas de raison d’être.

Entre les religieux musulmans défenseurs des traditions et la société civile qui plaide pour un code laïque et moderne promoteur de l’émancipation des femmes, la voie est étroite pour le président du Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré (ATT). Du coup, la révision du code de la famille est dans une impasse. Continue Reading…

Manuel Castells on The Great Disconnect

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Published on The Global Sociology Blog, by SocProf, March 2, 2011.

In the Spanish publication La Vanguardia, Manuel Castells takes stock of the role of information and communication technologies as used by social movements against authoritarian regimes. In the context of the network society, Castells notes the great disconnect (pun probably intended) between the global connectedness of the global civil society and the protest movements on the one hand, and the futile attempts at controlling messengers and message by governments on the other hand. As Castells puts it, this is the “new specter haunting the hall power around the world: free communication across Internet networks”. It is a justice globalist imaginary versus old and tired nationalism … //  Continue Reading…

The West’s Punch Bowl Monetary Policy

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Published on Project, by Sylvester Eijffinger and Edin Mujagic, March 01, 2011.

… In that sense, emerging-market countries’ central banks have learned the lesson of the 1970’s and 1980’s, when inflation ruled the world and crippled economic growth – in large part because central banks did not act in a timely fashion. Central banks like the Fed and the Bank of England seem to have forgotten that history.

So, what should Western central banks do?  Continue Reading…

A great way to kick off 2011 for the Robin Hood Tax

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Linked on our blogs with Robin Hood Tax, and with my comment in german Wie kann die SPS das Ziel ‘Überwindung des Kapitalismus’ kommunizieren? – Published on OXFAM, by Sophie Freeman, February 28, 2011.

Bonus season has hit the UK. Barclays and RBS have handed over millions and HSBC look set to be similarly generous. At the same time the financial crisis is still affecting people around the world and cuts to public services begin to bite. The Government need to do more to show we really are ‘all in it together.’  Continue Reading…

The Perfidy of Government: How we Lost our Economy, the Constitution and our Civil Liberties

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Linked on our blogs with Paul Craig Roberts – USA. – Published on Global, by Paul Craig Roberts, March 01,2011.

This essay is about three recent books that explain how we lost our economy, the Constitution and our civil liberties, and how peace lost out to war … //

… After JFK’s assassination, J. Edgar Hoover clued in Lyndon Johnson that the linkages of Oswald to the KGB and Cuba were fabricated by the CIA.   Continue Reading…

Pitting Private And Public Sector Workers Against Each Other

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Watch this Video, published on The Real News Network, 14.27 min, by Paul Jay, February 28, 2011.

Transcript: … JAY: And do you think it’s a mistake of the Wisconsin workers to have so readily accepted to compromise on the economic issues in terms of paying into their health plan and pension plan? And I raise that from two points. It kind of buys into the narrative that the deficit is the real problem, not lack of taxation. As I mentioned, the estate tax alone would take–if they had actually imposed any kind of serious state estate tax at the state level in Wisconsin, they could pay off their debt rather quickly, and certainly a couple of points more on upper-bracket income tax. And there’s some very small measures that could be taken that would create a lot more money than they’re going to get out of these compromises.  Continue Reading…