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Index April 2012

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2012-04-01: Iraq and its neighbours: Bombing a charm offensive;
2012-04-01: Top 0.01% … Top 1% … Bottom 99%;
2012-04-02: Egypt: Military warning;
2012-04-03: TEN MYTHS ABOUT CAPITALISM;
2012-04-03: Dok: Im Kopf des Bankers;
2012-04-04: A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future;
2012-04-05: Have Four Pension Funds Blown Up the $8.5 Billion Bank of America Settlement;
2012-04-06: The big Budget losers? Working families;
2012-04-07: Afghan Air Force said to be the greatest smuggling operator for drugs, weapons and money;
2012-04-08: Putting an end to the EU straitjacket;
2012-04-09: Hunger takes hold in Greece;
2012-04-10: How American capitalism came to us;
2012-04-10: Tasks of the Left;
2012-04-11: Political Revolution in Germany: Pirates Country’s Third Strongest Party in New Poll;
2012-04-12: How to withdraw from Afghanistan? Russia considers an agreement with both US and NATO;
2012-04-13: some videos in en, fr, de – not really mainstream;
2012-04-14: Mélenchon could change French politics with strong showing;
2012-04-15: Capitalist Austerity Destroying Ancient Cultural Heritages;
2012-04-16: SOMALIA: FAMINE FOR PROFIT AND THE EAST AFRICAN FOOD CRISIS;
2012-04-17: The Business of a Better World: Can a New Kind of Corporation Save Us and Our Economy?
2012-04-18: Crisis, Labour, The Left: videos and texts;
2012-04-19: Cities, Traffics, Innovations;
2012-04-20: Addicted to Antibiotics: How Factory Farm Drug Abuse Makes Vets Rich;
2012-04-21: Inequality and Instability – Krach / crise mondiale;
2012-04-21: L’argent dette – Geld aus Schulden – der Wirtschaftskiller;
2012-04-22: Egypt: The elusive formula;
2012-04-23: Productivity, The Miracle of Compound Interest, and Poverty;
2012-04-24: The international crisis;
2012-04-25: Weaponized Data: A New Front in Global Capital’s Control Grid;
2012-04-26: Crisis, Austerity, Left Responses;
2012-04-27: Proletarianisation under neoliberalism in the Arab world;
2012-04-28: China’s Land Bridge to Turkey creates new Eurasian Geopolitical Potentials;
2012-04-29: 10 reasons I dislike Neoliberalism;
2012-04-30: Draghi’s Growth Pact: Austerity Backlash Unites European Leaders.

Draghi’s Growth Pact: Austerity Backlash Unites European Leaders

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Stefan Kaiser, April 27, 2012.

Be it austerity queen Angela Merkel or Socialist François Hollande, European politicians are suddenly in agreement with ECB President Mario Draghi’s proposal to round out the European fiscal pact’s austerity measures with a “growth pact.” But many seem to have a different idea about what this means.   Continue Reading…

10 reasons I dislike Neoliberalism

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Published on realsociology, not authored nor dated.

In brief, I define neoliberal economic policies as those which involve privatisation and deregulation and lowering taxation such that those with capital are allowed more freedom to invest in the pursuit of profit without having to consider the negative consequences of their investment decisions.

I’ve selected these things because I believe they are things which encourage ignorance, selfishness, mistrust, materialism, indiscipline, alienation, poor concentration and ultimately greater human misery. The first few things are structural features of our society which I believe breed these negative emotions, while the final few are social in nature and the rest are lifeworld- strategies:  Continue Reading…

China’s Land Bridge to Turkey creates new Eurasian Geopolitical Potentials

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Published on Voltairenet.org, by F. William Engdahl, APRIL 23, 2012.

The prospect of an unparalleled Eurasian economic boom has been further solidified following recent talks between Turkish and Chinese leaders. The first steps are being constructed with a number of little-publicized rail links envisioned to connect China and parts of Western Europe. It is increasingly clear to all nations concerned, especially China and Russia, that their natural tendency to develop these markets faces only one major hurdle: NATO and the US Pentagon’s Full Spectrum Dominance obsession. According to Engdahl, rail infrastructure is a major geopolitical tool for obviating that obstacle.   Continue Reading…

Proletarianisation under neoliberalism in the Arab world

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Published on RWER, by Ali Kaddri, April 24, 2012.

Between 1980 and 2010 the share of the rural to total population in the Arab world dropped significantly from about 60 percent to around 40 percent. In absolute terms, an estimated seventy million people left the countryside to urban centres at home.[1] This conservative estimate is nearly equivalent to the total number of rural-urban migrants since the beginning of the twentieth century until 1980.   Continue Reading…

Crisis, Austerity, Left Responses

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Watch these videos:

See these textsContinue Reading…

Weaponized Data: A New Front in Global Capital’s Control Grid

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Tom Burghardt, April 23, 2012.

From driftnet surveillance to data mining and link analysis, the secret state has weaponized our data, “criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial,” as Cryptohippie famously warned … //

… Mark that well:

Rejecting the orthodoxies and received wisdom of his day, Debord argued that “The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation.  Continue Reading…

The international crisis

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Yash Tandon, April 19, 2012.

An analysis of the relevance of concepts of ‘Common Goods’ and ‘Common Good for Humanity’ in the struggle for alternatives to neoliberal capitalism … //

… WHO OR WHAT IS ‘THE LEFT’?   Continue Reading…

Productivity, The Miracle of Compound Interest, and Poverty

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From Hudson’s presentation at the Italian MMT Summit, which was also recorded by Bonnie Faulkner of Pacifica Radio’s Guns and Butter show – Published on nacked capitalims, by Michael Hudson*, APRIL 22, 2012.

Suppose you were alive back in 1945 and were told about all the new technology that would be invented between then and now: the computers and internet, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, faster and cheaper air travel, super trains and even outer space exploration, higher gas mileage on the ground, plastics, medical breakthroughs and science in general. You would have imagined what nearly all futurists expected: that we would be living in a life of leisure society by this time. Rising productivity would raise wages and living standards, enabling people to work shorter hours under more relaxed and less pressured workplace conditions.   Continue Reading…

Egypt: The elusive formula

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Egypt’s military rulers are scheduled to meet with political leaders on Sunday in a bid to end the deadlock surrounding the drafting of a new constitution – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, 19 – 25 April 2012.

The heads of 20 political parties, the speaker of the People’s Assembly, the chairman of the Shura Council and a number of leading independent figures will meet on Sunday with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, chairman of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in an attempt to hammer out the membership of a new constituent assembly. The meeting is expected to end with Tantawi asking elected deputies of the two houses of parliament to hold a new joint meeting to elect the assembly charged with drafting a new constitution.   Continue Reading…

L’argent dette – Geld aus Schulden – der Wirtschaftskiller

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uploader aboutnewworldorder (tous le 17 oct. 2009):

uploader 911isafraud:   Continue Reading…

Inequality and Instability – Krach / crise mondiale

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Watch these three videos, published on TRNN, by Paul Jay, with James K. Galbrait:

  • April 18, 2012 – Part 1, 14.16 min: presents his study of the world economy just before the great crisis;
  • April 19, 2012 – Part 2, 13.49 min: The Bush years – Growth demanded new markets among debtors who previously had not qualified for mortgages;
  • April 20, 2012 – Part 3, 12.33 min: on link between inequality and instability: Societies that are more egalitarian are more stable;    Continue Reading…

Addicted to Antibiotics: How Factory Farm Drug Abuse Makes Vets Rich

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Part 1 – Published on Spiegel Online International, by Nils Klawitter, April 18, 2012.

It’s no secret that factory farms use unconscionable amounts of antibiotics when fattening up animals for market. In Germany, however, veterinarians play a crucial role in the abuse. Many are getting rich in the process, but the risks to both human and animals are many … //

… Bigger Profits than Cocaine Dealers:   Continue Reading…

Cities, Traffics, Innovations

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uploader IHMC (Florida Institute for Human Machine Cognition):

Crisis, Labour, The Left: videos and texts

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The Left’s Responses to the Crisis in Europe and North America:

Uneven Worker Power and the Populism-Austerity-Labour Nexus:

More:

auf deutsch / in german:

The Business of a Better World: Can a New Kind of Corporation Save Us and Our Economy?

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Publishec on AlterNet, by Tara Lohan, April 15, 2012.

Corporations by today’s definition, are obligated to make as much money as they can. But a new kind of corporation is changing that and potentially our economy, too … //

2nd page: … The Business of Saving the World:   Continue Reading…

SOMALIA: FAMINE FOR PROFIT AND THE EAST AFRICAN FOOD CRISIS

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inclusive disturbing photos of people dying by hunger, Photograph James Nachtwey – Published on Global Research.ca (first on the Nile Bowie Blog), by Nile Bowie, April 14, 2012.

Some small excerpts of a huge text:

Few parts of the world aptly fit the description of hell better than Somalia’s crumbling capital city, Mogadishu; a nation ravaged by imperialism, domestic instability and economic sabotage from foreign forces. Parades of malnourished Africans queuing up to receive rations are trumpeted in thirty second news pieces on most mainstream media outlets, of which offer embarrassingly insubstantial examples of journalism with little explanation for such images of unparalleled inequality, past the effects of droughts, while never missing the opportunity to highlight the threat of al-Qaeda … //    Continue Reading…

Capitalist Austerity Destroying Ancient Cultural Heritages

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Michael Truscello, April 13, 2012.

News from Italy and Greece in recent weeks illustrates the expanding toll of capitalist “austerity” measures on cultural heritage sites. Not only has the austerity agenda continued to feed enormous wealth into the hands of the wealthy while workers are crushed under the weight of new taxes, slashed wages, fewer rights, and disappearing social services, austerity is also contributing to the decay and disappearance of the remnants of ancient cultures.   Continue Reading…

Mélenchon could change French politics with strong showing

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Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog RWER, by Mark Weisbrot, April 11, 2012.

France’s conservative President, Nicolas Sarkozy, ran for office in 2007 on a program of making the French economy more like that of the United States. He picked a bad time for that: the U.S. was on the brink of its worst recession since the Great Depression, and would help drag down Europe and much of the world economy as the American economy collapsed. He probably wouldn’t want to say these things today, after the U.S. has had four years with hardly any economic growth at all.   Continue Reading…

some videos in en, fr, de – not really mainstream

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in english:

in de:  Continue Reading…

How to withdraw from Afghanistan? Russia considers an agreement with both US and NATO

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Orderly retreat would be essential for fending off the spread of terrorism and illegal drugs out of Afghanistan – Published on Current Concerns, by AP, April 2, 2012.

A new deal allowing the United States and its Nato allies to use a Russian air base for transit of troops and military cargo to Afghanistan would help ensure Russia’s own security, Russia’s foreign minister said Wednesday.
Sergey Lavrov said a plan to permit the US and other Nato nations to use the base in the city of Ulyanovsk on the Volga.  Continue Reading…

Political Revolution in Germany: Pirates Country’s Third Strongest Party in New Poll

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by kla, April 10, 2012.

Germany’s Pirate Party may still be hammering out their platform, but that doesn’t seem to bother voters. Riding a wave of new popularity following a recent state election success, the Internet freedom advocates have gained record support in a national poll. Germany’s Green Party used to be the model for upstart political parties in the country. But now it appears that the new Internet-freedom Pirate Party is on an even more rapid path to nationwide success. And it has overtaken the Greens in public opinion polls, as well … //   Continue Reading…

Tasks of the Left

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Published on Left Futures, by Andy Newman, April 8, 2012.

… In fact, the Labour Party has frequently needed to revise and reconfigure its political compass in response to changing events, that has confounded the divisions between left and right … //

… The current danger is that the Blairite party-within-a-party ‘Progress’ is seeking to prevent any radical debate about how Labour needs to respond to the changed world: they just want to party like it’s 1997.   Continue Reading…

How American capitalism came to us

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The problems are systemic in nature – Published on Current Concerns, April 2, 2012 (Source: 20minuten.ch from 22.3.2012).

American capitalism is characterized primarily by a short-term focus on returns with maximum dividend (quarterly dividends, exorbitant bonuses), while risk considerations, prudence, government regulations (instead of protecting the national economy, Cassis de Dijon principle and free movement of capital), moral and social concerns (social security, health care, public education, direct democracy) or environmental protection (GM, patents on life, CO2) are being suppressed or completely blanked out.   Continue Reading…

Hunger takes hold in Greece

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Published on Current Concerns, by Gerd Höhler, April 2, 2012.
Linked on our blogs with Greece: Protest of the day, and with The Choice for Greece: a Post-Modern Coup or a new kind of society?

Endurance rallying performed by their politicians sounds just cynical to many Greeks. After years of recession and countless austerity programmes they are disheartened and demoralised. Hunger and despair take hold.  Continue Reading…

Putting an end to the EU straitjacket

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Revitalizing the communes through encouragement and strengthening of the citizens – Published on Current Concerns, by Dr phil Henriette Hanke Güttinger, historian and psychologist, April 2, 2012.

… As far as I know, France with its 65 million inhabitants has a total of 36,500 communes with an average population of 1,700, which are a manageable number and not an anonymous mass. France is the European country with the largest number of small communes. This is of enormous advantage, because it can get the people involved optimally. It is a condition that has to be reactivated and asserted. In addition, these communes have been enjoying considerable autonomy since 1884.   Continue Reading…

Afghan Air Force said to be the greatest smuggling operator for drugs, weapons and money

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Published on Current Concerns, Source: Vertraulicher Schweizer Brief (translation by Current Concerns), April 2, 2012.

A huge scandal is looming in Afhanistan: The Afghan Air Force (AAF) is supposed to be the greatest smuggling operator for drugs, weapons and money. The AAF, officially sponsored by NATO, is financed by the Americans. Currently it owns 86 aircrafts, among them 16 C-27 cargo aircrafts, 42 Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters and 11 Russian Mi-25 helicopter gunships.    Continue Reading…

The big Budget losers? Working families

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IFS analysis finds that a million working families will lose £500 a year as new tax changes come in – Published on New Statesman, by Samira Shackle, April 5, 2012.

Amidst the clamour over pasties, jerry cans, and email surveillance, the Budget seems like a distant memory. But with the new financial year starting tomorrow, certain changes will come into force – and it is not looking good for middle-income families. Despite the raft of negative headlines about George Osborne’s so-called “granny tax”, analysis published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies IFS has found that pensioners stand to suffer the least.    Continue Reading…

Have Four Pension Funds Blown Up the $8.5 Billion Bank of America Settlement

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Published on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, APRIL 4, 2012.

A ruling in the Retirement Board of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of the City of Chicago et al v. Bank of New York Mellon is a game-changer in mortgage investor litigation … //

… But four pension funds which are investors in $30 billion of Countrywide trusts, sued under the Trust Indenture Act of 1939. I haven’t seen the actual original filing or Pauley’s ruling, but here is the background, per Alison Frankel: Continue Reading…

A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future

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Published on Spiegel Online Internagtional, by SPIEGEL Staff, April 2, 2012.

Drivers may hate rising gas prices, but some companies are delighted as they watch the oil price soar. Firms like BMW and Airbus which are leaders in fuel efficiency actually benefit from expensive oil. They are just two of a growing number of companies that are already developing technologies for a post-fossil-fuel world.  Continue Reading…

Dok: Im Kopf des Bankers

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Video auf SF.tv, 50.56 min, 29. März 2012: Der Finanzplatz  ist eine zentrale Stütze des Schweizer Wohlstandes. Doch das Geschäftsgebaren der Banker hat in den letzten Jahren zunehmend selbstzerstörerische Züge angenommen. Die Exzesse erschüttern die Gesellschaft und treiben Aktivisten auf die Strasse.

TEN MYTHS ABOUT CAPITALISM

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Published on Global Research.ca, by Lubov Lulko, April 1, 2012.

Capitalism in the neoliberal version has exhausted itself. Financial sharks do not want to lose profits, and shift the main burden of debt to the retirees and the poor. A ghost of the “European Spring” is haunting the Old World and the opponents of capitalism explain people how their lives are being destroyed. This is the topic of the article of a Portuguese economist Guilherme Alves Coelho.    Continue Reading…

Egypt: Military warning

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Three months before the scheduled handover of power, members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces sounded warning bells on the economy – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by , 29 March – 4 April 2012.

At best, Egypt’s growth rate will not surpass two per cent over the course of this and next fiscal year, Lieutenant Mahmoud Nasr, assistant minister of defence for financial affairs, told reporters and observers this week, in a meeting attended by Niveen Wahish. “All we can hope for now is to ensure food and drink and security,” said Nasr. He does not foresee an economic pick-up before six months to a year have gone by from the election of a president.  Continue Reading…

Top 0.01% … Top 1% … Bottom 99%

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Published on RWER Blog, by David Ruccio/NYT, March 27, 2012.

Of the total Income Increase in 2010:

  • 37% went to the TOP 0.01%,
  • 56% went to the rest of the TOP 1%,
  • 07% went to the BOTTOM 99% …

Iraq and its neighbours: Bombing a charm offensive

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Bomb attacks damage Iraqi hopes for a normal life – Linked on our blogs with IRAQ … reflections, views, shames – Published on The Economist, March 24, 2012.

The bombs spared no part of Iraq, and none of its varied sects. A one-day terror campaign on March 20th brought carnage to Tikrit and Kirkuk in the north, to troubled Anbar province in the west and to the Shia holy city of Karbala, killing 52 people and wounding hundreds. Most upsetting to Iraqi authorities were two blasts in the centre of the capital, Baghdad. These meant attackers had penetrated tightened security ahead of a planned summit meeting of Arab leaders on March 29th … // Continue Reading…