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CELAC: A Washington-Controlled OAS Alternative

  CELAC: A Washington-Controlled OAS Alternative - by Stephen Lendman

 

On February 23, 2010, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was established at the Rio Group-Caribbean Community Unity Summit in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

 

CELAC comprises 33 regional countries. America and Canada are excluded. In July 2010, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Chile's Sebastian Pinera were chosen co-chairs to help draft organizational statutes.

America's Weak Jobs Report

  America's Weak Jobs Report - by Stephen Lendman

 

ABC News quoted an unnamed White House spokesperson, saying the November jobs report provides "further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal."

 

Obama's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger hyped the 0.4% unemployment rate drop to 8.6%, "the lowest (figure) since March 2009." He didn't explain why. More on that below, including the real unreported employment rate.

Bailouts, Bondage and Political Bankruptcy

  Bailouts, Bondage and Political Bankruptcy - by Stephen Lendman

 

Europe and America perhaps face their gravest ever economic crisis. Growing millions are impoverished, unemployed, and out of luck. 

 

Hunger and homelessness are increasing. So is unaddressed anger over handouts to bankers, not people facing crushing hardships.

 

America Lurches Toward full-Blown Tyranny

  America Lurches Toward Full-Blown Tyranny - by Stephen Lendman

 

Post-9/11, America's moved steadily toward eroding democracy entirely. Justification given is war on terror hokum. Incrementally, international, constitutional and statute laws have been trashed. 

 

Equity, justice and other democratic values long ago were abandoned to advance America's imperium. On May 26, the House voted to abolish freedom entirely - HR 1540, 322 - 96. 

Central Bank Intervention: Much Ado About Nothing

  Central Bank Intervention: Much Ado About Nothing - by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 30, the Fed, ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and Swiss National Bank acted together to cut the rate on dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 50 basis points. Markets surged. Irrationally trumped reason.

 

What, in fact, was accomplished? Swap lines were always available. From 2007 - 2009, they were initiated or expanded globally four times. 

US/Pakistan's Toxic Alliance

  US/Pakistan’s Toxic Alliance - by Stephen Lendman

 

Partnering with America has a price. Pakistan's paid dearly. Post-9/11, it's been harmed economically, politically, and strategically. Has its military now had enough and want out? More on that below.

 

At issue is the latest November 26 incident involving NATO forces killing 24 Pakistani soldiers and injuring 13 others in two remote posts along Afghanistan's border.

 

America's Illegal Chemical Weapons Stockpile

  America's Illegal Chemical Weapons Stockpile - by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 28, the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) opened its 16th session in The Hague, Netherlands.

 

Information on it can be found on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) web site.

International Solidarity Day with Palestine

  International Solidarity Day with Palestine - by Stephen Lendman

 

Established by the UN in 1977, International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed on or around November 29.

 

The date commemorates November 29, 1947, the date UN Resolution 181 was adopted, despite Palestinian opposition. 

 

At Risk Eurozone Sovereign Credit Ratings

  At Risk Eurozone Sovereign Credit Ratings - by Stephen Lendman

 

Moody's says Eurozone crisis conditions place all member state credit ratings at risk.

 

It warned 87 European banks to expect downgrades. Moreover, Fitch revised America's debt outlook to negative. Nonetheless, its AAA rating is unchanged. For how long is another issue.

 

Illegitimate Egyptian Elections

  Illegitimate Egyptian Elections - by Stephen Lendman

 

Last February, Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship ended. Another one replaced him. Egypt's military holds absolute power. 

 

Authoritarian dominance is unchallenged. Elections are more theater than real. Egypt's multi-round complex process complicates them further. So do logistics. Understanding what to do is daunting.

 

Palestinian Unity: A Threat, Says Israel

  Palestinian Unity: A Threat, Says Israel - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestine is sovereign territory. In 1987, Law Professor Francis Boyle drafted its Declaration of Independence. On November 15, 1988, the Palestine National Council (PNC) adopted it, affirming Palestinian statehood.

 

Target Syria

  Target Syria - by Stephen Lendman

 

Washington's Greater Middle East project involves waring against the region one country at a time to replace independent regimes with client ones.

 

Softer targets were attacked first. Tougher ones remain, notably Iran and Syria. Subduing them may involve turning the entire region into an uncontrollable cauldron, not least because China and Russia have interests to defend.

 

Indefinite Domestic Military Detentions

  Indefinite Domestic Military Detentions - by Stephen Lendman

 

Congress is now considering legislative language to mandate indefinite military detentions of US citizens suspected of present or past associations with alleged terrorist groups, with or without evidence to prove it. More on that below.

 

Israel: Profile of a Rogue State

  Israel: Profile of a Rogue State - by Stephen Lendman

 

Rogue states spurn international law, treaties, conventions, and in Israel's case its own laws and Supreme Court decisions.

 

Daily examples offer proof, including from Ahmed el-Helah and Mariam Itani's new book titled, "The Suffering of the Palestinian Child under the Israeli Occupation," saying:

Spreading Eurozone Contagion

  Spreading Eurozone Contagion - by Stephen Lendman

 

The operative word is contagion. It's malignant and spreading because it's unresolved and irresponsibly addressed. 

 

Germany, Europe's strongest economy, just had its worst ever bond auction since 1999. Over a third of 10-year bunds offered were unsold. More on the failure below.

 

Rage for Change in Egypt

  Rage for Change in Egypt - by Stephen Lendman

 

Last February, Egyptians celebrated Hosni Mubarak's ouster. He became an obstacle to Washington's Middle East agenda and had to go. 

 

For years, State Department and Pentagon officials wanted him out for opposing key US policies, including Iran's nuclear program and Bush's 2003 Iraq war.

 

US Higher Education in Crisis

  US Higher Education in Crisis - by Stephen Lendman

 

Diogenes called education "the foundation of every state." Education reformer Horace Mann said the "common (public) school (is) the greatest discovery ever made by man."

 

Education reform under Bush and Obama want public education made another business profit center. Doing so places bottom line priorities above teaching. At issue also is creating a two-tiered system for haves and have-nots, defined by race, ethnicity, social status and family income. 

Bipartisan Deal to Slash Medicare and Medicaid

  Bipartisan Deal to Slash Medicare and Medicaid - by Stephen Lendman

 

It's been planned for years. Republicans want them eliminated. Democrats agreed to incremental cuts to make ending core social contract programs look normal. Slashing Social Security comes later.

 

Coming: Big Austerity Cuts

  Coming: Big Austerity Cuts - by Stephen Lendman

 

The congressional August Budget Control Act of 2011 established the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - aka Supercommittee.

 

Doing so was extralegal. The Constitution's Article 1, Section 8 explains congressional powers. None of them include supercommittee authority to resolve America's debt crisis.

 

Thanksgiving Hypocrisy

  Thanksgiving Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 25, 2009, a New York Times editorial headlined, "A Thanksgiving Toast," saying:

 

"Sitting down with friends and family today, there will be thanks for the steady currents, flowing out of the past, that have brought us to this table....And there will be prayerful thanks for the future."

Heading for War on Syria?

  Heading for War on Syria? - by Stephen Lendman

 

Libya's model is being replicated in Syria. So far, it's short of war. For how long is uncertain. Expect it if current tactics fail. More on that below.

 

At issue is regime change, establishing another client state, and isolating Iran ahead of similar tactics there. It's part of America's Middle East project to redraw the region according to US/Israeli geopolitical aims.

 

Gaza: Good News and Bad

  Gaza: Good News and Bad - by Stephen Lendman

 

First the good. On November 22, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) said a "Freedom Spring" convoy arrived through Rafah's border terminal, connecting Gaza and Egypt.

 

Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinians with Impunity

  Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinians with Impunity - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians are doubly cursed. Israel's military attacks them regularly. During the past week alone, Israeli air strikes killed four Gazans, wounding another 14.

 

Al-Nabi Saleh village residents participating in a peaceful demonstration were assaulted. Two injuries were reported, including a child. Israel's navy arrested three Palestinian fishermen, confiscating their boats.

Supercommittee Strikes Out

  Supercommittee Strikes Out - by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 20, New York Times writer Eric Lipton headlined, "Lawmakers Trade Blame as Deficit Talks Crumble," saying:

 

MF Global Looted Customer Accounts

  MF Global Looted Customer Accounts - by Stephen Lendman

 

Wall Street's business model is grand theft. Jon Corzine was MF Global's CEO. Earlier he headed Goldman Sachs, America's premiere racketeering organization. 

 

He also was one of legions of corrupt politicians as US senator and New Jersey governor. His extreme, longstanding criminality warrants putting him in prison for life. No restitution can reverse his harm. It's true also for many others like him.

Egyptian Military Power Grab

  Egyptian Military Power Grab - by Stephen Lendman

 

Last February, euphoric celebrations followed Mubarak's ouster. Across the Middle East and North Africa, people rejoiced.

 

Activist Saed Karazon told AFP:

 

"What happened in Egypt is not only for the Egyptian people, it is for all Arabs. The whole Arab world is going to change."

Israel Steps Up Police State Crackdowns

  Israel Steps Up Police State Crackdowns - by Stephen Lendman

 

Israel never embraced democratic values. More than ever today that's true. Many Jews understand. As a result, they're voting with their feet and leaving.

 

Gideon Levy remarked that "(i)t's really an irony of history, because Israel was established to become a shelter to the Jewish people. Now Europe becomes a shelter for the Jews living in Israel."

 

America's Student Loan Debt Bondage

  America's Student Loan Debt Bondage - by Stephen Lendman

 

Higher education today isn't like it used to be. US students face crisis conditions. Washington and lenders wage financial war on them. In addition, dozens of budget-strapped states cut funds to public colleges and universities.

 

Students are directly impacted by sharp tuition hikes (double-digit at some schools) and less financial aid. As a result, many thousands are entirely shut out. Others relying on student loans face permanent debt bondage.

America's Media War on OWS

  America's Media War on OWS - Stephen Lendman

 

Early reporting was scant, dismissive, and offensive. Much still belittles, denigrates and marginalizes a significant movement.

 

Fox News claims protesters don't pay taxes or know what they want, are supported by Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hugo Chavez, and represent the lunatic left wing.

Criminalizing OWS Protesters

  Criminalizing OWS Protesters - by Stephen Lendman

 

On November 14, the Northern California ACLU and National Lawyers Guild (NLG) sued the Oakland Police Department (OPD) in federal court for "egregious constitutional violations" against Occupy Oakland protesters.

 

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