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Salam Fayyad: Israel's Man in Palestine - by Stephen Lendman
His resume includes a University of Texas economics Ph.D., a teaching position at Jordan's Yarmouk University, and economic research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. From 1987 - 1995, he also served as a World Bank and IMF official, and until 2001, was IMF's man in Palestine, serving as Yasser Arafat's finance minister.
In Palestine's 2006 legislative elections, his Third Way party got 2.4% of the votes, a clear renunciation. Yet after Fatah's coup d'etat co-opted the PLO, PA and West Bank, President Mahmoud Abbas illegitimately appointed him prime minister.
Obama in Tucson: Shame, Hypocrisy and Deceit - by Stephen Lendman
Like all politicians, Obama shills for power, plays to the crowd, and hides ugly truths the public has a right to know. His Tucson remarks were no different, displaying intellectual bankruptcy by invoking scripture, heroism, and patriotism, while avoiding what most needed saying - the real cause of January 8th's violence. A previous article discussed it, accessed through the following link:
America's longstanding culture of violence deserves blame. A deranged gunman is merely systematic of a society off the rails, malignant from imperial wars, extremist politicians, demagogic media hosts and pundits, the proliferation of guns, a faux democracy, and deep-seated lawlessness and corruption too far gone to fix.
Not on January 12 for Wall Street Journal editorial writers headlining, "Consolation in Tucson," saying:
Hard Times in Illinois - by Stephen Lendman
With America's worst budget crisis per capita, Illinois reflects the crushing nationwide burden facing most states. As a result since 2008, they raised taxes, made big cuts in health care (including Medicaid), education and other social services. They also laid off thousands of state workers, cut pay and benefits for others, and plan more of the same going forward.
Collectively in FY 2011, state governments face about a $140 billion deficit, besides major shortfalls in large and small cities. In fact, according to Nick Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this year "will actually be the most difficult budget year for states ever," and 2012 may be as or more challenging.
Moreover, unlike 2010, little or no federal aid is planned with Washington in discretionary spending austerity mode. It means states and working Americans will largely be on their own to cope.
Post-Quake Haiti: One Year Later - by Stephen Lendman
On January 12, 2010 at 21:53 GMT, 4:53PM in Haiti, the earth massively shook. For affected Haitians, it never stopped. The combination of initial shock, devastating destruction, vast loss of life, injuries, suffering, and human misery disrupted millions of Haitians already overwhelmed by crushing hardships.
A year ago, people wandered the streets dazed, searching for loved ones. Lost power cut communications except by satellite phone. Haiti's quake vulnerability was well known but little reported, and no advance precautions were taken.
Roots of Arizona's Violence - by Stephen Lendman
As expected, America's major media won't explain it. Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel ducked the issue, saying it's "a time for grief, not grievance." Blaming a "crazed act of a clearly unstable man," she called it "an assassination of democracy....shut(ting) down speech to slay those seeking its exercise," then added "we still don't know whether (violent rhetoric) was responsible for last weekend's horror."
A Wall Street Journal "Murder in Tucson" editorial deflected blame from hard right extremists, and rejected political reasons for the attack, saying:
"....Loughner is a mentally disturbed man who targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and anyone near here....because she was prominent and they were tragically accessible....Whatever confused political motives he expressed seem merely to be part of the maelstrom of his mental sickness."
Obama's New Chief of Staff and Economic Team - by Stephen Lendman
On January 7, New York Time writer Jackie Calmes headlined, "Obama Promises Full Recovery for Employment," saying:
Visiting a window-manufacturing plant "to promote his economic policies and his new team of advisers," he said:
"We will not rest until we have fully recovered from this recession."
Another promise, another to be broken by a scheme to create ruler-serf societies globally, especially in America and the West. Obama's citing a "foundation" for growth is political blather, his specialty like other key team players around him.
Yet Calmes called his new appointees "pragmatic liberals with experience in the policy-making bureaucracy - and negotiating with Republicans in Congress."
Britain's War on Islam - by Stephen Lendman
Western vilification of Islam is longstanding, cruel, and unjustifiable. In his 1978 book "Orientalism," Edward Said explained a pattern of Western misinterpretation of the East, especially the Middle East. In "Culture and Imperialism" (1993), he broadened Orientalism's core argument to show the complex relationships between East and West by referring to colonizers and the colonized, "the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, East, them)."
He explained Western high-minded/moral superiority notions compared to culturally inferior Muslims. They're now portrayed as dangerous bomb-throwing terrorists, making them easy prey to wrongfully victimize.
Ramsey Clark is a former US Attorney General and International Action Center (IAC) founder. He's also a committed activist for social, economic, political, and racial justice. In his new year's message, he expressed worry and hope looking ahead, saying:
Daily Israeli Crimes Against Humanity - by Stephen Lendman
Daily accounts can be followed on important sites such as Palestine Chronicle.com, Palestine Telegraph.com, and the Electronic Intifada.net as well as others like Israel's oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz, available online in English.
They and others document harrowing crimes virtually ignored in the West, especially by America's media offering one-sided pro-Israeli reports with imperfect exceptions like Isabel Kershner's January 7 New York Times article headlined, "Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian, 65, in His Bedroom," saying:
"Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed 65-year-old Palestinian man....in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. The man's wife said he was sleeping and she was praying when soldiers burst into the apartment before dawn, entered the bedroom and immediately opened fire."
Drugging Guantanamo Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
From inception, most Guantanamo detainees were uncharged. On January 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said:
"....the vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place, and that over 550 have been released and are peacefully rebuilding their lives." Most of the 800 captured and brought there were lawlessly "seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties." From the Pentagon's own records, "most (have) no link to terrorism."
For over seven years, CCR "organiz(ed) and coordinat(ed) more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country" to represent detainees, and helped to resettle about 60 others still at Guantanamo "because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture."
Shield Act Targets First Amendment Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman
For decades, America's freedoms have eroded, notably post-9/11 with:
-- a president declaring unconstitutional unitary executive powers to rule unilaterally;
-- his successor embracing the doctrine;
-- checks and balances and separation of powers virtually ended;
-- passage of the USA Patriot Act;
-- Homeland Security Act;
-- other repressive laws;
-- annual renewals of coup d'etat continuity of government (COG) authority to rule unconstitutionally, including by martial law;
-- repressive national and homeland security presidential directives (NSPDs & HSPDs);
-- unconstitutional executive and other unilateral presidential directives;
-- the recent FCC ruling compromising Net Neutrality; and
-- the proposed Shield Act - S. 4004: Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act.
Waging War on American Workers - by Stephen Lendman
Target one is America's middle class, endangered after decades of wealth shifts to super-rich elites besides most high-pay, good benefit jobs, offshored to cheap labor markets - a policy Washington's duopoly endorses. It's the most serious threat to middle America since attacks began in the 1970s.
On December 23, 1957, The Dan Smoot Report published novelist Taylor Caldwell's (1900 - 1985) article, titled "Honoria," the true story of a former great nation and lessons to be learned from its demise.
She explained how men seeking freedom became Pilgrims, endured terrible hardships, yet survived, prospered, and gained power. They established colonies, believed in God, hard work, public education, and transformed villages into towns and cities.
Lanny Davis: Lobbyist for Despots - by Stephen Lendman
On October 2, 2009, Legal Times writer Jeff Jeffrey headlined, "Lanny Davis Leaves Orrick for McDermott Will & Emery," saying:
Former Clinton White House special counsel "left Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to join McDermott Will & Emery's regulatory and government strategies practice." At Orrick, he "led a rather unusual practice that included litigation....related media strategies, (and) advis(ing) clients on crisis management."
In fact, he then and now he lobbies for despots and predatory corporate clients.
"More recently, (he lobbied) on behalf of Honduran business leaders to convince members of Congress to support the removal of" democratically elected former President Manuel Zelaya.
Israel's Knesset Targets Leftist Organizations - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles explained Israel's hardline anti-democratic agenda, several accessed through the following links:
Now the latest. On January 5, Israel's Knesset, by a 47 - 16 vote, approved forming a parliamentary committee to investigate leftist Israeli organizations. Among them, B'Tselem issuing a same day press release headlined, "B'Tselem proud of its activities and completely transparent. The Knesset's decision is what harms Israel's international status," adding:
Permanent Debt Bondage from America's Student Loan Racket - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article compared the 1950s to today, saying:
It was a different time, good and bad. Elected in 1952, Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175, astonishing but true.
Annabel Melongo: Victimized and Imprisoned - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2006, Melongo was bogusly charged and arrested for computer tampering and eavesdropping without consent - the former accusation based solely on Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF) founder, Carol Spizzirri, a woman exposed as a liar. More about her and SALF below.
Melongo justifiably claims she was framed "to cover up SALF's longstanding relationships with powerful political cronies and funders." Originally indicted on January 17, 2007, she was re-indicted on May 28, 2008 on two alleged charges for:
(1) Eavesdropping without consent:
Besieged Gaza Two Years After Cast Lead - by Stephen Lendman
December 28 was Cast Lead's second anniversary, a three week onslaught inflicting an appalling human, destructive and environmental toll. The war ended. Regular attacks continued, and Gaza remains suffocating under siege. Yet world leaders are doing nothing to end it or hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said "Gaza remains sealed-off from the outside world (after) the single most brutal event in" the occupation's history, and "impunity for war crimes prevails."
Electromagnetic Frequency Mind Control Weapons - by Stephen Lendman
Directed energy weapons include lasers, high power microwave, and millimeter wave ones among others. A relevant December 2007 Department of Defense (DOD) report called them a "transformational game changer in military operations, able to augment and improve operational capabilities in many areas," for both lethal and non-lethal purposes.
Access the full text through the following link:
Among other applications, EMF weapons/devices are used for harassment, surveillance and mind control. Agencies like the Pentagon, CIA and NSA use them to monitor people, manipulate their minds, harm, and at times kill them. The Navy Times called them the "most feared and controversial weapon(s) of (the) modern age."
Human experiments in America go back decades, an earlier article addressed MK-ULTRA (and others), accessed through the following link:
Israel's Barbaric Solitary Confinement - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article explained its harmful effects, accessed through the following link:
Social psychologist Hans Toch coined the term "isolation panic" to describe symptoms he observed in men he interviewed, including panic, rage, a sense of total loss of control, emotional breakdown, regressive behavior, and self-mutiliation. He distinguished between difficult but tolerable incarceration and intolerable long-term isolation, how America and Israel treat thousands, subjecting them to barbaric torture. If sustained long enough, it destroys the human spirit, psyche, mind and body.
Over time, it causes:
-- severe anxiety;
-- panic attacks;
-- irrational anger, at time uncontrollable;
-- social withdrawal;
-- memory and appetite loss;
Islamophobia in Western Media - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, Western media, especially in America and Britain, describe Muslims as fundamentalists, extremists, terrorists, and fanatics. Throughout the West, Islam is identified with violence, when, in fact it has common roots with Christianity and Judaism. Their tenets are based on love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not exploitation; and a just, fair society for people of all faiths. You'd never know it from Islamophobic media reports.
The Runnymede Trust identifies eight components, characterizing Islam as:
-- monolithic, static, and unresponsive to change;
-- having differing values from other cultures and religions;
-- being inferior to Western societies;
-- barbaric, irrational, primitive, sexist, violent, aggressive, threatening, supporting terrorism, and clashing with Western civilization;
-- an ideology used for political or military advantage;
Hail to the Thief: The New York Times Defends Mikhail Khodorkovsky - by Stephen Lendman
On October 25, 2003, Khodorkovsky (below called MK) was arrested for tax evasion and corruption, dating from when the Soviet Union dissolved and state privatizations followed. "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime," explained Honore de Balzac. Billionaire Russian oligarchs, like MK, illegitimately amassed great fortunes, avoiding prosecution during Yeltsin's tenure (1991 - 1999).
Beginning in 1991, various socio-economic measures were implemented without public discussion or parliamentary approval. Most important were Yeltsin's personal directives, creating a billionaire aristocracy handed the economy's most important, profitable sectors, free of charge - literally a license to loot.
Haiti's Elections: Illegitimately Recounting Fraud - by Stephen Lendman
Haiti's November 28 elections were irremediably fraudulent, farcical and outrageous. The entire process was rigged. New elections, including all excluded parties, are essential, but not planned. Instead, so-called independent OAS experts began recounting verification to legitimize fraud. According to Albert Ramdin, Assistant OAS Secretary General:
Recounting will be secretive behind closed doors. No public statement will be made until final results are announced, likely early in January. Team members will "look at all systems and then....agree on how (to) proceed" instead of trashing junk tally sheets and starting over.
Originally scheduled for January 16, second electoral round voting will be delayed until initial totals are recounted and verified, no matter how fraudulent, ludicrous, and worthless.
The New York Times Endorses Fraud
Hail to the Chief: Spinning Obama's Presidency - by Stephen Lendman
As if on cue, major media reports hailed "the Comeback Kid." In Obama's December 22 press conference, Reuters' Caren Bohan asked:
"You racked up a lot of wins in the last few weeks that a lot of people thought would be difficult to come by. Are you ready to call yourself the 'comeback kid?' "
CBS News anchor Katie Couric gushed about how "the president isn't calling himself the 'comeback kid,' but some other folks are."
From ABC News came Jake Tapper offering "congratulations," and George Stephanopoulos saying:
"The president takes a victory lap. How the Christmas season became what he called a 'season of progress.' Will it continue in the new year?"
New York Times writer Michael Shear added:
America's Gulf: New Report Says It's Dying - by Stephen Lendman
Concerned Citizens of Florida.com (CCF) believe efforts must be made now "to address what may very well be the greatest environmental catastrophe of North America in modern history....government (and media) cannot be relied on" for truthful information. As a result, its site is a platform for truth and accuracy on a disaster of such magnitude.
On December 1, CCF published a special Dr. Tom Termotto Gulf disaster report, titled "The Gulf of Mexico is Dying." He's National Coordinator for the Tallahassee, FL-based Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (International Citizens' Initiative). Its disturbing findings are discussed below. He published them so "the world community will come together to further contemplate this dire and demanding predicament." Future generations depend on it.
Termotto's entire report can be accessed through the following link:
Palestine Today: A Reality of Justice Denied - by Stephen Lendman
On December 24, Mondoweiss co-editor Adam Horowitz wrote:
"Israeli military kills 20-year old Gazan for herding animals too close to buffer zone."
On December 23, Israeli forces shot and killed Salama Abu Harhish without warning while herding sheep and goats in Beit Lahya. Civilized nations don't murder nonviolent civilians in cold blood, this time leaving a widow and day-old unnamed baby.
What "democracy" thrives on violence, spurns peace, and wages preemptive wars like Cast Lead. Besides America, only Israel, a global menace like its Washington paymaster/partner, together with Britain the real axis of evil.
December 28 was Cast Lead's second anniversary, a three week continuing onslaught. Against Palestine, Israel's wars never end. The 2008-09 horror evoked memories of Franklin Roosevelt's December 8, 1941 moment, telling a joint session of Congress:
Israel Hardens Repression as Palestinian Recognition Increases - by Stephen Lendman
On December 24, Ecuador became the fifth Latin American country to recognize "the Palestine state as free and independent within its borders since 1967." An accompanying statement said:
"Sadly, the Middle East continues to face wars and violent events that have led to the death of many innocent people, a situation contrary to the humane and pacifist position established by the Ecuadorian Constitution. This recognition is meant to reinforce the valid and legitimate wish of the Palestin(ian) people to have their own free and independent state." Having it is "fundamental to achieve the peaceful co-existence of the nations in the region through dialogue and mediation."
On December 23, Uruguay said it planned to join Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia in granting recognition, though would formerly do so in January 2011.
America's Gulf Disaster: Accidental or Deliberate? - by Stephen Lendman
On April 20, an initial explosion, then a larger one ignited BP's Deepwater Horizon platform. For over a day it burned before sinking, killing 11 crew members, releasing thousands of barrels of oil daily, and causing the greatest ever environmental disaster - criminal malfeasance by any standard.
Years from now, its full impact will be known, but already hundreds of thousands of people are harmed, local economies gravely impacted, and large parts of the Gulf contaminated by toxic hydrocarbons and dispersants, making seafood absolutely unsafe to eat.
Obama, administration officials, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and BP executives lied, claiming most oil disappeared, 96% of Gulf waters were safe and reopened, and seafood was safe to eat. False, according to mounting evidence confirming:
-- layers of oil residue contaminating several thousand square miles of seafloor;
Obama Year Two: Continued Betrayal and Failure (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman
Part II concludes an assessment of Obama's year two.
Lessons from the Gulf
The aftermath of last April's Deepwater Horizon disaster left Big Oil again triumphant, thanks to the Obama administration's close industry ties, conspiring with BP in the greatest ever environmental crime. At the time, Public Citizen's Tyson Slocum said BP has "the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America."
It's been cited numerous times for willful negligence, shoddy maintenance, environmental crimes, neglecting worker safety rules, manipulating energy markets, and making a mockery of good industry practice in a business devoid of standards and ethics.
Obama Year Two: Continued Betrayal and Failure (Part I) - by Stephen Lendman
Last December, a two-part article discussed Obama's year one betrayal and failure, accessed through the following links:
In year two, the pattern continued, revealing domestic and foreign policies that:
-- outdid George Bush by exceeding his harshness, lawlessness, belligerency, and public trust betrayal;
-- maintained a 30 year agenda of shifting public wealth to the rich, as well as supporting capital, not public welfare, including targeting middle class households for destruction;
-- looted the nation's wealth, wrecked the economy, and consigned growing millions to impoverishment without jobs, homes, savings, social services, or futures;
-- let hunger, homelessness, poverty, and those uninsured grow to unacceptable levels;
Injustice for All: Obama's Immigration Agenda - by Stephen Lendman
Since taking office, Obama achieved the impossible - compiling a worse record than his fiercest critics feared, worse than George Bush across the board on domestic and foreign policies. He:
-- looted the nation's wealth for Wall Street;
-- wrecked the economy;
-- consigned millions to poverty, unemployment, and bleak futures;
-- expanded unbridled militarism and imperial wars;
-- spied more aggressively than ever on Americans;
-- destroyed decades of hard won labor rights;
-- targeted Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for erosion and elimination;
-- further institutionalized public wealth transfers to super-rich elites who already have too much;
-- commodified public education;
-- subverted Net Neutrality;
-- targeted whistleblowers, dissenters, Muslims, and environmental and animal rights activists as terrorists;
Rising Poverty in America and Israel - by Stephen Lendman
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) "is a national initiative focused on state workforce development policies involving: (1) education and skills training for adults; (2) economic development; and (3) income and work supports."
Its newest publication is titled, "Great Recession Hit Hard at America's Working Poor: Nearly 1 in 3 Working Families in United States are Low-Income." It explains distressing data on the state of America's poor and low income families, their condition getting worse, not better.
Citing new US Census data, it said nearly one-third of US families struggle to meet basic needs. Between 2007 and 2009, the percent of low-income families (earning less than 200% of the official threshold) rose from 28 - 30%. Their plight "challenges a fundamental assumption that in America, work pays." Clearly, not enough.