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Europe Lays an Egg

  Europe Lays an Egg - by Stephen Lendman

 

Like earlier summits, they met. They talked. They agreed to talk more and solved nothing. Once again Europe laid an egg. 

 

In fact, in 2011 alone, EU leaders held 19 emergency meetings/summits, proposed dozens of rescue packages, made as many promises, yet are back at square one.

 

Critical Health Issues in Gaza

  Critical Health Issues in Gaza - by Stephen Lendman

 

Since locked down and isolated by Israel, Gaza's experienced systemic crisis. Its health system especially was gravely harmed. 

 

Many services and life-saving treatments aren't available. Accessing it elsewhere is uncertain and tenuous. Treating chronic illnesses is jeopardized by inadequate medicines and proper equipment.

 

Wrecking Europe to Fix It

  Wrecking Europe to Fix It - by Stephen Lendman

 

From inception, Eurozone monetary union was an idea doomed to fail. Nonetheless, it was engineered fraudulently to look workable.

 

In 1979, Europe's Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced as part of the European Monetary System (EMS) to propel the continent to one European currency unit (ECU).

 

Treating Palestinians Lawlessly

  Treating Palestinians Lawlessly - by Stephen Lendman

 

December 11 marks the 63rd anniversary of UN Resolution 194, mandating that:

 

National :Defense Authorization Act: Indefinite Detention and the Eviction of Occupys

Yesterday the Senate passed a bill, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012 (S. 1867) that makes a suitable matching pair for the prior day’s forcible police action evicting the last remaining large occupation, Occupy LA, and that of the Occupy encampment in Philadelphia.
This bill represents a return to the “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010," (S. 3081) introduced by Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman on March 4, 2010 that did not pass and that received no mainstream media coverage at the time except for an article expressing alarm by Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic. That bill and today’s S.

PROTEST WAR CRIMINAL CHENEY AT STATEN ISLAND REPUBLICAN FUND-RAISER

WarCriminalsWatch Events

Protest Cheney at Republican Fund-Raiser

When:

12.12.2011 - 12.12.2011 17.30
Where:
Hilton Garden Inn - Staten Island

Description

Cheney will be at a fundraiser for the Staten Island Republican Party and will will be joined by his daughter, Liz.
Tickets are $100 per person. Special $500 VIP tickets are available.

Join with Occupy Staten Island and others to protest this major war criminal!

Muslim Charity Principals Denied Justice

  Muslim Charity Principals Denied Justice - by Stephen Lendman

 

On January 25, 1995, Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12947 - Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process. 

 

The same year, Hamas was declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). It's still one today, so any individual or group charged with providing it material support (true or false) is prosecuted unjustly. 

No Execution for Mumia: 30 Years after a Police Shooting, Abu-Jamal Backers Vow to Free Him from Life in Prison

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The mood was both celebratory and angry among a 1000-plus overflow audience packed into the balcony space of the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on the evening of Dec. 9.  

 

The crowd of supporters of Philadelphia journalist and black political activist Mumia Abu-Jamal had come to denounce the over 29 years that he has spent locked in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s grim death row since his conviction for the shooting of a white police officer, Daniel Faulkner. But they were also there to celebrate the surprise decision, announced two days earlier by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, not to seek to reinstate Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, which had been permanently vacated by a recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Why Obama Will Not Veto NDAA Military Detention of Americans: He Requested It.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on Senate floor explaining it was Obama who requested the provision for indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial.     Levin is a primary co-sponsor of the bill along with Sen. John McCain, and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.   Senator Diane Feinstein recently confirmed that she was unable to excise Section 1031 in an email:

Critical Health Issues in Gaza

  Critical Health Issues in Gaza - by Stephen Lendman

 

Since locked down and isolated by Israel, Gaza's experienced systemic crisis. Its health system especially was gravely harmed. 

 

Many services and life-saving treatments aren't available. Accessing it elsewhere is uncertain and tenuous. Treating chronic illnesses is jeopardized by inadequate medicines and proper equipment.

 

Blagojevich gets 14 years, but what about these guys?

(Washington, DC) Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich just got 14 years in prison. He wheeled and dealed to leverage contributions and other favors based on his position as governor. He was indicted by former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (who tanked the Valerie Plame case).

Maybe it was the former governor's colorful (and to some vulgar) language captured on audio tapes or his brash style. Regardless of the motives, the time, money and attention wasted on his indictment and trial stands in stark contrast to the crimes never prosecuted, crimes that resulted in death, unnecessary illness and suffering, and the loss of trillions of dollars caused by the perpetrators of the current economic crisis. (Image: michaelpickard)

While prosecutors pick easy targets like Blagojevich, serious crimes go unprosecuted.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney lied about the basis for invading Iraq. As a result, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers resulting from that invasion and occupation.

Iraq War Protest Legacy to Arab Spring to Occupy

Film-in-progress traces Iraq War protest legacy

"We Are Many" shows how mobilization in 2003 set stage for Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street

Dec 8, 2011 - On Feb. 15, 2003, the planet experienced the greatest single non-military mobilization of humanity in the history of the world. People in 800 cities (and Antarctica) marched to voice their opposition as George Bush’s countdown clock ticked away the days toward the threatened U.S. invasion of Iraq. Estimates of the total numbers of protesters vary widely but it seems plausible that 15 million took to the streets.

Try Not to Think of a Newt

The current President and Congress are destroying our Constitutional rights, our planet's climate, and the vestiges of a social safety net, and you are obsessing over a freak show of self-hating homosexuals and anti-intellectual intellectuals jumping through hoops in a corporate media circus with Ringmaster Donald Trump. Is this a good use of your time?

The Next Monument to US Leaders Should Be Located at the Seashore, not on the Washington Mall

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Wanted: Sculptor who works in bronze to construct life-sized group of statues of President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, all to be mounted at the high tide line below a high cliff in Maine’s Acadia National Park.

 

There what’s left of American posterity can watch as the seas rise inexorably over the coming years and decades, first lapping at the feet of the statues, then the knees, then the waists, then the chests and finally cover over the heads of these “leaders” in Washington who have cynically and foolishly squandered the last opportunity to take effective action to combat climate change. 

 

Abu-Jamal Should be Leaving Death Row Hell: Philly DA Announces No Attempt to Seek New Death Penalty for Mumia

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

The decision has finally been announced: There will be no execution of African-American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who in 1982 was convicted and sentenced to death in a highly-controversial and seriously corrupted trial before “hanging” Judge Albert Sabo of killing white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.

 

At a press conference this morning, current Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, with Faulkner’s widow Maureen Faulkner at his side, announced that in the wake of a US Supreme Court decision in October not to hear an appeal of a Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had upheld the lifting of Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, he would not seek a new jury trial to try and re-sentence Abu-Jamal’s to death.

Italian City Council votes to condemn Pizzarotti for involvement in Israeli Apartheid railway

Rho City Council (Milan) approves resolution condemning Pizzarotti
The Italian company condemned for involvement in the Israeli high-speed railway that crosses the occupied Palestinian territories

To sign in support: http://stopthattrain.org/?p=503
 
 
On 30 November, the City Council of Rho, in the province of Milan, approved a resolution expressing "moral and political condemnation of Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A. for its participation in the project for the construction of the A1 Jerusalem - Tel Aviv railway".

Stop That Train - Fermiamo la Pizzarotti

Human Rights Day

  Human Rights Day - by Stephen Lendman

 

A commonly accepted definition calls human rights basic freedoms "to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law."

 

The UN said "(o)n Human Rights Day 2011, we pay tribute to all human rights defenders and ask you to get involved in the global human rights movement."

 

Denying Palestinians Fair Access to Water

  Denying Palestinians Fair Access to Water - by Stephen Lendman

 

Water is essential to life. Denying it is criminal.

 

Water and sanitation are recognized as indispensable human rights. In July 2010, the General Assembly's Resolution 64/292 affirmed it. It called on member states and international organizations to:

 

Australian Police: Tents aren't clothes

This follow up to the Tent Monster video from Occupy Australia shows police stripping a woman in public. I have to wonder about the police response to people dressed in clothes that happen to be tents. What's next - cutting off t-shirts that have messages the police don't like?

Imprisoning of Japanese Americans and the New Defense Authorization Act

I'm editing a book in which one of the contributors writes:

In 1971, Congress passed the Anti-Detention Act, 18 U.S.C. § 4001(a), which states that "no person shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress." Fred Koramatsu, who had brought the unsuccessful case before the Supreme Court, was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor. Congress apologized and provided for limited reparations for this heinous act.

Presumably this would be trashed by the bill now before the conference committee and soon headed to the President for a signature or veto. 

The criminal abuse of Japanese Americans for which Congress had to apologize and pay reparations, and for which there is a misleadingly pro-war looking memorial hidden between the U.S. Capitol and Union Station, will now be sanctioned by the current Congress/President. 

Can you feel the pride?

Are you fired up?

The more things CHANGE . . .

Is Iran Preparing to Strike Back

By Brian M. Downing

These attacks are almost certainly directed by Israeli, Saudi, and US intelligence services. They may also be acts of war.

"This business will get out of control."
– The Hunt for Red October

In the last few years diplomatic pressures and economic sanctions have been imposed to convince Iran to allow international inspection of its nuclear research facilities. A number of states have also pursued a violent clandestine campaign of bombings and assassinations that have killed scores of Iranians, including nuclear scientists. These attacks are almost certainly directed by Israeli, Saudi, and US intelligence services. They may also be acts of war.

In recent weeks Iran has decried terrorism around the world (somewhat paradoxically, to be sure), put up a clumsy plot to assassinate a Saudi ambassador, boasted of its missile strength, and briefly seized the British embassy in Tehran – an act done not by students as with the US embassy in 1979, but by toughs of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Most recently, the IRGC went on alert, ostensibly to brace for more attacks inside the country.

Russia Bashing

  Russia Bashing - by Stephen Lendman

 

On December 4, parliamentary elections were held to fill 450 State Duma seats, Russia's Federal Assembly lower house.

 

With nearly all votes counted, RIA Novosti said Medvedev/Putin's United Russia party won 238 seats, falling slightly below a majority with 49.67% of the vote.

New Report on Israel Restricting Free Expression and Assembly

  New Report on Israel Restricting Free Expression and Assembly - by Stephen Lendman

 

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel assesses Israel's human and civil rights record annually. Its newly released 2011 report cites increasing crackdowns on basic freedoms. More on it below.

 

Losing free expression and assembly rights threatens others. They're basic ones Israel's High Court affirmed.

Balancing the Black Energy in Our Culture

 

By John Grant

 

Following a decade of military invasion and occupation in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, the United States is becoming the Rodney Dangerfield of empires: “We get no respect!”

The undisputed post-World War Two top dog in the world, on virtually every front the United States is more and more playing catch-up with two-faced, Clintonian shuttle diplomacy around the world and a  well-entrenched regime of secrecy and sophisticated public relations aimed at keeping the dismal story of decline out of the domestic mind-space.

A National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy

Please take some time to look through the new website of the new National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy: www.studentprivacy.org

I've just joined the board because I believe a great deal of good can be done.

The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy is a one-trick pony and that trick is the ASVAB Campaign. In short, we call for the universal selection of Option 8 for students taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB in high schools across the country, thereby prohibiting the automatic release of test data to military recruiting services.

Sounds pretty obscure and technical, I suppose.  But this is a relatively easy and proven model of denying the U.S. military what it needs in order to kill our young people by using them to kill others.  Namely, it denies the military the illegal right to violate the privacy of our young people in furthering its recruitment efforts.

The website provides a detailed discussion of the insidious nature of the military's testing regime and provides a way for activists like you to contribute to its demise. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program is a fraudulent, criminal DoD venture that deceives the American public and violates state laws designed to protect the privacy of youth.  We're going to bring it down with a disciplined, nuanced campaign that appeals to the most moderate of policymakers.

There's a tremendous amount of work to do.  For instance, 10,000 kids in 142 Arkansas high schools are required to take the ASVAB without parental consent, and all of their data is used to recruit them. "We've always done it that way and no one has ever complained," explained one school counselor.

Until now. 

We're organizing a national complaint and we're succeeding.  Across the country, the selection of ASVAB Option 8 has climbed from less than 1% in 2005 (our estimate) to 4.4% in 2007 to 8.6% in 2009 to 12.2% in 2010.  The new data we're expecting through our most recent FOIA will show a substantial increase in the percentage of students taking the test under Option 8, reflecting two states and several hundred more schools and school systems that have moved to protect student privacy.

The website contains the most recent test data so you can select your state and find high schools in your community that allow the Pentagon to test children.  You can also see how your state stacks up with the others, in terms of the numbers tested, those who are required to take the test, and the percentages of students who take the ASVAB under Option 8. 

In addition, the website describes the national campaign in detail. It provides links to information pertaining to ASVAB testing in Catholic schools, military documents relevant to the student testing program, and legislative resources.

Most importantly, the site provides a template letter for you to email to your state's superintendent of schools and school board members. Quite frequently, educational policy makers don't know the option exists to allow the testing while keeping results away from recruiters.  The letter sites the statistics released by USMEPCOM and calls for the universal selection of Option 8.  Contact us and we'll send you a letter already containing your state's statistics, etc. and the email addresses of officials. We're working to include that information on the site.

If you've read this far you probably see potential in this campaign.  Could you help us by contributing a few dollars? Support NCPSP  Also, could you forward this to others who you think might be in a position to financially support our work?  We want to raise funds to hire help. 

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.   - Jack London

A Few Stories from Guantánamo

When we read Andy Worthington’s website telling the stories of the Guantánamo prisoners, we are shocked and dismayed and above all sick at heart. Stories of goat-herders, carpenters, farmers on their way to buy tractor parts who happened to be in the vicinity of an attack on US troops and who were wearing olive drab jackets--an item found in large numbers at the bazaar. Stories of people picked up because they had been named by local rivals. Stories of people sold to the US for the bounty being offered for “terrorists.” Stories of people working for the Karzai government arrested, beaten, and sent to Guantánamo for years. In some ways these are stories of error, incompetence, and over zealousness on the part of US military and intelligence personnel. But that would be to discount the actual horrors of what was inflicted on the bodies and minds of the prisoners when the rule of law and common

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