You are hereBlogs
by Walter Brasch
For most Americans, the only significance of Labor Day is that it concludes a three day weekend.
For Kirk Artley, it means he has about six weeks left of employment.
On Aug. 24, RR Donnelley, a Chicago-based megacorporation that claims to be “the world’s premier full-service provider of print and related services,” told Artley and the other 283 workers at the Bloomsburg, Pa., plant that “economic conditions” forced the closing of the book printing facility. The workers said they would take significant pay cuts if that would save the plant. RR Donnelley rejected the offer.
Most of the workers live in Columbia County, a small rural county of about 65,000, with unemployment about 8 percent, slightly less than the national rate. Adding 284 persons would significantly increase that rate.
Lawlessness and Injustice Define America and Israel - by Stephen Lendman
Rogue state lawlessness and contempt for humanity define both nations.
At home, America is plagued by police state laws, contempt for human and civil rights, out-of-control corruption, banker occupation, corporate control of Washington, record budget and national debt levels, as well as depression-sized unemployment, poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair.
Here's a simple proposal. I'm sure it's too much to ask for, but I'm asking anyway. Let's set aside a single month, say the month of April, following each federal election, and for that single month behave like the citizens and elected officials of a normal representative republic.
How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War
by Stephen Lendman
ISBN: 978-0-9833539-4-2 192 pp. $16.95 2011
Turkey and Israeli War of Words - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed release of the leaked UN Palmer Commission's report on Israel's May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, killing nine Turkish nationals in cold blood.
Access it through the following link:
Libya, Inc.: Coming Waste, Fraud and Other Forms of Plunder on a Grand Scale - by Stephen Lendman
Like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, wherever America and its Western allies show up, pillaging is sure to follow.
Libya is no exception, earmarked as another profit center to be exploited. A previous article discussed it, accessed through the following link:
By Dave Lindorff
This faux workers’ holiday on Monday is not a day for celebrating for American workers.
The official unemployment rate, just released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm), showed unemployment in July to be 9.1%, which is exactly the same as the rate was in June, and which is an increase from the months in the spring. But that’s not even the real picture.
Promoting Fear and Hate in America - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles explained how fear is used in America, notably against Muslims for political advantage.
They're described as fundamentalists, extremists, terrorists, and fanatics. They're identified with violence, when, in fact, Islam 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.
Carving up the Libya Corpse for Profit - by Stephen Lendman
On September 1, dozens of predator states met in Paris to pick apart Libya's bones even though it's breathing, if barely.
We've seen it before, notably in Iraq under Paul Bremer's 100 orders that turned the country into a cutthroat capitalist laboratory. Baghdad was open for business at fire sale prices with US and other Western firms having first dibs on everything.
Advisor to presidential candidates arrested:
Two Years Ago Obama Decided Not to Prosecute Torturers
Now We Get An Account of Why
By David Swanson
If you can think back all the way to January 2009, back when wars were ending, Guantanamo was closing, the Pentagon was getting oversight, employees were going to have free choice, the rich would start paying taxes, the air would be getting cleaner, and so forth, you'll recall that the Obama transition team was acting super populist and high-tech.
They had questions from ordinary people for the President Elect submitted on their website and voted up or down. The top question at the end of the voting had come from Bob Fertik of Democrats.com and it was this:
"Will you appoint a Special Prosecutor - ideally Patrick Fitzgerald - to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping?"
-Bob Fertik, New York City
No, not 29 million job offers. I'm no better at applying for jobs than you are, and my town offers nothing but dead-end McJobs or positions in the military industrial complex, just like yours. I mean I just spotted an easy way to create 29 million jobs, one for every unemployed or underemployed U.S. worker.
No, I'm not about to say "Just raise taxes on gazillionaires and hire people to build stuff." I'm all in favor of that, for lots of reasons, including the political corruption created by a concentration of wealth. We might have to disempower gazillionaires before we can enact any sensible policies, including the one I'm about to propose, but it can itself be done without raising a dime in revenue. This means that the President, who has broad, albeit unconstitutional, powers to move funding around from one program to another could do this himself. Or Congress could.
by Debra Sweet, National Director, World Can't Wait. I credit The World Can't Wait's founding work to "drive out the Bush regime" in the summer of 2005 with helping to change public perception of George W. Bush from "dumb" to "dangerous." As the former president will stand at the World Trade Center on Sunday memorializing those killed on 9/11/01, we should keep firmly in mind the truly massive crimes unleashed under the rubric of the "global war on terror."
UN Report on Mavi Marmara Massacre - by Stephen Lendman
On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos willfully and maliciously interdicted Freedom Flotilla vessels in international waters, bringing humanitarian aid to besieged Gazans.
In the process, they slaughtered nine Turkish nationals aboard the mother Mavi Marmara ship, wounding dozens more, and arresting everyone on board.
Israel's Proposed Counterterrorism Law - by Stephen Lendman
In recent years, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) increasingly warned about infringements of democratic freedoms in Israel.
Major concerns involve undermining free expression, human dignity, equality, pluralism, freedom of assembly and right to protest, and whether certain positions can be declared illegitimate, despite the democratic right of anyone to profess them.
Besieging and Terror Bombing Sirte - by Stephen Lendman
In his latest article, Paul Craig Roberts calls America "utterly corrupt" and "certainly no 'light unto the world.' "
In her latest article, Diana Johnstone said "Western 'democracy' is in danger of being gradually reduced to a mere ideological excuse to attack, ravage and pillage other people's countries."
Last year I reviewed a book called "Apocalypse Never" that made a powerful case for our options being limited to two: either we get rid of nuclear weapons or humanity will be destroyed. I noted then a deep flaw in the case: the author accepted nuclear energy as something we could survive, focusing his opposition purely on nuclear weaponry.
A new film makes the additional case I was looking for. "Knocking on the Devil's Door: Our Deadly Nuclear Legacy" by Gary Null could not come at a better time. Not far from where I write this, a nuclear plant at Lake Anna was damaged in a recent earthquake. Whether the damage was severe or not -- this time -- is unclear.
NATO and the Transitional National Council in Libya (or Paris or Qatar or wherever it is) have reportedly given the people of Sirte ten days to surrender or face a full military onslaught. This is not a cease-fire. While they await their fate, they will still be subject to shelling by artillery and British warships and NATO bombing, and food, water and electricity have already been cut off.
This closely resembles the tactics adopted toward resistance-held towns in Iraq by U.S. occupation forces. On October 14th 2004, the Washington Post reported that water and electricity supplies to Falluja had been cut off, one day before the start of Ramadan. Its population was then starved and bombarded for 3 weeks before the final assault by U.S. Marines that killed 4,000 to 6,000 civilians.
Sigmund Freud once mentioned the defense offered by a man who was accused by his neighbor of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition. In the first place, he had returned the kettle undamaged; in the second place it already had holes in it when he borrowed it; and in the third place, he had never borrowed it at all.
That man's name?
On "Morning Joe" on MSNBC on Thursday, the former Vice President claimed that the intelligence used to invade Iraq had been sound and accurate; the faulty intelligence was all Bill Clinton's fault; the invasion didn't do any damage but rather it was the Iraqis who damaged Iraq; and any invasion causes horrific things to happen, that just comes with the territory.
Libya: NATO's Latest Charnel House - by Stephen Lendman
When NATO intervenes, massacres, mass destruction, and indescribable human misery follow. Libya is its latest trophy.
Judge for yourself. View another snapshot of the "new Libya:"
HR 2829 Targets Palestinian Statehood - by Stephen Lendman
Lawless extremists infest Congress like crabgrass besets lawns. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL) is one of the worst.
She once supported assassinating Fidel Castro, telling the Miami Herald: "If someone were to do it, I wouldn't be crying."
It is difficult to watch this video without both crying and being inspired. Ashley Joppa-Hagemann recounts her husband's struggles before he killed himself to avoid an eighth or ninth tour in the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. Ashley confronted Donald Rumsfeld last week over the lies that led her husband to enlist. This led to her appearing on Democracy Now on Tuesday and being featured in Amy Goodman's column:
"One person convinced by Rumsfeld’s rhetoric was Jared August Hagemann.
By John Grant
It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.
Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.
Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.
By Michael Collins
Monday was the day we heard that the "US believes al-Qa'ida is on the verge of defeat after deputy leader's death" as The Independent headlined the story. It stood out as a sequel to the recent United States action in Pakistan, which brought us the news (but not the body) of a dead Osama bin Laden. It appears that a US operated drone killed Al Qaeda's top deputy, one Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan citizen. After decades as a jihadist, Rahman is no more. But is that the end of al Qaeda?
On Tuesday, foreign affairs columnist for the Asia Times, Pepe Escobar, published a remarkable column outlining the command structure of the victorious NATO backed military leaders. Abdelhakim Belhaj, the lead commander of the rebels, and the two top regional commanders were once affiliated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LGIF). In fact, commander Belhaj was once the subject of a US led extraordinary rendition (aka torture) in Thailand. About the time the US planned to send Belhaj to Guantanamo Bay, the Gaddafi's government requested his return to Libya.
An upcoming Charlottesville conference highlights the importance of whistleblowers when addressing the corruption present in military contracting
YOU MAY have heard something about a budget crisis in Washington this summer. Were you aware that in the midst of it the House of Representatives passed a military spending bill larger than ever before?
U.S. military spending across numerous departments has increased dramatically during the past decade and now makes up about half of federal discretionary spending. Yet the Defense Department has not been fully audited in 20 years, and as of 2001 it could not account for $2.3 trillion out of the $10 trillion or so it had been given during that time. More recently, President Obama has been waging his “days, not weeks” war in Libya for months without a dime appropriated by Congress, relying instead on the loose change lying around at the Pentagon.
The United States could reduce its military spending by at least 80 percent and still be the world’s top military spender. If the purpose of all this profligacy were truly defensive, wouldn’t a military merely as large as any other country’s do the job? When little cuts around the edges were forced into the discussion, wouldn’t the top priorities for elimination be unpopular wars, foreign bases, nuclear weapons and space weapons rather than health care for veterans? If something shameful were not motivating our self-destructive imperial overreach, wouldn’t the wonders of market competition be given a chance, instead of the current practice of handing out cost-plus contracts to cronies for jobs they are never expected to complete?
Israel's Operation Summer Seeds - by Stephen Lendman
Ahead of the General Assembly's likely granting Palestine statehood recognition and full de jure UN membership in September or early October, Israel is preparing its army and arming settlers for disruptive protests.
NATO's Genocidal Rape of Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Continuing NATO atrocities on Libyan civilians gave naked aggression a new name.
Call it what it is: Lawless, Willful, Malevolent Genocidal Gang Rape, the new supreme international crime against peace ongoing at this time.