You are hereBlogs
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 - 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.
The most little-understood fact of war, in my opinion, is the sheer, mind-boggling, nearly incomprehensible magnitude of the money which is spent on a daily basis to keep the occupation and boom-and-zoom operations going. Former General Barry McCaffrey put the "burn rate" of US taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan at $9 billion per month, which is fully one-half the average yearly state budget for the 50 states. Two months of this kind of spending is the entire Pell Grant appropriation for 2010.
More than one-third of that "burn rate" (and you have to hand it to McCaffrey for not caring how this sounds to the public, literally burning taxpayer money) is fuel costs, both aviation and ground. Time reports that:
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 - 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.
Ask the Candidates Real Questions — Like These
By Ray McGovern
Editor’s Note (Consortiumnews.com): During recent presidential debates, moderators have asked mostly predictable questions and – except for some notable gaffes – have elicited mostly talking-point answers. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says it’s time for citizens to put politicians on the spot with some more pointed questions.
Pity the pundits. It must be hard to pretend to be a journalist and live in constant fear of being one question or comment away from joining the jobless.
This Thanksgiving holiday weekend we can be thankful for the obscene transparency of the “mainstream” pundits’ efforts to avoid at all cost offending the corporations that own and use them.
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.
Let's break this down. First one witness outright denies that there were any Taliban present whatsoever.
Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar, said that a NATO reconnaissance aircraft spotted five militants planting mines in the village of Siacha, in Zhare District on Wednesday. The plane targeted the insurgents, killing two and wounding a third, and then pursued the other two suspects as they carried their injured comrade away.
“The plane chased them, the insurgents entered a street where children were playing and as a result of its shooting, seven people have been killed, including six children, and two girls also have been injured,” Mr. Ayoubi said. The victims were members of two families.
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? - 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.
It's as an obscene a scenario as you can imagine. Year after year, Afghan villages to which aid can easily be delivered are faced with starvation because the regions are peaceful and there is no need for Pentagon press releases about winning "hearts and minds."
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 - 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.
Whistleblowing in our federal government may soon be a thing of the past, not because whistleblowers face more vicious retribution than ever before -- although that is true; and not because important acts of whistleblowing now result in fewer reforms and less accountability than they used to -- although that is also true and is getting closer; but fundamentally because the actions against which we need whistles blown are publicly acknowledged.
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 - 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.
Submitted to the Sovereign People of Occupy Wall Street for deliberation.
As Occupy Wall Street moves into the winter of 2011, many are asking: What now? The failure to issue demands which are understandable to a much broader segment of the populace plays into the hands of those who will define us if we do not define ourselves. These enemies are powerful and determined. Gandhi carefully chose an issue which symbolized a reasonable and fundamental right when he marched in protest of the salt tax.
By Dave Lindorff
The growing number of video clips and photos showing police in Darth Vader-like riot gear assaulting peaceful demonstrators with everything from tear gas and mace to truncheons, point-blank shots with beanbags and rubber bullets, and of course the ubiquitous fist and club, have made a bad joke out of claims that America is either the land of the free or the home of the brave.
The bill contains one worthy anti-terrorism provision: a reaffirmation of the president’s authority to detain and to use military force against those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as well as those who are members of or who support al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.
So, who's to say the next nation the President wants to bomb doesn't support those associated forces? Not that the president wouldn't go ahead and bomb anyway, not that he would ask Congress's opinion, but this "legalizes" unconstitutional war in a manner that RootsAction.org and the ACLU had supposedly stopped months ago.
Add this horror to the reasons for opposing this bill provided by http://unitedforpeace.org below:
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 - 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."
In a hastily thrown together press conference Sunday afternoon, several months in the planning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his efforts to spread freedom beyond New York City had included the deployment of 1,000 NYPD officers to Schenectady, where they have just apprehended a young man inspired by Al Qaeda and Occupy Wall Street propaganda provided to him by the NYPD on a regular basis since September.
Tariq Aziz (centre, second row) attending a meeting about drones strikes in Waziristan, held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 28 October 2011. Three days later, the 16 year old was reported killed by a drone-launched missile.
"Veterans' Day" is used almost universally in this country as a day to honor imperialist wars and "warriors," But today we honor our friend Anthony Wagner, an Iraq veteran who spoke out against the war, including as part of the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour.
It is heart breaking when we lose someone who tried to change the world for the better, for all humanity. In his short time Anthony Wagner, World Can’t Wait activist and Iraq Veteran Against the War (served in Iraq March 2004-March 2005), tried to do just that. It is with profound sorrow that we of the Chicago World Can’t Wait chapter share that Anthony has died.
Ann Wright Detained for 5 Hours in Cairo Airport with 100-Person European Parliamentary Delegation to Gaza
This according to text messages from Ann.
Is this the new Egypt?
Email from Ann:
I'm finally out of the Cairo airport after 5 hours of being detained. Egyptian authorities told me that I was on a security risk list and they needed the approval of the US government before letting me in!!
I called the Operations Center of the State Department who then connected me to the Consul General of the US Embassy in Cairo whom I met in December, 2009 during the Gaza Freedom March (wonder if he put me on the security risk list?) He said the US government has nothing to do with whom the Egyptians keep in or out of the country.
I reminded him that I was kept out of Canada because the US put me on the NCIC list and gave the list to the Canadian government. He was suddenly silent.
We are off to Gaza tomorrow. Pam Bailey and I are the only Americans with about 100 persons from 15 countries on the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR).
More to follow.
For consolidation with overlapping demands lists. Following straw poll is at media site coupmedia.org. Voting software prevented repeat voting from the same IP. Voting closed on Oct. 21, 2011. Total of around 1/4 million votes cast. Following that are proposed demands by Matt Taibbi, political and financial writer for the Rolling Stone, which have gained broad attention. Finally there is a proposed “one demand” to “get the money out of politics,” and additional proposed demands.
COUP MEDIA OCCUPY WALL STREET STRAW POLL DEMANDS PASSED, VOTING CLOSED ON OCT. 21, 2011 (2/3 “YES” VOTE THRESHOLD FOR INCLUSION INTO FINAL LIST)
Dear friends of Jeju Island,
Thank you so much for your efforts of solidarity with the villagers of Gangjeong! We did it! We stopped the blast of Gureombi—at least for the time being.
We’ve been informed that the Jeju police have turned down the companies’ request for blasting Gureombi for three reasons: insufficient documents, safety concerns, and the go-ahead from Jeju Governor Woo.