Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* US ATTORNEYS REFUSE TO ASSURE JUDGE THAT THEY ARE NOT ALREADY DETAINING CITIZENS UNDER NDAA
By Tangerine Bolen, Daily Cloudt
[…] The US government seems determined to have the power to do away with due process and Americans’ right to a trial.
I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the President the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In May, following a March hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers essentially asserted even more extreme powers – the power to entirely disregard the Judge and the law. Indeed, on Monday, August 6, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that as of this writing has been scarcely reported.
In the March hearing, the US lawyers had confirmed that yes, the NDAA does give the President the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys have stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. Judge Katherine Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law – after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. Twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law. This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying: incredibly, in this hearing, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s provision – one that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial — has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world — AFTER Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were saying to a US judge that they could not or would not state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had lain down before them.
To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision has indeed been applied, the United States government itself will be in contempt of court. […]
* GREECE POLICE ATTACK ON IMMIGRANTS – DEPORTATION CAMPAIGN
* INEQUALITY UNDERMINES PROSPERITY
By Joseph Stiglitz
Despite what the debt and deficit hawks would have you believe, we can’t cut our way back to prosperity. No large economy has ever recovered from serious recession through austerity. But there is another factor holding our economy back: inequality.
Any solution to today’s problems requires addressing the economy’s underlying weakness: a deficiency in aggregate demand. Firms won’t invest if there is no demand for their products. And one of the key reasons for lack of demand is America’s level of inequality – the highest in the advanced countries.
Because those at the top spend a much smaller portion of their income than those in the bottom and middle, when money moves from the bottom and middle to the top (as has been happening in America in the last dozen years), demand drops. The best way to promote employment today and sustained economic growth for the future, therefore, is to focus on the underlying problem of inequality. And this better economic performance in turn will generate more tax revenue, improving the country’s fiscal position.
Even supply-side economists, who emphasize the importance of increasing productivity, should understand the benefits of attacking inequality. America’s inequality does not come solely from market forces; those are at play in all advanced countries. Rather, much of the growth of income and wealth at the top in recent decades has come from what economists call rent-seeking – activities directed more at increasing the share of the pie they get rather than increasing the size of the pie itself. […]
* BANKSTER FRAUD HAS DRIVEN 100 MILLION INTO POVERTY, KILLING MANY
By Geroge Washington, Washington’s Blog
Fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, and the economy will never recover until fraud is prosecuted.
The Obama administration has made it official policy not to prosecute fraud. Indeed, the “watchdogs” in D.C. are so corrupt that they are as easily bribed as a policeman in a third world banana republic.
Some estimate the figure to be much higher. For example, one 2009 study estimated that 140 million people would be driven into poverty in Asia alone.
AP reported in 2009:
The global financial crisis has pushed the ranks of the hungry to a record 1 billion people … United Nations food officials said Friday in Rome. […]
* YEKATERINA SAMUTSEVICH: CLOSING STATEMENT AT THE PUSSY RIOT TRIAL
During the closing statement, the defendant is expected to repent or express regret for her deeds, or to enumerate attenuating circumstances. In my case, as in the case of my colleagues in the group, this is completely unnecessary. Instead, I want to express my views about the causes of what has happened with us.
The fact that Christ the Savior Cathedral had become a significant symbol in the political strategy of our powers that be was already clear to many thinking people when Vladimir Putin’s former [KGB] colleague Kirill Gundyaev took over as head of the Russian Orthodox Church. After this happened, Christ the Savior Cathedral began to be used openly as a flashy setting for the politics of the security services, which are the main source of power [in Russia].
Why did Putin feel the need to exploit the Orthodox religion and its aesthetics? After all, he could have employed his own, far more secular tools of power—for example, national corporations, or his menacing police system, or his own obedient judiciary system. It may be that the tough, failed policies of Putin’s government, the incident with the submarine Kursk, the bombings of civilians in broad daylight, and other unpleasant moments in his political career forced him to ponder the fact that it was high time to resign; otherwise, the citizens of Russia would help him do this. Apparently, it was then that he felt the need for more convincing, transcendental guarantees of his long tenure at the helm. It was here that the need arose to make use of the aesthetics of the Orthodox religion, historically associated with the heyday of Imperial Russia, where power came not from earthly manifestations such as democratic elections and civil society, but from God Himself. […]
* CREATE A CRISIS FOR THE SUPER RICH
By Stephen Lerner, SEIU
FULL VERSION @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2w9UlSfgR4&feature=youtu.be
* IN THE SHADOW OF PARAGUAY’S COUP SOCIAL MOVEMENTS MOBILIZE FOR DEMOCRACY
By Benjamin Dangl, Truthout
Rain or shine, every Thursday in Asunción, Paraguay, activists gather to protest the right-wing government of Federico Franco, which came to power in a June 22 parliamentary coup against left-leaning president Fernando Lugo. These weekly protests represent a new spirit and strategy of protest in post-coup Paraguay.
The coup gave birth to new corporate agreements, repression of citizens’ rights and crackdowns on press freedoms. It also unwittingly created a new panorama of leftist social struggles and movements.
These movements for democracy have risen up against the coup government and the renewed state and corporate assaults on human rights, the environment, and small farmers. Some activists are protesting politically motivated layoffs while others are demanding a new constitution. Beyond questioning the Franco government, these movements are putting forth a progressive agenda in the debate about what kind of country Paraguayans want, regardless of who is in power. […]