* NIGHTMARE WITHOUT LIMITS
By Arthur Silber, Power of Narrative
Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries. …
While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.
Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command [SOCOM] spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. “We do a lot of traveling — a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said recently. This global presence — in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged — provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.
SOCOM represents something new in the military. Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as “the president’s private army,” today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive’s private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.
In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once “special” for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura. […]
* THE PUSH-BACK IS STARTING IN EUROPE
By gjohnsit, Daily Kos
[…] Some are considering Romania to be the “canary in the coal mine”.
Ban warns Eastern European politicians against ignoring the social costs of austerity measures, as citizens begin thinking about distribution of wealth, not only about corruption. He mentions the ongoing protests in the country, which have continued for the last four weeks, highlighting the protesters’ doubts over planned privatization and deregulation reforms and the emergence of a new civil society in the country. Ban sees the beginnings of what he terms a legitimate grass roots left wing movement, in favor of public ownership of national institutions. These developments, he believes, could lead to the end of the “almost automatic endorsement of the market” and the “old post-communist settlement” in which political parties could count on an “economically liberal and elite civil society.”
We might be witnessing the beginning of the end of the neoliberal groupthink that has dominated the world for the past three decades.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Greece, where riots have left parts of Athens in ruins, with 48 buildings set ablaze. The Troubadour beat me to posting that the police union Poasy was threatening to arrest members of Greece’s troika of lenders.
What the Greek people are fully aware of, but the American media usually fails to mention, is that the latest austerity measures for Greece will not be the last. […]
* GREECE CALLS FOR ELECTIONS AFTER DEBT RIOTS
Greece will hold general elections in April, the government has said, hours after parliament voted through tough new austerity measures aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy.
“This government has one to one-and-a-half months left,” Pantelis Kapsis, a government spokesman, told journalists on Monday. “We will finish up in March, and elections will be held in April.”
Lucas Papademos, the Greek prime minister who formed a coalition government in November after the fall of George Papandreou’s socialist administration, had indicated that he did not intend to serve the full two years remaining of parliament’s mandate.
He said that his only aim was to negotiate the write-down of part of Athens’ debt and ensure that it qualified for a new European bailout of $171bn.
While he managed to push through the latest austerity measures, the two main parties each saw more than 20 of their MPs rebel, while the extreme-right LAOS party quit the coalition before the vote.
“The government believes that yesterday’s vote expressed our determination to go forward,” Kapsis said. “The Greek people want us to stay in the euro, and we will do whatever it takes to stay in the euro.”
Referring to European Union demands led by Germany for written pledges by party leaders to carry out the reforms demanded, Kapsis said they “must be given by Wednesday”.
Kapsis admitted that Wednesday’s meeting with European leaders to decide whether to release the new bailout “is going to be a difficult one”. […]
READ and VIDEO @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/
* IS GREECE A SACRIFICE OR THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?
Source: The Daily Bell
Germany’s Carthaginian terms for Greece … The last time Germany needed a bail-out from world creditors, it secured better terms than shattered Greece last week … The austerity policy being forced on Greece by Germany and the eurozone cannot command democratic consent over time. – UK Telegraph/Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Dominant Social Theme: Greece has got to pay.
Free-Market Analysis: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard makes good points in this article on Germany’s attack on Greece, but to us it’s a kind of elite dominant social theme. The idea is to blame Germany’s leaders for intolerable austerity, and Chancelor Angela Merkel in particular. However, from our point of view, Merkel is merely working for larger powers-that-be.
It is the Anglosphere power elite that seeks to build up the EU as part of its focus on creating worldwide governance. And it is this same elite that is causing economic chaos in order to further its plans. Out of chaos … order. […]
* JAMES GRANT EXPLAINS A WORLD WITHOUT THE FEDERAL RESERVE – VIDEO
This is the full episode for “Capital Account,” with Lauren Lyster. European Union leaders met over the weekend to try to save the Eurozone, but solutions still appear transparent. Meanwhile, what could the Eurozone crisis mean for average American investors and do they have the Federal Reserve to thank for being exposed in the first place. Speaking of the Fed, is more QE on the way? We speak to James Grant, founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and acclaimed author. Also as the US goes after Swiss banks for billions of dollars and the names of Americans with secret accounts there, is the US going after the right people to fill its dwindling coffers? And as US President Barack Obama pledges to help underwater American homeowners, some Americans are buying playhouses worth as much as 200 thousand dollars for their kids.
* OCCUPY CHICAGO ADOPTS THE “CHICAGO PRINCIPLE” OF NON-VIOLENCE – VIDEO
The Chicago Principles
• Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of
action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.
• As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.
• We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.
• Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.
* THIS HOAX AFFECTS EVERYONE – VIDEO
By Brother Peter Diamond, youtube.com
* CAN WE HAVE A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION?
By Elizabeth Drew, The New York Book of Reviews
Beneath the turbulent political spectacle that has captured so much of the nation’s attention lies a more important question than who will get the Republican nomination, or even who will win in November: Will we have a democratic election this year? Will the presidential election reflect the will of the people? Will it be seen as doing so—and if not, what happens? The combination of broadscale, coordinated efforts underway to manipulate the election and the previously banned unlimited amounts of unaccountable money from private or corporate interests involved in those efforts threatens the democratic process for picking a president. The assumptions underlying that process—that there is a right to vote, that the system for nominating and electing a president is essentially fair—are at serious risk. […]
* OHIO LAWMAKERS INTRODUCED 33 BILLS LAST YEAR BASED ON ALEC MODEL LEGISLATION
By Mike Ludwig, Truthout
The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) influence weighs heavy in the Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature, where brazen attempts to crush the collective bargaining rights of public workers and change voting rules in favor of Republicans have made national headlines in recent months. Over the past year, Ohio lawmakers introduced 33 bills that are identical to or “appear to contain” elements of the ALEC’s infamous model legislation that promotes a pro-corporate agenda, according to a report released this week by watchdog groups.
At least nine of the 33 bills have passed the State Legislature, including the now-defunct Senate Bill 5, which was poised to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights until Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for a repeal in November.
“At a time when Ohioans are desperate for cooperation … seeking Democrats and Republicans to come together to create jobs to get our economy moving again, far too often we see legislation introduced that does just the opposite,” said Tim Burga, president of the Ohio ALF-CIO. “Far too often, we see the influence of ALEC on the legislation that’s introduced, legislation that is anti-worker, anti-consumer and anti-education, and it really seems like it’s on behalf of the super-wealthy and the investor class.” […]
* PRIVATE PRISONS, A SADISTIC SCAM
By Addison Zettas, US Notes
[…] Private prisons like the GEO Group and CCA get contracted to do a wide range of jobs from other corporations and government agencies. The “employees” that GEO and CCA provide are inmates from their penitentiaries who make anywhere from 23 cents to $1.15 per hour.
Of course these “workers” get no benefits, no overtime, and no paid vacations and have no bargaining rights. Companies like CCA and GEO Group profit directly off of providing cheap and, arguably, slave labor.
And, since they’re able to profit so much off of individual prisoners, the more they arrest the greater their returns.
Since we know that these private prisons make money by expanding facilities and imprisoning people, it would only make sense for them to try to pass legislation that would allow them to detain more prisoners and keep them for longer periods of time.
No surprise, that is exactly what’s happening.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is sponsored by CCA, and was the main lobbyist that argued for the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. […]
READ and VIDEO @ http://usnotes.net/2012/02/11/private-prisons-a-sadistic-scam/
* THE WALL STREET CONSPIRACY – TRAILER
The Wall Street Conspiracy explores a pernicious form of fraud called illegal naked short selling that has had an enormous impact on the 2008 collapse of the US economy.
* MICROWAVE TEST – AN EYE OPENER
This I felt was so important that I just had to share it with all of our Avid T4TT viewers.
Is it time to act…? You decide……
Below is a Science fair project presented by a girl in a secondary school in Sussex.
In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts.
The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave.
Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. […]
* HAVE BEES BECOME CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE? WHY MASSIVE BEE DIEOFFS MAY BE WARNING ABOUT OUR OWN HEALTH
By Jill Richardson, AlterNet
It’s often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline.
The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. “I would say it’s a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement,” says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. “It’s kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well — very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It’s not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy.”
One class of pesticides, neonicotinoids in particular has received a lot of attention for harming bees. In late 2010, the EPA came under fire from beekeepers and pesticide watchdog organizations. This happened when Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald spoke out about how the EPA allowed clothianidin to be used without any proof it was safe and despite the fact that the EPA’s own scientists believed it “has the potential for toxic risk to honey bees, as well as other pollinators.”
At that time Theobald had reported losing up to 40 percent of his bees, and now, things are looking even worse. “As a business, I think it’s over,” he says. “I think my business is no longer viable. I’ll continue to keep bees as best I can and may be able to pull off a halfway decent crop for another year or two but the trendline is down and over the edge of a cliff and that’s typical of what’s going on nationally.”[…]
* SCIENTIST FROM INSIDE MONSANTO, THE TRUTH – VIDEO