Jun 132012
 

 

* COLLAPSE AT HAND

By Paul Craig Roberts

[…] It is difficult to imagine a more reckless and unstable position for a bank to place itself in, but Goldman Sachs takes the cake. That bank’s $44 trillion in derivative bets is covered by only $19 billion in risk-based capital, resulting in bets 2,295 times larger than the capital that covers them.

Bets on interest rates comprise 81% of all derivatives. These are the derivatives that support high US Treasury bond prices despite massive increases in US debt and its monetization.

US banks’ derivative bets of $230 trillion, concentrated in five banks, are 15.3 times larger than the US GDP. A failed political system that allows unregulated banks to place uncovered bets 15 times larger than the US economy is a system that is headed for catastrophic failure. As the word spreads of the fantastic lack of judgment in the American political and financial systems, the catastrophe in waiting will become a reality.

Everyone wants a solution, so I will provide one. The US government should simply cancel the $230 trillion in derivative bets, declaring them null and void. As no real assets are involved, merely gambling on notional values, the only major effect of closing out or netting all the swaps (mostly over-the-counter contracts between counter-parties) would be to take $230 trillion of leveraged risk out of the financial system. The financial gangsters who want to continue enjoying betting gains while the public underwrites their losses would scream and yell about the sanctity of contracts. However, a government that can murder its own citizens or throw them into dungeons without due process can abolish all the contracts it wants in the name of national security. And most certainly, unlike the war on terror, purging the financial system of the gambling derivatives would vastly improve national security. […]

READ @ http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/06/05/collapse-at-hand/

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* HOW TO START A REVOLUTION

Source: youtbube

Download the book here… http://watchlearnteach.com/Non-Violent-Revolution.zip

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKYOG4B8Gec&feature=youtu.be

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* WHAT WOULD BE THE FALLOUT FROM AN ACCIDENT AT FUKUSHIMA?

Source: Washington’s Blog

Dr. Paul Gailey sent me the following email:

Because so many claims were flying around with regard to Fukushima’s spent fuel pool number 4, we performed a technical analysis of the situation to gain some perspective on the parameters of the crisis. If you are interested, there is a link to our Special Report on Fukushima at www.holophi.ch/blog/ , along with some overview perspectives in our April newsletter also at that web address.

Our analysis is done in a way that is difficult to dispute because we based everything on published scientific reports and measurements and performed the analysis in a straightforward way. While the many anecdotal radiation measurements and reports by members of the public may very well be accurate and important, we felt there was a need for a scientifically defensible analysis that did not depend on public measurements, which are difficult to substantiate and can be easily criticized. […]

[…] Gailey’s new report notes that the risk of a fire in fuel pool number 4 is real, and that the risks of contamination are so severe that an international effort is required.

The report  (original pdf version here).

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/06/estimating-the-potential-impact-of-failure-of-the-fukushima-daiichi-unit-4-spent-fuel-pool.html

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* FOUR SITES WHERE YOU CAN MONITOR U.S. RADIATION LEVELS

By Jeff McMahon, Forbes

Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected in the air in five Western states and in rainwater in at least two so far.

While federal officials continue to assure the public that no harmful levels have reached the United States, some Americans have not been content to take the government at its word. Geiger counters have been selling like popsicles in summer, and traffic has never been higher at websites that display data from radiation monitoring stations.

We list three such sites below. […]

READ @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2011/03/28/three-sites-where-you-can-monitor-u-s-radiation-levels/

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* MAINE STUDY FINDS POTENTIALLY DISASTROUS THREAT TO SINGLE-CELLED PLANTS THAT SUPPORT ALL LIFE

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

Phytoplankton. If the mention of the tiny plant organisms that permeate the world’s oceans isn’t enough to pique your interest, consider this: They produce the oxygen in every other breath you take.

Still not interested? This is where it’s hard not to take notice. In 2007, the reproduction rate of phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine decreased suddenly by a factor of five — what used to take a day now takes five — and according to a recently released study by the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Boothbay, it hasn’t bounced back.

So what does it mean? According to Barney Balch, the lab’s senior research scientist and lead author of the study, such a change in organisms at the bottom of the planetary food chain and at the top of planetary oxygen production could have disastrous consequences for virtually every species on Earth, from lobsters and fish that fuel Maine’s marine industries to your grandchildren. But the 12-year Bigelow study focused only on the Gulf of Maine, which leads to the question, will it spread? […]

READ @ http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/10/environment/study-finds-potentially-disastrous-threat-to-single-celled-plants-that-support-all-life-on-earth/

Jun 112012
 

 

* KILLER CAPITALISM – GREEK CRISIS PRODUCES FATAL MEDICINE SHORTAGES

By Michael Collins, Daily Censored

Here is perfect example of crony capitalism. Greek leaders do a very bad deal in secret with the help of the geniuses on Wall Street. It turns out badly for he Greek people by creating an economic crisis. As he crisis worsens, predicted shortages of medicine and exponential price increases emerge. Patients with multiple sclerosis, cancer,diabetes and other critical diseases face drug shortages and out of control price increases.

“On Thursday, the [Greek] multiple sclerosis patients’ association warned that if the problems persisted, sufferers could be ‘led to their deaths’. Associations representing cancer, diabetes and kidney disease patients have also spoken of the gravity of the situation. ‘Finding medicines,’ said the MS association, ‘has become a marathon for people with chronic illnesses.’” The Independent, June 9

What happens if multiple sclerosis is untreated?

“Conclusions: This first large study in untreated patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) with different disease subtypes shows that brain atrophy proceeds relentlessly throughout the course of MS, with a rate that seems largely independent of the MS subtype, when adjusting for baseline brain volume.” Assessing brain atrophy rates in a large population of untreated multiple sclerosis subtypes, Neurology, January 31, 2012

German Chancellor Merkel and the central bankers who see the need to act tough with Greece and other nations in financial crisis plus all of those complicit with the denial of health care based in economic deprivation are directly responsible for everyone suffering as a result of those efforts. They belong in jail. Unfortunately, they’re the leaders of the advanced economies.

The system is beyond broke. It is assaulting the people it claims to serve.

READ @ http://tinyurl.com/cu8fyeu

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* GREECE AND THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN PROJECT

By Stathis Gourgouris, Aljazeera

For the survival of the euro zone and global capitalism in general, Greece’s elections on June 17 will be even more important than the landmark vote on May 6.

The May 6 electoral result demonstrated that the majority of the Greek people are refusing to accept the imposed dismantling of their social and economic infrastructure, the flash impoverishment across broad strata of society, the annihilation of the next generation’s future, and the vilification of an entire way of life. Even more important, Greek society showed that it will not accept being used as an experiment of global neoliberal economics. As argued in recent article in The Wall Street Journal, this was not merely an economic experiment. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quoted admitting that, in imposing such painful austerity measures, the troika singled out Greece for punishment as a lesson to any other European societies who might consider resisting its commands. […]

READ @ http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/201266152551493655.html

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* THE HEART OF THE PEOPLE OF EUROPE BEATS IN GREECE

Source: youtube

Discussion, “The heart of the people of Europe beats in Greece”.

3. 6. 2012, Athens, Greece

Slavoj Žižek, one of the most prominent contemporary thinkers, Alexis Tsipras, president of the parliamentary group of SYRIZA/EKM and Kostas Douzinas, professor of Philosophy of Law at the of Birkbeck University of London, will talk about the overthrow of the neo-liberal policies which generate the crisis, exacerbate the recession and impose austerity, leading to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

At this point, it would be useful to remind that the Slovenian philosopher has already declared his support for SYRIZA, in an article that was published in London Review of Books, under the title ” Save us from the saviours.”

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWtn7iECkyY

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* FORGIVING SIEMENS: UNRAVELING A TANGLED TALE OF GERMAN CORRUPTION IN GREECE

By Lena Mavraka and Vasilis Papatheodorou, CorpWatch

After almost two years, the traffic lights in the city of Athens are finally being fixed without delay or makeshift solutions. For Greece – a country that appears to be rushing headlong off a financial cliff and bringing down the rest of Europe with it – this small miracle might seem to like an omen that things are changing for the better or at least, the correction of a bureaucratic mistake.

The truth is that this simple act reveals the enormous power that one single company holds over the country of Greece: Siemens from Munich, Germany, a manufacturing behemoth with $96 billion in 2010-2011 sales.

On November 11, 2010, Siemens turned off 35 traffic lights in central Athens in protest against Greek government fines as high as €500 million ($650 million) to settle allegations of bribery to win contracts. In April 2012, the Greek government agreed to settle with Siemens for €270 million to settle the charges. In return the state issued the company a €41 million contract to work on an extension to the Athens metro and fix the city’s traffic lights.

It is a stunning turnaround for the company whose name has been tarnished for its role in what many consider the greatest corporate scandal in postwar history of Greece. Millions of Euros have allegedly been paid into secret Swiss bank accounts of high-ranking politicians of the two parties that have run Greece since collapse of the military dictatorship in 1974 – Pasok (the Social Democratic party) and New Democracy on the right. All told the bribery is estimated to have had a cost of €2 billion to the Greek economy, according to a high level parliamentary investigation – and Siemens had a starring role.

“In Greece Siemens has spend the most black money (bribes) than in any other country of the European Union between the late 1990s and 2004,” says Tassos Telloglou, author of “The Network: File Siemens.”

The tale came to a dramatic head in June 2009 when Michael Christoforakos, the former CEO of Siemens, was arrested in Rosenheim, a southeastern suburb of Munich, after disappearing when Greek judicial authorities began investigating the charges. […]

READ @ http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15740

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* SPAIN TO ACCEPT EUROPE BAILOUT OFFER OF UP TO $125 BILLION TO RESCUE AILING BANKS

Source: Washington Post

[…] Europe’s widening recession and financial crisis has hurt companies and investors around the world. Providing a financial lifeline to Spanish banks is likely to relieve anxiety on the Spanish economy — which is five times larger than Greece’s — and on markets concerned about the country’s ability to pay its way.

“What the markets are looking for is essentially the Spanish government’s acceptance that its banks are broke,” said Jacob Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos announced the deal after an emergency conference call with eurozone financial leaders. He said the aid will go to the banking sector only and would not come with new austerity conditions attached for the economy in general — conditions that have been an integral part of previous bailouts to Portugal, Ireland and Greece. […]

[…] Finance ministers of the 17 countries that use the euro said the money would be fed directly into a fund Spain set up to recapitalize its banks, but underscored that the Spanish government is ultimately responsible for the loan. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/spain-decision-could-come-very-soon-whether-to-seek-bailout-for-ailing-banking-sector/2012/06/08/gJQAJM36OV_story.html?wpisrc=al_national

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* FARAGE ON THE SPANISH BAILOUT: “A REINFORCEMENT OF FAILURE”

By Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge

While the short-term benefits can be weighed against any long-term solution a number of ways, Nigel Farage provides not just the most colorful summation of situation but also the most succinct when he refers to the ‘madness’ of ‘intervention to keep the Euro alive’ as “reinforcement of failure”. The better, and braver, in his opinion, thing to do, is to recognize that those Mediterranean countries should never have joined the Euro in the first place. As we have stated again and again, by kicking-the-can once again to prop up the euro-zone with bailout-after-bailout, all we are doing is prolonging the misery. The discussion on Sky News digs into the collateral-damage ‘strawman’ – which will happen anyway – and then ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone (an infamously socialist-leaning British politician who advocated for Britain’s joining the Euro when it was formed) now somewhat notably agrees with Nigel that “locking Europe into a decade of permanent economic malaise” adding that once the smaller countries were added to the core, “it was doomed to fail”. The two ‘odd fellows’ continue on to discuss the analogy of the USA to a United States of Europe noting that it took a civil war and a century before a common monetary and fiscal policy was accepted, adding simply that Europe’s “nations will not give up their sovereignty”.

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OxgwI-0Sozg

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* SATYAJIT DAS: THE SPANISH “BAILOUT”, WHOOPS, – “ASSISTANCE”!

By Satyajit Das, Naked Capitalism

[…] The IMF assumes only the smaller Spanish savings banks (the Cajas) will need help. In reality, the larger Spanish banks may also require capital.

Spain’s banks have over €300 billion in exposure to the real-estate sector, mostly through loans to developers. Around €180 billion of this exposure is considered “problematic” by Spain’s central bank.

Estimates suggest that there are about 700,000 vacant newly built homes, but including repossessed properties the total could be as high as one million or even higher. At current sales levels, it will take many years to clear the backlog, which will be compounded by more properties being completed and coming onto the market. Housing prices have fallen by 15-20% but are forecast to fall eventually by as much as 50-60%. A severe recession and unemployment of 25% means that losses on Spain’s over €600 billion of home mortgages loans are likely to also rise.

The proposed amount also does not include any provision for write downs on holding of sovereign debt. Local banks are estimated to hold over 60% of outstanding Spanish government bonds. […]

READ @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/satyajit-das-the-spanish-bailout-whoops-assistance.html

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* PUNTS AND CLONES: FED UP WITH EURO, IRISH TOWN CASHES IN OLD CURRENCY

Source: RT

Spain is on the edge of a financial abyss, as EU sources claim it could ask for a bailout as early as this evening. Madrid’s credit score has been slashed, while it’s borrowing costs soared close to the level that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek rescue. But as Eurozone powerhouses try to keep the single currency afloat, one Irish town is banking on the past, to turn a profit.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On3Asjr-WZc&feature=player_embedded

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* FUKUSHIMA UPDATE 6-9-2012

Source: youtube

June 9 2012 – as the Fukushima radiation/debris carries west across the Pacific Ocean, radionuclide-intensely-contaminated Fukushima rivers daily rushing into the ocean, the media sleeps on the danger of the radiation. Fish contaminated with cesium are now being caught off of San Diego. Maps re currents help U understand what is going on: Danger California, Oregon, all points west of Fukushima especially!! Check the oceanic ‘gyres’ or currents.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=awl8_dgWbng

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* PSYCHOTIC NATO  PEACEKEEPERS WAR CRIMINALS SHOW OFF WAR ‘TOYS’ IN TAMPA – AMERICANS WATCH AND CHEER

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CvfJCzYtA3Y#!

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* PENTAGON SANITIZES MOVIES TO MAKE AMERICANS MORE WARLIKE

By Brandon Smith, Alt-Market

A perfect example of this process of public manipulation by the Department Of Defense is the movie ‘Act Of Valor’ which was released this year.  The project actually started out as a high budget MILITARY RECRUITMENT FILM, and then morphed into a concept for a full length movie which features real life special-ops personnel and unprecedented access to military technology and machinery.  Though the DoD claims it did not directly fund the film in any way, it did provide nearly every set piece that was essential to the movie’s creation, including the actors!  The storyline of the flick was mediocre at its best, and shameless propaganda at its worst.  So voracious is its one sided portrayal of the establishment war machine I believe it would make the likes of Goebells blush.  If you have ever seen those BMW featurettes starring famous actors doing superhuman things in BMW vehicles, that is essentially what most Hollywood films about the U.S. military are now; multi-million dollar commercials designed to sell you on a candy-coated image of the military industrial complex.

Another fine contribution by the DoD to the land of cinema was ‘Black Hawk Down’, a movie which outlined the civil war in Somalia completely out of context, removing any reference to the U.S. involvement in the development of the crisis from the beginning as well as the influences of oil giants Chevron, Conoco, Phillips, and Amoco.  They even went so far as to change the name of real-life Army Ranger John Stebbins (played by Ewen McGregor) to “John Grimes”.  Why?  Because John Stebbins had been convicted to a 30 year prison term for molesting a girl under the age of 12, and this did not reflect well on the film’s message of purity and brotherhood in arms.  After Black Hawk Down had been thoroughly edited to the liking of the U.S. military, the movie was released, and the premier was attended by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North, and numerous high profile generals. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.alt-market.com/articles/833-pentagon-sanitizes-movies-to-make-americans-more-warlike

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* CITIES CRACK DOWN ON HOMELESS

By Yamiche Alcindor, USA Today

[…] The ordinances are pitting city officials against homeless advocates. City leaders say they want to improve the lives of homeless people and ensure public safety, while supporters of the homeless argue that such regulations criminalize homelessness and make it harder to live on the nation’s streets.

“We’re seeing these types of laws being proposed and passed all over the country,” said Heather Johnson, a civil rights attorney at the homeless and poverty law center, which opposes many of the measures. “We think that criminalization measures such as these are counterproductive. Rather than address the root cause of homelessness, they perpetuate homelessness.” […]

READ @ http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-10/cities-crack-down-on-homeless/55479912/1#.T9TX8Bc7pKU.reddit

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* OCCUPY CARAVAN

PLEASE DONATE TO HELP THIS ACTION GROW

Due to the large scale of this action we are forced to ask for donations, which will cover gas, food and only the basic requirements to make the trip.

We are committed to 100% transparency and will post all donations and expenditures on this site. (In the spirit of Occupy, donors may chose to remain anonymous but all money donated will be announced!)

The more funds we recieve the LARGER this action can grow, and the more people can participate without needing a vehicle. With more funds we can rent buses and RVs to take people to Independence Mall in Philadelphia for FREE! We can also give away FREE 50$-$100 gas cards to Caravaneers, offsetting expenses and encouraging greater participation! This is a national action that needs everything from basic health supplies to mobile wireless and emergency funds! We guarantee every penny will be spent on this action with 100% TRANSPARENCY! WE LOVE YOU and WE LOVE economic civil rights! JOIN US!

DONATE @ http://occupycaravan.webs.com/apps/donations/

May 302012
 

 

* FARAGE: BREAK UP THE EURO AND RESTORE HUMAN DIGNITY

Source: youtube

Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy’ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament

Transcript:

President, we’re in the midst of an economic and increasingly humanitarian crisis and yet Commission president Barroso is not here. Indeed, Herman van Rompuy is not here either. Not that it relly matters, because they’re not prepared to listen to any debate or any argument. They’re intent on pursuing their political dream of a United States of Europe. They’re prepared to commit
economic suicide for an entire continent.

And tomorrow night Mr van Rompuy has called yet another summit at which he’s going to present a strategy for growth and jobs. Elected MEPs, representatives of the people of Europe from left and right – we’ve heard it all before – remember the euro itself was supposed to create growth and jobs and yet it is actively destroying both of those things.

The remedy we’re being offered is more of the same. I would suggest that the medicine is killing the patient, and to increase the dosage is madness.

And don’t listen to those who will tell you that the only alternative is for Greece to stay in the euro. Everyone’s pushing this. David Cameron, all the other leaders are saying, we must keep Greece in the euro, if she leaves the sky will fall in.

It won’t! There’ll be a few difficult weeks and then things will settle down. There’ll be a boom in tourism, investment will start to come back into Greece, innovation will start to come back into Greece as people start making products to beat expensive imports.

Indeed Greece outside of the eurozone may well provide to be an inspiration for Spain, for Portugal and many other countries. We need to recognise that a terrible mistake has been made. We must resolve to put it right. We’ve got to give people hope because out there now is absolute despair.

We all remember Dimitris Christoulas, the 77-year-old former pharmacist who shot himself dead outside the Greek parliament. But he is just one of a growing humanitarian disaster. Huge increases in suicides in Italy, in Greece, particularly from people running small businesses who cannot see a way out of the problem. Children being left in increasing numbers outside the doors of churches because they can’t afford to feed them.

Our leaders are too callous to listen and care. YOU can do something about this. YOU can rise up and say – and I know in my conversations with you that many of you agree with me, that I’m right – we’ve got to break up the euro; we’ve got to restore democracy; we’ve got to restore human dignity; we must ignore Messers Barroso and Van Rompuy, they have been proved to be wrong. WE must provide people with hope.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ9uHUDkTq4&feature=player_embedded

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* DEBT-HIT GREECE ‘RUNNING OUT OF MEDICATION’

Source: SkyNews

Pharmacies in Greece were on strike earlier this week in protest at the government not paying them for medicines that should be free to customers.

Many pharmacies now have huge debts to pharmaceutical companies for drugs they have handed out free of charge.

Sky News spoke to one pharmacist who has not been paid by the state for over a year.

Evaggelina Rousi, who runs a chemist in Athens, said: “The government owes us 30,000 euros but we have not been paid by them for a year and a half.  […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16235055

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* IMF BOSS LAGARDE, WHO LECTURED GREEKS TO ‘PAY UP’, PAYS NO TAXES HERSELF

IMF boss who caused international outrage when she suggested that Greeks should pay their taxes earns a tax-free salary

Source: Common Dreams Staff

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund managing director who provoked an angry reaction from the Greek people after telling them to pay their taxes, does not pay tax on her own salary.

In an interview last Friday, Lagarde said she had little sympathy with the Greek people — preferring to concern herself with the plight of starving children in Africa’s Sahel region.

“I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time,” she said. “All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.”

On Tuesday Lagarde admitted that her $467,940 IMF annual salary and $83,760 of additional allowances are entirely tax-free. […]

READ @ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/29-6

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* GOVERNMENT DEBT EXPLAINED ( IN A FEW MINUTES)

Source: youtube

Learn in a few minutes what the monetary creation through debt, the Fractional Reserve Banking, and the article 123 in the Lisbon treaty are… They are absolutely necessary to understand the causes of the public and private debts which are devastating the developed countries.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8fDLyXXUxM

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* “MILITANTS”: MEDIA PROPAGANDA

To avoid counting civilian deaths, Obama re-defined “militant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone”

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Virtually every time the U.S. fires a missile from a drone and ends the lives of Muslims, American media outlets dutifully trumpet in

headlines that the dead were ”militants” – even though those media outlets literally do not have the slightest idea of who was actually killed. They simply cite always-unnamed “officials” claiming that the dead were “militants.” It’s the most obvious and inexcusable form of rank propaganda: media outlets continuously propagating a vital claim without having the slightest idea if it’s true.

This practice continues even though key Obama officials have been caught lying, a term used advisedly, about how many civilians they’re killing. I’ve written and said many times before that in American media discourse, the definition of “militant” is any human being whose life is extinguished when an American missile or bomb detonates (that term was even used when Anwar Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son, Abdulrahman, was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen two weeks after a drone killed his father, even though nobody claims the teenager was anything but completely innocent: “Another U.S. Drone Strike Kills Militants in Yemen”). […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/05/29/militants_media_propaganda/

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* DRONETROPIA

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frwAE5HG284&feature=em-subs_digest

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* OBAMA’S DRONE WARS ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Source: RT

Warning Graphic Footage! This is HOW the USA is spreading peace and democracy…

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlxJXfdemW8&feature=share

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* NATO’s DRUG ESCAPADES AS SEEN IN THE WAKE OF THE CHICAGO SUMMIT

By Elena Ponomareva, Strategic Culture Foundation

[…] Speaking of what NATO is doing these days, one should keep in mind that partnering mafia groups has been a part of its intelligence practice since the end of World War II. In a case that became common knowledge, the CIA worked with Vito “Don Vito” Genovese, an Italian mafia tycoon, to achieve its goals in Italy. When Don Vito’s mission was complete, he ended up in jail over drug dealing and died there of heart attack in 1969. Other US and NATO allies with interests in the drug business – Bin Laden and Ahmed Wali Karzai – were used and disposed of similarly, and the same will likely happen to Kosovo drug lords Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj. The former is already implicated in the famous report by Dick Marty and the latter is to stand retrial in the Hague.

As for NATO complicity in terrorism and in breeding terrorist groups worldwide, the alliance must be credited with having unsurpassed experience in the sphere. Swiss researcher D. Ganser supplied evidence in “NATO’s Secret Armies. Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe” that the first secret armies supposed to engage in terrorist activities were formed and took to action in West Europe immediately following World War II. On admission to NATO, European leaders had to sign secret protocols obliging their governments to guarantee the countries’ pro-Western orientation by any means and regardless of the preferences of the electorate. The plot, known as Operation Gladio, used to be among the US top secrets but was eventually unearthed by a group of researchers and journalists.

The drug factor which can be discerned in the motivation behind NATO interventions is typically coupled to the oil one. The deal signed by the US and Saudi Arabia after World War II [1] gave the US a leading role in the global oil industry and trade. Since the unveiling of the Truman Doctrine, the US geopolitics is being built on oil. Originally intended as a policy aimed at containing the Soviet Union, the US designs evolved into an attempt to get a grip on the oil resources of the whole world. In the process, the hunt for oil crippled the US economy, making US companies increasingly dependent on the military budget which helped pop US interventions in remote parts of the world which nevertheless evaded Washington’s control. The developments around Afghanistan fully exemplify the trend – growing ever more militant, the US has no option but to rely increasingly on its allies from the ranks of the drug business players. […]

READ @ http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/05/26/nato-drug-escapades-as-seen-in-wake-chicago-summit.html

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* “ABSOLUTELY EVERY ONE” – 15 OUT OF 15 – BLUEFIN TUNA TESTED IN CALIFORNIA WATERS CONTAMINATED WITH FUKUSHIMA RADIATION

Source: Washington’s Blog

[…] CNN reports today:

Low levels of radioactive cesium from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident turned up in fish caught off California in 2011, researchers reported Monday.

The bluefin spawn off Japan, and many migrate across the Pacific Ocean. Tissue samples taken from 15 bluefin caught in August, five months after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources. […]

[…] One of the studies’ authors told the BBC:

The fish that will be arriving around now, and in the coming months, to California waters may be carrying considerably more radioactivity and if so they may possibly be a public health hazard. […]

READ / PHOTOS @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/absolutely-every-one-of-the-15-bluefin-tuna-tested-in-california-waters-contaminated-with-fukushima-radiation.html

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* 30-MINUTE BROADCAST ON FUKUSHIMA: “IF ANYTHING HAPPENS, THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE END OF JAPAN, PROBABLY START OF THE END OF THE WORLD” 

Source. enenews

Shin-ichi Sano, Author: The world had not choice but to pay attention.

People have said that we must gather expertises from around the world in order to solve the current problem.

Regarding Fukushima, this has to happen, don’t you think?

Indeed. As you say, there is no time for silly arguments.

If anything happens, this is not just about the end of Japan, probably start of the end of the world.

I would like them to realise that we are in such crisis situation. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://enenews.com/30-minute-broadcast-fukushima-anything-happens-about-japan-start-world-video

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* ICELANDIC ANGER BRINGS DEBT FORGIVENESS IN BEST RECOVERY STORY

Icelanders who pelted parliament with rocks in 2009 demanding their leaders and bankers answer for the country’s economic and financial collapse are reaping the benefits of their anger.

By Omar R. Valdimarsson, Bloomberg

Since the end of 2008, the island’s banks have forgiven loans equivalent to 13 percent of gross domestic product, easing the debt burdens of more than a quarter of the population, according to a report published this month by the Icelandic Financial Services Association.

“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” said Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.”

The island’s steps to resurrect itself since 2008, when its banks defaulted on $85 billion, are proving effective. Iceland’s economy will this year outgrow the euro area and the developed world on average, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates. It costs about the same to insure against an Icelandic default as it does to guard against a credit event in Belgium. Most polls now show Icelanders don’t want to join the European Union, where the debt crisis is in its third year.

The island’s households were helped by an agreement between the government and the banks, which are still partly controlled by the state, to forgive debt exceeding 110 percent of home values. On top of that, a Supreme Court ruling in June 2010 found loans indexed to foreign currencies were illegal, meaning households no longer need to cover krona losses. […]

READ @ http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/icelandic-anger-brings-record-debt-relief-in-best-crisis-recovery-story

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* CHICAGO CRITICAL MASS 5-25-2012

Source: youtube

Chris Drew Memorial mass.
http://ChicagoCriticalMass.org/chrisdrew

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-NW7jt2LaY

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* CURED: A CANNABIS STORY

A Film By David Triplett

A story of how cannabis extract oil cured David Triplett’s cancer after he watched RUN FROM THE CURE: The Rick Simpson Story.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0tghUh4ubbg

May 152012
 

 

* CHOMSKY: OCCUPY MOVEMENT ” HAS CREATED SOMETHING THAT REALLY DIDN’T EXIST” IN US – SOLIDARITY 

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Noam Chomsky says the Occupy movement has helped rebuild class solidarity and communities of mutual support on a level unseen since the time of the Great Depression. “The Occupy movement spontaneously created something that doesn’t really exist in the country: Communities of mutual support, cooperation, open spaces for discussion … people doing things and helping each other,” Chomsky says. “That’s very much missing. There [has been] massive propaganda going on for a century, that you really shouldn’t care about anyone else, just yourself … To rebuild [class solidarity] — even in small pieces of society — can become very important, can change the conception of how society ought to function.” Chomsky also gives his assessment of President Obama, whom he says has attacked civil liberties in a way that “goes beyond George W. Bush.”

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9lCidkSR6D8

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* PEACE VERSUS WAR: HEAVY-HANDED TACTICS TO CURB NATO PROTESTERS

By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO 

VIDEO

‘US will use heavy-handed tactics to curb NATO protesters’

Thousands of peaceful anti-war protesters are expected to face off with armed riot police and sound cannons at the May NATO Summit to be held in Chicago.

Press TV has interviewed Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO in Chicago, about ‘overkill’ preparations by the authorities to counter expected massive popular peaceful demonstrations opposing the upcoming summit of NATO. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: I’d like to get your opinion first of all on the military-style tactics that will be deployed to confront protesters as anti-riot police continue to amass equipment in the days to come.

Rozoff: Yes, you’re raising a good point. We have to keep in mind the nature of the summit that’s going to occur in Chicago on May 20th and 21st. […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/peace-versus-war-heavy-handed-tactics-to-curb-nato-protesters/

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* MOSSAD TRAINED POLICE CURB US PROTESTS

Source: youtube

Mossad Trained Police Curb US Protests

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-ddM982Tgs

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* RICK ROZOFF CHRONICLES NATO’s ‘ENDLESS WARS’

By Curtis Balck, NewsTips

By hosting a self-proclaimed “nuclear alliance” like NATO, Chicago is violating the spirit if not the letter of the city’s status as a nuclear free zone, passed unanimously by the City Council in 1986 and signed by Mayor Harold Washington, says Rick Rozoff.

It’s one of dozens of points that came up in several wide-ranging talks with Rozoff, a Chicagoan who for 13 years has edited the Stop NATO blog, almost certainly the most comprehensive source for news and critical analysis of the alliance in the world.

On Thursday, Rozoff and a representative of Iraq Veterans Against the War will take the anti-NATO position in a debate with former Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns and NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary James Appathurai at the Pritzker Military Library. […]

READ @ http://www.newstips.org/2012/05/rick-rozoff-chronicles-natos-endless-wars/

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* GREECE TO HOLD NEW ELECTIONS

Announcement follows politicians’ failure to form a coalition government despite several rounds of talks

Source: Aljazeera

Greece will hold a new election after politicians failed to form a government, nine days following an inconclusive vote, prolonging a political crisis that pushes it closer to bankruptcy and exit from the euro.

After a third day of failed talks with political leaders on Tuesday, a spokesman for President Karolos Papoulias said the process of seeking a compromise had been declared a failure and a new vote must be held.

He did not immediately give the date for the new vote, but elections rules suggest it will be in mid-June. A caretaker government would be formed on Wednesday, the spokesman said. […]

READ @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/05/201251513332434853.html

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* MERKEL DEALT HEAVY BLOW IN GERMAN VOTE

Centre-left-led coalition consolidates control of Germany’s most populous state as support for chancellor’s party falls.

Source: Aljazeera

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have suffered a heavy defeat in regional elections in Germany’s most populous state.

According to preliminary results, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.9 per cent of the vote in North Rhine-Westphalia, a western German state of more than 13 million people, and looked set to form a coalition with the Greens.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support slide to just 26.3 per cent, down from nearly 35 per cent in 2010, in a state that includes the cities of Cologne and Duesseldorf and the industrial Ruhr region.

“This is not a good evening for Merkel,” Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, said. […]

READ @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/05/201251322354918822.html

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* PATTERNS OF AD DECEPTION

Source: Moyers and Company

FlackCheck.org identifies below 12 recurrent deceptive techniques used in political ads so far in the 2012 campaign season. Keep these in mind when a campaign ad appears on your television screen. And if you’re skeptical of what you see, visit factcheck.org, politifact.com or the Washington Post’s Fact Checker for a truth-audit.

1. Deceptive Audio

The sounds that we hear both contextualize what we see and cue our emotional responses. Consider the impact of a patriotic song, a cheering crowd or a mother’s lullaby. Now replace those sounds with clashing cymbals, a jeering crowd or the cries of a terrified child. By strategically inserting sound, political ad makers manipulate our responses to pictures, particularly those of their favorite candidate and his or her opponent.

Example: ‘Laughing,’ a web video by Governor Jon Huntsman (R), uses deceptive audio to make it appear that Governor Mitt Romney (R) is laughing at his own record.

2. Deceptive Dramatization

The use of dramatized scenes in ads can be a potent tool of deception. Audiences recall pictures more readily than words, and pictures tied to a dramatic narrative have a special power. Because political ad makers know that reporters are less likely to call out inferences invited by visuals, they often construct scripts containing accurate words but misleading imagery.

Example: ‘America the Beautiful,’ a web video by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, uses deceptive dramatization to attack the healthcare plan proposed by Paul Ryan (R). […]

READ and VIDEOS @ http://billmoyers.com/content/patterns-of-ad-deception/

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* COLONIZED BY CORPORATIONS 

Don’t waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate — just enough to register your obstruction and defiance — and then get back out onto the street. That is where the question of real power is being decided.

By Chris Hedges, OpEdNews

In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes.

Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability — keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits — ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game.

A change of power does not require the election of a Mitt Romney or a Barack Obama or a Democratic majority in Congress, or an attempt to reform the system or electing progressive candidates, but rather a destruction of corporate domination of the political process — Gamer’s “patron-client” networks. It requires the establishment of new mechanisms of governance to distribute wealth and protect resources, to curtail corporate power, to cope with the destruction of the ecosystem and to foster the common good. But we must first recognize ourselves as colonial subjects. We must accept that we have no effective voice in the way we are governed. We must accept the hollowness of electoral politics, the futility of our political theater, and we must destroy the corporate structure itself. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=150326

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* CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION IS USING TAXPAYER MONEY TO SUPPORT ALEC’s RADICAL AGENDA

By Zaid Jilani, Republic Report

[…] The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a powerful corporate front group that works to pass Big Business-written laws in state legislatures. Following the outcry over the group pushing “Stand Your Ground” laws, at least fifteen major corporations, foundations, and other organizations have decided to end their funding commitments to ALEC. […]

[…] I called NACSA to confirm that they still maintain their membership in ALEC. This is the response a NACSA official gave me:

>NACSA’s goal is to advance excellence in charter schools; we promote high standards, fair treatment of students, public transparency, and fiscal responsibility by charter schools. To that end, NACSA works with a variety of policymakers and organizations on both sides of the aisle to address charter school issues. NACSA has worked with Democrats for Education Reform, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Aspen Institute, ALEC, and the National Governors Association, among many others, to impact charter school policy and practice.

I followed up to ask if NACSA was currently an ALEC member. NACSA gave me no response. NACSA’s coordination with the group proves that taxpayer money is being used to finance ALEC’s radical agenda. Everything from funding voter suppression laws to crushing unions. In light of this revelation, NACSA should seriously reconsider its membership in ALEC. And if NACSA chooses to stay a part of ALEC, the school districts and state departments of education should seriously reconsider their membership in the organization. […]

READ @ http://www.republicreport.org/2012/charter-schools-taxpayer-money-alec/

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* URBAN REVOLUTION IS COMING

By Max Rivlin-Nadler, Salon

From Paris in 1871 to Prague in 1968 to Cairo in 2011 and eventually the streets of New York City, cities have long been a hotbed of radical movements. Over the decades, urban protests have been spurred by everything from unemployment and food shortages to privatization and corruption. But were they also caused by the geography of the cities themselves? The question has particular resonance this week, as Occupy prepares for a series of large May 1 protests in cities around the country.

Geographer and social theorist David Harvey, the distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and one of the 20 most cited humanities scholars of all time, has spent his career exploring how cities organize themselves, and when they do, what their achievements are. His new book, “Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution,” dissects the effects of free-market financial policy on urban life, the crippling debt of middle- and low-income Americans and how runaway development has destroyed a common space for all city dwellers.

Beginning with the question, How do we organize a whole city? Harvey looks at how the current credit crisis had its root in urban development, and how this development has made any political organizing in American cities virtually impossible in the past 20 years. Harvey is at the forefront of the movement for “the right to the city,” the idea that citizens should have a say in how their cities are developed and organized. Drawing inspiration from the Paris Commune of 1871, where the entire city of Paris overthrew the aristocracy to seize power, Harvey outlines where cities have organized, or could or should organize, themselves in more sane, inclusive ways.

Salon spoke with Harvey about Occupy Wall Street, the destructiveness of Bloomberg’s development of New York City, and making the city more after our heart’s desire. […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/04/28/urban_revolution_is_coming/singleton/

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* CHILE SUPREME COURT HALTS PATAGONIA DAM PROJECT

Chile’s supreme court has halted construction on the Rio Cuervo hydroelectric project in the country’s remote and pristine Patagonia region, after accepting an appeal from environmental groups.

Source: CIREM Foundation

The court’s decision on Friday ran counter to a recommendation by a regional environmental review commission to give the green light to the project, developed by a joint venture of Australia’s Origin Energy and Xstrata Copper.

The Rio Cuervo project is part of a larger plan to build three dams with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts in the area around Aysen.

Environmental groups filed a petition against the scheme, saying it will wreak havoc in the region’s unspoiled wilderness.

Chile’s high court accepted the appeal and ruled the environmental review board had ignored a recommendation from the national geology and mining service to reject a soil survey done by the joint venture, known as Energia Austral.

The court ordered that a new soil survey be carried out before a new vote on approval of the project. [...]

READ @ http://phys.org/news/2012-05-chile-supreme-court-halts-patagonia.html

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* URGENT WARNING: FUKUSHIMA ESTIMATE OF SITUATION 

Source: youtube

Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine (US Army ret) Personal Fukushima Estimate of Situation.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UJIEZvX4PZI

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* DR. BUSBY: SCIENTIFIC AND CITIZEN FORUM ON RADIATION 12.05.2012 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

Source: youtube

Scientific and citizen forum on radiation Dr. Busby 12.05.2012 Geneva, Switzerland.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y03PnzlT2ZA&feature=player_embedded

RELATED VIDEOS @ http://enenews.com/we-are-living-through-the-worst-public-health-scandal-in-history-60-million-developed-cancer-from-nuclear-weapons-tests-video

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* WATER LEAKING FROM NO. 1 REACTOR, COMPLICATING SHUTDOWN

By Yoko Kubuta and Scott DiSavino, Reuters

One of the reactors at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has a hole in its main vessel following a meltdown of fuel rods, leading to a leakage of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday.

The disclosure by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) (9501.T) is the latest indication that the disaster was worse than previously disclosed, making it more difficult to stabilize the plant.

The discovery of the leak provides new insight into the sequence of events that triggered a partial meltdown of the uranium fuel in the No. 1 reactor at Fukushima after the plant was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, officials said.

The battle to bring Fukushima under control has been complicated by repeated leaks of radioactive water, threatening both the Pacific Ocean and nearby groundwater. […]

READ @ http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/12/japan-nuclear-reactor-idUSL3E7GC2JQ20110512

May 142012
 

* MASS ANTI-AUSTERITY PROTESTS SWEEP THROUGH SPAIN

By Staff, RT News

At least 100,000 protesters angered by the country’s grim economic prospects turned out for street demonstrations in 80 cities across Spain. This marked the one-year anniversary of a movement that inspired similar activist groups in other countries.

In the capital Madrid, thousands of protesters chanted and beat drums as they marched from different directions to converge on the central Puerta del Sol Square. The square was brimming with demonstrators during the evening, but visibly emptied as some of the protesters left after 10pm local time

Authorities have vowed to block any attempts by protesters to camp out on the square, which is the popular movement’s epicenter. Marches were also held in Barcelona, Bilbao, Malaga and Seville. […]

READ @ http://truth-out.org/news/item/9097-mass-anti-austerity-protests-sweep-through-spain

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* COALITION TALKS STALL, GREECE FACES MOMENT OF TRUTH

Greek political leaders on Sunday ignored a final plea from the president to form a coalition government to avert a repeat election, pushing the debt-stricken nation closer to bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro zone

By By Lefteris Papadimas and Harry Papachristou, Reuters

Leaders of the three biggest parties met at the presidential mansion for a final attempt to bridge their differences, but the talks quickly hit an impasse as they traded accusations on a deeply unpopular bailout package tied to harsh spending cuts.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, who finished first in last week’s election, pinned the blame on the far-left SYRIZA party, which flatly rules out backing a pro-bailout coalition with Samaras’s New Democracy and Socialist PASOK parties.

“They are not asking for agreement, they are asking us to be their partners in crime and we will not be their accomplices,” said Alexis Tsipras, who has become an overnight sensation since leading SYRIZA to a surprise second place in the vote.

The other leader at the morning talks – Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos – said he was holding on to hopes that a deal could still be salvaged, but warned time was running out. […]

READ @ http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/13/us-greece-idUSBRE8440DG20120513

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* GREECE’S MEDIA CRISIS

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PTyzFGAcN-o

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* INCOMING FRENCH PRESIDENT SIGNALS BUDGET CUTS, HANDOUTS TO BANKS

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, Global Research

After winning the French presidential election on Sunday, the Socialist Party’s (PS) François Hollande is already positioning himself to drop his limited election promises on social spending and attack the working class with deep budget cuts.

Hollande’s victory reflected a broad popular rejection of incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy’s austerity policies and his unpopular imperialist wars. However, any hopes for change from the incoming government will be rapidly disappointed by Hollande, who is moving to carry out reactionary policies. During his campaign, Hollande vowed to slash over €100 billion in deficit spending to have a balanced budget by 2017, while making a few proposals for social measures, like increasing school subsidies and hiring more teachers.

On Tuesday, Hollande’s campaign team told Reuters that Hollande’s advisers are pressing him to use a report from France’s leading audit body, the Cour des comptes, to justify ditching his limited campaign promises and intensify social cuts.

The report is due to be released after the June 10-17 legislative election. This would allow the PS to conceal its agenda of social austerity from the voters, while it seeks to put together a government, then rapidly move on with cuts after it has assembled a parliamentary majority and formed a cabinet on the basis of deceitful promises. […]

READ @ http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30761

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* WILLIAM ENGDAHL: U.S. WON’T RECOVER FOR AT LEAST 15 YEARS

Source: RT News

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmWQxNKOD7U

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* WHAT AMERICANS CAN LEARN FROM EURO CRISIS

Source: The Real News

Michael Hudson: From the Democratic Party to European “Socialists”, they manage crisis in the interests of finance.

READ and TRANSCRIPTS @ http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=830

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* WILL DEMOCRATS EMBRACE “AUSTERITY AMERICAN STYLE?” CRASH THIS PARTY AND FIND OUT

By Richard (RJ) Eskow, Campaign For America’s Future

Heard about the meeting that’s being held to decide your economic future? If the answer’s “no,” don’t feel bad: That’s because you weren’t invited. But Tim Geithner was. So was Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican member of Congress whose radical right-wing plans for cutting Medicare have made him the subject of a Mitt Romney “bromance.” So was Bill Clinton, who showed up last year and uttered the usual Beltway insider’s falsehoods about what’s really wrong with Social Security.

Hey, maybe your invitation to billionaire Pete Peterson’s “Fiscal Summit” got lost in the mail. Or maybe they really, really didn’t want you there. Who cares? That’s no reason not to go anyway.

Hey, Sen. Bernie Sanders wasn’t invited, and his proposal for Social Security was much more popular with the American people than anything that’s likely to be discussed at this little get-together. […]

READ @ http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2012051910/will-democrats-embrace-austerity-american-style-crash-party-and-find-out

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* WHY CAN’T OBAMA BRING WALL STREET TO JUSTICE?

Despite his populist posturing, the president has failed to pin a single top finance exec on criminal charges since the economic collapse. Are the banks too big to jail—or is Washington’s revolving door at to blame?

By Peter J. Boyer and Peter Schweizer, The Daily Beast

[…] With the Occupy protesters resuming battle stations, and Mitt Romney in place as the presumptive Republican nominee, President Obama has begun to fashion his campaign as a crusade for the 99 percent–a fight against, as one Obama ad puts it, “a guy who had a Swiss bank account.” Casting Romney as a plutocrat will be easy enough. But the president’s claim as avenging populist may prove trickier, given his own deeply complicated, even conflicted, relationship with Big Finance.

Obama came into office vowing to end business as usual, and, in the gray post-crash dawn of 2009, nowhere did a reckoning with justice seem more due than in the financial sector. The public was shaken, and angry, and Wall Street seemed oblivious to its own culpability, defending extravagant pay bonuses even while accepting a taxpayer bailout. Obama channeled this anger, and employed its rhetoric, blaming the worldwide economic collapse on “the reckless speculation of bankers.” Two months into his presidency, Obama summoned the titans of finance to the White House, where he told them, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

The bankers may have found the president’s tone unsettling. Candidate Obama had been their guy, accepting vast amounts of Wall Street campaign money for his victories over Hillary Clinton and John McCain (Goldman Sachs executives ponied up $1 million, more than any other private source of funding in 2008). Obama far outraised his Republican rival, John McCain, on Wall Street–around $16 million to $9 million. As it turned out, Obama apparently actually meant what he said at that White House meeting–his administration effectively would stand between Big Finance and anything like a severe accounting. To the dismay of many of Obama’s supporters, nearly four years after the disaster, there has not been a single criminal charge filed by the federal government against any top executive of the elite financial institutions.

“It’s perplexing at best,” says Phil Angelides, the Democratic former California treasurer who chaired the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “It’s deeply troubling at worst.” […]

READ @ http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/06/why-can-t-obama-bring-wall-street-to-justice.html

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* JOHN PERKINS SPEAKING FREELY

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95MBlxjDsDU

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* GEORGE BUSH ‘GUILTY OF TORTURE

Source: Express UK

FORMER US President George W Bush and seven key members of his team have been found guilty of war crimes by a tribunal in Malaysia.

Bush, his Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and five of their legal advisers were tried in their absence and convicted on Friday.

Victims of torture told a panel of five judges in Kuala Lumpur of their suffering at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the evidence, Briton Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, said he was beaten, put in a hood and left in solitary confinement. Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi said she was stripped and humiliated in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

Transcripts of the hearing will be sent to the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and the Security Council.

The five-day trial was regarded by some as purely symbolic. However, a member of the prosecution team, Professor Francis Boyle of Illinois University’s College of Law, said he was hopeful that Bush and his colleagues could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world. […]

READ @ http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/319726/George-Bush-guilty-of-the-torture

MORE @ http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/13/george-w-bush-dick-cheney-convicted-of-war-crimes/

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* FUKUSHIMA CATASTROPHE EXPLAINED

Source: youtube 

“Soon after the Fukushima accident last month, I stated publicly that a nuclear event of this size and catastrophic potential could present a medical problem of very large dimensions. Events have proven this observation to be true despite the nuclear industry’s campaign about the “minimal” health effects of so-called low-level radiation.” –Dr. Helen Caldicott

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcbUIklAwRs&feature=uploademail

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* CHICAGO NATO SUMMIT: PREVIEW AND PERSPECTIVE

Source: Global Research TV

Ever since its inception there have been those who have warned that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, far from offering a simple “collective security” pact to ensure the integrity of its member nations’ borders, would in fact be used as an offensive tool of imperial adventurism and conquest. Since the NATO-led Kosovo bombing campaign of 1999 at the very least, those fears have appeared more and more justified.

Since that time, NATO has continued to take a lead role in more and more overtly offensive campaigns of aggression in theatre after theatre. By now it is commonly understood to be an extension of the Pentagon itself, a convenient international military instrument for Washington to wield whenever the pretense of an international consensus cannot be achieved at the UN Security Council.

Find out more in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.

VIDEO @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/the-chicago-nato-summit-preview-and-perspective/

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* DHS CONCEDING FULL BODY SCANNER MIGHT NOT WORK

By Irene North, Daily Censored

From the very first installation of full body scanners at the nation’s airports there have been questions about their legality as well as their effectiveness. An unclassified report, which can be found on the US government’s website, now concedes that the scanners probably don’t work.

Exactly how bad the body scanners are is not being divulged publicly, but the Inspector General report made eight separate recommendations on how to improve screening.

It was not immediately known when the TSA published its unclassified summary, TSA Penetration Testing of Advanced Imaging Technology. It comes with a “November 2011″ date and can be found on the DHS Office of Inspector General website under the heading “OIG Reports: Fiscal Year 2012.”

It’s not the first time the body scanners, produced by Rapiscan and L-3 Communications, have come under attack. In a three-part series last year, Wired reported that, indeed, there were suspected security flaws with them. Even the Government Accountability Office — Congress’ investigative arm — said the devices might be ineffective. And the Journal of Transportation Security suggested terrorists might fool the Rapiscan machines by taping explosive devices to their stomachs. […]

READ @ http://dailycensored.com/2012/05/12/dhs-conceding-full-body-scanners-might-not-work/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Dailycensored+%28Daily+Censored%29

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* MAKING BANKS SMALL ENOUGH AND SIMPLE ENOUGH TO FAIL

By Simon Johnson, Baseline Scenario

Almost exactly two years ago, at the height of the Senate debate on financial reform, a serious attempt was made to impose a binding size constraint on our largest banks. That effort – sometimes referred to as the Brown-Kaufman amendment – received the support of 33 senators and failed on the floor of the Senate. (Here is some of my Economix coverage from the time.)

On Wednesday, Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, introduced the Safe, Accountable, Fair and Efficient Banking Act, or SAFE, which would force the largest four banks in the country to shrink. (Details of this proposal, similar in name to the original Brown-Kaufman plan, are in this briefing memo for a Senate banking subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, available through Politico; see also these press release materials).

His proposal, while not likely to immediately become law, is garnering support from across the political spectrum – and more support than essentially the same ideas received two years ago.  This week’s debacle at JP Morgan only strengthens the case for this kind of legislative action in the near future. […]

READ @ http://baselinescenario.com/2012/05/12/making-banks-small-enough-and-simple-enough-to-fail/

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* THE EVOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PLANTATION

By Larken Rose, Alt-Market

A dramatic and well written parable of the insane and despotic nature of our current society.  America has indeed become a propaganda machine designed to encourage self-enslavement.  This is the essence of the collectivist ideal; to convince the masses that they must be subservient to the “greater good”.  But who determines what the “greater good” entails?  Well, the “qualified experts”, of course.  Collectivism is a plague that destroys the creative individualism and freedom of a culture and leaves it a worthless remnant.  The husk of a once meaningful endeavor.  The most successful of all tyrannies are those that are able to manipulate the people into participating in their own subjugation.  In the words of Goethe:

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

READ and VIDEO @ http://www.alt-market.com/articles/775-the-evolution-of-the-democratic-plantation

May 072012
 

* CHICAGO: WHY WE’LL MARCH

By Andy Thayer, StopNATO

A serious attack on the civil rights of every person in Chicago is under way and should disgust every thinking Chicagoan for its brazenness.

The run-up to the May 20-21 NATO summit has seen an effort by some to spread unnecessary fear of violence. The intention of this fear-mongering is to scare people from exercising the right to protest, a fundamental right enshrined in the First Amendment.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s proposal to reopen the long-shuttered Joliet prison for protest arrestees is simply a boneheaded idea. (Joliet, a hellhole when it was closed two decades after the making of “The Blues Brothers” movie, is undoubtedly much worse now for having been closed for a decade.)

Last week’s announcement of a “red zone” of troops in battle gear, to be deployed by the federal government in the South Loop, falls into the same category. So does the Red Cross sending out a mass email about putting Milwaukee on alert for the possible evacuation of Chicago, as reported by CBS News. […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/chicago-why-well-march/

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* SECRET SERVICE DETAILS NATO SUMMIT RESTRICTIONS

By Don Babwin, AP

Roadways, parking lots and some of Chicago’s top tourist attractions will close when world leaders come to the city later this month for the NATO Summit.

The U.S. Secret Service on Friday released what it calls its Security Restrictions and Transportation Plan for the May 20-21 summit, outlining a host of regulations for an area that stretches from O’Hare International Airport to downtown.

The plan calls for intermittent road closures on the Kennedy Expressway, the main thoroughfare that connects the airport to downtown, between May 19 and May 21 to accommodate the motorcades of world leaders attending the summit. […]

READ @ http://articles.boston.com/2012-05-04/news/31574975_1_nato-summit-summit-venue-world-leaders

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* NOAM CHOMSKY ON AMERICA’S ECONOMIC SUICIDE

By Laura Flanders and Noam Chomsky, AlterNet

Noam Chomsky has not just been watching the Occupy movement. A veteran of the civil rights, anti-war, and anti-intervention movements of the 1960s through the 1980s, he’s given lectures at Occupy Boston and talked with occupiers across the US.  His new book, Occupy, published in the Occupied Media Pamphlet Series by Zuccotti Park Press brings together several of those lectures, a speech on “occupying foreign policy” and a brief tribute to his friend and co-agitator Howard Zinn.

From his speeches, and in this conversation, it’s clear that the emeritus MIT professor and author is as impressed by the spontaneous, cooperative communities some Occupy encampments created, as he is by the movement’s political impact.

We’re a nation whose leaders are pursuing policies that amount to economic “suicide” Chomsky says. But there are glimmers of possibility – in worker co-operatives, and other spaces where people get a taste of a different way of living.

We talked in his office, for Free Speech TV on April 24. […]

READ @ http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/11285-noam-chomsky-on-americas-economic-suicide

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* THE AMERICAN CHARACTER

Fareed Zakaria says current policies make Americans “look like scared, fearful, losers”; is he right?

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Fareed Zakaria, normally a reliable and pleasant purveyor of conventional “centrist” wisdom, has a genuinely good and surprisingly confrontational CNN column today, in which he disputes the widespread belief that America is ending its War on Terror and explains what this reflects about the American character:

While we will leave the battlefields of the greater Middle East, we are firmly committed to the war on terror at home. What do I mean by that? Well, look at the expansion of federal bureaucracies to tackle this war.

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has created or reconfigured at least 263 organizations to tackle some aspect of the war on terror. Thirty-three new building complexes have been built for the intelligence bureaucracies alone, occupying 17 million square feet – the equivalent of 22 U.S. Capitols or three Pentagons. The largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs is now the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.

The rise of this national security state has entailed a vast expansion in the government’s powers that now touch every aspect of American life, even when seemingly unrelated to terrorism. Some 30,000 people, for example, are now employed exclusively to listen in on phone conversations and other communications within the United States.

In the past, the U.S. government has built up for wars, assumed emergency authority and sometimes abused that power, yet always demobilized after the war. But this is, of course, a war without end. . . . We don’t look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful, losers. […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/05/07/the_american_character/singleton/

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* ICELAND FORGIVES MORTGAGE DEBT TO SAVE ITS ECONOMY

By J.D. Hayes, Natural News

It’s probably not a concept that most U.S. banks and lawmakers want to think about, but the fact is, Iceland’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds since the government there implemented widespread debt forgiveness for many of its citizens.

The initiative came about http://www.bloomberg.com ” target=”_blank”>following protests by Icelanders in 2008-2009 who were angry at the country’s leaders and bankers for its fiscal and economic collapse. At one point, protestors gathered around the Parliament building and pelted it with rocks.

In the ensuing months, Iceland banks have forgiven loans equaling 13 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product, which has eased the debt burden for more than 25 percent of Iceland’s population, according to a February report published by the Icelandic Financial Services Association.

“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” Lars Christensen, chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, told Bloomberg News. “Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that.”

By any definition, the initiative has been a success. […]

READ @ http://www.naturalnews.com/035779_Iceland_mortgage_debt_economy.html

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* THOSE REVOLTING EUROPEANS

By Paul Krugman, NYTimes

Both countries held elections Sunday that were in effect referendums on the current European economic strategy, and in both countries voters turned two thumbs down. It’s far from clear how soon the votes will lead to changes in actual policy, but time is clearly running out for the strategy of recovery through austerity — and that’s a good thing.

Needless to say, that’s not what you heard from the usual suspects in the run-up to the elections. It was actually kind of funny to see the apostles of orthodoxy trying to portray the cautious, mild-mannered François Hollande as a figure of menace. He is “rather dangerous,” declared The Economist, which observed that he “genuinely believes in the need to create a fairer society.” Quelle horreur!

What is true is that Mr. Hollande’s victory means the end of “Merkozy,” the Franco-German axis that has enforced the austerity regime of the past two years. This would be a “dangerous” development if that strategy were working, or even had a reasonable chance of working. But it isn’t and doesn’t; it’s time to move on. Europe’s voters, it turns out, are wiser than the Continent’s best and brightest.

What’s wrong with the prescription of spending cuts as the remedy for Europe’s ills? One answer is that the confidence fairy doesn’t exist — that is, claims that slashing government spending would somehow encourage consumers and businesses to spend more have been overwhelmingly refuted by the experience of the past two years. So spending cuts in a depressed economy just make the depression deeper. […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/opinion/krugman-those-revolting-europeans.html?_r=1

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* CHANGE EUROPE CAN BELIEVE IN?

By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Europe may just be living a remix of the late 2008 moment when Barack Obama won the presidency in the United States. But this time, will it be real?

The election on Sunday of socialist Francois Hollande as president of France comes at an extraordinary historical junction. He may have risen to the occasion himself, stressing in his acceptance speech “austerity is not a fatality”. This is not only about France – it’s about the future of Europe. And when France talks – better yet, acts – Europe listens.

What a party that was in Bastille on Sunday night – capable of sending chills to any spine. A cross-section of French society sending a message to Europe and the wider world; it’s possible to dream of change – and most of all, social justice. There is an alternative.

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* SARKOZY LOSES IN FRANCE; GREEK VOTERS TURN ON ‘LEADERS’

By Roy Gutman, McClatchy Newspapers

Voters in France and Greece delivered a harsh judgment on their ruling parties in elections Sunday, ousting President Nicolas Sarkozy from power in France and severely punishing the two leading parties in Greece.

Final French results showed Socialist Francois Hollande beating Sarkozy with 52 percent of the vote, returning the Socialists to power in France for the first time in 17 years.

In Greece, where more than two dozen parties contested elections, the Socialist PASOK and its coalition partner New Democracy saw a dramatic cut in public support, and there was a chance that the breakaway Radical Left coalition, known as Syriza, Would finish first, official exit polls showed. […]

READ @ http://truth-out.org/news/item/8950-sarkozy-loses-in-france-greek-voters-also-turn-on-leaders

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* IN CASE IT’S ALL GREEK TO YOU

Source: SturdyBlog

The Greek election has huge implications for the rest of Europe. Here is a short explanation.

According to the exit polls (compiled by Singular Logic for the daily newspaper “Kathimerini”), seven parties are set to enter Parliament with the following number of seats:

NEA DIMOKRATIA – the centre-right party; broadly pro-austerity (109 seats)

SYRIZA – a coalition of radical left party; anti-austerity (50 seats)

PASOK – the centre-left party; broadly pro-austerity (42)

INDEPENDENT GREEKS – a right-wing newly formed party; think UKIP; anti-austerity (32)

KKE – the communist party; anti-austerity (26)

CHRISI AVGI – the far-right party; think BNP; anti-austerity (22)

DIMAR – social democratic party; anti-austerity (19)

This creates some tantalising possibilities. […]

READ @ https://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/in-case-its-all-greek-to-you/

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* THE WORST YET TO COME? WHY NUCLEAR EXPERTS ARE CALLING FUKUSHIMA A TICKING TIME-BOMB

Experts say acknowledging the threat would call into question the safety of dozens of identically designed nuclear power plants in the U.S.

By Brad Jacobson, AlterNet

More than a year after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the Japanese government, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) present similar assurances of the site’s current state: challenges remain but everything is under control. The worst is over.

But nuclear waste experts say the Japanese are literally playing with fire in the way nuclear spent fuel continues to be stored onsite, especially in reactor 4, which contains the most irradiated fuel — 10 times the deadly cesium-137 released during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. These experts also charge that the NRC is letting this threat fester because acknowledging it would call into question safety at dozens of identically designed nuclear power plants around the U.S., which contain exceedingly higher volumes of spent fuel in similar elevated pools outside of reinforced containment. […]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/environment/155283/the_worst_yet_to_come_why_nuclear_experts_are_calling_fukushima_a_ticking_time-bomb/

May 062012
 

 

* DAYS OF DECLINE

Posted by Elena Tiniakou

VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/40653924/

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* NEW POLICE STRATEGY IN NEW YORK – SEXUAL ASSAULT AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS 

By David Graeber, Naked Capitalism

A few weeks ago I was with a few companions from Occupy Wall Street in Union Square when an old friend — I’ll call her Eileen — passed through, her hand in a cast.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

“Oh, this?” she held it up. “I was in Liberty Park on the 17th [the Six Month Anniversary of the Occupation]. When the cops were pushing us out the park, one of them yanked at my breast.”

“Again?” someone said.

We had all been hearing stories like this. In fact, there had been continual reports of police officers groping women during the nightly evictions from Union Square itself over the previous two weeks.

“Yeah so I screamed at the guy, I said, ‘you grabbed my boob! what are you, some kind of fucking pervert?’ So they took me behind the lines and broke my wrists.” […]

READ @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/david-graeber-new-police-strategy-in-new-york-sexual-assault-against-peaceful-protestors.html

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* WE NO LONGER CONTROL OUR OWN COUNTRY

By Thomas Heffner, Economy in Crisis

We no longer control our own country! This is not an idle statement or a joke and few people, even our legislators, are aware of it. We are now controlled by the WTO – Here is how:

We are controlled to a great extent by the WTO. It is a biased undemocratic organization of 153 nations that limits America’s ability to act in its own best interest, in fact it works to our detriment ruling against us 9 out of every 10 times.

By signing the agreement with the World Trade Organization, the U.S. President and Congress agreed to concede a major portion of our Constitution in favor of the WTO’s constitution and relinquish our sovereignty and usurp our democratic legislative process, including:

  • Conforming U.S. laws, regulations and administrative procedures to the will of the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
  • Subjecting all federal, state and local laws and practices that affect trade to international review by the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
  • Allowing any WTO member country to challenge federal, state and local laws and practices as trade impeding (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
  • Taking all trade disputes to the WTO judiciary – giving the WTO final jurisdiction over all trade altercations. No appeal exists outside of the WTO (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
  • Empowering the WTO to enforce its rulings by imposing fines on the United States until we comply
  • In it, the United States has no larger vote than a smaller country, such as Grenada (Article IX, p. 5) […]

READ @ http://economyincrisis.org/content/we-no-longer-control-our-own-country

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* MORE FEDERAL JUDGE ABDICATION

The branch designed to be insulated from political pressures has been the most craven of all in the post-9/11 era

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

The abdication of U.S. federal judges in the post-9/11 era, and their craven subservience to Executive Branch security claims, has been a topic I’ve written about several times over the past couples of weeks. Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the argument of the Obama DOJ that John Yoo is — needless to say — fully immune from any and all liability for having authorized the torture of Jose Padilla, on the ground that the illegality of Yoo’s conduct was not “beyond debate” at the time he engaged in it. Everything I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the identical shielding of Donald Rumsfeld by federal courts and the Obama DOJ from similar claims applies to yesterday’s ruling, and The New York Times has a good editorial today condemning this ruling as “misguided and dangerous.”

In sum, this yet again underscores that of all the American institutions that have so profoundly failed in the wake of 9/11 to protect the most basic liberties — Congress, both political parties, the establishment media, the Executive Branch, the DOJ specifically — none has been quite as disgraceful as the federal judiciary, whose life tenure is supposed to insulate them from base political pressures that produce cowardly and corrupted choices. And yet, just consider these two facts:

(1) not a single War on Terror victim — not one — has been permitted to sue for damages in an American court over what was done to them, even when everyone admits they were completely innocent, even when they were subjected to the most brutal torture, and even when the judiciary of other countries permitted their lawsuits to proceed; and,

(2) not a single government official — not one — has been held legally accountable, either criminally or even civilly, for any War on Terror crimes or abuses; perversely, the only government officials to pay any price were the ones who blew the whistle on those crimes. […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/05/04/more_federal_judge_abdication/singleton/

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* PENTAGON: WARS USED TO TRAIN GLOBAL NATO EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO

In the past seventeen years millions of troops from approximately 60 nations have served under NATO command in wars and post-war zones in several countries outside of the military bloc’s territory.

The NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia had 60,000 troops in 1995, the Kosovo Force 50,000 in 1999, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan 140,000 at peak strength and smaller detachments have served with Operation Unified Protector in Libya, Operation Allied Harmony in Macedonia, Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea and Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

With rotations, the number of troops serving under the alliance’s command in Southeastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East is likely in the millions. In 2010 the American commander of the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan said that 55,000 NATO troops had been airlifted through that base to Afghanistan in May of that year, an annual rate of two-thirds of a million at a time when an estimated 140,000 of 152,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan were serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

NATO forces have also been stationed in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the past decade. […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/pentagon-wars-used-to-train-global-nato-expeditionary-force/

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* VOTING UNDERWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Source: Athens News

Voting in the 2012 general election got underway at 7am on Sunday at 20,560 polling stations in 56 constituencies across the country.

Polling stations will remain open until 7pm.

A total of 9,850,803 people (4,771,377 men and 5,079,425 women) are registered to vote, of which 3.65 percent are first-time voters.

The voting age is normally 18 and over, but all citizens born in 1994 will be allowed to participate, whether they have reached 18 or not.

There are 6,510 candidates running in the election.

Parliament comprises 300 MPs, 238 of whom are voted directly according to the reinforced proportional representation system in eight single- and 48 multiseat constituencies. […]

[…] Unofficial exit polls will be announced, via the media, by the country’s polling agencies shortly after the closing of polling stations.

The authorities say that they expect results from a quarter of polling stations by 9.30am, while the first indicative results are anticipated no sooner than 11am on Sunday night.

The counting should be completed in the early hours of Monday morning. […]

READ @ http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/55374

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* DEMOCRACY FOR SALE

By Igor Ignatchenko, Strategic Culture Foundation

On May 6 Greece is to hold snap parliamentary elections against the background of unparalleled social-economic and political crisis. No matter all the bail out “aid” tranches received the situation us not getting better a bit, one can hardly call the living standards of Greeks to be satisfactory at present. The more credits the government takes the more the noose gets tightened on the whole country. The first aid package (approximately €100 billion) only worsened the situation, the Greek external debt grew twice to € 360 billion but the crisis was there to stay. More and more often the Greeks start to blame their politicians for the hard times. It’s them, as they see it, who have sold out the country to international financial organizations.

The two leading political parties of the country are discredited: the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), that won the last elections in October 2009 (headed by former finance minister Evangelos ), and the right-of-centre New Democracy (ND) headed by Antonis Samaras. The both parties took part in signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union that tightly tied Greece to foreign creditors. […]

READ @ http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/05/06/democracy-for-sale.html

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* FRANCE VOTES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF

Source: Aljazeera

France’s 46 million voters have gone to the polls to choose between Socialist Francois Hollande and conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YqLA3eRTUMA

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* FELIP PUIG: THE PSYCHOPATH WHO KEEPS BARCELONA ON LOCK-DOWN

With Barcelona on lock-down over a European Central Bank meeting, the Minister of the Interior of Catalonia is making a name for himself as a tyrant.

By Carlos Delclos, RoarMag

In a gesture intended to win the confidence of the ECB, Felip Puig — Minister of the Interior for the region of Catalonia — has once again managed to convey to the general public (and investors with no interest in ignoring social facts and their long-term consequences) both his incompetence and his eroding legitimacy. This is just par for the course for Puig, who famously vowed to go “as far as the law allows, and even beyond” to repress social movements.

It started with the preventive incarceration of students, activists and union leaders in the aftermath of the March 29th Spanish general strike, with the excuse that the detainees were likely to either flee the country or participate in the May Day protests and the May 3rd protest against the European Central Bank’s summit in Barcelona. The Spanish government, acting on Puig’s request, also suspended the Schengen protocol (which guarantees the free movement of European residents across European borders) citing security reasons. […]

[…] What did coincide with this date was a massive and curiously humble student protest against exponentially rising college tuition rates and in solidarity with the jailed student activists, who remain in preventive custody after more than a month. On a beautiful spring day, thousands of students marched through the Arc de Triomf to share a meal at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and collect funds for legal fees. But the Apocalypse Express had already departed, and the president of this university, Joan Josep Moreso, decided to shut down the university due to security concerns rising from the university’s proximity to the 5-star hotel in which the ECB summit was taking place. […]

READ @ http://roarmag.org/2012/05/felip-puig-barcelona-schengen-european-central-bank/

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* SENATOR: FUKUSHIMA FUEL POOL IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE FOR AMERICA

Source: Washington’s Blog

After visiting Fukushima, Senator Ron Wyden warned that the situation was worse than reported … and urged Japan to accept international help to stabilize dangerous spent fuel pools.

An international coalition of nuclear scientists and non-profit groups are calling on the U.N. to coordinate a multi-national effort to stabilize the fuel pools. And see this.

Fuel pool number 4 is, indeed, the top short-term threat facing humanity.

Anti-nuclear physician Dr. Helen Caldicott says that if fuel pool 4 collapses, she will evacuate her family from Boston and move them to the Southern Hemisphere. This is an especially dramatic statement given that the West Coast is much more directly in the path of Fukushima radiation than the East Coast.

And nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen recently said (at 25:00):

There’s more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground…

But of course it would happen all at once.

It would certainly destroy Japan as a functioning country…

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/05/senator-fukushima-fuel-pool-is-a-national-security-issue-for-america.html

Apr 142012
 

 

* NAVAL COMMANDER STANDS TRIAL FOR TELLING SUPER COMMITTEE TO END THE WARS AND TAX THE RICH 

By Michael Levitin, Truthout

Consider the story of Leah Bolger, the latest American hero up on trial:

She is a young female artist in the Midwest. She joins the Navy at 22, is made commander and serves two decades as an anti-submarine warfare specialist. After retiring she joins Veterans for Peace and becomes the organization’s first female president. Then, in October of 2011, she commits the crime of interrupting a public congressional hearing of the Super Committee to deliver a message from the 99 percent: End the wars and tax the rich to fix the deficit.

Because of her 45-second transgression, Commander Bolger now faces a court trial this Thursday morning, April 12, where she could receive a maximum jail sentence of six months. Bolger, 54, intends to plead guilty and use her court appearance to draw the connection between America’s deficit debacle and the three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollar defense budget we, as voting taxpayers, spend as a base-mark for failed and unending military ventures overseas.

Bolger has no illusions about what Americans are up against: a corporate-run military machine that she says “is so big and complicated and intertwined with the government and Congress and the media that I don’t know where you can start unraveling the knot.” […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://truth-out.org/news/item/8488-naval-commander-stands-trial-for-telling-super-committee-to-end-the-wars

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* FIX INCOME INEQUALITY WITH $10 MILLION LOANS FOR EVERYONE!

By Sheila Blair (Former FDIC Chairwoman), Washington Post

[…] Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)

Think of what we can do with all that money. We can pay off our underwater mortgages and replenish our retirement accounts without spending one day schlepping into the office. With a few quick keystrokes, we’ll be golden for the next 10 years. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fix-income-inequality-with-10-million-loans-for-everyone/2012/04/13/gIQATUQAFT_story.html

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* ICELAND FORGIVES MORTGAGE DEBT OF ITS POPULATION

Source: youtube

The government of Iceland has forgiven the mortgage debt for much of its population. This nation chose a very different way of stopping the crisis from the rest of European countries. It decided to hear the requests of the population and to put politicians and bankers on the bench of the accused three years after their financial excesses would sank one of the most prosperous economies in 2008.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyxzg58JkYI

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* DEBT CRISIS PLOTTED TO DELIVER THE EURO TO THE IMF

Source: The Daily Bell

Spanish bailout ‘impossible’ for eurozone, says prime minister Mariano Rajoy … The eurozone is not equipped to bail out Spain, the country’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy has admitted, as global traders continued to punish the nation’s stocks and bonds. Mr Rajoy said it was “not possible to rescue Spain” but insisted his country did not need a Greek-style international bail-out anyway …Christine Lagarde, the boss of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also warned that Europe’s rescue mechanisms were not enough to restore confidence to global markets but said the IMF could provide a “global firewall”. Speaking in Washington on Thursday, Ms Lagarde, who is seeking to raise $500bn (£313.4bn) in extra funds for the IMF from the G20, warned risks to the global economy “remain high; the situation fragile”. “We need a broader approach – and a stronger global firewall – if we are to push back this crisis. The IMF can help. But to be as effective as possible, we need to increase our resources.” – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: What is needed is a global currency.

Free-Market Analysis: We’ve long since come to the conclusion that the EU‘s sovereign crisis is a manufactured one. This article supports such a conclusion, in our view.

One has to keep in mind the artificiality of the current economic construct. The economy of the world is run via monopoly fiat/paper money printed by central banks. It is this system that has seemingly crashed half of the world’s economy and is well on the way to delivering China into the same situation.

If China’s economy folds – and it seems well on the way – there will likely be a global depression. The elites, in our view, are preparing to offer up the International Monetary Funds’ SDRs as an alternate currency. The IMF is increasingly active as the “lender of last resort” throughout the world (see article excerpt above).

The EU crisis itself, as we have often pointed out, started when certain poorer countries were given large amounts of money by Brussels to “equalize” the economy. These funds were supposed to allow the bureaucracies to address native imbalances and create fiscal health.

Of course, this money was nothing but a kind of bribe. The elites of the given nation pocketed the funds and then made sure their countries entered the EU. After this occurred, further lending took place via the elite’s top, European commercial banks. […]

READ @ http://www.thedailybell.com/3789/Debt-Crisis-Plotted-to-Deliver-the-Euro-to-the-IMF

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* BRAVE NEW BANK? BRICS MOOT DROPPING DOLLAR, IMF

Source: RT

The BRICS summit has wrapped up in India. Creating an alternative global lender and stepping away from the dollar as a reserve currency were among their main objectives. RT also spoke to Dr Sreeram Chaulia, who is a Vice Dean at the Jindal School of International Affairs. He believes institutions like the IMF and the World Bank have outlived their uselfulness.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vg9qvYwQHg

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* 97% OWNED – PREVIEWS

By Jerome Roos, RoarMag

PREVIEW 1

PREVIEW 2

As Greece and the Euro once more stumble towards inevitable disaster it’s time to stop asking “those that got us into this mess, to get us out”.

For too long documentary makers have followed suit, chasing big ticket interviews whilst failing to ask the simple question “How is money created and who benefits”.

97% Owned is the documentary that broke ranks to investigate this ever changing system, to answer those simple questions, for it is the monetary system that provides the foundations for international dominance and national control.

Fresh thinking, new ideas and answers to these simple questions are squeezed into this 3hr expose.

97% owned is from the creative team behind Generation OS13: The New Culture of resistance, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY4VZr8Ox94) continuing the distinctive ‘tour de force’ style and artistic interpretation. Due for release April 2012.

READ and VIDEO @ http://roarmag.org/2012/03/97-percent-owned-queue-politely-teaser/

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* GREECE: SOLIDARITY WITH THE NO TAV MOVEMENT FROM CORFU

Source: ContraInfo

In the evening of April 10th, 2012, an initiative of comrades from social centres/squats on Corfu held a gathering in Georgaki Square in solidarity with the NO TAV movement, including related screenings from the ongoing struggle, distribution of counter-informative texts and a banner.

If you ask why the NO TAV movement in Italy concerns us, one reason is the obvious similarities with the Greek reality. In Italy (Monti) as in Greece (Papademos) the prime ministers are appointed bankers. In both countries they want us to believe the same lies about ‘development’ being a ‘benefit to society’. Their ‘development’, whether it’s the TAV or the wind turbines on Mount Pantokrator on Corfu, is always trampling upon local populations’ lives and nature, and only the Capital benefits from all this. This type of construction and mining works are undertaken in favor of big contractors who ‘happen to be’ the Mafia in Italy, and national contracting companies in Greece, such as those of Bobolas.

In both countries the corporate media play the same role, always favoring each owner and boss; slandering and distorting every social struggle; dividing protesters into ‘violent’ and ‘peaceful’; trying to turn public opinion against every resistance movement, and projecting the one and only truth, that of police and each contractor. […]

Development is not for the peoples but for Mafiosi and bosses.
Strength, comrades! We learn from your fight!

READ @ http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2012/04/14/greece-solidarity-with-the-no-tav-movement-from-corfu/

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* FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NO. 4: AN EARTHQUAKE BEFORE SPENT FUEL RODS ARE MOVED TO SAFE STORAGE WOULD BE ”THE END

By Lambert Strether, Naked Capitalism

This clip from TV Asahi is a lucid explanation of the biggest ongoing news story in the world today: The catastrophic consequences if an earthquake strikes the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 power plant before its spent fuel rods are moved to safe storage place, a process that will not even begin until December 2013, and could take years. It aired March 8, 2012 on “Morning Bird,” a mainstream Japanese news and information TV program. […]

NOTE Click the CC button at bottom right to show English subtitles!

READ / VIDEO / TRANSCRIPTS @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/fukushima-dai-ichi-no-4-an-earthquake-before-spent-fuel-rods-are-moved-to-safe-storage-would-be-the-end.html

Mar 282012
 

 

* BANK OF AMERICA IS A RAGING HURRICANE OF THEFT AND FRAUD

By Matt Taibbi, OccupyWallStreet

There are two things every American needs to know about Bank of America.

The first is that it’s corrupt. This bank has systematically defrauded almost everyone with whom it has a significant business relationship, cheating investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the state. It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake.

The second is that all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it’s a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business. In fact, without the continued generosity of us taxpayers, and the extraordinary indulgence of our regulators and elected officials, this company long ago would have been swallowed up by scandal, mismanagement, prosecution and litigation, and gone out of business. It would have been liquidated and its component parts sold off, perhaps into a series of smaller regional businesses that would have more respect for the law, and be more responsive to their customers. […]

READ @ http://fthebanks.org/matt-taibbi-on-bank-of-america/

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* RADIATION ‘FATALLY HIGH’ AT JAPAN REACTOR

Examination of containment chamber of tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant’s number 2 reactor reveals extensive damage.

Source: Aljazeera

[…] The data collected on Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster is so severe that the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant. The process is expected to last decades.

The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The number 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.

‘Dangerously high’ radiation

Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of the melted fuel had breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor. […]

READ @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/03/2012328112051435937.html

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* GULF FISHERIES IN DECLINE AFTER OIL DISASTER

Nearly two years after BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen and scientists say things are getting worse

By Dahr Jamail, Aljazeera

[…] Poynot said that many people, even some of his employees, continue to be afraid to eat seafood from the Gulf, for fear of contamination by BP’s oil and dispersants.

“It’s hard to believe the impact of the spill,” Poynot added. “I have heard that some folks are still catching tar balls in their crab traps.”

Apparently, the fact that the State of Louisiana received $18m from BP for the Louisiana Seafood Safety Plan to test seafood, water and soil from across the coast is not helping to assuage fears.

Keith Ladner, a third-generation seafood processor in Bay St Louis, Mississippi, has it even worse.

“I’m worried about the entire seafood industry of the Gulf being on the way out,” Ladner told Al Jazeera in Biloxi, Mississippi. “We have taken constant hits like Katrina, the economy, and now BP. I’m now unsure how many of us will come back from this.”

Ladner reiterated what Al Jazeera has been hearing from fishermen, seafood processors and distributors all along the coast – that there has been a two-thirds drop in brown shrimp production, and white shrimp season was basically non-existent.

“The only brown and white shrimp we see now are from Texas or western Louisiana, where the oil didn’t impact directly,” he said. “And for oysters, Mississippi’s oyster reefs have been closed since the spill started. I have not purchased one single sack of oysters since the spill, and I won’t eat any from this area.” […]

READ @ http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/03/20123571723894800.html

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* DOMINICAN JUDGE SENDS 4 SUSPECTED ANONYMOUS HACKERS TO JAIL FOR 3 MONTHS; NO CHARGES FILED

Source: AP

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A judge in the Dominican Republic has ordered four suspected members of the loose-knit Anonymous hacker movement held in jail for three months during an investigation of their activities.

No charges have been filed, but the Dominican legal system allows for preventive detention. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/dominican-judge-sends-4-suspected-anonymous-hackers-to-jail-for-3-months-no-charges-filed/2012/03/27/gIQAjHT8eS_story.html

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* OBAMACARE’S SUPREME COURT DISASTER

By Adam Serwer, MotherJones

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court.

Stepping up to the podium, Verrilli stammered as he began his argument. He coughed, he cleared his throat, he took a drink of water. And that was before he even finished the first part of his argument. Sounding less like a world-class lawyer and more like a teenager giving an oral presentation for the first time, Verrilli delivered a rambling, apprehensive legal defense of liberalism’s biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s—and one that may well have doubled as its eulogy. […]

READ @ http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/obamacare-supreme-court-disaster

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* REPEAL THE  “STAND YOUR GROUND” LAWS

By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post

[…] The Florida law took effect in 2005. Five years later, the Tampa Bay Times said that reports of justifiable homicide across the state had tripled. The newspaper found cases in which the protection of Stand Your Ground had been invoked by persons who felt — perhaps with good reason, perhaps not — that they faced imminent attack in their homes. Those incidents were at least in keeping with the intent of the legislation. But the paper also found the law being used to excuse violence committed during fights at house parties, disputes between neighbors and disagreements in public parks.

“Gangsters are using this law to have gunfights,” Tallahassee state’s attorney Willie Meggs told the Times.

Following Florida’s lead, about 20 states have enacted similar legislation. I doubt you will be surprised to hear that the National Rifle Association has lobbied hard to get these dangerous and unnecessary statutes approved.

These laws encourage hotheads to go into potential confrontations with loaded firearms. They give permission to shoot first and ask questions later. This may be good for gun manufacturers, funeral homes and the NRA, but it’s tragic for justice in America. [...]

READ @ http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8139-repeal-the-stand-your-ground-laws

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* THE MODERN DAY GILDED AGE – IN 2012 TOP ONE PERCENT CAPTURED OVER HALF OF ALL IN COME GAINS. FROM EARLY 2009 THE S&P 500 IS UP 109 PERCENT BUT HOME PRICES ARE AT NEW LOWS FALLING ALMOST 34 PERCENT

Source: MyBudget360

Most Americans derive their net worth from the equity built up in their homes.  This has been the case for many decades.  As the stock market races upwards to stratospheric highs it is hard for many average Americans to understand why it is that economically they are stuck in the same place.  New tax data reveals that Americans are living in a modern day Gilded Age.  The massive income inequality has only been exacerbated in the recent grand recession.  Many Americans with a per capita annual wage of $25,000 have a hard time saving any sizeable amount of money once the cost of living is extracted from their income.  This trend has only continued and IRS tax data reveals that the gap between middle class and wealthy is only getting bigger.  This is why even in spite of a stunning stock market run, we have a record 46,000,000 Americans receiving food assistance and working class families are seeing very little growth in their real wages. […]

READ and CHARTS @ http://www.mybudget360.com/top-1-percent-wealth-gains-in-2010-top-wage-earner-growth/

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* GREECE’S FRINGE PARTIES SURGE AMID BAILOUT IRE

By Alkman Granitsas and Marcus Walker, The Wall Street Journal

ATHENS—Weeks after agreeing to an agonizing bailout deal with Europe, Greece is splintering politically ahead of national elections, raising the risk that it won’t be able to make the economic sacrifices still needed to keep it in the euro.

The election, not yet scheduled but expected in April or May, is shaping up as a public revolt against Greece’s political establishment, which has backed the austerity policies that are the price of financial life support from Europe and the International Monetary Fund. Mainstream politicians are increasingly painted as leading Greece into a debt trap, then impoverishing it in trying to escape.

As a result, Greece’s major parties, which have promised Europe they will enact yet another round of deep public-spending cuts by summer, are struggling for support.

Half the electorate plans to vote for radical opposition groups, ranging from Soviet-style Communists to anti-immigrant neo-Nazis, according to recent opinion polls. That could lead to growing political instability even if the established parties cling to power, undermining Greece’s ability to enact the drastic spending cuts and economic overhauls its creditors demanded. […]

READ @ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577305691587114600.html

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* ROUGH JUSTICE: UK PROTESTER ALMOST KILLED BY COPS FACES JAIL

Source: RT

A British student who suffered a near-fatal blow to the head in police clashes during a student demo – is on trial himself for the violence. Alfie Meadows and 50 others ended up in hospital after the fighting during protests over tuition fees. He could be jailed for 5 years if convicted but, as Ivor Bennett explains, his supporters want to see the police face justice over brutality.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzY7KQA2EsQ&feature=player_embedded

Jan 252012
 

 

INSIDE THE FUKUSHIMA I NUCLEAR PLANT REACTOR 2 CONTAINMENT VESSEL 1/19/12

Source: youtube.com/enenews.com

TEPCO conducted an endoscopy of the Containment Vessel of Reactor 2 to see the inside. In a recent press conference, TEPCO’s spokesman, Matsumoto, said that the white specs in the video are from gamma rays and the white streaks across the screen are water droplets.

The endoscope is made by Olympus. Drilling the hole on the Containment Vessel was done on January 17, requiring 40 workers in 10 teams. The endoscopy operation on January 19 took 34 workers, one hour, working right next to the Containment Vessel.

For more about this operation:

http://bit.ly/xQC8Eo
http://bit.ly/zeAG56

For more Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident and radiation contamination in Japan:

www.exskf.com (English)
www.exskf-jp.com (Japanese)

READ @ http://enenews.com/sitting-down-actual-gamma-rays-fukushima-footage-appearing-focus-streaks-flashes-video