Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2009

The Foreign Policy of Optimism

Rubrick Biegon, Foreign Policy in Focus: "Times are trying for American exceptionalism, that peculiar notion that the United States is unique in its attributes and qualitatively different from the rest of the international community. For many Americans, the Great Recession, set against the military quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, has clouded their view of the United States as a beacon of progress and anchor of stability in a turbulent world."

http://www.truthout.org/topstories/122909sg05



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=recession
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Afghanistan
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=foreign+policy
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=military+quagmire
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Rubrick+Biegon

AIG Executives Failed to Repay Majority of Bonuses

Jason Leopold, Truthout: "Despite previous promises, beleaguered insurance giant American International Group (AIG) has failed to return tens of millions of dollars in bonus payments the firm doled out to executives following the company's spectacular unraveling and subsequent multibillion government bailout, according to a recent report by the special inspector general for the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)."

http://www.truthout.org/topstories/122909jl01



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Exeter phone mast plan protests

Express & Echo

SCORES of Exeter residents are objecting to plans for a mobile phone mast on one of the city's busiest streets. Phone giant Orange is seeking planning ...

http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Exeter-phone-mast-plan-protests/article-1655909-detail/article.html

Vodafone appeal over Cheylesmore mobile phone mast

Coventry Telegraph

The appeal this month has sparked anger in the Cheylesmore community which collected 500 names for a petition against plans for a mobile phone mast near the...

http://tinyurl.com/ykpjdn5

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Vodafone return with new Cheylesmore phone mast plan
http://www.buergerwelle.de:8080/helma/twoday/bwnews/stories/3081/



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Cheylesmore

Financial Coup D'Etat

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/760.html



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=economic+collapse
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=IMF

Are US wars fueling domestic terrorism?

The Nation Blog
by Katrina vanden Heuvel

12/27/09

Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan creating a domestic terrorist threat? The potential disaster of a Nigerian man attempting to blow up a US airliner on Christmas day forces us to confront the question. … What is needed now are not partisan fights about whether the Obama Administration was doing enough to guard against terrorist attacks in the wake of shootings last month at Fort Hood, Texas. Instead, we should question whether our overreaction to the crimes against humanity on 9/11 — including the creation of an endless ‘war’ against terrorism — has done more to undermine our security than enhance it...

http://tinyurl.com/ya2qscr



Who’s to blame for the massive deficit?

Cato Institute
by Daniel J. Mitchell

12/29/09

Some Republicans … complain that Obama tripled the budget deficit in his first year. This assertion is understandable, since the deficit jumped from about $450 billion in 2008 to $1.4 trillion in 2009. As this chart illustrates, with the Bush years in green, it appears as if Obama’s policies have led to an explosion of debt. But there is one rather important detail that makes a big difference. The chart is based on the assumption that the current administration should be blamed for the 2009 fiscal year...

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11094



Fiscal irresponsibility

Intellectual Conservative
by Steven D. Laib

12/27/09

Years ago when I lived in California my office had a significant consumer bankruptcy practice. Along the way I did a lot of client counseling and learned a significant amount about how people got themselves into financial problems. Generally it started with spending well beyond their means in order to impress others. Then things started to go wrong and they weren’t able to make the monthly payments. They started borrowing from other people, or transferring balances between credit cards, and eventually had no recourse other than to call it quits and start over again. The United States of America is heading down the same path. Meanwhile, despite government claims to the contrary the economy continues to fail and tax revenues decline with it. This makes the situation worse, and the only medicine Washington is willing to prescribe is more taxes and more government spending. It seems that they are intent on killing, rather than healing the patient...

http://tinyurl.com/ychggsg



America’s decade of decline

The American Conservative
by Patrick J. Buchanan

12/28/09

According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States began the century producing 32 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. We ended the decade producing 24 percent. No nation in modern history, save for the late Soviet Union, has seen so precipitous a decline in relative power in a single decade. The United States began the century with a budget surplus. We ended with a deficit of 10 percent of gross domestic product, which will be repeated in 2010. Where the economy was at full employment in 2000, 10 percent of the labor force is out of work today and another 7 percent is underemployed or has given up looking for a job...

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2009/12/28/americas-decade-of-decline/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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Detainees are not persons

The Libertarian Enterprise
by Jim Davidson

12/28/09

The Obama administration coerced the Supreme Court to make the following ruling: anyone the president declares to be an ‘enemy combatant’ who is detained by the USA military government is not a person. Therefore, such unpersons have no rights, no protections under the constitution. You are all slaves. Stop working, and you are the enemy. Stop paying taxes, you are the enemy. Stop obeying mindlessly, you are the enemy...

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2009/tle550-20091227-05.html



Terrorism is a cost of empire

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger

12/28/09

To justify the federal government’s massive post-9/11 infringements on civil liberties, the proponents of Big Government have sometimes said, ‘There hasn’t been another major terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11.’ I have responded with the following: ‘But if there had been another major terrorist attack, you Big Government advocates would be using that as a justification for even more severe infringements on civil liberties. So, either way you go, doesn’t Big Government win?’

http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2009-12-28.asp



The criminalization of protest

Reason
by Radley Balko

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., area for the better part of the last 10 years. So I’ve seen my share of demonstrations, although more often than not I just try to avoid the traffic nightmares they cause. Among the various classes of protests — pro-life, anti-war, environmental, and now tea parties — the most destructive are the anti-globalization marches. So when cops clashed with anti-globalization demonstrators at the Pittsburgh G-20 summit in September, it was easy to assume that most of the altercations represented justified police responses to overzealous protesters. But a number of disturbing photographs, videos, and witness accounts told a different story. Along with similar evidence from other recent high-stakes political events, they reveal an increasing, disquieting willingness to smother even peaceful dissent... (for publication 01/10)

http://reason.com/archives/2009/12/30/the-criminalization-of-protest


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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Leicestershire phone mast protesters celebrate Christmas in caravan

Leicester Mercury

For the past 10 months, volunteers fighting to stop a phone mast being put up near their homes have taken it in turns to watch over the place where Vodafone ...

http://tinyurl.com/ycul2bt

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Protestors tuck into turkey in caravan

Melton Today

Anti-phone mast protestors have been living there for more than 10 months ... The campaigners claim there are health risks to mobile phones and feel the ...

http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/news/Protestors-tuck-into-turkey-in.5944345.jp



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=mast+protester

Putzkräfte leisten für die Gesellschaft mehr als Banker

Eine Studie versucht zu demonstrieren, dass hohe Einkommen keineswegs mit mehr Leistung verbunden und für die Gesellschaft wichtiger sind als schlecht belohnte Jobs.

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/31/31727/1.html

Über globale und nationale Macht- und Funktionseliten

Wer die Fäden zieht

Gespräch mit dem Soziologen Hans Jürgen Krysmanski über globale und nationale Macht- und Funktionseliten. Teil 1

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/31/31762/1.html

Europol in der dritten Generation

Ab 1. Januar wird die Polizeibehörde zur EU-Agentur. Ihre Kompetenzen erweitern sich erneut erheblich.

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/31/31792/1.html



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Europol
http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Frontex

Obama: Digging Out or Digging Deeper?

Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA?
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/12/29-8

--------

Obama: Digging Out or Digging Deeper?
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/12/31-0



http://freepage.twoday.net/search?q=Obama
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Fünf Jahre Hartz IV sind fünf Jahre Armut und Ausgrenzung per Gesetz

29. Dezember 2009

Seit dem 1. Januar 2005 ist Hartz IV in Kraft. Es wurde durch die rot-grüne Koalition mit den Stimmen von Union und FDP eingeführt. Dazu erklärt die stellvertretende Parteivorsitzende Katja Kipping:

Für viele Menschen war und ist die Einführung von Hartz IV eine radikale Verschlechterung ihrer Situation. Das vollmundig versprochene Ziel, Menschen einen verbesserten Zugang zur Erwerbsarbeit zu ermöglichen, wurde nicht erreicht. Die Hälfte der betroffenen Bürgerinnen und Bürger sind auch nach drei Jahre Leistungsbezug nicht aus Hartz IV herausgekommen. (IAB Kurzbericht 5/09)

Hartz IV bedeutet Armut per Gesetz. Ehemalige Bezieherinnen und Bezieher der Arbeitslosenhilfe mussten hohe Einkommenseinbußen hinnehmen. Das Leistungsniveau von Hartz IV liegt weit unterhalb der Armutsgrenze, die nach den neuesten Auswertungen im Jahr 2007 bei 913 Euro lag (EU-SILC). Die Regelleistungen stehen aktuell beim Bundesverfassungsgericht auf dem Prüfstand.

Hartz IV bedeutet Ausgrenzung per Gesetz. Grundrechtswidrig werden Sozialleistungen bei mangelndem Wohlverhalten gekürzt bzw. gänzlich versagt. Es wurden im Jahr 2008 rund 789.000 Sanktionen ausgesprochen. Von diesen wurden 41,5 % durch Widersprüche und 65,3 % durch Klagen vollständig oder teilweise zurück genommen – entsprachen also nicht einmal den eigenen Gesetzesvorgaben. (vgl. Bundestagsdrucksache Nr. 16/13577)

Die Sanktionen und die Bedarfsgemeinschaftskonstruktion führen zu einer sozialrechtlichen Sippenhaft. Jungen Menschen unter 25 Jahren wird unter Androhung von Leistungsentzug der Auszug aus dem Elternhaus verwehrt. Erstmalig Leistungsbeziehende werden mit perspektivlosen, so genannten Sofortangeboten, aus dem Leistungsbezug gedrängt. Die von Hartz IV betroffenen Bürgerinnen und Bürger werden entrechtet und sind in den überlasteten Ämtern vielfältigen Demütigungen und Schikanen ausgesetzt. Sozialdetektive schnüffeln in der Privatsphäre. Missbrauchsunterstellungen werden per Gesetz und darüber hinaus von einigen Politikerinnen und Politikern reichlich gepflegt.

Mit Hartz IV ist die Förderung des Niedriglohnsektors vorangeschritten. Die bestehenden Zumutbarkeitsregelungen und die grundrechtswidrigen Sanktionen erzeugen sowohl auf die Leistungsbeziehenden als auch auf die Erwerbstätigen einen großen Druck, jeden auch noch so miserablen Job anzunehmen bzw. zu behalten. Die Bereitschaft auch schlechte Jobs anzunehmen, ist erheblich gestiegen. (IAB-Kurzbericht Nr. 19. vom
1.10.2007). Hartz IV führt zu einem flächendeckenden Kombilohn, der ausbeuterische Unternehmen mit allgemeinen Steuergeldern subventioniert.

Die verwaltungsmäßige Organisation der Grundsicherung für Arbeitsuchende ist misslungen. Sie ist vom obersten Verfassungsgericht als verfassungswidrig qualifiziert worden. Der Streit über organisatorische und finanzielle Zuständigkeiten wird auf dem Rücken der Leistung beziehenden Bürgerinnen und Bürger sowie der Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter der Ämter ausgetragen.

Alles in Allem: Hartz IV hat entscheidend zur radikalen Verschlechterung der sozialen und grundrechtlichen Situation in Deutschland beigetragen. Kennzeichen deutscher Zustände ist auch, dass die von Armut und Ausgrenzung betroffenen Menschen von einer großen Anzahl von Menschen als unnütz qualifiziert werden. (Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Hrsg.: Deutsche Zustände, Folge 6 und Folge 8. Frankfurt /Main, 2007 und 2009)

Die Spaltung der Gesellschaft schreitet voran. Daher gilt: Hartz IV muss weg – ohne Wenn und Aber. DIE LINKE streitet für eine sanktionsfreie, individuelle Mindestsicherung, einen Mindestlohn von 10 Euro und für gute Bedingungen der Erwerbsarbeit sowie für eine individuelle Kindergrundsicherung.

http://www.die-linke.de/nc/presse/presseerklaerungen/detail/artikel/fuenf-jahre-hartz-iv-sind-fuenf-jahre-armut-und-ausgrenzung-per-gesetz/

--------

Aktion mit "verfassungsrechtlichen Risiken"

Neuordnung der Argen als Sprengstoff für die "Grundsicherung für Arbeitssuchende".

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/31/31969/1.html



Der lebenslange Makel der arm Geborenen

Das britische Gremium für nationale Gleichheit ist schockiert über die Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung der Verhältnisse im Königreich, wie es sie noch nie zuvor gab.

http://www.heise.de/tp/blogs/8/146977



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Karzai, NATO clash over reports of 10 civilian deaths

Afghan government and foreign military officials sparred Tuesday over reports that 10 civilians died during a military operation - claims that further inflamed public sentiment against the international military presence.

http://www.kentucky.com/524/story/1075936.html



Afghans condemn US for 10 'civilian deaths'

"Obama! Obama! Take your soldiers out of Afghanistan!" the protesters chanted, wearing blue headbands with the words: "Stop killing us!"

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/12/200912281348623886.html



Afghans turn to Taleban justice as insurgents set up shadow government

Corruption and incompetence in President Karzai's Government - particularly at local level - have forced a growing number of people to seek the services of the Taleban.

http://snipurl.com/tx6hh



Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children

By Jerome Starkey in Kabul

American-led troops were accused yesterday of dragging innocent children from their beds and shooting them during a night raid that left ten people dead.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24290.htm



NATO airstrikes kill eight Afghan civilians

At least eight civilians have been killed in the latest airstrikes by NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, witnesses say. The attacks took place in Nadali district of Helmand province on Wednesday, Afghan witnesses told Press TV on Thursday.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115037&sectionid=351020403



Another 7 civilians killed in S. Afghanistan

"NATO-led troops carried out air strike outside Helmand's provincial capital Lashkargah on Wednesday, killing seven civilians and wounding two others," spokesman for provincial administration Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-12/31/content_12736619.htm



Afghan civilian death prompts anti-US rallies

The protestors chanted "death to Obama" and "death to foreign forces." The demonstrators also torched a US flag and an effigy of US President Barack Obama.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=115051&sectionid=351020403



Yankee go home: Hundreds of Afghans rally against NATO occupation forces

Hundreds of people, mostly students rallied in central Kabul and eastern Nangarhar provinces against the killing of civilians in foreign forces operations.

http://pakobserver.net/201001/04/news/topstories17.asp


From Information Clearing House

--------

Afghan Panel Says U.S. Strike Killed 8 Schoolboys
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/12/30-5

Afghan Attacks Highlights Role of CIA, Covert Forces
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/01-5



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Eavesdrop fears as mobile phone security codes cracked

Sydney Morning Herald

Billions of mobile phone users around the world are at risk of having their calls ... the communications link between the radio base station and handset. ...

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/eavesdrop-fears-as-mobile-phone-security-codes-cracked-20091230-lj90.html

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Security fear as mobile phone code is cracked

Financial Times

By Maija Palmer, technology correspondent

More than 3bn mobile phone users ... Every single base station may have to be changed in some older networks,” ...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/ee35fcdc-f70c-11de-9fb5-00144feab49a.html

America’s Looming Class War

http://www.lewrockwell.com/crovelli/crovelli40.1.html

--------

The End of the Rule of Law in America
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2008/10/14/p29419


From APFN daily update



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