Dienstag, 21. August 2007

Iraq's Elite Fleeing in Droves

Amira El Ahl, Volkhard Windfuhr and Bernhard Zand report for Der Spiegel: "Iraq, a country still shaken by daily violence, is currently the scene of what is likely the biggest refugee disaster since the displacement of Palestinians in the Arab-Israeli War in 1948 ... They are not just the country's poor and desperate. Many are the elites of a nation that already lost many of its best and brightest during decades of tyranny and economic embargoes."


Grapes of Wrath Return

Brent Budowsky writes for The Hill: "It is true that credit has been overextended in some cases and in some cases foreclosure was inevitable. However, what the media fails to report is the very large number of cases in which hard-working, law-abiding, honorable Americans were screwed in their jobs, screwed in their healthcare, then screwed by those who foreclosed rather than giving them more time, then screwed by the IRS, then screwed by the Fed that takes the money of the American people to help those who did wrong, without helping those who deserve more time."



Cheney Has Wiretap Documents, but Won't Share

The Associated Press reports, "Vice President Dick Cheney's office acknowledged it has documents that 'may be responsive' to an investigation into a secret eavesdropping program, although it indicated it would not turn over the papers without a fight."



Verdienen und verschwenden


Sanders Blasts Bush Assault on Children's Health


Human History: Our Future

by Nancy Levant

To find the future of today’s mankind, one must look to the past. I have said before that there has always been a limit or cap on the knowledge, money, and power that the common man has been permitted to achieve. Once that limit has been reached, orchestrated war(s), economic crashes, limits on food and water, human relocations, limited education, limited healthcare, and enforced workforces have always been the means to setting the commoner back to “controllable” levels. This is the global-historical pattern of power, control, and monetary theft........



Smashing Capitalism

by Barbara Ehrenreich, The Nation

For once, poor people have managed to rattle world financial markets.

Save Subprime Borrowers

by Dean Baker, Truthout

We can help victims of the mortgage crisis without bailing out hedge fund managers.

Legalized Loan Sharking

by Marney White, Commondreams

The permission Congress gave lenders to rob borrowers should be a big 2008 issue.

From TomPaine.common sense


Fünf Jahre Hartz IV: Eine Bilanz

Die Hartz-Gesetze sind der größte Einschnitt in die Arbeitsmarktpolitik seit Bestehen der Bundesrepublik. Sie führten zu erheblichen Verwerfungen am Arbeitsmarkt und erhöhten deutlich das Verarmungsrisiko Arbeitsloser, sagte DGB-Vorstandsmitglied Annelie Buntenbach zur DGB-Zwischenbilanz der ,modernen Dienstleistungen am Arbeitsmarkt’ am Mittwoch in Berlin. Vor fünf Jahren hatte die Hartz-Kommission ihre Empfehlungen der Öffentlichkeit vorgestellt.

Insbesondere Hartz IV mit dem ALG II und der Abkopplung der Leistungen vom zuletzt erzielten Lohnniveau sei ein fataler Paradigmenwechsel in der deutschen Arbeitsmarktpolitik. Lesen Sie weiter: http://www.gegen-hartz.de/nachrichtenueberhartziv/0344e199920a5b40a.php


Iraq War Resisters to Get Boost From Veterans Group

Aaron Glantz reports for OneWorld US, "Members of a leading Iraq war veterans' organization voted this weekend to launch a campaign encouraging US troops to refuse to fight."



Ohio E-Voting: Not-So-Secret Ballots

Declan McCullagh reports for CNET News, "Two Ohio activists have discovered that e-voting machines made by Election Systems and Software and used across the country produce time-stamped paper trails that permit the reconstruction of an election's results - including allowing voter names to be matched to their actual votes."



GOP Power Grab Scheme in California Could Swing 2008 Election

Senator Barbara Boxer writes in The Huffington Post: "Just when you thought it was safe to start thinking about having a Democrat in the White House, along comes a cynical power grab by Republican operatives. And unfortunately, it's happening right here in my own state of California. If you haven't heard already, Republican strategists recently announced plans to begin raising money for a dangerous initiative that would radically change the way California apportions our electoral votes in presidential elections."



Mobile phone letters anger

Orange is offering villagers in South Staffordshire £3,000 a year if they allow a mast to be set up on their land.

The firm has written to homes in two Essington streets making the rent offer in a bid to find out who owns nearby farm land.

Essington already has 28 masts and base stations and an action group has been set up to fight applications for more. Orange is now eyeing up vacant land behind Sneyd Lane which does not belong to the local authority. Letters have gone to Sneyd Lane and Bursnips Lane homes.

The move has angered campaigners, who are urging residents to think carefully before agreeing to have a mast so near to their house.

Read the full story in the Express & Star.

More evidence that Gonzales lied

Mother Jones
by Brian Beutler


Documents provided Thursday to House Democrats by FBI Director Robert Mueller reinforced the sense among Democrats and critics of the Bush Administration that Alberto Gonzales may have perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary committee. Last month, Gonzales testified before the committee about a March 10, 2004 visit he and then White House chief of staff Andrew Card paid to Ashcroft’s hospital room to talk about a secret surveillance program. … The heavily redacted notes shed no further light upon other aspects of the controversy, including Gonzales’ contention that the source of the discord was not the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program, but another surveillance program that he refused to identify. In response to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Gonzales insisted that Ashcroft seemed lucid in the hospital …. But Mueller’s notes belie that contention...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Giuliani’s escape from the real world

Human Events
by Steve Chapman


The call for going on offense is characteristic of Giuliani’s entire foreign policy — simple, muscular in tone and cheerfully divorced from the world we live in. His chief tactic is sounding pugnacious. But if tough talk were all we needed, the war in Iraq would be over, North Korea would be a model of decorum, and Iran would have given up its quest for nuclear weapons. On today’s five-stop swing through Iowa, he seldom mentions Iraq. But writing in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Giuliani calls for sticking with the current policy for as long as it takes, because we can’t accept ‘the consequences of failure.’ Such as? ‘Our enemies today would conclude that America’s will is weak and the civilization we pledged to defend is tired. Failure would be an invitation for more war, in even more difficult and dangerous circumstances.’ It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that lamenting the results of failure is not the same thing as averting it. What Giuliani never addresses is: What if we can’t find a way to succeed? Stubbornness is not a strategy...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Casualty of War

Mesabi Daily News
by Linda Tyssen


A grieving family stood at the grave that would hold their beloved boy. Men in uniform fired a salute, taps sounded. The flag on his coffin was folded and placed in the arms of his mother. At his funeral she had kissed his face one last time. And so, on Aug. 1 in the Virginia veterans plot, a soldier of the war in Iraq was laid to rest, his troubled soul finally at peace. Noah Charles Pierce, age 23, had taken his own life. Noah Pierce suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He knew it. His family knew it. Friends knew it. They tried desperately to help him. But to no avail...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


NYPD’s homegrown hysteria

Consortium News
by Nat Parry


An influential report by two New York Police Department counterterrorism analysts crosses a dangerous threshold in recasting the ‘war on terror’ as primarily a struggle that requires increased domestic surveillance and pre-emptive action against American Muslims who might become ‘homegrown terrorists’ by visiting Internet sites...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Was hier als Mittel gegen Kinderarmut verkauft wird, ist in Wahrheit ein Geschenk für Reiche!

21. August 2007

Zu den Vorschlägen der CDU zur Bekämpfung der Kinderarmut erklärt das Mitglied des Parteivorstandes Marc Mulia:

Sollte die CDU ernsthaft glauben, dass durch ein Familiensplitting Kinderarmut bekämpft werden kann, mangelt es ihr an politischem Sachverstand. Andernfalls wüsste sie, dass Familien, die von Hartz IV leben, nichts von solchen Regelungen haben. Stattdessen profitieren diejenigen mit hohen Einkommen am meisten von Entlastungen bei der Einkommenssteuer. Was hier als Mittel gegen Kinderarmut verkauft wird, ist in Wahrheit ein Geschenk für Reiche. Auch eine Senkung der Mehrwertsteuer für Babywindeln wird nach Einschätzung der LINKEN nicht zu einem spürbaren Rückgang der Kinderarmut beitragen. Der Schlüssel zur Überwindung von Kinderarmut liegt in der Umverteilung des gesellschaftlichen Reichtums. Insbesondere für die frühkindliche Bildung und für Schulen müssen mehr öffentliche Mittel zur Verfügung gestellt werden. DIE LINKE setzt sich für gebührenfreie und qualitativ hochwertige Angebote von der Kita bis zur Uni ein. Vor allem die Zahl der Kita-Plätze für unter 3-jährige muss erheblich ausgeweitet werden. Dieser Punkt wird zwar von der CDU ebenfalls genannt, jedoch sieht ihre Praxis ganz anders aus. Zum Beispiel im CDU-regierten Nordrhein-Westfalen wird aktuell die öffentliche Finanzierung von Kitas verschlechtert, so dass die Elternbeiträge erhöht werden müssen. Die aktuellen Vorschläge der CDU gehen zumeist an der Problemlage der gut zwei Millionen Kinder vorbei, die in Deutschland in Armut leben müssen. Die CDU erkennt nicht, dass es sich dabei größtenteils um die Opfer von Hartz IV handelt. Hartz IV ist Armut per Gesetz. Deshalb fordert DIE LINKE: Hartz IV muss weg! Es ist genug Geld da, so dass niemand in Deutschland in Armut leben muss. Das Geld ist aber in den falschen Händen. Im Rahmen einer ernsthaften öffentlichen Diskussion über Wege zur Bekämpfung der Kinderarmut in Deutschland wäre es aus der Sicht der LINKEN angemessen, dass sich die CDU zunächst für ihre unsoziale Politik der vergangenen Jahre entschuldigt und anerkennt, dass sie zusammen mit der SPD die Verantwortung für die Armut in Deutschland trägt.



Questions for Hillary Clinton


Clinton and Obama: Wed to Nuclear Terrorism


The Sole Superpower in Decline



US Lawmakers Get No Respite at Home on Iraq Debate


Protestors Rage Against North America Summit



US Unionists Protest Iraq Union Ban

Press Associates reports "Showing solidarity with unionists in Iraq, several dozen U.S. unionists marched on August 16 outside the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, protesting the Iraqi oil minister's ban on unions for oil workers."



Seven-year-old terrorist?

Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped in US three times on suspicion of being a terrorist.

U.S. diplomat accused of anti-Arab comments retires

A U.S. diplomat accused of having said "the only good Arab is a dead Arab" in a voice mail left with an Arab -American group has retired from the government, the State Department said on Thursday.


From Information Clearing House

Senator Upset With the Response to Subpoena

The White House did not fully comply today with a subpoena seeking material on the Bush administration's eavesdropping program, and a leading Democratic senator reacted with anger, if not surprise.


From Information Clearing House


The Russians Are Coming

Mosaic Intelligence Report


When Condoleezza Rice unveiled plans to funnel a staggering quantity of US military aid to several countries in the Middle East, it made headlines all over the world. Now it seems that Russia is moving its fleet to the Mediterranean. How will this affect Syria, Israel and Iran?


From Information Clearing House

US experts see more dangerous world for Americans

A majority of top U.S. foreign policy experts say the world is a more dangerous place for Americans today than just six months ago, thanks largely to the war in Iraq and a failing U.S. war on terrorism, a new survey shows.


From Information Clearing House

U.S. media curtail Iraq "war" coverage

Attention to the war dropped in all five media sectors surveyed. Network evening news, the sector that gave the war the greatest share of attention in the first quarter, scaled back more than 40 percent, from 33 percent in the first quarter to 19 percent in the second, the study showed.


From Information Clearing House


Mercenaries in Iraq Have Become U.S. Crutch

The expanded contractor use has evoked new attention to a 1995 criticism of the practice. According to the study, a Defense Department Commission on Roles and Missions found then that depending on contractors was detrimental and that it kept the Pentagon "from building and maintaining capacity needed for strategic or other important missions."


From Information Clearing House


U.S. Army running out of troops

The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by The Associated Press.


From Information Clearing House

Iraqis hold anti-occupation rally

Tens of thousands of Iraqis held a massive demonstration against the American forces' savage raids on the peaceful parts ofBaghdad Monday morning.


From Information Clearing House

Safety should be the primary concern in sites for cell towers

By Deborah Kopald

August 21, 2007

The Record's May 10 editorial regarding a proposed cell tower on the Blooming Grove highway garage stated, "The latest example of this [cell tower] conflict is in Blooming Grove where the idea of 150-foot towers has people objecting for a real reason [the view] and a not-so-real one ... health.'

This editorializing confuses opinion with fact. Health concerns about cell towers are real. Bottom line — the now ubiquitous digital cell spectrum uses a pulsed wave that is associated with severe DNA breakage in human cells, even at long distances. Cell towers are relatively new, but radar and air traffic control towers (also continuous emitters of extra-low frequency radiation) have been around long enough for studies to show that they are associated with cancer, deep eye cataracts, sterility and brain-related disorders.


How politicians and business learned to create and manipulate mass-consumer society

The Century of the Self

The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests? Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society's belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man's ultimate goal.


The Art of War, Democracy and Public Relations

By Ramzy Baroud

It is Edward Bernays who fine-tuned the art of public relations in the 20th century. Using many of the psychoanalytic theories put forward by his uncle Sigmund Freud, he developed a mastery of public manipulation, suggesting that such manipulation was essential to democracy itself.



Iraq, Iran, & the Vanishing Context in American News

By Anthony DiMaggio

It's no coincidence that the American corporate media is the wealthiest communication systems in the world, yet also one of the worst in terms of educating its citizens. Extraordinary riches require extraordinary efforts to divert public attention from extreme inequality and the democratic deficit under which Americans suffer.



Padilla Jury Opens Pandora's Box

Paul Craig Roberts

Jose Padilla's conviction on terrorism charges on August 16 was a victory, not for justice, but for the US Justice (sic) Department's theory that a US citizen can be convicted, not because he committed a terrorist act but for allegedly harboring aspirations to commit such an act. By agreeing with the Justice (sic) Department's theory, the incompetent Padilla Jury delivered a deadly blow to the rule of law and opened Pandora's Box.



The real lesson of the Padilla conviction

The Nation
by David Cole


Jose Padilla’s conviction by a federal jury in Miami has already become something of a Rorschach test. Critics of the Bush Administration have argued that the conviction proves that the ordinary criminal justice system works for trying terrorists, and that therefore President Bush did not need to assert the truly extraordinary power of detaining an American citizen arrested on US soil in military custody for more than three years. Meanwhile, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has hailed the conviction as ‘a significant victory in our efforts to fight the threat posed by terrorists and their supporters.’ Both sides are wrong. In fact, Padilla’s criminal conviction was a stroke of luck for the Administration...



The Iraq War As We See It

By Buddhika Jayamaha

Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched.



America Is Bankrupt


Informant: ranger116

Abu Ghraib abuse just tip of the iceberg


Informant: Neo Mulder


America on the Downward Slope


Informant: Useful I.

Leahy Threatens Bush Aides With Contempt


Informant: shane_digital


Leahy: Bush Administration "In Contempt" of Congress

Thinkprogress.org reports "Today in a press briefing, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) revealed that the White House had missed its 2:30 p.m. deadline to turn over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legal justifications for the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program."




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