Donnerstag, 16. April 2009

Is Geithner's Hedge-Fund Bailout Illegal?

The Geithner Bubble

Jacques Attali, L'Express: "In some people's eyes, a miraculous emergence from the crisis is brewing: Through the combined play of the Geithner plan, (which allows investment funds and banks to buy other banks' toxic assets, borrowing most of what they need to do so from the Federal budget) and accounting changes (which allow banks to carry those assets at an inflated value), we see a derivatives market take hold in which some will sell these assets at a very high price to others in order to buy more of those assets at a still higher price: so that an asset value bubble will form, entirely financed by the taxpayer."


Is Geithner's Hedge-Fund Bailout Illegal?

U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law

Polish reporters claim CIA jail evidence

Polish journalists claim they have uncovered new evidence that Poland allegedly leased a military base to the United States for a clandestine CIA prison.

Obama Protecting Bush from Spain?

The official story is that Spain has decided not to prosecute Bush's torture lawyers. Yet the known facts suggest something else entirely.

Obama's huge test today: do we believe in secret law?

Today, Obama will either (a) disclose these documents to the public or (b) continue to suppress them -- either by claiming the right to keep them concealed entirely or, more likely, redacting the most significant parts before releasing them.

Officials Say U.S. Wiretaps Exceeded Law

The National Security Agency intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, government officials said in recent interviews.

Texas could bid for independence, says Governor

The governor of Texas has suggested that his state could secede from the Union after accusing the federal government of strangling Americans with taxation and debt.

From Information Clearing House

The Crisis That Could Bring Down Obama

The Year of Cockeyed Optimism

"The foundations of our economy are strong"

By Mike Whitney

Consumer spending is down, housing is in a shambles, and industrial output dropped at an annual rate of 20 percent, the largest quarterly decrease since VE Day. The systemwide contraction continues unabated with with no sign of letting up.

The Crisis That Could Bring Down Obama

By Ruth Conniff

The President, understandably, points to signs of hope and encourages Americans to be optimistic about the economy. But when do we move from healthy confidence to a confidence game?


The bailout is a fraud that could bring down Obama

by Ruth Conniff


Goldman Sachs reports better-than-expected profits this quarter. Wells Fargo cleared record profits last week. The President, understandably, points to signs of hope and encourages Americans to be optimistic about the economy. But when do we move from healthy confidence to a confidence game? The banks are reporting profits thanks to massive infusions of taxpayer bailout funds. It’s simply silly to be lulled by cheery-sounding reports when the institutions are actually insolvent. At some point we have to take a clear-eyed look at the massive failure of our financial system. Ignoring it won’t make it go away...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Iraq: US Air Raids Killed Mostly Women and Children

By Kim Sengupta, Defence correspondent

Air strikes and artillery barrages have taken a heavy toll among the most vulnerable of the Iraqi people, with children and women forming a disproportionate number of the dead.

The Weapons That Kill Civilians

By The New England Journal of Medicine

Deaths of Children and Noncombatants in Iraq, 2003-2008.

Richard Armitage: Waterboarding Is Torture

Pamela Hess, The Associated Press: "A former No. 2 State Department official in the Bush administration says he would have resigned if he had known the CIA was subjecting terrorism suspects to waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning. Richard Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, told Al Jazeera English television in an interview airing Wednesday that waterboarding is torture. However, he said he does not believe CIA officials who engaged in waterboarding and other forms of harsh interrogation should be prosecuted. The CIA has acknowledged using waterboarding on three high-level terror detainees in 2002 and 2003, with the permission of the White House and the Justice Department."


Water Boarding Is Torture

Richard Armitage: 'Maybe I Should Have Quit'


Richard Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of State, tells Avi Lewis on Al Jazeera's Fault Lines why he should have resigned from the Bush administration over its lack of respect for the Geneva conventions.

Man Detained As Terror Suspect For Photographing Police Car

Chairman of park society wanted to document police misconduct, but was told he had breached Section 44 of the Terrorism Act

Paul Joseph Watson

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Despite police claiming that an ambiguous section of the UK Counter Terrorism Act of 2008 would not outlaw taking photographs or film of police, a man was detained as a terror suspect this week simply for taking a photograph of a police car in order to document police misconduct.

Outrage over phone mast plans near four schools

Published Date: 16 April 2009

RESIDENTS in Overslade, Rugby, have reacted angrily to plans to build a 55ft mobile phone mast close to their homes.

People living in the area are also concerned that the mast would be close to four local schools.

Vodafone have submitted plans for a mast close to the junction of
Overslade Lane and Bawnmore Road.

When residents in the nearby area found out they decided to start a petition against the proposals which has been backed by two local councillors.

Graham Townsend, 49, who lives in nearby Arbour Close, said: "Not one person I've spoken to is in favour of this.

"To place a mast so close to four schools seems strange and dangerous. I've read about the health effects and am very worried.


Trading Away Our Jobs

“War on Want's latest report, Trading Away Our Jobs: How free trade threatens employment around the world, investigates the impact of free trade agreements on jobs. Examining the empirical evidence for the first time, it shows that the free trade model that continues to dominate world trade has been responsible for the destruction of millions of jobs over the last 30 years. Despite the evidence, politicians continue to push free trade as the solution to global recession and unemployment: current free trade plans will put millions more in rich and poor countries alike out of work. These same policies have also led to falling wages, poorer conditions and deindustrialisation in many countries. Three in four workers in sub-Saharan Africa now face insecure employment as a result of three decades of neoliberal economics, while unbridled free trade in the
1990s caused unemployment in Latin America to soar from 7.6 million to
18.1 million. Free trade is no answer to the current economic crisis. At a time when unemployment levels are already rising sharply as a result of the global recession, further trade liberalisation will only exacerbate the threat to jobs.” Die komplette (englische) Fassung von “Trading Away Our Jobs - How free trade threatens employment around the world” von War on Want vom April 2009 (pdf)

From LabourNet, 16. April 2009

Illegale Speicherung von Krankendaten von Mitarbeitern in einem Mercedes-Werk

16. April 2009

Nun auch noch Daimler

Zu der illegalen Speicherung von Krankendaten von Mitarbeitern in einem Mercedes-Werk, erklärt der Datenschutzbeauftragte der Linksfraktion und das Mitglied im Parteivorstand, Jan Korte (MdB):

Wie nun bekannt wurde, hat ein weiterer deutscher Großkonzern, nach LIDL, Telekom, Airbus (EADS) und Bahn mit Datenschutzverstößen zu kämpfen. Vor einem Jahr sollen in einem Bremer Mercedes-Werk Krankendaten von Mitarbeitern illegal gespeichert worden seien. Damit reiht sich die Daimler AG in eine lange Kette von Datenschutzverstößen deutscher Großunternehmen ein. Jüngst musste Bahnchef Hartmut Mehdorn seinen Posten wegen der Überwachung und Ausspähung von Mitarbeitern räumen. Seinen Job übernahm Rüdiger Grube, zuvor Verwaltungsratchef beim europäischen Rüstungskonzern EADS und Vorstand für Konzernentwicklung bei der Daimler AG. Neben den Datenschutzverstößen bei der Daimler AG wurde vor einem Monat bekannt, dass auch bei der EADS-Tochter Airbus, Mitarbeiterdaten illegal gespeichert wurden. Rüdiger Grube hat als neuer Bahnchef eine Aufklärung der Datenskandale bei der DB bereits für Juni angekündigt. Angesichts der Datenschutzverstöße bei seinen beiden vorherigen Arbeitgebern scheint diese forsche Ankündigung plausibel. Denn festzuhalten bleibt, dass Verstöße gegen die Persönlichkeitsrechte von Angestellten in deutschen Großunternehmen keine Einzelfälle mehr darstellen, sondern ein System dahinter steht.


Daimler beschnüffelt Beschäftigte

„Die Serie von Datenschutzaffären in deutschen Großkonzernen reißt nicht
ab: Im Bremer Werk des Autobauers Daimler sind illegal Krankendaten von
Beschäftigten gespeichert worden. Das bestätigte der Konzern. Erst im
Januar war der Stuttgarter Autobauer vom baden-württembergischen
Datenschutzbeauftragten wegen rechtswidriger Speicherung und Weitergabe
von Gesundheitsakten der Beschäftigten im Stammwerk
Stuttgart-Untertürkheim gerügt worden...“ Artikel in der Frankfurter
Rundschau vom 15.04.2009

Siehe dazu auch:

Jagd auf Kranke in den DaimlerChrysler-Standorten

Aus: LabourNet, 16. April 2009

Will we be stimulated?

by Nick Gillespie

On February 17, President Barack Obama signed into law a sweeping $787 billion stimulus plan that, he said, would begin ‘the essential work of keeping the American dream alive in our time.’ During the contentious debate over what ended up passing Congress on a nearly party-line vote, Obama declared, ‘There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help jump-start the economy.’ Suspecting that there was more disagreement out there than the president was letting on, reason asked 10 economists what they expect from the stimulus package. The results were not very optimistic... (for publication 05/09)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp$787

The antiwar movement has largely collapsed in the face of Obama’s victory

Peace out
The American Conservative
by Justin Raimondo

The big truth is that the antiwar movement has largely collapsed in the face of Barack Obama’s victory: the massive antiwar marches that were a feature of the Bush years are a thing of the past. Those ostensibly antiwar organizations that did so much to agitate against the Iraq War have now fallen into line behind their commander in chief and are simply awaiting orders. Take, for example,, the online activist group that ran antiwar ads during the election — but only against Republicans — in coalition with a group of labor unions and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. Behind AAEI stood three of Obama’s top political operatives, Steve Hildebrand, Paul Tewes, and Brad Woodhouse. Woodhouse is now the Democratic National Committee’s director of communications and research. He controls the massive e-mail list culled by the Obama campaign during the primaries and subsequently, as well as a list of all those who gave money to the presumed peace candidate. These donors are no doubt wondering what Obama is doing escalating the war in Afghanistan and venturing into Pakistan... (for publication 04/20/09)

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Corporatization of Public Education

Andy Kroll, Truthout: "Before an audience of big-city mayors and school superintendents in late March, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offered an early - and troubling - indication of his vision for the future of public K-12 education in the United States. Duncan told audience members at the Mayors' National Forum on Education in Washington, DC, that more mayors need to take control of low-performing, urban school districts, and that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to shift leadership of urban districts from school boards to City Halls. 'I'll come to your cities. I'll meet with your editorial boards. I'll talk with your business communities,' Duncan said. 'I will be there.' For those familiar with Duncan's controversial legacy in Chicago, one that emphasized the privatization and militarization of that city's mayor-led public schools, Duncan's vow to give more big-city mayors control over their city's schools is a worrying harbinger of reforms to come."

"The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom and the End of the American University"

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout: "Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City's Yeshiva University, starts 'The Lost Soul of Higher Education' with a blunt assessment: 'In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation's colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good.'"

Iraq in Fragments

Dahr Jamail, Foreign Policy In Focus: "On Wednesday, March 25, Major General David Perkins of the US military, referring to how often the US military was being attacked in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad, 'Attacks are at their lowest since August 2003.' Perkins added, 'There were 1,250 attacks a week at the height of the violence; now sometimes there are less than 100 a week.' While his rhetoric made headlines in some US mainstream media outlets, it was little consolation for the families of 28 Iraqis killed in attacks across Iraq the following day. Nor did it bring solace to the relatives of the 27 Iraqis slain in a March 23 suicide attack, or those who survived a bomb attack at a bus terminal in Baghdad on the same day that killed nine Iraqis."


Iraq study: Executions are leading cause of death

Salt Lake Tribune


Execution-style killings, not headline-grabbing bombings, have been the leading cause of death among civilians in the Iraq war, a study released Wednesday shows. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, point to the brutal sectarian nature of the conflict, where death squads once roamed the streets hunting down members of the rival Muslim sect...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Will Obama Block Release of Key Bush-Era Torture Memos?


Foreclosures Soar in March, Up 44 Percent Over February's High

Completed foreclosures hit another monthly record in March as 175,199 homes were lost to foreclosure, up 44 percent from February's record high, according to the latest U.S. Foreclosure Index released today by, a leading real estate information provider.

US economy goes back to 1955 as deflation returns

The US economy has begun to deflate for the first time in more than half a century as a slump in demand pushes energy and food costs lower.

From Information Clearing House

ACLU fears Obama Administration may destroy evidence at CIA 'black sites'

The Bush Administration's legacy of torture interrogation may dip further into obscurity if the Obama Administration's vow to decommission overseas detention black sites means evidence of torture would be destroyed.

From Information Clearing House

Guantanamo Detainee Claims Abuse

Mohammad al-Qurani, a Chadian national, said in a phone call to Al Jazeera that the alleged ill-treatment "started about 20 days" before Barack Obama became US president and "since then I've been subjected to it almost every day".

From Information Clearing House


Gitmo inmate: Obama changed nothing

Chicago Sun-Times


A detainee at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay said he was beaten almost daily and that nothing has changed since Barack Obama took over as US president, Al-Jazeera reported on Wednesday. Mohammad al-Qurani from Chad said in a telephone call to the Doha-based television that tear gas was used on him for refusing to leave his cell and he had a front tooth broken, according to remarks carried on Al-Jazeera’s website...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

1,500 farmers commit mass suicide in India

"Farmers' suicides are increasing due to a vicious circle created by money lenders. They lure farmers to take money but when the crops fail, they are left with no option other than death."

From Information Clearing House


Farmer Suicides and Bt Cotton Nightmare Unfolding in India

Iraq war: Gordon Brown aims to delay inquiry report until after election

Ministers have decided that the inquiry should be wide-ranging, possibly dating back to Margaret Thatcher's tacit support for Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Its main focus will be on the conduct of the 2003 war and the breakdown of law and order afterwards.

From Information Clearing House

Errant Drone Attacks Spur Militants in Pakistan

The U.S. programme of drone aircraft strikes against higher-ranking officials of al Qaeda and allied militant organisations, which has been touted by proponents as having eliminated nine of the 20 top al Qaeda leaders, is actually weakening Pakistan's defence against the insurgency of the Islamic militants there by killing large numbers of civilians based on faulty intelligence and discrediting the Pakistani military, according to data from the Pakistani government and interviews with senior analysts.

US Attack Kills Women, Children

As many as eight people, including women and children were killed and several others injured in the suspected US drone attack on Gangi Khel area of Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan Agency on Sunday morning, locals said.

From Information Clearing House


Analyst: Drone Attacks Have 'Incalculable Effects'


US Drone Bombs Pakistan, Killing at Least Three

Agency France-Presse: "At least three suspected militants were killed on Sunday in Pakistan's tribal area, thought to have been by a US missile aimed at Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels, officials said."

Avoiding World Conference on Racism Shows Obama's Disrespect For Blacks

By Glen Ford

"Blacks get nothing from Obama's White House except permission to worship him as the ultimate role model."


Human Rights Watch (HRW): Don't Let Any Nations Derail UN Racism Conference


PROTEST the Obama Administration BOYCOTT OF the U.N. Durban Review Conference Against Racism

Is America the New Russia?

By Martin Wolf

Is the US Russia? The question seems provocative, if not outrageous. Yet the person asking it is Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Welcome to the New "New World Order"


Pepe Escobar: There will be class war, there will be blood.

Wall Street Sharks Circle the UAW

By John R. MacArthur

Barack Obama's commitment to helping labor has always been suspect, but handing over the American car business to the investment banker Steven Rattner might well turn the president into the last great union buster.


Obama's Economic Sermon on the Mount

Can Spain Really Prosecute George W. Bush Aides Over Torture?

By Johanna Neuman

Spain argues that it has jurisdiction in the case because five Spanish prisoners at Guantanamo Bay allege they were tortured. And human rights organizations in the United States agree.

Lessons from Latin America

Peru's Shining Example

By James McEnteer

Peru's Supreme Court sentenced former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori to twenty-five years in prison last week for creating death squads during his presidency - from 1990 to 2000 - which murdered dozens of people.

Spain signals end to war crimes, genocide hunting

Under pressure from foreign governments, members of Spain's congress almost unanimously passed a resolution which, if translated into law, would end the right of Spanish judges to investigate serious crimes like genocide anywhere in the world in cases where courts in the affected country do not act.

From Information Clearing House

Obama and the Pirates

The Piracy Challenge


US Has Won a Huge Victory

US Aircraft and Elite Navy SEALs Defeat Three Somalis in a Lifeboat

By Glen Ford

What a weekend for American foreign policy! The United States Navy, backed up by warships from 20 other nations, knocked off three Somali guys crouching with rifles in a lifeboat tied by a rope to a U.S. destroyer. To hear the U.S. corporate media tell it, the Americans had won a huge victory over the forces of evil.

The Press is Relishing the Killing of Three Teenage Pirates With Disturbing Zeal

By Chris Nolan, Majikthise

The American public is relishing the deaths of the pirates to a degree that's downright unseemly.

Toxic Waste' Behind Somali Piracy

By Najad Abdullahi

Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.

Ethiopia / USA / Somali Pirates' Cover-Up

By Thomas C. Mountain

One of the best kept secrets in the international media these days is the link between the USA, Ethiopia and the Somali pirates. First, a little reliable background from someone on the ground in the Horn of Africa.

Human Tide of Misery Flees The Anarchy of Somalia

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent

As the world follows the escapades of the country's pirates, civilians are fleeing the anarchy on land, creating the world's biggest refugee camp.

Somali piracy and American foreign policy

With the explosion of Somali piracy, America is reaping what it has sown. In many ways, we have nobody to blame but ourselves for the emergence of high-seas crime threatening to disrupt important lanes of trade.

From Information Clearing House


What's It Like to Be a Pirate? In Dirt-Poor Somalia, Pretty Good


War as entertainment

Common Dreams
by Robert Koehler


So fasten your seatbelts, America. This is why we maintain an annual defense budget of more than half a trillion dollars — to protect ourselves from ‘heavily armed but untrained and antsy youths,’ as Defense Secretary Robert Gates described them. The War on Pirates: an idea that’s win-win-win. Military recruitment will soar; the dying media will rejuvenate (or at least go into remission) as it reports the play-by-play; and a depressed, fragmented nation will reunite around an enemy it can probably beat...

Rapacious corporate players are the real pirates of the high seas

by Leon Fink


The difference between the Maersk Alabama and the Somalis’ other targets … was not just that they had picked on the most powerful nation in the world, but that they were suddenly confronting a ‘nation’ at all. Unlike the 18th century Barbary pirates to whom they have been compared on the superficial grounds that they are both poor Muslims feeding off nearby oceanic traffic, today’s pirates are stateless actors generally operating in a medium (the ocean) of weak or even fictive states. Moreover, though they may be the most violent actors at sea, the pirates’ mercenary motives and ethics place them in the mainstream of today’s shipping world...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Pirates and Poverty

John A. Graham, Truthout: "Piracy off the Somali coast has become a major growth industry for this failed state. While the pirates are hardly al-Qaeda, they've learned from al-Qaeda's example the enormous power of the clever use of simple weapons. But there's a more important parallel here than tactics. Piracy in Somalia, like terrorism, is an act of violence fed not just by ideology or greed, but by the indifference of the developed world to the fate of poor, distant, lawless places where desperation grows unchecked."

Lessons for Life and Investing

Poisoning the Economy

It's Like We're Living in a Bad Movie

Öl erstaunlich teuer

Die Energie- und Klimawochenschau: Die Peak-Oil-Diskussion geht weiter, die Industriestaaten wollen nicht für die von ihnen angerichteten Klimaschäden zahlen und in der Westantarktis schreitet der Verfall des Wilkins-Schelfs weiter voran.

Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?

Mark Thompson, Time: "When Army Staff Sergeant Amanda Henderson ran into Staff Sergeant Larry Flores in their Texas recruiting station last August, she was shocked by the dark circles under his eyes and his ragged appearance. 'Are you OK?' she asked the normally squared-away soldier. 'Sergeant Henderson, I am just really tired,' he replied. 'I had such a bad, long week, it was ridiculous.' The previous Saturday, Flores' commanders had berated him for poor performance. He had worked every day since from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., trying to persuade the youth of Nacogdoches to wear Army green. 'But I'm OK,' he told her."

Administration Debates Release of New Torture Details

Evan Perez and Siobhan Gorman, The Wall Street Journal: "The Obama administration is leaning toward keeping secret some graphic details of tactics allowed in Central Intelligence Agency interrogations, despite a push by some top officials to make the information public, according to people familiar with the discussions."

The Barbary Wars, Continued

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "It's a very odd time to be alive in the United States today. Two wars, a staggering economy, domestic political upheaval, and now, what, pirates? America was still in short pants the last time piracy got this much attention around here."


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