Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Peter Shiff - as he sees it

Meanwhile in Europe… Unemployment, December 2011.

January 31, 2012

Merijn Knibbe

Total unemployment in Europe hit a new record in December. Differences still increase as unemployment in Germany (and Slovakia) is still declining while in all other countries unemployment is either stable (often at a high level) or increases (no data on the Baltic countries, though, for the last quarter of 2011). I will continue to publish graph 1 on this blog every month, adding another graph showing other aspects of unemployment. Graph 2 shows long-term unemployment (> 12 months) in some countries. That was not what was supposed to happen, when the Euro was introduced – and up to 2008 everything indeed seemed just fine. Note that Germany did not do too well, up to 2006…
Article and links here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Future of Economics

By Steve Keen

For its entire history, macroeconomics has been dominated by mathematical models that ignore the existence of money, debt and banking, and that perceive the economy’s movement through time as transitions from one state of equilibrium to another.

At any point in history, these would be heroic assumptions. Could it really be true that models without either money or instability are provably superior at predicting the economy’s future course than models in which money and banking exist, and in which the model economy can be out of equilibrium? If not, is it the case then that such models are simply too difficult to construct—that the best we can do is pretend that the economy doesn’t have banks or money, and that it’s always in equilibrium, even if we know these assumptions are false?

Before the crisis of 2007, few non-economists even asked those questions, because there seemed to be no need to challenge what economists did. The economy, after all, was going gangbusters. Professional economists, using the very latest mathematical models of the economy, took credit for its sterling performance, and predicted more of the same for the foreseeable future.

Robert Lucas, the father of “Rational Expectations Macroeconomics”, asserted that the “macroeconomics … has succeeded. Its central problem of depression prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has in fact been solved for many decades.”[1] Ben Bernanke lauded “improved control of inflation” as the cause of “the Great Moderation”, which he described as “this welcome change in the economy.” [2] In June 2007, the OECD, guided by its macroeconomic model, opined that “the current economic situation is in many ways better than what we have experienced in years… Our central forecast remains indeed quite benign”. [3]

Then all hell broke loose, and almost five years later, it shows no signs of abating.
Read rest of article here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Space station sees southern lights

A blast from the sun

Bjorn Jorgensen's view of the aurora was captured on Sunday at Grotfjord, close to Tromso in north Norway. "This was amazing," he told SpaceWeather.com. "It was a wonderful experience to see these stunning auroras." The bird-of-prey picture was taken with a Nikon D3S camera equipped with a Nikkor 14-24mm lens. Exposure for the pictures in Jorgenson's set was ISO 2200 at five and six seconds. Check out SpaceWeather.com and ArcticPhoto.no for more views.

The Internet in 1969 - ideas that became reality

Monday, January 23, 2012

China manufacturing starts new year downbeat

China's manufacturing activity shrank for the third straight month in January, data showed Friday, leading analysts to warn of of a further slowdown for the world's number two economy.

HSBC's preliminary purchasing managers' index (PMI) stood at 48.8 in January, up only marginally from 48.7 in December, the British banking giant said.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion while a reading below 50 suggests a contraction.

The news come days after the government released data showing the economy grew 9.2pc last year, well down from the 10.4pc growth in 2010, while most forecasts put this year's expansion at between just 8pc and 8.5pc.

However, some analysts believe it could slow even more in the first quarter, with growth even dipping below the 8pc level considered necessary to maintain jobs and contain social unrest.

"The third consecutive below-50 reading of the manufacturing PMI suggested that growth is likely to moderate further," Qu Hongbin, HSBC chief economist for China, said in a statement.
Read article here

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Syria - the other side of the story

Bomb equipment dismantled

Civilian Engineer Martyred in Hama, a Law Enforcement Member Killed in Daraa, Officer Martyred in Idleb

1. Engineer Fatima Khalifeh, worker at the Electricity Generation Plant in Mehardeh in Hama Province, on Wednesday succumbed to her wounds after being shot in her head by an armed terrorist group on Tuesday. In the framework of targeting the technical cadres and the national expertise, an armed terrorist group opened fire at a microbus carrying 25 employees who work at the Electricity Energy Generation Company in Mehardeh area near Khirbet Damis Crossroads. Engineer Khalifeh was taken to Massyaf National Hospital after being shot in the head.

2. Body of Veterinarian Nabil Makroj Found at al-Bayyada Neighborhood in Homs. The body of Veterinarian Nabil Makroj , who was kidnapped by an armed terrorist group few days ago, was found at al-Bayyada Neighborhood in Homs. An informed source told SANA Correspondent that Makroj was kidnapped on January 14th while he was performing his duty in guaranteeing the required vaccines for the livestock in Deir Ba’alba Neighborhood. Forensic examiners said that after examining the body, traces of torture and mutilation were found on it, adding that Makroj was strangled at the hands of the terrorists who kidnapped him.

3. Law-enforcement Member Martyred, Another Wounded in Daraa. A Law-enforcement member was martyred on Wednesday and another was wounded as well as a woman after an armed terrorist gang fired at them in the city of Tafas in Daraa province. A police source said the armed terrorist group fired at the two law-enforcement members while they were in the line of duty leading to the martyrdom of Bassam Mustafa and wounding Amer Saleh in addition to a woman who happened to be passing by the area.

4. Military Engineering Units in Daraa dismantle two explosives. Military Engineering Units today in Daraa dismantled two explosive devices, prepared to be bombed in places crowded with civilians.
Article source here

PolicyTalk: Dr. Kevin Gallagher of Boston University Discusses the New Economics of Capital Controls

Dr. Kevin Gallagher of Boston University On the New Economics of Capital Controls from GlobalPolicyTV on Vimeo.

US/Israel discord?

Big Brother is watching you! - (well maybe not)

ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) has captured this unusual view of the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a planetary nebula located 700 light-years away. The coloured picture was created from images taken through Y, J and K infrared filters. While bringing to light a rich background of stars and galaxies, the telescope's infrared vision also reveals strands of cold nebular gas that are mostly obscured in visible images of the Helix. Credit: ESO/VISTA/J. Emerson. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit.
Interesting article published here

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Big media strikes back - Proposed new law will break the Internet

Uproar after Jewish American newspaper publisher suggests Israel assassinate Barack Obama

Op-ed in Atlanta Jewish Times says the slaying of the president may be an effective way to thwart Iran's nuclear program

By Chemi Shalev in Haaretz

NEW YORK - The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.

Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to “give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”
Article published here

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Modern Imperialism 101

The following is a 2011 article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya for the Italian journal Eurasia about the manipulation of national constitutions as a neo-colonial means of modern empire-building. The article presents an important overview of the U.S. empire-building process. The original print version was published in the Italian language and translated by Pietro Longo.

ABSTRACT: The U.S.A. has re-written the constitution of vanquished nations since the Second World War. In the last two decades, however, Washington has managed to totally restructure vanquished states economically and politically by de-centralizing them and legalizing foreign tutelage over their political structure and their national economies. From the former Yugoslavia to Afghanistan and Iraq, this process has gone hand-in-hand with war and both an immediate and extended foreign military presence. In this regard the new national constitutions of these countries have been central to the process and opened the door for the integration of these states into Washington’s empire-building project.
Very instructive article published here

Snow, where did you go?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reflections by Comrade Fidel


Yesterday I had the satisfaction of having a pleasant conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I had not seen him since 2006, more than five years ago, when he visited our country to participate in the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries in Havana. During the summit, Cuba was elected for the second time as president of the organization for a three-year term.
I had become gravely ill on July 26, 2006, a month and a half prior to the summit, and could barely sit up in bed. Many of the most distinguished leaders who participated in the event were kind enough to visit me. Chavez and Evo visited me several times. One afternoon four visitors came by whom I will always remember: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; an old friend, Abdelaziz Buteflika, the president of Algeria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran; and the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and current Foreign Minister of China, Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the leader of the Communist Party and the president of China, Hu Jintao. It was really an important time for me; I was in the midst of intense physiotherapy on my right hand that I had seriously injured when I fell in Santa Clara.
With all four I spoke about some of the difficulties facing the world at the time; problems that have become progressively more complex.
During our meeting yesterday, I noted that the Iranian president was absolutely calm and tranquil, completely unconcerned about the Yankee threats and, fully confident in the capacity of his people to confront any aggression and in the effectiveness of their arms —which, in large part, they produce themselves— to inflict an unpayable price on its aggressors.
In reality, we hardly spoke about the topic of war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was focused on the ideas he had presented at the Main Hall of the University of Havana during his conference on the struggle of humankind: “Moving towards reaching and achieving peace, security, respect and human dignity as a fundamental desire of all human beings throughout history.”
I am convinced that Iran will not commit any rash actions that might contribute to setting off a war. If a war were to be unleashed, it would inevitably be completely as a result of the recklessness and congenital irresponsibility of the Yankee Empire.

I believe that the political situation surrounding Iran and the associated risks of a nuclear war that involves us all —regardless of whether one possess nuclear weapons— are extremely delicate because they threaten the very existence of our species. The Middle East has become the most troubled region on the planet, the same region that produces the energy resources vital for the world’s economy.
The destructive power and the mass sufferings caused by some of the weapons used in World War Two led to a strong movement to ban weapons such as asphyxiating gas and others. Nevertheless, conflicting interests and the huge profits made by arms manufacturers led to the production of crueler and more destructive weapons; modern technology has now added the means and material to build weapons that if used in a world war would lead to extinction.
I support the opinion, undoubtedly shared by all those with a basic sense of responsibility, that no country big or small has the right to possess nuclear weapons.
They never should have been used to attack two defenseless cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and irradiating with horrible and long-lasting effects hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, in a country that had already been militarily defeated.
If fascism indeed forced the allied nations against Nazism to compete with this enemy of humanity in the production of such weapons, once the war ended and the United Nations was created, the first duty of this organization should have been to prohibit nuclear weapons without exception.
However, the United States, the strongest and richest power, forced the rest of the world to follow its lead. Today, they have hundreds of satellites that spy and monitor the entire world from outer space. Their naval, air and land forces are equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons; and they control the world’s finances and investments at their whim via the International Monetary Fund.

Analyzing the history of each Latin American nation, from Mexico to Patagonia, by way of Santo Domingo and Haiti, one can observe that each and every country, without exception, have suffered for 200 years, from the beginning of the 19th century up until today. And, in one way or another, they are increasingly suffering the worst crimes that power and force can commit against the rights of a people. Brilliant Latin American writers are emerging in an increasing number. One of them, Eduardo Galeano, author of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent that describes the aforementioned, has just been invited to open the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Awards as a recognition to his outstanding body of work.
Events happen incredibly fast; but technologies report them to the public even faster. On any given day, like today, important news comes out a dizzying pace. A cable report dated from January 11 states: “The Danish presidency of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that a new series of more severe European sanctions against Iran, because of its nuclear program, will be discussed on January 23. The new sanctions will not only target the oil industry but also the Central Bank.”
During a meeting with international journalists, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that “We will increase sanctions against the oil industry in addition to sanctions against financial structures.” This clearly demonstrates that, in order to impede nuclear proliferation, Israel can go on accumulating hundreds of nuclear warheads while Iran is not allowed to produce 20% enriched uranium.

Another article, from a respected British news agency, states that “China gave no hint on Wednesday of giving ground to U.S. demands to curb Iran's oil revenues, rejecting Washington's sanctions on Tehran as overstepping …”
The sheer tranquility with which the United States and civilized Europe carry out this campaign with incredible and systematic acts of terrorism is enough to shock anybody. Just look at these lines reported by another important European news agency: “The murder on Wednesday of Iranian nuclear specialist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan [a scientist at the Natanz nuclear plant] was the fourth attack to kill a leading scientist in the country in almost exactly two years.”

On January 12, 2010: “Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University is killed when a booby-trapped motorcycle explodes outside his home in the capital. “
On November 29, 2010: “Two attacks target leading Iranian nuclear scientists on the same day. Majid Shahriari, a key member of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, is killed in Tehran by a limpet bomb attached to his car. His colleague Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is also targeted by a bomb attached to his car, but escapes.” The car was parked in front of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran where both men worked as professors.
On July 23, 2011: “Gunmen shoot dead Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, a senior scientist who is reportedly associated with the defense ministry, and wound his wife as they waited for their child outside a Tehran kindergarten.”
On January 11, 2012 —the same day that Ahmadinejad travelled from Nicaragua to Cuba to give a conference at the University of Havana—, scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, “a deputy director at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, is killed in a car bomb blast outside the [Allameh Tabatabai] University in east Tehran.” As in previous years “Iran once again accused the United States and Israel.”
The killings represent a systematic and selective slaughter of brilliant Iranian scientists. I have read articles by known Israeli sympathizers who write about crimes carried out by Israeli intelligence services in cooperation with the United States and NATO as if they were the most normal occurrence.

At the same time, Moscow news agencies report that “Russia warned that in Syria a similar scenario is developing as to that in Libya, and added that this time the attack will be launched from neighboring Turkey.
“The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the West wants to ‘punish Damascus not as much for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.’”
"…NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention…This time the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the U.K. or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey."
“Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria, where Syrian armed insurgents can be trained and concentrated, added Patrushev."
News is not only coming out of Iran and the Middle East, but also from other parts of Central Asia near the Middle East. These reports show the great complexity of the problems that can arise from this dangerous region.
The United States has been led by its contradictory and absurd imperial policy to get involved in serious problems in countries such as Pakistan, whose borders with Afghanistan were drawn up by the colonialists without taking into account culture or ethnicities.
In Afghanistan, which defended its independence against English colonialism for centuries, drug production has multiplied in the wake of the Yankee invasion. Meanwhile, European soldiers, supported by drone airplanes and armed with sophisticated US weapons, carry out deplorable massacres that increase the people’s hatred and ward off any possibilities of peace. All this and other dirty actions are also reported by Western news agencies.
“WASHINGTON, January 12, 2012 - US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the actions of four U.S. marines who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan “utterly deplorable” The video of the act was circulated in the Internet.

"’I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable…’
"’This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold…’”
In reality, Panetta neither confirms nor denies the action, and anyone, including the Secretary of Defense himself, may harbor doubt.
But it is also extremely inhumane that men, women and children, or an Afghani combatant fighting against the foreign occupation, be murdered by bombs dropped by drone planes. Another very serious incident: dozens of Pakistani soldiers and officials who safeguarded the country’s borders have been killed by these bombs.
Afghani President Karzai stated that the outrage committed against the bodies was “simply inhumane.” He asked for the US government “to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”

Meanwhile Taliban spokespersons declared that “over the last ten years, hundreds of similar acts have been carried out that were not reported…”
One even feels sorry for those soldiers, thousands of kilometers away from their family, friends and country, sent to fight in countries that they might not have even heard of during their school days, where they are assigned the task of killing or dying to enrich transnational companies, arms manufacturers and unscrupulous politicians who each year squander funds needed to feed and educate the uncountable millions of hungry and illiterate people around the world.

Many of these soldiers, victims of the trauma suffered, end up taking their own lives.

Is it an exaggeration to say that world peace is hanging by a thread?

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 12, 2012
9:14 p.m.

Article source here

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Voting from the grave

“SYRIA WILL REMAIN FREE” – President Bashar al-Assad speech on January 10, 2012

Editor: Below is an extract of a long speech made by Syrian President Assad in relation to current upheavals in Syria.

Sisters and brothers,

What is taking place in Syria is part of what has been planned for the region for tens of years, as the dream of partition is still haunting the grandchildren of Sykes–Picot. But today their dream turns into a nightmare, and if some believe that the time of conflict over Syria is back, then they are mistaken because the conflict today is ‘against Syria’ and not ‘over Syria’ or ‘on Syria’. And one thing we will never allow them to achieve is defeating Syria as it means defeating steadfastness and resistance and it also means the fall of the whole region to the hands of great powers. Defeat is not necessarily military and it might come true if they succeed in making us withdraw to internal conflicts and forget about our bigger issues on top of which the Palestinian Issue. Their ultimate goal which they aspire to achieve eventually is a Syria which is busy with internal marginal conflicts and withdrawn to its false borders, rather than its natural, historical, nationwide borders. They want to see a shrunk Syria which is prone to demise and deterioration as a result of division and partition, and their aim is to dismantle the cultural identity and character of our people which has always protected us against defeats of all kinds. Dismantling this identity leads to an actual defeat which was not caused by repeated wars, but which could be caused by the destroying the structure of a society that produced the systems of social and cultural resistance. This was the system which raised their concern more than any other system because it is the foundation and incubator of any form of resistance. But they did not succeed in destroying our identity or in shaking our belief that the resistance is at the core of this identity which shall remain firm as it has always been over history.
Text of full speech available here

The Bank of Canada belongs to us!

Occupy the Neighborhood: How Counties Can Use Land Banks and Eminent Domain

A foreclosed home in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo: Monica Almeida / The New York Times)

Saturday 14 January 2012
by: Ellen Brown, Truthout

An electronic database called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) has created defects in the chain of title to over half the homes in America. Counties have been cheated out of millions of dollars in recording fees, and their title records are in hopeless disarray. Meanwhile, foreclosed and abandoned homes are blighting neighborhoods. Straightening out the records and restoring the homes to occupancy is clearly in the public interest, and the burden is on local government to do it. But how? New legal developments are presenting some innovative alternatives.
Article published here

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Letter to the editor

From: IanVMacdonald@aol.com
To: letters-2@nationalpost.com
Sent: 1/13/2012 10:21:50 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Justifying murder

January 13, 2012


Dear Sir,

Re: "A justified kiling"

Few thinking, traditional Canadians would agree with Lorne Gunter's opinion that the end justifies the means when disposing of Israel's perceived enemies. The nuclear scientist victim in Iran differed little in function from scientists in other countries performing vital tasks with or without possible military applications, yet surely your columnist would not approve of their murder even if other countries professed to see a potential threat from their research. Iran is certainly much more likely to be the victim of Israeli aggression than vice-versa, and Israel already possesses atomic weapons. Would assassination of Israeli scientists thus not be equally or more justifiable? Would Mr Gunter then lead the applause?

It would be interesting to learn how the National Post reacted to the Israeli assassination of Dr Gerald Bull, the internationally-acclaimed Canadian-born expert on long-range artillery who was working on a contract with Iraq. He was told by Mossad to resign from the project and when he refused was murdered in cold blood. The RCMP declined to investigate although a prime witness (a former Mossad agent with knowledge of the murder) lived in Ottawa at the time. When challenged for his inaction, the Commissioner explained that the Force had no authority to investigate since the crime took place outside Canadian jurisdiction. Shortly thereafter however he sent 6 officers to Tel Aviv in connection with the alleged murder of some Jews in Ukraine in 1941, not one of whom was Canadian, let alone a celebrity.

As ever,

Ian V. Macdonald
455 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa ON K1N 6M7
612 241 5389

Friday, January 13, 2012

US trade deficit widens sharply in November

After declining for four straight months, the U.S. trade deficit widened in November, bringing the trade gap up to its highest level since June.
The nation's trade deficit widened 10.4% in November to $47.8 billion, the Commerce Department said. This is the largest increase since May.
Exports fell 0.9% to $177.8 billion in November, the second straight drop after hitting a record high in September. Imports rose 1.3% to $189.7 billion in November. Imports have been treading water after hitting $226.2 billion in May. Market watch

Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had expected a deficit of $43.6 billion. The sharp increase in the deficit could cut the government's estimate of fourth-quarter growth. Market watch
While consumer goods imports declined in November, demand for capital goods made overseas climbed to a record $43.8 billion. Automobile imports rose $816 million in November to $22.3 billion. Businessweek
U.S. shipments abroad dropped 0.9 percent to $177.8 billion even as exports of consumer goods increased to a record $15.7 billion. Businessweek
The U.S. is looking for new markets to sell its goods. In 2010, President Barack Obama set a goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 as a way of promoting jobs in a tough economy. AP
Two months ago, Congress approved three long-stalled free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. By removing trade barriers, the administration says the free trade deals will boost U.S. exports by $13 billion a year. AP.
Article source here

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Myth of Japan’s Failure

The fashionable Shibuya neighborhood in Tokyo.

Published: January 6, 2012

DESPITE some small signs of optimism about the United States economy, unemployment is still high, and the country seems stalled.

Time and again, Americans are told to look to Japan as a warning of what the country might become if the right path is not followed, although there is intense disagreement about what that path might be. Here, for instance, is how the CNN analyst David Gergen has described Japan: “It’s now a very demoralized country and it has really been set back.”

But that presentation of Japan is a myth. By many measures, the Japanese economy has done very well during the so-called lost decades, which started with a stock market crash in January 1990. By some of the most important measures, it has done a lot better than the United States.
Read whole article here

The Next War on Washington's Agenda

By Paul Craig Roberts

Only the blind do not see that the US government is preparing to attack Iran. According to Professor Michel Chossudovsky, "Active war preparations directed against Iran (with the involvement of Israel and NATO) were initiated in May 2003."

Washington has deployed missiles directed at Iran in its oil emirate puppet states, Oman and the UAE, and little doubt in the other US puppet states in the Middle East. Washington has beefed up Saudi Arabia's jet fighter force. Most recently, Washington has deployed 9,000 US troops to Israel to participate in "war games" designed to test the US/Israeli air defense system. As Iran represents no threat unless attacked, Washington's war preparations signal Washington's intention to attack Iran.

Another signal that Washington has a new war on its agenda is the raised level of Washington's rhetoric and demonization of Iran. Judging by polls Washington's propaganda that Iran is threatening the US by developing a nuclear weapon has met with success. Half of the American public support a military attack on Iran in order to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability. Those of us who are trying to awaken our fellow citizens start from a deficit that the minds of half of the US population are under Big Brother's control.

As the International Atomic Energy Agency's reports from its inspectors on the ground in Iran have made clear for years, there is no evidence that Iran has diverted any enriched uranium from its nuclear energy program. The shrill hype coming from Washington and from the neoconservative media is groundless. it is the same level of lie as Washington's claim that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Every US soldier who died in that war died in behalf of a lie.
Full article published here

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why Washington Wants ‘Finito’ with Putin

By F. William Engdahl

Washington clearly wants ‘finito’ with Russia’s Putin as in basta! Or as they said in Egypt last spring, Kefaya–enough! Hillary Clinton and friends have apparently decided Russia’s prospective next president, Vladimir Putin, is a major obstacle to their plans. Few however understand why. Russia today, in tandem with China and to a significant degree Iran, form the spine, however shaky, of the only effective global axis of resistance to a world dominated by one sole superpower.

On December 8 several days after election results for Russia’s parliamentary elections were announced, showing a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Putin’s United Russia party, Putin accused the United States and specifically Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of fuelling the Russian opposition protesters and their election protests. Putin stated, “The (US) Secretary of State was quick to evaluate the elections, saying that they are unfair and unjust even before she received materials from the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (the OSCE international election monitors-w.e.) observers.”[1]

Putin went on to claim that Clinton’s premature comments were the necessary signal to the waiting opposition groups that the US Government would back their protests. Clinton’s comments, the seasoned Russian intelligence pro stated, became a “signal for our activists who began active work with the US Department of State.” [2]

Major western media chose either to downplay the Putin statement or to focus almost entirely on the claims of an emerging Russian opposition movement. A little research shows that, if anything, Putin was downplaying the degree of brazen US Government interference into the political processes of his country. In this case the country is not Tunisia or Yemen or even Egypt. It is the world’s second nuclear superpower, even if it might still be an economic lesser power. Hillary is playing with thermonuclear fire.
Read article here

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Democracy in Libya?

Ex-rebels’ war for money, power: Fierce clashes erupt in Tripoli

Gun fight erupts in central Tripoli, killing two, as ex-rebels from Misrata clash with unit of ex-fighters from Libyan capital.

Middle East Online

By Jay Deshmukh – TRIPOLI

Who will prevail first?

A gun fight erupted in central Tripoli on Tuesday, killing two, as a group of former rebels from the western city of Misrata clashed with a unit of ex-fighters from the Libyan capital, witnesses said.

The two groups of former rebels who helped topple the regime of slain leader Moamer Gathafi traded anti-aircraft and heavy machinegun fire as they fought in broad daylight in a Tripoli neighbourhood.

The fighting broke out between Al-Zawiyah and Al-Saidi streets near a building used as intelligence headquarters by the former regime.
Article posted here

New war strategy: fewer troops, more drones

Friday, January 6, 2012

Faking It: How the Media Manipulates the World into War

More information and transcript here

The Euro is leaving Greece – and a new Great Depression has entered.

from Merijn Knibbe

Do Great Depression’ policies lead to ‘Great Depression’ results? Yes, they do. Look at the above chart showing the development of the money supply in Greece. The closest historical precedent is not really ‘Zimbabwe’, but, to the contrary, the Great Depression. There clearly is a ‘bank run’ going on, as stated by Paul de Grauwe. And no, this is not really a ‘Zimbabwe’ – it’s the opposite. Let’s face it, not the government but the country is broke, the present bickering about loans is utter nonsense. The Euro-system has, for whatever reasons, utterly failed. It led to a new Great Depression, in Greece. And yes, we have to look at the increases of the amount of money (read: debts and capital inflows) before 2006, too. But these are not the present problem. More information here

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chart of the day: US profit and wage shares 1970 – 2011

This graph shows that:

1. since the early 1980s the underlying trend in the United States has been for a bigger share of national income going to corporate profits and less to employees, and
2. now under Obama the rate of redistribution has reached an unprecedented level.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Exporting to future enemies?

Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies earned the title of "Pig Iron Bob" when he sold iron to Imperial Japan in 1938, from which bombs and warships were built to kill Australian soldiers with later on. Are the Americans doing the same in the Middle East?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rule Britannia?

Morgan Stanley global debt ratio calculations.

Is this why British Prime Minister David Cameron refused to cozy up with the other EU member states? In depth article published here