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lundi 22 mars 2010

L'Autre Monde 18 mars 2010: En passant du nucléaire à l'économie par le Moyen-Orient

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L'Autre Monde 18 mars 2010: En passant du nucléaire à l'économie par le Moyen-Orient


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L'Autre Monde 18 mars 2010

120 min / Radio de l'UQAM, CHOQ FM


Diffusion en direct : Jeudi à 11:00h
Animation : François Marginean
Archives d'émission



Au programme cette semaine, 18 mars 2010:


- Actualité: Les armes atomiques américaines déployées dans le monde, les réacteurs nucléaires CANDU ne sont pas sécuritaires.

- Économie: Nous continuons d'explorer les dessous de ce qui se passe réellement avec la situation de la Grèce et des attaques terroristes économiques sur l'Euro et autres pays comme les États-Unis.

- Moyen-Orient: Palestine, Israël, Irak, Iran et Afghanistan

Soyez de la partie les jeudis dès 11h sur les ondes de CHOQ FM, la radio officielle de l'UQÀM, l'alternative à Montréal et dans le monde!


***Hyperliens vers les sources des informations discutées sur l'émission d'aujourd'hui:


Nucléaire:


Les CANDU risquent l'emballement -Les réacteurs canadiens de type CANDU risquent d'être victimes d'un emballement...

http://www.ledevoir.com/non-classe/284285/les-candu-risquent-l-emballement

Les CANDU risquent l'emballement

Pour éviter un Tchernobyl, la Commission canadienne de sécurité nucléaire propose de changer de combustible

Louis-Gilles Francoeur 4 mars 2010 Actualités sur l'environnement

Les réacteurs canadiens de type CANDU risquent d'être victimes d'un emballement similaire à celui qui a détruit en 30 secondes celui de Tchernobyl en avril 1986, selon un rapport secret de la Commission canadienne de sécurité nucléaire (CCSN).

L'ampleur du risque potentiel, identifié par la commission fédérale, est tel qu'elle a recommandé aux sociétés d'État et privées qui possèdent des CANDU au pays de changer leur combustible nucléaire «naturel» au profit d'un combustible moins réactif, soit de l'uranium légèrement enrichi, utilisé sous forme de «grappes LVRF» (low void reactivity fuel).

Les producteurs d'énergie nucléaire ont jusqu'au 1er avril pour démontrer à la Commission , sur la foi de tests indiscutables, que ses appréhensions et celles de la communauté scientifique internationale ne sont pas fondées. Sinon, les producteurs de nucléaire devront changer de combustible et modifier, ce faisant, le coeur de ce qu'on appelle la filière nucléaire développée par le Canada.

Rapport secret

C'est ce que révèle un rapport secret produit par la Commission canadienne de sécurité nucléaire. Ce rapport a été obtenu l'automne dernier par un ancien chroniqueur scientifique du Devoir, Gilles Provost, après son départ à la retraite de l'émission Découverte de Radio-Canada. Ce dernier l'a rendu disponible hier sur Internet (http://pages.videotron.com/artscie/) avec une série d'articles qui en résument l'essentiel.

Ce document de la CCSN , qui remet en question la sécurité de la filière CANDU, survient au moment où le discours du Trône a soulevé hier un vent d'inquiétudes dans l'opposition à Ottawa devant le projet du gouvernement Harper d'augmenter les ventes de CANDU à l'étranger et de réduire les normes environnementales qui touchent notamment au nucléaire, ainsi que devant le projet conservateur d'ouvrir à la propriété étrangère la production d'uranium au Canada et de restructurer Énergie atomique du Canada (EACL), la société de la Couronne qui gère la filière CANDU. Les critiques des trois partis se sont demandé si Ottawa préparait ainsi la privatisation d'EACL afin notamment d'accélérer la construction de réacteurs dans l'Ouest canadien au profit de l'industrie des sables bitumineux.

Le coeur du problème

Selon les documents rendus publics par le journaliste Provost, les CANDU pourraient s'emballer en cas d'arrêt brusque provoqué par un accident ou un acte de terrorisme, par exemple. Leur production d'énergie pourrait alors être multipliée par cent pendant deux ou trois secondes, explique le vulgarisateur scientifique, ce qui enclencherait la fonte de l'uranium radioactif et l'éclatement de plusieurs tubes de force. Les barrières d'étanchéité pourraient alors confiner les fuites dans la centrale, ce que les gestionnaires de Tchernobyl n'ont pas pu faire, mais les dommages seraient néanmoins d'une gravité exceptionnelle.

Le problème vient du fait que l'uranium naturel des CANDU a un «fort coefficient de réactivité du vide»: dès que les tubes de force se vident, le vide ainsi créé engendre une forte réaction et une augmentation phénoménale de la puissance, d'où le risque d'emballement.

Ce problème a été jugé de plus en plus grave au fur et à mesure qu'on a commencé à l'étudier. C'est précisément parce que Gentilly-1 avait été jugée incontrôlable en raison de son coefficient de réactivité du vide qu'on l'a fermée définitivement en 1973 après seulement six mois de production.

Interdits aux États-Unis

C'est aussi ce problème, rappelle Gilles Provost, qui a empêché la mise en marche des deux réacteurs Maple, construits pour fabriquer des isotopes à des fins médicales. Aux États-Unis, on interdit tout réacteur qui affiche un coefficient de réactivité du vide et ce problème est une des cibles principales de la convention internationale sur la sécurité nucléaire de 1994.

Mais le Canada et ses producteurs d'énergie nucléaire soutiennent depuis des années que ce coefficient est plus faible qu'on le dit, que les doubles systèmes d'arrêt d'urgence sont suffisants et que de toute façon, les tours de béton qui confinent les réacteurs sont étanches et plus résistantes que tout ce dont disposait la centrale de Tchernobyl.

Mais des tests réalisés en 1993 ont remis en question l'efficacité de cette marge de manoeuvre et chaque réexamen l'a fait fondre davantage, au point qu'on la juge à peu près nulle maintenant.

Selon le document secret de la CCSN , des barres d'arrêt supplémentaires ont été ajoutées pour cette raison et en secret dans certaines centrales canadiennes, comme à Pickering en 1995, alors que d'autres ont reçu l'ordre de fonctionner à plus bas régime par précaution. C'est aussi pourquoi l'ancienne Commission de contrôle de l'énergie atomique avait exigé en l'espace de deux ans l'installation d'un système d'arrêt en six secondes.

Les propriétaires de centrales, qui doivent déposer d'ici le 1er avril une preuve béton de la sécurité de leurs systèmes sous peine de devoir changer de combustible, estiment que les pertes de réfrigérant ne peuvent pas, comme à Tchernobyl, se produire si rapidement qu'il serait impossible pour les systèmes de sécurité d'empêcher un emballement du réacteur.

Néanmoins, certains se préparent au grand changement de combustible. En 2006, Bruce Power en Ontario a testé avec succès des grappes LVRF, dont le crayon central contient du dysprosium en guise d'éponge à neutrons. Surprise, avec ce combustible d'uranium faiblement enrichi, on pourrait augmenter la puissance des réacteurs avec moins de risques et augmenter la vie utile de chaque grappe.


50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons

http://www.brookings.edu/projects/archive/nucweapons/50.aspx

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.



Qui a poussé pour les guerres du Moyen-Orient?


'Bush didn't go to war for Israel'

Karl Rove flatly rejects the notion that Israel was connected to the George W. Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq, in a new book that hit bookstores Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary:

And if you cannot believe Turd Blossom, who can you believe?

There is no question that Israel was behind the push for all these wars.

But Rove's denial. coming at this time, reinforces the theory that Israel wants to create the illusion of a political split between Israel and the US prior to the US attacking Iran .

WHO IS SENDING YOUR CHILDREN OFF TO DIE IN WAR?

Israel says US will attack Iraq in May

Israel Says War on Iraq Would Benefit the Region

Attack Iraq soon, Sharon aide says

Israel Urges US to Attack Iraq: "Sooner, Rather than Later"

Israel To U.S.: Don't Delay Iraq Attack

Cheney Admits US will attack Iraq 'for Israel's sake'

AIPAC is pushing for the USA to attack Iran for Israel

AIPAC spurring Congress to pass sanctions bill against Iran

Israel says Iran close to having a nuclear bomb

Israel warns on Iranian "nightmare"

Iran the next nuclear threat

Sharon stirs up conflict with Syria and Iran

Iran, Libya, Syria are next?

Israel instructs America to attack Iran and Syria

ISRAEL DEMANDS IRAN BE ATTACKED NEXT AFTER IRAQ

Syria's Next

US Assures Israel That Syria And Iran Are Next

War is not in U.S. interest

Sharon Recruits US Mercenaries Against Syria

Sharon Wants U.S. Action Against Syria

Iraqi WMD 'possibly in Syria'

Sharon Says US Should Also Disarm Iran, Libya and Syria

Israel urges harder int'l line towards Iran

Israeli foreign minister calls for international action against Iran in light of elections

Israelis urge U.S. to stop Iran's nuke goals

It would be a “catastrophe” for the United States to pull out of Iraq, a leading Israeli legislator warned.

'Israel will take out Iran's nuke facilities if US does not'

According to al-Watan, Israel made it clear that it would only be able to wait until a certain date next year and would strike at Iran if no progress is made by that time.

Israel says Syria regime change in world's interest

Israeli officials call for changes in Syrian rule

Israeli leaders call for regime change in Syria after assassination report

Sharon blasts Syria-Iran 'axis of evil'

Israeli Says Rockets Shipped to Hezbollah

Israeli Says Iran Nuclear Race Reaches Point of No Return

Sharon: Israel will not accept nuclear Iran

Sharon: Iran nukes may require military response

IDF chief: Diplomatic pressure on Iran unlikely to succeed

Israel expands war arsenal to deal with Iranian nuclear threat

Israeli Aides Warn U.S. Not To Drop Ball on Iran

Zionists pressures Bush Administration to attack Iran's nuclear facilities

MK: Iran to have nuclear capability within 2 years

Israel Wants West to Deal More Urgently With Iran

Iran must be stopped before it develops nuclear weapons

Israel tries to make Russia approve sanctions against Iran

ISRAEL: Iran is world's most serious threat since WWII

ISRAEL: US not doing enough to stop Iran

Israel Says US Should Take Lead in Dealing With Iran's Nuclear Program

Kevin Zeese: “Hawkish Israeli Lobby Wants War with Iran!”

Netanyahu Beats Drum for U.S. War with Iran

Pressures mount on Bush to bomb Iran

Israel: Back to the preemptive strike

Olmert says Israel will not accept a nuclear Iran

Iran must be intimidated, says Israeli leader

Israel's Olmert calls for dramatic measures against Iran

Olmert declines to rule out military action against Iran

In other news reports Israeli General Oded Tira is quoted as follows: "President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure."

Israel's war, says Bibi, must be sold as America's war.

Peres urges world to unite against Iran

Israel wants more pressure on Iran

Olmert to U.S.: Impose naval blockade on Iran

Report: Olmert to urge U.S. attack on Iran



Abus sexuels par l’Église catholique:


"THE BISHOP SAYS WE HAVE TO REPLACE THAT STAINED GLASS WINDOW, FATHER, AND RIGHT THE @#$% NOW!!!"


Pope Benedict XVI's almighty battle in the Catholic Church

The reputation of the Church internationally has never been lower. On Wednesday, St Patrick's Day, Cardinal Sean Brady, Primate of All Ireland, apologised for helping to persuade two boys – aged 10 and 14 – to sign letters agreeing not to tell the police that a priest, Brendan Smyth, had abused them.

This was 35 years ago: Brady was just one priest involved in the internal church process, and the story has been in the public domain for years. But what difference does that make? Smyth, now dead, went on to be exposed as a notorious sexual predator. Cardinal Brady said last December that he would resign if he was implicated in decisions that led children to be abused. Now he says he'll go only if the Holy Father orders him to.


An inquiry is vital, but the church's moral authority is lost for ever

There is only one conceivable reaction to the fast-spreading crisis in the Catholic church: horror. Only the most virulent anti-papist could ever have quite envisaged the scale of child abuse and the doggedness of the church's desire to stifle scandal. The rest of us are astonished and appalled. Quite rightly, Angela Merkel saw fit to intervene. After decades – perhaps we should rather be referring to centuries – of obfuscation, the Catholic church has to be called to account for what has happened.


Irish Catholic church paid child sex abuse victim to keep quiet

The settlement between the archdiocese of Derry and the young woman, who was eight when the abuse began, contained a silence clause preventing her from discussing the case.

Her ordeal began in 1979 and lasted for a decade before she revealed at her 18th birthday party that she had been repeatedly abused by the priest.

The abuse began after he was invited into the family home by her parents, who had no idea he was a child abuser. He told the girl that God would punish her if she spoke out about her ordeal.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Sick.....just sick.


Vatican fights to distance Pope from abuse scandals

"It is clearly evident that in the past few days there are some who have sought -- with a dogged focus on Regensburg and Munich -- elements to personally implicate the Holy Father in questions of abuse," spokesman Federico Lombardi said.

"It is clear that these efforts have failed," he said on Radio Vatican .

Webmaster's Commentary:

Memo to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi; the horse is out of the barn on this one, and there is nothing you can do at this point but be completely honest about what happened, and develop a culture within church leadership where something like this can never happen again.

The model of celibacy, which was not an original aspect of Christianity, has for too long provided a "safe haven" for those who would use the power of their religious authority in a way which hurt children.

That behavior can no longer be tolerated by thinking parents, or any society which really values its children.


Child abuse claims sweep Catholic Church in Europe

Ireland was the first in Europe to confront the church's worldwide custom of shielding pedophile priests from the law and public scandal. Now that legacy of suppressed childhood horror is being confronted in other parts of the Continent — nowhere more poignantly than in Germany , the homeland of Pope Benedict XVI.

The recent spread of claims into the Netherlands , Austria and Italy has analysts and churchmen wondering how deep the scandal runs, which nation will be touched next, and whether a tide of lawsuits will force European dioceses to declare bankruptcy like their American cousins.

Webmaster's Commentary:

If the Catholic church (and/or other religious institutions) cannot control the actions of their religious leadership, thinking parents with kids will start avoiding those institutions like the plague.


Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry

The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria .

Webmaster's Commentary:

Needless to say the Catholics have gone into full damage-control mode over this, sending out emails to us all who dare report on the story consigning our souls to hell special delivery. In fact they are starting to sound as hysterical as the global warming cultists, who lately make the Scientologists look downright sane!

But they continue to miss my point. The real issue isn't whether Pope Benny knew or not. Personally, I think he did because before he got that center seat Pope Benny ran the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and his role in covering up sexual abuse scandals is well documented.

The real issue is that the God the Catholics pray to is supposed to be all-knowing and all-powerful. It says so right in that advertising brochure called the buy-bull. So, Catholics are required to believe that their God KNEW what was going on, yet did nothing to stop it, even ignoring toe prayers of the parents who presumably like parents everywhere pray that their children be kept safe from harm.

Right now I am getting emails from irate Catholics with lists of clergy sexual abuse in other denominations, and yes, I understand that these molestations happen in all faiths; we have so noted many times on this site.

My point is that only one such molestation, in just one church, contradicts the idea of the existence of a just and all powerful god.

The only time the church actually deals with this problem is when the civil courts intervene. I guess that means that Judge Judy is more powerful and to be more greatly feared than God? :)


Priest Off

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpuYoK6wv_Y&feature=player_embedded



Iran:


Israel has nukes, but Iran is pressured: Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Iran 's nuclear rights should be respected and it is only a rumor that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.

Speaking before meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London on Tuesday, Erdogan also questioned why countries like Israel did not face calls from the international community to disarm, while Iran did.

Webmaster's Commentary:

That was a very good question, and one that needs to be asked (but isn't) by corporate media.

And the reason this question is never asked in the US has to do with the Symington Amendment.

The Symington Amendment states specifically that no US military or financial aid can go to countries which possess nuclear weapons, but which will not sign the NNPT, or have their sites inspected.

As first revealed by Mordechai Vannunu in the late 80s, and later confirmed publicly by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former US President Jimmy Carter, Israel does have nuclear weapons.

Israel refuses to become a signatory to the NNPT, so their weapons sites are never inspected.

This means that every single taxpayer-funded cent of the 3 trillion dollars in aid going to Israel annually is completely, blatantly illegal, under American law.


Putin: Iran's nuclear plant launch set for summer

Iran's first, Russian-built nuclear power plant is set to be launched this summer, Russia 's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Russia to delay the launch, but Russia 's foreign minister responded that Moscow will put the reactor online.

"The first reactor at Iran 's nuclear power plant in Bushehr is to be launched already in the summer," Putin said.

Webmaster's Commentary:

This is Putin's reply to Clinton 's demand that Russia delay the completion of the power station.


Israeli Official: West Has 4-8 Weeks Left for Iran Diplomacy

Adding to the harsh rhetoric coming out of the nation in recent days, Israel ’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today announced that the nation was giving the West another 4-8 weeks to attempt diplomacy with Iran , and that after that they would have to impose crippling sanctions on the nation.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Once again on display is Israel 's arrogant assumption that they have the right to tell the rest of the world what to do and when to do it.


US ponders denying Israel arms needed for Iran war

During a recent visit to Washington , Barak had reportedly criticized his hosts for stalling the delivery of the military items for the past three months, during which Israel was making preparations for a strike on Iran 's nuclear infrastructure.

It is absolutely essential for these items to reach Israel before a military flare-up occurred in the region, Barak said, to such extent that if they could not be supplied to Israel at short notice, they should at least be held ready in emergency stores in US bases in the Negev desert in Israel.


Final destination Iran?

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/final-destination-iran-1.1013151

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran .

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran ,” said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London , co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran . “ US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he added.

The preparations were being made by the US military, but it would be up to President Obama to make the final decision. He may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel , Plesch argued.

Webmaster's Commentary:

If true, the US government has absolutely gone barking mad.

But one has to wonder: is this merely to attempt to get Iran to capitulate to the west's terms on Iran 's perfectly legal nuclear power program and enrichment? If this move was for real, one would have expected absolute secrecy on this move(even though I am reasonably certain that the Iranian military have already wargamed such a scenario.)

Any military confrontation with Iran won't stay regional; it will very well go global.

And what we may potentially see is Russia coming into the conflict on the part of Iran , and Russia has nukes.


Wilkerson: We can bomb Iran for 70 days around the clock

Meanwhile, as the U.S. is pushing for sanctions to hinder Iran 's nuclear programme, reports say Washington is already gearing up for an attack. A Scottish newspaper, The Sunday Herald, says hundreds of powerful bunker-buster bombs are being shipped to a military base on the British Garcia island, in the Indian Ocean . It was also used by the U.S. for strikes against Iraq during the 1993 and 2003 Gulf wars. Some experts say American bombers would be capable of destroying around ten thousand targets in Iran , in just a few hours. But former chief of staff to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, says that any action would spell disaster for the U.S. military machine.


Iran petrol line cut


The world’s largest oil traders have quietly stopped supplying petrol to Iran in a clear sign that the threat of
sanctions and Washington ’s behind-the-scenes efforts to convince companies not to sell to Tehran are paying off.

However, the decision by Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura is unlikely to cut Tehran off completely from the global petrol market as traders said Iran ’s long-standing suppliers were being replaced by small Dubai-based and Chinese companies.


American Naifs Bringing Ruin to Other Lands By Paul Craig Roberts

The next step will be a staged "terrorist attack," a "false flag" operation as per Operation Northwoods, for which Iran will be blamed. As Iran and its leadership have already been demonized, the "false flag" attack will suffice to obtain U.S. and European public support for bombing Iran .

An explanation ready-at-hand is almost a give-away that an incident is a "black ops" event. Notice how quickly the U.S. government, allegedly so totally deceived by al-Qaida, provided the explanation for 9/11. When President Kennedy was assassinated, the government produced the culprit immediately. The alleged culprit was conveniently shot inside a jail by a civilian before he could be questioned. But the official story was ready, and it held.


Iran: The Next Crisis

The United States has become well accustomed to imposing economic sanctions against any state that defies it. Such actions are taken without regard to how badly they affect the quality of life of the people in the sanctioned country. The cruel rationale in Washington is that, if people suffered the terrible consequences emanating from those sanctions, they would overthrow the existing government. When that did not happen, as in Iraq for instance, the administration of George W. Bush decided to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein through a military invasion.

Webmaster's Commentary:

So, according to US Government thinking, if the people of a nation are suffering cruel economic hardships, they should overthrow the government?

Are you sure this is a path you want us all to go down, Mr. Obama?


Israel: THE “SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP” IS DEAD

Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and Joint Chief's Chairman Mike Mullen have all recently visited Israel on two issues, reliable information that Israel was planning an attack on Iran, a plan designed to push America into a war our leaders believe is both wrong and likely to risk a global nuclear confrontation with Russia and the building of a massive housing project on the Arab side of Jerusalem in violation of numerous agreements, a project that is likely to cause a spike in world terrorism and send thousands of new fighters to Afghanistan to face American forces there.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Oh that it were so. But I have my doubts.

The story of the new document that proves the White House directly intervened in the 9-11 investigation proves that Israel is still holding the truth of 9-11 over the US Government's head, in order to blackmail the US Government into doing Israel 's bidding. The story about bunker-busters being shipped to Diego Garcia suggests that the US is doing as it is told and is preparing to attack Iran 's non-existent nuclear weapons by which we mean the power stations and medical isotope facilities.

But, Israel is afraid of being seen as the cause for the US attack. Abe Foxman is already out bloviating that Israel has never, EVER, asked Americans to fight Israel 's wars for them. Technically, he is correct. Israel tricks the US into making war on Israel 's enemies (see The Lavon Affair, the attack on the USS Liberty, and the fake radio transmitter in Tripoli as examples).

So, in order to forestall retaliation by Iran or its allies against Israel, Israel has decided to appear to be separating from the US politically, so that when the US sends the bombers into Iran to smash the place, Israel can say, "Who? Us!?!"

Of course, this deception won;t foll Iran or any other world leader, but no doubt when Iran does counter attack through our troops in Iraq to get to Israel, no doubt ABCNNBBCBS will scream that Iran is attacking Israel 'without just cause' in order to urge escalation into a full blown WW3.

Because I do not think for a moment Israel would allow the US the slightest chance to break free of the chains Israel worked so hard to place on our politicians.



Irak:


Going Home: Returning to Iraq after 10 years

People are fed up and just want safety and stability. A lot of people would say things like "At least Saddam kept the streets clean and didn’t kill millions of our people." Hundreds of thousands have been killed to date and over a million have left to start new lives outside of Iraq . As bad as Saddam’s dictatorship was, things back then were never as bad as they are now post the US invasion. Iraq will never be the same.


Blair's fight to keep his oil cash secret: Former PM's deals are revealed as his earnings since 2007 reach £20million

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1259030/Tony-Blairs-secret-dealings-South-Korean-oil-firm-UI-Energy-Corp.html

Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq .

The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.

Mr Blair - who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 - also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq 's neighbour Kuwait .



Afghanistan:


Frontline: Behind Taliban Lines

In this video Frontline covers the growing insurgency in northern Afghanistan . In the footage you’ll see how the Taliban and their allies in the German controlled sector of the country are increasing their power and influence throughout the Helmand region.

Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE-KMlx7lks&feature=player_embedded

Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0LLEV7yVBw&feature=player_embedded

Part 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlcsKY9vh-o&feature=player_embedded

Part 4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ3ajQ9aEQM&feature=player_embedded


Matthew Hoh: Marjah Operation Not Accomplishing Anything in Afghanistan

Matthew Hoh, the former senior U.S. civilian representative in Zabul province, Afghanistan , says that civilian deaths in Marjah caused by Operation Moshtarak were unnecessary and that the operation isn't accomplishing anything. Hoh points to the installation of an outsider ex-con as the head official in Marjah as evidence that despite U.S. rhetoric to the contrary, Operation Moshtarak is not empowering local people. Hoh says the local Afghans view the U.S. forces as occupiers, and their presence in large numbers following President Obama's decision to send more troops will cause more people to take up arms against the foreign forces.


Taliban controlling Marjah by night

http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m64315&hd=&size=1&l=e

Militants are regaining control of Marjah, residents have reported, less than a month after Western military officials claimed to have seized the Afghan town from the Taliban.

Marjah is now home to an occupation force numbering more than one Nato soldier or Afghan police officer for every eight residents.

But militants are stepping up an underground campaign against officials loyal to the Western-backed Karzai regime.

Webmaster's Commentary:

So this is what "victory" by the US and NATO forces looks like in Marja!?!

Watch for this pattern to be repeated in all of the next major US/NATO targets, like Kandahar .


Video: Putting a price on Afghan life

In Afghanistan , if foreign troops kill an innocent civilian by accident, families may receive compensations of around $2,500.

But there is no fixed system for compensation - something that Stanley McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan , is now calling for.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Warning: these are horrendous, graphic images.

But please remember: these are your tax dollars at work to insure private profit for pipeline installation companies, and for druglords.


NATO Eyes Massive Offensive in Northern Afghanistan

Yesterday top commander General Stanley McChrystal revealed that the invasion of Kandahar Province , the centerpiece of this year’s offensives in Afghanistan , has already begun. But this year’s offensives will not end there, according to NATO’s ISAF Chief of Staff General Bruno Kasdorf.

Gen. Kasdorf says that the alliance is also planning a military offensive against northern Afghanistan , centered around the Kunduz Province . The offensive is scheduled to begin sometime later this year.

Webmaster's Commentary:

I am waiting for the words "body count" to again creep into the corporate media's characterization of these attacks, as happened during the Viet Nam War, to lull the American people into thinking that the US and NATO are actually "winning" here.

The war is militarily unwinnable; we never did, nor do we have now, the troop strength to win this militarily.

What the US and NATO should do is declare victory, go home, then negotiate with whatever government is left standing about the installation of the pipelines with which to control Eurasian oil.

Russia and China have been fighting their energy wars with deals, not guns, and have been very successful in their endeavors.

The second desired outcome, the control of the drugs from which so many profit so handsomely, has already been accomplished.

In fact, it has been accomplished to the degree that Russian officials are opening complaining that NATO has created an "undeclared war" against it because of the cheap heroin flooding the drug market place, most of it coming from Afghanistan .

http://www.prisonplanet.com/nato-waging-undeclared-war-on-russia-moscow.html

None of the reasons the US and NATO are in Afghanistan have to do with any existential threat from the Afghan people against the US or NATO: they have everything to do with private profit, but nothing to do with actual geopolitical security.

Unfortunately, no US congressman, State Department or White house official will ever have the "male attributes" to tell families or friends of those who have died or been maimed for life in this military misadventure what the price of their sacrifice was actually intended to achieve.


Soaring IED attacks in Afghanistan stymie U.S. counteroffensive

Taliban fighters more than doubled the number of homemade bombs they used against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan last year. Military officials say low-tech bombs have stymied a $17 billion U.S. counteroffensive.

Webmaster's Commentary:

We used to see that in Vietnam where a $50 mortar filled with old tin cans could confuse up a $4 million terrain-following radar and crash a $30 million aircraft!



Israël:


The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews

http://www.uruknet.de/index.php?p=m60228&hd=&size=1&l=e


Israeli fighter jets pound Gaza Strip

Israeli fighter jets have bombarded at least two sites in the Gaza Strip shortly after a Thai agricultural worker was killed when a rocket fired from the besieged coastal enclave struck the northern Negev .

The eyewitnesses said Israeli F-16 fighter jets targeted an open area north of the Gaza City . The warplanes also fired missiles at an open area in the central Gaza Strip.

One of the warplanes broke the sound barrier in the skies of northern and central Gaza Strip, causing panic through the crowd, especially women and children.


1,000 days of 6sraeli siege killed 500 Gazans

The Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip has so far resulted in the death of 500 Palestinians, says a Palestinian lawmaker as the siege enters its 1,000th day.


Israel planning 50,000 housing units in East Jerusalem

Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem 's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem .


Israeli army to seal off West Bank as tensions rise

The action was taken "for security reasons" including a risk of attacks, the spokesman said. The area was sealed off at midnight on Thursday.

Israeli police have also said they would bar Muslim men under the age of 50 from prayers on Friday at Jerusalem 's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, one of Islam's holiest sites, fearing unrest.

The moves come after violent clashes at the site, which is also holy to Jews, during last week's Muslim prayers, and fresh tensions over Israeli plans to build 1,600 homes for Jewish settlers in mostly Arab east Jerusalem .

Webmaster's Commentary:

Rather than eliminating unrest, these actions by the IDF are almost guaranteed to provoke violence, which is precisely why the IDF is doing this.


U.S. gave Israel green light for East Jerusalem construction

Based on Biden's reaction, it seems that he (and, presumably, his boss) has decided that it is better to leave with a few sour grapes than to quarrel with the vineyard guard. In his speech at Tel Aviv University , he said he appreciated Netanyahu's pledge that there would be no recurrence. But what exactly does that mean? That next time he comes, the Planning and Building Committee will be asked to defer discussion of similar plans until the honored guest has left? With the media storm dying down, Netanyahu can breathe a sigh of relief.

In a sense, the uproar actually helped him: To wipe the spit off his face, Biden had to say it was only rain. Therefore, he lauded Netanyahu's assertion that actual construction in Ramat Shlomo would begin only in another several years.


Israel Moves To Change Law After Biden 'Mishap'

Israel is moving to amend the country's planning procedures on sensitive political decisions following an embarrassing diplomatic flap during a visit this week by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Cabinet minister said Friday.

Both Biden and the Palestinians sharply condemned the Israeli settlement decision.

Netanyahu apologized for the timing, though not the substance, of the announcement.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Translation: Israel will just go on doing what it has been doing, taking US money and there will utterly no consequences for anything they do from the US (Including potentially starting a war against Iran ).

Israel, as a nuclear-armed nation, should not be getting one penny of US financial or military aid, under the provisions of the Symington Amendment.

Yet that never seems to bother any of our Congress members of a succession of Presidents in the least.


Israeli Soldiers Brutalizing Palestinian Children

"Two....soldiers stopped us and handcuffed us, (took) us to two separate jeeps, (took) me to the settlement and put me in a corner, (put) a dog next to me," refused to let him use the bathroom, threatened to hold him forever, wouldn't let him call his mother, blindfolded him, and held him until his father managed to get him late at night.

He was terrified, held for 10 hours, traumatized by the incident, and unable to sleep, "worried sick about his brother in jail and extremely afraid that the soldiers would come back" and do it again, which they did, and do repeatedly to hundreds of Palestinian youths, their siblings, parents and friends, guilty of being Palestinian on land Israel wants to make historic Palestine an ethnically pure Jewish state.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Apparently, according to the IDF, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is absolutely acceptable, be it by slaughtering an innocent pregnant woman, denying care to medically fragile Palestinians, or torturing prisoners some time to death.

One has to shake one's head at the reality that many of those in the Israeli military and Israeli government are the grand-children of Holocaust survivors.

One might imagine somehow that the understanding that all ethnic cleansing is morally appalling would have wound up being a primary value for a society whose ancestors had survived it; unfortunately, that is not the case with Israel .


URGENT APPEAL: Illegal detention of children inside Israel

On or about 8 March 2010, Israeli authorities transferred at least seven Palestinian children from Ofer Prison, in the West Bank, to Rimonim Prison, inside Israel . This decision occurred after lawyers for DCI-Palestine informed Ofer military court that children were being detained illegally with adult detainees inside Ofer prison. However, the response of the Israeli authorities to transfer the children to Israel amounts to a further contravention of international law.

Webmaster's Commentary:

IF the UN had any credibility at all in terms of world leadership, they would halt the heinous Israeli practice of imprisoning children.

Of course, they can't, so they don't. When it comes to Israel , the UN can only be characterized as thoroughly incompetent, and a total embarrassment.


Palestinian classes held at Israeli army checkpoint

Israeli soldiers prevent students and others from crossing a checkpoint between their homes and schools on the edge of the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on 17 March 2010. Some teachers used the checkpoint as a makeshift classroom and held studies despite the closure, which was linked to clashes elsewhere in the occupied territories.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Talk about gutsy teachers with courage and grit!

My hat is off to these Palestinian educators who wouldn't let not getting to their physical classroom get in the way of their lesson plans.


Health ministry: 12 deaths and 25 injuries in Gaza during three months

The Palestinian ministry of health reported Sunday that the number of victims who have been killed in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation since the start of 2010 and until the ninth of March amounted to 12 Palestinians and the injuries to 25 others.

According to a report issued by the ministry’s information office, 75 percent of these deaths happened during last January and 91.7 percent of the victims were under age 18.



Israël:


Canada’s Effort to Criminalize Criticism of Israel

Israel’s siege of Gaza has made it a “closed zone” – no access, no exit, cut off from the world. By attempting to shut down criticism of Israel ’s practices, Canadian supporters of the government of Israel are creating another “closed zone” in Canada – in which criticism, open debate, and freedom of expression will not be allowed.

Whenever criticism of Israel increases, as it did in the wake of Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon and after the 2009 Gaza massacre, organizations supporting the State of Israel insist that this is a symptom of a “new antisemitism”. This argument is designed to deflect attention from Israel ’s real crimes by smearing those who criticise Israel .

WHAT IS AT STAKE?

The essence of the “new antisemitism” campaign is an attempt to conflate discrimination against Jews – something which is as illegitimate as any other form of racism and discrimination and must be opposed – with criticism of the State of Israel, its actions, or its governing ideology, Zionism. It is the view of CPCCA ex-officio member Irwin Cotler, Israel is “the collective Jew among nations.” From this perspective, criticizing Israel is the same as discriminating against Jews.

At a time when racism and bigotry against many communities in Canada — First Nations, Muslims, South Asians and Chinese, Haitians among them – constitute a much greater problem than antisemitism, it is not clear why the Coalition has chosen to focus its attention solely on the latter.

The CPCCA accepts some criticism of Israel may be legitimate. But it also declares that criticism of Israel as a Jewish State – rather than a state where all citizens enjoy equal rights – is inherently antisemitic. That calling Israel ’s treatment of its Palestinian citizens apartheid is antisemitic. And that supporting the growing international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign by those determined to change Israel ’s behaviour is antisemitic.

Ironically if this expanded definition of antisemitism becomes legislation, it will be possible to criticize the actions of the Canadian government but not those of the government of Israel . Just the fear of being prosecuted is likely to create a “chill” on both university campuses and in the media. But why should Israel be the one country in the world we are not allowed to criticize?

Moreover, branding those who criticise Israel as “antisemitic” is part of a campaign to help organizations such as the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and B’nai Brith — which provide uncritical support for Israel – put themselves forward as the only legitimate representatives of Canadian Jews. While there are many Jewish organizations and individuals, both within Israel and throughout the world, whose views on Israel differ dramatically from those of the CJC and B’nai Brith, the CPCCA is not interested in hearing from those voices.

The SFSC insists that criticizing Israel is not antisemitic and that restricting debate on the illegal occupation of Gaza and the apartheid nature of Israel society will only allow the continued oppression of the Palestinian people and make a mockery of political free expression in Canada . If we keep silent about the CPCCA, even a document like the one you are reading may ultimately be considered illegal.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

• Become informed. Go to seriouslyfreespeech.wordpress.com/cpcca/ to learn more about the CPCCA and read submissions by the Seriously Free Speech Committee and other organizations.

• Send us your email address at info@seriouslyfreespeech.ca and be kept up-to-date.

• Contact your MP and tell them you are opposed to their parties participating in the CPCCA.

• Help us spread the word about the CPCCA. Invite us at info@seriouslyfreespeech.ca to speak to your union, community group or church.

CPCCA Working Group of the Seriously Free Speech Committee, PO Box 57112 , RPO E. Hastings St. , Vancouver , BC V5K 1Z0
Website: www.seriouslyfreespeech.ca Email: info@seriouslyfreespeech.ca


Anti-Semitism: silencing the messenger of truth with Canada’s “hate provisions”

William A. Cook recounts how Canadian Zionists, in the form of B’nai B’rith of Canada, cast aspersions on his personal and professional character because he had dared to highlight the genocidal actions of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his successors.


Anti-Semitism – Zionist myth vs truth and reality

Alan Hart views the myth and reality of anti-Semitism and argues that the myth, created and propagated by Israel and Zionism, is the single biggest potential threat to Jews the world over.



Économie:


Eurozone Monetary Fund?


In the Greek debt aftermath, the Eurozone eyes sweeping new finance regulations, including a European Monetary Fund.

By Quentin Peel in Berlin and Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris

March 8 2010

Germany and France are planning to launch a sweeping new initiative to reinforce economic co-operation and surveillance within the eurozone, including the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, according to senior government officials.

Their intention is to set up the rules and tools to prevent any recurrence of instability in the eurozone stemming from the indebtedness of a single member state, such as Greece .

The first details of the plan, including support for an EMF modelled on the International Monetary Fund, were revealed at the weekend by Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister.

“I am in favour of stronger co-ordination of economic policies in the EU and in the eurozone,” Mr Schäuble told newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

If France and Germany can agree on such proposals – long urged by Paris – they are likely to set the basis for the most radical overhaul of the rules underpinning the euro since the currency was launched in 1999.

The German thinking emerged as George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, flew to Paris to seek the support of Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, for his government’s drastic austerity programme.

“We must support Greece , because they are making an effort,” Mr Sarkozy said before the meeting. “If we created the euro, we cannot let a country fall that is in the eurozone. Otherwise there was no point in creating the euro.”

His words appeared to underline the greater readiness in France than in Germany to provide some sort of financial support or guarantee for the Greek economy. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, insisted that no such support had been sought or discussed when she met Mr Papandreou on Friday.

Both France and Germany agree Greece should not turn to the IMF for support, so the idea of an EMF has clear attractions for Paris , though it could hardly be set up in time to help Greece .

Mr Schäuble said: “We are not planning a competitor . . . to the IMF, but we do need an institution for the internal equilibrium of the eurozone that would have at its disposal both the experience of the IMF, and comparable intervention mechanisms.”

According to German thinking, the plan could include tough penalties for eurozone members that fail to curb deficit spending or run up excessive government debt. Ideas include cutting off countries that fail to curb deficit spending from EU cohesion funds, temporarily removing their right to vote in EU ministerial meetings and suspension from the eurozone.

Those may prove very difficult for France to swallow, given its own record of greater fiscal laxity than Germany .


Keiser Report No25: Markets! Finance! Scandal!

This time Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert report on insider trading in the prediction markets and the billionaire boom and the scary rich outside America . Keiser also speaks to Kate Pickett, author of "The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better" about the consequences of inequality.


National Debt Up $2 Trillion on Obama's Watch

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20000576-503544.html

The latest posting from the Treasury Department shows the National Debt has increased over $2 trillion since President Obama took office.

The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion.


China trims holdings of Treasury securities

The Treasury Department said Monday that China 's holdings dipped by $5.8 billion to $889 billion in January compared with December. Japan , the second-largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, also trimmed its holdings but by a much smaller $300 million, to $765.4 billion.

Net foreign purchases of long-term securities, a category that includes both government and corporate debt, totaled $19.1 billion in January, as net purchases of private corporate bonds fell by $24.8 billion, the biggest drop on record.


The next big bailout is on the way. Prepare to get reamed!

Housing is on the rocks and prices are headed lower. That's not the consensus view, but it's a reasonably safe assumption. Master illusionist Ben Bernanke managed to engineer a modest 7-month uptick in sales, but the fairydust will wear off later this month when the Fed stops purchasing mortgage-backed securities and long-term interest rates begin to creep higher. The objective of Bernanke's $1.25 trillion program, which is called quantitative easing, was to transfer the banks "unsellable" MBS onto the Fed's balance sheet. Having achieved that goal, Bernanke will now have to unload those same toxic assets onto Freddie and Fannie. (as soon as the public is no longer paying attention)


Another Recession Is Coming-Jim Rogers-CNBC-3-17-2010


Bernanke footnote: Fed wants end to ‘minimum reserve requirements’

http://rawstory.com/2010/03/footnote-fed-believes-minimum-reserve-requirements-eliminated/

"The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system," footnote number nine, at the bottom of the page, explains without additional qualification.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Now, pay attention class, because there will be a quiz on this later.

Contrary to a published piece of innocent idiocy yesterday, the reserve requirement is not simply a percentage of deposited cash that must be kept in the bank versus deposited cash loaned out.

The Federal Reserve system and all its member banks are legally allowed to create new money out of thin air when they need it, an activity which would be a crime for any other citizen called counterfeiting, and an activity which under the 1792 Coinage Act is a capitol crime for all.

The Reserve Requirement imposes a limit on the amount of money the Federal Reserve banks can create out of thin air as a multiple of the actual deposited cash they have on hand. For example, if a bank has $ 100 in actual deposits, they can loan out $800. Since most bank transactions no longer involve actual paper notes, the creation of the new money is accomplished simply by typing into a computer terminal.

What Bernanke is actually asking for is the removal of all limits on the creation of new money so that the Federal Reserve can simply create as much new money as it wants so that Helicopter Ben can shower it all over Wall Street under the aegis of a "loan" to the US Government.

You, as an ordinary citizen are expected to repay this loan and to live with the results of the inevitable hyper-inflation that will follow.

For Ben and his cronies, this is a great deal. It is, of course, a disaster for the rest of us.


Obama urges Senate action on controversial finance reforms

US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged senators to grant the Federal Reserve a dramatic expansion of its' regulatory powers and to establish a new consumer protection committee to help safeguard Americans from Wall Street's excesses.

Webmaster's Commentary:

The Fed needs to be dismantled, period, end of discussion, not given expanded powers.


Unemployment soars in U.S. metropolitan areas

Unemployment rates in 363 U.S. metropolitan areas rose in January, and 346 areas reported year-on-year declines in their number of jobs, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Every time this government tells you how much better things are for the economy, please understand that its spokespeople are collectively lying though their teeth.


More than half of mortgaged homes in St. Lucie, Martin are 'under water'

More than half of mortgaged residential properties in St. Lucie and Martin counties are “under water,” a recent report by a company that tracks home sales, price trends and foreclosures shows.


Jacksonville mortgage delinquencies rise above 10%


Foreclosure starts up nearly 20 percent in California


Md. foreclosure filings skyrocket in February

Prince George's County saw nearly 1,800 foreclosure filings last month -- about one-third of Maryland 's total -- as state and federal officials scramble to find a solution to the unrelenting mortgage crisis.


Foreclosures are still on the Rise in Illinois

Foreclosures in Illinois increased 22% in February, 2010. The high foreclosure rate can be attributed to the high unemployment rate and declining home prices. With the declining market many people are finding themselves underwater in their homes. Meaning . . . they owe more on their home than their home is worth.


Metro Atlanta foreclosures set new monthly record

The number of foreclosure notices this month — 12,568 — set a new record for metro Atlanta , according to data just released by Equity Depot.


U.S. Budget Deficit Grows $1 Million Every 11 Seconds

http://www.allgov.com/Top_Stories/ViewNews/US_Budget_Deficit_Grows_1_Million_Dollars_Every_11_Seconds_100312

Between enormous expenditures and sagging revenues, the U.S. government in February managed to enlarge the deficit by $1 million every 11 seconds. February went down as the worst ever for monthly shortfalls, at $220.9 billion. This total was 14% higher than February 2009, which set the previous record. February is traditionally a bad month for deficits because that is when the government sends out tax refund checks.

The government is on pace to set the record for annual budget deficits, with 2010 figuring to be $1.56 trillion. Last year, it was $1.4 trillion. Things probably won’t get better in 2011, which is expected to post at least a $1 trillion gap. If this happens, it will mark the first time in U.S. history that the country endured three straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


Blockbuster About To Die?

Shares of Blockbuster took a nosedive yesterday dropping more than .11 (approximately 29%) on rumors of bankruptcy being in the near future for the video rental giant...


States Freezing Tax Refunds

Residents eager to get their state tax refunds may have a long wait this year: The recession has tied up cash and caused officials in half a dozen states to consider freezing refunds, in one case for as long as five months.

States from New York to Hawaii that have been hard-hit by the economic downturn say they have either delayed refunds or are considering doing so because of budget shortfalls.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Isn't that kind of a retro-active tax increase? Without legislative approval? And with the dollar collapsing, doesn't delaying the tax refunds cause the refunds to be worth less in real purchasing power?

Isn't it time to end the wars, end the propping up of Wall Street, end the propping up of Israel , and start spending US Tax Dollars on the US Taxpayer??????


More States Delay Income Tax Refunds

Webmaster's Commentary:

The bankers created a system to draw all the money out of the general population and put it in their own pockets. As a society, we face not a wealth crisis but a liquidity crisis.

Obama, as President, could solve the problem overnight by calling the Treasury across the street and order them to issue new currency as Lincoln and Kennedy did. That he has not I think proves his loyalties are not with the ordinary American people but with the private bankers. Alex Jones is correct; the economic ruin of our nation is an intentional act of treason by the government. No terrorists could have ever hoped to have inflicted as much damage on the United States as the last two Presidents.


With the Economic Crisis, the Number of Billionaires has Soared

The current global financial and economic crisis once again confirms the fact that during economic upheavals the rich get richer and the poor become even more destitute.

On Thursday, Forbes Magazine carried an updated list of the world's wealthiest people.

As of late 2009, the number of billionaires soared from 793 to 1,011 and their total fortunes from $2.4 trillion to $3.6 trillion. The number of Russian billionaires almost doubled, from 32 to 62.


Greece loses EU voting power in blow to sovereignty

The European Union has shown its righteous wrath by stripping Greece of its vote at a crucial meeting next month, the worst humiliation ever suffered by an EU member state.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Do these idiots WANT riots?


The Fall of Greece

For Europe ’s poorest countries, European Union membership has long held out the promise of tranquil prosperity. The current Greek financial crisis ought to dispel some of their illusions.

There are two strikingly significant levels to the current crisis. While primarily economic, the European Economic Community also claims to be a community, based on solidarity -- the sisterhood of nations and brotherhood of peoples. However, the economic deficit is nothing compared to the human deficit it exposes.

Webmaster's Commentary:

In other words, as long as the member states of the EU were cash cows, the EU welcomed the, but now that hard times have hit, the favor is not to be returned!


Head Of Greek Debt Office Replaced By Former Goldman Investment Banker

And so the tragicomic becomes surreal. Yesterday's news about the departure of the head of the debt management agency, Spyros Papanicolaou, was somewhat of a yawner, until we realized that his replacement would be none other than Petros Christodoulou, who until today was head of Private Banking and Group Treasury at the National Bank of Greece (reporting directly to the CEO of the NBG Tamvakakis), as can be seen on the org chart below. Yet was is oddest, is that Mr. Christodoulou worked not only as head of derivatives at JP Morgan but also held comparable posts at Credit Suisse, and... wait for it, Goldman Sachs... Uh, say what?

Petros' profile from Forbes:

Petros Christodoulou, born 1960, is the General Manager of Treasury, Global Markets and Private Banking. Before joining the Bank in 1998, he worked in various positions in Global Markets for Credit Suisse First Boston and for Goldman Sachs. Additionally, at JPMorgan he led the derivatives desk, followed by the short-term interest-rate trading and emerging markets division in London as Managing Director. He is a member of the Investment Committee of EH and the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research. He holds a BSc from the Athens School of Commerce and Economics and an MBA in International Financial Markets from Columbia University .


Greece rocked by riots as up to 60,000 people take to streets to protest against government

Street clashes broke out between rioting youths and police in central Athens today as tens of thousands demonstrated during a nationwide strike against the cash-strapped government.


A Turning Point in Europe

Wednesday’s general strike in Greece , involving 2 million workers in the public and private sectors, marks a turning point in the political situation throughout Europe . It represents the most significant manifestation of a growing movement of resistance to the attempt by Europe ’s governments and corporations to make workers pay for the economic crisis and the multi-billion-euro bailout of the banks.

Webmaster's Commentary:

The US Government is doing the same thing here. Trillions for the banks, austerity for the people; 'you must make do with less so that we may have more'!


Credit Suisse Declares the U.S. a Riskier Investment Than Indonesia

Amid fears that Switzerland might come to an agreement with the United States on banking privacy and tax evasion disclosures, Credit Suisse issued a report identifying those countries it determined to have the highest risks of default on their sovereign debts. Number 16 on the list was the United States , based primarily on its 2009 budget deficits and government debt.


2008 Financial Collapse

The year is 2010 and to anyone not in denial, the industrialized nations have entered the greatest calamity the world has ever known:

* 35 Million Americans on Food Stamps: 12 Percent of U.S. Population on Food Stamps Highest Since Records Kept in 1969, and that’s before the Obama administration announced a planned three-year budget freeze on government discretionary spending. (My Budget 360)
* 18 Million empty houses in the United States and 39 million Americans who are no longer working or looking for work, and that’s before Federal Reserve finishes rewriting the rules of American “capitalism” as US Housing, the Automobile Industry and the American Dream are dismantled. (The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M., David E. Sanger)

Webmaster's Commentary:

The US Government and the Federal Reserve (also authorized by the US Government despite Constitutional Prohibitions) are to blame for this mess.

The trap of the reserve system of banking, in which the Federal Reserve issues paper currency representing a loan from the bank to the people, the moment that first Federal Reserve Note goes into circulation, more money is owed to thew banking system than is actually in existence.

The system was designed to draw all the real wealth away from the people and put it into the bankers' pockets. but nobody planned for the day they would actually succeed, and leave the society without enough currency to function.

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