Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni protesters all say that inequality is one of the main reasons they're protesting. However, the U.S. actually has much greater inequality than in any of those countries. Specifically, the "Gini Coefficient" - the figure economists use to measure inequality - is higher in the U.S. Gini Coefficients are like golf - the lower the score, the better (i.e. the more equality).
While popular uprisings erupt across the Middle East, America stands on the sidelines. Stephen Kinzer on why the U.S. should abandon its self-defeating strategy in the region. One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I walked into the British Foreign Office for a meeting with Middle East policy planners. “Tunisia is melting down and the Lebanese government has just fallen,” my host said as he welcomed me. “Interesting times.” During our meeting, one veteran British diplomat observed that since American policy toward the Middle East is frozen into immobility, change there comes only when there is a crisis. I asked where he thought the next crisis might erupt. “Egypt,” he replied.
In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. questioned U.S. military interventions against progressive movements in the Third World by invoking a JFK quote: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Were he alive to witness the last three decades of U.S. foreign policy, King might update that quote by noting: "Those who make secular revolution impossible will make extreme Islamist revolution inevitable."
Arab governments in the region are wary of demonstrations spreading to their countries. ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Saudi Arabia slammed protesters in Egypt as "infiltrators" who seek to destabilize their country, and a top Palestinian official affirmed "solidarity" with Egypt on Saturday, while an Iranian official called on Egypt to "abide by the rightful demands of the nation" and avoid violent reactions. Saudi King Abdullah called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and "was reassured" about the situation in Egypt, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.
The $60-billion-per-year diet industry keeps offering new programs and plans, but it doesn't work 95% of the time because the problem is more than calories.
While the biggest threat to the Middle East region is the possibility that the population of Saudi Arabia may try to imitate what has been happening in the area, thereby bringing total chaos to the established regional geopolitical and more importantly, energy, structure, the first protests in the Saudi Arabia city of Jeddah are already in the books. The clip below shows the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place recently.
An anti-Obama manifesto of sorts, in the form of a petition, was issued this week, signed by over 150 Left antiwar activists (1). As I read the first paragraph, eager to sign, my hopes were quickly dashed. It reads: “We the undersigned share with nearly two-thirds of our fellow Americans the conviction that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reduced. This has been our position for years and will continue to be, and we take it seriously.”
(...The EU Presidency will be your Nuremberg!) Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s second appearance last week before the Chilcot inquiry into the lessons of the Iraq war again branded him as a war criminal. Blair was asked to return to the inquiry due to discrepancies between his earlier testimony, the documentary record, and other testimony such as that of his attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, as to when the prime minister had committed Britain to war, and what advice he had received as to its legality.
Mass demonstrations of workers and youth throughout Egypt shook the regime of US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak on Friday. Hundreds of thousands poured into the streets to demand the president’s resignation, denouncing mass unemployment and poverty, clashing with police, and burning down the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party. The protests came just two weeks after demonstrations forced another US-backed dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, to flee. Significant demonstrations have spread to other countries in the region, including Yemen, Jordan and Algeria.
After watching President Obama’s state of the union, plus the first Republican response to it by Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and the second response by Rep Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, chair of the Tea Party caucus in Congress, it‘s hard to avoid the conclusion that if nations survive and prosper by realistic assessment of their problems, America really is finished.
Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well. Her books provided wide-ranging parables of "parasites," "looters" and "moochers" using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes' labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O'Connor (her husband was Frank O'Connor).
Birds may be able to ‘see’ the Earth’s electromagnetic field as they fly through the sky, scientists have suggested. Many creatures, including all birds, navigate by sensing the direction of the magnetic forces around our planet to guide them.
Two weeks after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Arab leaders that their region’s “foundations are sinking into the sand”, the growing revolutionary upsurge of the masses has revealed that the pillars of Washington’s own policy in the Middle East are rotten and crumbling. The mass uprising that toppled the 23-year rule of Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has now been followed by tens of thousands of young demonstrators in Egypt taking to the streets, defying security forces, and in increasing numbers giving their lives, to demand the downfall of Hosni Mubarak and his nearly three-decade-old regime. Thousands more demonstrated Thursday in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, calling for the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled the country for more than 30 years.
Japan and the United States faced new pressure to confront their swollen budget deficits as the IMF and rating agencies demanded more evidence they can bring their public debts under control. The International Monetary Fund said the G7's two biggest economies needed to spell out credible deficit-cutting plans before the markets lose patience and dump their bonds.
Republicans look to privatize Medicare. House Republicans would support a plan to privatize Medicare in their annual budget, a member of the GOP leadership said. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the House Republican Conference Chairman and second-ranked GOP member of the budget committee, made the revelation during a panel discussion, according to the National Journal.
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