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Why Are the Chinese Buying Record Quantities of Gold?

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Environment, World, Economic

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/2012/01/29/why-are-the-chinese-buying-record-quantities-of-gold/

Analysts believe China bought as much as 490 tons of gold in 2011, double the estimated 245 tons in 2010. “The thing that’s caught people’s minds is the massive increase in Chinese buying,” remarked Ross Norman of Sharps Pixley, a London gold brokerage, this month.So who in China is buying all this gold?The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, has been hinting that it is purchasing. “No asset is safe now,” said the PBOC’s Zhang Jianhua at the end of last month. —China is the world’s largest gold producer.

Government School: Six Year Old Guilty of Sexual Assault After Playing Tag

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Politics, Police State

Link: http://www.infowars.com/government-school-six-year-old-guilty-of-sexual-assault-after-playing-tag/

In politically correct San Francisco, a six year old boy was charged with sexual assault after playing a game of tag on the playground.The child was accused of brushing his best friend’s leg or groin while the two were playing on the playground at Lupine Hills Elementary in Hercules two months ago, according to CBS in San Francisco.The parent of the child said his son was held in the principal’s office and interrogated. The school coerced a confession from the child. He was suspended and a sexual battery charge was placed on his permanent school record, even though there is no such thing as sexual assault for a six year-old in California. Only after the boy’s parents hired a lawyer and threatened to sue did the school back down.And while school officials claim students are engaged in sexual abuse and perversion, more often than not it is teachers and administrators who are the perverts. In

The capitalist crisis and the radicalization of the working class in 2012

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/rept-j30.shtml

For Time, the events of 2011 are seen as a wake-up call. The ruling elites should be aware of the danger that may arise from their own social isolation. There is the vast mass of working people, whose conditions of life are undergoing an immense and unrelenting deterioration. An improvement in their conditions of life is impossible without entering into open struggle against the capitalist system, with all the revolutionary implications that such a struggle entails. T

IRAN: DRUMS OF WAR BEATING LOUDER: U.S. Mounts Further Military Build-Up in Persian Gulf

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Middle East, War, Iran

Link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28953

Wall Street Journal reports (1/28) the Pentagon has notified Congress that it will divert an additional $82 million to refine the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP). (The MOP is a 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb “specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs.”)These latest military maneuvers come on the heels of an announced U.S. troop build-up in the region revealed earlier this month. As the Los Angeles Times first reported (1/12), the build-up, including the stationing of 15,000 U.S. troops in Kuwait, is “intended as a quick-reaction and contingency force in case a military crisis erupts in the standoff with Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.”

Going Backwards: Self-Guided Bullets Unveiled

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, War, Police State, Science

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/30-8

Their dart-like rifle round is designed for small-caliber firearms like those carried by the average grunt or law enforcement officer. [...] Sandia's 4-in-long bullet has actuators that steer tiny fins that guide it to its target.Their bullet works much like a precision guided aerial bomb might function. An optical sensor in the nose of the bullet detects a laser beam painted on a target and sends that information to a guidance and control system also packed on board. An eight-bit CPU commands electromagnetic actuators to adjust tiny fins that deploy from the round immediately after it exits the muzzle. From there, the on-board electronics aerodynamically guide the bullet home to its target, allowing the shooter to adjust a round’s trajectory in flight to correct on a long shot or to stay with a moving target.

Sorry, Bigots: You're Dumb

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Politics, Science

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/further/2012/01/27

Science has confirmed what some of us long suspected but were (sometimes) too polite to say: People who hold racist and rabid right-wing views are, to put it bluntly, stupid, or at least stupider than other people. A new study finds that children with low intelligence grow into Tea Party-ish adults who hold socially conservative views and would like black, gay and other troublesome types to just go away, please. It is suspected that some of these people will not be happy with the findings and may even take to the streets with signs like this. As always, we wish them better spelling."There is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world."

New Study: Climate Change Threatens World's Wheat Crop

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Nature, Environment, World, Science

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/29-2

It could be much more difficult than we thought to feed everyone in a warmer world.A study released Sunday afternoon finds that wheat crop yields could plunge due, in part, to climate change. Extreme temperatures are already cutting wheat yields in India (Narinder Nanu/AFP) The study, published in Nature Climate Change, researchers warn that current projections underestimate the extent to which hotter weather in the future will accelerate this process. Extreme heat causes wheat crops to age faster and reduce yields, the Stanford University-led study shows, underscoring the challenge of feeding a rapidly growing population as the world continues to warm.

Stung by Bad PR, City Officials Adopting New Tactics to Suppress Occupy Oakland

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/occupywallst/153871/stung_by_bad_pr%2C_city_officials_adopting_new_tactics_to_suppress_occupy_oakland/

Oakland officials have shifted tactics since conducting a series of violent assaults on Occupy Oakland in October and November in the glare of the national media. Oakland officials have taken a new tack in their suppression of the Occupy movement, one that seems addressed to the city's public relations problems. Gone are the mass arrests, “less-lethal” weaponry and tear gas, replaced with a kind of "lawfare" on the few protesters who remain in the plaza at the foot of Oakland City Hall where the occupation's tent city once stood.

Margaret Thatcher, class warrior

January 30th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Economic, Politics

Link: http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/30/margaret-thatcher-class-warrior

Thatcher was the minister of education in Edward Heath's Conservative government, and she became notorious for ending the practice of giving British children free milk at school."Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher," became one of the most widely known political chants She became Britain's prime minister.she enacted brutal policies that included sharp cuts in social spending, tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of the financial sector, attacks on unions, and a huge increase in poverty and inequality.She was finally forced to resign by members of her own party after her attempt to introduce a poll tax led mass demonstrations and riots.

No Conviction, No Freedom: Immigration Authorities Locked 13,000 In Limbo

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, Politics, Police State

Link: http://www.alternet.org/rss/breaking_news/767262/no_conviction%2C_no_freedom%3A_immigration_authorities_locked_13%2C000_in_limbo/

WASHINGTON -- On a single day this past fall, the United States government held 13,185 people in immigration detention who had not been convicted of a crime, some of whom will not be charged with one, according to information The Huffington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Instead, at a cost of roughly 2 million taxpayer dollars per day, the men and women were detained while immigration authorities sorted out their fates.

Wall Street Journal: The GOP Deserves to Lose

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

The WSJ is the voice of the DC-New York GOP establishment, and that voice was crackling with anger and tears on Tuesday Let's just say right now what voters will be saying in November, once Barack Obama has been re-elected: Republicans deserve to lose.Well, yes. They deserve to lose because they've learned nothing from spectacular failures of the Bush/Cheney years and are doubling down on every right-wing fetish: Even lower taxes! Even more wealth inequality! Even more war! Even fewer regulations! Let's deport 12 million people! Let's bring back child labor! But I digress. Above all, it doesn't matter that Americans are generally eager to send Mr. Obama packing. All they need is to be reasonably sure that the alternative won't be another fiasco. But they can't be reasonably sure, so it's going to be four more years of the disappointment you already

26 Facts About the Awful Conditions Where Your Gadgets are Made

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Economic, Politics, Police State

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153931/26_facts_about_the_awful_conditions_where_your_gadgets_are_made/

Breaking down what we know about Foxconn, the massive factory in China where workers manufacture popular products like iPhones and iPads. 1.2 million: number of workers employed by Foxconn in China, according to the New York Times.83.2: Average hours of overtime worked each month, according to a 2010 survey of Foxconn employee.230,000: number of workers at "Foxconn City" in Shenzhen, according to the New York Times.70,000: number of workers at Foxconn's Chengdu plant who live in company dorms, according to the New York Times.200: Reported number of police officers who responded to a Foxconn dormitory riot.70: number of psychiatrists employed by Foxconn to prevent suicides, according to a 2010 announcement by CEO Terry Gou. 34: continuous hours a Foxconn employee worked in 2010 before he collapsed and died, according to media reports.100: Estimated number of employees at a Foxconn factory in Wuhan who stood on the roof of a factory building this month to protest working conditions and wages. Several threatened to commit suicide, according to the New York Times.

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153929/how_swedes_and_norwegians_broke_the_power_of_the_%E2%80%981_percent%E2%80%99/

Scandinavian workers realized that, electoral “democracy” was stacked against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the power for change. . Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment

The Truth About the Conservative Mind: Why Reactionaries from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin Have Fought Real Liberty

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics, Police State

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153919/the_truth_about_the_conservative_mind%3A_why_reactionaries_from_edmund_burke_to_sarah_palin_have_fought_real_liberty_/

Conservatism is a reaction to democratic movements, like OWS, that challenge the authority of elites. Economic elites have faced a concerted attack on their riches and power, their arrogant and unaccountable ways.House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared, "I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country."Mitt Romney told an audience in Florida that "I think it's dangerous—this class warfare.It is a reaction to democratic movements from below, movements like Occupy Wall Street that threaten to reorder society from the bottom up.Since the modern era began, men and women in subordinate positions have marched against their superiors. They have gathered under different banners—the labor movement, feminism, abolition, socialism—and shouted different slogans: freedom, equality, democracy, revolution. In virtually every instance, their superiors have resisted them.

7 Signs the Corporatocracy is Losing its Legitimacy--and 7 Tools to Help Shut it Down

January 29th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153933/7_signs_the_corporatocracy_is_losing_its_legitimacy--and_7_tools_to_help_shut_it_down/

The legitimacy of rule by giant corporations and Wall Street banks is crumbling. the legitimacy of rule by giant corporations and Wall Street banks is crumbling. This system of corporate rule also benefits few and harms many, affecting nearly every major issue in public life. Some examples: Powerful corporations socialize their risks and costs, but privatize profits. That means we, the 99 percent, pick up the tab for environmental clean ups, for helping workers who aren’t paid enough to afford food or health care, for bailouts when risky speculation goes wrong. Meanwhile, profits go straight into the pockets of top executives and others in the 1 percent.

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