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Unions isolate Cooper Tire workers in Ohio

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jan2012/coop-j25.shtml

The struggle by Cooper Tire workers in Findlay, Ohio is being deliberately isolated by the United Steelworkers union, which is blocking joint action with workers also facing concessions at the company’s Arkansas plant. The local union in Texarkana, Arkansas—USW Local 752L—reached a deal for a new four-year agreement shortly before the contract expired January 20. Workers there will meet and vote on the agreement Thursday. The union has refused to reveal the terms of deal, which covers 1,500 workers. The sellout in Arkansas comes as the struggle by 1,050 Cooper Tire workers in Ohio enters its ninth week. The workers were locked out on November 28 and scabs brought in to replace them after they rejected the implementation of a new “flexible” pay system that would lead to wage cuts of up to 40 percent.Chad, only 27 years old, said it is hard for young people who often cannot leave their parents’ home because they cannot afford it. “Its difficult for young workers. How can you start a family the way things are going? You can’t afford it.” “To be honest,” continued Chad, “I believe I will see a revolution in my lifetime.”

Growing Elite Opposition to Military Option Against Iran

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Middle East, War, Politics, Iran

Link: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106567

a number of influential members of the foreign policy establishment – including several prominent liberal interventionists who had supported the Iraq war – to warn against any further escalation either by the U.S. or Israel.
"As before, we're letting a bunch of ignorant, sloppy-thinking politicians and politicized foreign-policy experts draw 'red line' ultimatums. As before, we're letting them quick-march us off to war," warned Gelb, a repentant Iraq-war hawk, about the chorus of neo- conservatives and other hawks with whom he had previously been aligned.The more publicly the West threatens Iran, the more easily Iranian leaders can portray America as the Great Satan to parts of the Iranian population that have recently been inclined to see the U.S. as their friend," wrote Slaughter, who stepped down as director of the policy planning office under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Wheat Climbs as Russia May Slow Shipments Amid Waning Supplies January 26, 2012, 9:53 AM EST

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, Environment, World, Economic

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-26/wheat-climbs-as-russia-may-slow-shipments-amid-waning-supplies.html

Wheat advanced to a three-week high in Chicago as Russia may slow shipments of the grain with supplies for exports down. Corn and soybeans gained. Wheat stockpiles held by farmers in Russia’s main exporting regions in the south have dropped below last year’s levels, declining as much as 50 percent in some areas, SovEcon, a Moscow-based agricultural researcher, said yesterday. The country banned exports in August 2010 after its worst drought in half a century. The ban was lifted in July. “Russia could potentially put some export curbs in place, but nothing is for certain.

Time to Break Up Zombie Bank of America?

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153907/time_to_break_up_zombie_bank_of_america_/

Under Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the government has the power to force a financial institution that poses such a systemic threat to divest assets, limit activities, or otherwise down-size so it's not “too big to fail.” According to Public Citizen's David Arkush, even though many of the big banks became even larger and more threatening after the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, “Bank of America looks like it is the most systemically dangerous of the large banks and is at the greatest risk of actually failing.”

Novel material takes 3D ‘invisibility cloak’ a step closer

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, World, War, Science

Link: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/01/26/novel-material-takes-3d-invisibility-cloak-a-step-closer/

Scientists in the United States reported a further step towards a celebrated “invisibility cloak” by masking a large, free-standing object in three dimensions. The lab work is the latest advance in a scientific frontier that uses novel materials to manipulate light, a trick that is of huge interest to the military in particular.A warplane cloaked with such materials could achieve “super-stealth” status by becoming invisible in all directions to radar microwaves,“When the scattered fields from the cloak and the object interfere, they cancel each other out, and the overall effect is transparency and invisibility at all angles of observations,

Ready to protest Brown's cuts

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://socialistworker.org/2012/01/24/ready-to-protest-browns-cuts

CALIFORNIA GOV. Jerry Brown is proposing more heavy cuts to public health and welfare in his 2012-13 state budget plan released January 5. But activists are ready to resist--plans are in the works for days of action and an occupation in March, and the California Federation of Teachers is promoting a ballot box initiative to raise taxes on the rich.The impact will be felt across the state if Brown gets his way with the budget. Families with children face a $450 million cut in child care subsidies, and seniors would suffer a $678 million loss to the Medi-Cal health program. The In-Home Supportive Services program serving people with disabilities would be cut by $168 million, and CalWORKS, the program that assists poor families, would lose $1 billion. "We are making some very painful reductions," Brown told reporters at the Capitol. "This is not nice stuff, but that's what it takes to balance the budget."

The 10 Most Brazen Lies Offered By the Remaining GOP Presidential Hopefuls

January 26th, 2012
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/election2012/153911/the_10_most_brazen_lies_offered_by_the_remaining_gop_presidential_hopefuls/

Just because some of its wheels have come flying off, that doesn't mean the GOP clown car isn't still moving down the road toward Election Day.

U.S. Fueling Human Rights Abuses in Colombia in Violation of Its Own Laws

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, War, Politics, Police State

Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30360.htm

The U.S. remains the most influential foreign actor in Colombia. In 2011 it provided approximately US $562 million in aid, about 61 percent of which was military and police aid. Thirty percent of US military aid is subject to human rights conditions, which the US Department of State has not enforced. The Colombian military has been guilty of more than 3,000 extrajudicial killings of civilians in what is known as the "false positive" scandal wherein "army personnel murdered civilians and reported them as combatants killed in action, apparently in response to pressure to boost body counts." This "pressure to boost body counts," moreover, is coming ultimately from the U.S.paramilitary successor groups continue to grow, maintain extensive ties with public security force members and local officials, and commit widespread atrocities. There has also been ongoing violence against rights defenders, community leaders, and trade unionists.Colombia's national police chief publicly stated that such groups are the largest source of violence in Colombia.

Neoliberalism and the End Of Shorter Work Hours

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/590.php

While in previous crises shorter work hours were discussed as a measure to combat growing unemployment, an astonishing feature of the current economic downturn from 2007 on was that work time reductions were nowhere on the political agenda. Not even in France and Germany, the champions of shorter work hours, both introducing a partial 35-hour week in the face of high unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s, was this the case. This is the more remarkable as temporary short-time working applied during the crisis in several European countries actually proved that shorter hours are a viable tool to prevent unemployment (even if still leaving mounting inequalities from capitalism still in place).[1]

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" - John Adams - Second President - 1797 - 1801

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Middle East, War, Iraq

Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/index.html

Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered In US War And Occupation Of Iraq "1,455,590", Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In U.S. War And Occupation Of Iraq 4,801, Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan: 2,87, Cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan $1,295,667,663,671, For more details, click here. "All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting." - George Orwell

Tehran Pushes to Ditch the US Dollar

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Middle East, Economic, Politics, Iran

Link: http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/tehran-pushes-to-ditch-the-us-dollar-4591/

There is another downside, a potential threat now lurking in the shadows. The value of the US dollar is determined in large part by the fact that oil is sold in US dollars. If that trade shifts to a different currency, countries around the world won't need all their US money. The resulting sell-off of US dollars would weaken the currency dramatically.Everybody says the US goes to war to protect its oil supplies, but doesn't it really go to war to ensure the continuation of the petrodollar system? Iran may be isolated from the United States and Western Europe, but Tehran still has some pretty staunch allies. Iran and Venezuela are advancing $4 billion worth of joint projects, including a bank. India has pledged to continue buying Iranian oil because Tehran has been a great business partner for New Delhi, which struggles to make its payments. Greece opposed the EU sanctions because Iran was one of very few suppliers that had been letting the bankrupt Greeks buy oil on credit. South Korea and Japan are pleading for exemptions from the coming embargoes because they rely on Iranian oil. Economic ties between Russia and Iran are getting stronger every year.Iran's energy resources are a matter of national security for China.

This Is a Test... (And Too Many Americans Are Failing)

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/24-9

We’re being tested. Republican politicians and pundits are busy testing the American public, trying to assess how ignorant and distracted we are. While they already have a pretty good idea, they’re determined to get a precise reading. Testing is vitally important to these people because, if the United States is to be turned into a plutocracy, our collective ignorance is an absolute necessity.

Drowning In Hypocrisy: War Abroad, Austerity at Home

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, Middle East, War, Politics, Iran

Link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28863

The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy. Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the US is maintaining a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers in order to project sea power against Iran and to convince Iran that “it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.” If it requires 11 aircraft carriers to deal with Iran, how many will Panetta need to project power against Russia and China? But to get on with the main point, Iran has been trying “to deal with us through diplomacy.” The response from Washington has been belligerent threats of military attack, unfounded and irresponsible accusations that Iran is making a nuclear weapon, sanctions and an oil embargo. But it is in the War Crimes Arena where Washington shows the greatest hypocrisy. The self-righteous bigots in Washington are forever rounding up heads of weak states whose countries were afflicted by civil wars and sending them off to be tried as war criminals. All the while Washington indiscriminately kills large numbers of civilians in six or more countries, dismissing its own war crimes as “collateral damage.” Washington violates its own law and international law by torturing people.

Mitch Daniels' State of the Union Response Shows GOP Priority: Beating Up on Workers

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News

Link: http://www.alternet.org/story/153886/mitch_daniels_state_of_the_union_response_shows_gop_priority_beating_up_on_workers

Daniels’ response was the first to be delivered from a building surrounded by dozens of police cars and chanting activists, protesting his latest anti-union move.

India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil. Oil and gold markets stunned

January 25th, 2012
Categories: News, World, Middle East, Economic, Iran

Link: http://debka.com/article/21673/

India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in gold instead of the US dollar, debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources report exclusively. Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran's total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets. By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank's assets and the oil embargo which the European Union's foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran's oil exports.

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