(Editors Note:This is a great new article from a new contributor Jim Koconis. The article looks deeper into how money is created out of thin air. It goes way beyond the fractional reserve banking we have railed against in the past. -Silver Shield) It doesn’t take much imagination to recognize that virtually all of the social problems we wrestle with are directly related to economic injustice. It’s true that people are not always well intentioned,but very few would resort to crime if given an honest opportunity to exchange their labor for a fair wage allowing them the dignity to purchase a decent standard of living. And,ultimately,that is what economic justice is all about. When the cost of basic food,shelter,and healthcare exceeds the wages we earn,we have the most fundamental of all human crisis to deal with –the crisis of staying alive!
Glenn Greenwald is the widely read columnist and investigative journalist for Salon.com and author of numerous books, including most recently With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. At the beginning of July, he participated in the Socialism 2011 conference, including participating in an evening plenary discussion on "Revolution and Imperialism in the Middle East" that brought together all of the conference's 1,300 participants. Here, we publish his speech civil liberties and the Obama administration given at a session the next day.
There is a mystery we must explain: How is it that as corporate investments and foreign aid and international loans to poor countries have increased dramatically throughout the world over the last half century, so has poverty? The number of people living in poverty is growing at a faster rate than the world's population. What do we make of this?
For decades, the U.S. government has had a AAA rating. On the scales used by the big three credit rating agencies, that is the highest credit rating that a government can get. Moody's scale actually uses lettering that is a little different from the other two big agencies ("Aaa" instead of "AAA"), but you get the point. Right now, the U.S. government is closer than ever to losing its AAA rating. The threat of a rating downgrade is going to continue to grow regardless of how the political theater that we are watching unfold in Washington D.C. plays out. The truth is that the federal government has accumulated a debt that is so vast that it will never be paid back. In fact, we are rapidly approaching the point when this debt will no longer be serviceable. If the credit rating of the U.S. government is not slashed right now, it will be soon enough. In fact, the truth is that the U.S. government is such a financial mess that it should have been done long ago. But whenever the United States does lose its AAA rating, we could potentially see financial hell unleashed because it will also mean that there will almost certainly be a wave of credit rating downgrades from coast to coast.
Lack of official help prevents thousands from paying their final respects to missing relatives. Mexico's drug violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives and left many families without closure, unsure if their loved ones are alive or dead. Human-rights activists say of the nearly 40,000 crimes perpetrated in the past five years, 95 per cent have never been prosecuted or investigated.
Failing entities advised to move to strengthen their financial cushions, as eurozone fights growing debt crisis. Stress tests were meant to make banks take action to stay safe from another Greek-like financial crisis. Eight of 90 European banks have failed in stress tests used to project how they would fare in another recession. Sixteen others would barely stay above water in another crisis, according to results released on Friday. The failing banks should "promptly" move to strengthen their financial cushions, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said as it released the results.
At least 27 deaths reported in Damascus, Idlib and other cities on a day of massive anti-government demonstrations. As many as 27 protesters have been killed across Syria after security forces reportedly shot at protesters, hundreds of thousands of whom took to the streets in the biggest protests so far against Bashar al-Assad's rule. Police fired live ammunition and teargas in the capital Damascus, killing five people, and in southern Syria near the Jordanian border, where four people were killed, the Reuters news agency said quoting witnessess and activists.
Leaving Dadaab, Somalis' 'journey from hell', Aid group seeks al-Shabab help, World's 'worst disaster', Plea for 'massive aid', UN issues drought appeal,
In part one of what will become a long-running series, I briefly outlined two recent papers published in the renowned peer-reviewed journal, Chemical Research in Toxicology, which revealed the horrifying effects of Monsanto’s best-selling glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide.
Favourable attitudes have fallen nine per cent over the past two years in key Middle Eastern countries, new survey says. Arabs have been disappointed that the reality of US foreign policy has not matched Obama's rhetoric. The United States' popularity in the Arab world has plummeted to levels lower than the last year of the George W Bush administration, according to a new survey of public opinion in six Arab countries released in Washington on Wednesday. The "Arab Attitudes" survey found that favourable ratings of the United States have fallen by nine per cent or more in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the past two years.
Drug companies like Pfizer are accused of pressuring doctors into over-prescribing medications to patients in order to increase profits. Has America become a nation of psychotics? You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux. Once upon a time, antipsychotics were reserved for a relatively small number of patients with hard-core psychiatric diagnoses - primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - to treat such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, or formal thought disorder. Today, it seems, everyone is taking antipsychotics. Parents are told that their unruly kids are in fact bipolar, and in need of anti-psychotics, while old people with dementia are dosed, in large numbers, with drugs once reserved largely for schizophrenics. Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis.
Bankers, War Mongers, Drug Dealers, The New York Times, The Military Industrial Complex, the Neo-Cons, The Wall Street Journal, The DEA, Organized Crime, The CIA, the FBI, The FDA, The Department of Education, The Federal Reserve and the IRS. “With politicians like these,who needs terrorists?” Ron Paul
In 1998, aged 17, my son John Walker Lindh travelled to Yemen to study Islam and learn Arabic. In April 2001 he went to Afghanistan. Then 9/11 happened. He was captured by US troops, tortured, and jailed for 20 years, an innocent victim of America's 'war on terror' John Phillip Walker Lindh, my son, was raised a Roman Catholic, but converted to Islam when he was 16 years old. He has an older brother and a younger sister. John is scholarly and devout, devoted to his family, and blessed with a powerful intellect, a curious mind, and a wry sense of humour.
What notion of economics or ethics justifies the fact that it would take the average family more than 35,000 years to earn as much as the top hedge fund managers earn in one year? The official June unemployment rate is 9.2 percent. The real rate is 18.5 percent (which includes involuntary part-time workers and the unemployed who haven’t looked for jobs in the past 4 weeks.) Nearly 30 million Americans are unemployed and we need more than 21 million jobs to get back to full-employment (defined as 5 percent)
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) warned Friday that President Obama faces turmoil in the Senate and in his reelection campaign if he includes Social Security cuts in any debt-ceiling deal. Bernie Sanders The senators said the White House has not communicated effectively to Senate Democrats and they and their rank-and-file colleagues are being frozen out of the process.
Ron Paul not only says we Live Off Our Military Power, but also tells us we are fast moving towards serfdom. which is a country of 'have nots', beholding to the super rich and super powerful for everything.
Without an abundance of good jobs, the middle class in the United States is going to shrivel up and die. Right now, rampant unemployment is absolutely killing communities all over America. Hopelessness and poverty are exploding and many are now wondering if we are actually witnessing the slow death of the middle class.
Our protests stopped David Cameron handing UK forests over to corporations. Now the rainforests are being handed to management consultants.
The troika hurtles across the frozen plain. The wolves are close behind, and from time to time a peasant is hurled from the sleigh in the hope of letting the more important people escape. But nothing distracts the pack for long, not even when the occupants of the sleigh move up the pecking order and throw a couple of minor aristocrats to the wolves.
The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While House Republican leaders slashed billions from all other government agencies, the Defense Department is the only one that will see a double-digit increase in its budget beginning Oct. 1.
Activists who organized anti-war protests at the 2008 RNC have been targeted with raids, subpoenas and government spies. In the early morning of May 17, longtime anti-war and immigrant rights activist Carlos Montes awoke to the startling sound of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department SWAT Team breaking down his door. "They came in with guns on their shoulders, yelling. I was shocked," 63-year-old Montes told the Pasadena Star-News. "I thought, let me close my eyes so I can go to sleep and see if I wake up from this nightmare."
On Thursday, President Obama met with Republicans to discuss a debt deal. We don’t know exactly what was proposed, but news reports before the meeting suggested that Mr. Obama is offering huge spending cuts, possibly including cuts to Social Security and an end to Medicare’s status as a program available in full to all Americans, regardless of income.
The transition to a police state will not come about with a dramatic coup d’etat, with battering rams and marauding militia. As we have experienced first-hand in recent years, it will creep in softly, one violation at a time, until suddenly you find yourself being subjected to random patdowns and security sweeps during your morning commute to work or quick trip to the shopping mall.
Listening to Thunderclap Newman, a revolutionary rock band of 1969-1971, it's clear that then, as now, we didn't know where we were going. Their number-one song in the UK, "Something In The Air," proclaimed "the revolution's here." In those heady days there was far more optimism for the revolution, defined variously in Marxist terms or what came to be lumped into "New Age" consciousness. The Movement and its revolution did not succeed in changing society's course, as The Movement soon fragmented into submovements which survive today (feminist, environmental, peace, gay rights, etc.).
Parade marks two centuries since independence but Chavez, recovering from cancer surgery, limited to televised address. Venezuelans are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the country's independence from Spain with the country's president. Thousands of troops marched beneath thundering fighter jets and helicopters while an announcer's booming voice declared that the nation is "free, socialist, independent". Fireworks burst over the capital Caracas from midnight on, ushering in a day of street parties across the nation. Chavez also sent out a message to his followers on Twitter, saying: "Oh, Venezuela, happy birthday my dear homeland! Happiness today and forever, my brothers! Viva Venezuela!!!!"
Under pressure from Israel and the United States, the Greek government has prohibited the Freedom Flotilla from sailing to Gaza from its ports. But for its organizers, the fight has just begun and Israel will remain under pressure by civil society who will continue to denounce the illegality of the blockade, and to fight to go to Gaza. Dimitris Plionis, one of the Greek spokesmen for the flotilla, responds here to the questions of Silvia Cattori.
The economic crisis in Greece is the most consequential thing to have happened in Europe since the Balkan wars. That isn’t because Greece is economically central to the European order: at barely 3 per cent of Eurozone GDP, the Greek economy could vanish without trace and scarcely be missed by anyone else. The dangers posed by the imminent Greek default are all to do with how it happens.
The Minnesota state government shut down many of its operations on Friday after legislators failed to come to an agreement on fiscal matters. Some 22,000 state employees have been laid off for the foreseeable future.
While US unemployment remains at near-Depression levels and health care, pensions and education are being slashed by all levels of the government, the pay of corporate CEOs is soaring.
They were also preparing the wedding of his brother Mohammed, gone to the front lines to fight against NATO-trained foreign mercenaries. The ceremony was to take place here in a few days’ time. His fiancee was already beaming. Nobody noticed that, among the guests, a spy had sneaked in. He was pretending to twitter his friends. In reality, he had just marked the targets and was relaying them through the social network at NATO Headquarters.
Just when we thought Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (in Montcoal, West Virginia) mining disaster of April 5, 2010, which killed 29 coal miners, couldn’t elicit any more tears or regrets or disgust or outrage, we find out how wrong we were.
The marijuana advocacy website 420petition.com and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have teamed up to launch a video campaign aimed at House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX).
Cape Town - Eliminating nuclear weapons is the democratic wish of the world’s people. Yet no nuclear-armed country currently appears to be preparing for a future without these terrifying devices. In fact, all are squandering billions of dollars on modernization of their nuclear forces, making a mockery of United Nations disarmament pledges. If we allow this madness to continue, the eventual use of these instruments of terror seems all but inevitable.
God forbid anyone should ever have to think an unpleasant thought. I know some you on my email list are collecting PM - don't take this personally. It's an OP-ED and it's not directed at any of you. "You" are the 'royal' "you". And almost none of this applies to people who live on islands. We have a different set of rules than the rest of the world.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day that the nation’s founders, gathered in Philadelphia a few miles from my house (which as it happens had already been standing for about 28 years old at the time), at great personal risk, signed the Declaration of Independence, with its ringing declaration that all men--Americans and everyone else, too--are born equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were greeted by demonstrators in Montreal protesting against the royal tour's cost, which is being met by the Canadian taxpayer. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge faced the first organised protests against their visit to Canada within minutes of their arrival in Montreal on Saturday night.
Holocaust ignoring is far worse than holocaust denial because at least the latter admits of sensible discussion. The taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (Australia’s equivalent of the UK BBC) has under-estimated the currently 2.7 million war-related deaths in post-invasion Iraq by as much as a factor of 26 (while avoiding Australian complicity). Searches of the ABC for the terms “Iraqi Holocaust” and “Iraqi Genocide” yield zero (0) results whereas searches for “Jewish Holocaust” and “Holocaust” yield numerous results.
Disaster and emergency relief officials are attempting to contain environmental damage caused by a ruptured oil pipeline in the US state of Montana. The accident spilled 150,000 litres of crude into the Yellowstone River and there are reports of oil being spotted 160km downstream from where the rupture occured.
Obama's administration has pursued a multi-track effort to prevent Americans from participating in the flotilla. Despite the campaign hoopla, it was never in the cards for Barack Obama to be a transformational leader, an FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) or even an LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson). The bold new programmes that they introduced to help transform America into a more just and broadly prosperous land were not his style, as should have been clear from a 2006 interview in The Nation magazine conducted by David Sirota. Still, it did seem possible Obama might stumble into being a bit of a JFK, someone whose skillful, inspiring rhetoric raised people's expectations and aspirations, leading others to go out and make history far beyond the bounds of what he himself dared to imagine. This was certainly the impact Kennedy had on civil rights, which helped set the tone for entire decade of the 1960s.
Prisoners earning 23 cents an hour in U.S. federal prisons are manufacturing high-tech electronic components for Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, launchers for TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) anti-tank missiles, and other guided missile systems. A March article by journalist and financial researcher Justin Rohrlich of World in Review is worth a closer look at the full implications of this ominous development. (minyanville.com)
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