The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. A soft landing for America 40 years from now? Don’t bet on it. The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines. If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.
Conspiracies are real and all governments conspire. The act of collaborative communication and planning in secret is a necessary condition for the very existence of governments. And it's generally reasonable to be concerned about such conspiracies when living under the rule of a government. That said, it's vanishingly unlikely that Wikileaks is part of a government conspiracy. If the State's aim were to spread propagandistic justification for more war -- and certainly that is its aim -- then using Wikileaks would be the most ineffective and counter-productive way to do it. Here are some reasons why.
Bernanke ramps up defense of Fed's Treasury bond purchases by pointing to weak economy. Fed chair says economy struggling to be self sustaining Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is stepping up his defense of the Fed's $600 billion Treasury bond-purchase plan, saying the economy is still struggling to become "self-sustaining" without government help.
In 2007 Shrewsbury Road in Dublin was the sixth most expensive street in the world. Now, post-crash, homes have been abandoned and the tycoon residents have run for the hills. There is a padlock on the gate of Walford, the most expensive house in the priciest street in Ireland. Graffiti adorn the conservatory windows, the lawn is overgrown and old mattresses are piled up in the front room.
The US Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday released documents on emergency measures it took between 2007 and 2010, using taxpayer funds, to bail out major financial firms in the US and around the world. The sums involved are staggering. Fed bailout loans outstanding reached a high of $3.3 trillion, but the cumulative amount of cash funneled by the US central bank to banks, hedge funds and major industrial corporations reached the tens of trillions of dollars.
The US unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November, the highest in seven months, and an indication that the economic slump that was triggered by the September 2008 Wall Street crash has far from run its course. November was the 19th consecutive month that more than 9 percent of the labor force were out of work, the longest span since the federal government began reporting such figures after World War II.
An artillery duel between North and South Korean forces on November 23 has set in motion a series of events which threaten to spiral out of control. On November 22, South Korea began its annual military exercise, involving including 70,000 troops, dozens of South Korean and U.S. warships and some 500 aircraft. The following day, South Korean artillery stationed on Yeonpyeong Island began a live ammunition drill, firing shells into the surrounding sea.
Alan Dershowitz, the American Zionist fanatic, is notorious for his brashly racist views about just anything non-Jewish. For example, he is against Muslim immigrants to Europe because their dietary habits don't suite his taste. He wholeheartedly supports the rampant terror, criminality and vandalism perpetrated by Judeo-Nazi thugs in the West Bank, otherwise known as Jewish settlers, against helpless Palestinian farmers and peasants.
Berlin claims that €50m contribution disappeared into US treasury coffers with 15% 'administrative fee' taken by army. The US military has been charging its allies a 15% handling fee on hundreds of millions of dollars being raised internationally to build up the Afghan army. Germany has threatened to cancel contributions.
Neve Gordon looks at how an evangelical Christian TV channel with a viewership of nearly half a billion people, including 20 million in the USA and 14 million in Britain, is funding a project to ethnically cleanse Israel’s Bedouin citizens from their ancestral land.
It appears we are caught in the middle of a nightmare from which we are unable to wake. While the president insists we must accept the global economy, we can see the devastating effects of this system of global banking, mounting famine and starvation, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the massive decline in wages and the standard of living here in the US. If this is what a global economy does, and if unlawful trade agreements are constructed to facilitate this, I say we reject it totally; it is killing us all.
PayPal has frozen WikiLeaks' account in the latest action against the whistleblower website, which has been posting leaked US embassy cables online. The decision by the online payment site – which WikiLeaks had used to raise funds for web hosting and other costs – has been announced with a posting on PayPal's blog.
There is a war underway. I'm not talking about Washington’s bloody misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a war within our own borders. It’s a war fought on the airwaves, on television and radio and over the Internet, a war of words and images, of half-truth, innuendo, and raging lies. I'm talking about a political war, pitting liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans. I'm talking about a spending war, fueled by stealthy front groups and deep-pocketed anonymous donors. It’s a war that's poised to topple what's left of American democracy.
The American airwaves quiver with the screams of parlor assassins howling for Julian Assange's head. Jonah Goldberg, contributor to the National Review, asks in his syndicated column, "Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?" Sarah Palin wants him hunted down and brought to justice, saying: "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands." Assange can survive these theatrical blusters. A tougher question is how he will fare at the hands of the US government, which is hopping mad. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has announced that the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" into the latest Assange-facilitated leak under Washington's Espionage Act. Asked how the US could prosecute Assange, a non-US citizen, Holder said, "Let me be clear. This is not saber-rattling," and vowed "to swiftly close the gaps in current US legislation…"
Dr. Laura left broadcast radio after screaming the n-word at a black woman. She'll soon join a host of homophobic, sexist, racist right-wingers on Sirius. Last August, after an illustrious, decades-long career calling women whores, screaming about couples who "shack up," and attacking gays, Dr. Laura Schlessinger had to quit her radio show after hurling the n-word, 11 times, at an African-American caller. On Larry King Live Schlessinger announced that she would not let her First Amendment right to million-dollar paychecks and thousands of listeners be trampled by critics calling her out as a racist.
The great wonderment with which the appointment of Yair Naveh has been greeted is itself to be wondered at. After all, who else could be appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff if not Yair Naveh? Who else loves to immediately assassinate everyone who looks suspicious to him, to immediately kill whoever moves, to destroy, to devastate, to conquer, to crush? Yair Naveh is one of the best sons of the army, he learned everything he had to learn and proved himself in the field. The High Court of Justice does not interest him in the least (Uri Blau, thanks to information provided by ex-soldier Anat Kamm, Haaretz, 28 November 2008), he does not recognize human rights, he hates Arabs – or maybe they just get in his way at work. But to kill, he loves. What else is needed in a Deputy Chief of Staff of the Occupation army the function of the soldiers and officers of which has been well defined over the course of forty years: killing, liquidation, destruction, devastation and abusing a civilian population of millions of people?
WikiLeaks founder takes part in question and answer session for UK newspaper as pressure mounts over Swedish warrant. Assange has been keeping a low profile since Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for him [EPA] The founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has said that he is taking precautions against death threats following the publication of hundreds of leaked US diplomatic cables. Julian Assange, who is also wanted for questioning by Swedish police over alleged sex offences, was answering readers' question on the website of the UK's Guardian newspaper on Friday, despite lying low since the documents began to appear on the group's website on Sunday.
Robert Wenzel reports on the scheming of big banks and their Republican leadership to stop Ron Paul from getting the monetary policy subcommittee chairmanship.
US Senator Joe Lieberman, Nov 19, 2009 Tableau Software withdrew its visualisations of the cables following a request by Senator Joe Lieberman. Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP The company that provided visualisations of the contents of the leaked US embassy cables has admitted it removed them from the net at the request of Senator Joe Lieberman, the chair of the Senate homeland committee who has made angry denunciations of the leaks. The removal of the visualisation came as the US Social Security Agency warned its workers that looking at the leaked cables could constitute a criminal offence.
Palin handlers bully CNN cameraman at book signing. Sarah Palin's aides opted to use a little bit of force to end an otherwise polite conversation with a CNN news crew Thursday.
Gov JanBrewerR Arizona1 Arizona death panel? State Medicaid cuts poised to let some poor patients dieA law in Arizona that cuts Medicaid funding for certain transplant operations is likely to bring about the deaths of poor residents in need of such procedures.
Roger Lowenstein profiles Jamie Dimon, head of JP Morgan Chase. The piece, titled “Jamie Dimon: America’s Least-Hated Banker,” is generally sympathetic, but in every significant detail it confirms that Mr. Dimon is now – without question – our most dangerous banker. Mr. Dimon is not dangerous because he is in any narrow sense incompetent. On the contrary, Mr. Dimon is very good at getting what he wants. And now he wants to run a bigger, more interconnected, and more global bank that – if it were to fail – would cause great chaos around the world.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund are providing a multibillion-dollar "rescue" of the Irish economy--on the condition that the Irish working class pay the price through slashed social programs and increased regressive taxes. The established political parties seem prepared to push through these measures that will cut working-class living standards, but there is building resistance from below. On November 27, more than 100,000 people took to the streets of Dublin for an inspiring demonstration against austerity.
Helen Thomas said Thursday that she stands by her comments about Israel she made earlier this year that led to her resignation as a national columnist. And she went further, saying that Zionists control U.S. foreign policy and other institutions. The local Jewish community condemned her remarks. In an interview, Thomas, 90, said that criticizing Israel led to her resignation and ostracism in Washington. "I can call a president of the United States anything in the book, but I can't touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank," Thomas said. "No American would tolerate that -- white-only roads."
Lieberman Introduces Anti-WikiLeaks Legislation --Leaking such information in the first place is already a crime, so the measure is aimed squarely at publishers. By Kevin Poulsen 02 Dec 2010 Senator Joseph Lieberman ['R'-Sociopath] and other lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime for anyone to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source, in a direct swipe at the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks...
WAmazon Web Services dropped WikiLeaks material from its servers on Tuesday, a move that is widely assumed to be a direct response to pressure from the Senate Homeland Security Committee. A statement from Amazon disputed that, stating that they kicked WikiLeaks off for violating the terms of service: “For example, our terms of service state that ‘you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.’”
Angela Merkel Angela Merkel at the EU summit on 28 October. According to witnesses, during an discussion with the Greek prime minister at dinner, she said: "If this is the sort of club the euro is becoming, perhaps Germany should leave." Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA
The Federal Communications Commission is being accused of abandoning "net neutrality" rules that would ensure a free and open internet. On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled proposals that would allow internet service providers to charge higher fees for faster access to online content. We speak to Josh Silver, co-founder of the media reform group Free Press. [includes rush transcript]
WikiLeaks has been closed down world-wide and its heroic founder Julian Assange is facing arrest. Yet the WikiLeaks saga obscures an even more appalling reality that Mainstream media, politicians and academics are remorselessly lying about past and present genocidal realities from the Iraqi, Palestinjan, Tamil and Afghan Genocides to the worsening Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust and looming Climate Genocide that is set to kill 10 billion people this century.
Wikileaks has committed the unforgivable sin of revealing the inner workings of Empire, what the servants of Empire really think and in so doing it has also revealed the extremely comfortable relationship between the media and the state in making sure that the truth behind the headlines is kept from us. Fascinating, the world of inter-state relations or diplomacy has been by 'tradition’ (not mine) a closed house, members only with its own private language and rules of conduct. But of course diplomacy has two faces, one public and one private. The private face is not a pretty one but then you knew that already, didn’t you?...
As debate rages in Washington over the Bush tax cuts, set to expire at the end of this year, the Bush administration officials who initiated the steep tax cuts are celebrating what they see as an apparent victory, since signs point to a temporary extension of all the cuts. The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz interviewed Dan Bartlett, Bush’s former communications director, and Andy Card, Bush’s former chief of staff, among others, and they were pleased at how the expiration debate has played out:
US Dept. of Homeland Security stated that all passengers on flights "within or bound for the United States are now being checked against government watch lists" under implementation of the Transportation Security Administration's "Secure Flight" program, which entails the agency prescreening a passenger's full name, birth date and gender prior to issuance of a boarding pass.
Some complainants reported that they had not filed a complaint with the TSA because they were afraid of being put on a watch list or otherwise retaliated against by the government. Large numbers of innocent Americans have been caught up by the government’s out-of-control watch list system.
The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America--and Spawned a Global Crisis, written by Michael W. Hudson. They’re not the same person. The book’s author, Michael W. Hudson, is a reporter at the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity. In fact, the two are so often mistaken for each other – same name, similar subject matter – that they recently wrote a piece together to help dispel the confusion and share their ideas about how people help themselves to other people’s money. In this excerpt adapted from The Monster, Michael W. Hudson writes about the nation’s largest subprime lending empire through the fortunes of its owner and one of its customers.
"Unless the President and Democrats explain why the economy still stinks for most Americans and offer a plan to fix it, the Republican explanation and solution – it’s big government’s fault, and all we need do is shrink it – will prevail," argues Robert Reich. A. Big government, bureaucrats, and the cultural and intellectual elites who back them. B. Big business, Wall Street, and the powerful and privileged who represent them. These are the two competing stories Americans are telling one another. Yes, I know: It’s more complicated than this. In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top. The very rich don’t spend as much of their income
According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.
In the fall of 2008, the US Special Operations Command asked top US diplomats in Pakistan and Afghanistan for detailed information on refugee camps along the Afghanistan Pakistan border and a list of humanitarian aid organizations working in those camps. On October 6, the US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, sent a cable marked "Confidential" to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the CIA, US Central Command and several US embassies saying that some of the requests, which came in the form of emails, "suggested that agencies intend to use the data for targeting purposes."
The first U.S. soldier court-martialed in the prosecution of 12 infantrymen accused of terrorizing unarmed Afghan civilians pleaded guilty on Wednesday to assault and other charges and agreed to testify against his co-defendants. Staff Sergeant Robert Stevens, 25, an Army medic from Portland, Oregon, admitted to opening fire on two Afghan farmers for no apparent reason. He and other troops were acting on orders from a squad leader during a patrol in March.
Europe is in the middle of its worst financial crisis for decades, and many are feeling the pain as people across the continent demonstrate against government cuts. As unemployment grows, public services are slashed and billions of Euros go to bailing out the banks, and the continent's hard pressed taxpayers are being asked to embrace austerity and contribute more.
Senator Joe Lieberman, the man behind legislation to give President Obama a kill switch for the Internet in the move towards a Chinese-style government controlled world wide web, now has the power to shut down websites with a mere phone call, as was underscored yesterday when Amazon axed Wikileaks from its servers after being pressured to do so by Lieberman’s Senate Homeland Security Committee. The revelation that Amazon had killed Wikileaks after the controversial whistle blower organization moved over its servers to Amazon’s cloud network came directly from Lieberman himself, stating that the, “Decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material.” The decision was made after Lieberman’s staffers called Amazon to pressure the company to axe Wikileaks. “Committee staff had seen news reports yesterday that Wikileaks was being hosted on Amazon’s servers,” reports TPM. “Staffers then, according to the spokeswoman, Leslie Phillips, called Amazon to ask about it, and left questions with a press secretary including, “Are there plans to take the site down?”
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