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Look out for the nuclear bomb coming with your electric bill

February 26th, 2010

atheo atheo

Obama’s provision of $54 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry will cost Americans much more than the probable 50% default rate that the Congressional Budget Office anticipates. While the federal government will guarantee the profits of investors, rate payers will suffer the inevitable rate hikes.

Higher electric rates will appear, not when plants begin operating, but years, if not decades, before they come on line. Several states allow customers to be billed for expensive new nuclear plants in advance. Naturally, these are the states where the initial, new, entirely untested, plants are proposed for construction. This arrangement further reduces investor exposure to cost over-runs or rising interest rates that are imposed due to the downgrading of credit ratings for facilities with deteriorating economic prospects.

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Federal Bureau of Invention? Microbiologist Meryl Nass Responds to FBI Closing Anthrax Case

February 25th, 2010

Dr. Meryl Nass, MD

The FBI's report, documents and accompanying information (only pertaining to Ivins, not to the rest of the investigation) were released on Friday afternoon. which means the FBI anticipated doubt and ridicule. The National Academies of Science (NAS) is several months away from issuing its $879,550 report on the microbial forensics, suggesting a) asking NAS to investigate the FBI's science was just a charade to placate Congress, and/or b) NAS' investigation might be uncovering things the FBI would prefer to bury, so FBI decided to preempt the NAS panel's report.

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Global Sweatshop Wage Slavery

February 25th, 2010

by Stephen Lendman

In its mission statement, the National Labor Committee (NLC) highlights the problem stating:

"Transnational corporations (TNCs) now roam the world to find the cheapest and most vulnerable workers." They're mostly young women in poor countries like China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Haiti, and many others working up to 14 or more hours a day for sub-poverty wages under horrific conditions.

Because TNCs are unaccountable, a dehumanized global workforce is ruthlessly exploited, denied their civil liberties, a living wage, and the right to work in dignity in healthy safe environments. NLC conducts "popular campaigns based on (its) original research to promote worker rights and pressure companies to end human and labor abuses. (It) views worker rights in the global economy as indivisible and inalienable human rights and (believes) now is the time to secure them for all on the planet."

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Wandering jazz player

February 25th, 2010

By Theo Panayides

Say the wrong thing, passionate saxophonist tells THEO PANAYIDES

“It’s very easy to regard me as a charming, entertaining and witty boy,” says Gilad Atzmon, putting an ironic twinkle on the word ‘boy’ (he’s almost 47, after all). “But if you get on the wrong side of me, it can be a devastating experience!”

On paper, that might read slightly arrogant; in the flesh, Gilad gets away with it, partly because he is very charming, entertaining and witty. Still, there’s clearly a darker side. At one point, he describes himself as a “radical”. Cyprus – which he loves and visits often – is “as close as I can get to my homeland without being arrested” (Gilad is Israeli-born, though he’s lived in Britain for the past eight years). Though his novels have been published in 22 languages, he’s been accused of anti-Semitism and branded a ‘self-hating Jew’. In 2007, according to Wikipedia, the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism censured a local party for inviting Gilad to speak, claiming he’d worked to “legitimise the hatred of Jews”.

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Liberian leader urges MPs to back action against vulture funds

February 25th, 2010

By Heather Stewart and Greg Palast for The Guardian

An investigation for BBC's Newsnight, to be broadcast tonight, Thursday at 10:30pm GMT, has uncovered allegations that speculators subverted the international debt relief process.

BBC cameraman Rick Rowley in Liberia, reporting with Greg Palast from the village of Demeh, Liberia. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, is urging MPs to back a bill banning vulture funds from using British courts to prey on poor countries when it comes to a vote on Friday. Liberia lost a $20m (£13m) case in London last year against two so-called vultures. Such funds buy up the loans of poor governments, wait for them to win from the international community, and then use courts to pursue the countries for assets. Sirleaf said: "We've been waiting for a parliament or an assembly to take this kind of hard decision. I hope the US Congress and maybe some others in Europe will pick up this gauntlet and will follow the example of Britain."

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The Bank of the Fed is Closed…Forever

February 25th, 2010

By Robert Singer

In an effort to explain our escalating financial crisis, an American Nightmare (an Environmental Dream), the pundits are focusing their angst on the 44th POTUS, who might very well go down as the single most inept president in all of American history. (How to Squander the Presidency in One Year, David Michael Green)

Barack Obama is not inept, greedy or stupid and he isn’t one of “us”. He rose from obscurity to power with his top economics adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the co-founder of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission and he travels in the same circles as other members of the super-secret Skull & Bones Society at Yale University, who pretend to be running for president every four years.

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Time for a Broad Based Anti-War Movement, Can the Right and Left Work Together to Oppose War and Empire?

February 25th, 2010

By Kevin Zeese

There has to be a better way to stop wars and reduce military spending. Polls show U.S. voters at worst divided on current wars and more often show majority opposition to them. Yet, when Congress “debates” war the widespread view of Americans is muffled, not usually not heard.

For the last decade, with President Bush in office the peace movement has been politically left and Democratic leaning. The right wing has been kept off the stage as a result the anti-war movement does not reflect the breadth of American opposition to war. For too long the peace movement has been like a bird with only a left wing. It can barely fly and when it does it seems to go in circles. Perhaps a bird with two wings will fly better?

This past weekend Voters for Peace sponsored a meeting of 40 people from across the political spectrum who oppose war and Empire. The people attending see the U.S. military as too big and too expensive and recognize spending $1 million to keep a soldier in Afghanistan for one year is a symptom of mistaken militarism that weakens U.S. economic and national security.

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Living Under Israel's Jewish Law The Status of Non-Jews Under the Halacha

February 25th, 2010

By Khalid Amayreh
Journalist - Occupied Palestine

Rabbi Abraham Kook, the religious mentor of the settler movement,
taught that "the difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-
Jews - all of them in all different levels - is greater and deeper than the
difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle." (Reuters)

Remarks by the Israeli Minister of Interior Yaakov Neeman suggesting that the Jewish religious law (Halacha) should be adopted as the "law of the land" in the Jewish state has drawn strong reactions from both Jews and non-Jews.

"Step by step, we will bestow upon the citizens of Israel the laws of the Torah and we will turn Halacha into the binding law of the nation," Neeman told Rabbis at a Jewish law convention in occupied Jerusalem in December 2009.

"We must bring back the heritage of our fathers to the nation of Israel," he said. "The torah has the complete solution to all of the questions we are dealing with."

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Pharmaceutical Pillage

February 24th, 2010

Joel S. Hirschhorn

Business ethics has become an oxymoron. Wall Street bonuses were up 17 percent to over $20 billion in 2009, the year taxpayers bailed out the financial sector after its meltdown. So, everyone has many reasons to hate the banking and financial sectors that dumped our economy, and the general corruption of American politics by corporate interests. There are good reasons to detest the pharmaceutical industry. Besides raping people with onerous prices for prescription drugs, corporate greed coupled with ineffective government regulation and oversight is actually killing Americans through unsafe drugs.

Enter the newest fiasco, that sweetly named diabetes drug Avandia, so heavenly sounding, yet now revealed to be just another in a long history of drugs that get government approval but turn out to be lethal. According to Bloomberg News: “Safety reviewers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urged the agency to take GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s diabetes drug Avandia off the market in 2008 because they said it was causing 500 additional heart attacks per month.” A month! The drug was linked to 304 deaths during the third quarter of 2009, which implies many thousands of deaths to date.

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The Drive to Eliminate Social Security Accelerates

February 24th, 2010

By Shamus Cooke

"Friedman calls for cutting Social Security"

In Washington each new day brings a fresh call to “reform entitlement programs” — Social Security, Medicare, etc., (in Congress, the word “reform” now means to eliminate, or drastically reduce). Tackling Social Security has been on the to-do list of the corporate elite for years, and they’re not waiting any longer. After years of promoting this cause, conservative think tanks have now garnered solid support from the political establishment as a whole, which includes the Republican and Democratic parties.

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