By James Petras
“There’s class warfare, all right, but its my class, the rich class that’s making war and we’re winning”
The most important and popular social and tax programs in the United States are threatened by a self-styled “Bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform”. Appointed by President Obama on February 18, 2010, co-chaired by two longstanding champions of Wall Street: ex Senator Simpson (R, WY) and former Clintonite White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. The Commission Report issued November 10 proposes to slash social security payments, reducing recipients to poverty, raise the retirement age to 69 ensuring that millions of workers will die before they can retire, or enter retirement in ill health; reduce or freeze cost of living increases through inflation indexes which understate by half the rises in food, gas, hospital and education. The Commission proposes deep cuts in Medicare, increased Medicaid co-pays and slashing $54 billion from graduate medical education. The Commission proposes to eliminate tax breaks including deductions for home mortgage interest payments while taxing employer provided medical insurance.
by Stephen Lendman
Noted analysts on both left and right see America's empire in decline. In his 2009 book, "Global Depression and Regional Wars," James Petras said:
"All the idols of capitalism over the past three decades have crashed. The assumptions and presumptions, paradigms and prognosis of indefinite progress under liberal free market capitalism have been tested and have failed. We are living the end of an entire epoch (and are bearing witness to) the collapse of the US and world financial system," and with it America's empire.
On August 16, Paul Craig Roberts headlined his article, "The Ecstacy of Empire: How Close Is America's Demise," saying:
America's profligacy "is running out of time...." Yet "2010 has been wasted in hype about a non-existant recovery." Government-manipulated reality masks the internal rot. Wall Street handouts and imperial wars are bankrupting the country.
by Stephen Lendman
November 27 major media headlines accused him, including New York Times writers Colin Miner, Liz Robbins and Erik Eckholm triple-teaming him in their article titled, "FBI Says Oregon Suspect Planned 'Grand' Attack." Their saying so becomes accepted fact, according to corporate media reports - guilty by accusation.
It happens repeatedly. It's usually strategically timed, in this case to defuse anger over enhanced airport screening. It's also nearly always against Muslims, America's target of choice - of course, to justify imperial wars against Muslim nations. The topic was addressed often in previous articles, including one accessed through the link below:
It explained how America's war on terrorism exploits and vilifies them. Hollywood and corporate media reports especially portray them stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical, violent, dangerous gun-toting terrorists, wrongfully against Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority.
On November 5, the United States had its first-ever formal evaluation under the Universal Period Review process before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). This process was established in 2006 to periodically review the human rights records of UN member states. But the George W. Bush administration apparently thought it was above this sort of thing.
As a result of this year's process, on November 10, the UNHRC issued a report of its findings and recommendations from the U.S. review. Most obvious were recommendations that the U.S. ratify several international human rights conventions and treaties that we have not yet formally endorsed. To no surprise, our use of torture and racial profiling, and the obvious culture of xenophobia apparent in our national discourse, also figured prominently in the feedback.
By MMEO posted by Michael Collins
Last night the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, a non-partisan group cosponsored by the local chapter of the Pacific Green Party -- my party -- held its usual Friday night peace demonstration in Pioneer Courthouse Square, in the center of the downtown area of our city. My two young (aged 12 and 10) boys and I were there, with party banner and anti-Afghan-War poster, from 5 to 6 pm. The demo coincided with the Day After Thanksgiving lighting of the municipal Christmas tree, a celebration of shopping that brought several thousand onlookers to the Square.
This morning's newspaper announced on the front page that the FBI arrested a 19-year-old Somali-American for attempting to bomb the Square with enough explosives to kill everyone there. Federal authorities were not above using the occasion to spread fear of Islamic fanatics among our citizenry.
By Stephen Lendman
Launched on March 4, 2009, "The Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RTP) seeks to reaffirm the primacy of international law (to settle) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (by focusing on) the enunciation of law by authoritative bodies (and) address(ing) the failure of application of law even though it has been so clearly identified. (It begins where the International Court of Justice) stopped: highlighting the responsibilities arising from the enunciation of law, including those of the international community, which cannot continue to shirk its obligations."
RTP is separate from but inspired by the BRussell Tribunal, named after famed philosopher, mathematician, and anti-war/anti-imperialism activist Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), who warned over 50 years ago:
"Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war" and live in peace, because there's no other choice.
by Stephen Lendman
Overall, America's major media fails the test. It's biased, shameless, and irresponsible with "everything to sell and nothing to tell" as a noted US media critic once said. It delivers a daily diet of "managed news" (propaganda), infotainment, and "junk food news," a worthless mix, treating people like mushrooms - well-watered, in the dark, and uninformed about what matters most. No wonder greater numbers opt out, consuming less broadcast "news" and print media, the kind no one should waste time or money on.
No paper has more clout than The New York Times. Media critic Norman Solomon once called its front page "the most valuable square inches of media real estate in the USA" - in fact, anywhere because its reports circulate globally.
In his April 1998 article titled, "All the News Fit to Print (Part I): Structure and Background of the New York Times," Edward Herman called The Times "an establishment newspaper," serving wealth and power interests, a record dating from 1896 when the Ochs-Sulzberger family took control. Its agenda "persist(s) to this day" as two earlier articles explained, accessed through the following links:
by Stephen Lendman
After the 1898 Spanish-American War, the US took over the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, assorted other territories, and Puerto Rico. On September 29, its Governor-General, Manuel Macias y Casado (a Spanish general), ceded control to Washington, its current status today as a colony.
In 1966, then University of Puerto Rico economics associate, Dr. Antonio J. Gonzales said:
"The Puerto Rican Independence Party bases its struggle in favor of the independence of Puerto Rico on the conviction that we continue to be a (US) colony, thus being denied (our) right to freedom and sovereignty."
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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