by Stephen Lendman
Agreements like NAFTA, DR-CAFTA, and various bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have proved hugely destructive, superseding national laws, sovereignty, labor rights, environmental concerns, and more.
"There's no free collective bargaining for workers," says Ralph Nader. "There's no rule of law (either, just) bribery, (worker exploitation and plunder). These companies (can) pollute at will. There's no judicial independence to make (them) accountable," to stop them from "abus(ing) workers and consumers and communities, as" they all do repeatedly.
In other words, "free trade" is a license to steal, plunder, exploit, pollute, and overall operate unrestrained, the sole consideration being maximum profits, no matter how gotten.
(Washington) President Barack Obama has confided his plans to become a registered Republican some time before the end of the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. Speaking to his inner circle, he lamented failing to bring the two major parties together. One of his confidants reported Obama saying, "It's really just one party anyway and clearly the Republicans have the confidence of the people. I can finish my original mission much easier within the GOP." Sources wouldn't elaborate on what that mission is. (Image: juvetson)
Obama clearly signaled his intentions through two recent tactical moves. He relented on ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the top 1% of income earners. The 3% reduction in the top rate accounts for over $1.0 trillion in lost revenues. Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama hinted that he opposed a renewal of the tax breaks. It looked like the president might win this one with speculation that the tax breaks would likely die due to the post midterm atmosphere.
By Rady Ananda
At the San Diego International Airport yesterday, about one-fifth of the travelers were selected for sexual assault by transportation security agents. Though TSA’s website did not list SAN as one of the airports employing the carcinogenic naked scan or a full body rub down, one man was told his refusal to submit would result in a civil law suit and a $10,000 fine. Under 49 CFR Sec.s 1540.105 and 1540.107, as summarized in these 2004 TSA Sanction Guidelines, apparently TSA has Congressional support to fine people for refusing to submit to molestation.
John Tyner posted his video of the incident and described in detail the experience. At about 3:50 into the first video, Tyner tells TSA agents:
“If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.”
by Dr. Tom Termotto
Can there be a coincidence that the statue at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) is none other than Shiva Nataraja – the dancing Shiva, also known as the primordial destructive force of the universe? CERN is the international organization whose primary function is the oversight of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is located on the French/Swiss border. In this regard it has assumed oversight responsibility for the most advanced and sophisticated experimental laboratory in particle, theoretical and nuclear physics currently being conducted (not in total secrecy) throughout the world.
Is there reason to be conCERNed about the technology that is being employed at the LHC? Is there good reason to believe that the technology, and the underlying science, as well as the particle accelerator itself, are not up to the task at hand? What we are suggesting is that these physicists are playing with fire that they do not have the capacity to understand given the inherent limitations of their mindsets. More specifically, the very scientific paradigms upon which they have based their technology, especially the collider/accelerator, are totally inadequate to carry out such experimentation in a responsible manner. In other words these guys are trying to play in the major leagues with sticks and stones.
For those not steeped in Eastern spirituality, Lord Shiva is one of the three primary deities of the Hindu trinity and is known wherever his image is worshiped as the destroyer and transformer. What does the dancing Shiva (Nataraj) have to do with the Large Hadron Collider? Lets have a closer look.
“Nataraja or Nataraj: … The Lord (or King) of Dance is a depiction of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for god Brahma to start the process of creation. Nataraja is most often depicted through a statue. The dance of Shiva in Tillai, the traditional name for Chidambaram, forms the motif for all the depictions of Shiva as Nataraja. He is also known as “Sabesan” which splits as “Sabayil aadum eesan” in Tamil which means “The Lord who dances on the dais”. The form is present in most Shiva temples in South India, and is the main deity in the famous temple at Chidambaram.
The sculpture is usually made in bronze, with Shiva dancing in an aureole of flames, lifting his left leg (and in rare cases, the right leg) and balancing over a demon or dwarf (Apasmara) who symbolizes ignorance. It is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture.” (Per Wikipedia)
The picture above was taken in front of the CERN complex in Geneva, Switzerland. This statue of Shiva Nataraj is casting a shadow on the headquarters building. Is this a message “from the universe” about the destructive potential of a particle accelerator which collides opposing streams of protons and most recently lead ions) at the speed of light in an effort to create a mini big bang. We sincerely hope that the unique and strategic placement of this sacred statue will somehow represent an auspicious outcome of CERN’s endeavors, and will not prove to be an ill omen.
by Stephen Lendman
In March 2005, a UK Deborah Davis Channel 4 report titled, "Torture, Inc., America's Brutal Prisons" highlighted the horrors, including prisoners savaged by dogs, brutally shocked with cattle prods, burned by toxic chemicals, harmed by stun guns, beaten, stripped naked and abused in various other ways. Sound familiar? Welcome to mainland Guantanamo.
"It's terrible to watch some of the videos," witnessing torture, at times resulting in death. Routinely, guards yell at and abuse prisoners, "ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl." If they don't "drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stomps on his back." Another man screams when a dog bit his lower leg.
One other has a broken ankle, can't crawl fast enough so gets jabbed with a stun gun on his buttocks. Hours later his whole body still shakes. Men line up across the cellblock, guards standing over them shouting, prodding, kicking, and beating, their humiliation captured on video. The images are horrifyingly brutal, reminders of Guantanamo and Baghdad's Abu Ghraib. They're as commonplace in America, but unreported except by Channel 4 UK, calling it "wholesale torture taking place inside the US prison system," uncovered by a four-month investigation, not based on rumor or suspicion. Throughout America, videos and other solid evidence confirm it, what US major media reports won't reveal.
By Rady Ananda
Are transportation security authorities looking for terrorists or a hard on? Why would 19 agents and police officers need to handle -- and watch -- a 20-something woman who happens to be 'smoking hot' get her breasts squeezed and twisted?
by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
The back to back debacles of Bush-Perry have turned the state prison system into a domestic Abu Ghraib in which 'prisoners' are tortured, attacked by dogs, shocked and, in other ways abused, exploited, humiliated, terrified while guards look on and laugh. Others like Bush himself, we suspect, get there jollies. The state of my birth has, under the utterly evil and/or incompetent GOP/right wing rule and exploitation, become an unimaginable hell-hole where poorer children are consistently, deliberately left behind to become fodder for the Fascist-Nazi corporate prison system.
At the same time, the Bush/Perry prison is ripping off Texas taxpayers as we post, reporting one price for public consumption as a much, much lower price is paid in fact. One wonders: who gets the loose change? Who is literally skimming money, bilking the taxpayers of Texas for millions!
by Stephen Lendman
The Bush legacy is based on lies, deceit, crimes of war and against humanity, and complicity in criminal fraud, a disgusting record deserving denunciation and prison, not shameless feting.
Yet his new book, "Decision Points," attempts the impossible, a brazen scheme to reinvent a war criminal, one of history's greatest, his legacy marked by:
-- neocon hellishness;
-- duplicity and public betrayal;
-- a disdain for human rights and civil liberties;
-- racist hatemongering;
One of my close friends is suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a severe mental illness which has almost paralyzed his entire life. He was diagnosed with the psychosis at the age of 15 and now, more than a decade after that time, he is married and has two children. The psychiatrists in Iran have recommended him to go abroad and pursue his treatment under the supervision of a group of qualified, experienced practitioners; however, he was financially unable to afford the expenses of such a solution and remained in Iran.
Psychiatrists in Iran have prescribed several drugs for my friend and he has been taking them over the past years; however, when I met him a few weeks ago, he informed me of a shocking, unanticipated incident which I'm still unable to believe. My friend told me that the Canadian and Italian manufacturers of his medicines have ceased exporting their products to Iran following the imposition of United Nations Security Council's fourth round of sanctions against Iran and it's possible that they refuse to export their other pharmaceutical products to the country as a result of the sanctions, as well. He told me that his psychiatrists are not able to prescribe the high-quality, original medicines for him anymore and this may seriously jeopardize his mental health and even put his family life into risk.
by Stephen Lendman
Some background. In his January 27 State of the Union address, Obama announced plans to "freeze government spending for three years," starting in 2011, saying he'd establish a bipartisan fiscal commission by executive order to cut the deficit by imposed austerity. In other words, harm the many by social spending cuts, including Social Security and Medicare, not defense, banker handouts, other corporate favorite subsidies, or the rich.
Then on February 18, a White House press release announced the commission's establishment - a "bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF)," co-chaired by two deficit hawks, former Senator Alan Simpson (R. WY) and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, heading an 18-member team stacked with like-minded members. Their mandate: slash Medicare, Social Security and other social spending. Fiscal austerity for the many, unlimited wealth opportunities for the few, an agenda from hell.
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