By Rady Ananda
In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
During the meeting, Secretary of State for International Trade, Pedro Mejia, and Secretary General Alfredo Bonet “noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports.”
It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that “The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,” reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.
By Phil Rockstroh
In an age, when nature is besieged and the political landscape blighted, and one stands, stoop shouldered and wincing into the howling wasteland of epic-scale idiocy extant in the era, a solitary person can feel lost ... marooned inside an increasingly isolated sense of self. Whether urban, suburban, or rural dwelling, the sense of alienation, for an individual, is profound ... as discernible to the eye as the constellations of foreclosure signs stippling overgrown front lawns across the land ... as hidden as the abandoned dreams within.
The fraying ligature of the landscape of the United States reveals an inner geography of alienation and anomie. Living on the island of Manhattan, I daily negotiate an urban layout of practical, but identity-decimating grids -- a cityscape of harsh, inhuman right angles ... a geography that renders street encounters abrupt, curt and intrusive.
By Sheila Samples
"The time is always right to do what is right"~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whew. Nasty. That was one hell of a campaign season; one hell of an election. Democrats emerged, bruised and broken, yet their mindset seems to be -- hey, we survived Bush, how bad can it be? Sadly, the grim truth they refuse to face is -- we didn't survive Bush...
The radical right-wing, neo-conservative, religious-based, hate-empowered GOP once again owes the half-crazed ideologues in the Supreme Court a hearty thanks for plunging yet another dagger into the heart of democracy with its Citizens United corporate giveaway. And no Justice on that venerable body is more ideologically rigid than Dick Cheney's hunting buddy Antonin Scalia, who ramrodded the Court's 2000 Presidential "Selection" for George W. Bush, and is now out there taking aim at the century-old 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which is literally the last barrier to a corporate-owned nation.
by Stephen Lendman
A legal definition. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officials or agents induce, influence, or provoke crimes that otherwise wouldn't be committed. However, it doesn't apply in cases of willingness to act lawlessly, government merely aiding, abetting, or facilitating a good chance to do so.
Entrapment involves the following:
-- government officials or agents initiated the idea;
-- individuals were persuaded to act; and
-- they had no previous intent or willingness to do so.
from Linda Schade and Kevin Zeese
Washington, D.C. In opposition to efforts by the U.S. Attorney General Holder to extradite Julian Assange, Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, prominent authors, academics, lawyers, whistleblower activists concerned with eroding civil liberties, government accountability, electronic freedom, opposition to war, and protection of whistleblowers have signed on to a strongly worded statement (below) condemning 'U.S efforts to fraudulently criminalize the legitimate journalism of Julian Assange...".
“This statement is the first step in an ongoing campaign to support Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and to re-assert the concept that the U.S. government is accountable to its citizens,” said Linda Schade of WikiLeaksisDemocracy.org. “We will not accept the manipulation of our legal system to criminalize a journalist; a free and independent press is non-negotiable.” The project is planning an aggressive campaign to support Assange and WikiLeaks and has hosted the statement online.
Among the prominent signers are:
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
A few weeks ago, a supposedly religious activist, probably from one of the Gulf States, suggested to me that Muslims shouldn't confine our attacks to Zionists; we ought, he said, to attack Jews as Jews, on the grounds that the vast majority of Jews support Israel.
I treated this "advice" with great caution, suspecting that he might be one of those overzealous fanatics who are duped by Zionist circles to malign Jews so that Israeli hasbara (propaganda) operatives such as MEMRI and Honest Reporting [sic] would be able to use his extremist rhetoric to their best advantage. They highlight "Muslim anti-Semitism" and con the world into thinking that the conflict in the Middle East is not really over the Israeli occupation of Palestine and oppression of its Christian and Muslim people, but is rooted in deeply-held Arab racism against the Jews.
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's capitulation to Republicans on Bush era tax cuts and other lavish benefit extensions to wealthy Americans earning over $250,000 annually is the latest example of American Aristocracy's power over Congress, the courts, and president under both parties. Obama serves them loyally, sacrificing working class needs for society's rich while assuring unrestrained corporate profit-making.
Feigning concern for American workers, Obama spoke of "tough choices....to secure our future and our children's future and our grandchildren's future" by class warfare against middle and low income people he disdains.
When Mr. Greenspan appeared on a recent BBC documentary and was forced to concede to major misunderstandings of certain market phenomena, he was being quite modest. He not only had misunderstood many economic factors, but had wittingly committed every single major blunder leading up to our current “great recession”. He bet the future of the American working class against the interests of his supporters and lost. He kept his job and the country (and half the world) went belly up. He faced the same situation as Mr. Churchill when he, as Chancellor of the British Exchequer, had to reestablish the exchange rate for the British pound when Britain rejoined the gold standard regime after the First World War (in 1926). During the war Britain had suffered a major relative productivity loss via the rest of the world (to the U.S. in particular), and should have devalued the pound to preserve British wage rate competitiveness. But the rich, Churchill’s major supporters, did not want that to happen. So he went with the rich and failed to devalue the pound, and the British economy went into a tailspin. Churchill had the decency to face the facts that he had blundered, calling this decision the second biggest mistake of his career (Gallipoli being the first). He was well aware of what he was doing but took his chances. Mr. Greenspan was also well aware of the chances he was taking, and chose to likewise support his rich backers. The only difference is that he has refused to admit his mistake and, worse yet, is continuing to encourage our current financial leaders to follow the same practices. This article covers each and every move he made and the consequences.
Walking into any “court” of late one might have a distinct impression that one has walked into a monarch's domain. The rule of law only applies at the discretion of the monarch. And that would be the judge sitting in that particular court.
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