by Stephen Lendman
It's official, or nearly so, Haaretz, on January 25 headlining, "Hezbollah's PM pick wins majority backing as Hariri supporters hold 'day of wrath,' " saying:
Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati, a Sunni billionaire, became new prime minister after getting 68 votes, a majority in Lebanon's 128-member parliament. Caretaker PM Saad Hariri got 60. As a result, Hezbollah "is now in position to control Lebanon's next government. The move has set off angry protests and drew warnings from the US that its support could be in jeopardy."
"Sunni blood is boiling," chanted protestors. Burning Mikati pictures, they said they won't serve in a coalition government, adding that anyone allying with Hezbollah is a traitor. After being appointed, he said:
Timing is everything when waging war “by way of deception,” the motto that has long guided Israeli war-planners. Whenever Israel’s geopolitical goals are threatened, chaos is assured. In national security terminology, the January 24th bombing at Moscow’s busiest airport was “out of theater repositioning.”
First among Tel Aviv’s priorities is their need to maintain traction for the latest geopolitical narrative: a “global war on terrorism” against “Islamo-fascism.” The fact that America’s two latest wars serve Israeli goals remains largely unmentioned in Western media.
Six days prior to the Moscow bombing, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev traveled to the West Bank to endorse a Palestinian state with its capital East Jerusalem. He pointedly noted “this was the first visit of a Russian president to Palestine not united with a visit to another country” (Israel).
Before it ever arrived at the president's desk for signature, the health reform act contained a fatal poison pill.
The most creative sector of the business community has a dagger at its heart in the form of the relentless, unyielding, and over burdening cost of health insurance. The self-employed and very small businesses have seen their insurance premiums climb 20% to 75% since 2009. To purchase an adequate family plan, a self-employed person will pays an amount 50% to 70% of the nation's median personal income, $32,000 a year, for family health plan. This includes premiums, deductibles, and out of pocket expenses. That is twice the cost for relatively generous plans at medium to large size companies. Very small businesses, two to twenty employees, pay about the same (Image: Paul Henman)
Wasn't health reform supposed to take care of just this sort of inequity? Didn't the title of the bill say it all? The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act There is no protection for the self-employed when they have these stark choices facing them due to unaffordable insurance rates. They can give up working for themselves; buy adequate insurance and take a huge hit to income; buy a substandard plan and hope that whatever comes up is covered; or, abandon insurance at real risk to their health and, in some cases, their lives.
By Timothy V. Gatto
The United States, according to the New York Times , has 5% of the World's population and 25% of all people incarcerated on the planet! In reality, in the United States, one in every hundred people are in some kind of incarceration. One may ask why we have so many of our citizens behind bars? There is no simple answer, but all of the answers point to money. Incarceration is big business in the United States.
Some private corrections companies such as Wackenhut and others, charge either the States or the federal government from $30 to $60 a bed. Billions are spent on the US prison system. Again, according to the times;
by Nozomi Hayase
Recently a Facebook friend featured an unfamiliar flag as his profile picture; a red crescent held in a vivid red background. Then, alternative news headlines emerged about major turmoil in the country of Tunisia. Next thing I knew, my friend was participating in the civil unrest that broke out there. Through the window opened by social media, I began to feel the outrage and intensity experienced by many people on the other side of the world. A quote from the film V for Vendetta came to me; “Remember, remember the fifth of November; the gunpowder, treason, and plot!” The surreal reports and rapidly changing scenery reported by my friend somewhat blurred the line between reality and fiction.
by Stephen Lendman
On January 23, Al Jazeera released breaking news on its extensive "Palestine Papers" coverage, introducing them, saying:
It "obtained more than 1,600 internal documents from a decade of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations," writer Gregg Carlstrom explaining that:
"Over the last several months, Al Jazeera has been given unhindered access to the largest-ever leak of confidential documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." They include "nearly 1,700 files, (and) thousands of pages of diplomatic correspondence detailing the inner workings of" peace process negotiations.
As the Western governments add fuel to the fire of Islamophobic sentiments in their societies with inflammatory and rabble-rousing actions and statements, the Western media mischievously try their best to portray a lopsided, biased and prejudiced image of Muslims in an attempt which should be interpreted as an incontestable crusade against more than 25% of the world population.
Although it is arguable that the 9/11 attacks played in the hands of the United States and its European cronies to spread an all-encompassing wave of Islamophobic sentiments in the world and introduce the Muslims as the number one threat to the global peace and security, one should bear in mind that Muslims have been conventionally considered as the villains of the fables of the Western governments and despite their unquestionable and treasured services to the world, they never received a fair, justifiable and humane treatment by the superpowers, either from the deceitful, fraudulent and warmonger Russia that massacred some 50,000 innocent Muslims in Chechnya, or from the arrogant, bullying United States that incarcerated scores of innocent Muslims in its illegal, underground detention centers in Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghraib following the 9/11 attacks.
Bills were introduced on January 18 in both the House and Senate of the Washington State Legislature that add Washington to the growing number of states now actively moving to create public banking facilities.
The bills, House Bill 1320 and Senate Bill 5238, propose creation of a Washington Investment Trust (WIT) to “promote agriculture, education, community development, economic development, housing, and industry” by using “the resources of the people of Washington State within the state.”
Currently, all the state’s funds are deposited with Bank of America. HB 1320 proposes that in the future, “all state funds be deposited in the Washington Investment Trust and be guaranteed by the state and used to promote the common good and public benefit of all the people and their businesses within [the] state.
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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