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Stocking stuffers for foodies (5-book review)

December 15th, 2011

By Rady Ananda

Need a last minute gift for your beloved locavore? Several books would make excellent holiday gifts, so this review covers a few of them on the environment, as it relates to local food sovereignty, food security and palate delight. There’s even one for kids, which starts the set:

Avatars of Gaia: Escape from Hazard Hollow
Professor Heart (self-published: 2009, 210 pp.)
Website: www.avatarsofgaia.org

Charlotte Purin of Los Angeles decided one of the best ways to save Mother Earth is to get kids involved. So she wrote Avatars of Gaia: Escape from Hazard Hollow for preteens. The tale educates as it entertains, integrating the concepts of sustainability, healthy-eating, and environmental consciousness into a fantasy adventure story.

Because she also wants reach all kids, regardless of financial background, she’s made several youtube videos, (seed saving, read the label/obesity, how to recycle & compost, how to make a solar oven, and one about saving frogs). Colorful, full-page drawings accompany the text, and the book includes a special seed protection pledge, along with a glossary. She also has board games: the E.A.K. (environmentally aware kid) game, and 'Gimme Green Grub’ game, about what's healthy food.

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XL Keystone - The Pig in the Pipeline, The GOP is pushing a pipeline that could blow you to pieces

December 15th, 2011

by Greg Palast


Greg Palast in front of the BP PIG shed, Alaska 2010

Palast conducted a five-continent investigation of Big Oil for British TV's premier current affairs program, Dispatches, and for BBC Worldwide. This report is based on the broadcast seen prime-time worldwide—but not yet in the USA.

Whistleblowers have told Britain's "Dispatches" that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errors—and so pipelines can — and have — busted, leaked, exploded ...and killed.

Congressional Republicans are holding extended unemployment benefits hostage until President Obama agrees to speed up approval to build the XL Keystone Pipeline. XL Keystone will slice down through the entire width of the USA, moving tar-sands oil from Canada to Houston.

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Oops, We're Doomed!

December 15th, 2011

By Michael Collins

We don’t have a substantial cushion between today's climate and dangerous warming. James E. Hanson

The head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James E. Hansen, announced the results of break through global warming research last week. The earth's temperature is rising at a much quicker pace than previously anticipated according to research by the nation's preeminent climate scientist. We have little time to reverse the trend. (Image)

An example of the dangerous pace of change is emerging on Russia's Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf. Long-frozen permafrost is beginning to melt due to global warming. This threat was identified years ago due to the potential for highly toxic releases of heat-trapping methane gas. Recent changes are both a surprise and a cause for alarm. There is more methane gas released from the Russian cauldron "than the CH4 emissions estimate for the entire world ocean." Methane is a "far more potent GHG [greenhouse gas] than CO2" with a greater potential to cause "abrupt climate change."

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Gingrich's obscene canard

December 14th, 2011

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

In a cheap effort to procure Jewish votes and money, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has claimed that the Palestinian people is an invented people.

"I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places and for a variety of reasons we have sustained them against Israel now since the 1940s. It is tragic."

Asked whether he considered himself a Zionist, the highly opportunistic and morally duplicitous republican leader said "I believe that the Jewish people have the right to a state…Remember, there was no Palestinian state. It was part of the Ottoman empire until the early 20th century."

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Muslim Charity Principals Denied Justice

December 14th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

On January 25, 1995, Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12947 - Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process.

The same year, Hamas was declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). It's still one today, so any individual or group charged with providing it material support (true or false) is prosecuted unjustly.

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Wrecking Europe to Fix It

December 13th, 2011

by Stephen Lendman

From inception, Eurozone monetary union was an idea doomed to fail. Nonetheless, it was engineered fraudulently to look workable.

In 1979, Europe's Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced as part of the European Monetary System (EMS) to propel the continent to one European currency unit (ECU).

ERM never worked. ECU is failing. At issue is duplicity, conflicts of interest, and uniting 17 dissimilar countries under rigid euro straightjacket rules. Doing so usurps their monetary and fiscal autonomy disastrously.

Nonetheless, banking giants partnered with EU, ECB and IMF Troika power decide everything. Policies require lowering living standards, sacking public workers, and selling off state assets lock, stock and barrel at fire sale prices.

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Stuck in the Chimney Jeff Feltman Delivers his Annual Yuletide Gifts to Lebanon

December 13th, 2011

by FRANKLIN LAMB
South Beirut

Over the past few years, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman has sledded into Lebanon bearing gifts during the Yuletide season more regularly than Santa Clause. Yet, as happened yesterday, he somehow manages to finish his gift giving and lift off to continue his rounds as The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

No sooner had I arrived back in Lebanon than I heard the news that he was on his way—again to deliver holiday tidings to Lebanese officials.

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Bailouts, Bondage and Political Bankruptcy

December 12th, 2011

By Stephen Lendman

Europe and America perhaps face their gravest ever economic crisis. Growing millions are impoverished, unemployed, and out of luck.

Hunger and homelessness are increasing. So is unaddressed anger over handouts to bankers, not people facing crushing hardships.

Economist Michael Hudson calls finance a new mode of warfare. Generalissimo bankers run everything. Co-opted politicians serve them. In return, they're rewarded handsomely.

Ordinary people lose out entirely. So do economies being strip-mined for profit. Hudson asks what's to stop major Western banks from creating any amount of money they wish?

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Central Bank Intervention: Much Ado About Nothing

December 12th, 2011

By Stephen Lendman

On November 30, the Fed, ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada and Swiss National Bank acted together to cut the rate on dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 50 basis points. Markets surged. Irrationally trumped reason.

What, in fact, was accomplished? Swap lines were always available. From 2007 - 2009, they were initiated or expanded globally four times.

Lowering the price modestly was done to ease pressure on troubled Eurozone countries. However, funding isn't the problem. It's solvency. Nonetheless, the ECB perhaps agreed to be lender of last resort, at least to some degree.

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US/Pakistan’s Toxic Alliance

December 12th, 2011

By Stephen Lendman

Partnering with America has a price. Pakistan's paid dearly. Post-9/11, it's been harmed economically, politically, and strategically. Has its military now had enough and want out? More on that below.

At issue is the latest November 26 incident involving NATO forces killing 24 Pakistani soldiers and injuring 13 others in two remote posts along Afghanistan's border.

Army spokesman General Athar Abbas called the attack "unprovoked and indiscriminate. There was no reason for it. Map references of all our border posts have been passed to NATO a number of time."

General Ishfaq Nadeem called them unprovoked blatant aggression, adding that attacking border checkposts deliberately violates coordination procedures.

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