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Depleting the Seas of Fish

March 5th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

In November 2006, Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin headlined, " World's Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn," saying:

International ecologists and economists believe "the world will run out of seafood by 2048" if current fishing rates continue.

A journal Science study "conclude(d) that overfishing, pollution and other environmental factors are wiping out important species" globally. They're also impeding world oceans' ability to produce seafood, filter nutrients, and resist disease.

Marine biologist Boris Worm warned:

"We really see the end of the line now. It's within our lifetime. Our children will see a world without seafood if we don't change things."

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What Iran Can Do for Lebanon’s Palestinians

March 5th, 2012

by FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut

“My friends and I like Iran. Maybe they will ask their friends in Lebanon to help baba (daddy) to be allowed to work and our family allowed to own a home outside the camps.” Hanadi, a precocious youngster at Shatila Camp’s Shabiba center on learning last week from her teacher that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khameneiand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warmly welcomed Palestinian leaders to Tehran during the33rdanniversary celebrations of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and that both committed Iran to a “religious and moral duty to alleviate the effects on Palestinian refugees of the Nakba’s ethnic cleansing.”

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Targeting Free Expression

March 4th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Free expression in all forms is fundamental in democratic societies. Without it, all other freedoms are at risk.

Included are free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, and intellectual inquiry. It also includes the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, official incompetence, and abusive government behavior.

Denying it risks tyranny. Voltaire defended it, saying "I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Howard Zinn called dissent "the highest form of patriotism." It includes the right to speak and write freely, assemble, protest publicly, and associate with anyone for any reason lawfully.

Democracy depends on it. Bill of Rights freedoms affirm it. Nonetheless, US history is strewn with abusive laws. The 1798 Sedition Act criminalized publishing "false, scandalous and malicious writing" against President John Adams or Congress, but allowed it against Vice President Thomas Jefferson.

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Losing Constitutional Competition

March 3rd, 2012

Losing Constitutional Competition


Joel S. Hirschhorn

Among Americans there remains strong pride about the US Constitution, even though there is widespread support for creating reform amendments to it. Globally, however, what should surprise Americans is a significant loss of respect for it. Other nations, especially those creating new democracies, see better constitutions elsewhere. This is not opinion. It is fact. And it is important to understand this historic shift.

A new university study sends a disturbing message to all Americans that want to hang on to the fiction that the US constitution is not only the world’s best one, but does not need to be improved. Do not mentally block this finding: “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to the study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.

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Israeli Torture: Accountability Denied

March 2nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI) "believes that torture and ill-treatment of any kind and under all circumstances is incompatible with the moral values of democracy and the rule of law."

Yet it's systematically practiced by Israel's Police, Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Israeli Prison Service (IPS), and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

An earlier 2009 PACTI report discussed the practice and systematic disregard of hundreds of complaints filed from 2001 - 2009.

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Israel tests international patience on Jerusalem

March 1st, 2012

by Khaled Amayreh


Israeli police forces used tear gas and rubber bullets against Palestinian
demonstrators in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya (photo: AFP)

The results of the Likud leadership elections and continuing provocation at the Haram Al-Sharif signal growing extremism in Israel.

Moshe Feiglin is not a typical Likudnik in the style of other past and present Likud leaders, such as Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu.

Those who know him say he is an incarnation of Meir Kahana, the racist-minded American rabbi who in the early 1970s founded the Kach organisation calling for the expulsion of non-Jews from Israel-Palestine, as well as the application of draconian Talmudic laws to replace Israel's quasi-secular system. A few years ago, Feiglin decided to join the ranks of Likud, calculating that only by taking over a central and powerful party from within could he hope to transform Israel from a semi-secular state into a Jewish theocracy ruled by Halacha or the so-called Talmudic religious law.

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