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A New Administration, Tired Old Policies

February 5th, 2009

Stephen Lendman

In Part I of his year-end analysis, money manager and market strategist Jeremy Grantham assessed the global economic crisis:

"Greed + Incompetence + A Belief in Market Efficiency = Disaster. Greed and reckless overconfidence on the part of almost everyone caused (risk avoidance) to a degree that is probably unparalleled in breath and depth in American history." The aftershocks hit everywhere. Tremors continue. No safe harbors exist. Buckle up. Turbulence and convulsions are ahead. Grantham is worried and angry.

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New Bill Makes Federal Reserve "Super Cop" Over The Entire Financial System Of The United States

February 5th, 2009


House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank has proposed a new bill that would make the Federal Reserve a "super cop" that would have complete control of the financial system -- that means that all banks, all investment firms, all insurance companies, all hedge funds and any other financial entity that is large enough to significantly impact the economy would report directly to the Fed.

Under this new bill, the Federal Reserve would be given sweeping authority to demand information about the inner workings of all the financial institutions in the United States, and the Fed would directly regulate what these financial institutions can or cannot do. No federal agency has ever been given this much power over the financial system in the history of the United States.

But there is a problem. The Federal Reserve is NOT a government agency.

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Obama: Regime Rotation

February 5th, 2009

Nafeez Ahmed

The arrival of the Obama administration will not fundamentally alter the course of military expansion accelerated during the Bush era. The origins of these policies do not lie uniquely in neoconservative ideology. While the election of President Obama may offer new opportunities for progressive forces to delimit the damage, their space for movement will ultimately be constrained by deep-seated structural pressures that will attempt to exploit Obama to rehabilitate American imperial hegemony, rather than transform it.

Indeed, the radicalization of Anglo-American political ideology represented by the rise of neoconservative principles and the militarization processes of the 'War on Terror', constituted a strategic response to global systemic crises supported by the American business classes. The same classes, recognizing the extent to which the Bush era has discredited this response, have rallied around Obama. Therefore, as global crises intensify, this militarization response is likely to undergo further radicalization, rather than a meaningful change in course. The key differences will be in language and method, not substance.

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Yes We Can!

February 5th, 2009

Winston Smith

Yes we can make you believe in anything we want

Yes we can lie incessantly through the unquestioning media

Yes we can brainwash your minds with propaganda

Yes we can make you unemployed

Yes we can destroy your lives, your families and your futures

Yes we can repossess your homes

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The Holocaust is Now Catholic Dogma

February 5th, 2009

Truth is Beauty

The last time a Pope of the Catholic Church defined an infallible dogma was in the year 1950. Pope Pius XII used this power reserved for the Vicar of Christ when speaking ex cathedra to define the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary. It was an extraordinary event because a pope using the power of infallibly to define a dogma is done so rarely, and most popes have never used this power. Before Pius XII, the last pope to invoke papal infallibly to define a dogma was Pius IX in 1854, when he defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Both of these dogmas referred to events that had occurred 19 centuries before , and that had been studied by the best minds of the Church for almost as long. That’s because when making an infallible statement - it goes without saying - it can’t contain any errors! Fast forward to 2009 and Pope Benedict XVI has just defined a new dogma regarding a secular event that has nothing to do with the Faith. Moreover, this ‘dogmatic event’ only occurred in the middle of the 20th Century- and no one is allowed to investigate to see if it contains any errors!

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With Any Luck - the End of the GOP

February 5th, 2009

Len Hart

It may not be the Twilight of the Gods, but, with any luck, it could be a permanent brownout of the GOP --not a political party but a crime syndicate, an evil cult, a the body politic'.

Even the New York Times concedes that election Day exit polls may have sent shivers down the GOPs notochord. According to to the numbers, the GOP is literally 'withering away'.

More than six-in-ten Americans (62%) say they have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, compared with 40% who say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. The current Democratic favorability advantage is the largest measured in nearly two decades. The widening gap is primarily a result of an increase in favorable views of the Democratic Party since the election, up from 57% in late According to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News this month, only 21 percent of respondents said that they consider themselves Republicans. This was the lowest percentage for that response since The Times started asking the question in 1992. By comparison, nearly twice as many respondents said that they consider themselves Democrats.

--Pew Report

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February 5th, 2009

Karin Friedemann

Gideon Levy a Ha’aretz newspaper reporter recently asked: “If Israelis were so sure of the rightness of their cause, why the violent intolerance they display toward everyone who tries to make a different case?

In "Survival Instinct or Jewish Paranoia?" my favorite shrink, ex-Israeli Avigail Barbanel writes that, “The implications of seeing the conflict from within the lens of Jewish trauma are very serious. Can we really negotiate with this? Can we explain to Israelis that their perspective on life and on the conflict is seriously flawed? If we tried will they listen, and do the Palestinians have time to wait until they do?”

It seems that Americans are kind of in an abusive marriage situation with Israel, where because love and friendship are assumed to be there, the abused partner keeps feeling guilty and acting hyper-responsible, and tries even harder to please the abuser. Many Americans maintain friendships with pro-Israel Jews and simply decide not to discuss politics; however there is an emotional blackmail going on because if you did mention Israel or Jewish-American genocidalism, the relationship would be over.

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Hamas’ popularity soaring following Israel’s Gaza blitz

February 5th, 2009

Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

The latest public opinion survey in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has shown a dramatic rise in Hamas’ popularity among Palestinians, with a significant decline in Fatah’s public standing.

Moreover, the poll showed that a majority of Palestinians believed that the advent of the Obama administration in the U.S. wouldn’t make a big difference with regard to American efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue.

According to the poll, Turkey, Venezuela and Iran as well as Hezbullah are the most popular regional forces among Palestinians.

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Did the Israeli Army Wage a Jewish Jihad in Gaza?

February 5th, 2009

Jonathan Cook

'When you show mercy .. you are being
cruel to pure and honest soldiers.' (Getty)

Extremist rabbis and their followers, bent on waging holy war against the Palestinians, are taking over the Israeli army by stealth, according to critics.

In a process one military historian has termed the rapid “theologisation” of the Israeli army, there are now entire units of religious combat soldiers, many of them based in West Bank settlements. They answer to hardline rabbis who call for the establishment of a Greater Israel that includes the occupied Palestinian territories.

Their influence in shaping the army’s goals and methods is starting to be felt, say observers, as more and more graduates from officer courses are also drawn from Israel’s religious extremist population.

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Tenter d’expliquer le conflit israélo-palestinien et la situation à Gaza

February 5th, 2009

Karine Mac Allister

Photo : Gaza janvier 2009, un femme tient
son enfant devant un bâtiment détruit.

L’état d’Israël a été créé en 1948. Israël est né du mouvement sioniste qui voulait un état pour les juifs après les pogroms et la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. À cette époque, des Musulmans, des Chrétiens et des Juifs cohabitaient en Palestine. La Société des Nations (ancêtre des Nations Unies) a donné à la Grande-Bretagne un mandat ayant deux objectifs difficiles à concilier : (1) réaliser le droit à l’autodétermination des Palestiniens et (2) créer un « foyer national » pour les juifs en Palestine.

En 1947, pris avec ce dilemme et face aux violences croissantes sur le terrain, la Grande-Bretagne a demandé aux Nations Unies de décider de la question de la Palestine. Les Nations Unies ont donc recommandé de diviser la Palestine en deux: un état juif et un état arabe, avec un statut international pour Jérusalem.

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