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America's Deplorable Human Rights Record

November 4th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Far and away, America's human rights record is the world's worst. No other nation approaches its unprincipled history. Earlier crimes against humanity were largely internal and regional. Twentieth century ones went global. New millennium ones elevated atrocities and other human rights abuses to an unprecedented level. It keeps rising. America is guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some. Former dovish US diplomat, advisor, and father of Soviet containment George Kennan explained what reflects America's post-WW II foreign and domestic policy. His February 1948 "Memo PPS23" said: "(W)e have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society."

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US Elections: From the “Lesser to the Greater Evil”and the Demise of Critical Liberalism

November 3rd, 2012

James Petras

Introduction

There is ample evidence that the Obama Presidency has pulled the US political spectrum further to the Right. On most domestic and foreign policy issues Obama has embraced extremist positions surpassing his Republican predecessor and in the process devastating what remained of the peace and social movements of the past decade. Moreover, the Obama Presidency has laid the groundwork for the immediate future promising a further extension of regressive policies following the presidential elections: cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Incumbents and their opposition compete over hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funding from wealthy donors, which they will have to repay in the post-election period in billion dollar handouts, subsidies, tax abatements, anti-labor and environmental policies. Not a single positive proposal was put forth by the Obama campaign but numerous militarist and regressive social policies were articulated. The Obama campaign ran a fear campaign, playing off of the reactionary proposals of the Romney-Tea Party alliance: a cover for his own record of unprecedented military spending, sequential wars, immigrant expulsions, mortgage foreclosures and Wall Street bailouts.

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Commodification of Water, the Quintessential Issue of Our Time

November 3rd, 2012

by chycho

Commoditization of the commons is the most important issue of our time, the most vital aspect of which is the commodification of water, usable water (pdf) to be more precise. As Global Water Corporation, a Canadian water privatization company has stated (pdf):

“Water has moved from being an endless commodity that may be taken for granted to a rationed necessity that may be taken by force.”

Strong words indeed for an important issue. Gavin Power, the deputy director of the United Nations Global Compact, reiterated this message when he made the following statement after receiving support from some of the largest corporations in the world in an effort “to help [sic] solve the global water crisis”:

“The scale of the water problem is so big that governments can’t solve it alone. They need the help of the private sector.”

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Caught in the Act

November 3rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Washington wages direct and proxy wars dirty. Favored allies are cold-blooded killers. Cutthroats are America's favorites. The more vicious the better. America's so-called responsibility to protect (R2P) is a license to brutalize and kill.

Guns for hire willing to commit unspeakable crimes for a buck are recruited, armed, funded, trained, and deployed to commit the most heinous ones imaginable. Nothing too gruesome is out of bounds. Killing goes on daily like sport.

Massacres are strategically timed. Last June, death squads murdered over 100 Houla civilians. They were executed in cold blood. Children were slaughtered like adults.

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Greece Suppresses Free Expression

November 2nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Ordinary Greeks face deepening Depression conditions. At a time vital help is needed, force-fed austerity is policy. Corrupt governance mandates it. Severe repression targets resisters. Now they've got another woe. Press freedom isn't tolerated.

A previous article explained. Whistleblower/journalist Costas Vaxevanis faces charges of violating state privacy laws. He'll be tried for truth-telling. More on that below.

Greece is bankrupt. Vital social services are vanishing. Ordinary people face extraordinary hardships. Corrupt governance makes things harder by punishing them. Human deprivation is more than many can bear.

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Palestinians brace for tough Eid Al-Adha

November 2nd, 2012

Khaled Amayreh in Dura in the West Bank

While an unprecedented economic crisis grips the occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinians can still rely on the bonds of social solidarity.

Mohamed is a middle-aged taxi driver from the small town of Dura in the southern part of the West Bank. With a large family of 10, Abu Yasser (as he is called by other cabbies in town) is struggling to make ends meet. He recently sent one of his sons to college in Jordan and is quite worried he won't be able to meet his mounting financial obligations.

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Drone Wars

November 2nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Perhaps one day they'll arrive over a neighborhood near you. Drones are becoming America's weapon of choice. Domestically so far, they're used only for eyes in the sky spying.

Big Brother wants to watch everyone all the time. Don't bet against eyes not being weaponized one day to punish as well as spy. That's how rogue states operate.

America is by far the worst and most dangerous. Waging war on humanity is policy. Imagine living in a country run by officials who think war is good.

The more the better. Permanent ones. Wage them while pretending it's done for peace. Few question why America is always at war somewhere. Scant attention is paid to the trillions of dollars spent at the expense of vital domestic needs gone begging.

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Predicting Protracted Hard Times

November 1st, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

It works the same way every time. Bad policies assure bad results. Prioritizing short-term profits jeopardizes long-term gains.

Force-fed austerity when stimulus is needed is madness. So is harming economies, communities, and ordinary people to save banks.

Chickens eventually come home to roost. We'll know when they arrive. Perhaps it'll be sooner than imagined.

Money power in private hands assures it. The Fed and other major central banks bear full responsibility for monetary madness.

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UAW FILES CHARGES AGAINST ROMNEY ON HIS AUTO BAIL-OUT PROFITEERING, Broke ethics law hiding millions, say good government groups

November 1st, 2012

by Greg Palast

For Mitt Romney, it's one scary Halloween. The Presidential candidate has just learned that tomorrow afternoon he will charged with violating the federal Ethics in Government law by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bail-out.

At a press conference in Toledo, Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers, will announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a formal complaint with the US Office of Government Ethics in Washington stating that Gov. Romney improperly hid a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney's so-called "blind" trust.

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Iran vs the Empire: Fighting dollarization

November 1st, 2012

Eric Walberg

The West's attempts to destroy the Iranian economy through heightened sanctions—including most imports, oil exports and use of banks for trade operations—is having its affect. According to Johns Hopkins University Professor Steve Hanke, Iran is facing hyperinflation, with a monthly inflation rate of nearly 70% per month and its national currency, the rial, plummeting in value against western currencies. Iran is the latest casualty to be placed on his Hanke-Krus Hyperinflation Index, which includes France (1795), Germany (1922), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1986), Argentina (1990), Russia (1992), Ecuador (1999) and Zimbabwe (2007), countries which experienced price-level increases of at least 50% per month.

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