Iraq parliament approves US security pact + SOFA to resistance

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The Real News Network

TheRealNews

Adam Ashton: A national referendum on the pact will allow Iraqi’s to see if the agreement works for them

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The Corruption That Makes Unpeople Of An Entire Nation By John Pilger

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By John Pilger
November 27, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse
http://www.johnpilger.com/

I went to the Houses of Parliament on 22 October to join a disconsolate group of shivering people who had arrived from a faraway tropical place and were being prevented from entering the Public Gallery to hear their fate. This was not headline news; the BBC reporter seemed almost embarrassed. Crimes of such magnitude are not news when they are ours, and neither is injustice or corruption at the apex of British power.

Lizette Talatte was there, her tiny frail self swallowed by the cavernous stone grey of Westminster Hall. I first saw her in a Colonial Office film from the 1950s which described her homeland, the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, as a paradise long settled by people “born and brought up in conditions most tranquil and benign”. Lizette was then 14 years old. She remembers the producer saying to her and her friends, “Keep smiling, girls!” When we met in Mauritius, four years ago, she said: “We didn’t need to be told to smile. I was a happy child, because my roots were deep in Diego Garcia. My great-grandmother was born there, and I made six children there. Maybe only the English can make a film that showed we were an established community, then deny their own evidence and invent the lie that we were transient workers.”

During the 1960s and 1970s British governments, Labour and Tory, tricked and expelled the entire population of the Chagos Archipelago, more than 2,000 British citizens, so that Diego Garcia could be given to the United States as the site for a military base. It was an act of mass kidnapping carried out in high secrecy. As unclassified official files now show, Foreign Office officials conspired to lie, coaching each other to “maintain” and “argue” the “fiction” that the Chagossians existed only as a “floating population”. On 28 July 1965, a senior Foreign Office official, T C D Jerrom, wrote to the British representative at the United Nations, instructing him to lie to the General Assembly that the Chagos Archipelago was “uninhabited when the United Kingdom government first acquired it”. Nine years later, the Ministry of Defence went further, lying that “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants [of the Chagos] or about an evacuation”.

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The Obama “Dream Team”: Rubin-clones And Other Fakers By Mike Whitney

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By Mike Whitney
November 27, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse

Things are getting crazier by the day. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that the Fed would commit another $800 billion to fight the financial crisis which has spread to the broader economy and is causing sharp declines in consumer spending. The Fed plans to buy $600 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and another $200 billion of Triple A bonds from non-bank financial companies that provide financing for consumers. There’s just one little hitch, Fannie and Freddie are already owned by the government, so buying the bad paper is like moving the figures from one ledger to another. It’s pointless. Except for the fact, that by shuffling the paperwork, Bernanke can drive down long-term interest rates and (hopefully) rekindle flagging home sales. It’s quite a trick.

And with the other $200 billion he can kick-start the securitization market by purchasing bundles of student loans, credit cards and car loans. Investors have been boycotting the asset-backed securities (ABS) markets for months now which has choked off the flow credit to consumers. So the Fed is trying to unclog the plumbing by stepping in as the lender of last resort. Of course, if the Fed really wanted to get money to consumers there are much easier ways to do it, like cutting the payroll tax or mailing out stimulus checks or issuing tax rebates to couples making under $60,000 per year. But that’s not what Bernanke wants to do. The real objective is to reignite securitization because that’s the vehicle the investment banks and hedge funds use to increase profits through leveraged bets on odd-sounding derivatives. (CDO, MBS, CDS). But no one is buying dodgy securities anymore because no one knows their true value. Until that can be worked out, investors will stay away. That’s why Bernanke and Paulson would be better off with a little less liquidity and a little more transparency. Price discovery for structured investments is critical. If investors know the market price, then they’ll jump in. If not; it’s no dice.

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FRONTLINE: The Hugo Chavez Show (propaganda)

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Here’s a 90 minute production divided into 8 chapters/videos.

Sorry, I posted this before watching it, it’s a propaganda piece.  Go to http://www.pbs.org to join in on the discussion. ~ DS

Here’s one from Michael Parenti:

Dear FRONTLINE,

Why do you think they keep voting for Chavez for all his flaws? He has delivered something for those in need–all of which Frontlline never once mentioned, specifically

(a)his government health program for people who normally could not afford a doctor, (b)the dental program in which hundreds of thousands of poor have seen a dentist for the first time;(c)the subsidized food programs managed thru neighborhood coops run mostly by women,(d)the school lunch programs and no-fee schools for thousands of poor kids, (e)the job programs–admittedly inadequate in scope and duration–to clean up and repair poor neighborhoods, and (f)the loans to small businesses run by women.

All we got from your show was a focus on the man and the elections and not a word about the economic content of his “revolution.”

Michael Parenti
Berkeley, California

***

http://www.pbs.org
November 19, 2008

In The Hugo Chávez Show, FRONTLINE producer Ofra Bikel travels to Venezuela to offer an illuminating portrait of the Venezuelan president. Through interviews with former government officials, Chávez associates and ordinary Venezuelans, FRONTLINE chronicles Chávez’s ascent to power and his efforts to use the powers of the presidency to stay there.

The film also reveals the key role of the media—or, rather, Chávez’s savvy use of the media—in his rise to power. This report begins by introducing viewers to Aló Presidente—or “Hello, President”—a weekly televised show that often runs five to eight hours and features Chávez speaking directly to the people, explaining government policy and mixing in a smattering of songs, poetry and whatever else strikes his fancy.

“Chávez is easily caricatured because he can be funny; he can seem buffoonish on his Aló Presidente,” journalist Jon Lee Anderson tells FRONTLINE. “He sings; he gets involved in wordplay. … He’s probably the world’s first virtual president in the age of the communication revolution.”

[…]

via FRONTLINE: the hugo chavez show: watch the full program | PBS

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Victory for Venezuela’s Socialists in Crucial Elections by Prof. James Petras

Secret SOFA provisions exposed + ‘Israel may attack Iran via Turkey’ + Chavez slams Obama’s response + Iran summons British envoy

Chávez Supporters Win 17 out of 23 Venezuelan States, but Lose 3 Most Populous

Venezuela: Right-wing seeks to undermine elections by Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy

The Larger Meaning of the Venezuelan Elections by Prof. James Petras

Michael Parenti — Venezuela (videos)

older posts:

Chavez and RCTV: Tilting the Balance Against the “Bad Guy”

VENEZUELA’S CO-OP BOOM: REVOLUTION BY, FOR, & OF THE PEOPLE By Michael Fox

Hugo Chavez vs RCTV by Bart Jones

Chavez Shuts Down Venezuelan TV Station as Supporters, Opponents Rally (link; transcript)

Is Free Speech Really at Stake? Venezuela & RCTV by Patrick McElwee

Venezuela’s RCTV: Sine Die and Good Riddance by Stephen Lendman

Australia: Police hire private spies to snoop online

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by Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie
http://www.smh.com.au
November 26, 2008 6:55AM

THE internet communications and websites of anti-war campaigners, environmentalists, animal rights activists and other protest groups are being secretly monitored by state and federal agencies.

A Melbourne private intelligence firm specialising in “open-source intelligence” has been engaged by Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the federal Attorney-General’s Department to monitor and report on the protest movements’ use of the internet.

The monitoring, which has been secretly conducted for at least five years, includes exploring websites, online chat rooms, social networking sites, email lists and bulletin boards to gather information on planned demonstrations and other activities. Many of those monitored have not broken any laws, but it is believed information about their participation in online activities is conveyed to government agencies that also deal with terrorism.

[…]

via Police hire private spies to snoop online – Security – Technology – smh.com.au

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

h/t: CLG

Secret SOFA provisions exposed + ‘Israel may attack Iran via Turkey’ + Chavez slams Obama’s response + Iran summons British envoy

compiled by Cem Ertür
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

1) Secret SOFA provisions exposed
2) ‘Israel may attack Iran via Turkey’
3 ) Chavez slams Obama’s response to Ahmadinejad
4) Iran summons British envoy over Miliband nuclear comments

———————–

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=76714&sectionid=351020201

Secret SOFA provisions exposed

Press TV, 27 November 2008

An Iraqi media outlet has exposed ‘secret’ provisions of the US-sought security pact amid ongoing parliamentary deliberations on the deal.

The US seeks to legitimize its presence in Iraq beyond the expiration of its December 31 UN mandate in the country. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) it has pressured Iraq to finalize could provide Washington the legal backing it needs.

As far as the actual content of the pending SOFA is concerned, the White House has refused to publish the official English text of the agreement.

While US and Iraqi government officials have alleged that no part of the US agreement has been kept confidential, al-Moheet on Wednesday published what it called secret segments of the pending agreement.

The ‘secret’ articles posted on the Arabic-language website follows:

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Dr. J.’s Commentary: U.S. Energy Policy: A Brief History

by Steven Jonas, MD
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Buzzflash.com

November 26, 2008

It is often said that the United States “has no energy policy,” that we “need to develop one as quickly as possible,” and that it should be based on alternate fuels and more importantly, alternate and renewable energy sources. Well the last two parts are true; the first is definitely not. As we enter an era of debate on and development of a new energy policy, it is very important to understand these facts. We would not be substituting something for nothing. Rather we would be replacing the current energy policy with another one. Further, the new one would be highly antithetical to the interests (to say nothing of the profits) of the developers and defenders of the old one. They would (and indeed will) constitute a very powerful enemy of change. It is impossible to estimate just how far they will go in defending their interests. But these folks have fought dirty in the past and there is no reason to believe that they will change their stripes anytime soon. But no old policy can be changed to a new one if one does not clearly understand just what the present one is.

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Chris Carlsson: Nowtopia + Transition Towns: Learning to build a good life together

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talkingsticktv

Interview with Chris Carlsson author of “Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners Are Inventing the Future Today!” recorded June 22, 2008 on Mind Over Matters KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle.

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Open The Books Save The Economy by Ralph Nader

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by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Wednesday, November 26. 2008

It has never been more clear how much corporations depend on We, the People for their very existence. Corporations are given the right to exist through a public charter. For public corporations, shareholders are bestowed with limited liability, and they benefit from a public system of securities regulation that gives investors confidence to invest. In the best of times, corporations benefit both from public goods (public roads and infrastructure, public investment in R&D) and targeted benefits (tax subsidies, loan guarantees, and much more). In the worst of times, as we now see, the largest corporations can expect massive public support. Bloomberg reports that the United States has already committed an amazing $7.76 trillion — more than half of U.S. GDP — in funds for bailouts, guarantees, share purchases, insurance programs, swaps and more.

Don’t We, the People have the right to expect something in return?

How about starting with public release of the income tax returns of all corporations above a certain size (say, $10 million in assets)?

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Mosaic News – 11/26/08 + Mumbai, India reels from gun attacks + Siege ends

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updated below

Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

-Night of Horror in Mumbai, India
-Kuwait Ruler Wants MPs, Cabinet to Resolve Crisis
-Iraq Struggles to Cope With Landmine Victims
-Gazans Turn to Wood Fire
-Settlers Attack Mosques in Hebron
-Jordanian Families Visit Loved Ones in Israeli Jails
-Bush Talking Turkey Again
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Mosaic News – 11/25/08: World News from the Middle East

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Warning

.

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

“Iran Accuses 3 of Spying for Israel,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
“Kuwait in new crisis as cabinet quits,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Iran and Lebanon Rekindle Relations,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Bush, Olmert leaving with no Mideast peace deal ,” IBA TV, Israel
“Karzai urges Afghan war timeline” Press TV, Iran
“Hamas rejects early elections,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” New TV, Lebanon
“Somali Pirates Hijack Yemeni Ship,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Egyptians Begin Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia,” Nile TV, Egypt
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Back online – Happy Thanksgiving by Lo

Just a note

The Internet connection went out today, so called the company, he said maybe it was the modem, so went to the cable store and got a new modem.  Had trouble installing it, the box “detect new hardware” didn’t show up.  Took a break thinking that it was something else and not the modem.  Finally started all over and found a different way to upload the driver for the USB.  Had to call the company again but got the modem working and registered and ta-da back online.  Now to catch up on the news and postings.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate this holiday.

cheers,

Lo