Democracy Now! A Tale of Two Brothers and A Son

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Democracy Now!
Jan. 22, 2009

Part II: Palestinian US College Grad Loses 2 Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Blocked Ambulances

We return to the heart-wrenching tale of Amer Shurrab, who lost two of his brothers on the same day in an Israeli attack in Gaza. Amer is a Palestinian from Khan Yunis living in the United States. He recently graduated from Middlebury College. On Friday, his father and two brothers were fleeing their village when their vehicle came under Israeli fire. Twenty-eight-year-old Kassab died in a hail of bullets trying to flee the vehicle. Eighteen-year-old Ibrahim survived the initial attack, but Israeli troops refused to allow an ambulance to reach them until twenty hours later. [includes rush transcript]

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via Democracy Now! | Part II: Palestinian US College Grad Loses 2 Brothers in Israeli Shooting; Father Watched Son Bleed to Death After Israeli Troops Blocked Ambulances

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Another Real Estate Crisis Is About To Hit, By Paul Craig Roberts

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By Paul Craig Roberts
January 22, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

For a picture of the US real estate crisis, imagine New Orleans wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, and before the waters even begin to recede, a second Katrina hits.

The 1,120,000 lost US retail jobs in 2008 are a signal that the second stage of the real estate bust is about to hit the economy. This time it will be commercial real estate–shopping malls, strip malls, warehouses, and office buildings. As businesses close and rents decline, the ability to service the mortgages on the over-built commercial real estate disappears.

The over-building was helped along by the irresponsibly low interest rates, but the main impetus came from the slide of the US saving rate to zero and the rise in household indebtedness. The shrinkage of savings and the increase in debt raised consumer spending to 72% of GDP. The proliferation of malls and the warehouses that service them reflect the rise in consumer spending as a share of GDP.

Like the federal government, consumers spent more than they earned and borrowed to cover the difference. Obviously, this could not go on forever, and consumer debt has reached its limit.

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Countdown: Russell Tice, former NSA analyst, discloses NSA surveillance procedures, night 2 + No pardon for Libby

Dandelion Salad

heathr456

Jan 22, 2009

Countdown – Russell Tice, former NSA analyst, discloses NSA surveillance procedures. pt 2 Continue reading

Kucinich: Were Israel’s Security Needs Influenced By The U.S. Calendar?

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CSPANJUNKIEdotORG

http://cspanjunkie.org/

January 22, 2009 C-SPAN

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009, By Noam Chomsky

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Change Gaza Can Believe In, By Tony Karon

Dandelion Salad

By Tony Karon
TomDispatch

1.22.09

Tearing Up Washington’s Middle East Playbook

Lest President Barack Obama’s opportunistic silence when Israel began the Gaza offensive that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians (more than 400 of them children) be misinterpreted, his aides pointed reporters to comments made six months earlier in the Israeli town of Sderot. “If somebody was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that,” Obama had said in reference to the missiles Hamas was firing from Gaza. “I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

Residents of Gaza might have wondered what Obama would have done had he been unfortunate enough to be a resident of, say, Jabaliya refugee camp. What if, like the vast majority of Gazans, his grandfather had been driven from his home in what is now Israel, and barred by virtue of his ethnicity from ever returning? What if, like the majority of the residents of this refugee ghetto-by-the-sea, he had voted for Hamas, which had vowed to fight for his rights and was not corrupt like the Fatah strongmen with whom the Israelis and Americans liked to deal?

via Tomgram: Tony Karon, Obama’s Gaza Opportunity.

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“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009, By Noam Chomsky

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

My Wish List for the Inaugural Address by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
crossposted on Buzzflash.com
January 22, 2009

This Commentary was written on January 19, 2009, the day before President Obama (my, now, those two words have a nice sound, don’t they?) delivers his Inaugural Address. It is likely that you will be reading it after the event. By that time we will both know whether I got my wish(es) in whole, in part, or not at all. But here they are, and here’s hoping.

A couple of weeks ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a questionnaire to its contributors (of which, I must admit, I am one). It asked for one’s top pick for the must-deal-with problems. The list consisted of the usual suspects, beginning with what can be called “The Five ‘E’s’ ” (with liberties taken): Economic stimulus, Education, Environment, Ealth Care, and Eraq (well some people do pronounce it that way), as well as Tax Reform (?!) and somewhere on the list “national defense/security.” My answer, had I answered, would have been “None of the above.” One will likely hear some version or another of the list above in Pres. Obama’s address. But I am really hoping, oh boy am I hoping, that some significant percentage of the time in what will, we are told, be a relatively short speech (20 minutes or so, so we have been told) will be devoted to the Big “C:” the Constitution, and the restoration of Constitutional Democracy (C.D.) in the United States.

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British Capitalism – the Worm Ouroboros, by William Bowles

By William Bowles
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
22 January 2009

The other day I happened to hear an interview on the BBC with a US investor who had some pretty awful things to say about the UK economy, and why he wouldn’t invest a red cent in this country.

To paraphrase, ‘you don’t manufacture anything, your banks, from which you make most of your wealth, are bankrupt, and all your North Sea Oil has gone, so what do you have to offer an investor?’

The BBC interviewer, in a futile attempt to head him off at the pass, accused him of creating a panic to which he replied, ‘I don’t have any investments in the UK so I have nothing to gain’, in other words it’s not his problem that the UK economy is broke.

He didn’t mention the fact that around 70% of Britain’s GDP is consumer spending, but of course it only exists because of a financial sector shoveling out loans as fast as it could print the money. So in effect, a good chunk of consumer spending is actually part of the financial sector’s income, take that away and it collapses and that is exactly what has happened.

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Obama to close terrorist ‘black sites’ + Countdown: Gitmo & Dept of Justice + Executive Orders

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Updated: 1.24.09 added another story, scroll down

Updated: added executive orders; added a video of the signing

Sara A. Carter and Eli Lake
Washington Times
Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Obama on Thursday will order the closure of so-called black sites, where CIA and European security services have interrogated terrorist suspects, under executive orders dismantling much of the Bush administration’s architecture for the war on terror, according to four individuals familiar with a draft executive order.

[…]

Mr. Obama, in one of his first acts as president, on Wednesday suspended all the military commissions for 120 days. During his campaign and after his election, he promised that his administration would not practice torture. In his Inaugural address Tuesday, he said, “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals … Those ideals still light the world and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

[…]

via Washington Times – Obama to close terrorist ‘black sites’.

h/t: CLG

***

Countdown: Jonathan Turley visits, discusses blown Oath, Guantanamo detainees, Department of Justice

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Bush Used Domestic Spy Program On American Journalist! + In Final Legal Act, Bush Appeals Spy Ruling

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Here’s part 2: Countdown: Russell Tice, former NSA analyst, discloses NSA surveillance procedures, night 2

heathr456

January 21, 2009 MSNBC Keith Olbermann

Keith’s exclusive with Russel Tice who says that the Bush administration was syping on and targeting journalists and had access to all Americans phone calls, emails and computer communications. Continue reading

Maintaining And Creating After Collapse, By Steve Thomas

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By Steve Thomas
Speaking Truth to Power
Wednesday, 21 January 2009

[While I do not personally agree with everything in this article, I believe much of it is useful to ponder. My personal preference is a more conscious preparation than Thomas offers, for example, the strategies of the Transition Town movement.–CB]

Reprinted from ANTHROPIK NETWORK

That we are approaching the collapse is largely beyond debate. It is unnecessary to give a detailed examination here of the factors by which the collapse may come about. My purpose, instead, is twofold:

1. To explore the form the collapse may take; that is, to speculate on what we will actually experience as global industrial civilization crumbles, and more importantly

2. To explore how we may hope to create and perpetuate egalitarianism in a state of civilizational collapse.

What to Expect

How will we know the collapse is upon us? The warning signs may be here already. We have already written of hurricanes Katrina and Rita as possibly the “opening shots”? in the collapse of the oil infrastructure. We will probably learn this winter whether we are correct.

However, it is very unlikely that there is going to be a point at which we can say “Yes, civilization is collapsing.? That is, it is very unlikely that there will be a sudden, thief-in-the-night disintegration of all of this society’s political and economic infrastructure. What we are likely to see, in the near term, is escalation of the current spate of war and oppression, until the point at which they become untenable.

[…]

via Carolyn Baker – MAINTAINING AND CREATING AFTER COLLAPSE, By Steve Thomas.

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Alas, Babble On, by Rand Clifford

Survival

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse 2

“Exterminate all the Brutes”: Gaza 2009, By Noam Chomsky

Dandelion Salad

By Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky’s ZSpace Page
ZNet
January 20, 2009

On Saturday December 27, the latest US-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were returning from school and crowds were milling in the streets of densely populated Gaza City. It took only a few minutes to kill over 225 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee.In his retrospective “Parsing Gains of Gaza War,” New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner cited this achievement as one of the most significant of the gains. Israel calculated that it would be advantageous to appear to “go crazy,” causing vastly disproportionate terror, a doctrine that traces back to the 1950s. “The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day,” Bronner wrote, “when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza.” The tactic of “going crazy” appears to have been successful, Bronner concluded: there are “limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas,” the elected government. That is another long-standing doctrine of state terror. I don’t, incidentally, recall the Times retrospective “Parsing Gains of Chechnya War,” though the gains were great.

The meticulous planning also presumably included the termination of the assault, carefully timed to be just before the inauguration, so as to minimize the (remote) threat that Obama might have to say some words critical of these vicious US-supported crimes.

Two weeks after the Sabbath opening of the assault, with much of Gaza already pounded to rubble and the death toll approaching 1000, the UN Agency UNRWA, on which most Gazans depend for survival, announced that the Israeli military refused to allow aid shipments to Gaza, saying that the crossings were closed for the Sabbath. To honor the holy day, Palestinians at the edge of survival must be denied food and medicine, while hundreds can be slaughtered by US jet bombers and helicopters.

[…]

via ZNet – Gaza 2009.

h/t: Noam

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Chomsky: Undermining Gaza

Prof. Noam Chomsky Speaks at the “Chomsky on Gaza” Public Forum + Obama’s Foreign Policy

Now why can’t those damn Palestinians just disappear? by William Bowles

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Gaza Crisis Appeal

Alas, Babble On, by Rand Clifford

by Rand Clifford
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
January 22, 2009
Originally published 12.13.08

The price of gasoline is falling toward $1 per gallon, while merely one of the enormous hidden costs of fossil fuels has the arctic seas “burping” methane. Researchers are finding areas above the Russian continental shelf literally bubbling and foaming with methane. Concentrations in areas covering thousands of square miles are being measured at levels 100 times above normal. Geologic records show that a series of this kind of methane burping around the end of the Permian period killed nearly everything on Earth.

That was 251 million years ago. 70% of land species and 95% of marine species vanished. Another methane burping episode about 55 million years ago again caused extensive species loss while disrupting the climate for well over 100 centuries. Is it beginning again?

Those ancient methane catastrophes were apparently triggered by warming caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) elevations from surges in volcanic activity. And now, humans seem to be causing CO2 emissions of comparable magnitude primarily with massive burning of fossil fuels. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that we are loading the atmosphere with CO2 at a rate 150 times that of current volcanism. It would take roughly 17,000 additional volcanoes similar to Kilauea in Hawaii to emit as much CO2 as we do with fossil fuels.

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