A Discussion with Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke
As Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution enters a new decade of struggle and defiantly advances toward its goal of ‘21st Century Socialism,’ serious challenges to the future of the process emerging from both inside and outside the country still abound. As a result, key questions surrounding Venezuela’s mounting tensions with the West, the role played by its fiery and outspoken leader Hugo Chavez, and the future of the process itself remain as relevant today as ever before. Australian-based journalists and long-time Venezuela solidarity activists Federico Fuentes and Kiraz Janicke have been carefully following Venezuela’s ongoing political transformation for several years now, countering mainstream media spin and providing invaluable on-the-ground coverage and analysis about the process as it unfolds.
The article on carbon offsets trading only touches on one of many stupidities that these plans all have. To me, the worst problem with all of them is the gross misallocation of economic resources that these plans will all cause with their artificial price boosts of forest land values. All of a sudden, if you own forests, your assets will become several times more valuable than previously, because your forests’ carbon offsets (a completely intangible commodity) suddenly become hugely valuable. Capital will flow to the forest industry where it will serve no economic purpose, and the forest industry–an industry with a long history of backwardness and greed and short-sightedness–will no doubt squander it, as they simply have no productive use for this windfall. They’ve always squandered their forests and they’ll squander this undeserved cash windfall as well.
The gentleman from Ohio – the last man standing on health care, as he put it in this conversation with Esquire.com just before Sunday’s vote – reveals the personal moments behind his decision, and how the fate of a nation, if not a presidency, could have turned out a lot differently had he said “no.”
The meeting that took place on Air Force One was the fourth in a series of meetings that I had attended with the president in the last few months. There was a meeting on March 4 where the president called nine members to the Roosevelt Room at the White House, and eight of the members had voted for the bill when it passed the House last fall. I was the only one who voted against the bill. I thanked the president for inviting me even though I was a “no” vote. And in the more than hour-long meeting, the president covered a lot of territory about what he thought was important to consider. I sat quietly and listened carefully and took some notes. And at the end of the meeting, you know, we thanked each other, and I left.
By Human Rights Report
Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010
Editor’s Note: Every year, the U.S. Department of State designs a report on human rights record of other countries, presenting favorable conditions among those who cooperate with U.S. foreign policies and damning those countries who are “uncooperative”. In the meantime, the U.S. government and it’s compliant corporate media present the U.S. as a model of democracy where civil and human rights are honored. Their annual reports consistently portray China as having one of the worst human rights records on the planet. In response, China has issued its first annual report on the human rights record of the United States. The full text follows.
by Finian Cunningham
Global Research, March 24, 2010
Among the many inadvertent insights into the twisted US logic and policy towards the Middle East revealed in Hillary Clinton’s barnstorming speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee this week was her fatwa of “biting sanctions” on Iran.
To rousing applause, the US secretary of state warned the Islamic Republic of further isolation and “painful consequences”.
Clinton claimed: “There is a growing international consensus on taking steps to pressure Iran’s leaders to change course. Europe is in agreement. Russia, where I just returned from, has moved definitely in this direction.”
An especially frustrating and destructive facet of being humanitarian in these times is the feeling of hopelessness in damming the swelling stream of lies and ominous news. The proliferation of alternative news media, such as Global Research, is testimony that people around the world can see beyond the veil of disinformation and misinformation, through to the hideous truth of domination by organized anti-social forces. But what good are sharp vision and a good heart if our hands and feet are not brought into the picture?
Most readers here realize that the capitalist economic system long ago ran out of progressive steam, and has now entered a terminally pathological imperialist phase, destroying the planet and its people at an ever-increasing rate. With overwhelming control of wealth, major media and arms, today’s cabal capitalism appears to be securely dominant. Daily revelations of arrogant crime by illegitimate rulers have desensitized and demoralized us, and virtually the entire Left has become overwhelmed with critique, and underwhelmed with solution. What shall we do?
In 1991 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a nominally defensive military bloc with sixteen members that, as the cliche ran, had never fired a shot.
In 1991 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the only simultaneously multiethnic and multiconfessional nation (entirely) in Europe, consisting of six federated republics with diverse constituencies.
By 2009 NATO had grown to 28 full members and at least that many military partners throughout Europe and in Africa, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Asia and the South Pacific. Next month NATO is to hold a summit in Estonia to be attended by the foreign ministers of 56 nations. Last month a meeting of NATO’s Military Committee in Brussels included the armed forces chiefs of 63 nations, almost a third of the world’s 192 countries.