Recently we met with Captain Louis Skrmetta who runs Ship Island Excursions out of Gulfport, Mississippi. His father Pete came to the US from Croatia in 1904, and began working as an oyster fisherman, now an endangered endeavor. From that background arose the family business of ferrying people out to West Ship Island, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, about an hours boat ride south of Gulfport.
“Normally you see a couple of hundred boats out here,” Captain Louis tells us as we take in the beautiful view from the wheelhouse of his ship. “But now you can’t fish. You can get a ticket now just for having fishing gear on your boat.”
In four months the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will hold a summit in Lisbon, Portugal. The host country was one of the 12 nations that founded the United States-dominated military bloc 61 years ago.
The rival grouping that was created six years after NATO’s formation and its expansion into Turkey and Greece in 1952 and the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955, the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact), formally dissolved itself almost twenty years ago. In the interim NATO, having grown to 16 members by 1982 with the incorporation of Spain, expanded from an original 12 to 28 members and absorbed 12 nations in Eastern Europe over the past 11 years. The last dozen were, except for two former Yugoslav federal republics (Croatia and Slovenia), earlier part of the Warsaw Pact and in three instances (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) republics of the Soviet Union.
H. Con. Res. 301 Cites 1973 War Powers Authorization
The House of Representatives is expected to act next week on a privileged resolution introduced last night by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Ron Paul (R-TX). The resolution directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan.
“We have known that U.S. forces have been operating in secret inside the territories of Pakistan without Congressional approval. We recently learned from an article in the Wall Street Journal titled, ‘U.S. Forces Step Up Pakistan Presence’ that the United States is engaged in a covert strategy to increase our troops’ role there incrementally, with the goal of convincing Pakistan to be more accepting of our presence. This is a violation of the 1973 War Powers Resolution and it is our Constitutional responsibility as Members of Congress to act,” said Kucinich.
Last week, a Chinese rating agency downgraded U.S. debt from triple A and number one globally, to “double A with a negative outlook” and only thirteenth worldwide. The downgrade renewed fears that the sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece will soon reach America. That is the concern, but the U.S. is distinguished from Greece in that its debt is denominated in its own currency, over which it has sovereign control. The government can simply print the money it needs, or borrow it from a central bank that prints it. We should not let deficit hawks and short sellers dissuade the government from pursuing that obvious expedient.
We did not hear much about “sovereign debt” until early this year, when Greece hit the skids. Investment adviser Martin Weiss wrote in a February 24 newsletter: Continue reading →
At the Socialism 2010 conference in Oakland, Calif., SocialistWorker.org contributor Leela Yellesetty spoke on “What Would Socialism Be Like?” This three-part article is based on her talk. In the first part, she answers the time-worn charge that socialism wouldn’t work with this question–who can say that capitalism is working?
I OFTEN think that one of the tremendous tricks of capitalism is getting us to accept an absurd state of affairs as normal–inevitable even. But to quote one of my favorite poets, Naomi Shihab Nye, “If you tilt your head just slightly, it’s ridiculous.”
When investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker broke the story four years ago that a DC-9 (N900SA) “registered to a company which once used as its address the hangar of Huffman Aviation, the flight school at the Venice, Florida Airport which trained both terrorist pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center, was caught in Campeche by the Mexican military … carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine destined for the U.S.,” it elicited a collective yawn from corporate media.
And when authorities searched the plane and found its cargo consisted solely of 128 identical black suitcases marked “private,” packed with cocaine valued at more than $100 million, the silence was deafening.