Far from reducing risk, derivatives increase risk, often with catastrophic results. — Derivatives expert Satyajit Das, Extreme Money (2011)
The “toxic culture of greed” on Wall Street was highlighted again last week, when Greg Smith went public with his resignation from Goldman Sachs in a scathing oped published in the New York Times. Continue reading →
Bahrain’s disgraceful show trial of medical staff is set to continue, with news this week that 20 doctors and nurses are to be retried in a civilian court on trumped-up charges of subversion against the US-backed regime.
The medics were already sentenced by a military tribunal (a military tribunal!) to up to 15 years in prison after months of being held in illegal detention, denied legal counsel and subjected to torture.
One fellow who works at the Beirut US Embassy tells the story of how, each year around the time of the vernal equinox, since 2005, when Jeffrey Feltman became the American Ambassador—(given Jeff’s domination of US Middle East Policy, he is still essentially US Ambassador to Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, the Gulf, and much of the region, although other names appear from time to time on the local US Embassy doorplates)—the now multi-hatted US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs would perform a sort of ritual.
Small business owners and working people constitute the core of the American electorate. They share the same origins and have far more in common than the major political parties would have them believe. Their shared political, social and family needs are being ignored by both parties, as they are cynically played one against the other.
Global Tamil Forum (GTF) commends the passing of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka, at the current Human Rights Council (HRC) session in Geneva, as a crucial first step towards accountability and justice for victims on the island. Tamils all over the world are thankful to the United States for spearheading the initiative and to all those who have made this first meaningful step possible.
To get a preview of Obama’s strategies for winning a second term, we just need to read the liberal press. They are giving lip-service praise to the current protests while trying to steer them in a direction that serves the Democratic Party. Seeking to restore the fading illusion that the Democrats work in the interests of the 99%, they imply that if Obama is given a second term, his true nature will emerge and he’ll crack down on the greed and corruption of the 1% and lead the country in a progressive direction. They conveniently ignore that he’s done the opposite during his three years in office.
More controversy this week surrounding the practice of fracking. The US Department of Agriculture has dropped the plan to require an extensive environmental review before handing mortgages to people that plan to use the land for oil and gas drilling. This has outraged opponents of hydraulic fracturing, who say it eases up rules on the drilling method. To talk more about this Greg Palast, an author and investigative journalist, joins RT’s Liz Wahl.
The sage Israeli commentator and activist Uri Avnery recently published an excellent analysis of the Israel/Iran situation on The Planetary Movement (1). Mr. Avnery presents the full list of strategic reasons why it is highly unlikely that Netanyahu will launch such an attack. It would result in: the immediate closing of the Strait of Hormuz and thus cut off the flow of about 40% of the world’s oil; an immediate all-out Iranian missile assault on the Israeli cities with some missiles getting through and wreaking much destruction no matter how good the Israel/US “missile shield” is; unknown to most US citizens (including an unknown number of their political leaders, especially on the Right) anyway, Iran is very large country, “larger than Germany, France, Spain and Italy combined,” Mr. Avnery tells us; Continue reading →
I did some channel surfing one night, since the college hoops game was a blowout. I checked out MSNBC and heard the word Republican mentioned 100 times. I went to Fox News on cable and heard the word Democrat mentioned 100 times. Of course, along with all this Republican vs. Democrat crap thrown at me, they concentrated on the newest horserace garbage… as if it really matters, right? Or, are you one of those who think it does matter? Well then, read on….
“Occupy.com, which means to occupy the commons, will go online later this month,” reported Michael Levitin, a 35-year-old founding editor of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. He spoke on March 16 at an event in Santa Rosa, California, hosted by the forthcoming Occupied Press—North Bay/Prensa Ocupada—Bahia Norte.
Today’s crisis in Cosmology is perhaps best demonstrated by an apparently accelerating expansion of the universe where a ‘Dark Energy’ must be postulated to justify this extraordinary acceleration apart — an energy that itself defies both explanation and the Law of Conservation of Energy.
“Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War“ by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky is a book that cuts through the chaos and deception to show the reader exactly how and why humanity is facing an existential threat. It is a wake-up call that the world is being pushed towards catastrophic conflict.
One of my first jobs as a junior reporter was to meet flights bringing famous people to Australia. Growing up in a country far from everywhere (except, as my father would say, “where you come from”), I was led to believe that Australia’s honour was at risk unless a well-known person from Over There said something flattering about us, preferably the moment they arrived at Sydney airport. There was a designated list of attributes they could comment on. These were: the weather, the beaches, the harbour, the harbour bridge, the happy people, the beer. When an exhausted Elizabeth Taylor stepped off her piston-engined flight from California and faced the mandatory barrage of questions, she replied: “Where am I, for Christ’s sake?”
After Chris Hedges finished speaking at the 2012 Left Forum in New York City, my comrade Dusty and I caught up with him at a nearby coffee shop. We of course spoke about the environmental crisis, and we also explored Chris Hedges’ views on nonviolence.
Since the recent controversy over his statements about black bloc, some have been quick to dismiss Chris Hedges altogether. I don’t believe that this is the best way to handle him and his views. You may not agree with his strategies and pronouncements, but Chris Hedges raises some valid points that we must grapple with, especially since they are views shared by a large number of people in this country. Continue reading →