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Posts Tagged ‘national priorities’

Taliban peace talks ‘at risk’ as Obama stalls on Guantánamo

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment
, diplomatic editor
From; guardian.co.uk, The Obama administration is in danger of missing an historic opportunity for a peace settlement in Afghanistan if it does not act quickly to release prisoners in response to a Taliban offer to open talks, European officials and observers claim.

The Taliban announced on 3 January that it had agreed to open a political office in Qatar for the purpose of holding peace talks with the international community, and said it expected the release of its officials being held at Guantánamo Bay.
At the time, White House officials said the administration was considering the transfer of five Taliban officials to custody in another
country, widely believed to be Qatar. But with still no movement on the prisoner transfers European officials involved in the talks are
urging Washington to act quickly to keep the momentum going towards talks before hardline spoilers on all sides can stall proceedings.

What do possible peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban mean for Afghanistan’s future?

For more information on Taliban / US peace talks check out this report uploaded by
on Jan 11, 2012
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From The MindsiMedia Daily “How Is It Possible The Fed’s Image Can Be Tarnished Further?”

January 15, 2012 2 comments

“At this point it should be universally known that the Federal Reserve Board has been guilty of disastrous incompetence. It allowed an $8 trillion housing bubble to grow unchecked”…….

To finish this story and read more of today’s news visit our new daily news site.

The MindsiMedia Daily.

And a couple of related videos from our Alternative Views series uploaded by Mindsi2.

Attack on Democracy In America Continues, Three Stories From This Week

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment

This fall we have seen the best and now the worst in American democracy. In the early part of the fall we saw thousands people all over the country peacefully gather to occupy public space and protest economic injustice and a government firmly in the hands of a wealthy elite. The response all across the country was to stop the movement before it had any chance to grow. In city after city police in riot gear were sent in to evict and arrest anyone who failed to disperse.

The protesters received an initial wave of support but a hostile news media and a culture conditioned to sound bite answers and remote control democracy were turned off by a movement that offered no easy to digest plan and demanded active participation. Now as we enter winter the movement has been for the most part been swept off the street and now seems to be organizing to come up with a new strategy for next years upcoming election. Important because it seems as if both parties who can’t agree on much seem united to increase the power of government over people while reducing the rights of individuals.

This is nothing new but an ominous and growing campaign that began in the early 1970’s. The civil rights movement and the anti war movement scared the powers that be and what began as an issue for the far right has spread and taken over both major political parties. It has gotten to the point where a lot of the positions taken by the “liberal” president Democrat Obama are to the right of “conservative” Reagan. The two parties collude to limit the scope of the debate about issues and work to suppress candidates who don’t want to follow the script.

Today we present three stories ripped from this weeks headlines that show how far to the right the government is moving.

First story comes from The Gaurdian UK seems to have escaped the American media.

NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote

Civil rights group petitions UN over ‘massive voter suppression’ after apparent effort to disenfranchise black and Hispanic people

Ed Pilkington in New York / guardian.co.uk, Monday 5 December 2011 22.34 GMT

” The largest civil rights group in America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is petitioning the UN over what it sees as a concerted effort to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The organization will this week present evidence to the UN high commissioner on human rights of what it contends is a conscious attempt to “block the vote” on the part of state legislatures across the US. Next March the NAACP will send a delegation of legal experts to Geneva to enlist the support of the UN human rights council.

The NAACP contends that the America in the throes of a consciously conceived and orchestrated move to strip black and other ethnic minority groups of the right to vote. William Barber, a member of the association’s national board, said it was the “most vicious, coordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century”.

To read the entire post click here.

You say the Senate can’t agree on anything? Wrong from BuzzFlash comes this outraged story.

US Military Can Now Arrest You and Hold You Indefinitely Without Trial Senate Says

JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

“November 29th 2011, the Senate voted on a bill that allows the US military to imprison civilians with no formal charges and hold them indefinitely with no trial.

The ACLU reports even US citizens wouldn’t be immune as the legislation aims to declare national territory part of the “battlefield” in the War on Terror. You can read more about the NDAA provision here.

What it means: It’s shocking to learn that the majority of representatives and senators have replaced our civil liberties with a de facto military dictatorship while no one is watching. How is the Levin-McCain provision different from Patriot Act laws? If an American citizen is seen as a threat to the government, that citizen will be denied his/her constitutional rights of protection, as Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com correctly explained: “The provision would give the President the power to use the military to intern anyone – including American citizens – indefinitely, and hold them without charges or trial, anywhere in the world, including on American soil. The provision repeals the longstanding Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in law enforcement on US territory – the greatest fear of the Founders.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was supposed to be kept secret, drafted behind closed doors by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich) and John McCain (R-Ariz). When a bill is supposed to be kept secret from the public, it usually means that it’s against the public’s interests.

“The White House has threatened to veto the legislation because of language that mandates military custody of terror suspects, but Wednesday’s 88-12 cloture vote signals that the bill – which could pass as early as Thursday – will likely have the detainee provisions included in the chamber’s final legislation.” Unfortunately, the administration’s veto threat has nothing to do with protecting civil liberties; their real objection is that it can create confusion between Homeland Security agencies and the F.B.I.”

To read the entire post click here.

And if your going to give the government to wage a new war against it’s own citizens where are you going to put all the new prisoners since the prisons are already full of victims of the drug war? Well there’s the hundreds of internment camps that have been set up all across the country. This has been a story that has been around ever since the Patriot Act became law. One that has been very active in the past few weeks because of the previous story. Here is an update on this story from the Public Intelligence blog

Internment Camps for Isolating Unemployed in Federal “Work Camps”?
Al Martin, former Navy intelligence officer and former Wall Street broker, former Iran-contra co-conspirator with Ollie’s Follies, is starting to write about the possible use of the many civil unrest internment camps built in the US by Halliburton and related contractors. In his view, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), makes it possible for expanded use of the US military and expanded powers for law enforcement to “contain” the unemployed in work camps–which might be a good thing, in his view. [The bill passed the Senate but has not passed the House at this time.]

To read the entire post click here.

I searched high and low for some video on “National Defence Authorization Act” and sadly found very little. Here is one clip from ReasonTV

Former AIG chief sues U.S. for $25 billion & Who Are They Again?

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Well this story really jumped out at me and let’s make Maurice “Hank” Greenberg the centerpiece of the 2012 election. Because this man and this story represent all that is wrong with America today. A shameless human who is once again trying to manipulate a corrupt system to further enrich himself.

Meanwhile police forces across the nation mobilize to crush a growing occupation/protest movement against corporate gangsterism. While the Obama administration gets ready to cut a deal with the Wall Street criminals just in time for the 2012 election fund-raising cycle. In Congress they say now that we’ve bailed out the crooks and stabilized the wealthy it’s now time to cut the debt and it’s the sick, poor and old that are going to have to pay. And if you’re all three God help you.
From MSNBC’s The Bottom Line

“Former American International Group CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg thinks he got a raw deal, and he wants the government to pay up. Greenberg filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims asserting that the government bailout and takeover of the insurance giant was an unconstitutional seizure of private property, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Greenberg’s Starr International Co., which used to be AIG’s biggest stakeholder, is seeking $25 billion in damages, based on the value of the 80 percent stake in AIG the government took after providing it with an $182 billion bailout.

Those funds allowed AIG to pay off counterparties like Goldman Sachs in full and reward executives with $165 million in bonuses in 2008, even though AIG lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter of that year. This situation raised considerable ire among both the public and investors. AIG’s own value plummeted and it was reduced to selling off assets to pay back the government, both moves of which hurt Greenberg’s stake in the firm.”

To read the entire post click here.

And for those of you out there that might have forgotten exactly who AIG is and how they fit into the collapse of 2008 here is and article published by Rolling Stone and appearing on Alternet.
The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution

Written by Matt Taibbi.

“It’s over – we’re officially, royally fucked. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline – a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country’s heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire.

The latest bailout came as AIG admitted to having just posted the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history – some $61.7 billion. In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That’s $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG’s 2008 losses). “

To read the full story click here.

This video provides  some further information on the AIG bailout and the banks that benefited from it.

Uploaded by fal2grace on Oct 29, 2009

At 1:48 At what point are we dealing with fraud? …an insurance fraud from AIG, a bank fraud and then a mortgage fraud …. and when can we legally start to identify the CEOs …? Where’s the fraud investigation? Watch Dylan Ratigan on Morning Meeting with Eliot Spitzer.

Copyright MSNBC 2009

Occupy Wall St. 11/17 Day of Action, Live Streams & Eviction Update

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Today is the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protest. This coupled with the fact that the occupiers have now been evicted from Liberty Park will make for a day of protest across the country. At 8:00 am (cst) protesters in New York are blocking four streets leading to Wall Street. Follow this link to a page on AlterNet where they have two live streams from NYC. And here is a link to the Occupy Wall St. Twitter feed.

Here we present Thom Hartman’s RT show from yesterday as he covers the eviction from Liberty Square.

Committee Hearing Internet Blacklist Bill Blacklists Opponents

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

In a remarkable display of arrogance the House committee holding hearings on the so-called Internet Blacklist bill have not invited any opponents to testify. Of course this is what happened when health care reform came before the Senate. Those that supported single payer were left out of the process. Anyway this alert from Demand Progress provides the background.

“Irony Alert: The House is holding hearings on sweeping Internet censorship legislation this week — and it’s censoring the opposition!  The bill is backed by Hollywood, Big Pharma, and the Chamber of Commerce, and all of them are going to get to testify at the hearing.

But the bill’s opponents — tech companies, free speech and human rights activists, and hundreds of thousands of Internet users — won’t have a voice.

Will you click here to demand that opponents of the Blacklist Bill be allowed to testify — it’ll just take a second.

As if you need a reminder: This is the most offensive Internet legislation we’ve seen in years.

It will give the government and corporations new powers to block Americans’ access to sites that are accused of copyright infringement, force sites like YouTube to go to new lengths to police users’ contributions, and put people in prison for streaming certain content online.

The bill will wreck much of what’s great about the Internet, and this sham of a hearing represents everything that’s broken about our political system.

Will you click here to demand that opponents of the Blacklist Bill be allowed to testify this week?  

And we keep pressing forward,

-The Demand Progress team”

Energy Choices; Fracking (Another Environmental Nightmare) Or The Clean Future of GeoThermal

November 5, 2011 Leave a comment

One of those moments of serendipity where things come together that illustrate two paths when it comes to how we get our energy. And in like so many instances it pits the short-term profits of the wealthy elites and their servant in government against what is better for the average person who wants to see a BETTER world for their children. For you consideration these two stories that I came across on Current TV.
We’ll start with a positive story about how geothermal energy could provide us with ten times the power as what we get right now from coal. Geothermal is a proven renewable resource and is where the country of Iceland gets almost all of its energy.

 

Geothermal could help replace coal plants in the U.S., so Google backed research

From Think GeoEnergy  written by: lxrichter
“Reported last week, “New research from SMU’s Geothermal Laboratory, funded by a grant from Google.org, documents significant geothermal resources across the United States capable of producing more than three million megawatts of green power – 10 times the installed capacity of coal power plants today.

Sophisticated mapping produced from the research, viewable via Google Earth at http://www.google.org/egs/, demonstrates that vast reserves of this green, renewable source of power generated from the Earth’s heat are realistically accessible using current technology.”
To read the rest of this post click here.

 

Now for the bad and ugly and in this case were talking about fracking. What the heck is fracking? Here is a small part of what Wikipedia has to say
“Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking[a] or hydrofracing, is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, by means of a pressurized fluid, in order to release petroleum, natural gas, coal seam gas, or other substances for extraction.[1] The fracturing, known colloquially as a frack job (or frac job),[2][3] is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations. The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized fluid, such as water, creates new channels in the rock which can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of fossil fuels.”

In short a new way of extracting natural gas that might have some problems like to our drinking water and well it causes earthquakes. Towards that end we present this post from  desmogblog.com about research from Oklahoma and Great Britain that point to fracking causing a series of mini quakes.

 

Fracking Linked To Earthquakes In The U.S.

by Farron Cousins
“On the heels of yesterday’s report detailing Cuadrilla Resource’s admission that their fracking practices were responsible for small earthquakes in the U.K., new reports are surfacing that link fracking to earthquakes that occurred in January in Oklahoma. According to a new study by the Oklahoma Geological Survey [PDF], fracking is linked to 50 mini-earthquakes that occurred on January 18, 2011 in Oklahoma.”
To read the entire post click here.

For more on the health and environmental concerns about fracking there is an excellent documentary called “Gas Land”. This clip illustrates some of the key points from the film.

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