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Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,582
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MAY 13, 2016
by LUCIANA BOHNE
Can we face it in this election season? America is a weapons factory, the White House a war room, and the president the manager of the neoliberal conspiracy to recolonize the planet. It exports war and mass poverty. On the economic front, usurious neoliberalism; on the military front, illegal wars. These are the trenches of America’s battle for world domination in the 21st century.
If not stopped, it will be a short century.
Since 1945, America’s Manifest Destiny, posing as the Free World’s Crusade against the Red Menace, has claimed 20 to 30 million lives worldwide and bombed one-third of the earth’s people. In the 19th century, America exterminated another kind of “red menace,” writing and shredding treaties, stealing lands, massacring, and herding Native populations into concentration camps (“Indian reservations”), in the name of civilizing the “savages.” By 1890, with the massacre of Lakota at Wounded Knee, the frontier land grab—internal imperialism– was over. There was a world to conquer, and America trained its exceptionally covetous eye on Cuba and the Philippines.
As the Clintonites understood, the postwar legal authority for peacekeeping and the prevention of war entrusted to the UN Security Council posed a colossal obstacle to the pursuit of American world domination. For the vision of PNAC and the Carnegie Endowment to become reality, the United Nations, the guarantor of sovereignty, had to go. In the run-up to the Kosovo War, the Clintonites fatally and deliberately destabilized the United Nations, substituting the uncooperative UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali with the subservient NATO shill, Kofi Annan. Annan obligingly opined that in the matter of war and peace, UN Security Council resolutions were not the only way to skin a country– especially one chosen by the US for remaking, partitioning, or regime changing, a cynic might add.
So now we live in a dangerous world. Once again, since the 1930s, the world is being stalked by an expansionist power answering to no law but its own unilateral, humanitarian vigilantism. The Kosovo precedent has spun out of control. Libya smolders in the ashes of NATO bombs, dropped to prevent “genocide”; Syria fights for survival under attack by genocidal terrorist groups, armed, trained and funded by genocide preventers grouped in the NATO alliance and the Gulf partners; Afghanistan languishes in a permanent state of war, present ten thousand American troops which bomb hospitals to promote human rights; in Iraq, the humanitarians are back, after twenty-five years of humanitarian failure. And in Ukraine, Nazi patriots are promoting American democratic and humanitarian values by shelling Donbass daily. I hesitate to mention Africa, where humanitarian Special Forces are watering the fields where terrorists sprout like mushrooms after rain—in Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya.
Then there is Yemen, perhaps the most callous, vicious, and careless humanitarian crime of a litany of crimes against humanity in the Middle East. The US government has recently admitted deploying troops to Yemen. The Pentagon claims that the deployment will assist Saudi Arabia (“the Arab coalition”) to fight al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula. Can a sentient being meet such a grotesque claim with anything but infernal laughter? Help Saudi Arabia to fight its own creature? Are we stupid yet?
$4 trillion dollars later, spent on the War-on-Terror/Humanitarian-R2P, the pattern of military destabilization of sovereign states proceeds apace, one recalcitrant, independent country at a time in the Middle East and North Africa. For the rest of the world, the surrender of sovereignty is sought by means of economic globalization through trade pacts—TTP, TTIP, etc.—that virtually abolish the constitution of states, including our own. Spearheading the economic effort to control the periphery and the entire world is the so-called “Washington Consensus.”
In this scenario, no potential presidential candidate—even establishment-party dissenter—who does not call for both the end of the bi-partisan “Washington Consensus” and the end of bipartisan militarist aggression can reverse the totality of the “international wrong” or stem the domestic descent into social brutalization. If none calls this foreign policy debacle “imperialism,” elections will be a sleepwalker’s exercise. Nothing will change. Except, almost certainly, for the worse.
Full article: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/13/the-great-leap-backward-americas-illegal-wars-on-the-world/
Again, I realize many countries are complicit in all of this, including my own. The horror needs to stop.
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 08:40 PM (6 replies)
BY BEENISH AHMED APR 17, 2015 2:50 PM
Vandana Shiva, India’s most prominent environmental activist, believes genetically-modified seeds — specifically, those sold by the agricultural behemoth Monsanto — are driving farmers to lose control of their own farming practices. She’s claimed that the frustrations over Monsanto’s proprietary policies which forbid farmers from planting, selling, or even accidentally growing seeds from Monsanto’s patented crops push farmers to the brink. Shiva and other environmental activists have come to refer to Monsanto seeds as “suicide seeds.”
In 2013, she explained her argument, citing one of Monsanto’s genitically-modified cotton seeds as an example.
“Monsanto’s seed monopolies, the destruction of alternatives, the collection of superprofits in the form of royalties, and the increasing vulnerability of monocultures has created a context for debt, suicides and agrarian distress which is driving the farmers’ suicide epidemic in India,” Shiva wrote. “This systemic control has been intensified with Bt cotton. That is why most suicides are in the cotton belt.”
But many researchers have started to take issue with the notion that genetically-modified crops like Monsanto’s Bt cotton are to blame for India’s epidemic of farmer suicides. Some have pointed out that Indian farmers continued to purchase Monsanto seeds even as activists railed against them — and for good reason: because it proved profitable to do so.
For its part, Monsanto has argued that its crops require less pesticide purchase and less loss of yield — meaning that farmers who opted for its genetically-modified seeds would be more successful than those who use traditional seeds.
But Shiva has countered, claiming that Monsanto drove up the price of seeds 8,000 percent — and that “the high costs of purchased seed and chemicals have created a debt trap.”
Since debt is a major cause to farmers’ despair, however, it’s not just agricultural companies like Monsanto who are responsible. For those seeking loans to pay higher up-front costs for Monsanto seeds, unfair lending practices increase their financial woes.
Anoop Sadanadan, a professor of political science based at Syracuse University, has argued that farmer suicides should be attributed not to agricultural practices but rather financial ones. In a paper published last year, he noted that farmer suicides were concentrated in five of India’s 28 states — and that those five offered the least institutional credit to farmers, forcing them to take out private loans at interest rates as high as 45 percent.
Full article: http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/04/17/3648423/india-farmer-suicide/
I have personal experience with Monsanto planting crops up here and followed very, very closely Percy Schmeiser's fight with them. I know how fucking evil they are, so save your crap.
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 06:43 PM (2 replies)
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Suspicious donation from Monsanto emerges after WHO seemingly flipped in its assessment of the dangers posed by the chemical
byLauren McCauley, staff writer
Monsanto's Roundup relabeled by activists from Global Justice Now, 28th April 2016. The main active ingredient is glyphosate. (Photo: Global Justice Now /Flickr/CC)
As European officials on Wednesday weigh whether or not to re-approve the use of Monsanto's glyphosate, a storm has erupted after the World Health Organization (WHO) seemingly flipped in its assessment of the dangers posed by the chemical.
Ahead of this week's European Commission meeting, which could approve the use of glyphosate for up to nine years, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the WHO released a joint summary report concluding that the chemical, a favored ingredient of agrochemical producers like Monsanto and Dow, was "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet."
These findings were widely (and inaccurately) reported as a "clean bill of health" for a pesticide once declared to be "probably carcinogenic" for humans by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
What's more, documents obtained by the anti-GMO watchdog group U.S. Right to Know found that one of the chairs of the UN's Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) had, in another capacity, received a six-figure donation from Monsanto.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday:
Professor Alan Boobis, who chaired the UN’s joint FAO/WHO meeting on glyphosate, also works as the vice-president of the International Life Science Institute (ILSI) Europe. The co-chair of the sessions was Professor Angelo Moretto, a board member of ILSI’s Health and Environmental Services Institute, and of its Risk21 steering group too, which Boobis also co-chairs.
Those opposed to the chemical's re-approval in Europe said the exposed "conflict of interest" in the FAO/WHO report should disqualify it from consideration. The EU's deliberations, which are expected to last two days, were postponed in March after a wave of public opposition forced lawmakers to renege on their approval.
"The timing of the release of this report by the FAO/WHO could be described as cynical if it weren’t such a blatantly political and ham-fisted attempt to influence the EU decision later this week on the approval of glyphosate," said Green MEP Bart Staes.
"Any decision affecting millions of people should be based on fully transparent and independent science that isn’t tied to corporate interests," said Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg. "It would be irresponsible to ignore the warnings on glyphosate and to re-licence this pesticide without any restrictions to protect the public and the environment."
"On one side," Dodwell continued, "there are powerful agribusiness companies like Monsanto, whose Roundup weed killer contains glyphosate and accounts for a third of its total sales. And on the other side you have over a million citizens from across the EU who have signed petitions saying that they don’t want to be exposed to chemicals that are probably causing cancer."
Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/18/eu-weighs-approval-more-evidence-industry-rigging-glyphosate-game
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 06:34 PM (0 replies)
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
by YES! Magazine
Voters hit hardest by free-trade economics are rebelling against the status quo. We can use that energy to build a powerful, grassroots movement for democracy
Bernie Sanders spoke to packed crowd, which included these enthusiastic supporterss, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregonin January. (Photo: US News & World)
The nonprofit advocacy organization Public Citizen recently compiled survey results demonstrating that Americans overwhelmingly favor policies that increase economic fairness, hold corporate executives accountable, strengthen environmental and consumer protection, and assure that the political system serves the interests of all. This is a decidedly anti-corporatist agenda.
Most people long for a political party that represents their interests and values rather than the interests of a corporate oligarchy. This longing may explain why more Americans self-identify as Independents than as either Democrats or Republicans and why Sanders and Trump enjoy such appeal as candidates running against their party establishments.
At a deeper level, most humans want to be part of a caring democratic community of healthy families with a healthy natural environment. We want to live in a world free from war, want, racism, sexism, and religious intolerance—none of which is possible in a world of extreme inequality and rapacious competition.
The outcome of this U.S. election is critically important. Even more significant than who is president for the next four years, however, are the power and effectiveness of the emerging democracy movement and its vision of human possibility. That movement would be the foundation for an effective Sanders presidency. It might hold Clinton to her espoused anti-corporatist agenda. It could serve as a bulwark against the dictatorial ambitions of Trump. Most of all, it will be essential to advance the political reforms required to get big money out of politics, secure the integrity of the voting process, and move us beyond the limited choice among corporatist candidates typically offered by the corporatist wings of our dominant political parties.
Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/18/why-year-anti-corporate-presidential-campaign
Just doing my daily reading and thought this was interesting.
BBM Still scratch my head whenever it's stated these people just want a pony.
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 06:23 PM (0 replies)
Nothing grows forever. The myth the economy can is destroying the biosphere.
by Glen Barry / May 16th, 2016
The present human condition is predicated on one of the biggest lies ever – that the economy can grow indefinitely. In a self-serving logical contortion, economists in service to the oligarchy measure the well-being of a society by how fast the economy grows, with little regard to the state of natural capital, human inequity, the welfare of ecosystems and other species, or the extent to which people and society are happy. Natural capital is defined as Earth’s stocks of natural assets including ecosystem services which make all life possible, which is unmeasured and thus undervalued by indices of economic growth.
Economic growth is destroying the biosphere
Measures such as Gross Domestic Product utterly fail to tie increases in economic output to human and natural well-being. Spending on militaristic drone attacks and the rich’s conspicuous over-consumption are equated with social expenditures to meet basic human needs. Clearcutting old-growth forests for toilet paper is of equal worth as providing homes and food for the poor. Ravaging Earth’s last natural ecosystems for every last drop of oil is deemed economically beneficial (despite being terribly inefficient as externalities remain unpriced), while we are told restoring natural ecosystems is unprofitable because of large discounting of future benefits.
Living as if Earth’s nature has no worth other than to be liquidated for consumption degrades ourselves and ecosystems, and can only end in utter ruin as first society, then the economy, and finally the biosphere collapses. It is blatantly obvious that infinite growth on a finite Earth is impossible. Yet we run our economy with this goal.
Economic growth is worshiped as if it were holy and divine, rather than acknowledging that growth can come at enormous economic, social, and environmental costs. There is little understanding of ecological overshoot and the limits to growth, as we seek ever more material possessions at the expense of all else, systematically degrading not only our habitat, but also our future resource base and potential for broad-based community advancement. Growth appears to be benign and pleasant, iPhones and foreign travel are intoxicating, yet perpetual economic expansion comes at an unknown price whose deleterious impacts sneak up on you. Such is the nature of exponential growth. The exorbitant costs of an exponentially growing economy are best illustrated by imagining a pond whereby the extent of lily-pad coverage doubles in extent every day, on the 30th day fully covering the water. On which day is the pond half covered? When is it a 10% covered? We shall return to this question.
By falsely equating exponential growth with societal well-being, capitalism may well be irredeemable. Its foundational idea of people coming together in markets to exchange their surplus has been bastardized to suggest that creating something of worth and selling it is the same as every manner of speculative financial trickery. Yet for markets to serve human’s and nature’s well-being, there are some basic out-right lies that need to be addressed now........
Economic advancement means meeting all life’s basic needs
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/05/the-pernicious-myth-of-perpetual-economic-growth/
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 04:16 PM (0 replies)
Open letter to the EFSA Chief Attorney About Re-licensing Glyphosate in the EU
By Colin Todhunter
Global Research, May 18, 2016
This week, a Standing Committee of plant scientists from 28 member states in Europe is likely to endorse the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) findings so that the European Commission (under pressure from Monsanto, Glyphosate Task Force and others) can re-authorise glyphosate for another nine years. This is despite the WHO classifying glyphosate as being “probably carcinogenic” to humans.
An open letter from campaigner Rosemary Mason to Dirk Detken, Chief Attorney to the EFSA, follows the brief background article you are about to read. In the letter, Mason highlights the regulatory delinquency concerning the oversight of glyphosate in the EU. The evidence provided by Mason might lead many to agree that processes surrounding glyphosate ‘regulation’ in Europe amount to little more than a “cesspool of corruption.”
There are around 500 million people in the EU. They want EU officials to uphold the public interest and to be independent from commercial influence. They do not want them to serve and profit from commercial interests at cost to the public’s health and safety. However, what they too often get are massive conflicts of interest: see here about the ‘revolving door’ problem within official EU bodies, here about ‘the European Food and Safety Authority’s independence problem’ and here about ‘chemical conflicts’ in the EC’s scientific committees for consumer issues.
And they get governing bodies that are beholden to massive corporate lobbying: see here about ‘the fire power of the financial lobby’ and here about ‘who lobbies most’ for TTIP, with agribusiness being the biggest lobby group behind this secretive and corrupt trade deal that is attempting drive a policy agenda above the heads of the European people and contrary to their wishes (see this on TTIP as well).
Regulators turn a blind eye to the deleterious effects of products that pose a serious systemic risk to the public: see here about ‘the glyphosate toxicity studies you’re not allowed to see’ and here ‘case closed by EFSA on Roundup, despite new evidence’.
Full article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-and-the-poisoning-of-europe/5525765
and here, since some were whining about the source:
Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.
Posted by polly7 | Wed May 18, 2016, 02:36 PM (62 replies)
Millions of jobs were lost in the U.S. d/t his brilliant NAFTA plan designed to do just what it did.
Canada suffered very much as the most sued nation - environmental regulations lost, etc. The rest of the world will suffer for these 'free' trade agreements he so pushed and the fracking and everything else they have in store.
Bernie and Hillary and Fracking:
(and how she didn't appear to consider much at all those 'conditions' peddling it to other nations)
How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World
A trove of secret documents details the US government's global push for shale gas.
—By Mariah Blake | September/October 2014 Issue
ONE ICY MORNING in February 2012, Hillary Clinton's plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state descended the stairs to the snow-covered tarmac, where she and her aides piled into a motorcade bound for the presidential palace. That afternoon, they huddled with Bulgarian leaders, including Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, discussing everything from Syria's bloody civil war to their joint search for loose nukes. But the focus of the talks was fracking. The previous year, Bulgaria had signed a five-year, $68 million deal, granting US oil giant Chevron millions of acres in shale gas concessions. Bulgarians were outraged. Shortly before Clinton arrived, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets carrying placards that read "Stop fracking with our water" and "Chevron go home." Bulgaria's parliament responded by voting overwhelmingly for a fracking moratorium.
Clinton urged Bulgarian officials to give fracking another chance. According to Borissov, she agreed to help fly in the "best specialists on these new technologies to present the benefits to the Bulgarian people." But resistance only grew. The following month in neighboring Romania, thousands of people gathered to protest another Chevron fracking project, and Romania's parliament began weighing its own shale gas moratorium. Again Clinton intervened, dispatching her special envoy for energy in Eurasia, Richard Morningstar, to push back against the fracking bans. The State Department's lobbying effort culminated in late May 2012, when Morningstar held a series of meetings on fracking with top Bulgarian and Romanian officials. He also touted the technology in an interview on Bulgarian national radio, saying it could lead to a fivefold drop in the price of natural gas. A few weeks later, Romania's parliament voted down its proposed fracking ban and Bulgaria's eased its moratorium.
Hillary Clinton is welcomed to Sofia by Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Minister Nikolay Mladenov, left. US Department of State/flickr
Goldwyn had a long history of promoting drilling overseas—both as a Department of Energy official under Bill Clinton and as a representative of the oil industry. From 2005 to 2009 he directed the US-Libya Business Association, an organization funded primarily by US oil companies—including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Marathon—clamoring to tap Libya's abundant supply. Goldwyn lobbied Congress for pro-Libyan policies and even battled legislation that would have allowed families of the Lockerbie bombing victims to sue the Libyan government for its alleged role in the attack.
But environmental groups were barely consulted, while industry played a crucial role. When Goldwyn unveiled the initiative in April 2010, it was at a meeting of the United States Energy Association, a trade organization representing Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and ConocoPhillips, all of which were pursuing fracking overseas. Among their top targets was Poland, which preliminary studies suggested had abundant shale gas. The day after Goldwyn's announcement, the US Embassy in Warsaw helped organize a shale gas conference, underwritten by these same companies (plus the oil field services company Halliburton) and attended by officials from the departments of State and Energy.
By Pete Dolack
Source: Systemic Disorder
April 14, 2016
To the north, El Salvador is still awaiting the decision of another secret tribunal in a case heard in September 2014. An Australian mining company, OceanaGold, sued El Salvador for $301 million because it was denied a permit to create a gold mine that would have poisoned the country’s biggest source of water.
Under “free trade” agreements (which have little to do with trade and much to do with enhancing corporate power), governments agree to the mandatory use of “investor-state dispute mechanisms.” What that bland-sounding phrase means is that any “investor” can sue a signatory government to overturn any law or regulation it does not like because the law or regulation “confiscates” its expected profits, with no limitations on who or what constitutes an “investment.” These cases are not heard in regular judicial systems, but rather in secret tribunals with no oversight, no public notice and no appeals. The judges who sit on these tribunals are corporate lawyers whose regular practice is representing corporations in these types of disputes.
Environmentalists rally for sensitive wetlands
In the latest Colombian case, that of Eco Oro Minerals, the company sued one month after the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that a government plan to permit mining in some portions of the country’s sensitive high-altitude wetlands is unconstitutional. Eco Oro’s original plan was for an open-pit mine, which was denied by the environmental ministry thanks to an organized campaign by environmentalists. Denied a permit, Eco Oro then began plans for an underground mine, and received $16.8 million in financing from the World Bank to fund a new study. The environmental ministry subsequently declared the area a protected region, rendering illegal any mine. The final chance to open a mine was ended when the Constitutional Court ruled in February 2016.
The mining company has declared Colombia “in breach” of its obligations and notified Bogotá of its intention to sue if a negotiated settlement can’t be reached. Eco Oro issued a public statement that said, in part:
Among other decisions handed down, Canada was forced to reverse its ban of the gasoline additive MMT and pay compensation to a U.S. chemical company; Mexico was forced to grant a permit to a U.S. metal company that wanted to site an environmentally dangerous waste dump and pay compensation; and Canada was required to reverse a transport ban on PCBs that had conformed to environmental treaties. In this last case, for good measure, the secret tribunal ruled that, when formulating an environmental rule, a government “is obliged to adopt the alternative that is most consistent with open trade.”
That last ruling provides the essence of “free trade” agreements — the accumulation of corporate power to override all democratic controls over health, safety, environmental or labor safeguards. And as awful as these decisions are, worse is what would await us should the Trans-Pacific or Transatlantic partnerships go through as those agreements promise even more draconian rules than the ones already in place.
Full (long) article and links: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/theres-no-place-for-clean-water-under-free-trade/
NAFTA Is Starving Mexico
Posted by polly7 in General Discussion
Thu Oct 20th 2011, 09:40 AM
NAFTA Is Starving Mexico
By Laura Carlsen, October 20, 2011
"Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) became the law of the land, millions of Mexicans have joined the ranks of the hungry. Malnutrition is highest among the country’s farm families, who used to produce enough food to feed the nation.
As the blood-spattered violence of the drug war takes over the headlines, many Mexican men, women, and children confront the slow and silent violence of starvation. The latest reports show that the number of people living in “food poverty” (the inability to purchase the basic food basket) rose from 18 million in 2008 to 20 million by late 2010.
About one-fifth of Mexican children currently suffer from malnutrition. An innovative measurement applied by the National Institute for Nutrition registers a daily count of 728,909 malnourished children under five for October 18, 2011. Government statistics report that 25 percent of the population does not have access to basic food."
Thanks to NAFTA, Conditions for Mexican Factory Workers Like Rosa Moreno Are Getting Worse
Texas Observer / By Melissa del Bosque
The difficult and dangerous working conditions that Rosa and at least 1.3 million other Mexican workers endure were supposed to get better. They didn't.
Photo Credit: Alan Pogue
December 11, 2013 |
.... On this night, Feb. 19, 2011, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong, a premonition that perhaps she shouldn’t go. But she needed the money. It was the final shift in her six-day workweek, and if she missed a day, the factory would dock her 300 pesos. She couldn’t afford to lose that kind of money. Her family already struggled to survive on the 1,300 pesos (about $100) a week she earned. Unable to shake the bad feeling, she’d already missed her bus, and now she’d have to pay for a taxi. But the thought of losing 300 pesos was worse. She had to go. Rosa kissed her six children goodnight and set out across town.
In the Mexican border city of Reynosa, the hundreds of maquiladoras that produce everything from car parts to flat-screen televisions run day and night—365 days a year—to feed global demand. Rosa worked from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. at a factory called HD Electronics in a sprawling maquiladora park near the international bridge that links Reynosa, an industrial city of 600,000, to Pharr, Texas. Like the 90,000 or more workers in Reynosa, the 38-year-old Rosa depended on these factories for her livelihood. In the 11 years since she moved to the city, she had welded circuitry for Asian and European cell phone companies, assembled tubing for medical IV units to be shipped over the border to the United States, and worked on a production line assembling air conditioners for General Motors.
This was her second month at HD Electronics, a South Korean firm that had moved to Reynosa in 2006 to produce the metal backing for flat-screen televisions made by another South Korean firm, LG Electronics—a $49 billion corporation. LG also has a plant in Reynosa and could scarcely keep up with the North American demand for its plasma and LCD televisions.
At HD Electronics, Rosa operated a 200-ton hydraulic stamping press. Every night, six days a week, she fed the massive machine thin aluminum sheets. The machine ran all day, every day. Each time the press closed it sounded like a giant hammer striking metal: thwack, thwack, thwack. The metal sheets emerged pierced and molded into shape for each model and size of television. At the factory, 20 women, including Rosa, worked the presses to make the pieces for the smaller televisions. Nearby were 10 larger presses, each of which took two men to operate, to make backings for the giant-screen models.
Full Article: http://www.alternet.org/labor/after-20-years-nafta-thanks-nafta-what-happened-mexican-factory-workers-rosa-moreno?akid=11305.44541.10ylde&rd=1&src=newsletter939436&t=21
How NAFTA Drove Mexicans into Poverty and Sparked the Zapatista Revolt
By EDELO, Creative Time Reports
The North American Free Trade Agreement, passed 20 years ago, has resulted in increased emigration, hunger and poverty (with Video)
December 30, 2013
Mexico was said to be one step away from entering the “First World.” It was December 1992, and Mexico’s then-president, Carlos Salinas, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The global treaty came with major promises of economic development, driven by increased farm production and foreign investment, that would end emigration and eliminate poverty. But, as the environmentalist Gustavo Castro attests in our video, the results have been the complete opposite—increased emigration, hunger and poverty.
While the world was entertaining the idea of the end of times supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar, on December 21, 2012, over 40,000 Mayan Zapatis . tas took to the streets to make their presence known in a March of Silence. The indigenous communities of Chiapas—Tzeltales, Tzotziles, Tojolobales, Choles, Zoques and Mames—began their mobilization from their five centers of government, which are called Caracoles. In silence they entered the fog of a December winter and occupied the same squares, in the same cities, that they had descended upon as ill-equipped rebels on January 1, 1994, the day NAFTA came into effect.
In light of the 20th anniversary of NAFTA’s implementation and the Zapatista uprising, we set out to explore both the positive and negative effects of the international treaty. The poverty caused by NAFTA, and the waves of violence, forced migration and environmental disasters it has precipitated, should not be understated. The republic of Mexico is under threat from multinational corporations like the Canadian mining company Blackfire Explorations, which is threatening to sue the state of Chiapas for $800 million under NAFTA Chapter 11 because its government closed a Blackfire barite mine after pressure from local environmental activists like Mariano Abarca Roblero, who was murdered in 2009.
Still, one result of the corporate extraction of Mexico’s natural resources and displacement of its people that has followed the treaty has been the organization and strengthening of initiatives by indigenous communities to construct autonomy from the bottom up. Seeing that their own governments cannot respond to popular demands without retribution from corporations, the people of Mexico are asking about alternatives: “What is it that we do want?” The Zapatista revolution reminds us that not only another world, but many other worlds, are possible
Full Article: http://www.alternet.org/world/how-nafta-drove-mexicans-poverty-and-sparked-zapatista-revolt?akid=11347.44541.RWB6aQ&rd=1&src=newsletter941851&t=19
Drug War Mexico, NAFTA and Why People Leave -
But it's all good, right, because you haven't been personally affected (yet)?
Posted by polly7 | Mon May 16, 2016, 08:43 PM (1 replies)
two NATO planes/bombers/wtf ever stopped his convoy to let the western paid and crazed 'rebels' have a good old time hunting them down and murdering them. I'll never forget it. We wouldn't allow a dog to be killed in this way. Regime-change - hang them, sodomize them to death - nothing matters to the victorious. It's all apparently fun(ny) and games. And yes they were games - horrible, devastating, lying pre-planned and long-planned vicious games with the lives of millions as pawns.
This remark of hers ranks right up there with Albright's 'we thought it was worth it' after half a million Iraqi children died d/t the terroristic sanctions.
Gagworthy. And not a single thought to all those Qaddafi loyalists hung in the streets, burned alive, kidnapped, raped and murdered over this lying sham.
It’s a Good Day for Someone Else to Die Hard
According to Consortium News, when Hillary Clinton was asked about the death of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s deposed ruler, at the hands of a mob, she said, “We came, we saw, he died.” That’s a comment Allen Dulles–or a psychopath–might have made. That’s worrisome in a world in which President Hillary Clinton may become a reality. Her penchant for war, secrecy and cover-up, Yale pedigree and alumni network, corporate connections from Wall Street to London, fealty to Israel, shapeshifting Republican/Democrat persona, and the use of the Clinton Foundation as a sort of non-profit, quasi-government, global intelligence/networking agency makes comparing her with the Dulles brothers — and their public/private lives — not as crazy as it first seems. The Clinton Foundation has initiatives in dozens of countries throughout the world. Its connections in international corporate board rooms and the principals of foreign national and local governance give it access to information/intelligence. It is also involved in US domestic political campaigns indirectly through its donors.
For example, one of the Clinton Foundation’s board members is Frank Guistra. According to a 2013 Huffington Post article:
Clinton was borrowing to begin a four-day speaking tour of Latin America that would pay him $800,000…Frank Giustra was forming a friendship that would make him part of the former president’s inner circle and gain him introductions to presidents of Kazakhstan and Colombia… Giustra’s self-serving philanthropy also took him and Clinton to Kazakhstan in September 2007, as documented in a January 2008 New York Times investigation… Within two days , corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom,”…The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra….Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra… Within a year and a half, Giustra sold off his stake in the Kazatomprom joint venture for $3.1 billion, which he had originally purchased for $450 million.
Full (long) article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/04/hillary-clinton-channels-allen-and-john-foster-dulles/
Will future archaeologists have images of the great killing machines let loose on civilians across the global arena as referred to by Madeleine Albright, “What’s the point of having this superb military if you can’t use it?” Will rediscovered graffiti in some burnt out Washington with Hillary Clinton’s ebullient words as uttered upon hearing of the death of Muammar Gaddafi, former Prime Minister of Libya, have any meaning, “We Came, We Saw, He died”?
But the problem with America’s pursuit of regime change is that its foreign policy has become tainted, if not engulfed, by obsessive compulsive disorder in obedience to the deals hatched in the oligopolistic marketplace. Deals to remove some ‘HE’ or other for the purpose of expropriating territory or resources abroad are recognised as the transactions of the credibility-lite elites, elites ‘hooked’ on violence. Here the relationship between cause and effect, medium and message, disappears into the nether regions of shady deals done in the name of shady business practices…capitalism recognizing no borders.
Hillary’s “WE CAME”, says it all and the world has come to recognize the actors in the oligopoly and how they dispatch the forces that “COME” to take and destroy. The etymology used to disguise aggression vis-à-vis propaganda has become predictable and threadbare. The deals done by the Military-Industrial-Complex, Wall Street, The Media, are done for no other purpose than to increase the power of these latter-day mammoths. The deal done to destabilize Brazil and Ukraine, demonize Russia, sell-out Palestine, demolish Libya and Iraq, are all done by dealers who share a common interest in lucre, and always with palms open to receive the thirty pieces of silver, and guess what? There are plenty more of them in the wings; some of them are fronting up as presidential wannabes in this election year in the land-of-the-free.
Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/04/propaganda-as-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction/
Posted by polly7 | Mon May 16, 2016, 08:28 PM (1 replies)
By Abby Martin
Monday, May 2, 2016
Every drone flown by the U.S. military has inside a piece of the Democratic Republic of the Congo--a valuable mineral, of which the DRC has trillions of dollars worth buried underground.
For five centuries, the continent of Africa has been ravaged by the world's Empires for its vast untapped treasure. Today, the U.S. Empire is increasing it's military role through their massive command network, AFRICOM, carrying out several missions a day.
With the Congo being arguably the biggest prize for imperialist powers, Abby Martin is joined by Kambale Musavuli, spokesperson for Friends of the Congo, to look at Empire's role in their history and current catastrophe.
Published on Apr 11, 2016
Posted by polly7 | Fri May 13, 2016, 03:32 PM (0 replies)
Libya Table of Contents
The remaking of Libyan society that Qadhafi envisioned and to which he devoted his energies after the early 1970s formally began in 1973 with a so-called cultural or popular revolution. The revolution was designed to combat bureaucratic inefficiency, lack of public interest and participation in the subnational governmental system, and problems of national political coordination. In an attempt to instill revolutionary fervor into his compatriots and to involve large numbers of them in political affairs, Qadhafi urged them to challenge traditional authority and to take over and run government organs themselves. The instrument for doing this was the "people's committee." Within a few months, such committees were found all across Libya. They were functionally and geographically based and eventually became responsible for local and regional administration.
People's committees were established in such widely divergent organizations as universities, private business firms, government bureaucracies, and the broadcast media. Geographically based committees were formed at the governorate, municipal, and zone (lowest) levels. Seats on the people's committees at the zone level were filled by direct popular election; members so elected could then be selected for service at higher levels. By mid-1973 estimates of the number of people's committees ranged above 2,000.
In the scope of their administrative and regulatory tasks and the method of their members' selection, the people's committees embodied the concept of direct democracy that Qadhafi propounded in the first volume of The Green Book, which appeared in 1976. The same concept lay behind proposals to create a new political structure composed of "people's congresses." The centerpiece of the new system was the General People's Congress (GPC), a national representative body intended to replace the RCC.
The new political order took shape in March 1977 when the GPC, at Qadhafi's behest, adopted the "Declaration of the Establishment of the People's Authority" and proclaimed the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The term jamahiriya is difficult to translate, but American scholar Lisa Anderson has suggested "peopledom" or "state of the masses" as a reasonable approximation of Qadhafi's concept that the people should govern themselves free of any constraints, especially those of the modern bureaucratic state. The GPC also adopted resolutions designating Qadhafi as its general secretary and creating the General Secretariat of the GPC, comprising the remaining members of the defunct RCC. It also appointed the General People's Committee, which replaced the Council of Ministers, its members now called secretaries rather than ministers.
All legislative and executive authority was vested in the GPC. This body, however, delegated most of its important authority to its general secretary and General Secretariat and to the General People's Committee. Qadhafi, as general secretary of the GPC, remained the primary decision maker, just as he had been when chairman of the RCC. In turn, all adults had the right and duty to participate in the deliberation of their local Basic People's Congress (BPC), whose decisions were passed up to the GPC for consideration and implementation as national policy. The BPCs were in theory the repository of ultimate political authority and decision making, being the embodiment of what Qadhafi termed direct "people's power." The 1977 declaration and its accompanying resolutions amounted to a fundamental revision of the 1969 constitutional proclamation, especially with respect to the structure and organization of the government at both national and subnational levels.
Continuing to revamp Libya's political and administrative structure, Qadhafi introduced yet another element into the body politic. Beginning in 1977, "revolutionary committees" were organized and assigned the task of "absolute revolutionary supervision of people's power"; that is, they were to guide the people's committees, raise the general level of political consciousness and devotion to revolutionary ideals, and guard against deviation and opposition in the BPCs. Filled with politically astute zealots, the ubiquitous revolutionary committees in 1979 assumed control of BPC elections. Although they were not official government organs, the revolutionary committees became another mainstay of the domestic political scene. As with the people's committees and other administrative innovations since the revolution, the revolutionary committees fit the pattern of imposing a new element on the existing subnational system of government rather than eliminating or consolidating already existing structures. By the late 1970s, the result was an unnecessarily complex system of overlapping jurisdictions in which cooperation and coordination among different elements were compromised by ill-defined grants of authority and responsibility.
The changes in Libyan leadership since 1976 culminated in March 1979, when the GPC declared that the "vesting of power in the masses" and the "separation of the state from the revolution" were complete. Qadhafi relinquished his duties as general secretary of the GPC, being known thereafter as "the leader" or "Leader of the Revolution." He remained supreme commander of the armed forces. His replacement was Abdallah Ubaydi, who in effect had been prime minister since 1979. The RCC was formally dissolved and the government was again reorganized into people's committees. A new General People's Committee (cabinet) was selected, each of its "secretaries" becoming head of a specialized people's committee; the exceptions were the "secretariats" of petroleum, foreign affairs, and heavy industry, where there were no people's committees. A proposal was also made to establish a "people's army" by substituting a national militia, being formed in the late 1970s, for the national army. Although the idea surfaced again in early 1982, it did not appear to be close to implementation.
Remaking of the economy was parallel with the attempt to remold political and social institutions. Until the late 1970s, Libya's economy was mixed, with a large role for private enterprise except in the fields of oil production and distribution, banking, and insurance. But according to volume two of Qadhafi's Green Book, which appeared in 1978, private retail trade, rent, and wages were forms of "exploitation" that should be abolished. Instead, workers' self-management committees and profit participation partnerships were to function in public and private enterprises. A property law was passed that forbade ownership of more than one private dwelling, and Libyan workers took control of a large number of companies, turning them into state-run enterprises. Retail and wholesale trading operations were replaced by state-owned "people's supermarkets", where Libyans in theory could purchase whatever they needed at low prices. By 1981 the state had also restricted access to individual bank accounts to draw upon privately held funds for government projects.
Posted by polly7 | Thu May 12, 2016, 05:18 PM (0 replies)