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Gender: Female
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 11,711

Journal Archives

'Spiral of Rebellion' Sweeps Italy

By Lauren McCauley

Source: Common Dreams

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Marking the sixth day of relentless blockades, occupations and mass demonstrations that many warn may set off "a spiral of rebellion" across Europe, protesters—marching under the banner of the 'Pitchfork' movement—gathered Saturday in Rome, Turin and Venice, Italy.

"Activists wearing Italian flag masks and white nooses around their necks rallied outside the European Commission's office in Rome and took down a European flag outside before being chased off by police," AFP reports.

According to the report, police violence against protesters persisted across Italy. In Venice, police fired tear gas at protesters outside the city's train station and in the northern Italy city of Turin—the epicenter of the latest wave of anti-austerity revolt—students paint bombs were met with force.

"There are millions of us and we are growing by the hour," said Danilo Calvani, a farmer who has emerged as one of the protest leaders. "This government has to go."

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/spiral-of-rebellion-sweeps-italy-by-lauren-mccauley.html

Common Dreams link: https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/12/14

The Economist Gets Economical with the Truth on Venezuela's Municipal Elections

By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

Source: Venezuelanalysis.com

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A good writer can say a lot with a few words, and indeed the latest article by The Economist on Venezuela's recent municipal elections manages to say plenty about the value of facts at the neoliberal ideologue's favourite rag.

Despite facing some stiff opposition, The Economist easily takes the cake for sheer number of lies per word churned out in their analysis of the 2013 municipal elections in Venezuela.

The errors come thick and fast, starting in the second paragraph, where The Economist states that the “most painful loss for the ruling Unified Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) was Barinas, home of the Chávez family”. It would indeed be a painful loss- if it were true. Former President Hugo Chavez was actually born in Sabaneta, which is the capital of Alberto Arvelo Torrealba municipality. If The Economist had actually looked at the results of the election, they would have seen that Anibal Chavez (the former president's sibling) easily won the municipality again with 62.87% of the vote. To be fair, Chavez did indeed move to the Barinas state capital to attend high school, but it's Sabaneta that is nationally recognised as the former president's hometown, not Barinas.

“We have a divided country , no one got 50%...”

The Economist's utter ignorance of the man who was president of Venezuela for 14 years is just an appetiser. Next we hear an uncritical regurgitation of Henrique Capriles' line that Venezuela is “split into two halves”, and a lament that the “president’s half is the one with all the levers of real power”.

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/the-economist-gets-economical-with-the-truth-on-venezuelas-municipal-elections-by-ryan-mallett-outtrim.html

Link to article atVenezuelanalysis.com: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10248

Corporate Globalisation in 2013

Or losing our religion

by Michael Werbowski / December 14th, 2013

According to an article in the Financial Times, world wide surveys were conducted which show many US and EU citizens to be very insecure about growing inequity or the income disparities which they are facing in the post-democratic, post-capitalist era.1 In other words, an era in which western “democratic and free market values” have been replaced by ruthless corporatism ,driven in turn by militarism operating on a global scale. In the US many in the middle class fear for the future as decades of foreign adventurism or “resource wars”, hugely disruptive cyclical booms and busts in the marketplace, endemic corruption, systemic government paralysis and an imminent prospect of the government defaulting on the nation’s debt, has dimmed or even blighted the erstwhile shining prospects for many, of ever achieving the once vaunted “American dream”. The FT article even asserts that the so called “Merkel miracle” has failed to deliver the goods in Germany or Europe’s powerhouse, for the average worker or pensioner as promised.

In other words, the income gap is growing at a dangerous pace, even there. The concentration of wealth in “old Europe” almost mirrors the on–going excesses and financial follies across the Atlantic. As on the eve of the First World War, or in 1913, Tweedle Dee (the US) and Tweedle Dum (the EU) dance a macabre Totentanz to the tune of the financial markets, the ruling elite and their corporate handmaidens. Will another global conflict ensue as it did a century ago? No one can be sure right now. However, growing tensions between a rapidly rising China, and a hesitant or even stumbling American superpower in Asia, have not been tempered by Globalisation’s prophesies for a more peaceful and prosperous world. On the contrary the sabre rattling in the far and also the Middle East is deafening to the ears right now.

A global religion has gone morally bankrupt

In 2013, Globalisation has apparently triumphed nearly a quarter of a century after the end of the cold war. But paradoxically at the same time it is now in decline. The promises of this doctrine (modelled on an almost biblical like premise of providing salvation for the world’s poor and starving masses) claims the columnist has “dragged hundreds of million of people out of poverty”. If this is an undeniable fact, then why are so many leaving Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East in ever greater numbers in search of a better life in the “rich west”? In developing countries prosperity is also elusive. Mass protests this year in Brazil one of “brat pack” or BRICS of rising economic powers, attests to growing the unease about wealth re-distribution in these places. The same is true of Turkey, were the secularist and moderate Islamist tug of war which resulted in violent street protests against the neo-liberal policies of the “Sultan” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conceals a much bigger cleft: the growing divide between an emerging yet fragile middle class, and the country’s monopolistic mega rich clans which control the country’s riches.


Top 10 errors in Netanyahu’s Speech Demanding Iran give up ‘Genocidal’ Policies

By Juan Cole

Source: Juan Cole

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded on Sunday that the world community constrain Iran to change its “genocidal policy” toward Israel, in the course of a speech in which he attacked President Obama’s current round of negotiations with Iran over its civilian nuclear enrichment program.

The rhetoric Netanyahu uses is not just sprinkled with falsehoods, it is pure propaganda, every word of it. It has been crafted to deceive. In that it is not very different from thousands of speeches given by thousands of other politicians around the world. But note that other prominent Israeli politicians seem perfectly capable of discussing Iran without invoking various forms of apocalypse or foaming at the mouth. Here is what the prime minister said on Iran:


And here are the falsehoods in what he said:

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/top-10-errors-in-netanyahu-s-speech-demanding-iran-give-up-genocidal-policies-by-juan-cole.html


‘Once-in-a-century storm’ turns Gaza, Israel into ‘disaster area’

Published time: December 14, 2013 20:33
Edited time: December 15, 2013 00:03

A UN agency has designated Gaza a “disaster area,” after the Levant’s strongest storm in decades forced 5,000 Palestinians to evacuate their homes. Israel has also suffered weather-related fatalities and blackouts.

"Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area with water as far as the eye can see,"

United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement.

Storm Alexa has been causing torrential downpours and heavy snowfall across Syria, Israel, Palestine, and even the deserts of the Sinai Peninsula for the past four days. Israeli meteorologists have deemed the storm the region’s worst snowfall since 1879.


Anti-Capitalist Offensive Delivers Bolivarian Victory in Venezuelan Municipal Elections

By Jorge Martin

Source: In Defense of Marxism

Friday, December 13, 2013

The December 8th municipal elections in Venezuela gave yet another victory to the Bolivarian revolution, with the Socialist United Party (PSUV) and its allies in the Great Patriotic Pole receiving 5.1 million votes (49.24% of the total) and 4.4 million (42.72%) going to the opposition. If you count the votes for Bolivarian candidates outside of the main GPP alliance, the total for the revolution adds up over 54%.

This was the issue that had dominated the whole election campaign. Inflation and scarcity of basic products was one of the main factors eating away at the social base of support for the Bolivarian revolution. This is caused by a combination of factors. On the one hand, there is definitely a deliberate campaign of politically motivated sabotage of the economy on the part of the ruling class. This is the same strategy used against the Allende government in Chile when US president Nixon ordered Kissinger to “make the economy scream”.

This is what the revolutionary people wanted to see. This offensive against the economic war was not only limited to the police and state functionaries, but there was a concerted effort, particularly on the part of INDEPABIS to involve workers and the revolutionary people. INDEPABIS is the body in charge of defence of consumer rights and struggle against speculation and is led by Eduardo Samán, one of the most popular figures in the left wing of the Bolivarian leadership.

Clearly, it was this offensive which allowed the Bolivarian movement not only to win these elections but even to increase its lead over the opposition.

The conclusion from this is obvious. Capitalism cannot be regulated. The oligarchy will not stop conspiring against the revolution. In order to prevent further dislocation and sabotage of the economy, the means of production, the banks and the big landed states should be expropriated and run under workers’ control, so that they can be incorporated into a democratic plan of the economy. This will mean a head on clash with the bourgeoisie and imperialism which can only be won by the widest mobilisation of the revolutionary masses with the working class at its head. For this to be possible there should be a thorough purge of right wing, corrupt and infiltrated elements within the Bolivarian movement and the whole movement should be put under the control and be accountable to the revolutionary rank and file. This is the only way forward. Any attempts to conciliate with the ruling class will only lead to more sabotage and counter-revolutionary offensives. This is the choice which lies ahead after this election victory.

Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/anti-capitalist-offensive-delivers-bolivarian-victory-in-venezuelan-municipal-elections-by-jorge-martin.html

Madagascar hit by 'pneumonic and bubonic plague'

An ICRC-led programme is working to reduce prison rat populations

Two cases of pneumonic plague - more deadly than bubonic plague - have been reported in Madagascar, a health official has told the BBC.

It comes after it was confirmed that there was a deadly outbreak of the bubonic plague in a village in the north-west of the island.

Prisoners on the island are usually most affected by bubonic plague, which is spread because of unhygienic conditions, he says.

The prevalence of rats in Madagascar's prisons means the plague can spread easily.

The Pasteur Institute said there were concerns that the disease could spread to towns and cities where living standards have declined since a coup in 2009 and the ensuing political crisis.

Inmates in a Madagascar prison

German court rejects compensation claim over Afghan air strike deaths

Source: Reuters - Wed, 11 Dec 2013 03:08 PM
Author: Reuters

BONN, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A German court on Wednesday threw out a compensation claim by relatives of the scores of civilians killed in a 2009 German-ordered NATO attack in Afghanistan, ruling that the commander who ordered the strike did not act negligently.

The commander, Georg Klein, had called in a U.S. fighter jet to strike two fuel trucks north of Kunduz city, which NATO believed had been hijacked by Taliban insurgents.

The Afghan government said 99 people, including 30 civilians, were killed in the strike. Independent rights groups estimated between 60 and 70 civilians died.

Full Article: http://www.trust.org/item/20131211145354-5dx9g/?source=search

Feel of Poppies

Words by A. Person

Music, edits and talking by Jordan B.

Mashed footage used from various sources with credits to respective creators.
http://yougetwhatyoupayfor.rwrite.org/ - Via http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/feel_of_poppies_the_great_global_distraction/

Read the book: http://yougetwhatyoupayfor.rwrite.org/
(SPOILER ALERT; contains season 3 GoT footage, among other upcoming events.) Words by A. Person; Music, edits and talking by Jordan B. Mashed footage used from various sources with credits to respective creators.

"Nelson Mandela’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

Nelson Mandela addresses crowd at a Port Elizabeth rally on April 1, 1990. (Reuters)

The South African Constitution minces no words regarding access to medical care.

“Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, including reproductive health care,” the document declares adding that: “The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of each of these rights.”

At a time when the United States is engaged in an archaic debate over whether to even try and provide universal access to health care, most other countries well understand the absurdity of conditioning access to basic human needs—including access to healthcare, housing and education—on the ability to pay.

That understanding was championed by Nelson Mandela, whose life and legacy is being honored this week by President Obama, members of Congress and leaders from around the world. Fittingly, the memorials for Mandela will coincide with this week’s sixty-fifth anniversary of the adoption (on December 10, 1948) by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a document that the former South African president revered as a touchstone for nation building and governing.

Mandela, a lawyer by training and a student of constitutions, steered South Africa toward a broad understanding of human rights. When his country adopted its Constitution in 1996, he announced that “the new constitution obliges us to strive to improve the quality of life of the people. In this sense, our national consensus recognizes that there is nothing else that can justify the existence of government but to redress the centuries of unspeakable privations, by striving to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and disease. It obliges us, too, to promote the development of independent civil society structures.”

Full article: http://www.thenation.com/blog/177541/nelson-mandelas-universal-declaration-human-rights

He left such a legacy, I just hope other current leaders around the world absorbed some of what he had to teach, even in remembering him.
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