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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 25,501

About Me

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Journal Archives

More on Kurdistan -

Iraq and the Oil Wars
August 17, 2014

Oil has always been part of U.S. decision-making on Iraq, a key motive for the 2003 invasion and the bloody occupation that followed. Now, as President Obama returns U.S. forces to Iraq, the issue of oil has bubbled back to the surface, as oil analyst Antonia Juhasz explained to Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq gave U.S. and other Western oil companies a major stake in the country’s giant oil fields, a foothold now threatened by the offensive launched by the Islamic State and offering at least a partial explanation for President Barack Obama’s decision to return the U.S. military to the conflict.

Another complicating factor is Kurdistan’s control of some giant oil fields and its push for independence. As oil industry analyst and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz says: “Western oil companies and the Obama administration will not permit ISIL to control Kurdistan and are willing to engage militarily to achieve this goal.”

Juhasz has written extensively on the oil industry and the multiple wars in Iraq, including two books, The Bush Agenda and The Tyranny of Oil. Juhasz spoke with Dennis J Bernstein in a recent Flashpoints interview about the situation unfolding in Iraq.

DB: Why are the Kurds and Kurdistan of great interest to the U.S.? What does that relationship look like? What is pushing the U.S.?

AJ: We are clearly engaged in a military action for oil. But the Obama administration is not the Bush administration. It is clear to me that if the only thing at stake in Kurdistan right now was protecting oil interests, we would not be engaging militarily. If the Bush administration were in power now, we would be. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was about many things, but one of the most dominant was oil and the desire to get western oil corporations on the ground in Iraq. That goal was achieved by the Bush administration. Today we have Exxon producing from some of the largest oil fields in the world. Other western companies like BP and Shell – all of the major western companies – are operating in Iraq and doing quite well.

From the very beginning of the invasion, however, there was a strong issue in the area of Iraq known as Kurdistan that wanted independence from the rest of Iraq, with the Kurds trying to garner western favor to achieve that goal. One of the things the Kurds have to their benefit is they have a tremendous amount of oil ...

Much more here: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/08/17/iraq-and-the-oil-wars/

Progressive tax reforms approved in El Salvador

August 13, 2014.

On July 31, El Salvador’s National Legislative Assembly passed a package of tax reforms aimed at shifting the fiscal burden from the nation’s poor majority to the wealthy elite and easing the country’s dependence on international loans to finance important social investment. The bill was approved despite a fierce campaign against it in the nation’s conservative media.

The measures were drafted by the current leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) administration, and passed with the votes of legislators of the FMLN and the conservative Grand National Alliance (GANA) party. The package includes a tax on non-productive properties valued at over $350,000; a minimum 1% tax on companies’ net assets; a tax on financial transactions over $750, with exemptions for remittances sent from families living abroad, cash withdrawals, credit card payments, social security, salary or loan payments; and the elimination of the exemption of newspaper owners from income tax payment ...

More here: http://www.cispes.org/blog/progressive-tax-reforms-approved-el-salvador/

Women-Led Resistance against False Development in Guatemala

Written by Deepa Panchang and Jessica Hsu
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 17:58

An Interview with Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic, Maya K’iche from the Mayan Women’s Movement, Guatemala

As a member of the Mayan Women’s Movement which is a part of the Council of K’iche People, we have joined forces to generate action from the people, the community. We are in the midst of change where we are defining our needs, what actions we need to take, what power we have, what our way of looking at the world is. And to say no to corporations, while saying yes to life.

I am from the Western region of Guatemala, called Iximuleu in Mayan, in the department called K’iche. I am the spokesperson and was elected at an assembly process where 87 communities and six rural and urban areas were involved. I have a mandate from the people, and explain the feelings of the women, the men, and the children. We must unmask false development and challenge the world powers involved, even though they might be Guatemala’s millionaires or the army. I have done so in political councils and they don’t like that. I have 21 charges against me where I am accused of just about everything: being noisy, conflictive, and much more. The latest is that I am a threat to national security, a terrorist of sorts. I was sent a report saying that I’m under an injunction from Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. They want to take away my protective measures and send me to jail.

We have had huge mobilizations and have made decisions to not allow mining here. The companies are upset and they have done all kinds of things. But, still to this day they have not entered. We have stopped mining and hydroelectric licenses.

They want to exterminate us, but they will not be able to achieve it. We have a lot of energy, a lot of strength ...

More here: http://upsidedownworld.org/main/guatemala-archives-33/5006-guatemala-women-led-resistance-against-false-development-in-guatemala

Who is an “Outside Agitator”?

Who is an “Outside Agitator”?

by Richard Seymour
The media bashing of “outside agitators” in Ferguson plays into the hands of the Right.

In Ferguson, Missouri, there are “outside agitators.” On this, the reactionaries and liberals agree.

Of course, there are all sorts of racialized rumors flying around in the guise of reporting about what is taking place in Ferguson. We are well used to this — we remember Hurricane Katrina. There will be time to properly sift through and catalog all that. For now, I simply want to ask a quick question: what is an “outside agitator?”

The metaphor of exteriority, of being outside, has two important connotations. First, one is transgressing the spatial ordering of the state. States constitute social spaces like districts, wards, and counties — a process that is historically far from racially innocent in the US.

Second, is that one’s political being is “outside,” and thus traitorous and disloyal. It is not just that one traveled from one city to another — that’s fine, provided the political agenda one brings is benign for the system — but that one brought ideas that are not only not native to the destination, but actually foreign to the nation, the free world, civilization itself.

Understandably, then, this language is common in situations of high racial tension. The “outside agitator” line reeks of good old boy vigilantism, the commingling of race-baiting and red-baiting that was typical of Southern counterrevolution in the dying days of Jim Crow. Because racial situations unfold in heavily structured political spaces in which the definitions and boundaries of the “local” serve existing forms of dominance ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/who-is-an-outside-agitator/

Richard Seymour's Blog (Lenin's Tomb): http://www.leninology.co.uk/

The second assassination of Mike Brown

The unarmed Black teen killed in Ferguson, Mo., has suffered a political and media smear campaign, reports Elizabeth Schulte--like so many other victims of police.

August 19, 2014

MIKE BROWN was assassinated by a police officer who shot him down in broad daylight on a street in Ferguson, Mo. Then the mass media took aim, and he was assassinated all over again--on a variety of outlets, at every hour of the day or night.

Six days after he shot the 18-year-old African American, police finally released the name of the white police officer who killed Mike Brown: Darren Wilson. But the cops had another announcement to deliver that day: they suspect Brown was involved in what they called a "strong-arm robbery" earlier on the day he was murdered.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson's announcement included a 19-page police report on the alleged theft of a package of inexpensive cigars--and next to no details about the shooting, in which the unarmed teen was shot down dead in the middle of the street ...

< snip >

Of course, the only possible reason for releasing the video was to paint the victim of a horrific police murder as a criminal--not the college-bound teenager his family had been mourning, but the kind of person who deserves to get gunned down in the street by police.

More here - http://socialistworker.org/2014/08/19/assassinated-a-second-time

Myths of capitalism: the myth of scarcity

Myths of capitalism: the myth of scarcity

by: Scott Hiley
August 14 2014

"We have to make the hard choices." "If we raise the minimum wage, unemployment will increase." "If we spend money on social programs, our grandchildren will pay for it." "If we don't decrease benefits, Social Security will become bankrupt."

How often have we seen these ideas, splashed across the editorial pages of newspapers, dribbling from the corporate mouthparts of the pundit class, or floating in the muck of right-wing plans to "reform" us back to the Gilded Age?

All of these ideas offer a "hard choice," an either/or: EITHER we have living wages OR we have jobs; EITHER we foot the bill OR our kids will; EITHER today's senior citizens give up some of what they earned OR tomorrow's seniors will get nothing. In other words, EITHER we hurt the working class OR we hurt the working class.

In philosophy, this kind of argument is called a false binary: a fallacy where someone offers two choices as the only possibilities, deliberately excluding other options.

In the case of these right-wing talking points, the option no one wants to mention is taxing the rich and cutting corporate subsidies to invest in social welfare, good jobs, and education ...

More here: http://www.peoplesworld.org/myths-of-capitalism-the-myth-of-scarcity/

All Tennis All The Time (!) - Qualifying for London

3rd to qualify (we won't talk about the other 2 ...):

Roger Federer Third to Qualify for London
By Chris Oddo | Monday, August 18, 2014

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2014

Roger Federer has qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals for a record 13th consecutive time.

Roger Federer became the third man to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London this season after winning the Western and Southern Open on Sunday. He joins Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal as the only men to qualify thus far.

US Open: Nadal Officially Withdraws from Title Defense

Federer, who owns a record six titles at the event to go with an impressive 44-11 lifetime record, qualifies for the 13th consecutive year. The 33-year-old Swiss now owns the longest streak of qualification, passing Ivan Lendl, who qualified for 12 consecutive years from 1980 to 1991.

- See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Roger-Federer-Third-to-Qualify-for-London.aspx#sthash.XG4Fagok.dpuf

When Will They Shoot?

When Will They Shoot?
by Peter Frase (Jacobin ~ 8.17.14)

Lots of people are at risk on the job. But when it comes to cops, they’re mostly a danger to others.

Policing is not the country’s safest job, to be sure. But as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows, it’s far from the most dangerous.

The 2012 data reports that for “police and sheriff’s patrol officers,” the Fatal Injury Rate — that is, the “number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers” — was 15.0.

That includes all causes of death — of the 105 dead officers recorded in the 2012 data, only 51 died due to “violence and other injuries by persons or animals.” Nearly as many, 48, died in “transportation incidents,” i.e., crashing their cars.

Here are some occupations with higher fatality rates than being a cop:

Logging workers: 129.9
Fishers and related fishing workers: 120.8
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 54.3
Roofers: 42.2

Much more here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/08/when-will-they-shoot/

Protests stifled in 2014

Around the world in tear gas: Protests stifled in 2014
August 14, 2014 1:13PM ET

With social media comparing Ferguson to scenes in Middle East, we present visual typology of year's incidents thus far

As a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, seethes with anger after the murder of an unarmed black teenager over the weekend, images of demonstrations are reminiscent of protest zones across the globe. With security forces lobbing tear gas canisters at people to quell unrest, individuals sometimes simply pick up the devices intended for crowd control and throw them back at the riot police.

The images below show similar circumstances in many different locales where political discourse is expressed in street clashes. From anti-occupation rallies in the West Bank and sectarian protests in Bahrain to anti-government agitation in Ukraine and Venezuela, marchers are often eager to turn law enforcement's own techniques against police.

While such photographs may be familiar in unstable Egypt, perhaps they are more shocking emerging from the Midwest of the U.S. ...

Article w/many images here: http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2014/8/around-the-worldinteargasprotestsof2014.html

Foreign oil workers evacuated from Kurdistan as Islamic State advances

(In case you had any doubt as to what is really going on)

Oil company shares fall ahead of Al-Qaeda-linked group's movements toward Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan
August 8, 2014 7:48AM ET

Oil companies in Iraqi Kurdistan began withdrawing more staff Friday as Islamic State (IS) fighters closed in on the regional capital and the United States authorized airstrikes against the group.

U.S. energy companies Chevron and Exxon Mobile said Thursday that they were evacuating some staff from Kurdistan, while industry sources said the Kurdistan Regional Government’s oil pipeline — which has been pumping oil to Turkey since December — was operating normally Friday.

Shares of London-listed oil firms active in northern Iraq fell for a second day as other field closures and staff evacuations became more likely in a region seen until now as relatively secure compared to the rest of the country ...

More here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/8/kurds-iraq-oil.html
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