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Planetary Rescue Operations [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Archive for February, 2009

Japan Must Urgently Adopt New Economic Model

Posted by msrb on February 26, 2009

Japan’s  Survival Now Depends on a Low Energy, Intelligent Socioeconomic Model

Japan’s economy, the world’s 2nd and Asia’s largest, is rapidly becoming the biggest victim of the global recession. As the world’s recession woes deepen, demand for Japanese exports like cars and high-tech goods falls. Japan’s economic and therefore national survival depends on its exports.

tokyo-job-demoWorkers and trade union members hold placards which read “Don’t Cut” jobs during a rally in Tokyo. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Because of the shrinking global economy, Japan’s business model of being dependent on exports is not working at all,” said Barclays Capital Japan chief economist Kyohei Morita.

Japan’s economy is rapidly shrinking, WSJ said, “with government data showing that gross domestic product plunged by an annualized 12.7% in October-December, its fastest contraction since the 1974 oil shock.”

“With the export sector extremely weak and the domestic economy weakening, there is a growing risk that you could get a significant rise in Japanese unemployment,” said Christopher Wood, an equity strategist at the CLSA bank.

Japan’s trade deficit rose by a factor of 10 in January, to about 953 billion yen from a 90 billion yen deficit a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday, clocking up the country’s largest trade deficit ever. Overall exports during the period plunged by a record 45.7% year-to-year to 3.483 trillion yen.

As the global economy heads further into a depression, the  outlook of a near- to mid-term recovery for Japaese exports is gleam.

Japan’s energy self-sufficiency is less than 4 percent of the country’s consumption. As for the food security, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate, the total calories supplied,  fell from 40 to 39 percents in fiscal 2006, one of the lowest rates in the ‘developed’ world!

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Posted in Energy, Food Security, Japan's GDP, national survival, trade deficit | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Emperor Meets the Don

Posted by msrb on February 26, 2009

sent by a reader

Gotcha, You Amphibians!


French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the end of a bilateral summit at Villa Madama in Rome February 24, 2009. The expected appointment of a close economic adviser [Consigliere!] to Sarkozy as head of a new merged bank has drawn accusations of abuse of power by the French president from across the political spectrum. REUTERS/Tony Gentile. Image may be subject to copyright.

New Latest World Order: Ruled by presidents who share neither your ‘nationality,’ nor ‘religion.’

Posted in abuse of power, French citizens, Latest World Order, Mafia Don, Zionist mafia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bailout Fallout

Posted by msrb on February 25, 2009

Angry citizen(s) spray paint Congressman’s car and home

By: D. H. Williams @ 10:48 AM – EST

“On October 22, just after the first round of bankster bailouts was passed by Congress against the will of the American people several representatives in Minnesota found their cars and homes spray painted by angry constituents.  You can read about the story HERE.

“It has just been reported by ABC Eyewitness News 5 in Missouri that Congressman Russ Carnahan’s home and car where spray painted in a similar manner.”

Original Story + Video from ABC Eyewitness News 5 HERE

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Posted in angry constituents, angry taxpayers, bailout fallout, Missouri | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

U.S. Riots a Near Certainty

Posted by msrb on February 23, 2009

Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, foresees riots in the US, if the state of economy continues to deteriorate. His predictions are consistent with a forecast made by our colleagues at EDRO.

“There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!” said Brzezinski, in a recent interview with NBC.

“In 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets,” he added.

Brzezinski has reportedly proposed “the creation of a voluntary national solidarity fund, whose contributors would be those who became wealthy in recent times.”

“Where is the moneyed class today? Why aren’t they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I’m sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin [former treasury secretaries]. Why don’t they get together, and why don’t they organize a national solidarity fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back?” he commented.

“I was worrying about it because we’re going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we’re going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve,” said Brzezinski.

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Posted in Food Crisis, food riots, Globalization, Neo-Slavery, unemployment riots | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

PayPal: Pal from Hell

Posted by msrb on February 19, 2009

PayPal Blocks Donation to ImpeachBush Movement

In response to the following appeal, a colleague attempted to make a donation to IndictBushNow.org; however, his donation was blocked by PayPal. This action by PayPal is unacceptable. PayPal must NOT be allowed to protect war criminals by way of impeding the action taken to prosecute them. Moderator.

Here’s the Appeal

ImpeachBush top

A message from Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark:
‘Why indictment is a must.’

Dear [Name withheld,]

I am writing to you as a long-time supporter of the ImpeachBush movement. More than a million people came forward to demand the impeachment of Bush and other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration.

I am appealing to you to make a donation to a growing new movement for the indictment and prosecution of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other high officials of the Bush administration who engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

Please make an urgently needed donation today to help the IndictBush movement grow by clicking this link.

The greatest danger arising from impunity for President Bush and his cohorts would be that all subsequent officials will feel secure in committing the same crimes and the people, having failed to compel impeachment for such open, notorious and egregious crimes, will feel even more helpless to prevent them. Ultimately the power and the responsibility to prevent criminal acts by government is with the people.

The movement for accountability is sweeping the country. The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, and the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, are both proposing to launch investigations into the possibilities of criminal conduct by high officials in the Bush Administration.

Now is the time for massive outreach and publicity. This requires organizing national call-in days to pressure Congressional representatives, intensive media work, and providing literature for people of conscience to distribute in cities and towns across the country.

Please consider taking a moment right now to make a donation to this new movement for the indictment of Bush. There is no time to spare. The time to act is now and we will.

The crimes of the Bush administration must be proclaimed, acknowledged and remembered because their disastrous human consequences, dictatorial tendencies, subversion of Constitutional government and violation of the rights and dignity of humanity. They include wars of aggression, the crime against peace and the “Supreme International Crime,” war crimes, and crimes against humanity, genocide by military violence “with intent to destroy in whole, or in part, a national… or religious group,” authorizing and condoning massive violations of the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and other Amendments, international treaties including the U.N. Charter, Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Convention Against Torture, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Geneva Conventions.

The clear duty of the American people and their elected representatives — on which the changes in U.S. government policies essential to achieve a peaceful, decent and humane future depend — is the vigorous pursuit of the indictment of former President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other high officials who have participated in their crimes, followed by rigorous criminal prosecution wherever the evidence, having been fully and fairly presented to a federal grand jury, results in their indictment.

The indictment of George W. Bush and other high officials is the challenge facing ‘We, the People.’ Will we rise to meet it? This is not a matter of politics or partisanship. It is the defense of the basic tenets of the Constitution. Please consider making a donation so we can get this movement off the ground and into the streets.

Sincerely,

Ramsey Clark,
Former U.S. Attorney General

p.s. Please be sure to tell your friends to go to  IndictBushNow.org to sign the referendum!

Posted in Bush administration, criminal activity, genocide, Indict Bush, Ramsey Clark | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Republic of Wall Street Saga Goes On

Posted by msrb on February 15, 2009

Can Congress “walk and chew gum at the same time?”

by Ralph Nader                                                                               February 14, 2009

This phrase used by President Lyndon Johnson for one of his political opponents comes to mind at a time early in the first 100 days of the Obama Administration when supposedly many long-overdue changes and rollbacks are possible.

It is not just that Congress is completely absorbed with the tax-cut-stimulus package. It is stasis that seems to be enveloping, even within its numerous well-funded and staffed committees in the House and Senate, from even the signaling of serious movement toward rolling back Bush-pushed legislation and starting widely supported forays that take hope to change.

The continuation of this state of stasis is made more likely because the Republican minority is feeling its oats. It put the White House on the defensive during the struggle to enact economic recovery legislation even though previous Republican policies and coddling of Wall Street for eight years build a steep cliff for financial collapse. Add the de-regulatory moves of 1999 and 2000 by the Clinton-Rubin crowd and the financial meltdown accelerates.

There is something else operating. One gets the feel on Capitol Hill among some fairly sharp people of a lack of horizon, a paucity of progressive determination, a sense of being overwhelmed by the corporate forces still bearing down on Congress—easily the most powerful branch of government under our Constitution.

But Congress does not act as if it is the most powerful branch. It routinely abdicates its constitutional responsibilities—the declaration of war authority and the plenary authority to investigate and require access to information in the executive branch.

Even after the Democrats took control of the Congress in January 2007, George W. Bush again and again got his way including a rubber stamp for the huge Iraq and Afghanistan war budgets outside of the normal appropriations processes.

Efforts by Senator Russ Feingold and Cong. John Conyers to move a modest censure resolution of Bush and Cheney for their many constitutional and statutory violations were aggressively rejected by their leaders—Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. In January 2007, Pelosi and Reid two took impeachment off the table allowing the most chronically impeachable presidency in our history to continue undisturbed.

Some staffers in Congress privately assert that the Democrats are not acting like a majority party. It is worse than that. They are not acting—period.

From their majority status in 2007 to 2009 and a Democratic President in the White House, the Congressional Democrats are not moving swiftly to repeal the ban on Uncle Sam negotiating drug prices from volume discounts under the drug benefit law. They are not moving to amend the Patriot Act, regain control of warrantless surveillance, strengthen the corporate criminal laws and enforcement budgets. Congress is not even pushing to require taxing Hedge Fund manager’s income as ordinary income not as capital gains.

I cite these policies because they are policies much favored by many Democratic lawmakers. But in practice lawmakers duck and duck and duck from translating their beliefs into contentious action vis-à-vis the lobbyists and their captive legislators.

Senator Chris Dodd and the vast majority of the American people want to do something about credit card company abuses and gouges. But he is surrounded not just by the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committees but high-ranking Democrats beholden to the financial goliaths who, are demanding and receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts.

There is word from the politicians that consideration of health care insurance—apart from a quickly enacted expansion of some coverage for more poor children—will be put off for a year.  The trade unions’ top priority to enact labor law reforms, supported by Obama during his presidential campaign, are being held back by the Democrats.

There is even doubt whether the District of Columbia will get a voting Representative in the House when push comes to shove in the Senate.

The one-subject-at-a-time attitude is coming from the White House. “Obama doesn’t want it now” is a common phrase used by legislators to excuse themselves from exercising the separate but equal Congressional powers. This pretext applies to taking away some of the hugely expensive and unnecessary weapons systems like the F-22 aircraft decried by many military and retired military analysts. The vast, bloated military budget is sacrosanct on Capitol Hill as it is in the White House.

At a time of widely perceived needs for Congressional action, with large corporations busy applying for corporate welfare and on the defensive, the Democrats are not generating any momentum for standing for and with the people. Even in the midst of food contamination, illnesses and fatalities, they cannot turn around forty years of delay on giving the Food and Drug Administration adequate authority and inspectors to protect our food supply.

It is going to take a very focused civic jolt from you all to your Senators and Representatives. A couple of million jolters from our large country can get the train moving on the tracks. It doesn’t take much time to holler, yell or bellow with the facts.

END.

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Posted in financial meltdown, senate, Wall Street, war budget, White House | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Call it Arson, If You Must …

Posted by msrb on February 10, 2009

But when you run out of patsies … climate change will still be looking you in the eye!

submitted by a reader

The day God [sic] washed his hands off St. Andrew’s church


The remains of St. Andrew’s church is seen after it was destroyed by fire at the community of Kinglake, north east of Melbourne, Australia February 9, 2009. Weary firefighters and rescuers pulled the remains of dozens of people from charred buildings on Monday as the death toll rose to 130 from southern Australia’s deadliest bushfires. REUTERS/Rick Rycroft/Pool.

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Posted in arson, carbon footprint, carbon trading, dying continent, Human Excesses | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

National March On Wall Street

Posted by msrb on February 7, 2009

BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT

Endorse April 3 & 4 | Donate | Bail Out the People Movement Home



Bail Out the People Not the Banks

In Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr: Announcing a NATIONAL

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. April 3 & 4

WE  DEMAND JOBS!

Moratorium on Evictions & Foreclosures

BAILOUT WORKERS

STOP LAY-OFFS & CUTBACKS

END THE WARS

Bring the Troops Home

Housing & Healthcare
Are a right

No Transit
Fare Hike

Bail out Students and YOUTH

STOP THE WAR
ON IMMIGRANTS

END ATTACKS ON WOMEN & LGBT PEOPLE

UNITE!


The March on Wall Street was one of the events approved by hundreds of activists at Fight Back conferences in NYC in LA in January. There will be a report back from the conferences at the Feb. 18 planning meeting.



March On Wall Street


Friday APRIL 3 AND Saturday APRIL 4


Yes, 2 days starting Friday. More people from around the country will join us Saturday – Watch for assembly locations and times.

MARCH ON WALL STREET PLANNING MEETING

Wed., February 18 – 7 P.M.
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave., between 34th & 35th St.
(you’ll need ID to get into the building)
Trains:  N, R, W, B, F to 34th St.; PATH to 33rd St.

March on Wall Street on the Anniversary on the day Martin Luther King gave his life fighting for social and economic justice. Why? Because we must demand that the needs of the people come before the greed of the super rich. Millions are jobless and homeless, and millions more will be living on the streets if the government continues to waste trillions of dollars on saving wealthy bankers instead of saving people.
Dr. King would have been appalled and opposed to the terrible siege of Gaza as well as the continuing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

And just as King knew that the struggle for civil rights at home had to also be part of the struggle against war abroad, he understood that no one, regardless of their race would be free until everyone had the right to a decent paying job or an income for those unable to work. Most importantly, King also understood that “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” The time for suffering in silence has come to an end. Nothing will change unless our desperation and anger is channeled into a mighty movement that unites and fights.  It’s time to march on Wall St. Come to the march, and tell everyone you know to come with you.

Below is a partial list of Endorsers of the March on Wall Street: Ad Hoc National Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions; Black Workers for Justice, Raleigh, NC; North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150; Moratorium Now! Coalition To Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (Michigan); Labor/Community Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (Calif.); Service Employees International Union, Local 721; Latino Caucus, SEIU Local 721; BAYAN USA; May 1 Coalition For Worker and Immigrant Rights (NYC); Million Worker March Movement East; Chris Silvera, Sec-Treas., Teamster Local 808; Harlem Tenants Council, New York, NY; Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition, New York City; NY Charles Barron, member, New York City Council*, Queers for Peace and Justice, Women’s Fight back Network (Mass.),Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST youth), International Action Center; Action Center For Justice, Charlotte, NC; Queers Without Borders, Hartford, CT; Maine Green Independent Party; Old Orchard Beach, ME; Guyanese American Workers United, New York, NY; Pakistan USA Freedom Forum – * For identification purposes only

For more endorsers, or to endorse – go to www.bailoutpeople.org
212.633.6646  Email: bailoutpeople@safewebmail.com

Posted in Bring the Troops Home, homeless, jobless, politics, public service | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thought for the Day: Crime and Political Complicity

Posted by msrb on February 6, 2009

sent by a reader

Could crime flourish on a national, even international level without help from politicians?

Former NSW assistant police commissioner Clive Small says the Calabrian organized crime group known as the ‘Ndrangheta now poses more of a threat than ever before to Australia. Small blames politicians and police for allowing the Italian mafia to flourish in Australia.

What he doesn’t reveal is that compared with the Russian Mafia, which is powerful enough to control the entire political game in Australia, the Calabrians are merely juvenile delinquents.

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Posted in Al Grassby, Calabrian, Italian mafia, political game | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wall Street: The Biggest Threat to the U.S. Economy

Posted by msrb on February 1, 2009

The Moderators and contributors of this blog have identified Wall Street as the No. 1 threat to the U.S. economy and therefore its  national security. Our colleagues at EDRO have argued that the “ten-trillion-dollar bailout-stimulus-Wall-Street-Monopoly-money plan” won’t work unless Wall Street is eliminated and the Federal Reserve system is abolished and replaced with a nationalized central banking system.

In the following essay, Ralph Nader, citing from Why Wall Street Can’t Be Fixed and How to Replace It: Agenda For a New Economy by David C. Korten, asks:

“First, do Wall Street Institutions do anything so vital for the national interest that they justify trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess?

“Second is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion of phantom wealth that carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society?

“Third, are there other ways to provide needed financial services with greater results and at lesser cost?”

Wither Wall Street

by Ralph Nader [Received Sat 1/31/2009]

Soon after the passage in 1999 of the Clinton-Rubin-Summers-P. Graham deregulation of the financial industry, I boarded a US Air flight to Boston and discovered none other than then-Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers a few seats away. He was speaking loudly and constantly on his cell phone. When the plane took off he invited me to sit by him and talk.

After reviewing the contents of this Citibank-friendly new law called the Financial Modernization Act—I asked him: “Do you think the big banks have too much power?”

He paused for a few seconds and replied: “Not Yet.” Intrigued by his two word answer, I noted the rejection of modest pro-consumer provisions, adding that now that the banks had had their round, wasn’t it time for the consumers to have their own round soon?

He allowed that such an expectation was not unreasonable and that he was willing to meet with some seasoned consumer advocates and go over such an agenda. We sent him an agenda, and met with Mr. Summers and his staff. Unfortunately, neither his boss, Bill Clinton, nor the Congress were in any mood to revisit this heavily lobbied federal deregulation law and reconsider the blocked consumer rights.

The rest is unfolding, tragic history. The law abolished the Glass-Steagall Act which separated commercial banking from investment banking. This opened the floodgates for unwise mergers, acquisitions and other unregulated risky financial instruments. Laced with limitless greed, casino capitalism ran wild, tanking economies here and abroad.

One champion of this market fundamentalism was Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve. Last October before a House Committee, Greenspan admitted he was mistaken and expressed astonishment at how corporations could not even safeguard their own self-interest from going over steep speculative cliffs.

Greenspan and Summers were deemed “brilliant” by the press and most of Congress. Summers’ predecessor at Treasury—Robert Rubin—was also a charter member of the Oracles—those larger-than-life men who just knew that the unfettered market and giant financial conglomerates would be the one-stop shopping mart consumers were assumed to be craving.

Now the world knows that these men belong to the “oops oligarchy” that bails itself out while it lets the companies collapse into the handcuffed arms of Uncle Sam and bridled taxpayers who have to pay for unconditional megabailouts. Instead of the Wall Street crooks being convicted and imprisoned, they have fled the jurisdiction with their self-determined compensation. Corporate crime pays, while pensions and mutual fund savings evaporate.
Now comes the next stage of the Washington rescue effort in a variety of stimulus packages which every vendor group imaginable wants a piece of these days. When trillions are offered, many come running.

As the public focus is on how much, when and where all this money should be spent, there are very serious consequences to be foreseen and forestalled. First, consider how much more concentrated corporate power is occurring. Forced or willing mergers, acquisitions and panic takeovers of big banks by bigger banks along with bankruptcies of companies further reduce what is left of quality competition for consumer benefit.

Remember the anti-trust laws. Obama needs to be their champion. The fallout from the Wall Street binge is likely to lead to a country run by an even smaller handful of monopolistic global goliaths.

In the stampede for stimulus legislation, there is a foreboding feeling on Capitol Hill that there is no proposal on the table to pay for it other than by the children and grandchildren. Just the opposite is raining down on them. Everybody including the private equity gamblers, Las Vegas casinos and Hollywood studios along with the banks and auto companies are looking for tax breaks.

So with the economy deteriorating and taxes being cut, where is the enormous money coming from? From borrowing and from printing money. So look out for big time inflation and decline in the dollar’s value vis-à-vis other currencies.

In all the hundreds of pages of stimulus bills, there is nothing that would facilitate the banding together of consumers and investors into strong advocacy groups. We have long proposed Financial Consumer Associations, privately and voluntarily funded through inserts in the monthly statements of financial firms.

If this bailout—stimulus—Wall Street funny money waste, fraud and abuse sounds confusing, that is because it is. A brand new paperback “Why Wall Street Can’t Be Fixed and How to Replace It: Agenda For a New Economy” by long-time corporate critic, David C. Korten will explain some of the wheeling and dealing.

You don’t have to agree with all or many of Korten’s nostrums. Just read Part II—The Case For Eliminating Wall Street. He considers three central questions:

First, do Wall Street Institutions do anything so vital for the national interest that they justify trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess?

Second, is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion of phantom wealth that carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society?

Third, are there other ways to provide needed financial services with greater results and at lesser cost?  END.

Related Links:

Posted in bailouts, phantom wealth, stimulus plan, tax breaks, U.S. National Security | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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