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Posts uit januari 13, 2008 weergeven

Het Neoliberale Geloof 88

'Deep problems plague U.S. economy, stimulus plans notwithstanding
By Kevin G. Hall McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The economic growth package being prepared by President Bush and Congress may help ease the sting of an economic downturn or soften the blow of a recession, but it won't fix the deeper structural problems that are menacing the economy.
That's because the U.S. economy has rarely faced such a combination of challenges all at the same time.
First, the economy is mired in what arguably is the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.
Just last August, President Bush told economic reporters that he saw a "soft landing" for the housing sector. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson offered this grimmer view: "This market needs to correct. We've had unsustainable growth for some period of time. We're not trying to prolong that — it needs to correct."
New housing starts in 2007 fell 24.8 percent to their lowest level since 1980; bu…

Martelen 91

'Tom Ridge: Waterboarding Is Torture By Eileen Sullivan The Associated Press
Washington - The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture.
"There's just no doubt in my mind - under any set of rules - waterboarding is torture," Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview with the Associated Press. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.
"One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture," Ridge said in the interview. Ridge was secretary of the Homeland Security Department between 2003 and 2005. "And I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is - and will always be - torture. That's a simple statement."
Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation tactic that was used by CIA officers in 2002 and 2003 on three alleged …

Het Neoliberale Geloof 87

U.S. economy teeters on the brink
Bush, Bernanke endorse $100-billion package in effort to prevent recession as housing mess hammers banks, consumers and investors

WASHINGTON -- In a bid to save the world's largest economy from recession, U.S. President George W. Bush and central bank chief Ben Bernanke yesterday endorsed a $100-billion stimulus package as the spreading housing mess continued to hammer banks, consumers and investors.
The rare plug for fiscal action comes as a growing number of economists say the United States is either in recession or perilously close to it. "The United States has now effectively entered into a serious and painful recession," said economist Nouriel Roubini of New York University.
Prof. Roubini said all of the keys to economic health are headed in the wrong direction, including the housing market, credit availability, the job market and business spending. Add to that a run-up in oil and gas prices, and the cons…

Het Neoliberale Geloof 86

Let u eens op hoe de Sjors's en Sjimmie's van de financiele redacties in Nederland de zaak belichten, het lijken wel sportverslaggevers. Het echte verhaal van doping en corruptie kan natuurlijk niet verteld worden, dan vliegen ze eruit, maar het gevolg is wel dat hun verhalen steeds absurder worden. 'As Wall Street Posts Sharp Losses, Washington Promotes “Stimulus Package”

18 January, 2008

With major Wall Street finance houses posting tens of billions of dollars in new losses, housing starts declining 30 percent compared to last year, retail sales plunging and unemployment climbing to 5 percent—a two year high—the Bush White House, the Democratic congressional leadership and the Federal Reserve Board chairman all signaled Thursday their support for the passage of an economic stimulation package.

The call for enacting measures to boost the economy came as stocks plunged for the third straight day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 306.95 points, or 2.5 percent, and …

The Empire 339

'TV Shows Dramatic Decline In U.S. Economy
By Media Tenor.

Media Tenor analysis of ABC, NBC and CBS news reveals a sharp increase in negative economic reports. Meanwhile, little attention is given to presidential candidates’ economic platforms.
TV shows a dramatic decline of the U.S. economy
Coverage of economic issues was negative throughout all of 2007. In January almost four out of five reports on the economic development were negative. At the same time coverage of the economic development got more coverage than in December.'


The Empire 338

'The Peak Oil Crisis: We Are Starting To Dim.

Written by Tom Whipple

While waiting to see how the contest between a demand-killing recession and shrinking oil stockpiles plays out, it might be worthwhile to spend a little time reviewing the world’s electricity situation. If there is any form of energy that would be sorely missed by people who had once had it, electricity would be it.
Private cars we could do without, but not our lights and appliances. Most of us here in America have been blessed to have an unlimited amount of electricity for all of our adult lives. There are very few left who can remember a time when it was not universally available.
Although it has received scant coverage in the U.S. media, in many parts of the world, the electric grids are shutting down for long periods each day. In a few places the electricity is now off most of the time. Some of this is due to droughts which have reduced the hydroelectric generating capacity in many parts of the world. Some is due…

Geert Wilders 4

Geruime tijd al is Geert Wilders een absolute fan van de wijze waarop Israel opponenten aanpakt. Nu eens kijken hoe lang de pro-Israel lobby in Nederland nog blij is met deze fan. Vooral wanneer de grote concerns gaan klagen zodra de praatjes van Wilders geld kosten en niet Israel wordt geboycot, maar Nederland. Nederlandse politici willen Israel best wel steunen en zijn ook best wel tolerant en ze willen best wel met een papieren keppeltje naar de Klaagmuur, maar het moet allemaal natuurlijk niet al teveel gaan kosten. We blijven een handelsnatie met de daaraan verboden mentaliteit. Dat bleek ook tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog toen hier procentueel meer joden werden gedeporteerd dan in welk West-Europees land dan ook. 'Wilders in Israel: Sluit ze op, zonder proces
Gepubliceerd op woensdag 19 oktober 2005
- COLUMN - Geert Wilders is in Israël. Hij is hier om een Israëlische arrestatiemethode te bestuderen. De “administratieve detentie”. Wilders vindt het namelijk belachelijk dat mos…

Het Neoliberale Geloof 85

'The Great Debt Crisis Begins
By Hale Stewart, Huffington Post
Posted on January 14, 2008, Printed on January 17, 2008

There is growing talk on Wall Street about the possibility of a
recession. Since the beginning of the year three Wall Street firms
(Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs) have all stated
they believe we are either in a recession already or are very close
to a recession. In other words, it's no longer a matter of if a
recession happens but when it will happen and how long it will last.
In response to these developments, various presidential candidates
have proposed various solutions. However, none of these will work,
largely because this is not a typical slowdown caused solely by
slowing consumer spending or business investment. Instead, it is a
slowdown caused by inflated asset prices and a nation gorging on
debt. As a result, it will probably take a lot longer to come out
from under this problem.

A recent Los Angeles Times Article stated the basic prob…

State of the World

State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy
January 2008ISBN 13: 978-0-393-33031-1
Paperback288 pages

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Seeding the Sustainable Economy
Gary Gardner and Thomas Prugh, Worldwatch InstituteEnvironmental decline and persistent mass poverty suggest that the dominant model for economies worldwide is in crisis. But alternatives to business-as-usual can steer most economies onto sustainable paths. Underpinned by a handful of key Big Ideas, economic innovations might just remake our world.Download Chapter 1
Chapter 2. A New Bottom Line for Progress
John Talberth, Redefining ProgressGDP tells an important, if one-dimensional, economic story. But it’s not the only story or even the most vital one. Metrics that better measure the things people most value, and don’t count pollution and other “bads” as assets, are explored in this chapter.
Chapter 3. Rethinking Production
Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism SolutionsModern production systems specialize in huge vo…

Klimaatverandering 126

'Global Economic Growth Continues at Expense of Ecological Systems
In 2007, gross world product (GWP)—the aggregated total of all finished goods and services produced worldwide—was expected to grow 5.4 percent to $72.3 trillion (in 2007 dollars). This estimate reflects actual purchasing power in countries (that is, in purchasing power parity or PPP terms). The market exchange rate GWP, which is based on straightforward monetary terms, was expected to reach $53.4 trillion, an increase of 8 percent since 2006. The projected growth of GWP (PPP) in 2007 was revised downward from earlier estimates due particularly to economic disruptions in the U.S. housing market, which also had ripple effects in other countries, particularly within Europe and in Japan. Even with this late-term contraction, growth in 2007 was still expected to be higher than the average since 1970.
The U.S. economy was projected to grow 2.1 percent in 2007, nearly 1 percent slower than the previous year. …

The Empire 337

'Wounded Vets Trade One Hell for Another
by Aaron Glantz

SAN FRANCISCO - Last year, the United States woke up to the reality of hundreds of thousands of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan — and began to grapple with what to do about it.

On Feb. 18, 2007, a headline titled “Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army’s Top Medical Facility” splashed across the front page of one of the nation’s premier newspapers, the Washington Post. The article, which described unsafe conditions and substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Centre, began with the story of Army Specialist Jeremy Duncan, who was airlifted out of Iraq in February 2006 with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, “nearly dead from blood loss”.”Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold,” the article read. “When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rott…

Iran 190

'How the Pentagon Planted a False Hormuz Story
by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON — Senior Pentagon officials, evidently reflecting a broader administration policy decision, used an off-the-record Pentagon briefing to turn the Jan. 6 U.S.-Iranian incident in the Strait of Hormuz into a sensational story demonstrating Iran’s military aggressiveness, a reconstruction of the events following the incident shows.The initial press stories on the incident, all of which can be traced to a briefing by deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in charge of media operations Bryan Whitman, contained similar information that has since been repudiated by the Navy itself.
Then the Navy disseminated a short video into which was spliced the audio of a phone call warning that U.S. warships would “explode” in “a few seconds”. Although it was ostensibly a Navy production, IPS has learned that the ultimate decision on its content was made by top officials of the Defense Department.
The encounter …

De Commerciele Massamedia 108

Democratie? Vrijheid van Meningsuiting? Nonsense. Ook het Westen kent dissidenten die nooit in de commerciele massamedia gehoord worden.

'America Needs Realists, Not William Kristol

What’s missing in America’s mainstream media is the voice of realism. As the label implies, realists think foreign policy should be based on the world as it really is, rather than what we might like it to be. Realists see international politics as an inherently competitive realm where states constantly compete for advantage and where security is often precarious. But realists understand that being overly alarmist and aggressive can get states into just as much trouble as being excessively trusting or complacent. So realists keep a keen eye on the balance of power, but they oppose squandering blood or treasure on needless military buildups, ideological crusades, or foolish foreign wars. Realists cherish America’s commitment to democracy and individual liberty, but they know that ideals alone are no basis …

Robert Fisk 42

'Robert Fisk: Bloody reality bears no relation to the delusions of this President

As a bomb explodes in Beirut and Israel kills 19 in Gaza raids, Bush takes his Middle East peace mission to Saudi Arabia (and signs off $20bn weapons deal with repressive regime)
Published: 16 January 2008

Twixt silken sheets – in a bedroom whose walls are also covered in silk – and in the very palace of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, President George Bush awakes this morning to confront a Middle East which bears no relation to the policies of his administration nor the warning which he has been relaying constantly to the kings and emirs and oligarchs of the Gulf: that Iran rather than Israel is their enemy.
The President sat chummily beside the all-too-friendly monarch yesterday, enthroned in what looked suspiciously like the kind of casual blue cardigan he might wear on his own Texan ranch; he had even received a jangling gold " Order of Merit" – it looked a bit like the Lord Chancellor'…

The Empire 336

Richard K. Moore wrote recently:

" Only when you have reached that deep level of hopelessness, where you see no avenue of escape, can you clear your mind enough to begin to see where the real problem lies. The real problem lies, my friends, in the fact that you and I have nothing to say about how our societies are run. Any one of us has more sense than the people who are running things, and we certainly have our fellow beings more at heart. Our problem lies in our own powerlessness, leaving power in the hands of those who always abuse it, in one way or another, in one age after another.

Our challenge as a sentient species, and our response if we seek to do anything about the growth-thru-genocide agenda, is to begin to empower ourselves, us ordinary people, without reference to the useless political process. How to pursue our empowerment must be the aim of our investigations, and pursuing that empowerment must be the point of our activism."

Lees verder:…

De Israelische Terreur 289

'The Israeli occupation forces massacred 19 residents of the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza city in one day yesterday. They are also going ahead with buildings in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem. This while Bush is literally dancing with Arab dictators and calling Israel a beacon of democracy. The second son of Hamas leader Mohammad AlZahar was one of those 19 and joins his older brother Khalid as victims of Israeli terrorism. Dr. Saeb Erekat of the rival Fatah faction issued a statement condemning "the blazing destruction of Palestinian lives and property and a continuation of the Israeli policy of undermining the peace process and the efforts being exerted to revive hope in the minds of people that peace is possible." What "peace process" may I ask when Israel is defying 70 UN Security Council Resolutions? Why not support the call for total boycotts, divestments and sanctions until Israel complies with human rights and International law. Or at least…

Oil 23

"They invaded Iraq knowing...that it was very likely to increase the threat of terror. That demonstrates what their priorities are. Furthermore, they're thoroughly reasonable priorities. They don't care about the threat of terror. What they care about is having military bases in a dependent client state right at the heart of the oil-producing region. That's important. Not because the US wants the oil—its going to get the oil one way or another on the market. But it wants to control the oil. A totally different matter. These things are constantly obscured. Control of oil has been known since the 1940s as a major lever of world control against your enemies. And US enemies are Europe and Asia—those are the regions of the world that could move towards independence. One of the ways to prevent that is to keep your hand on the spigot."

—Noam Chomsky, "War Crimes and Imperial Fantasies," interview by David Barsamian, International Socialist Review, September-Oc…

Irak 235

'What They Call ‘Progress’ in Iraq
by Joe Conason

As America marks the first anniversary of the troop escalation in Iraq, at least one thing has become clear. Although the “surge” is failing as policy, it seems to be succeeding as propaganda. Even as George W. Bush continues to bump and scrape along the bottom of public approval, significantly more people now believe we are “winning” the war.
What winning really means and whether that vague impression can be sustained are questions that the war’s proponents would prefer not to answer for the moment. Their objective during this election year is simply to reduce public pressure for withdrawal, which is still the choice of an overwhelming majority of voters.
So long as the surge appears to be working, political space is created for the Republican candidates who support the war-especially Sen. John McCain, the hawk’s hawk, who said recently that he might keep U.S. soldiers in Iraq for “a hundred years.” Although that remark was not well …

Iran 189

A rush to war?
When we heard about the alleged confrontation between three U.S. Navy warships and five Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz on Jan. 6, three words immediately came to mind: "Gulf of Tonkin."
With the Bush administration still gung ho to go to war with Iran, it might be worth remembering how a similar confrontation was used as the pretext for going to war four decades ago.
In the summer of 1964, the country of Vietnam was just starting to enter the consciousness of most Americans. The U.S. had about 20,000 troops there, or "advisors" as they were euphemistically known. By that summer, nearly 300 Americans had been killed and another 1,000 were wounded in the three years since the first substantial American force was committed to Vietnam by President John F. Kennedy.
The great escalation had yet to happen. But this changed when the U.S.S. Maddox, a destroyer on intelligence maneuvers in the Gulf of Tonkin off the Nort…

Klimaatverandering 125

'Greenland Thaw Biggest in 50 Years - Report

NORWAY: January 16, 2008
OSLO - Climate change has caused the greatest thaw of Greenland's ice in half a century, perhaps heralding a wider meltdown that would quicken a rise in world sea levels, scientists said on Tuesday.
"We attribute significantly increased Greenland summer warmth and ice melt since 1990 to global warming," a group of researchers wrote in the Journal of Climate, adding to recent evidence of faster Antarctic and Arctic thaws.
"The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be highly susceptible to ongoing global warming," they said. Greenland contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by 7 metres (23 ft), a process that would take centuries if it were to start.
Melt water from Greenland -- excluding ice losses from glaciers slipping into the sea -- totalled 453 cubic kms (110 cubic miles) in 1998, the most ahead of 2003, 2006, 1995 and 2002 in detailed records stretching back to the 1950s.
Preliminary data…

Het Neoliberale Geloof 84

'Asian stock markets plunge
By DIKKY SINN Associated Press Writer

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian markets plunged Wednesday on growing speculation the U.S. economy - a vital export market - is sliding into a recession that could lead to a global slowdown.
Investors dumped stocks after an overnight sell-off on Wall Street and on news that Citigroup Inc. had lost nearly $10 billion in the fourth quarter as it wrote down mountains of bad mortgage assets - the latest fallout from the credit crisis. Weak U.S. retail sales figures added to the gloom.
"American financial mismanagement has brought us to this economic meltdown," said Francis Lun, a general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong. "Asian stock markets are all suffering; nobody has escaped."
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index sank 5.4 percent - its biggest percentage drop since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks - to 24,450.85. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 3.4 percent to 13,504.51 points, its lo…

Het Neoliberale Geloof 83

'Unemployment spreads as Foreclosure storm hits major cities
By Deirdre Griswold

Sour. That’s been the taste of the U.S. capitalist economy for some
time now for a large and growing sector of the working class.

Real wages have been declining ever since the 1970s, so that now most
families/households need more than one wage earner to get by.
Pensions, paid vacations and health coverage seem like fairy tales
from a golden past for millions of full-time workers, let alone the
millions more who are part-time, self-employed or work for “temp”

Yet all the suffering caused by plant closings, by job losses due to
high tech, and by the shift of industry and services to lower-wage,
non-union areas had seemed to be off the radarscope of establishment
politics. The politicians didn’t want to talk about how the high-paid
CEOs of the transnational corporations would commit any crime against
the workers to increase the profits raked in by their bosses.

That was yesterday. As though overnigh…

De Nuance van de NRC 48

Vanavond bericht de NRC het volgende: 'PvdA-raadslid scheldt frustratie van zich af
Door een onzer redacteuren
Rotterdam, 16 jan. „Luister goed jij vuile gek WIJ BLIJVEN HIER hahahahahahahhahah VAL DOOD. Ik ben een nederlandse moslim en dat zal ik blijven tot mijn dood. Ik heb medelijden met jouw soort jij moet leven met haat, echt triest.”
Zo luiden de eerste regels van een e-mail die de Rotterdamse PvdA-politica Bouchra Ismaili afgelopen zondag verzond. Het lid van de deelraad Charlois antwoordde daarmee op een e-mail van iemand die zich Jos Parbleu noemt. Daarin citeert hij twee uitspraken van de islamitische beweging Hizb ut Tahrir uit De Telegraaf van afgelopen zaterdag.
De e-mail van Parbleu beperkte zich tot de citaten, hij gaf geen verdere toelichting. Onduidelijk is waarom Ismaili op de boodschap reageerde alsof ze persoonlijk werd aangevallen. In het Algemeen Dagblad van vandaag zegt Ismaili, van Marokkaanse komaf, dat er „iets bij haar brak” nadat ze eerder die dag een racis…

Het Neoliberale Geloof 82

Ik kreeg deze email gestuurd:

'Honderden deelnemers aan conferentie over economische groei
Amsterdam/Tilburg/Brussel, 15 januari 2008 -
Ruim driehonderd mensen hebben op donderdag 10 januari aan
de Universiteit van Tilburg deelgenomen aan een conferentie
over de schaduwzijden van economische groei.
Het is voor het eerst dat in Nederland en Vlaanderen een
dergelijk omvangrijke bijeenkomst aan dit onderwerp gewijd
De conferentie 'Een Comfortabele Waarheid' duurde de gehele
dag en begon met een indringend betoog van de Amerikaanse
politiek-econoom Susan George. Zij riep op tot urgente
vorming van een soort wederopbouwplan om de mondiale
economische verhoudingen duurzaam en rechtvaardig te maken
'nu het nog nét kan'.
Vervolgens bespraken vier vooraanstaande economen uit
Vlaanderen en Nederland de problemen van de huidige economie
en de manier waarop die gemeten wordt. Met name de indicator
BBP kreeg het zwaar te verduren en werd door allen voor
onvolkomen verklaard, en door sommigen …

Het Neoliberale Geloof 81

Ik kreeg de volgende email van het Trans National Institute: 'Dear Friends,
We are circulating a Sign-on Letter on the case with European Telecom
International (ETI) which is a bring a case against the Bolivian
government at the International Center for Settlement of Investment
Disputes Settlement (ICSID) which is administered by the World Bank. ETI
is taking this case to the ICSID in the framework of the
Netherlands-Bolivia Bi-lateral Investment Treaty. A decision on whether
ICSID will accept the case is expected at the end of January. Please return the Letter to by latest Monday,
January 21 at 5pm.
A copy of the Sign-On Letter and a Backgrounder written by SOMO is
This is a very important case and we hope that you will sign-on to the
Thank you,
Cecilia Olivet
Transnational Institute (TNI)
Beste vrienden/vriendinnen,
hierbij een open brief opgesteld door een aantal organisaties, met
betrekking op een kennelijk ongegronde …

Het Neoliberale Geloof 80

'Consumer spending slowdown deepens
AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- More evidence of a dramatic slowdown in consumer spending surfaced Monday, as Sears Holdings Corp. warned that a drop in sales would result in a profit shortfall and the world's largest retail trade group issued a downbeat sales forecast for 2008.
Shares dropped among retailers from jewelry chain Zales Inc. to Saks Inc., which operates luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue, as the spending malaise appeared to deepen and spread beyond lower and middle-income shoppers to more affluent consumers. The decline in retailers' stocks continued a yearlong downward trend.
Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the nation's economic activity, had been showing resilience even as gas prices rose and the housing market fell. But recent data point to a sharper pullback, a trend that may tip the economy into recession.
American Express Co., whose customers are generally affluent, said …

Het Neoliberale Geloof 79

Leest u dit eens rustig:'Big Oil and the War on Drugs and Terrorism
The "Big Oil" chessgame, aided and abetted by the so-called wars on drugs and terrorism, has made most of humanity its pawns and has expanded corporate control over our lives.
BLOOD, TOIL AND OILThe year 1859 saw the publication of The Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin as well as the founding of the Red Cross by Henry Dunant, after he'd experienced the suffering of the ordinary soldier during the Battle of Solferino (France and Sardinia under Napoleon III fought Austria under Francis Joseph I).1 This progressive humanitarian measure was paralleled by the founding of the conservative elitist Anthropological Society of Paris by Dr Paul Broca, who had started to "pickle" the brains of eminent deceased personalities. Strange things were happening in a world where artificial lighting had turned night into day and where man extended his effective life-span by some 30 per cent.2 The first oil-…