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Showing posts from February 8, 2009

Former Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Avraham Burg: “The Holocaust Is Over: We Must Rise From Its Ashes”

And it's about fucking time, IMO. Burg urges full withdrawal from the OTs to the '67 border "yesterday"; urges talking to Hamas; excoriates the AIPAC-led American Jewish right (even if they style themselves "liberals"), calling AIPAC a third entity with its own foreign policy unrelated to the interests of either Israel or the US; and much more.

Burg is clearly another psychologically deranged self-hater, as is obvious from his CV:
Former Speaker of the Israeli Parliament
Former Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel
Former Chairman of the World Zionist Organization

The Recovery Plan From Hell: What Wall Street Wants, Michael Hudson, Counterpunch

Tuesday’s announcement of the Obama-Geithner recovery plan is basically an extension of the Bush-Paulson plan – yet more giveaways to financial insiders, with a view to concentrating the U.S. banking system into a cartel of just a few large banks. This is not altogether bad news for the still relatively healthy part of the banking system (healthy in the sense of still avoiding negative equity). Smaller, less troubled banks will be bought out by the large “troubled” ones, to the personal financial benefit of their stockholders. This cannot solve today’s financial problem: the fact that the debt overhead far exceeds the economy’s ability to pay. In fact, it will spread the distortions that the large banks have introduced, until the entire system presumably looks like Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.But this clearly is only Stage One of a two-stage plan that has not yet been announced, although the Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page has provided enough hints tric…

Petraeus Leaked Misleading Story on Pullout Plans

Analysis by Gareth Porter*

Gen. David Petraeus with then-Senator Barack Obama after his arrival Jul. 21, 2008 at Baghdad International Airport. 

Credit:U.S. DoD/Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (IPS) - The political maneuvering between President Barack Obama and his top field commanders over withdrawal from Iraq has taken a sudden new turn with the leak by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus - and a firm denial by a White House official - of an account of the Jan. 21 White House meeting suggesting that Obama had requested three different combat troop withdrawal plans with their respective associated risks, including one of 23 months.

The Petraeus account, reported by McClatchy newspapers Feb. 5 and then by the Associated Press the following day, appears to indicate that Obama is moving away from the 16-month plan he had vowed during the campaign to implement if elected. But on closer examination, it doesn't necessarily refer to any action by Obama or to anything that happen…

Catastrophic Fall in 2009 Global Food Production, Eric deCarbonnel

After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world

To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.

Now, consider the same graphic with the countries experiencing droughts highlighted.

The countries that make up two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions. Whether you watch a video of the drought in China, Australia, Africa, South America, or the US, the scene will be the same: misery, ruined crop, and dying cattle.


The drought in Northern China, the worst in 50 years, is worsening, and summer harvest is now threatened. The area of affected crops has expanded to…

'This is the worst recession for over 100 years', Independent

Ed Balls, the PM's closest ally, warns that downturn is ferocious and says impact will last 15 years

By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor, and Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor

Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Britain is facing its worst financial crisis for more than a century, surpassing even the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of Gordon Brown's most senior ministers and confidants has admitted.

In an extraordinary admission about the severity of the economic downturn, Ed Balls even predicted that its effects would still be felt 15 years from now. The Schools Secretary's comments carry added weight because he is a former chief economic adviser to the Treasury and regarded as one of the Prime Ministers's closest allies.

Mr Balls said yesterday: "The reality is that this is becoming the most serious global recession for, I'm sure, over 100 years, as it will turn out."

He warned that events worldwide were moving at a "speed, pace and ferocity which none of…