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Rights groups launch petition to thank Stevie Wonder for canceling Israel army benefit gig

Rights groups launch petition to thank Stevie Wonder for canceling Israel army benefit gig
Palestinian rights activists have welcomed a decision by Stevie Wonder to cancel a scheduled 6 December performance at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Friends of the IDF (FIDF), an organization that raises money for the Israeli army.

You Think You're Getting Social Security But You're Not, Says Multimillionaire Banker

You Think You're Getting Social Security But You're Not, Says Multimillionaire Banker
It's maddening, isn't it, when someone who obviously knows exactly what needs to be done insists on being so coy about it? Luckily, Blankfein did offer some specifics on one of those things that we think we're going to get, and aren't:
And you can go back and you can look at the history of these things, and Social Security wasn't devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. So there will be certain things that the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised.Huh. So Blankfein–who was paid $16 million last year, and owns $210 million worth of his company's stock–thinks that people can retire on Social Security after working for 25 years? As Gene Lyons pointed out, that would mean that people are getting their first payc…

Black Friday: American Wage Slaves Fight Over Chinese Slave Goods

Black Friday: American Wage Slaves Fight Over Chinese Slave Goods
November 26, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - How does it make you feel when you see people fight like animals – over something like a new iPhone5 or Samsung Galaxy mobile phone?
You can tell the health of the tree by the quality of its fruits. America, as is evidenced by this week’s annual materialistic ritual known as ‘Black Friday’, has produced this particularly rotten fruit, consistently. It’s getting way too predictable for our liking.

From under the bombs: our catastrophe and our hope in Gaza | The Electronic Intifada

From under the bombs: our catastrophe and our hope in Gaza | The Electronic Intifada
Since the beginning of Israel’s “Operation Pillar of Defence,” the number of Palestinians killed or injured has risen dramatically. How harsh, I feel, to use the word “number” since we are not actually mere numbers, but very tragic, heartbreaking and harrowing stories.

My aunt lives in al-Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Gaza Strip, not far away from where I live in Deir al-Balah. Her house was bombed many times during Israel’s 2008-09 attacks on Gaza and is still a very possible target for the Israeli air strikes.

The actual target is her brother-in-law who now has taken Ahmad Jabari’s place as a new commander in Hamas’s military wing. For the sake of their target, Israeli F-16s couldn’t care less when they kill children, women or the elderly or to destroy a five-story building even if they know that “the wanted man” doesn’t stay with his wife and children in this home.

We heard a very loud e…

23 Bahraini health workers sentenced to prison

23 Bahraini health workers sentenced to prison
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - On Wednesday, a court in the Persian Gulf kingdom sentenced the medics to three months in jail for treating Bahraini protesters and taking part in demonstrations.

The medics are among the 95 health workers who were arrested between February and March 2011.

Prosecutor Abdulrahman al-Sayyed said the medics have "committed crimes and violations, breaching the law and norms."

       How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving          : Information Clearing House -  ICH

       How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving          : Information Clearing House -  ICH
November 15, 2009 "DV" -- I have stopped hating Thanksgiving and learned to be afraid of the holiday.

Over the past few years a growing number of white people have joined the longstanding indigenous people’s critique of the holocaust denial that is at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday. In two recent essays, I have examined the disturbing nature of a holiday rooted in a celebration of the European conquest of the Americas, which means the celebration of the Europeans’ genocidal campaign against Indigenous people that is central to the creation of the United States.

Many similar pieces have been published in predominantly white left/progressive media, while indigenous people continue to mark the holiday as a “National Day of Mourning.”

In recent years I have refused to participate in Thanksgiving Day meals, even with friends and family who share this critical analysis and reject the natio…

Fracking America

The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector

The Revolving Door from the Pentagon to the Private Sector
What do Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman have in common? Each of these corporations is one of the top five largest defense contractors in the nation. In 2011 alone, the Department of Defense committed to spending nearly $100 billion with just these five companies. To put that in perspective, that is about the same amount spent on the entire federal education budget for 2011.

Obama: Evil: Plain and Simple

Obama: Evil: Plain and Simple
November 18, 2012 -- In a recent Real News piece, senior editor Paul Jay objected to talk of lesser evilism: “… I think this whole terminology lesser evil, it’s a terrible mistake to use such terminology. The problem is it’s turning this whole thing into some kind of moral debate, and neither Romney nor Obama are evil. They are the products of a social-economic system. They represent different sections of the elite…”1

I still think Real News is the best progressivist video fare available, and Jay is one of the best news anchors, but Jay’s assertion still leaves me astounded. That his assertion is unfounded is fully refuted by Obama holding the US hand over Israel to prevent it from UN censure.

Evenhandedness is out the window on this slaughter as well. According to the Obama administration, Hamas is to blame.2

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say: “Well, we strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, and we regret …

Obama: Evil: Plain and Simple

Obama: Evil: Plain and Simple
November 18, 2012 -- In a recent Real News piece, senior editor Paul Jay objected to talk of lesser evilism: “… I think this whole terminology lesser evil, it’s a terrible mistake to use such terminology. The problem is it’s turning this whole thing into some kind of moral debate, and neither Romney nor Obama are evil. They are the products of a social-economic system. They represent different sections of the elite…”1

I still think Real News is the best progressivist video fare available, and Jay is one of the best news anchors, but Jay’s assertion still leaves me astounded. That his assertion is unfounded is fully refuted by Obama holding the US hand over Israel to prevent it from UN censure.

Evenhandedness is out the window on this slaughter as well. According to the Obama administration, Hamas is to blame.2

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had this to say: “Well, we strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, and we regret …

Israeli Firepower Threatens to Overwhelm Palestinians by Thalif Deen -- Antiwar.com

Israeli Firepower Threatens to Overwhelm Palestinians by Thalif Deen -- Antiwar.com
When the late Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), was engaged in a heavily one-sided battle against a robustly-armed Israel in 2000, he admitted the Palestinians were completely outgunned by the Israelis.

Israel Bombing Residential Areas, Civilian Infrastructure in Gaza « Antiwar.com Blog

Israel Bombing Residential Areas, Civilian Infrastructure in Gaza « Antiwar.com Blog
Via Electronic Intifada, Israeli attacks on Gaza “have caused serious damage to civilian infrastructure including homes, schools, sports facilities and a hospital in many parts of Gaza City,” according to the the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights:

Israeli forces have launched dozens of airstrikes on Gaza City, targeting governmental and civilian facilities and other objects mostly located in densely-populated areas. The targets have included the building of the Council of Ministers in the west of the City, which was completely destroyed and a number of nearby houses damaged; the building of the police command in the center of the City, which was completely destroyed and a number of nearby housesdamaged; the building of the Civil Department of the Ministry of Interior in the south of the City, which was attacked for the second time, causing damage to al-Quds Hospital and a number of public and UN…

A Palace Revolution

A Palace Revolution
November 15, 2012 "Antiwar" -- The political class is aghast at the spectacle of one after another of their holy icons falling: first it was David Petraeus, outed by a lone FBI agent in Tampa who took the discovery of his affair with Paula Broadwell to the House Republican leadership and effectively dynamited the CIA chieftain’s career. Now it’s Gen. John Allen, commander of US forces in Afghanistan: the discovery of his “thousands of pages of emails” to Jill Kelley — a 37-year-old looker whose complaints of email “harassment” garnered the full attention of the FBI and led to the downfall of Petraeus — has him in the dock.

Israel Ranked World’s Most Militarized Nation by Jim Lobe -- Antiwar.com

Israel Ranked World’s Most Militarized Nation by Jim Lobe -- Antiwar.com
Israel tops the list of the world’s most militarized nations, according to the latest Global Militarisation Index released Tuesday by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC).

At number 34, Israel’s main regional rival, Iran, is far behind. Indeed, every other Near Eastern country, with the exceptions of Yemen (37) and Qatar (43), is more heavily militarized than the Islamic Republic, according to the Index, whose research is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Singapore ranks second, followed by Syria, Russia, Jordan, and Cyprus, according to the Index, which is based on a number of weighted variables, such as the comparison of a country’s military budget with its gross domestic product (GDP), and the percentage of the GDP it spends on health care.

Six of the top 10 states, including Israel (1), Syria (4), Jordan (5), Kuwait (7), Bahrain (9), and Saudi Arab…

Ron Paul: 'Our Constitution Has Failed' - Yahoo! News

Ron Paul: 'Our Constitution Has Failed' - Yahoo! News
Throughout his speech, Paul questioned not only the fundamental health of America's social compact, but specifics like fiat money, the power of the Federal Reserve, the PATRIOT Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act modifications, undeclared war, the illegalization of medical marijuana, mandatory sentencing requirements for drug crimes, the illegalization of hemp, TSA searches, federal debt and borrowing, the White House's authority to assassinate those it declares terrorists, the legalization of detaining U.S. citizens for national-security purposes, the political power of AIPAC, and the regulation of light bulbs and toilets in people's homes.

Glenn Greenwald : The Surveillance State : FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation

Glenn Greenwald : The Surveillance State : FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation
The Surveillance State
FBI's abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation

That the stars of America's national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice

By Glenn Greenwald

November 13, 2012 "The Guardian" -- The Petraeus scandal is receiving intense media scrutiny obviously due to its salacious aspects, leaving one, as always, to fantasize about what a stellar press corps we would have if they devoted a tiny fraction of this energy to dissecting non-sex political scandals (this unintentionally amusing New York Times headline from this morning - "Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers' Ethics" - illustrates that point: with all the crimes committed by the US military over the last decade and long before, it's only adultery that causes &q…

Historic UC Irvine divestment vote deals stinging defeat to Zionist bullying on campus | The Electronic Intifada

Historic UC Irvine divestment vote deals stinging defeat to Zionist bullying on campus | The Electronic Intifada
Just over a year since an Orange County jury, in a politically-motivated prosecution, convicted the “Irvine 11” students for disrupting a lecture by Israeli Ambassdor Michael Oren, the Associated Students of UC Irvine voted unanimously tonight to call for divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation.

Israel "more inhuman" than apartheid South Africa, ANC conference told | The Electronic Intifada

Israel "more inhuman" than apartheid South Africa, ANC conference told | The Electronic Intifada
In October, the African National Congress celebrated the legacy of its one-time leader Oliver Tambo, who helped set up a successful international anti-apartheid movement. Palestine was a hot topic at several events honoring Tambo, nine years after his death.

One such event was held at Wits University in Johannesburg. Ebrahim Ebrahim, the ANC’s head of international relations, told participants that Oliver Tambo “would travel the world engaging with students, unions, churches and other formations convincing them to divest and end their support for apartheid South Africa.”

Ebrahim added: “However, the international anti-apartheid movement and sanctions campaign was also shouldered, taken on and defended by thousands of ordinary citizens from numerous countries around the world. Today, there is a similar international civil society solidarity campaign in support of the Palestinians …

    The Lull Before the Social Storm   :   Information Clearing House: ICH

    The Lull Before the Social Storm   :   Information Clearing House: ICH
We're now in a lull before a vast, revolutionary storm. The U.S. is sinking faster and faster in all the ways vital to the future of our society, from the The Great Global Economic-Financial Crisis which the U.S. produced with insane Big Bank speculations and corruption to educational decline and bureaucratic strangulation to losing imperials wars around the world to political deadlock. I'm sure any intelligent American who is honest with himself can quickly write down a long list of the crucial ways in which the U.S. is declining now. Maybe half of Americans are too ignorant about the world or lack the intelligence to see all of this Big Picture of Crisis and Decline. They are confused and mad and despairing and see no way out, but assume the Republicrat System will go on and on and are trying merely to fit in and keep or get a job with a livable wage for them and their families. Even some knowledgeabl…

Noam Chomsky: To humiliate and degrade Impressions of Gaza

Noam Chomsky: To humiliate and degrade Impressions of Gaza
November 07, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.

New film on Nazi links to Zionism sidesteps the toughest questions

New film on Nazi links to Zionism sidesteps the toughest questions
This trip was no mere tourist holiday but instead a mission, led by the Tuchlers, for enabling von Mildenstein to write convincing articles for Der Angriff in support of Jewish emigration to Palestine. Although never specified or discussed in The Flat, the Nazi government had in fact been approached about this matter by the Zionist Federation of Germany, of which Kurt Tuchler was an active member, and which argued — in eerie similarity to Nazi racialist views — that Jews, understood as a people separate and apart, were unsuited to reside anywhere but in a country of their own (Lenni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, 1983, chapter 5).

Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler extremists | The Electronic Intifada

Israel is responsible for "price tag" attacks, not just a few settler extremists | The Electronic Intifada
The small Palestinian village of Burqa near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank was once again targeted by Israeli settlers this Saturday — the latest so-called “price tag” attack committed by settlers to avenge outpost demolitions by the Israeli government.

The village has been repeatedly attacked by such “price tag” militants. Last year, two cars went up in flames, and three months later the mosque in Burqa was burned, with the words “Mitzpe Yitzhar” (an outpost near Nablus) and “War” painted on its charred walls.

On Saturday, several cars were damaged and graffiti references to a Migron outpost left on the crime scene. Israeli police say they are “canvassing the area.”

Despite the widespread coverage of “price tag” violence, mainstream media outlets habitually neglect the pivotal role of the Israeli government in breeding these attacks. There is a particular tendency …

There’s nothing new in Mahmoud Abbas’ and the PLO’s renunciation of Palestinian refugee rights

There’s nothing new in Mahmoud Abbas’ and the PLO’s renunciation of Palestinian refugee rights
Israeli- and US-backed Palestinian Authority leader and nominal PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas caused renewed consternation among Palestinians last week with his renunciation, on Israeli television, of the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes from which they were ethnically cleansed by invading Zionist gangs during and after 1948, and his redefinition of Palestine to include only the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

 Joseph Stiglitz: “Romney’s Plan is Based on Magic”

 Joseph Stiglitz: “Romney’s Plan is Based on Magic”
What’s at stake in this election for the U.S. economy?

Quite a lot. First, there’s what we call the macro-economy. The budget cuts that Romney/Ryan propose will certainly slow growth. If the European downturn continues that could tip us into a recession. The cuts certainly won’t provide the kind of stimulus that Obama’s jobs bill, for instance, pushes. Romney’s plan is based on magic: Just because he gets elected, the economy is supposed to take off. There is no evidence that anything like that would happen. Quite the contrary — I think the opposite would happen. The business community would see the cutbacks coming and that would itself cause a slowdown in the economy.

So that’s the macroeconomy. Secondly, the Romney/Ryan budget promises to spend more on the military while cutting taxes and cutting the deficit, and that means only one thing. If you look at the arithmetic, it means less investment in infrastructure, R&D, education…

Thousands of Ethiopian migrants kidnapped, tortured, raped in Yemen-report - AlertNet

Thousands of Ethiopian migrants kidnapped, tortured, raped in Yemen-report - AlertNet
By Katy Migiro

NAIROBI (AlertNet) – Migrants travelling from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in search of a better life are regularly kidnapped, tortured and raped, according to a new report by the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS).

At least 230,000 migrants have undertaken this hazardous, often lethal, journey over the last six years and the rate of migration is increasing dramatically. In the first eight months of 2012, over 70,000 African migrants entered Yemen, three quarters of whom were Ethiopian.

Kidnapping has become increasingly common in Yemen, with the majority of respondents who arrived in the last 18 months saying they were held for ransom after disembarking from smugglers boats, said the report from RMMS, working to help migrants in the Horn of Africa and across the Gulf of Aden.

“If money [was] sent from our friends or relatives, we would be released and be free. If not, they wo…

Good morning, President Abbas | The Electronic Intifada

Good morning, President Abbas | The Electronic Intifada
“I visited Safad before once. But I want to see Safad. It’s my right to see it, but not to live there. Palestine now for me is ‘67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever…this is Palestine for me. I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe the West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts are Israel.” - Mahmoud Abbas

The next time someone tells me any particular word I choose is too strong or harsh to describe Abbas, I am considering printing the transcript of this interview and slapping said person with it.