The American Empire in a Changing World


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

''Nuclear Power and China’s Energy Future: Limited Options''

"Prior to Fukushima, China had been pursuing the world’s most ambitious nuclear power program. Following Fukushima, this is still the case. Its nuclear expansion goals are primarily driven by closely related energy security and carbon emission concerns and, relative to its other power generating options, the fact that it is arguably a relatively environmentally friendly and efficient source of electricity.2 This underscores the significance of China’s decision to forge ahead with its 12th Five Year Plan target to install 40 additional gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2015."

from japan focus...

''The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11''

by Peter Dale Scott
"I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events – the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy. 
In recent years I have been talking about a dark force behind these events -- a force which, for want of a better term, I have clumsily called a “deep state,” operating both within and outside the public state. Today for the first time I want to identify part of that dark force, a part which has operated for five decades or more at the edge of the public state. This part of the dark force has a name not invented by me: the Doomsday Project, the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”1"

''US targets Dubai bank over Iran dealings''

"DUBAI: The US government has forced Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank to stop channelling billions of dollars from Iranian oil sales through its accounts, part of Western measures to curb Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
The move, which took place in December, is embarrassing for traditional US ally the United Arab Emirates because the bank is partly state-owned and its chairman is the son of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.
A spokesman for Noor Islamic bank said it complied with all international regulations on Iran."

Kyrgyzstan: ''A Look at Central Asia’s Drug War''

"The volume of narcotics flowing out of Afghanistan to Central Asia and Russia appears to have decreased slightly over the past year. But the stockpile of opiates that traffickers already have on hand is sufficient to supply users in Central Asia and Russia for 15 years, according to a leading drug-control expert in Kyrgyzstan."

from eurasianet...

''Japan's post-disaster reconstruction efforts hindered – by ghosts''

"Numerous reports of ghost sightings have reportedly been made by residents in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, home to nearly a fifth of all tsunami fatalities.
Reconstruction and repair have been put on hold in some instances due to workers' fears that the spirits of the dead who passed away a year ago will bring them bad luck if they continue, according to AFP."

Pakistan: ''a Dangerous Uncertainty''

"With relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and military incredibly tense, speculation is rife in the Pakistani and international media of a looming military takeover. The military is allegedly buoyed by support of the Supreme Court and the country’s business and political elite. However, the nature of events is changing at such a fast pace that it is difficult to predict the future."

from counter punch...

''Belarus without EU ambassadors''

"The crisis in relations between Belarus and the EU has grown into an acute diplomatic conflict. In response to the sanctions the EU imposed against its officials Belarus has recalled its ambassadors from Brussels and Warsaw. In its turn the EN has recalled the ambassadors of all its 27 member-states from Minsk. "

from voice of russia...

''American pot, meet Russian kettle''

"Critics of Russia’s policy on Syria have ample justification. Russia’s continued support of Syria’s bloodstained regime is not only atrocious but seemingly pointless because it’s hard to see Assad’s regime hang on to power longer than a few more months.
But the reality is that Russia has significant long-term geopolitical interests in Syria, sizable weapons contracts and the presence of a naval base.
Those who are now loudly demanding that the US do something in Syria, and who are using Russia’s support for Syria as proof positive for Russia’s inherent danger, have been largely silent in the case of a brutal and lethal crackdown on a popular protest movement in another Middle Eastern country — Bahrain."

Fed's Fisher: ''Top 5 U.S. banks should be broken up''

"The financial crisis has left the five biggest banks even more powerful than before, he told an event in Mexico City.
"After the crisis, the five largest banks had a higher concentration of deposits than they did before the crisis," he said. "I am of the belief personally that the power of the five largest banks is too concentrated."
someone speaking the truth?........WOW......from reuters....

Africa: ''Understanding U.S.-Africa Relations During Obama's Presidency''

"Historically, Africa has largely remained in the periphery of American foreign policy interests except where American security is at stake.
Egypt alone, which is of significant security interest to the United States, receives about 20 percent of U.S. aid to Africa. The limited U.S. interest in Africa is also evidenced by the fact that despite the free trade policy efforts of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, US commercial interests in Africa remain very low. In 2009, of the $282bn foreign direct investment outflows from the US, less than 2 percent went to Africa - the majority of which went to the oil and extractive minerals sectors."

''Why U.S. Gov’t Confiscated Gold in 1933. Can it Happen Again?''

"More and more investors are asking this question. Many observers and commentators have ridiculed this idea as archaic with the conditions that led to the confiscation being so different as to leave such a possibility as remote as the return of the dinosaurs."

from financial sense...

''Explaining Qatar's Foreign Policy''

"The modern state of Qatar was formed in the mid-19th century as a result of a concentration of power in the Al Thani family’s hands. However, until its independence in 1971 Qatar was a British protectorate. Since then due to the discovery of its massive oil and later gas fields, Qatar has become one of the richest monarchies in the region with the highest GDP per capita in the world. The present ruler of Qatar, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, seized power after a bloodless coup d’état in 1995. Beginning in the early 1990s, Qatari foreign policy was formed into what we see now: multidimensional engagement and activity on major issues in the region."

from geopolitical monitor....

''Diplomacy to seal Iran's fate''

"To be sure, the exchange of high-ranking American and Israeli officials has grown into a "parade" over the last month, to borrow the description of the Jerusalem Post. According to reports in the Israeli press, some kind of a grand bargain on Iran is shaping up between the two allies, to be concluded - ideally - during the visit of Netanyahu and the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, to Washington in about a week. (The influential Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, is currently there; the formal occasion for the upcoming visit of Peres and Netanyahu is the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.)" 

from asia times...

Pepe Escobar: "Jihadi democrats ready for their close-up"

"What's actually happening, as Asia Times Online has reported, is that both Qatar and the House of Saud have been weaponizing the Free Syrian Army (FSA) for months now, while Washington sticks with the "lead from behind" plot twist. 

Now try arguing that arming Shi'ites in Saudi Arabia's eastern province, or the pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is also a "very good idea". You'll be visited by a Hellfire missile - or hit by a sniper - in less time than it took Angelina to show off her leg." 

from asia times...

''Argentina fires first salvo in UK trade war''

"Argentina edged towards a full ban on British goods today by calling on firms to boycott them in the escalating row over the Falklands islands.
Industry minister Debora Giorgi telephoned the bosses of about 20 companies to urge them to replace imports from Britain with goods produced elsewhere."

''Iran 'to supply Pakistan with 80,000 bpd of crude''

"Iran has offered to supply Pakistan with 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day and a $250 million loan to help build a gas pipeline from the Iranian border, a Pakistani official said Wednesday.
A Pakistani delegation will visit Iran in the middle of March to discuss the mode of payment, the official from the petroleum ministry told AFP."

"Admiral:US needed for South China Sea security"

"The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said Tuesday the American military must be present in the South China Sea to ensure the security of sea lanes crucial to international trade.

The strong U.S. position on freedom of navigation in those disputed waters has become a source of friction with the principal regional power, China, which has conflicting territorial claims there with several neighbors."

why would china close the sea lanes?.............from philstar...

''Iran to accept any currency for oil''

"Iran has announced its readiness to receive payment for oil in national currencies of importing countries, as well as in gold. This was announced by head of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Bahmani."

from voice of russia...

''Vladimir Putin outlines new foreign policy''

"According to Putin, the understanding of national security today “fundamentally differs” between NATO and the U.S.A on the one hand and Russia on the other.
“We will consistently root our policy in our own interests and objectives, and not resolutions dictated by others,” Putin writes. “Russia is only reckoned with when it is strong and firmly stands on its feet,” he adds."

''Chinese help sought as 130 killed in Sudan''

"Rebel groups in Sudan said Feb. 27 they had captured a Sudanese army garrison near the border with South in an operation that they claimed to kill 130 government forces. Meanwhile, Sudan government asked for China’s help to resolve the dispute over oil revenues with South Sudan."

from hurriyet daily news....

''Algeria: Crime, 2,100 civil servants arrested in January''

"Algeria has altered its approach and is using an iron fist against unfaithful civil servants. The "numerical" results of the new stance are, to say the least, quite surprising. In January alone, the national Gendarmerie arrested almost 2,100 civil servants and public officials, which has the appearance of an unenviable world record."

from ansamed...

''Keiser Report: Weed Out Wall St. Crooks!''

from rt.....

''Tomgram: Engelhardt and Turse, The End in Afghanistan?''

"Even as an anxious U.S. commander withdrew American and NATO advisors from Afghan ministries around Kabul last weekend -- approximately 300, military spokesman James Williams tells TomDispatch -- the ability of American soldiers to remain on giant fortified bases eating pizza and fried chicken into the distant future is not in doubt. 
No set of Taliban guerrillas, suicide bombers, or armed Afghan “allies” turning their guns on their American “brothers” can alter that -- not as long as Washington is ready to bring the necessary supplies into semi-blockaded Afghanistan at staggering cost." 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

''Putin slams U.S. ‘invulnerability’ quest''

........"he slammed the United States and its NATO allies who justify their own military intervention in third-party states with arguments about the need to defend human rights there, saying such actions create a “moral and legal vacuum” in international relations."

from moscow news...

''U.S. conducting criminal Libor probe''

"The Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into whether the world's biggest banks manipulated a global benchmark rate that is at the heart of a wide range of loans and derivatives, from trillions of dollars of mortgages and bonds to interest rate swaps, a person familiar with the matter said."
from reuters...

''Is Spain the next Greece?''


''Paper Promises: The Eternal Debt Cycle''

"The current debt crisis is merely the latest in an age-old battle between creditors and debtors. Creditors have a penchant for devising systems to fix the value of money, so as to protect their interests. But every so often, the system breaks down as the borrowers become overwhelmed by the burden of their debts."

from world policy blog...

''Michael Hudson, The Wall Street Gang''


''Japan’s Rubble Economy''

"Compared to the Great Hanshin Earthquake, reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake is moving at a snail’s pace. Rubble is equivalent to 11 years of waste in Iwate prefecture, and 19 years of waste in Miyagi prefecture – enormous volumes that exceed these regions’ disposal capacity. The cost of waste disposal, estimated at ¥776.7 billion, will be more than double the disposal cost following the Great Hanshin Earthquake."

from project syndicate...

''An ‘excess of democracy’: what two generations of radicals can learn from each other''

"The ability of the Occupy movement to create platforms outside our closed political system to force open a debate on inequality, the taboo at the heart of the financial crisis, is impressive. It is a new source of political creativity from which we all have much to learn.'' 

from red pepper....

''Occupy Groups Get Funding''

"A group of business leaders—including Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and former Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg—are planning to pour substantial funds into the Occupy Wall Street movement in hopes of sustaining the protests and fostering political change."

from wsj....

''Wyoming Advances "Doomsday" Bill for Potential U.S. Collapse''

"Lawmakers in the Wyoming House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday for thesecond time to explore how the state might respond to a possible “doomsday” scenario such as the economic or political collapse of America. Some of the potential responses to be considered include the issuance of an alternative currency in the event of a dollar meltdown or how the state might deal with a “constitutional crisis.”

from new american...

''Capitalism On Strike – Why Corporations Are Hoarding Cash''

"Corporations, today, are holding the largest amounts of cash, relative to assets and net worth, ever recorded. The velocity of money (the frequency at which money is spent, or GDP relative to base money) also continues to plunge to historic lows. But why are companies deciding to hoard cash, when more capital investment is needed to stir economic growth?"

from economy watch...

Photo Essay: ''Japan Earthquake: Before and After''

"In just over two weeks, Japan will be observing the one-year anniversary of the disastrous magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck its east coast in March of 2011. The destruction was unprecedented and the loss of life and property were staggering -- more than 15,800 are confirmed dead, with another 3,300 still listed as missing nearly a year later. Photographers documented the many faces of this tragedy and have now returned to give us a look at the difference a year can make, re-shooting places that were photographed during and immediately after the quake. Collected here are 20 of these pairings. They are interactive: Starting with number 2, click the images to view a fading before/after comparison. [20 photo pairs].......from the atlantic...

''Gateway to Global War''

by JUDITH BELLO............from counter punch...

"I’ve long thought that the red line that would indicate an intolerable assault on Asia and her assets runs through Iran.   However, at the moment I’m not so sure.  What I mean is, that a war with Iran, once initiated, would eventually draw in all of the Middle East, and then China and Russia.   I still believe that is true.  And God knows, the current game of chicken in the Persian Gulf is certainly looking very threatening."   

Canada: "Dad goes to jail for 4-year-old daughter’s drawing"

"After seeing the image in question, the school’s staff became shocked as well. So much so, in fact, that they rang up child welfare officials and local law enforcement and arranged for them to meet the girl’s father at the end of the school day. By that evening, Sansone had been handcuffed, whisked away to jail and forced to remove his clothes so he could be subjected to a strip search."


''The Eurozone’s coup d’état in Greece is complete''

"The move has masked a European Union financial coup d’état; not a bailout of Greece, but a bailout for investors in Greek bonds, mostly American and German banks, which in turn would buy time to stabilize the 17-nation euro zone currency bloc. "

"But what Europe is doing is actually preserving this system; one example being, governments hiring trans-national financial elites to spend taxpayer money: government money goes out and goes back in to the government again!"

from alarabiya...

''Chinese retailers shake things up in Africa''

"Chinese economic involvement in Africa has received a lot of attention of late. Over the past fifteen years, Chinese imports from Africa, especially natural resources, have grown continuously. At the same time, a tidal wave of mass-produced Chinese consumer goods has flooded the continent. The result is a highly visible Chinese presence across Africa."


Japan: "880,000 pensions hit by Japan investment scandal"

"A growing scandal around an investment company that has lost $2.3 billion has affected pensions for up to 880,000 people, Japan’s government said Tuesday.
AIJ Investment Advisors has reportedly been lying to clients for years, boasting of annual returns of up to 240% while in fact 185 billion yen in pension investments has melted away."
oh boy.........from japan today...

''Iran'' as a weapon of subordination''

"The real game is starting to crystallize as the United States applies pressure on India and China to turn way from Iranian oil exports. "Iran" is being used a weapon to subordinate countries to America's economic and political domain of the US and open up a new Cold War front against emergent states."

lots of different ways to look at the iran situation.....from asia times...

''Obama, the Jewish lobby and the bomb''

"As Barack Obama prepares to face the pro-Israel lobby in America, he confronts one of the toughest choices of his presidency: whether to appease the warmongers. Much like the false pretexts of the Iraqi war, a picture is being painted that exploits Iran for political gain and is far from the reality of its nuclear intentions."

from asia times....

Jim Rickards: "Why We Should Still Be Worried about a Double-Dip Recession"

"There's another way to view the economic data since 2007 that casts all recession analyses in a different light. The better analytic mode is to bring back a word mainstream economists have abandoned—depression. When you realize the world has been in a depression since 2007 and will remain so indefinitely based on current policies, talk of recession, double-dip, and economic cycles is seen differently."

from usnews....

''Despite Weak Economies, Global Military Industrial Complex Sales Still Rising''

"Nations around the world are still buying anti-aircraft missiles and fighter plans, no matter the social turmoil or declining economic output their country’s are facing."

from forbes....

''China's river of death''

from france24.....

Pat Buchanan: ''What have 20 years of nation-building conflicts won us?''

"Remarkable. After fighting for 10 years, investing $500 billion, and losing nearly 2,000 dead and many more wounded and maimed to save Afghanistan from a Taliban future, America is issuing apologies to the regime and people we are fighting and dying to defend?"


''Anonymous joins forces with OWS against NDAA-supporting politicians''

"America’s most powerful protest groups are joining forces to warn elected officials that they will be held accountable for their actions. The campaign is called Our Polls and its being launched with help from both Anonymous and the Occupy movement.
The AnonOps Communications website revealed details early Monday this week regarding the hacktivist collective’s latest campaign. Along with the nation-wide Occupy Wall Street movement, Anonymous says they are going after the politicians in America that supported legislation that both entities have largely advocated against."

'Real Wealth vs. The Debt Bubble - Catherine Austin Fitts on GRTV'

from global research TV...

Monday, February 27, 2012

''To Pay New York Pension Fund, Cities Borrow From It First''

"And now, their fears are being realized: cities throughout the state, wealthy towns such as Southampton and East Hampton, counties like Nassau and Suffolk, and other public employers like the Westchester Medical Center and the New York Public Library are all managing their rising pension bills by borrowing from the very same $140 billion pension fund to which they owe money."

this aint good..........from nytimes...

''California asks for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac foreclosure hiatus''

"California’s attorney general has asked for a suspension of foreclosures on loans controlled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris in a letter asked the regulator of the government-controlled mortgage titans to halt foreclosures in California until the agency has completed a “thorough, transparent analysis of whether principal reduction is in the best interests of struggling homeowners as well as taxpayers.”

Engdahl: 'Greek bailout terms remind of Hitler epoch'


''Investing in gold - the currency of fear''

"For thousands of years, human beings have had a primal attraction to gold.
With a powerful magnetism cultivated via legends, mythology and bloody conquest, gold inspires awe like nothing else.
And though it's been at least 40 years since our monetary systems were based on the otherwise unremarkable metal, some of us are finding it hard to shake off the allure of the shiny stuff."

''The REAL Price Of A Gallon Of Gasoline''

from mox news....

'Jim Rickards Says-We Don't Need No Central Bank'

from financial survival....02/17/2012

''Taking a Bite Out of Apple''

"But maybe it wasn’t Daisey’s profanity and mild bellicosity that got under their skin and instead, some simple truths. Daisey begins by detailing his own passion for all things Apple (“I am an Apple fanboy, I am a worshipper in the cult of Mac”) and slowly segues into stories from the company’s history and its increasing dependence on Chinese labor. Daisey traveled to China to see it all firsthand.

“You know,” he says, “when we dream of a future when the regulations are washed away and the corporations are finally free to sail above us, you don’t have to dream about some sci-fi-dystopian-Blade Runner-1984 bull____. You can go to Shenzhen tomorrow – they’re making your s___  that way today.”

''For Pakistan ship breakers, constant fear of death''

"Pakistan is full of dangers, with tens of thousands of victims of suicide bombings, sectarian violence and ethnic bloodshed which make big headlines across the world.

There is another less dramatic, but dark, side of the South Asian nation that rarely captures attention —the large number of impoverished people forced to endure horrible conditions at work to survive.

Fifteen thousand of them risk their lives every day, tearing down ships at Gaddani beach on the Arabian Sea coast, a 10 km-long death trap. They earn as little as $4 a day."

from dawn.........

Pepe Escobar: ''Six degrees of (Iranian) separation''

............"the real breaking news here is the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for Iran's A Separation, directed by Ashgar Farhadi. Leave it aside the academy voters' schizophrenia. A Separation was also a nominee for best screenplay. It would never have become the masterpiece that it is without having being carefully written and composed as a Persian miniature. (For a review of the film, see Family traumas span US-Iran divide Asia Times Online, January 28, 2012.)"

from asia times... 

''Lost oil billions leave Sudan's economy reeling''

"Sudan has lost billions of dollars in oil receipts since the south gained independence last year, and is plagued by soaring prices and a weakening currency, with no economic solution in sight for the bankrupt nation, analysts say.

"The situation is deteriorating further and further," and the economy is in crisis, says University of Khartoum economist Mohamed Eljack Ahmed."

''Stratfor accused of spying for Dow on Bhopal activists''

"US-based security think-tank Stratfor spied for the Dow Chemicals on the activists of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, WikiLeaks alleged today as the whistleblower website started publishing millions of confidential emails of this prominent private intelligence analyst group."

from the hindu...

M K Bhadrakumar: ''Israel hits a Caspian jackpot''

..........''Of course, all three regional powers — Russia, Turkey and Iran — will resent Israel’s ‘gatecrashing’ into a turf they were confident belonged to them. Russia will have a harder time getting Baku and Yerevan to talk peace, as Armenians will be edgy that with the big inflow of petrodollars, Azerbaijan is on a military build-up and that israelis have set up shop in the region. 

On the other hand, Israel is also turning the table on Russia, which is arming and supporting Syria and Iran. Israel already poses headaches for Russia by arming Georgia. Conceivably, Washington is quietly pleased that its is Russia is taking some flak in its backyard. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia are on good terms with Washington. For Russia, Armenia also happens to be a member country of the Collective Security Treaty Organization."

a must read blog...........from indian punchline...

''Israel Sells Drones, Missiles To Azerbaijan''

"Azerbaijan's contract is with the state-run Israel Aerospace Industries. Israeli defense officials, speaking under condition of anonymity, said the deal had been in the works for some time and was not a response to Iran's nuclear development program or recent attempts, allegedly by Iranian agents, to kill Israeli diplomats in India, Thailand, Georgia and Azerbaijan."

from turkish weekly...

''Russia Upgrades Syrian Radars to Warn of U.S., Israeli Attack''

"Russia has modernized two radars in Syria and Lebanon that could threaten U.S. or Israel’s ability to launch a surprise attack against Syria and Iran, Israeli DEBKAfile portal said on Monday."

from ria novosti...

''Spanish revolt brews as national economic rearmament begins in Europe''

"Though he swept into office as an apostle of orthodoxy, Mariano Rajoy has since delved into Madrid’s ghastly accounts and concluded that it would be "suicidal" to try to slash the budget deficit from 8pc of GDP to 4.4pc of GDP this year, as demanded by Europe's fiscal Calvinists.
Such a policy would require a further €40bn or €50bn of cuts and accelerate the downward spiral already underway, beyond the 1.7pc contraction expected this year by the International Monetary Fund."

''Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center, Run for the 1% by NYPD''

"On September 25, 2011, just eight days after the Occupy Wall Street protests began in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the much acclaimed CBS News program, 60 Minutes, aired a fawning look at the thousands of surveillance cameras affixed to buildings and lampposts throughout New York City.  The cameras feed live images of people going about their everyday lives to a $150 million computer center equipped with artificial intelligence to integrate and analyze the daily habits of what are, for the most part, law-abiding Americans."

from counterpunch...

"Iran and the Oil Bourse"'

"There are two major petroleum bourses; the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) in New York City, and the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) in London & Atlanta. Both bourses are controlled by US corporations (NYMEX is actually owned by a conglomerate including BP, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley).

On March 20 Iran is moving full speed with a competing market, the International Oil Bourse (IOB) - also called the Kish Bourse because Iran's trading center is located on Kish Island off southern Iran. Kish was selected because it had been previously designated as Iran's free trade zone."

Iran is, in short, challenging Anglo-American energy/corporate banking domination of the international oil trade by attempting to supplant the US greenback as the only standard by which world oil prices are fixed. Iran is breaking the US corporate monopoly. Pretty slick?

All it wold take for Iran to seriously challenge American oil hegemony are customers that Washington would be hesitant to pick a fight with - and Iran already has a big one, China.

a must read.........from auburn journal...

''Understanding Ecomomic Suicide''

"In my January column I explained that by stonewalling financial regulatory reform and imposing draconian fiscal austerity in the midst of the worst economic recession in eighty years ruling elites in Europe, the US, and Canada have us on track for what amounts to economic suicide, putting the North Atlantic region fast on the road to becoming formerly advanced economies. How can this have happened? Why would our ruling elites engage in such counterproductive policies?"

from new left project...

Pepe Escobar: "What is really happening in Iran?''

"The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy - as in the foundation for the country's ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a "republic" - nor "Islamic".    

from aljazeera....

''Qatar, Oman, UAE to buy $2 billion Iranian electricity''

"Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are likely to buy up to $2 billion worth of Iranian electricity once a gas field in the Arabian Gulf is operational, a senior Iranian energy minister has said this week."

from alarabiya...

''John Williams: Warning - Monetary Base Spikes to Historic Level''

"John Williams just issued a warning regarding the Monetary Base vaulting to a historic high.  Williams, who founded ShadowStats, also stated the reason for the expansion is directly related to a deepening systemic solvency crisis.  Here is what Williams had to say about the situation:  The seasonally-adjusted St. Louis Fed Adjusted Monetary Base just jumped to an historic high level in the two-week period ended February 22nd, as shown in the (above graph).  The movement here largely is under direct control of the Fed’s Federal Open Mark Committee (FOMC) and is suggestive of a deepening systemic solvency crisis."

from king world news...

''China sends defectors back to North''

"In a flat rejection of South Korea’s plea to stop the repatriation of North Korean defectors, China sent home some recently captured refugees, sources told the JoongAng Ilbo." 

from joongang daily...

''Iceland’s Special Prosecutor Blows Stack on Bankster Bosses''

"American remains on it’s knees to our 911 investigation fraudsters, and the mortgage, banking and Wall Street derivatives pirates, a sad legacy to a once great country.
In contrast to the cowardice and Congressional corruption evident here, little Iceland is leading the way in going after our contemporary Viking looters…a wonderful irony in itself."

Libya: ''NTC Chairman Denies Khamis Capture, Warns Neighbouring Countries over Harbouring Pro-Gaddafi Criminals''

''Libya will not forgive any state that provides safe heaven to pro-Gaddafi criminals and must immediately hand them over to face trial,” said the chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil at a press conference Saturday night in Tripoli.

Jalil said there was no foreign intervention in al-Kufra and the conflict there, which has subsided, was a conflict between tribes. He called on all parities to reach reconciliation and that the government is in full control of the city."

from tripoli post...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

''Wikileaks Reveals Privately Run CIA’s Dirty Secrets''

"Wikileaks has published five million emails from Stratfor, an intelligence company based in Texas that, looking at their practices, appears to be America's very own privately run CIA. According to Wikileaks, their deals would also include the use of privileged information to make money in financial markets.
Stratfor's clients are the US Government, other countries and military organizations, as well as private companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or Raytheon. They have a global network of spies in governments and media companies, including "secret deals with dozens of media organizations and journalists, from Reuters to the Kiev Post." According to the emails, these spies get paid in Swiss bank accounts and pre-paid credit cards."

Photo Essay: ''One billion slum dwellers''

"One billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that will likely double by 2030. The characteristics of slum life vary greatly between geographic regions, but they are generally inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings can be simple shacks or permanent and well-maintained structures but lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services. 

In this post, I've included images from several slums including Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa (and the third largest in the world); New Building slum in central Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Pinheirinho slum - where residents recently resisted police efforts to forcibly evict them; and slum dwellers from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, India. India has about 93 million slum dwellers and as much as 50% of New Delhi's population is thought to live in slums, 60% of Mumbai. -- Paula Nelson (55 photos total)"........view pics here...

''A new film shows how an idealistic postwar housing project in St Louis, Missouri went disastrously wrong''

"Modern architecture died in St Louis, Missouri on July 15, 1972, at 3.32pm (or thereabouts)." So wrote the polemicist Charles Jencks in the course of launching its replacement, postmodern architecture, and he was referring to the Pruitt-Igoe housing development, a 57-acre array of 11-storey slab blocks which, less than 20 years after they were completed, were destroyed by controlled implosion.''

read more .....from the guardian....

The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History – Film Trailer from the Pruitt-Igoe Myth on Vimeo.

Osborne: ''UK has run out of money''

"In a stark warning ahead of next month’s Budget, the Chancellor said there was little the Coalition could do to stimulate the economy.
Mr Osborne made it clear that due to the parlous state of the public finances the best hope for economic growth was to encourage businesses to flourish and hire more workers.
“The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years,” the Chancellor said. “The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.”