By Andrew Kreig
Chief Justice’s Annual Report Ducks Judicial Ethics Scandals
The federal courts function honestly, according to the annual report on the federal judiciary that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued Dec. 31 in the middle of the New Year’s holiday weekend.
By Chaz Valenza
It’s Official: Gov Stats Shows the Middle Class is Dead
It’s offical, the middle class is dead. Recently released US Bureau of Labor Statistic and Federal Reserve data show the “average American family” can’t afford the average single family house… depended on their employer for health care insurance or went without… were in debt with no way out… didn’t pursuing further education… saved nothing… and slashed their food budget to the bone.
By John Nichols
Iowa’s $200-Per-Vote Caucuses Reward Negatives, Nastiness, Narrow Thinking
Huge amounts of money are spent to influence a very small percentage of the electorate — less than 20 percent of Iowans who are likely to vote Republican in November will participate in Tuesday’s caucuses, and most of them will leave after the balloting finishes.
By Mary Shaw
Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law
On December 31, when most U.S. citizens were distracted with New Year’s holiday plans, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. This law authorizes the President of the United States to order the U.S. military to arrest and imprison terrorism suspects indefinitely, including U.S. citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial.
By Stephen Lendman
Obama’s America: Tyranny and Permanent War
December 31, 2011 will be remembered as a day of infamy.
Montana high court upholds ban on election spending
The Montana Supreme Court restored the state’s century-old ban on direct spending by corporations on political candidates or committees in a ruling Friday that interest groups say bucks a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court decision granting political speech rights to corporations.
By Robert S. Becker
Puny Krauthammer Ambushes a Science Giant
Not only does rightwinger Charles Krauthammer drag in a contradiction about politics the size of Jupiter, he impugns a great scientist and science popularizer in the process. As Carl Sagan is not here to defend himself, I take up the cudgel.
By Mike Adams
R.I.P. Bill of Rights 1789 – 2011
United States of America becomes a rogue nation, operating in violation of international lawFurthermore, the NDAA law as written and signed, is a violation of international law as it does not even adhere to the fundamental agreements of how nations treat prisoners of war.
By Glenn Greenwald
Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies
The candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil.
By David Mayen
Snoring Husband From Hell: Why Your Brain Can’t Shut It Off.
Snoring Husband From Hell: Why Your Brain Can’t Shut It Off.
American Paradox: 18.5 Million Vacant Homes and 3.5 Million Homeless
Housing is a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Yet every day in the United States, banks are foreclosing on more than 10,000 mortgages and ordering evictions of individuals and families residing in foreclosed homes. The US government’s steps to address the foreclosure crisis to date have been partial at best.
Rupert Murdoch Has a Lot to Learn About Twitter — Among Other Things…
Less than 48 hours on the Twitters and the octogenarian Dow Jones emperor already got himself into social media trouble, sending a hypocritical message that earned him his very own hashtag. Joining Twitter on December 31 as the verified @rupertmurdoch, perhaps Rupert Murdoch’s New Year’s resolution involved building his personal and professional brands. At least that’s how his two-days old feed reads, as he has bumbled on about accolades from the Wall Street Journal and Fox — things he owns. But, like many a tweeter, Rupert got too comfortable with the medium, when he criticized the British for taking too many holidays … while on a holiday vacation of his own.
By Mohan Nepali
New Year communication: The Nepalis and the Global Village
TheNew Year can also be considered a new capital to invest.
By Meryl Ann Butler
Flowchart for a Happier, Healthier, More Productive New Year
Studies show that happier people live longer, are healthier, and are better at problem solving. Use this flowchart to get happier in the New Year.
Where the Real Jobs Are
Republicans believe they have President Obama in a box: either he approves a controversial Canadian oil pipeline or they accuse him of depriving the nation of jobs. He can and should push back hard. This is precisely the moment for him to argue the case for alternative fuel sources and clean energy jobs–and to lambaste Republicans for doubling down on conventional fuels while ceding a $5 trillion global clean technology market (and the jobs that go with it) to more aggressive competitors like China and Germany.
Officials: 4.0 magnitude quake in northeast Ohio related to wastewater injection well
Officials said Saturday they believe the latest earthquake activity in northeast Ohio is related to the injection of wastewater into the ground near a fault line, creating enough pressure to cause seismic activity. Michael Hansen of the Ohio Seismic Network said Saturday that more quakes are possible, most likely small ones, until the pressure at the fault line has been completely relieved.
68 Occupy demonstrators arrested in New York
New York police arrested 68 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators on New Year’s Eve after a flare-up at and march from their longtime base, a police official said.
By Nader Habibi
Is Iran an Existential Threat or a Strategic One?
Media and politicians in the United States have not offered a detailed and comprehensive explanation as to why they perceive a nuclear Iran as an existential threat. If Iran develops a nuclear arsenal it will be very small because of resource limitations and it will not pose an existential threat to any nation. At worse it will pose a strategic threat.
By Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue
Blowback?: Will 2012 Be Our Year of Living Dangerously ?
We’ve been very fortunate that no huge terrorist attack has occurred in the US since 9/11, but the chance exists that in 2012 our luck might run out. Blowback is a possibility because every year that we bully one group or another is another year we need to understand that we might face another possible terrorist attack. The only solution is that we completely reject empire. But when will we come to our senses?
By shamus cooke
The Threat of War Against Iran and Syria is Real
For those who think that the United States wouldn’t possibly instigate another war in the Middle East, think again. Empowered by his “success” in the bombing of Libya and consequent assassination of Muammar Qaddafi, Obama is now seeking to use the exact same strategy against Syria, while using alarming military threats against Iran. In both cases the U.S. is creating the conditions for war in a region that is already boiling
By Andreas Umland
The Sources and Risks of Russia’s White Revolution: Why Putin Failed and the Russian Democrats May Too
Russian imperial nationalism and anti-Westernism has been a distraction for Putin & Co who missed the emergence of a domestic challenge, and did not see the crisis of their regime coming. These same factors may also, however, subvert the currently growing pro-democratic protest movement in Moscow and beyond.
By Linh Dinh
Before the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, he signed over nearly two thirds of Somalia to four US oil companies, Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips, so the world’s biggest and baddest pirate, America, has been trying to reclaim this bounty ever since.
Arrests at White House Over NDAA Military Detention of Americans, Occupy Wall Street Joins Fight.
Were OWS to get behind a nationwide effort to pass state recall laws and then immediately use them, the shadowing effect on congressmen, especially senators, might be enough to persuade many to resign. Shoot, Jim, it just ain’t as fun as it used to be, with this recall bidness and what-all. Then the OWS agenda – money-out-of-politcs etc. – might have a chance.
Ratcheting Up Middle East Tensions
Post-9/11, Washington’s aggression created a Middle East cauldron. As a result, it’s been on the boil. Things ahead look worse. Obama and key NATO allies threaten the entire region. In 2012, expect continued destructive violence.
I’d vote for Kucinich but the democrats hate him more than republicans hate Ron Paul.
GOP Republicans – playing with Ron Paul’s loaded gun.
Why Ron Paul is the Republican party candidate most able to beat Obama.
earth note 165
A Sad Review of 2011
I hope someone will list the reasons why 2011 may have something to commend it. Sadly, I am so saddened thinking of the reasons 2011 has been a sad year for me, that I am having difficulties calling any positives to mind. But yes, there must have been some silver linings. I hope some of you will address them for people like me.
Murder of Dr Shah highlights the insurgency in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province
In an apparent attempt to erase key forensic evidence in the Kharotabad, killing of five unarmed foreigners by Army led para-military force, Dr Baqir Shah was gunned down Thursday in Quetta, the capital of the strife-torn Balochistan province where a nationalist insurgency is underway.
Traveling at the Speed of Life
The ever-increasing speed of life is like a narcotic; we can never get enough of it. That which was considered to be “faster than a speeding bullet” just yesterday, is no better than a snail’s pace today. Could this have something to do with our collective anger, impatience and frustration?
Enough Feckless Nattering — Obama IS Our Next President
What with the chronic partisan Democrats, both obtuse and aware, and the “lesser-evil” masochistically persuaded, along with voters seeking some degree of sanity fleeing from the Republican nominative buffoonery, Obama is in.
Just Imagine The Rose Parade Occupied For The People
On January 2nd, thanks to the hard work and determination of members of the Occupy Movement, in particular organizer Peter Thottam, the 123rd Rose Parade is permitting viewers to Just Imagine how spectacular our country could be if greed and war disappeared. Lets re-Imagine the missions of the Parade’s “main stage” performers:
Obama’s New Year Resolution: More Middle East War
Syria and Iran are targeted. Regime change is planned. At issue is replacing them with client ones, controlling the region’s strategic resources, and depriving key rivals China and Russia from access.
Appalling Bahraini Prison Conditions and Treatment
Since early 2011, Washington, Western governments, and major media scoundrels largely ignored outrageous Al Khalifa monarchy abuses. They include crackdowns on nonviolent protesters, mass arrests, torture, intimidation, and cold-blooded murder.
Occupy Phase II: The Supreme Court
While Occupy has made great strides in influencing the public dialogue, there is still a troubling void where a central, unifying rallying cry should be. Social movements can’t be powered by raw emotion forever. If we want to win, 2012 must be the year we occupy SCOTUS.
Obama Crowned Himself on New Year’s Eve
President Barack Obama waited until New Year’s Eve to take an action that I suspect he wanted his willfully deluded followers to have a good excuse not to notice.
Got AIDs? Your fault, says Ron Paul. Boss can’t keep his hands off you? Switch jobs, says Ron Paul
Only by ignoring all his other odious points of view, offensive, disgusting, hate-filled points of view, can Ron Paul be defended. To ignore those is to condone racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, 1%erism, anti-environmentalism, victim-blaming, social safety net-shredding and conspiracy-mongering.
Cables Hold Clues to U.S.-Iran Mysteries
As the West’s confrontation with Iran grows more dangerous — and major U.S. news outlets blame Iran — it may be worth recalling the documents that revealed how the U.S. and its allies showed bad faith in talks with Iran about its nuclear program.
What Would Moses Do?
What is becoming of Israel, a country that once prided itself on its democratic principles and ethical behavior?
Why Do We Live in Three Dimensions?
The team developed a method for calculating matrices that represent the interactions of strings. They used these matrices to calculate how 9 dimensional space changes over time. As they moved further back in time, they found that space is extended in 9 directions, but at one point only 3 directions start to expand rapidly.
Palestinians and Israelis to Hold Talks This Week
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators plan to meet for the first time in more than a year in Jordan on Tuesday, in an effort to revive moribund peace talks, although none of the sides involved suggested any reason to view the meeting as a sign of significant progress.
Paul Krugman: Nobody Understands Debt
When people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least. amilies have to pay back their debt. Governments don’t — all they need to do is ensure that debt grows more slowly than their tax base.
Nuclear benchmark: A rod for nuclear Iran
Iran says its engineers have managed to produce a nuclear fuel rod, marking a benchmark achievement for the country’s nuclear ambitions. Meanwhile the US issued new round of sanctions against Tehran in a bid to stop its atomic exploits.
U.S. Agrees to $30 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis
The Obama administration announced a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, saying it had agreed to sell F-15 fighter jets valued at nearly $30 billion to the Royal Saudi Air Force. The administration’s parallel plans to press ahead with a nearly $11 billion arms deal for Iraq, despite rising political tensions there, is dramatic evidence of its determination to project American military influence in an oil-rich region shadowed by a threat from Iran.
Obama 2012: Now for the Bad News
Setting aside the weaknesses of the Republican candidates, the recent uptick in the recovery is the best thing Obama has going for him. In comparison to some worrywart economists, I am optimistic it will continue and, quite possibly, accelerate. But it would probably be folly to bet a large sum on this outcome.
The Burden Of The Soldier
Generally speaking, the soldier’s role as provider of security is secondary to his role in propaganda. Regardless of an individual soldier’s motivation in joining the military, his primary function is to serve as a rallying cry for the fellow subjects of his state. The nefarious motives behind wars, the endless political treacheries, and the massive fortunes accumulated by military industries must all hide behind the image of the soldier. He is portrayed as the best reflection of a grateful society, and elevated to the shining status of a religious icon, in the hope of blinding everyone to the cesspool of narcissism, corruption, and corporatism behind every war.
Apple: time to make a conflict-free iPhone
A deadly conflict has been raging for over 15 years in the Congo. The conflict has increasingly turned to being a war of profit, with various armed groups fighting one another for control of strategic mineral reserves. Near the area where I grew up, there are mines with vast amounts of tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold — minerals that make most consumer electronics in the world function. There is child labor, slavery, rape– used to motivate work. …your favorite electronics don’t have to fund mass violence and rape in the Congo, and neither do mine. I’m asking Apple to make an iPhone made with conflict-free minerals from the Congo by this time next year. Apple is perfectly positioned to be the first company to create a Congo conflict-free phone, using minerals from Congo that further stability and economic development and don’t use slave labor or fund mass atrocities.
Congo: What’s Rwanda got to do with it?
At a Senate Foreign Relations hearing last week, speakers from the International Crisis Group, a group of capital managers and highly placed government officials and lawyers, and Mvemba Dizolele, a Congolese fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, warned that the Democratic Republic of the Congo could be on the brink of civil war after a massively fraudulent election which incumbent President Kabila claims to have won. Many Congolese now protesting the election fraud, both in Congo and around the world, have been chanting, “Send him back to Rwanda.” They believe that Joseph Kabila is a Rwandan named Hypolite Kanambe, who is pretending to be Congolese while collaborating with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in plundering Congo.
Hundreds Storm Police Barricades And Retake Zuccotti Park
Let it never be said that Occupy Wall St. is not without a flair for the dramatic. Shortly before the ball dropped in Times Square, hundreds of protesters swarmed over the unprepared police presence at Zuccotti Park. The police tried to hold the line with unconfirmed arrests and confirmed pepper spray to no avail. The protesters knocked the barricades down and stacked them high enough to stand above the crowd. The police have pulled back presumably since they do not have enough manpower to clear the park.
Iowa: The People’s Caucus
Now is the time for us to lead, for the people of the United States, the 99 percent, to rise up, and restore America, to recreate it, truly, as a nation of opportunity, equality, and justice. Honored guests, members of the 99 percent, we are here tonight because of you. “Join Us!” we cried, and you have answered. And for that, we thank you, and we bid you welcome to the first-in-the-nation People’s Caucus!