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Obama 143

turday 09 January 2010by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted:James Cridland)I've been writing about unbelievably bad news for more than a decade now, so when the New Year came around this time, I made up my mind to try and come up with something to write about that was optimistic, positive, more upbeat, or something. It's all been so grim for so long now, with recent events providing no exception - a less-than-half-a-loaf health care "reform" process, underwear bombers and a new nascent war in Yemen, the Afghan escalation, more suicide attacks in Iraq, bad housing stats, bankers running banking "reform" and a bunch of Congressional Democrats whose imminent retirement could put Congress back in the hands of the people who lined up behind George W. Bush like ducks on a pond, which matters less thanks to the stark level of spinelessness evinced by those aforementioned Democrats and their ilk - and the firs…

John Berger 3

Look at the power structure of the surrounding world, and how its authority functions. Every tyranny finds and improvises its own set of controls. Which is why they are often, at first, not recognized as the vicious controls they are.
John Berger. Meanwhile

Obama 142

Let’s Break from the Party of War and Wall StreetBy Stanley Aronowitz
From the January 8, 2010 issue | Posted in National | Email this articlePeople cannot live without hope. The long night of the eight Bush years was tolerated only because many of us believed it would come to an end. That Obama seized on that belief better than his Democratic opponents is a testament to the high expectations people had that regime change in Washington just might bring about a better life. While Hillary Clinton, his main primary opponent, evoked the traditional symbols of military preparedness combined with liberal domestic policies, Obama steadfastly preached the gospel of peace and hope and carefully avoided making lavish promises. Clinton won the backing of most organized labor, women’s organizations and major Democratic politicians. But Obama, the only fresh face in the gallery of candidates, outmaneuvered the traditional party dons. With little support at the top, Obama went for the grassroots, co…

The Empire 511

The Quiet American
Yemen – America’s second Afghanistan and third Vietnam

By Uri Avnery

10 January 2010

Uri Avnery considers the USA’s ill-conceived adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their disastrous outcomes, and predicts a similar catastrophe if Washington embarks on another misguided adventure – this time in Yemen.

”Terrorism is nothing but an instrument of war. It is used by organizations that are vastly different from each other, which are fighting in vastly different countries for vastly different objectives. A war on ‘International Terror’ is like a war on ‘International Artillery’ or ‘International Navy’...

“If the Quiet American, in his usual mixture of idealism and ignorance, decides to bring democracy and all the other goodies [to Yemen], that will be the end of this happiness. The Americans will sink into another quagmire, tens of thousands of people will be killed, and it will all end in disaster.”

The quiet American was the hero of Graham Greene’s novel about the first Vi…

Hugo Chavez

AMERICAS NEWSJANUARY 9, 2010Venezuela Says Its Jets Intercepted U.S. Plane CARACAS -- President Hugo Chávez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept a U.S. military plane that twice violated Venezuelan airspace on Friday in what he called the latest provocation in the South American nation's skies.Brandishing a photo of the plane, which he described as a P-3, Mr. Chávez said the overflight was the latest incursion in Venezuelan skies by the U.S. military from its bases on the Netherlands' Caribbean islands and from neighboring Colombia.RelatedVenezuela Devalues Its Currency There was no immediate response from the U.S. Defense Department or the White House.Separately, Mr. Chávez announced a currency devaluation for the first time since 2005. The president said Venezuela's currency, the bolivar, will now have two government-set rates depending on the use, either 2.60 to the dollar for transactions deemed priorities by the government or 4.30 to the dollar for other transacti…

De Nederlandse Spoorwegen

Ik zit in de TGV van Parijs naar Nederland en krijg net in Brussel te horen dat de machinist vanuit Amsterdam op weg is hier naar toe, en dat daarom de trein nu het eerst komende halfuur zeker niet kan vertrekken. De privatisering van de Nederlandse Spoorwegen is een totale flop geworden. De politici hadden dit kunnen weten als ze naar de VS hadden gekeken, waar de privatisering al veel eerder had geleid tot uitholling en andere derde wereldverschijnselen. De wonderlijke situatie ontstaat nu dat passagiers een halfuurtje eerder vertrekken om zeker ervan te zijn dat ze op tijd arriveren op hun plaats van bestemming en dat tegelijkertijd machinisten van de NS dit niet doen. Dat is pas echt klantvriendelijk. Heerlijk, dit ouwe mannengekanker van me.

Frits Bolkestein en de Beschaving

Eind vorig jaar beweerde Frits Bolkestein in de Volkskrant dat zelfkritiek, zelfrelativering en schuldbesef christelijke waarden zijn die hebben geleid tot vrijheid, tolerantie en welvaart.
Deze gemakkelijk aantoonbare nonsens behoort tot het gedachtegoed van mensen voor wie de wereld zwart/wit is, de eenvoudigen van geest die overal hun praatjes kwijt kunnen omdat hun beweringen niet meer zijn dan mentale fastfood, de gebruiker ervan hoeft er niet over na te denken. Sterker nog, men kan er niet langer dan 10 seconden serieus over nadenken.
De filosoof Tzvetan Todorov schrijft in Torture and the war on terror over het feit dat de Amerikanen na 11 september 2001 bepaalde vormen van martelen hebben goedgekeurd door het martelen domweg geen martelen meer te noemen, 'a form of magical thinking' stelt hij, 'in sofar as it pretends that we can act on things by changing their name.' En dan schrijft Todorov: Let me remind the reader in a few words of the kind of treatments inf…

De Nuance van de NRC 159

In de trein vanuit Parijs naar Amsterdam. Een stapel boeken gekocht, van onder andere Todorov, Berger, Zinn. Prachtige tentoonstellingen gezien, o.a. over vrouwelijke kunstenaars in Centre Pompidou. Goede gesprekken gevoerd met in Parijs levende kosmopolieten. En nu:
het weekend-nieuws zoals de 'kwaliteitskrant' NRC deze op het internet zet:
Ter Horst voorziet tekort strooizout na weekend
Tot maandagavond is er voldoende strooizout om alle wegen open te houden, maar vanaf dinsdag wordt de situatie „problematisch”.
11:07Waardering werk Hirsch Ballin neemt toe10:36''Dodenherdenking moet internationaal karakter krijgen''10:30Floresmens stamt af van kleine voorganger Homo erectus10:23Statistische analyse herkent hand de oude meester10:09Boermans verkoopt theater voor 3,2 miljoen10:04Hans Kamps schrijft PvdA-programma10:03Veiligheidsdiensten VS moeten slagvaardiger opereren09:40

De Israelische Terreur 1103

De schrijver van dit artikel is de bejaarde Arie Kuiper die decennialang tot de christelijke supporters van Israel behoorde. Nu schrijft hij:
De zionistische droom

„Laten we er geen doekjes om winden, de politieke situatie waarin Israël zich op dit moment bevindt is slechter dan ooit.” Volgens Abel Herzberg-biograaf Arie Kuiper is het land bezig met een langzame politieke zelfmoord. „Dat klinkt onheilspellend, maar ik meen het wel.”

De sympathie voor Israël is in de westerse landen tot een minimum gedaald. Op Amerikaanse en Britse universiteiten wordt gepleit voor een academische boycot van de Joodse staat. Anderen pleiten voor een economische boycot. In Nederland hebben politici als Hans van den Broek, Hans van Mierlo, Frans Andriessen, Klaas de Vries, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, Pieter Kooijmans en Hedy d’Ancona zich aangesloten bij The Rights Forum van Dries van Agt – een man die door de Joden diep wordt gewantrouwd.

Peilingen hebben uitgewezen dat de meeste Europeanen momenteel Israël zie…

The Empire 510

Study: More Families Using Food Stamps to Feed Kids
Friday 08 January 2010
by: David Goldstein | McClatchy Newspapers

The United States has more poor children now than it did a year ago.

As recession-hammered families increase, more are using food stamps to feed their kids, according to a study by the Brookings Institution and First Focus, a bipartisan child advocacy group.

"They are a really good barometer, a kind of economic needs test," said Mark Rank, an expert on social welfare programs at Washington University in St. Louis. "If you're receiving food stamps and you're a child, by definition, you're in poverty."

Across the nation, 7 million people joined the food stamp rolls from August 2008 to August 2009, the study said. Users rose from 29.5 million to 36.5 million. Half were children.

States scattered coast to coast showed "very high growth" in food stamp caseloads. In Florida, almost half a million people joined the rolls, a 34 percent incr…

De Israelische Terreur 1102

Imposing Middle East Peace
By Henry Siegman
This article appeared in the January 25, 2010 edition of The Nation.


www.thenation.com/doc/20100125/siegman/single
January 7, 2010


Israel's relentless drive to establish "facts on the ground" in the occupied West Bank, a drive that continues in violation of even the limited settlement freeze to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed himself, seems finally to have succeeded in locking in the irreversibility of its colonial project. As a result of that "achievement," one that successive Israeli governments have long sought in order to preclude the possibility of a two-state solution, Israel has crossed the threshold from "the only democracy in the Middle East" to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.

The inevitability of such a transformation has been held out not by "Israel bashers" but by the country's own leaders. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon referred to that danger, as did Prim…

Iran 313

IRAN: New Revelations Tear Holes in Nuclear Trigger Story
Analysis by Gareth Porter*

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (IPS) - New revelations about two documents leaked to The Times of London to show that Iran is working on a "nuclear trigger" mechanism have further undermined the credibility of the document the newspaper had presented as evidence of a continuing Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

A columnist for the Times has acknowledged that the two-page Persian language document published by The Times last month was not a photocopy of the original document but an expurgated and retyped version of the original.

A translation of a second Persian language document also published by The Times, moreover, contradicts the claim by The Times that it shows the "nuclear trigger" document was written within an organisation run by an Iranian military scientist.

Former Central Intelligence Agency official Philip Giraldi has said U.S. intelligence judges the "nuclear trigger" document…

Parijs 2010

Parijs, woensdag 6 januari 2010
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De Nuance van de NRC 158

Ik kreeg dit gemaild van oud-ambassdeur Jan Wijenberg:

Geachte heer Van Es,

Dank voor uw reactie. Ik vermoed dat andere lezers evenmin gecharmeerd zijn van de foto's, noch van de achterliggende gedachten. Daarom ben ik wel benieuwd welke reactie(s) NRC Weekblad voor plaatsing zal kiezen.

Met vriendelijke groeten.

Jan Wijenberg
----- Original Message -----
From: E-mail Weekblad
To: jjwijenberg@gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 3:39 PM
Subject: RE: Gadverdamme ...........

Geachte heer Wijenberg,

Het spijt mij dat u zich heeft gestoord aan de fotoreportage over de vrouwelijke Israëlische soldaten in NRC Weekblad van 2 januari jl. De redactie van NRC Weekblad heeft de foto's niet gepubliceerd om geweld in het algemeen en van het Israëlische leger in het bijzonder te romantiseren. Wij menen dat onze lezers de rol van Israël en z'n leger in dit conflict kennen en er een eigen oordeel bij kunnen vormen. Ikzelf heb de foto's niet gezien als romantisering maar als een scherp &qu…

De Israelische Terreur 1101

Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian StateIf Hamas Did Not ExistBy JENNIFER LOEWENSTEINLet us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is at one with that of the United States; if the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and all the international legal agencies and organizations spread across the globe are going to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a “ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.The state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has nothing to do with H…

Yochanan Visser als Crimineel 35

Yochanan Visser met petje van het Joods Nationaal Fonds, een organisatie die betrokken was en is bij de diefstal van Palestijns land.
Yochanan Visser,
De weerzin tegen de Israelische terreur groeit. Fatsoenlijke burgers in het Westen beginnen dwars door de zionistische propaganda heen te prikken. De vraag is nu: wat is uw reactie hierop? U en de uwen kunnen die omslag niet blijven negeren. Leest u deze reactie van de bekende kunstenaar Brian Eno eens:An Experiment in ProvocationStealing GazaCOUNTERPUNCHBy BRIAN ENO
It's a tragedy that the Israelis - a people who must understand betterthan almost anybody the horrors of oppression - are now acting as oppressors. As the great Jewish writer Primo Levi once remarked "Everybody has their Jews, and for the Israelis it's the Palestinians". By creating a middle Eastern version of the Warsaw ghetto they are recapitulating their own history as though they've forgotten it. And by trying to paint an equivalence between the Pales…