Friday, 6. August 2010

Blackwater: Can't Stop, Won't Stop


Security outfit killed civilians, gets embassy job

THE Australian security firm that shot dead an Australian academic and two Iraqi women has been hired by the government to guard its Baghdad embassy.

From Information Clearing House

Borneo: Stoppt endlich den Holzkonzern, der unseren Wald stiehlt

Pentagon Threatens to "Compel" WikiLeaks to Hand Over Afghan War Data

Taylor Barnes, The Christian Science Monitor: "With WikiLeaks on the verge of publishing another cache of secret Afghan war documents 20 times larger than its original leak, the Pentagon said Thursday that it may 'compel them to do the right thing.'"

Millionärssteuer statt Millionärsspende

6. August 2010

"Das ist eine Idee aus dem Disneyland", kommentiert Michael Schlecht die Debatte um freiwillige Spenden von Vermögenden wie in den USA. Das Mitglied des Parteivorstands der LINKEN weiter:

Die Begeisterung von SPD und Grünen für freiwillige Spenden wohlhabender Bürger ist absurd. In den USA machen Vermögenssteuern über drei Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukt aus, in Deutschland weniger als ein Prozent. Für diese US-Vermögensbesteuerung sollten sich SPD und Grüne begeistern. Wenn der Staat nicht mehr in der Lage ist, Steuern einzutreiben, scheitert die Demokratie. Freiwillige Spenden von Reichen mögen ehrenwert sein. Dann entscheiden jedoch nicht mehr die Wählerinnen und Wähler ob und wie hoch unsere Schulen finanziert werden sondern die Inhaber Schweizer Bankkonten. DIE LINKE fordert die Millionärssteuer in Höhe von 5 Prozent auf Vermögen über eine Million Euro. Dies brächte 80 Mrd. Euro im Jahr für wichtige Zukunftsinvestitionen.

Military suicides and guilty consciences

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger


American statists and imperialists are coming up with all sorts of explanations to explain the epidemic of suicides among U.S. military personnel. The most popular explanations are war stress and stress at home. I’ve got another possible cause: guilt, arising from the wrongful killing of other human beings...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The bank crisis: Where are the prosecutions?

Our Future Blog
by Robert Borosage


Where are the prosecutions of bank officers for defrauding investors or the government?… What we want is self-enforcement. That can come from a strong sense of personal ethics…, [o]r it can come from a strong sense of fear — a sense that if you violate the law, you just might end up in jail. And that requires prosecutions and jail sentences. Fines don’t do it. The SEC just fined a Citibank employee $100,000 for helping to defraud investors by not foreclosing a staggering $50 billion in toxic subprime mortgages that were in Citi’s basement. That same official got a yearly paycheck of over $12 million. The fine was a rounding error on his bonus. That’s a joke...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Banks Siding Against the Customer in Fraud Cases

By Naomi Wolf

I was stunned by what seemed from the emails to be a systemic practice. Why would a bank want to perpetuate bank fraud rather than fight it?

From Information Clearing House

Kucinich Bill Will Stop the Extrajudicial Killing of Americans

Für gemeinsamen Widerstand gegen die Regierungspolitik, in Deutschland und auch in Europa

The Crime of the Century: What BP and US Government Don’t Want You to Know


'Just Not True': White House Accused of Spinning Report

Crabs Provide Evidence Oil Tainting Gulf Food Web

New Outrages Keep Gushing From BP


Gulf oil spill: White House accused of spinning report

Scientists say it is 'just not true' that the vast majority of oil from the BP spill has gone.

BP Fires 10,000 Cleanup Workers

New BP CEO Bob Dudley wasn't kidding when he announced last week that it was time for the company to scale back oil-spill cleanup operations. In fact, by the time he'd said that, the responder force had been drawn down by about 25 percent.

BP Scores Stimulus Cash

How the oil spill bad guys are collecting millions in taxpayer bucks to build a new power plant in California.

From Information Clearing House


Vampire Blues: Suckin' Blood From the Earth

Chris Genovali, Truthout: "When Neil Young recorded the anti-Big Oil "Vampire Blues" for his brilliant album On the Beach in the mid-1970s, who could have known that the song would end up even more relevant a quarter century later? Speculation abounds on fan sites that Neil, who is currently on tour, believes the time is right to perform 'Vampire Blues' once again, particularly given the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico."

Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Even When It's Not Out of Sight)

Dahr Jamail and Erika Blumenfeld, Dahr Jamail's Dispatches: "Since BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward would receive a multi-million dollar golden parachute and be replaced by Bob Dudley, we have witnessed an incredibly broad, and powerful, propaganda campaign. A campaign that peaked this week with the US government, clearly acting in BP's best interests, itself announcing, via outlets willing to allow themselves to be used to transfer the propaganda, like the New York Times, this message: 'The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated - and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.'"

Gulf Coast Fishermen Challenge US Government

Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "Commercial fishing communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida have united to demand that local, state and federal agencies force BP to discontinue the use of toxic dispersants and conduct better testing before reopening fishing waters."

U.S. boasts highest prison incarceration numbers in world

With it's harsh drug laws, minimum sentencing guidelines and repeated imprisonment of non-violent offenders, the country has literally thrown the shackles on millions of individuals. In fact, the great superpower has more than 2 million of it's citizens imprisoned at this very moment.

America's Solitary Confinement Nightmare

Of course we torture, Ridgeway says. Right here in America. In our own prisons. An estimated 80,000 Americans are in solitary confinement.

From Information Clearing House


In America, the rule of law is dead

Freedom's Phoenix
by Stephen Lendman


Designating US citizens terrorists, providing no criminal proof of guilt or evidence of an imminent threat, and denying them legal representation is lawless and egregious by any standard. Yet, post-9/11, ‘the US government has (targeted and) detained thousands of men as terrorists, only for courts or the government itself later to discover that the evidence (or charge) was wrong or unreliable and released them.’ No one should be denied due process and judicial fairness...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Do the Rich Need the Rest of America?

Fannie and Freddie's Foreclosure Barons

By Andy Kroll

How the federal housing agencies and bailed-out banks are helping shady lawyers make millions by pushing families out of their homes.

Food Stamp Use Hit Record 40.8m in May

By Bloomberg News

The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday.

Do the Rich Need the Rest of America?

By Robert Frank

Do you think the rest of America matters anymore to the rich?

Hanging A Hammock Between Death And The Abyss

A Götterdämmerung Of Kitsch

By Phil Rockstroh

Does one get the feeling that the more powerless we feel, collectively, about the rising levels of economic exploitation exacted upon us and the accelerating rate of ecocide committed on the planet by corporate oligarchs, the more celebrity "news" and other tropes of empty distraction and denial will froth forth from the idiot imaginings of the pop culture douche-scape?

Senate Cuts Food Stamp Funds; Leaves Oil and Gas Subsidies Intact

About half of food stamp users are children and the elderly; about one-quarter are working-age women and 14 percent are working-age men. Most have jobs, but about 90 percent fall below the poverty line.

Fannie Mae Seeks $1.5 Billion From U.S. Treasury After 12th Straight Loss

Including today's request, Fannie Mae has drawn $86.1 billion in aid. The growing tally has helped spur the Obama administration to solicit proposals to fix the companies, and prompted some lawmakers to demand their closure.

From Information Clearing House


Job Loss Sends Employment Ratio Downward

Dean Baker, Truthout: "For the second consecutive month, the economy created virtually no jobs, net of temporary Census jobs. The Labor Department reported that the economy lost 131,000 jobs in July, 12,000 less than the 143,000 drop in the number of temporary Census workers. The June numbers were revised down by 100,000 to show a gain of only 4,000 non-Census jobs."

The Peace Vision

Peter G. Cohen, Truthout: "We are losing the war. Not just the war in Afghanistan, but the war against war itself - the Peace War.... The whole peace movement needs to be far more active, more vocal, and reach out to the unemployed, to all who are being cut back, threatened and limited by this huge military boondoggle. We must work far more diligently to form coalitions that enhance our clout and theirs."


Bailing Out Teachers


The Raid on Food Stamps

What's The War About?

The Lunatic's Manual

By Bob Herbert

The way to fight a war is to mobilize the country - not just the combat troops - behind an integrated wartime effort. To do that, leaders have to persuade the public that the war is worth fighting, and worth paying for.

The Next War

By Robert Koehler

"I'm going to be killing people. I'm actually joining the Marines and will be doing this in real life."

So Please Tell Me Again: What's The War About?

By William Blum

When facts are inconvenient, when international law, human rights and history get in the way, when war crimes can't easily be justified or explained away, when logic doesn't help much, the current crop of American political leaders turns to what is now the old reliable: 9/11.


What to do about the wars

Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland


As President Obama pooh-poohed as old news the many WikiLeaks documents showing the sad state of the conflict in Afghanistan, the chief executive also began an entire month of crowing about keeping his campaign promise to ‘bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.’ But in both wars, the president’s strategies are flawed and need to be replaced with new ones...

The unaffordability of endless war

by Steve Chapman


It’s a shame to let accountants spoil the charming romance of war, but sometimes they insist. Recently the Congressional Research Service reported that our military undertakings in Iraq and Afghanistan have marked an important milestone. Together, they have cost more than a trillion dollars. That doesn’t sound like much in the age of TARP, ObamaCare, and LeBron James, but it is. Adjusted for inflation, we have spent more on Iraq and Afghanistan than on any war in our history except World War II. They have cost more in real dollars than the Korean and Vietnam wars combined...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

US-led Raid Killed 39 Civilians

By Press TV

President Hamid Karzai's office said late on Wednesday the inquiry shows 39 civilians -- all women and children -- were killed in the attack.

Nato admits killing Afghan civilian

The undetermined number of deaths occurred on Thursday in the Shirzad district of Nangarhar province. Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) promised in a statement that the families of the victims would be compensated.

Afghans Say NATO Strikes Killed Civilians

NATO officials acknowledged preliminary reports that four to a dozen or more civilians were killed in a coalition airstrike Thursday in Nangarhar Province. Afghan accounts put the civilian deaths as high as 32.

U.S. troops kill Afghan civilians

As many as "a dozen or more" Afghan civilians died during a nighttime raid by U.S. troops hunting for Taliban commanders in eastern Afghanistan, military officials acknowledged Thursday.

Family, U.S. offer differing versions of deadly Afghan raid

Aman lay bleeding in his family guest room, alongside two of his brothers, all shot dead by U.S. special forces who were on the hunt for a Taliban leader.

From Information Clearing House


“Air strike kills Afghans” hours after Petraeus warning

BBC News [UK]


A Nato air strike is said to have killed at least 12 Afghan civilians, hours after the US commander urged his forces to avoid hurting non-combatants. The Nato-led Isaf force said it regretted the ‘apparent’ loss of life in Nangarhar province, where its forces had been conducting operations. … Mohammad Hassan, head of Nangarhar’s Khogyani district, told news agencies that between 12 and 14 people had been killed in one incident. Villagers were carrying the body of a flood victim for burial in their home village when they were bombed by Nato planes, he told Reuters news agency...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


"Down with Obama!": Afghan Villagers Protest Night Raids

The US Isn't Leaving Iraq, It's Rebranding the Occupation

By Seumas Milne

Obama says withdrawal is on schedule, but renaming or outsourcing combat troops won't give Iraqis back their country.


Iraq: We’re “withdrawing” but not leaving

by Justin Raimondo


Like everything else in our oh-so-modern world, things are not quite what they seem: ‘complexities’ get in the way. So let’s look at what is actually happening, not what the President and his amen corner would like us to see, before we throw our hats in the air. To begin with, Obama’s original campaign promise was to get all the troops out by May of this year. But I guess we aren’t supposed to remember that, and it would be rude to bring it up. Secondly, we aren’t leaving at all — there’s that bothersome ‘transitional force’ (as the Prez puts it) of up to 50,000 troops...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Vom Niedriglohn zum Niedrigstlohn

Niedriglöhne kosten 50 Milliarden

„Seit Hartz IV bezahlen Steuerzahler, um die Niedriglöhne auszugleichen. Das zeigen Zahlen des Arbeitsministeriums drastisch auf. Diese Zahlen fachen die Mindestlohn-Debatte an. Seit dem Start von Hartz IV haben die Steuerzahler weit über 50 Milliarden Euro ausgegeben, um Niedriglöhne aufzustocken. Dies geht aus Zahlen des Bundesarbeitsministeriums hervor, die der Frankfurter Rundschau vorliegen…“ Artikel von Markus Sievers in der Frankfurter Rundschau vom 11.8.2010

Siehe dazu: Wer sind hier die Sozialschmarotzer? – 50 Milliarden für Hartz IV-Aufstockungen

„Das Erwerbslosen Forum Deutschland richtet schwere Vorwürfe an Unternehmen und die Bundesregierungen. Hartz IV habe es möglich gemacht, dass Unternehmen in einer Selbstbedienungsmentalität ihre Gewinne auf Kosten der Allgemeinheit subventionieren lassen, indem sie „Hungerlöhne“ bezahlen und die Betroffenen auf Hartz IV verweisen. Für die Initiative ist es gerade zu ein Hohn, wenn gleichzeitig auf das Lohnabstandgebot gepocht wird. Neben den Konjunkturpaketen hätte somit die Wirtschaft nochmal zusätzlich 50 Milliarden erhalten, ohne dass sie sich an den Folgen dieser immensen Verschuldung beteiligen muss…“ Pressemitteilung vom 12. August 2010

Vom Niedriglohn zum Niedrigstlohn. Berufliche Qualifikation schützt immer weniger vor billigem Verkauf der Arbeitskraft

„Zahlen für das Jahr 2009, die Krisenzeit also, liegen noch nicht vor, die gibt es voraussichtlich erst im Spätherbst 2010. Für den Zeitraum von Mitte der 1990er Jahre bis 2008 bestätigt auch der aktuelle Bericht des Duisburger Instituts für Arbeit und Qualifikation ( IAQ), dass das Schlagwort vom "Niedriglohnland Deutschland" mit reichlich Daten aus der Wirklichkeit belegt werden kann…“ Artikel von Thomas Pany vom 05.08.2010 bei heise news – mit Link zur Studie

Aus: LabourNet, 12. August 2010


12. August 2010

Die Steuerzahler alimentieren Niedriglöhne

Zu den stetig steigenden Kosten für Hartz-IV-Austocker erklärt Klaus Ernst, Vorsitzender der Partei DIE LINKE:

Wenn die Bundesregierung den Unternehmen weiterhin derartig hemmungslos Steuergelder hinterher wirft, da sie einen Mindestlohn verweigert, stellt dies einen eklatanten Missbrauch von Sozialleistungen dar. Das Jobwunder der Bundesregierung fußt zunehmend auf den mit Steuermitteln subventionierten Niedriglöhnen. Von September 2008 bis 2009 verloren über 200.000 Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer ihren Job. Gleichzeitig stieg die Zahl der Aufstocker um 4.000 Beschäftigte weiter an. Bis Dezember 2009 erhöhte sich die Zahl derer, die nicht von ihrer Arbeit leben können, um weitere 14.000 Personen. Die Grundsicherung war ehemals als Existenzsicherung für Erwerbslose gedacht. Heute stellen wir fest, dass sie zunehmend zur Aufstockung von Niedriglöhnen dient.


Staat subventioniert über Aufstocker Gewinne von Arbeitgebern mit Milliarden

Seit der Einführung von Hartz IV wurden mehr als 50 Milliarden Euro für Aufstocker ausgegeben.

Wie staatsfern darf oder soll der Zivildienst sein?

Die Ausbreitung der Niedriglohnzone könnte unter der Ägide der Staatsferne besser gelingen.


50 Milliarden für Hartz IV-Aufstockungen.

Etwa jeder dritte Hartz IV Bezieher hat einen Job, allerdings verdienen die Betroffenen so wenig, dass sie mit Hartz IV Leistungen aufstocken müssen. Laut aktuellen Zahlen des Bundesarbeitsministerium belaufen sich die Kosten für den Steuerhaushalt auf insgesamt 50 Milliarden Euro. Die Steuerausgaben stiegen seit 2005 kontinuierlich an. Musste der Bundeshaushalt im Jahre 2005 rund acht Milliarden pro Jahr für Aufstockungen ausgeben, so waren es im Jahr 2009 schon 11 Milliarden Euro. So wird rein rechnerisch bereits jeder dritte Euro im Hartz-IV System dafür verwendet, niedrige Löhne auszugleichen, weil die Unternehmen zu wenig zahlen. Im Jahr 2005 hatte dieser Anteil noch bei einem Fünftel gelegen. Lesen Sie den ganzen Artikel:

Konsumenten lassen US-Wirtschaft im Stich

In den USA gibt es wenig Hoffnung auf ein Konjunkturwunder.

'Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War

Bacevich: Creating an "Iraq/Afghanistan Syndrome"

Robert Naiman, Truthout: "Campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008, Senator Barack Obama said, 'I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.' But as Andrew Bacevich notes in his new book, 'Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War,' as President, Barack Obama has done the opposite: he has promoted and acted on behalf of the mindset that leads to war."

Gulf Residents Likely Face Decades of Psychological Impact From BP's Oil Disaster

Dahr Jamail, Truthout: "While the devastating ecological impacts of BP's oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are obvious, the less visible but also long-lasting psychological, community and personal impacts could be worse, according to social scientists, psychologists and psychiatrists."

Scientists Cast Doubt on Claims BP Spill's No Threat to Gulf

Erika Bolstad, Renee Schoof and Margaret Talev, McClatchy Newspapers: "Many scientists say they're skeptical of a widely publicized government report Wednesday that concludes much of the oil that gushed from BP's leaking well is gone and poses little threat to the Gulf of Mexico."

Tony Blair Must Be Prosecuted


Tony Blair's new book 'is like a love letter to George Bush

The former prime minister is wheeling out his wife Cherie and their four children to publicise the book, entitled A Journey, across the Atlantic.

Tony Blair: Cheney's vision 'not stupid,' possible 'over time'

Don't rule out attack on Iran, Blair says

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer

Vice-President Dick Cheney's vision of completely redrawing the map of the Middle East following the 9/11 attacks is "not stupid," and is "possible over time," former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says.

Blair Was Told Iraq Threat Not A Concern

By Humberto

Lady Manningham-Buller, Director General of the UK Security Service from 2002 until 2007, told the investigators that Mr Blair's fears over Saddam arming terrorists were a mere "hypothetical theory", and certainly "not a concern in the short term or medium term to my colleagues or myself" - the information available was simply not "substantial enough".

9 Shameless Warmongers Who Call Fox News Home

By Media Matters for America

Media Matters takes a look at the track record of wrong predictions and shoddy analysis about the war in Iraq by many of Fox News' contributors and analysts.

From Information Clearing House

Killing Civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq


US demands Wikileaks give back documents... or else

UFPPC statement on Time's riposte to Wikileaks


Pentagon bars staff from visiting WikiLeaks site

Asked if the Pentagon is making the site off-limits, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told The Times that all four services "have put out such messages."

From Information Clearing House


'Insurance': WikiLeaks Posts Huge Encrypted File to Web

Are we sure George W. Bush is no longer president?

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